"Much Speculative Fiction presents Puny Earthlings, physically, mentally, culturally, morally, and in most other ways inferior to all other aliens. (Or to put it differently, many Fantasy and Science Fiction authors are fond of a kind of masochistic reverse racism in that their elves/aliens/whatever are always better: technologically and culturally advanced, or physically stronger, faster, tougher with fangs and claws and superior senses blablabla, while humans are invariably weak, slow, uncoordinated, cowardly, and so on.) To balance this, and to explain why we still manage to stick around, it is also made clear that there is something special, something unique about the human character: mankind seems to have a certain adaptability, or resilience, or determination, or curiosity, or independent spirit, or zest for life — basically Western, humanistic values in a nutshell — that somehow allows us to transcend our weaknesses and earn the admiration and/or fear of other, more advanced civilizations. Apparently everyone else is stuck in a rut, possibly as a result of being a Planet Of Hats."
Yeah, that doesn't really apply to the original theme of these threads, which is that humans ARE pretty bloody impressive physically, compared to everything else on the planet, and so there's no reason to assume we'll be the weakest, slowest things in the galaxy, and therefore no reason to wank about how morally wonderful we are, or how smart/cunning/brave/determined we can be to make up for it.