Why do animals have natural instincts but humans have to learn the most basic of things from our parents?


Why do animals have natural instincts but humans have to learn the most basic of things from our parents?

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Humans have natural instincts too, as babies we cry, breast feed, grasp at things, etc. We have evolved to a point where we are more advantaged by being born and cared for outside the womb than having a longer gestation period and coming out able to walk like some animals.

What exactly those advantages are, I would have to think harder on, but I’m not about to argue with evolution.

Humans have all sorts of natural instincts.

One of the more interesting ones is that if a baby is dropped or feels like it is falling it will automatically spread out it’s arms and legs. It is thought this might originate from our very early time in trees where doing this would have made it easier for an adult to catch the baby.

Others have given the main point of the answer, that we do have instincts. However, I can imagine you’re asking in the cases of say, many animals being able to walk and follow their mother even just hours after birth, while for humans this takes many months. The reason for this is basically – we have big brains, and more specifically, big heads.

Because our heads are so big, were a much bigger challenge for human mother’s to give birth too than most species, but if we were born with a more fully formed brain, we would have even more issues with birth that would likely result in the deaths of most mother/children in childbirth. So evolution came up with a trade-off. It would give babies very basic instinctive behaviour, such as to feed, to crave a caregivers protection, breathing and such, all the while continuing to develop the babies brain outside the womb. You can watch this happen, where babies quite quickly go from entirely helpless to moving and exploring and learning more independently. Walking takes a little longer still, as we have quite a unique way of going about it on two legs, but for the most part we stop being quite so helpless as our brains develop further.

Tldr – we have big heads, with big brains that give us our advantage in intelligence. The trade-off is that we have a time outside the womb where were all but helpless as that big brain develops.