1M – Dominance & responsibility

Supporting article M: Why Humans Are the Most Dominant Species on Earth and therefore have a responsible role to fulfil


Published February 12, 2010 by:
Chris Chen

There are two traits that separate humans apart from most other animals. We have thrived as a whole because of our large and complex brains along with strong and dexterous opposable thumbs. However, let’s also examine some of the traits that we lack that have allowed other species to dominate. We do not possess exceptional strength, speed, or agility. We have no built-in weapons such as fangs and claws. We do not even have tough skin or armor to protect ourselves. Our senses are dull in comparison to most animals. We can only see a tiny amount of the electromagnetic spectrum known as visible light. We cannot see very far or very keenly. We lack night vision without technology. Our ears cannot pick up high frequency sounds like a bat nor low frequency sounds like a whale. Our sense of smell is terrible when compared to a wolf and our physical reaction speed is also lacking. Then how have we thrived for so long? Of course, a complex brain and opposable thumbs.

These traits have allowed us to use tools more effectively than any other animal and have allowed us to design systems that make up for what we lack. Our technology makes up for our low strength, sight, hearing, smell, and even allow us to protect ourselves. They allow us to see bigger portions of the electromagnetic spectrum and make up for our lack of senses. However, everything that we do has a price. To sustain our growth, we have been tapping into and degrading many natural sources. We have to understand that though we pretty much rule the world now, life has been going on without us for the better part of 3.7 billion years. On the biological clock, we would have arrived 2 seconds before midnight on a 24 hour scale. Because we are dominant, we need to take the initiative to save many of the life-support systems that are in danger right now such as forests and streams. If we continue to deplete natural resources at the current rate, we will likely face the consequences before the turn of the 21st century.