Well, it's important to remember that when you're talking about humans, you're talking about the dumbest critter capable of civilization. You can't get any dumber and still dig ditches and collect taxes.
That's not umbrage or insult, that's sober fact: Human ancestors chipped exactly the same stone tools for five thousand centuries before they got just enough additional brights to think about chipping the stone just a little differently.
Think about that! Five thousand long lifetimes of chip chip chip without a glimmer of innovation. Five thousand long lifetimes of hominids being morons and "new, improved" being an oxymoron.
Then whoosh! Someone gets half a clue, and we're all the way through the neolithic's bewildering variety of stone-chipping innovation in five hundred long lifetimes flat! One tenth of the paleolithic plateau! Humanity is cooking now!
And then sometime along about the middle of the last glaciation, someone gets another half-clue, and when the ice goes, humanity is ready to go too! BOOM! Sumaria to the Moon in fifty long lifetimes! Think about that... all the ancestors carrying your mitochondrial DNA from now back to Sumeria would fit quite handily in a single auditorium. Five millenia of mommas. If kids remembered half what their grandparents told them, there might still be people singing Sumarian folksongs in the original.
Genetically, humans are closer to chimps than some subspecies are to each other: 98% identical. Blink and you'll miss the difference. Make a 98% accurate copy of this file and you'll hardly notice the difference, and -never- convince a copyright court it is significant.
Humans are even more closely related to bonobos.
And humans are so closely related to those morons who chipped exactly the same rock tools for five thousand long lifetimes, that it isn't even funny. A shave, a haircut, and one thin clue.
It is not your imagination that civilization is run by idiots, and it is not an accident. Civilization was started by the very dumbest animals capable of pulling it off, and they're still running it today.
Excuse me, I'm supposed to go help with a rock garden.