Originally posted by josephw
I have a question.
It seems that by casual observation one notices a vast disparity between the human species and all other life forms.(Please don't try to tell me that its all relative) There is the microscopic, to vegetative, to animal, to human.
Why is the human species so much further ahead on the evolutionary scale? Why are there no 'species' betw ...[text shortened]... mans?
Please don't hold back on trying to make me look and sound as stupid as you can.
Here's an interesting fact for you JW. Detailed brain studies of humans (and their skulls) from the past few tens of thousands of years show that the human brain is getting smaller.
That's right - assuming that the brain's size is some measure of our intellect - it seems that over time we're all getting dumber. How can that be you ask? (Well checking out the reducing quality of posts on this forum might be evidence enough.)
Think about how our species works today.
How many people do you know that can build a car, or a TV, or a computer? And I'm not talking about building a kit with a few pre-made components - but building one from scratch.
I don't know about you, but I can't think of anyone. Certainly not I.
So, how is it that we are smart and can actually build cars and TVs and computers?
We pool our talents, we record our efforts, we learn, we teach our children - basically we have culture.
Anyway, back to you post - further ahead? That's meaningless in evolutionary terms - there is no further ahead, there's just what works. We work. The dinosaurs worked 65 million years ago. And then they didn't.
No species between animals and humans?
How many ways to respond to that ...
1. We are animals.
2. Which animal? A rat? A rabbit? An ant? A bonobo?
3. Compare humans with bonobos and chimpanzees - we share physical features, large brains, cultural development, tool use, war; go to the gorillas and orangutans and we lose some of the cultural development and war; go to gibbons and we lose the tool use; go to monkeys and we lose the larger brains; and on and on ... there's no sharp dividing line in the sense you're suggesting. There are graduations of difference and similarity. Of course, we're human and they're not. But look at it from their perspective and they could argue the exact same thing.
And why aren't they tapping away on computers and driving sports cars and watching reality TV? Well, we got there first, and the nature of our cultural development - despite, or perhaps because of our shrinking brain - is to expand and control. They didn't have a chance.
But who knows? Replay evolution on Earth again, and maybe it's the bonobos who are chopping down the forests where the humans live and wiping them all out. Maybe it's the bonobos who are arguing with other about whether bonobos were supernaturally created by their bonobo god or evolved from the rest of life on earth.