Humans or human beings define themselves in biological, social, and spiritual terms. more...
Biologically, humans are classified as the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin for "wise man" or "thinking man"): a bipedal primate of the superfamily Hominoidea, together with the other apes: chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons.
Humans have an erect body carriage that frees their upper limbs for manipulating objects and a highly developed brain capable of abstract reasoning, speech, language, and introspection. Bipedal locomotion appears to have evolved before the development of a large brain. The origins of bipedal locomotion and of its role in the evolution of the human brain are topics of ongoing research.
The human mind has several distinct attributes. It is responsible for complex behaviour, especially language. Curiosity and observation have led to a variety of explanations for consciousness and the relation between mind and body. Psychology attempts to study behaviour from a scientific point of view. Religious perspectives emphasise a soul, qi or atman as the essence of being, and are often characterised by the belief in and worship of God, gods, spirits, or other people. Philosophy, especially philosophy of mind, attempts to fathom the depths of each of these perspectives. Art, music and literature are often used in expressing these concepts and feelings.
Like all primates, humans are inherently social. They create complex social structures composed of co-operating and competing groups. These range from nations and states down to families. Seeking to understand and manipulate the world around them has led to the development of technology and science. Artifacts, beliefs, myths, rituals, values, and social norms have all helped to form humanity's culture.
In general, the word "people" is a collective or plural term for any specific group of individual persons. However, when used to refer to a group of humans possessing a common ethnic, cultural or national unitary characteristic or identity, "people" is a singular count noun, and as such takes an "s" in the plural (examples: "the English-speaking peoples of the world", "the indigenous peoples of Brazil").
Juvenile males are called boys, adult males men, juvenile females girls, and adult females women. Humans are commonly referred to as persons or people, and collectively as Man (capital M), mankind, humankind, humanity, or the human race. Until the 20th century, "human" was only used adjectivally ("pertaining to mankind"). Nominal use of "human" (plural "humans") is short for "human being", and not considered good style in traditional English grammar. As an adjective, "human" is used neutrally (as in "human race"), but "human" and especially "humane" may also emphasise positive aspects of human nature, and can be synonymous with "benevolent" (versus "inhumane"; cf. humanitarian).
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