Humans (Homo sapiens) are primates of the family Hominidae, and the only extant species of the genus Homo. They originated in Africa, where they reached anatomical modernity about 200,000 years ago and began to exhibit full behavioral modernity around 50,000 years ago.
The human lineage diverged from the last common ancestor with its closest living relative, the chimpanzee, some five million years ago, evolving into the Australopithecines and eventually the genus Homo. The first Homo species to move out of Africa was Homo erectus, the African variety of which, together with Homo heidelbergensis, is considered to be the immediate ancestor of modern humans. Homo sapiens proceeded to colonize the continents, arriving in Eurasia 125,000-60,000 years ago, Australia around 40,000 years ago, the Americas around 15,000 years ago, and remote islands such as Hawaii, Easter Island, Madagascar, and New Zealand between the years AD 300 and 1280.
As early as 12,000 years ago, humans began to practice sedentary agriculture, domesticating plants and animals which allowed for the growth of civilization. Humans subsequently established various forms of government, religion, and culture around the world, unifying people within a region and leading to the development of states and empires. The rapid advancement of scientific and medical understanding in the 19th and 20th centuries led to the development of fuel-driven technologies and improved health, causing the human population to rise exponentially. With individuals widespread in every continent except Antarctica, humans are a cosmopolitan species, and by 2012, their population was estimated to be around 7 billion.
Humans are characterized by having a large brain relative to body size, with a particularly well developed neocortex, prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes, making them capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, problem solving and culture through social learning. This mental capability, combined with an adaptation to bipedal locomotion that frees the hands for manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make far greater use of tools than any other living species on Earth. Humans are the only extant species known to build fires and cook their food, as well as the only known species to clothe themselves and create and use numerous other technologies and arts. The study of humans is the scientific discipline of anthropology.
Humans are uniquely adept at utilizing systems of symbolic communication such as language for self-expression, the exchange of ideas, and organization. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families and kinship networks to states. Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety of values, social norms, and rituals, which together form the basis of human society. Humans are noted for their desire to understand and influence their environment, seeking to explain and manipulate phenomena through science, philosophy, mythology, and religion.
Other articles related to "human, humans":
... high-pitched, well outside the range of human hearing. 1980 French film, illustrates Henri Laborit's theories on evolutionary psychology and human behaviors by using short sequences in the storyline showing lab rat experiments ... science fiction novel Homeward Bound, humans unintentionally introduce rats to the ecology at the home world of an alien race which previously invaded Earth and introduced some of its own ...
... See also Theology of the Body The Catholic Church affirms the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death ... The Church believes the human being has been created in the "image and likeness of God", and that human life should not be weighed against other values such as ... he had made, and, behold, it was very good." then the human body and sex must likewise be good ...
... The date of the first human presence in Ivory Coast (also officially called Côte d'Ivoire) has been difficult to determine because human remains have not been well preserved in the country's humid climate ... has been interpreted as a possible indication of a large human presence during the Upper Paleolithic period (15,000 to 10,000 BC), or at the minimum, the Neolithic period ...
... Three forms of superoxide dismutase are present in humans, in all other mammals, and most chordates ... SOD1, soluble Crystallographic structure of the human SOD1 enzyme (rainbow colored N-terminus = blue, C-terminus = red) complexed with copper (blue-green sphere ... Structure of the active site of human superoxide dismutase 2 ...
... that arise from people's sexuality in society and in human interactions ... Sexuality and reproduction are fundamental elements in human interaction and society worldwide ... Furthermore, "sexual restrictions" is one of the universals of culture peculiar to all human societies ...
Famous quotes containing the word human:
“To shoot a man because one disagrees with his interpretation of Darwin or Hegel is a sinister tribute to the supremacy of ideas in human affairsbut a tribute nevertheless.”
—George Steiner (b. 1929)
“Ulysses ... is a dogged attempt to cover the universe with mud, an inverted Victorianism, an attempt to make crossness and dirt succeed where sweetness and light failed, a simplification of the human character in the interests of Hell.”
—E.M. (Edward Morgan)
“All that a pacifist can undertakebut it is a very great dealis to refuse to kill, injure or otherwise cause suffering to another human creature, and untiringly to order his life by the rule of love though others may be captured by hate.”
—Vera Brittain (18961970)