Homo Sapiens Dominance?

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The following is a brief of an article recently published in the NewScientist magazine (I only get the newsletter). I’m sharing it primarily due to the final paragraph (highlighted). 

HUMANS today are uniquely alone. For the majority of the existence of Homo sapiens, we shared the planet with many other types of human. At the time when our lineage first evolved in Africa some 300,000 years ago, there were at least five others. And if you were going to place a bet on which of those would outlast all the rest, you might not have put your money on us.

The odds would have seemed more favourable for the Neanderthals, who had already adapted to live in colder conditions and expanded to inhabit much of Eurasia. Or Homo erectus, who had made a success of living in south-east Asia. By contrast, our direct Homo sapiens ancestors were the new kids on the block, and wouldn’t successfully settle outside of Africa until more than 200,000 years later. Yet, by 40,000 years ago, or possibly a bit more recently, we were the only humans left standing. Why?

Many explanations have been put forward: brainpower, language or just luck. Now, a new idea is building momentum to explain our dominance. Ironically, it may be some of our seemingly deepest vulnerabilities – being dependent on others, feeling compassion and experiencing empathy – that could have given us the edge.

While I would LIKE to believe this “new idea” related to the dominance of Homo Sapiens, it’s difficult to see these suggested “vulnerabilities” in much of today’s modern societies. 

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Image by MANOEL M. PEREIRA VALIDO FILHO MVALIDO from Pixabay

Oh! If Only …

Male seahorses could talk! stockvault-seahorse-sketch108487

NewScientist.com reports that male seahorses form close, monogamous relationships with the female … and it is the MALE that carries the pregnancy from shortly after fertilization all the way to birth!

Were this true of humans, one can’t help but wonder if there would be a VERY marked difference in the way abortion is viewed by some …

Futuristic Imaginings

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Awhile back, I wrote a post related to living on Mars. Today I came across an article promoting a book entitled,

“The Next 500 Years: Engineering Humanity for Life After Earth.”

I have no plans to purchase the book, but I did read the article … and thought some of my blog visitors might find it interesting.

Here’s the lead-in:

HUMANITY’s long-term prospects are weak, at best. If we don’t all kill each other with nuclear weapons, a planet-killing asteroid can’t be too far off. And anyway, the sun itself will (eventually) expand, obliterating all traces of life in our system. Let’s not even get started on pandemics.

As if awareness of our own mortality hasn’t given us enough to fret about, we are also capable of imagining our own species’ extinction. Once we do that, though, are we not ethically bound to do something about it?

Apparently this fellow thinks in the far distant future we will have the ways and means to carve out our place somewhere in the universe.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

One thing’s for sure — his outlook for such a venture is most definitely ambitious!

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Image by Mk_al from Pixabay