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2012 Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge


The Human Journey
• Human Nature for Kids: All About Me Series

The Human Journey

For the last three years, ISHK is developing a new project under the direction of our President Robert Ornstein with contributions from associates of ISHK. It is a new website called The Human Journey www.humanjourney.us. In it we attempt to provide a basis of information to the general public about what it means to be human: our capacities, our weaknesses, our potential.

If we don’t know our history, social and biological, we can’t adapt fully to a world that we made.

Of course one website, especially one helmed by a small group of people in a small institute, can’t be comprehensive. So we are concentrating on a few areas where information isn’t represented well. And there is so much work published, streamed along the internet, that we’ve also recommended many of the most useful works in print, on the web and on disk.

Topics include:

The Human Legacy

OUR DISTANT ANCESTORS Humans first appeared in east Africa millions of years ago, and from there spread throughout the world.
HUMAN UNIVERSALS What were the universal qualities shared by our early ancestors as they migrated out of Africa?

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
The First Word Researchers inside and outside the field of linguistics are establishing the study of language evolution as a solid science.
Language Evolution How did forms of communication come to be, and how have they developed over the course of human life on earth?
The Indo-Europeans Theories of the origins of the Indo-Europeans.

OUT OF AFRICA
The Great Human Diasporas Our journey out of Africa from the biological, archaeological, social anthropology and linguistic point of view.
Before the Dawn How geneticists have applied the results from the human genome project to the evolutionary history of the human race.

EARLY SETTLEMENTS
China A glimpse into the material life of the early communities in China.
Australia Information and controversy surrounding the First Australians and the “Hobbit.”
Europe The journey of modern humans to Europe.
America Was America first populated by ancient Siberians who crossed from Asia by way of Beringia or by sea-going Ice-Age Europeans?

Turning Points in Human Thought

Human beings are a problem-solving animal. As with our physical evolution, our mental evolution occurs in response to problems. In this section of the human journey review the development of human thought, tracing its journey to contemporary Western religious and spiritual thought.

PRE-AXIAL THOUGHT
From about 40,000 years ago our ancestors made an enormous creative and cultural leap in the advancement of tool making and in the creation of art. At this point they became psychologically modern humans. How did this help them survive? What do we know about the way they and later humans saw their world, their origins, life and death?

Sections include: Introduction | The Noble Ones | Greece | China

AXIAL AGE THOUGHT
In 1949 the German philosopher Karl Theodor Jaspers coined the phrase “Achsenzeit” (“Axial Age” or “Axis age” in English) to describe a time between approximately 900 - 200 BCE when “The spiritual foundations of humanity were laid simultaneously and independently and these are the foundations upon which humanity still subsists today.”

Sections include: Introduction | Zoraster | Hinduism | Buddhism | China | Greece | Judaism

POST-AXIAL AGE THOUGHT
An overview of the influences and development of religious and spiritual thought in the Western world.

Sections include: Jerusalem | The Church that Paul Built | The Best-known Gospels | The Historical Jesus | Jesus the Teacher | A Multicultural Story | Mohammad

The Road to Now

Guns, Germs, and Steel Support for the claim that Eurasians had geographical and ecological advantages that gave them a head start on the rest of the world.

The Axemaker’s Gift How discoveries and innovations drive adaption and change.

1491 How the impact of European contact with the Americas altered the ecological dynamics.

STILL IN DEVELOPMENT FOR THIS PART ARE THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS:

INTERCULTURAL UNDERSTANDING AND EMPATHY
AID
HEALTH
EDUCATION
In the Developing world.
In the Developed world.
RENEWABLE ENERGY
The human community has increased 40 fold since the time of Christ, and almost half have energy use undreamt of in that time.
So we must create a shift in understanding about the way we use the earth.

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