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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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It means language, fire control, clothing, knowledge, inner control and, above all, God seeking.
Jose Rigoberto Gonzalez
- Jose Rigoberto Gonzalez, Bogota, Colombia
The ability to ask questions like, "What does it mean to be human?"
Jim Dew
- Jim Dew, Madison, WI
To communicate with others and to express our ideas in order to engage in collective learning.
Ben Passey
- Ben Passey, Sydney, Aus
Asking this very question symbolizes our humanness!
- Shalin, Woods Hole, USA and Singapore
To live life can do it well and with confidence
- JFK, Selby
To me truly it is to learn. To gain knowledge by struggle, feeling, making mistakes and discovering or maybe by instruction.
Henry Shand
- Henry Shand, Australia
consciousness and the ability to question "creativity" and the unusual desire to control nature, instead of live with it.
anthony Krajci
- anthony Krajci, horsham Pa
On a basic level, one is human if one has human DNA. However, we tend to associate many traits perceived to be good with our own species.
Elizabeth H.
- Elizabeth H., Museum of Natural History
To use eating utencils... some of the time
- Meghan, Alexandria, VA
being human means ahead then all animals most modern, intelligent, strongest of all.
- Priyanka, malad
A mammal who has feelings of empathy, love, great social, reasoning & communication skills.
- Mary, USA
To be human is to be the most egotistical, self-absorbed, destructive, atrocity-committing species on the planet.
Steve Schlarb
- Steve Schlarb, Irving, Texas
Unfortunately, to be human is to have the capacity to act against nature. No other creature can commit such acts.
G. Bernard Sawyer
- G. Bernard Sawyer, Stone Mountain, GA. USA
To be human means to be unique and to love yourself for being you.It also means to be yourself and not try to be someone else.
- Landon, Denver,CO
to think
- ahmef, uae
To be human means to have ambition, the need to help other people, the ability to feel compassion, to love for more than the need to mate.
- Theo , Washington Dc
it means that your here to find your faith or challenge
- angela, Rhode Island
Our 3 brains in 1, we have traits from reptiles mammals and primates. Our conscience makes us human and sets us apart from all others.
Cathy Burks Stogner
- Cathy Burks Stogner, Mooresville, NC USA
what it mean to be human is to have skill ,learn ,teach
Bronson and Gio
- Bronson and Gio, Renaissance school
To be able to think in terms of the abstract. That is, to speak, do art, math, etc. It is also the desire to understand our environment.
- Jay, Canada
The ability to realize that life is not defined by us alone it is shared, by all living organisms.
Andrew P. Thomas
- Andrew P. Thomas, Antelope Valley College
It is the uniquely human quality that allows us to ponder the very question "What does it mean to be human?" that makes us human.
Robert P. Hagstrom
- Robert P. Hagstrom, Flagstaff AZ
To care for ourselves and others. To have a developed brain and the capacity to think about the future.
Geri Spencer
- Geri Spencer, Virginia
To Have A Body, Soul and Spirit
- Rachael, Australia
It means that we have the talent to do many things... such as singing, dancing, performing, sports, and many more!
Angelica Gallegos
- Angelica Gallegos, California
Stream of consciousness spawns questions about what we are able to observe. The search for answers to those questions is to be Human.
Joe Quinn
- Joe Quinn, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
It means that you have many responsibilities such as taking care of your home planet.
Kiva Brearton
- Kiva Brearton, Colorado
To be human is to be brave enough to learn what more there is beyond our quest for daily survival.
Jim Mauch
- Jim Mauch, Cudahy, Wisconsin
We are the only species who say to ourselves, "I could do that better." We instinctively use one advance as a platform for the next.
Christoher McGuire
- Christoher McGuire, Fort Worth, Texas
No more or less than what it meant to be Australopithecus sediba.
John white
- John white, yuma, arizona
Humans perform altruistic acts without apparent benefit, and are less hairy than a typical mammal.
Fred Whiteman
- Fred Whiteman, Albuquerque, NM
Having a highly developed brain, the capability to use it effectively, and our infinitely unique thought process make us human.
Athena Cooke
- Athena Cooke, Lehigh Acres, FL
Humanity is merely what we call ourselves, not necessarily what we are...
Eman Ekaf
- Eman Ekaf, Earth
To overcome struggles, to explore new lands, and to find our place in this world.
Hannah Voorhees
- Hannah Voorhees, Durham, North Carolina
To live, to feel, to love, to give, and connect with a Higher Power.
- Rose, Ohio
Our languages, dialects and writing systems make us human. We are the only species to have made a language and writing system.
Yared Lingo
- Yared Lingo, Washington, DC
To be human is the ability to explore, change, and pass on what we have learned to later generations.
- Sada, Jacksonville, Fl
To have emotions and a conscience and judgment.
Tori Harris
- Tori Harris, Deltona
We are self perpetuating patterns of matter that have emerged from the chaos of the universe. Tiny whirlpools in a great sea.
Keith Bessette
- Keith Bessette, Belchertown, MA
To understand another's thinking is the basis for our humanity and morality.
Alan Pryor
- Alan Pryor, Novato CA