Sunday, April 29, 2012
It may seem weird at first to consider- but everything we use, as humans, are tools. From clothing to computers, they're all tools. What is a tool? A tool is anything used to achieve a goal. Take a minute to realize how everything you use is a tool; tools help you get something done: cars help you get places, clothes are to warm us, plates helps us eat, etc.
Human tool use may at first seem not so special in light of the many other animals which use tools as well. But one must look more closely at how human tool use differs from non-human tool use. There is one major difference: tool evolution, what non-human animals lack in their tool use. Human tool use advances and evolves with time. This is why chimpanzees are still sticking twigs in dead trees to fish out ants, instead of learning to open the bark up. On the other hand, humans started with flint and rock and now we have smart phones and space shuttles. As you can see, human tool use progresses over time, while non-human tool use remains stagnated. Thus, we can see how human tool use is unique amongst animal tool use for its ability to evolve.
Knowing that tool use evolves in humans, we can claim that humans are identified and are one with their tools. For instance, all of human behavior is performed through some kind of tool, such as in cooking or hunting. One example of an incredible and mysterious human tool is language. This tool allows for communication which is one of the biggest markers of human uniqueness. It is clear that one of the most important features which identify humans as humans is evolving tool use, for it is their tool use which allows and defines their uniquely human behaviors and activities.
If what makes a human is their unique behavior. And their unique behavior is made possible by tools. We can conclude that tools and tool use are what make humans identifiable as humans. This in turn means that the human entity cannot be separated from the tool/tool use because it is that itself which defines it. Humans are evolving tools and tool use, evolving tools and tool use is human.