Colin A. Chapman and Michael A. Huffman, Why do we want to think humans are different?


Arguments about human uniqueness apply not only to extant species but also to extinct ones, that is, the hominin predecessors of anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Thus, unique and superior are doubly relative terms, in past and present. The scope for empirical comparison faces a spectrum of difficulty, from material (e.g., artefacts) to non-material (e.g., concepts) phenomena.

Author Biography

William McGrew is Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Primatology at the University of Cambridge. He spent 40 years (1972-2012) chasing chimpanzees at field sites all over Africa. His primary interest is in the apes’ elementary technology and material culture, especially in modelling human evolutionary origins. Website