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in many other biological pathways. Thus, Sia-related differences between humans and NHHs are worthy of continued investigation.

This Sackler Symposium focused on understanding “The Human Condition” “In the Light of Evolution.” Since we reported these genetic differences between humans and NHHs (Chou et al., 1998), many others have been found (Varki and Nelson, 2007; Varki et al., 2008). Any explanation of human evolution and the human condition must take into account all the available data. Indeed, there are many approaches to anthropogeny (explaining the origin of humans) (Varki and Nelson, 2007; Varki et al., 2008), including studies of the fossil and archaeological record since our last common ancestors with other primates; exploring the impact of the environment (biological, physical, and cultural) on humans and other animals; comparisons of the ontogeny of each species; and, of course, species comparisons. All these approaches must be combined in a trans-disciplinary manner if we are eventually to explain human origins and human uniqueness.


I gratefully acknowledge helpful comments from Miriam Cohen, Sandra Diaz, Jeff Esko, Pascal Gagneux, Chris Gregg, and Nissi Varki and Dr. Gagneux’s contributions to drawing the figures.

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