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Human hand more primitive than chimps’?

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From Science:

The human hand is a marvel of dexterity. It can thread a needle, coax intricate melodies from the keys of a piano, and create lasting works of art with a pen or a paintbrush. Many scientists have assumed that our hands evolved their distinctive proportions over millions of years of recent evolution. But a new study suggests a radically different conclusion: Some aspects of the human hand are actually anatomically primitive—more so even than that of many other apes, including our evolutionary cousin the chimpanzee. The findings have important implications for the origins of human toolmaking, as well as for what the ancestor of both humans and chimps might have looked like. More.

Funny that. I remember meeting a hand surgeon who had been an atheist who became a young Earth creationist, as well as a Christian, as a result of his restoration work on the human hand (his patients had suffered  industrial and automotive accidents or diseases).

See also: Claim: Humans not unique or special In a rare, special tribute to common-sense, Brit Tax TV offers a look that the counter-argument as well. Not an especially insightful one. Which is probably what they wanted.

And

Bonobos have caveman skills? Hey, wait a minute. Who funds this research? First, even alligators and crocs use tools. So do birds.

At the point where it isn’t making any sense any more, where is the mental SWAT team?

See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (human evolution) [Yes, you have fingertips.]

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7 Replies to “Human hand more primitive than chimps’?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Apparently the researchers are postulating that the hands of the ‘chimps, as well as orangutans, represent a more specialized and “derived” form’ suitable for swinging from trees and eating fruit. Whereas they hold that the human hand is more similar to Gorillas as well as similar to ‘several extinct species of apes early humans, including Ardi, the Neandertals, and the 2-million-year-old Australopithecus sediba’ and is thus more ‘primitive’.

    To get a grasp on what early hands really looked like, Almécija and his colleagues analyzed the thumb and finger proportions of a large number of living apes and monkeys, including modern humans. They then compared these to the hands of several extinct species of apes and early humans, including Ardi, the Neandertals, and the 2-million-year-old Australopithecus sediba from South Africa, which its discoverers controversially think might be a direct ancestor of humans. The sample also included the 25-million-year-old fossil ape known as Proconsul.
    The team crunched the measurements from all these samples using sophisticated statistical methods designed to determine the course of hand evolution over time. The researchers found that the hand of the common ancestor of chimps and humans, and perhaps also earlier ape ancestors, had a relatively long thumb and shorter fingers, similar to that of humans today. (Gorillas, which spend most of their time on the ground and not in trees, have similarly shaped hands.) Thus, the human hand retains these more “primitive” proportions, whereas the elongated fingers and shorter thumbs of chimps, as well as orangutans, represent a more specialized and “derived” form ideal for life in the trees, the team reports today in Nature Communications.

    So that whole ‘opposable thumb makes us special’ thing was just a myth? Bummer, I just lost my motivation for living:

    Life Got You Down? Just Remember You Got Opposable Thumbs! – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_s8y9a12saU

    But before these Darwinists go reclassifying a human’s hands as more ‘primitive’ than the chimp’s hands, perhaps they can clear some discrepancies on their referenced Ardi and Australopithecus sediba fossils?
    A few discrepancies that bring the whole common descent thing that they are pushing into question?

    Artificially Reconstructed “Ardi” Overturns Prevailing Evolutionary Hypotheses of Human Evolution – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: The missing link presently being touted in the media, Ardipithecus ramidus, has had more reconstructive surgery than Michael Jackson.,,,One problem is that some portions of Ardi’s skeleton were found crushed nearly to smithereens and needed extensive digital reconstruction. “Tim [White] showed me pictures of the pelvis in the ground, and it looked like an Irish stew,” says Walker. Indeed, looking at the evidence, different paleoanthropologists may have different interpretations of how Ardi moved,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....d_ard.html

    The propaganda machine goes into overdrive:
    Excerpt: But Ardi’s foot is fairly well preserved… and it is very obviously a flat-footed ape’s foot – complete with curved toe bones, best suited for grasping branches:,,, Even some evolutionists, like Jungers, point this out: “Divergent big toes are associated with grasping, and this has one of the most divergent big toes you can imagine.” “Why would an animal fully adapted to support its weight on its forelimbs in the trees elect to walk bipedally on the ground?”
    Ian Juby – Newsletter

    Ardi Party Is Over – Nov. 2009
    Excerpt: In an article by Katherine Harmon in the pro-evolutionary magazine Scientific American, “So many doubts are evident that laymen should seriously question whether this fossil suggests anything about human origins.”
    http://creationsafaris.com/cre.....#20091125a

    Ardi: The Human Ancestor Who Wasn’t? – May 2010
    Excerpt: “[White] showed no evidence that Ardi is on the human lineage,” Sarmiento says. “Those characters that he posited as relating exclusively to humans also exist in apes and ape fossils that we consider not to be in the human lineage.”
    http://www.time.com/time/healt.....15,00.html

    Australopithecus sediba: The Hype-Cycle Starts Again – Casey Luskin – September 2011
    Excerpt: So leading paleoanthropologists like Bernard Wood, Donald Johanson, Fred Spoor, Ian Tattersal, and Tim White aren’t convinced that Au. sediba was a human ancestor, but the media believes it’s perfectly acceptable to promote the opposite view to the public.,,, A final problem with the claims being made about Au. sediba is related the paleoanthropologist who found the fossils himself. Science reports that he formerly had a career as a TV news producer and has a tendency to overstate his findings:,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....50831.html

    The Fall of Australopithecus sediba: Controversy and the Quest for Glory Cloud Claims of Human Ancestry – Casey Luskin – June 12, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....73211.html

    Missing link fossil a “hotchpotch,” “may never have existed” – April 2014
    Excerpt: The fossils of Australopithecus sediba, which promised to rewrite the story of human evolution, may actually be the remains of two species jumbled together.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....e-existed/

    Icons Of Evolution – Ape To Man – The Ultimate Icon – Jonathan Wells – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzTFeWL19Bs

    Verses and Music:

    Genesis 3:8-10
    They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

    The Fray – You Found Me
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFg_8u87zT0

  2. 2
    Virgil Cain says:

    Dr Giuseppe Sermonti stated this exact thing in “Why Is A Fly Not A Horse?” on pages 74-75, ie the human hand is the primitive form-

    “Compared with the human, all other mammalian hands are deformed and sacrificed to specialization.”

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Newer Chimp Hands Are Irrelevant to Human Exceptionalism
    Wesley J. Smith July 15, 2015
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....97751.html

  4. 4
    mahuna says:

    I’m a generalist and I have learned so many factoids about so many unrelated topics that I can’t remember where I left my lists of specific factoids. BUT…

    The last I heard, other apes have The Power Grip but lack The Precision Grip, which I believe is unique to humans. So, yeah, if chimps suddenly organized themselves into building great stone monuments, they can probably chip stones with other stones faster than humans can.

    But they can’t hold a pencil and write poetry. And they’ll never paint the Mona Lisa.

    So, humans have unique hands that in many ways define what it means to be human. To argue that a less adaptable but monstrously stronger hand is “better” assumes that there is some great advantage in specializing your anatomy to jungles. Ya think there’s much chance that bonobos will figure out how to skin seals and stitch the hides together to make mukluks so they can colonize the Arctic?

    Humans have large brains and delicate hands. This makes us endlessly adaptavle. I made my grandson laugh today and played Play-Doh with his sister. I’m glad I have human hands.

  5. 5
    daveS says:

    mahuna,

    So, humans have unique hands that in many ways define what it means to be human. To argue that a less adaptable but monstrously stronger hand is “better” assumes that there is some great advantage in specializing your anatomy to jungles. Ya think there’s much chance that bonobos will figure out how to skin seals and stitch the hides together to make mukluks so they can colonize the Arctic?

    But there’s nothing about “primitive” here that implies inferior. No one is assuming that chimps’ hands are “better”. See wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derived_trait#Derived_trait

  6. 6
    daveS says:

    PS: Here’s an interesting example.

    WHAT IS A PRIMITIVE CHARACTERISTIC?

    In groups of organisms, primitive characteristics appear in a large number of diverse animals that separated a long time in the past. The five fingers of a human hand (for example) are a primitive characteristic shared with a wide variety of different mammal groups, including various rodents (e.g. squirrels), insectivores (e.g. shrews), carnivores (e.g. raccoons) and marsupials (e.g. possums).

    WHAT IS A DERIVED CHARACTERISTIC?

    The hoof of a horse is a derived characteristic that evolved from hand-like feet.

  7. 7
    Robert Byers says:

    Fine with this YEC if our hands ain’t so much better then chimps. We have the ape body outline. We don’t have a human body outline. We are the only creatures renting another creatures body plan. this because we are unique in our identity.
    We can’t have our own body that implies a identity association with the common blueprint in biology. Its physics. Being mini Gods in identity we can’;t be like other creatures whose identity is only inn their body plans.

    By the way coaxing piano tunes os simply the use of memory. No different then computer typing.
    I think primates could be taught to do all our hand abilities unless there is actual hand pgysical differences making it impossible.
    Its just memory that allows our hands such dexterity. Remember those people who do dexterity with their feet in handicap cases.

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