Interesting facts about evolution June 8, 2019-lefty’s
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Started by metmike - June 8, 2019, 1:59 a.m.

Evolutionary biologists hypothesize that species that cooperate rather than compete value sameness, which has led to right-hand dominance. Lefties constitute just 10% of the normal population; yet they make up 50% of elite athletes.


I think you are left too for sports but I write right handed. Who else is left handed here?

Here's Why Left-Handed Athletes Dominate One-on-One Sports

This one was interesting:

This advantage extends beyond fun and games into real-world survival—after all, sports are just an organized form of war when you think about it. In 2005, French researchers Charlotte Faurie and Michel Raymond published a study demonstrating that in societies that tend to be "the most violent and warlike," the proportion of left-handed people can be as high as 27 percent, compared to only 3 percent in the most peaceful societies.

As for their main explanation..............I don't buy it.

"So when a player faces off against that rare lefty pitcher or lefty batter, it throws them off their game. That gives left-handed players a leg up on the competition, and helps them rise through the professional ranks faster than their right-handed counterparts."

Those rare lefty pitchers are not so rare in the major leagues, so that advantage would no longer be there in the majors when so many other left handers are among-st them but somehow, they continue to excel as an elite athlete. 

By metmike - June 8, 2019, 2:04 a.m.
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This makes a bit more sense to me:

Testing the advantage of being left-handed in sports

After some number crunching, Loffing reports that he found a pattern—in sports where there is a short time constraint, lefties appeared to excel. He found, for example, that just 9 percent of the top 100 players in slower time-response sports, such as squash, were left-handed. In sharp contrast, 30 percent of the top players in sports like baseball (at least for pitchers) were lefties. One sport, table tennis, which is possibly the fastest competitive sport of all, stood out—Loffing reports that 26 percent of the top male players are lefties. In general, he found that sports with short response times like baseball, table tennis and cricket were 2.6 times as likely to have top lefties.

In light of his conclusions, Loffing wonders if being lefty offered early humans an advantage—the element of surprise in fights with other humans or even animals might have made a difference. 

By joj - June 8, 2019, 6:20 a.m.
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Baseball in particular is a game with advantages for lefties.  To begin with they are swinging at the ball standing 3 feet closer to 1st base.  Secondly, assuming that the majority of pitchers are right handed, they are swinging at the ball with a view that is slightly less peripheral in nature, so they see the ball better.  3rd - When a right hander swings at the ball his momentum is toward 3rd base.  Having made contact with the ball he has to then redirect his energy to begin running toward 1st base.  The opposite is true for a lefty.  

It's much, much harder to steal 2nd base against a left handed pitcher since they are looking right at you and they seemingly get away with beginning their pitching motion with a lifting of their leg and then being able to throw to first without balking (a baseball rule that requires a pitcher to deliver the pitch toward the batter once they have begun their motion).  The expression inside baseball is "left handed pitchers get to cheat".

Over the last 50 years 54 of the 100 batting titles (2 for each league American/National)  have been won by left handed hitters.  Switch hitters have also won 11.  Right handers have only won 35 batting titles.  A switch hitter always choses the side of the plate that gives him the best view of the ball being released from the pitchers hand.  So he chooses to bat lefty vs right handed pitchers and lefty vs right handed pitchers.

I love the game of baseball.  It is so much American.  Watch the Ken Burns documentary about baseball and learn about America, its history and its culture.

By metmike - June 8, 2019, 8:47 a.m.
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You really nailed some great points that give lefty’s a big advantage in baseball. 

What MLB team is your favorite?

I’m interested in 

others take too, especially lefty berkowitz.

By metmike - June 8, 2019, 8:58 a.m.
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I have a potential theory that I’ll share later

By joj - June 8, 2019, 9:45 a.m.
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Chicago Cubs are my fave.

"You really nailed some great points that give lefty’s a big advantage in baseball." 

Funny how I'm incapable of making great points on political observations.  hmmmm....  :)

By TimNew - June 8, 2019, 10:28 a.m.
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Less bias involved

By carlberky - June 8, 2019, 11:07 a.m.
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The Latin word sinistra originally meant "left" but took on meanings of "evil" or "unlucky" by the Classical Latin era, and this double meaning survives in European derivatives of Latin, and in the English word "sinister". ... So, if you were left-handed or sinister, you were associated with evil.

Yes, Mike, I am lefty. So were my brother and my daughter. The two other people at my dining room table are also lefties.

By metmike - June 8, 2019, 1:33 p.m.
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"Funny how I'm incapable of making great points on political observations.  hmmmm....  :)"

I never thought that. 

I encourage you to keep making those points. My favorite ones relate to the politics of climate science, which enables me to transform it into authentic  climate SCIENCE with empirical data and facts. 


By metmike - June 8, 2019, 2:21 p.m.
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My theory on left handedness being connected with higher performance levels in some realms has always been that it must have something to do with left handers using more of their right brain. 

joj makes a great case, in the sport of baseball for left handers to have several advantages by the design of the game which assists left handers.  But that still doesn't explain all of it and in other sports that use similar athletic skills, where the rules don't favor left handers, somehow left handers are over represented by 200% or more..

Study after study shows this, so its not a bias or flaw in design. 

As it turns out, many of them do speculate that its related to right brain activity and it extends beyond just sports. Chess players and musicians. 

 One can see the physical advantage of being left handed for a pianist because left handed people functioning in a right handed world tend to be able to use BOTH hands better than somebody thats right handed.  By coincidence, I was gifted with being a self taught piano player(by ear) who has composed  a thousand tunes(most I can't remember that were just little ditty's to amuse myself at that time-a few that I enjoyed enough to remember) and can appreciate this.  I could go over to the piano right now and make up several new songs off the top of my head. 

I've been a chess coach for 25 years. Studies have shown that elite chess players use BOTH sides of their brains more effectively than the average population. Right handers, tend to use one side of their brains more when doing things and left handers tend to use both sides more. 

This study, researches ALL the studies involving handedness and did sort of a compilation, siting their sources/individual studies through the if you wanted to look at the many other studies done on this topic or topics related, just click onto the source/letter-number they provide. 

Understanding Left-Handedness

I'm just one biased person living in a left handed body that knows alot of right handers that are better at chess, piano playing and other things than me, so keep that in mind. 

They aren't better at understanding weather and climate change though. This comes from enthusiast,  objective study, gathering data  and doing the analysis....which anybody willing to do the work can accomplish. 

So accomplishments are more related to work ethic vs handedness.

Then, we have (misleading) studies like this, that claim the environment in the womb is responsible for handedness not genes(Carl would have grounds to dispute that-and my first son is left handed)

Scientists think they have found the reason some people are left-handed — and it has nothing to do with the brain

"One thing we do know, though, is that the neurological differences between left- and right-handed people are small, and supposed behavioral or psychological distinctions have largely been debunked."

Good thing that I'm left handed or I wouldn't have been able to recognize that as bs.......with some evidence of why(-:

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

By pj - June 8, 2019, 7:19 p.m.
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My 2 cents and maybe it's obvious. I think lefties may have an advantage simply because they get more experience/ training/playing against right-handers than right-handers do against left-handers. Obviously in some sports, like chess, it doesn't come into play, but in most sports, e.g. boxing it does. The average righty has most probably gone a lot more rounds against other righties than lefties. So when in a match against a lefty, the habits that have been formed over a career may be hard to change (overcome) even if he has tried to train for a specific fight with left handed sparring partners.

I think of how hard it is for me ( a righty) to try to drive in countries that drive on the left side of the road.

By metmike - June 8, 2019, 8:20 p.m.
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I agree that this must be part of it in a sport like baseball, where tiny fractions of a second in reaction time mean the difference between hitting and missing the ball and having a slight advantage might impart a huge difference in performance  at the plate. 


What It Takes To Hit A Baseball Makes Baseball Players Look Like Superheroes



The video in that article above is really cool, titled:


How to Hit a Major League Fastball, According To Science

All major league baseball players have been gifted with extraordinary vision. 

By metmike - June 8, 2019, 8:29 p.m.
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There's obviously something else going on too that relates to how a left handed person uses their brains compared to somebody that's right handed. 

9 Weird Advantages of Being Left Handed

Since the smartest guy here is left handed, this could be anecdotel evidence of it on MarketForum.

Yeah, his initials are C.B.

By carlberky - June 8, 2019, 10:45 p.m.
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"Yeah, his initials are C.B."

Actually, the initial is G.

By mcfarmer - June 8, 2019, 11:24 p.m.
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Switch hitters will usually switch to the opposite side of the pitcher. They can see the ball longer and the ball is usually coming in to them rather than at them before it breaks.

So I’ve been told anyway.

I do everything right handed but shoot, I am very left eye dominant. I had a long discussion with my optometrist a while back. He claims studies have shown eye dominance isn’t  set for the first year. Much may depend on how the mother holds the baby while feeding.

The baby looks at mom while nursing, and how they are held establishes which side will be dominant.