What Makes Us Human Essay

1486 Words 6 Pages
Response Paper One: What Makes Us Human? There are many traits that make us who we are, we are all individuals separated by our looks, personalities and unique characteristics. However, beyond that, there are several traits that make us human. According to NOVA Science NOW, there are four characteristics that make us human, completely distinct from every species on earth: the connection we maintain with Neanderthals, our ease for language and advanced tool making, our ability to laugh and our connection with Salam. Although it may seem inconceivable, these characteristics make us human, and separate us from all other species. As stated in NOVA Science NOW, we can understand what makes us human by studying those who came before us: the Neanderthals. …show more content…
Gina Mireault for NOVA, states that laughter is “hardwired into the system” and that “It’s an involuntary reflex” (Mirealut, NOVA: What Makes Us Human? 2012). In the video, Mireault states that laughter is essential to our existing and that it is one of the reasons that we have survived through out time. She states “I think laughter is central to survival, because it’s part of what binds us together” (Mireault, NOVA: What Makes Us Human? 2012). While I do agree that we have sturdy ties to Neanderthals, and that speech is what makes us unique from other species, I unfortunately cannot agree with Mireault statement. I cannot agree with the idea that laughter separates us as a species nor can I agree that it is central to survival. As the video explores, many other animals are capable of laughter: elephants, penguins and others are all capable of this expression. In this way, I cannot agree with the statement that this is what separates us as a species. The NOVA movie, continues to explore some of our “closest relatives”, the great apes. Marina Davila-Ross examines the relationship between laughter and apes and discovers that “orangutans are the most distant from us genetically; gorillas are a bit closer; then chimpanzees and bonobos; and then us, humans.” (NOVA, What Makes Us Human 2012). However, although I do not agree with the statement that laughter seperates us as a species and is part of what makes us human, …show more content…
is Selam. In this segment, paleontologist Zeray Alemseged, talks about how he discovered the ancient bones of a part ape, part human who is actually related to another hominid found by Donald Johnson (NOVA, What Makes Us Human? 2012). Alemseged had come across a “tiny skeleton [with] striking similarities to the most famous ancient hominid ever found, Lucy” (NOVA, What Makes Us Human? 2012). To me, this segment gave back up evidence to where we come from. I think that having Donald Johnson discover Lucy and later having Zeray Alemseged was fate-like yet these two anthropological finds have given much insight to where we come from. Alemseged journey in not only finding a rare child skeleton, but also one that had similarities with Lucy makes it a great discovery. Because of this discovery there has been more insight to where we originate from and I think that is interesting. The fact that Alemseged gave one hundred and ten percent throughout his discovery is remarkable to me and I believe the hard work and dedication paid off, as he contributed to one of the major finds in discovering more about

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