What makes us human?

Note to future self…

Today I watched a wonderful lecture exploring “what makes us human” from an evolutionary biology standpoint. It taught me a lot about an important question that I hadn’t thought much about.

On the what makes us human argument essentially it’s a complex issue and we cant rely on arguments like “what makes us human is the capacity to start fires, create tools, ability to create nongenetic cultural artifacts, language, brain mass, consciousness, our genome, having two human parents, etc” because for all these arguments there are examples of animals that challenge them.

An interesting argument that’s being explored right now is that we are unique in our capacity to optimally distribute knowledge and skills in our society. In other words, we can specialize as a species and that makes all of us better off whereas most other living things dont have that variability.

In any case, I find this question super interesting specially if we think about it in the context of artificial intelligence, psychology and philosophy. That’s it (:

Now back to work…