Tech UPTechnologyWhat are our weaknesses as a species?

What are our weaknesses as a species?


Yes, right now humans are the dominant species on the planet. But the genus Homo has been here for about 2.5 million years and most of that time we have gone unnoticed . Of course, none of those beings that began to walk on two legs could even imagine that we would end up stepping on the Moon or talking about them in an article published on the Internet.

We are a prey that takes the place of the predators

All species that dominate an ecosystem have required millions of years of evolution and adaptation. Homo sapiens have been swarming the Earth for about 350,000 years, we started building cities 8,000 years ago, and in just 100 years we have gone from being able to take a photograph to being able to shoot one from the surface of the planet Mars. This extraordinary speed in our development as a species has its negative points.

At first glance, we do not have the strength of our ape ancestors, nor claws with which to attack or defend ourselves. No armor protects us, nor can we run away from a predator. In fact, the most valuable part of our body is the brain, it is protected by a relatively hard skull, yes, but the head is held by the neck, one of the most fragile parts of our physiognomy.

If we had only our physique, it is clear that we have no options against practically any wild animal. We need tools and weapons to be able to put ourselves before the position that nature reserved for us . That’s where our brain comes into play, the thinking machine that has lifted us to the top of dominance on the planet. But this fabulous bobblehead comes at a cost.

The price of being smart

First of all, in energy. When we were hunting and gathering, even before we had such a big brain, we needed to eat less. Keeping our current machine running requires a lot of food, time to get hold of it and more resources we need, more problems due to the competition we have with other species and among ourselves.

As if that were not enough, to make tools we need our hands free. For this and other benefits bipedalism came in handy. But this upright posture also made our hips narrower, just when our heads grew the most: not changes that go well with childbirth. We are the animal species that is most in danger, both the mother and the baby, at the moment of birth.

And joining all the previous elements, we arrive at another weakness: we depend completely on life in society . Not only at birth and during the years that we spend totally helpless and dependent, but society and our ability to cooperate is what keeps us at the biological summit. A thinking machine is fine, with a whole immense connection of many of those machines, we are unstoppable.

We have years of evolution left. We have too much insecurity

The overwhelming jump we made to the top of the food chain has made us full of insecurities . The more gradual and prolonged evolution over time of lions, sharks or eagles have made these animals species full of self-confidence. When a herd of gazelles flees from a lion attack, if the beast manages to reach a prey, the other gazelles stop running and continue grazing. The predator already has its food. The human being would be the only animal that would continue running alone from fright.

“Many historical calamities, from deadly wars
even ecological catastrophes, have been a consequence
of this too hasty jump”.

At least this is what Yuval Noah Harari thinks and the reflection is, to say the least, interesting. Our current way of life even depends on our kitchens and ultimately on fire. Our stomach is not prepared to digest types of food if they are not previously cooked, in addition to the germs and parasites that cooking eliminates. Even our teeth cannot easily chew food that is too hard when it is raw. The fire, our kitchens, save us illnesses and hours chewing food, which we can invest in reading articles like this one.

“It took 3 million years to go from the hominins that
They made stone tools from shards to humans
who smelted the first copper; but we progress from
Iron Age to spaceflight in just 3,000 years.”

This quote from Lewis Dartnell helps us understand another unique feature of humans: We evolved so quickly that we’ve gotten ahead of our own genetics . Our culture and way of life currently help us most to adapt to our environment and overcome the challenges of our species faster than our genes can mutate. We are yet to know what consequences this situation can bring us.


Cervera, O. 2021. Human culture is already evolving faster than our genetics. Very interesting.

Dartnell, L. 2019. Origins. How the history of the earth determines the history of mankind. Debate.

Harari, Y. 2018. Sapiens. From animals to gods. Brief history of humanity. Debate.

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