Are dogs artificial?


The word artificial is broken. Why do we use it? The dictionary definition (pleh) describes it as things that are made or produced by human beings “rather than occurring naturally”. Rather than occurring naturally? Why that arbitrary division? Anything we produce could not, by definition, be artificial, since we are a part of nature’s whole. It feels like a word that was coined, popularized and accepted in a cultural worldview that has a desire to separate humans from nature. A pointless, and largely negative pursuit which serves only to make humans feel superior to their surroundings. It presents to us an understanding of the universe which reeks of fear of the greater of existence. Where we must be separate lest we are devoured by it; become it. But surely it’s still useful to differentiate between things which happened with and without human intervention right? We know there’s a difference between an artificial lake and a real one. The word “man-made”, while hyphenated, creates a distinction between the two concepts of human and nature without implicitly dividing them. It excels at distinguishing the differences without creating a divide. Armed with this new word, we can look upon a plastic plant and differentiate it from the plant-material plant by calling it “man-made”. While still maintaining that they are ultimately made up of the same basic stuff present in literally everything. Down to both being fancy carbon things even. But. There is a gray area in defining things as “man-made” because there are things that exist as collaborations between humans and nature. Modern fruits would not exist in their current forms without humans morphing them to better fit their needs, but those humans didn’t create the “original” fruits. So are modern fruits natural or man-made? What about dogs? Non-existent without human intervention, but something feels off when we attempt to call a dog a “man-made” or artificial object. Cleary, they are natural… maybe just “human-influenced”. Though by this new metric even the most artificial thing you can think of is simply “human-influenced”. …Maybe the answer is not in trying to think of larger and all-encompassing theories. I believe we really mean something when we say artificial. Yes, in the grandest sense, these words are not quite true, not quite real. But once we zoom into the moments when we want to use them, they do exist. Humans make music. If we want to go by the most rigid definition of artificiality, then music is an artificial act. But just like dogs, this feels wrong. How can music be artificial when we know it’s so…”true”? So natural? (Are true and natural overlapping ideas? The opposite of artificial is real, right?) It’s because it’s something we understand as being a part of our human nature. Music, art, sex, games, dance, haphazardly written blog posts. All a part of our nature, and therefore a part of Big Nature. Intrinsically un-artificial yet man-made by definition. So. Maybe artificial is just the aspect of humanity that is upset at its own creations. The plant is artificial because we expected a “real” plant, another living being, and we instead found plastic in the shape of a lie. Too infallible to be natural: a failure. That intelligence is artificial because it’s still unlike talking to another human. Artificial are the things which humans attempted to imitate, and failed to make real. Artificiality is when you feel disappointment upon seeing something for what it truly is. Dogs are real.