Attenborough does AAT proud

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Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 6, 2003, 11:51:06 AM2/6/03
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>David Attenborough's 'Life of Mammals' BBC TV series finally reached the
apes last night (the episode is entitled 'Food for Thought'). I quoted his
thoughts on AAT from the book some weeks ago, and hoped he wouldn't fudge
the issue. He didn't. We got lengthy shots of both chimps and gorillas
wading in thigh-deep water, some with infants, and they looked very
comfortable there. There were some shots of gorillas feeding on swamp
plants, too. As soon as I get time, I'll copy out his exact words, but
it was basically a shorter version of what was in the book. He briefly
suggested two other possible motives for bipedalism - looking over tall
grasses or carrying things (no mention of standing up to get those cool
breezes, a la Wheeler!) - before giving a long description of bipedal
wading, and mentioning how wet the environment was then. -- Pauline Ross


Algis Kuliukas

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Feb 6, 2003, 8:43:23 PM2/6/03
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"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message news:<3e429212$0$20550$ba62...@news.skynet.be>...

Thanks Pauline (and Marc). Yes. I wonder what the aquasceptic response
will be to this.

According to past form it will be a combination of ...

A sneering dismissal of David attenborough himself. When Phillip
Tobias dared to even suggest that scientists should be open to the AAH
the response seemed to be to question his sanity. Presumably
Attenborough can expect the same.

and

A shrug of the shoulders and an exasperated "so what?" Ignoring
evidence in favour of the AAH is what they have become accustomed to.
But before 1997 there was little evidence of extant apes having much
to do with water and a great deal indicating their aquaphobia. This
was one of the main arguments against the AAH. That argument now,
simply, has been disarmed.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if some of them actually reconsidered their
assumptions for a moment and let that nightmarish thought enter their
heads - that they might actually be wrong about this.

Whatever the response of the aquatsceptics, such a prominent and clear
visual portrayal of real 'aquatic' apes and such a heaviweight backing
from *the* voice in natural history is bound to add thousands to the
ranks of those of us who think that water obviously played some part
in our evolution.

One way or another this subject is going to be studied much, much in
the future than it has been so far. And programmes such as Life of
Mammals can only help in that process.

Algis Kuliukas

Jason Eshleman

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Feb 7, 2003, 3:04:27 AM2/7/03
to
In article <77a70442.0302...@posting.google.com>,

Algis Kuliukas <al...@RiverApes.com> wrote:
>"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message news:<3e429212$0$20550$ba62...@news.skynet.be>...
>> >David Attenborough's 'Life of Mammals' BBC TV series finally reached the
>> apes last night (the episode is entitled 'Food for Thought'). I quoted his
>> thoughts on AAT from the book some weeks ago, and hoped he wouldn't fudge
>> the issue. He didn't. We got lengthy shots of both chimps and gorillas
>> wading in thigh-deep water, some with infants, and they looked very
>> comfortable there. There were some shots of gorillas feeding on swamp
>> plants, too. As soon as I get time, I'll copy out his exact words, but
>> it was basically a shorter version of what was in the book. He briefly
>> suggested two other possible motives for bipedalism - looking over tall
>> grasses or carrying things (no mention of standing up to get those cool
>> breezes, a la Wheeler!) - before giving a long description of bipedal
>> wading, and mentioning how wet the environment was then. -- Pauline Ross
>
>Thanks Pauline (and Marc). Yes. I wonder what the aquasceptic response
>will be to this.
>
>According to past form it will be a combination of ...
>
>A sneering dismissal of David attenborough himself. When Phillip
>Tobias dared to even suggest that scientists should be open to the AAH
>the response seemed to be to question his sanity. Presumably
>Attenborough can expect the same.

I don't question Attenborough's sanity, but his authority is in question.
He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution. He's also been
known to make mistakes. I recall him commenting on the position of
Madagascar in his Life in the Treees episode of Life on Earth and he was
only off by, oh, 20 to 30 million years.

Threre's no sneer in this dismissal. Attenborough's a good producer, but
that's what he is. he's hardly someone to run to for hypothetical
support. That he said that the two options were for peering over grasses
or aquatics is rather indicative of his lack of education in the area.

>and
>
>A shrug of the shoulders and an exasperated "so what?" Ignoring
>evidence in favour of the AAH is what they have become accustomed to.
>But before 1997 there was little evidence of extant apes having much
>to do with water and a great deal indicating their aquaphobia. This
>was one of the main arguments against the AAH. That argument now,
>simply, has been disarmed.

Ummm. And what "evidence" would he be presenting? That chimps and
gorillas can wade? BFD. How again does that produce a terrestrial biped?

>Wouldn't it be refreshing if some of them actually reconsidered their
>assumptions for a moment and let that nightmarish thought enter their
>heads - that they might actually be wrong about this.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if you actually had a workable hypothesis rather
than the disturbing mish-mash of assumptions, some of which are clearly
erroneous, that, even in total, don't explain what you claim they explain?

>Whatever the response of the aquatsceptics, such a prominent and clear
>visual portrayal of real 'aquatic' apes and such a heaviweight backing
>from *the* voice in natural history is bound to add thousands to the
>ranks of those of us who think that water obviously played some part
>in our evolution.

So you've decided that in absense of any actual ability to put together a
coherant hypothesis that explains something without adding more
contradictions you've now decided that it's a public opinion poll and
Attenborough's gonna get people in your camp. Please. You really ought
to be embarrassed.

Curious Amateur

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Feb 7, 2003, 4:34:52 AM2/7/03
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In article <b1vpab$r2h$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu>, j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason Eshleman) wrote:
>In article <77a70442.0302...@posting.google.com>,
>Algis Kuliukas <al...@RiverApes.com> wrote:
snip

>
>>Whatever the response of the aquatsceptics, such a prominent and clear
>>visual portrayal of real 'aquatic' apes and such a heaviweight backing
>>from *the* voice in natural history is bound to add thousands to the
>>ranks of those of us who think that water obviously played some part
>>in our evolution.
>
>So you've decided that in absense of any actual ability to put together a
>coherant hypothesis that explains something without adding more
>contradictions you've now decided that it's a public opinion poll and
>Attenborough's gonna get people in your camp. Please. You really ought
>to be embarrassed.

You're expecting an interest in scientific accuracy when you're
being shown an interest in book sales and/or popularity, Jason.

There is no overlap in this case.

CA

Pauline M Ross

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Feb 7, 2003, 6:13:43 AM2/7/03
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On Fri, 7 Feb 2003 08:04:27 +0000 (UTC), j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason
Eshleman) wrote:

>I don't question Attenborough's sanity, but his authority is in question.
>He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution.

He is regarded (in Britain at least) as the number one observer and
commentator on natural history. His work is aimed at general
audiences, not specialists, and as such he inevitably skims over the
detail and occasionally gets things wrong, but he has acquired huge
respect over many years, not because of looks or personality, but
because of his enormous general knowledge of the subject and his
infectious enthusiasm which comes over very well on TV.

For that reason, when he publicly throws his weight behind an idea
like AAT, it inevitably increases by several orders of magnitude the
number of people who are going to bob up in undergraduate classes (and
newsgroups!) asking - OK, so why is the AAT wrong?

Sooner or later, the professionals are going to have to address the
questions that AAT raises, instead of ignoring it and hoping it will
go away.

--
Pauline Ross

John Roth

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Feb 7, 2003, 8:28:01 AM2/7/03
to

"Jason Eshleman" <j...@veni.ucdavis.edu> wrote in message
news:b1vpab$r2h$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu...

i.e. a sneering dismissal of David Attenborough himself. This is known
as an ad hominum arguement, and immediately disqualifies the person
making it from further consideration.

> Threre's no sneer in this dismissal.

Really? Since when does *conventional academic credentials* mean
that the possessor has the only access to either knowledge or wisdom?
That's what your comment about "not trained in the slightest" means,
after all.

I presume you have things to contribute to the debate. If you would
take care to present arguements on the facts, coupled with defensible
argumentation, you might be more effective.

John Roth

Nick Maclaren

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Feb 7, 2003, 8:40:08 AM2/7/03
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In article <b1vpab$r2h$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu>,

j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason Eshleman) writes:
|>
|> I don't question Attenborough's sanity, but his authority is in question.
|> He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution. He's also been
|> known to make mistakes. I recall him commenting on the position of
|> Madagascar in his Life in the Treees episode of Life on Earth and he was
|> only off by, oh, 20 to 30 million years.
|>
|> Threre's no sneer in this dismissal. Attenborough's a good producer, but
|> that's what he is. he's hardly someone to run to for hypothetical
|> support. That he said that the two options were for peering over grasses
|> or aquatics is rather indicative of his lack of education in the area.

Sorru, but you ARE sneering - he is NOT just a good producer, but
a fairly respectable observational zoologist. He is not an academic
scientist, but that does not make him just an entertainer.

On thing that sets him off from many of the "professionals" in
hominid evolution is that he actually looks at how animals really
behave rather than how the established theory says how they should
behave!

|> >Wouldn't it be refreshing if some of them actually reconsidered their
|> >assumptions for a moment and let that nightmarish thought enter their
|> >heads - that they might actually be wrong about this.
|>
|> Wouldn't it be refreshing if you actually had a workable hypothesis rather
|> than the disturbing mish-mash of assumptions, some of which are clearly
|> erroneous, that, even in total, don't explain what you claim they explain?

That remark can be applied almost equally to all parties in this
sterile dispute.

The so-called "mosaic theory" doesn't even have the decency to
produce a hypothesis that can be debated - there are zillions of
species that have adapted to mosaics and only one has taken such a
bizarre path. Furthermore, the belief that improbable occurrences
don't need explaining because they have happened is bad statistics;
it is based on the sort of simplistic statistical models that are
taught to non-specialists.

I don't have a ruddy clue what the right answers are, but it is
the case that at least Elaine Morgan has attempted to answer some
hard questions that too many of the "professionals" attempt to
sweep under the carpet.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren,
University of Cambridge Computing Service,
New Museums Site, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QH, England.
Email: nm...@cam.ac.uk
Tel.: +44 1223 334761 Fax: +44 1223 334679

Michael Clark

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Feb 7, 2003, 9:55:17 AM2/7/03
to
"Nick Maclaren" <nm...@cus.cam.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:b20cvo$enh$1...@pegasus.csx.cam.ac.uk...

>
> In article <b1vpab$r2h$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu>,
> j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason Eshleman) writes:
> |>
> |> I don't question Attenborough's sanity, but his authority is in question.
> |> He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution. He's also been
> |> known to make mistakes. I recall him commenting on the position of
> |> Madagascar in his Life in the Treees episode of Life on Earth and he was
> |> only off by, oh, 20 to 30 million years.
> |>
> |> Threre's no sneer in this dismissal. Attenborough's a good producer, but
> |> that's what he is. he's hardly someone to run to for hypothetical
> |> support. That he said that the two options were for peering over grasses
> |> or aquatics is rather indicative of his lack of education in the area.
>
> Sorry, but you ARE sneering - he is NOT just a good producer, but

> a fairly respectable observational zoologist. He is not an academic
> scientist, but that does not make him just an entertainer.

I don't see any sneer. I see a rather broad overview of DA's
accomplishments. He is ~not~, as you say, an academic. If
he were, you could point to published ~science~ with DA's
name on it. Look up his bio. An interesting comparison can
be made with Elaine Morgan, who is ~also~ a non-scientist
--and a ~producer~ of popular books.

> On thing that sets him off from many of the "professionals" in
> hominid evolution is that he actually looks at how animals really
> behave rather than how the established theory says how they should
> behave!

I think you need to familiarize yourself with what anthropologists do
and what they have done in the past 50 years. You wouldn't be
"sneering", would you?

> |> >Wouldn't it be refreshing if some of them actually reconsidered their
> |> >assumptions for a moment and let that nightmarish thought enter their
> |> >heads - that they might actually be wrong about this.
> |>
> |> Wouldn't it be refreshing if you actually had a workable hypothesis rather
> |> than the disturbing mish-mash of assumptions, some of which are clearly
> |> erroneous, that, even in total, don't explain what you claim they explain?
>
> That remark can be applied almost equally to all parties in this
> sterile dispute.

Sterile it is.

> The so-called "mosaic theory" doesn't even have the decency to
> produce a hypothesis that can be debated - there are zillions of
> species that have adapted to mosaics and only one has taken such a
> bizarre path. Furthermore, the belief that improbable occurrences
> don't need explaining because they have happened is bad statistics;
> it is based on the sort of simplistic statistical models that are
> taught to non-specialists.

"Things have changed in Minsk since you were a lad." --N. Khruschev

> I don't have a ruddy clue what the right answers are, but it is
> the case that at least Elaine Morgan has attempted to answer some
> hard questions that too many of the "professionals" attempt to
> sweep under the carpet.

So lacking a "ruddy clue", you latch on to the one argument in this
"debate" that has been laughed off the professional stage. Which one
of the planks in the wet ape platform would you like to defend first --
foot as flipper, fat for floatation, chimps can't swim so we were
"more aquatic in the past", "linear build" for efficient swimming,
lose the hair to decrease drag, valgas knee for wading sideways,
standing up to avoid drowning, etc etc....?

Or perhaps you'd rather just slip over to the film library
and watch a kindly old gentlman expound on the life of birds. Take
some popcorn.

Michael Clark

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Feb 7, 2003, 10:04:44 AM2/7/03
to
"John Roth" <john...@ameritech.net> wrote in message
news:v47cvni...@news.supernews.com...

>
> "Jason Eshleman" <j...@veni.ucdavis.edu> wrote in message
> news:b1vpab$r2h$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu...
> > In article <77a70442.0302...@posting.google.com>,
> > Algis Kuliukas <al...@RiverApes.com> wrote:
> > >"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
> news:<3e429212$0$20550$ba62...@news.skynet.be>...
[..]

> >
> > I don't question Attenborough's sanity, but his authority is in
> question.
> > He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution.
>
> i.e. a sneering dismissal of David Attenborough himself. This is known
> as an ad hominum arguement, and immediately disqualifies the person
> making it from further consideration.

Saying that DA is "not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution" is
not ad hominem. Saying that John Roth is a blithering idiot and so
his posts to SAP should be ignored, is. See the difference? No?

> > Threre's no sneer in this dismissal.
>
> Really? Since when does *conventional academic credentials* mean
> that the possessor has the only access to either knowledge or wisdom?
> That's what your comment about "not trained in the slightest" means,
> after all.

No, that's not what it means. Here is something you might find easier
to understand: Your car breaks down. You can take it across the street
to the kindly old lady who's spent a lifetime fixing her neighbors hair or
you can take it to a licenced mechanic. What do you do?

> I presume you have things to contribute to the debate. If you would
> take care to present arguements on the facts, coupled with defensible
> argumentation, you might be more effective.

Jason is extremely effective. If you had been reading this group with
any attention span, you would know that. You, on the other hand,
are merely entertainment.

> John Roth


Richard Wagler

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Feb 7, 2003, 11:20:55 AM2/7/03
to

Pauline M Ross wrote:

Professionals truly confronting it would be the death
knell of the AAT. Just how long do you think the
ridiculous misconceptions upon which the AAT is based
would survive such scrutiny? And what will Pauline Ross
do when this happens? Is it a case of "the AAT can be
right" or "the AAT must be right". AAT survives on the
fringes. It's not centre-stage material.

Rick Wagler

Richard Wagler

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Feb 7, 2003, 11:28:47 AM2/7/03
to

John Roth wrote:

Nonsense. Whether or not DA has professional credentials
is very germane. The interpretation of the data that is needed
to confirm or refute the AAT is very germane and requires
them.

>
>
> > Threre's no sneer in this dismissal.
>
> Really? Since when does *conventional academic credentials* mean
> that the possessor has the only access to either knowledge or wisdom?
> That's what your comment about "not trained in the slightest" means,
> after all.

The statement does not imply this. I can acquire a lot
of knowledge about medecine but I rather doubt you
would want me to operate on you or your family. Just
what do you think acquiring 'professional credentials'
is all about? If they are of no use then why do it?

I am, of course, assuming you aren't taking the
Crowley-McGinn approach.

>
>
> I presume you have things to contribute to the debate. If you would
> take care to present arguements on the facts, coupled with defensible
> argumentation, you might be more effective.
>

If you were not blinded by an "AAT must be right" presumption
you would have notivced that Jason has done precisely that
in his postings to this group.

Rick Wagler


Richard Wagler

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Feb 7, 2003, 11:44:28 AM2/7/03
to

Nick Maclaren wrote:

> In article <b1vpab$r2h$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu>,
> j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason Eshleman) writes:
> |>
> |> I don't question Attenborough's sanity, but his authority is in question.
> |> He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution. He's also been
> |> known to make mistakes. I recall him commenting on the position of
> |> Madagascar in his Life in the Treees episode of Life on Earth and he was
> |> only off by, oh, 20 to 30 million years.
> |>
> |> Threre's no sneer in this dismissal. Attenborough's a good producer, but
> |> that's what he is. he's hardly someone to run to for hypothetical
> |> support. That he said that the two options were for peering over grasses
> |> or aquatics is rather indicative of his lack of education in the area.
>
> Sorru, but you ARE sneering - he is NOT just a good producer, but
> a fairly respectable observational zoologist. He is not an academic
> scientist, but that does not make him just an entertainer.

So what, then, is the value of the science of anything?

>
>
> On thing that sets him off from many of the "professionals" in
> hominid evolution is that he actually looks at how animals really
> behave rather than how the established theory says how they should
> behave!

And your example of a "professional in hominid evolution" who
does not do this would be?

>
>
> |> >Wouldn't it be refreshing if some of them actually reconsidered their
> |> >assumptions for a moment and let that nightmarish thought enter their
> |> >heads - that they might actually be wrong about this.
> |>
> |> Wouldn't it be refreshing if you actually had a workable hypothesis rather
> |> than the disturbing mish-mash of assumptions, some of which are clearly
> |> erroneous, that, even in total, don't explain what you claim they explain?
>
> That remark can be applied almost equally to all parties in this
> sterile dispute.

Nonsense. Show me a professional who adopts, for
example, Marc Verhaegen's "research methods".

>
>
> The so-called "mosaic theory" doesn't even have the decency to
> produce a hypothesis that can be debated - there are zillions of
> species that have adapted to mosaics and only one has taken such a
> bizarre path.

Any good "obvservational zoologist" of amateur rank
should be able to tell you that nature is nothing but a
concatenation of bizarre paths. Where does this notion
that humans are so 'strange' - whatever such a subjective
adjective might mean - come from? "Obvservational
zoology" will tell you that it is wholly unwarranted. As for
'only' the last few years are demonstrating what may
well have been a significant radiation of bipedal hominins.

> Furthermore, the belief that improbable occurrences
> don't need explaining because they have happened is bad statistics;
> it is based on the sort of simplistic statistical models that are
> taught to non-specialists.
>
> I don't have a ruddy clue what the right answers are, but it is
> the case that at least Elaine Morgan has attempted to answer some
> hard questions that too many of the "professionals" attempt to
> sweep under the carpet.
>
>

But if her support for her answers are bunk what does
it matter? C'mon, Nick, if there is no sound data upon
which to base a theory what have you got? And where
did this notion that PA does not attempt to make informed
speculations about things come from? PA is full of them.
The AAT 'critique' of conventional PA is pathetic tripe
and you should place absolutely no stock in it.

Rick Wagler


Pauline M Ross

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Feb 7, 2003, 11:48:25 AM2/7/03
to
On Fri, 07 Feb 2003 09:20:55 -0700, Richard Wagler <taxi...@shaw.ca>
wrote:

>Professionals truly confronting it would be the death
>knell of the AAT. Just how long do you think the
>ridiculous misconceptions upon which the AAT is based
>would survive such scrutiny? And what will Pauline Ross
>do when this happens? Is it a case of "the AAT can be
>right" or "the AAT must be right". AAT survives on the
>fringes. It's not centre-stage material.

It really isn't a case of 'can be right' or 'must be right'. I find it
plausible, that's all, and I find the conventional thinking
implausible. I would be quite happy to see a convincing argument
against the AAT, or supporting the conventional view. That's actually
why I hang out here.

So far as I know, only one professional has ever taken a proper shot
at demolishing the AAT, but it wasn't an overwhelming success. Both
his premises and his arguments were flawed, but at least he confronted
it head-on.

If you (or anyone else) wants to have a go at it, be my guest. Or if
you could just define what the 'ridiculous misconceptions upon which
the AAT is based' are, that would be very helpful. I'm listening.

On the other hand, you may feel (as I do) that the AAT takes up far
too much time on this group (although I admit to being partly to blame
for that lately).

But it is not constructive or helpful to arm-wavingly dismiss it as
'not centre-stage material'. It's been around for 40-odd years now;
either dismantle it scientifically or accept it.

--
Pauline Ross

Jason Eshleman

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Feb 7, 2003, 12:12:13 PM2/7/03
to
In article <7d474v4ndltrh6h12...@4ax.com>,

Pauline M Ross <pmr...@ross-software.co.uk> wrote:
>On Fri, 7 Feb 2003 08:04:27 +0000 (UTC), j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason
>Eshleman) wrote:
>
>>I don't question Attenborough's sanity, but his authority is in question.
>>He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution.
>
>He is regarded (in Britain at least) as the number one observer and
>commentator on natural history. His work is aimed at general
>audiences, not specialists, and as such he inevitably skims over the
>detail and occasionally gets things wrong, but he has acquired huge
>respect over many years, not because of looks or personality, but
>because of his enormous general knowledge of the subject and his
>infectious enthusiasm which comes over very well on TV.

So his regard as commentator makes him the authority? Yes, his aim is at
general audiences and he does a very nice job of presenting stuff to
general audiences. You are right. He gets things wrong from time to
time. He got this one wrong.

>For that reason, when he publicly throws his weight behind an idea
>like AAT, it inevitably increases by several orders of magnitude the
>number of people who are going to bob up in undergraduate classes (and
>newsgroups!) asking - OK, so why is the AAT wrong?

Hasn't seemed to happen in the U.S. yet. In the last 7 years, I had
exactly one student comment on the aquatic ape and her paper was so
egregiously plagiarized that I'm not sure that she ever read the sections
she cut and pasted in. It does seem curious that there is more support
for wet ape nonsense in the UK.

>Sooner or later, the professionals are going to have to address the
>questions that AAT raises, instead of ignoring it and hoping it will
>go away.

Um, the professionals *have* addressed it. Addressed and dismissed back
to the ranks of the kooks.

Jason Eshleman

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Feb 7, 2003, 12:15:25 PM2/7/03
to
In article <3E43DCE6...@shaw.ca>,

It hasn't survived as is in anything other than kook-fringe space. The
misconceptions upon which AAT/H/R rest don't bother the supporters any
more than the misconceptions about evolution bother creationists. I doubt
"confronting" it will do anything to change the opinions of those who
steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the hodge-podge of internal
inconsistencies of wet-apedom.

Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 12:20:11 PM2/7/03
to

"Jason Eshleman" <j...@veni.ucdavis.edu> wrote in message
news:b1vpab$r2h$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu...

> >> >David Attenborough's 'Life of Mammals' BBC TV series finally reached


the apes last night (the episode is entitled 'Food for Thought'). I quoted
his thoughts on AAT from the book some weeks ago, and hoped he wouldn't
fudge the issue. He didn't. We got lengthy shots of both chimps and
gorillas wading in thigh-deep water, some with infants, and they looked very
comfortable there. There were some shots of gorillas feeding on swamp
plants, too. As soon as I get time, I'll copy out his exact words, but
it was basically a shorter version of what was in the book. He briefly
suggested two other possible motives for bipedalism - looking over tall
grasses or carrying things (no mention of standing up to get those cool
breezes, a la Wheeler!) - before giving a long description of bipedal
wading, and mentioning how wet the environment was then. -- Pauline Ross

> >Thanks Pauline (and Marc). Yes. I wonder what the aquasceptic response
will be to this. According to past form it will be a combination of ...
A sneering dismissal of David attenborough himself. When Phillip Tobias
dared to even suggest that scientists should be open to the AAH the response
seemed to be to question his sanity. Presumably Attenborough can expect the
same.

> I don't question Attenborough's sanity, but his authority is in question.

?? Is it? And your "authority"?? :-D You have nothing: no insight in
evolutionary processes, no insight in primate evolution, no alternative to
our scenario, no arguments against our scenario, you have nothing at all.

> He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution.

Are you are "trained in hominid evolution" I suppose?? :-D Man, go
home.


Jason Eshleman

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 12:18:32 PM2/7/03
to
In article <v47cvni...@news.supernews.com>,

John Roth <john...@ameritech.net> wrote:
>
>Really? Since when does *conventional academic credentials* mean
>that the possessor has the only access to either knowledge or wisdom?
>That's what your comment about "not trained in the slightest" means,
>after all.

It means that as someone with substantial training in this field, I can
see that his conclusions are flawed.

>I presume you have things to contribute to the debate. If you would
>take care to present arguements on the facts, coupled with defensible
>argumentation, you might be more effective.

Have you been paying any attention at all or did you just show up?

Jason Eshleman

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 12:30:10 PM2/7/03
to
In article <b20cvo$enh$1...@pegasus.csx.cam.ac.uk>,

Nick Maclaren <nm...@cus.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>
>In article <b1vpab$r2h$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu>,
>j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason Eshleman) writes:
>|>
>|> I don't question Attenborough's sanity, but his authority is in question.
>|> He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution. He's also been
>|> known to make mistakes. I recall him commenting on the position of
>|> Madagascar in his Life in the Treees episode of Life on Earth and he was
>|> only off by, oh, 20 to 30 million years.
>|>
>|> Threre's no sneer in this dismissal. Attenborough's a good producer, but
>|> that's what he is. he's hardly someone to run to for hypothetical
>|> support. That he said that the two options were for peering over grasses
>|> or aquatics is rather indicative of his lack of education in the area.
>
>Sorru, but you ARE sneering - he is NOT just a good producer, but
>a fairly respectable observational zoologist. He is not an academic
>scientist, but that does not make him just an entertainer.

But in this case, it explains why he's just plain wrong. It's not his
statement about the AAR that was the big problem for me. It's that the
two options he proposed *aren't* the only two options. Indeed, they're
two of the poorer options and no ammount of observational zoology, as a
professional or skilled amateur or entertainer or whatnot changes this.
He just got it wrong.

>On thing that sets him off from many of the "professionals" in
>hominid evolution is that he actually looks at how animals really
>behave rather than how the established theory says how they should
>behave!

Um, do you have *any* clue what you're talking about? From what lofty
vantage do you make the conclusion that professionals simply follow
established theories? Have you ever been to academic meetings? Have you
ever listened to the conflict and disagreements? Ever submitted anything
for peer review and seen three or more opinions come back?

Have you ever followed the development of a field of science to notice
that it is not the static pursuit of the "established theories" but in
fact changes and is quite dynamic?

Have you ever read a dissertation on primate behavior based upon field
observations, generally many years of observations taken from dawn to dusk
or longer every day of the week? On what grounds to you say that
professionals only look at how they behav

Pauline M Ross

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 12:36:20 PM2/7/03
to
On Fri, 7 Feb 2003 17:12:13 +0000 (UTC), j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason
Eshleman) wrote:

>It does seem curious that there is more support
>for wet ape nonsense in the UK.

The aqua-sceptics seem to be concentrated in the US, and it is
curious.

>Um, the professionals *have* addressed it. Addressed and dismissed back
>to the ranks of the kooks.

Where and when? I'm serious - if there is some in-depth academic
refutation somewhere, I would like to see it. The only one I know of
is John Langdon's effort, which was very flawed. If there is something
else out there, where is it?

--
Pauline Ross

Jason Eshleman

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 12:59:46 PM2/7/03
to
Pauline M Ross <pmr...@ross-software.co.uk> wrote:
>On Fri, 7 Feb 2003 17:12:13 +0000 (UTC), j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason
>Eshleman) wrote:
>
>>It does seem curious that there is more support
>>for wet ape nonsense in the UK.
>
>The aqua-sceptics seem to be concentrated in the US, and it is
>curious.

That's an inaccurate statement. Wet-apers are a fringe minority even in
the UK. It's curious that the fringe is larger there. Knowledge that
wet-apedom is crap isn't confined to the US.

>>Um, the professionals *have* addressed it. Addressed and dismissed back
>>to the ranks of the kooks.
>
>Where and when? I'm serious - if there is some in-depth academic
>refutation somewhere, I would like to see it. The only one I know of
>is John Langdon's effort, which was very flawed. If there is something
>else out there, where is it?

Langdon's efforts pretty much dismantled any unified "aquatic" theory.
Part of the problem is the seeming insistence that there is an aquatic
theory, regardless of how watered down it is, uniting events from the
origin of bipedalism to the origins of language and many events in
between which don't appear to be united. Langdon's treatment of aquatic
ape crap made it look like the mish-mash it was. If he misunderstood what
was being proposed, I can't blame him. I've yet to see anything that
looks like a coherant hypothesis that is more than trivial from the
wet-apers. If you're convinced that he got it wrong, why not explain what
he got wrong.

Lorenzo L. Love

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 3:39:47 PM2/7/03
to

Is there any animal that can walk that can't wade?

How many times have we heard this so called "aquaphobia" of chimps used
as support for the Hypothesis of an Aquatic Human Ancestor showing how
different humans and chimps are regarding water? Now the absence of this
"aquaphobia" is used for the same thing. Typical of crackpot theories,
anything can be twisted into supporting evidence.

>
> >Wouldn't it be refreshing if some of them actually reconsidered their
> >assumptions for a moment and let that nightmarish thought enter their
> >heads - that they might actually be wrong about this.
>
> Wouldn't it be refreshing if you actually had a workable hypothesis rather
> than the disturbing mish-mash of assumptions, some of which are clearly
> erroneous, that, even in total, don't explain what you claim they explain?
>
> >Whatever the response of the aquatsceptics, such a prominent and clear
> >visual portrayal of real 'aquatic' apes and such a heaviweight backing
> >from *the* voice in natural history is bound to add thousands to the
> >ranks of those of us who think that water obviously played some part
> >in our evolution.
>
> So you've decided that in absense of any actual ability to put together a
> coherant hypothesis that explains something without adding more
> contradictions you've now decided that it's a public opinion poll and
> Attenborough's gonna get people in your camp. Please. You really ought
> to be embarrassed.

Embarrassment is not a characteristic of crackpots.

Lorenzo L. Love
http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove

"In the old days being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's
crazy."
Charles Manson

Rich Travsky

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Feb 7, 2003, 3:54:03 PM2/7/03
to

Here's one approach:

http://www.modernhumanorigins.com/anth501.html
Human Thermoregulation and Hair Loss
...
The aquatic model does not fit more parsimoniously or reasonably with the
available data than any theory explaining these features on the basis of the
thermoregulatory advantage of sweating.
...

Algis Kuliukas

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 4:24:50 PM2/7/03
to
"Michael Clark" <bit...@spammer.com> wrote in message news:<v47i7as...@corp.supernews.com>...

> "Nick Maclaren" <nm...@cus.cam.ac.uk> wrote in message
> news:b20cvo$enh$1...@pegasus.csx.cam.ac.uk...
> >
> > In article <b1vpab$r2h$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu>,
> > j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason Eshleman) writes:
> > |>
> > |> I don't question Attenborough's sanity, but his authority is in question.
> > |> He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution. He's also been
> > |> known to make mistakes. I recall him commenting on the position of
> > |> Madagascar in his Life in the Treees episode of Life on Earth and he was
> > |> only off by, oh, 20 to 30 million years.
> > |>
> > |> Threre's no sneer in this dismissal. Attenborough's a good producer, but
> > |> that's what he is. he's hardly someone to run to for hypothetical
> > |> support. That he said that the two options were for peering over grasses
> > |> or aquatics is rather indicative of his lack of education in the area.
> >
> > Sorry, but you ARE sneering - he is NOT just a good producer, but
> > a fairly respectable observational zoologist. He is not an academic
> > scientist, but that does not make him just an entertainer.
>
> I don't see any sneer. I see a rather broad overview of DA's
> accomplishments. He is ~not~, as you say, an academic. If
> he were, you could point to published ~science~ with DA's
> name on it. Look up his bio. An interesting comparison can
> be made with Elaine Morgan, who is ~also~ a non-scientist
> --and a ~producer~ of popular books.

Whether it qualifies as a sneer or not - you are making my precise
point in lumping Attenborough together with Morgan - and dumping both
safely in the "non-specialist, don't know-what-they're-talking-about"
bin. As with Tobias, instead of having an ounce of humility and
thinking 'mmm - this guy's got many years of experience, he's
obviously thought about this a lot - perhaps he's got a point' - the
response instead is the rather arrogant 'what an old fool' kind of
affair.

> > On thing that sets him off from many of the "professionals" in
> > hominid evolution is that he actually looks at how animals really
> > behave rather than how the established theory says how they should
> > behave!
>
> I think you need to familiarize yourself with what anthropologists do
> and what they have done in the past 50 years. You wouldn't be
> "sneering", would you?

As far as this debate goes - we are discussing the AAT in this thread
remember - precisely what have anthropologists 'done' since the idea
was first published 43 years ago? It is not sneering to point out that
they have done almost exactly nothing.



> > |> >Wouldn't it be refreshing if some of them actually reconsidered their
> > |> >assumptions for a moment and let that nightmarish thought enter their
> > |> >heads - that they might actually be wrong about this.
> > |>
> > |> Wouldn't it be refreshing if you actually had a workable hypothesis rather
> > |> than the disturbing mish-mash of assumptions, some of which are clearly
> > |> erroneous, that, even in total, don't explain what you claim they explain?
> >
> > That remark can be applied almost equally to all parties in this
> > sterile dispute.
>
> Sterile it is.

How on earth can anyone argue that this subject is sterile? What could
be more fascinating and important for humans than human origins? In a
world where religious bigotry and fanaticism seems to be running out
of control surely now, more than ever, science has a duty to address
this subject properly and come up with a plausible model of human
evolution which makes sense to the general public and is consistent
with the evidence.

The fact that the AAT has been dismissed out of hand with a kind of
knee-jerk, sneering ridicule instead of ever being investigated along
proper scientific lines of enquiry only adds to the intrigue for me.
Sterile it certainly is not.

[..]

> > I don't have a ruddy clue what the right answers are, but it is
> > the case that at least Elaine Morgan has attempted to answer some
> > hard questions that too many of the "professionals" attempt to
> > sweep under the carpet.
>
> So lacking a "ruddy clue", you latch on to the one argument in this
> "debate" that has been laughed off the professional stage.

"Laughed off the professional stage"? When, exactly, did this happen?
Which was that paper? Do you mean Langdon? Was that the great rebuttal
of which you allude to? Fact is: In 43 years it's almost exactly been
completely ignored. What kind of science is that?

> Which one
> of the planks in the wet ape platform would you like to defend first --
> foot as flipper, fat for floatation, chimps can't swim so we were
> "more aquatic in the past", "linear build" for efficient swimming,
> lose the hair to decrease drag, valgas knee for wading sideways,
> standing up to avoid drowning, etc etc....?

All of these deserves a serious scientific study. If any of them had
been investigated properly we'd have something to debate here other
than sneering ridicule - which is all you can offer.

But, as you lay down the challenge, let's take the last one - as it is
relevant to this particular debate (Attenborough has, after all,
pretty much put his weight behind the wading origin for bipedalism
idea.)

What were the main causative factors that led to the adoption of
bipedal locomotion in human ancestors? It's a subject that has receive
a huge amount of attention and vast amounts have been published about
it in the academic press. How much of that has investigated the wading
hypothesis? Not much. Until 1997 (the Doran & McNeilage paper) it was
more or less thought that apes never go in the water so it could, at
least, be argued that an aquasceptic position there was based on some
data (or lack of it).

Hunt's paper that was published just three years before that - looking
for incidents of facultative bipedalism in extant chimps for clues as
to how it might have begun - was possibly the most objective study
done by that time. It has been much cited and remains today one of the
most important studies in this area. Hunt's chimps never went in the
water. He found that several behaviours could induce them to go
bipedal for short periods of time - postural feeding being marginally
the most likely to do so.

Now, speaking hypothetically, if Hunt had studied apes in waterside
habitats - like chimps at Conkuati, instead of the Gombe or gorillas
at Mbeli Bai or bonobos in Planckendael (Videan & McGrew did a similar
study of captive chimps and bonobos, again where no water was present)
- he would have found very different data. There's no doubt, that such
studies would reveal that wading through water would have been the
number one motivator for bipedalism. Any comparison of such studies
would, equally doubtless, have shown that the more time the ape spends
in water the more bipedal it would be.

This is a very significant piece of data that has simply not been
assimilated by paleoanthropologists because, to date, such studies
have not been done.

And yet you claim it has been "laughed off the profesional stage."
How's that, then?



> Or perhaps you'd rather just slip over to the film library
> and watch a kindly old gentlman expound on the life of birds. Take
> some popcorn.

As I said the only response is a) sneering personal dismissal or b)
ignoring the evidence. Hardly an objective scientific response.

Algis Kuliukas

Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 5:28:07 PM2/7/03
to

"Lorenzo L. Love" <lll...@thegrid.net> wrote in message
news:3E44197D...@thegrid.net...

> Embarrassment is not a characteristic of crackpots.

said the crackpot who thinks Nature is not a peer-reviewed journal...


Paul Crowley

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Feb 7, 2003, 5:21:25 PM2/7/03
to
"Richard Wagler" <taxi...@shaw.ca> wrote in message news:3E43DEBF...@shaw.ca...

> Nonsense. Whether or not DA has professional credentials
> is very germane. The interpretation of the data that is needed
> to confirm or refute the AAT is very germane and requires
> them.

Almost anyone, possessing elementary
scepticism and prepared to look hard, can
see that all versions of the AAT are dreadful
science. But professional credentials would
be a serious handicap in spotting its worst
errors. For the profession itself is the origin
of them. It has as much integrity as a piece
of mouldy gorgonzola

One great quality that the AAT has, though,
which the profession lacks, is a willingness
to seek explanations. THAT is refreshing.
Only it is a shame that the ones it find are
so bad.


> > Really? Since when does *conventional academic credentials* mean
> > that the possessor has the only access to either knowledge or wisdom?
> > That's what your comment about "not trained in the slightest" means,
> > after all.
>
> The statement does not imply this. I can acquire a lot
> of knowledge about medecine but I rather doubt you
> would want me to operate on you or your family. Just
> what do you think acquiring 'professional credentials'
> is all about? If they are of no use then why do it?
>
> I am, of course, assuming you aren't taking the
> Crowley-McGinn approach.

What is the "Crowley-McGinn approach". I share
next nothing of McGinn's approach. I constantly
attack his statements, getting -- at best -- feeble
replies.


Paul.


Paul Crowley

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Feb 7, 2003, 5:23:28 PM2/7/03
to
"Jason Eshleman" <j...@veni.ucdavis.edu> wrote in message news:b20pdd$87a$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu...

> It does seem curious that there is more support
> for wet ape nonsense in the UK.

It's a European phenomenon, rather than just UK.

Firstly, we don't have the Creationist problem that
you do in the US. There is an informed and
intelligent attitude towards Evolution in general
among educated people. There is a high level
of interest in human origins, and we are able to
consider the questions without all the Creationist
baggage. We'd like to have sensible answers,
but failing to get them from the profession, the
next best thing IS the AAT, appallingly bad as it
may be.

Also (as I have speculated here before)
swimming is almost universally taught in
European schools -- which is far from the case
in the US. That _may_ be part of the reason AAT
theories have such an attraction.

> >Sooner or later, the professionals are going to have to address the
> >questions that AAT raises, instead of ignoring it and hoping it will
> >go away.
>
> Um, the professionals *have* addressed it. Addressed and dismissed back
> to the ranks of the kooks.

But they STILL tell us nothing about how or
why we became bipedal -- and fail to answer
almost every question posed by intelligent
laymen. There is probably no aspect of
human knowledge more primitive than that
concerning its own evolutionary origins.


Paul.


Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 5:34:19 PM2/7/03
to

"Richard Wagler" <taxi...@shaw.ca> wrote in message
news:3E43DCE6...@shaw.ca...

> Professionals truly confronting it would be the death knell of the AAT.

:-D
http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/outthere.htm

Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 5:37:10 PM2/7/03
to

"Jason Eshleman" <j...@veni.ucdavis.edu> wrote in message
news:b20pjd$8cd$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu...

> It hasn't survived as is in anything other than kook-fringe space.

Still believing that Wegener was at the fringes of geology??
Still incapable of providing 1 argument against our scenario??


Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 5:37:45 PM2/7/03
to

"Jason Eshleman" <j...@veni.ucdavis.edu> wrote in message
news:b20pdd$87a$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu...

> Hasn't seemed to happen in the U.S. yet.

Yes, the US...


Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 5:39:53 PM2/7/03
to

"Pauline M Ross" <pmr...@ross-software.co.uk> wrote in message
news:29r74vou65lkrqgfe...@4ax.com...

> The aqua-sceptics seem to be concentrated in the US, and it is curious.

Yes, very. I always wondered why. Creationists are also concentrated in the
US?

Marc


Algis Kuliukas

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Feb 7, 2003, 5:38:40 PM2/7/03
to
j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason Eshleman) wrote in message news:<b1vpab$r2h$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu>...

> In article <77a70442.0302...@posting.google.com>,
> Algis Kuliukas <al...@RiverApes.com> wrote:
[..]

> >Thanks Pauline (and Marc). Yes. I wonder what the aquasceptic response
> >will be to this.
> >
> >According to past form it will be a combination of ...
> >
> >A sneering dismissal of David attenborough himself. When Phillip
> >Tobias dared to even suggest that scientists should be open to the AAH
> >the response seemed to be to question his sanity. Presumably
> >Attenborough can expect the same.
>
> I don't question Attenborough's sanity,

... oh that's big of you.

> but his authority is in question.

He's a naturalist who has spent far, far more time observing animals
in their natural habitats than you or, I suspect, any of those you
*would* consider authorised to have a valid opinion on this matter.
He's watched evolution in action.

When Attenborough observed apes wading bipedally he, of course, made
the link with human bipedalism. But any child could have done that.
What he gives us is the benefit of his vast experience observing a
very wide variety of life on earth. It makes sense to him, it makes
sense to the public. It only doesn't make sense when preconceptions
about how it happenned prevent you from being open minded to the
model. That, plus, the fear of being wrong.

> He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution.

He's got more than enough 'training' to recognise a plausible model
for the origin of bipedalism when it stares him in the face. (Or
should I say, when he's up to the waist in it) Apparently, you do not.
Again the only response is "He doesn't know what he's talking about".

> He's also been
> known to make mistakes. I recall him commenting on the position of
> Madagascar in his Life in the Treees episode of Life on Earth and he was
> only off by, oh, 20 to 30 million years.

Who hasn't made mistakes? Why can't you be open to the possibility
that you're making one right now?

> Threre's no sneer in this dismissal. Attenborough's a good producer, but
> that's what he is. he's hardly someone to run to for hypothetical
> support.

Producer? Do you know who we're talking about here?

> That he said that the two options were for peering over grasses
> or aquatics is rather indicative of his lack of education in the area.

I'm sure he's well aware of the other ideas too, including the long
distance efficiency argument. But the evidence from extant apes (the
scope of this series) is quite clear and unambiguous: to move long
distances, (or short distances for that matter) they knuckle walk - to
wade, they go bipedal.

> >and
> >
> >A shrug of the shoulders and an exasperated "so what?" Ignoring
> >evidence in favour of the AAH is what they have become accustomed to.
> >But before 1997 there was little evidence of extant apes having much
> >to do with water and a great deal indicating their aquaphobia. This
> >was one of the main arguments against the AAH. That argument now,
> >simply, has been disarmed.
>
> Ummm. And what "evidence" would he be presenting? That chimps and
> gorillas can wade? BFD. How again does that produce a terrestrial biped?

As we have argued before ad nauseum it gets them moving bipedally.
That is something your pet model - and all the others - simply do not
do.

Once they are moving bipedally in water there is a continuum of depths
against which fully terrestrial bipedalism can evolve. Your refusal to
accept (even see) this simple point is difficult to understand. I can
only put it down to stubbornness and an unwillingness to be open to
the possibility that you might be wrong.

> >Wouldn't it be refreshing if some of them actually reconsidered their
> >assumptions for a moment and let that nightmarish thought enter their
> >heads - that they might actually be wrong about this.
>
> Wouldn't it be refreshing if you actually had a workable hypothesis rather
> than the disturbing mish-mash of assumptions, some of which are clearly
> erroneous, that, even in total, don't explain what you claim they explain?

Apes wade bipedally. Of all the motivators for extant ape bipedalism,
wading is the clear number one. The earliest bipeds all lived in
habitats where wading was probable. Stop pretending.



> >Whatever the response of the aquatsceptics, such a prominent and clear
> >visual portrayal of real 'aquatic' apes and such a heaviweight backing
> >from *the* voice in natural history is bound to add thousands to the
> >ranks of those of us who think that water obviously played some part
> >in our evolution.
>
> So you've decided that in absense of any actual ability to put together a
> coherant hypothesis that explains something without adding more
> contradictions you've now decided that it's a public opinion poll and
> Attenborough's gonna get people in your camp. Please. You really ought
> to be embarrassed.

It's not an opinion poll, that's right. But when students see images
of apes wading bipedally and then look in their human evolution texts
and notice that wading isn't even listed as a possible factor that is
thought to have led to our bipedalism they're going to (if they've an
ounce of independent thought) ask *why*?

You're the one who should be embarassed, Jason. You claim to be a
scientist and yet when presented with the most childishly simple but
obvious observational data presented by one of the most respected
naturalists in the world, you choose to ignore it and instead hide
behind your well rehearsed, pretentious arguments.


Algis Kuliukas

Algis Kuliukas

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 6:10:15 PM2/7/03
to
Richard Wagler <taxi...@shaw.ca> wrote in message news:<3E43DCE6...@shaw.ca>...
> Pauline M Ross wrote:
[..]

> > Sooner or later, the professionals are going to have to address the
> > questions that AAT raises, instead of ignoring it and hoping it will
> > go away.
>
> Professionals truly confronting it would be the death
> knell of the AAT.

On the contrary the fact it hasn't been "confronted" yet should, if
normal scientific procedures be applied, suggest that it be considered
carefully and objectively.

> Just how long do you think the
> ridiculous misconceptions upon which the AAT is based
> would survive such scrutiny?

Before 1997: Nothing in the literature about apes wading. Wading
theory therefore, understandably, not generally considered.

Since 1997: Evidence emerging that all great apes wade and do so,
predominently, bipedally. So, it's time to consider it, isn't it? If
not, why not?

The data's changed in the last five years. We need to test our
assumptions in the light of new data don't we? That's the way science
works, right?

> And what will Pauline Ross
> do when this happens? Is it a case of "the AAT can be
> right" or "the AAT must be right". AAT survives on the
> fringes. It's not centre-stage material.

The AAH is only still fringe because of academic inculturation. It is
not studied today only because it has not been studied in the past,
nothing more. This cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies will only be
broken when someone goes against the grain, rides the academic
ridicule, seriously studies it and gets something interesting
published. Once that mould has been broken others will follow.

What will the Rick Wagler position be if the predictions the AAT is
based upon do finally get studied and prove true? Are you open to that
possibility?

Algis Kuliukas

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 6:21:48 PM2/7/03
to

"Rich Travsky" <traR...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote in message
news:3E441CEB...@hotMOVEmail.com...

> Here's one approach: http://www.modernhumanorigins.com/anth501.html
Human Thermoregulation and Hair Loss

Yes, but an unscientific approach. Just read:

Erect Posture, Nakedness and Subcutaneous Fat

The suggestion has been made that erect posture and nakedness may have
evolved to function in humans as a combined strategy of thermoregulation in
an arid environment. In this connection it is noteworthy that (1) in no
other species are hairlessness and erect posture found in combination, and
(2) in no other species can either feature be shown to assist efficient
temperature control on land.

Meerkats, prairie dogs and gerenuks frequently stand erect on extended hind
limbs; kangaroos and several convergent rodents (for instance, Dipodus,
Pedetes, Dipodomys, Jaculus) resort to bipedal locomotion when moving at
speed, though their body posture with flexed hip and knee joints is very
different from the human erect stance. But all these have retained a coat of
fur which protects them from the sun (Montagna, 1965).

As for nakedness, it is found among real savannah or desert dwellers only in
the underground tunnels of the naked mole-rat, a completely fossorial
animal. In the African elephant and black and white rhino, which are
functionally naked and live partly on the savannah, the hairlessness seems
more of an affliction than an asset; these animals exploit every opportunity
of wallowing to acquire a covering of mud as a protection against solar
radiation. It is true that a few medium-sized savannah mammals, such as
aardvarks, wart-hogs and hunting dogs, are comparatively sparsely haired.
But this feature is unlikely to have evolved as a defence against the sun's
heat, since these species spend the day in holes and are active at dusk or
at night.

Humans lack the short reflective fur of diurnal savannah dwellers such as
zebras and bovids, lions and camels (Wilson, 1979, pp. 752-3; Newman, 1970;
Wheeler, 1984). Instead, they display a subcutaneous layer of white fat
tissue, fairly evenly distributed over the surface of the central body parts
and comprising on average around 20 per cent of body weight. This fat layer
is (1) conspicuously absent in savannah mammals and conspicuously common in
the larger aquatic ones, and (2) demonstrably maladaptive in a hot
terrestrial environment.

There are no fat animals on the savannah, with the exception of small
burrowing rodents or marsupials. In the case of these species, the fat is
brown rather than white, internal or localised (for instance, in a fat tail)
rather than subcutaneous and, unlike human fat, it is subject to seasonal
fluctuation. Among larger animals, the dromedary has occasional need of a
fat store against food shortage, but here again the fat is highly
concentrated (in the hump), varies with the animal's feeding condition, and
fluctuates between 0.5 and 8 per cent of its body weight. The only fat
animal which exploits the grasslands around the rivers is the hippopotamus,
but it does this at night and stays in the water during the day. In the case
of marine mammals, however, the fat tissue is universal among the larger
species. It varies from 20 to 25 per cent of the body weight in fast
swimmers to more than 40 per cent in the slower species (Slijper, 1958,
1979). The adaptiveness of this feature in water has been further
illustrated by studies of human athletes. For example, blacks - in whom
subcutaneous fat comprises a somewhat lower percentage of overall body
weight than in other races - tend to be the swiftest runners over both short
and long distances, but they are relatively poor swimmers (Ghesquiere and
Bunkens, this volume, chapter 16). Successful swimmers are on average fatter
than the winners of track events, and many long-distance swimmers are even
grossly fat (Pugh and Edholm, 1955). The fat layer has been shown to be an
effective barrier against heat loss in water. A study of a fat Channel
swimmer revealed that when lying still in bath water at 18°C for more than
one hour, he complained of no discomfort other than boredom, whereas another
subject with much less subcutaneous fat complained of intense discomfort and
showed a drastic drop in rectal temperature after fifteen minutes (Pugh and
Edholm).

Clearly, the possession of the fat layer facilitates spending more time in
the water. The result of one recent experiment even suggested that the
converse may also be true. It was found in a study of slightly obese women
that, without dietary restriction, an hour's daily walking or cycling
reduced body weight by 10 and 12 per cent respectively after six months,
while a daily swim caused a weight gain of 3 per cent over the same period
(Gwinup, 1987). On land, on the other hand, subcutaneous fat has the dual
disadvantage of reducing speed and, in hot climates, of acting as a heat
trap. An extra weight of fat tissue equivalent to only 10 per cent of body
weight seriously reduces speed. Even in temperate climates, no terrestrial
animal that has to run for its life - be it as predator or prey - has much
fat. Hares, for instance, which escape predators by running, have much less
body fat than rabbits, which take refuge in their burrows.

Excess fat can constitute a real risk to humans taking exercise, especially
in hot and sunny environments (Austin and Lanking, 1986). In fact, it has
been calculated that most land-based sports other than walking and table
tennis are up to ten times more likely to lead to fatalities than swimming,
despite the additional danger of drowning incurred by swimmers (Dolmans,
1987). And the same fat layer that is advantageous in water, with its high
thermal conductivity, is a handicap to effective temperature control
on-land. Stranded dolphins, even in cool environments, soon die of
hyperthermia. And Pribilof fur seals are seriously distressed by any
activity on land at air temperatures of only 10°C (McFarland et al., 1979,
p. 773). The alleged danger of overheating on the savannah - sometimes
advanced as the reason for hairlessness - would have been compounded by the
evolution of the fat layer.

Body Temperature


In an endothermic species the normal temperature represents a compromise
between the advantages and disadvantages of high body temperature in
relation to its particular habitat and behaviour.

One of the advantages of high body temperatures - especially the higher
nervous tissue and muscle temperature - is the facilitation of faster
reactions (McFarland et al., p. 651). For every rise of 10°C the velocity of
the biochemical processes is more than doubled (compare the warming-up of
athletes). Fast reactions are important in predators and their prey, in
intra-species conflicts, and for birds, in flight. For these purposes,
generally speaking, the higher the nerve and muscle temperature, the better.
The disadvantage lies in the high energy expenditure needed to sustain the
temperature: the cost of keeping body tissues at about 38-42°C, as in most
mammals and birds during the day, is enormous (Else and Hulbert, 1987). High
temperatures may also incur other disadvantages - for example, problems of
lipid and protein solubility and protein denaturation.

If the processes of thermoregulation in humans had evolved in response to a
move from the trees to savannah, we would expect them to be characterised by
a high normal temperature because of the need for speed, whether in flight
or in pursuit, and a capacity to tolerate periods of higher temperature
because of exposure to the tropical heat. Most hunted or hunting animals
have a body temperature of at least 38°C. While the average rectal
temperature in man is 37°C, in horses it is 38°C, in cattle and guinea pigs
38.5°C, in rabbits, sheep, dogs and cats 39°C, in goats 39.5°C (Slijper,
1958; Calloway, 1976). By contrast, animals which do not defend themselves
by running away - such as hedgehogs, mole- rats, armadillos, monotremes,
pottos and sloths - may have body temperatures lower than 35°C, and
consequently incur much lower energy costs than other animals of the same
size (Wilson, 1979, p. 747; McFarland et al., 1979, p. 652; Calloway, 1976;
Goffart, 1978).

If we exclude the group of slow-moving mammals listed above, a normal
temperature as low as man's is found chiefly among the larger aquatic
mammals. Hunting and hunted pinnipeds have a body temperature like ours or
slightly higher - for instance, 37.5°C in fur seals and 36.5°C in
sea-elephants. But aquatic mammals that can afford to move slowly often have
lower temperatures, which saves energy and allows longer submersion.
Hippopotamuses and many cetaceans have body temperatures of about 35.5°C,
sea-cows probably even lower (Slijper, 1958, p. 359). In other words, humans
have a normal temperature resembling that of sea mammals, lower than most
terrestrial ones, and markedly lower than that of any active savannah
species. As well as possessing such a high basic temperature, animals living
in exposed habitats evolve the capacity to survive periods when the diurnal
air temperature is very high. The oryx, for example, can sustain a rectal
temperature of 45°C and Grant's gazelle of 46.5°C for many hours, whereas
humans feel ill if their rectal temperature rises to 38°C. Different
mechanisms have been developed in warm-blooded animals for selectively
keeping their brain temperature lower than the body temperature (Taylor and
Lyman, 1972). These mechanisms, well developed in savannah dwellers, are
poorly developed in humans (Cabanac, 1986), so that in man a rectal
temperature of 41°C may result in permanent brain damage (Cabanac, 1986;
Krupp and Chatton, 1981, pp. 1, 939).

In a savannah-type environment there is an unusually wide difference between
day and night temperatures. Consequently, one final characteristic of
thermoregulation in animals living in this environment is that they have
evolved a wide range of body temperatures. Many show a fluctuation of more
than 6°C between day and night temperatures: the oryx, for example, ranges
between 38°C and 45°C, and the gazelle's rectal temperature may increase by
5 or 6°C during a single run, which - through muscular warming-up - has the
advantage of enhancing its speed (Taylor, 1970; Taylor and Rowntree, 1973).
At the other extreme are the medium-sized and large aquatic mammals which
display almost no body temperature fluctuations. For instance, the core
temperature of the East Siberian dolphin shows fluctuations of less than
0.5°C (Slijper, 1958, p. 205). Human metabolism seems to be adapted to
fluctuations of less than 1°C (Schmidt-Nielsen, 1979, figure 4), although
naked Australian aborigines after a single night's sleep under the desert
sky may have body temperatures as low as 35°C (Kanwisher, 1977, p. 500).
Running a marathon may raise the body temperature by two degrees, but rises
greater than that can be fatal.

This factor is stressed in textbooks of physiology: 'The range of body
temperature in a group of healthy persons is quite small. Indeed, the
co-efficient of variation of body temperature in man is one of the smallest
for which quantitative data are available' (Bell, Davidson and Scarborough,
1968). If we had been, as has been suggested, savannah-adapted over millions
of years, it seems likely that we would have been able to accommodate with
ease a temperature rise to more than 40°C in the afternoon. The peak figures
of death by heat-stroke in Greece in the hot summers of 1987 and 1988
suggest that man is anything but a savannah animal


Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 6:23:10 PM2/7/03
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"Michael Clark" <bit...@spammer.com> wrote in message
news:v47ip46...@corp.supernews.com...

> Saying that DA is "not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution" is
not ad hominem. Saying that John Roth is a blithering idiot and so his
posts to SAP should be ignored, is. See the difference? No?

The usual dry ape arguments... Yet found 1 argument against our aquarboreal
view??


Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 6:24:30 PM2/7/03
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"Richard Wagler" <taxi...@shaw.ca> wrote in message
news:3E43DEBF...@shaw.ca...

> Nonsense. Whether or not DA has professional credentials is very germane.

:-D Not when we see here the "professional" inabilities to say why our
view of AAT would be wrong...


Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 6:25:37 PM2/7/03
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"Jason Eshleman" <j...@veni.ucdavis.edu> wrote in message
news:b20pp8$8hd$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu...

> It means that as someone with substantial training in this field, I can
see that his conclusions are flawed.

You?? :-D You can't even give 1 argument against our view....


Jason Eshleman

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Feb 7, 2003, 6:28:27 PM2/7/03
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In article <77a70442.03020...@posting.google.com>,

Algis Kuliukas <al...@RiverApes.com> wrote:
>Richard Wagler <taxi...@shaw.ca> wrote in message news:<3E43DCE6...@shaw.ca>...
>> Pauline M Ross wrote:
>[..]
>> > Sooner or later, the professionals are going to have to address the
>> > questions that AAT raises, instead of ignoring it and hoping it will
>> > go away.
>>
>> Professionals truly confronting it would be the death
>> knell of the AAT.
>
>On the contrary the fact it hasn't been "confronted" yet should, if
>normal scientific procedures be applied, suggest that it be considered
>carefully and objectively.
>
>> Just how long do you think the
>> ridiculous misconceptions upon which the AAT is based
>> would survive such scrutiny?
>
>Before 1997: Nothing in the literature about apes wading. Wading
>theory therefore, understandably, not generally considered.
>
>Since 1997: Evidence emerging that all great apes wade and do so,
>predominently, bipedally. So, it's time to consider it, isn't it? If
>not, why not?

Consider what? That animals that wade don't seem to become obligate
bipeds? I'm still really curious as to how you see this all fitting
together. This piece of "evidence" doesn't clarify things.

>The data's changed in the last five years. We need to test our
>assumptions in the light of new data don't we? That's the way science
>works, right?

And what would those assumptions be? Consider that practically all
primates (AFAIK all haplorhines) can move bipedally. Now what is so
magical about wading? Really. What is it?

>> And what will Pauline Ross
>> do when this happens? Is it a case of "the AAT can be
>> right" or "the AAT must be right". AAT survives on the
>> fringes. It's not centre-stage material.
>
>The AAH is only still fringe because of academic inculturation. It is
>not studied today only because it has not been studied in the past,
>nothing more. This cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies will only be
>broken when someone goes against the grain, rides the academic
>ridicule, seriously studies it and gets something interesting
>published. Once that mould has been broken others will follow.

AAR is on the fringe because there's not solid evidence to support it,
because the hypotheses generated in its wake aren't viable, contain too
many additional contradictions and consequently only seem to appeal to
those who don't know enough to see the contradictions. It takes on a
religious flavor when, when these contradictions are exposed, the
proponents of the various aquatic hypotheses vehemently stand up and
disregard the criticism chosing instead to cite either persecution by some
mythological monolithic academic mainstream (as if there was a consensus
unwavering academic opinion).

>What will the Rick Wagler position be if the predictions the AAT is
>based upon do finally get studied and prove true? Are you open to that
>possibility?

A) Your scientific training was rather incomplete if you believe that
anything can be "proved" but I'll cut you some slack as there's a chance
you didn't mean it that way. B) If there's sufficient evidence to support
it and not sifficiently more evidence countering it, I'll buy into a
hypothesis. You, Algis, seem to want to skip the evidence part. Being
open to the possibility still doesn't help the fact that what YOU have
presented on a wading origin of bipedalism falls flat and there's
positively no reason your hypothesis as stands shouldn't be rejected in
favor of any null.

Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 6:31:06 PM2/7/03
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"Jason Eshleman" <j...@veni.ucdavis.edu> wrote in message
news:b20qf2$8uo$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu...

> Ever submitted anything for peer review and seen three or more opinions
come back?

1) Is this your only "argument"??
2) Peer Review BMJ 2003;326:241 - Little evidence for effectiveness of
scientific peer review - Caroline White
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7383/241/a
3) Traditional PA peers keep repeating the same savanna nonsense... Exactly
as in geology before the theory of plate tectonics.
4) Still believing that Nature is not peer-reviewed??


Algis Kuliukas

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Feb 7, 2003, 6:36:43 PM2/7/03
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j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason Eshleman) wrote in message news:<b20s6i$a38$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu>...

> Pauline M Ross <pmr...@ross-software.co.uk> wrote:
> >On Fri, 7 Feb 2003 17:12:13 +0000 (UTC), j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason
> >Eshleman) wrote:
> >
> >>It does seem curious that there is more support
> >>for wet ape nonsense in the UK.
> >
> >The aqua-sceptics seem to be concentrated in the US, and it is
> >curious.
>
> That's an inaccurate statement. Wet-apers are a fringe minority even in
> the UK. It's curious that the fringe is larger there. Knowledge that
> wet-apedom is crap isn't confined to the US.

How can anyone tell? Has anyone done a survey? It would, surely, be an
interesting study to find out which nations' anthropologists are most
open to the AAH.

My hunch is that you'd find an inverse correlation between the number
of people who are open to the AAH and the number who are creationists.
Those societies where the concept of evolution through natural
selection is more mature are, I suspect, more open to the notion.
There are other countries (mentioning no names) where the general
populace are still so God-fearing that the debate seems not to have
moved on much from Darwin v The Bible.

Perhaps American PAs are so tired of arguing with creationists that
they have closed ranks and tend to dismiss any alternative views with
the same defensive brush. Just thinking alound.


> >>Um, the professionals *have* addressed it. Addressed and dismissed back
> >>to the ranks of the kooks.
> >
> >Where and when? I'm serious - if there is some in-depth academic
> >refutation somewhere, I would like to see it. The only one I know of
> >is John Langdon's effort, which was very flawed. If there is something
> >else out there, where is it?
>
> Langdon's efforts pretty much dismantled any unified "aquatic" theory.
> Part of the problem is the seeming insistence that there is an aquatic
> theory, regardless of how watered down it is, uniting events from the
> origin of bipedalism to the origins of language and many events in
> between which don't appear to be united. Langdon's treatment of aquatic
> ape crap made it look like the mish-mash it was. If he misunderstood what
> was being proposed, I can't blame him. I've yet to see anything that
> looks like a coherant hypothesis that is more than trivial from the
> wet-apers. If you're convinced that he got it wrong, why not explain what
> he got wrong.

So that *is* it. That's all you have: Langdon's paper. This hardly
justifies the statement "the professionals *have* addressed it.
Addressed and dismissed back to the ranks of the kooks." Fact is,
Jason, the professionals have *not* addressed it in 43 years. It is
simply time they did.

Algis Kuliukas

Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 6:44:00 PM2/7/03
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"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
news:3e429212$0$20550$ba62...@news.skynet.be...

>>David Attenborough's 'Life of Mammals' BBC TV series finally reached the
apes last night (the episode is entitled 'Food for Thought'). I quoted his
thoughts on AAT from the book some weeks ago, and hoped he wouldn't fudge
the issue. He didn't. We got lengthy shots of both chimps and gorillas
wading in thigh-deep water, some with infants, and they looked very
comfortable there. There were some shots of gorillas feeding on swamp
plants, too. As soon as I get time, I'll copy out his exact words, but
it was basically a shorter version of what was in the book. He briefly
suggested two other possible motives for bipedalism - looking over tall
grasses or carrying things (no mention of standing up to get those cool
breezes, a la Wheeler!) - before giving a long description of bipedal
wading, and mentioning how wet the environment was then. -- Pauline Ross

As soon as I get time, I'll copy out his exact words.

> OK, these are Attenborough's words from the 'Life of Mammals' TV program.
After some preamble about ape tool use, culture and hunting, he shows the
Laetoli footprints: "The big question, of course, is why did they stand
upright. There have been a number of suggestions. One is that it was to get
a better view of the surroundings to spot for danger or for prey. Maybe it
was to release the hands to use tools or pick up food or hold a baby. And
there's a third, rather more controversial, suggestion. About 6 million
years ago, the climate of the earth became very erratic. The great African
forests began to die back. The blanket of trees became broken by patches of
scrub and grassland. There's some evidence, too, that slow movements in the
earth's crust caused areas of East Africa to flood. A new habitat had
appeared for the apes. Using their long, chimp-like arms, these early
creatures were still climbing trees in order to find their food, but as the
forests diminished, so they had to travel farther from one tree to the next,
and that involved crossing open spaces covered with grass or even water, and
to do that they travelled upright on two feet as I am doing. [Cut from
shot of Attenborough wading to several shots of chimps wading thigh-deep;
the males have their arms raised above their heads, the females have their
arms lowered to occasionally support their infants, some carried on the
front, some on the back.] Suddenly an image from our remote past comes
vividly to life, the time when our distant ancestors, in order to keep up
with the changing environment, had to wade and keep their heads above water
in order to find food; that crucial moment when our far distant ancestors
took a step away from being apes and a step towards humanity. Apes are
primarily adapted for a life in the trees, which is why they waddle if they
try to walk upright. It's tiring for them to stand on two feet for any
length of time. But when they wade, the water supports their bodies and
takes some of the strain off their leg muscles, so that they can stay
upright for much longer. Maybe a life at the water's edge encouraged
anatomical change. At about this time, the hip bones of these early ape-men
altered and our ancestors adopted an upright existence. There are places
in the forest of the Congo which can give us a clue as to the sort of thing
that ape-men may have found to eat in the swamps. [Shots of a large
number of gorillas wading through the swamps and eating water-plants.]
These are lowland gorillas. They're collecting marsh plants. Our ancestors
might well have come to such places to feed in a very similar way. We know
from other evidence that nutritious roots and tubers were indeed eaten by
early humans." -- Pauline Ross

:-) Thanks, Pauline, and thanks, DA. Unfortunately DA has an outdated
view of AAT. As everybody here knows, most of us now think that
wading-climbing began 15 Ma or so, when hominid-pongid ancestors spread
along the Tethys coastal forests, probably hominids west, pongids east. Our
ancestors' wading-diving phase was much later, late Plio- or early
Pleistocene or so, when Homo dispersed in an apparently "short" along the
Mediterranean & Indian ocean coast.

Marc Verhaegen

http://www.onelist.com/community/AAT
http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/Verhaegen.html


Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 6:48:39 PM2/7/03
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"Michael Clark" <bit...@spammer.com> wrote in message
news:v47i7as...@corp.supernews.com...

> I don't see any sneer. I see a rather broad overview of DA's
accomplishments. He is ~not~, as you say, an academic. If he were, you
could point to published ~science~ with DA's name on it. Look up his bio.
An interesting comparison can be made with Elaine Morgan, who is ~also~ a
non-scientist --and a ~producer~ of popular books.

Yes, Clark is right: DA & Elaine are obviously wrong: not because they have
no arguments (they have plenty of arguments) but because they're not
academic. Clark OTOH is academic...


Jason Eshleman

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Feb 7, 2003, 7:00:44 PM2/7/03
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But I don't see anything to suggest that he ~has~ though about it a lot.
I see instead that he was making another documentary and did a bit of
background stuff that might pass with the layperson, but to someone
educated in the field is either incomplete or wrong. I've found him to be
in error before, especially in the field of primatology.

I've pointed out his specific error here (claiming that there were only
two options) and elsewhere. I'm curious where you see anyone calling him
an "old fool."

You're making up strawmen again Algis. That's dispicable behavior on your
part and you really ought to be ashamed of this dishonesty. I expect that
sort of stuff from Marc, but I've not seen you delve this low before. You
continue to pull this garbage and you'll only find yourself in a darker
den of kooks.

>
>> > On thing that sets him off from many of the "professionals" in
>> > hominid evolution is that he actually looks at how animals really
>> > behave rather than how the established theory says how they should
>> > behave!
>>
>> I think you need to familiarize yourself with what anthropologists do
>> and what they have done in the past 50 years. You wouldn't be
>> "sneering", would you?

>As far as this debate goes - we are discussing the AAT in this thread
>remember - precisely what have anthropologists 'done' since the idea
>was first published 43 years ago? It is not sneering to point out that
>they have done almost exactly nothing.

Almost exactly nothing with what? With a popular scientific magazine
article published by someone who didn't get it right? Who asked a
question "was man more aquatic in the past" when the overwhelming answer
is probably know and really didn't warrant any more work?

No one is stopping you from exploring the issue. Where people will stop
you is when you start claiming to have solved things without evidence,
when you claim to have answers that require ignoring mountains of
counterevidence. And when you start up on the persecution complex, not
only will people continue to point out you're wrong (if you ever get to
the point of a coherant hypothesis that's solid enough such that it won't
get rejected with the current evidence on hand as your current hypotheses
are) they'll also think you're crazy. That's if anyone pays any attention
to you at all. People you yell about being persecuted by scientific
conspiracies have homes on the internet, but elsewhere they're rightfully
ignored.



>> > |> >Wouldn't it be refreshing if some of them actually reconsidered their
>> > |> >assumptions for a moment and let that nightmarish thought enter their
>> > |> >heads - that they might actually be wrong about this.
>> > |>
>> > |> Wouldn't it be refreshing if you actually had a workable hypothesis rather
>> > |> than the disturbing mish-mash of assumptions, some of which are clearly
>> > |> erroneous, that, even in total, don't explain what you claim they explain?
>> >
>> > That remark can be applied almost equally to all parties in this
>> > sterile dispute.
>>
>> Sterile it is.

>How on earth can anyone argue that this subject is sterile? What could
>be more fascinating and important for humans than human origins? In a
>world where religious bigotry and fanaticism seems to be running out
>of control surely now, more than ever, science has a duty to address
>this subject properly and come up with a plausible model of human
>evolution which makes sense to the general public and is consistent
>with the evidence.
>
>The fact that the AAT has been dismissed out of hand with a kind of
>knee-jerk, sneering ridicule instead of ever being investigated along
>proper scientific lines of enquiry only adds to the intrigue for me.
>Sterile it certainly is not.

Present a hypothesis that can be explored scientifically and then we can
talk. Ignoring something as incoherant (and nebulous) as AAR is the
sensible thing to do.



>[..]
>
>> > I don't have a ruddy clue what the right answers are, but it is
>> > the case that at least Elaine Morgan has attempted to answer some
>> > hard questions that too many of the "professionals" attempt to
>> > sweep under the carpet.
>>
>> So lacking a "ruddy clue", you latch on to the one argument in this
>> "debate" that has been laughed off the professional stage.
>
>"Laughed off the professional stage"? When, exactly, did this happen?
>Which was that paper? Do you mean Langdon? Was that the great rebuttal
>of which you allude to? Fact is: In 43 years it's almost exactly been
>completely ignored. What kind of science is that?

The right kind. Hardy didn't have a testable platform then that explained
anything without greater contradiction and you don't have one now. Save
your persecution diatribe for someone who gives a damn and do some science
if you care so much. Just don't expect anyone to treat it kindly when
you put forth the stuff you've posted here and expect it to convince
anyone who knows anything about human origins.

>> Which one
>> of the planks in the wet ape platform would you like to defend first --
>> foot as flipper, fat for floatation, chimps can't swim so we were
>> "more aquatic in the past", "linear build" for efficient swimming,
>> lose the hair to decrease drag, valgas knee for wading sideways,
>> standing up to avoid drowning, etc etc....?
>
>All of these deserves a serious scientific study. If any of them had
>been investigated properly we'd have something to debate here other
>than sneering ridicule - which is all you can offer.

Actually, not all of them *do* deserve scientific study yet. The "linear"
build isn't anything like the build of a true aquatic. Our form isn't
anything like the build of amphibious creatures. Our knee isn't anything
like those of creatures that move sideways and indeed is ill-equiped for
such a task.

Our hairlessness isn't anything like the hairlessness of dedicated
aquatics (though curiously is much more like the hairlessness of some
pigs who are not aquatic). That most semi-aquatic mammals aren't hairless
and that hairlessness in aquatics seems to be confined to things much
bigger than us seems lost on you as well. We *already* know this.

That's knowledge that we already have. You make it sound like people
don't know jack about what an aquatic adaptation is, don't know jack about
how knees work.


>But, as you lay down the challenge, let's take the last one - as it is
>relevant to this particular debate (Attenborough has, after all,
>pretty much put his weight behind the wading origin for bipedalism
>idea.)


By your definition of put his weight down, he's also put his weight down
in support of plate tectonic action that's roughly 40 million years off
according to many geologists. Attenborough just got it wrong then and he
just got it wrong here too.

but more to the point, who am I to believe? Someone like Henry McHenry, a
man who specializes in postcranial adaptations in hominids, who is widely
recognized as an authority in the field, who has published extensively on
this for nearly 4 decades? Or a documentarian who may be a fine
naturalist, but *doesn't* specialize on primates, let alone functional
anatomy in hominids, let alone locomotor adapations in bipeds?

What has been laughed off is the hodgepodge of nonsense that you insist
on sticking together saying that it's all due to water. Your wading idea
wouldn't get laughed off if you presented it, but as you've got it now, it
would be rejected because it's ripe with contradictions and does a
pisspoor job of solving the problem.

>> Or perhaps you'd rather just slip over to the film library
>> and watch a kindly old gentlman expound on the life of birds. Take
>> some popcorn.
>
>As I said the only response is a) sneering personal dismissal or b)
>ignoring the evidence. Hardly an objective scientific response.

Explain to me again why I should take Attenborough's opinion when it's
clear that it's not sufficiently researched? Explain to me again how
the two positions (peering over grass or wading) he presents are the only
possibilities? Let me repeat this again:

Attenborough got it wrong.

Explain to me again how wading in things that aren't obligate bipeds is
supposed to convince me that wading leads to obligate bipedalism again?
Actually, if you do explain it, it won't be "again" but will in fact be
the first time.

Lorenzo L. Love

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 7:06:37 PM2/7/03
to

You just can't help lying, can you?

You want to give us a list of your papers and tell us which ones are not
peer reviewed and which ones are pay for print? How many times will they
out number the peer reviewed ones? Or is it one?

And while you are at it, explain why the presence of "aquaphobia" of
chimps can be used as support for the Hypothesis of an Aquatic Human
Ancestor while the absence of "aquaphobia" of chimps can also be used as
support.

Main Entry: psy·cho·sis
Pronunciation: sI-'kO-s&s
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural psy·cho·ses /-"sEz/
Etymology: New Latin
Date: 1847
: fundamental mental derangement (as schizophrenia) characterized by
defective or lost contact with reality

© 1999 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

Jason Eshleman

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 7:13:00 PM2/7/03
to
In article <77a70442.03020...@posting.google.com>,
Algis Kuliukas <al...@RiverApes.com> wrote:
>j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason Eshleman) wrote in message news:<b20s6i$a38$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu>...
>> Pauline M Ross <pmr...@ross-software.co.uk> wrote:
>> >On Fri, 7 Feb 2003 17:12:13 +0000 (UTC), j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason
>> >Eshleman) wrote:
>> >
>> >>It does seem curious that there is more support
>> >>for wet ape nonsense in the UK.
>> >
>> >The aqua-sceptics seem to be concentrated in the US, and it is
>> >curious.
>>
>> That's an inaccurate statement. Wet-apers are a fringe minority even in
>> the UK. It's curious that the fringe is larger there. Knowledge that
>> wet-apedom is crap isn't confined to the US.
>
>How can anyone tell? Has anyone done a survey? It would, surely, be an
>interesting study to find out which nations' anthropologists are most
>open to the AAH.

Define "open to." I don't know any in the US or UK who actually think
aquatics have any real promise based on the arguments made to date.

>My hunch is that you'd find an inverse correlation between the number
>of people who are open to the AAH and the number who are creationists.
>Those societies where the concept of evolution through natural
>selection is more mature are, I suspect, more open to the notion.
>There are other countries (mentioning no names) where the general
>populace are still so God-fearing that the debate seems not to have
>moved on much from Darwin v The Bible.
>
>Perhaps American PAs are so tired of arguing with creationists that
>they have closed ranks and tend to dismiss any alternative views with
>the same defensive brush. Just thinking alound.

I know many physical anthropologists. I don't know any who have "closed
ranks" to battle creationists. I don't know more than a couple who spend
any time at all even considering creationist arguements.

>> >>Um, the professionals *have* addressed it. Addressed and dismissed back
>> >>to the ranks of the kooks.
>> >
>> >Where and when? I'm serious - if there is some in-depth academic
>> >refutation somewhere, I would like to see it. The only one I know of
>> >is John Langdon's effort, which was very flawed. If there is something
>> >else out there, where is it?
>>
>> Langdon's efforts pretty much dismantled any unified "aquatic" theory.
>> Part of the problem is the seeming insistence that there is an aquatic
>> theory, regardless of how watered down it is, uniting events from the
>> origin of bipedalism to the origins of language and many events in
>> between which don't appear to be united. Langdon's treatment of aquatic
>> ape crap made it look like the mish-mash it was. If he misunderstood what
>> was being proposed, I can't blame him. I've yet to see anything that
>> looks like a coherant hypothesis that is more than trivial from the
>> wet-apers. If you're convinced that he got it wrong, why not explain what
>> he got wrong.
>
>So that *is* it. That's all you have: Langdon's paper. This hardly
>justifies the statement "the professionals *have* addressed it.
>Addressed and dismissed back to the ranks of the kooks." Fact is,
>Jason, the professionals have *not* addressed it in 43 years. It is
>simply time they did.

I'm well capable of seeing the flaws in your stuff (and Marco's stuff and
Morgan's stuff) without Langdon. He's the only one I know of who, as a
point of purpose, to waste his time addressing aquatic nonsense as a unit.

As individual points within the hodgepodge aquatic hypothesis, aspects of
it have been addressed and dismissed elsewhere. One of your big problems
is that as a whole, there's nothing unifying about any aquatic ape
hypothesis to consider as a testable whole. You can't test wading origins
and expect it to have bearing on events like language origins millions of
years later until you can demonstrate that a) aquatics are sufficient to
do either independently and b) aquatics is relevent over the time frame to
connect it.

If you want to see where else aquatic nonsense has been put in its place,
get on web-of-science and look for Marco's publications. Then follow to
see who has cited them. Pull those papers and read them. 9 out of 10
times (and I'm being generous to the Macro man here) he's cited as stuff
that's been presented, but is demonstrated to be wrong.

But no, Langdon is not the only to consider and reject aquatic ape stuff.

Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 7:21:22 PM2/7/03
to

"Algis Kuliukas" <al...@RiverApes.com> wrote in message
news:77a70442.03020...@posting.google.com...

> My hunch is that you'd find an inverse correlation between the number of
people who are open to the AAH and the number who are creationists. Those
societies where the concept of evolution through natural selection is more
mature are, I suspect, more open to the notion. There are other countries
(mentioning no names) where the general populace are still so God-fearing
that the debate seems not to have moved on much from Darwin v The Bible.
Perhaps American PAs are so tired of arguing with creationists that they
have closed ranks and tend to dismiss any alternative views with the same

defensive brush. Just thinking aloud.

Exactly my impression. AFAIK people in the Low Countries seem to have few
prejudices about AAT - and we have no problems with creationists here. We
had 2 AAT symposia here (Valkenburg, Gent), at least 2 in the UK, 1 (small
one) in Norway, 1 (small one) in the US.

Marc


Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 7:39:35 PM2/7/03
to

"Lorenzo L. Love" <lll...@thegrid.net> wrote in message
news:3E4449F4...@thegrid.net...

> > > Embarrassment is not a characteristic of crackpots.

> > said the crackpot who thinks Nature is not a peer-reviewed journal...

> You just can't help lying, can you?

Say, silly savanna idiot, yet found one argument?? 1??

In 1960 Alister Hardy ("Was Man more aquatic in the past?" New Scientist)
described how a sea-side lifestyle - wading, swimming, collecting edible
shells, turtles, crabs, coconuts, seaweeds etc. - could explain many
typically human features that are absent in our nearest relatives the
chimps, and that are unexplained by savanna scenarios: reduction of
climbing skills, very large brain, greater breathing control (=
preadaptation for speech), very dextrous hands (stone tool use to open
shells or nuts), reduction of fur, thicker fat tissues, longer legs, more
linear body build, high needs of iodine, sodium, poly-unsaturated fatty
acids etc.

IMO, Hardy was only wrong in thinking this seaside phase happened more than
10 Ma. Homo ergaster-erectus fossils or tools are found in Israel, Algeria,
E.Africa, Georgia, Java ca.1.8 Ma, IOW, they spread along the Mediterranean
& Indian Ocean coasts early Pleistocene or earlier. Although most
Pleistocene coasts are some 100 m below the present sea level and it's
mostly the inland Homo populations (entering the continents along the
rivers) that are represented in the fossil and archeological record, Homo
remains have frequently been found amid shells, corals, barnacles etc., from
1.8 Ma (Mojokerto) to 0.1 Ma (Eritrea), as well as on islands which could
only be reached oversea (Flores 0.8 Ma).

Jason Eshleman

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 7:45:37 PM2/7/03
to
In article <77a70442.03020...@posting.google.com>,

Algis Kuliukas <al...@RiverApes.com> wrote:
>j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason Eshleman) wrote in message news:<b1vpab$r2h$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu>...
>> In article <77a70442.0302...@posting.google.com>,
>> Algis Kuliukas <al...@RiverApes.com> wrote:
>[..]
>> >Thanks Pauline (and Marc). Yes. I wonder what the aquasceptic response
>> >will be to this.
>> >
>> >According to past form it will be a combination of ...
>> >
>> >A sneering dismissal of David attenborough himself. When Phillip
>> >Tobias dared to even suggest that scientists should be open to the AAH
>> >the response seemed to be to question his sanity. Presumably
>> >Attenborough can expect the same.
>>
>> I don't question Attenborough's sanity,
>
>... oh that's big of you.
>
>> but his authority is in question.
>
>He's a naturalist who has spent far, far more time observing animals
>in their natural habitats than you or, I suspect, any of those you
>*would* consider authorised to have a valid opinion on this matter.
>He's watched evolution in action.
>
>When Attenborough observed apes wading bipedally he, of course, made
>the link with human bipedalism. But any child could have done that.

Children can come up with many fantasies. Children aren't so encumbered
by notions that things have to make sense from a functional anatomy
standpoint. You point appears to be that aquatic ape appeals to children.
That really the stand you want to take.

>What he gives us is the benefit of his vast experience observing a
>very wide variety of life on earth. It makes sense to him, it makes
>sense to the public. It only doesn't make sense when preconceptions
>about how it happenned prevent you from being open minded to the
>model. That, plus, the fear of being wrong.

>> He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution.
>
>He's got more than enough 'training' to recognise a plausible model
>for the origin of bipedalism when it stares him in the face. (Or
>should I say, when he's up to the waist in it) Apparently, you do not.
>Again the only response is "He doesn't know what he's talking about".
>
>> He's also been
>> known to make mistakes. I recall him commenting on the position of
>> Madagascar in his Life in the Treees episode of Life on Earth and he was
>> only off by, oh, 20 to 30 million years.
>
>Who hasn't made mistakes? Why can't you be open to the possibility
>that you're making one right now?

We've all made mistakes. It's just curious that you can't recognize that
Attenborough's making one here. The mistake isn't that he's behind your
aquatic stuff per say. It's that he's make it a "peer over grass" or
"wade bipedally" dichotomy. He may have spent more time looking at
nature, but that's not going to get him off the hook. He's wrong. He's
made a mistake in research that really leads me to believe that he's out
of his field here and his opinion on the matter shouldn't be taken as
anything substantive.

>> Threre's no sneer in this dismissal. Attenborough's a good producer, but
>> that's what he is. he's hardly someone to run to for hypothetical
>> support.
>
>Producer? Do you know who we're talking about here?

Yes. Attenborough produces nature documentaries. They're entertaining.
I'm not sure what else you call someone who produces documentaries other
than producer. He is responsible for their production at least in part.
Is he not listed as such?

>> That he said that the two options were for peering over grasses
>> or aquatics is rather indicative of his lack of education in the area.
>
>I'm sure he's well aware of the other ideas too, including the long
>distance efficiency argument. But the evidence from extant apes (the
>scope of this series) is quite clear and unambiguous: to move long
>distances, (or short distances for that matter) they knuckle walk - to
>wade, they go bipedal.

Why are you sure he's aware of the other ideas? What gives you that idea
at all?

Extant apes didn't become bipedal. I'm curious why you consider how they
travel greater distances to be all that relevent. They don't show our
adaptations towards bipedalism. I'm curious still why you say that wading
produces bipedalism if you use wading apes (who are not bipedal) to show
how it leads to bipedalism. I'm curious how you can use apes being adept
waders and apes being aquaphobic simultaneously to support your position.

>> >and
>> >
>> >A shrug of the shoulders and an exasperated "so what?" Ignoring
>> >evidence in favour of the AAH is what they have become accustomed to.
>> >But before 1997 there was little evidence of extant apes having much
>> >to do with water and a great deal indicating their aquaphobia. This
>> >was one of the main arguments against the AAH. That argument now,
>> >simply, has been disarmed.
>>
>> Ummm. And what "evidence" would he be presenting? That chimps and
>> gorillas can wade? BFD. How again does that produce a terrestrial biped?
>
>As we have argued before ad nauseum it gets them moving bipedally.
>That is something your pet model - and all the others - simply do not
>do.

It gets them to stand up and waddle. That's insufficient. You still need
to account for the gross mophological changes that separate a waddling,
wading ape and a human. You need to account for the fact that apes can,
and do walk bipedally on dry land as well.

You have not done so. The challenge is there for you. Instead of taking
it, you hold court in public opinion (e.g. citing Attenborough and damn
near deifying him to make your point) and continue to hide behind your
persecution complex.

>Once they are moving bipedally in water there is a continuum of depths
>against which fully terrestrial bipedalism can evolve. Your refusal to
>accept (even see) this simple point is difficult to understand. I can
>only put it down to stubbornness and an unwillingness to be open to
>the possibility that you might be wrong.

Again, how does this continuum work? Where does locomotive efficieny come
into play when you're moving around in the water? What is it about
shallow water that makes the move to being an obligate biped easier. Stop
spouting about your nebulous continuum and actually answer these damn
questions.

Piss or get off the pot, Algis. You've not shown anything.


>> >Wouldn't it be refreshing if some of them actually reconsidered their
>> >assumptions for a moment and let that nightmarish thought enter their
>> >heads - that they might actually be wrong about this.
>>
>> Wouldn't it be refreshing if you actually had a workable hypothesis rather
>> than the disturbing mish-mash of assumptions, some of which are clearly
>> erroneous, that, even in total, don't explain what you claim they explain?

>Apes wade bipedally. Of all the motivators for extant ape bipedalism,
>wading is the clear number one. The earliest bipeds all lived in
>habitats where wading was probable. Stop pretending.

And stop pretending that that is clearly connected to the morphological
changes we see in the earliest bipeds. You're linking point A with Z
without knowing the rest of the alphabet.



>> >Whatever the response of the aquatsceptics, such a prominent and clear
>> >visual portrayal of real 'aquatic' apes and such a heaviweight backing
>> >from *the* voice in natural history is bound to add thousands to the
>> >ranks of those of us who think that water obviously played some part
>> >in our evolution.
>>
>> So you've decided that in absense of any actual ability to put together a
>> coherant hypothesis that explains something without adding more
>> contradictions you've now decided that it's a public opinion poll and
>> Attenborough's gonna get people in your camp. Please. You really ought
>> to be embarrassed.

>It's not an opinion poll, that's right. But when students see images
>of apes wading bipedally and then look in their human evolution texts
>and notice that wading isn't even listed as a possible factor that is
>thought to have led to our bipedalism they're going to (if they've an
>ounce of independent thought) ask *why*?

>You're the one who should be embarassed, Jason. You claim to be a
>scientist and yet when presented with the most childishly simple but
>obvious observational data presented by one of the most respected
>naturalists in the world, you choose to ignore it and instead hide
>behind your well rehearsed, pretentious arguments.

I make more than the claim to be a scientist, Algis. Was that an insult?
If so, you're really frickin' close to the killfile.

I'm not ignoring Attenborough. Stop being dishonest. If I was ignoring
it, would I be posting. That's rather insulting as well. I've pointed
out his mistakes. I've pointed out that he's not an authority and done
some not simply by attacking his credentials, but by noting errors that
undermine his authority in this realm. Stop pretending that I'm simply
engaging in a character assassination. That's damn close to being a lie.

Honestly, Algis, your Marc-like accusations are bothersome. You're being
dishonest in saying I've ignored things that I've considered and offered
you rebuttals about. You're starting to resemble Marc tactics more and
more every day. You wanna continue having anything even resembling a
dialog? Then you really ought to acknowledge that I've addressed damn
near everything you've presented and not hidden for fear of being wrong.

I *am* a professional physical anthropologist, Algis, and it's actually
with considerable trepidation that I bother posting here at all as people
in positions to hire me see this stuff. I've got *nothing* to gain and
much to lose by wasting my time here. I'm not hiding at all else you'd
not know me from Adam because I wouldn't sign my name to a bit of this.
There's damn little incentive for me to continue wasting my time with your
stuff, and do believe me, if I ignore you here, it's a strong indication
of the reception you'll get in a more serious academic setting. Consider
this carefully before you jump down Verhaegen's path of intellectual
dishonesty coupled with antisocial behavior.

Marc Verhaegen

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Feb 7, 2003, 7:55:58 PM2/7/03
to

"Jason Eshleman" <j...@veni.ucdavis.edu> wrote in message
news:b21fer$nro$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu...


> And what would those assumptions be? Consider that practically all
primates (AFAIK all haplorhines) can move bipedally. Now what is so magical
about wading? Really. What is it?

Too stupid to understand I guess. We've explained ad nauseam why IOO the
early hominids were waders-climbers & waded frequently bipedally.
- Functional: Why would a wading anthropoid do that quadrupedally??
- Wading bipedally is the easiest way to explain the shift from above
(monkeys) to below-branch locomotion (apes).
- Idem to explain tail loss (unlikely in pure arborealists, see Ateles).
- Idem to explain large body size (unlikely in pure arborealists, for
functional & comparative reasons).
- Comparative: Nasalis are the most-wading as well as the most-bipedal
monkeys.
- Nasalis has several features in parallel to apes: largest colobine, the
only one with short tail, freqently climbs arms overhead.
- Theoretical: humans are not arboreal any more, but are good divers; the
only gradual transition between trees & water is aquarborealism.
- Fossil: the Miocene great ape Oreopith is argued to have waded bipedally
in coastal forests.
- Several Miocene apes are found in coastal or flooded forests (Heliopith,
Austriacopith, Dryopith, Oreopith).
- All apiths are found in wetlands, early ones in forested areas, robusts
later in more open areas.
- All great apes have been seen wading bipedally in the wild (orangs,
lowland gorillas, chimps, bonobos).
- Aquasceptics are unable to give 1 argument why the aquarboreal hypothesis
would be wrong.
- All alternative just-so "explanations" for bipedality have been proved to
be wrong.
- Apith molar microwear suggests wetland plant feeding.
- Still unable to provide 1 argument against our hypothesis?


Lorenzo L. Love

unread,
Feb 7, 2003, 8:11:24 PM2/7/03
to

Oh yes, Alister Hardy, the believer in the effect of telepathy on
evolution.

Back to the part you edited out from shame and inability to answer
without showing the illogicalness of your "theory":

Ross Macfarlane

unread,
Feb 8, 2003, 1:46:50 AM2/8/03
to
"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message news:<3e44516c$0$20561$ba62...@news.skynet.be>...

> "Lorenzo L. Love" <lll...@thegrid.net> wrote in message
> news:3E4449F4...@thegrid.net...
>
> > > > Embarrassment is not a characteristic of crackpots.
>
> > > said the crackpot who thinks Nature is not a peer-reviewed journal...
>
> > You just can't help lying, can you?
>
> Say, silly savanna idiot, yet found one argument?? 1??
>
> In 1960 Alister Hardy ("Was Man more aquatic in the past?" New Scientist)

Say Marc, can you tell us where we can download a copy of Al's
complete original NS article? I'd love to know how whether you
misrepresent his work as much as you notoriously misrepresent or cite
out of context the work of real scientists.

Ross Macfarlane

Lorenzo L. Love

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Feb 8, 2003, 2:29:26 AM2/8/03
to

There is a bad jpg scan of it at
http://www.riverapes.com/AAH/Hardy/HardyPage1.htm
Not much of an article. Hard to believe that he was a professional
biologist. He should have stuck with his evolution by telepathy ideas.

"A people living under the perpetual menace of war and invasion is very
easy to govern. It demands no social reforms. It does not haggle over
expenditures on armaments and military equipment. It pays without
discussion, it ruins itself, and that is an excellent thing for the
syndicates of financiers and manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors
are an abundant source of gain."
Anatole France

Pauline M Ross

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Feb 8, 2003, 3:14:23 AM2/8/03
to
On Sat, 8 Feb 2003 00:00:44 +0000 (UTC), j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason
Eshleman) wrote:

>Explain to me again why I should take Attenborough's opinion when it's
>clear that it's not sufficiently researched? Explain to me again how
>the two positions (peering over grass or wading) he presents are the only
>possibilities?

You've said several times that he only mentions two possibilities.
Before this misconception is cast in stone, here's the original quote
at the start of this thread:

"He briefly suggested two other possible motives for bipedalism -

looking over tall grasses or carrying things..."

Of course there are more possibilities he could have mentioned (he
tentatively mentions Wheeler's theory in the book, for instance), but
these are two of the commonest, and they are more plausible than some
others that have been proposed.

--
Pauline Ross

Pauline M Ross

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Feb 8, 2003, 3:14:25 AM2/8/03
to
On Fri, 07 Feb 2003 13:54:03 -0700, Rich Travsky
<traR...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote:

>Here's one approach:
>
> http://www.modernhumanorigins.com/anth501.html
> Human Thermoregulation and Hair Loss

> ...
> The aquatic model does not fit more parsimoniously or reasonably with the
> available data than any theory explaining these features on the basis of the
> thermoregulatory advantage of sweating.

We're back at David Kreger again. Yes, it's a good paper, but the
aquatic discussion is not very robust. There are several statements
like the one you quote, which simply say - yes, OK, but we have other
explanations we like better. Other statements are unsupported. This
hardly amounts to a refutation.

I'd like to know if this paper has been published. Do you know?

--
Pauline Ross

John Roth

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Feb 8, 2003, 7:58:36 AM2/8/03
to

"Michael Clark" <bit...@spammer.com> wrote in message
news:v47ip46...@corp.supernews.com...
> "John Roth" <john...@ameritech.net> wrote in message
> news:v47cvni...@news.supernews.com...

> >
> > "Jason Eshleman" <j...@veni.ucdavis.edu> wrote in message
> > news:b1vpab$r2h$1...@woodrow.ucdavis.edu...
> > > In article <77a70442.0302...@posting.google.com>,

> > > Algis Kuliukas <al...@RiverApes.com> wrote:
> > > >"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
> > news:<3e429212$0$20550$ba62...@news.skynet.be>...
> [..]
> > >
> > > I don't question Attenborough's sanity, but his authority is in
> > question.

> > > He' not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution.
> >
> > i.e. a sneering dismissal of David Attenborough himself. This is
known
> > as an ad hominum arguement, and immediately disqualifies the person
> > making it from further consideration.

>
> Saying that DA is "not trained in the slightest in hominid evolution"
is
> not ad hominem. Saying that John Roth is a blithering idiot and so
> his posts to SAP should be ignored, is. See the difference? No?

Only that one is politer than the other. Neither addresses the data,
both address the person.

> > > Threre's no sneer in this dismissal.
> >

> > Really? Since when does *conventional academic credentials* mean
> > that the possessor has the only access to either knowledge or
wisdom?
> > That's what your comment about "not trained in the slightest" means,
> > after all.
>
> No, that's not what it means. Here is something you might find easier
> to understand: Your car breaks down. You can take it across the
street
> to the kindly old lady who's spent a lifetime fixing her neighbors
hair or
> you can take it to a licenced mechanic. What do you do?

I'd take it to someone I have some confidence in their ability to fix
cars. That has nothing to do with whether they are a licensed mechanic,
but everything to do with my perceptions of their ability. If the two
happen
to coincide, then that's a good thing. If they don't, then so what?

It's interesting you mention that example - my niece's husband happens
to run an auto repair shop! He regularly gets cars that the dealer's
"highly
trained mechanics" can't handle.

> > I presume you have things to contribute to the debate. If you would
> > take care to present arguements on the facts, coupled with
defensible
> > argumentation, you might be more effective.
>
> Jason is extremely effective. If you had been reading this group with
> any attention span, you would know that. You, on the other hand,
> are merely entertainment.

First time anyone has claimed I was entertaining!

On the other hand, I haven't seen him present anything on Attenborough
that addresses the facts. On other issues, yes, and I generally find him
effective when he addresses facts.

> > John Roth
>
>


John Roth

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Feb 8, 2003, 8:03:15 AM2/8/03
to

"Ross Macfarlane" <rmac...@alphalink.com.au> wrote in message
news:18fa6145.03020...@posting.google.com...

I believe it's quoted in full in Appendix B of Morgan[1981].
At least, it was 30 seconds ago when I looked it up.

John Roth
>
> Ross Macfarlane


Jason Eshleman

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Feb 8, 2003, 11:51:52 AM2/8/03
to
John Roth <john...@ameritech.net> wrote:

[snip]


>On the other hand, I haven't seen him present anything on Attenborough
>that addresses the facts. On other issues, yes, and I generally find him
>effective when he addresses facts.

Attenborough's statement was something akin to that the only reasonable
explanations for bipedalism were peering over grasses or wading. This is
not opinion. This is not character assassination. This was his assertion.
It is also terribly inaccurate and doesn't reflect that there are more
explanations. This too is fact, as anyone with a text on the matter can
attest and as such indicates that Attenborough has not researched the
field sufficiently to make the claim.

Since I have known him to make other statements that are likewise
incorrect, and, when coupled with some background on Attenborough
(namely that while he's a entertaining producer of nature videos who
seemingly is quite knowledgeable in many areas of zoology, he is
neither a primatologist nor an anthropologist nor a functional
anatomist) it's my educated opinion that Attenborough's authority
is problematic here and that his endorsement, implied or stated, of an
aquatic wading model should not carry much weight.

I thought I was clear enough on this.

Jason Eshleman

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Feb 8, 2003, 11:53:17 AM2/8/03
to
In article <c2f94v06h33e67k8c...@4ax.com>,

Pauline M Ross <pmr...@ross-software.co.uk> wrote:

My mistake, but now it seems even less like he's endorsing a wading model
as Algis seems to indicate that he is.

Pauline M Ross

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Feb 8, 2003, 1:57:01 PM2/8/03
to
On Sat, 8 Feb 2003 16:53:17 +0000 (UTC), j...@veni.ucdavis.edu (Jason
Eshleman) wrote:

>>[Pauline] "He briefly suggested two other possible motives for bipedalism -


>>looking over tall grasses or carrying things..."
>>Of course there are more possibilities he could have mentioned (he
>>tentatively mentions Wheeler's theory in the book, for instance), but
>>these are two of the commonest, and they are more plausible than some
>>others that have been proposed.
>
>My mistake, but now it seems even less like he's endorsing a wading model
>as Algis seems to indicate that he is.

"...two OTHER possible motives..." - that is two others PLUS wading.

On the TV program, he mentions the two other possibilities for
bipedalism (briefly) before going on to describe at great length the
wading model. In the book, it's a few lines on other possibilities,
versus two pages plus a nice photo on the wading model. He doesn't
mention AAT in so many words, but he is definitely endorsing a wading
model for the origins of bipedalism.

Check the first post in this thread, and there's a post of his exact
words around as well. If you are going to diss Attenborough, at least
base it on what he actually said, not your misreading of it.

--
Pauline Ross

Mario Petrinovic

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Feb 8, 2003, 3:27:00 PM2/8/03