Three things that are “uniquely human”

The first trait I believe that is uniquely human is our brain capacity. Though I do not know this for sure, I am making an inference based on our present-day role and historical knowledge. It has an exceedingly complex neural structure and a larger cerebral cortex, relative to the rest of our brain, than any other animal. This allows for certain traits or aspects of being a human that no other animals (I believe) posses, such as languages and the capacity for moral judgment. It also allows us to understand complex emotions and abstract thoughts, which are useful in communication as well as in reflection. A second trait that is unique to Homo sapiens is cooking. In a documentary I recently watched called Cooked, Michael Pollan explains how human beings are the only organisms that cook their food. This, some will argue, had a tremendous effect on us evolutionarily because we could extract vital nutrients that allowed our bodies to function differently. Additionally, we could spend less time, and more importantly less energy, on processes like chewing, which Pollan argues contributed to the change in jaw structure of humans. Third I believe in the ability to cooperate. This may be a product of our consciousness and connections, but we have the foresight to make decisions that benefit either one or both groups. Within this, we also can trade ostensibly disparate things, like goods for services. While animals don’t seem to engage in these long-term relationships, we create agreements for both iteration and linkage in unrelated areas.


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