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What makes us Human?

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Aranniya Vimal

on 27 May 2013

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Transcript of What makes us Human?

By: AranniyaV. What makes us Human?
An Anthropological perspective 1. Bipedalism 1. Bipedalism 5. The larynx
(Communication) 5. The larynx
(Communication) 2. Brain Development: 4. Culture: 4. Culture: Lucy the first hominid 3.Tools 3.Tools 2. Brain Development: Introduction: Anthropology is the study of lives and cultures of human beings, either alive or dead. Physical anthropology studies human evolution, biology, and other primates. Cultural anthropology studies the origin development and functioning of human cultures. The End :) References: http://www.brainfacts.org/sensing-thinking-behaving/language/articles/2011/language-and-the-brain-what-makes-us-human/

http://anthro.palomar.edu/culture/culture_1.htm

http://elucy.org/Main/WhatIsBipedalism.html

http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/capsules/histoire_bleu04.html Videos from Youtube http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo/homo_4.htm http://www.livescience.com/7968-human-evolution-origin-tool.html The fact that humans walk on two legs is a primary distinguishing feature between humans and apes. Bipedalism is one of the first traits which developed in early hominids. It is easy to see that the shape of human bones and joints are designed for the ability to walk upright. The shape of our bones and joints indicate the ability to walk upright. Our bones in our foot, hip, and knee became smaller, but our legs got longer. The smaller hips enable upright bipedalism. Bipedalism in hominids is extremely crucial because it’s more efficient and it enables them to easily search for food, carry their young, and other items in their hands. It also helps them to be aware of predators at the same time and save energy. Humans have an extremely complex and advanced brain that varies from many other species. The human brain wasn’t always this complex. Early hominids had a small capacity of 400 cubic centimetres - not much larger than the apes. The addition of meat into the diet may have been the reason why the human brain began to grow larger and to function more efficiently. Meat eating is one of the key factors in the expansion of the brain during this time. The added protein contributed to cerebral development in terms of intelligence and the ability to survive. This was very critical because it increased their intelligence, survival, food, and invention of tools. As the brain increased in size, the skull also grew, developing a much bigger skull. The average human brain today has a volume of 1 350 cubic centimetres. Press Play :) According to the anthropological way of thinking, culture defines the structure of how human beings behave. This set of symbols appeared as early as 50,000 years ago with burial rites, drawings on cave walls, the manufacture of beads, pottery and bone carvings. Broken pots and other artifacts of hominids show cultural patterns. Cultural patterns are passed down through generations. These objects are used with cultural knowledge and skills they had. It constantly changes and easily gets lost because it only exists in our minds. Many other animal species teach their young what they learned in order to survive. An example would be when apes taught their children about food and learn the social rules in their populations. Cultural knowledge and skills require tutoring and demonstrating in order for the rituals to be replicated in the same manner. Culture is not born in. It is taught. The ability to communicate is one of things that make us human. While animals may have the ability to gesture and make a few sounds, human beings have a complex system of speaking and writing which has been developed over thousands of years. In order to have language we have to have the ability to think about symbols and deal with them. This is a very important feature because other species have different ways to communicate with themselves but the human language is complicated due to the fact that we have a larynx that is located lower in our throat. This allows us to make sounds and speak verbally with words. This is different from an ape because theirs is higher than humans and gives less control over their words. Communication is another huge factor of what makes us human because we are the only living creatures that are able to communicate through out language. It all started with the Australopithecus which existed 1.8 to 4 million years ago. The two things they used for protection were their fists and minds. Their minds weren’t fully developed to construct and use weapons. They lacked advanced tools to hunt for food, so they were mostly vegetarians. Even though they were vegetarian, they scavenged for meat time to time. The Australopithecus had not yet discovered how to use fire so they were afraid of it. The tools they used were rocks and branches to protect themselves. Since most weren’t bipedal, they began to build and manipulate small simple tools. Next came the Homo Habilis, they existed 1.8 to 1.6 million years ago. They were the first hominids that developed tools for protection. They used stones to make their own weapons. Tools they used were stones carved into basic weapons. Next was the Homo erectus which existed 500,000 to 1.6 million years ago. They were known to be on their feet 100% of the time. They had a larger brain capacity which allowed them to build more tools. Homo erectus created fire, advanced spears and various weapons. Homo sapiens came on the scene 30,000 to 50,000 years ago. They closely resembled humans and they used advanced tools such as bone needles, and fish hooks. They crafted their clothing out of animal skins. Finally the Homo sapiens sapiens came and they hunt with advanced weapons called guns. They also created computers and other machinery.
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