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Idle Science

Your Hands Were Made For Punching According To New Study 240

Posted by samzenpus
from the here's-something-for-your-eye dept.
They are capable of delicate surgery, creating beautiful works of art, and comforting someone feeling down, but according to a new study your hands evolved to smash someone in the face. From the article: "Human hands evolved so that men could make fists and fight, and not just for manual dexterity, new research finds. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, adds to a growing body of evidence that humans are among the most aggressive and violent animals on the planet. 'With the notable exception of bonobos, great apes are a relatively aggressive group of mammals,' lead author David Carrier told Discovery News. 'Although some primatologists may argue that chimpanzees are the most aggressive apes, I think the evidence suggests that humans are substantially more violent.''"
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Your Hands Were Made For Punching According To New Study

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  • As a boxer... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ihatewinXP (638000) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:54PM (#42356023)

    From years of boxing this couldnt be more obvious.

    Your hands will fracture, break, bend, and sometimes emulsify... Especially the forefinger middle knuckle and the top pinky knuckle = 'the boxer break.' Over and over.

    But each time calcifying over and becoming stronger. After a while you literally have 'hands of stone.'

    Now of course my dexterity isnt what it used to be. Typing and fumbling for computer screws reminds me of my favorite pastime often.

  • Re:Fist walking (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @11:37PM (#42356283) Homepage

    It wasn't "for" anything.

    In terms of the size and shape of hand anatomy, the scientists point out that humans could have evolved manual dexterity with longer thumbs, but without the fingers and palms getting shorter.

    What a bunch of nonsense. You postulate something on the basis of a weak anatomical correlate study and then you open it up to an evolutionary mechanism. There isn't anything to suggest that reproductive fitness (the thing that drives evolution) has anything to do with punching out competitors.

    I see your fist and raise the ante with a club.

  • Yes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @11:43PM (#42356311) Homepage Journal
    Yes, they were.
  • by Johann Lau (1040920) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:03AM (#42356995) Homepage Journal

    And the "purpose" of not having blue balls, or kids with the first woman you saw the day you reached puberty, is to increase our fitness *vastly* beyond what humping everything would... at least I assume that's the reason we came up with it. We as a species invest a lot in our kids, we don't just lay 20 eggs and let them fight amongst themselves. I mean, our kids are extremely helpless for a very long time, compared to most animals we're hilarious in that sense. This implies the need for society and a bond between the parents that goes beyond mere hornyness. After all, the same person will never make you repeatedly as horny as a person of equal hotness you haven't slept with, if there is nothing else.

    Also, these days we mostly procreate by information and power. When you think you're procreating you're really mostly just making vessels filled by others, how's that for a cheerful thought? Sure, your kids might have your genes, but they mostly do what a handful (in comparison to all the people who are "just parents") of inventors and leaders/owners came up with. They don't run around with cell phones because it was your idea, do they, or fight random shitty wars for with random shitty justifications because you recommended it. The concepts they use to interact with the world they won't get from you for the most part either, nor the movies or the songs or the hygiene products they will associate with their childhood just as much as they will associate it with you. I don't say this to be mean, at least not only; I really have to say "PFFFFFF!!" to the whole gene thing, that's like 10000 years past - a number I completely pulled out of my ass.

    I say we humans don't live in our genes, we live in that tiny percentage of them that makes us have these brains, in which we have ideas, knowledge, language, personality and ownership constructs. The hardware is really not the point of us. Sure, our genes may be selfish and our higher level things just a result of that blind selfishness ultimately, but now that these higher level things have arisen, they do influence and select genes as well, not just the other way around. And I'd say what is going on in our wetware, the current state, is way more important than our genes. There even was a slashdot story about this a while ago I think, about how we haven't really changed a lot biology wise. Our progress is mostly in culture "lately". Not that I'd need a scientist to know that, I looked it up in my gut; but it's always neat to have that gut feeling confirmed.

  • Re:I call BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:37AM (#42357111)

    But then he'll get a bigger stronger branch. And you'll respond by attaching sharpened flint to your branch. Then he invents a system where he can make others fight you while he is protected. So you invent a system where you personify the sun or a volcano and convince others that it's the personification that wants them to fight his defenders...

    Where does it all end?

  • by WGFCrafty (1062506) on Friday December 21, 2012 @03:38AM (#42357349)

    Also, these days we mostly procreate by information and power. When you think you're procreating you're really mostly just making vessels filled by others, how's that for a cheerful thought? Sure, your kids might have your genes, but they mostly do what a handful (in comparison to all the people who are "just parents") of inventors and leaders/owners came up with. They don't run around with cell phones because it was your idea, do they, or fight random shitty wars for with random shitty justifications because you recommended it. The concepts they use to interact with the world they won't get from you for the most part either, nor the movies or the songs or the hygiene products they will associate with their childhood just as much as they will associate it with you. I don't say this to be mean, at least not only; I really have to say "PFFFFFF!!" to the whole gene thing, that's like 10000 years past - a number I completely pulled out of my ass.

    I think you are profoundly underestimating the influence a parent who is nurturing and has a positive relationship with their kid, has on that child's personality. That child may be influenced greatly through non-parental channels, but they will most likely hold similair beliefs and values, which may match societal norms as well, but be closer to their family.

    My point is that, their parents values may overlap with societal values but their parent's influence is greater. I'm specifically talking about people who would rate their relationship as very close.

    If what you say is true I would think everyone would be grey and generic.

  • by DarwinSurvivor (1752106) on Friday December 21, 2012 @03:45AM (#42357385)
    The red dot DOES STUFF?!? Guess I need add another whitelist entry to noscript :(
  • Re:Fist walking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Half-pint HAL (718102) on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:02AM (#42357465)

    There isn't anything to suggest that reproductive fitness (the thing that drives evolution) has anything to do with punching out competitors.

    You've never watched stags or bulls in mating season then....

  • Re:Fist walking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Knuckles (8964) <knucklesNO@SPAMdantian.org> on Friday December 21, 2012 @05:58AM (#42357965)

    Absolutely. Also, study author should watch less movies and punch someone for real. He will realize that human hands are really bad for punching, you get open bleeding knuckles in no time, and injuries if your fists and arms are misaligned. It's not an accident that martial arts that use punches spend a lot of practice to getting it right, and many don't use closed-fist punches with exposed first phalanges at all.

  • by daem0n1x (748565) on Friday December 21, 2012 @06:26AM (#42358083)

    We as a species invest a lot in our kids, we don't just lay 20 eggs and let them fight amongst themselves.

    That's how Libertarians breed, you insensitive clod!

  • Re:Fist walking (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aurispector (530273) on Friday December 21, 2012 @08:08AM (#42358587)

    Agreed. The conclusions are idiotic. Punching something isn't nearly as effective as bashing something over the head with a rock.

    Look at all the things for which modern humans use their thumbs. It's a multifunction device and whether your talking tool use or weapon use, thumbs made our species much more likely to survive.

  • by CanadianRealist (1258974) on Friday December 21, 2012 @11:17AM (#42360425)
    I think a T-Rex could pretty much screw anything it wanted, whenever it wanted. Ergo no need to evolve long arms.

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