I've often thought that if I were ever going to pray to anything, it would be to Gaia.

Not because I particularly expect her to answer more readily than YHWH, Ra, Thor, Zeus, or Qetzlcoatl, but because the Earth and the life bound up in its ecosystems probably make the single most complex system the human species is aware of, and I respect complexity. Especially if it's stable and very especially if it's where all my food comes from.

Let's face it. Earth will almost certainly outlive humanity. And life on Earth will also probably go on, unless we deliberately decide not to let it, and even then we can't get it all. Short of creating a black hole and destroying the Earth utterly, nothing we do will eradicate life on this planet.

And a thousand years after we all die, every book will be dust, and every piece of magnetic data will be gibberish and every plaque that isn't buried will be worn away. The sum total of human knowledge will be lost forever because modern media isn't made to last. All the bridges will have long since crumbled, and all the skyscrapers will have toppled. The roads and the buildings will have cracked apart as, and this is the important part, trees and bushes and blades of grass will have smashed their way through everything made by man.

In less time than it took humans to go from the decimal system to the dewey decimal system, plantlife will have overcome our greatest civic achievements. And one day, something will probably figure out how to eat polymers, and the landfills, the last traces of humanity, will vanish.

And that's something that you have to respect.