Although human beings are considered the smartest species on this planet, in actuality we know very little about the mysteries that surround us and the rest of the universe. We may have learnt to use our surroundings to our advantage to some extent and we may have become technologically advanced to some extent but when it comes to answering even fundamental questions related to physics like what happened before the big bang? or what goes on inside a black hole? or how does gravity work? or how far does the universe stretch? etc. etc. we become profoundly shell shocked. It is true that humanity has come a long way since the beginning but from where we stand today even the amount of knowledge still to be gained is unimaginable.
Hey there, hitman. Welcome to Hubpages! It is a bit of a distinction to be the first to comment on your first forum thread.
I fear your opening phrase is totally flawed. Human beings ARE NOT the smartest species on this planet. Only humans consider themselves the smartest. Some anthropologists suggest that body odor played a major role in the survival of early hominids to the extent that we, their descendants, now dominate the planet.
Good luck here on Hubpages. Keep those hubs coming.
First of all thank you for the warmhearted welcome. Being new to Hubpages I am flattered to receive comments on my very first forum thread. Anyway to be honest I don't know too much about anthropology so I don't know about the proposed theory by some anthropologists you are referring to, but although body odor along with certain other factors might have been extremely important factors for our survival and domination of this planet, we are the smartest species on this planet at present aren't we! What surprises me is how much progress we've shown over the past years transcending from early hominids to modern human beings, but still there's so much left to discover, invent and realize.
"Man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much...the wheel, New York, wars and so on...while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time.
But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man...for precisely the same reason."
- Douglas Adams
To answer the question as a species we must say that we have learned alot about what we don't know.
What then is knowledge and why is there a desire to know these things?
It is your perceived ignorance which causes these things to appear to be far from you.
Wouldn't life be boring if everything was known? There has to be the unknown and our aim is to figure it out. I guess we know the cause of gravity - don't we?
Yeah I guess you're right, the thirst for knowledge is what' s transformed human beings from being cavemen once upon a time to what we are today. And that same thirst is what drives us today. We know the properties of gravity but we still don't know how gravity works. There are a lot of theories of course but none of them are universally accepted. But hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel.
You are correct to say that we have a very long way to go. Just think, 600 years ago we believed the world to be flat and now we KNOW about black holes; we have made enormous strides and will continue to do so.
If only we could let go of religion....
Actually, your statements make sense; I really agree with you. Nobody in this life can brag about whatever knowledge he's got or whatever achievement one has got, all of us are just a dot of what is there to know and to achieve in this vast universe.
Down here on the farm... We don't think people know much at all..
During the 40 years that my neighbor's Grandpappy has been catching tourists from all over... he reckons none of em have ever been able to act the goat as well as his old girlfriend Billie!
I think all is relative. A few million years ago a new animal came on the scene - mankind. He immediately began using that vaunted intelligence to study the mysteries of the universe and learned how to make fire, how to make tools to gather food, how to modify his environment to keep himself alive. For the first time in the 4 billion year history of earth an animal has gone beyond the point of piling up dirt to make a home.
And man did it incredibly fast - only a couple million years to learn about fire and flint tools.
That speed pales, however, when compared to the rate of knowledge inquisition seen today. We marvel and don't understand how a group of people used the same flint spear point for a hundred thousand years because we don't see things that way now even though it is something no other animal has ever done.
In terms of the earths history just an eyeblink ago we found out that those little pinpricks in the sky aren't going around the flat sheet of dirt we lived on. We didn't know there were black holes, Newton hadn't been hit on the head yet. We still believed that supernatural creatures built the earth and understood that the universe ended just outside what we could climb to.
We are an impatient race. We just now conceived of a black hole and you want to know everything about what is inside? Two seconds ago we figured out that stars are huge things a loong way away and you want to know what happened before they came about billions of years ago?
Give us time, man! Give us as much time from Newton's birth as early man had to discover his first technology in fire and we will have information we can't conceive of now. We'll have visited a black hole and know what's inside. We'll manipulate gravity to do whatever we want it to. We'll know just how big the universe is and will have traveled to the far corners of it.
As much as we learn, though, I would not expect mankind to be around long enough to understand all the secrets around us. We will go extinct long before then.
Even the knowledge now available would take lifetimes for us to absorb. Knowledge is not finite in the sense that we will someday know all there is to know. It's certainly what makes life exciting and full of wonder to delve into life's mysteries.
A fascinating video about black holes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI9CvipH … p&NR=1
There's a vicious cycle that happens when you start learning about the universe. Every time you answer one question, you create new ones.
First you figure out that stuff is made of molecules. But what are molecules made of?
Then you learn that molecules are made of atoms. But what are atoms made of? Then you learn that atoms are made of quarks. But what are quarks made of?
We'll never know all the answers, because each answer creates a new set of questions.
Man is the only animal that threatens his own existence. We might be intelligent, but not wise.
If humans were really intelligent, they wouldn't be so ignorant of other life forms here on earth and would try to honestly create an intellectual bridge between highly organized insect cultures and other forms of intelligent marine life like whales and dolphins.
Just assuming we are smarter is blind arrogance!
Hoping for signals of intelligence from outer space when we can't even relate to aunts or bees just shows how retarded our level of intelligence and limited connection to nature really is.
I believe a good deal of our natural intelligence and talent is not adequately tapped into. The more we pursue societal standing, material and economic pressures and technological upgrades the less in touch we are with the natural world.
Total human knowledge has not yet been acheived, nor will it. Answer a question or solve a mystery, a new one arises. Everything is knowable, but not everything will become known.
Very good point ... and the less we see nature as our most valuable support system, the less human we become and the sooner we'll be creating the elimination of our own life form.
Not looking for us to acheive total human knowledge. The state of mind we are in as a species currently is barely in the post-primitive. We need to broaden our motivation in regard to what we are capable of.
Definitely an interesting thought. Makes me wonder about earlier species of human and the way they phased themselves out.
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