Were Our Ancestors Smarter Than Us?

Social media can be a good platform to introduce and discuss ideas. It’s alsoa good place to be ablr to spread understanding where none may currently exist. I know we all, even myself, beat on how horrible this medium is, but I have to say that it allows me the opportunity to speak to a lot more people than I normally would. The downside is that we’ve become to dependent on our electronic devices and it will be a miracle if we , as a species, survive another 500 years.

Think about it. How many of us would know how to build out own house, dig a well, plant and harvest our own food, even hunt and fish to feed ourselves and our family? The percentage of those would be close to zero, in the “developed” countries, somewhat more in those less concerned about who likes them on Twitter.

We like to consider ourselves advanced in every area but it;s strange that now, today, parents are concerned about their children’s education more and more. A hundred years ago, literacy in the United States was less than 20%. Even though the literacy rate is higher today (around 80%), we’ve done nothing to take advantage. Education has become a political whipping dog where one side says, “Leave your kids to government control” and the other says, “No way”. Less than a century ago, there was more local control of education. Today, slowly, we’re beginning to return to that most successful model.

My parents were part of what has become known in legend, if not fact, as “The Greatest Generation”, That generation that sacrificed everything to bring us to a new world of peace and prosperity. My father fought in the Pacific during that which is known as World War II. But mankind, being who we are, could not stand a moment’s rest. A sliver of peace that we might dine upon and then claim that yes, we had gained that perfect utopian ideal. We can’t even recall the horrors we have committed upon one another generation to generation,

My father was a veteran of not only the Second World War, but also the Korean Conflict and Vietnam. His father fought the Huns (Germans) in the Ardenne in “The Great War”, AKA, World War One, literally one generation from the second. We learned nothing, Our species, unlike most others that exist on our tiny planet, are more adept at killing others of our own than building and supporting those that may have less, and need more. We have weapons that could end all human life on Earth, and yet refuse to feed those that are the most desperate.

We are who we are. There are no need of apologies simply because there is no one to apologize to. Is it possible to apologize to yourself? So humans have become who we are today based on the same political and economic realities of the ancient past. We haven’t “evolved” in that way, only developed the means of wiping out civilization. That’s progress. Imagine having to protect your home with a knife, or some agricultural implement, one-on-one. Mano-e-mano. Until very recently in human history, that’s the way people protected themselves and their families. How many today, would be able to do that? Closer and closer to zero.

A tweet I saw earlier started my process on this post, It was a simple statement, and I believe it was made with sincerity:

Our ancestors had less access to information but somehow they were smarter than us.

My short response,

Because they couldn’t sit around and wait for the microwave to heat prepared foods. They had to hunt, fish, plant, and gather.

They also had to learn to construct shelter, and manager livestock over time. This is when there were probably no written languages. Even when there were, in the periods we learn of in the middle east, 3% of those populations could read or write and in that number, only about 1% could do both adequately, and yet the human race not only continued, but prospered.

My father grew up on a farm in northern Arkansas. As a kid, and the eldest, he was required to not only attend school, but help support the family, His mother kept a “small” garden as I used to hear her talk about, that would supply the family with those greens that would normally not be available to them. This was during wha\t has become known as “ The Great Depression” and unlike what most of us were taught in school, farmers didn’t starve. We’ve all see the video of people in cities in “soup lines” but that didn’t represent the entire country. No, my grandparents were far from rich, even middle class, but they found a way to support their family. Something few if any of us today would be able to do. It is, however, a question every person should ask themself. If the world went naked: no power, meaning no devices, no delivered services, like water, could I and my family survive?

Maybe we should stop blaming those that could care less about our survival and talke that upon ourselves. Government? They’re going to go into hiding when that first nuke drops. You? Well, you’re own your own but thank GOD the government still exists, right?

So what’s my point here? For thousands of years, even into the last century, people were able to take care of themselves and their families without any government interference and of course, without any of these handy devices we use today to moan and wail about our pitiful state of existence.Maybe we should worry less about the state of our air conditioning or heat and think about how we may or may not survive if none of thse accommodations existed.

Were our ancestors smarter? Well, maybe not in the classical way that we derive intelligence. But they could build their own shelter, and feed themselves without a grocery store within a few millennium, and yes through countless wars and plagues, survive.

One thought on “Were Our Ancestors Smarter Than Us?

  1. Pingback: Were Our Ancestors Smarter Than Us? | The Most Revolutionary Act

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