Humans as a Diverse Species Term Paper

  • Length: 7 pages
  • Sources: 4
  • Subject: Disease
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #99987217

Excerpt from Term Paper :

It is not startling that some remarkable variation exists between the great apes as well as humans with regard to mental capabilities. Humans possess a lot higher intricate types of verbal communications compared to any other primates. Humans are the sole animal to make and apply symbols as a way to communicate with each other. Humans also have diverse as well as complex forms of social organizations compared to that of the other nonhuman primates. The most unique characteristic of humans lies in human mental capability to build novel ideas as well as intricate technologies. This has been considered to be important in the fight for endurance. (O'Neil 2007)

Further, the relatively negligible structural variations among humans and apes are generally an outcome of regular bipedalism observed in human beings. Quite a number of alterations in human bodies were linked to the growth of this type of locomotion. As opposed to apes, the arms of humans are comparatively small and not so strong in contrast to the legs of humans. The human feet have lost the capability to successfully hold and maneuver things as the big toe went up in the same line with the others. The feet in case of humans have also grown in length and has become like an arch, rendering them to better support their body. The human pelvis as also the vertebral column has also undergone changes to lend an upright posture and facilitates bipedal locomotion. Nature possibly chose for longer legs in case of humans as it gives greater efficiency for walking and particularly running using the two feet. (O'Neil 2007)

More remarkable differences do exist between humans as well as other non-human primates. To take an example, research into HIV and AIDS has revealed that almost every other non-human primate does not get infected with the HIV virus. Chimpanzees exclusively are infected with HIV although they do not at all develop AIDS. Likewise, research into Alzheimer's syndrome has been unsuccessful to locate an appropriate non-human primate model on which to find out the progress of the ailment. The basic defect that is central to the research of human diseases with regard to primates remains that they just do not have identical diseases which the humans have. (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection 2007)

Now we shall understand as to how human population differs from one another. Every human existing in this planet relates to a single species Homo sapiens, and has a universal ancestry. Even though divergence in opinion exists with regard to the manner in which various human categories deviated or integrated to mould new races originating from a universal familial category, all populations living in each geographic regions of the earth have originated from that ancestral category over identical period of time. For several centuries, researchers have wanted to fathom patterns in nature by categorizing living beings. The sole alive species in the human genre, Homo sapiens, has come to be regarded as an extremely widespread universal range of populace. Biological variations among humans show hereditary factors as well as the impact of natural and also social background. In majority of the instances, the variations are because of the interface of the two. (Charles 1996, p. 570)

Regional, climatic as well as historical causes have become responsible for the blueprint of human genetic differences observed in the world currently. For instance, population processes linked with immigration, intervals of geographic seclusion, compulsive endogamy meted out by the society, and natural selection have impacted allele rates in some of the populace. (Berg; Bonham; et. al 2005, p. 524) Further, majority of the biological differences within the human population entails unassuming extent of differences in the rate of mutual traits. The extent to which the surroundings or heredity impact any specific attribute differs a lot. Marked physical variations exist among the populations inhabiting diverse geographic regions of the world. Several of these variations are vehemently present at birth while others like the size of the body and its shape are fervently impacted by diet, lifestyle and other features of the environment. (Charles 1996, p. 570)

The color of the skin is among the most noticeable means in which humans differ and has been extensively utilized to describe human ethnicity. Roughly 10% of the difference in the color of the skin happens within groups, and ~90% happens between groups. The amount of melanin is responsible for the maximum portion of the difference in the visual look of human skin. Difference in melanin pigmentation of the skin in case of humans has been characterized to several causes, with majority of researchers acknowledging that the observed differences show biological adaptations to several facets of the surroundings. The skins having high melanin content belonging to native people of humid regions has been stated to be offering higher barrier against the harmful consequences to UV radiations, like sunburn, skin cancer as well as nutrient photolysis. The reason for the people inhabiting the Arctic areas having lightly pigmented skins have been attributed to the lower UV radiation regimes of those areas and the significance of maintaining UV stimulated biosynthesis with regard to vitamin D3 present in the skin. Added adaptationist theories have laid importance on the importance of skin pigmentation in controlling reaction to frostbite, in prevention to disease, heat regulation, or a blend of these. (Jablonski & Chaplin 2000, p. 61)

Variations in look have been responsible for the growth of concepts regarding "race" as well as "ethnicity" which sometimes take into account the idea that vital difference that are inherited set apart humans. Besides, racial as well as ethnic groups can demonstrate considerable common differences in occurrence of diseases, its acuteness, advancement and reaction to treatment. In the U.S., African-Americans display increased rates of mortality compared to other racial or ethic group in case of 8 of the front ranking causal factors of death. Similarly U.S. Latinos have higher proportion of fatalities from liver disease, diabetes and ailments due to infections compared to non-Latinos. Native Americans are affected with increased rates of pneumonia, diabetes, influenza, tuberculosis and alcohol consumption compared to the remaining of the U.S. population. On the other hand, European-Americans lose their lives on more occasions suffering from cardiac diseases as well as cancer compared to Asian-Americans, Native Americans or that of the Hispanics. (Berg; Bonham; et. al 2005, p. 528)

Significant proof shows that the racial as well as ethnic differences in health emanate in majority of the cases by the impact of inequity, variation in treatment, poverty, absence of accessibility to healthcare system, health associated activities, racial discrimination, tension, and other socially arbitrated forces. The threats in case of several diseases rise for socially, financially as well as politically deprived groups, recommending that socioeconomic discrimination are the main reasons for majority of the variations. Nevertheless, variations in allele rates definitely play a role in group variations in the occurrence of some of the monogenic ailments, and they might play a role in variations in contracting some of the general diseases. In case of the monogenic diseases, the rate of contributory alleles normally associates ideally with ancestry, be it familial, racial or geographical. To the degree that ancestry matches with racial or ethnic groups, or subgroups, the occurrence of monogenic diseases can vary between groups classified by race or ethnicity. (Berg; Bonham; et. al 2005, p. 530)

Although it can be stated that genetic variations between populations generally comprise of differences in the rates of every hereditary behavior, covering those which are environmentally acquiescent, it ought to be understood that though human populations have at periods been secluded, they have not at all genetically deviated too much to encounter any biological impediment to mating between various populations. (Charles 1996, p. 570) it is frequently mentioned that roughly 85% of the net differences on the genetic front is because of the singular variations within populations and just 15% to the variations between populations or ethnic groups. It has thus been suggested that the separation of Homo sapiens into these groups is not acceptable by the genetic information. (Edwards 2003, p. 800) Mating among people of distinct human groups have a possibility of reducing variations between groups, and have contributed a vital part in human history. In cases where various human populations have been in touch, such matings have occurred. The global development of urbanization, along with intercontinental relocation, has the capability to lower the variations among the various human populations. (Charles 1996, p. 570)


Berg, Kate; Bonham, Vence; Boyer, Joy; Brody, Larry; Brooks, Lisa; Collins, Francis;

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Bethesda, MD. 2006, 'Present-Day Non-Human Primates May Be Linchpin in Evolution of Language' Terra Daily. 25 Jul., p. 4

British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, 2007, the Zero option, Available at

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