Human uniqueness: debates in science and theology

Eric Priest*

*Corresponding author for this work

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In both science and theology, there has been a revolution in our understanding of the nature of human uniqueness. As a background to this Symposium on the subject, a summary is here given of the history of Homo sapiens that is being revealed by fossil, archaeological, and genetic evidence. This is followed by a description of some of the distinctive characteristics of humans that have been proposed in the past, such as language, tool use, self-consciousness, art, and culture. Ideas from theology and philosophy that are salient for the dialogue with science are then mentioned, together with a summary of the scientific and theological insights on uniqueness from contributors to this Symposium in Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-404
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Early online date4 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • Cultural evolution
  • Evolution
  • Genetics
  • Homo sapiens
  • Human characteristics
  • Human nature
  • Human uniqueness
  • Science
  • Theology and science


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