We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I believe modern humans have only been around for about 100,000 years and I expect "culture" has been around for at least that long, if by "culture" you mean music, song, dance, and religion, which collective seems to me to be tightly bound and likely to have developed together.
I agree with Chuck - homo sapiens sapiens, or moderns humans which looked like you and I, have only been around for 75-100,000 years. What anthropologists call 'human' is much broader, and includes all manner of early hominds, none of which has been shown to possess DNA linkage to homo sapiens sapiens. Culture, not surprisingly, shows up on the scene at the same time as hss.
NJSoldier - maybe your assumptions are wrong. You assume a common ancestor when there may not be one.
They didn't even talk - though they may have made communicative sounds - until about 60,000 years ago. I don't call 'em human until then. No crops, no permanent shelters, no domesticated animals until 10-15,000 years ago. You could be ultra-strict and ask "what's human about them, then?" if you were of a cantankerous frame of mind. Anthropologists have a philosophical interest in a world-view which extends what we call the First Humans back as far as possible.
Steve, I believe the current thinking is a tribe of 100-300 leaving East Africa about 50,000 years ago and populating the world. I imagine we will both live to see adjustments to that theory.
Assistant Village Idiot