Being Human (Infographic)

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July 30, 2012 Tags: Human Origins

Today's entry was written by the BioLogos Editorial Team. You can read more about what we believe here.

Note: The BioLogos Forum is pleased to present this infographic about the current anthropological understanding of human evolution, which takes into account research into both physiological and cultural developments among our ancient ancestors. The graphic, titled "Being Human," uses data from many sources, compiled and summarized by Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler, Assistant Professor of Biology at Seattle Pacific University. We are extremely grateful for Dr. Wall-Scheffler's help. For details on the source material go here. We encourage you to share the graphic with anyone and everyone, but please be sure to link back to this post as its source!

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Chip - #71483

July 30th 2012

While the title of the graphic is “being human” it seems like many of the most important aspects of being human are not mentioned.  For example, at what point along the timeline did concsiousness evolve?  How do we know?  If we’re looking at this from a christian/theistic perspective, can all the entities mentioned on the graphic be said to have been “created in the image of God?”  If so, how do we know?  If not, which ones were not so created and, again, how do we know?  When/where/how did morality evolve, and how do we know this?  Many many other such questions present themselves, but this is a good start. 


Mark Sprinkle - #71508

July 30th 2012

Thanks for your comments, Chip.  Indeed, this infographic gives an outline of only the anthropological account of humanity’s past, mentioning (some of)  both the physical and cultural markers of “being human.”  It certainly isn’t an exhaustive account or list, and part of the BioLogos mission is to help people grapple with the need to understand ourselves using every tool at our disposal, whether genetic, anthropological, historical or theological.  This infographic is just one small part of that story!


wesseldawn - #71490

July 30th 2012

According to the Bible we’re not human (in one important respect) as we have God’s image - a spirit (immaterial force from Heaven).

At the same time we are human as we have a physical (animal) body, needed to live on the earth.

Also according to the Bible Adam and Eve had some kind of ability to communicate with each and Neanderthals, albeit from what I understand, in symbols (eventually Hebrew letters), writing only being refined over time.


wesseldawn - #71513

July 30th 2012

I believe that consciousness was a direct result of getting God’s image! Otherwise the other animals would have developed along the same lines. I mean, “why us particularly”?


Ken Mafli - #71616

August 2nd 2012

Great visual representation of human evolution.  The graphic makes the information easy to digest. 

I would echo some of the other commenters: at what point do we place Adam and Eve?  At what point does mankind become distinct with a spiritual nature?  It seems to me that we need some reference point and put forth a testable model.  I am interested in your thoughts.  Thanks!


Johan Basson - #71770

August 7th 2012

I have been thinking that the scripture describes God blowing air into man, might have something to do with language, how we communicate and reason and formulate our thinking in words. Does this not give us some glimps of when we became man/human.


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