On the Uniqueness of Humankind by Hans Rainer Duncker (auth.), Professor em. Dr. Dr.

By Hans Rainer Duncker (auth.), Professor em. Dr. Dr. Hans-Rainer Duncker, Dr. Kathrin Prieß, Friederike Wütscher (eds.)

Biological and philosophical anthropologies of the 20th century maintain emphasising the "Sonderstellung" of people one of the realm of residing beings. besides the fact that, it isn't transparent how this actual function will be characterized, the way it can be reconciled with organic findings, and which theoretical and functional conclusions could be drawn from it. partially towards those anthropological view on humankind organic disciplines underline the broad similarities and customary features among people and different species. it seems that, those organic findings concur with the feedback of anthropocentrism, that's expressed in Western philosophy of nature and through ethicists.

To speak about those matters the Europäische Akademie geared up the convention "The distinctiveness of Humankind – Über die Sonderstellung des Menschen". The lawsuits of the convention documented during this quantity approached the theoretical and useful inspiration of the "Sonderstellung" opposed to the history of brand new wisdom in biosciences. moreover, via interdisciplinary efforts, an try out used to be made to elucidate these conceptual difficulties that come up with the assumption of the individuality of humankind.

The current quantity partially takes up and develops extra subject matters which were raised via the amount 15 "On Human Nature" that used to be released in 2002 during this series.

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Loosening of the somatic gender from the sexual-specific behaviour led as a specific feature of human evolution to the situation, that in all ethnic and cultural communities 4–6 % of the males and 2–3 % of the females develop a propensity in their sexual behaviour for their own gender, practising homosexual behaviour. This human homosexuality is quite different from all so-called homo- or isosexual behaviour in the animal kingdom (Valerius 1988). 1 The evolution of the human body and its functional capabilities One complex of factors, which were responsible for the course of the phylogenetic development of Homo sapiens sapiens, have been explained by the principles of the evolutionary theory according to Darwin in the modern form of the synthetic theory (Mayr, Provine 1980, Maynard Smith 1998), describing the basic mechanisms of this 26 Hans Rainer Duncker evolution.

3 The specific retardation of the human newborn as prerequisite for its social and cultural developments The most remarkable feature of the biological evolution of modern human is the fact that human newborns, despite the 16–20 % elongated intrauterine development, are strongly retarded in the biological development of their locomotor and behavioural Human as a Biological and Cultural Being 27 capabilities, especially in comparison with the newborns of anthropoid apes, who are able to cling to the mother very soon after birth and who acquire already in the first few months of life significant locomotor and behavioural abilities.

This increase is mainly due to an increase in the cerebrum and in proportional correlation also in the cerebellum. Moreover, the surface of the cerebral cortex increased even 4 fold (Rapoport 1990, Duncker 1998b, 2000b). Because brain tissue is the metabolically most expensive tissue of the body, this dramatic increase in human brain tissue mass runs up a heavy metabolic mortgage debt: In older fetusses and newborns the brain occupies 13 % of the body mass but more than 60 % of the resting metabolic rate of the entire body.

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