Nature’s Real Nature: Even Slabs of Stone Compete By Howard Bloom

World Star PR News
Nature's Real NatureHoward Bloom

Nature is not a conservationist. And she is not nurturing and kind. In fact, she has a nasty habit of destroying herself. She tosses a tantrum, tears up her existing order, and forces her children to deal with the remains. We call her supersized rages natural disasters. And they are as common as lightning bolts in a thunderstorm. Take the clashes that produce violence among tectonic plates.

Today, the rocky outer crust of the earth’s surface is dominated by eight huge sheets of cooled, solidified rock millions of square miles in size floating on an oozy sea of hot, melted, liquid stone. These tectonic plates are accompanied by a flock of smaller floating stone saucers—volcanoes and chains of islands like Hawaii. The planet-girdling rafts of rock and their smaller outliers float on the viscoelastic rind of mantle called the asthenosphere. They float on the liquid of molten rock. And, tectonic plates don’t play nice in the sandbox. Ever so slowly, they grind up against each other and battle for dominance. It’s called “subduction.” When they meet, one plate tries to climb on the other’s back. Just like lobsters, lizards, and puppies in their showdowns do. How animal-like. But there is no conscious struggle for status among these rock sheets. There is no conscious anything. These sheets of rock have no mind. They simply obey physical laws. Nature’s laws. The laws that we are sometimes told lead to harmony.

Needless to say, harmony is seldom the name of nature’s game. Take the Pacific Plate, 39.76 million square miles of slowly moving rock, a tectonic slab like a parking-lot ten times the size of China. Where the Pacific Plate drifts over a deep, stationary hot spot, a “melting anomaly” in the asthenosphere,[i] it throws a fit, producing volcanoes like Mauna Loa in Hawaii, a volcano that can rip 376 million cubic meters[ii] of red-hot stone from deep beneath the earth and fling it high above the surface in a single eruption.[iii] That’s in recent times, in the last 700,000 years. That’s just to give you an idea of how plate tectonics work today.

Now let’s lunge back in time to 3.42 billion years ago. It’s a mere billion years after this third rock from the sun pulled itself together. Life has taken hold and is churning forward, seeping into as many new territories as it can eat. But life thrives because it is a doom rider and a catastrophe tamer. As you would suspect, at a tender 1.08 billion years old, this adolescent planet, this billion year old earth, is still a troublemaker, a violator of nature, and a wrecker of its environment. First off, it is a violator of its environment in outer space. The new born planet still bullies and threatens the calm of a floating sea of stones[iv] beyond our skies[v]--asteroids, planetesimals and meteors. Meanwhile, down here on the roil and struggle of our gravity ball’s surface, tectonic plates are new, but in the area of what would later be South Africa, they are already doing their competitive thing.[vi] There’s a massive supercontinent called Vaalbara,[vii]a supercontinent that in the distant future will rip itself in two, a supercontinent that will someday split into Africa and Australia. Violently.[viii] The battles of tectonic platelets around Vaalbara are fierce. Geological wounds and gore emerge from these struggles. They emerge in the form of volcanoes. And the volcanoes do a few things common to nature. They spew so much soot into the atmosphere that they change the climate for a year or three. Yet from trauma, volcanoes produce astonishments.

The wonder that emerges from these molten stone gashes, sores, and blisters, these volcanoes of the adolescent earth, is a form of stone scab. It’s accidental jewelry. It’s black and shiny or quartz-gray and translucent.[ix] Its surfaces are surprising—slick in a way that’s alien to a planet of gravel. The facets of these glass shards are reflective as curved mirrors, flashing and glinting in amazing ways. And they are not like anything the earth has known before.

But as you are aware by now, nature has very little respect for her creations, no matter how brilliantly they glitter. She assaults them with desecrators, spoilers, looters, plunderers, and opportunists. She opens her treasures to those who would dare scar them for selfish, material gain. She throws her treasures open to what some of us might call “rapists”. And nature’s most creative rapists 3.4 billion years ago are the descendants of the first half teaspoon of life. They are bacteria.[x] Remember, bacteria are microscopic creatures who function in armies of trillions. Invisibly thin armies with tight communal cohesion. Organized hordes that specialize in migrating, scavenging, and settling down. Hordes whose individuals gather knowledge, communicate it in a chemical language, and add it to their society’s data base. A database that constantly updates the community on new ways to digest its environment. New ways to plunder the innocent. New ways to feast and feed. And when it comes to how to do that feasting, bacteria invent.

These hordes obey life’s 350 million-year-old imperatives. Kidnap, seduce, and recruit as many dead atoms as you can into the project of life. Be fruitful and multiply. Show no mercy for the status quo. Violate “nature.” Invade every nook and cranny. Make cracks where there was perfection. Make rough footholds where there was beauty and smoothness. Gorge on your environment. Do it fast. Do it with speed and greed. Do it with all the ingenuity this cosmos has planted within you. Why? Because you are up against a deadline. Before the next great catastrophe arrives—the next comet, the next wave of cosmic rays from a spiral arm of your galaxy, the next climate fry or climate freeze—you have to place your chips on so many possibilities in so many places with so many metabolic innovations that a few of you will survive. But how? It’s not easy. It takes radical disrespect for the current norms. It takes rapaciousness. It takes ingenuity. It takes what Oxford’s John Odling-Smee calls “niche construction.”[xi] It takes making new niches where there were none. It takes violating the environment’s “virginity”. It takes inventing new appetites. It takes inventing new recipes. It takes eating your environment in radically new ways.


Howard Bloom has been called the Einstein, Newton, Darwin, and Freud of the 20th century by Britain’s Channel 4 TV. This article is a sneak preview of his upcoming 2023 book, his eighth, The Case of the Sexual Cosmos: Everything You Know About Nature is Wrong. Bloom’s book Global Brain was the subject of a symposium thrown by the Office of the Secretary of Defense with representatives from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT.

[i] David A. Clague and G. Brent Dalrymple, “Tectonics, Geochronology, and Origin of the Hawaiian-Emperor Volcanic Chain,” in A Natural History of the Hawaiian Islands: Selected Readings II, edited by E. Alison Kay, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1994, p. 5.

[ii] Volcanoes National Park - Page › books

Jeanette Foster

[iii] Ken Rubin and Rochelle Minicola, Mauna Loa Eruption History, Hawaii Center for Volcanology,, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, 8-29-2013

[iv] The sea of objects through which the early earth swam is called "the near earth swarm of the protoplanetary cloud planetesimals." Oleg G. Sorokhtin, G.V. Chilingarian, N.O. Sorokhtin, Evolution of Earth and its Climate: Birth, Life and Death of Earth, Burlington, MA: Elsevier, 2004, p. 65. Felix M. Gradstein, James G. Ogg, Alan G. Smith, editors, A Geologic Time Scale, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 143. Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, “Exploration of Near Earth Objects,” Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, Space Studies Board, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Washington, DC, National Research Council, 1998, p. 1.

[v] H. Sierks, P. Lamy, C. Barbieri, et al, “Images of Asteroid 21 Lutetia: A Remnant Planetesimal from the Early Solar System,” Science, October 28, 2011, pp. 487-490.

[vi] Cornel E. J. de Ronde, Maarten J. de Wit, “Tectonic history of the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa: 490 million years of Archean crustal evolution,” Tectonics, August 1994, pp. 983–1005.

[vii] S.M. Reddy, David A.D. Evans, “Palaeoproterozoic supercontinents and global evolution:

correlations from core to atmosphere,” in Palaeoproterozoic Supercontinents and Global Evolution, edited by Steven Michael Reddy, Bath, UK: Geological Society, Special Publication 323, 2009, p. 8. Philip Kearey, Keith A. Klepeis, Frederick J. Vine, Global Tectonics, Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, p. 374.

[viii] K.C. Condie, “Supercontinents, superplumes and continental growth: the Neoproterozoic

Record,” in Proterozoic East Gondwana: Supercontinent Assembly and Breakup, edited by Masaru Yoshida, Brian F. Windley, and Somnath Dasgupta. Bath, UK: Geological Society of London, 2003: pp. 1-16.

[ix] Hubert Staudigel, Harald Furnes, Nicola McLoughlin, et al, “3.5 billion years of glass bioalteration: Volcanic rocks as a basis for microbial life?” Earth-Science Reviews

Volume 89, Issues 3–4, August 2008, Pages 156–176.

[x] Frances Westall, M.J. De Wit, J. Dann, et al, “Early Archaean fossil bacteria and biofilms in hydrothermally-influenced shallow water sediments. Barberton greenstone belt. South Africa,” Precambrian Research, February, 2001, pp. 93-116.

[xi] John Odling-Smee, et al, Niche Construction Theory: A Practical Guide for Ecologists, The Quarterly Review of Biology, March 2013, pp. 4-28.

Comments / 0

Published by

World Star PR is the Go-To alternative for actors, filmmakers, models, musicians, authors and other entertainment professionals. We have great reach, great industry relations and work diligently to get your the results you are looking for. Company Specialties: -Music Promotion/Interviews -Social Media Management -Digital Marketing and Publicity -Business Marketing and Public Relations -Consulting/Image Building/Branding -Feature Film (Theatrical and Home Entertainment) Publicity and Promotion -Web Series Publicity and Promotion -Social Media Training -Author/Book Promotion -Event Management, Marketing and Promotion -Media Relations Get the best results for the best prices with World Star PR Contact us:

Los Angeles, CA

More from World Star PR News

Comments / 0