Whatever you believe the origin of human life to be, you must admit that our bodies are pretty remarkable (as I was discussing with a friend just last night). Prompted by an article about running as a critical human ability, let me add a couple more.

In addition to running, our dextrous hands and opposable thumbs are obviously pretty important for tool use. Another of our greatest physical advantages is our exceptional sight; our eyes are positioned very high off the ground for an animal of our weight and we can see very far. Unlike prey animals, which have eyes facing to the sides to give them a wide field of view to spot predators, our eyes face forward to give us depth perception for hunting. We also have very high resolution vision compared to most creatures and can distinguish shapes and movement better than most.

Large parts of our huge brains are devoted to sight and recognition, as well as language. Our communication and cooperation abilities are far beyond those of any other creatures, and since we can recognize individuals on sight and use tools together there's really no animal on earth that can come close to competing with us.

(HT: Frank J.)



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