Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Extra Limbs

So I was in the GEL lab today and I was contemplating what it would be like if human developed extra arms.  I figure more arms is the most practical evolution because more legs would be awkward and other things like extra ears don't really seem that practical.  Having an ear sprouting from an elbow would just be... weird.  However, if you believe in evolution, I don't think those sorts of things would make it past natural selection. If your a creationist, well at least for me "elbow ears" do not fall under the category of actions typical of a loving god, then again I think back to Catholic middle school religion class, and contemplate old-testament, vengeance God.  Perhaps a plague of ears will be set upon us if we make him angry enough.

Anyways, the thought of having four arms is a rather tricky sort of thing, because its such a foreign idea.  I've been trying to imagine them the way that amputees often still can sense their missing limbs.  However, even if I get somewhat close to actually tricking myself into believing that I have an extra set of arms, there is a gigantic problem with the concept of extra limbs.  The problem is that I don't think that the human brain is equipped to be commanding of that many hands at once.  I can't keep track of four hands at once in my head.  There's a reason why people generally have a dominant hand/arm, and I think that it's because we aren't very good at utilizing all of our resources at once.  I think that as the number of arms increases its likely that the usefulness of each new arm would significantly decrease.

I wish I could conduct a scientific study to look at all sorts of things concerning the effects of increasing the number of arms on a human, but unfortunately I can't just make people sprout extra arms.  I think this is one of those questions that I'll have to ask Jesus if I ever get the chance to meet him.

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