To some extent, it is creativity that sets Homo sapiens apart from other species. Well that and conscience and free will and some extra grey cells (which is a little debatable) and blah blah blah…, but let’s focus on the creativity bit. Humans touched fire and instead of just thinking “Let’s run as fast as we can. It’s burnt the slower animals”, they also wondered what those burnt animals taste like and voila, we invented cooking! A sharp stone tied to a spear to kill and fire to cook! With our bellies full, we could now dwell on other aspects of life such as philosophizing and making living a little easier and possibly more interesting.
Necessity is the mother of invention and creativity probably its father! But what is creativity? The Oxford dictionary blandly describes it as “Relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something:” Well, creativity is what creativity does. Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun”
Creativity is needed everywhere, whether it be designing a product, coming up with new ways of describing the world around us or that little tune that gets stuck in your head.
But why create?
It gives us an evolutionary edge. For the hunting and gathering man, it meant an easier life-more secure living, less running around for food etc. giving us more control over our lives and setting us as the masters. Down the ages, creativity has resulted in leaps of knowledge. Just look around…
It took a fair amount of creativity to answer questions like why the apple should fall down or coming up with ideas such as wave particle duality. Many lives have been saved because of creative sparks in medicine such as the discovery of penicillin. Of course, creativity is also responsible for weapons of destruction.
The way we live has changed, whether you compare it to thousands of years ago, or just the last decade! Technological advancements and the rise of machines. Machines now make living a lot easier. They are stronger, more precise, have better memory and can calculate so many time faster than us. The onset of artificial intelligence hints to a man vs. machine war just out of a sci-fi novel. If these machines get out of control, and if they don’t obey the three laws of robotics as proposed by Asimov, we will be in BIG trouble! Our dependance on computers and machines does not help. We are becoming a world of smartphones and dumb people.
Will this evolutionary edge of creativity that has resulted in these super machines also result in our own downfall, making way for a new alpha species- the machines??
No. Because machines are not creative! They can’t think of new ways of going about things. It is this aspect of creativity that makes us the alpha species….and it is creativity that will keep us there.
So be creative!