The Left Past

July 12, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Category: lefthanded, Neoteny

Studies of left-handers have revealed a number of interesting things about left-handed people and the ambidextrous.  Hints of our evolutionary origins are suggested in these studies.

Left-handed people are more maturational delayed.

Right-handed people actually are less capable with their other hand as opposed to left-handed people, who are usually almost equally capable with either hand.  In other words, left-handers are usually more dextrous than right-handers.  Left-handers often have larger brains than right-handers, with less hemispheric differentiation.  In addition, their lobes are more nearly the same size.  The brain connections, for example the corpus callosum, are usually larger in left-handers.

Lefties grow slower, have bigger brains and often are more physically adept.

Left-handed people are usually reversed in their hemispheric organization.  Some have surmised that this reversal alone has provided them a competitive advantage by slightly confusing their associates and peers.  I would suggest that they do have several advantages, but these strengths are innate and are directly related to several factors.

Left-handers have not suffered as extreme a neurological pruning as those of us that are right-handed, when testosterone surges negatively impacted brain growth as a toddler.  In a sense, most of us have been biologically traumatized, and there was a diminishing of the size of one hemisphere, creating a differentiation that seems to encourage right-handedness.

I would suggest that the lefties are an older genetic version of the modern human.  An autistic person would be an extreme, where language use is a profound challenge.  Part way back in time would be the lefties, appearing after language facility was a certainty, having recently bridged over from gestural communication, but patrifocal culture had not yet emerged.

Imagine perhaps 75,000 years ago, before the exodus from Africa occurred, with matrifocal society being the norm.  Children don’t know their fathers.  Males are people-pleasers dancing their way into the heart of the lady they seek to couple with.  Women, who choose their own mates, are strong and focused on selecting cooperative males, males talented in the creation of song and dance.  Maturational-delayed males are the most childlike, the most creative and the least likely to engage in destructive dominance displays.  Maturational delay, neoteny, is encouraged.

Lefties today should reveal these characteristics if this theory or picture of the past is useful.  Lefty males should be adept people pleasers, articulate, creative and not likely to get into a fight.  Lefty females should be strong willed, even demanding, and focused on achieving goals.

We live and breathe within a world of tantalizing hints gesturing to our biological and consciousness origins.  Left-handed people reveal a cluster of clues consistent with some interpretations of how we came to be.  Some males feel compelled to please people.  Some females are compelled to get their way.  It is these folks that often rise to the top.  Before Bush, the previous three presidents were lefties.  Obama is a lefty.  This evolutionary trajectory likely began with a compulsion to please a woman, possibly a left-handed woman.  Possibly a left-handed woman who knew exactly what she wanted.


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