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  • - We humans like to think

  • that we're the perfectly evolved species,

  • but I get constant back pain.

  • - I go blind in one eye

  • and then I get migraines and puke for seven hours.

  • - Every time I explore a new city, I sprain my ankle.

  • - I got gout.

  • - Greg's mom gave him a cane.

  • (laughing)

  • So today we're going to go on a journey of biology

  • and evolutionary history to discover

  • the perfectly evolved human,

  • starting with your terribly designed feet.

  • - Apart from being sexually attractive to some people,

  • for example, Mitch's sexual awakening

  • was Gaston's foot in "Beauty and the Beast."

  • - [Mitch] Like Greg!

  • - (laughs) Our feet are an evolutionary mess.

  • Early hominids would stay safe from predators

  • by running into trees.

  • You can see how your feet

  • were initially designed to grasp or grab branches.

  • Please don't put this on WikiFeet, you freaks.

  • And the way our feet would grip the tree branch

  • was with numerous complex bones in the feet,

  • much like the apes and chimps climbing in trees today.

  • This is why you currently have the absurd amount

  • of 26 bones in your feet.

  • 26 bones is for gripping.

  • That is way too many for just walking around.

  • So the perfectly evolved human needs the ostrich foot.

  • Other than humans, birds are the only other

  • animal on earth that are truly bipedal.

  • Human started walking upright 5 million years ago,

  • whereas birds have been running around on two feet

  • for 250 million years.

  • If you look at this diagram,

  • you see that birds evolved hundreds of millions of years ago

  • with the dinosaurs, even.

  • Compared to us, Eutherian mammals on the right over here,

  • who on the timeline of evolution of life on Earth

  • pretty much climbed out of trees like yesterday.

  • So it's not surprising that a bird's ancient bipedal design

  • would actually help our current bipedal bodies.

  • We have an arch as a shock absorber,

  • while ostriches only have two toes,

  • with just a bone per toe,

  • that act as absorbers and outrigger.

  • These two toes stabilize the foot in running mode,

  • but now we must move on to the perfect-

  • - Ankle.

  • We have found broken ankles in human fossils

  • dating back three million years ago.

  • So we've been breaking our ankles for millions of years.

  • I don't feel so bad about my ankles anymore.

  • Our ankles have intervening ligaments and seven bones,

  • leading to numerous injuries.

  • So the perfectly evolved human ankles

  • are also coming from the ostrich.

  • With these ankles, we'd optimize our upright balance,

  • locomotion, and deal a lot better with crashes.

  • This is why ostrich legs have been used as models

  • for prosthetics for amputees,

  • and the Boston Dynamic Ostrich Robot

  • is a long-necked bird copy.

  • Cassie, an Agility Robotics invention,

  • walks with the speed somewhere between human and ostrich.

  • Now, let's move on to something

  • that has started to bother me

  • and is a telltale sign of old age, knees.

  • - Our knees are a particular type of mess.

  • Some evolutionary biologists argue

  • that we stopped evolving biologically 10,000 years ago

  • when we invented agriculture.

  • And they argue that from that point forward,

  • we started to evolve culturally.

  • But then, other evolutionary biologists think

  • that these drastic shifts in culture

  • have actually allowed for adaptive evolution,

  • which actually accelerated our evolution

  • a hundred times faster.

  • And that, folks, is an example of evolutionary biologists

  • battling it out with separate contradicting theories.

  • This actually happens a lot in this field of study

  • because we're trying to piece together information

  • about our human history over thousands of years.

  • Either way, one thing we know for sure

  • is that we are not running from predators,

  • and when it comes to eating food, we're not hunting it.

  • No, no, no.

  • I press a button on my measly little electronic device

  • and the food shows up at my house.

  • He is lazy.

  • I know for a fact, you probably do this too,

  • so do not judge me.

  • And for this reason, our knees need to change.

  • Anthropologist Matt Cartmill explains that,

  • "Evolution doesn't act to yield perfection,

  • it acts to yield function."

  • And that's why I have asked for

  • the perfect pair of Graham's knees.

  • Who is Graham, you ask?

  • Graham is a quote-unquote human

  • designed to survive a car crash

  • as part of a road safety campaign

  • for the transport accident commission in Australia.

  • Patricia Piccinini not only has a great name,

  • but she also used silicone and human hair

  • to bring us this weirdness.

  • Graham's knees bend in all directions

  • so he's able to quickly move out of the way

  • of oncoming traffic.

  • The fact that our knees only bend in one D,

  • also known as one direction,

  • is the main reason why they almost always break first.

  • Graham's knees being so floppy

  • means that they can retain their structure during a crash.

  • Me, after I get new knees,

  • wash-a-widdy-widdy-bad-ba-dee-ba-doo-da-be

  • Okay, but what about body symmetry?

  • - Known as the bilateral body,

  • our bodies have left-right symmetry.

  • The left side of our body is a mirror image of the right.

  • Non-bilaterian animals are

  • octopuses, jellyfish, or anemones,

  • but there are no non-bilaterian animals

  • who live on dry land.

  • The bilaterian body likely began on the sea floor

  • as bodies made for crawling over surfaces

  • with direction and traction made their way on land.

  • Since all land dwelling animals are bilaterian,

  • we're gonna keep that.

  • I'm sorry to crush your dream about having a perfect body

  • that is part sea anemone, but that design

  • is made for species that don't move.

  • But you, girl, you're going to be moving

  • in your new pair of-

  • - Hips.

  • This one is obvious.

  • We will be using the hips

  • of the perfectly evolved Shakira.

  • (vocalizing and upbeat dance music)

  • No, but for real, we do need to change

  • the reproductive system.

  • An anatomist named Alice Roberts

  • actually set out to design her own perfectly evolved human.

  • Empathizing with women giving birth to large-headed babies

  • and risking their health,

  • Alice figured humans would be better off with pouches

  • like those of kangaroos.

  • Alice 2.0 wouldn't struggle with

  • getting a baby out of her system.

  • And yes, Alice 2.0's fetus crawls out into her pouch

  • until it completes its development,

  • so her childbirth would be less painful.

  • Her baby would be mooching through the pouch,

  • so there would be no need for Alice to have breasts.

  • I know some straight men might be in the comments right now,

  • like, "But we need the titties."

  • But we're talking functional perfection here.

  • Also, we'll be taking your nipples and balls.

  • Male nipples are pointless.

  • They exist because males, females, and everything in between

  • come from the same genetic blueprint.

  • Female nipples matter.

  • Male nipples are pointless.

  • So bloop, gotta go.

  • As for our testes, they hang outside of us,

  • exposed to trauma, and no one really knows why.

  • Like some scientists posit

  • they function better in cooler air,

  • but elephants, anteaters, whales, sloths,

  • sea lions, et cetera, tons of animals do fine

  • with the testes inside.

  • So we will be tucking the ball safely inside.

  • - You know what?

  • I'm gonna start calling you the tuck.

  • - Speaking of sacks, onto the-

  • - Lungs.

  • Now, lungs might seem like an obvious necessity

  • for land dwellers, but these air pouch things

  • have been a part of fish long before your ancestors

  • left the water to live on land.

  • In fish, the lungs were used for buoyancy.

  • But even our lungs could use an update.

  • So with that said, coming to the stage,

  • your new pair of lungs evolve from a bird

  • that has ancestors that have been around

  • way longer than yours, the swan lung, ladies and gentlemen.

  • Our lungs are quite vulnerable to minor insults

  • because our delicate alveolar tissue

  • is responsible for both ventilation and gas exchange.

  • Meaning the air we breathe in meets a dead end

  • and has to flow in and out of the lung along the same path.

  • Swan's gas flow is uni directional,

  • which allows them to process the air entering the lung

  • from one side, and leave the lung through the other side.

  • Plus the density of tissue inside a swan's lung

  • is much greater than our own.

  • Speaking of the lungs and breasts,

  • they're actually two of the most common kinds of cancer,

  • and cancer is one of the leading causes of death.

  • So let's address the elephant in the room.

  • Or rather, the not elephant,

  • because they have some pretty cool-

  • - Genes.

  • And we talkin' denim.

  • Elephants have much lower rates of cancer,

  • around 5% compared to over 20% for humans.

  • And this is because of a cancer-fighting gene called p53,

  • which is a tumor suppressor.

  • Humans have one copy, but elephants have 20.

  • So we're loading this human app with some p53.

  • Or better yet, we should be studying the bowhead whale,

  • because this animal gets so big.

  • It lives the longest and rarely gets cancer.

  • Bowhead whales are so cool,

  • they recently found a harpoon in one

  • that they think is over 130 years old.

  • So this whale is so fricking old.

  • The reason they rarely get cancer

  • is due to a mutation that prevents their DNA

  • from getting damaged.

  • To do all of this work, we're going to be using

  • CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, which is fascinating.

  • And I cannot wait for it in the future

  • to give me a dump truck ass.

  • - We were going to pull a cancer fighting tactic

  • from the naked mole rat, but...

  • (screaming)

  • Ugh.

  • Just kidding.

  • We love all animals here at ASAP Science.

  • Now let's encase these innards with some-

  • - Ribs.

  • Ribs are the shield for your inner organs.

  • So you want ribs that will absorb the most impact energy.

  • We're gonna go back to Graham for the stronger ribs.

  • Also, the chest is large and barrel-like,

  • and his torso is more airbag-like than armor-like.

  • He's got a number of sacks placed between each of his ribs,

  • protecting his heart and other vital organs.

  • And obviously I think we should be removing the lowest ribs

  • so that we can start to, you know, like-

  • - (laughs) No, moving on.

  • Now, we've decided on no neck at all.

  • I know everyone's the worst fear.

  • So why on Earth would we do that?

  • In the 1900s, accidents were