Movement of the Arms in Walking [editorial]

W. S. Barnard
1883 Science  
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more » ... out Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate--jstor/individuals/early-journal--content. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. SCIE quence, unable to obtain its position except by estimation. At twenty minutes past seven I estimated it to have been in about R. A. 22 h. 57 m., Dec. + 29? 50/, as determined by comparison with Argelander's charts, no allowance for precession being made. It was 2? 371 almost exactly north of Beta Pegasi, as roughly determined by the size of the field of my coinet eye-piece. Its motion is slowly eastward, probably north-east; but its altitude was so low, and the hour being so near moonrise, I could not determine its exact direction. It presented a beautiful appearance through my 4yj2-inch achromatic. LEWIS SWIFT. Warner observatory, Rochester, Feb. 24. Movement of the arms in walking. In SCIENCE, Feb. 9, Mr. F. W. True recognizes the 'movement of the arms in walking' as a functional relic of quadrupedal locomotion; urging thereby a modification of the expression of Professor Dana, sanctioned by Dr. Gill, that "man stands alone among mammals in having the fore-limbs not only prehensile, but out of the inferior series, the posterior pair being the sole locomotive organs." And the questions are asked, "Have we not at least a ghost of a preexisting function? Does man walk by means of his feet and legs alone?" Viewing the question from the developmental standpoint, it seems to me that the strongest evidence appears in the first locomotor-acts of the child. Before bipedal progression is learned, the child goes on all-fours, and is an actual mammalian quadruped. At the beginning of this the prehensile power of the fingers is very imperfect. Men have been known to educate their toes to do more than the fingers can at that stage of functional development. At that time the palms are of more value as soles than for holding things. In the beginning, also, the arms in some children are better legs than are the hind-limbs, being more easily used. For example, it is more common for children to creep on the knees than on the elbows; but some learn remarkably early to elevate both knees and elbows, to creep on the soles and palms. My own boy walked on his soles and palms from the start, and never upon his knees. The speed with which he finally learned to run in this way was remarkable. After learning to move somewhat on his hind-legs, when he got in such haste as to make bipedal balancement difficult or uncertain, he would take to all-fours, thereby making better speed with less danger of a fall.
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