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Did our hands evolve for punching ?


Posted on Friday, 21 December, 2012 | Comment icon 44 comments | News tip by: Hasina


Image credit: Gio Dong

 
A new study has suggested that human hands may have evolved in a way that enables us to punch better.

The human hand is a distinctive and efficient shape, one of only a few possible configurations capable of providing ample dexterity and the ability to deliver a forceful blow to enemies at the same time. While the clenched fist doesn't deliver a greater amount of force than an open-palm, it does serve the purpose of protecting the fingers more effectively.

"Once hands are no longer used in locomotion there could have been many different ways to manipulate and many different ways to punch," said paleo-anthropolgist Milford Wolpoff. "A hand that does both is really limited in its morphology."

"Human hands may have evolved their unique shape in order to better punch the living daylights out of competitors, a new study suggests."

  View: Full article |  Source: Live Science

  Discuss: View comments (44)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #35 Posted by pitchp on 22 December, 2012, 8:03
This story is over rated. The human hand comes in multi purpose, not just punching. The latest human hands are now highly evolved with many skills that it can tackle and handle. There is open hand fighting and there is fist fighting. But to state that the human hand has evolved into fist punching is ridicoulous
Comment icon #36 Posted by Zaphod222 on 22 December, 2012, 8:52
I agree. The idea that fisticuffs had an evolutionary impact is ridiculous. In fights, our ancestors would have quickly found out that grabbing a rock or a sturdy piece of wood gives them a phantastic advantage against opponents. And that is, in fact, the reason our relatively feeble-bodied ancestors could hold their own. The ideas of fairness, sports, and lately political correctness came wayyyy later... and from an evoluationary point they are pure luxury. This "theory" is a typical eye-in-the-sky ivory tower product.
Comment icon #37 Posted by GirlfromOz on 22 December, 2012, 11:41
What a load of ****! The human hand was designed for grasping etc,hand to mouth,climbing etc.The so-called evolutionary process in this article is rubbish!We have feet,legs etc for these spontaneous fight back reactions.Enough! Enough of the evolutionary bull****! Darwin had a theory.It was just a theory that has yet to be proven.Many have been deceived by Darwin.Even Einstein had trouble trying to agree with his theories!Look it up!He had no interest in trying to explain the theories of evolution!In other words,there was nothing of proof to him that would make him ... [More]
Comment icon #38 Posted by GirlfromOz on 22 December, 2012, 14:04
The human hand was designed for grasping etc,hand to mouth,climbing etc.The use of force via the clenched fist has had many disadvantages.Many men have lost the structure of their knuckles by using excess force in the clenched fist position,striking an object or another human being in anger.Therefore,this article only proves that using the fist is not an evolutionary process. It only goes to prove that physically,man has still not evolved to the extent that he would like to imagine he has.
Comment icon #39 Posted by GirlfromOz on 22 December, 2012, 14:26
My dad used to watch boxing on tv every weekend
Comment icon #40 Posted by Eldorado on 22 December, 2012, 15:41
I'd wager that our ancestors best move in a fight was to kick their opponent in the nuts. Same as it is today. (lol)
Comment icon #41 Posted by Hasina on 22 December, 2012, 15:45
I believe the ability to punch contributed to the current shape of the human hand. Was it the primary reason? No. Was it a contributing factor? Yes.
Comment icon #42 Posted by ExpandMyMind on 22 December, 2012, 18:55
No one in the paper claimed that it was responsible for the entire shape of the hand (like so many posters above seem to believe). They are only stating that it is responsible for the ability to tightly clench your fists, unlike apes, who cannot.
Comment icon #43 Posted by BaneSilvermoon on 22 December, 2012, 22:22
I can reasonably see the idea that our fist became capable of clenching as tight as it can in order to protect the fingers, sure. But anything beyond that is silly. ^^this. I have a boxers fracture to prove it. Besides, if you want to turn your body into a weapon the forearm or elbow makes a faster, more powerful and more resilient choice. It's primitive reflex to lash out violently. A close fisted punch is a learned behavior. One that most people don't really know how to do correctly as they're just mimicking what they've seen.


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