Re: [AAT] Throwing Another Hallmark?
- As always there is no single explanation for "throwing", for "bipedalism",
for "speech" etc.
When we analyse these "unique" human abilities into more elementary
traits, they become less unique, eg, google "New directions in
- Human locomotion is composed of 2-leggedness (birds, dinos, some
anteaters, hopping-mice, kangaroos), very long & stretched legs
(wading-birds>ostrich), vertical spine (vertical climbers, btrahciators,
penguins on land), striding not hopping, full plantigrady etc., to be
explained IMO by a vertical aquarboreal hominoid evolving into a diving &
later wading & walking species.
- The beginnings of human language (music + small mouth + volitional
breathing + large brain) can be explained IMO by a musical monogamous
hominoid evolving into a shellfish-eating diving species.
- In a comparable way, human throwing can be explained IMO by a
below-branch hominoid (arms overhead) evolving into a diving (swimming
arms) & later wading-spearing species (salmon, shallow water animals,
ducks, later herbivores on terra firma etc.).
Had never considered how unique our ability to throw is. We say that
monkeys and apes also throw things. But english is a flexible language and
sometimes imperfectly precise.
Throw, toss, pitch, fling, lob, hurl, heave, and sling all can describe
the same action. Yet each word also has a slightly different intent. A
baseball pitcher and an ape do both throw things but an ape can more
accurately be described as flinging poop at zoo visitors. What a pitcher
does is a magnitude beyond what any other animal could ever do. Both in
speed and control.
This ability should be considered just as unique (by degree) as tool use
and language in man. In retrospect I am surprised that this was not
included in the original list of hallmarks that Hardy presented.