The Fist Punch Theory of Evolution
Did the human fist evolve to punch faces? Did our faces evolve to take punches? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore University of Utah biologist David Carrier's research into human evolution -- including his 2015 study that involves a cadaver-armed punching machine.
Image Caption: 'He caught Tom a smack under the chin', late 19th or early 20th century. An illustration from Famous Fights. (The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty)
Above: Bird's-eye view (left) and side view (right) show how cadaver arms were placed in a pendulum-like device so they could punch a padded dumbbell weight (far right) during University of Utah experiments that showed a clenched fist protects the bones against strain and injury better than a punch with an open-fist punch or open-handed slap. (Andre Mossman, University of Utah)