Human evolutionary adaptations have been responsible for the survival of the human race. If you believe in the evidence presented by many anthropologists, zoologists and scientists then you can recognize that our human past was one of struggle and hardship. In this fierce battle for life, our human ancestors competed with other species under extremely harsh environmental conditions. They not only survived under these conditions, they also thrived. We as a human race prevailed while other species died or faced extinction. Contrary to what many doomsday prophets might tell you, we humans are the most adaptive, smartest and most robust living beings to have ever set foot on earth.
Humans are physically and psychologically built for surviving extreme conditions. But what exactly was responsible for our survival? Was there a shared trait between modern humans and our animal past. What human evolutionary adaptations developed that set us apart? To answer that question we first look must look into our animal past.
Fight or Flight
Our human evolutionary adaptations developed over time from a series of animals who had the ability to cope with harsh conditions. These coping strategies included knowing when to fight or flee an impending danger. Either face the problem head-on or run away and escape to survive. This fight or flight response was inherent in all vertebrate species including modern-day humans. However, the human evolutionary adaptations did not stop at a fight or flight response. One of the main distinctions between modern humans and our animals past is having the ability to communicate and solve problems verbally. Our ability to communicate and solve problems catapulted the evolutionary process of human beings and was one of the significant things that ensured our survival.
Human Evolutionary Tools of Problem Solving and Communication
Human evolutionary tools for problem solving and communication can be found as early as 3200 B.C. In what was known as Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), there lived a group known as the Asipu. The community faced many hazards such as disease, starvation, inhospitable elements, dangerous wildlife, violence and accidental injuries. The Asipu did not sit idly by while these dangers occurred. Instead, they communicated amongst each other to solve these shared problems. They were known to analyze the issue at hand then propose several different courses of action each with different possible outcomes. This action is what modern day emergency managers call hazard risk assessments.
While our human history has shown us that we are indeed capable of surviving extreme hazards like earthquakes, volcanoes, and diseases. Much of those abilities to communicate have been lost in our modern day. Our ability to communicate and solve problems have been divided among political and racial ideologies. We forget that we all are human and collectively we need to talk to each other to solve problems more significant than ourselves. Human beings have become complacent to dangers that exist today and don’t take lessons from our past as evidence to prepare.
New dangers such as food chemical processing, radiation, and terrorism are continually being added to ancient hazards like earthquakes and pandemics resulting in an ever-increasing need to prepare. Unfortunately, our inability to effectively communicate with our own kind will be our downfall. While we believe that we can’t solve the world’s problems we hope to generate communication among families to help them better prepare.