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Submit Your Response to "What Does It Mean To Be Human?"

The Human Origins Initiative wants to know what YOU think it means to be human! Submit your response, and it may be featured on this website or in our exhibition.

Responses seen here come both from this website and the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins. We have had a wonderful outpouring of responses to this question, and we cannot feature every answer. Each time you visit this page, a different set of answers will be featured on the first page.

Responses limited to 140 characters. Name and location are required. Image is optional.

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For us, H. sapiens, upright walk, precision grip, symbolic thought
Scott H.
- Scott H., Dubuque, IA, USA
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A mammal that's born to be humans who have emotions and are able to interact with other people.
Rach, Julie, Joseph, Nick & Anthony
- Rach, Julie, Joseph, Nick & Anthony, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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To be human is to be epistemologically and metaphysically self-conscious by logically acknowledging that one is made in the image of God.
Tom Carpenter
- Tom Carpenter, Conyers, GA
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The ability to decide to control our emotions and reactions to stimulus or let them control us.
Bruce
- Bruce, Shenandoah Valley, VA
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To be aware that life is not without the responsibility of valuing all forms of it, not in dominion but in equanimity and synergy.
J.T.
- J.T., Washington, DC
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Two things come to mind: 1) Adaptability via technology and tools and 2) the ability to communicate and work together.
Steve
- Steve, Philadelphia
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We humans have something wonderful, our “intelligence” that demands big responsibilities, respect and appreciation for the cosmos "life".
Rafael
- Rafael, Mexico
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Being human is about being smart, caring, communicative, and a part of something more important than yourself.
Jonathan Graef
- Jonathan Graef, San Antonio TX
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to more complex than animals in terms of our mechanisms of thinking and appreciation of aesthetics
Piangfan Naksukpaiboon
- Piangfan Naksukpaiboon, Thailand
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To have identity and consciousness.
Valentine
- Valentine, DC
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To think and feel and then act. Often able to rise above those animal instincts we all possess.
Lacie
- Lacie, Idaho
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To be human is to pondering this very question...
Tamara R. Grayson
- Tamara R. Grayson, Derby, UK
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Being human is to want to know everything but to know (almost) nothing.
yilmaz
- yilmaz, izmir
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To be human is to be able to reason. All animals share empathy; reason ostensibly sets us apart (but not TOO far apart).
Andrea Grenadier
- Andrea Grenadier, Alexandria, VA
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Depends what human means. Homo Sapiens? Genetics. Person? Harder -abilities & behavior. Won't really know til we see non-HS person - not yet
jjmcgaffey
- jjmcgaffey, Alameda, CA
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Being human means being able to communicate thoughts, feelings, emotions, & ideas through words, art, and symbols.
Vanessa
- Vanessa, Torrance
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To grasp the concept of time, to understand things which we don't need to understand, to not need to rely on instincts to do things.
Elizabeth
- Elizabeth, Australia
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It means to try to understand our own history tied to the history of all other species and the universe where we live.
Ana Maria Charlier Madeira
- Ana Maria Charlier Madeira, São Paulo, Brazil
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To be human is to have a conscience that can collapse a reality out of an infinity possibilities at each instant of the lifetime.
Gerard
- Gerard, Venezuela
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to be loving, caring, mindful to our planet and all its occupants.
Lupita M-S.
- Lupita M-S., Colorado
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We have the vulnerability of choice. We have a desire to create progress and insite change; the ability to understand and change our veiws
Dayle
- Dayle, Seattle
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To be human means pretending you aren't an animal.
Kelly Brasel
- Kelly Brasel, Glen Carbon, IL
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being human is having beyond just a basic, instinctual awareness
Danielle
- Danielle, New Jersey
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Bipedal, socially oriented, oxygen dependant, selfaware organic mass of molecules that have the ability question the world around us.
Kiesha Hotson
- Kiesha Hotson, Virginia Beach
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It means you breathe oxygen and bleed blood.
Amy
- Amy, Purvis
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to be human to keep thinking, asking, keep doubt and find the answer.
sutxa
- sutxa, Palistine
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it means to breathe and move also to live
Annistacia
- Annistacia, MI
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To stare and wonder about your creator
Thano
- Thano, Amstedam
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to be spiritually physically mentally and emotionally in tune with the universe
charles
- charles, district of columbia
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To be human means nothing more than just being human. The secret of life is, there is no secret. We are human, so we do human things.
William Dodson
- William Dodson , Concord NC
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It means the capacity to ask this question.
Heather
- Heather , Wellesley, MA
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Being human means having a capacity to both learn and teach, and to make rational decisions tempered by emotions.
James
- James, Elmsdale, PE
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To BE Human is to Love. To simply and wholly Love.
Jacob
- Jacob, Kentucky
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To think independently and act upon
Joe
- Joe, Internet
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Human is part of the beautiful nature, a animal that can think for others.
jeeyoon
- jeeyoon, Seoul, Korea.
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To contemplate consequences and challenge one another to act beyond the dictates of instinct.
Mimosa
- Mimosa, Skokie, Illinois
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To be human is to live out a Christlike life understanding that we will never be like God Himself nor truly understand all that He is.
Kristine
- Kristine, Guam
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To be able to laugh and cry and do something about it.
Mikel
- Mikel, Fairfax, VA
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to be blinded by your own self importance as a species, you risk distruction of the ecosystem, for short term greed based motives
kevin
- kevin, kansas
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To have emotions, to be able to think (have thoughts), to adapt to changes, and to create/invent/innovate.
John
- John, Rockville, MD, USA
0