Human Intelligence: a Progress Report
The original inhabitants of Easter Island — the entire population — died off after they had cut down the last tree. Lesson learned. Right? Surely we’ve gotten smarter since then.
Fast forward to 2010. In Russia, a 225-acre seed bank is about to be paved over and replaced with luxury homes. The Pavlovsk Agricultural Station grows thousands of varieties of fruits, berries and grains. Ninety percent of these plants are not found anywhere else in the world.
The head of Pavlovsk Agricultural Station said: “If we lose those lands ... many kinds of plants will become extinct forever.”
The director of Biodiversity International said:
“The fruit and berry varieties that have been stored and studied at Pavlovsk since it was founded have a vital role to play in the future of Russian and global agriculture. Russia is currently being ravaged by the hottest summer on record. That is just a taste of changes to come, and crop diversity will be a vital weapon in the fight to produce enough food in future.”
So, what’s your verdict? Are we getting smarter?