have much more limited grasping abilities than humans
have long wondered what separates humans from the rest of
the animals. Is it a soul, tool use, language? Could it be
Our hands are unique in their flexibility and grasping capabilities.
A chimp's hands, good for swinging in trees, are virtually
useless on the baseball diamond. In "Handmade Humans"
anthropologist Mary Marzke
suggests that the traits that make people the world's best
ball players might have spurred on the evolution of the human
the flexible joints of our index and pinky fingers that allow
us to palm a ball and choke up on a bat. Those same joints
allowed our ancestors to fashion stone tools and wield clubs.
According to one hypothesis, tool-making offered early humans
such a competitive advantage, natural selection favored the
evolution of our dexterous and versatile hands.
talks with anthropologist Mary Marzke
making tools also requires a brain that can think ahead and
consider cause and effect. The ability to look into the future-
thatís what truly separates us from the rest of the animals.
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