[ExI] Transhumanism - Six fingers?

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Wed Jun 12 17:01:04 UTC 2019

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of BillK
Subject: [ExI] Transhumanism - Six fingers?

>>...Extra fingers, often seen as useless, can offer major dexterity advantages An extra digit proves useful for texting, typing and eating, a case study shows By Laura Sanders, June 12, 2019


Burdet says that these participants live in a world designed for people with five fingers...

The results may not extend to other people with extra digits, Burdet says. In some cases, extra fingers may be less well developed.

Nature paper here:

Be sure to watch the one minute video!   Creepy???
I wonder how they would be at playing the piano?



BillK, before you toss the following notion as more spike silliness, consider the reproductive advantage in our modern world of some oddball characteristic.  A clear prerequisite to (legitimate) reproduction in our modern very crowded world is acquaintance.  Someone with a weird but harmless oddity like six functional fingers can attract attention, which increases the probability of reproduction.

I have a notion that a minor thing like this may have led to speciation between protohumans and protobonobos (or protochimps in some lines of theory.)  One of the possible oddball characteristics proposed has been bulbous heads.  This notion is compelling because the bulbous-head male appears baby-like to prospective mates, which cross-wires the whole psychology of the mating game.  BillW might comment on that.  Fertile females may feel more comfortable in the presence of an adult male with juvenile characteristics.

Other oddball characteristics could cause the cascade of adaptations to the new equilibrium, such as a knee variation that encouraged upright walking, which frees up the hands, makes the biped appear larger and more menacing, leading to dominance of a group and so on.

Another possible adaptation is the use of the voice for something other than the usual ooo-ooo-ooo lines the females are so tired of hearing.  I think of that as the proto-rock-star notion.

OK, fast forward to today.  Now we are a highly evolved highly uniform species.  So... any oddball talent or (perhaps especially) a weird or rare anatomical variation would lead to one guy standing out, girls coming over to his lunch table at high school and oh let me see, etc.

Looks to me like that would be a slight reproductive advantage: girls might see it as a status booster to virtue-signal by being accepting and friendly to the mutant.  Taken further, they might wish to virtue-signal if they took him for a roll in the hay (to see if he had the usual number of everything else.)  I suppose it is unclear if that case would still be considered "virtue" signaling, but hey, it's just a theory.

Furthermore... for the six-fingered guy: there just HASTA be a way to make money with that.


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