Laziness can have more adverse effects than you thought. A latest archeological study at the Australian National University (ANU) reveals that Homo erectus, the predecessors of Homo sapiens went extinct because of their laziness.
Defying the common understanding that humans adapt to changing environments and needs, the Homo erectus got extinct because they failed to do so. According to the excavations in the Arabian Peninsula, the ancient human population from the early period of Stone Age did not develop any tool making strategy or built resources to make their lives easier.
Moreover, they even failed to adapt to the changing environment and climate needs. All of these factors led to their extinction.
How Laziness Led to the Demise of Homo erectus?
According to the researchers at ANU, the way this species gathered their resources and built their tools made out of stone exemplified that they were not trying to push themselves very hard. “To make their stone tools they would use whatever rocks they could find lying around their camp, which was mostly of comparatively low quality to what later stone tool makers used," said Dr. Ceri Shipton of the ANU School of Culture, History and Language.
There were also instances that show their laziness to go long distances in order to find resources or food for themselves. Researchers could come to this conclusion because they did not see any signs of activity, stone tools or any artifacts in the top hilly regions.
In contrast to Homo erectus, Homo sapiens show evidence to have gone to difficult terrains in order to gather better quality stone for tools or even better quality food and livelihood for themselves.
Environmental Factors Also Led to the Extinction of Homo erectus
Dr. Shipton went on to say that not just their laziness but also their conservativeness led to their extinction. According to Shipton, the sediment samples show that they fell short of adapting to the changing environment and did not bother to gather life-sustaining supplies.
This is the biggest reason for the downfall and even the extinction of Homo erectus. Apparently, the environment in which the Homo erectus lived dried out and their technological progress was not enough to sustain them against these changes.
There were some samples of sediments from that period in the study which showed that they were aware of the change in the environment, but they did not take any steps to change the traditional ways of living.
They did not even try to move to a region with better environmental condition and opportunities. In short, their inability to change or be flexible to the changing needs lead to the demise of the entire population.
The current human population can learn from this study about the Homo erectus. Flexibility and ability to adapt is important in order to survive with the changing times.
In short, the “why bother” attitude can, unfortunately, would not help humans to progress in the current times like it did not to our early ancestors. We do have developed many innovative tools today for life hacks, but that doesn't mean we should repeat the history.
We have every reason to leave our couch and get active!
The study was published in the journal PLOS One.