Why Do We Have Toes ?

The problem really starts with our feet. They are not very good at what they do and there are all sorts of little bones and joints that can get broken, dislocated and sprained. There are also things like fallen arches to contend with, not to mention aching backs, hips, knees and ankles. It does not seem like we are all that well suited to walking upright. And our skin, even if heavily calloused, is no match for sharp rocks and pointy sticks. Throughout the animal kingdom examples of far more efficient designs of feet can be found. In fact the vast majority of feet out there are much better suited to walking around on that ours. And then there are the toes. One might believe that they are there to provide traction but they usually prove to be of little use, except on surfaces like sand or soft dirt, since they have no claws and are so prone toward injury. Throughout history people have sought to cover their toes to protect them, so traction does not seem to be an issue. Balance is a good point but a single large toe with only one joint would accomplish the same thing and not catch on things and break.

So what's with the toes anyway? Well they do kind of make our feet look a little like our hands. Hey, maybe that's it. Maybe our feet used to be just like our hands and they could grip things. There is a precedent for this idea (actually there are several. Chimps, gorillas and orangs spring to mind.) Could it be that something as simple (and I do mean simple) as evolution is responsible? But I was always told that man was made in the image of god. If that is true, then god doesn't walk around much and he (she or it) did not consider this when making beings that need to walk to get around. But that is not possible because god is omniscient and benevolent. Could it be some kind of punishment for our sins? Nope, Adam and Eve had toes before they did anything wrong, as do innocent newborn babies. Maybe it's a test to see if we are worthy. Of course, I could go on rationalizing forever and never arrive at a conclusion, or I could go with a theory that is backed up by all the evidence and has passed every test mankind has ever come up with. Simple evolution.

I hate having toes but take solace in the idea that in a couple of thousand generations, if we survive, humans will not have toes anymore.