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Depressing New Study Finds That Human Hands Evolved for Punching, Not Playing Flute or Giving Back Rubs

 

As humans, one of the things that sets us apart from almost all other species on the planet is our sweet hand design, complete with opposable thumb that lets us do everything from input the Konami code to conduct a symphony. We're rightly proud of all the classy, technologically savvy things our hand allow us to do, so it's tempting  to think that they evolved the way they did to allow us access to these higher pursuits. A new study in the Journal of Experimental Biology, though,  suggests that while our hands may have noble ambitions -- like playing a violin concerto, throwing a prefect spiral, or looking up cat videos on a tablet computer -- the evolution of the appendage was largely shaped by one of its most unpleasant, if historically common, uses -- making a fist and using it to whoop the ever-loving hell out of something.

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