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Shape of human hand may have evolved for fighting

Discussion in 'Politics and Current Affairs' started by quest7, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. quest7

    quest7 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Why are our hands the shape that they are?Compared with those of other apes, the thumb is longer and the palms and fingers are short. Scientist have a variety of ideas as to why they evolved to be that way:

    --The comparatively longer thumb allows us so much more dexterity, permitting us to make tools.

    --The proportions of the hand may be the indirect consequence of natural selection for a foot with a long toe, so handy for keeping balance while walking. (Hand and foot development occur along very similar lines, and many of the same molecules are involved. That means natural selection for one would affect development of the other as well.)

    Researchers at the University of Utah have another suggestion: The hand is the shape that it is because it allows us to make a nice fist for fighting that protects key parts of the hand from harm.

    The proposal, made by student Michael Morgan and biologist David Carrier, was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. The duo tested their hypothesis in a series of experiments in which men pounded punching bags, squeezed pressure sensors or performed one-handed push-ups on top of pressure sensors. From this, the scientists learned that force meted out by the hand is about the same when a bag is punched by a fist versus slapped, but nearly twice as great when you consider that the fist delivers its force to a smaller surface area. The study also found that the knuckle joint of the index finger is rendered stiffer and more stable --transfering force more effectively and protecting the hand -- when a tight fist is made.

    LA Times

    Not trying to flood the forum, but you guys are more insightful than another site I came from.

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  2. quest7

    quest7 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I can understand, if this is used for self-defense. But, to harm others for enjoyment, no way.
  3. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert

    Perhaps the hand evolved for climbing, grabbing or perhaps you could be right. The hands likely developed because that is how we were designed. Our hands are simply OEM equipment and I think we learned to use them for doing all kinds of things.

    Most mamals use their hands or paws for grabbing and in some cases, for using tools. They/we use it for fighting occasionally because we learned to use it. Our intellegence allows us to use our various parts for many things.

    Not sure we were desgned to create music, but some of us use our hands for playing the banjo.

    But like I say, we will ever know for sure.
  4. quest7

    quest7 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I liked the OME part, lol.
  5. Davdi

    Davdi Android Expert

    The human hand was designed for fighting? Fists no, Throwing Rocks/using pointy sticks yes.
  6. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Extreme Android User

    The human hand evolved for us to be able to write checks.

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