What makes humans unique?

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Sunshine❤
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What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von Sunshine❤ »

Hi everyone,  :freu:
today I would like to discuss the question: What makes humans unique? What distinguishes humans from other animals?
Is it their intelligence? Their brain? Or maybe their behaviour?
I personally believe that this question is fairly difficult to answer. However, I would be very interested in knowing, what in your opinion makes humans special?
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Kin Ching (24. Okt 2017 14:50)




tiorthan
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von tiorthan »

Our brain isn't special it's structurally the same as that of chimps just a bit bigger and we cannot even say for sure that it is the best at anything because we cannot yet measure how other animals perform. We don't know if other animals have the capacity to reflect about themselves or the world in the same way as us.

There is one thing that makes humans stand out for better or worse and that's technology. Having cooperation, intelligence and abstract thought all combined with hands is a thing that no other creature on Earth has, so far.
Folgende Benutzer bedankten sich beim Autor tiorthan für den Beitrag:
Kin Ching (24. Okt 2017 14:51)
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Sunshine❤
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von Sunshine❤ »

Hi tiorthan, :D
I totally agree with you when saying technology makes us humans unique! Your arguments are really convincing!!!:-)
But could you please explain what you meant by saying that there is only one thing that makes humans stand out for better or worse...? Better or worse in which way? Do you want to say that we should carefully distinguish between good and bad technology?

tiorthan
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von tiorthan »

"For better or worse" is a fixed expression in English meaning "can be good and bad". What I meant is that you can stand out positively or negatively and technology can be seen as either.

Good and bad are value judgements based on a set of goals. In the grand scheme of things technology is just another layer of evolution and evolution doesn't have goals, so I don't view any technology as inherently good or bad, it's always just good or bad when viewed through the lens of human goals.
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Sunshine❤
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von Sunshine❤ »

Thank you for explaining it to me! :big_thumb:
But you just mentioned that there is nothing but technology that makes humans unique at all.
I doubt that because I believe that our language also makes us entirely unique. Let me give you an example: While a dog only can growl when he faces danger, we humans can directly state our problem/ opinion.
My concern here is that a dog's growling can have various meanings such as Who are you? Get away from me! and so on...

Instead we can clearly say what is on our minds and additionally can change our attitude by changing the word order or connotation, for instance, when saying PLEASE go away!! instead of just saying GO AWAY!! Hence, we can also say "go away" in a nice or ironic way. And being ironic is something only humans can be!
I believe that this issue really makes us humans unique.
Don't you think so??? :wink:

tiorthan
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von tiorthan »

I didn't say there isn't anything else, I just can't be sure about anything else.
Language may not be special at all, we just don't know yet. There are a number of species that display quite complex patterns of communication, much more sophisticated than dogs.
Talking about dogs though, their communication is not as ambiguous as you make it out to be. Dogs communicate their intent quite clearly they just communicate with a lot more than just sound.
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Sunshine❤
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von Sunshine❤ »

Your point of view is partly reasonable because I still don't understand why our brain isn't that special, in spite of the fact that we are able to create such technology nowadays! I just thought brain and technology are kind of connected to eachother...

tiorthan
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von tiorthan »

I'm coming from a neuroscience viewpoint. The brain is amazing, don't get me wrong there, but in comparison to other species, especially other primates it's just a bit larger in relation to our body mass. Boringly similar. It's so similar, that most neuroscience research is done on animals.

Yes the human brain came up with all that amazing technology but not a single brain. What makes humans what they are today is not the brain by itself, it's not hands, it's not society, it's the mixture.
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Sunshine❤
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von Sunshine❤ »

I must admit that your arguments are fairly logic! RESPECT!!! :freu:
However, I would really like to ask you one more question:
Would you rather say that humans and animals have more similarities than differences??

tiorthan
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von tiorthan »

Sunshine❤ hat geschrieben: I must admit that your arguments are fairly logic! RESPECT!!! :freu:
This touches some of my scientific interests so my default position is "I don't know" unless I have data that allows me to create models.
Would you rather say that humans and animals have more similarities than differences??
Personally, I rate humans as just another species of primate.
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Sunshine❤
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von Sunshine❤ »

Hi tiorthan,
It doesn't go without notice that you are a Science fan!!!! :lol:
I love Science too, it's always fun to talk to someone about scientific topics...Anyway, I am glad to know that I found someone who likes to answer my scientific questions!!!
Even though most things aren't that clear in Science (such as the question about humans uniqueness), I believe one should discuss about such topics in order to understand things, one probably didn't think about before...Besides, one also can learn new things as I did from you, tiorthan!!! :big_thumb:

tiorthan
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von tiorthan »

Sunshine❤ hat geschrieben:Besides, one also can learn new things as I did from you, tiorthan!!! :big_thumb:
I learn things, too. I have a lot of data and questions like that trigger me to start analyzing it and maybe pursue loose ends. So, thank you.
You're never too old to learn something stupid.
MistakeSuggestionYou sure that's right?

Sunshine❤
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von Sunshine❤ »

I am extremely glad to hear that from you!!!! :D

Kyle Connor
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von Kyle Connor »

On the basic front, humans are animals but the only thing that separates humans from animals is their brain capacity and the ability to utilize its current maximum potential. The theory evolution shows that humans have been given the ability to think, consider the feelings of others, and coexist with each other. But many people today don't do it (which is again a discussion for some other day).
But yea, only the ability to think rationally makes humans unique. 

Keswick
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Re: What makes humans unique?

Beitrag von Keswick »

Kyle, this topic is fairly old, so please don't be disappointed if you don't get any response from the author.
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