The excessive alarmism of Prophets helped inspire the modern environmental movement, but implicitly opposed the rise in living standards of billions of poor people. Wizards, by contrast, helped defy the limits to growth to make the escape from poverty possible, but they may have encouraged complacency about environmental problems that threaten us today. The purpose of Mr. Mann’s indispensable book is not to declare a winner, but—with luck—to help us find the right mixture of Prophets and Wizards in the future.
She basically thought that both wizards and prophets are kidding themselves. The reason is that we're a successful species, and the laws of biology are that successful species wipe themselves out. When the protozoa are in the petri dish multiplying like crazy, they don't see the edge of the petri dish approaching and say, "Oh wow, we better calm down here." They just go right to the edge of the petri dish, they hit the wall, and then they all die. And [Lynn] said that's the way life is, that's the way living creatures are, and to think that people are somehow special and profoundly different from protozoa is ridiculous and completely contrary to the spirit of biology, which is that all species are the same with regard to these fundamental natural processes.
Here's the thing about successful species: Eventually, they all wipe themselves out.
I don't believe in the inevitability of anything when we touch upon the human, but we'd better pay attention to what Margulis is saying, if we'd like to be an exception to her rule.