Friday, August 16, 2019

Review of "The Natural Superiority of the Left-hander," by James T. deKay

Review of

The Natural Superiority of the Left-hander, by James T. deKay ISBN 0871313073

Four out of five stars

 Despite a significant amount of study, there has been no definitive conclusion as to the reason why approximately ten percent of the human population is left-handed. There is conclusive evidence that there is a genetic component, but no specific cause is known. This book is a description of many of the facts of being left-handed, including the bias in the construction of tools towards the right-handed and words used to describe left-handers as somehow sinister.

 Two of the most interesting facts concern the concentrations of left-handers in some populations. There is evidence that one in three Native Americans was left-handed at the time of the arrival of the Europeans. When NASA conducted batteries of tests on astronaut candidates, twenty-five percent of the group deemed the best and brightest were left-handed. Far higher than the percentage in the general population.

 The book closes with an absurd statement, that left-handers are almost a different species than the balance of the population. There is not much evidence for this claim, it perpetuates the idea that left-handedness is somehow bizarre and should be suppressed. Some of these facts are fun, others a bit silly, but all are interesting.

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