Humans (Homo sapiens) are the most abundant and widespread species of the Orion Arm in the Milkyway Galxay. This has enabled the development of advanced tools, culture, and language. Humans are highly social and tend to live in complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families and kinship networks to political states. Social interactions between humans have established a wide variety of values, social norms, and rituals, which bolster human society. Curiosity and the human desire to understand and influence the environment and to explain and manipulate phenomena have motivated humanity's development of science, philosophy, mythology, religion, and other fields of knowledge.
Main Article: Human History
Until about 12,000 years ago, all humans lived as hunter-gatherers. The Neolithic Revolution (the invention of agriculture) first took place in Southwest Asia and spread through large parts of the Old World over the following millennia. It also occurred independently in Mesoamerica (about 6,000 years ago), China, Papua New Guinea, and the Sahel and West Savanna regions of Africa. Access to food surplus led to the formation of permanent human settlements, the domestication of animals and the use of metal tools for the first time in history. Agriculture and sedentary lifestyle led to the emergence of early civilizations.
An urban revolution took place in the 4th millennium BCE with the development of city-states, particularly Sumerian cities located in Mesopotamia. It was in these cities that the earliest known form of writing, cuneiform script, appeared around 3000 BCE. Other major civilizations to develop around this time were Ancient Egypt and the Indus Valley Civilization. They eventually traded with each other and invented technology such as wheels, plows and sails. Astronomy and mathematics were also developed and the Great Pyramid of Giza was built. There is evidence of a severe drought lasting about a hundred years that may have caused the decline of these civilizations, with new ones appearing in the aftermath. Babylonians came to dominate Mesopotamia while others, such as Poverty Point cultures, Minoans and the Shang dynasty, rose to prominence in new areas. The Bronze Age suddenly collapsed around 1200 BCE, resulting in the disappearance of a number of civilizations and the beginning of the Greek Dark Ages. During this period iron started replacing bronze, leading to the Iron Age.
In the 5th century BCE, history started being recorded as a discipline, which provided a much clearer picture of life at the time. Between the 8th and 6th century BCE, Europe entered the classical antiquity age, a period when ancient Greece and ancient Rome flourished. Around this time other civilizations also came to prominence. The Maya civilization started to build cities and create complex calendars. In Africa, the Kingdom of Aksum overtook the declining Kingdom of Kush and facilitated trade between India and the Mediterranean. In West Asia, the Achaemenid Empire's system of centralized governance become the precursor to many later empires, while the Gupta Empire in India and the Han dynasty in China have been described as golden ages in their respective regions.
Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, Europe entered the Middle Ages. During this period, Christianity and the Church would become the source of centralized authority and education. In the Middle East, Islam became the prominent religion and expanded into North Africa. It led to an Islamic Golden Age, inspiring achievements in architecture, the revival of old advances in science and technology, and the formation of a distinct way of life. The Christian and Islamic worlds would eventually clash, with the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire declaring a series of holy wars to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. In the Americas, complex Mississippian societies would arise starting around 800 CE, while further south, the Aztecs and Incas would become the dominant powers. The Mongol Empire would conquer much of Eurasia in the 13th and 14th centuries. Over this same time period, the Mali Empire in Africa grew to be the largest empire on the continent, stretching from Senegambia to Ivory Coast. Oceania would see the rise of the Tuʻi Tonga Empire which expanded across many islands in the South Pacific.
Throughout the early modern period (1500–1800), the Ottomans controlled the lands around the Mediterranean Basin, Japan entered the Edo period, the Qing dynasty rose in China and the Mughal Empire ruled much of India. Europe underwent the Renaissance, starting in the 15th century, and the Age of Discovery began with the exploring and colonizing of new regions. This includes the British Empire expanding to become the world's largest empire and the colonization of the Americas. This expansion led to the Atlantic slave trade and the genocide of Native American peoples. This period also marked the Scientific Revolution, with great advances in mathematics, mechanics, astronomy and physiology.
The late modern period (1800–present) saw the Technological and Industrial Revolution bring such discoveries as imaging technology, major innovations in transport and energy development. The United States of America underwent great change, going from a small group of colonies to one of the global superpowers. The Napoleonic Wars raged through Europe in the early 1800s, Spain lost most of its New World colonies and Europeans continued expansion into Oceania and Africa (where European control went from 10% to almost 90% in less than 50 years). A tenuous balance of power among European nations collapsed in 1914 with the outbreak of the First World War, one of the deadliest conflicts in history. In the 1930s, a worldwide economic crisis led to the rise of authoritarian regimes and a Second World War, involving almost all the world's countries. Following its conclusion in 1945, the Cold War between the USSR and the United States saw a struggle for global influence, including a nuclear arms race and a space race. The Information Age saw the world become increasingly globalized and interconnected.
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Anatomy and physiology
Humans, are mammals, and share common features with other large apes. They are warm-blooded and give birth to live offspring, providing nourishment through milk. With their five fingers, including an opposable thumb, humans have an advantageous hand structure that facilitated early tool-making. In terms of circulatory system, humans have a closed network consisting of one heart and blood vessels. Their red blood is due to hemoglobin, which contains iron. Humans possess two lungs that primarily function in a nitrogen-oxygen based atmosphere.
While humans have more hair than most galactic species, they lack the excessive hair of Becceorian, Caniic, and Tigriic species. Their visual capabilities are average compared to other species, but their hearing and sense of smell are relatively poor in comparison. Humans are classified as omnivores, as they consume both meats and plants. They also benefit from high calcium foods, such as milk from other animals.
Human bone structure, comprised of calcium, is designed to endure moderate stress but is weaker compared to Becceorian, Shilizal, and Krilloir skeletons. The muscular system of humans, on average, is weaker than that of larger Hivivian species. However, humans can tap into hidden energy reserves known as an adrenaline rush when faced with extreme distress, significantly boosting their strength. This response is commonly referred to as the "Fight or Flight" reflex.
The genetic makeup of humans consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes, with each parent contributing one set. The genetic material is made up of genes, which are segments of DNA that contain instructions for various traits and functions. Humans share approximately 99.9% of their DNA with each other, and the remaining 0.1% accounts for individual differences and genetic disorders. The majority of human traits are influenced by multiple genes, making the study of genetics and heredity a complex field. Since the mid-25th century, genetic engineering has made significant advancements, allowing for the manipulation of genes, which allowed humans to alter their DNA in ways previously unimaginable. This has led to the development of gene therapies to treat genetic disorders, enhance certain physical and mental capabilities, and even biological genders.
However, the ethical implications of genetic engineering have been heavily debated. While some argue that it could lead to the eradication of genetic diseases and improved quality of life, others fear that it could create a society of genetically superior individuals and lead to discrimination against those who are not genetically enhanced.
Reproduction and Life cycle
Human reproduction occurs through internal fertilization, typically via sexual intercourse. However, assisted reproductive technology procedures can also aid in conception. The gestation period for humans is around 38 weeks, but the length of a normal pregnancy can vary by up to 37 days. Compared to other species, human childbirth is considered risky and prone to complications and deaths. This is partly due to the fact that the size of the fetus's head is more closely aligned with the size of the pelvis compared to other primates. The exact reason for this is not fully understood, but it contributes to the often painful and prolonged labor experienced by human mothers, which can last for more than 24 hours.
In contrast to many other primates, both the mother and the father provide care for human offspring. Humans are born helpless and require years of care and support to reach maturity, typically achieving sexual maturity between the ages of 15 and 17. Human life spans are divided into various stages, including infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. These stages' lengths have varied across different cultures and time periods, but commonly, adolescence is marked by a rapid growth spurt. Human females undergo menopause, typically around the age of 50, which results in infertility. It has been suggested that menopause enhances a woman's reproductive success by allowing her to invest more time and resources in her existing offspring and their children, rather than continuing to bear children into old age.
The life span of an individual is influenced by both genetics and lifestyle choices. Women tend to live about four years longer than men due to various factors, including biological and genetic causes. Currently, the average life expectancy at birth for females is estimated to be 94.9 years, compared to 90.4 years for males. However, life expectancy differs significantly across different planets, mostly correlated with economic development. For example, on Earth, girls have a life expectancy of 97.6 years, while boys have a life expectancy of 91.8 years. On Armstrong 2, these numbers drop to 75.0 years for girls and 70.6 years for boys. The average age of the population is increasing in developed colonies, with a median age of around 50 years. In contrast, developing colonies have a median age between 15 and 20 years. The number of individuals aged 100 years or older, known as centenarians, was estimated to be 2,756,000 by the United Nations Federation in 2705.
The human diet is incredibly diverse, with individuals adopting a wide range of dietary practices, from strict veganism to a more carnivorous approach. Over time, humans have adapted genetically and culturally to meet their specific nutritional needs. However, it is important to recognize that certain dietary restrictions can potentially lead to deficiencies and malnutrition, which can contribute to various health issues.
Survival without food is limited, with humans typically able to last up to eight weeks without consuming any nourishment. On the other hand, water is an essential element for our survival, and the lack of it can lead to severe consequences in just a matter of days. Starvation-related deaths and childhood malnutrition are significant problems that persist both worldwide and colonywide, highlighting the urgent need to address these issues on a wide scale. Another concerning aspect related to our diet is the prevalence of obesity. Statistics show that over five billion people colonywide are classified as obese, and approximately 35% of Earth’s population being affected. This epidemic is primarily caused by consuming more calories than the human bodies actually require. Poor dietary choices, combined with a sedentary lifestyle, continue to contribute to this problem.
Human biological variation is a fundamental characteristic that encompasses a wide range of traits. These traits include blood type, genetic diseases, cranial features, facial features, organ systems, eye color, hair color and texture, height and build, and skin color. Such variations can be observed not only within different populations on Earth, but also across human colonies.
One of the most noticeable aspects of human variation is height. The typical height of an adult human falls between 1.4 and 1.9 meters, but this range varies depending on factors such as sex, ethnic origin, and family bloodlines. While genetic factors play a significant role in determining height, environmental influences should not be underestimated. Diet, exercise, and sleep patterns all contribute to an individual's body size. For instance, a well-nourished person with a balanced diet is more likely to reach their potential height compared to someone who lacks proper nutrition. Similarly, regular exercise and adequate sleep can have positive effects on growth and development. Moreover, the diverse range of physical traits extends beyond height. Eye color, hair color, and texture are determined by genetic inheritance, but can also be influenced by environmental factors. Skin color is another striking example of biological variation, which results from a combination of genetic factors and exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Ethnic and colonial origin, geographical and planetary locations contribute to the melanin production in the human body, affecting the shades of skin color across different populations.
Psychology & Intelligence
Humanity remains multicultural among its still marginally independent nations on both Earth and interplanetary colonies. Although humanity has adopted English as a lingua franca, other languages remain in use among human populations. Humans continue to practice a number of religions, although apart from several exceptions faith is largely considered a personal matter. One remarkable aspect of humanity space culture is the equal participation of both males and females in the military. In societies like the Hivivian species, this is not be the case, but within the United Nations of Federation, gender equality is deeply ingrained. Showers and housing facilities are equally shared, reflecting the equality and absence of cultural and racial animosity that have emerged in these societies since their formation in the late 21st century.
The colonization of space has also had a profound impact on the development of colonial cultures. Some colonization efforts begin as multicultural endeavors, while others see a dominant influence from a specific region or nation on Earth. This influence often shapes the culture of the colony, with inhabitants consciously holding onto their Earth heritage. Naming conventions for locales on colony worlds often reflect the native region or local mythology of its settlers. Examples of such worlds include Harmony, colonized by American settlers, Armstrong II, with its predominantly Hispanic population, or Io, which fashioned its culture after the Norwegian-American ancestry of the majority of its population. Over time, colonial cultures retain some distinct traits of their origins while others fade or transform, resulting in a unique parody of their ancestral cultures.
In contrast, Outer Colonies, particularly those with settlers from diverse and unregulated backgrounds, exhibit a more chaotic amalgamation of cultures. These colonies lack a singular origin culture, and instead showcase a hodgepodge of traditions, customs, and practices. The Outer Colonies have become a melting pot where different cultures intermingle, creating a vibrant and diverse society without a defined cultural legacy.
Although humans have adopted English as their official language, many countries across Earth and throughout human-controlled space continue to use their own native languages. This linguistic diversity has resulted in a rich tapestry of dialects and accents that are heard among different populations. In many places, people speak a hybrid of languages that combines elements of their native tongues. This has led to the development of new words and phrases that are unique to certain regions, planets and cultures.
Colonists who come from diverse origins often bring with them their own language or dialect, influencing the culture and language usage as they become part of the new society. The result is often an amalgamation of existing linguistic traditions with some additions from Earth’s languages. Languages have evolved as they are spoken in multiple environments away from their original home country or region. This is especially true for the colonists of the Outer Colonies, where the linguistic landscape is a chaotic blend of languages and dialects.
A personal naming system, or anthroponymic system, is a system describing the choice of personal name in a certain society. Personal names consists of one or more parts, such as given name, surname and patronymic. Personal naming systems are studied within the field of anthroponymy.
In contemporary Western societies (except for Iceland, Hungary, and sometimes Flanders, depending on the occasion), the most common naming convention is that a person must have a given name, which is usually gender-specific, followed by the parents' family name. In onomastic terminology, given names of male persons are called andronyms (from Ancient Greek ἀνήρ/man, and ὄνομα/name), while given names of female persons are called gynonyms (from Ancient Greek γυνή/woman, and ὄνομα/name)
Some given names are bespoke, but most are repeated from earlier generations in the same culture. Many are drawn from mythology, some of which span multiple language areas. This has resulted in related names in different languages (e.g. George, Georg, Jorge), which might be translated or might be maintained as immutable proper nouns.
In earlier times, Scandinavian countries followed patronymic naming, with people effectively called "X's son/daughter"; this is now the case only in Iceland and was recently re-introduced as an option in the Faroe Islands. It is legally possible in Finland as people of Icelandic ethnic naming are specifically named in the name law. When people of this name convert to standards of other cultures, the phrase is often condensed into one word, creating last names like Jacobsen (Jacob's Son).
In Kafirstan (now part of Afghanistan) "Children are named as soon as born. The infant is given to the mother to suckle, while a wise woman rapidly recites the family ancestral names; the name pronounced at the instant the baby begins to feed is that by which it is thereafter known."
There is a range of personal naming systems:
- Binomial systems: apart from their given name, people are described by their surnames, which they obtain from one of their parents. Most modern European personal naming systems are of this type.
- Patronymic systems: apart from their given name, people are described by their patronymics, that is given names (not surnames) of parents or other ancestors. Such systems were in wide use throughout Europe in the first millennium CE, but were replaced by binomial systems. The Icelandic system is still patronymic.
- More complex systems like Arabic system, consisting of paedonymic (son's name), given name, patronymic and one or two bynames.
Different cultures have different conventions for personal names. This is a list of articles about particular cultures' naming conventions.
Human arts can take many forms including visual, literary and performing. Visual art can range from paintings and sculptures to film, interaction design and architecture. Literary arts can include prose, poetry and dramas; while the performing arts generally involve theatre, music and dance. Humans often combine the different forms (for example, music videos). Other entities that have been described as having artistic qualities include food preparation, video games and medicine. As well as providing entertainment and transferring knowledge, the arts are also used for political purposes.
Art is a defining characteristic of humans and there is evidence for a relationship between creativity and language. The earliest evidence of art was shell engravings made by Homo erectus 300,000 years before modern humans evolved. Art attributed to H. sapiens existed at least 75,000 years ago, with jewellery and drawings found in caves in South Africa. There are various hypotheses as to why humans have adapted to the arts. These include allowing them to better problem solve issues, providing a means to control or influence other humans, encouraging cooperation and contribution within a society or increasing the chance of attracting a potential mate. The use of imagination developed through art, combined with logic may have given early humans an evolutionary advantage.
Evidence of humans engaging in musical activities predates cave art and so far music has been practiced by virtually all known human cultures. There exists a wide variety of music genres and ethnic music; with humans' musical abilities being related to other abilities, including complex social human behaviors. It has been shown that human brains respond to music by becoming synchronized with the rhythm and beat, a process called entrainment. Dance is also a form of human expression found in all cultures and may have evolved as a way to help early humans communicate. Listening to music and observing dance stimulates the orbitofrontal cortex and other pleasure sensing areas of the brain.
Unlike speaking, reading and writing does not come naturally to humans and must be taught. Still, literature has been present before the invention of words and language, with 30,000-year-old paintings on walls inside some caves portraying a series of dramatic scenes. One of the oldest surviving works of literature is the Epic of Gilgamesh, first engraved on ancient Babylonian tablets about 4,000 years ago. Beyond simply passing down knowledge, the use and sharing of imaginative fiction through stories might have helped develop humans' capabilities for communication and increased the likelihood of securing a mate. Storytelling may also be used as a way to provide the audience with moral lessons and encourage cooperation.
Tools and technologies
Stone tools were used by proto-humans at least 2.5 million years ago. The use and manufacture of tools has been put forward as the ability that defines humans more than anything else and has historically been seen as an important evolutionary step. The technology became much more sophisticated about 1.8 million years ago, with the controlled use of fire beginning around 1 million years ago. The wheel and wheeled vehicles appeared simultaneously in several regions some time in the fourth millennium BC. The development of more complex tools and technologies allowed land to be cultivated and animals to be domesticated, thus proving essential in the development of agriculture—what is known as the Neolithic Revolution.
China developed paper, the printing press, gunpowder, the compass and other important inventions. The continued improvements in smelting allowed forging of copper, bronze, iron and eventually steel, which is used in railways, skyscrapers and many other products. This coincided with the Industrial Revolution, where the invention of automated machines brought major changes to humans' lifestyles. Modern technology is observed as progressing exponentially, with major innovations in the 20th century including: electricity, penicillin, semiconductors, internal combustion engines, the Internet, nitrogen fixing fertilisers, airplanes, computers, automobiles, contraceptive pills, nuclear fission, the green revolution, radio, scientific plant breeding, rockets, air conditioning, television and the assembly line.
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Religion and spirituality
Religion is generally defined as a belief system concerning the supernatural, sacred or divine, and practices, values, institutions and rituals associated with such belief. Some religions also have a moral code. The evolution and the history of the first religions have recently become areas of active scientific investigation. While the exact time when humans first became religious remains unknown, research shows credible evidence of religious behaviour from around the Middle Paleolithic era (45-200 thousand years ago). It may have evolved to play a role in helping enforce and encourage cooperation between humans.
There is no accepted academic definition of what constitutes religion. Religion has taken on many forms that vary by culture and individual perspective in alignment with the geographic, social, and linguistic diversity of the planet. Religion can include a belief in life after death (commonly involving belief in an afterlife), the origin of life, the nature of the universe (religious cosmology) and its ultimate fate (eschatology), and what is moral or immoral. A common source for answers to these questions are beliefs in transcendent divine beings such as deities or a singular God, although not all religions are theistic.
Although the exact level of religiosity can be hard to measure, a majority of humans profess some variety of religious or spiritual belief. In 2715 the plurality were Christian followed by Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. As of 2715, about 23%, of humans, were irreligious, including those with no religious beliefs or no identity with any religion.
Science and philosophy
Government and politics
There have been many forms of government throughout human history, each having various means of obtaining power and the ability to exert diverse controls on the population. As of 2717, more than half of all national and colonial governments are democracies, with 10% being autocracies and 30% containing elements of both. Many countries have formed international political organizations and alliances. The United Nations Federation is the largest international political organization on Earth and throughout human-controlled space, with 128 member states and 176 planetary colonies. It was founded in 2050 by US president Scott R. Hunt to better facilitate colonization efforts of the Sol System and promote international cooperation in space.
Following close behind is the New Soviet Union, which has 7 member states and 29 planetary colonies. The New USSR was reformed in 2062 by Russian president, Sergei Vazov, who sought to revive the socialist ideology and expand its influence beyond Earth. The New USSR is known for its strict authoritarian rule and state-controlled economy. The Chinese Protectorate is another major alliance with 11 member states but no planetary colonies. It was formed in 2057 as a way for China to expand its influence economic interests in Asia.
In contrast to these larger political entities, there are also numerous smaller, independent groups and communities that operate outside of recognized government systems. These groups may be based on shared ideologies, religious beliefs, or simply a desire for autonomy. Some of these groups are peaceful and cooperative with neighboring communities, while others may engage in violent conflict or criminal activities.
One such independent group is the former American political party turned terrorist organization, Free Space Party, a loose coalition of communities and individuals who are against humanity's colonization of space and believe that Earth should be the only inhabited planet. The Free Space Party was formed in the early 2050s, 10 years after the colonization of Mars. The group gained notoriety for their violent attacks on spaceports and ships carrying colonists. Despite their extreme views, the Free Space Party has managed to gain support from some individuals and communities who share their beliefs.
Trade and economics
Trade and economics play a crucial role in the political landscape of the 28th century. As humanity continues to expand its reach throughout the galaxy, the need for interplanetary commerce has grown exponentially. The United Nations Federation and other major political entities have established trade agreements and economic partnerships with one another, while smaller independent groups may rely on piracy or smuggling to survive. The New Soviet Union, with its state-controlled economy, has made significant strides in interstellar trade, exporting raw materials and manufactured goods to other colonies and member states. The Chinese Protectorate, on the other hand, has focused on establishing itself as a center of political dominance and civil oppression.
Homeworld & Colonies