Collective Learning: A Unifying Theme Of Human History

1076 Words 5 Pages
Humans have walked planet Earth for less than 300,000 years but for some reason we have outsmarted all other species on the planet to have ever lived combined. Why did this happen?. The answer lies in our ability to learn collectively. And in this paper I plan to trace the roots of collective learning from the use of stone tools to the present and its potential in the future. When I look at the technology around me, my phone, my laptop, my car, I think about the effort and knowledge that went into creating these things. The same kind of effort and knowledge went into creating human societies, religions, legal systems, literature, and sciences. All of this is not the work of one man but the collective effort of millions of minds interacting …show more content…
However, to pinpoint the progress of collective learning we must tract its evidence through technology, or the techniques used in industry, and agriculture. This is the reason I will be tracing the history of collective learning throughout foraging, agriculture and industry with focus on changes in technology.
David Baker in his article “Collective Learning:A Potential Unifying Theme of Human History” states that he disagrees with David Christians claim that “ that only humans possess the ability for collective learning, and it emerged as a sort of punctuation event or threshold crossing, where there was room for only one species to “cross the threshold.”. He proposes that hominine species held lesser degrees of collective learning. This would mean that collective learning has had millions of years to evolve. Stone tools present a technological advancement combined with the use of language which could have been caused by collective learning. This would enable us to better understand the origin of collective learning through a broader period of

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