But weren't humans "stupid, violent apes" before civilization?
This is another trope that is passed around to justify civilization: humans today are less violent ( not true ), and we are so much smarter now, right! Well, at least some of us. We've got PhDs, we can build rockets to Mars, we're about to become cyborgs with infinite artificial intelligence real soon, and on and on. But intelligence has multiple possible metrics. Emotional intelligence is not valued, and even less valued is intelligence regarding the nature of reality and the nature of our own mind. What it means to exist, be born, die, and so forth. Our most intelligent neuroscientists still have no idea how to explain the "hard problem of consciousness" (i.e. what is consciousness) in a meaningful way (though Karl Friston's theory might be good enough to simulate consciousness in a computer). These are questions that are not encouraged in our school systems because they don't produce any commodities, and certainly they don't produce proponents of tech