Baseline Human

Image from Bernd Helfert
The 2,174th Biannual Baseline Human Parade down Federation Plaza on the Metasoft World of Niuearth (a baseline Reserve). All baselines march nude, to show their bodies free of from all augmentation and non-baseline genmodification. A number of Metasoft vecs march alongside in solidarity, while traffic wardens fly overhead

Human baselines are humans who are still at the level of Homo sapiens sapiens, and may be regarded with pity or disdain by more typical sapient beings. Some are luddites, or members of religions that prohibit genetic engineering, or human supremacists, or other, often disenfranchised, minorities within larger societies. There are also a number of isolated habitats and polities, and even some reserves and parks, inhabited almost solely by baseline humans. Their population is extremely small in terms of the overall galaxy; probably less than fifty billion, most in so-called 'Baseline Reserves'. Of these, no more than half a percent can be genomically 'pure' H. s. sapiens without a trace of nearbaseline human heritage and without technological augments sufficient for them to be classed as bioborgs or cyborgs.

The number of baseline humans has been slowly but steadily declining over the past several millennia, both in absolute and relative terms. In part, this is due to competition, and in part to the fact that human baseline populations tend to evolve into nearbaselines, tweaks, or cyborgs as individuals or whole societies seek to improve their lot. On this account, many consider the original human species to be endangered. However, baseline hu have shown themselves to be remarkably fecund in the appropriate environment.

  • Baseline  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In the context of gengineering and provolution, a human (or other biont) that has not been genomically modified from its original natural condition. Pure baselines are extremely rare; most sophonts classed as "baseline" are actually nearbaselines that are very similar in phenotype and genotype to the original H. sapiens sapiens.
  • Baseline Bob  - Text by Darren Ryding
    Narrative epic about a hapless baseline who falls into many comic adventures.
  • Baseline Hyperdependency Syndrome  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Psychological/Behavioural Dysfunction common to many SI:<1 in S=>1 environments.
  • Bright - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A sapient being of S0.3-0.4 toposophic. (hu baseline of IQ 100 is S0.3)
  • Diaspora, Human - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] The history and condition of humanity following the Great Expulsion.
    [2] humanity (or biont terragens in general) as a starfaring race scattered among the stars.
  • Goo, Pink  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A curious disparaging term for the human species, in reference to the fact that it as has spread out across the galaxy, replicating and filling available niches.
  • Hominid - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; additions by Stephen Inniss
    An informal term for the most human-like primates, the bipedal apes, as opposed to apes in general. They are similar to other advanced primates in terms of their genetic makeup and are distinguished culturally (most markedly in Homo sapiens) by their more extensive creation of technology, including art and language. They also have certain common physiological traits such as hairlessness, erect posture, and fine manipulation (precision grip). Human baselines were the only surviving members of this group on Old Earth prior to various lazurogenic efforts.
  • Homo erectus - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Early Pleistocene hominid that evolved in Africa about 1.6 million years ago and developed fire, clothing, language, and weapon use (see also acheulian technology). A direct ancestor leading to Homo sapiens. The species has been successfully lazurogened by hyperturing hobbyists a number of times.
  • Homo neanderthalensis - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Pleistocene hominid that evolved from Homo erectus about 100,000 years ago in Europe and the Middle East. A cousin rather than an ancestor to Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis was short, stocky, and powerfully-built, and perfectly physiologically adapted to the harsh conditions of ice-age Europe, e survived with almost no change for some 70,000 years. E developed a culture that included elaborate funeral rituals, burying their dead with ornaments, caring for the sick, and making tools for domestic use and for protection. Homo neanderthalensis disappeared about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago, being unable to compete with Homo sapiens. A few of the Children of Gaia are said to be Neanderthal Rianths, and the genotype is popular among some clades in the Utopia Sphere and elsewhere.
  • Homo sapiens - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Large-brained hominid species that emerged perhaps 400,000 years ago (Heidelberg Man, etc.). Homo sapiens evolved from Homo erectus and eventually replaced Homo neanderthalensis to become the sole hominid species and subspecies. Includes thousands of subspecies, almost all of which date from post-Interplanetary period.
  • Homo sapiens sapiens  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    See human baseline.
  • Homo sapiens species group - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A large and diverse group of hominid species that include Homo sapiens and many similar forms. See also Near-Baseline.
  • Human Appreciation Festivals  - Text by Stephen Inniss and James Rogers
    A celebration of Homo sapiens as a whole, for all that species' achievements and as the ultimate origin of all Terragen mindkind.
  • Humans  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; additions by Stephen Inniss
    The term "human", or hu, is generally applied to Terragen near-baseline modosophont biont hominids, specifically Homo sapiens and closely related or derived species, who bear moderate bodymods, or none at all, and are not radically different from the original human stock in overall form and behaviour.
  • Kassians  - Text by Mike Parisi
    Not a race or clade, so much as a dispersed ideological movement. They maintain that genemods (except to correct invariably terminal metabolic disorders,) should be eschewed completely by Humans and other "naturally-evolved/adapted" species and that production of new sophont bionts should only be through means initially afforded by Nature.
  • Lucjordanians  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Interstellar trader House/Clade.
  • Metasoft Baseline Reserves  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Worlds protected by the Metasoft Version Tree, holding unmodified human populations, including Dilmun, Earthland, Heimat, Jafalgia, Niuearth, and Wurm.
  • Neb  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Colloquial term for a human nearbaseline.
  • Normal - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Polite term for baseline human, used among themselves. Despite being terribly disadvantaged as a result, some baseline humans choose to stay unmodified for religious, political, or ideological reasons. Most normals form their own isolated polities, or - where they take part in civilization - are looked after by kindly hyperturings.
  • Posthuman  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A human who has attained an S1 or greater toposophic. Entities of tremendous physical, intellectual, and psychological capacity, self-programming, self-constituting, potentially immortal, unlimited individuals.
  • Retro Abo  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    A population or individual that is the result of an attempt to reproduce the morphotype or even the culture and behaviour of some past clade, race, or local population. The term most often refers to individuals or groups who resemble past human baseline or nearbaseline groups.
  • Wildhu  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Human bionts (may be baseline, nearbaseline, or even moderate tweaks, rianths, cyborgs, superiors, or other clades or subclades that might identify as 'human') living without the supervision of higher toposophic intellects. They have their own governments, industry, and so on just as in Solsys and on Old Earth as they were prior to the rise of transapients.
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev, Todd Drashner, Stephen Inniss

Initially published on 08 October 2001.