Ch. 2: Getting a Grip

#48: May - June 2008 (Non-Fiction)
Post Reply
User avatar
Chris OConnor
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame
Posts: 16563
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 2:43 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Ch. 2: Getting a Grip

Please use this thread for discussing Ch. 2: Getting a Grip.
User avatar
Saffron
I can has reading?
Posts: 2955
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:37 pm
Location: Randolph Center, VT

So, what do you think of Shubin's approach to his subject matter (i.e. one bone, two bones, lotsa blobs, and five toes)? Clear as mud?
User avatar
Lawrence
Senior
Posts: 351
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:58 pm
Location: Florida

I never heard of Owen's devine plan. Of course I never took a science course. We get too soon old and too late smart. I'm sure Dr. Shubin believes
The answer must, at some level, be that the hand is the visible connection between us; it is signiture for who we are and what we can attain.
@p. 29
but at this stage in the book it would be a leap of faith for me to believe it.
It might be better to place the quoted material with the closing paragraph @p.43 to show how and why he made such a connection.
User avatar
President Camacho
I Should Be Bronzed
Posts: 1655
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:44 pm
Location: Hampton, Ga
Contact:

It's interesting that Tiktaalik has shoulders, elbows, and wrists (as well as Owens's little blobs). It's exciting to think of an ancient creature making its way from puddle to puddle or just escaping danger by leaving the water. Using its well developed chest muscles to push up and waddle around on wrist/fins. That's really interesting.

I like seeing transitional species like this to help affirm evolution.

One thing I really didn't get was the one bone followed by two bones in the picture on page 37. Are the two bones the lowest and highest after the humerus with the wrist in the middle?
User avatar
DWill
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame
Posts: 6926
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:05 am
Location: Luray, Virginia

The opening of this chapter was just great, having the surprising twist of the hand being the part of the cadaver's anatomy to register with Shubin, not all the inner organs that we never otherwise see and would seem to be more impressive. But how fitting, since he's right about it being "quintessentially human" and the "signature for who we are." I can't blame the author he cites for seeing divine design in the anatomy of the hand. We can argue about some "design flaws" in our bodies, but isn't the hand truly perfect? Shubin's going to tell us how all this resulted from beginnings in fish, or even previous to fish. Again, how amazing.
I think I mght have done better in science myself if I'd been taught pithy maxims like "one bone, two bones, lotsa blobs, five fingers." Great teaching device he came up with.
DWill

P.S. Way to go Saffron. You're already doing a bang-up job!
Biomachine
Master Debater
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 10:25 pm

President Camacho wrote:One thing I really didn't get was the one bone followed by two bones in the picture on page 37. Are the two bones the lowest and highest after the humerus with the wrist in the middle?


I had a difficult time with this image as well. It looks like the wrist is indeed in the middle, but I'm not sure. I wish the image on page 37 was color-coded like the image on page 31.
User avatar
Saffron
I can has reading?
Posts: 2955
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:37 pm
Location: Randolph Center, VT

biomachine wrote:
I wish the image on page 37 was color-coded like the image on page 31.


I felt the same way when I first looked at the picture on page 37.


One of the things I like best so far, is that Shubin describes for us, the process he and his colleagues use to predict where in the world to look for the particular fossils they are seeking. The ability to predict successfully is a gold standard in science.

Favorite quote:
p43

"In fact, knowing something about the deep origins of humanity only adds to the remarkable fact of our existence: all of our extraordinary capabilities arouse from basic components that evolved in ancient fish and other creatures. From common parts came a very unique construction. We are not separate from the rest of the living world; we are part of it down to our bones..." (my bold)
Post Reply