Humans Are Strong, Civilization is Fragile

We have confidence in our science-based civilization and think it has tenure. In so doing, I think we fail to distinguish between the life-span of civilizations and that of our species. In fact, civilizations are ephemeral compared with species. Humans have lasted at least a million years, but there have been 30 civilizations in the past 5000 years. Humans are tough and will survive; civilizations are fragile. It seems clear to me that we are not evolving in intelligence, not becoming true Homo sapiens. Indeed there is little evidence that our individual intelligence has improved through the 5000 years of recorded history.


Humans will survive the death of civilization, which has happened 30 times over the centuries.

Folksonomies: science culture society civilization

/science/biology/zoology/endangered species (0.428442)
/science/social science/history/prehistory (0.395331)
/science/medicine (0.290533)

civilizations (0.997138 (negative:-0.505897)), Fragile Humans (0.909732 (neutral:0.000000)), science-based civilization (0.827000 (positive:0.645811)), recorded history (0.699253 (positive:0.312675)), little evidence (0.698667 (positive:0.312675)), individual intelligence (0.646105 (positive:0.312675)), species (0.467876 (negative:-0.505897)), life-span (0.391803 (negative:-0.504034)), tenure (0.370888 (positive:0.645811)), centuries (0.355328 (negative:-0.314367)), confidence (0.351588 (positive:0.645811)), death (0.338502 (neutral:0.000000)), times (0.337649 (negative:-0.314367))

Homo sapiens:FieldTerminology (0.839443 (neutral:0.000000)), 5000 years:Quantity (0.839443 (neutral:0.000000)), million years:Quantity (0.839443 (neutral:0.000000))

Human (0.976382): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Mammal (0.543272): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Species (0.526852): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Law (0.525603): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Agriculture (0.522184): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Human evolution (0.492171): dbpedia | freebase
Prehistory (0.469984): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Homo sapiens idaltu (0.467740): dbpedia | freebase | yago

 A Book For All Seasons
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Lovelock, James (8 May 1998), A Book For All Seasons, Science, Vol. 280 no. 5365 pp. 832-833, Retrieved on 2011-03-29
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: science knowledge civilization perseverence


    30 MAR 2011

     Civilization's Collapse is Inevitable, Prepare for It

    Humans Are Strong, Civilization is Fragile > Conclusion > Museums for Rebooting Civilization
    Since human civilization has collapsed at least 30 times in over the millennium, we should plan for its eventuality like a fictional alien race does, with Museums ready to be rediscovered by future savages.


    02 MAR 2011

     Seeing Farther Through Science

    Visionary memes about the future of the human race and our potential.