Fri, 9 Feb 2001 19:09:08 -0800
> The Earth was more favorable as a habitat for life.
> But we, the humans evolved to adapt to ourselves
> didn't we? we learned to deal with greed, war and
> love.... what are the chances that aliens don't go
> through everything we do?
Actually, the secret of humanity's success is that, unlike other animals, we do
NOT adapt to our environment.
Instead, we learn how to adapt the environment, or parts of it, to suit our
Where other animals grow fur, we appropriate the hides of furbearing animals or
weave vegetable matter into garments. Where other animals burrow into the
ground or build seasonal nests, we construct artificial caves and shelters.
Where other animals develop claws and spines, we create tools and weapons from
wood and stone and metal.
Had it not been for out opposable thumbs and mastery of fire, we'd still be
living much like the other, less manipulative (in every sense of the word)
Yes, various subgroups of humanity have indeed made minor physical adaptations
to their physical environment -- a wide range of pigmentation, from near-zero to
80% melanic, and an equally wide range of subcutaneous body fat distribution
being the most obvious -- but in general humankind is one of the least
physically adaptive mammals.
In fact, our greatest area of adaptability is our diet. We're almost true
omnivores who can eat and digest nearly anything that doesn't consume us
first -- and a number of things that would if we let them.
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