• Question: Why are we human or what makes us human?

    Asked by VIKING11 to Sharon, Sahra, Matthew, Jenn, Candace on 12 Mar 2017.
    • Photo: Xueyuan Jiang

      Xueyuan Jiang answered on 12 Mar 2017:

      This is all because of the genetic material we inherited from our parents! Those DNA sequences are different from species to species. Since we have the human version of DNA, we are human : )

    • Photo: Matthew Bainbridge

      Matthew Bainbridge answered on 13 Mar 2017:

      You won’t like my answer: We’re human because human’s have said ‘we’re human’ — Yes, we are genetically distinct from other animals but I don’t know if that really makes us human. If humanity is just genetic, could we alter someone (genetically) and would that make them unhuman? How different would they have to be before those lost their humanity?

      Many people would say our consciousness, morality, intelligence, is what makes us human. Those concepts are harder to define. If we made a really really really smart computer, could it be human?

      This is a hard question with no good answer!

    • Photo: Sahra Uygun

      Sahra Uygun answered on 14 Mar 2017:

      Currently I am reading the book “Sapiens-A brief history of humankind” and it is really interesting. In this book three major changes are mentioned that shape human history and what makes us human:

      Cognitive: evolution of brain
      Agricultural : domesticating plant and animal species
      Scientific: exploring our world

    • Photo: Jennifer Hintzsche

      Jennifer Hintzsche answered on 14 Mar 2017:

      A species like humans are considered a species if they can mate and produce offspring (babies). Over evolution different species can no longer mate- changes in their DNA makes them different enough to not be able to make babies. We are humans because we are a species that can only mate with itself and not other species like apes. About 1% of our DNA has changed since we shared a common ancestor with apes and that 1% is what makes us human.

    • Photo: Candace Lewis

      Candace Lewis answered on 14 Mar 2017:

      From a neuroscience perspective, what makes us distinctly human is complex frontal lobe development. We are very similar to all mammals, and even more so to primates, genetically. Our complex and unique frontal lobe development gives us the ability to think in extremely abstract ways – like replaying past events in our minds, planning future events in our minds, using symbols and language to represent complex concepts such as emotion and mathematic principles. Your humanity is in your frontal cortex! 😀