Environment and Ecology
In Eden, and again after the Flood, mankind was commanded by God to exercise a steward’s dominion over all the earth, including its many life forms, land animals, sea animals, birds, etc. This is a God-ordained mandate for the whole human race, in conjunction with God’s decree that humans “be fruitful and multiply.” To obey this mandate, mankind must understand earth and its inhabitants, weather, and other environmental factors that combine into the interactive whole and parts of what we call earth’s ecology.
Ecology is the study of the ongoing interrelatedness of all of earth’s life forms (including humans and the huge variety of animals, plants, bacteria, etc.) with all of the physical (i.e., non-living) environment elements like soil, air, water, etc.
How do fish live in the sea? How do birds fly in the air? How and why do some animals seasonally migrate, or hibernate, or postpone gestation?
Mankind has God-assigned authority to use, consume, and otherwise manage animals, plants, and the physical environment (such as diverting river water for irrigation, harnessing wind power for sailing and windmills, or using rock for buildings). But this authority is a stewardship, requiring selfishness-restrictive rules, wise agriculture, and conservation.
Man’s dominion (i.e., rule or management) is only right if and when it accords with God’s revealed will for planet earth. Moral standards for doing that are found in the Bible.