Dances with lions; the internet can eat us alive

Imagine two creatures a few hundred thousand years ago. One is a human that is casually observing the other, a 750-pound Eurasian cave lion. The beast (the lion, that is) lunges at the human (who is not a beast at all – the cranium of humans at that time was about the same as ours, and the cranium of Neanderthals was bigger). The lion shreds our would-be ancestor like so much pulled pork. 

What happened? Why did this human with as much grey matter as you or I, or more, fail to see this coming?

For the first few million years of our evolution, humans drew conclusions in the same way that other animals did – from their senses. Their database was what they personally saw, heard, smelled, felt and tasted. This was a poor method for gathering data from which to draw conclusions about nuanced matters, because the amount of data gathered was small. It was limited by the lifespan and experiences of the single person gathering it.

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