HOOFS, PAWS AND HANDS by Margaret Echard


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. . . if you were turned into a colt, how would you blow your nose?"" The assumption is that you'd want to, and similar anthropocentric assumptions -- coupled with generally spurious reasoning -- underlie most of this attempt to link hoofs to hands in evolutionary ascent. According to the author, a baby learns through his hands but a hoofed colt does not ""think or reason;"" and although two-toed hoofs are better than one, and three and four are better still, ""four earth-bound feet, plus two deadly horns, are no match for frontal eyes and hands"" -- the justification for this curious statement being the bullfight, as if it were simply a contest between one man and a bull. All of this ignores also the adaptation of the hoofed animal to his particular environment; it ignores finally the adjustment of his instincts to his attributes: your deer mother ""could not cuddle you as your human mother does."" The balance of the book discusses paws and hands and animals having each, and the information that is not misleading is largely immaterial. You could say it's altogether immaterial.

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 1968
Publisher: Golden Gate