|Mental Traits & Human Habitat|
A. Mental Traits
The ability of humans to recognize their reflection in a mirror is one of the rare things in the animal kingdom. Humans are one of four species to pass the mirror test for reflection recognition – the others being chimpanzees, orangutans and dolphins. Tests have shown that a fully-grown chimpanzee has nearly the same ability as a four-year-old human child to recognize its reflection in a mirror.
Pattern recognition (recognizing the arrangement of images, and colors and imitating traits) is another proof that humans have a good mentality.
The mental faculties of humans, and their intelligence, make them, according to Pascal, the saddest of all animals. The ability to have feelings, such as sadness or happiness, sets them apart from other organisms, although this claim is difficult to prove using animal tests. Human existence, according to most philosophers, constitutes itself as a source of happiness.
B. Human Habitat
Most people (61%) live in Asia. The majority of the rest are in the Americas (14%), Africa (13%) and Europe (12%), with only 0.3% in Australia.
Sedentary human settlements depend on their proximity to water sources and, depending on their lifestyle, other natural resources such as fertile land for growing crops, and grazing livestock or, depending on the season of prey/food availability. With the advent of large-scale trade and transport infrastructure, proximity to these resources has become less important, and in many places this factor is no longer a driving force for population growth or decline.
Human habitats in closed ecological systems in unfamiliar environments (Antarctica, outer space) are very expensive, and generally they cannot stay long, and are only for scientific, military, or industrial expeditions. Life in space is very sporadic, with a maximum of thirteen humans in space at any given time. This is a direct result of human susceptibility to ionizing radiation. Prior to Yuri Gagarin’s 1961 space flight, all humans were ‘locked up’ on Earth. Between 1969 and 1974, two humans at once spent a short time on the Moon. As of 2004, no other celestial body has been visited by humans. Until 2004, there had been a continuous human presence in space since the launch of the inaugural crew to aboard the International Space Station, on October 31, 2000.