What is Human?
Humans and Animals compared ...
Focus questions & responses
- What is human?
- How do we decide?
- What were we before human?
- How are humans different and the same as other primates?
- How are we different than our ancestors who weren’t human?
- What are human rights? Who gets to decide?
- What are civil rights? How are they enforced?
Characteristics of humans
- Walk upright, bipedal, skull on top of spine versus at an angle.
- Run for long distances
- Opposable thumbs
- Persistent curiosity, habits of mind
- Collaborate with family, friends, & strangers, across gender, animals, and other tribes or groups. For example cooperates to stand in an ordered line. Imagine a pack of dogs, cats, chimpanzees, in food line or at a community picnic, zzzthanksgiving dinner, or cinema line.
- Create see a point in the end of a stick, a scraper in a rock, and combine two objects to make one tool ...
- Process food: butcher animals, fillet fish, dry food, cook, smoke, salt, preserve
- Develop tools, technology, domestication of plants and animals
- Foresight - anticipate and see the future
- Fear the future
- Complex brain
- Language and communicate across time and long distances, gossip, tell stories, art, music ...
- Read people's body expressions to anticipate their thinking one, two, three, four, or more steps into the future.
- Able to speculate on what other people are thinking and to speculate that they are capable of thinking about what I am thinking that they are thinking ... and so forth...
- Hate for our enemies
- Create ideas that are not real or have physical properties: art, music, fiction, speculation, lies, stories, myths, explanations, theories, ...
- Consciousness aware that we are curious, social, and have awareness of our selves and individuals.
- Have the capacity to intervene for ourselves and to change the world.
- One form of intervention is learning and teaching.
Animals characteristics compared
Humans and Animals compared ...
- Seem to have self awareness, consciousness, if, then thinking to explore, and the ability to think about what other elephants are thinking and cooperation ... Source: Through the Worm hole (5:50)
- Elephants were brought to a giant mirror where they viewed the image and explored it until they seemed convinced it was their own image in real time, not a picture, or video, of them self or another elephant. Then they explored areas of their body they could not see with out the mirror, nose, mouth, ...
- Two elephants were shown an apparatus where they worked together to solve a problem. Cooperation for problem solving.
- Elephant human relationship. Elephant rushes into stream to help man (0:53) ...
- Self-Consciousness See Source: Dolphins in the mirror (5:03)
- Dolphins cooperate to create a circle of mud that act as a wall or net around a shole of fish. When the circle is closed, the fish attempt to escape by jumping over the mud, where the dolphin catch them. Source (1:38) Circles were observed from space satellites off the coast of southern Florida. Source What on Earth? documentary
- Dolphins off the coast of Laguna, Brazil cooperate with fishermen by herding mullets (fish) towards the shoreline, then signal the fishermen the best time for the fishermen to cast their nets. Source (3:41)
- The common octopus (Octopus vulgarius) has 500 million neurons, 5 times what hamsters have, large brains and can manipulate objects with their arms. The have been observed to steal fish from fisherman's nets, open bottles, solve puzzles, interact with humans, interact with mirrors, and appear to have consciousness. What the Octopus Knows by Olivia Judson January/February 2017, The Atlantic.
Animals the teach their young
- Meerkats take an active role in teaching their pups how to eat centapeds. Source
- Teacher ant teaches a student ant how to find food. Source
Human Chimpanzee musculature comparison