A controversial new theory claims that many features of the human face are the result of evolved defensive measures against fist fights.
This is not the first time that fist-fighting has been implicated in the development of our physiologies. Back in 2012, scientists made the claim that fists changed the course of human evolution, arguing that "It is...our most important anatomical weapon, used to threaten, beat and sometimes kill to resolve conflict." The paper earned its fair share of criticism, not only because the evidence was circumstantial, but because of its claim that violence underpinned much of human evolution — a perspective many now consider to be outdated, simplistic, and overly male-oriented (for example, some facial features could be the result of sexual selection). The new theory about human faces, which has been published in Biological Reviews, threatens to do the same.