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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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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
It means to be able to work and cooperate together.
- Sam, Portland, OR
To remember and, eventually, to forget--and to be cognizant of both of these things to the point that either can make you sad.
- Chris, Arlington, VA
What it means to be a human is to be able to socialize. Humans must be able to communicate, have emotions,and be able to walk on their feet.
Tulasi Landes
- Tulasi Landes, Washington DC
Humans are like most other hunks of mobile meat except some of them have a dream inside...
Brad G
- Brad G, Philadelphia, PA
Being human means being self aware, feeling emotional pain, and the drive to do more with life then just live.
Storm Cartee
- Storm Cartee, Washington Court House, OH
being human means being able of questioning about my own origin and my own impermanence
marcos giusti
- marcos giusti, montevideo
To be human means to go beyond our set limits
- Adela, America
To be human means that you are a living being who thinks, works, and tries every single day.
- Ellie , Portland, OR
To have the ability to use multiple complex languages to communicate to other members of its own species.
- Bobby, Australia
To think about our choices.
Mark T.
- Mark T., Worcester, MA
To be human is to be aware. To be more than what our instincts calls us to do. To be able to feel a wide range of emotions and have dreams.
Carl Victor Salazar
- Carl Victor Salazar, Bergenfield, NJ
To have emotions, to be able to think (have thoughts), to adapt to changes, and to create/invent/innovate.
- John, Rockville, MD, USA
To have culture, religion, and tradition. To be the unique great ape the god created to be above all other creatures; a human being.
Nehemiah Rodriguez
- Nehemiah Rodriguez, CA
Collective learning makes us human.
- Scott, American Canyon, CA
Being a human means that you can use all of yourself to protect what is yours: the environment.
Najya A. Williams
- Najya A. Williams, Washington, D.C.
To be human is to be curious. To wonder, to explore, to invent, to create art, to love, & to learn about ourselves & the universe we live in
Bret Raoulsen
- Bret Raoulsen, Winnebago, Il
We are the only species that is able to destroy, repair and construct any other species and or its habitat.
- Morgan, Astoria OR
being human is to advance whether it is in evolution, knowledge, art, etc.
- Noah, Arizona
To have a written language and the ability to communicate through words and symbols. To be tame yet animalistic when necessary.
Alva Peguero
- Alva Peguero, San Diego, CA
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