Are we special?

In science fiction and fantasy, non-humans have super powers. Some can read minds, many have fantastical strength, and others can fly or cast spells or manipulate energy. But humans alone have no special abilities. We’re all just human smart or strong.

So why aren’t we all subject to the will of aliens, elves or robots?

Almost every instance of humanity coming in conflict with hostile aliens, us Terrans are victorious. In a fantasy world, there often times is a theme of the end of the time of magic, and therefore the end of elves, dwarves, unicorns, etc.

Now, I’m solidly on the side of humanity, which is a little self serving I’ll admit, but if all these amazing species are basically superior to us, then how and why do we win?

Apparently being human is special. So special in fact, that many non-humans strive to achieve an understanding of humanity. (Star Trek, I’m looking at you.) There must be something pretty unique about us.

Many times, our non-human opponents lack our ability to improvise, to adapt to the changing nature of conflict. Which begs the question, how did their civilizations arise? They must have had to evolve, to adjust to the worlds they came from.

Perhaps this is just a way to telling ourselves we’re special. The universe is a big scary place, just like the forest was way back in simpler time. (BTW, the forest at night is still super scary.) So I like to think that the unknown is just as scared of us as we are of them. Unless they can read minds, then we’re in big trouble.

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