Human evolution Intelligent Design

Humans had tools before opposable thumbs?

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Well, that’s the claim:

In recent years, Australopithecines, a genus of early hominins, have emerged as possibly the earliest humans with indirect evidence of tool use, between 2 and 3 million years ago. The new research suggests their thumbs at this time were more similar to those of chimps than to ours.

Compared with their primate ancestors, Australopithecines had better manual dexterity, researchers say. But while their hands are similarly proportioned to modern humans, their thumbs couldn’t achieve the same extent of efficient opposition that we have today.

“Increased manual dexterity in the form of efficient thumb opposition was among the early defining characteristics of our lineage, providing a formidable adaptive advantage to our ancestors,” says paleoanthropologist Katerina Harvati of the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen in Germany.

Carly Cassella, “Tantalizing Evidence Hints Ancient Humans Had Stone Tools Before Opposable Thumbs” at ScienceAlert

That implies that minds developed before opposable thumbs.

Those of us who have never had non-opposable thumbs might have some trouble understanding the problem but hey, we can learn.

Here’s the open access paper.

4 Replies to “Humans had tools before opposable thumbs?

  1. 1
    DATCG says:

    Testing: appears able to comment here. But not able to comment on “At New Discourses…” Keeps telling me to login after I’ve logged in. Updated PW as well just to make sure it’s not a PW glitch. I can see the Dashboard and it appears it recognizes me on this post.

    OK, I’m logged in and able to post here. Now edited. But not on “At New Discourses…”
    Please review and check site for issues on posting/login.

    Thank you,
    DATCG

  2. 2
    DATCG says:

    It appears my opposable thumbs are working as well 🙂
    Also, I closed the browser and reopened. Still no change.
    What came first? WordPress bugs or opposable thumbs?

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    DATCG, maybe I am too old but I think it was opposable thumbs by a nose. WP faces the software maintainer’s dilemma, fixing one bug can easily create several others once a system gets complex, especially if spaghetti code creeps in. KF

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    D, it’s back for me, starting with the main page. KF

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