The human environment is neither a made environment nor a found environment. It is a selected and transformed environment. The human environment is not the environment of one individual, nor is it identical for each and every one of us. The collectivizing of efforts by humans has been so deep and widespread that our environment itself is a populated one, heavily influence by the peculiarities of the people we live among.
As modern humans radiated out from Africa they successfully colonized all of the earth's major terrestrial biomes. Because of this successful colonization, Homo sapiens was not split into many separate envolving populations by geographical barriers. Instead, the success of human adaptive radiation has crated the unusual scenario of a large mammalian species with a worldwide distribution. Yet, ironically, much of this worldwide success is the result not of biological and breeding differences among human populations, but of cultural variations in modes of collective effort, in modes of adapting to the diverse demands of our planet. Hence, although humans as a species are easily the most widely distributed large mammal on earth, we are also highly variable in our local patterns of action, interaction, and awareness. An infant is born to become not just a member of our species, but a member of a particular family, belonging to a particular culture--a special kind of person.
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Publication information: Book title: Encountering the World:Toward an Ecological Psychology. Contributors: Edward S. Reed - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 125.