While many believe that life was created by a supreme being, most scientists agree that life arose naturally from the environment. At any rate, life cannot exist apart from its environment. Because an appropriate environment exists, life appears and thrives within it. In turn, life profoundly affects its environment.
At the dawn of life on Earth, primordial single-celled organisms proliferated in the oceans. Some exhibited photosynthesis, the function of plant life to absorb carbon dioxide gas and, in the presence of sunlight, transform it into oxygen. In the beginning, the Earth’s atmosphere contained little or no oxygen, but with the emergence of plant life, great amounts of oxygen began to be produced. Some of this oxygen began to be produced. Some of this oxygen took the form of ozone (O3), which ascended to the upper levels of the atmosphere, forming a layer that began to block out some of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. As this ozone layer grew, the Earth’s atmosphere began to cool.
Around this time, more complex multicellular forms of life were developing in the oceans and with the cooling of the Earth’s atmosphere, many began to emerge from the sea and inhabit the land. First, primitive forms of plant life appeared, and later, animals that derived their energy from breathing oxygen. Eventually the entire planet came to be covered with a blanket of life.
In this way, life first appeared out of the environment and then transformed that environment. This inseparable relationship between life and the environment mutually affect one another. This expresses the principle that life and natural environment coexist in an extremely close, inseparable relationship, each affecting the other in a state of dynamic harmony.
Environment is like the shadow, and life, the body. Without the body there can be no shadow. Similarly, without life, environment cannot exist, even though life is supported by its environment. Where there is an environment, there is life within it.
In this environment we call Earth, there now exist some 1.5 million varieties of life. When we consider that the environment is profoundly influenced by the life within it, and that our own bodies are composed of substances that are extremely common place in our environment, it becomes clear that our life and the environment are truly inseparable.