Over on my regular blog back in December I discussed the Ulas family of Turkey. Five of the nineteen siblings in the Kurdish family have a genetic disorder that leads them to walk on all fours in a fashion that has been described as “the bear-crawl”.

I was quite skeptical of the theory put forward by Turkish scientist Uner Tan, that they are a throwback to an earlier stage of human evolution. Part of the argument, made by British evolutionary psychologist Nicholas Humphrey, is that the Ulas siblings walk in a particular fashion unlike our nearest cousins, the great apes: the apes knuckle-walk, the Ulas siblings hold their fingers up in the air and walk on their wrists.

I was very skeptical about that claim, and I’m glad to note that whatever doubt I might have had is now gone. I’ve found videos of the Ulas siblings on YouTube, and there is no doubt in my mind that they are walking on the entire hand, palm and fingers alike.

See, for example, these YouTube videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gNKNo55jdE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1oAeFEcFQ

I remain utterly unconvinced that this is a throwback to ancient pre-human ancestors.

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