I have two observations of old human waste/buildings and I was wondering if they still counted as casual like most other human ID’s, or if they wouldn’t due to historical context
Yes. They are casual.
Yes, since iNat is for things having a naturalistic value.
iNaturalist is for all the other species. With how much of the world is completely human-centric and altered, I don’t think having observations of human activity would be productive or meaningful.
I wonder if there is a citizen observation platform for industrial archeology or local history?
Humans are certainly not separate from nature. However, iNat seems focused on non-human organisms and searches that returned human results are not what most users are interested in. It should be easy for someone interested in humans in particular to check mark the box to show casual observations. Also, one could write notes in a casual observation so they are searchable by others with a particular interest. For example, I make casual observations of my fruit trees when they first begin to bloom and again with fruit. There may be others in my area that are interested in that information and they can show casual results and find that information quite readily.
The only humans I’ve posted on iNaturalist (just a few) were naturalists I knew well and who are now deceased. Other iNatters have done something similar with deceased individuals. It’s a small way to honor naturalists who are no longer with us. Those records should remain Casual as well.
Cool finds! But iNat’s focus is on observing wild organisms (or recent evidence of them) so anything IDed as Homo sapiens is automatically made casual grade.
(Also, basically every record on iNat is already a record of where a human was at a place and time, so it’ll provide valuable historical data for that in the future. )
I have some observations of “humans” that are stuff like cave drawings, quite a few ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, the frozen in time things (including casts of bodies) of Pompeii and the like. To me, that’s a little different from when kids will post pictures of their schoolmates and stuff like that, but it’s also not what the site is really for. It’s more just a neat thing I feel like sharing that will maybe be interesting to some people. I think there’s an overlap in an interest in history and stuff like that for some people on here or it’s just me.
But it’s crossed my mind before while uploading stuff like that that there’s maybe actual evidence of other homo species, but even then, since the evidence would be from so long ago it would be casual anyway. So, I have like a cyclical thought process about it where I’ll ponder if there’d be any type of acceptable human observation that would warrant RG but then I remember the time thing again.
Noob question: Does iNaturalist or any of the projects that use it benefit from H. sapiens being on the list of species? Only H. sapiens uses iNaturalist, so observations of H. sapiens don’t seem relevant.
Probably not in the way other species are useful. Some projects are meant to be lighthearted and there’s a lot of joking around. I could see human observations leading to somebody having a laugh, which could be useful to some. It’s not a noob question either. It’s like a gray area and people have different feelings about it. Some people want no human observations at all. I think it really is fine unless you’re doing it in a somehow abusive manner. I guess I’m getting at that “useful” is relative.
It can be helpful when someone mistakes a human-made thing for an organism. One time I saw some caulk or something on a tree and thought it was a weird fungus. Someone explained what it was and just switched it to H. sapiens.
EDIT: Actually, going through the local observations for humans has been hilarious. People find lots of weird trash and the effects of human buildings & stuff like that is interesting.
We consider animals and plants that humans have intentionally established in an area as “casual” grade as they’re under cultivation, domesticated, or otherwise managed by humans.
The exact same logic dictates that observations of humans also fall into the “casual” grade as humans, by definition, are under the management/oversight of other humans no matter where said human is found, nor from what time period said human existed.
I’m not aware of any projects for such observations, but there is a “Historical” field that can be added to observations, maybe add that?
Edit: It means something else, here’s a list of available fields
Anything that humans have made regardless of its age is casual grade. A photo of an ancient artifact serves little purpose on Inat for biological research, but can still be an intriguing observation. Posting casual-grade photos of humans or human-made objects is completely fine, however please do not post photos of random people without their permission.
I was interested to see that the usual - vote Wild when iNat has defaulted to Casual - didn’t work for Homo sapiens. (Not me, the observer tried) So we can rely on iNat following thru - all obs of human will be forced to Casual.
There are, for sure, cave drawings that have been confirmed to be made by H. neanderthalus - https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-02357-8
Still, these things are casual for the same reason fossil seashells are casual.
Reminds me of this one, a cave drawing of an animal, which is casual because I don’t think iNat allows dates that old and age is estimated as a range.
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