In nature, species have evolved to best suit their niches. Monkeys have evolved to have long arms and dextrous hands that enable them to climb trees and pick fruit. Lions, on the other hand, have evolved to be strong and fast so as to most effectively catch prey in the open savannah. Each species has therefore evolved in order to best cope with typical tasks that are encountered. This can be thought of as optimising to a narrow range of tasks. Human beings have the ability to live almost anywhere. Even early man was found in nearly all climates and surroundings. He is not the strongest, nor fastest, and he is not especially good at climbing trees either. What he has is the ability to think. Moreover, the ability to use tools to transform his body into what is needed for the environment. Weapons for hunting allow him to exceed the lion’s power, and clothing can keep him warm in otherwise inhospitable climates. Therefore he has a very wide range of skills, though none are of great magnitude.
Publication: Proceedings of ICARCV 2004 | full text (PDF)