Nature, according to some ontological philosophers, exists as a reality apart from the human animal. Long before humankind emerged, the natural world evolved over numerous millennia as evolutionary adaptations siphoned off weaker plants and animals, leaving more resilient genera in their wake. Frequent upheaval became the standard for natural processes and a terrestrial balance that man eventually altered. Epoch upon epoch came and went before a human sound was uttered or a creature walked upright and sought to exercise an unfettered will.