What Makes Humans Truly Exceptional: Including Us (Paperback)
This is a true storybook adventure about us-you and me-along with countless other truly exceptional Homo sapiens who made our lives possible: So it's about people who invented languages, cultures and cooperative societies; who sought spiritual and scientific understanding of the world and Universe; who created marvelous arts, architectures, tools and machines inconceivable to previous generations; and who continue to surprise us with future transformative discoveries and inventions that remain unimaginable today.
The story-our story-begins a very long time ago, 13.7 billion years ago, about 5.3 billion before our planet was born 4.5 billion years ago. It then took about another 4 billion years for Earth to become teeming with simple, single-celled organisms that eventually evolved into you and me.
Within only the last ten thousand years some of those Homo sapiens ancestors of ours invented agriculture, battled and domesticated larger animals for food and clothing, competitively warred against each other and Neanderthal hunter-gatherers, established settlements, cities and empires, built great pyramids and cathedrals, formulated complex cultures and laws, developed advanced scientific methods and philosophies, and composed inspirational literature, music and sonnets.
Some inventive and adventuresome Sapiens contemplated the architecture and workings of a celestial Universe and applied that knowledge to guide voyages of discovery, trade, conquest and migration to extend domains and dominions.
Others-within little more than the last century-have harnessed the power of lightning and atoms, have mastered flight, have traveled many times faster than the speed of sound, have transmitted information from everywhere to everywhere else via orbital satellites, have walked on the Moon, and have conceived artificial brains that can already outsmart their human creators.
After all, if humans can invent machines which are increasingly smarter than we are, where does this lead? Are we in a sense "playing God" in a way that will render human reasoning obsolete?
Future human historians-should any survive-will determine whether our truly exceptional creativity led us to outsmart ourselves.