I guess it's a question of semantics, but I'd still argue that all manner of animals communicate (from apes down to ants and bees) but only man has language - if you want to call it written communication, so be it, but the ability to express and exchange ideas rather than saying just "Go away" or "here's some food" or "look out!" goes way beyond just the written form. I'm glad it won, anyway. Now I'm off for a beer!
Quality of of life can easily be expressed mathematically.
Considering the relevant parameters:
Let QL = Quality of Life
H = health
X = sex
S = social status
W = wealth
First solving for males, we have:
QL = X * sqrt(H * S * W)
Then for females:
QL = (W * sqrt(H * S))/X
In America we let folks like Rockstar have their ideas as a basic matter of personal freedom. I have found that when you are warm enough and your belly is full the world is an OK place. Some things can make it more comfortable, and even prettier, but that is what makes it OK.
Being able to carry on more than minimal communications, in that humans are able to share ideas as well as just knowledge, has got to be near the top of the list for having allowed humans to advance. My dog was very smart and she knew a lot of words, but she was unable to communicate most of her knowledge or share ideas very well. ON the other hand, we would probably all be better off if all of the computers involved with Wall Street were replaced by dogs. If nothing else, the high level crime would be vastly reduced.
Communications is not the only factor. The independant cultures mixed up by communication. Where as the independant cultures evolved by the natural process. A simple proof is the diferent forms of the GODs and temple architectues and differnet types of food preperations and different types of vegetables fruits and one can prepare a big list including the human facial structural variations from place to place. Defintely communication alone is not changed the quality of life. There is an external power round the globe and from the cosmos also which is highly responsible for this evolution.
Quality of life is defined in my opinion as peace of mind. At the end of the day can you sleep relaxed or you have so many issues battling inyour mind. We have luxury cars, beautiful malls and comfortable homes but at the end the definition of quality of life is same as for cavemen.
I agree that quality of life can be equated with peace of mind, but how do you know that cavemen actually had peace of mind? They certainly had greater threats to life and limb, and far fewer safety nets to fall back on when one of those threats managed to snare them or their loved ones.
Cold nights, the worry of where your next meal would come from, dangerous childbirth for mom, worry about some minor cut becoming hopelessly infected, simple colds that could easily morph into deadly pneumonia, effective blindness in situations where simple eyeglasses would have solved the problem, and a lifespan of 35 years at best, mostly due to easily preventable injuries or diseases by today's standards. No, no way was their quality of life any better. That's just romanticising what we are lucky enough not to have to experience.
For all the above reasons, Darwinian natural selection would have made them a pretty hardy, and smart, race then.
Even though I would be one of the ones who would have been effectively blind (and hence unlikely to last long) I often wonder if the race has not lost as much as we have gained in the interim.
You are describing many facts of life for our grandparents generation - and true today for the majority of people on this earth. Losing sight of our privileged position is a good way to lose that position.
It is our responsibility to use our luxurious lifestyle and knowledge to try and improve things for those who are too busy surviving to help themselves. Before you dismiss this with "Let the devil take the hindmost!" consider that 'they' might just lose patience, rise up and take it away from us. Wouldn't you?