The word human commonly refers to the species Homo sapiens, a bipedal primate. DNA and fossil evidence indicates that modern humans originated in east Africa about 200,000 years ago. When compared to other animals and primates, humans have a highly developed brain, capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection and problem solving. This mental capability, combined with an erect body carriage that frees the forelimbs (arms) for manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make far greater use of tools than any other species. Humans are distributed worldwide, with significant populations inhabiting most land areas of Earth.
Homo sapiens are the only extant member of the Homo genus currently in existence. Other species are extinct. It is sometimes the practice to apply the term "human" to extinct groups such as Homo neanderthalensis and Homo erectus.
In most Harry Turtledove timelines, Homo sapiens is the only sentient species in existence. This article deals only with timelines where other sentient species co-exist, or where Homo sapiens is dramatically different from the OTL version. It is also presumed that all readers of this wiki are human.
Human in Crosstime TrafficEdit
Crosstime Traffic was aware of several alternates in which humans had never evolved. In others, they were still hunter-gatherers in the late 21st Century. In others in which there was a nuclear war in the 20th Century, humanity was extinct.
Human in A Different FleshEdit
Humans' encounter with sims caused them to reevaluate their own status in the natural world. In 1661, Samuel Pepys' observations on the similarity between humans and sims caused him to develop the transformational theory of life, suggesting that the two groups had a common ancestor, although they were by no means on an equal level of intelligence and capacity.
Despite having an obviously superior level of being, humans still considered it acceptable for one group of their own kind to enslave another. This changed in 1804, when a clever American lawyer named Alfred Douglas brought the specific differences between the two species to the attention of a Virginia court. Presenting a positive intelligence test demonstrated by his client, a black man named Jeremiah, he demonstrated that Jeremiah was just as intelligent as any other kind of human, in stark contrast to sims, who could never have the capacity to reach that level. This legal proof that humanity had an "other" with which to compare itself, began the end of human slavery and contributed to the union of the species.
In the late 20th century, a history written by Ernest Simpson hypothesized that without sims, humanity might never have discovered these basic biological truths, and remained unaware of its full potential within the animal kingdom.
Human in "Down in the Bottomlands"Edit
Humans became a star-faring race. During their explorations, they discovered the planet Lacanth C. The planet was simultaneous discovered by the Snarre't. As war between both races would lead to mutually assured to destruction, they decided to rule the planet via codominium. One-hundred fifty years later, cities on the planet did quite well, providing places for both species to interact as equals, even though neither species particularly like the other.
Human in "The Horse of Bronze"Edit
Tosevite was the formal name for the inhabitants of Earth in the language of the Race. Its root was the word "Tosev", the Race's designation for the Sun. (They also referred to humans by the slang term Big Uglies.)
Tosevites were unique among the galaxy's four known sentient species in a number of ways. They were not reptilian but mammalian; mammals were unheard of on Home, Rabotev 2, and Halless 1. They were viviparous rather than oviparous. They were sexually active all year round. They formed permanent family groups and kept track of consanguinity, even allowing familial roles to surpass the role of friendship in cultural importance. Their cultures developed very quickly, and they were comfortable with noticeable technological progress within a period of just a few years. Most importantly, large segments of the human population were able to fend off the Race's efforts to conquer Tosev 3. Worse still, by the 2030s, certain human populations had surpassed the Race technologically, becoming the first non-Race species to visit Home in starships of their own making using faster-than-light technology.
Humans were also physically bigger and generally more powerful than members of the Race despite their lack of sharp teeth and claws. Humans trained in various physical combats and martial arts could match Race agility and overpower them with skilled punches and kicks.