I suspect that the vast majority of our intelligence is not emerging from our evolved state as Homo sapiens on its own, but lies in our preservation of knowledge that we built on through history.

What if we removed that preset knowledge?

Take the examples of Feral children.

A young human specimen that was separated from civilization at a young age and was raised by wild animals. One of these supposedly died in captivity after being rescued, without developing signs of a civilized human, and one other managed to learn to speak but with intense help of other civilized humans.


Now say that you remove all traces of humanity from Earth, or find a very similar planet but where humans never developed. Maybe travel in time and make sure for humans or any other humanoid creatures to be extinct up to this point. The point is, a replica of this world but without humans in its history.

Now lets say you drop young human children all around the world, among pacts of all sorts of animals, preferably primates or at least mammals. This is a generation zero. Lets say enough of these groups of these humans survive all around the world to ensure that some will come to reproduce together to secure future generations.

How long will it take for them to reach the current state of technology? For their world to look something like this?

What are their actual odds of them coming to join together in their own groups and separate themselves from their initial animal groups, rather than just going extinct? (Based on the number of younglings we decide to spawn and their relative ages)

My conclusion

I suppose that we are basically the same as the Homo sapiens that emerged 200,000 years ago? Which would make the history repeat itself and we would slowly discover new technologies and develop language?

But these "spawned babies" are not born in the wild as the first humans of our species,

(Lets suppose they grew in a laboratory on a interstellar/timetravelling spacecraft, in tubes that simulate a friendly environment for their growth until mature enough to have at least some chance to survive this scenario as individuals in a pact of unknown animals, whatever scenario suits you to start the generation zero going)

And I'm not sure but I think this does not matter in the long run.

I think that it should be no different from the moment that we as a species appeared in our history for the first time. Only difference would be that there would be some time before humans join in their own pacts and abandon their surrogate animal parents, but that should be resolved before the end of generation zero if we don't want them to go extinct? Can you give me reasons to support or reject this conclusion?

Additional thoughts

Which makes you think, what if all the previous species of humanoids were just tests dropped on this planets like this, but later wiped out so that the final model of humanoids, homo sapiens, can start inhabiting this planet? Or those tests of extinct humanoids were purposely built that way to make us think evolution took place, when instead, we are just an experiment of an advanced alien race.

I'm looking for any ideas, arguments or propositions that can help work out this scenario.


closed as too broad by Aify, L.Dutch, Frostfyre, Azuaron, James Apr 6 '17 at 18:02

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I suggest you split the question, this is very very broad. Anyway about B, they're likely screwed as we used up pretty much all surface resources and we need advanced machinery to get more. $\endgroup$ – Mormacil Apr 6 '17 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Mormacil I'll cut out the B scenario. $\endgroup$ – Vepir Apr 6 '17 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ Would be an improvement. $\endgroup$ – Mormacil Apr 6 '17 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ Posted as a separate question. $\endgroup$ – Vepir Apr 6 '17 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ This is an open-ended, speculative question, which is not a good fit for the site. If you could define what defines the "best" answer, the community would appreciate it. Otherwise, this is likely to be put on hold until such clarification is provided. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Apr 6 '17 at 17:54

This answer is complex and specific, in a way that could only be answered very speculatively. The first problem is that the children will probably die as babies. There were some experiments done with babies unattended by humans, and those experiments immediately stopped--because the first test subject died. The same happens with animals.

If the children survived, largely the children would become like the feral children. As far as we know, feral children can't even breed due to being so feral. There is no study of the behaviour of feral children in groups left in their environment.

If we assume they can breed, then it's going to take a while before a proper language is developed. It might be one generation, it might be two or three. After that, you're not even as well off as Adam fresh out of the garden. The whole human race could be wiped out by a couple of disasters before the generation. Relying on friendly animals would be the only means of survival. Once you get on your feet to some kind of stone age civilization, it will progress similarly to how it did in history.

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    $\begingroup$ You are mentioning studies/experiments. Your answer would likely profit by quoting results or linking to longer abstracts. $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Apr 6 '17 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ I would love if you mentioned the studies/experiments regarding the untained babies and/or language development. And is your conclusion to the last sentence also intuitive as mine conclusion, or are we then exactly the same in terms of our capabilities today as we were 200,000 years ago? $\endgroup$ – Vepir Apr 6 '17 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, I don't have them on hand. Many of these are trivia I learned about a decade ago. I did a quick search, and there is this in aptly named form: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pit_of_despair For language development, I could only guess. It might be a guess for everyone. Based off some bits I know about language learning, I can suspect that it wouldn't be easier than one would expect--but that depends on the psychology of the people involved. $\endgroup$ – Johnny Apr 6 '17 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Vepir I guess I need to put in @. I see no way to accurately estimate what the capabilities of humans were like a long time into the past. Generally, humans have seemed about the same for the few thousand years of history we have. $\endgroup$ – Johnny Apr 6 '17 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Johnny Here is something you may be able to cite from in order to improve your answer discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1317523/1/244110.pdf dot_Sp0t is right. I generally agree with you but I'd need to see some proof for a vote up. $\endgroup$ – Crettig Apr 7 '18 at 22:18

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