On the Other Hand

Directions: In this reading exercise, you will explore theories regarding the nature of handedness, that is, the hand that you naturally prefer to use to eat with, throw a ball, etc. The article “On Left-Handedness, Its Causes and Costs” particularly focuses on left-handedness. Later, you will act as a scientific researcher by conducting and analyzing a class-wide handedness survey.

Step 1

Read “On Left-Handedness, Its Causes and Costs.”

Step 2

Answer the following questions:

  1. To what extent did Thomas Carlyle jokingly attribute the low numbers of left-handed people?
  2. How did his “view” reflect the mystery behind handedness?
  3. What is Dr. Klar’s hypothesis about handedness?
  4. What is Dr. Coren’s hypothesis about handedness?
  5. What is the practical reason for understanding the nature of handedness?
  6. What do studies of twins seem to show regarding handedness?
  7. To what “cultural factors” does Dr. Klar attribute “inconclusive studies that militate against his genetic theory”?
  8. How does Dr. Klar plan to prove his theory?
  9. How does Dr. Klar define right-handedness?
  10. The article mentions Dr. Coren’s typical writing focus. Why do you think this is included? What is the tone of this section of the article?
  11. To what specific factors does Dr. Coren attribute left-handedness?
  12. At the end of the article, Dr. Klar states, “What’s good for yeast should be good for mice, and what’s good for mice should be good for men. Biology is biology, and DNA is DNA.” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

Step 3

Complete the Handedness Survey form given you by your teacher.