Star Wars episode V - Luke Skywalker's prosthetic hand.Luke Skywalker from Star Wars.

BIONIC HANDS – From Luke Skywalker (Star Wars) to the first prosthetic hand!

What appeared to be science fiction in 1980 when Luke Skywalker’s “prosthetic hand” was introduced in Star Wars episode V (‘The Empire strikes Back’), has in the 21th century definitely become reality. For, in 2008 Time Magazine included the ‘bionic hand’ in the list of best inventions!

The article presents an overview of the milestones in the developments of various ‘bionic hands’ – what could become the ‘NEXT NATURE’ version of the human hand! A review of how disabled people in time were able to become a ‘bionic man’ or ‘bionic woman’!

NOTICE: The concept ‘Next Nature‘ – introduced by sciene philosopher Koert van Mensvoort – is described as follows:

“Next nature is the nature caused by human culture. That may sound like a contradiction, but really, it isn’t. Our technological world has become so intricate and uncontrollable that it has become a nature of its own. This means we have to re-investigate our notion of nature.”

SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:

BIONIC HANDS: From Luke Skywalker to Time’s 2008 best inventions!
A new milestone for the bionic hand (2007)
Evolution of the 5 fingers in the human hand!
The man who grew a finger!
More ‘evolutionary’ hand reports!

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A hand axe is a prehistoric cutting tool.

Nature reports a true milestone in the evolution of human kind!

After a report earlier this year in National Geographic about the oldest prehistoric handprints in French and Spanish cave walls, researchers have reported this month in Nature found that human ancestors living in what is now Spain fashioned double-edged stone cutting tools as early as 900,000 years ago, almost twice as long ago as previous estimates for this technological achievement in Europe!

If confirmed, the new dates support the idea that the manufacture and use of teardrop-shaped stone implements, known as hand axes, spread rapidly from Africa into Europe and Asia beginning roughly 1 million years ago, say geologist Gary Scott and paleontologist Luis Gibert, both of the Berkeley Geochronology Center in California.

Josep Gibert, Luis Gibert y el científico Gary Scott.

A summary quote from the Nature report:

“Stone tools are durable reminders of the activities, skills and customs of early humans, and have distinctive morphologies that reflect the development of technological skills during the Pleistocene epoch.

In Africa, large cutting tools (hand-axes and bifacial chopping tools) became part of Palaeolithic technology during the Early Pleistocene (1.5 Myr ago). However, in Europe this change had not been documented until the Middle Pleistocene (<0.5 Myr ago).

Here we report dates for two western Mediterranean hand-axe sites that are nearly twice the age of the supposed earliest Acheulian in western Europe. Palaeomagnetic analysis of these two sites in southeastern Spain found reverse polarity magnetozones, showing that hand-axes were already in Europe as early as 0.9 Myr ago. This expanded antiquity for European hand-axe culture supports a wide geographic distribution of Palaeolithic bifacial technology outside of Africa during the Early Pleistocene.”

A neolithic hand axis - frontview (8000 B.C. - 5000 B.C.) found in the Sahara, North Africa.A neolithic hand axis - sideview (8000 B.C. - 5000 B.C.) found in the Sahara, North Africa.

SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:
Evolutionary hand analysis!
Handprints indicate: ‘European cave artists were female’!