Being Human – Concept and theories of its origin

We explain what the human being is, to which species it belongs and its characteristics. Also, the various theories about its origin.

Human being
The oldest evidence of human activity dates back 315,000 years, in Morocco.

What is the human being?

When we speak of the human being or directly of the human, we refer to our species: the Homo sapiens (from the Latin “wise man“), belonging to the order of the primates and to the family of the hominids, creators of the civilization that today dominates and transforms planet Earth.

The oldest evidence of human activity on the planet dates back to 315,000 years, and is found in Morocco. At that time, ours was just one species among several of the genus Homo, highly diversified and whose other species have already become extinct.

After the disappearance of Homo neardentalis (the “man of the Neanderthal”) 28,000 years ago and from Homo floresiensis (the “flower man” or Hobbit) approximately 13,000 years ago, we are the only species of the genus that lasts.

The human being is distinguished on the basis of his bodily features (bipedal, with useful upper joints, able to walk upright and with scant fur), but also his inventiveness and intelligence, which distinguishes it from the rest of the higher animals.

In particular, his capacity for articulated language, for complex and abstract thought, and for the transformation of the environment that surrounds him.

However, humans we have defined ourselves philosophically in very different ways Throughout our history, as we have created and demolished religions, social orders and interpretations of the world, in search of answers to our essential questions about the origin and meaning of existence, or its final destination.

In some contexts, the term “man” was used as a synonym for human being, but this use is rejected due to its ambiguity, since it also designates adult individuals of the male sex.

Origin of the human being

Human being
One possible human origin is Lamarck’s Theory of Evolution.

The origin of our species has been the subject of debate throughout the history of humanity, initially having mythical or magical-religious explanations according to the various cultural trends that exist, in what has been called the creationism: the theory that human beings are the work of a God or a supernatural will or sacred that gave us the gift of intelligence and with which we are, therefore, in debt. It is the position still held by numerous religious groups, who prefer to interpret the content of their sacred texts to the letter, such as The Bible.

However, as a result of the emergence of science and rationalist discourse, more and more possible explanations of a scientific nature were agreed upon, until arriving at Lamarck’s Theory of Evolution in the 19th century, the first attempt to explain the origin of life through the transmission of acquired characters, that is, that a life inherited to its descendants the things learned or acquired during the course of its existence.

Then the book would come The origin of andspecies by Charles Darwin, whose theories were perfected by later scientists, where it is proposed that life evolves based on slow changes and the pressure of natural selection.

In fact, Darwin’s second book already addressed the issue of human origin (The origin of the man, 1871), in which it was proposed for the first time that man evolutionarily descended from some simpler form of existence, with which he would still have many characteristics in common: primates.

This does not mean that “the human comes from the ape”, as many explain it, but that the human being it is a direct relative of the more modern species of primates, that pressured by the environment and by historical needs were acquiring ever greater capacities (walking upright, opposable thumbs, use of tools, fire management) and thus giving rise to more and more new species, the last of which is, precisely, the human.