What Makes us Human?

Report
WHAT MAKES US HUMAN?
Adapted from https://sites.google.com/site/highlandhsp3m/unit-1-what-makes-us-human
WHAT MAKES US HUMAN?
What does being human mean to you?
 What distinguishes humans from animals?


Take a moment an think. REALLY think.
WHAT MAKES US HUMAN?

Anthropologists = Evolution

Psychologists = Cognitive process
and personality

Sociologists = Culture
WHAT IS ANTHROPOLOGY?
Very simply....
 Anthropologists ask:

Where did we come from?
 What are we?
 Where are we going?

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Read Wright excerpt
WHAT IS ANTHROPOLOGY?
WHAT MAKES US HUMAN?
Anthropologists use human biological evolution
to answer the question of what makes humans
different from animals
 They use fossils, cultural remains and the study
of DNA as evidence supporting the development
of humanity.

ANTHROPOLOGICAL: HUMAN EVOLUTION

Physical Anthropologists study human biological
evolution
 Palaeontology
– study of fossils
 Archaeology – study of cultural remains -- ?
ANTHROPOLOGICAL: PROOF OF EVOLUTION

Jacques Boucher de Crevecoeur (1788 – 1868)
 Found
stones shaped into tools and weapons
 Primitive weapons less advanced than what can be
created today
 Shows evolution
PROOF OF EVOLUTION

Neanderthals
 Did
not evolve tool making
 Survived for millions of years but eventually died out
ANTHROPOLOGICAL: PROOF OF EVOLUTION

Charles Darwin (1809 -1882)
Studied on the Galapagos islands
 Found that within each group of
plant or animal there was variation


Natural Selection:
Animals and plants adapt
to their environment to
survive and produce similar
offspring. Survival of the
Fittest

HUMAN EVOLUTION
It was thought that humans followed the same
patterns of evolution.
 In 1924 Raymond Dart discovered the fossil of a
child in South Africa

 Australopithecus

Africanus
Subsequent discoveries showed an evolutionary
pattern
ANTHROPOLOGICAL: PROOF OF EVOLUTION
Human brains got larger
 Faces got smaller

HUMANS VS PRIMATES
The genetic make up of humans and primates
varies by only 1-2 percent
 Why are we the dominate species?

HUMANS VS PRIMATES

Features we share:
 Opposable
thumbs
 3 dimensional vision (allows us to judge distances)
 Our children remain dependant for a long time and
require a lot of care to learn and develop
HUMANS VS PRIMATES



Highly developed brain which allows us to learn and
think (however the human brain is more developed)
Social (humans more advanced)
Can be aggressive and territorial
WHAT MAKES HUMANS HUMAN

There are many different opinions as to which
factor is the most important in human evolution
 Bipedalism
– the ability to walk upright over long
distances and perform tasks while standing
 Ability to communicate complex and abstract ideas
through language
 It is thought the combination of using tools, hunting
in a group and communicating with language led to
the rapid growth of the human brain
 Our ability to share/cooperate with others
 Developed symbols and art
WHAT MAKES US HUMAN - PSYCHOLOGY
1)
2)
3)
The Brain
The Cognitive Process (advanced reasoning,
problem solving, complexity of our thinking)
Personality
THE BRAIN

The Central Core: All vertebrates
 Controls

basic functions (breathing, eating)
The Cerebrum: Sets us apart from other species.
 Controls
human senses, thoughts, language, memory
THE COGNITIVE PROCESS

How we acquire, store and use knowledge
REASONING
Use information to draw conclusions
– uniquely human
 Deductive Reasoning (general to specific):

 Eg.
All humans have brains – Sonia is a human –
Therefore Sonia has a brain.

Inductive Reasoning (specific to general):

Eg. Most men enjoy sports – I am a man – I enjoy
sports
PROBLEM SOLVING
Humans problem solve throughout the day
 Can use reasoning to help solve problems

1.
2.
3.
4.
Identify the problem
Develop a strategy to solve the problem (trial and
error, hypothesis, rule of thumb, insight)
Carry out the strategy
Determine if the strategy worked
COMPLEXITY OF OUR THINKING
Complexity of our thinking
 Human are able to think about what others are
thinking.
 Humans are able to think within different time
frames

 We
can remember the past and consider what might
happen in the future.
PERSONALITY
Characteristics and behaviours that make us
unique
 It is thought that our personality is shaped by our
genetics and environment (nature – nurture)

PERSONALITY
Animals may appear to have personality traits
 This may be more the result of instinct and
conditioning

WHAT MAKES US HUMAN: SOCIOLOGY
Sociologists characterize a human as different
from animals because of human culture.
 Culture: The abilities, ideas and behaviours
people have acquired to become members of
society

O Canada
Hockey
Canadian flag
CULTURE

Symbols
 Something
or someone that represents something
else.
 Symbols have a particular meaning for people
CULTURE
Human culture (beliefs, ideas, behaviours) is
constantly evolving and changing.
 It is through interactions in society that culture
develops.
 To be part of the human culture we need to
cooperate, have laws/rules and have a capacity
for knowledge (we can learn and teach others)


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