Essay about Is Humans A Unique Species?

1493 Words Nov 7th, 2016 6 Pages
To what extent are Humans a Unique Species?

We like to believe that humans are a superior species, highly intelligent and beyond the realms of the animal kingdom, however, are we really as unique as we like to think, what makes us so special? It was once believed that humans were the only animals capable of using tools, and this is what made us no longer just ‘animals’. In the 1960s when chimpanzees were first observed using twigs to retrieve termites from wooden trunks, as a form of tool, it raised the question of ‘what it really means to be human’. With time, our understanding of animal behavior, genetics and evolution is becoming more advanced and humans appear less unique with the more that we learn. It is my aim to address some of the key features about humans that may seem unique but that some research can perhaps argue against. The aspects focussed on will be language, culture, theory of mind, cooperation and fairness and the role of genetics. By combing these key characteristics of human beings we can see to what extent we are a unique species and how this uniqueness may have emerged.

Perhaps the most seemingly obvious aspect of humans is our ability to communicate through language. However other species also show an advanced level of communication, presenting a challenge in the definition of language and whether or not it makes us unique. The adaptation for humans to develop our modern language is possible simply by anatomical features; larger brain,…

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