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{{Hatnote|This article is about humans as a species. For other uses, see Human (disambiguation). "Humankind" redirects here; ror other uses, see Humankind (disambiguation). "Human race" redirects here; for the concept of human races, see Race (human classification). "Human Being" redirects here; for other uses, see Human Being (disambiguation).}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|Species of hominid}}{{Use dmy dates|date=September 2017}}{{speciesbox
pages = | id = 12100795}}| image = Akha cropped hires.JPG adult human man>male (left) and woman (right) from the Akha people>Akha tribe in Northern Thailand.0.35|0}} Middle Pleistocene – Recent| taxon = Homo sapiensCarl Linnaeus>Linnaeus, 1758| subdivision_ranks = Subspecies| subdivision ={{extinct}}Homo sapiens idaltu White et al., 2003Homo sapiens sapiens| range_map = World human population density map.png| range_map_caption = Homo sapiens population density| status = LC| status_system = IUCN3.1HOMO SAPIENS > JOURNAL = THE IUCN RED LIST OF THREATENED SPECIES PAGE = E.T136584A4313662 URL = HTTP://OLDREDLIST.IUCNREDLIST.ORG/DETAILS/136584/0 ACCESS-DATE = 14 JANUARY 2018 ARCHIVEURL = HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20171207092900/HTTP://OLDREDLIST.IUCNREDLIST.ORG/DETAILS/136584/0 DF = DMY-ALL, |synonyms ={{collapsible list|bullets = true
|title=Species synonymy
|aethiopicusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|americanusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|arabicusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|aurignacensisKlaatsch & Hauser, 1910
|australasicusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|caferBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|capensisBroom, 1917
|columbicusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|cro-magnonensisGregory, 1921
|drennaniKleinschmidt, 1931
|eurafricanus(Sergi, 1911)
|grimaldiensisGregory, 1921
|grimaldiiLapouge, 1906
|hottentotusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|hyperboreusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|indicusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|japeticusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|melaninusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|monstrosusLinnaeus, 1758
|neptunianusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|palestinusMcCown & Keith, 1932
|patagonusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|priscusLapouge, 1899
|proto-aethiopicusGiuffrida-Ruggeri, 1915
|scythicusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|sinicusBory de St. Vincent, 1825
|spelaeusLapouge, 1899
|troglodytesLinnaeus, 1758
|wadjakensisDubois, 1921
}}Humans (Homo sapiens) are the only extant members of the subtribe Hominina. Together with chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, they are part of the family Hominidae (the great apes, or hominids). A terrestrial animal, humans are characterized by their erect posture and bipedal locomotion; high manual dexterity and heavy tool use compared to other animals; open-ended and complex language use compared to other animal communications; larger, more complex brains than other animals; and highly advanced and organized societies.JOURNAL, Goodman M, Tagle D, Fitch D, Bailey W, Czelusniak J, Koop B, Benson P, Slightom J, Primate evolution at the DNA level and a classification of hominoids, J Mol Evol, 30, 3, 260–66, 1990, 2109087, 10.1007/BF02099995, 1990JMolE..30..260G, WEB, Hominidae Classification, Animal Diversity Web @ UMich,weblink 25 September 2006, live,weblink" title="">weblink 5 October 2006, dmy-all, Early hominins—particularly the australopithecines, whose brains and anatomy are in many ways more similar to ancestral non-human apes—are less often referred to as "human" than hominins of the genus Homo.JOURNAL, Tattersall Ian, Schwartz Jeffrey, 2009, Evolution of the Genus Homo, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 37, 1, 67–92, 10.1146/, 2009AREPS..37...67T, Several of these hominins used fire, occupied much of Eurasia, and gave rise to anatomically modern Homo sapiens in Africa about 315,000WEB,weblink Everything We Learned in One Year About Thousands of Years of Human Evolution, Sloat, Sarah, 2018-01-04, Inverse,weblink 2018-01-26, live, dmy-all, years ago.JOURNAL, Antón, Susan C., Swisher III, Carl C., 2004, Early Dispersals of homo from Africa, Annual Review of Anthropology, 33, 271–96, 10.1146/annurev.anthro.33.070203.144024, JOURNAL, Trinkaus Erik, 2005, Early Modern Humans, Annual Review of Anthropology, 34, 207–30, 10.1146/annurev.anthro.34.030905.154913, Humans began to exhibit evidence of behavioral modernity around 50,000 years ago, and in several waves of migration, they ventured out of Africa and populated most of the world.BOOK, Evolution: The First Four Billion Years, McHenry, H.M, Human Evolution, Michael Ruse, Joseph Travis, 2009, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 978-0-674-03175-3, 265,weblink The spread of the large and increasing population of humans has profoundly affected much of the biosphere and millions of species worldwide. Advantages that explain this evolutionary success include a larger brain with a well-developed neocortex, prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes, which enable advanced abstract reasoning, language, problem solving, sociality, and culture through social learning. Humans use tools more frequently and effectively than any other animal; and are the only extant species to build fires, cook food, clothe themselves, and create and use numerous other technologies and arts.Humans uniquely use such systems of symbolic communication as language and art to express themselves and exchange ideas, and also organize themselves into purposeful groups. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families and kinship networks to political states. Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety of values,Marshall T. Poe A History of Communications: Media and Society from the Evolution of Speech to the Internet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. {{ISBN|9780521179447}} social norms, and rituals, which together undergird human society. Curiosity and the human desire to understand and influence the environment and to explain and manipulate phenomena (or events) have motivated humanity's development of science, philosophy, mythology, religion, anthropology, and numerous other fields of knowledge.Though most of human existence has been sustained by hunting and gathering in band societies,"Hunting and gathering culture" {{webarchive|url= |date=16 January 2016 }}. Encyclopædia Britannica (online). Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. increasingly many human societies transitioned to sedentary agriculture approximately some 10,000 years ago,"Neolithic {{webarchive|url= |date=17 July 2017 }}." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited. 2014. domesticating plants and animals, thus enabling the growth of civilization. These human societies subsequently expanded, establishing various forms of government, religion, and culture around the world, and unifying people within regions to form states and empires. The rapid advancement of scientific and medical understanding in the 19th and 20th centuries permitted the development of fuel-driven technologies and increased lifespans, causing the human population to rise exponentially. The global human population was estimated to be near {{#expr: {{data world|poptoday}} / 1e9 round 1}} billion in 2019.

Etymology and definition

{{Further|Man (word)|Names for the human species}}In common usage, the word "human" generally refers to the only extant species of the genus Homo—anatomically and behaviorally modern Homo sapiens.In scientific terms, the meanings of "hominid" and "hominin" have changed during the recent decades with advances in the discovery and study of the fossil ancestors of modern humans. The previously clear boundary between humans and apes has blurred, resulting in biologists now acknowledging the hominids as encompassing multiple species, and Homo and close relatives since the split from chimpanzees as the only hominins. There is also a distinction between anatomically modern humans and Archaic Homo sapiens, the earliest fossil members of the species.The English adjective human is a Middle English loanword from Old French ', ultimately from Latin ', the adjective form of "man." The word's use as a noun (with a plural: humans) dates to the 16th century.OED, s.v. "human." The native English term man can refer to the species generally (a synonym for humanity) as well as to human males, or individuals of either sex (though this latter form is less common in contemporary English).Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Man, "Definition 2" {{webarchive|url= |date=22 September 2017 }}, accessed 14 September 2017The species binomial "Homo sapiens" was coined by Carl Linnaeus in his 18th-century work Systema Naturae.JOURNAL, Spamer, Earle E, 29 January 1999, Know Thyself: Responsible Science and the Lectotype of Homo sapiens Linnaeus, 1758, Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, 149, 1, 109–14, 4065043, The generic name "Homo" is a learned 18th-century derivation from Latin ' "man," ultimately "earthly being" (Old Latin ' a cognate to Old English "man", from PIE {{PIE|dʰǵʰemon-}}, meaning "earth" or "ground").Porkorny (1959) s.v. "g'hðem" pp. 414–16; "Homo." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 23 September 2008. DICTIONARY,weblink, Homo, live,weblink" title="">weblink 27 September 2008, dmy-all, The species-name "sapiens" means "wise" or "sapient". Note that the Latin word homo refers to humans of either gender, and that "sapiens" is the singular form (while there is no such word as "sapien").DICTIONARY,weblink Homo sapiens Etymology, Online Etymology Dictionary, 25 July 2015, live,weblink" title="">weblink 25 July 2015, dmy-all,


{{align|right|{{Human timeline}}}}{{align|right|{{Hominins}}}}

Evolution and range

{{Further|Anthropology|Human evolution|Timeline of human evolution}}The genus Homo evolved and diverged from other hominins in Africa, after the human clade split from the chimpanzee lineage of the hominids (great apes) branch of the primates. Modern humans, defined as the species Homo sapiens or specifically to the single extant subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, proceeded to colonize all the continents and larger islands, arriving in Eurasia 125,000–60,000 years ago,JOURNAL,weblink Hints of Earlier Human Exit From Africa, Science, 331, 6016, 453–56, 10.1126/science.1199113, 21273486, 1 May 2011, live,weblink" title="">weblink 27 April 2011, dmy-all, 2011Sci...331..453A, 2011, Armitage, S. J, Jasim, S. A, Marks, A. E, Parker, A. G, Usik, V. I, Uerpmann, H.-P, Paul Rincon Humans 'left Africa much earlier' {{webarchive|url= |date=9 August 2012 }} BBC News, 27 January 2011 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 300 and 1280.WEB,weblink Polynesian settlement of New Zealand and the impacts of volcanism on early Maori society: an update, Lowe, David J., 2008, University of Waikato, 29 April 2010, live,weblink" title="">weblink 22 May 2010, dmy-all, JOURNAL, Appenzeller Tim, 2012, Human migrations: Eastern odyssey, Nature, 485, 7396, 24–26, 10.1038/485024a, 22552074, 2012Natur.485...24A,

Evidence from molecular biology

File:Hominidae chart.svg|thumb|Family tree showing the extant hominoids: humans (genus Homo), chimpanzees and bonobos (genus Pan), gorillas (genus Gorilla), orangutans (genus Pongo), and gibbons (four genera of the family Hylobatidae: Hylobates, Hoolock, Nomascus, and SymphalangusSymphalangusThe closest living relatives of humans are chimpanzees (genus Pan) and gorillas (genus Gorilla).JOURNAL, Wood, Bernard, Richmond, Brian G., Human evolution: taxonomy and paleobiology, Journal of Anatomy, 197, 1, 19–60, 2000, 10999270, 1468107, 10.1046/j.1469-7580.2000.19710019.x, With the sequencing of the human and chimpanzee genomes, current estimates of similarity between human and chimpanzee DNA sequences range between 95% and 99%.Ajit, Varki and David L. Nelson. 2007. "Genomic Comparisons of Humans and Chimpanzees". Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 2007. 36: 191–209: "Sequence differences from the human genome were confirmed to be ∼1% in areas that can be precisely aligned, representing ∼35 million single base-pair differences. Some 45 million nucleotides of insertions and deletions unique to each lineage were also discovered, making the actual difference between the two genomes ∼4%."Ken Sayers, Mary Ann Raghanti, and C. Owen Lovejoy. 2012 (forthcoming, october) Human Evolution and the Chimpanzee Referential Doctrine. Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 41 By using the technique called a molecular clock which estimates the time required for the number of divergent mutations to accumulate between two lineages, the approximate date for the split between lineages can be calculated. The gibbons (family Hylobatidae) and orangutans (genus Pongo) were the first groups to split from the line leading to the humans, then gorillas (genus Gorilla) followed by the chimpanzees (genus Pan). The splitting date between human and chimpanzee lineages is placed around 4–8 million years ago during the late Miocene epoch.JOURNAL, Ruvolo M, 1997, Genetic Diversity in Hominoid Primates, Annual Review of Anthropology, 26, 515–40, 10.1146/annurev.anthro.26.1.515, JOURNAL, Ruvolo, Maryellen, Molecular phylogeny of the hominoids: inferences from multiple independent DNA sequence data sets, Molecular Biology and Evolution, 14, 3, 248–65, 1997, 9066793, 10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a025761, dmy-all, During this split, chromosome 2 was formed from two other chromosomes, leaving humans with only 23 pairs of chromosomes, compared to 24 for the other apes.Human Chromosome 2 is a fusion of two ancestral chromosomes {{webarchive|url= |date=9 August 2011 }} by Alec MacAndrew; accessed 18 May 2006.

Evidence from the fossil record

There is little fossil evidence for the divergence of the gorilla, chimpanzee and hominin lineages.JOURNAL, Begun David R, 2010, Miocene Hominids and the Origins of the African Apes and Humans, Annual Review of Anthropology, 39, 67–84, 10.1146/annurev.anthro.012809.105047, JOURNAL, Begun David R., Nargolwalla Mariam C., Kordos Laszlo, 2012, European Miocene Hominids and the Origin of the African Ape and Human Clade, Evolutionary Anthropology, 21, 1, 10–23, 10.1002/evan.20329, 22307721, The earliest fossils that have been proposed as members of the hominin lineage are Sahelanthropus tchadensis dating from {{mya|7}}, Orrorin tugenensis dating from {{mya|5.7}}, and Ardipithecus kadabba dating to {{mya|5.6}}. Each of these species has been argued to be a bipedal ancestor of later hominins, but all such claims are contested. It is also possible that any one of the three is an ancestor of another branch of African apes, or is an ancestor shared between hominins and other African Hominoidea (apes). The question of the relation between these early fossil species and the hominin lineage is still to be resolved. From these early species the australopithecines arose around {{mya|4}} diverged into robust (also called Paranthropus) and gracile branches,JOURNAL, Henry M., McHenry, Katherine, Coffing, Annual Review of Anthropology, Australopithecus to Homo: Transformations in Body and Mind, 29, 125–46, 10.1146/annurev.anthro.29.1.125, 2000, possibly one of which (such as A. garhi, dating to {{mya|2.5}}) is a direct ancestor of the genus Homo.JOURNAL, Early Homo at 2.8 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Afar, Ethiopia, Brian, Villmoare, William H., Kimbel, Chalachew, Seyoum, Christopher J., Campisano, Erin N., DiMaggio, John, Rowan, David R., Braun, J. Ramón, Arrowsmith, Kaye E., Reed, Science, 20 March 2015, 347, 6228, 1352–55, 10.1126/science.aaa1343, 25739410, 2015Sci...347.1352V, The earliest members of the genus Homo are Homo habilis which evolved around {{Mya|2.8}}.NEWS,weblink 'First human' discovered in Ethiopia, 2015-03-04, BBC News, live,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2015, dmy-all, Ghosh, Pallab, Homo habilis has been considered the first species for which there is clear evidence of the use of stone tools. More recently, however, in 2015, stone tools, perhaps predating Homo habilis, have been discovered in northwestern Kenya that have been dated to 3.3 million years old.JOURNAL, Harmand, Sonia, Lewis, Jason E., Feibel, Craig S., Lepre, Christopher J., Prat, Sandrine, Lenoble, Arnaud, Boës, Xavier, Quinn, Rhonda L., Brenet, Michel, Arroyo, Adrian, Taylor, Nicholas, Clément, Sophie, Daver, Guillaume, Brugal, Jean-Philip, Leakey, Louise, Mortlock, Richard A., Wright, James D., Lokorodi, Sammy, Kirwa, Christopher, Kent, Dennis V., Roche, Hélène, 3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi 3, West Turkana, Kenya, Nature, 521, 7552, 2015, 310–15, 10.1038/nature14464, 25993961, 2015Natur.521..310H, Nonetheless, the brains of Homo habilis were about the same size as that of a chimpanzee, and their main adaptation was bipedalism as an adaptation to terrestrial living. During the next million years a process of encephalization began, and with the arrival of Homo erectus in the fossil record, cranial capacity had doubled. Homo erectus were the first of the hominina to leave Africa, and these species spread through Africa, Asia, and Europe between {{Mya|1.3|1.8}}. One population of H. erectus, also sometimes classified as a separate species Homo ergaster, stayed in Africa and evolved into Homo sapiens. It is believed that these species were the first to use fire and complex tools. The earliest transitional fossils between H. ergaster/erectus and archaic humans are from Africa such as Homo rhodesiensis, but seemingly transitional forms are also found at Dmanisi, Georgia. These descendants of African H. erectus spread through Eurasia from c. 500,000 years ago evolving into H. antecessor, H. heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalensis. The earliest fossils of anatomically modern humans are from the Middle Paleolithic, about 300-200,000 years ago such as the Omo remains of Ethiopia, the fossils of Herto sometimes classified as Homo sapiens idaltu also from Ethiopia, the Jebel Irhoud remains from Morocco, and the Florisbad Skull from South Africa.JOURNAL, White, Tim D., Tim White (anthropologist), Asfaw, B., DeGusta, D., Gilbert, H., Richards, G. D., Suwa, G., Howell, F. C., 2003, Pleistocene Homo sapiens from Middle Awash, Ethiopia, Nature (journal), Nature, 423, 6491, 742–47, 10.1038/nature01669, 12802332, 2003Natur.423..742W, JOURNAL, Callaway, Ewan, Oldest Homo sapiens fossil claim rewrites our species' history,weblink 7 June 2017, Nature (journal), Nature, 10.1038/nature.2017.22114, 11 June 2017, JOURNAL, 27298468, 4920294, 2016, Stringer, C., The origin and evolution of Homo sapiens, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 371, 1698, 20150237, 10.1098/rstb.2015.0237, NEWS,weblink Oldest Homo sapiens bones ever found shake foundations of the human story, Sample, Ian, The Guardian, 7 June 2017, 7 June 2017, JOURNAL, Hublin, Jean-Jacques, Ben-Ncer, Abdelouahed, Bailey, Shara E., Freidline, Sarah E., Neubauer, Simon, Skinner, Matthew M., Bergmann, Inga, Le Cabec, Adeline, Benazzi, Stefano, Harvati, Katerina, Gunz, Philipp, New fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco and the pan-African origin of Homo sapiens, Nature, 546, 7657, 2017, 289–292, 10.1038/nature22336, 28593953,weblink 2017Natur.546..289H, Later fossils of archaic Homo sapiens from Skhul in Israel and Southern Europe begin around 90,000 years ago.JOURNAL, Journal of Human Evolution, Femoral neck-shaft angles of the Qafzeh-Skhul early modern humans, and activity levels among immature near eastern Middle Paleolithic hominids, Trinkaus, E., Erik Trinkaus,weblink 1993, 25, 393–416, 0047-2484, 10.1006/jhev.1993.1058, 5, live,weblink" title="">weblink 4 September 2012, dmy-all,

Anatomical adaptations

Human evolution is characterized by a number of morphological, developmental, physiological, and behavioral changes that have taken place since the split between the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. The most significant of these adaptations are 1. bipedalism, 2. increased brain size, 3. lengthened ontogeny (gestation and infancy), 4. decreased sexual dimorphism (neoteny). The relationship between all these changes is the subject of ongoing debate.BOOK, Boyd, Robert, Silk, Joan B., 2003, How Humans Evolved, New York City, Norton, 978-0-393-97854-4, Other significant morphological changes included the evolution of a power and precision grip, a change first occurring in H. erectus.BOOK, Brues, Alice M., Snow, Clyde C., Physical Anthropology, Biennial Review of Anthropology, 1965, 4, 1–39,weblink 9780804717465, live,weblink 16 April 2016, dmy-all, Bipedalism is the basic adaption of the hominin line, and it is considered the main cause behind a suite of skeletal changes shared by all bipedal hominins. The earliest bipedal hominin is considered to be either SahelanthropusJOURNAL, Brunet, Michel, Guy, Franck, Pilbeam, David, Mackaye, Hassane Taisso, Likius, Andossa, Ahounta, Djimdoumalbaye, Beauvilain, Alain, Blondel, Cécile, Bocherens, Hervé, Boisserie, Jean-Renaud, De Bonis, Louis, Coppens, Yves, Dejax, Jean, Denys, Christiane, Duringer, Philippe, Eisenmann, Véra, Fanone, Gongdibé, Fronty, Pierre, Geraads, Denis, Lehmann, Thomas, Lihoreau, Fabrice, Louchart, Antoine, Mahamat, Adoum, Merceron, Gildas, Mouchelin, Guy, Otero, Olga, Campomanes, Pablo Pelaez, De Leon, Marcia Ponce, Rage, Jean-Claude, Sapanet, Michel, Schuster, Mathieu, Sudre, Jean, Tassy, Pascal, Valentin, Xavier, Vignaud, Patrick, Viriot, Laurent, Zazzo, Antoine, Zollikofer, Christoph, A new hominid from the Upper Miocene of Chad, Central Africa, Nature, 418, 6894, 145–51, 2002, 12110880, 10.1038/nature00879, or Orrorin, with Ardipithecus, a full bipedal,{{citation |title=Neither chimpanzee nor human, Ardipithecus reveals the surprising ancestry of both |last1=White |first1=Tim D. |last2=Lovejoy |first2=C. Owen |last3=Asfaw |first3=Berhane |last4=Carlson |first4=Joshua P. |last5=Suwa |first5=Gen |journal=Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences |volume=112 |issue=16 |pages=4877–84 |date=April 2015 |doi=10.1073/pnas.1403659111 |pmid=25901308 |bibcode=2015PNAS..112.4877W |postscript=.|pmc=4413341 }} coming somewhat later. {{Citation needed|date=May 2015}} The knuckle walkers, the gorilla and chimpanzee, diverged around the same time, and either Sahelanthropus or Orrorin may be humans' last shared ancestor with those animals. {{Citation needed|date=May 2015}} The early bipedals eventually evolved into the australopithecines and later the genus Homo. {{Citation needed|date=May 2015}} There are several theories of the adaptational value of bipedalism. It is possible that bipedalism was favored because it freed up the hands for reaching and carrying food, because it saved energy during locomotion, because it enabled long distance running and hunting, or as a strategy for avoiding hyperthermia by reducing the surface exposed to direct sun.{{Citation needed|date=May 2015}}The human species developed a much larger brain than that of other primates—typically {{Convert|1330|cm3|cuin|abbr=on|0}} in modern humans, over twice the size of that of a chimpanzee or gorilla.JOURNAL, Evolution of the Size and Functional Areas of the Human Brain, P. Thomas Schoenemann, Annu. Rev. Anthropol., 2006, 35, 379–406, 10.1146/annurev.anthro.35.081705.123210, The pattern of encephalization started with Homo habilis which at approximately {{Convert|600|cm3|cuin|abbr=on|0}} had a brain slightly larger than chimpanzees, and continued with Homo erectus ({{Convert|800|-|1100|cm3|cuin|abbr=on|0}}), and reached a maximum in Neanderthals with an average size of {{Convert|1200|-|1900|cm3|cuin|abbr=on|0}}, larger even than Homo sapiens (but less encephalized).H. neanderthalensis is a widely known but poorly understood hominid ancestor {{webarchive|url= |date=8 September 2015 }}. Retrieved on 24 May 2014. The pattern of human postnatal brain growth differs from that of other apes (heterochrony), and allows for extended periods of social learning and language acquisition in juvenile humans. However, the differences between the structure of human brains and those of other apes may be even more significant than differences in size.JOURNAL, Park, Min S., Nguyen, Andrew D., Aryan, Henry E., U, Hoi Sang, Levy, Michael L., Semendeferi, Katerina, Evolution of the human brain: changing brain size and the fossil record, Neurosurgery, 2007, 60, 3, 555–62, 17327801, 10.1227/01.NEU.0000249284.54137.32, JOURNAL, Bruner, Emiliano, Cranial shape and size variation in human evolution: structural and functional perspectives, Child's Nervous System, 23, 12, 1357–65, 2007, 17680251, 10.1007/s00381-007-0434-2, JOURNAL, Potts Richard, 2012, Evolution and Environmental Change in Early Human Prehistory, Annu. Rev. Anthropol., 41, 151–67, 10.1146/annurev-anthro-092611-145754, JOURNAL, Leonard William R., Snodgrass J. Josh, Robertson Marcia L., 2007, Effects of Brain Evolution on Human Nutrition and Metabolism, Annu. Rev. Nutr., 27, 311–27, 10.1146/annurev.nutr.27.061406.093659, 17439362, The increase in volume over time has affected different areas within the brain unequally—the temporal lobes, which contain centers for language processing have increased disproportionately, as has the prefrontal cortex which has been related to complex decision making and moderating social behavior. Encephalization has been tied to an increasing emphasis on meat in the diet,WEB,weblink Meat-eating was essential for human evolution, says UC Berkeley anthropologist specializing in diet,, 14 June 1999, 31 January 2012, live,weblink" title="">weblink 30 January 2012, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Meat in the human diet: an anthropological perspective,, 1 September 2007, 31 January 2012, live,weblink" title="">weblink 11 September 2012, dmy-all, or with the development of cooking,JOURNAL,weblink Phylogenetic rate shifts in feeding time during the evolution of Homo, Chris, Organ, PNAS, 22 August 2011, 17 April 2012, 10.1073/pnas.1107806108, 21873223, 108, 35, 3167533, 14555–59, 2011PNAS..10814555O, live,weblink" title="">weblink 24 September 2015, dmy-all, and it has been proposed JOURNAL, Dunbar, Robin I.M., The Social Brain Hypothesis, Evolutionary Anthropology, 1998,weblink 8 June 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 April 2016, dmy-all, that intelligence increased as a response to an increased necessity for solving social problems as human society became more complex.The reduced degree of sexual dimorphism is primarily visible in the reduction of the male canine tooth relative to other ape species (except gibbons). Another important physiological change related to sexuality in humans was the evolution of hidden estrus. Humans are the only ape in which the female is intermittently fertile year round, and in which no special signals of fertility are produced by the body (such as genital swelling during estrus). Nonetheless humans retain a degree of sexual dimorphism in the distribution of body hair and subcutaneous fat, and in the overall size, males being around 25% larger than females. These changes taken together have been interpreted as a result of an increased emphasis on pair bonding as a possible solution to the requirement for increased parental investment due to the prolonged infancy of offspring.{{Citation needed|date=May 2015}}

Rise of Homo sapiens

File:Map-of-human-migrations.jpg|thumb|World map of early human migrations according to mitochondrial population genetics (numbers are millenniamillennia{{see|Archaic human admixture with modern humans|Early human migrations|Multiregional origin of modern humans|Prehistoric autopsy|Recent African origin of modern humans}}By the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic period (50,000 BP), and likely significantly earlier,JOURNAL, McBrearty, Sally, Brooks, Allison, 2000, The revolution that wasn't: a new interpretation of the origin of modern human behavior, Journal of Human Evolution, 39, 5, 453–563, 10.1006/jhev.2000.0435, 11102266, JOURNAL, Henshilwood, Christopher, Marean, Curtis, 2003, The Origin of Modern Human Behavior: Critique of the Models and Their Test Implications, Current Anthropology, 44, 5, 627–651, 10.1086/377665, NEWS, Chatterjee, Rhitu, Rhitu Chatterjee, Scientists Are Amazed By Stone Age Tools They Dug Up In Kenya,weblink 15 March 2018, NPR, 15 March 2018, NEWS, Yong, Ed, Ed Yong, A Cultural Leap at the Dawn of Humanity - New finds from Kenya suggest that humans used long-distance trade networks, sophisticated tools, and symbolic pigments right from the dawn of our species.,weblink 15 March 2018, The Atlantic, 15 March 2018, JOURNAL, Long-distance stone transport and pigment use in the earliest Middle Stone Age, Science, 360, 6384, 90–94, 2018, 10.1126/science.aao2646, 29545508, Brooks AS, Yellen JE, Potts R, Behrensmeyer AK, Deino AL, Leslie DE, Ambrose SH, Ferguson JR, d'Errico F, Zipkin AM, Whittaker S, Post J, Veatch EG, Foecke K, Clark JB, 2018Sci...360...90B, JOURNAL, Henshilwood, C. S., d'Errico, F., Yates, R., Jacobs, Z., Tribolo, C., Duller, G. A. T., Mercier, N., Sealy, J. C., Valladas, H., Watts, I., Wintle, A. G., 2002, Emergence of modern human behavior: Middle Stone Age engravings from South Africa, Science, 295, 5558, 1278–1280, 10.1126/science.1067575, 11786608, 2002Sci...295.1278H, Backwell L, d'Errico F, Wadley L.(2008). Middle Stone Age bone tools from the Howiesons Poort layers, Sibudu Cave, South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science, 35:1566–1580. {{doi|10.1016/j.jas.2007.11.006}} full behavioral modernity, including language, music and other cultural universals had developed.JOURNAL, Nowell April, 2010, Defining Behavioral Modernity in the Context of Neandertal and Anatomically Modern Human Populations, Annual Review of Anthropology, 39, 437–52, 10.1146/annurev.anthro.012809.105113, JOURNAL, Francesco d'Errico, Chris B, 2011, Evolution, revolution or saltation scenario for the emergence of modern cultures?, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 366, 1567, 1060–69, 10.1098/rstb.2010.0340, 21357228, 3049097, As early Homo sapiens dispersed, it encountered varieties of archaic humans both in Africa and in Eurasia,in Eurasia notably Homo neanderthalensis.Since 2010, evidence for gene flow between archaic and modern humans during the period of roughly 100,000 to 30,000 years ago has been discovered. This includes modern human admixture in Neanderthals, Neanderthal admixture in all modern humans outside Africa,JOURNAL, Nature, 464, 838–39, 10.1038/464838a, Human evolution: Stranger from Siberia, Brown, Terence A., 7290, 20376137, 8 April 2010, 2010Natur.464..838B, JOURNAL, Reich, David, Patterson, Nick, Kircher, Martin, Delfin, Frederick, Nandineni, Madhusudan R., Pugach, Irina, Ko, Albert Min-Shan, Ko, Ying-Chin, Jinam, Timothy A., Phipps, Maude E., Saitou, Naruya, Wollstein, Andreas, Kayser, Manfred, Pääbo, Svante, Stoneking, Mark, Denisova Admixture and the First Modern Human Dispersals into Southeast Asia and Oceania, The American Journal of Human Genetics, 89, 4, 516–28, 2011, 21944045, 3188841, 10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.09.005, JOURNAL, Hebsgaard MB, Wiuf C, Gilbert MT, Glenner H, Willerslev E, Evaluating Neanderthal genetics and phylogeny, J. Mol. Evol., 64, 1, 50–60, 2007, 17146600, 10.1007/s00239-006-0017-y,, 2007JMolE..64...50H, Denisova hominin admixture in MelanesiansNEWS, Zimmer, Carl, Carl Zimmer, Humans Interbred With Hominins on Multiple Occasions, Study Finds,weblink 17 March 2016, The New York Times, 17 March 2016, live,weblink" title="">weblink 17 March 2016, dmy-all, as well as admixture from unnamed archaic humans to some Sub-Saharan African populations.Hammer et al. (2011). "Genetic evidence for archaic admixture in Africa" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108 (37): 15123–15128. {{doi|10.1073/pnas.1109300108}}.The "out of Africa" migration of Homo sapiens took place in at least two waves, the first around 130,000 to 100,000 years ago, the second (Southern Dispersal) around 70,000 to 50,000 years ago,JOURNAL, Pleistocene Mitochondrial Genomes Suggest a Single Major Dispersal of Non-Africans and a Late Glacial Population Turnover in Europe, Current Biology, 26, 6, 827–833, 2016, 10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.037, 26853362, Posth C, Renaud G, Mittnik M, Drucker DG, Rougier H, Cupillard C, Valentin F, Thevenet C, Furtwängler A, Wißing C, Francken M, Malina M, Bolus M, Lari M, Gigli E, Capecchi G, Crevecoeur I, Beauval C, Flas D, Germonpré M, van der Plicht J, Cottiaux R, Gély B, Ronchitelli A, Wehrberger K, Grigorescu D, Svoboda J, Semal P, Caramelli D, Bocherens H, Harvati K, Conard NJ, Haak W, Powell A, Krause J, 6, JOURNAL, Karmin M, Saag L, Vicente M, Wilson Sayres MA, Järve M, Talas UG, Rootsi S, Ilumäe AM, Mägi R, Mitt M, Pagani L, Puurand T, Faltyskova Z, Clemente F, Cardona A, Metspalu E, Sahakyan H, Yunusbayev B, Hudjashov G, DeGiorgio M, Loogväli EL, Eichstaedt C, Eelmets M, Chaubey G, Tambets K, Litvinov S, Mormina M, Xue Y, Ayub Q, Zoraqi G, Korneliussen TS, Akhatova F, Lachance J, Tishkoff S, Momynaliev K, Ricaut FX, Kusuma P, Razafindrazaka H, Pierron D, Cox MP, Sultana GN, Willerslev R, Muller C, Westaway M, Lambert D, Skaro V, Kovačevic L, Turdikulova S, Dalimova D, Khusainova R, Trofimova N, Akhmetova V, Khidiyatova I, Lichman DV, Isakova J, Pocheshkhova E, Sabitov Z, Barashkov NA, Nymadawa P, Mihailov E, Seng JW, Evseeva I, Migliano AB, Abdullah S, Andriadze G, Primorac D, Atramentova L, Utevska O, Yepiskoposyan L, Marjanovic D, Kushniarevich A, Behar DM, Gilissen C, Vissers L, Veltman JA, Balanovska E, Derenko M, Malyarchuk B, Metspalu A, Fedorova S, Eriksson A, Manica A, Mendez FL, Karafet TM, Veeramah KR, Bradman N, Hammer MF, Osipova LP, Balanovsky O, Khusnutdinova EK, Johnsen K, Remm M, Thomas MG, Tyler-Smith C, Underhill PA, Willerslev E, Nielsen R, Metspalu M, Villems R, Kivisild T, 6, A recent bottleneck of Y chromosome diversity coincides with a global change in culture, Genome Research, 25, 4, 459–66, April 2015, 25770088, 4381518, 10.1101/gr.186684.114, JOURNAL, Haber M, Jones AL, Connell BA, Arciero E, Yang H, Thomas MG, Xue Y, Tyler-Smith C, 6, A Rare Deep-Rooting D0 African Y-Chromosomal Haplogroup and Its Implications for the Expansion of Modern Humans Out of Africa, Genetics, 212, 4, 1421–1428, August 2019, 31196864, 6707464, 10.1534/genetics.119.302368, resulting in the colonization of Australia around 65-50,000 years ago,Chris Clarkson et al. (2017), Human occupation of northern Australia by 65,000 years ago, Nature. {{doi|10.1038/nature22968}}.NEWS, St. Fleu, Nicholas, Humans First Arrived in Australia 65,000 Years Ago, Study Suggests,weblink New York Times, 19 July 2017, JOURNAL, Wood, Rachel, vanc, 2017-09-02, Comments on the chronology of Madjedbebe, Australian Archaeology, 83, 3, 172–174, 10.1080/03122417.2017.1408545, 0312-2417, JOURNAL, O'Connell JF, Allen J, Williams MA, Williams AN, Turney CS, Spooner NA, Kamminga J, Brown G, Cooper A, 6, Homo sapiens first reach Southeast Asia and Sahul?, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115, 34, 8482–8490, August 2018, 30082377, 6112744, 10.1073/pnas.1808385115, This recent out of Africa migration derived from East African populations, which had become separated from populations migrating to Southern, Central and Western Africa at least 100,000 years earlier.JOURNAL, Vigilant, African populations and the evolution of human mitochondrial DNA, Science, 1991, 253, 5027, 1503–07, 10.1126/science.1840702, 1840702, etal, 1991Sci...253.1503V, Modern humans subsequently spread globally, replacing archaic humans (either through competition or hybridization). They inhabited Eurasia and Oceania by 40,000 years ago, and the Americas at least 14,500 years ago.JOURNAL, Wolman, David, 3 April 2008,weblink Fossil Feces Is Earliest Evidence of N. America Humans,, live,weblink" title="">weblink 21 April 2008, dmy-all, JOURNAL, Wood B, 1996, Human evolution, BioEssays, 18, 12, 945–54, 10.1002/bies.950181204, 8976151, 1259794,

Transition to modernity

{{Further|History of the world}}File:Einscharpflug - Farmer plowing in Fahrenwalde, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.jpg|thumb|The rise of agriculture, and domestication of animals, led to stable human settlementshuman settlementsUntil about 12,000 years ago (the beginning of the Holocene), all humans lived as hunter-gatherers, generally in small nomadic groups known as band societies, often in caves.The Neolithic Revolution (the invention of agriculture) took place beginning about 10,000 years ago, first in the Fertile Crescent, spreading through large parts of the Old World over the following millennia, and independently in Mesoamerica about 6,000 years ago.Access to food surplus led to the formation of permanent human settlements, the domestication of animals and the use of metal tools for the first time in history.Agriculture and sedentary lifestyle led to the emergence of early civilizations (the development of urban development, complex society, social stratification and writing)from about 5,000 years ago (the Bronze Age), first beginning in Mesopotamia.BOOK, Thomas F. X. Noble, Barry Strauss, Duane Osheim, Kristen Neuschel, Elinor Accamp, Cengage Advantage Books: Western Civilization: Beyond Boundaries,weblink 11 July 2015, 9781285661537, 2013, BOOK, Spielvogel, Jackson, Western Civilization: Volume A: To 1500,weblink Cenpage Learning, 11 July 2015, live,weblink 5 September 2015, dmy-all, 9781285982991, 2014-01-01, BOOK, Greek Ways: How the Greeks Created Western Civilization, Thornton, Bruce, 2002, Encounter Books, San Francisco, CA, 978-1-893554-57-3, 1–14,weblink Few human populations progressed to historicity, with substantial parts of the world remaining in a Neolithic, Mesolithic or Upper Paleolithic stage of development until the advent of globalisationand modernity initiated by European exploration and colonialism.The Scientific Revolution, Technological Revolution and the Industrial Revolution brought such discoveries as imaging technology, major innovations in transport, such as the airplane and automobile; energy development, such as coal and electricity.WEB, Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century,weblink, 7 April 2015, live,weblink" title="">weblink 6 April 2015, dmy-all, This correlates with population growth (especially in America)WEB,weblink Regional Population 1750–2050, GeoHive, 8 June 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 June 2016, and higher life expectancy, the World population rapidly increased numerous times in the 19th and 20th centuries as nearly 10% of the 100 billion people lived in the past century.WEB,weblink Twentieth Century Atlas – Worldwide Statistics of Casualties, Massacres, Disasters and Atrocities,, 8 June 2016, live,weblink" title="">weblink 16 June 2016, dmy-all, With the advent of the Information Age at the end of the 20th century, modern humans live in a world that has become increasingly globalized and interconnected. {{as of|2010}}, almost 2 billion humans are able to communicate with each other via the Internet,WEB,weblink Internet Usage Statistics – The Internet Big Picture, Internet World Stats, 19 November 2010, live,weblink" title="">weblink 23 June 2011, dmy-all, and 3.3 billion by mobile phone subscriptions.NEWS,weblink Reuters homepage, Reuters, 19 November 2010, {{dead link|date=September 2016|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}} Although connection between humans has encouraged the growth of science, art, discussion, and technology, it has also led to culture clashes and the development and use of weapons of mass destruction.{{citation needed|date=July 2016}} Human civilization has led to environmental destruction and pollution significantly contributing to the ongoing mass extinction of other forms of life called the Holocene extinction event,JOURNAL, Pimm, S., Raven, P., Peterson, A., Sekercioglu, C. H., Ehrlich, P. R., Human impacts on the rates of recent, present, and future bird extinctions, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103, 29, 10941–46, 2006, 16829570, 1544153, 10.1073/pnas.0604181103, 2006PNAS..10310941P, *JOURNAL, Barnosky AD, Koch PL, Feranec RS, Wing SL, Shabel AB, Assessing the causes of late Pleistocene extinctions on the continents, Science, 306, 5693, 70–75, 2004, 15459379, 10.1126/science.1101476, 2004Sci...306...70B,, which may be further accelerated by global warming in the future.JOURNAL, Lewis, O. T., Climate change, species-area curves and the extinction crisis, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 361, 1465, 163–71, 2006, 16553315, 1831839, 10.1098/rstb.2005.1712,

Habitat and population

File:BlackMarble20161km.jpg|thumb|The Earth, as seen from spacespaceFile:Skyscrapers of Shinjuku 2009 January.jpg|thumb|Tokyo, the world's largest metropolitan area, is an example of a mass human settlement called a citycity{{Further|Human migration|Demography|World population}}{{See also|City|Town|Nomad|Camping|Farm|House|Watercraft|Infrastructure|Architecture|Building|Engineering}}Early human settlements were dependent on proximity to water and, depending on the lifestyle, other natural resources used for subsistence, such as populations of animal prey for hunting and arable land for growing crops and grazing livestock. However, modern humans have a great capacity for altering their habitats by means of technology, through irrigation, urban planning, construction, transport, manufacturing goods, deforestation and desertification,WEB,weblink How People Modify the Environment, Westerville City School District, 13 March 2019, but human settlements continue to be vulnerable to natural disasters, especially those placed in hazardous locations and characterized by lack of quality of construction.WEB,weblink Natural disasters and the urban poor, World Bank, October 2003, live,weblink" title="">weblink 9 August 2017, dmy-all, Deliberate habitat alteration is often done with the goals of increasing material wealth, increasing thermal comfort, improving the amount of food available, improving aesthetics, or improving ease of access to resources or other human settlements. With the advent of large-scale trade and transport infrastructure, proximity to these resources has become unnecessary, and in many places, these factors are no longer a driving force behind the growth and decline of a population. Nonetheless, the manner in which a habitat is altered is often a major determinant in population change.{{Citation needed|date=May 2015}}Technology has allowed humans to colonize six of the Earth's seven continents and adapt to virtually all climates. However the human population is not uniformly distributed on the Earth's surface, because the population density varies from one region to another and there are large areas almost completely uninhabited, like Antarctica.WEB,weblink The 10 purest places on Earth, Gammon, Katharine, NBC, live,weblink" title="">weblink 29 June 2017, dmy-all, 2011-04-22, WEB,weblink BBC, Population distribution and density, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 June 2017, dmy-all, 26 June 2017, Within the last century, humans have explored Antarctica, underwater environment, and outer space, although large-scale colonization of these environments is not yet feasible. With a population of over seven billion, humans are among the most numerous of the large mammals. Most humans (61%) live in Asia. The remainder live in the Americas (14%), Africa (14%), Europe (11%), and Oceania (0.5%).JOURNAL, Bunn SE, Arthington AH, Basic principles and ecological consequences of altered flow regimes for aquatic biodiversity, Environmental Management, 30, 4, 492–507, 2002, 12481916, 10.1007/s00267-002-2737-0, Human habitation within closed ecological systems in hostile environments, such as Antarctica and outer space, is expensive, typically limited in duration, and restricted to scientific, military, or industrial expeditions. Life in space has been very sporadic, with no more than thirteen humans in space at any given time.NEWS, Nancy Atkinson,weblink Soyuz Rockets to Space; 13 Humans Now in Orbit,, 26 March 2009, 10 November 2011, live,weblink" title="">weblink 1 January 2011, dmy-all, Between 1969 and 1972, two humans at a time spent brief intervals on the Moon. As of {{Monthyear}}, no other celestial body has been visited by humans, although there has been a continuous human presence in space since the launch of the initial crew to inhabit the International Space Station on 31 October 2000.WEB, Kraft, Rachel, JSC celebrates ten years of continuous human presence aboard the International Space Station,weblink Johnson Space Center, JSC Features, 11 December 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 February 2012, dmy-all, 13 February 2012, However, other celestial bodies have been visited by human-made objects.WEB,weblink Mission to Mars: Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 26 August 2015, live,weblink" title="">weblink 18 August 2015, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Touchdown! Rosetta's Philae probe lands on comet, 12 November 2014, European Space Agency, 26 August 2015, live,weblink" title="">weblink 22 August 2015, dmy-all, WEB,weblink NEAR-Shoemaker, NASA, 26 August 2015, live,weblink" title="">weblink 26 August 2015, dmy-all, Since 1800, the human population has increased from one billionNEWS,weblink 5 February 2008, BBC News, World's population reaches six billion, 5 August 1999, live,weblink" title="">weblink 15 April 2008, dmy-all, to over seven billion.WEB, UN population estimates.,weblink Population Division, United Nations, 4 July 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 7 May 2011, dmy-all, The combined biomass of the carbon of all the humans on Earth in 2018 was estimated at ~ 60 million tons, about 10 times larger than that of all non-domesticated mammals.JOURNAL, Bar-On, Yinon M., Phillips, Rob, Milo, Ron, 2018-06-19, The biomass distribution on Earth, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, en, 115, 25, 6506–11, 10.1073/pnas.1711842115, 0027-8424, 29784790, 6016768, In 2004, some 2.5 billion out of 6.3 billion people (39.7%) lived in urban areas. In February 2008, the U.N. estimated that half the world's population would live in urban areas by the end of the year.NEWS,weblink BBC News, David, Whitehouse, Half of humanity set to go urban, 19 May 2005, live,weblink" title="">weblink 24 July 2017, dmy-all, Problems for humans living in cities include various forms of pollution and crime,link|date=August 2018 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} Urban, Suburban, and Rural Victimization, 1993–98 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics,. Accessed 29 Oct 2006 especially in inner city and suburban slums. Both overall population numbers and the proportion residing in cities are expected to increase significantly in the coming decades.WEB, World Urbanization Prospects, the 2011 Revision,weblink Population Division, United Nations, 4 July 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 July 2013, Humans have had a dramatic effect on the environment. Humans are apex predators, being rarely preyed upon by other species.Scientific American (1998). Evolution and General Intelligence: Three hypotheses on the evolution of general intelligence {{webarchive|url= |date=13 September 2006 }} Currently, through land development, combustion of fossil fuels, and pollution, humans are thought to be the main contributor to global climate change.WEB,weblink Climate Change 2001: Working Group I: The Scientific Basis,, 30 May 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 June 2007, If this continues at its current rate it is predicted that climate change will wipe out half of all plant and animal species over the next century.American Association for the Advancement of Science. Foreword {{webarchive|url= |date=4 March 2008 }}. AAAS Atlas of Population & Environment.Wilson, E.O. (2002). The Future of Life.


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| caption1 = Basic anatomical features of female and male humans. These models have had body hair and male facial hair removed and head hair trimmed. The female model is wearing red nail polish on her toenails and a ring.
| image2 = Uomo Vitruviano.jpg
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| caption2 = Vitruvian Man, Leonardo da Vinci's image is often used as an implied symbol of the essential symmetry of the human body, and by extension, of the universe as a whole.

Anatomy and physiology

{{Further|Human physical appearance|Anatomically modern human|Sex differences in humans}}Most aspects of human physiology are closely homologous to corresponding aspects of animal physiology. The human body consists of the legs, the torso, the arms, the neck, and the head. An adult human body consists of about 100 trillion (1014) cells. The most commonly defined body systems in humans are the nervous, the cardiovascular, the circulatory, the digestive, the endocrine, the immune, the integumentary, the lymphatic, the musculoskeletal, the reproductive, the respiratory, and the urinary system.p. 21 {{webarchive|url= |date=10 November 2015 }} Inside the human body: using scientific and exponential notation. Author: Greg Roza. Edition: Illustrated. Publisher: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2007. {{ISBN|1-4042-3362-8}}, {{ISBN|978-1-4042-3362-1}}. Length: 32 pagesWEB, Human Anatomy,weblink Inner Body, 6 January 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 5 January 2013, dmy-all, Humans, like most of the other apes, lack external tails, have several blood type systems, have opposable thumbs, and are sexually dimorphic. The comparatively minor anatomical differences between humans and chimpanzees are a result of human bipedalism. One difference is that humans have a far faster and more accurate throw than other animals. Humans are also among the best long-distance runners in the animal kingdom, but slower over short distances.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, The Human Body Is Built for Distance, Tara, Parker-Pope, 27 October 2009, live,weblink" title="">weblink 5 November 2015, dmy-all, WEB, O'Neil, Dennis, Humans,weblink Primates, Palomar College, 6 January 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 11 January 2013, dmy-all, Humans' thinner body hair and more productive sweat glands help avoid heat exhaustion while running for long distances.WEB, John, Brenman, What is the role of sweating glands in balancing body temperature when running a marathon?,weblink, 6 January 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 31 January 2013, dmy-all, As a consequence of bipedalism, human females have narrower birth canals. The construction of the human pelvis differs from other primates, as do the toes. A trade-off for these advantages of the modern human pelvis is that childbirth is more difficult and dangerous than in most mammals, especially given the larger head size of human babies compared to other primates. Human babies must turn around as they pass through the birth canal while other primates do not, which makes humans the only species where females usually require help from their conspecifics (other members of their own species) to reduce the risks of birthing. As a partial evolutionary solution, human fetuses are born less developed and more vulnerable. Chimpanzee babies are cognitively more developed than human babies until the age of six months, when the rapid development of human brains surpasses chimpanzees. Another difference between women and chimpanzee females is that women go through the menopause and become unfertile decades before the end of their lives. All species of non-human apes are capable of giving birth until death. Menopause probably developed as it provides an evolutionary advantage of more caring time to relatives' young.Apart from bipedalism, humans differ from chimpanzees mostly in smelling, hearing, digesting proteins, brain size, and the ability of language. Humans' brains are about three times bigger than in chimpanzees. More importantly, the brain to body ratio is much higher in humans than in chimpanzees, and humans have a significantly more developed cerebral cortex, with a larger number of neurons. The mental abilities of humans are remarkable compared to other apes. Humans' ability of speech is unique among primates. Humans are able to create new and complex ideas, and to develop technology, which is unprecedented among other organisms on Earth.It is estimated that the worldwide average height for an adult human male is about {{Height|cm=172}},{{citation needed|date=December 2015}} while the worldwide average height for adult human females is about {{Height|cm=158}}.{{citation needed|date=December 2015}} Shrinkage of stature may begin in middle age in some individuals, but tends to be typical in the extremely aged.WEB, Senior Citizens Do Shrink – Just One of the Body Changes of Aging,weblink News, Senior Journal, 6 January 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 February 2013, Through history human populations have universally become taller, probably as a consequence of better nutrition, healthcare, and living conditions.JOURNAL, Bogin B, Rios L, Rapid morphological change in living humans: implications for modern human origins, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A, 136, 1, 71–84, September 2003, 14527631, 10.1016/S1095-6433(02)00294-5, The average mass of an adult human is {{Convert|54|-|64|kg|lb|abbr=on|lk=off|0}} for females and {{Convert|70|-|83|kg|lb|abbr=on|lk=off|0}} for males.WEB,weblink Human weight,, 10 December 2011, live,weblink" title="">weblink 8 December 2011, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Mass Of An Adult, The Physics Factbook: An Encyclopedia of Scientific Essays, 31 December 2017, live,weblink 1 January 2018, dmy-all, Like many other conditions, body weight and body type is influenced by both genetic susceptibility and environment and varies greatly among individuals. (see obesity)BOOK, Kushner, Robert, Treatment of the Obese Patient (Contemporary Endocrinology), Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, 2007, 158, 978-1-59745-400-1,weblink 5 April 2009, JOURNAL, Adams JP, Murphy PG, Obesity in anaesthesia and intensive care, British Journal of Anaesthesia, 85, 1, 91–108, 2000, 10927998, 10.1093/bja/85.1.91, Although humans appear hairless compared to other primates, with notable hair growth occurring chiefly on the top of the head, underarms and pubic area, the average human has more hair follicles on his or her body than the average chimpanzee. The main distinction is that human hairs are shorter, finer, and less heavily pigmented than the average chimpanzee's, thus making them harder to see.Why Humans and Their Fur Parted Way by Nicholas Wade, New York Times, 19 August 2003. Humans have about 2 million sweat glands spread over their entire bodies, many more than chimpanzees, whose sweat glands are scarce and are mainly located on the palm of the hand and on the soles of the feet.WEB, Kirchweger, Gina, The Biology of Skin Color: Black and White,weblink Evolution: Library, PBS, 6 January 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 16 February 2013, dmy-all, Humans have the largest number of eccrine sweat glands among species.The dental formula of humans is: {{DentalFormula|upper=|lower=}}. Humans have proportionately shorter palates and much smaller teeth than other primates. They are the only primates to have short, relatively flush canine teeth. Humans have characteristically crowded teeth, with gaps from lost teeth usually closing up quickly in young individuals. Humans are gradually losing their third molars, with some individuals having them congenitally absent.BOOK, Collins, Desmond, The Human Revolution: From Ape to Artist, 1976, 208,


{{further|Human evolutionary genetics}}File:Karyotype.png|thumb|A graphical representation of the standard human karyotypekaryotypeLike all mammals, humans are a diploid eukaryotic species. Each somatic cell has two sets of 23 chromosomes, each set received from one parent; gametes have only one set of chromosomes, which is a mixture of the two parental sets. Among the 23 pairs of chromosomes there are 22 pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes. Like other mammals, humans have an XY sex-determination system, so that females have the sex chromosomes XX and males have XY.BOOK, Therman, Eeva, Human Chromosomes: Structure, Behavior, Effects, 1980, Springer Science+Business Media, Springer US, 112–24, 978-1-4684-0109-7, 10.1007/978-1-4684-0107-3, A rough and incomplete human genome was assembled as an average of a number of humans in 2003, and currently efforts are being made to achieve a sample of the genetic diversity of the species (see International HapMap Project). By present estimates, humans have approximately 22,000 genes.JOURNAL, Pertea, Mihaela, Salzberg, Steven L., Between a chicken and a grape: estimating the number of human genes, Genome Biology, 2010, 11, 5, 206, 10.1186/gb-2010-11-5-206, 2898077, 20441615, The variation in human DNA is very small compared to other species, possibly suggesting a population bottleneck during the Late Pleistocene (around 100,000 years ago), in which the human population was reduced to a small number of breeding pairs.JOURNAL, Harpending, H. C., Batzer, M. A., Gurven, M., Jorde, L. B., Rogers, A. R., Sherry, S. T., Genetic traces of ancient demography, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 95, 4, 1961–67, 1998, 9465125, 19224, 10.1073/pnas.95.4.1961, 1998PNAS...95.1961H, JOURNAL, Jorde LB, Rogers AR, Bamshad M, Watkins WS, Krakowiak P, Sung S, Kere J, Harpending HC, Microsatellite diversity and the demographic history of modern humans, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 94, 7, 3100–03, 1997, 9096352, 20328, 10.1073/pnas.94.7.3100, 1997PNAS...94.3100J, Nucleotide diversity is based on single mutations called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The nucleotide diversity between humans is about 0.1%, i.e. 1 difference per 1,000 base pairs.JOURNAL, Jorde, Lynn B, Wooding, Stephen P, Genetic variation, classification and 'race', Nature Genetics, 36, 11 Suppl, S28–33, 2004, 15508000, 10.1038/ng1435, JOURNAL, Tishkoff SA, Kidd KK, Implications of biogeography of human populations for 'race' and medicine, Nature Genetics, 36, 11 Suppl, S21–27, 2004, 15507999, 10.1038/ng1438, A difference of 1 in 1,000 nucleotides between two humans chosen at random amounts to about 3 million nucleotide differences, since the human genome has about 3 billion nucleotides. Most of these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are neutral but some (about 3 to 5%) are functional and influence phenotypic differences between humans through alleles.{{Citation needed|date=May 2015}}By comparing the parts of the genome that are not under natural selection and which therefore accumulate mutations at a fairly steady rate, it is possible to reconstruct a genetic tree incorporating the entire human species since the last shared ancestor. Each time a certain mutation (SNP) appears in an individual and is passed on to his or her descendants, a haplogroup is formed including all of the descendants of the individual who will also carry that mutation. By comparing mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from the mother, geneticists have concluded that the last female common ancestor whose genetic marker is found in all modern humans, the so-called mitochondrial Eve, must have lived around 90,000 to 200,000 years ago.{{Citation |vauthors=Cann RL, Stoneking M, Wilson AC |title=Mitochondrial DNA and human evolution |journal=Nature |volume=325 |issue=6099 |pages=31–36 |year=1987 |pmid=3025745 |doi=10.1038/325031a0 |ref=harv |bibcode=1987Natur.325...31C}}{{Citation |vauthors=Soares P, Ermini L, Thomson N |title=Correcting for purifying selection: an improved human mitochondrial molecular clock |journal=Am. J. Hum. Genet. |volume=84 |issue=6 |pages=740–59 |date=June 2009 |pmid=19500773 |pmc=2694979 |doi=10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.05.001 |url=|display-authors=etal}}.University of Leeds – New 'molecular clock' aids dating of human migration history {{webarchive|url= |date=20 August 2017 }}JOURNAL, Poznik GD, Henn BM, Yee MC, Sliwerska E, Euskirchen GM, Lin AA, Snyder M, Quintana-Murci L, Kidd JM, Underhill PA, Bustamante CD, Sequencing Y chromosomes resolves discrepancy in time to common ancestor of males versus females, Science, 341, 6145, 562–65, August 2013, 23908239, 10.1126/science.1237619, 4032117, 2013Sci...341..562P, Human accelerated regions, first described in August 2006,JOURNAL, Pollard KS, Salama SR, Lambert N, Lambot MA, Coppens S, Pedersen JS, Katzman S, King B, Onodera C, Siepel A, Kern AD, Dehay C, Igel H, Ares M, Vanderhaeghen P, Haussler D, An RNA gene expressed during cortical development evolved rapidly in humans, Nature, 443, 7108, 167–72, 2006, 16915236, 10.1038/nature05113, 2006Natur.443..167P, JOURNAL, Pollard KS, Salama SR, King B, Kern AD, Dreszer T, Katzman S, Siepel A, Pedersen JS, Bejerano G, Baertsch R, Rosenbloom KR, Kent J, Haussler D, Forces shaping the fastest evolving regions in the human genome, PLoS Genetics, 2, 10, e168, 2006, 17040131, 1599772, 10.1371/journal.pgen.0020168, are a set of 49 segments of the human genome that are conserved throughout vertebrate evolution but are strikingly different in humans. They are named according to their degree of difference between humans and their nearest animal relative (chimpanzees) (HAR1 showing the largest degree of human-chimpanzee differences). Found by scanning through genomic databases of multiple species, some of these highly mutated areas may contribute to human-specific traits.{{Citation needed|date=May 2015}}The forces of natural selection have continued to operate on human populations, with evidence that certain regions of the genome display directional selection in the past 15,000 years.NEWS, Wade, Nicholas, Still Evolving, Human Genes Tell New Story,weblink 7 March 2007, 13 February 2012, The New York Times, live,weblink" title="">weblink 14 January 2012, dmy-all,

Life cycle

{{stack begin}}File:Tubal Pregnancy with embryo.jpg|thumb|upright=0.55|A 10 mm human embryohuman embryo{{multiple image| align = right| image1 = Redheaded child mesmerized 2.jpg| width1 = 100| alt1 = | caption1 = | image2 = Burkina Faso girl.jpg| width2 = 106| alt2 = | caption2 = | footer = Boy and girl before puberty}}{{multiple image| align = right| image1 = Da Nang, Vietnam A young Marine private waits on the beach during the Marine landing - NARA - 532432 (cropped).jpg| width1 = 100| alt1 = | caption1 = | image2 = Portrait of a Persian lady in Iran, 10-08-2006 (cropped).jpg| width2 = 105| alt2 = | caption2 = | footer = Adolescent male and female}}{{multiple image| align = right| image1 = Pataxo001.jpg| width1 = 100| alt1 = | caption1 = | image2 = Punjabi woman smile.jpg| width2 = 102| alt2 = | caption2 = | footer = Adult man and woman}}{{multiple image| align = right| image1 = Alison Phillips.jpg| width1 = 105| alt1 = | caption1 = | image2 = HappyPensioneer.jpg| width2 = 100| alt2 = | caption2 = | footer = Elderly man and woman}}{{stack end}}{{see also|Childbirth|Life expectancy|Human development (biology)}}As with other mammals, human reproduction takes place by internal fertilization via sexual intercourse. During this process, the male inserts his erect penis into the female's vagina and ejaculates semen, which contains sperm. The sperm travels through the vagina and cervix into the uterus or Fallopian tubes for fertilization of the ovum. Upon fertilization and implantation, gestation then occurs within the female's uterus.The zygote divides inside the female's uterus to become an embryo, which over a period of 38 weeks (9 months) of gestation becomes a fetus. After this span of time, the fully grown fetus is birthed from the woman's body and breathes independently as an infant for the first time. At this point, most modern cultures recognize the baby as a person entitled to the full protection of the law, though some jurisdictions extend various levels of personhood earlier to human fetuses while they remain in the uterus.Compared with other species, human childbirth is dangerous. Painful labors lasting 24 hours or more are not uncommon and sometimes lead to the death of the mother, the child or both.According to the 2 July 2007 Newsweek magazine, a woman dies in childbirth every minute, most often due to uncontrolled bleeding and infection, with the world's poorest women most vulnerable. The lifetime risk is 1 in 16 in sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 1 in 2,800 in developed countries. This is because of both the relatively large fetal head circumference and the mother's relatively narrow pelvis.JOURNAL, LaVelle, M., Natural selection and developmental sexual variation in the human pelvis, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 98, 1, 59–72, 1995, 8579191, 10.1002/ajpa.1330980106, JOURNAL, Correia, H., Balseiro, S., De Areia, M., Sexual dimorphism in the human pelvis: testing a new hypothesis, Homo, 56, 2, 153–60, 2005, 16130838, 10.1016/j.jchb.2005.05.003, 10316/3763,weblink The chances of a successful labor increased significantly during the 20th century in wealthier countries with the advent of new medical technologies. In contrast, pregnancy and natural childbirth remain hazardous ordeals in developing regions of the world, with maternal death rates approximately 100 times greater than in developed countries.JOURNAL, Rush, David, Nutrition and maternal mortality in the developing world, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72, 1 Suppl, 212S–40S, 2000, 10871588,weblink live,weblink" title="">weblink 18 June 2016, dmy-all, 10.1093/ajcn/72.1.212S, In developed countries, infants are typically {{Convert|3|-|4|kg|lb|abbr=on|lk=off|0}} in weight and {{Convert|50|-|60|cm|in|abbr=on|lk=off|0}} in height at birth.WEB,weblink Low Birthweight, 30 May 2007,weblink" title="">weblink 13 May 2007, {{failed verification|date=February 2014}} However, low birth weight is common in developing countries, and contributes to the high levels of infant mortality in these regions.JOURNAL, Khor, G., Update on the prevalence of malnutrition among children in Asia, Nepal Medical College Journal, 5, 2, 113–22, 2003, 15024783, Helpless at birth, humans continue to grow for some years, typically reaching sexual maturity at 12 to 15 years of age. Females continue to develop physically until around the age of 18, whereas male development continues until around age 21. The human life span can be split into a number of stages: infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood and old age. The lengths of these stages, however, have varied across cultures and time periods. Compared to other primates, humans experience an unusually rapid growth spurt during adolescence, where the body grows 25% in size. Chimpanzees, for example, grow only 14%, with no pronounced spurt.BOOK, Leakey, Richard, Lewin, Roger, Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human, 1993, Anchor Books, New York City, 978-0-385-46792-6, The presence of the growth spurt is probably necessary to keep children physically small until they are psychologically mature. Humans are one of the few species in which females undergo menopause. It has been proposed that menopause increases a woman's overall reproductive success by allowing her to invest more time and resources in her existing offspring, and in turn their children (the grandmother hypothesis), rather than by continuing to bear children into old age.BOOK, Diamond, Jared, Jared Diamond, Why is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality, Basic Books, New York City, 1997, 167–70, 978-0-465-03127-6, JOURNAL, Peccei, Jocelyn Scott, Menopause: Adaptation or epiphenomenon?, Evolutionary Anthropology, 10, 2, 2001, 43–57, 10.1002/evan.1013, Evidence-based studies indicate that the life span of an individual depends on two major factors, genetics and lifestyle choices.NEWS, Carl, Marziali, 7 December 2010, Reaching Toward the Fountain of Youth,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 13 December 2010, USC Trojan Family Magazine, 7 December 2010, For various reasons, including biological/genetic causes,WEB, Kalben, Barbara Blatt, Why Men Die Younger: Causes of Mortality Differences by Sex, Society of Actuaries, 2002,weblink live,weblink" title="">weblink 1 July 2013, dmy-all, women live on average about four years longer than men—{{as of|2013|lc=y}} the global average life expectancy at birth of a girl is estimated at 70.2 years compared to 66.1 for a boy.WEB, CIA World Factbook – World entry,weblink Central Intelligence Agency, 5 July 2013, live,weblink 5 January 2010, dmy-all, There are significant geographical variations in human life expectancy, mostly correlated with economic development—for example life expectancy at birth in Hong Kong is 84.8 years for girls and 78.9 for boys, while in Swaziland, primarily because of AIDS, it is 31.3 years for both sexes."Human Development Report 2006," {{webarchive|url= |date=11 October 2007 }} United Nations Development Programme, pp. 363–66, 9 November 2006 The developed world is generally aging, with the median age around 40 years. In the developing world the median age is between 15 and 20 years. While one in five Europeans is 60 years of age or older, only one in twenty Africans is 60 years of age or older.The World Factbook {{webarchive|url= |date=12 September 2009 }}, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2 April 2005. The number of centenarians (humans of age 100 years or older) in the world was estimated by the United Nations at 210,000 in 2002.WEB,weblink U.N. Statistics on Population Ageing, United Nations, 28 February 2002, 2 April 2005,weblink" title="">weblink 8 December 2005, Jeanne Calment is widely believed to have reached the age of 122;BOOK, Maier, Heiner, Supercentenarians, 2010, Springer, Heidelberg, Germany, 978-3-642-11519-6, 288,weblink live,weblink 16 April 2016, dmy-all, higher ages have been claimed but are unsubstantiated.


File:Preparing The Feast.jpg|thumb|right|Humans living in Bali, IndonesiaIndonesia{{multiple image| align = right| image1 = Venus of Willendorf frontview retouched 2.jpg| width1 = 102| alt1 = | caption1 = Venus of Willendorf statuette from the Upper Palaeolithic period| image2 = Fridtjof Nansen, Les deux étapes de la faim (1922).jpg| width2 = 120| alt2 = | caption2 = Two starved boys during the Russian famine of 1921–22| footer = }}Humans are omnivorous, capable of consuming a wide variety of plant and animal material.JOURNAL, Haenel H, Phylogenesis and nutrition, Nahrung, 33, 9, 867–87, 1989, 2697806, BOOK, Peter S. Ungar, 2007, Cordain, Loren, Evolution of the human diet: the known, the unknown and the unknowable, Implications of Plio-pleistocene diets for modern humans, "Since the evolutionary split between hominins and pongids approximately 7 million years ago, the available evidence shows that all species of hominins ate an omnivorous diet composed of minimally processed, wild-plant, and animal foods., 264–65, Varying with available food sources in regions of habitation, and also varying with cultural and religious norms, human groups have adopted a range of diets, from purely vegan to primarily carnivorous. In some cases, dietary restrictions in humans can lead to deficiency diseases; however, stable human groups have adapted to many dietary patterns through both genetic specialization and cultural conventions to use nutritionally balanced food sources.JOURNAL, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2003, 103, 6, 748–65, Vegetarian Diets, 10.1053/jada.2003.50142, 12778049, American Dietetic, Association, Dietitians Of, Canada, The human diet is prominently reflected in human culture, and has led to the development of food science.Until the development of agriculture approximately 10,000 years ago, Homo sapiens employed a hunter-gatherer method as their sole means of food collection. This involved combining stationary food sources (such as fruits, grains, tubers, and mushrooms, insect larvae and aquatic mollusks) with wild game, which must be hunted and killed in order to be consumed.JOURNAL, Cordain L, Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century, Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 81, 2, 341–54, February 2005, 15699220, vanc, Eaton SB, Sebastian A, 3, Mann, N, Lindeberg, S, Watkins, BA, O'Keefe, JH, Brand-Miller, J, 10.1093/ajcn.81.2.341, It has been proposed that humans have used fire to prepare and cook food since the time of Homo erectus.JOURNAL, Ulijaszek SJ, Human eating behaviour in an evolutionary ecological context, Proc Nutr Soc, 61, 4, 517–26, November 2002, 12691181, 10.1079/PNS2002180, Around ten thousand years ago, humans developed agriculture,Earliest agriculture in the Americas {{webarchive|url= |date=3 June 2010 }}Earliest cultivation of barley {{webarchive|url= |date=16 February 2007 }}Earliest cultivation of figs {{webarchive|url= |date=2 June 2006 }}, retrieved 19 February 2007 which substantially altered their diet. This change in diet may also have altered human biology; with the spread of dairy farming providing a new and rich source of food, leading to the evolution of the ability to digest lactose in some adults.JOURNAL, Krebs JR, The gourmet ape: evolution and human food preferences, Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 90, 3, 707S–11S, September 2009, 19656837, 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27462B, JOURNAL, Holden C, Mace R, Phylogenetic analysis of the evolution of lactose digestion in adults, Hum. Biol., 69, 5, 605–28, October 1997, 9299882, Agriculture led to increased populations, the development of cities, and because of increased population density, the wider spread of infectious diseases. The types of food consumed, and the way in which they are prepared, have varied widely by time, location, and culture.In general, humans can survive for two to eight weeks without food, depending on stored body fat. Survival without water is usually limited to three or four days. About 36 million humans die every year from causes directly or indirectly related to starvation.United Nations Information Service. "Independent Expert On Effects Of Structural Adjustment, Special Rapporteur On Right To Food Present Reports: Commission Continues General Debate On Economic, Social And Cultural Rights" {{webarchive|url= |date=27 March 2009 }}. United Nations, 29 March 2004, p. 6. "Around 36 million people died from hunger directly or indirectly every year.". Childhood malnutrition is also common and contributes to the global burden of disease.JOURNAL, Murray C, Lopez A, Global mortality, disability, and the contribution of risk factors: Global Burden of Disease Study, Lancet, 349, 9063, 1436–42, 1997, 9164317, 10.1016/S0140-6736(96)07495-8, However global food distribution is not even, and obesity among some human populations has increased rapidly, leading to health complications and increased mortality in some developed, and a few developing countries. Worldwide over one billion people are obese,JOURNAL, Haslam DW, James WP, Obesity, Lancet, 366, 9492, 1197–209, October 2005, 16198769, 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67483-1, while in the United States 35% of people are obese, leading to this being described as an "obesity epidemic."JOURNAL, Catenacci VA, Hill JO, Wyatt HR, The obesity epidemic, Clin. Chest Med., 30, 3, 415–44, vii, September 2009, 19700042, 10.1016/j.ccm.2009.05.001, Obesity is caused by consuming more calories than are expended, so excessive weight gain is usually caused by an energy-dense diet.

Biological variation

File:Maasai tribe.jpg|thumb|right|People in hot climates are often slender, lanky, and dark skinned, such as these Maasai men from KenyaKenyaFile:Inuit Amautiq 1995-06-15.jpg|thumb|right|According to Allen's rule, people in cold climates tend to be shorter, lighter skinned, and stockier, such as these Inuit women from CanadaCanadaNo two humans—not even monozygotic twins—are genetically identical. Genes and environment influence human biological variation in visible characteristics, physiology, disease susceptibility and mental abilities. The exact influence of genes and environment on certain traits is not well understood.JOURNAL, Edwards, JH, T Dent, J Kahn, Monozygotic twins of different sex, Journal of Medical Genetics, 3, 2, 117–23, June 1966, 6007033, 1012913, 10.1136/jmg.3.2.117, JOURNAL, Machin, GA, Some causes of genotypic and phenotypic discordance in monozygotic twin pairs, American Journal of Medical Genetics, 61, 3, 216–28, January 1996, 8741866, 10.1002/(SICI)1096-8628(19960122)61:33.0.CO;2-S, Most current genetic and archaeological evidence supports a recent single origin of modern humans in East Africa,JOURNAL, Liu, Hua, Prugnolle, Franck, Manina, Andrea, Balloux, François, A geographically explicit genetic model of worldwide human-settlement history, The American Journal of Human Genetics, 79, 2, 230–37, 2006, 16826514, 1559480, 10.1086/505436, with first migrations placed at 60,000 years ago. Compared to the great apes, human gene sequences—even among African populations—are remarkably homogeneous.JOURNAL, Race, Ethnicity, Genetics Working Group, The use of racial, ethnic, and ancestral categories in human genetics research, American Journal of Human Genetics, 77, 4, 519–32, 2005, 16175499, 1275602, 10.1086/491747, On average, genetic similarity between any two humans is 99.9%.WEB, Dr. Shafer, Aaron, Understanding Genetics,weblink The Tech, Stanford University, 13 December 2013, The DNA sequence in your genes is on average 99.9% identical to ANY other human being., live,weblink" title="">weblink 6 September 2013, dmy-all, WEB, Genetic – Understanding Human Genetic Variation,weblink Human Genetic Variation, National Institute of Health (NIH), 13 December 2013, Between any two humans, the amount of genetic variation—biochemical individuality—is about 0.1%., dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 August 2013, There is about 2–3 times more genetic diversity within the wild chimpanzee population than in the entire human gene pool.WEB, Human Diversity – Go Deeper,weblink Power of an Illusion, PBS, 6 January 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 30 October 2013, dmy-all, WEB, Chimps show much greater genetic diversity than humans,weblink Media, University of Oxford, 13 December 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 December 2013, BOOK, Roberts, Dorothy, Fatal Invention, 2011, The New Press, London, New York, The human body's ability to adapt to different environmental stresses is remarkable, allowing humans to acclimatize to a wide variety of temperatures, humidity, and altitudes. As a result, humans are a cosmopolitan species found in almost all regions of the world, including tropical rainforests, arid desert, extremely cold arctic regions, and heavily polluted cities. Most other species are confined to a few geographical areas by their limited adaptability.WEB, O'Neil, Dennis, Human Biological Adaptability; Overview,weblink Palomar College, 6 January 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 March 2013, There is biological variation in the human species—with traits such as blood type, cranial features, eye color, hair color and type, height and build, and skin color varying across the globe. Human body types vary substantially. The typical height of an adult human is between {{Convert|1.4|and|1.9|m|ftin|abbr=on}}, although this varies significantly depending, among other things, on sex, ethnic origin,WEB, O'Neil, Dennis, Adapting to Climate Extremes,weblink Human Biological Adaptability, Palomar College, 6 January 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 6 January 2013, dmy-all, JOURNAL, de Beer H, Observations on the history of Dutch physical stature from the late-Middle Ages to the present, Econ Hum Biol, 2, 1, 45–55, 2004, 15463992, 10.1016/j.ehb.2003.11.001, and even family bloodlines. Body size is partly determined by genes and is also significantly influenced by environmental factors such as diet, exercise, and sleep patterns, especially as an influence in childhood. Adult height for each sex in a particular ethnic group approximately follows a normal distribution. Those aspects of genetic variation that give clues to human evolutionary history, or are relevant to medical research, have received particular attention. For example, the genes that allow adult humans to digest lactose are present in high frequencies in populations that have long histories of cattle domestication, suggesting natural selection having favored that gene in populations that depend on cow milk. Some hereditary diseases such as sickle cell anemia are frequent in populations where malaria has been endemic throughout history—it is believed that the same gene gives increased resistance to malaria among those who are unaffected carriers of the gene. Similarly, populations that have for a long time inhabited specific climates, such as arctic or tropical regions or high altitudes, tend to have developed specific phenotypes that are beneficial for conserving energy in those environments—short stature and stocky build in cold regions, tall and lanky in hot regions, and with high lung capacities at high altitudes. Similarly, skin color varies clinally with darker skin around the equator—where the added protection from the sun's ultraviolet radiation is thought to give an evolutionary advantage—and lighter skin tones closer to the poles.JOURNAL, Hedrick PW, Population genetics of malaria resistance in humans, Heredity, 2011, 107, 4, 283–304, 21427751, 10.1038/hdy.2011.16, 3182497, {{open access}}JOURNAL, Weatherall DJ, Genetic variation and susceptibility to infection: The red cell and malaria, British Journal of Haematology, 2008, 141, 3, 276–86, 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2008.07085.x, 18410566, JOURNAL, Beja-Pereira A, etal, 2003, Gene-culture coevolution between cattle milk protein genes and human lactase genes, Nat Genet, 35, 4, 311–13, 10.1038/ng1263, 14634648, JOURNAL, Nina, Jablonski, The evolution of human skin and skin color, Annual Review of Anthropology, 2004, 33, 585–623, 10.1146/annurev.anthro.33.070203.143955, The hue of human skin and hair is determined by the presence of pigments called melanins. Human skin color can range from darkest brown to lightest peach, or even nearly white or colorless in cases of albinism. Human hair ranges in color from white to red to blond to brown to black, which is most frequent.JOURNAL, Rogers, Alan R., Iltis, David, Wooding, Stephen, 2004, Genetic variation at the MC1R locus and the time since loss of human body hair, Current Anthropology, 45, 1, 105–08, 10.1086/381006, Hair color depends on the amount of melanin (an effective sun blocking pigment) in the skin and hair, with hair melanin concentrations in hair fading with increased age, leading to grey or even white hair. Most researchers believe that skin darkening is an adaptation that evolved as protection against ultraviolet solar radiation, which also helps balancing folate, which is destroyed by ultraviolet radiation. Light skin pigmentation protects against depletion of vitamin D, which requires sunlight to make.Jablonski, N.G. & Chaplin, G. (2000). "The evolution of human skin coloration" {{webarchive|url= |date=14 January 2012 }} (pdf), Journal of Human Evolution 39: 57–106. Skin pigmentation of contemporary humans is clinally distributed across the planet, and in general correlates with the level of ultraviolet radiation in a particular geographic area. Human skin also has a capacity to darken (tan) in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation.JOURNAL, Harding RM, Evidence for variable selective pressures at MC1R, Am. J. Hum. Genet., 66, 4, 1351–61, April 2000, 10733465, 1288200, 10.1086/302863, vanc, Healy E, Ray AJ, 3, Ellis, Nichola S., Flanagan, Niamh, Todd, Carol, Dixon, Craig, Sajantila, Antti, Jackson, Ian J., Robin, Ashley (1991). Biological Perspectives on Human Pigmentation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.BOOK, Muehlenbein, Michael, Human Evolutionary Biology, 2010, Cambridge University Press, 192–213,

Structure of variation

{{Cleanup|section|date=July 2019|reason=Duplicate Paragraphs Need Copyediting}}File:Seti1a.jpg|thumb|A Libyan, a Nubian, a Syrian, and an Egyptian, drawing by an unknown artist after a mural of the tomb of Seti ISeti IFile:Yanomami Woman & Child.jpg|thumb|The ancestors of Native Americans, such as this Yanomami woman, crossed into the Americas from Northeast Asia, and genetic and linguistic evidence links them to North Asian populations, particularly those of East Siberia.WEB, Journey of Mankind,weblink Peopling of the World, Bradshaw Foundation, 10 August 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 7 August 2013, dmy-all, ]]File:Paris - Playing chess at the Jardins du Luxembourg - 2966.jpg|thumb|An older adult human male European in Paris – playing chess at the Jardin du LuxembourgJardin du LuxembourgWithin the human species, the greatest degree of genetic variation exists between males and females. While the nucleotide genetic variation of individuals of the same sex across global populations is no greater than 0.1%, the genetic difference between males and females is between 1% and 2%. The genetic difference between sexes contributes to anatomical, hormonal, neural, and physiological differences between men and women, although the exact degree and nature of social and environmental influences on sexes are not completely understood. Males on average are 15% heavier and {{Convert|15|cm|in|abbr=on|lk=off|0}} taller than females. There is a difference between body types, body organs and systems, hormonal levels, sensory systems, and muscle mass between sexes. On average, men have about 40–50% more upper body strength and 20–30% more lower body strength than women. Women generally have a higher body fat percentage than men. Women have lighter skin than men of the same population; this has been explained by a higher need for vitamin D (which is synthesized by sunlight) in females during pregnancy and lactation. As there are chromosomal differences between females and males, some X and Y chromosome related conditions and disorders only affect either men or women. Other conditional differences between males and females are not related to sex chromosomes. Even after allowing for body weight and volume, the male voice is usually an octave deeper than the female voice. Women have a longer life span in almost every population around the world.Birke, Lydia. The Gender and Science Reader ed. Muriel Lederman and Ingrid Bartsch. New York, Routledge, 2001. 306–22JOURNAL, Gustafsson A, Lindenfors P, 2004, Human size evolution: no allometric relationship between male and female stature, Journal of Human Evolution, 47, 253–66, 10.1016/j.jhevol.2004.07.004, 15454336, 4, Dominance and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in human voice pitch Puts, David Andrew and Gaulin, Steven J.C and Verdolini, Katherine; Evolution and Human Behavior, {{ISSN|1090-5138}}, 2006, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp. 283–96WEB,weblink Ogden et al (2004). Mean Body Weight, Height, and Body Mass Index, United States 1960–2002 Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics, Number 347, October 27, 2004., 27 July 2013, live,weblinkweblink 23 February 2011, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Gender Differences in Endurance Performance and Training,weblink" title="">weblink 27 January 2010, JOURNAL, 10.1007/BF00235103, Miller, AE, MacDougall, JD, Tarnopolsky, MA, Sale, DG, Gender differences in strength and muscle fiber characteristics, European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 66, 3, 254–62, 1993, 8477683, 11375/22586, NEWS,weblink BBC News, Women nose ahead in smell tests, 4 February 2002, 23 May 2010, live,weblink" title="">weblink 11 March 2009, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Study Reveals Reason Women Are More Sensitive To Pain Than Men,, 25 October 2005, 27 July 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 13 May 2013, dmy-all, Gender, women, and health {{webarchive|url= |date=25 June 2013 }} Reports from WHO 2002–2005Males typically have larger tracheae and branching bronchi, with about 30% greater lung volume per unit body mass. They have larger hearts, 10% higher red blood cell count, and higher hemoglobin, hence greater oxygen-carrying capacity. They also have higher circulating clotting factors (vitamin K, prothrombin and platelets). These differences lead to faster healing of wounds and higher peripheral pain tolerance.BOOK, Alfred Glucksman, 1981, Sexual Dimorphism in Human and Mammalian Biology and Pathology, Academic Press, 978-0-12-286960-0, 66–75, 7831448, Females typically have more white blood cells (stored and circulating), more granulocytes and B and T lymphocytes. Additionally, they produce more antibodies at a faster rate than males. Hence they develop fewer infectious diseases and these continue for shorter periods. Ethologists argue that females, interacting with other females and multiple offspring in social groups, have experienced such traits as a selective advantage.BOOK, Jo Durden-Smith, Diane deSimone, 1983, Sex and the Brain, New York, Arbor House, 978-0-87795-484-2,weblink BOOK, Eileen S., Gersh, Isidore, Gersh, 1981, Biology of Women, Nature, 306, 5942, 511, Baltimore, University Park Press (original from the University of Michigan), 978-0-8391-1622-6, 1983Natur.306..511., 10.1038/306511b0,weblink BOOK, Jay H. Stein, 1987, Internal Medicine, Little, Brown, Boston, 978-0-316-81236-8, 2nd, JOURNAL, M. McLaughlin, T. Shryer, Men vs women: the new debate over sex differences, U.S. News & World Report, 8 August 1988, 50–58, JOURNAL, B. S. McEwen, 1981, Neural gonadal steroid actions, Science (journal), Science, 211, 4488, 1303–11, 6259728, 10.1126/science.6259728, 1981Sci...211.1303M, According to Daly and Wilson, "The sexes differ more in human beings than in monogamous mammals, but much less than in extremely polygamous mammals."BOOK, Martin Daly, Margo Wilson, 1996, Evolutionary psychology and marital conflict, Sex, Power, Conflict: Evolutionary and Feminist Perspectives, David M. Buss & Neil M. Malamuth, Oxford University Press, 13, 978-0-19-510357-1, But given that sexual dimorphism in the closest relatives of humans is much greater than among humans, the human clade must be considered to be characterized by decreasing sexual dimorphism, probably due to less competitive mating patterns. One proposed explanation is that human sexuality has developed more in common with its close relative the bonobo, which exhibits similar sexual dimorphism, is polygynandrous and uses recreational sex to reinforce social bonds and reduce aggression.BOOK, Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jethá, 2010, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, Harper, 978-0-06-170780-3, Sex at Dawn, Humans of the same sex are 99.9% genetically identical. There is extremely little variation between human geographical populations, and most of the variation that does occur is at the personal level within local areas, and not between populations.WEB, The Science Behind the Human Genome Project,weblink Human Genome Project, US Department of Energy, 6 January 2013, Almost all (99.9%) nucleotide bases are exactly the same in all people., dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 January 2013, dmy-all, WEB, O'Neil, Dennis, Ethnicity and Race: Overview,weblink Palomar College, 6 January 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 6 January 2013, dmy-all, Of the 0.1% of human genetic differentiation, 85% exists within any randomly chosen local population, be they Italians, Koreans, or Kurds. Two randomly chosen Koreans may be genetically as different as a Korean and an Italian. Any ethnic group contains 85% of the human genetic diversity of the world. Genetic data shows that no matter how population groups are defined, two people from the same population group are about as different from each other as two people from any two different population groups.WEB, Genetic – Understanding Human Genetic Variation,weblink Human Genetic Variation, National Institute of Health (NIH), 13 December 2013, In fact, research results consistently demonstrate that about 85 percent of all human genetic variation exists within human populations, whereas about only 15 percent of variation exists between populations., dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 August 2013, WEB, Goodman, Alan, Interview with Alan Goodman,weblink Race Power of and Illusion, PBS, 6 January 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 29 October 2012, dmy-all, Marks, J. (2010) Ten facts about human variation. In: Human Evolutionary Biology, edited by M. Muehlenbein. New York: Cambridge University Press WEB,weblink Archived copy, 5 September 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 April 2012, Current genetic research has demonstrated that humans on the African continent are the most genetically diverse.JOURNAL, Jorde, L., Watkins, W, Bamshad, M, Dixon, M, Ricker, C., Seielstad, M., Batzer, M., The distribution of human genetic diversity: a comparison of mitochondrial, autosomal, and Y-chromosome data, American Journal of Human Genetics, 66, 3, 979–88, 2000, 1288178, 10712212, 10.1086/302825, There is more human genetic diversity in Africa than anywhere else on Earth. The genetic structure of Africans was traced to 14 ancestral population clusters. Human genetic diversity decreases in native populations with migratory distance from Africa and this is thought to be the result of bottlenecks during human migration.WEB, 19 July 2007, New Research Proves Single Origin Of Humans In Africa,weblink Science Daily, 5 September 2011, live,weblink" title="">weblink 4 November 2011, dmy-all, JOURNAL, Manica, A, Amos, W, Balloux, F, Hanihara, T, 2007, The effect of ancient population bottlenecks on human phenotypic variation, Nature (journal), Nature, 448, 7151, 346–48, 2007Natur.448..346M, 10.1038/nature05951, 1978547, 17637668, Humans have lived in Africa for the longest time, which has allowed accumulation of a higher diversity of genetic mutations in these populations. Only part of Africa's population migrated out of the continent, bringing just part of the original African genetic variety with them. African populations harbor genetic alleles that are not found in other places of the world. All the common alleles found in populations outside of Africa are found on the African continent.Geographical distribution of human variation is complex and constantly shifts through time which reflects complicated human evolutionary history. Most human biological variation is clinally distributed and blends gradually from one area to the next. Groups of people around the world have different frequencies of polymorphic genes. Furthermore, different traits are non-concordant and each have different clinal distribution. Adaptability varies both from person to person and from population to population. The most efficient adaptive responses are found in geographical populations where the environmental stimuli are the strongest (e.g. Tibetans are highly adapted to high altitudes). The clinal geographic genetic variation is further complicated by the migration and mixing between human populations which has been occurring since prehistoric times.WEB, O'Neil, Dennis, Adapting to High Altitude,weblink Human Biological Adaptability, Palomar College, 6 January 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 January 2013, WEB, O'Neil, Dennis, Overview,weblink Human Biological Adaptability, Palomar College, 6 January 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 March 2013, WEB, O'Neil, Dennis, Models of Classification,weblink Modern Human Variation, Palomar College, 6 January 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 January 2013, WEB, Marks, Jonathan, Interview with Jonathan Marks,weblink Race – The Power of an Illusion, PBS, 6 January 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 12 November 2012, dmy-all, WEB, Goodman, Alan, Background Readings,weblink Race – Power of an Illusion, PBS, 6 January 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 23 May 2013, dmy-all, Human variation is highly non-concordant: most of the genes do not cluster together and are not inherited together. Skin and hair color are not correlated to height, weight, or athletic ability. Human species do not share the same patterns of variation through geography. Skin color varies with latitude and certain people are tall or have brown hair. There is a statistical correlation between particular features in a population, but different features are not expressed or inherited together. Thus, genes which code for superficial physical traits—such as skin color, hair color, or height—represent a minuscule and insignificant portion of the human genome and do not correlate with genetic affinity. Dark-skinned populations that are found in Africa, Australia, and South Asia are not closely related to each other.JOURNAL, Nina, Jablonski, The evolution of human skin and skin color, genetic evidence [demonstrate] that strong levels of natural selection acted about 1.2 mya to produce darkly pigmented skin in early members of the genus Homo, Annual Review of Anthropology, 2004, 33, 585–623, 10.1146/annurev.anthro.33.070203.143955, JOURNAL, Bower, C., Stanley, The role of nutritional factors in the aetiology of neural tube defects, Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 1992, 28, 12–16, 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1992.tb02610.x, 1554510, 1, WEB, O'Neil, Dennis, Overview,weblink Modern Human Variation, Palomar College, 6 January 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 November 2012, Even within the same region, physical phenotype is not related to genetic affinity. Despite pygmy populations of South East Asia (Andamanese) having similar physical features with African pygmy populations such as short stature, dark skin, and curly hair, they are not genetically closely related to these populations.Liu, James J.Y. The Chinese Knight Errant. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1967 {{ISBN|0-226-48688-5}}. Genetic variants affecting superficial anatomical features (such as skin color)—from a genetic perspective, are essentially meaningless—they involve a few hundred of the billions of nucleotides in a person's DNA.MAGAZINE, Iqbal, Saadia, A New Light on Skin Color,weblink National Geographic Magazine, 6 January 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 25 October 2012, dmy-all, Individuals with the same morphology do not necessarily cluster with each other by lineage, and a given lineage does not include only individuals with the same trait complex.JOURNAL, Keita, S O Y, Kittles, R A, Royal, C D M, Bonney, G E, Furbert-Harris, P, Dunston, G M, Rotimi, C N, Conceptualizing human variation, Nature Genetics, 36, 11 Suppl, S17–20, 2004, 15507998, 10.1038/ng1455, Due to practices of group endogamy, allele frequencies cluster locally around kin groups and lineages, or by national, ethnic, cultural and linguistic boundaries, giving a detailed degree of correlation between genetic clusters and population groups when considering many alleles simultaneously. Despite this, there are no genetic boundaries around local populations that biologically mark off any discrete groups of humans. Human variation is continuous, with no clear points of demarcation. There are no large clusters of relatively homogeneous people and almost every individual has genetic alleles from several ancestral groups.JOURNAL, Census, race and science, Nature Genetics, 2000, 24, 2, 97–98, 10.1038/72884, 10655044, That race (...) is not a scientific term is generally agreed upon by scientists—and a message that cannot be repeated often enough., BOOK, Harrison, Guy, Race and Reality, 2010, Prometheus Books, Amherst, Race is a poor empirical description of the patterns of difference that we encounter within our species. The billions of humans alive today simply do not fit into neat and tidy biological boxes called races. Science has proven this conclusively. The concept of race (...) is not scientific and goes against what is known about our ever-changing and complex biological diversity., BOOK, Roberts, Dorothy, Fatal Invention, 2011, The New Press, London, New York, The genetic differences that exist among populations are characterized by gradual changes across geographic regions, not sharp, categorical distinctions. Groups of people across the globe have varying frequencies of polymorphic genes, which are genes with any of several differing nucleotide sequences. There is no such thing as a set of genes that belongs exclusively to one group and not to another. The clinal, gradually changing nature of geographic genetic difference is complicated further by the migration and mixing that human groups have engaged in since prehistory. Genetic studies have substantiated the absence of clear biological borders; thus the term "race" is rarely used in scientific terminology, either in biological anthropology and in human genetics. Race has no genetic or biological basis. Human beings do not fit the zoological definition of race. Race is not a biological category that is politically charged. It is a political category that has been disguised as a biological one., WEB, Goodman, Alan, Interview with Alan Goodman,weblink Race Power of and Illusion, PBS, 6 January 2013, There's no biological basis for race. And that is in the facts of biology, the facts of non-concordance, the facts of continuous variation, the recentness of our evolution, the way that we all commingle and come together, and how genes flow. (...) There's no generalizability to race. There is no center there (...). It's fluid., live,weblink" title="">weblink 29 October 2012, dmy-all, Steve Olson, Mapping Human History: Discovering the Past Through Our Genes, Boston, 2002WEB, Race – The Power of an Illusion,weblink PBS, 2 January 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 1 January 2013, dmy-all, JOURNAL, Jablonski, Nina, The evolution of human skin and skin color, Annual Review of Anthropology, 2004, 33, 585–623, 10.1146/annurev.anthro.33.070203.143955, JOURNAL, 10.1525/ae.2007.34.2.205, Genomics, divination, 'racecraft', May 2007, Palmié, Stephan, American Ethnologist, 34, 2, 205–22,


{{Further|Human brain|Mind}}File:NIA human brain drawing.jpg|thumb|Drawing of the human brainhuman brainThe human brain, the focal point of the central nervous system in humans, controls the peripheral nervous system. In addition to controlling "lower," involuntary, or primarily autonomic activities such as respiration and digestion, it is also the locus of "higher" order functioning such as thought, reasoning, and abstraction.3-D Brain Anatomy {{webarchive|url= |date=5 September 2017 }}, The Secret Life of the Brain, Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 3 April 2005. These cognitive processes constitute the mind, and, along with their behavioral consequences, are studied in the field of psychology.Generally regarded as more capable of these higher order activities, the human brain is believed to be more "intelligent" in general than that of any other known species. While some non-human species are capable of creating structures and using simple tools—mostly through instinct and mimicry—human technology is vastly more complex, and is constantly evolving and improving through time.

Sleep and dreaming

Humans are generally diurnal. The average sleep requirement is between seven and nine hours per day for an adult and nine to ten hours per day for a child; elderly people usually sleep for six to seven hours. Having less sleep than this is common among humans, even though sleep deprivation can have negative health effects. A sustained restriction of adult sleep to four hours per day has been shown to correlate with changes in physiology and mental state, including reduced memory, fatigue, aggression, and bodily discomfort.JOURNAL, Grandner, Michael A., Patel, Nirav P., Gehrman, Philip R., Perlis, Michael L., Pack, Allan I., Problems associated with short sleep: bridging the gap between laboratory and epidemiological studies, Sleep Medicine Reviews, 2010, 14, 4, 239–47, 19896872, 2888649, 10.1016/j.smrv.2009.08.001, During sleep humans dream. In dreaming humans experience sensory images and sounds, in a sequence which the dreamer usually perceives more as an apparent participant than as an observer. Dreaming is stimulated by the pons and mostly occurs during the REM phase of sleep.

Consciousness and thought

Humans are one of the relatively few species to have sufficient self-awareness to recognize themselves in a mirror.BOOK, P. Rochat, The Self in Infancy: Theory and Research,weblink 28 March 2016, 30 October 1995, Elsevier, 978-0-08-054263-8, 4, live,weblink 18 June 2016, dmy-all, Around 18 months most human children are aware that the mirror image is not another person.WEB,weblink Consciousness and the Symbolic Universe, Jack Palmer, 17 March 2006, live,weblink" title="">weblink 16 January 2006, dmy-all, The human brain perceives the external world through the senses, and each individual human is influenced greatly by his or her experiences, leading to subjective views of existence and the passage of time. Humans are variously said to possess consciousness, self-awareness, and a mind, which correspond roughly to the mental processes of thought. These are said to possess qualities such as self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and one's environment. The extent to which the mind constructs or experiences the outer world is a matter of debate, as are the definitions and validity of many of the terms used above.The physical aspects of the mind and brain, and by extension of the nervous system, are studied in the field of neurology, the more behavioral in the field of psychology, and a sometimes loosely defined area between in the field of psychiatry, which treats mental illness and behavioral disorders. Psychology does not necessarily refer to the brain or nervous system, and can be framed purely in terms of phenomenological or information processing theories of the mind. Increasingly, however, an understanding of brain functions is being included in psychological theory and practice, particularly in areas such as artificial intelligence, neuropsychology, and cognitive neuroscience.The nature of thought is central to psychology and related fields. Cognitive psychology studies cognition, the mental processes' underlying behavior. It uses information processing as a framework for understanding the mind. Perception, learning, problem solving, memory, attention, language and emotion are all well researched areas as well. Cognitive psychology is associated with a school of thought known as cognitivism, whose adherents argue for an information processing model of mental function, informed by positivism and experimental psychology. Techniques and models from cognitive psychology are widely applied and form the mainstay of psychological theories in many areas of both research and applied psychology. Largely focusing on the development of the human mind through the life span, developmental psychology seeks to understand how people come to perceive, understand, and act within the world and how these processes change as they age. This may focus on intellectual, cognitive, neural, social, or moral development. Psychologists have developed intelligence tests and the concept of intelligence quotient in order to assess the relative intelligence of human beings and study its distribution among population.{{Britannica|289811|Intelligence test}}Some philosophers divide consciousness into phenomenal consciousness, which is experience itself, and access consciousness, which is the processing of the things in experience.Ned Block: On a Confusion about a Function of Consciousness in: The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1995. Phenomenal consciousness is the state of being conscious, such as when they say "I am conscious." Access consciousness is being conscious of something in relation to abstract concepts, such as when one says "I am conscious of these words." Various forms of access consciousness include awareness, self-awareness, conscience, stream of consciousness, Husserl's phenomenology, and intentionality. The concept of phenomenal consciousness, in modern history, according to some, is closely related to the concept of qualia. Social psychology links sociology with psychology in their shared study of the nature and causes of human social interaction, with an emphasis on how people think towards each other and how they relate to each other. The behavior and mental processes, both human and non-human, can be described through animal cognition, ethology, evolutionary psychology, and comparative psychology as well. Human ecology is an academic discipline that investigates how humans and human societies interact with both their natural environment and the human social environment.

Motivation and emotion

File:Plate depicting emotions of grief from Charles Darwin's book The Expression of the Emotions.jpg|right|thumb|Illustration of grief from Charles Darwin's book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and AnimalsThe Expression of the Emotions in Man and AnimalsMotivation is the driving force of desire behind all deliberate actions of humans. Motivation is based on emotion—specifically, on the search for satisfaction (positive emotional experiences), and the avoidance of conflict. Positive and negative is defined by the individual brain state, which may be influenced by social norms: a person may be driven to self-injury or violence because their brain is conditioned to create a positive response to these actions. Motivation is important because it is involved in the performance of all learned responses. Within psychology, conflict avoidance and the libido are seen to be primary motivators. Within economics, motivation is often seen to be based on incentives; these may be financial, moral, or coercive. Religions generally posit divine or demonic influences.Happiness, or the state of being happy, is a human emotional condition. The definition of happiness is a common philosophical topic. Some people might define it as the best condition that a human can have—a condition of mental and physical health. Others define it as (wikt:freedom|freedom) from want and distress; consciousness of the good order of things; assurance of one's place in the universe or society.Emotion has a significant influence on, or can even be said to control, human behavior, though historically many cultures and philosophers have for various reasons discouraged allowing this influence to go unchecked. Emotional experiences perceived as pleasant, such as love, admiration, or joy, contrast with those perceived as unpleasant, like hate, envy, or sorrow. There is often a distinction made between refined emotions that are socially learned and (wikt:survival|survival) oriented emotions, which are thought to be innate. Human exploration of emotions as separate from other neurological phenomena is worthy of note, particularly in cultures where emotion is considered separate from physiological state. In some cultural medical theories emotion is considered so synonymous with certain forms of physical health that no difference is thought to exist. The Stoics believed excessive emotion was harmful, while some Sufi teachers felt certain extreme emotions could yield a conceptual perfection, what is often translated as ecstasy.In modern scientific thought, certain refined emotions are considered a complex neural trait innate in a variety of domesticated and non-domesticated mammals. These were commonly developed in reaction to superior survival mechanisms and intelligent interaction with each other and the environment; as such, refined emotion is not in all cases as discrete and separate from natural neural function as was once assumed. However, when humans function in civilized tandem, it has been noted that uninhibited acting on extreme emotion can lead to social disorder and crime.

Sexuality and love

(File:Sweet Baby Kisses Family Love.jpg|thumb|Human parents continue caring for their offspring long after they are born.)For humans, sexuality has important social functions: it creates physical intimacy, bonds and hierarchies among individuals, besides ensuring biological reproduction. Sexual desire or libido, is experienced as a bodily urge, often accompanied by strong emotions such as love, ecstasy and jealousy. The significance of sexuality in the human species is reflected in a number of physical features among them hidden ovulation, the evolution of external scrotum and (among great apes) a relatively large penis suggesting sperm competition in humans, the absence of an os penis, permanent secondary sexual characteristics and the forming of pair bonds based on sexual attraction as a common social structure. Contrary to other primates that often advertise estrus through visible signs, human females do not have a distinct or visible signs of ovulation, plus they experience sexual desire outside of their fertile periods. These adaptations indicate that sexuality in humans serves purposes beyond simple reproduction, and that the complex human sexual behavior has a long evolutionary history.BOOK, Haviland, Wiliam A., Prins, Harald E.L., McBride, Bunny, Walrath, Dana, Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge, 2010, Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, Belmont, California, 82, 978-0-495-81082-7,weblink live,weblink 15 April 2016, dmy-all, {{original research inline|date=July 2019}}Human choices in acting on sexuality are commonly influenced by cultural norms which vary widely. Restrictions are often determined by religious beliefs or social customs. For Alfred Kinsey, an influential sex researcher, people can fall anywhere along a continuous scale of sexual orientation.BOOK, MobileReference, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of North American Mammals,weblink 601, 15 December 2009, MobileReference, 10 August 2013, 9781605012797, live,weblink" title="">weblink 28 June 2014, dmy-all, Recent studies of neurology and genetics suggest people may be born predisposed to various sexual tendencies.BOOK, Buss, David M., 2003, The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating. Revised Edition, New York City, Basic Books, 978-0-465-00802-5,weblink


{{More citations needed section|date=July 2018}}{| border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="4" style="width:308px; float:right; border:1px solid gray; border-collapse:collapse; font-size:100%; margin:0 0 .5em 1em;"! colspan="2" style="background:Lightgrey; text-align:center;"| Human society statistics
Population density#Human population density>Population densityHTTPS://WWW.CIA.GOV/LIBRARY/PUBLICATIONS/THE-WORLD-FACTBOOK/GEOS/XX.HTML >TITLE=WORLD THE WORLD FACTBOOK >PUBLISHER=CIA ACCESSDATE=2 OCTOBER 2016 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20100105171656/HTTPS://WWW.CIA.GOV/LIBRARY/PUBLICATIONS/THE-WORLD-FACTBOOK/GEOS/XX.HTML DF=DMY-ALL, {{data world{{data worldtotal area}}sqmi{{data world{{data worldland area}}sqmi|prec=0}} by land area
World's largest citiesHTTP://WWW.UN.ORG/EN/DEVELOPMENT/DESA/POPULATION/PUBLICATIONS/PDF/URBANIZATION/THE_WORLDS_CITIES_IN_2016_DATA_BOOKLET.PDFPUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONSURL-STATUS=LIVEARCHIVEDATE=1 OCTOBER 2017, dmy-all, Tokyo, Delhi, Shanghai, Mumbai, São Paulo, Beijing, Mexico City, Osaka, Cairo, New York City-Newark, New Jersey>Newark, Dhaka, Karachi, Buenos Aires, Kolkata, Istanbul, Chongqing, Lagos, Manila, Guangzhou, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Moscow, Kinshasa, Tianjin, Paris, Shenzhen, Jakarta, Bangalore, London, Chennai, Lima
Most widely spoken native languagesHTTP://WWW.ETHNOLOGUE.COM/ETHNO_DOCS/DISTRIBUTION.ASP?BY=SIZE >TITLE=STATISTICAL SUMMARIES ACCESSDATE=10 DECEMBER 2011 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20120404174730/HTTP://WWW.ETHNOLOGUE.COM/ETHNO_DOCS/DISTRIBUTION.ASP?BY=SIZE DF=DMY-ALL, Chinese language, Spanish language>Spanish, English language, Hindi, Arabic, Portuguese language>Portuguese, Bengali language, Russian language>Russian, Japanese language, Javanese language>Javanese, German language, Lahnda language>Lahnda, Telugu language, Marathi language>Marathi, Tamil language, French language>French, Vietnamese language, Korean language>Korean, Urdu, Italian language, Indonesian language>Indonesian, Persian language, Turkish language>Turkish, Polish language, Oriya language>Oriya, Burmese language, Thai language>Thai
Real versus nominal value>nominal){{citation needed|date=February 2012}}US dollar>US$36,356,240 million (US$5,797 per capita)
Purchasing power parity>PPP){{citation needed|date=February 2012}}International dollar>IND ($8,236 per capita)
(File:Indian family in Brazil posed in front of hut.jpg|thumb|upright|left|Humans often live in family-based social structures.)Humans are highly social beings and tend to live in large complex social groups. More than any other creature, humans are capable of using systems of communication for self-expression, the exchange of ideas, and organization, and as such have created complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups. Human groups range from the size of families to nations. Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety{{clarify|date=January 2014}} of values, social norms, and rituals, which together form the basis of human society.Culture is defined here as patterns of complex symbolic behavior, i.e. all behavior that is not innate but which has to be learned through social interaction with others; such as the use of distinctive material and symbolic systems, including language, ritual, social organization, traditions, beliefs and technology.


While many species communicate, language is unique to humans, a defining feature of humanity, and a cultural universal. Unlike the limited systems of other animals, human language is open—an infinite number of meanings can be produced by combining a limited number of symbols. Human language also has the capacity of displacement, using words to represent things and happenings that are not presently or locally occurring, but reside in the shared imagination of interlocutors. Language differs from other forms of communication in that it is modality independent; the same meanings can be conveyed through different media, auditively in speech, visually by sign language or writing, and even through tactile media such as braille. Language is central to the communication between humans, and to the sense of identity that unites nations, cultures and ethnic groups. The invention of writing systems at least five thousand years ago allowed the preservation of language on material objects, and was a major technological advancement. The science of linguistics describes the structure and function of language and the relationship between languages. There are approximately six thousand different languages currently in use, including sign languages, and many thousands more that are extinct.BOOK, Comrie, Bernard, Polinsky, Maria, Matthews, Stephen, The Atlas of Languages: The Origin and Development of Languages Throughout the World, 1996, Facts on File, New York City, 13–15, 978-0-8160-3388-1,

Gender roles

The sexual division of humans into male, female, and in some societies other gendersWEB,weblink A Map of Gender-Diverse Cultures | Independent Lens, PBS, 2015-08-11, 2018-05-08, has been marked culturally by a corresponding division of roles, norms, practices, dress, behavior, rights, duties, privileges, status, and power. Cultural differences by gender have often been believed to have arisen naturally out of a division of reproductive labor; the biological fact that women give birth led to their further cultural responsibility for nurturing and caring for children. Gender roles have varied historically, and challenges to predominant gender norms have recurred in many societies.


File:thedragonpainter.jpg|thumb|left|Sessue Hayakawa (left) with actress and wife Tsuru Aoki in a screen shot of the 1919 film The Dragon PainterThe Dragon PainterAll human societies organize, recognize and classify types of social relationships based on relations between parents and children (consanguinity), and relations through marriage (affinity). These kinds of relations are generally called kinship relations. In most societies kinship places mutual responsibilities and expectations of solidarity on the individuals that are so related, and those who recognize each other as kinsmen come to form networks through which other social institutions can be regulated. Among the many functions of kinship is the ability to form descent groups, groups of people sharing a common line of descent, which can function as political units such as clans. Another function is the way in which kinship unites families through marriage, forming kinship alliances between groups of wife-takers and wife-givers. Such alliances also often have important political and economical ramifications, and may result in the formation of political organization above the community level. Kinship relations often includes regulations for whom an individual should or shouldn't marry. All societies have rules of incest taboo, according to which marriage between certain kinds of kin relations are prohibited—such rules vary widely between cultures.{{citation needed|date=August 2015}} Some societies also have rules of preferential marriage with certain kin relations, frequently with either cross or parallel cousins. Rules and norms for marriage and social behavior among kinsfolk is often reflected in the systems of kinship terminology in the various languages of the world. In many societies kinship relations can also be formed through forms of co-habitation, adoption, fostering, or companionship, which also tends to create relations of enduring solidarity (nurture kinship).


Humans often form ethnic groups, such groups tend to be larger than kinship networks and be organized around a common identity defined variously in terms of shared ancestry and history, shared cultural norms and language, or shared biological phenotype. Such ideologies of shared characteristics are often perpetuated in the form of powerful, compelling narratives that give legitimacy and continuity to the set of shared values. Ethnic groupings often correspond to some level of political organization such as the band, tribe, city state or nation. Although ethnic groups appear and disappear through history, members of ethnic groups often conceptualize their groups as having histories going back into the deep past. Such ideologies give ethnicity a powerful role in defining social identity and in constructing solidarity between members of an ethno-political unit. This unifying property of ethnicity has been closely tied to the rise of the nation state as the predominant form of political organization in the 19th and 20th centuries.J. Hutchinson & A.D. Smith (eds.), Oxford readers: Ethnicity (Oxford 1996), "Introduction"{{page needed|date=October 2016}}Smith, Anthony D. (1999) Myths and Memories of the Nation. Oxford University Press. pp. 4–7JOURNAL, Banton, Michael, Max Weber on 'ethnic communities': a critique, Nations and Nationalism, 13, 1, 2007, 19–35, 10.1111/j.1469-8129.2007.00271.x, Delanty, Gerard & Krishan Kumar (2006) The SAGE Handbook of Nations and Nationalism. SAGE. {{ISBN|1412901014}} p. 171Ronald Cohen 1978 "Ethnicity: Problem and Focus in Anthropology" in Annual Review of Anthropology 7: 383 Palo Alto: Stanford University PressThomas Hylland Eriksen (1993) Ethnicity and Nationalism: Anthropological Perspectives. London: Pluto Press{{page needed|date=October 2016}}

Society, government, and politics

File:United Nations Headquarters in New York City, view from Roosevelt Island.jpg|thumb|right|The United Nations HeadquartersUnited Nations HeadquartersSociety is the system of organizations and institutions arising from interaction between humans. Within a society people can be divided into different groups according to their income, wealth, power, reputation, etc., but the structure of social stratification and the degree of social mobility differs, especially between modern and traditional societies.WEB,weblink Social Stratification, Schizzerotto, Antonio, University of Trento, 3 July 2017, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 March 2018, dmy-all, A state is an organized political community occupying a definite territory, having an organized government, and possessing internal and external sovereignty. Recognition of the state's claim to independence by other states, enabling it to enter into international agreements, is often important to the establishment of its statehood. The "state" can also be defined in terms of domestic conditions, specifically, as conceptualized by Max Weber, "a state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the 'legitimate' use of physical force within a given territory."weblink" title="">Max Weber's definition of the modern state 1918, by Max Weber, 1918. Retrieved 17 March 2006.Government can be defined as the political means of creating and enforcing laws; typically via a bureaucratic hierarchy. Politics is the process by which decisions are made within groups; this process often involves conflict as well as compromise. Although the term is generally applied to behavior within governments, politics is also observed in all human group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions. Many different political systems exist, as do many different ways of understanding them, and many definitions overlap. Examples of governments include monarchy, Communist state, military dictatorship, theocracy, and liberal democracy, the last of which is considered dominant today. All of these issues have a direct relationship with economics.

Trade and economics

File:Tengeru market.jpg|thumb|right|Buyers and sellers bargaining in a market in Tengeru, TanzaniaTanzaniaTrade is the voluntary exchange of goods and services, and is a form of economic activity. A mechanism that allows trade is called a market. Modern traders instead generally negotiate through a medium of exchange, such as money. As a result, buying can be separated from selling, or earning. Because of specialization and division of labor, most people concentrate on a small aspect of manufacturing or service, trading their labor for products. Trade exists between regions because different regions have an absolute or comparative advantage in the production of some tradable commodity, or because different regions' size allows for the benefits of mass production.Economics is a social science which studies the production, distribution, trade, and consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on measurable variables, and is broadly divided into two main branches: microeconomics, which deals with individual agents, such as households and businesses, and macroeconomics, which considers the economy as a whole, in which case it considers aggregate supply and demand for money, capital and commodities. Aspects receiving particular attention in economics are resource allocation, production, distribution, trade, and competition. Economic logic is increasingly applied to any problem that involves choice under scarcity or determining economic value.


File:Bataille Waterloo 1815 reconstitution 2011 3.jpg|thumb|Men in period costume portraying soldiers during a 2011 reenactment of the Battle of WaterlooBattle of WaterlooWar is a state of organized armed conflict between states or non-state actors. War is characterized by the use of lethal violence against others—whether between combatants or upon non-combatants—to achieve military goals through force. Lesser, often spontaneous conflicts, such as brawls, riots, revolts, and melees, are not considered to be warfare. Revolutions can be nonviolent or an organized and armed revolution which denotes a state of war. During the 20th century, it is estimated that between 167 and 188 million people died as a result of war.Ferguson, Niall. "The Next War of the World." Foreign Affairs, Sep/Oct 2006 A common definition defines war as a series of military campaigns between at least two opposing sides involving a dispute over sovereignty, territory, resources, religion, or other issues. A war between internal elements of a state is a civil war.There have been a wide variety of rapidly advancing tactics throughout the history of war, ranging from conventional war to asymmetric warfare to total war and unconventional warfare. Techniques include hand to hand combat, the use of ranged weapons, naval warfare, and, more recently, air support. Military intelligence has often played a key role in determining victory and defeat. Propaganda, which often includes information, slanted opinion and disinformation, plays a key role both in maintaining unity within a warring group and in sowing discord among opponents. In modern warfare, soldiers and combat vehicles are used to control the land, warships the sea, and aircraft the sky. These fields have also overlapped in the forms of marines, paratroopers, aircraft carriers, and surface-to-air missiles, among others. Satellites in low Earth orbit have made outer space a factor in warfare as well through their use for detailed intelligence gathering; however, no known aggressive actions have been taken from space.

Material culture and technology

(File:Néolithique 0001.jpg|thumb|An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools.)Stone tools were used by proto-humans at least 2.5 million years ago.JOURNAL, Clark, J.D., de Heinzelin, J., Schick, K.D., African Homo erectus: old radiometric ages and young Oldowan assemblages in the Middle Awash Valley, Ethiopia, Science, 1994, 264, 5167, 1907–10, 8009220, 10.1126/science.8009220, etal, 1994Sci...264.1907C, The controlled use of fire began around 1.5 million years ago. Since then, humans have made major advances, developing complex technology to create tools to aid their lives and allowing for other advancements in culture. Major leaps in technology include the discovery of agriculture—what is known as the Neolithic Revolution, and the invention of automated machines in the Industrial Revolution.Archaeology attempts to tell the story of past or lost cultures in part by close examination of the artifacts they produced. Early humans left stone tools, pottery, and jewelry that are particular to various regions and times.

Body culture

Throughout history, humans have altered their appearance by wearing clothingJOURNAL, Kvavadze E, Bar-Yosef O, Belfer-Cohen A, Boaretto E, Jakeli N, Matskevich Z, Meshveliani T, 30,000-year-old wild flax fibers, Science, 325, 5946, 1359, 2009, 19745144, 10.1126/science.1175404, 2009Sci...325.1359K,weblink and adornments, by trimming or shaving hair or by means of body modifications.Body modification is the deliberate altering of the human body for any non-medical reason, such as aesthetics, sexual enhancement, a rite of passage, religious reasons, to display group membership or affiliation, to create body art, shock value, or self-expression. In its most broad definition it includes plastic surgery, socially acceptable decoration (e.g. common ear piercing in many societies), and religious rites of passage (e.g. circumcision in a number of cultures).BOOK, Margo DeMello, Encyclopedia of Body Adornment,weblink 6 April 2012, 2007, ABC-CLIO, 978-0-313-33695-9, 17–, live,weblink" title="">weblink 28 May 2013, dmy-all,

Philosophy and self-reflection

{{See also|Human nature}}File:Confuciusstatue.jpg|thumb|upright|Statue of Confucius on Chongming IslandChongming IslandPhilosophy is a discipline or field of study involving the investigation, analysis, and development of ideas at a general, abstract, or fundamental level. It is the discipline searching for a general understanding of reality, reasoning and values. Major fields of philosophy include logic, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and axiology (which includes ethics and aesthetics). Philosophy covers a very wide range of approaches, and is used to refer to a worldview, to a perspective on an issue, or to the positions argued for by a particular philosopher or school of philosophy.

Religion and spirituality

Religion is generally defined as a belief system concerning the supernatural, sacred or divine, and practices, values, institutions and rituals associated with such belief. Some religions also have a moral code. The evolution and the history of the first religions have recently become areas of active scientific investigation.WEB,weblink Evolutionary Religious Studies: A New Field of Scientific Inquiry, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 August 2009, dmy-all, JOURNAL, Boyer, Pascal, Being human: Religion: bound to believe?, Nature, 455, 7216, 1038–39, 2008, 18948934, 10.1038/4551038a, 2008Natur.455.1038B, JOURNAL, Emmons, Robert A., Paloutzian, Raymond F., The psychology of religion, Annual Review of Psychology, 2003, 12171998, 54, 1, 377–402, 10.1146/annurev.psych.54.101601.145024, However, in the course of its development, religion has taken on many forms that vary by culture and individual perspective. Some of the chief questions and issues religions are concerned with include life after death (commonly involving belief in an afterlife), the origin of life, the nature of the universe (religious cosmology) and its ultimate fate (eschatology), and what is moral or immoral. A common source for answers to these questions are beliefs in transcendent divine beings such as deities or a singular God, although not all religions are theistic. Spirituality, belief or involvement in matters of the soul or spirit, is one of the many different approaches humans take in trying to answer fundamental questions about humankind's place in the universe, the meaning of life, and the ideal way to live one's life. Though these topics have also been addressed by philosophy, and to some extent by science, spirituality is unique in that it focuses on mystical or supernatural concepts such as karma and God.Although the exact level of religiosity can be hard to measure,JOURNAL, Hall, Daniel E., Meador, Keith G., Koenig, Harold G., Measuring religiousness in health research: review and critique, Journal of Religion and Health, 47, 2, 134–63, 2008, 19105008, 10.1007/s10943-008-9165-2, Submitted manuscript, a majority of humans professes some variety of religious or spiritual belief, although many (in some countries a majority) are irreligious. This includes humans who have no religious beliefs or do not identify with any religion. Humanism is a philosophy which seeks to include all of humanity and all issues common to humans; it is usually non-religious. Most religions and spiritual beliefs are clearly distinct from science on both a philosophical and methodological level; the two are not generally considered mutually exclusive and a majority of humans hold a mix of both scientific and religious views. The distinction between philosophy and religion, on the other hand, is at times less clear, and the two are linked in such fields as the philosophy of religion and theology.{{clear}}

Art, music, and literature

{{More citations needed section|date=March 2018}}File:Lorenzo Lippi 001.jpg|thumb|upright|Allegory of Music ({{circa}} 1594), a painting of a woman writing sheet music by Lorenzo LippiLorenzo LippiHumans have been producing art works for at least seventy-three thousand years.NEWS,weblink Oldest Known Drawing by Human Hands Discovered in South African Cave, St. Fleur, Nicholas, 12 September 2018, The New York Times, 20 September 2018, Art may be defined as a form of cultural expression and the usage of narratives of liberation and exploration (i.e. art history, art criticism, and art theory) to mediate its boundaries. This distinction may be applied to objects or performances, current or historical, and its prestige extends to those who made, found, exhibit, or own them. In the modern use of the word, art is commonly understood to be the process or result of making material works that, from concept to creation, adhere to the "creative impulse" of human beings.Music is a natural intuitive phenomenon based on the three distinct and interrelated organization structures of rhythm, harmony, and melody. Listening to music is perhaps the most common and universal form of entertainment, while learning and understanding it are popular disciplines.{{citation needed|date=June 2013}} There are a wide variety of music genres and ethnic musics. Literature, the body of written—and possibly oral—works, especially creative ones, includes prose, poetry and drama, both fiction and non-fiction. Literature includes such genres as epic, legend, myth, ballad, and folklore.


Another unique aspect of human culture and thought is the development of complex methods for acquiring knowledge through observation, quantification, and verification.{{citation needed|date=March 2018}} The scientific method has been developed to acquire knowledge of the physical world and the rules, processes and principles of which it consists, and combined with mathematics it enables the prediction of complex patterns of causality and consequence.{{citation needed|date=March 2018}} An understanding of mathematics is unique to humans, although other species of animal have some numerical cognition.Mary C. Olmstead & Valerie A. Kuhlmeier, Comparative Cognition (Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 209-10.{{clear}}All of science can be divided into three major branches, the formal sciences (e.g., logic and mathematics), which are concerned with formal systems, the applied sciences (e.g., engineering, medicine), which are focused on practical applications, and the empirical sciences, which are based on empirical observation and are in turn divided into natural sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry, biology) and social sciences (e.g., psychology, economics, sociology).WEB,weblink Branches of Science, University of Chicago, live,weblink 23 April 2017, dmy-all, A pseudoscience is an activity or a teaching which is mistakenly regarded as being scientific by its major proponents.WEB,weblink Science and Pseudo-Science, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 3 July 2017, live,weblink 11 June 2017, dmy-all, Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, 2017,

See also

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Further reading

  • Freeman, Scott; Jon C. Herron (2007). Evolutionary Analysis (4th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc. {{ISBN|0-13-227584-8}}. pp. 757–61.
  • BOOK, Who We Are And How We Got Here – Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past, David, Reich, Pantheon Books, 2018, 978-1101870327,

External links

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