CANCELED - The Origins of Humanness
Alan Mann, Princeton University
Location: 215 Aaron Burr Hall
Date/Time: 02/25/10 at 4:30 pm - 02/25/10 at 6:00 pm
We know that we are a unique species, different from all other earthly living creatures. But what makes us unique? What biological and behavioral features differentiates us from our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas? And, just as important, when and under what circumstances did our uniqueness evolve? Most scholars believe that human language is our single most important distinguishing feature. Unfortunately it is not possible to document the evolutionary origins of human speech but the prehistoric record provides tantalizing evidence of the presence of this feature in the form of artistic works of great genius. By examining this art, we can gain an appreciation of our origins.