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Has Punching Shaped the Evolution of the Human Hand?


(via Getty.)

While we all collectively shake our heads and roll our eyes whenever Dana White breaks out the old “fighting is in our DNA” mantra, a new study argues that The Baldfather might not be that far from the truth. Sort of.

David Carrier, a professor of biology and comparative physiologist at the University of Utah, has spent years studying the impacts of fighting on the evolution of the human hand. Back in 2012, he published a report in the Journal of Experimental Biology that attempted to prove his controversial theory that the human hand — which features a shorter palm, shorter fingers and a longer thumb than our primate ancestors — evolved to meet much more than increased dexterity needs.

”If a fist posture does provide a performance advantage for punching, the proportions of our hands also may have evolved in response to selection for fighting ability, in addition to selection for dexterity,” said Carrier.

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