People talking in restaurant Pixabay

我们的集体大脑

坎布里奇——想象一下你和同事们与一群卷尾猴一起玩一场生存游戏。两支队伍将被空降到遥远的非洲丛林中,不允许携带任何装备:没有火柴、刀具、鞋、鱼钩、衣服、抗生素、盆、绳索或武器。一年后,生存成员最多的那支队伍将被宣布获胜。你会赌哪支队伍?

你可能会认为鉴于人类智力超群,我们将会是胜出的那支。但你和你的同事是否知道如何制作弓箭、渔网、盛水的容器和庇护所?你们是否知道哪些植物有毒?你们会不会不用火柴点火?你们能否制作鱼钩和天然胶水?你们是否知道如何在夜晚躲避大型猫科动物和蛇?对多数问题(如果不是所有问题)的答案很可能是“不知道”,也就是说你的队伍很可能会输给一群猴子——而且可能输得心服口服。

一个显而易见的问题应运而生。如果我们不能在我们这个物种曾经进化的非洲大陆作为狩猎和采集者生存下去,那么人类相对于其他动物究竟如何取得如此巨大的成功并扩展到地球几乎所有的主要生态系统?

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