Throughout history we have witnessed the existence of far more superior species on the face of the earth. Dinosaurs, Mammoth & Megalodon are to name a few.
All these are no more with us but an inferior species like homo sapiens survived through this entire period of evolution.
Yes, apocalyptic events played its role in making some of the big species extinct but majority of them vanished from our planet only because of humans.
The answer to this miracle lies in the title of this article.
About 35,000 years ago, homo sapiens had a company of other species which were similar like homo erectus, Neanderthal & denisovan. In next 20,000 years all other species gradually went extinct and only homo sapiens were left.
Researchers believe there can be either of the 2 reasons:
- Homo sapiens executed other similar species in order to survive
- Other species were not able to adjust to the radical environmental changes like how homo sapiens did
With the advent of agricultural revolution and domestication of plants & animals, human beings became lot more intellectually capable thanks to the nutritious food and fire so to eat meat.
This was golden period for the brain evolution and the size of human brain increased drastically.
The major instinct for most species is to fend for themselves so they tend to never cooperate in big groups. If you see a pride of lions or other animals, they operate in small groups. Simple reason being more members in the group = more stomachs to feed and more heads to quench thirst. In case resources aren’t enough, it can lead to conflict within the group keeping the group of a smaller size always.
We humans so far are the only species, which can engage and cooperate at massive levels. The most important factor that has governed it is been money.
Around 5000 years ago, our ancestors realised that it was not feasible and efficient for them to have all the necessities of life e.g. meat, vegetables of different kind, iron weapons,etc sorted while working alone. Concept was simple if someone else has what I need, Why cant I just barter it with something that other might require.
Barter system worked for quite some time however, it became impossible to manage this at a higher level. For example what if you have tomato plantation and you need cotton from your neighbour. How do you determine how many kilograms of tomato will be equivalent to kilograms of cotton? And what if tomatoes are produced in abundance in the neighbourhood but few blocks away there are no people farming tomatoes. Obviously, you will go to them for exchange but what if they don’t have cotton to trade with? This is why a unified system to trade was required.
Around 3000 years ago cowry shells were used in china as a currency to trade other goods. Gradually kingdoms started minting their coins, which were accepted within the realm of the kingdom.
With Capitalism, countries now print currency, which we believe has value associated to it. We have been tricked into believing that if the government prints something out of their institution, it will have value to it which you printing at your home will never have.
This trick helps to further our civilisation. With a common currency, we not just restricted to trade within a kingdom but to a greater extent. This entails that we can utilise best of the products / services available across a wider reach which further means that now we are cooperating at a far larger extent then what our early ancestors did. So now person can become an expert farmer and not care about hunting. Where as someone else would become expert hunter and not care about making weapons for hunting and in modern times our professions have become more microscopic and knowledge in the field has become more detailed. Industrial revolution in last 300 years further catapulted this immensely.
The key to work together has been the most significant feat accomplished by human beings and that is what makes us superior than any other species.
Incidentally at the time of agricultural revolution when early beings started cooperating, 1 of the large species of wooly mammoth which ruled the natural habitat in Australia for thousands of years got extinct because a group of hunters with weapons attacking mammoth from all directions intelligently was no match for the might of the mammoth.
The belief in religion was another imperative factor that helped in forming communities. Right from the time of foragers, who used to gather once in a month and have rituals to please the sun to modern day gods with sophisticated establishments, the idea of god has helped group of people to expand and further cooperate.
Other species are insecure and selfish but belief in god made mankind to help others in order to secure coveted stature in afterlife. This led to cooperation without greed or self-interest. Concept of ideology made religion, religion made kingdoms and institutions; these very kingdoms organised the internal workings and designated responsibilities based on expertise with only 1 ambition in mind. To usurp another rival kingdom by means of innovation especially in the defence & transportation field. This opened the doors of human intelligence and wisdom.
We live in society, which is overall, just a belief system accepted by all living within it.
- Money is imaginary value which everyone accepts
- Company is imaginary institute that does not exist in real but only in our conscience and papers
- God is omnipotent but cannot be seen or measured
- Countries, cities, continents are all terms devised by us and are not found naturally
- The concept of time and calendar is made by us as well
- Our life itself does not exist, Its merely chemical reactions at cellular level which we have termed as life