"Humans exceeded the evolutionary level of chimpanzees not by developing better motor skills, but by developing rockets that can reach the Moon and Mars."
We exceeded the chimps long before some dreamt of leaving Earth. You mention the key in passing: "language" and its powerful subset mathematics/logic.
The behavior of many animals appears logical, but that is hardwired "logic" "discovered" by evolution through random trial and error. Human (true) logic allows us to avoid waste time and effort exploring illogical approaches. But these gains have to be communicated/educated so that we share a logical foundation and work together from there. We get better at spotting the lapses in and exceptions to our logically constructed world views. Sometimes this leads to paradigm shifts.
Mars will not go away if we postpone its exploration until we have solved the most pressing challenges here on Earth. Devoting large resource to space exploration may mean that these unaddressed challenge will severely cripple us and lead to a much longer delay in sustainable space exploration. First things first!