There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2021.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
| We're all Homo here|
|A Gradual Science|
|Plain Monkey Business|
“”MAN, n. An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada.
|—Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)|
“”What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets!
|—Dracula, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night |
Human (scientific name Homo sapiens sapiens) is the common name of the primate species also known as the East African Plains Ape, the dominant tool-using species on the third planet (counting outwards) of some backwater minor star. Humans are an infamous parasite to their homeworld, due to being what they call a "Type 0 Civilization", meaning they still mostly rely on carbon-based, nonrenewable fuel sources. They are also at the stage of development where they risk nuclear annihilation, due to being at a time where nuclear weapons are possessed by the species, but the species has not yet figured out that not killing each other is a good idea.
On the rocky sub-planet they inhabit, which they call "Earth", humans have become one of the top predators. They have built cities (hives), engaged in writing for at least the last six thousand orbital periods, and have grown to a population of 7 to 8 billion individuals. Twelve humans have walked on the planet's primary satellite, and at least three humans hang out in orbit around Earth at any given time. Humans have sent robotic probes to every major body in their Solar System, and have sent four probes out of the system altogether.
In appearance, most humans have a bilateral symmetry built around a stack of bones called a spine, that some may lack, with most of their sensory organs concentrated near their single brain in a pod mounted at the top of this spine. Humans using a language originating from the part of Earth known as "England" refer to this pod as a "skull." They have evolved to balance on two of their four limbs, leaving the other two free to manipulate their environment.
General biology and reproduction
Healthy human bodies maintain a constant temperature of roughly 310 kelvin (one kelvin is equal to 1/100 of the difference between the temperature of freezing and boiling H2O at their planetary surface, the scale is then reckoned from absolute zero). They lack natural insulation over most of their skin, but they compensate by fashioning for themselves artificial insulation as appropriate for whatever environment they choose to inhabit. They reproduce sexually, mixing and matching their 23 pairs of chromosomes in the process. The female retains the fertilized egg inside her body until the offspring is mature enough to survive in the world with somewhat less intensive care. However, after ejecting the infant in a difficult ordeal, the female human sustains her offspring for some time as all female mammals do, with secretions produced by glands mounted prominently on her upper body. Some wealthier populations have developed tools and supplementation to slightly improve the survivability of this process.
Foundations of conflict
Despite having by far the largest population of any known primate species (about seven billion scattered throughout all seven continents, and under most of the oceans, including areas normally considered uninhabitable), the East African Plains Ape is classified as Critically Endangered due to it being paradoxically too stupid to handle its high intelligence. Despite being self-aware of this fact, the species has yet to successfully remove itself from being classified as such.
Despite being a rather diverse species, humans ironically do not tolerate their own diversity due to their primitive brain structure. To require relatively minimal amount of energy, humans categorize their own species by groups as a means to interpret their environment. Humans operate in multiple subsets of districts and operate on a hive mind with an accompanied governor or governors. Said districts enforce sameness amongst the species via verbal and non-verbal cues.
Given their rather violent history, it is debatable how well human beings will execute their often high ideals for the future. According to its own documentation, Homo sapiens have inhabited the Earth for approximately 200,000 years.
What humans say about themselves
Humans who study humans are called "anthropologists." Humans who pretend to study gods are called "apologists" or, more accurately "theologians."
Humans are "featherless bipeds," according to the great anthropologist Woody Allen.
- Behavioral modernity, which distinguishes humans from other hominids.
- List of possible human ancestors
- See the Wikipedia article on Human.
- See the Wikipedia article on Ulas family.
- Family may provide evolution clue: BBC article about how human quadrupedal ancestors may have walked.
- Symphony of the Night.
- See the Wikipedia article on Apex predator.