There's a question that has always interested me and maybe has interested you... Why are humans the most dominant species on the Earth and how did we get to where we are today? How did we go from men living in a cave fighting off deadly animals on a daily basis just to survive to sitting at home on our laptops and cell phones and just living it up? I will look in detail as to how this all happened and why I think we are the most dominant animals on the planet, and will continue to be...
From The Beginning
When humans first entered this planet we were not given special treatments or started out with all this technology. We started out like every other animal, (and that's what we are) fighting for every day survival and the continuation of our species. So why, you may ask, did we come out on top as the most dominant species to ever live on this planet. There are a few main reasons: our intelligence is one of the most important things, cognitive function in our brain for logical thinking, and thumbs! Each of these traits are completely vital to our existence and are all used together. More importantly we continue to use each trait every single day. When I said these traits were all used together this is what I mean.
Picture yourself millions of years ago... In an icy tundra with nothing but your brain. (Pretty hard right!) So what do you have to do? Well survive, that's all humans had to worry about back then. You know you are weaker than animals like Bears, have less weapons like the razor sharp teeth of a saber tooth tiger, or the speed of a cheetah. Physically speaking we should not have survived. Humans should be somewhere near the bottom of the food chain if we only had our physical traits. However, what we do have is our brains and here is where these traits come into play. Using our logical thinking, or otherwise known as common sense, we knew we needed something to fight these animals and give ourselves an advantage in the wild. Well somewhere along the line, these humans figured out sharp things hurt, and could also be used to hurt other animals. We used this information and built on it; they knew we needed something that could hurt these animals and still keep us out of harm. What we needed was a spear. Using our intelligence we found strong wood and with the helps of our thumbs we were able to craft weapons. Together this gave us what no other species in the history of the Earth has accomplished: Technology. Have you ever seen a gorilla wielding a sword? Or how about a lion with an AK-47? No, as humans we had the greatest advantage over any animal. However, at this point it was still a survival game because just one person with a spear can't kill a pack of wolves surrounding him. (Or at least i doubt it)
Continuation of Our Species
Another major disadvantage that humans have is giving birth. While other animals can produce hundreds and even thousands in a short amount of time, humans take 9 months to fully develop in their mother, and during this time movement is hindered giving another disadvantage to the mother. Try killing a tiger when you're 9 months pregnant... It's going to be pretty hard right?
Another thing humans learned is that there is strength in numbers. One person fighting a saber toothed tiger is difficult, but how about 10 people fighting one? It suddenly becomes a lot easier, and is intimidating for the other animals. When caveman were joining each other in caves and shelter this was the start of "civillizations". Eventually someone, somewhere made the astrological discovery that seeds fall from plants, and when you replant these seeds the plants regrow! Knowing this people didn't have to be fighting animals everyday just for food, they could actually pick a spot of fertile land, settle there and live. This is called the Neolithic Revolution. Fertile land was now crucial for the species continuity and land known as the Fertile Crescent was the beginning of civilization. However, people just killed things as a living for as long as they previously existed, what would they do now when they didn't have to anymore? Now people developed what we call occupations, some people were early sciencists, trying to improve the technology that they had and make lives easier, some people made paintings, and others were responsible for planting and harvesting food. Eventually people started forming governments and planned cities, and transformed into what we call modern day society.
We Are Killers!
Even though humans had technology like spears and bows it would be useless if we weren't good at killing things. Sure a bow and a spear is a huge advantage, but what good is it if you can't shoot an arrow or throw a spear properly. It's hard to imagine nowadays but humans are natural born killers.We are so good in fact that we drive other species to extinction with out even trying. We killed every last dodo bird because we brought dogs over with us to the new land. There are international laws that protect species that are endangered. Some people just kill animals to sell there exotic fur. Others, like in the U.S. just kill animals like deer and squirrel for fun. There is laws that tell us when we are and aren't allowed to kill these animals. Otherwise some people would just wipe out an entire species for fun. Whether you think we are or aren't humans as a species are insanely good killers and have proven to other species that we are dominant.
When thinking of human activity there are many good and bad things that come to mind. It is astounding to think that the everyday actions like driving cars or using factories can affect things like Global Warming, the melting of the ice caps, and producing acid rain. This shows how big of an impact humans can make. Doing things like cutting rain forests can cause changes all the way down the food chain and a huge environmental impact.
When looking back through time it is stunning what us as humans has overcome and accomplished. We survived the prehistoric animal killing machines like the saber tooth tiger to the neolithic revolution. We completely changed our thinking as a race during the Renaissance. Made it past a global epidemic known as the black plague in the Dark Ages. Made it through countless genocides like the holocaust and joined together through things like the United Nations to help each other out and continue our species.
Looking back at technology is just as amazing. We started out with simple wooden spears and tools, finally reaching stone and iron. No one can forget how crucial the wheel was. A simple sphere with some axles has influenced so much over thousands of years. For thousands of years people traveled by foot until the introduction of horses and carriages were invented. Someone discovered steel was a lot stronger and we replaced all our tools with steel. In china they invented gunpowder which was eventually used for pistols and muskets. During the Renaissance it was confirmed that the Sun, not the Earth was the center of our solar system. Trains revolutionized the way we traveled in the 19th century. Over the last 100 years, probably the biggest changes in human history have taken place. We went from using carriages, trains, rifles, and telegraphs to using fast cars, huge commercial airplanes, weapons like automatic machine guns, tanks, fighter jets that travel at the speed of light. Communication has been completely revolutionized and we can now call or video chat with anyone in any part of the world.
Humans have dominated every other form of life on this Earth and will continue to. Because of our intelligence and common sense we will continue to improve our lives and the world in which we live in. We have a special gift that no other form of life that we know possesses in the Universe, and that is the ability to think. We don't act on instinct as a mouse would to cheese. We think about situations and determine the best possible solution. This is how and why we rose from cavemen to intellectual beings that have incredible technology. And that is why we will continue to dominate this Earth as the greatest form of life that we know of in the Universe.