Ambidexterity

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68 Replies - 3926 Views - Last Post: 14 November 2012 - 11:30 PM

#31 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:24 AM

There's a lovely bit of speculation from William Calvin on the origins of right-handed dominance in the human gene pool. It's outlined in the introductionto his collection The Throwing Madonna, although you have to buy the book to get the full exposition.

In a nutshell, it looks like this:

Human heartbeat serves to pacify infants. (experimental evidence on modern infants confirms this)
Human heartbeat is louder on the left side of the chest.
Therefore human child carried in left arm is quieter than same child carried in right arm.
Therefore, mother who can carry child in left arm and throw accurately and forcefully with right arm is more likely to have her offspring survive to reproduce.
Therefore, right-hand dominance has a mild evolutionary advantage in a primitive population, and can be expected to establish itself in the absence of any forces to the contrary.


His exposition is much better than this, of course. Worth reading.
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#32 strawhat89  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:30 AM

View Posth4nnib4l, on 13 November 2012 - 05:12 PM, said:

@strawhat - how does that help me be born a lefty, forced to use my right hand by closed-minded religious people, and then end up ambidextrous? I feel robbed about the ending-up-ambidextrous thing, not the extra crispy thing.


I was offering you the other superstition about being born a lefty. Though, being roasted may help you be born a lefty if the rebirth crap is true.
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#33 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:15 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 13 November 2012 - 12:24 PM, said:

His exposition is much better than this, of course. Worth reading.


Fascinating. I think the answer is simpler than that.

Handedness strongly aligns to brainedness. ( Is brainedness a word? Screw it, I like it. ) The right hemisphere of the brain generally controls the left side of the body and vice versa. So, the Artist ( right brain ) tends to left handed, the Prince ( I'm thinking Machiavelli here ) tends to be right handed. Simply, the evolutionary advantage of left brained individuals in human society would seem to outweigh those of right brained.

View Postishkabible, on 13 November 2012 - 12:17 PM, said:

Frequently people were accused for being witches/warlocks as a means of getting someone out of the way.


Wait, when did that stop? If it's no longer witch, warlock, heathen, pinko, commie, homosexual, terrorist, then which is the label to use to instantly demonized your enemies?
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#34 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:30 AM

View Postbaavgai, on 13 November 2012 - 01:15 PM, said:

Fascinating. I think the answer is simpler than that.

Handedness strongly aligns to brainedness. ( Is brainedness a word? Screw it, I like it. ) The right hemisphere of the brain generally controls the left side of the body and vice versa. So, the Artist ( right brain ) tends to left handed, the Prince ( I'm thinking Machiavelli here ) tends to be right handed. Simply, the evolutionary advantage of left brained individuals in human society would seem to outweigh those of right brained.


There's a chicken/egg question here, I suppose. Where does "brainedness" (good word) come from? Does it possibly derive from handedness?
As for Calvin's story, it's a fun one, but that about all it has going for it, unless/until some convincing support for it turns up. Mostly, I like it as an example of the sort of story telling you can do in evolutionary biology.
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#35 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:42 AM

I use a bow left-handed. Does this count?
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#36 Aphex19  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:59 AM

Here's an interesting and kind of related video. It explains handedness. I'm right handed all the way.

This post has been edited by Aphex19: 13 November 2012 - 11:59 AM

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#37 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:18 PM

Liked the video.

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 13 November 2012 - 01:30 PM, said:

Does it possibly derive from handedness?


It's a reasonable hypothesis, but I doubt it. The brain is pretty consistent in it's dominance and how it processes. Also, for handedness to play a role, you'd need to get to the point were hand were actively participating an infant's discovery of the world. However, a baby will reach out with a dominant hand before it can even see. I'm going with brain first, hand later.

Strangely, eye dominance is far more fluid. "Cross-dominance", right hand/left eye or left hand/right eye offers some advantage in certain physical activities. I'm right handed but left eye dominant. I suck an sports. However, I suppose it helps in archery.

@NeoTifa: People generally draw the bow with their dominant hand. So, um, no. ;)
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#38 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:27 PM

Wtf computer?

This post has been edited by NeoTifa: 13 November 2012 - 01:11 PM

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#39 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:46 PM

View Postgabehabe, on 13 November 2012 - 10:52 AM, said:

Sometimes, during a stint of particularly furious masturbation, I get tired and have to switch hands.


The new D.I.C Caffeine Lounge motto: "If we're not hacking, we're whacking"
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#40 AthenaDX  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:48 PM

I don't think it's possible for me to whack. :/ Or it'd be painful anyways.
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#41 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:50 PM

Good point, AthenaDX; need a new one for the ladies...

Hmm...I am loathe to get too crass all of the sudden...
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#42 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:53 PM

Why are euphemisms for masturbation so violent, anyway? Whacking, pounding, jerking - what's that about? And "off"? Yikes! No, I'll leave mine on, thanks.
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#43 Kilorn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:56 PM

Women can always use "rubbing one out". That's not too violent, nor too crass in my opinion.
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#44 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:57 PM

I don't care what they call it.












Just so long as I can watch :detective:
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#45 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ambidexterity

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:00 PM

Pffsst.. "flicking the bean". Violent enough for ya savages?
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