Southpaw Explanations Out of Left Field
All proteins are left handed. Some humans are left handed. Can evolution explain that? Evolutionists are never known to be at a loss for words when asked to explain anything, provided they are allowed liberal use of the word perhaps.
A new projection theme for the first left-handed amino acids that comprise proteins sounds downright mystical. Science Daily announced that the “Ancestral Eve Crystal” may explain the origin of life’s left-handedness, “one of the most perplexing mysteries about the origin of life” (see online book). Under controlled conditions, two Korean scientists publishing in a journal of the American Chemical Society proposed a way that aspartic acid crystals of one hand could have formed easily and on a large scale. Then, they said, “The aspartic acid crystal would then truly become a single mother crystal: an ancestral Eve for the whole left-handed population.” Others are not so sure this solves the problem; see Rob Sheldon’s response.
Some humans are southpaws, too. How and why did left-handedness evolve? The preference for one side of the body, once thought unique to humans but now known to apply to fish, birds and mammals, is called lateralization. Nora Schultz took up the subject of “The evolution of handedness” in New Scientist. She uncovered some benefits to the asymmetry. Because one side of the brain focuses on the hand grasping the object or watching the predator and the other side of the brain is free, it apparently helps with multitasking. As for why a few individuals differ from the right-handed majority, game theory supposedly explains that it throws the predator off guard enough to allow some members of a group to escape. So far so empirical; but how and why did this evolve? Is there any proof it did evolve? She hedged her bets: “Despite such diversity, we can’t rule out the possibility that lateralisation was passed down from a single common ancestor,” she said. That only suggests that lateralization emerged somehow, without explanation, hundreds of millions of years ago and then persisted for hundreds of millions of years as fish, birds and mammals went their separate ways. “‘Different individuals or species may be using different cognitive approaches to deal with similar problems and this affects which side of the brain has the upper hand,’ says Giorgio Vallortigara at the University of Trento in Italy. In that case, the brain organisation underlying lateralisation may still have arisen in early ancestors, even if specific side preferences have shifted over the years.”
After a little more discussion about trade-offs, Schultz concluded, “Perhaps this can partly explain the existence of left-handers in human societies.” Other than that, She actually had very little to say about the evolution of handedness – despite the headline, “Southpaws: The evolution of handedness.”
Gotta give Schultz a hand for trying. What’s the sound of one left hand clapping? in a vacuum?
The “ancestral Eve crystal” fable is too silly to dwell on. At best, they might have discovered a slight enantiomeric excess under highly improbable conditions. We want to see 100% success (11/19/2004, 08/24/2006). Anything else spells death (09/26/2002, 12/03/2008). How many times must this be emphasized? And since evolutionists cannot invoke natural selection prior to replication, their only recourse is chance and normal chemistry. Good luck; you’ll need lots of it (online book).
As for southpaws, any benefits suggested must be so great as to confer survival value on the whole population. That means the great white shark had to eat almost all the right-handed minnows except for the few, and the lefties, that got away. The mutant left-handed gladiator that didn’t get killed in the arena is not going to explain the persistence of southpaw pitchers in 2010, especially if he got killed in the next contest before he had kids. The story sounds Hollywood docudrama till you think about how Darwinian theory has to work in practice, then it sounds like a cartoon.
Can we please, please, please get some clarity here, evolutionists? Just because you find a benefit in a trait that is widespread in the animal kingdom, that does not, not, not mean it evolved. It could just as well mean it was designed, designed, designed. Making up a story after the fact is easy to do. Society does not owe job security to evolutionary storytellers (12/22/2003 commentary).