Homo sapiens or humans are a race of bipedal mammals that evolved alongside other great apes, but are separated from other primates by their ability to reason, their "sapience", and intelligence, allowing them to make full use of technology.
However, although mankind is presumed extinct, Lister awakes to find that he is not alone but kept company by the Skutters, the ship computer Holly, a hologram of his loathed former bunkmate Arnold Rimmer, a creature who evolved from his pet simply called Cat (who refers to his crewmates as monkeys), and soon after a fussy sanitation droid named Kryten. These form the central characters of the series, the boys from the Dwarf.
Although it has not been proven that life has evolved elsewhere in the Galaxy, humans have left a legacy in the form of holograms, artificial intelligences, human-like droids such as mechanoids and simulants, and GELFs - genetically engineered lifeforms - who are often very dumb and disgusting to behold, yet humanoid.
- As of the Series VI episode "Rimmerworld", it is debatable whether Lister is still the last human in the Galaxy since there is an entire planet filled with biological clones of Arnold Rimmer. However, they are not "true" humans since they were created with terraforming technology and by using a template of the code stored within Rimmer's hologram light bee.
- As of Series VIII there are more humans in the universe than just Lister, but Lister remains the last "true" human of his native dimension. Kristine Kochanski is from an alternate dimension and the crew of the new Red Dwarf, including the now alive Arnold Rimmer are actually artificially manufactured humans recreated by Kryten's nanobots. By the time of Back to Earth, Rimmer is a hologram once again, Kochanski is somewhere out in space alone on a Blue Midget, and the rest of the crew are off in a fleet of Starbug and Blue Midget craft (the nanobot-recreated humans evacuated Red Dwarf to escape the Chameleonic Microbe in the Series VIII finale). However, the rest of the crew are still missing, and presumed dead, in later series.
- Some other humans have been found in stasis, such as Irene Edgington in the Series X episode "Entangled" (albeit she had been turned in to a monkey) and Jim Green and Rachel Barker in the Series XI episode "Samsara" (although they were flash-heated into piles of dust shortly after awakening), and later the maniacal Professor Shaul Telford in "Cured" (who also died during the events of the episode).
- In the Series XII episode "Timewave", a massive spaceship from 24th century Earth is washed up three million years into the future by a Time Wave. This ship, SS Enconium, had a large population of natural humans. The Dwarfers enter in an attempt to divert their crash course with Planet Rimmer, but fall afoul of the crew's bizarre anti-criticism laws. The Dwarfers are later forced to flee from the ship, and the fate of SS Enconium - and it's crew of humans - is left unresolved. However, Kryten hypothesised that the second round of the Time Wave would have washed it back into its own timeline. However, if it remained in the distant future, there is every possibility that, given how inept and inadequate it's crew were, the ship probably suffered a massive failure or crashed at some point.