Is our species, Homo sapiens sapiens, the first cyborg species? Gizmodo/New Scientist has a fascinating article up about how humans evolved as a result of technology. Timothy Taylor, an anthropologist and archaeologist at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom, submits a theory I am very inclined to believe: that humans evolved from tool-using proto-human primates. This evolutionary path resulted in a “survival of the weakest,” which Taylor explains:
Technology allows us to accumulate biological deficits: we lost our sharp fingernails because we had cutting tools, we lost our heavy jaw musculature thanks to stone tools. These changes reduced our basic aggression, increased manual dexterity and made males and females more similar. Biological deficits continue today. For example, modern human eyesight is on average worse than that of humans 10,000 years ago.
Unlike other animals, we don’t adapt to environments – we adapt environments to us. We just passed a point where more people on the planet live in cities than not. We are extended through our technology. We now know that Neanderthals were symbolic thinkers, probably made art, had exquisite tools and bigger brains. Does that mean they were smarter?