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It made us conquer

We, the human, are the ruler of the Earth. We are at the top of the evolutionary ladder, we are the top predator, and our position is no...

We, the human, are the ruler of the Earth. We are at the top of the evolutionary ladder, we are the top predator, and our position is not challenged by any living creature. What is the ability, or maybe circumstance, that we possess, what is the most important feature that placed us in this position?

The statement that we conquered the Earth is a kind of exaggeration. The microfauna and flora, the bacterial world, had more to do with conquering the Earth than we did. Without bacteria, we would not have come into existence, and could not go on existing right now either. Bacteria were the first living creatures here, and they changed our Earth several times. There are more bacterial cells inside us than there are human cells, and they will stay on Earth way longer than we can, even after we become extinct.

From this point of view, the bacteria conquered the Earth and is still ruling it. However, as a species, we, the human race, are on the top of the evolutionary ladder. We are not just the top predator, but with our cognitive and intellectual abilities, we are consciously forming our planet. We try to understand and comprehend. We created a technical civilization. We create things with tools, thus enhancing our abilities. We turned our eyes to the sky and became successful explorers. Also, we are the only species to continue the evolutionary process in a new direction passing over our intelligence to the machine.

What was, and is, the most crucial factor, which placed us in this position? Of course, our brain and its abilities are what put us in this place. However, our brain and its abilities are not unique. Many animals have large brains and problem-solving skills. Our uniqueness is not so unique. Undeniably, however, we have the most complex brain structure and the most sophisticated cognitive abilities in the animal world.

Is this enough to place us in the position that we are in? These abilities are necessary, but are they enough? It is easy to imagine a society with members that have the same abilities that we have, without having a technical civilization. It is not an inevitable consequence of our capabilities. Abstract thinking, speech ability, manipulative hands, and social living are all necessary abilities, but our position and achievements are not inevitable consequences of these abilities. What is the most crucial element that placed us on top of the evolution?

The key, which made us conquer, is the discovery of the asynchronous information transfer, the discovery of writing, of recording information. Writing made it possible to accumulate knowledge. It made our society an ever achieving community. Without recorded information, which is manifested today as not just writing but also recorded sound, image, video, and many others not even discovered yet, our knowledge could not grow. All our knowledge would exist only on and carried by oral traditions. Our knowledge would be limited, imprecise, and would not increase significantly. Moreover, without this growing and congregating information that we know about the world and what we can pass on to the continuous generations, we would still be cavemen in the age of the oral tradition. We would be intelligent but limited in development.

Let's appreciate the most important factor, which made it possible for us to get to where we are now, which made it possible to understand the world and to enhance our technical civilization. Was it inevitable, a direct consequence of our abilities, to discover writing? Not at all. There were human societies that existed without ever discovering the simplest innovations, such as the wheel and, yes, writing. When we enjoy our modern and ever-developing life, let's not forget that it was made possible by the asynchronous information transfer, which allowed for the accumulation and the continuous growth of the knowledge of society.

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