When did we become fully human?


This is interesting:
“We inherited our humanity from peoples in southern Africa 300,000 years ago. The alternative – that everyone, everywhere coincidentally became fully human in the same way at the same time, starting 65,000 years ago – isn’t impossible, but a single origin is more likely.”

Is there some sort of catalog of human artifacts, with dating method and dates attached?

Are we human yet?

@thoughtful, hey, nice avatar! :grinning:

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Check out this article and its references: Stone toolmaking and the evolution of human culture and cognition


I like looking at this kind of thing in terms of language evolution I.e. when did we first start talking modern English?" Impossible to draw the line even remotely clearly, and different groups would have been at different stages throughout the English speaking world and some would never make it fully. Doubtful that American English has quite caught up yet.

Also raises a similar question about “what is modern English”

Sorry if off topic, thought it was relevant but may not be

Cranial capacity cannot be any kind of reliable indicator of intelligence. That is purely speculative storytelling and has gone on way too long. We were fully human and fully intelligent when God created us. Cranial capacity has increased due to more and more ‘crammed information’ into the brain of man as we have made the progression forward from agrarian societies to modern. We might actually be quite odd looking to early intelligent man with our high foreheads. They had every level of cognizance we possess today, maybe more (being closer to the creation moment than we).

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That’s… not how that works. At all.


Of course the answer depends totally on what criteria we subjectively decide to declare our species “fully human”. It’s like trying to decide when red becomes orange on a color spectrum. 500,000 years ago we weren’t H. sapiens. Today we are. Where we pick the point of “fully” human won’t change our evolutionary history one iota. :slightly_smiling_face:


Where is it argued that cranial capacity is exclusively used as an indicator of intelligence? That’s news to this paleoneurologist.

CC can be fairly reliable in some cases. Then things like EQ, brain to body mass ratio are a little more reliable (but this still has shortcomings because we have a very similar brain to body mass ratio as mice. So it can’t be a great indicator of intelligence.) it’s about neuroanatomy. That’s what we use for indicators of intelligence.

A good read for you:


I was still mulling this sentence over - and I realized for YEC this is both-and rather than either-or. I believe both there was a single couple long ago, and more recently after the flood, we all came from a small population…so…

I was wondering if there are any evolutionists or OEC Christians who are considering a both-and like this rather than an either-or?

Maybe a disease wiped out most of the human population around that mark? Or maybe humanity was gathered in a somewhat local area, like around the Mediterranean perhaps and a tsunami wiped out everyone on the coasts? Pick your own adventure, but I was just curious if this has been discussed at all.

Defending @r_speir here, I think he is describing a popular notion that most of the public probably believes because new science hasn’t informed popular thinking yet.

The fact that that’s true is indicated in the article you shared:

“But the idea that a big brain equals big smarts is not going to go away anytime soon. Though Manger discounts the role of glial cells in intelligence, a posthumous anatomical study of Albert Einstein’s brain showed that the scientific genius’s brain differed from the brains of other dead scientists only with its greater ratio of glial cells to neurons. But a study of Einstein’s brain organization and synaptic molecule configuration still remains to be completed.”

I didn’t know that scientists believed this either until I read something related via this forum.

No. He is commenting on a science article. He also said it has gone on too long implying he thinks scientists still rely on CC as an indicator for intelligence and need to move on from doing so. Something we have done. For a while now. Accuses people of fanciful storytelling and he doesn’t even know how we come to the conclusions we do. I have a problem with that.


Exactly. I think questions like when we became fully human are immensely silly. They inevitably devolve into arguments about how to define the terms of the question, with each definition sprouting its own host of answers.

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So it is not brain size, relative brain size or absolute number of neurons that distinguishes us. Perhaps our wiring has become more streamlined, our metabolism more efficient, our synapses more sophisticated.

Returning to Taleb’s attack on the validity of psychometric tests, the obtained above means, to quote Taleb, that you need something >.98 to “explain” genius.


Then let’s drop incidentals like random cranial capacities in ‘ancient man’ and adjusted dates to make the data fit. We could argue about those things till Kingdom come.

So let me address what may be the key failure of your paradigm while we are on the subject. Your paradigm is powerless to explain from where or how the human intellect came about. You will be unable to deny this. Your paradigm cannot demonstrate assemblage above the levels of physics and chemistry to achieve human self-awareness, abstract reasoning, and critical thinking.

Self-awareness, abstract reasoning, and critical thought are qualities endowed upon Mankind by the Creator. Period.

Here is the irony: Using human intellect, the evolutionist has built a paradigm that does not provide for the human intellect.

R_speir, I am curious by this claim, can you pad it out a bit more?

Disclaimer: I am not a vocal critic of the Intelligent Design movement. But to be clear, I do hold close a belief in God’s creation as laid out in Scripture. However, in battling the evolutionary paradigm, we sometimes have to go to unusual places, places that for us personally may be unpleasant. This is a philosophical paper on what I believe is a dire weakness of the evolutionary paradigm, a weakness that opens the door for an Intelligent Designer.

A crack in the evolutionary paradigm opens the door for intelligent design

“I think therefore I am” is an expression of human self-awareness. Evolutionists begin at this level of human consciousness and intelligence when they first define, then design, their evolutionary paradigm. Their paradigm basically states that, with no pre-directed goals, blind, unintelligent, unguided processes of natural selection and random mutation brought about the complex design of life we find today, including the self-aware and intelligent modern human. Thus, their paradigm is itself a product of intelligent design.

The narrative sounds something like this. In a serendipitous moment, after long ages of undirected and accidental processes, the darkened intelligence of the human animal inexplicably broke free to achieve the cognitive capacity necessary to define and design the paradigm that today explains the processes that lead to its own emergence and survival.

But it is precisely here that the paradigm breaks down. The evolutionist faces a self-contradiction, because blind, unintelligent, unguided processes cannot demonstrate assemblage above the levels of physics and chemistry to achieve the abstract human reasoning and critical thinking needed to build the paradigm in the first place. In other words, using human intellect, the evolutionist has built a paradigm that does not provide for the human intellect. Thus, the paradigm cannot even justify its own existence. It fails to rise to its own occasion.

So if human intelligence built the theory of life processes that cannot explain the very human intelligence required to build it, we are forced to consider the possibility that the mystery of the processes of life did not arrive in a “serendipitous moment”, but rather, were designed to be discovered. This would speak of intelligent forces at work in the processes from the beginning – an idea that would redefine the rules of the game. What were first thought to be unguided and accidental processes would now be found to be guided and goal-directed. The advent of these new rules, which occur at precisely the breaking point of the evolutionary paradigm, make a compelling appeal to an intelligent designer of life.

The entrance of this new intelligent player onto the field of inquiry would pit the evolutionary paradigm and the intelligent designer in a struggle of survival of the fittest. The intelligent designer would best be framed in the natural by what he did not need to explain. He would need no scientific or natural cause to exist since he may well be God – preexistent, uncaused, all-knowing, all-powerful. He need not leave evidence beyond circumstantial of his creative activity. He need not disclose means or motive – the hows and whys – of his creation. He need not explain particulars of “beginnings” – how the beginning looked or when it commenced.

As for the evolutionary paradigm, this new game would throw it into an unfamiliar and disquieting struggle. To disqualify the new intelligent player, evolutionists would be pressed to step up their game to prove out the premise of blind, unintelligent, unguided processes – up to and including the emergence of modern man. Not only should the processes themselves be shown to be unintelligent and unguided, but also the very possibility of a beginning intelligence to those processes should also be removed. In other words, evolutionists should begin to demonstrate that abiogenesis – the creation of life from non-life – did in fact occur.

This new view of the landscape should serve as a wakeup call to the evolutionist and his paradigm. No longer should he consider his paradigm unrivaled. The threat of an intelligent designer of life has loomed large from the infancy of evolution. It is high time the evolutionist recognizes the threat as legitimate and begin to better posture his paradigm to more convincingly defend his position. As for the paradigm of an intelligent designer, it continues to demonstrate singular strength. In time – possibly a short time – the dominant contender will emerge.

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I will attach the full one-page article right after this post, but I cannot guarantee they will publish it.

The range of human intelligence is greater than the average difference of human and chimpanzee intelligence. That means that not only is intelligence a gradient, it is a gradient that covers the entire range in need of explanation.

Then Homo Erectus from 1.8 MYA fits this criteria. Homo Erectus was a excellent toolmaker, spread across Eurasia, and controlled fire.