Uner Tan Syndrome (Biology, Animals)
Uner Tan syndrome is a somewhat controversial condition, whose most obvious property is that people who suffer from it walk on all fours. UTS is a syndrome that was proposed by the Turkish evolutionary biologist Üner Tan after studying five members of the Ulaş family in rural Turkey.
These individuals walk with a quadrupedal locomotion, use primitive speech, and have a congenital brain impairment (including “disturbed conscious experience”). The family was featured in a 2006 BBC2 documentary called, “The Family That Walks On All Fours.” Tan describes it like this:
The genetic nature of this syndrome suggests a backward stage in human evolution, which is most probably caused by a genetic mutation, rendering, in turn, the transition from quadrupedality to bipedality. This would then be consistent with theories of punctuated evolution.
The new syndrome, says Tan, “may be used as a live model for human evolution.” Some experts think this is bunk, and that genetics may have very little to do with it.