Language in Nature

This week’s blog was written by Grace H., a Bucktails alumni. Grace is interested in studying mathematics and international diplomacy. Attending the Wildlife Leadership Academy was an experience that allowed her to develop an understanding of ecology from an environmental lens.

It’s simple to assume that there is an association between language and creation. The beauty of language is perceived as an allowance of communication, expression, and connection. But the realization that an aspect of language is not created but naturally present with the quiet potential of discovery opens humanity up to exploration of the unknown. The languages of nature are universal and exist whether they are acknowledged or understood. Society must humbly accept the components of language that they cannot credit themselves for to solve environmental issues.

There are different ways people view language. Humanity must broaden the way they process it. The most literal and simplistic being the perception that language is communication from one human to another. While communication amongst humans is complex and meaningful, it cannot be the only way people think about language. It is ignorant to think that humanity is the one species responsible for the broad idea of language. A slightly broader and more scientific perspective is that language could be defined as communication from one organism to another. Research has gone into revealing language between other species. It has been clear for generations that various marine mammals, primates, and pachyderms have a developed language of communication. More recently, it has been discovered that there is a network of communication between plants made possible through fungi.

An opportunity to perceive language in nature

It is challenging yet imperative to broaden the perspective of language even further than the creation of communication, for there are languages that exist within nature that have no biotic creator. It is arguable that these natural languages are the most important because they are universal and indestructible. While concepts like the language of math, sciences, music, and time have been discovered by humanity, they exist whether they are understood or not. While the credit of creating these languages does not belong to humans, how they interpret them is what will influence the state of the world. Solutions to environmental conflict depend on the balance between the stability of the abiotic language and the chaos of the biotic language.

While humanity is the cause of the majority of current environmental issues, it has the potential to solve them. Yet ironically, the destruction of nature will not be solved with the creations of humans, but the application of the universal languages of nature. Solutions do not need to be created. They can be found in the preexisting languages of math, science, music, and time.

The photo used in this blog belongs to the author.