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Our Family Origins and The Startling Science of Human Intelligence

Updated on January 29, 2013

Intro A Synthesis of the legacy of Three Great Minds For What is Essential For Survival of Human Specie on Earth :

Mankind as existing today is one family as we have known now through science during the past several centuries.

There is only one human specie existing today, called Homo Sapiens. But scientists called human paleontologists have learned about human family origins before recorded history of mere 5000 years or so. For example, there have been quite a few other species of human or proto-humans that have existed in the past, all have died out for one reason or another to leave only one human specie to dominate this earth with his startling intelligence that evolved from past existence.

Our specie, humans, is a mammal specie, closely related to several other existing life forms with whom we share close genetic kinship, for example other mammals. Bat are one such mammal specie. A very successful one indeed. Humans and bats share many genes due to this common heritage in prehistory. There are over 1200 bat species existing indicating the success of this specie on their earthly existence. But we know today that there is only one human specie.

It takes a great mind of science such as Richard Leaky, a human paleontologist from Kenya in Africa to educate us about the startling preciousness and importance to survival by use of that one gift that no other life form acquired, ie, human intelligence.

From Leakey's classic book , "Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human" (Anchor Books, 1992) , I share some thoughts that are surely critical to survival .

Human intelligence is the only conceivable instrument to overcome the challenges of human survival in the 21st Century.


Legacy of Two Other Great Minds, Carl Sagan & B. F. Skinner

Is there another option than use of human intelligence to solve if possible the survival dilemma byond 21st Century ?

The third great mind, whose legacy is relavant is the design of a rural commuity in America, called Walden Two, a classic fiction written by B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) , a Behaviorial Scientist.

Walden Two design allows us to design a prototype, a pilot community or modify an existing community that maximizes the "nurture" side of the "nature vs nurture" debate that is on going now for several centuries. That is human beings are surely a product of both our genetic inheritance that evolved over a long period of time, and also we are a product of our environment and culture, the "nurture" side of this debate as to how family and cultural environments shape and molded us.

Carl Sagan has noted in his book that humans are the only life form that has a long period of "childhood" when our young are mostly dependent on their parents and the supportive community to grow to adult hood.

This is a genetic evolution that has allowed "human intelligence" to be used at its bes. , Not due to genetics but due to the "nurture" elements that shapes and mold us during this "lengthy childhood" that allows "human intelligence" to be used during the remainder of the life expectancy of that child.

Arts & Science Bridge-- Our Family Origins - Startling Rise of Human Intelligence (Precious and Rare )

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Is there an alternative to use of  "human intelligence" as the only tool avaialble to solve the dilemma of extinction faced by  the human family at the gates of  21st Century ?
Is there an alternative to use of  "human intelligence" as the only tool avaialble to solve the dilemma of extinction faced by  the human family at the gates of  21st Century ?
Is there an alternative to use of "human intelligence" as the only tool avaialble to solve the dilemma of extinction faced by the human family at the gates of 21st Century ?

Is there any alternative before us as humans to solve the dilemma of our age by use of "human intelligence" ?


This is a question that has received deep thought from all three of these great minds, as well as a fourth who is not discussed here, but deserves perhaps equal consideration, W.O. Wilson, and his classic book, "On Human Nature". Wilson is still alive at this writing in 2011.

Key elements of the legacy of the three great minds are now given in the photo albums associated with this topic , "Our Family Origins & The Startling Science of Human Origins".

By The Lake__Our Human Origins - A Million Years Plus Shaped Our Genes & Culture


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    • waldenthreenet profile image

      waldenthreenet 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Valuable insight. Thank you. The best "success model" of a community that have demonstrated "how to get along with each other" eixsts in Cochin, India for more than 1000 years, people of different religion, culture and language have lived in a spirit of tolerance. Should we study this "success model" and possibly others such carefully to design "sustainable communities' ?

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Humans have intelligence and a conscience to discern between right and wrong. Animals have instinct. What is Essential For Survival of Humanity is for us to learn to get along with each other. If we can't learn how to do that then we better hope there's Someone Who can deliver us from ourselves.

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      Edutopia 6 years ago

      Humans are not unique in our ability to use language, to use tools, to be self-aware, or to create complex societal groups. You are also confusing your classifications when you talk about different species of bats but only one Homo Sapiens. Homo Sapiens are but one variation of primate just like a fruit bat is but one variation of bat.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      While I have given this lens a tick beause the subject is important and you have started it well I would like to see you expand on it a bit. All animals have intelligence so that alone does not distinguish humans as a super species. You might try adding a few more text modules, a couple of videos and some debating or poll modules to gain more attention from readers. This is only my opinion but such a topic deserves more input surely. Hugs