Saturday, June 21, 2014

Human skull and fists

The story that human skulls evolved to withstand human fist blows and fists evolved to hammer human skulls was all over the science news recently. It seems unconvincing on at least two counts. (I'm not an expert on skull impact damage; they may be all wet there too.)
  1. Remember Travis? For all-out fighting, a somewhat different skull shape is more useful--one that has projecting jaws and attachment points for muscles strong enough to bite off someone's face. He could hit, and kick, but also bite.
  2. We've had a couple of concussions in the family (fall, auto collision). If the average hominid skull took so many blows that it would evolve some stronger structures, why wouldn't it also evolve a few cushions inside the skull to keep the brain from rattling around so much? They'd be just as useful--maybe more so. Such would certainly have saved us some trouble.

Color me dubious. Very dubious.

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