Skip to main content

Are Humans The Worst Species To Inhabit The Earth

This question fascinates me and that's the only reason I choose to dwell upon this. I should say at the outset that this question can be answered both ways, either agreeing with the statement or disagreeing with it. I'd choose to answer this from the perspective of the negative effect humans have had on other species, as well as the effect humans have had on fellow human beings themselves. If I look at this question from that perspective, then I would have to say that us humans have been and continue to be the worst species among all other species that inhabit the Earth. Why do I say this you ask? Well, one would have thought that the way humans evolved, we would have turned out to be superior to other creatures - with our intelligence and creativity and supposed morality and sense of right and wrong. Superior, one can argue, we are in many respects, but are we better than the animals we share this Earth with? We can't even pretend to be superior than them with a straight face. We'd like to believe we are superior and better than other species, but are we really? Can one make that assertion with any conviction?

Just look at what humans do to each other every day, all around the world, in the name of religion, for land and resources, sometimes for no reason at all. They kill by the thousands each other. Why? We don't kill each other for food, we don’t have to - like other animals. We kill for things such as religion (which we ourselves came up with). We kill because we just don't like each other, the way the other human is or looks or thinks. Can you think of any other animal that kills for those reasons? Can you think of any other creature that commits genocide? The fact that we are supposedly intelligent and moral does not matter - does it? So, how can humans be better in any way than other animals?

One can say humans have laws and justice and other such creations, but why do we need all of that in the first place? Maybe we need that because we are so wild - wilder than any other animal living on Earth. Being the only animal carrying out genocide, of course, we need courts and laws and rules to maintain order. Yet, with all of that, atrocities are committed. Innocents continue to die the world over. Unlike other animals who have to survive and therefore kill for food, humans have no such reason. We kill other humans sometimes for no reason or sometimes for silly reasons.

What about the contribution of humans to the climate. No one is making the case that we have contributed anything positive to the Earth's climate. The discussion is all about how much damage we've done thus far and continue to do so. Perhaps, it would end with us humans taking all other species to the path to doom. We know the damage we've caused to the climate. We, unlike other animals, can comprehend the consequences, yet we choose to look the other way for short-term comfort/profits. So, of what use is the supposed intelligence – how has it served humans and how does it make humans better than any other creature on this Earth? I ask you, the reader, aren't humans the worst species to have ever inhabited the Earth?


Edward on January 07, 2020:

We, the humans are the worst species ever, we kill and slave others of us just for greed and power, we destroyed faunas and animals just for our own joy, we hate and judge each other because no reason or because someone thinks different.

We live in ignorance in which our thinking and justice is lost and we became weak because we are not able to protect ourselves and what we love anymore, leaving everything in a system that grants the rich people and leaves out the poor ones, we are not even able to interact with ourselves thanks to the manipulation of technology, it´s a shame very few people has humanity.

riceroni on November 12, 2015:

Of all Earth's inhabitants humans have committed the most heinous atrocities upon each other as well as all other species on Earth.

no-one much on May 03, 2015:

Humans aren't just evil, they are evil itself. There is nothing more despicable than humanity.

Anonymous on November 30, 2013:

I searched this topic because I was frustrated by groups of humans in particular. It's true, all of it. There are things such as evil, and humans commit the most to it. Maybe half the world follows a religion called evil. If so, it would make more sense than half the stuff they do. We cause nothing but turmoil and torture except for the select few who use that sense of right and wrong and genuinely care instead of repeatedly taking the knife out of your back and shoving it back in like a Jenga set.

Someone on July 07, 2013:

We are a horrible species. There's no denying that. It's sad to think... how many times I've wondered why I even bother to continue on living in this world...

Johnthebaptist1 on June 17, 2013:

Yes, the author is correct. You who think otherwise don't seem to realize that the only reason people around you seem cordial and polite ,etc. is because the are comfortable and well fed. If there were a prolonged disruption of the food supply , for whatever reason, you would soon see the real animal come out in people. You would see people killing each other for a loaf of bread . Civilization is a very thin veneer.

Sam Blake on May 02, 2013:

Your Answer: YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES without a shadow of doubt, humans are the worst thing God ever made and HE KNOWS IT. My question, why are we still here. We do not deserve any consideration because the human heart is desperately wicked. Its in the Bible. So why would God make such an awful creature as people when HE knew what we would do. Makes no sense to me that a Super Intelligence would create such stupid, selfish evil beings so they can kill, steal, rape, etc. without end. WHEN is this evil species ever going to end, once and for all.

Scroll to Continue

Frank Bonham from Boston, Massachusetts on April 20, 2013:

You miss the entire point. The fact that humans are able to ask these questions is what makes us what we are.

In answer to you questions. Other animals do kill for no reason. Killer whales in particular are known to kill sea lion cubs without eating them or competing with them for some other food. The appear to be doing it for "fun" or "hunting practice". Males of various species often mortally wound each other in fights over mates. Ant colonies will fight "wars" over territory destroying each other in the process.

Species, both plants and animal, became extinct for numerous reason (lack of viable environments, lack of food, change in climate), long before anything resembling homo sapiens was walking the earth.

Human beings are simply the other known species to invent morality and be able to question their actions in these ways.

As for climate change, for the entire ecosystem that comprises the earth, no change is positive or negative. They are simply changes. For every species that loses it's environment new species will come along that adapt to the changes and exploit the new world.

What makes rats, pigeons and cockroaches that thrive living amongst human beings less valid than animals we have hunted out of existence? The answer is nothing but your own value judgment.

hunt864 on February 03, 2013:

I feel almost better finidng this sit, I keep looking around me and trying to decide what good we do for the world we live in. We are highly destructive, and I have no doubt that the end of human beings will only come as a result of their own destructive acts. Either we will deplete and pollute every God given resource and starve or we will simply blow ourselves up. We as human beings seem to be very herd like, and we follow, sometime without question, those who claim to be in charge. We give such fantastic ideas to simple little things, but seem to fail to appreciate things for what they truly are. We will soon grow to an unsustainable number of people. I just don't get human beings... the solution to many of these things seems so simple... but are often considered inhumane in themselves.

M on January 24, 2013:

I believe Humans as a species have 'Overstepped or crossed our boundaries & limits'. I mean killing for gain of whatever resource is Natural, all other species do it.

I think the difference has become that all other species are still in the loop of predator and prey whereas Humans have walked out of that loop long ago.

We are as they say 'On top of the food chain', no natural predators, epidemics are rare, wars havnt been fought for a long time, etc. All this has only contributed to an explosion of Human numbers (over population). Which obviously results in a disadvantage to other species due to lack of resources for them.

I believe its time people start realizing having a house full of kids is no longer Sensible.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on January 12, 2013:

Given that perpetuation of species is a purpose of being a human, a tree, a dog, a cat, a virus, etc. Humans attribute instinct to animals and hormonal interactions in other species like plants. It looks like intelligence is a compensation for insufficiency in instinct and less hormonal interactions. To think that cats can perpetuate their kind without a nurse during giving birth. Dogs can survive without a hospital they have built. Without intelligence humans could not have grown in population. But the ants and termites grow in population without going to school. The virus just floats about in the air or water and when it attaches to a suitable host multiplies. There is cannibalism among animals and humans.

Hunter on December 18, 2012:

Humans are a disgusting creature. We are a cancer to the Earth and to and all other lifeforms. It is easy to make yourself believe we are better, to have hope in humanity, to think that we inherited the Earth so anything we wish to do here is acceptable. But then look at the whole history of human kind, filled with hatred, wars, and genocide, and you will see its far easier to see that We Are The Problem. Steadily trying to live against nature in an acceptable and propagated reality (illusion) for such a higher moral and intelligent being as ourselves.

John on April 27, 2012:

I don't mean to be insentitive but if you people hate humans so much, kys. Now before you go deleting/disregarding my post, hear me out...Personally, I love humans. I have met a whole bunch people, they have great personalities, they listen to and play the most amazing music, there are even ones that are physically beautiful. Sure they drive carbon emitting cars, live in houses built by wood, and are part of a species that make bad decisions, but you all do those things too. It seems as if you all would be happier if humans didn't exist, which brings me to my original statement, kys.

Jeff Mosier on April 27, 2012:

Amazingly well written and perfectly honest. We are not a viable species since the development of our neo-cortex that created language and eventually the delusional dominion that we hold in our head over all of nature. We impress ONLY ourselves. Through a symbolic type cognition, and memory, we have named and classified everything on the planet for ourselves; we bring it down, dumd it down, and lower the bar for the future. We will fail, and we will be destroyed by our own hands eventually and wiped out by the very nature that we think we understood, but never respected. Religion, our creation, is the greatest sign of our poisonous nature and total bent on self destruction as a species. We will get what we deserve. The planet will shake us off. We developed a brain due to diet changes from having to move around during climate changes. Our left brain is dominant now, as a result, and our right brain barely flickers enough to keep us going, keep us creative, and keep us aware that we are part of everything, not apart from everything. We're the sickest, saddest, and most violent creatures that this planet has ever seen, or ever will see. This is not negative, this is the reality of our short history as a species. We're only good for ourselves, we've never brought anything to the planet but redundant protoplasm, weight, noise, heat, and the making of substances that kill us and the rest of nature. We love ourselves so much and fee so good about ourselves. this is not the case in reality, this is only the case in our deluded minds.

clifford on March 23, 2012:

I should have known someone came up with "Worst Species Ever!" before me.

I want a bumper sticker.

Fabian on December 04, 2011:

The author of this post isn't being pessimistic because all that was stated is true. It's awfully easy to think of bad things we've done to the environment, but I can't even find one good thing we've done. This doesn't include good things done in order to reverse bad things we, ourselves, have caused.

As one of the posters above said; don't think too much about it. It isn't something we can change since it's our nature. It's a lot easier to live not knowing something than living knowing you can't do anything about it.

Craig on December 01, 2011:

Its beyond me why we haven't blown ourselves up yet.

Most people probably have no idea how closes it came to that during the cold war crisis. I suppose we should not blame ourselves,if anything we should perhaps laugh it off. After all, there will be a monumental amount of finger pointing, complaining and arguing over this topic, just a couple more things we seem to be good at. It is heavily ironic how we are the most intelligent species on the planet, but we have no idea how to use it. I guess evolution has made a very big mistake. Im sure darwin would agree. What makes it worse is that we give ourselves a pat on the back by inventing religion. Congratulations! you've caused the extinction of every animal on the planet. The earth is no longer inhabitable due to years of neglect. The list goes on and on. However come into heaven and i will relieve you of your woes. You must been tired from all the hard work being the worst species on earth. To which the human replies, i cant help it, that's the way you made me.

So there you have it, sleep well tonight children :) All am saying is really enjoy the ride while it lasts, because towards the end its going to get pretty bumpy.

I'd like to end on a positive note. Don't think about this too much. So if you want to watch some comedy to lighten up , look out for bill hicks. Hes not around anymore the poor bloke but you can get him on dvd. A visionary and a true legend.

Thumbs up to the hub, i needed to get that out of my system :)

Ili on November 27, 2011:

Humans are the worst species ever. It´s getting more and more difficult to like them. Sure there are exceptions but exceptions don´t make the rule. I m a positive person but I can´t overlook certain things.

Ivan Veslar on September 15, 2011:

Yes there are worse creatures than ordinerily humans but

they they holding the the top positions in the world.

Doesnot matter in which country and where.Sending my

regards to animals and plants.

Fascinatedbythisgreatpost on September 08, 2011:

I really agree with you. Humans are real oddities. We can be so evil. Just ask the dodo! And sorry to all the humans reading this post, but we are dangerous! The thing is, we aren't alone. Dolphins, chimpanzees, rats, ravens and elephants are all species we torture and destroy. But they are highly intelligent. Some as smart as an average child or young adult! So if there were a rebellion....

Of course, maybe I have watched too much Planet of the Apes movies, but we are moving towards something horrible, and if we continue on our current path, we will either shoot for the stars and escape WW3 or we will destroy ourselves, save about 3 billion survivors in a world where nature has been utterly destroyed, radiation is abundant, there is no food, no government and little if any drinkable water. And unless we do something, it could happen in our lifetime...................

Shil1978 (author) on September 03, 2011:

Thanks, Richard, for voting up this hub. Glad you liked it! Thanks for stopping by :)

RichardCMckeown on September 03, 2011:

Awesome hub!Voted up.

Shil1978 (author) on July 06, 2011:

Jeff, its fine! At least I can put your post in perspective now that you've explained. I agree that you can't answer this question definitively. I was called upon to take a position on this question and I did. If I were to reflect upon this question in-depth, my views would have been more shades of gray than black or white.

Intellectually, humans have made progress, but not quite enough to say that (even some of us) have intellectually evolved. Haven't we seen so many apparently "good" people do terrible things. I think that dark side exists in all of us equally and can come to the surface quite easily.

What I hope is that we can intellectually evolve to the state where we don't give in to destructive emotions quite so easily - that's not to say we become emotionless, but rather have some sort of significant control over emotions that don't help us, rather can destroy humanity and the planet we live in.

For all the progress we have made, who is to say that all of this won't go down the drains in a nuclear holocaust. Now, this is not being pessimistic or an exaggeration, but it is an unfortunate reality in the world we live in. With countries such as Pakistan possessing nuclear weapons, I fear for the future safety of mankind's developments.

In other articles, I have argued that man should actively seek to move out of the Earth and colonize other planets (admittedly not a very short-term reality), but unless we do this, all the progress we've made as a species would come to nothing. No one would know we existed - we'd just be gone in a flash of madness, of our own making, as in nuclear accidents/war, etc.

I agree that optimism is more enjoyable/constructive and that's my personal belief in my personal life - I try to be positive always, but then can we pretend that the destructive elements/destructive aspects of humans that exist in our world don't exist, and if they do, should we not focus on that too?

Jeff on July 05, 2011:

Sorry that I was so angry in my first post; late at night and after a few drinks I found myself angry at everyone who thinks poorly of humanity, and after a few quick google searches I ended up taking my anger out on this post.

Per your response, I don't think you can phrase it in black in white like that; our species is not either compassionate or destructive, its both. I guess we're the worst-best species and the best-worst species. There are highly destructive people, purely compassionate people, and the whole spectrum in between.

But, I would argue that compassion is the more mature, evolved, rational state of being. So, the answer to "are we intellectually evolved?" is that some of us are. And, since some of us are, all of us can be.

As I was saying before, I think that focusing on the negative aspects of humanity is pessimistic. To be fair, its quite easy in today's world to get caught up in all the horrible, crazy shit that we do to each other; I have certainly spent a fair amount of time wallowing in that shit. And I've come to realize that its all a result of confusion. Everything negative thing that you mentioned--hatred, genocide, animal extinction, environmental destruction, climate change--is a result of ignorance, apathy, and stupidity.

More importantly, I've come to realize that optimism is much more enjoyable and constructive than pessimism. Instead of wasting your time focusing on all the horrible shit we do, its far better to focus on humanity's potentials. Its infinitely less depressing and much more exciting. Humanity has the potential to live sustainability, to augment our minds and our reality, to create art, science, and philosophy beyond our wildest dreams, to leave the womb of mother Earth and expand throughout the solar system, the galaxy, and hopefully the universe. Since these are potentials, they're possibilities. And the fact that we have these possibilities makes me realize that of course, humans are the greatest creatures among all other creatures that inhabit the Earth.

Shil1978 (author) on July 02, 2011:

I am actually not a pessimist. However, as it relates to this specific question - you can say I am. To give some perspective, this article was in response to a question, hence the first two words. I am not assuming that everyone agrees with me, certainly not. It is my personal view. I would agree that humans have progressed much and have evolved to be the dominant species on this planet, but my negative view stemmed from the consequences of that evolution. I mean have we intellecutally evolved? Are we a compassionate species that thinks about other species, the environment? Or, are we a destructive species, destructive to ourselves as well as to other species that we share this Earth with?

Jeff on July 01, 2011:

You are a pessimist. Humans are by far the greatest species to inhabit the Earth. I think the fact that we are able to have this conversation proves my point. I am deeply offended by the first two words of this post, "of course", are you assuming that everyone agrees with you? It is pessimism like yours that causes the negative aspects of humanity that you chose to highlight.

I would go as far as to say that we are by far the greatest things in the known universe. I must stress the 'known', because there is certainly better stuff out there, we just don't know about it yet.

liv on January 27, 2011:

We can dream, we can imagine and pretend, fantasise and obsess. Lie and corrupt, destroy and create. Bring joy and inflict pain. We are in our minds superior to any other being or creature on this plant. But what we lack is insight and guidance as to the purpose into how to use all of these attributes. Or understanding why we have been given these attributes. Animals know there purpose. Trees know. Does our behaviour represent our confusion? What are we evolving toward? When we find out maybe all of this might be revealed. And or potentially, will we be out of time...

Jodis from UK on January 27, 2011:

Interesting hub...and, couldn't agree more! I appreciate humans like to experiment to progress and advance their civilisation, but why send a monkey or a dog into space, why grow a human part on an animal's back? Why...because some humans believe animals' lives are less important than theirs, some humans feel they deserve to have a place on this planet more than animals....and they couldn't be more WRONG! Where is the justification? Based on all you said, there is no justification!

Shil1978 (author) on December 21, 2010:

Thanks K9 for stopping by and commenting. Glad you liked this hub :)

India Arnold from Northern, California on December 21, 2010:

Outstanding hub. Up and awesome.


Mike on August 26, 2010:

I agree, humans suck! We cut down the forests, pollute the land, air, and water, drive many species to the brink of extinction, advesely affect the climate, and if all that's not enough we kill eachother. Humans are the worst thing to happen to this miracle planet in 4.5 billion years. WOW!

Shil1978 (author) on June 06, 2010:

Thank you epigramman for stopping by this hub and for the kind words. I appreciate the fact that this hub provoked you to think!

Thanks again for your very kind words :)

epigramman on June 06, 2010:

Are humans the worst creatures to ever inhabit this earth:

Well I am from Mars and when we saw planet Earth we took a quick left turn!

and - How does God feel all about this?

You add the 'intell' into intelligence and provoke people to think - what a wonderful combination you have - you have inhabited my mind - in a very good way!

Shil1978 (author) on June 04, 2010:

Thank you Michael for your wonderful insights. There is a lot of truth in what you say. Appreciate your perspective. Thanks for visiting :)

Michael on June 04, 2010:

There are some wonderful examples of humanity out there. It's just that it gets diluted by the immense amount of selfishness, hatred and ignorance of countless others. I truly believe that we, as a species, will never be at peace. If machines ever become sentient, it is they who will inherit the Earth from us and make it a utopia.

Shil1978 (author) on May 13, 2009:

I like that line. Am a fan of Star Trek but don't remember hearing that one, might have missed it or just don't remember probably, very apt quote though. Yeah, about the blushing, have heard that - perhaps one of the rare things that makes humans distinct. Intelligence could've been another - but the way humans have used their intelligence, well the less said the better. Thanks for your views Maven - appreciate it!!!

Larry Conners from Northern Arizona on May 13, 2009:

Man's inhumanity to man...and others..

I remember a line from Spock of Star Trek fame remarking " What is intelligence without discipline..? ".

BTW, did you know that man is the only creature that blushes..?

Interesting take on the human condition...Thanks

Related Articles