Talk:Human/Archive 26

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Picture is used for the Human Anatomy article - maybe it'd be appropriate here, too? Soriak (talk) 22:59, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Global Warming and Pollution

These are not mentioned in the article! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:15, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, so? Almost all of wikipedia is about things created or done by humans - doesn't mean they all need to be mentioned in the article on humans. If you want to read about global warming or pollution, maybe go read those articles? CraigWyllie (talk) 19:34, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Real Anatomy

How did the cows get a nude Wikipedia photoshoot anyway? Our natural state seems to only exist as a cartoon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:00, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

"The cows?" What does that refer to?

I do agree with your comment about the illustration. I think that the reason for a drawing being used instead of an actual photograph is that using a picture of a single person would give them a seemingly elevated position, which would conflict with Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:01, 27 September 2007 (UTC)


It seems to me that this section of the article resembles a brief synposis of articles on economics, war, etc, rather than emphasizing what place they have within human behaviour and sociology. I think it needs to be rewritten to convey specifically how humans have evolved these concepts, and what differentiates them from other species in that regard.

Ie. "Because of their technological development, humans have developed far more complex and destructive ways of conflict than any other species..." Something like that.

Does anyone agree?-- 10:01, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I do. (talk) 05:55, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

War, shock and awe

I've removed 'shock and awe' from the sentence "Techniques have nearly always included hand to hand combat, the use of ranged weapons, propaganda and ethnic cleansing.". The shock and awe page states this doctrine was written in 1996, so it can't have been included before. I might look into this paragraph further. Calamarain 14:05, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Removing two instances of 'always' and one of 'important' have made this paragraph more accurate. It also seems less negative (NPOV) to me. Calamarain 09:17, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Environmental Effect

When I looked at this article, a section on "Destructive effects on the Environment" was written in a fairly harsh manner, and was also filled with typographical errors. I've tried to balance it out a little while still recognizing the inherent criticism. It could still use some more balance in terms of information, however.

That seems to be a recent section. It needs a lot more thorough referencing. Samsara (talk  contribs) 10:23, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Added to that, it is a loose collection of factoids and references to pop science works. It needs to be written in the same style as the rest of the article; anything that can be salvaged for other articles such as environmentalism, should be. Regards, Samsara (talk  contribs) 10:27, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree. What do you mean exacly by 'salvaging for the environmentalism article'? That the content in this paragraph shouldn't be here but in that article? Or do you mean that we can use text from the environmentalism article to improve this paragraph? I assume the first. Then, what article could be used to rewrite this paragraph? It seems to me it should be about the role of humans on earth (in the non religious sense) and the (mutual) influence of humans and the rest of nature. Human ecology perhaps is the right subject, but the that article is only about the science itself. Calamarain 09:53, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
This section still seems to be written from the point of view of an envrionmentalist, and is not objective. D prime 08:29, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Can you be more specific? -- Donald Albury 10:30, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
The tone implies that humans have done large "damage" to the environment and that we should be condemed for it. The section is esentially a long list of referneces to environmentalist statements and ideas. Every fact sighted supports an environmentalist view point, and there is no indication of there being a controversy of the extent or moral status of human influence on the Earth until the last sentence, which seems to say "WELL, despie ALL these OBVIOUS reasons why environmentalism is THE BEST, it's still (some how!) controversial! Can you believe it?" We should remind ourselves that environmentalism is still a mere opinion, and although certain concrete facts such as that the Earth is warming are scientific consensus, environmentalist theory in general is still a controversial idea. I believe there is a section in Wikipedia's guidelines concerning sections or articles in which everything specifically is true, but is written in way which implies bias. I believe it is called weasel words. D prime 02:28, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
What sourced material would you add to the section to balance it? What changes do you suggest in the wording of the section? While you could be bold and make changes to the section, I suggest discussing any major changes back here first. While I would call myself an environmentalist (of sorts), I haven't been involved in writing the section, and so am not attached to the particular form of the section. However, other editors who have spent more time on this article will want to participate in discussion of any major changes. -- Donald Albury 03:02, 7 July 2007 (UTC)


The following suggestions were generated by a semi-automatic javascript program, and might not be applicable for the article in question.

  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (numbers), there should be a non-breaking space -   between a number and the unit of measurement. For example, instead of 24 inches, use 24 inches, which when you are editing the page, should look like: 24 inches.[?]
  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (numbers), when doing conversions, please use standard abbreviations: for example, miles -> mi, kilometers squared -> km², and pounds -> lb.[?]
  • Per Wikipedia:Context and Wikipedia:Build the web, years with full dates should be linked; for example, link January 15, 2006.[?]
  • Per WP:WIAFA, this article's table of contents (ToC) may be too long- consider shrinking it down by merging short sections or using a proper system of daughter pages as per Wikipedia:Summary style.[?]
  • This article may need to undergo summary style, where a series of appropriate subpages are used. For example, if the article is United States, than an appropriate subpage would be History of the United States, such that a summary of the subpage exists on the mother article, while the subpage goes into more detail.[?]
  • There are a few sections that are too short and that should be either expanded or merged.
  • There are a few occurrences of weasel words in this article- please observe WP:AWT. Certain phrases should specify exactly who supports, considers, believes, etc., such a view.
    • it has been
    • are considered
    • might be weasel words, and should be provided with proper citations (if they already do, or are not weasel terms, please strike this comment).[?]
  • Please make the spelling of English words consistent with either American or British spelling, depending upon the subject of the article. Examples include: armour (B) (American: armor), behavior (A) (British: behaviour), meter (A) (British: metre), defense (A) (British: defence), offense (A) (British: offence), organize (A) (British: organise), recognize (A) (British: recognise), colonize (A) (British: colonise), criticize (A) (British: criticise), categorize (A) (British: categorise), ization (A) (British: isation), isation (B) (American: ization), hemophilia (A) (British: haemophilia), cosy (B) (American: cozy), jewelry (A) (British: jewellery).
  • Watch for redundancies that make the article too wordy instead of being crisp and concise. (You may wish to try Tony1's redundancy exercises.)
    • Vague terms of size often are unnecessary and redundant - “some”, “a variety/number/majority of”, “several”, “a few”, “many”, “any”, and “all”. For example, “All pigs are pink, so we thought of a number of ways to turn them green.”
  • As done in WP:FOOTNOTE, footnotes usually are located right after a punctuation mark (as recommended by the CMS, but not mandatory), such that there is no space in between. For example, the sun is larger than the moon [2]. is usually written as the sun is larger than the moon.[2][?]
  • Please provide citations for all of the {{fact}}s.[?]

Thanks, ffm talk 14:12, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


Wouldn't it be better to use a photo of a human, instead of a drawing? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) on 20:27, 30 May 2007

You may note a lack of interest in this suggestion. This is because there have been numerous lengthly debates here about that very thing. Yet here we are with the drawing. Feel free to look back through the archives at all the discussion spent on this topic, and if you know of an image on Commons which addresses everyone's concerns, feel free to post a link here. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:31, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, it seemed good enough to be used by NASA on the Pioneer plaque. ffm talk 20:32, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
One of the problems with the wikipedia .svg image is the file format. There are better formats which are not as blobby. Might it be possible to use a .jpg format for the image? --Ancheta Wis 08:55, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
It saves loading time, .jpg files are generally too big to look as good as vector based files [2]Markthemac 04:51, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
This svg is a terrible conversion, with much detail lost. You can't just run an automated SVG conversion and expect good results. —Pengo 05:55, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree this is not as good as the previous drawing. David D. (Talk) 12:29, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
It actually annoys me quite a bit that the picture is of two whites. -- 12:16, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
How do you know they are white? If it was a color photo they certainly would not be white as Sagan goal was to have a blend all humanity in the drawings. Whether he achived that goal or not I don't know but that is the reality of the goal. If you have a better option then we could check it out? It's not easy to find something completely neutral. David D. (Talk) 12:27, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Both of them have characteristics that I perceive as North European. I understand that neutrality is difficult, however I think it's tiresome that white is always the underlying norm on Wikipedia. -- 13:16, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Needs to be Changed

"From AD 1800 to 2000, the human population increased from one to six billion." This is clearly an inaccuracy in the article and should be corrected.--—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 11 June 2007

Sounds about right to me. What do you think it should be changed to?--Filll 21:22, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

See World population, figure is correct. TimVickers 21:29, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Maybe anon thinks it should read "From 6030 BC to 2007 the human population increased from two to 6.6 billion"? <ducks> ... perhaps one billion to six billion would be clearer?? ... dave souza, talk 22:27, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Ah, I see the problem. Yes, one billion to six billion would be much clearer. TimVickers 23:31, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Should this

History / Evolution

"Anatomically modern humans appear in the fossil record in Africa about 130,000 years ago."

be changed to

"Anatomically modern humans appear in the fossil record in Africa about 164,000 years ago."


This article refers:

Markp93 13:08, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

(12/19/2007) Good, someone already brought it up: 160,000-year-old fossilized skulls uncovered in Ethiopia are oldest anatomically modern humans.

. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:29, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

(12/19/2007) Or perhaps older yet, 195,000 years old.

Fossils Push Human Emergence Back to 195,000 Years Ago

World's oldest human fossils identified

. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:42, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

"See also" section

We need to discuss the "see also" section, which currently contains two articles about fossils and one about history. Why should the article for "Human" primarily link to fossils, of all things? Wouldn't "see also" links to, say, Man, Woman, Race, People, and other such basic concepts related to "Human" be more appropriate? I mean, when I think about concepts related to "Human", list of fossil sites really isn't very high on the list. --Ashenai 09:15, 25 June 2007 (UTC) (talk) 00:26, 23 April 2008 (UTC)anonymous user, removed an umlaut.

Science and Technology - Evolution

The discovery of evolution should be mentioned in this section because it makes evident our knowledge of conscious existence. We know where we came from and that is a major breakthrough for a species. We are aware of what we really are. --Antonio.sierra 19:20, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

I think the fact that the article has sections devoted to evolution, biology and culture is enough to get your idea across. There is also sentence in the first paragraph that says, "Humans have a highly developed brain capable of abstract reasoning, language, and introspection," and there are little sentences peppered throughout the article that suggest this. B3nnic33 13:37, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

I believe this article should be edited as to only include facts, and remove any information that would be considered religious beliefs or scientific theories, such as creation (religious) or the big bang(scientific). All should be facts, period.ThundertamerS 17:34, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

If this article were to refer only to factual information, it could not include the evolution theory, as by definition a theory has not been proven. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rumyr (talkcontribs) 19:34, August 30, 2007 (UTC)

Evolution is not a theory, it is a fact. Evolution has been proven but changing the envirnments animals live in, such as oxygen concentration and temperature, the animals then develop differently to suit the environment better, which is the purpose of evolution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eddieebo (talkcontribs) 04:48, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Please read the policy on Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, ThundertamerS. This will hopefully answer your questions. Tim Vickers 17:50, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Rumyr, you're confusing the use of "theory" in conversation (which some use as a synonym for "hunch" or "guess") with scientific theory, which is much different. A theory in science is a logically consistent model for explaining a phenomenon that is testable. The "theory of evolution" aims to explain the phenonenon, just as the theory of gravity aims to explain why we stick to the ground. Would you make the argument that gravity hasn't been proven? Leebo T/C 19:45, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Show me your proof that Gravity actually exists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:06, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Massive objects attract matter through a fundamental force known as gravity. Its existence is never disputed, a lead sphere of sufficient mass can bend a copper wire for example. As for evolution, it is not a fact; the existence of fact in the scientific realm is debatable. Nearly every scientific axiom is a model that approximates some natural function. To know something as fact would imply that we know the true nature of the universe, and this is simply not so. Evolution is a trend seen in organic life forms over long periods of time, nothing more, nothing less. Its exact implementation (and by exact I mean completly precise) over the course of human history is not well characterized, especially on the molecular level. This does not mean it is false or true, merely that it is definately not fact. Whiteknight521 (talk) 02:49, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

The existence of gravity may not be disputed anymore, but scientists' understanding of it continues to . . . er . . . evolve. In this sense, gravitational theory is not unlike evolutionary theory. Rivertorch (talk) 04:24, 26 March 2008 (UTC)


are there or have there ever been homo sapiens of a subspecies other than sapiens?

See Human evolution. Tim Vickers 20:01, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

changing pictures?

In the religion section, there are two images, both of Hinduism. Should one be changed to represent another major religion? There are also two Rodin sculptures in this article (The Kiss and The Thinker). Should The Kiss be changed to another image representing love/sexuality? If so, does anyone have any ideas. The market picture under economics is also very hard to make out. Is there a better image that could be used? Calliopejen1 05:41, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

On the hinduism images, where are they? On the sculptures by Rodin, Why should it be changed? See WP:AINT. ffm 15:05, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Science and Technology: Big Bang & Age of the Universe

Is the paragraph on the Big Bang and Age of the Universe really relevant to the article on 'Human'. Science has discovered many things, why is this singled out for inclusion (in such a long winded fashion). I think it should be chopped or reduced to a single sentence. Ashmoo 10:36, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Science and Technology: Description of science Current epistemology does not see knowledge as a discovery but as a (not arbitrary) construction. Thus I would define science as the construction of knowledge through verifiable means. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:58, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Lead image

Shouldn't we have a picture of a human or humans (perhaps images of people from several different races and of different age such as children or elderly people) rather than a black and white picture? Most animal articles use a photograph or at least a life-like colour illustration at the main image. The problem here of course is whether to have a clothed or naked human, but since most people wear clothes in their normal behavior I see no reason not to just have pictures of normal people; if a crab camouflages itself with algae and such debris in it's normal behavior I doubt a picture of it would be deemed unsatisfactory unless it was removed. Of course, an morphological and/or anatomical picture, but that could go further down (though we don't seem to have an anatomy section?) Richard001 09:27, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

It's an old topic. See Talk:Human#Pic above. -- Donald Albury 20:09, 23 July 2007 (UTC)


This is not to be laughed at! Physicology needs editing and I'm only a chemist do i don't really into Phsicology.

if you are a phsycologist it would be very good if you edit the page.

Hey idiot, psychology or physiology?, I didn't see an article combining the two eg. "physichology" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eddieebo (talkcontribs) 04:56, 3 October 2007 (UTC)


"Humans are an eukaryotic species." Should it not be "Humans are a eukaryotic species", since 'eukaryote' is pronounced 'you-karyote'? Aristeaus 08:03, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Mythology and religion

"Humans are also noted for their desire to understand and influence the world around them, seeking to explain and manipulate natural phenomena through science, philosophy, mythology and religion."

Shouldn't be mythology understood, in this context, as "ancient religion"? I think there's no reason to separate both here. What do you think? --Taraborn 21:44, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure, since something like Beowulf is certainly mythology, but not really religious. Tim Vickers 22:33, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Well shouldn't religion be included in mythology, there is the same amount of truth to anciet religions as modern day ones? Why is Jesus and God/Allah (whatever) considered real but the Romans are told that there religion is a myth, or the Aborigines, Egyptians, Greeks, Incas ect...? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eddieebo (talkcontribs)

Distinction isn't between real and unreal beliefs, it's between differing elements of religion. Bible stories for instance make up the mythology of christianity, but they are by no means the whole of it, there's also baptism, confirmation, church, reciting the credo, or proselytising, none of which are rightly considered "mythology", but are all elements of various flavours of christianity. – ornis 05:22, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Summary of human reproduction

It would be wise for someone to insert a summary about human reproduction. For example, if you go to the wolf page, in article section 1.2 (designated "Courtship and mating") and article section 1.3 (designated "Reproduction"), you can see that there is a very clear outline of wolves natural reproductive behaviour. I believe the same outline should be given for humans natural reproductive behavior.

I believe the information contained in the human article section 2.2 (designated "Life cycle") and article section 3.3 (designated "Love and sexuality"), is insufficient and should be more detailed. I realise that humans are adaptive creatures and depending on their social beliefs and culture their sexual behaviour can change to suit the needs of that society of which they belong to, but there is a natural instinctive reproductive behaviour in humans, as with other animals, which should be addressed in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:20, August 27, 2007 (UTC)

Lame "Dysgenics" Section

{{RFCsci!!reason=Should the Human article contain a section on Dysgenics?}} As the article is protected and I don't have an account, could someone please get rid of this lame "Dysgenics" section? It's clearly racist, pointless in its self-contradiction, and generally a poor contribution to this article. 21:00, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

This material is controversial and poorly-sourced. I have moved it to the talk page so we can discuss if it should be in the article or not. Tim Vickers 21:25, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


Further information: Dysgenics

Nobel Prize winner William Shockley has put forward the theory that the average individual in a civilization may eventually become weaker through the process of dysgenics. In his book Shockley on Eugenics and Race, Shockley claims that this process occurs because the most intelligent actually reproduce least leaving the population less able to perform higher functions. This effect is presently being observed in almost every country on earth in a process known as the Demographic-economic paradox. Shockley further claims that the high population growth rate of blacks and intermarriage between blacks and other races are likely to cause another global societal collapse, due to their lower IQs (see Race and intelligence).

Demographic studies generally indicate that the more intelligent and better educated women in affluent nations have much lower reproductive rates than the less educated, which has led to concern regarding the future of intelligence in these nations. The most cited work is Vining's 1982 study on the fertility of 2,539 U.S. women aged 25 to 34; the average fertility is correlated at -0.86 in IQ for white women and -0.96 for black women, and indicated a drop in the genotypic average IQ of 1.6 per generation for the white population and 2.4 points per generation for the black population. A 2004 study by Richard Lynn and Marian Van Court returned similar results, with the genotypic decline measuring at 0.9 IQ points per generation for the total sample and 0.75 IQ points for whites only.[1] In contradiction with this finding is the "Flynn Effect"[2], based upon the fact that "performance on IQ tests has increased with each generation".[3] For example with Raven's Progressive Matricies "People tested in 1992 scored 27 points higher on average than people of the same age had scored in 1942". Discussing these effects, Science reporter John Horgan concludes "The Flynn effect highlights the vital (if mysterious) role that culture plays in intelligence, at least as it is measured by IQ tests. It also suggests that, contrary to The Bell Curve, environmental interventions may close the gaps in IQ scores between different groups.

  1. ^ Lynn, Richard; Van Court, Marilyn (2004). "New evidence of dysgenic fertility for intelligence in the United States". Intelligence (Ablex Pub.) 32 (2): p. 193. ISSN 0160-2896. 
  2. ^ Horgan, John (2006), "The Flynn Effect and Genetic Determinism" (July 28th, 2006, Centre for Science Writing) [1]
  3. ^ "Intelligence: The Influence of Heredity and Environment". [}

Tim, before you make any changes, please read the rules of this encyclopedia. It is very well sourced, has a balanced POV, and there are three other major articles each with countless sources on this site alone dedicated to the topic that users have decided overwhelmingly to keep (Dysgenics, Race and intelligence, Eugenics) and numerous articles about related topics such as William Shockley. Before you remove anything, take it to the talk page, not the other way around. Gold Nitrate 00:27, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Let me add that this is not racism but a compilation of facts that have become accepted enough to make it to many mainstream publications such as The Bell Curve. In my expert opinion, that section is vital. Gold Nitrate 00:33, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Addition of this material does not yet have consensus. Please discuss this on the talk page, rather than simply replacing the controversial section. Sourcing an entire section from a blog and a single article in an obscure journal is unacceptable. Moreover, why is this twice as notable (comparing length of sections in the Human article) as "language"? This appears to me to simply be a neologism for eugenics. Tim Vickers 01:31, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

On an article such as this the onus is on people adding material to show it is an improvement, not the other way around. When people have worked on an article for several years and got it up to GA status, it doesn't require a detailed discussion before material can be removed. There is already a large amount on culture and society. I tend to agree with Tim that it is a bit long in relation to other sections, and I also point out too much of it is on intelligence. A very concise summary of the article, at most half its current length, may be appropriate. It would be advisable to discuss it first and then add it if it has approval. Richard001 03:12, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Aside from the good sources, and the balance in POV, the only other factor is notability, and it definitely has achieved notability through many mainstream publications, both formal and casual.
An unrigerous examination of even more sources and publications can be made through looking at the main articles Dysgenics and Race and intelligence which users have already voted overwhelmingly to keep and is longer than the language main article and clearly related to humans. Gold Nitrate 03:49, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with TimVickers that this is at best placing undue weight on this topic. The article probably merits a very brief mention of intelligence and heredity, but little if any of this material is appropriate. If any such material is included it should come from review articles and/or textbooks; it's such a contentious area that anyone trying to write a balanced treatment directly from the work of proponents of each side of the argument will almost inevitably cross the border into original research in order to distill the material into an appropriate concise chunk. For the time being at least, that section should be removed from the article.--ragesoss 04:25, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Again you're using a bad line of reasoning here, G.N. The length of an article is of no relevance whatever. There are very important articles that are stubs or non-existent. Controversial or popular topics are often disproportionately long.
Having read dysgenics now I see than you have basically added a little of the lead together with a few sections from the main body. This doesn't result in a good summary of the topic. I would recommend starting by writing a quality lead section for that article first.
If this isn't to have a separate section, it might also be added to human evolution. The human race is probably evolving faster now than ever before, and current and future evolution is just as relevant as our past history. Richard001 05:47, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • The section is inappropriate. Just because we have lots of articles about a subject, and the subject is about human beings does not mean that it should be in the article about humans. There are already sections about human evolution and race and ethnicity, and those are subjects of the appropriate depth (very, very deep indeed) for this article. As dysgenics is a topic under both of those categories, it doesn't need to be in the article itself. Enuja 22:20, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree, responding to the RFC. I have no opinion for or against the theory of dysgenics. It appears to be a theory about the interaction of anthropological, sociological, and evolutionary forces upon humanity. As such, it would most appropriately be referred to in Wikipedia's existing article on the topic Human evolution. The Human evolution article would be appropriate to refer to in this article about humanity in general. VisitorTalk 02:24, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Dharmic religions

The phrase dharmic religions is an obscure neologism with almost only fringe sources using it and should be removed from articles that do not describe this theoriess or their main proponents. This is not just my personal crusade to reduce use of this phrase in Wikipedia. See Wikipedia_talk:Hinduism-related_topics_notice_board#Dharmic_Religions. Andries 21:13, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

The article is currently in AfD, which you started. You are also "raiding" the "what links here" list for that article, so your actions can be easily interpreted as a personal crusade. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 21:28, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Even if the article is kept then the term is overused and is inappropriate here. Do you deny this? If you deny this then please show the many peer reviewed sources or even one scholarly book about the concept or classification of dharmic religions. If the term remain here then in this very basic unrelated article then the phrase must have many multiple scholarly treatments. Andries 21:33, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
The AFD was triggered mainly because it was noticed that the phrase was overused in Wikipedia and in addition the article did not have reputable sources worth the name . Andries 21:42, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
I suggest I or JohnBodI file a Wikipedia:request for commment. Andries 21:47, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Certainly no one will bother with this whilst the AfD is running. Johnbod 22:27, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
The AFD is hardly related. I admit that there is place in Wikipedia for rather obscure topics, but it should not be used in important articles such as these. Andries 22:36, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

I replaced Abrahamic religions with Judaism and Dharmic religions with Hinduism. Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism did not exist at 2000BCE. Andries 22:38, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

This article sounds odd

This article sounds like Here, for it assumes that the reader is not human. Well, it does sound more encyclopedic like that, but still... Marlith T/C 02:22, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Mmmmm....good point... ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:24, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
The article switches from being said in a third person view to first person many example is "We are also noted for our desire to understand and influence the world around them,". It needs to be changed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:06, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Are all Wikipedia editors human? Marlith T/C 04:16, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I have to say that I strongly dislike the use of the word "we" in the article. It just comes off as unencyclopedic in tone... it feels like the article is having a friendly chat with me, talking about all the things the two of us (that is, me and this wikipedia article) have in common as humans. I would strongly opt to strip all usage of 'we' and similar constructs from the article on that basis... it simply does not read in an encyclopedic tone. --Aquillion 08:20, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I feel inhuman reading this article, myself... but, of the two, I would choose a third-person viewpoint, since it does sound most encyclopedic. --Partymetroid 07:05, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I think reading this article is cool. Makes me feel like a Klingon learning about the earthlings. Guldenat (talk) 05:42, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I am an alien learning about those humans and I must say that Time Lords, Vulcans and Romulans really are infinitely superior...DarkestMoonlight (talk) 14:50, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Bias toward civilization

Perhaps unwittingly, there were some biases in the article with regard to civilization. For instance, there was no mention that some human communities still live successfully as hunter-gatherers and there was a point about stable food sources only existing with agriculture (I doubt the countless other animals would agree).

I will be reading over this article in depth later to see if there is anything else that could be changed.

Humans have only lived in civilizations for the past 10,000 years and it looks like the older way was working out better for us, for more information see works by: Derrick Jensen, Daniel Quinn, John Zerzan. Or see: anarcho-primitivism
--Briansaccount 03:48, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Sinebot, that's actually incorrect. More and more evidence is being unearthed that show that humans have lived in 'civilised' communities, some of them very advanced, for over 10,000 years. Some people have found evidence that humans have been around in their present evolutionary state for up to 1.8 million years, with other, more intelligent species preceding us. Obviously, this type of information usually causes a stir, so I will refer you to Graham Hancock, John Anthony West, Robert Bauval and John Gordon who have gathered information from many reputable archaeologists, palaeontologists, geologists and many other sources. --Eat and buy Certified Organic products - they're good for you and good for the environment (talk) 00:02, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

To help you be less violently biased, here are a couple of books you might want to read and reference:
Sick Societies: Challenging Primitive Harmony
The Myth of the Peaceful Savage —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:10, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

The best way to get information about these ancient societies is to make it up yourself, that way your only getting your own fantasies and no one else's. The simple truth is that there is no evidence one way or the other - most archeology is basically guesswork. - However Occam's razor says that all things being equal we were no more than other animals until quite recently - (20K to 7K yr) when we began to store our thoughts as writing and began to evolve into 'sentient' things/beings. Lucien86 (talk) 07:39, 15 February 2008 (UTC)


They say Wikipedia can sound a bit impersonal, but it has really out done itself in this sentence: "It is said that humans originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago ... but they now inhabit every continent....

Who was this article written by and for? Have dogs been trained to read or aliens contacted? I think that when talking about the human species, if at no time else, we may use some personal pronouns!

Bendykst 01:43, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I know it's wierd phrasing but consistancy and encylopedic tone are held in high esteem here. -- 23:41, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
"Humans say that...."? :-) Steve Dufour 02:15, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
This was addressed above, wasn't it? ("This article sounds odd") I do believe there's an NPOV issue, but quite in the opposite direction you're thinking. It has to be "encyclopedic," as stated, but mainly because we can't have any "human" bias towards our own species. It's just not professional to say "We do so-and-so, while they do this," no matter what species we are. Overall, it has to be objective, in order to be truly "encyclopedic" and scholarly in application. MasterXiam (talk) 22:04, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

WOW, just give me a minute here.... I've got a lot to write.

-Dren (talk) 16:44, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

1. Origin:

Science's goal is finding truth. Which is the same goal as religion. Sadly both periodically fail miserably and evolution is as much of a theory or mythos as creationism, both of which are generally accepted truths. As such, I think it's important to point out these widely accepted scientific and religious beliefs objectively in the section related to the origin of the human species - since that is exactly what they relate to. In addition to that the creationism theory pre-dates the evolutionary theory therefore I find it incredibly odd that this part is left out of the section on origin. Any other modern theories related to the origin of the human species should probably be briefly brushed upon as well.

This section is completely one sided and assumes that all readers accept the theory of evolution. See the beginning of paragraph 4 quoted below.

"Human evolution is characterized by a number of important morphological..."

Maybe human evolution should have a section on it's own or be discussed at this length in a separate article?

-Dren (talk) 16:51, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Six paragraphs on human origins hardly seems excessive in an encyclopedia article about humans. There is widespread consensus throughout the scientific community about fundamentals of human evolution, and this has been the case for a long time. It is therefore entirely appropriate for the Origins section to focus on evolution. I'm not aware of any other "modern theories" about human evolution that are considered credible within the scientific community, but if you know of any, please add them (with proper citations) and enlighten us. Let's not equate religious theories with scientific theory, though. The former involve opinion and shouldn't be presented as equivalent to fact in an encyclopedia article. Rivertorch (talk) 07:40, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Please Read:
Evolution Is Religion--Not Science:
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
Is Evolution a Theory, a Fact, or a Law?
by Dr. David N. Menton, Ph.D.
Since this is an encyclopedic article, I think it's only fair to include the oldest recorded theories of human origin in the section on human origin. Objectively speaking both points of view are equally valid and neither scientific or religious theories of human origin have actually ever been proven.
Neutral point of view is a fundamental Wikipedia principle. NPOV is absolute and non-negotiable.
-Dren (talk) 10:16, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
WP:NPOV is intended to prevent editors' personal beliefs and biases from slanting articles. It isn't intended to justify the demotion of scientific consensus to mere opinion, while illegitimately conferring "scientific" status on theological or political arguments. Regarding Henry Morris, he was a hydraulic engineer who believed that Earth is only a few thousand years old; he was not a scientist. As for David Menton, WP:BLP constrains me a bit, but suffice it to say that essays published under the auspices of the Missouri Association for Creation aren't exactly reliable sources for the building of Wikipedia. If Mr. Menton (who, strangely, has a doctorate both before and after his name) has developed any hypotheses about human origins and published them in peer-reviewed scientific journals, I'm sure we'd all be glad to read them. In the meantime, let's try to keep in mind that all points of view on this or any topic are not "equally valid"; some reflect fact and some reflect opinion. We're all entitled to our own opinions, but Wikipedia articles must not confuse them with fact. Rivertorch (talk) 13:31, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
The article is not neutral. Your argument is partially valid. My point still rests immovably. This article will need some serious improvement to meet the requirements and become featured again.
Please read "WP:NPOV":
-Dren (talk) 14:01, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Examples of Other Orgin of Life Theories

Here is some food for thought for the writers who want to undertake the task of rewriting this section. In the discussion of the human species these views are an inseparable from human history as well as daily human life in modern times. These ideas related to human origin are equally valid beliefs or truths held by the vast majority of humans. No single idea about human origin has been proved. As such, these widely accepted truths absolutely must be touched upon, preferably in a brief and concise manner. Ideally, this will provide a more accurate depiction humans and explain the human species in an encyclopedic and objective manner.

  • "Theistic evolution view: Evolution, etc. happened just as scientists believe. However, it is viewed as a tool created, used, directed, and/or controlled by God in order to accomplish a higher purpose -- the creation of humans. ..."

Quote from:

  • "Intelligent Design: The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific

disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion." Quote from:

There are other theories besides these three, but I think these three distinct theories - which to some left brained people may seem to overlap (and can, depending on personal beliefs) - encompass the basics of human belief on it's own origin. If you become aware of additional theories not encompassed by these three in addition to evolution then please add a brief description and sources here.

-Dren (talk) 15:04, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

2. Rise of civilization

Whoever the writers are for this section need a lot more citations. Also, the last paragraph is completely disjointed from the earlier paragraphs. It is not made clear how changes result in globalization which leads to technology, clashes, WMD, environmental destruction and polution ? Is this related to the rise of civilization? Maybe the last paragraph should be reworded.

-Dren (talk) 16:58, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

3. Life Cycle

I removed this...

"This is because of both the relatively large fetal head circumference (for housing the brain) and the mother's relatively narrow pelvis? (a trait required for successful bipedalism, by way of natural selection)."

This simply isn't accurate and the language isn't consistent with the articles cited. Child birthing problems are mostly determined by the shapes of the mothers hips, that is the distance between the hips. Not the narrowness. In a female, the pelvic inlet is round or oval with respect to the heart-shaped pelvic inlet in the male. Dimorphism is discussed in the cited articles, and that is when a female has heart-shaped or hips that are not shaped with the expected norm. Hip shape is one of the main causes of problematic child birthing.


-Dren (talk) 17:13, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

4. Spirituality and religion

I don't know why these are grouped together. I can't even begin to touch on this on the level of the scope of humanity as a whole... or I would rewrite it myself. However, this isn't even close to neutral.

For example, the language is highly inappropriate and vague... "spirituality is unique in that it focuses on mystical or supernatural concepts such as [karma] and God." ???

If that's accurate then I'd like to know why "karma" is not in the spirituality article on wiki. Since, it's actually a religious concept and not a spiritual concept. In addition to that there are quite a few organizations that do embody spiritual concepts but don't accept the existence of God. For example, AA has spiritual elements where they look to a higher power (not necessarily God). I think that the language in this section should be expanded, reconsidered, or omitted. With expansion it should probably be confined to another article.

Also, I think this section is highly encyclopedic in canter and tone. Not only is it highly unencyclopedia but it's highly inaccurate, for example... when did religion become equated with spirituality, i.e.

"a majority of humans profess some variety of religious or spiritual belief, some are irreligious, that is lacking or rejecting belief in the supernatural or spiritual"

There are very large portion of irreligious people who are highly spiritual and involved heavily in the supernatural. For example, chaos magicians, "new agers", energy workers, etc...

In short, this whole section on spirituality and religion needs to be confined to one topic or the other, or needs to be completely rewritten. My humble suggestion is that this section is split up into two sections which are brief, encyclopedic, and objective. These topics can be discussed at lengths in their appropriate existing articles in wikipedia.

-Dren (talk) 14:31, 23 March 2008 (UTC)


Remove the stance "with only small minorities fully heterosexual or homosexual". You can compare the number of fully heterosexals with that of fully homosexuals only if you are a real (and read REAL) idiot. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:58, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Surely sexuality is largely a programmed psycho-cultural behaviour. About 90% of human males are in the middle range - it is culture and internal logical paradigms that drive someone to either sexuality - but the overwhelming factors are usually aggression and socialization as children. In other words your flat wrong - babies don't have sexuality its a learned behaviour. - Lucien86 (talk) 08:01, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

While its true that babies don't show any preference for sexual partners (and it would not benefit them evolutionarily to either) i do not think anyone can say for sure that sexuality is learned behaviour. 90% of human males spend most of their time with other males, but they generally (90% of the time) dont get sexual feelings for each other, and i don't think its down to internal logical paradigms. you only have to look at somewhere like the prison system, where a small percentage of the population do find themselves attracted to the same sex. in this case we have a highly aggressive situation with 100% of the population being the same sex, where it is in no way easy to be homosexual, but still a limited few do discover an attraction to the same sex, and whilst it could be argued that some men just want to get theirs regardless, homosexual practice is not widespread in situations of incarceration. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:28, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Current Evolution

There is no doubt that the human population continues to undergo evolution, a topic which has gained renewed interest when the new research was published. I added the section in the light of the overwhelming evidence supporting inherent differences and fertility between humans. Gold Nitrate 17:44, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Please list these new research publications and discuss this controversial addition on the talk page. This section was overwhelmingly rejected last time you tried to put it in the article, so please explain what has changed. Tim Vickers 17:51, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Look at the number of new sources. There has been such a remarkable change since September that the information is deemed far too important to be not included. Gold Nitrate 17:54, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
The first source is from a self-published website and does not deal with "dysgenics/eugenics", it seems closer to science fiction than genuine science. The only other new source is a newspaper story on the unpublished opinions of one man. This is not a reliable scientific source on human evolution. What new research publications have there been on "Dysgenics" since last time you tried to add this to the article? Tim Vickers 18:07, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Out of curiosity I did a PubMed search on "human evolution" - 915 hits, and a search on "Dysgenics" - 2 hits. So from the numbers of reliable publications we should devote a maximum of 0.2% of the attention we give to human evolution to discussing "Dysgenics". That means with 639 words in the section on Human evolution, we might consider giving Dysgenics 1.28 words. However, I'm open to arguments that this might be too much. Tim Vickers 00:18, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
One of which appears a discussion of the ethical questions for reproductive specialists, raised by deaf parents choosing to have deaf children, and the other... I have no idea, there's no abstract, do you have access to APA online tim? – ornis 00:30, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
It's true story that deaf parents choose to have deaf children. it's deaf culture that they have given sign language to deaf child. Edwtie 18:28, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Not at home, I'll have a look at work on Monday if nobody else can get access. Tim Vickers 00:34, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
It was authored by Richard Lynn so I can guess the conclusion. The other issues to be considered here, is the validity of IQ testing as an actual measure of intelligence. The best you can say of that is that the notion is popular, but by no means the consensus position of the scientific community. – ornis 01:24, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Help, fast

Some very primitive human being wrote: "go around. and suck each others balls(:" after the "Culture" subdivision. I couldn't fix it, as the page is protected.

Please correct. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:45, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


I do not know if this have been discussed before. I think it is a good idea to replace the top image with a photograph of one human, in his/her natural environment, (like a inside house, out in the nature, in a village etc.). Most other articles about mammals do it this way. The person should also have clothes, because most humen where clothes. You do not have a picture of a naked hermit crab do you? Helpsloose 11:55, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

It has been discussed before. No one has yet proposed a specific image that a consensus of editors can agree on as better representing humans as a totality. Propose a specific image and it can be discussed. -- Donald Albury 12:13, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Why the problem with nudity, especially given this is a historic image? This is no different to an art gallery with naked sculptures or painting. It is not real it is a representation. David D. (Talk) 15:07, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
The problem with nudity is that it is is not normal to be nude among other peoples. Humen are normally clothed and should be shown that way, just like the hermit crab. I did not say it because I want the article to be censored.
What about some of these pictures?
Image:Prokudin-Gorskii-19.jpg, Image:Sergei-Prokudin-Gorski-Larg.jpg, Image:Kailar_(_Kayılar_)_baby.JPG, Image:Schuminweb_2005-03.jpg, Image:Waterpipe.jpeg, Image:Kerala-girl-left.jpg, Image:Fidel_Castro_102006.jpg, Image:Abdullah_of_Saudi_Arabia.jpg.
And maybe this: Image:Woman_walking_in_Afghanistan.jpg, well, just kidding. Helpsloose 16:37, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

The problem is the same one that the Voyager spacecraft people had to face: What single image would suffice to depict all of humanity, by showing only two individuals. Any image with clothing would put the culture that clothing is from above all other cultures. Humans are not naturally clothed - we have to make/buy our clothes and wear them. This is not natural, but it is a societal norm. But which clothes we make/buy/wear is a societal variable. - UtherSRG (talk) 16:53, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Humans are not naturally clothed, but they are normally clothed. That is indeed information that should be provided in the lead image (though ideally the clothing would obscure as little as possible of the human's general anatomy). We can show naked humans immediately afterward, in the "anatomy" section.
Anyway, unlike the Voyager spacecraft, we are specifically and exclusively an academic resource. We cannot be influenced by special interest groups or politics, so we are free to choose a politically incorrect image that is more valuable to an uninformed reader than a drawing could ever be. Picking a specific culture's clothing does not put that culture "above" other cultures anymore than picking a particular hairstyle, height, skin tone, or weight is discriminatory. It's just providing an example. We provide examples, in one form or another, on most Wikipedia articles, rather than trying to fully represent every aspect of the subject in one image (which is, for obvious reasons, usually impossible). -Silence 01:10, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
We don't care how animals we pictures look like (as long as they look like they should). The peoples above are all humen and the pictures are good, therefore they can be used at the start of the article without problems. We can not picture all types of humen in this article, but give an example (and not a drawing).
I like the pictures of Mohammed Alim Khan ([3]) and Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky ([4]) best.
And hermit crabs are not naturally shelled, yet they are pictured with one, because that is how we see them, if space-monsters are coming to earth some day, they will see we are wearing clothes.
Showing a person with clothes on will not put a culture "above all other cultures". Helpsloose 17:51, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I changed to that now, to show real humen and how they actually look like, not the stupid drawing. Helpsloose 21:42, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Helploose, stop changing the image without consensus to do so. Persisting in that could put you in violation of the three revert rule. -- Donald Albury 22:11, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
This is too stupid, what is wrong with the pictures? It shows two normal humen of different nationality, age and sex. I am not a racist, but it looks like some you are too much anti-racist. We must not be afraid to choose some picture just because they do not represent all types of humen. Look at the cow-article for example, the taxobox (is that the right name?) shows one cow, other cows look different but it is a good picture of a cow. The lion article have one male and one female, because the difference is bigger. I made it like that here. Just because some nationality or culture are pictured at the top does not mean anything other than it is an example of humen.
We should have a photograph in this article, because we have good photographs to choose from. We does not need some picture made by some astronomers or whatever. -Helpsloose 23:02, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
This has been discussed extensively and repeatedly in the past, and the consensus has always been to keep the Pioneer Plaque. Until there is a consensus on an image to replace the Pioneer Plaque, you can present and argue for alternatives, but please do not change the lead image until there is an explicit consensus on this page to do so. -- Donald Albury 23:39, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
From your argument it sounds as if there are no pictures of real humans in this article but there are quite a few. Have you looked through the archives yet? If you can address the arguments from the archives then I'll listen to your argument but to just come here and say This is too stupid so we should change it will not convince many. Here are the links to the relevant archives: Talk:Human/Archive_22#Human_image, Talk:Human/Archive_22#Picture and Talk:Human/Archive_23#Images David D. (Talk) 00:55, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't recall Helploose saying "This is too stupid". Indeed, his above arguments seem quite intelligent and thought-out; they certainly convinced me. He pointed out specific, concrete problems with the current image, and proposed possible replacement images to prompt a dialogue on the issue. I agree that he should have read the archives a bit beforehand, and that he should have waited for consensus before making the switch, but his logic is pretty rock-solid. -Silence 01:02, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I like the Pioneer Plaque, but I think there should be some way of noting pictorially the fact that humans are very diverse in their appearance and cultural habits. Perhaps a World's Fair? — Rickyrab | Talk 07:44, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Nah. The focus should be on the people themselves. How about a variously dressed crowd, then.... nah, too little space for that.... aw, heck, keep the Pioneer Plaque. — Rickyrab | Talk 07:46, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
You are correct that a variously dressed crowd, or a collage, would not fit. See Talk:Human/Image. However, you are making the error of assuming that the main purpose of an image at the top of Human would be to illustrate humanity's diversity. That is emphatically not the purpose of such an image. The purpose is to illustrate the important distinguishing characteristics of human (as contrasted with other species): technology (including clothing and buildings), social interaction and communication, bipedal locomotion and an upright gait, free hands for using tools, etc. These points, not "diversity", are emphasized in the lead section, and for the same reason should be emphasized in the first image. If we do deal with diversity, our main concern should be showing the variation between humans of different sexes and ages; the variation between humans of different cultures, races, ethnicities, etc. are comparatively trivial. And, in order to avoid overcrowding, if we do try to depict this diversity we should not do so with more than 2-3 humans focused on in the image. Nor do we really need to. Frogs are much more diverse than humans in their appearance, yet we show an example frog at the top of Frog, not a ton of them smushed into one image; and language is quite diverse as well, yet we show a specific example of language, not a sample of all languages (or even all major languages), at the top. -Silence 00:59, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I have seen the pictures in the article, they are not so good (no colour/man too small/etc) and the top images is maybe a little more important. And I have read the discussion earlier, the peoples wanting to change the drawing have much better arguments I think. This is not a page about culture or something, where we must have to in the best way represent all cultures. The drawing is not even well drawn, it does not look right, and I really do not see anything wrong with those two pictures. Why is it so important for you to represent all cultures? It is just an example, and the drawing is not so cross-cultural eiher. Sometimes we must do things that is right, not hesitate because someone can feel insulted. Because in this case it is nothing to worry about, it is not a thing to feel insulted by.
This reminds me about a news story I read, about policemen that was called racist because they stopped criminals that where of a different skin colour than them. This lead to the policemen avoiding criminals with other skin colours. This is maybe just as bad as policemen that stop peoples because they have a different skin colour (although this problem is probably bigger). And please, do not think I am a right-extremist. I am more the opposite, I wish peoples to be threaten equal. (I actually meant to write treated here, but I both will be correct. If you really have to threat someone it does not matter what skin colour they have Helpsloose 19:24, 13 November 2007 (UTC)).
So give me a real good argument (not like "I like the Pioneer Plaque" or something it is just as silly as "too stupid".) So to all readers of this discussion. Read the archive and our comments here and say what you think.
I also put back the images so all can see what I am talking about.
Helpsloose 16:53, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
And I have removed the clutter. -- Donald Albury 21:13, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd say that the first photo is decent, the second poor or mediocre. Both are sub-par in that they only show one sex, unlike the current drawing, and also in that they don't show bipedal locomotion (though the first one at least implies it). The first's informational advantage over the second is significant: we can see the lower body much better, and the main use of hands (holding tools) is shown exceedingly well. My only significant concern, aside from the aforementioned lack of sexual dimorphism and ambulation, is that the first image is of a noteworthy individual; ideally, our image would be of a random non-noteworthy person, although I'm not sure this is a big enough problem here to warrant favoring a crude drawing over a photograph. (Obviously, the fact that the second photo has the rhetorical advantage of seeming more culturally diverse to us is irrelevant; our job is to be educational and neutral, not politically correct from a Western vantage point.)
Also, Helpsloose is correct. It is neither our job to represent all cultures, nor to avoid representing any particular culture. Our article on frog does not begin with a picture of every frog species, nor does it begin with a generic drawing representing all frogs (even though frogs are thousands of times more biologically diverse than humans); it begins with a random example of a frog. -Silence 00:29, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Helploose's points are valid. We don't use drawings for other species' articles; using one for this one suggests bias. The fact that no human could possibly represent the whole variety of all humans is beyond irrelevant; we need an example of a human at the top, not a representative or archetype of all humanity, much like our articles on frog or house use an example. The drawing's been used so far only because we couldn't find an adequate replacement; it is not ideal, because drawings provide less information than photographs and are thus less useful to readers.

Please see Talk:Human/Image. -Silence 23:56, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

However, it is not enough to talk in the abstract, you need to find a paricular free image that can gain consensus here as being better than the Pioneer Plaque at representing humanity as a whole. -- I haven't seen any alternative image presented yet that does that for me. -- Donald Albury 00:19, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd say that the "man with cane" image is somewhat better than the current one, though perhaps not sufficiently so to merit a switchover quite yet. From a purely neutral perspective, it's clearly better, as it better-educates someone who doesn't know what humans look like than the drawing does. (The image of the Kerala woman is also arguably better on these grounds than the drawing, but I'd be less willing to argue that point because it fails to very well demonstrate two of the most essential distinguishing features of human biology: hands specialized for tool-using and legs/hips for bipedal locomotion.) However, from a practical, editorial standpoint one might want to wait until we find an even better one before making the switch, if only in order to avoid the time-wasting hassle of having to explain and justify the new image to dozens of outraged page visitors until the transition finally becomes settled. -Silence 00:34, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
It better educates someone who doesn't know what humans look like? What kind of argument is that? How many people do you think don't know what humans look like? Even then, a very generic drawing of a man and woman is still better than an old guy with a cane. I'm sorry, but that argument is even weaker than "this picture is better because the other one is stupid".--Atlan (talk) 18:03, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
How many people do you think don't know what houses or teeth or grass look like? Yet we include photos at the top of each of those articles, because that's what those articles are about. Likewise, this article, which is about humans, rather than about drawings of humans or the Pioneer plaque, should feature at its top a photograph of a human, not a noteworthy drawing of them. It's consistent with all other major species articles, provides more visual information, and has a smaller chance of misleading or confusing a hypothetical uninformed reader.
Just because all people know what people look like, for example, doesn't mean that all people will find a photo of a human useless here: suppose someone who doesn't know English particularly well is browsing this Wikipedia and isn't quite sure what human means; he sees the Pioneer image, and his first guess might be that human means "drawing", or "nudity", or any of a number of other things. This unnecessary potential ambiguity is avoided to the greatest extent possible by simply including a photo of humans as they are usually seen, exactly as we do for most other species articles.
Also, you haven't provided any argument at all that the man and woman one is actually better than the "old" man one. The only real advantage it has is that it depicts both a male and a female human; aside from that, it's in every way inferior for this specific purpose. And even if it wasn't, it's an unencyclopedic image for human outside of any particular comparisons. In most (not all, but most) cases, we should illustrate articles with images that are not noteworthy in their own right, unless the article is about that image: Marilyn Monroe, for example, should be illustrated at the top of her article with a photograph of her, not with Warhol's iconic depiction of her. The only major exception to this rule that comes to mind is when photographs are unavailable (e.g., for many historical figures), and obviously this is not the case for human beings. -Silence 20:32, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
It does not look like there is anyone with a good argument for keeping the drawing (if they had any they would probably have written it here a long time ago.) I think consensus is about to change. I am considering putting the two photographs on the page again. Helpsloose 21:47, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. The arguments have been made before. You have yet to provide a picture that fits the criteria that have been discussed previously. I suggest we at least have both sexes in the picture. That is the advantage of the drawing and the fact it is iconic. For me, those points out weigh the fact of having an imperfect photo that may draw more criticism that the drawing itself. David D. (Talk) 21:58, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
David, keep in mind that although the proposed images may not fit all ideal criteria, the current image fits even fewer of those criteria: it's not even a photograph, making it more suitable for a children's book than for an academic encyclopedia. Technically, the drawing does not, in fact, have two sexes: it has a loose, stylized collection of lines that some might interpret as showing a male and female, if they already expected to see that. Only a photograph of a male and female would in any meaningful sense be a depiction of both sexes; the drawing doesn't really illustrate either sex well. Also, the fact that a drawing is iconic is a reason not to use it at the top of an encyclopedia article, obviously. Being iconic makes something less neutral and relevantly educational! I'm surprised I even have to say that. -Silence (talk) 14:31, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Well I did say two photographies (actually photographs, funny mistake, the man was a photograph). I think we should use a woman too. If you read, then you will see the image:Kerala-girl-left.jpg is mentioned. (if I could put my example back again it would be easier for all to see). Two images are also used in the lion article. Helpsloose 22:18, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Consensus hasn't changed at all, nor is it about to, as long as no one presents any convincing arguments to change the image. So far, we have "Pioneer plaque is stupid", "animals don't have generic drawings, so neither should humans", and "humans who want to know what humans look like are better served by pictures". Those are, at least in my view, weak arguments. BTW, the links to your images are still in this thread, everyone can click on them to take a look. I've bolded them so they stick out a little more.--Atlan (talk) 22:20, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Atlan, there hasn't actually been consensus in favor of the Pioneer plaque in years. Read the archives. Pretty much every discussion in the past has come to the same conclusion: the plaque illustration is woefully inadequate, but the proposed replacement images are largely inadequate as well. It's been ages since anyone seriously asserted that the plaque should be kept in the article in the long term, because its flaws and unencyclopedic nature (for the human article, as opposed to the Pioneer plaque article) are so readily apparent. The only question is what to replace it with, and how urgent it is to make that replacement. We are currently discussing these two questions, with ongoing debate about which image to put in its place, and about whether we should hurry to replace it with something now or wait longer until we have a more "perfect" replacement. I am to some extent on the fence on both these questions, but it would be foolish of me to deny the simple fact that the Pioneer plaque image has lost consensus support long, long ago, or that some sort of change is necessary to bring this article's lead up to snuff.
Also, Atlan, humans are animals; acquaint yourself with the animal article. It demonstrates bias to treat humans preferentially by giving them, and no other major species, a drawing in lieu of a photograph. Also, your claim that those three strawmen are the only arguments proposed thus far against the Pioneer plaque is either an amusing lie, or you need to reread the arguments against the Pioneer plaque more carefully. -Silence (talk) 14:31, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Not that weak, and yours are weaker. I really do not see why the images are so bad. They are at lest real humen, they show what the article is about, and for most other articles, that is enough. (I know the images is there, but not all others do).Helpsloose 22:29, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
It's funny that you would say my arguments are weaker, since I haven't presented any. I do however, support the other arguments to keep the pioneer plaque.--Atlan (talk) 22:37, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I meant plural you. Helpsloose 22:38, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I didn't read the entire argument, but the image should be changed for many reasons. One, it's a drawing, not a photo. It should be a photo, there's no reason to use a drawing. Two, the humans depicted don't look like real people. They are disproportionate. Three, they are badly drawn.

I think people should stop trying to find one single human to represent all humanity, and all races. Such a person doesn't exist, so we shouldn't try find one. Just use a high quality photo of a human being. Malamockq (talk) 01:56, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Pioneer plaque image

This image is inaccurate. It doesn't depict the woman's vulva. It doesn't depict hair other than on the head and eyebrows. It doesn't appear to depict fingernails. All of these are certainly important features of the human body. The lack of this depiction would be acceptable if the humans were located in an environment, or enacting a task, or showing a unique human trait... but they are merely standing naked - this is one of the worst images that could be used.

Alternatives are easy, in fact, a good alternative is on the page itself. Image:Two_young_girls_at_Camp_Christmas_Seals.jpg shows a male and female, it shows interaction, it shows two forms of emotion, it shows clothing, it is an actual photograph... I would change it myself, but I fear that there is reasoning for the current image's use. Otherwise, I will happily change it. --Teggles (talk) 09:50, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

By the way, yes, this image is not perfect. But it depicts humans far better than the plaque image. One criticism could be the existence of clothing. However, the majority of humans wear clothing, and so clothing is representative of humans. The colour is also a problem, yes. However, a grayscale photograph is certainly better than a two-colour drawing. We don't have to replace the image with a "perfect" one, that can wait - but it is important that the currently terrible image is replaced. --Teggles (talk) 10:00, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I've just found the above discussion and read it all. Whoops. Yet still, I haven't seen my argument presented in there, so I guess my point remains. --Teggles (talk) 10:09, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Teggles, your argument has been made in broad strokes above (since it's been pointed out that the Pioneer image is inaccurate and oversimplified), but I appreciate your level of detail in pointing out that image's shortcoming, and your added input to the discussion. Your proposed replacement is not really adequate, though: it depicts young children (we wouldn't use an image of a tadpole to illustrate the top of Frog, would we?), and it does not, in fact, show a male and female (the image title clearly says "Two young girls"). And the level of interaction is questionable. I agree it's an improvement over the plaque image, but almost anything would be, really. -Silence (talk) 14:18, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I still think image:Sergei-Prokudin-Gorski-Larg.jpg is the best. It show the man out in the nature, like the animal pictures. It show us that humen have the possibility to sit, clothe, use canes (and other tools), it show a mustache and a hat, it show that human have the possibility to correct our sight with glasses and that we where special protective footwear to protect our feet while walking. Helpsloose (talk) 18:33, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I like that one too. The man looks thoughtful and makes you want to think. That can't be a bad thing for an encyclopedia article. (p.s. He seems to be Russian and Russians, although "white", are kind of semi-pc. (joke)). Steve Dufour (talk) 22:43, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
How about no picture since we all know what we look like? (I might get into trouble for WP:POINT for this, but I do think I have one. :-) )Steve Dufour (talk) 04:38, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
In this case, I disagree. The existing image is fine. Reverting. - UtherSRG (talk) 04:41, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I find it very bad, offensive even. This is the image of humans as presented by a small group of individuals. It does not deserve the honor of being at the top of this article. That's my opinion, but I will not edit this part of the article any more. Steve Dufour (talk) 05:09, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
And what image would not be presented by a small group of individuals? Photos in general present the viewpoint of a single person, the photographer. The plague image, on the other hand, was constructed with input from many people, and with an eye to producing an image that represented humans as a whole, and not just individuals or specific groups. We can debate how well the plague meets that goal, but I will argue that the plague works better in that regard than any candidate image I've seen proposed here. -- Donald Albury 11:40, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I guess I'm not being very logical, but then logic is not the main function for which the human brain evolved. Anyway, to me the fact that the Voyager plaque was purposefully designed to represent humankind works against it. For one thing it has become a cliche. Steve Dufour (talk) 11:56, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Nevertheless, I have yet to see a free image (i.e., one that we can use) proposed that better represents humans as a species without bias towards a particular ethnic group or culture. -- Donald Albury 12:42, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I guess I have expressed my opinion. Just one more thing before I move on. I would think that one of the purposes of the first picture is to make people want to read the article. For me the picture of the Russian man or the Indian woman would, while the Pioneer picture does the opposite. (Disclaimer: I happen to dislike Carl Sagan, the main person behind the plaque and I am sure this influences my feelings about it.) Steve Dufour (talk) 15:11, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

If someone can find another image that was specifically designed to communicate what Humans look like to someone who has never seen one before, then I say use that image, until then this is the best option. Mad031683 (talk) 23:23, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't think anyone who has not seen a human will be reading this article. Steve Dufour (talk) 03:52, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
My opinion is to keep the plaque. People are not born in clothing, and indeed, many wear it to only limited degrees during their lifetimes (and arguably, some wear jewellery and adornments rather than any clothing at all). Clearly, we should display adults; clearly, both sexes should be shown; ideally, we would represent several races (which the plaque does, although in an abstract and, admitted by its creators, imperfect way - the guy was supposed to have an afro iirc). Crucially, the image displays a normal body image of both sexes - the guy is slim but not showing abdominal muscles; the lady has an amount of body fat that would be very healthy for a woman. These are body images we can wholeheartedly promote.
Moreover, the image represents what are among humanity's highest and most noble aspirations, i.e. reaching out to others in space. It represents a scientific endeavour, and presents a scientific view of mankind. Most of the article also deals with this scientific perspective (to list, Evolution, Habitat and population, the entire Biology and Psychology sections, Science and technology, Race and ethnicity; several others are somewhat interdisciplinary: Rise of civilization, and Language). Therefore, this image constitutes a perfect representation of the contents of the article. And in case anyone is concerned with the crop, here is a cleaned-up version:

PPplaquecloseup.svg Samsara (talk  contribs) 05:16, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

No, we should not show how peoples look like in the drawer's perspective, but how they really look like. And hermit crabs are born without shells, but they are shown WITH shells. Helpsloose 11:53, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmm! And what do humans really look like? And how can you show that in an image in which most of their bodies are covered with clothing? Note that I am not opposed to an image in which humans are clothed, I'm just wondering where we can find such an image that represents humanity as a whole, rather than some sub-group of humans. -- Donald Albury 14:09, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Why is it so important to show how ALL peoples look like? It is not like that in other articles! An example is good enough. Have you read the whole discussion? Helpsloose 16:00, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Pioneer Plaque

While the Pioneer plaque featured at the top of the article is a widely recognized representation of the human form, it has a strong sexist undertone; the male genitals are drawn in full detail, while those of the female are ignored and marginilised. Additionally, the male is giving the greeting while the female is passive. --Nick, 9:47 EST, 9 December, 2007.

While I think all of these points are very legitimate, I'd have to say the issue is fairly moot. Every human on this planet knows that we as people are usually clothed, but that clothing changes and is purely a societal standard. People in northern and southern latitudes tend to be clothed, those along the equator, historically, have only covered their genitals. So I think the picture should depict a nude man and woman, because if you strip us down to the basics that's what we look like.... nude. It would be great if many of the human cultures did not view nudity as being vulgar and taboo. Then it'd be as easy of getting two people to be photographed naked, but good luck making that happen.
I support the Pioneer Plaque over other generated pictographs due to it's historical significance. If you think about it, this article doesn't necessitate any pictures of humans at all. We, who are reading and working on Wikipedia all know what a human being looks like, what a human looks like naked is a cultural issue between age, innocence/ignorance and society. So if we look at what diagrams we could use, what pictographs might be the most educational, or what pictographs have been used in the past then among the anatomical picture, Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, and the Pioneer Plaque I think are great nominations.
We as humans have already sent the picture into space, as a representation of who we are, and what we look like. Only another intelligent species would ever have a use or need to be enlightened. Sure it was the 1960's and people were even more guarded about sex and culture. But the pioneer plaque is iconic, not descriptive, but this article doesn't need a descriptive picture (you can find that under human anatomy), it needs an iconic picture to represent us. The bird has already flown from the cage, and when I look at the pioneer plaque it reminds that we have already let lose into space radio waves and satellites all the representation that will ever be truly significant, because we don't need pictures of us to know what we look like. If your going to think about what kind of picture should go up on the page, think first about who would need it, why would the picture itself be important, and why is it significant.--Sparkygravity (talk) 02:02, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

If people want a single image to represent Humans I'd suggest something like it's probably the closest image to a universal ancestor. Although the Pioneer Plaque seems fine to me. --Boreas Talk 20:11, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Purpose of article?

I'm not trying to make trouble. :-) However I am interested in hearing what people think is the purpose of this article. Anyone who would ever read it already knows at least a thousand times more about humans than is written in the article. Thanks. Steve Dufour (talk) 03:08, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Is that really true? I know the science stuff like the back of my hand but I found the humanties section to be an interesting read. It's only an overview, what more could possibly be said without it bloating into an unworkable format? Do you have something in mind? David D. (Talk) 04:09, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd say the purpose of the article is to make us think about what being human is, or what is special about humans. Steve Dufour (talk) 05:47, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Are we special or just different? The mirror test is in there. That narrows us down to six unique species. David D. (Talk) 06:09, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
The purpose of Wikipedia is to gather verifiable information into a free encyclopedia. By extension, the purpose of this article is to present verifiable information (from a neutral point of view) about humans. Saying that the purpose of the article should be about making people "think about what being human is, or what is special about humans" seems to me to be pursuing a point of view that is not necessarily neutral. We should present what can be verified from reliable sources, and let our readers decide how to use it. -- Donald Albury 12:44, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Information that is not specific to humans is better-suited to the articles on animals or mammals in general. There is no point in discussing internal fertilisation, thermoregulation, live birth, or common aspects in metabolism in a specific article on one species when these aspects of human structure and function apply to a wide variety of organisms. Tim Vickers (talk) 16:46, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Agree to a point. Such common information needs to be included when describing how humans differ, such as the degree of immaturity in human infants compared to other placental species. - UtherSRG (talk) 16:50, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Quite true, but where humans and other mammals are pretty much the same, that information does not belong in the human article. Tim Vickers (talk) 17:11, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Steve Dufour (talk) 03:55, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Reversion of Bobisbob's edits

I reverted this edit because it inserted new information in such as a way as to make it look like it was from the source cited at the end of the sentence.

I reverted this edit because it replaced the Pioneer plaque image against consensus without any discussion.

The reversion of his last edit, moving an image from one side of the page to the other, was a by-product of reverting his earlier edits. -- Donald Albury 22:26, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Human diet

I suggest the following text of the article Water to be included under the diet headline.

The human body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on body size.[12] To function properly, the body requires between one and seven liters of water per day to avoid dehydration; the precise amount depends on the level of activity, temperature, humidity, and other factors. Most of this is ingested through foods or beverages other than drinking straight water. It is not clear how much water intake is needed by healthy people, though most advocates agree that 8–10 glasses of water (approximately 2 liters) daily is the minimum to maintain proper hydration.[13] Medical literature favors a lower consumption, typically 1 liter of water for an average male, excluding extra requirements due to fluid loss from exercise or warm weather.[14] For those who have healthy kidneys, it is rather difficult to drink too much water, but (especially in warm humid weather and while exercising) it is dangerous to drink too little. People can drink far more water than necessary while exercising, however, putting them at risk of water intoxication (hyperhydration), which can be fatal. The "fact" that a person should consume eight glasses of water per day cannot be traced back to a scientific source.[15] There are other myths such as the effect of water on weight loss and constipation that have been dispelled.[16]

Image in Love and sexuality subsection

Is it necessary to have an image depicting copulation explicitly (that too with a laptop computer on the bed!)? Such pictures may enhance articles like Love or sex but it seems redundant here. (talk) 13:34, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Would you like to suggest another free image that you think would better illustrate the section? We'll be happy to talk about it, but I think there will be strong resistance to removing the current image without adding a better replacement. -- Donald Albury 13:38, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I noticed the image was removed with an edit on 20 December 2007 ([5]), and was never added back. Any reason not to have it? Or, is it even missed? -- LQ (talk) 18:09, 24 March 2008 (UTC)


(moved from top of page, customary to add new sections at bottom of talk pages) is used for the Human Anatomy article - maybe it'd be appropriate here, too? Soriak (talk) 22:59, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Skin color, UV radiation, and Jablonski article

In the Physiology and genetics section, I just changed some text about skin color and UV radiation. Before anyone changes it back, please read the Jablonski article that is cited. It was previously used as a citation for a point that it was explicitly arguing against, namely that skin color is an adaptation to protect against UV radiation. -Fenevad (talk) 00:13, 19 December 2007 (UTC)


Can someone tell me exactly what sagittal upper/lower means in exercise? Ian—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

GA Sweeps Delist

Symbol unsupport vote.svg In order to uphold the quality of Wikipedia:Good articles, all articles listed as Good articles are being reviewed against the GA criteria as part of the GA project quality task force. While all the hard work that has gone into this article is appreciated, unfortunately, as of January 1,

2008, this article fails to satisfy the criteria, as detailed below. For that reason, the article has been delisted from WP:GA. However, if improvements are made bringing the article up to standards, the article may be nominated at WP:GAN. If you feel this decision has been made in error, you may seek remediation at WP:GAR.

  • This article needs a lot more inline cites. I see whole sections without a single cite.
  • The {{fact}} tags need to be taken care of.
    Cheers, Corvus coronoides talk 23:46, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Herbivore vs. omnivore

Humans are omnivores based on the idea that humans can digest both animal and plant foods, which is true. But there should be included the debate over the idea that omnivorism is best suited for human anatomy. It is not universally accepted that humans are natural omnivores, many scientists believe humans are herbivores, or partial omnivores, that is, animal products without animal meat is best suited for the human diet. I was thinking something like is at omnivore, which I added to that article based on refs from vegetarianism. This other viewpoint desrves brief mention, at least. Okiefromokla's sockpuppet/talk 21:02, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

It seems a little too specific for this incredibly general article. David D. (Talk) 21:07, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree, but what about a single line mentioning that it's not universally accepted? I'd like to have it in a human diet article if one comes up. Okiefromokla's sockpuppet/talk 21:12, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Does it stand up to undue weight? Is this an accepted alternative or a specific thesis from a miniority? David D. (Talk) 21:20, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
It's hard to say. Certainly it is widely accepted within the scientific and medical community that vegetarianism is a healthier diet, though there is debate over how much healthier. The omnivore vs. herbivore debate spills into that, but also onto physiological and comparative anatomy questions. Surfing around some scholarly journals the last few days as I have been researching this, there appears to be substantial support of the idea that a plant-based diet is better suited to human anatomy. But there's substantial support for the omnivore POV as well, and certainly that's the norm. Okiefromokla's sockpuppet/talk 21:32, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Ok, what about something like this (to replace the current sentence saying vegetarianism is nutritionally adequate):
Vegetarianism has been found to satisfy nutritional needs in every stage of life,[1] reduce risks of major disease, including cancer,[2] promote a healthier Body Mass Index and reduce excess body weight,[3] and increase longevity.[4][5][6]
Basically, I just think it should be addressed that it is widely, widely accepted in science that vegetarianism is healthier than a heavy meat diet, since it is such a scientific majority nowadays. Okiefromokla's sockpuppet/talk 22:01, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
That looks sufficiently documented to me. You might just go with lowercase for body mass index. I've seen it both ways, but it looks better lowercase and even the wiki-linked page uses lower case. thanks for doing the research! Bob98133 (talk) 22:26, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
that insertion is obviously NPOV and gives undue weight to vegetarianism by giving several examples which should be delegated to the article on vegetarianism. and although truthful, it portrays vegetarianism as somehow a superior diet compared to an omnivorous diet24.165.53.191 (talk) 06:52, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Seperation of Human Organism

I know by now this link title may have some evolution,though an opinion of it may not be advisable,since when at a time i had tried this and now will be for sure my last attempt,it may appear that it realy does matter how long something is until it is coherent meaning a post in reference with it some things take time . I had search for it on wikipedia though no foundation was of it i did though study some other links elsewhere concerning sciences and the likeings of researchings though again no real foundation the most capable research i had found was consisting of water and another was an organism type solution a solution here in my discription is the solutions that were being studied through the sciences,found it very interest though when i attempted to distribute my matter thought wich for some time i've allways had and well may not be a beleife for why i am in contravercy sort of anyway. It is also in my question in why something that realy has'nt been formatted as a true exsistance and calculation would be a format towards the adversery of a lible or a slander who is being condemed if there is'nt a thing of sureness ,would then perhaps be me,if i was the attempt and an attempt was towards me i would then see it as a concerning thought and pehaps a calculation towards the effort,the studies continue through the help and concerns of those that may have some solid answer note the word some has now been protected as being a form of meaning study and or the aprenteces fact leading to i hope that was ok Thank You D.G.DeL-Dorchester Mass 3:24 p.m. e.s.t.David George DeLancey (talk) 20:28, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Human history section problematic and unnecessary

This section needs to revised or, I would suggest, deleted. The problem is that, in discussing early human civilization's development of warfare and empire, the Western Hemisphere is ignored. Besides the bias of ignoring indigenous Americans, this creates a false impression that human history has proceeded along a single time line of progression. Such an observation ignores the rise and fall of empires through warfare and other means throughout human history. A more inclusive history would acknowledge the Meso-American and South American civilizations that flourished without substantial contact with the Eastern Hemisphere. Also, the citations from the Old World are misleading, in that they indicate a general trend toward the use of warfare and the rise of empires as emerging only at a certain point of human social and political evolution. In fact, there is ample evidence of warfare going back to paleolithic times, albeit with much more minimal social and political structure than would be seen later. Even in early historic times, evidence for the trend toward empires also goes back further to at least the Egyptians, Hittites and Akkadians. But to claim it started with any of these groups in the Old World is equally problematic. We don't know enough about other early civilizations -- the Harappans, the Uruk civiliation, the Minoans -- to understand whether the "empire" concept has strong roots in earlier times. As such, I recommend striking this entire discussion as too complicated and not really germane to the main entry in question. Ftjrwrites (talk) 17:05, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

LEAD restored

A christmas day edit lost us half the LEAD and the job was completed with this edit here. I have restored the LEAD as it was on 24th Dec. David D. (Talk) 03:25, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for noticing that. I was wondering how an article this size was ever a FA or GA with a small one paragraph lead. The deteted portion was certainly not original research, as the deleter claimed. Okiefromokla questions? 22:17, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Though I could see how it could be thought of as such since it was deleted while not part of the lead due to the confusion. It acts as more of a summary in the lead, which makes it ok. :P Okiefromokla questions? 22:22, 25 January 2008 (UTC)


Where is criticism? (talk) 20:44, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

What criticism do you think should go here? JoshuaZ (talk) 21:42, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we need to mention politicians. :) Tim Vickers (talk) 21:57, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. Very good idea. This article is very human-focused. For crying out loud, it seems like it was written by humans! A "criticism of humans" section is definently needed. :P Okiefromokla questions? 05:45, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
What criticism do you propose including? -- Donald Albury 13:50, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I doubt the Annon editor was being serious. Okiefromokla questions? 17:17, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
But the fact that humans have become a serious threat to biodiversity is missing. In the future, the current extinction event will be seen in fossil records. --Vuo (talk) 21:24, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
There's some of that in Habitat and population. Okiefromokla questions? 22:00, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

a lot of revisions in one day!

Hi - 20 or so somewhat major revisions to this article in one day is a lot. Can we agree to leave it alone for a bit, fix spelling mistakes and fine tune this prior to another major bunch of changes? And disucss the changes prior to making major ones? I glanced at these and they seem good for the most part, but they will require going over a bit more when there is time. /ThanksBob98133 (talk) 14:49, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, a lot of thoes were mine ;) OK, understood. Its a fine article bty. Ceoil (talk) 21:27, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

human art

elephants can paint? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Seb-Gibbs (talkcontribs) 11:59, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Saying that humans are unique in that they create art is not true since elephants and other great apes also create art - some apparently on their own without instruction from humans, although I'd have to find a reference for that. In any event, this art is sold as art created by these animals, so there is certainly some basis for claiming that it is art. Large whales spontaneously create music, as do a variety of birds. Much of this music is original. It is a human prejudice to exclude this as art simply because humans do not appreciate it as art, but tend to call it nature or learned behavior. However, human art did not originally have the same place in human culture that it currently has. Does this article also say that language and culture are unique to humans? Changing the reference to the creation of art occuring concurrently with the ability to think is also valid. That would mean that no other animal can think, since they don't create art - maybe art causes a difference in thinking but it doesn't turn it on or off. My suggested changes are:

Artistic works have existed for almost as long as humankind, from early pre-historic art to contemporary art. Art is one of the most unusual aspects of human behavior, shared only with elephants[7], other great apes[8] and possibly cetaceans. Human art has only been around for last 35,000 years which might suggest that this was the time when humans changed the way in which they 'think'.[citation needed]

I think you'd need to find a source stating that animals create art on their own for aesthetic purposes (versus being taught by humans, or versus a whale song or bird song). You can find all sorts of things (bird songs, rock formations, flowers) in nature that have aesthetically pleasing qualities, but I don't think many researchers would call a canary an "artist." OhNoitsJamie Talk 16:27, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I kind of agree, but even the couple of references I've sited refer to the chimps or elephants as "artists". I'm not sure that creating art purely for aesthetic purposes is really a definition of art. That would leave folk art and much other art out. What you are saying is that if humans cannot define the purpose of a behavior as art, then it isn't. I only questioned this because it sounds like the same sort of exclusionary language like "only humans have" You could argue that animals don't think because they don't tell us what they are thinking, but that would be the same sort of narrow view that this article is appying to art. From what I've heard, the chimps who do art are fairly deliberate about it and do it as an activity separate from other activities. Bob98133 (talk) 17:36, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Are you saying that folk art is not created for aesthetic purposes? That seems pretty dismissive. Note that Jamie did not say "purely for aesthetic purposes"; you added the "purely". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dalbury (talkcontribs) 23:26, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Admittedly, "for aesthetic purposes" is too narrow of a definition; provoking an emotional reaction (positive or negative) is another commonly cited purpose. Nonetheless, I think it's like saying, "hey, dogs have a language, they use their ears, tail, and posture to communicate." I don't think any linguists would consider that to be a bona fide language. OhNoitsJamie Talk 23:48, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's worth all the discussion. Someone recently has come out with computer analysis of dog sounds and determined that they use something like language; but you've re-stated my point when you say that a linguist would never agree - but because the linguist has prejudices about the meaning of language. Humans have prejudices about language, intelligence, and apparently art. It's not a big deal since it's a minor point in the article anyhow - I'm fine with it not being included, but thanks for the discussion.Bob98133 (talk) 00:03, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Saying that any non-human animal has a 'language' is possible only by using a very loose definition of 'language'. Perhaps a better phrasing on art would be that only humans produce representational art. This avoids any question about whether the seemingly random images produced by a few confined animals are equivalent to abstract art produced by humans. -- Donald Albury 11:39, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Embryo picture caption

The page is protected so I cannot edit this trivial minor mistake: the caption on the embryo photograph claims it is "A living human embryo at 5 weeks", however Image:Tubal_Pregnancy_with_embryo.jpg#Summary describes it as a "formalin-fixed specimen" and so it cannot be living, therefore "living" needs to be removed from the caption. (talk) 19:09, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

The word "living" is unnecessary anyway. I removed it. Thanks for bringing it up. Okiefromokla questions? 23:52, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

small typo

in the section 'life cycle', the second sentence has a "]" erroneously inserted after the word 'uterus'. i would change it myself but the page is protected.

Thank you, I fixed this. Tim Vickers (talk) 03:36, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

actually, there are a couple more in the 'war' section. idk why they are put there ok, they must be from someone trying and failing to make the indivdual words into links, but they are everywhere in this article

Got those, yes, they must be broken links. Tim Vickers (talk) 03:44, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
User:Ceoil removed dozens of links on the 8th. He seems to have botched the editing on a number of them. -- Donald Albury 17:40, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Not too happy with my edit in the Diet section.

What I'm trying to convey .. is difficult without ripping out half the text. It argues that one point of validity of us being omnivores is the fact an all meat or all vegetarian diet leads to deficiencies, whilst yes there is a source cited for that, common sense would make anyone slightly curious dig a little deeper. If we turn to Vitamin B12 we will see that folic acid is an equal substitute for B12.

Most "B-12 deficient symptoms" are actually folate deficient symptoms, since they include all the effects of pernicious anemia and megaloblastosis, which are due to poor synthesis of DNA when the body does not have a proper supply of folic acid for the production of thymine.

Then, gasp shock horror, if we turn to the folic acid article we then find ..

Leafy vegetables such as spinach, turnip greens, lettuces, dried beans and peas, fortified cereal products, sunflower seeds and certain other fruits and vegetables are rich sources of folate.

So that kind of shoots a whole in that whole concept and makes Wiki look diki.  :( Perhaps someone could think of a better way to structure it? As a meatatarian I am well aware that vegetarian diets are vastly healthier, and I've read much compelling evidence that eating meat has horrible side effects and hell, I've even read extensively compelling evidence that we are not omnivores at all, but herbivores and like many herbivores have the capacity to consume flesh in times of starvation or need. The arguments as to us being omnivores I've found are pretty piss weak, a simple look at the length of the GI tract of any other omnivores, or carnivores (whom have significantly extensively shorter and straighter GI tracts).

It's just kind of dissapointing that if I, as an avowed meatatarian to the point where I'd eat you, the reader, if it were legal just for farts and giggles, can concede we are herbivorous with optional omnivority given the evidence out there that the only argument put forward that we are omnivores is .. well, so flawed two clicks and you can see that it's impossible for there to be a deficiency.  :/ Jachin (talk) 20:16, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Psychology addition:

I'd like to request squeezing xenophobia into the psychology section of the human article... Maybe I'm just being cynical, but I find it a somewhat prominent psychological trait of humans and felt that I missed it's inclusion in the article. Anyone for? Anyone against? (talk) 21:36, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Mirror test

The text of mirror test does not agree with this article in the species it lists, there are more than six species and whether pigeons should be listed is highly disputed. --Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 06:07, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Subspecies mentioned on the section of origin

On the sub section of origin in the section of history, in the sentence that begins with: "Modern humans" are... the article states that Homo sapiens idaltu is the other known subspecies of Homo sapien yet on the Homo (genus) page it states a total of 5 subspecies. Why is there such a discrepancy and why can´t the page be edited to include that information.

Bias in Diet section

I was reading the diet section. It seems there is clear bias there towards vegetarianism. What it currently says is:

However, properly planned vegetarian diets have been found to completely satisfy nutritional needs in every stage of life,[9] significantly reduce risks of major diseases, including cancer,[2] promote a healthier body mass index, reduce excess body fat,[10] and increase longevity[11][12][13], when compared with unplanned omnivorous diets.

and to me this is comparing apples to oranges. The apples of a "planned vegetarian diet" to the "unplanned ombivorous diet". Almost diametrically opposed I'd say. If the same could be said about a planned omnivorus diet I'd say it's a valid comparison, but to me, this seems like it's strongly biased towards vegetarian diet.

What I'd like to ask is if it would be considered bias if we provided similar statistics regarding a planned omnivorous diet versus an unplanned vegetarian diet? Or am I missing something? Jigme Datse (talk) 09:36, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it's obviously an unfair comparison, but there's a point to it to, in that vegetarianism - if properly planned - can be just as healthy, if not healthier than a typical unplanned non-vegetarian diet at least. Maybe if the sentence was trimmed down to reflect that, rather than it sounding like something lifted from some sort of vegetarianism promotional material, attempting to suggest vegetarianism is healthier than an omnivorous diet. -- (talk) 23:11, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
A properly planned omnivorous diet is what it is being compared to, not an unproperly planned one. Those are the findings of the American Dietetic Association, Dietations of Canada, and most recent major nutrtional research. The fact is sufficiently cited. Okiefromokla questions? 00:13, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
yes, but why must there be five sentences dedicated to the relative merits of a omnivorous vs vegetarian diet? does a majority or significant minority adhere to this alternative diet? only a cursory statement i think should be mentioned about it, otherwise its just undue weight.Rubico (talk) 07:08, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
It's not an alternative diet, is what they're getting at through deductive reasoning. Recently at Oxcam, I believe it was, they released the 'cave man diet', and it was vegetarian apart from a once a month strip of meat of some random rodent caught. (talk) 22:09, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Most direct consequences of cranial expansion

I've looked through over half a dozen pages I expected would explain the effects of cranial expansion. The cranial expansion of humans have left marked contrast between us and apes, our closest extant primate relatives. By lengthening the duration of our postnatal skull development extraproportionally, it decreased the precociousness of the human infant. By increasing the amount of prenatal skull development extraportionally, it forced a widening of the hips in adult females. By pushing our whole face forward, it decreased snout length, or the distance between the lips and the proboscis supporting cranial aperture. This in turn increased the range of airflow positions lips and a tongue of a given length could articulate, helping vocalization, and forced a nose lengthening to prevent our smothering during meals or sleep and a convexing of the breasts in adult females to avoid smothering breastfeeding infants. By stretching our skulls thin, it made our skulls more susceptible to breakage, and increased our chances of brain damage. By stretching the anchor points of our jaw muscles forward, it decreased our jaw strength but increased our jaw dexterity. This in turn, decreased our potential range of our food sources and ability to inflict damge through biting but helped our ability to articulate vocalization. This isn't OR, but the part on breast convexing was only published in the last few years, by a breastfeeding anthropologist. :)--Thecurran (talk) 05:28, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Questionable source

Under Human#Diet, we reference a source, , that writes the following three sentences within its abstract:

This position paper reviews the current scientific data related to key nutrients for vegetarians, including protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B-12, vitamin A, n-3 fatty acids and iodine. A vegetarian, including vegan, diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, use of fortified foods or supplements can be helpful in meeting recommendations for individual nutrients. Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence.

Citing this source, we write the sentences:

Properly planned vegetarian diets have been found to completely satisfy nutritional needs in every stage of life,[14] significantly reduce risks of major diseases, including cancer,[2] promote a healthier body mass index, reduce excess body fat,[15] and increase longevity[16][17][18], when compared with unplanned omnivorous diets.

In particular, I find suspect the clause:

Properly planned vegetarian diets have been found to completely satisfy nutritional needs in every stage of life,

I would accept:

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada that properly planned vegetarian diets completely satisfy nutritional needs in every stage of life,

But the way we have it now, we rely on a position paper that treats this claim as a foregone conclusion in its abstract, as evidence for this claim that, no matter how true it is, is extraordinary. That's just not scholarly. It's just not cricket. ^_^ I propose the clause's change here because I assume it will hit some raw nerves, that may need time to adjust first. Besides, claiming a vegan diet is sufficient for every stage of life, including lactation, as the source does is nigh on oxymoronic. A vegan diet includes milk from no animal, so how can a breastfeeding infant be vegan? I only assume the intent would be that the infant receives a vegan diet with no milk and the mother lactates without breastfeeding. :)--Thecurran (talk) 21:26, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

The same common ancestor?

"These species share the same common ancestor." This is a silly thing to say about humans and chimpanzees, because all animals share the same common ancestor. (Plus "the same" is redundant with "common" here.) -Silence (talk) 03:56, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Possibly it is supposed to say that humans share a more recent common ancestor with chimps than with any other extant species (ie they are our species' closest surviving evolutionary relative). Though of course there are a plethora of extinct Hominina species with which we share a more recent common ancestor than we do with chimps. Alun (talk) 16:11, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Quick question, if humanscame from chips, why are their still chimps around?

~~CM~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Corey manning (talkcontribs) 16:11, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

See Tim Vickers (talk) 16:32, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Page layout

Why do we have sections on the history and habitat of humans before we've even explained what humans are? Surely "biology" should go first. (Especially since the justification for keeping the lead section of Human so sparse on biological details has always been that we jump so quickly into explaining those details in the first section, Biology.) -Silence (talk) 03:00, 21 March 2008 (UTC)


1. Consistency

Future writers should bring consistency to use the British spelling of words or the American spelling of words.

e.g. behavior, behaviour

Keep these spelling conventions the same throughout the whole article.

2. Verifiability

A large portion of this article expresses opinions which don't correlate properly with citations, or include weasel words. When citing articles please accurately depict the content inside the article. If you have some great desire to express your opinion then find research or a researcher that backs up your opinion and cite that research or researcher. Please remember that this article is not a place for expressing your own opinions, but a reservoir for original research.

e.g. These are weasel words, in the article on emotion...

"Some people might define it as the..."

"Others define it as...."

Who says it? You say it? Your friends? A researcher? If it's generally accepted then it should not be hard to find the evidence and cite it.

-Dren (talk) 10:54, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Earliest humans ...

You know, with the latest find in a cave in spain of homo sapien remains dating 1.2+ million years in age, along with various German and other European finds over the past decade, and noting in every article in journals on the subject that they would always state that this find changes our view on human life within <insert zone / region here> after our emergence from Africa I started to wonder how old the African evidence must be. I was kind of surprised to read: -

DNA evidence indicates that modern humans originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago.[3]

I think there's a bog in the outback toilet here that's older than that. That really surprised me. If that's the case, why are we saying everywhere that we (homo sapiens) emerged from Africa when there's clear evidence pre-dating that by now at least one million years that we emerged from western Europe?

Perhaps a re-write of that section of the article pertaining to our history should include that according to latest finds the Africa theory is swiss cheese right now? (talk) 22:05, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

DNA evidence indicates that modern humans originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago.[3]
No Homo sapiens specimen has ever been found dating to 1.2 million years ago, or anywhere close to that long ago. You're confusing the genus Homo with the species Homo sapiens: "human" can, depending on context, refer to either, but not interchangeably. For the purposes of this article, "human" refers to the (sub)species, not the genus. -Silence (talk) 07:07, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Human race

Human race redirects here, but there's no mention of the term in the article. Shouldn't there be? Richard001 (talk) 08:30, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Why? What is there to say, really? -Silence (talk) 07:08, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Real naked human

It should be a real naked human on the picture at the top. -- (talk) 14:08, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

It should certainly be a photograph rather than a drawing, yes. And there should certainly be photographs of humans both naked and clothed in the article; whether the image at the top of the article is naked (focusing on human biology) or clothed (acknowledging human culture and norms) is rather less important. Either way it would be more informative than a glorified cartoon. -Silence (talk) 22:53, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Is that allowed though?Arkkeeper (talk) 21:56, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Well apprently wikipedia is not censered. Pathfinder2006 (talk) 12:08, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh... Good to know! :) Arkkeeper (talk) 15:38, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Conservation Status

It is incorrect to say on the one hand modern humans appeared 200,000 years ago when later you say some believe modern humans came from the Late Pleistocene. Anatomically modern humans appeared 200,000 but truly modern man, with his special brain, probably did not show up until the Cro Magnon man era, 50,000 BCE or thereabouts. Check out the references in Last Common Ancestor (Wiki). Saying 200,000 - 50,000 for the birthday of modern man would be the balanced approach. 02:39, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Is this item not redundant if the same status is not applied to all other Wiki animal entries? Checking Rat, Mouse and Gerbil no Conservation Status is listed. Lion does have a Conservation Status. What is the point in saying Humans are the Least Concern when they are the only animals that actually make up these Barometers. If humans die out it is unlikely that the gerbils will update the Wikipage accordingly. I strongly suggest the Conservation Status for Humans be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:13, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

I disagree solely because I find the fact that the conservation status is listed on this page quite humorous. Although I'll admit that you do make a good point.

I'm gonna change it back to "Extinct in the Wild" and no one will be able to stop me for ~1.7 minutes Yashgaroth (talk) 07:35, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Please don't. It's just an act of vandalism. - UtherSRG (talk) 07:42, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I think that the conservation status should be returned to the article. It doesn't matter that if we go extinct Wikipedia won't be updated, that's irrelevant. Our status as displayed in the taxobox is perfectly relevant to the article. I'm going to add it back in. (talk) 20:31, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Please don't. It's not correct. - UtherSRG (talk) 23:46, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Extinct in the Wild

Why have humans been listed as extinct in the wild? according to wikipedia's own extinct int he wild page that means that they can only be found in "captivity or as a naturalized population outside its historic range" it's simple to see that humans are not in some type of alien zoo, so it can't be the first half of that, and humans are living on every continent of the earth, that would seem to suggest to me that we have expanded beyond our "historic range" am I wrong with this thougth? is there some reasoning to this status? Lyynn 00:39, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

It was vandalism. David D. (Talk) 08:14, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
No, I was serious. Except for a few isolated incidents all humans now live in a society of some sort. Should humans ever have a conservation status area? It seems rather useless. Syphon8 21:23, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
It was certainly of a higher calibre than the usual nonsense.  –  ornis 08:45, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Conservation Status?

Why is there a conservation status for humans? Only humans update the Wiki anyway, its not like a gorilla will try to search "human" on the website. (talk) 00:04, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

It is a variable that is subject to change in the face of plagues, famines, killings, infertility and such, like in any other animal. Placing exceptions on humans to show less information instead of more would be the odd move. :)--Thecurran (talk) 05:32, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Our conservation status should be listed as Vermin in plague proportions.  :P (talk) 22:19, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

This Conservation Status stuff is nonsense

First of all, the World Conservation Union has not given humans a classification. The page Least_Concern says "Humans qualify for this category, although they have not been formally assessed by the IUCN for obvious reasons." In other words, humans don't actually have an official status at all: somebody made it up. Secondly, the categorization is offensive in the sense that it overlooks the starvation and genocide happening in the world and implies that the IUCN cares more about animals than about human beings. I therefore strongly suggest it be deleted. MutantChair (talk) 16:45, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Localized starvation and genocide, while horrific, clearly doesn't make humanity as a whole an endangered species. "Least Concern" is not meant to imply that everything is hunky-dory in the world or that no humans are suffering; it merely reflects the fact that human population is exceedingly high, growing, and widespread, making complete human extinction in the foreseeable future relatively (i.e., compared to other species) unlikely. However, while I think your argument is weak, I agree that we should make sure that this conservation status isn't original research. Even if IUCN doesn't apply a status to humans, does another legitimate organization do anything of the sort? -Silence (talk) 20:25, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Conservation status

If the US attacks Iran, I think we should move the status to NT, and if they attack China, it should be moved to EN. Canada-kawaii (talk) 14:35, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

There are many species which can only be found in Iran or only be found in the United States. Those species would surely be dramatically more at risk of extinction than a global species like humans if Iran and the US became involved in a war. Yet I can't imagine every species native to Iran and the US being suddenly listed as endangered, or even near-threatened, based solely on politically-contingent speculation. The same applies to China. There are too many variables involved to predict the actual level of danger from such scenarios, or the scope of such danger (i.e., global vs. localized). This doesn't mean that humans are perfectly safe and secure, just that the future's too uncertain for such labels to be meaningful if we start letting hypothetical, rather than actual and ongoing, catastrophes influence conservation status: humans are not the only species that would have to be deemed "endangered" if we made assumptions about the likelihood of things like nuclear or biochemical warfare, and indeed humans are probably more likely to survive extinction in the short run than most other species currently alive. -Silence (talk) 20:19, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
That's true for most animals, but most species are species of bacteria. However, the classification in terms of "conservation status" has always puzzled me as well. Perhaps we could simply omit it? Tim Vickers (talk) 21:10, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Conservation status? What, are we saving this information for a future of sentient cockroaches that will read Wiki that want to see a conservation status? Load of bull. The Fear (talk) 22:39, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't see the harm in having it there. Although I will find it funny if the need ever arises to list Humans anything other than "Not threatened," only because there would apparently be people worried about maintaining Wikipedia rather than working for the survival of humanity. Maybe it won't be too long. Until then, we should keep the status. It should be common sense. Okiefromokla questions? 23:03, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

As I understand it, the main reason to include the conservation status for humans (and perhaps other unthreatened species) is to provide a baseline with which to compare endangered species: if humans, for all the risks and threats and dangers facing them in the world today, are nevertheless considered of "least concern", it just shows how truly precarious the survival of officially "endangered" species really is. However, as noted above, we should find a source for the status to make sure that it's not just the fabrication of editors here. -Silence (talk) 03:51, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Obviously humans are LC, but that's my "original research". It is not up to Wikipedians to decide what conservation status to give. When the IUCN lists humans, then sure, but until then, no, they are not officially assessed. There should be no status listed. —Pengo 05:41, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Adding a conservation status to the taxobox of the human article is only something you would do on April Fools Day. And besides, we'd surely be one of the hardest species to eradicate. Imagine you were actually given that task - can you even think of a way you could do it? Your only real option would be contriving some sort of massive global change that would upset all life on earth, like destroying the ozone layer or something (and I believe the PRC have beaten you to that one). (talk) 23:01, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Why was scientific classification of humans cut down?

I don't see any reason why the classification shouldn't include Subfamily: Homininae, Tribe: Hominini and Subtribe: Hominina. I believe it used to list all three. Why was it cut down? —Preceding unsigned comment added by CosmologyProfessor (talkcontribs)

It is not our standard to list all intermediary taxa in the taxobox. For a species article, we list only the major ranks unless there is a pressing need to list a specific intermediary taxa. For other articles, we list important intermediary taxa between the article's rank and the next higher major rank, unless there is a pressing need to list additionaly intermediary taxa. For this article, there is no pressing need to list Homininae, Hominini, or Hominina. - UtherSRG (talk) 20:07, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

"inhabiting" low earth orbit?

To my mind it sounds weird and a bit exaggerated to call the sheer human presence for scientific purpose in the low orbit an "inhabitation" of it. People are there for science and research, so they are working, but not really living there. I think, the term "living" would be justified, if they would spent their complete live up there with free time, work, family etc.

Otherwise you could also say, humans were "inhabiting" (parts of) the oceans. (on oil platforms.) To say so would be ridiculous as well. So I think, "presence" is something different than "inhabitation". (talk) 10:28, 2 May 2008 (UTC)anonymous

I see your point, but I remember when research communities were set up at the north pole which is a somewhat analogous situation. Even though they were initially just for military or research, they did become actual human habitations over time which is probably the goal of the space station too. I don't have any problem calling it either habitation or presence. Today, hundreds of thousands of people live on land reclaimed from the sea (Netherlands, Singapore, Bangladesh...), although the earliest of these were probably just clinging to a platform or a tree. That said, there might be some way to clarify this as initial habitation in advance of colonization.Bob98133 (talk) 14:41, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Hm, I think as well, the north pole isn't inhabited by the research community, but by the Inuit. The difference is, that the Inuit don't need any help from somewhere else. That's also the point with the lands, that have been reclaimed by the sea. People are able to live their own lives there (behind dikes) without help from anywhere outside. To my mind, in the orbit that would just be the case, if there would exist a big/huge infrastructure (i.e. like in "Babylon 5") so that they could live there in real autarchy (like on different continents -> see sentence). (talk) 10:31, 3 May 2008 (UTC)anonymous
I'm convinced. I'm OK w/presence. You might mention that their presence is not self-sustaining but depends on outside help, if that would clarify it.Bob98133 (talk) 23:47, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Life Cycle

"The developed world generally aging, with the median age around 40 years (highest in Monaco at 45.1 years). In the developing world the median age is between 15 and 20 years. Life expectancy at birth in Hong Kong, China is 84.8 years for a female and 78.9 for a male, while in Swaziland, primarily because of AIDS, it is 31.3 years for both sexes.[42] While one in five Europeans is 60 years of age or older, only one in twenty Africans is 60 years of age or older.[43] The number of centenarians (humans of age 100 years or older) in the world was estimated by the United Nations at 210,000 in 2002.[44] At least one person, Jeanne Calment, is known to have reached the age of 122 years; higher ages have been claimed but they are not well substantiated. Worldwide, there are 81 men aged 60 or older for every 100 women of that age group, and among the oldest, there are 53 men for every 100 women."

This is a bunch of gibberish and unrelated statistics. could anyone put this into an understandable form? if i have some time i'll check it ou myself.-- (talk) 10:27, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Vegetarian Diets". Journal of the American Dietetic Association 103 (6): 748–765. 2003. online copy available
  2. ^ a b c "Meat can raise your lung cancer risk, too". MSNBC. 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  3. ^ "Weight gain over 5 years in 21 966 meat-eating, fish-eating, vegetarian, and vegan men and women in EPIC-Oxford". International Journal of Obesity (30): 1389–1396. 2006. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803305.  (BBC story on paper [6])
  4. ^ Mattson, Mark P. (2002). Diet-Brain Connection: Impact on Memory, Mood, Aging and Disease. Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-1402071294. 
  5. ^ Key, Timothy J, et al., 1999 "Mortality in vegetarians and nonvegetarians: detailed findings from a collaborative analysis of 5 prospective studies" American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 3, 516S-524S, September 1999
  6. ^
  7. ^ Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project
  8. ^ Bidders go ape for chimpanzee art
  9. ^ "Vegetarian Diets". Journal of the American Dietetic Association 103 (6): 748–765. 2003. online copy available
  10. ^ "Weight gain over 5 years in 21 966 meat-eating, fish-eating, vegetarian, and vegan men and women in EPIC-Oxford". International Journal of Obesity (30): 1389–1396. 2006. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803305.  (BBC story on paper [7])
  11. ^ Mattson, Mark P. (2002). Diet-Brain Connection: Impact on Memory, Mood, Aging and Disease. Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-1402071294. 
  12. ^ Key, Timothy J, et al., 1999 "Mortality in vegetarians and nonvegetarians: detailed findings from a collaborative analysis of 5 prospective studies" American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 3, 516S-524S, September 1999
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Vegetarian Diets". Journal of the American Dietetic Association 103 (6): 748–765. 2003. online copy available
  15. ^ "Weight gain over 5 years in 21 966 meat-eating, fish-eating, vegetarian, and vegan men and women in EPIC-Oxford". International Journal of Obesity (30): 1389–1396. 2006. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803305.  (BBC story on paper [8])
  16. ^ Mattson, Mark P. (2002). Diet-Brain Connection: Impact on Memory, Mood, Aging and Disease. Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-1402071294. 
  17. ^ Key, Timothy J, et al., 1999 "Mortality in vegetarians and nonvegetarians: detailed findings from a collaborative analysis of 5 prospective studies" American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 3, 516S-524S, September 1999
  18. ^