S.Language as proof of intelligence: of course there are now countless fascinating abilities and skills that set people apart from all other living beings, that explain why they have prevailed and now dominate the world in a way that no other species before them and was able to do with him. His language stood out and stands out. Yes, animals can also communicate and organize themselves, in small and large groups, can warn of danger, announce new food finds, pass hunting techniques on to their offspring and even arrange themselves based on division of labor. But what ants and bees can communicate to their conspecifics is also quite simple compared to humans, at its core is exhausted in messages to the immediate environment and simple imitations. The infinite number of sentences of information about us and our environment that we humans can convey with a limited number of characters is unmatched: We can not only make it clear how we are, whether we are hungry or want sex, but also highly complex relationships with our language describe, keep theories and ideas in it for future generations, who can take them up, use them, discuss and develop them further. The level of knowledge of mankind is constantly changing – ideally it is growing.
And yet, as the historian Yuval Noah Harari once pointed out, it is possibly another peculiarity of human language that structurally benefits it and its user: “The unique thing is that we can exchange ideas about things that do not even exist. As far as we know, only the Sapiens can speculate about possibilities and invent stories. “
That has serious consequences. People can invent myths and create legends, and they can put fantastic ideas into words. “But,” continues Harari, and for him that is the dramatic consequence of this, “with fictitious language we can not only imagine things – we can imagine them together.” And thus setting goals for the distant future, creating meaning and cooperation enable between hundreds, thousands or tens of millions of like-minded people who do not need to know each other personally.
Harari essentially attributes it to the fact that there are socio-cultural constructs such as religious communities, nations, corporations or money in general and that they have real power or are significant. This ability for collective fiction makes people extremely flexible and adaptable at the same time. Animals do not fundamentally change their social behavior spontaneously, they are tied to genetic evolution – humans are different. Thinker Harari sums it up like this: “Since human collaboration on a large scale is based on myths, the form of collaboration can be redesigned by changing the myths and telling new stories. In fact, under the right circumstances, these myths can change very quickly. In 1789, for example, the French switched from the myth of the “divine right of kings” to the myth of the “rule of the people” almost overnight.
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