But weren't humans "stupid, violent apes" before civilization?
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 technocracy.
Sure, we have a few philosophers here and there that write books which are almost completely unintelligible, but when is the last time you read any philosopher who was as direct, clear, and insightful as the Buddha? In one single sutta (teaching) he explained how to escape the illusion of identity and what nibbana is (c.f. Bahiya sutta). I've never seen anyone since then who could explain reality so pithily, unless they were just parroting Buddha.
Buddha was highly educated for his time, 2600 years ago, as he was a prince, but he still felt no need to write down any of his teachings, which makes him almost "prehistoric" by definition. And most of his fully enlightened arahant disciples (there were 500 at the time of his death) did not have nearly the princely education that he had. Some were prostitutes before they became arahants, and one was a serial killer.
And in terms of practical skills, it seems "civilized" people around the world have forgotten how to do natural farming and even the most basic skill of all: how to collect rainwater. In traditional human living, babies and toddlers displayed immense intelligence and self-direction compared to modern babies and toddlers.
Most people on Earth today, even the very logical ones, still have not understood deeply that everything happens due to conditions, and thus identity is an illusion.
If you're now ready for some serious laughs, the mainstream media (Forbes) has highlighted this article: "You Must NOT Do Your Own Research When It Comes To Science" by astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, whose own slogan is "The Universe is out there, waiting for you to discover it." Maybe he should change that slogan to "The Universe is out there, waiting for us to tell you about it."
Apparently just after he wrote this article saying nobody should do any research, his shoulder somehow got injured and he had to get surgery and now he can't write much. SMITTEN!
Actually, his article did not even go far enough. Apparently, even virologists should not be doing their own research if it goes against the Agenda (speaking specifically of Judy Mikovits but there are also others, like Luc Montagnier who got the Nobel Prize for isolating HIV, and who said that SARS-CoV-2 looked to be engineered with a part of HIV, and let's not forget Kerry Mullis, who won a Nobel Prize for discovering PCR, but said that PCR was not useful for diagnosis).