关于什么使我们人性化，有些相关和相互关联有多种理论。数千年来，我们一直在思考这个话题 – 古希腊哲学家苏格拉底，柏拉图和亚里士多德从此以后都有无数哲学家从人类生存的本质入手。随着化石和科学证据的发现，科学家们也发展了理论。虽然可能没有单一的结论，但毫无疑问，人类确实是独一无二的。事实上，思考什么使我们成为人类的行为在其他动物物种中是独一无二的。地球上存在的大多数物种已经灭绝。这包括一些早期的人类物种。进化生物学和科学证据告诉我们，所有人类都是在600多万年前在非洲的猿类祖先身上发展起来的。从发现早期人类化石和考古遗迹中获得的知识，似乎可能存在15-20种不同的早期人类物种，有些早在数百万年前就已开始。这些人类称为“人类”，大约在200万年前就迁移到亚洲，然后迁移到欧洲，世界其他地方也变得很晚。当人类的不同分支消失时，通向现代人类智人的分支继续发展。在化妆和生理学方面，人类与地球上的其他哺乳动物有许多共同之处，但就遗传学和形态学而言，它们最像是另外两种灵长类动物：黑猩猩和倭黑猩猩，我们花最多时间在系统发育树上。然而，就像我们现在的黑猩猩和倭黑猩猩一样，分歧依然很大。除了将我们区分为物种的显而易见的智力能力之外，人类还具有几种独特的身体，社会，生物和情感特征。虽然我们无法确切地知道其他人的头脑中有什么，比如动物，实际上可能被我们自己的头脑所限制，但科学家可以通过研究动物行为来推论我们的理解。澳大利亚昆士兰大学心理学教授Thomas Suddendorf和着名书籍“The Gap：将我们与其他动物隔离开来的科学”一书的作者Thomas Suddendorf说：“通过建立各种心理特征的存在和缺失动物，我们可以更好地理解思维的进化，在相关物种中分布特征可以揭示何时以及何种分支或家族树的分支最有可能发展为特征。“以下是被认为是人类特有的一些特质，以及来自不同学科领域的理论，包括神学，生物学，心理学和古人类学（人类学），它们假设了什么使我们成为人类的理论。然而，这个清单并不全面，因为几乎不可能列出所有不同的人的特征，或者对于像我们这样复杂的物种，对“什么使我们成为人类”有绝对的定义。
There are multiple theories about what makes us human, some related and interconnected. We’ve been pondering the topic for thousands of years — the ancient Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle all theorized about the nature of human existence as have countless philosophers since. With the discovery of fossils and scientific evidence, scientists have developed theories as well. While there may be no single conclusion, there is no doubt that humans are, indeed, unique. In fact, the very act of contemplating what makes us human is unique among other animal species. Most species that have existed on planet earth are extinct. That includes a number of early human species. Evolutionary biology and scientific evidence tell us that all humans originated from and evolved from ape-like ancestors over 6 million years ago in Africa. From knowledge gained from the discovery of early human fossils and archaeological remains, it appears that there were probably 15-20 different species of early humans that existed, some beginning as early as several million years ago. These species of humans, called “hominins,” migrated into Asia about 2 million years ago, then into Europe, and the rest of the world much later. While different branches of humans died out, the branch leading to the modern human, Homo sapiens, continued to evolve. Humans have much in common with other mammals on earth in terms of make-up and physiology, but are most like two other living primates in terms of genetics and morphology: the chimpanzee and bonobo, with whom we spent the most time on the phylogenetic tree. However, as much like the chimpanzee and bonobo as we are, the differences are still vast. Apart from our obvious intellectual capabilities that distinguish us as a species, humans have several unique physical, social, biological, and emotional traits. While we can’t know precisely what is in the minds of another being, such as an animal, and may, in fact, be limited by our own minds, scientists can make inferences through studies of animal behavior that inform our understanding. Thomas Suddendorf, Professor of Psychology at the University of Queensland, Australia, and author of the fascinating book, “The Gap: The Science of What Separates Us From Other Animals,” says that “by establishing the presence and absence of mental traits in various animals, we can create a better understanding of the evolution of mind. The distribution of a trait across related species can shed light on when and on what branch or branches of the family tree the trait is most likely to have evolved.” Following are some traits thought to be unique to humans, and theories from different fields of study, including theology, biology, psychology, and paleoanthropology (human anthropology), that postulate theories about what makes us human. This list is far from comprehensive, though, for it is nearly impossible to name all the distinct human traits or reach an absolute definition of “what makes us human” for a species as complex as ours.