What Makes Us Human?

1905 WordsDec 7, 20148 Pages
Humans have made tremendous strides in learning about our early ancestors, but many questions remain about how and why we are what we are today, and there are as many theories. Chris Stringer, author of Lone Survivors, attempts to answer some of those questions. The question of “what makes us human” is a complicated one, with many different answers. Human beings evolved into what we are today not only through evolutions in genetics, brain size and body size, but also through our behaviors. So much about our behavior is unique, including a belief in a higher power, the art we create, and our stone tools, and is a major part of what makes us, us. Everything we are able to do today is, in part, because of our ability to think abstract and use symbols to carry our ideas through generations. There is not just one thing that makes us who we are, but a culmination of all sorts of behaviors and traits that we have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. The first thing that separates humans from other primates and animals is brain size. It is thought that human brain sized evolved due to environmental challenges. Human bodies adapted and got bigger, so brain size increased as well. Over the course of human evolution, brain size has tripled, and humans have the largest most complex brain of any other living primate. Humans today have an average brain size of about 1350 cc. For most of human evolution, brain size has increased slowly. From 6-2 million years ago, brain size grew

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