Nature is a series of random genetic accidents with winners and losers. That is evolution. The observed evidence is insurmountable. I can not discount that evolution could be incorrect, but it is the most viable explanation at this time. It stands out in a way that describes other views not as theory but as faith.
Faith as critical to the human condition. Faith is how the conscious mind receives and considers messages from the subconscious one. Those messages not only comprise your ability to integrate into civilization, but protect you as long term risk management. Together rational, logical thought, and messages of faith from the conscience form reason.
Reason’s initial advantage to pure logic is speed. We can quickly asses risks in ways we can not on a purely factual basis. Logic is complex as the facts are many. As computer simulation demonstrates, eventually too complex to calculate. We have a flawed but mostly effective method to quickly get the same results. The conscience is a probability engine. It is characterized by cooperation, at a level I do not observe the effects of in nature. Systems of cooperation emerge between species, but by the same random genetic events that characterize all of nature.
Here are some examples of cooperation I do not see elsewhere in nature. For contrast I compare their closest analogy . Not coincidentally the closest simulation of the conscionable behavior a psychopath can offer. It is important to note these do not require intelligence, just subconscious awareness of risk based on experience, and the rational ability to acknowledge the warnings. All conscionable elements extend beyond kin or pack structure.
Property – Identity of an place, item, or accomplishment belonging to a being or a group. Honoured and understood as a provision of autonomy to a distant time.
Territory – Control of a place, item, or role by a being or group. Enforced by violence. Revoked by absence.
Freedom – A cooperative model of non interference. The promise of non interference in exchange for a return of the same.
Treaty – A stalemate, a mutual temporary cessation of conflict to avoid over exertion.
Friendship – The expectation of continued freedom between parties despite periodic violation of it.
Alliance – A temporary teamwork towards and depending on a common goal.
Currency – A convenient object or idea representing and interchangeable with other property. A promise of property.
Favour – A treaty, a yield of territory to display deference to hierarchy.
Investment – Dedication of time and calories into a being’s or a groups creative development. Requires property and currency to realize return.
Assignment – Dedication of time and calories into another’s territory with the expectation of favour.
Civilization – An organization including property, freedom, friendship, and currency. Characterized by trust. Allowing investment (farming, storage, trade), subsequently specialization, and it’s side effect economy of scale.
Pack – An organization based on territory, treaty, alliance, and favour. Structured by assignment of roles. Transient.
Civilization may look intelligent, but it need not be. The concepts are simple. No more or less formulaic than pack structure. Other animals may demonstrate fleeting glimpses of the aspects of civilization, but there is a cost in energy they are not interested in paying. Why? Because they can’t calculate the risk. If they could, choice is clear.
In case you didn’t notice I included only the most simple tools. There are plenty of cases in nature where animals farm, store or even trade. Many animals (not just primates) use tools. The components are there, but the conscience is not.
There are animals that outstrip humans in vision, memory, hearing. Not intelligence, but they can come very close. Especially when considering our worst mean cases and their best. That should be sufficient in isolation to create a civilization, but it doesn’t. This is meaningful. Intelligence may be important to a civilization, but is not the only component.
The definitions have a common attribute. All of the conscionable cases have a future time component to them, while all of the pack ones only consider now. I strongly suspect this is related to how the conscience works. It seems the case that humans are alone in their ability to use emotional metadata, to dial groups of memories backward or forward in time without habit. The very thing that makes us kind, makes us smart, as a group. Humans can use how they feel to reference their entire memorable history for clues how to survive. The very fortunate side effect of organizing by emotional memory for assessing risk, is the compassion needed to work in a group. To build more than a pack, but a whole civilization.
We struggle with our role because it is a dualism. We are psychopaths at the rational level. In this way we are the children of nature, and our ability see future risk makes us it’s master as well.
Edit: Added investment. Minor change to currency.
Edit 2: Changed ‘Invention’ to ‘creative development.’ Both words are needed for the right concept here. Both work and invention, where the sum is greater than the parts. Some spelling errors. Included accomplishment or role as a property.