Was Grok being stupid, or was he that smart?
I was watching a show on the History Channel several weeks ago and they were talking about the evolution of man and what we have discovered about human evolution. Something that stuck with me since I watched it was what they referred to as "the most important step that humans ever took".
It was finding fire. The narrator expounded that humans were the first animals that did not run away from (and fear) fire. In fact, they still are the only animals in history that are not weary of and accepting fire. That in braving the unknown and utilizing fire, we most assuredly guaranteed our eventual survival. It allowed us to keep predators away at night, smoke meat so it could be stored longer, and enjoy a bit of warmth in winter.
I agree that this makes sense, but the thought that has continually crept in my head since I watched it was, "Did they become masters of fire because they were curious and/or stupid (which can equate to a bad habit to have when survival is part of the game), or were they at a level of understanding where they knew what they were getting themselves into?"
Of course, I am sure some Grok or Grokette didn't come along and say, "Hey, if we take this burning tree branch from lightning and keep it going, we will live safely and become rulers of the planet." Looking back now, it's easy to say it was a smart idea to approach a fire and learn to use it. But I can also understand how only a crazy person can walk up to such an amazing thing as fire and walk right up to it and see how it works.
Did we, as humans, come to rule the top of the food chain because we used to be the dumb animals near the bottom of it and we got lucky?
Last edited by cwhitson; 12-07-2011 at 08:05 AM.
I think having thumbs gave us an edge -
Huh? You don't have to be *right next* to a fire to know how it works.
They examined, took risks, tried, and tested. They passed down knowledge little by little until a useful theory was formed, and finally they conquered fire.
I know I don't. We are talking about ancient man, who had never seen fire before. Every animal up to that time, and since, has avoided fire. We are exploring the mental status of mans ability to reason when there had been no such experience of fire. At most, Grok would have understood that fire destroys things and is a dangerous power. So what was he thinking when he reached for a burning object. Was he being stupid, or was he being inventive? There may not be a right or wrong answer, but I feel as if you mis-understood the post. You have to remove yourself and your opinions from the equation. Thinking of ruling over fire with a modern brain is unfair as, yes, we all have an understanding of it no matter how close we are to it. But Grok did not.
Originally Posted by Marnee
You need to send a memo to my cat who parks his ars so close to fire his fur smoulders....could it be as simple as....
Originally Posted by cwhitson
Jeez that fire packs some heat and shit my arse freezes in winter with this ice and snow thing. You know what? Gonna get me some of that fire.
But in principle I agree with you that quite possibly humans were and quite debatably still are the stupidest species on the planet. Hate to break it to you all kids but we are not the masters of the universe or even the planet.
What other species messes with its own food supply and ends up killing itself enmasse? Our large brains give us puzzle solving ability but we display a surprising lack of actual intelligent thought on a daily basis. Not only that, but we appear to also be pathologically destuctive, destruction that serves no useful purpose to the ecology of the planet.
I actually place the domestic house cat above humans in intelligence level. Afterall they've figured out how to acquire a house, food, and servants without ever working a day in their lives. They also can treat their providors like crap and somehow still live in the lap of luxury. There is no question of who the pillows belong to in my house.
I don't think that it is the species as a whole that is destroying the food supply. It is a select few groups that have further learned how to exploit the rest of the species by manipulating the food supply that has done it.
In fact you only need lok as far as the USDA food pyramid to see an example of a group that has the respect, admiration and trust of a great number of people that with the best of intentions hands out poor advice.
Aware of the potential for influential minority groups to manipulate the food chain for their own profit and to our detriment, the US came up with the likes of the FDA - look how that worked out. Aspartame anyone?
Generally once the population is presented with all of the facts, they will form the correct decision. This forum is a good example of that.
Originally Posted by Claraflo
yes, it is obvious to both of us that the original author did not have a cat. They'll get as close to heat as they can without getting caught on fire. It is only their extreme laziness and lack of opposeable thumbs that keeps us doing all the fire-building. Yes, we may have discovered fire, but cats have discovered us.
Originally Posted by Claraflo
Ummm God created us as we are now. Intelligent and masters of our world. I can't force you to believe it too, but it's the truth.
You are a bit misguided in your representation of what God may or may not have created. Assuming your theory, all humans, at birth, would have the ability to understand applied physics, perform advanced mathematical calculations without a computer, and win a NASCAR race. If your theory were true, everything that man has created would have been invented at the exact same time, without a gradual learning curve.
You know more today than you did a year ago (I hope). So it is quite comprehensible to believe that humans, over time, gradually learned more and more as well. Please provide evidence and an open mind in any further posts. This is a serious discussion about the human nature at the time fire was found by our ancestors.
You are so correct. Humans have built knowledge upon knowledge, and discovery upon discovery (and that's pretty cool). I'm just saying that we were never 'dumb animals'.
Originally Posted by cwhitson
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