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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?