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<p>"Biophilia" is the term coined by Edward O. Wilson to describe what he believes is humanity's innate affinity for the natural world. In his landmark book Biophilia, he examined how our tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes might be a biologically based need, integral to our development as individuals and as a species. That idea has caught the imagination of diverse thinkers.The Biophilia Hypothesis brings together the views of some of the most creative scientists of our time, each attempting to amplify and refine the concept of biophilia. The variety of perspectives -- psychological, biological, cultural, symbolic, and aesthetic -- frame the theoretical issues by presenting empirical evidence that supports or refutes the hypothesis. Numerous examples illustrate the idea that biophilia and its converse, biophobia, have a genetic component: fear, and even full-blown phobias of snakes and spiders are quick to develop with very little negative reinforcement, while more threatening modern artifacts -- knives, guns, automobiles -- rarely elicit such a response people find trees that are climbable and have a broad, umbrella-like canopy more attractive than trees without these characteristics people would rather look at water, green vegetation, or flowers than built structures of glass and concrete</p>

Children and Nature incorporates research from cognitive science, developmental psychology, ecology, education, environmental studies, evolutionary psychology, political science, primatology, psychiatry, and social psychology. The authors examine the evolutionary significance of nature during childhood; the formation of children's conceptions, values, and sympathies toward the natural world; how contact with nature affects children's physical and mental development; and the educational and political consequences of the weakened childhood experience of nature in modern society.

This paper argues for the existence of a universal and genetically-encodedhuman yearning to connect and unite with nature or, writ large, creation. In human society, this yearning is often revealed through the vehicles of science and religion. This is a weak genetic tendency, however, that through the human genius of culture and free will produces widely different versions of science and religion. Nevertheless, this yearning being an expression of biology and the product of human evolution is ultimately bound by its functional and adaptive expression. This perspective implies that not all individual and cultural constructions of science and religion are equally legitimate, some proving dysfunctional and destructive over time. This perspective also advances an ethic for the care and conservation of nature based on a broad understanding of human self-interest.