For the same reason you would not expect a Neanderthal age man to solve differential calculus problems, you cannot trust 21st century civilizationally delayed mankind to manage a safe use of killer robots
A returning boomerang
In 2011 genetic researchers found evidence through DNA samples that the ancestors of the Australian Aboriginal population split off from the ancestors of the European and Asian populations about 70,000 years ago. Aboriginal civilization and Western civilization have obviously developed simultaneously, but into comprehensive societies of conceptually diverse character. With no channel of communications until 18th century, when the fastest letter between Europe and Australia would be delivered for not less than six months, both civilizations would have evolved independently on each other. Recent studies in the Harvard Medical School in the US and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany lead to conclusions that Aboriginal Australians are one of the oldest living populations in the world and that they have the oldest continuous culture on the planet.
Uluru, the spiritual symbol of indigenous Australia
Aboriginal culture, details about which are not broadly known, is supposed to be the oldest surviving culture in the world. Within its 60 000 years existence, the Aboriginal science and technology never advanced beyond the stone tool technology and painting with red ochre pigment. They never knew the “iron age”, “bronze age”, or pottery. They never invented the simplest thing – the wheel. But aborigines invented the returning boomerang.
The Rainbow Serpent mythology and the Ancestral Being are the basics of what could be the longest continuing religion in the world. Having no formal written language did not prevent continuity for tens of thousands of years of legends, songs and dances, transferred from father to son and from mother to daughter. Images of fine art were recorded in the caves as rock art.
We can read the following: “Aborigines did not build large stone monuments, did not farm animals and did not cultivate the soil for crops. Because they did not form cities, their culture is not described as a “civilisation”, yet it contains all the elements of a civilised world. The arts – great paintings, lengthy songs and dances with accompanying stories that continue for days like great operas, are all present. Law and order was strict and religion is of greatest importance. One might think about how we define “advanced” and “primitive” when one considers that our modern cultures are only several hundreds to thousands of years old, while Aboriginal culture was 60,000 years old when Europeans stumbled upon it. Some of the important issues facing our world today and in the future, such as maintaining social cohesion, avoiding major wars, dealing with overpopulation, preventing the degradation and destruction of our environment, and the use of non-renewable resources, had been overcome by Aborigines and their ancient culture as they filled every part of the Australian continent. In these areas, perhaps we should regard Western culture as “developing” and Aboriginal culture as “advanced”.
One thing is beyond doubt – Aboriginal order is completely sustainable. It has existed without major changes 60 000 years and has survived, despite the great human losses, during the collision with the Western civilization after Captain Cook reported in 1788 the newly discovered territories for British convicts to be resettled there. That is how nowadays Australia emerged. Unthreatened by endogenous catastrophes, such as human activity generated climate change, or internal conflicts with the use of nuclear or other mass destruction weapons, Aboriginal civilization theoretically could continue to exist in that mode forever. Eternity accomplished.
Western civilization developed in a completely different way.
So different that, if I was believing in the existence of intelligent powers in higher dimensions, unreachable to our human knowledge, I could have assumed, that those powers have set a social experiment on the planet Earth in order to observe how would mankind evolve.
In Western civilization values of supremacy, based on power and material wealth, historically dominated the basic motivation of human behavior for the last at least few thousands of years. Money and status became generally accepted as the measure of success. Natural resources and non material human activity products, such as scientific discoveries, technological inventions and even political engineering, became prevailingly nothing but instruments for more wealth and more power. Unlike the style of existence in the Aboriginal order, dynamic structural changes are inherent characteristics of the Western civilization. That gradually transformed the inbuilt biological feature of curiosity, as a tool for acquiring the necessary information about the immediate environment, into acute existential addiction to new events, to news about anything, and to new products on the market.
The beginning of our 21st century will stay in the history of human civilization as the point of time when we cannot ignore any more the existence of three imminent dangers, which the Western civilization produced into dimensions with the potential to destroy life on the planet.
First one is the man made component of the global climate change. A serious challenge that doesn’t seem to be the most difficult to solve, due to the relatively high degree of general and international consensus.
Second danger is the existence of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons in quantities enough to annihilate the whole Solar system, in the hands of members of a human society that is crucially delayed in its civilizational development. The rigid precipitations of past conflicts, outdated political thinking and absence of civilizational culture makes it practically impossible for the existing national and international political systems to reform itself with speed high enough to catch up with the stage of development already achieved by technological advance.
Third danger is of totally new character: it is about materializing technologies without guaranteed human control over their further autonomous behavior. Killer Robots – “lethal autonomous weapons systems” – and the recent campaign against creating them is a strong enough example of just one of the possible hostile developments in that direction. If now existing computers can defeat any human player, including the world champions, in playing chess, then we should already know that we have no chance to win against computers in a battle of similar strategy, including a real-time real war game. If some Pentagon computers proved hackable, what could make us think that the new Russian “Armata” tanks or US F-35 are unhackable, especially by “allied” computer enemies?
A tank, designed for autonomous military behavior.
It is all about civilizational thinking. In the current circumstances of the huge gap between technology and civilizational thinking, you can’t and you should not stop science and technology advance.
But you still can accelerate civilizational enlightenment.