In 1965, while I was a student of Human Anatomy at Kurnool Medical College, I had the opportunity to know about Dr. J. C. B. Grant (1886-1973), the author of Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy. The 5th Edition of his Atlas was published in 1962 and was available in India in our Medical College Library.
Born in Loanhead (south of Edinburgh) in 1886, Grant studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and graduated with an M.B., Ch.B. degree in 1908. While at Edinburgh, he worked under the renowned anatomist Daniel John Cunningham. Grant became a decorated serviceman of the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War before moving to Canada. He established himself as an ‘anatomist extraordinary’ at the University of Toronto, publishing three textbooks that form the basis of Grant’s Anatomy. The textbooks are still used in anatomy classes today, and made unforgettable memories for those who found themselves in his classes nearly a century ago. One of Grant’s many accomplishments was establishing a division of histology within the department.
As a medical student, I used Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy, the seminal work of Scottish-born Dr. John Charles Boileau Grant, who would become the chair of Anatomy at the University of Toronto in 1930 and retired in 1965.
Students continue to use Grant’s textbooks today, and for the more artistic anatomist there’s even a Grant’s Anatomy Coloring Book, published in 2018.
At the University of Toronto, Dr.McMurrich, Chair of Anatomy was succeeded as chairman in 1930 by Dr. John Charles Boileau Grant. Dr. Grant wrote three text books, of which “An Atlas of Anatomy” (published in 1943) rapidly gained international prominence and is still, one of the most widely used anatomical atlases in the world. It is now known as “Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy” and is in its tenth edition. The atlas was based on a series of elegant dissections done either by Grant or by others under his supervision. Many of these dissections are currently housed in Grant’s Museum at the University of Toronto.
The Rudi-Grant Connection is about knowing the man, the building blocks and the structural units and organization of the human body. To defend the human existence, the Rudi-Grant Connection lays the emphasis on knowing the person who is at risk apart from knowing the agent posing the risk.
THE IDENTITY OF MULTICELLULAR HUMAN ORGANISM:
Daniel John Cunningham was born on 15 April 1850 in Scotland. After his initial schooling at his home town, Crieff, he took up the study of medicine at the University of Edinburgh and passed with honours. He is best known for the excellent series of dissection manuals, namely Cunningham’s Dissection Manuals. Cunningham’s Manual of Practical Anatomy has provided me the learning tools to know and understand Man’s External and Internal Reality and its Identity as described by Cells, Tissues, Organs,and Organ Systems.
I learned the truths about the living human body and about Life while dissecting the dead human bodies in a systematic manner. The Manual of Practical Anatomy which guides us through this entire process was published in England. The author Dr. Daniel John Cunningham prepared the Manual while dissecting cadavers of British or Irish citizens. He had never encountered cadavers of Indian citizens. At Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India, where I was a student, the Department of Anatomy obtains dead bodies from Government General Hospital Kurnool and most of the deceased are the poor, illiterate, and uneducated people of that region. None of the deceased had the chance to know this man called Cunningham and Cunningham had no knowledge about the existence of these people who arrive on our dissection tables. But, as the dissection of the human body proceeds, inch, by inch, we recognize the anatomical parts as described by Cunningham. The manual also lists some anatomical variations and we very often exchange information between various dissection tables and recognize the variations mentioned. The dissections also involve slicing the organs and studying them, both macroscopically, and microscopically. We did not miss any part of the human body.
So what is the Identity of this Human person or Human subject who experiences his life using the Sensory Experience such as taste? How does the living Human organism maintain its Identity and Individuality? Apart from the Cultural Traditions of India, several Schools of Religious Thought claim that the Human Individuality and true or real Identity is represented by Human Soul. Where does this soul exist in the human body? What is the location if the soul is present in the living person? Does man have a soul? How does the human organism acquires Knowledge about its own structures and the functions they perform? To know the burdens of Life, I ask my readers to know the reality of man and the nature of his existence.
The functional anatomy of hands offers the evidence of creativity to qualify man as a created being
WHAT IS CREATION?
I would like to define creation as the process by which products are created with degrees of variations amongst them and they would appear to be different even when they are related to each other. This variation gives the product of creation an identity, individuality, a sense of uniqueness, and an attribute of distinctiveness. For example, humans and chimpanzees share almost identical genomes, but we are different. This variation is present between different species and amongst members of the same species. Hence, creation could be stated as a process which institutes differences between apparently similar objects and makes them unique and distinct. In the fields of arts, music, literature and others, originality is an attribute of creativity. In creating man, the Creator has displayed His powers of creativity and we can always distinguish one individual from another individual.
WHAT IS THE IDENTITY OF MAN?
Man is classified as Homo sapiens sapiens- i.e. the sapiens variety of the species Homo sapiens. Modern humans have delicate skeletons. Their skulls are more rounded with a mean cranial capacity of about 1,350 cubic centimeters (82 cubic inches). Their brow ridges generally protrude much less and they have a vertical forehead. The back part of the skulls are more rounded and rarely display the occipital buns found on the back of Neanderthal skulls. Man has jaws and teeth of reduced size, the nose and chin are prominent or projecting. The relatively high foreheads are indicative of both qualitative and quantitative development of the brain. Those areas of the brain concerned with vision, muscular coordination, memory, learning, and communication have especially shown development. A large and complicated brain (which may be called a superior brain), the stereoscopic vision and a corresponding reduction of the sense of smell, the upright posture and the supremely flexible hands are some of our important features. The pelvis and the legs are designed to support weight, help the bipedal propulsion of the body in the erect position, while the feet and toes have lost the prehensility characteristic of the Primates in general. We have been identifying individuals for a long time now. We use several methods to establish the identity. Photos, fingerprints, dental records, iris scans, and DNA are some of the tools used in the identification process.
THE EVIDENCE OF PRECISION GRIP:
The modern humans are different from all other species including other species which have similar features of the genus HOMO.
Humans use their flexible, grasping hands to explore and utilize the environment in unique ways. A fully opposable thumb and fingers makes the hands capable of both power and precision grips and gives remarkable manipulative abilities. Human hands can skillfully fabricate tools and produce art and sculpture. Man has not only invented tools like needles, he has the manipulative ability to thread a needle and to sew clothes using hides and other materials. The ability to hold a brush and draw paintings sets man apart from other ancestral types which used stone tools and used fire for cooking, for warmth and in hunting.
Prehistoric art is a relatively recent development; it first appeared during the Upper Paleolithic Period, the last division of the Old Stone Age. The first cave paintings were discovered in Spain and France belong to the Upper Paleolithic Period (c. 30,000 – c. 10,000 BC). These are associated with the remains of CRO-MAGNON MAN who appeared in Europe about 35,000 years ago. So far, no direct evidence of Neanderthal art has been found.
The CRO-MAGNON MAN would have looked like the present day European man but the CRO-MAGNON had a relatively larger cranial capacity (up to 1590 cubic centimeters) and a broader face. The culture based upon hunting and gathering reached its peak of development about 12,000 years ago. Technical innovations included tools made of bone and ivory, clothing sewn together and a system of reckoning time by the Sun and the Moon. About 10,000 years ago, during the Mesolithic Period, man had invented new weapons such as the bow and arrow and started using ingenious traps, snares and nets to exploit the natural resources.
THE UNIQUENESS ABOUT THE USE OF HANDS:
Man uses his hands not only in the performance of non-locomotor activities but also to express his thoughts, ideas, feelings, moods and emotions. We differ from all other species in the manner with which we use our hands to communicate with others. We use our hands to greet others, to show love and affection,to provide comfort and to perform acts of kindness and compassion, to demonstrate anger and displeasure or frustration, to display an obedient and respectful behavior, to derive psycho-sexual gratification, and to communicate in various non-verbal manners. The unique ways in which man uses his hands has produced cultural icons. In India, people use hands to greet others and the greeting is known as ‘NAMASKAR’ or ‘NAMASTE’. Indians greet and worship their Gods and everything that He created in the same manner and with the same greeting of Namaskar which acknowledges the divine creative phenomenon by the display of respect and obedience using hand gestures.
If there are over six billion human beings on this planet, I can demonstrate that there are over six billion individual variations by simply testing the use of the precision grip by each individual. These differences are important and give us our identity and this is possible because each one of us is created in a very special manner.