People who are left-handed have to deal with a world that’s set up against them.
Most utensils, seating arrangements, and tools are created with right-handed folks in mind. Relatives of mine who went through Catholic school back in the day got rapped on their knuckles any time they tried to write with their left hands. Since being right-handed was considered “normal” and “correct,” we’ve evolutionarily and socially encouraged right-handedness in potential partners.
The implications of this aren’t just about access to left-handed scissors, though. Strangely enough, our dominant hand may even indicate what kind of beliefs we hold dear.
A new study published in a journal on evolutionary psychology suggests a “weak but significant” connection between traits like left-handedness, schizophrenia, and autism to atheism. People who identify as religious tend to have a lower “mutational load” than those who don’t. But there’s a reason that’s the case.
Throughout history, Western people looking for suitable mates would consider believing in a single moral god to be a sign of mental health and social acceptability. People who believed in a god were more likely to reproduce and thus the result is they have fewer mutations in their genetic code.
While the study’s findings are interesting, it’s important to note that atheism is increasing in Western societies across the board. Non-religious people make up almost 50 percent of Britain and 22 percent of the United States.
The study also found that though it may seem counterintuitive, people with higher mutational loads, like left-handed people, are more likely to believe in ghosts and paranormal activity. This was also true for the other types of mutational loads, including schizophrenia and autism.
There are exceptions to every rule, but it’s interesting to know that left-handedness was so undesirable in the recent past that it became an important factor in determining who was acceptable to marry and what mutations were allowed to carry on.