There's nothing obvious about civilization. Under slightly different conditions, it could have never arised, or could have gotten stuck into a perpetual local minimum until extinction (e.g. no agriculture & cities, or no writing, or no ironworking...)
Think about humanity in the early Neolithic -- thousands of different cultures minding their own business in their own corner of the world. Remarkably, each seminal technology (e.g. agriculture, writing, copper) was only invented independently at most 2-3 times, often just once
These technologies are very much non obvious. And they tend to all depend on each other. It could easily have turned out very differently. There is nothing inevitable or deterministic about technological progress, independently of human cognitive abilities.
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