The third possibility is that one "respects" the natural order of things as having wisdom in its own right and chooses "non interference". A form of "non violence" or ahimsa.
Indeed this possibility exists, but as I see it it is just as moraly correct as any of the other options. After all, killing a man and letting a man die dont seen very different, morally speaking.
The notion of "man is the measure of all things" is as ancient as the Greeks but so also is the notion that nature is wondrously self ordered and self sustaining (cosmos).
No one would argue that nature does not change or that extinction and even mass extinctions are not part of the "natural order of things". The difference is in whether one thinks that nature has its own purposes and means. Is the universe indifferent and accidental or purposeful and goal directed? It is a deeper metaphysical orientation that answers the question. Should we live in harmony with nature or should we dominate and alter nature to suit our purposes and goals; in some sense naturalism versus materialism.
In some sense the question is ancient "Are we part of creation or the purpose of creation?" Materialistic mechanistic determinism and transcendent religious views give the same answer "man has dominion". On the other hand spiritual or immanent theistic views (veneration of nature or views of the divine working through nature) give the opposite answer (harmony or stewardship not dominion).
Ah, I see what you mean, these notions of that nature is wise and should be left alone are related to people's belief in higher purposes and things. I agree with that.
The key there is your assertion that nature consists of random, purposeless events instead of nature being a self organizing and self sustaining system (colliding or opposing worldviews). The worldview of environmentalists versus the promoters of continuing development. Personally I have no problem with the eradication of small pox but hunting dolphins or whales to extinction makes me anxious. IMV we are part of the creation not the purpose of it, and we dramatically alter nature at our own peril. There is a maximal sustainable population of humans and we are beyond it. Interestingly we have the technology and the science to balance our population with available natural resources and to eliminate hunger and much disease but we lack the political structures and the social consensus to implement any such scheme on the necessary global level. I do think there is a new worldview developing which shows more respect for nature and other life forms for "harmony" over unbriddled dominion, alteration and exploitation.
Indeed we are yet to achieve the level of general advancement (as in reunion of all fields, technologic, social, ideologic, etc) necessary to trully know what we can and cannot do winhout consequences for ourselves, but I dont think that ecology, at least as I see it out there in the world, will be beneficial. Actually it is damaging, rather than fixing our goverments and social structures, we try to be "green" before we are ready for it, and thus waste precious time.
Im my opinion what humanity should do now is have the planet "bear with it" for a little longer while it fixes itself before trying to fix the mess it has done. Maybe it can do both at once, but only if ecology doesnt calls attention away from our social problems and winder their solving like it seens to do for me.
Actually they share quite a few of your genes. The genetic evidence for all of life from a common origin is rather impressive.
But very little compared to other mammals, giving special attention to rats, whom share, if I am not mistaken, 95% of our dna, and whom big spiders eat... =)