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The story of humankind is, ultimately, a story of advancement, progress and triumph. But it wasn’t achieved quickly nor in a straight upward line. There have been times when homo sapien has been on the verge of extinction. And times when it looked as if it might extinguish itself. We have come a long way in the fifteen millions years or so since our very distant ancestors decided that living on the ground looked like a better bet than an arboreal existence. The struggle in the early years was probably hard and threatened the existence of the species; but these very challenges are possibly what led to humanity differentiating itself from other primates and starting to develop along lines that would make it pre-eminent on the planet. The development of language was critical to this advance as were the abilities to think, analyse and plan in a more sophisticated way. These qualities have served us well and brought us the technically advanced world we now live in.

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