What if there were an aquatic ape. . . . . .?

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Robert Keeter

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Nov 6, 2001, 8:39:07 PM11/6/01
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No, Im not a convert! 8-)

Just thing in a contra kind of way. We get into all sorts of arguements
with the hard core AATers over the attributes of the human species that
MIGHT indicate some affiliation with the aquatic lifestyle. Some of us
would claim that these "adaptations" are just serendipitous characteristics,
others would try to claim that these are vestages of an aquatic lifestyle.

Well we can argue back and forth to no avail as has been shown profusely for
what seems to have been years, OR we could take another angle on it.

Thus the "contrarian" view. Look at it backwards, from the begining! 8-)

Lets assume that some particular branch of the apiths, or maybe another
critter even older, was driven to an aquatic or even semi-aquatic existence.
Now rather than argue over the definitions of aquatic and semi-aquatic, let
me toss out two. Aquatic means that a MAJORITY of the time is spent in the
water. Semi-aquatic means that 1/2 of less of the time is spent in the
water. Furthermore, in our little hypothetical scenario, lets suppose that
the initial adaptation was for wading, not full blown swimming, just wading.

Wading is important because SUPPOSEDLY that is the path that caused the
aquatic ape to develop and perfect the upright stance that then allowed him
to serendipitously conquer dry land!

Lets cogitate on what kinds of adaptions WOULD have occured in those
conditions!!

Sort of like, Walking across a mud bottom would have encouraged the
evolution of wide webbed feet! (OBTW, to the best of my knowledge there is
NO indication, even in the oldest hominid fossils or footprint impressions
of any such thing as wide (like a duck) webbed feet!) So that would maybe
be one of the primary indications of a wading species, and the hominids
havent got it! Get the idea? Toss out the characteristic and then either
support it or debunk it! Another example: "baby fat" as an insulatiing
laywer ala seal blubber. 1. Not configured as an insulating layer. 2 only
shows up at a time in the life where it would not have benefited a wading
hominid (i.e. early infancy where the baby can not walk much less wade!)

Have at it folks! Lets have some fun and streach those neurons (and pick on
the AATers at the same time!) 8-)))

Regards
bk
--
Curse the darkness or fire out arrows of light!


Andrew Nowicki

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Nov 10, 2001, 7:29:09 PM11/10/01
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Robert Keeter wrote:

RK> ...lets suppose that the initial adaptation was
RK> for wading, not full blown swimming, just wading.

RK> Wading is important because SUPPOSEDLY that is
RK> the path that caused the aquatic ape to develop
RK> and perfect the upright stance that then allowed
RK> him to serendipitously conquer dry land!
RK> Lets cogitate on what kinds of adaptions WOULD
RK> have occured in those conditions!!

In my opinion they were too clumsy to catch fish,
so they subsisted on mollusks and crustaceans.
They could kill them with stones and sticks.
The big question is whether they were efficient
predators of mollusks and crustaceans. They
did not need advanced tools, only dexterous hands.
A very efficient predator would toss mollusks
toward dry land where others would break them.

Chimpanzees use sticks as weapons. Some of them
break nuts by placing the nut in a cavity and
hitting it with a stone. I wonder if we could
teach a chimp to break and eat mollusks.

RK> Sort of like, Walking across a mud bottom would have
RK> encouraged the evolution of wide webbed feet!

Webbed feet are for swimming, not walking on
sandy sea bottom.

Bob Keeter

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Nov 10, 2001, 8:21:27 PM11/10/01
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in article 3BEDC655...@nospam.com, Andrew Nowicki at and...@nospam.com
wrote on 11/10/01 8:29 PM:

> Robert Keeter wrote:
>
> RK> ...lets suppose that the initial adaptation was
> RK> for wading, not full blown swimming, just wading.
>
> RK> Wading is important because SUPPOSEDLY that is
> RK> the path that caused the aquatic ape to develop
> RK> and perfect the upright stance that then allowed
> RK> him to serendipitously conquer dry land!
> RK> Lets cogitate on what kinds of adaptions WOULD
> RK> have occured in those conditions!!
>
> In my opinion they were too clumsy to catch fish,
> so they subsisted on mollusks and crustaceans.
> They could kill them with stones and sticks.
> The big question is whether they were efficient
> predators of mollusks and crustaceans. They
> did not need advanced tools, only dexterous hands.
> A very efficient predator would toss mollusks
> toward dry land where others would break them.

Ah, yes. . . .but you see eating crustaceans and mollusks would screw up the
isotope ratio in the tooth enamel. The AATers are hanging their hats on the
isotopic evidence that ancient hominids ate grasses or aquatic sedges (or of
course the animals that ate those plants!). Mollusks and crustaceans would
be a big NO NO! Now, that is NOT to say that any ancient hominids that
happened to live in areas that HAD mollusks or crustaceans would not have
added the little morsels to the menu! Just that you dont have to be aquatic
to enjoy some oysters Rockefeller! ;-))

> Chimpanzees use sticks as weapons. Some of them
> break nuts by placing the nut in a cavity and
> hitting it with a stone. I wonder if we could
> teach a chimp to break and eat mollusks.


We could probably teach a chimp to eat just about anything (if he was hungry
enough) and a chimp would obviously know what to do with all of those little
aquatic "bugs", still dont make him aquatic, does it?



> RK> Sort of like, Walking across a mud bottom would have
> RK> encouraged the evolution of wide webbed feet!
>
> Webbed feet are for swimming, not walking on
> sandy sea bottom.

Usually. . . .Im just thinking of the last time I tried to drag a shrimp
seine across a nice MUDDY bottom. Went into the mud up to about my knees
(and went down into the water about to my chin! A LOT of shrimp got away
that day (and I had a really nice net!). I think that the swamps that the
AATers keep trying to hypothesize (gotta have those sedges again!), might
not have been very kindly to a size 7AA, "almost chimpanzee" foot, now do
you?

Regards
bk

Rich Travsky

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Nov 10, 2001, 11:26:14 PM11/10/01
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Robert Keeter wrote:
> [...]

> water. Furthermore, in our little hypothetical scenario, lets suppose that
> the initial adaptation was for wading, not full blown swimming, just wading.
>
> Wading is important because SUPPOSEDLY that is the path that caused the
> aquatic ape to develop and perfect the upright stance that then allowed him
> to serendipitously conquer dry land!

Lots and lots of animals can wade. My dog and cat can wade. Lots of
primates can wade.

Nothing is needed.

> [...]

Bob Keeter

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Nov 10, 2001, 11:28:27 PM11/10/01
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in article 3BEDFDE6...@hotMOVEmail.com, Rich Travsky at
trav...@hotMOVEmail.com wrote on 11/11/01 12:26 AM:


Oh, I agree with you! IIRC, the "wading" was the leg-up to developing an
upright posture. 8-)

Regards
bk

Andrew Nowicki

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Nov 11, 2001, 10:48:46 AM11/11/01
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Bob Keeter wrote:
BK> Ah, yes. . . .but you see eating crustaceans and
BK> mollusks would screw up the isotope ratio in the
BK> tooth enamel...

Can you explain details? Is this related to marine
environment, or rather to the species being eaten?

AN> Webbed feet are for swimming, not walking on
AN> sandy sea bottom.

BK> Usually. . . .Im just thinking of the last time
BK> I tried to drag a shrimp seine across a nice
BK> MUDDY bottom. Went into the mud up to about
BK> my knees...

Pigs are hairless like humans and they love to
wallow in mud. We prefer sandy shores and clear
water. This may be used as a proof that our
ancestors lived on a sandy beach rather than in
a muddy swamp. I guess that crocodiles would
be a threat to the hominids living in the swamp.

Hominids excel in throwing sticks and stones.
There is evidence that Erectus hunted baboons
by throwing stones at them. Chimps hunt small
monkeys. Early hominids may have been monkey
hunters. We do not know what they were doing
6 million years ago. Bears catch grubs by
turning stones and breaking rotten logs. The
early hominids may have done it also. They
may have lived along a mountain stream turning
stones. Mountains were the only environment
where the hominids were safe from predation.
There were few large predators living there,
but there was plenty of stones and narrow rock
ledges. The early hominids slept on the ledges
which were not accessible to large predators.
They may have been so smart that they blocked
the entrance the ledge with a pile of sticks
or stones. Of course, a mountain cave would be
ideal home for the hominids, but caves were rare.

Bob Keeter

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Nov 11, 2001, 3:14:53 PM11/11/01
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in article 3BEE9DDE...@nospam.com, Andrew Nowicki at and...@nospam.com
wrote on 11/11/01 11:48 AM:

> Bob Keeter wrote:
> BK> Ah, yes. . . .but you see eating crustaceans and
> BK> mollusks would screw up the isotope ratio in the
> BK> tooth enamel...
>
> Can you explain details? Is this related to marine
> environment, or rather to the species being eaten?

Seems that grasses and sedges concentrate isotopes in a slightly different
ratio than other plants.

http://cas.bellarmine.edu/tietjen/Human%20Nature%20S%201999/aaron_berger.htm
http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/hominidfood990115.html

> AN> Webbed feet are for swimming, not walking on
> AN> sandy sea bottom.
>
> BK> Usually. . . .Im just thinking of the last time
> BK> I tried to drag a shrimp seine across a nice
> BK> MUDDY bottom. Went into the mud up to about
> BK> my knees...
>
> Pigs are hairless like humans and they love to
> wallow in mud. We prefer sandy shores and clear
> water. This may be used as a proof that our
> ancestors lived on a sandy beach rather than in
> a muddy swamp. I guess that crocodiles would
> be a threat to the hominids living in the swamp.

I agree on all counts. The ONLY problem, and its really only a problem for
the AATers, is that a nice sandy bottomed coastal site just does not work
with their theories of apes descending out of the trees with an intermediate
"aquatic" stage, before picking up on dry land.

Just one of several problems, but. . . . . get enough "problems" and its
usually time to get a new theory. . . .UNLESS of course, you happen to be
"married" to that theory! 8-)

> Hominids excel in throwing sticks and stones.
> There is evidence that Erectus hunted baboons
> by throwing stones at them. Chimps hunt small
> monkeys. Early hominids may have been monkey
> hunters. We do not know what they were doing
> 6 million years ago. Bears catch grubs by
> turning stones and breaking rotten logs. The
> early hominids may have done it also. They
> may have lived along a mountain stream turning
> stones. Mountains were the only environment
> where the hominids were safe from predation.

Nope. If there was food, there would have been predators, IIRC in just
about the same proportions no matter the environment. If there is not much
food, there wont be many of the prey animals, nor the predators! With early
humans, I suspect that they filled several niches on the predator/prey
heirarchy! 8-)


> There were few large predators living there,
> but there was plenty of stones and narrow rock
> ledges. The early hominids slept on the ledges
> which were not accessible to large predators.
> They may have been so smart that they blocked
> the entrance the ledge with a pile of sticks
> or stones. Of course, a mountain cave would be
> ideal home for the hominids, but caves were rare.


AND caves are ideal lairs for all of those big predators! 8-)

Nope, bet it was nice sturdy pointy sticks and teamwork on the part of these
early hominids. The ONLY thing that they had going for them was their
brainpower and its manifestations in the form of tools.

Regards
bk

marc verhaegen

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Nov 11, 2001, 9:17:53 AM11/11/01
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Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
<3BEDFDE6...@hotMOVEmail.com>...

A lot is needed to explain human pecularites vs chimps:

- Bipedality: climbing-wading origin? Primates, because they are
traditionally climbing animals, have a tendency to adopt an erect posture,
and this behaviour is accentuated in species that frequently wade through
shallow water. Proboscis monkeys, for example, cross shallow stretches of
water on two legs when moving from one mangrove tree to another (Napier &
Napier 1967). Lowland gorillas also go wading on their hindlimbs through
forest swamps in search of what researchers call aquatic herbaceous
vegetation or AHV (Chadwik 1995; Doran & McNeilage 1997). Perhaps in the
same way, only more frequently, Pliocene hominids might have waded in
shallow waters of forest clearings, gallery forests or mangrove areas, in
search of floating fruit, sedges, reeds, AHV, fish and/or shellfish, all of
which were probably available and edible for hominids (DuBrul 1977; Puech et
al. 1986; Ellis 1991; Puech 1992; Broadhurst et al. 1998; Sponheimer &
Lee-Thorp 1999).
- Thick enamel and stone tool use: hard-shelled foods? A combination of
thick molar enamel and stone tool use is known to have existed in some
hominid species, and exists today in capuchin monkeys and sea otters. Sea
otters have large, flat cheekteeth, which resemble those of
australopithecines (Walker 1981), and use stones to crack open shellfish
while floating on their backs. Capuchins open nuts with stones and use
oyster shells to remove shellfish from the trunks of mangrove trees
(Fernandes 1991). Chimpanzees, which have thinner molar enamel, manipulate
stones to crack open hard-shelled nuts. Human Pliocene ancestors, perhaps in
the same way as mangrove capuchins, might have used stones or other hard
objects to remove coconuts from palm trees and to crack open hard nutshells,
and to remove and open oysters from the trunks of mangrove trees (Verhaegen
& Munro 1999).
It is possible that during the late Pliocene or early Pleistocene, members
of the genus Homo – as opposed to our more distant relatives the
australopithecines – might have also learned how to dive and collect
underwater shellfish and other aquatic resources. Humans have much more
efficient diving capabilities than nonhuman primates (Schagatay 1996; Morgan
1997; Verhaegen 1997; Bender 1999). Indeed, Homo fossils – as opposed to
australopithecines – are typically found near shellfish (Chiwondo, Chemeron,
Nariokotome, Zhoukoudian, Boxgrove, Terra Amata, Rabat, Hopefield, Gibraltar
and others). Although sea level rises and the actions of tides and waves
have drastically reduced the chances of discovering hominid fossils at sea
beaches, Homo erectus remains have been discovered amid shellfish, barnacles
and corals, from the early Pleistocene skull of Mojokerto at Java (Ninkovich
& Burckle 1978), to the late Pleistocene Acheulean tools of Eritrea (Walter
2000; Walter et al. 2000). Stone tools discovered on Flores suggest that
Homo erectus crossed a 19 km wide, deep oceanic channel more than 800,000
years ago (Morwood et al. 1998; Tobias 1998). The fast dispersal of Homo
erectus throughout the Old World may have occurred along the seacoasts where
foods could be gathered from both the land and sea. From the coasts,
different Homo sidebranches could have migrated up rivers into the interiors
of Africa and Eurasia, where fossilisation chances were much better.
Initially restricted to the edges of rivers, swamps and lakes, some Homo
species might have later moved to areas further from permanent water.


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

marc verhaegen

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Nov 11, 2001, 9:14:42 AM11/11/01
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Bob Keeter heeft geschreven in bericht ...

>in article 3BEDC655...@nospam.com, Andrew Nowicki at
and...@nospam.com

>> In my opinion they were too clumsy to catch fish,


>> so they subsisted on mollusks and crustaceans.
>> They could kill them with stones and sticks.
>> The big question is whether they were efficient
>> predators of mollusks and crustaceans. They
>> did not need advanced tools, only dexterous hands.
>> A very efficient predator would toss mollusks
>> toward dry land where others would break them.


Yes. The comparative evidence suggests there were different phases in our
ancestors' semi-aquatic adaptations: first (early hominids, eg, at the time
of the Homo-Pan split ca.5 Ma) wading+climbing frugi-omnovory in coastal
forests (eg, coconuts, mangrove oysters), later (late Pliocene, Pleistocene)
loss of climbing & developing of diving skills (cf. dispersal of H.erectus
along the Indian Ocean).

Algis Kuliukas

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Nov 11, 2001, 4:30:22 PM11/11/01
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Rich Travsky <trav...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote in message news:<3BEDFDE6...@hotMOVEmail.com>...

How many wade bipedally like chimps, bonobos, orangutans, gorillas and... humans?

> Nothing is needed.

If you say so, of course it must be true.

Algis Kuliukas

Rich Travsky

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Nov 12, 2001, 1:06:08 AM11/12/01
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Algis Kuliukas wrote:
>
> Rich Travsky <trav...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote in message news:<3BEDFDE6...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
> > Robert Keeter wrote:
> > > [...]
> > > water. Furthermore, in our little hypothetical scenario, lets suppose that
> > > the initial adaptation was for wading, not full blown swimming, just wading.
> > >
> > > Wading is important because SUPPOSEDLY that is the path that caused the
> > > aquatic ape to develop and perfect the upright stance that then allowed him
> > > to serendipitously conquer dry land!
> >
> > Lots and lots of animals can wade. My dog and cat can wade. Lots of
> > primates can wade.
>
> How many wade bipedally like chimps, bonobos, orangutans, gorillas and... humans?

Irrelevant. Humans are bidpedal all the time (except as babies). The
rest also
will wade quadrapedally. Wading has nothing to do with aquaticness.



> > Nothing is needed.
>
> If you say so, of course it must be true.

Show otherwise.

Rich Travsky

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Nov 12, 2001, 1:08:13 AM11/12/01
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marc verhaegen wrote:
>
> Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
> <3BEDFDE6...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
>
> >> water. Furthermore, in our little hypothetical scenario, lets suppose
> that
> >> the initial adaptation was for wading, not full blown swimming, just
> wading.
> >> Wading is important because SUPPOSEDLY that is the path that caused the
> >> aquatic ape to develop and perfect the upright stance that then allowed
> him
> >> to serendipitously conquer dry land!
> >
> >Lots and lots of animals can wade. My dog and cat can wade. Lots of
> >primates can wade.
> >Nothing is needed.
>
> A lot is needed to explain human pecularites vs chimps:
>
> [irelevant triva snipped]

There's nothing special to wading. Primates will wade on both four
and two legs.

marc verhaegen

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Nov 11, 2001, 5:22:35 PM11/11/01
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Bob Keeter heeft geschreven in bericht ...
>in article 3BEE9DDE...@nospam.com, Andrew Nowicki at
and...@nospam.com


>http://cas.bellarmine.edu/tietjen/Human%20Nature%20S%201999/aaron_berger.ht
m
>http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/hominidfood990115.html


These websites nicely confirm what other dental studies suggest: that some
apiths fed partly (besides fruits etc.) on reed sedges, see, eg,
- P-F.Puech et al.1986 "Dental microwear features as an indicator for plant
food in early hominids: a preliminary study of enamel" Hum.Evol.1:507-515;
- P-F.Puech 1992 "Microwear studies of early African hominid teeth"
Scann.Microsc.6:1083-8.

This fits with the combination of short-legged bipedalism & tree climbing &
partial knuckle-walking seen in apiths. It's obvious they spent a lot of
time in swamps, wading on the knuckles in very shallow water, wading
bipedally in waist-deep water, and climbing arms overhead, just as lowland
gorillas & bonobos do in forest swamps.

Algis Kuliukas

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Nov 13, 2001, 6:07:55 PM11/13/01
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Rich Travsky <trav...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote in message news:<3BEF66D0...@hotMOVEmail.com>...

> Algis Kuliukas wrote:
> >
> > Rich Travsky <trav...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote in message news:<3BEDFDE6...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
> > > Robert Keeter wrote:
> > > > [...]
> > > > water. Furthermore, in our little hypothetical scenario, lets suppose that
> > > > the initial adaptation was for wading, not full blown swimming, just wading.
> > > >
> > > > Wading is important because SUPPOSEDLY that is the path that caused the
> > > > aquatic ape to develop and perfect the upright stance that then allowed him
> > > > to serendipitously conquer dry land!
> > >
> > > Lots and lots of animals can wade. My dog and cat can wade. Lots of
> > > primates can wade.
> >
> > How many wade bipedally like chimps, bonobos, orangutans, gorillas and... humans?
>
> Irrelevant.

Irrelevant? You do agree, I assume, that the nearest relative to Homo
in the animal world is Pan and that the next closest is Gorilla
followed by Pongo?
If all of these wade bipedally then isn't it likely that the lca of
them all did so too? And because we also evolved from that same lca
isn't it a reasonable hypothesis that its bipedal wading may led to
full bipedalism in Homo? Of course you will say not - but can you tell
me why not?

> Humans are bidpedal all the time (except as babies). The
> rest also will wade quadrapedally.

They might wade quadrupedally in very shallow depths. I found bonobos
were very reluctant to wade even in a few centimetres of water and
chimps have been observed to get up on two legs even when it's muddy.
If the water is deep enough, apes have no choice but to wade bipedally
- except the gorilla which alone has been observed to swim. On land
bonobos are less than 3% bipedal, in water the figure is over 90%. Can
you name any other situation where extant apes are so predicatably
bipedal?

> Wading has nothing to do with aquaticness.

That's like saying brachiation has nothing to do with arboreality. You
appear to live in a dream world where you pick and choose to accept
the facts that support your out-dated hypothesis and ignore those that
show it to be false. A symptom typical of the staunchest believer.



> > > Nothing is needed.
> >
> > If you say so, of course it must be true.
>
> Show otherwise.

I have written a 17,000 word thesis on it. I think the evidence for a
wading origin for bipedalism is quite overwhelming. Of course I don't
expect you could accept any of the evidence it contains because it
contradicts your point of view and we can't have that, can we? I mean,
you could never admit to be wrong about anything could you?

Algis Kuliukas

Andrew Nowicki

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Nov 14, 2001, 9:23:13 AM11/14/01
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Algis Kuliukas wrote:
AK> On land bonobos are less than 3% bipedal,
AK> in water the figure is over 90%...

AK> I have written a 17,000 word thesis on it.
AK> I think the evidence for a wading origin for
AK> bipedalism is quite overwhelming...

Where did they wade?

In my opinion the proto-hominids choose the
environment that was free of crocodiles and
lions. To the best of my knowledge mountain
streams and small forest streams were the only
aquatic environments free of crocodiles.
Mountain streams have the advantage of clear
water, fewer parasites, and great abundance
of stones. There were grubs under the stones.
Smart hominids could move stones to build
mini dams and trap fish between those dams.
Mountain streams do not preserve fossils
well; this explains why we have not found
their bones.

Andrew Nowicki

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Nov 14, 2001, 11:30:16 AM11/14/01
to
Algis Kuliukas wrote:
AK> On land bonobos are less than 3% bipedal,
AK> in water the figure is over 90%...

I bet they are more bipedal in a cold
mountain stream than in warm water.

Rich Travsky

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Nov 14, 2001, 11:54:47 PM11/14/01
to
Algis Kuliukas wrote:
>
> Rich Travsky <trav...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote in message news:<3BEF66D0...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
> > Algis Kuliukas wrote:
> > >
> > > Rich Travsky <trav...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote in message news:<3BEDFDE6...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
> > > > Robert Keeter wrote:
> > > > > [...]
> > > > > water. Furthermore, in our little hypothetical scenario, lets suppose that
> > > > > the initial adaptation was for wading, not full blown swimming, just wading.
> > > > >
> > > > > Wading is important because SUPPOSEDLY that is the path that caused the
> > > > > aquatic ape to develop and perfect the upright stance that then allowed him
> > > > > to serendipitously conquer dry land!
> > > >
> > > > Lots and lots of animals can wade. My dog and cat can wade. Lots of
> > > > primates can wade.
> > >
> > > How many wade bipedally like chimps, bonobos, orangutans, gorillas and... humans?
> >
> > Irrelevant.
>
> Irrelevant? You do agree, I assume, that the nearest relative to Homo
> in the animal world is Pan and that the next closest is Gorilla
> followed by Pongo?
> If all of these wade bipedally then isn't it likely that the lca of
> them all did so too? And because we also evolved from that same lca
> isn't it a reasonable hypothesis that its bipedal wading may led to
> full bipedalism in Homo? Of course you will say not - but can you tell
> me why not?

How much time do primates spend in water versus land? That's why wading
is irrelevant.



> > Humans are bidpedal all the time (except as babies). The
> > rest also will wade quadrapedally.
>
> They might wade quadrupedally in very shallow depths. I found bonobos
> were very reluctant to wade even in a few centimetres of water and
> chimps have been observed to get up on two legs even when it's muddy.
> If the water is deep enough, apes have no choice but to wade bipedally
> - except the gorilla which alone has been observed to swim. On land
> bonobos are less than 3% bipedal, in water the figure is over 90%. Can
> you name any other situation where extant apes are so predicatably
> bipedal?

How much time do they spend on land versus in water? This is the key
stat
aquatic apers conveniently overlook.



> > Wading has nothing to do with aquaticness.
>
> That's like saying brachiation has nothing to do with arboreality. You
> appear to live in a dream world where you pick and choose to accept
> the facts that support your out-dated hypothesis and ignore those that
> show it to be false. A symptom typical of the staunchest believer.

Then my dog is aquatic because he can wade.



> > > > Nothing is needed.
> > >
> > > If you say so, of course it must be true.
> >
> > Show otherwise.
>
> I have written a 17,000 word thesis on it. I think the evidence for a
> wading origin for bipedalism is quite overwhelming. Of course I don't
> expect you could accept any of the evidence it contains because it
> contradicts your point of view and we can't have that, can we? I mean,
> you could never admit to be wrong about anything could you?

17000 words and not one mention of Morotopithecus.

Algis Kuliukas

unread,
Nov 16, 2001, 11:15:04 AM11/16/01
to
Andrew Nowicki <and...@nospam.com> wrote in message news:<3BF27E51...@nospam.com>...

> Algis Kuliukas wrote:
> AK> On land bonobos are less than 3% bipedal,
> AK> in water the figure is over 90%...
>
> AK> I have written a 17,000 word thesis on it.
> AK> I think the evidence for a wading origin for
> AK> bipedalism is quite overwhelming...
>
> Where did they wade?

I don't know but I think the earliest bipeds most likely lived in
wooded swamps, mangrove coastal habitats (perhaps on islands), gallery
forests or similar wooded/wet habitat. That would appear to be
consistent with the fossil evidence of the earliest bipeds.

> In my opinion the proto-hominids choose the
> environment that was free of crocodiles and
> lions.

I can see how this would appeal but what choice would they have? Their
habitat is dictated by the habitat of their immediate ancestors plus
factors of change and good fortune.

> To the best of my knowledge mountain
> streams and small forest streams were the only
> aquatic environments free of crocodiles.
> Mountain streams have the advantage of clear
> water, fewer parasites, and great abundance
> of stones. There were grubs under the stones.
> Smart hominids could move stones to build
> mini dams and trap fish between those dams.
> Mountain streams do not preserve fossils
> well; this explains why we have not found
> their bones.

I have no problem with your mountain model in principle. I think Homo
is particularly fresh water adapted and must have lived very close to
an unlimited fresh supply for almost all of our evolution. I accept
that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and there is
nothing wrong with your theory from that point of view in my opinion
however I think that the existing fossil evidence shows that the
earliest bipeds are more likely to have inhabited the kind of wet and
wooded habitats outlined above.

Algis Kuliukas

Algis Kuliukas

unread,
Nov 16, 2001, 11:53:24 AM11/16/01
to
Rich Travsky <trav...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote in message news:<3BF34A97...@hotMOVEmail.com>...

> > > > > > Wading is important because SUPPOSEDLY that is the path that caused the
> > > > > > aquatic ape to develop and perfect the upright stance that then allowed him
> > > > > > to serendipitously conquer dry land!
> > > > >
> > > > > Lots and lots of animals can wade. My dog and cat can wade. Lots of
> > > > > primates can wade.
> > > >
> > > > How many wade bipedally like chimps, bonobos, orangutans, gorillas and... humans?
> > >
> > > Irrelevant.
> >
> > Irrelevant? You do agree, I assume, that the nearest relative to Homo
> > in the animal world is Pan and that the next closest is Gorilla
> > followed by Pongo?
> > If all of these wade bipedally then isn't it likely that the lca of
> > them all did so too? And because we also evolved from that same lca
> > isn't it a reasonable hypothesis that its bipedal wading may led to
> > full bipedalism in Homo? Of course you will say not - but can you tell
> > me why not?
>
> How much time do primates spend in water versus land? That's why wading
> is irrelevant.

Apart from the western lowland gorilla, not much, I accept. But the
fact that they all do wade bipedally gives us a very plausible
scenario where the ancestor of the hominoidae might be forced to wade
much more often and, more importantly, where selective forces might
remove the genes of poor bipeds. How much time do apes spend holding
tools/weapons? almost nil but it hasn't stopped that becoming one of
the models used to explain bipedalism. How much time do they reach in
branches to get food? Not much. How much time do they go wandering
around upright in the mid day sun? Get the picture? My point is that
they might not wade much today but when they *do* wade, they do so
bipedally. What other model for the origin of bipedalism manifests
itself so strongly in extant apes? None of them do and you know it.



> > > Humans are bidpedal all the time (except as babies). The
> > > rest also will wade quadrapedally.
> >
> > They might wade quadrupedally in very shallow depths. I found bonobos
> > were very reluctant to wade even in a few centimetres of water and
> > chimps have been observed to get up on two legs even when it's muddy.
> > If the water is deep enough, apes have no choice but to wade bipedally
> > - except the gorilla which alone has been observed to swim. On land
> > bonobos are less than 3% bipedal, in water the figure is over 90%. Can
> > you name any other situation where extant apes are so predicatably
> > bipedal?
>
> How much time do they spend on land versus in water? This is the key
> stat
> aquatic apers conveniently overlook.

How much time do humans spend in trees today? Practically nil. Does
that mean that we couldn't have evolved from primates that did? Of
course not. The idea that our ancestors were *more* aquatic than we
are today is a reasonable one - especially considering the fact that
Afica is understood to have been far wetter in the past andd that our
early putative ancestors all have been associated with much wetter
habitats than we are today. And yet your imagination won't allow you
to consider that, will it? No, you seem determined to cling on the
out-dated notion that water played no part in our past at all - no
matter what the evidence suggests.



> > > Wading has nothing to do with aquaticness.
> >
> > That's like saying brachiation has nothing to do with arboreality. You
> > appear to live in a dream world where you pick and choose to accept
> > the facts that support your out-dated hypothesis and ignore those that
> > show it to be false. A symptom typical of the staunchest believer.
>
> Then my dog is aquatic because he can wade.

Groan. You appear to have fallen for the most basic misconception
about the AAH. Like Rick Wagler, are you going to try to argue for a
binary world of aquatics and non-aquatics? There are degrees. Agreed,
animals that wade are showing an element of aquaticness. Animals that
can swim are showing a little more. Animals whose infants appear
relatively comfortable in water show even more and animals that have
the ability to hold their breaths whilst they dive under water show
more still. I would say humans, by this simple scale, are at least
three levels above your dog (and chimpanzees) but we are behind
otters, seals, dugongs, dolphins and whales.

Have you ever bothered to read Hardy's original paper? Do you even
know what it was entitled?



> > > > > Nothing is needed.
> > > >
> > > > If you say so, of course it must be true.
> > >
> > > Show otherwise.
> >
> > I have written a 17,000 word thesis on it. I think the evidence for a
> > wading origin for bipedalism is quite overwhelming. Of course I don't
> > expect you could accept any of the evidence it contains because it
> > contradicts your point of view and we can't have that, can we? I mean,
> > you could never admit to be wrong about anything could you?
>
> 17000 words and not one mention of Morotopithecus.

Well, it must be totally irrelevant then. Funny. I can't remember
reading any reference to morotopithecus in any of the sections on
bipedal origins in all the text books on human evolution. So, please
illuminate us. What's the significance of this paleospecies that
everybody has missed?

Algis Kuliukas

marc verhaegen

unread,
Nov 16, 2001, 3:49:14 PM11/16/01
to

Algis Kuliukas heeft geschreven in bericht
<77a70442.01111...@posting.google.com>...

.....

>Afica is understood to have been far wetter in the past and that our


>early putative ancestors all have been associated with much wetter
>habitats than we are today. And yet your imagination won't allow you
>to consider that, will it? No, you seem determined to cling on the
>out-dated notion that water played no part in our past at all - no
>matter what the evidence suggests.
>
>> > > Wading has nothing to do with aquaticness.
>> >
>> > That's like saying brachiation has nothing to do with arboreality. You
>> > appear to live in a dream world where you pick and choose to accept
>> > the facts that support your out-dated hypothesis and ignore those that
>> > show it to be false. A symptom typical of the staunchest believer.
>>
>> Then my dog is aquatic because he can wade.
>
>Groan. You appear to have fallen for the most basic misconception
>about the AAH. Like Rick Wagler, are you going to try to argue for a
>binary world of aquatics and non-aquatics? There are degrees. Agreed,
>animals that wade are showing an element of aquaticness. Animals that
>can swim are showing a little more. Animals whose infants appear
>relatively comfortable in water show even more and animals that have
>the ability to hold their breaths whilst they dive under water show
>more still. I would say humans, by this simple scale, are at least
>three levels above your dog (and chimpanzees) but we are behind
>otters, seals, dugongs, dolphins and whales.
>Have you ever bothered to read Hardy's original paper? Do you even
>know what it was entitled?


Let him, Algis. Not worth the trouble. He's a black-white thinker, a
religious fanatic, follower of the Holy Savanna, he can't image "more
aquatic".

Marc

Richard Wagler

unread,
Nov 16, 2001, 6:22:44 PM11/16/01
to

marc verhaegen wrote:

> Algis Kuliukas heeft geschreven in bericht
> <77a70442.01111...@posting.google.com>...
>

> >Have you ever bothered to read Hardy's original paper? Do you even
> >know what it was entitled?
>
> Let him, Algis. Not worth the trouble. He's a black-white thinker, a
> religious fanatic, follower of the Holy Savanna, he can't image "more
> aquatic".
>

Is incompetent misrepresentation the only way you
and Algis can keep your boats afloat? And Algis has
the gall to accuse others of intellectual cowardice.

Rick Wagler


Rich Travsky

unread,
Nov 16, 2001, 10:56:30 PM11/16/01
to
Algis Kuliukas wrote:
>
> Rich Travsky <trav...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote in message news:<3BF34A97...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
>
> > > > > > > Wading is important because SUPPOSEDLY that is the path that caused the
> > > > > > > aquatic ape to develop and perfect the upright stance that then allowed him
> > > > > > > to serendipitously conquer dry land!
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Lots and lots of animals can wade. My dog and cat can wade. Lots of
> > > > > > primates can wade.
> > > > >
> > > > > How many wade bipedally like chimps, bonobos, orangutans, gorillas and... humans?
> > > >
> > > > Irrelevant.
> > >
> > > Irrelevant? You do agree, I assume, that the nearest relative to Homo
> > > in the animal world is Pan and that the next closest is Gorilla
> > > followed by Pongo?
> > > If all of these wade bipedally then isn't it likely that the lca of
> > > them all did so too? And because we also evolved from that same lca
> > > isn't it a reasonable hypothesis that its bipedal wading may led to
> > > full bipedalism in Homo? Of course you will say not - but can you tell
> > > me why not?
> >
> > How much time do primates spend in water versus land? That's why wading
> > is irrelevant.
>
> Apart from the western lowland gorilla, not much, I accept. But the

BINGO.

> fact that they all do wade bipedally gives us a very plausible
> scenario where the ancestor of the hominoidae might be forced to wade
> much more often and, more importantly, where selective forces might
> remove the genes of poor bipeds. How much time do apes spend holding
> tools/weapons? almost nil but it hasn't stopped that becoming one of
> the models used to explain bipedalism. How much time do they reach in
> branches to get food? Not much. How much time do they go wandering
> around upright in the mid day sun? Get the picture? My point is that
> they might not wade much today but when they *do* wade, they do so
> bipedally. What other model for the origin of bipedalism manifests
> itself so strongly in extant apes? None of them do and you know it.

Have you never watched films or seen pictures of bipedal behavior
in chimps and gorillas? There are numerous instances where bipedal
behavior occurs. Threat displays, sexual displays, carrying things,
retreating in fear (yes, saw that one on one of the cable channels,
two female gorillas pissed at each other, the advancing one reared
up bipedally, the retreating one likewise went bipedal backwards
for a couple steps). Go through, say, de Waal's and Lanting's
Bonobo book. It contains numerous shots of bipedal behavior (and
you'd be hard put too find any of it in water).



> > > > Humans are bidpedal all the time (except as babies). The
> > > > rest also will wade quadrapedally.
> > >
> > > They might wade quadrupedally in very shallow depths. I found bonobos
> > > were very reluctant to wade even in a few centimetres of water and
> > > chimps have been observed to get up on two legs even when it's muddy.
> > > If the water is deep enough, apes have no choice but to wade bipedally
> > > - except the gorilla which alone has been observed to swim. On land
> > > bonobos are less than 3% bipedal, in water the figure is over 90%. Can
> > > you name any other situation where extant apes are so predicatably
> > > bipedal?
> >
> > How much time do they spend on land versus in water? This is the key
> > stat
> > aquatic apers conveniently overlook.
>
> How much time do humans spend in trees today? Practically nil. Does
> that mean that we couldn't have evolved from primates that did? Of
> course not. The idea that our ancestors were *more* aquatic than we
> are today is a reasonable one - especially considering the fact that
> Afica is understood to have been far wetter in the past andd that our
> early putative ancestors all have been associated with much wetter
> habitats than we are today. And yet your imagination won't allow you
> to consider that, will it? No, you seem determined to cling on the
> out-dated notion that water played no part in our past at all - no
> matter what the evidence suggests.

The point you miss is that the behavior has to be compelling to force
an evolutionary change. You admit they spend very little time in water.
The instances of bipedality on land outnumber those in water and
occur in social situations that can have strong selective pressures.

> > > > Wading has nothing to do with aquaticness.
> > >
> > > That's like saying brachiation has nothing to do with arboreality. You
> > > appear to live in a dream world where you pick and choose to accept
> > > the facts that support your out-dated hypothesis and ignore those that
> > > show it to be false. A symptom typical of the staunchest believer.
> >
> > Then my dog is aquatic because he can wade.
>
> Groan. You appear to have fallen for the most basic misconception
> about the AAH. Like Rick Wagler, are you going to try to argue for a
> binary world of aquatics and non-aquatics? There are degrees. Agreed,
> animals that wade are showing an element of aquaticness. Animals that

Then virtually every land animal on the planet is aquatic by that
simple metric.

This does not translate to being aquatic.

> can swim are showing a little more. Animals whose infants appear
> relatively comfortable in water show even more and animals that have
> the ability to hold their breaths whilst they dive under water show
> more still. I would say humans, by this simple scale, are at least
> three levels above your dog (and chimpanzees) but we are behind
> otters, seals, dugongs, dolphins and whales.

An aquatic animal that lives on land. Amusing.



> Have you ever bothered to read Hardy's original paper? Do you even
> know what it was entitled?

Why is this relevant?



> > > > > > Nothing is needed.
> > > > >
> > > > > If you say so, of course it must be true.
> > > >
> > > > Show otherwise.
> > >
> > > I have written a 17,000 word thesis on it. I think the evidence for a
> > > wading origin for bipedalism is quite overwhelming. Of course I don't
> > > expect you could accept any of the evidence it contains because it
> > > contradicts your point of view and we can't have that, can we? I mean,
> > > you could never admit to be wrong about anything could you?
> >
> > 17000 words and not one mention of Morotopithecus.
>
> Well, it must be totally irrelevant then. Funny. I can't remember
> reading any reference to morotopithecus in any of the sections on
> bipedal origins in all the text books on human evolution. So, please

Morotopithecus was found in 1997. You can find mention of it in
Wolpoff's
Paleoanthropology, 2nd edition. Perhaps you did not consult enough
recent
sources.

> illuminate us. What's the significance of this paleospecies that
> everybody has missed?

The remains hint at bipedality. At a date of around 20 mya.


The recent simulation study showing australopithecus walked like
orangutangs puts an even more interesting slant on the matter by
showing a path to bipedality via arboreality.

Lorenzo L. Love

unread,
Nov 17, 2001, 1:20:16 PM11/17/01
to

Yes, of course. If you are fanatically defending an illogical position,
what is there except misrepresentations, distortions and lies?

Lorenzo L. Love
Please note new url: http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove

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

marc verhaegen

unread,
Nov 17, 2001, 8:57:36 AM11/17/01
to

Richard Wagler heeft geschreven in bericht <3BF59F8F...@home.com>...
>the gall to accuse others of intellectual cowardice. Wagler


Wagler, I have yet to see your first serious argument why our view of human
evolution should be wrong. Not daring to attack our view (eg,
http://www.logres.net/dawn/1.html ) is cowardice.
Your only "argument" is: humans today live on land, so why should they have
been more aquatic in the past? You think teleologically: you believe that
everything in the past evolved to make us what we are now: well-adapted to
living on land.

marc verhaegen

unread,
Nov 17, 2001, 9:19:51 PM11/17/01
to

Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
<3BF5DFEE...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
>Algis Kuliukas wrote:


>> Have you ever bothered to read Hardy's original paper?
>> Do you even know what it was entitled?
>
>Why is this relevant?

??
IOW, you don't know what you're talking about?

Rich Travsky

unread,
Nov 17, 2001, 10:00:55 PM11/17/01
to

IOW, I know a smokescreen when I see it.

Algis Kuliukas

unread,
Nov 18, 2001, 7:30:11 AM11/18/01
to
Rich Travsky <trav...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote in message news:<3BF72467...@hotMOVEmail.com>...

There's no smokescreen, Rich. It's just that if you are going to argue
about the merits of the AAH you should at least be aware of the fact
that Hardy's original paper - the one on which the AAH founded -
merely asked "was Man MORE aquatic IN THE PAST?" Hardly any AAH
proponents claim that our ancestors were aquatic in the true sense of
the word and no-one claims that we are anything but terrestrial today.

The AAH is a modest theory completely undeserving of the hostility it
seems to generate in those opposed to it. All it says is that our
ancestors lived in water-side habitats and that as a consequence of
regularly moving through such habitats by wading, swimming, and diving
for a long period of time our ancestors became adapted to doing so.
Even though we are 100% terrestrial today, we still bear the
evolutionary scars of past that was more aquatic.

Algis Kuliukas

marc verhaegen

unread,
Nov 18, 2001, 7:52:42 AM11/18/01
to

Algis Kuliukas heeft geschreven in bericht
<77a70442.01111...@posting.google.com>...

Well-said, Algis.
I admire your patience...

Marc


Rich Travsky

unread,
Nov 18, 2001, 12:20:00 PM11/18/01
to

It's a smokescreen because we've a hell of a lot more research on
hand now to show otherwise.

marc verhaegen

unread,
Nov 18, 2001, 5:00:24 PM11/18/01
to

Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
<3BF7EDC0...@hotMOVEmail.com>...

:-D
You have nothing.


Rich Travsky

unread,
Nov 18, 2001, 9:37:15 PM11/18/01
to
Algis Kuliukas wrote:
>
> Rich Travsky <trav...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote in message news:<3BF72467...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
> > marc verhaegen wrote:
> > >
> > > Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
> > > <3BF5DFEE...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
> > > >Algis Kuliukas wrote:
> >
> > > >> Have you ever bothered to read Hardy's original paper?
> > > >> Do you even know what it was entitled?
> > > >
> > > >Why is this relevant?
> > >
> > > ??
> > > IOW, you don't know what you're talking about?
> >
> > IOW, I know a smokescreen when I see it.
>
> There's no smokescreen, Rich. It's just that if you are going to argue
> about the merits of the AAH you should at least be aware of the fact
> that Hardy's original paper - the one on which the AAH founded -
> merely asked "was Man MORE aquatic IN THE PAST?" Hardly any AAH
> proponents claim that our ancestors were aquatic in the true sense of
> the word and no-one claims that we are anything but terrestrial today.

Hardy's little three page digression has not survived the decades of
research since then.



> The AAH is a modest theory completely undeserving of the hostility it
> seems to generate in those opposed to it. All it says is that our
> ancestors lived in water-side habitats and that as a consequence of
> regularly moving through such habitats by wading, swimming, and diving
> for a long period of time our ancestors became adapted to doing so.
> Even though we are 100% terrestrial today, we still bear the
> evolutionary scars of past that was more aquatic.

Scars? Like snorkel noses?

(And he wonders why it generates hostility...)

Algis Kuliukas

unread,
Nov 19, 2001, 7:33:45 AM11/19/01
to
Rich Travsky <trav...@hotMOVEmail.com> wrote in message

> It's a smokescreen because we've a hell of a lot more research on


> hand now to show otherwise.

On the contrary. Apart from a couple of letters (two of which were
compilmentary and one of which called the idea ingenious) of response
to Hardy in 1960 in the pages of New Scientist in the weeks that
followed there has been almost zero serious response to his polite
request for comments.

Since 1960 how many papers have been written about human evolution? -
it must be in the order of 10,000. How many have seriously considered
the AAH? It must be in the order of 20 and most of those in the last
three or four years.

From 1960 until about 1995 it simply was not mentioned. This is hardly
science. On what basis was this rejection made? Just a gut feeling
that it was wrong? Look where that got us before. A gut feeling about
Piltdown man halted progress for almost 40 years - I think this latest
brain-dead knee-jerk reaction of the paleoanthropologists will result
in the same thing. But at least things are beginning to change now.

Algis Kuliukas

Rich Travsky

unread,
Nov 19, 2001, 10:00:03 AM11/19/01
to

When I say a "hell of a lot more research on hand to show otherwise" it
plainly refers to research AGAINST an aquatic hypothesis. The evidence
clearly shows a terrestrial origin for bipedality.

Richard Wagler

unread,
Nov 19, 2001, 11:25:49 AM11/19/01
to

Rich Travsky wrote:

The other point to consider is that England is a country
where class and status matter a great deal in terms of
propriety etc. Hardy was a highly respected FRS and,
as such, it is not likely that other scientists are going to
trash him publicly in the pages of a grubby little mag
like New Scientist. [This is not a criticism of NS but of
English 'manners' in matters like this] I suspect that Hardy
received many, many comments behind closed doors and
may explain why this was his only publication on the matter.

Rick Wagler


marc verhaegen

unread,
Nov 19, 2001, 2:19:48 PM11/19/01
to

Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
<3BF8705B...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
>Algis Kuliukas wrote:


>> There's no smokescreen, Rich. It's just that if you are going to argue
>> about the merits of the AAH you should at least be aware of the fact
>> that Hardy's original paper - the one on which the AAH founded -
>> merely asked "was Man MORE aquatic IN THE PAST?" Hardly any AAH
>> proponents claim that our ancestors were aquatic in the true sense of
>> the word and no-one claims that we are anything but terrestrial today.
>
>Hardy's little three page digression has not survived the decades of
>research since then.

:-D No research at all. Only pedants who dismiss a theory becasue they
know "better". Traditional PA hasn't published 1 decent paper on AAT.

>> The AAH is a modest theory completely undeserving of the hostility it
>> seems to generate in those opposed to it. All it says is that our
>> ancestors lived in water-side habitats and that as a consequence of
>> regularly moving through such habitats by wading, swimming, and diving
>> for a long period of time our ancestors became adapted to doing so.
>> Even though we are 100% terrestrial today, we still bear the
>> evolutionary scars of past that was more aquatic.
>
>Scars? Like snorkel noses?
>(And he wonders why it generates hostility...)

Where did Hardy use the word "snorkel"??
(Of course you can't know: you haven't even read Hardy.
And you wonder why your ignorant pedantry generates hostility...)

marc verhaegen

unread,
Nov 19, 2001, 4:45:01 PM11/19/01
to

Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
<3BF91E73...@MOVEhotmail.com>...


>The evidence >clearly shows a terrestrial origin for bipedality.

:-D
Refs please?

marc verhaegen

unread,
Nov 19, 2001, 4:49:49 PM11/19/01
to

Richard Wagler heeft geschreven in bericht <3BF93255...@home.com>...

>like New Scientist. [This is not a criticism of NS but of
>English 'manners' in matters like this] I suspect that Hardy
>received many, many comments behind closed doors and
>may explain why this was his only publication on the matter.

Wagler's "truths" I suppose?
- NS 7:642-5, 1960,
- The Listener, May 12, 1962,
- Zenith 15:4-6, 1977.

Algis Kuliukas

unread,
Nov 20, 2001, 7:04:48 AM11/20/01
to
Rich Travsky <traR...@MOVEhotmail.com> wrote in message

> When I say a "hell of a lot more research on hand to show otherwise" it
> plainly refers to research AGAINST an aquatic hypothesis. The evidence
> clearly shows a terrestrial origin for bipedality.

I can't see how you can claim this. 99.99% of 'research' about human
evolution has beither been for the AAH or against it. It has simply
ignored it and assumed our ancestors were arboreal, terrestrial or
something intermediate. Making an assumption that something is false
is hardly researching against it.

The 'evidence' for a terrestrial origin - as you call it - is just a
collection of facts that seemed to confirm the orginal assumption.
Other facts that argue against that assumption (like the k-w traits of
Lucy) have been conveniently ignored. Nobody has bothered to question
the assumption and re-evaluate the evidence for or against it.

Algis Kuliukas

Algis Kuliukas

unread,
Nov 20, 2001, 7:17:35 AM11/20/01
to
Richard Wagler <taxi...@home.com> wrote in message news:<3BF93255...@home.com>...

There is, no doubt, an element of truth in what you say. But there are
a couple of points I think you should bear in mind.

Firstly, Hardy was very well respected indeed. Becoming an FRS is not
easy. His theory had been kept to himself for 30 years and, as such,
has to be the most carefully considered scientific theory in history.
(Can you name another that was in gestation for so long?) By
dismissing it so easily yourself, as doubtless did his peers at the
time, you are showing a comptemptous lack of respect for him that only
reflects badly on yourself.

Secondly, at the time the savannah theory was at its peak of
respectability. It would certainly have sounded a crazy idea for
mainstream paleoanthropologists in those days. Of course, since then a
whole load of evidence has come to light showing that dry, open
grassland was not the place where bipedalism began. In fact as time
has gone by, bipeds have been associated with increasingly earlier,
wetter and more wooded habitats. Curiously this has not yet led to a
re-evaluation of Hardy's theory, even today. One would have thought
that open minded scientists would at least have the common sense to
re-test their assumptions when new evidence emerged even if they
lacked the respect in someone of such high standing and of a theory
that had been so carefully considered.

Algis Kuliukas

Rich Travsky

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Nov 20, 2001, 3:52:06 PM11/20/01
to

AAH is not ignored - nothing has shown up to support it.

Knuckle walking in Lucy is not an issue because the rest of the remains don't
support the notion.

Richard Wagler

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Nov 20, 2001, 4:48:31 PM11/20/01
to

Algis Kuliukas wrote:

> Richard Wagler <taxi...@home.com> wrote in message news:<3BF93255...@home.com>...
> > Rich Travsky wrote:
> >
> > > When I say a "hell of a lot more research on hand to show otherwise" it
> > > plainly refers to research AGAINST an aquatic hypothesis. The evidence
> > > clearly shows a terrestrial origin for bipedality.
> >
> > The other point to consider is that England is a country
> > where class and status matter a great deal in terms of
> > propriety etc. Hardy was a highly respected FRS and,
> > as such, it is not likely that other scientists are going to
> > trash him publicly in the pages of a grubby little mag
> > like New Scientist. [This is not a criticism of NS but of
> > English 'manners' in matters like this] I suspect that Hardy
> > received many, many comments behind closed doors and
> > may explain why this was his only publication on the matter.
>
> There is, no doubt, an element of truth in what you say. But there are
> a couple of points I think you should bear in mind.
>
> Firstly, Hardy was very well respected indeed. Becoming an FRS is not
> easy. His theory had been kept to himself for 30 years and, as such,
> has to be the most carefully considered scientific theory in history.
> (Can you name another that was in gestation for so long?) By
> dismissing it so easily yourself, as doubtless did his peers at the
> time, you are showing a comptemptous lack of respect for him that only
> reflects badly on yourself.

How do yuou know it was dismissed so easily? Hardy was
no amateur. And as an FRS he could reasonably be expected
to have had access to Nature as a venue for publication. But
Nature is peer-reviewed so Hardy, having to make recourse,
to a relatively new publication, probably already
had the comments he requested - but they weren't favourable.
I don't know that he submitted to Nature but why wouldn't he?

>
>
> Secondly, at the time the savannah theory was at its peak of
> respectability. It would certainly have sounded a crazy idea for
> mainstream paleoanthropologists in those days. Of course, since then a
> whole load of evidence has come to light showing that dry, open
> grassland was not the place where bipedalism began. In fact as time
> has gone by, bipeds have been associated with increasingly earlier,
> wetter and more wooded habitats. Curiously this has not yet led to a
> re-evaluation of Hardy's theory, even today.

Because that is not the essence of his theory. More rain and
forest cover does not equal an aquatic habitat. If it does
provide more opportunity to be "by" rivers and lakes so what?
Every mammal outside full blown deserts spends time being
"by" water. Again what does the AAT propose? And how
does the reconstruction of early hominid habitats as wetter
and more forested bring it into play? You take your stand
on this 'theory' but you don't seem to understand what you
are committing to.

> One would have thought
> that open minded scientists would at least have the common sense to
> re-test their assumptions when new evidence emerged even if they
> lacked the respect in someone of such high standing and of a theory
> that had been so carefully considered.
>

They did re-test their assumptions. Or more to the
point Dart's model was significantly re-worked and
Africa was firmly established as the birthplace of
humanity. The science of palaeoanthropology was
a volatile place in the sixties and seventies and the
notion of a firmly entrenched paradigm just does
not wash. There were disputes and new theories
all the time. Remember Ramapithecus? Hardy was
not facing a closed shop and a serene orthodoxy.
But his little theory had a little problem - no evidence
backing it up and an overreliance on a thorough
mischaracterization of human anatomy. Nothing has
changed in forty years.

Hardy was an FRS but he was no anthropologist
or human anatomist/physiologist. As for marine
biology this is a vast field. What was Hardy's
particular area of expertise? I don't know. Do you?
In any event stop whining about the AAT not getting
a fair hearing. For that to happen it has to mount
a credible hypothesis. That's your job. Do that
and you'll get your hearing. Aiello certainly gave
you a fair shot.

Rick Wagler


Rich Travsky

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Nov 20, 2001, 11:30:25 PM11/20/01
to

Pick pretty much the entire body of research in the field.

The "aquatic" origin is crushed by the volume.

Rich Travsky

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Nov 20, 2001, 11:59:18 PM11/20/01
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marc verhaegen wrote:
>
> Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
> <3BF8705B...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
> >Algis Kuliukas wrote:
>
> >> There's no smokescreen, Rich. It's just that if you are going to argue
> >> about the merits of the AAH you should at least be aware of the fact
> >> that Hardy's original paper - the one on which the AAH founded -
> >> merely asked "was Man MORE aquatic IN THE PAST?" Hardly any AAH
> >> proponents claim that our ancestors were aquatic in the true sense of
> >> the word and no-one claims that we are anything but terrestrial today.
> >
> >Hardy's little three page digression has not survived the decades of
> >research since then.
>
> :-D No research at all. Only pedants who dismiss a theory becasue they
> know "better". Traditional PA hasn't published 1 decent paper on AAT.

No research at all? Four decades worth. If AAH were so clear, there'd be
more evidence to support it...



> >> The AAH is a modest theory completely undeserving of the hostility it
> >> seems to generate in those opposed to it. All it says is that our
> >> ancestors lived in water-side habitats and that as a consequence of
> >> regularly moving through such habitats by wading, swimming, and diving
> >> for a long period of time our ancestors became adapted to doing so.
> >> Even though we are 100% terrestrial today, we still bear the
> >> evolutionary scars of past that was more aquatic.
> >
> >Scars? Like snorkel noses?
> >(And he wonders why it generates hostility...)
>
> Where did Hardy use the word "snorkel"??
> (Of course you can't know: you haven't even read Hardy.
> And you wonder why your ignorant pedantry generates hostility...)

Snorkels? You don't remember your own fantasies?

And you wonder why your ignorant pedantry generates laughter.

Rich Travsky

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Nov 21, 2001, 12:01:45 AM11/21/01
to

And it's NEVER occurred to you that in alllll these years and papers
no evidence has come up to actually support it. You can always
console yourself with the thought that absense of evidence is not
evidence
of absense. Of course, that would also apply to a crackpot theory of
aliens manipulating our DNA in the past...

Richard Wagler

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Nov 21, 2001, 4:49:09 AM11/21/01
to

marc verhaegen wrote:

Richard Wagler heeft geschreven in bericht <3BF93255...@home.com>...

>like New Scientist. [This is not a criticism of NS but of
>English 'manners' in matters like this] I suspect that Hardy
>received many, many comments behind closed doors and
>may explain why this was his only publication on the matter.

Wagler's "truths" I suppose?
- NS 7:642-5, 1960,
- The Listener, May 12, 1962,
- Zenith 15:4-6, 1977.
 

I'm supposed to keep track of the highly obscure
AAT literature? The initial article is the only one
that is ever referred to and the slim list you
provide hardly represents a vigorous campaign
of research and publication. The point stands.

Rick Wagler
 

marc verhaegen

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Nov 21, 2001, 6:53:30 AM11/21/01
to

Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
<3BFB2DE1...@hotMOVEmail.com>...


>> >The evidence clearly shows a terrestrial origin for bipedality.
>>
>> :-D
>> Refs please?
>
>Pick pretty much the entire body of research in the field.

:-D

>The "aquatic" origin is crushed by the volume.

:-D


First Jois

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Nov 21, 2001, 7:25:07 PM11/21/01
to

"Robert Keeter" <rke...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:B80DFB8D.AC97%rke...@earthlink.net...
> No, Im not a convert! 8-)
>
> Just thing in a contra kind of way. We get into all sorts of
arguements
> with the hard core AATers over the attributes of the human species
that
> MIGHT indicate some affiliation with the aquatic lifestyle. Some of
us
> would claim that these "adaptations" are just serendipitous
characteristics,
> others would try to claim that these are vestages of an aquatic
lifestyle.
>
> Well we can argue back and forth to no avail as has been shown
profusely for
> what seems to have been years, OR we could take another angle on it.
>

Geesh! I thought this was going to be one of those "Night Before
Christmas" things.

Jois


Bob Keeter

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Nov 22, 2001, 7:36:45 AM11/22/01
to
in article DBXK7.42308$Ze5.24...@news1.rdc1.md.home.com, First Jois at
firs...@home.com wrote on 11/21/01 8:25 PM:


In a way, . . . . . . .it was! But I was REALLY bored and looking hard for
a can of kerosene to toss on the fire! 8-) I do so enjoy watching the
AATers scurrying around trying to convolute and contort more pieces of
flaming unsupportable conjecture into a stronger house of cards to support
their obsession! 8-))

Regards
bk

marc verhaegen

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Nov 24, 2001, 2:26:40 PM11/24/01
to

Richard Wagler heeft geschreven in bericht <3BFACF75...@home.com>...


>Again what does the AAT propose?

You still don't know??

Again:
in short:
- early hominids (Gorilla-Homo-Pan ancestors) waded bipedally & climbed
trees arms-overhead in swampy forests;
- late Plio-, Pleistocene Homo lost the climbing adaptations & developed
diving adaptations (voluntary breathing: speech origins) when they left
Africa & colonised the Indian Ocean shores (Java, Flores,
Mediterranean,...);
- diverse Homo populations followed the rivers, lakes etc. inland, incl
ourselves :-).

marc verhaegen

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Nov 24, 2001, 2:33:13 PM11/24/01
to

Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
<3BFB3539...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
>Algis Kuliukas wrote:


>> > It's a smokescreen because we've a hell of a lot more research on
>> > hand now to show otherwise.
>>
>> On the contrary. Apart from a couple of letters (two of which were
>> compilmentary and one of which called the idea ingenious) of response
>> to Hardy in 1960 in the pages of New Scientist in the weeks that
>> followed there has been almost zero serious response to his polite
>> request for comments.
>> Since 1960 how many papers have been written about human evolution? -
>> it must be in the order of 10,000. How many have seriously considered
>> the AAH? It must be in the order of 20 and most of those in the last
>> three or four years.
>> From 1960 until about 1995 it simply was not mentioned. This is hardly
>> science. On what basis was this rejection made? Just a gut feeling
>> that it was wrong? Look where that got us before. A gut feeling about
>> Piltdown man halted progress for almost 40 years - I think this latest
>> brain-dead knee-jerk reaction of the paleoanthropologists will result
>> in the same thing. But at least things are beginning to change now.
>
>And it's NEVER occurred to you that in alllll these years and papers
>no evidence has come up to actually support it. You can always
>console yourself with the thought that absense of evidence is not
>evidence of absense.

Not our fault that a lot of PAs are still too short-sighted to consider the
comparative evidence, but keep constructing fairy tales around fossil bones.
No problem though. We had exactly the same short-sightedness in geology
("land bridges between Africa & S.America" :-D) before the theory of plate
tectonics. How many years did Wegener's theory need?

marc verhaegen

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Nov 24, 2001, 4:57:18 PM11/24/01
to

Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
<3BFB34A6...@hotMOVEmail.com>...

>marc verhaegen wrote:
>>
>> Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
>> <3BF8705B...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
>> >Algis Kuliukas wrote:
>>
>> >> There's no smokescreen, Rich. It's just that if you are going to argue
>> >> about the merits of the AAH you should at least be aware of the fact
>> >> that Hardy's original paper - the one on which the AAH founded -
>> >> merely asked "was Man MORE aquatic IN THE PAST?" Hardly any AAH
>> >> proponents claim that our ancestors were aquatic in the true sense of
>> >> the word and no-one claims that we are anything but terrestrial today.
>> >
>> >Hardy's little three page digression has not survived the decades of
>> >research since then.
>>
>> :-D No research at all. Only pedants who dismiss a theory becasue they
>> know "better". Traditional PA hasn't published 1 decent paper on AAT.
>
>No research at all? Four decades worth. If AAH were so clear, there'd be
>more evidence to support it...

The evidence is overabundant. Only it's not (only) in the fossils as
fossil-hunters want, but rather it's in the comparative data, which for some
obscure reason you don't want to see.


>> >> The AAH is a modest theory completely undeserving of the hostility it
>> >> seems to generate in those opposed to it. All it says is that our
>> >> ancestors lived in water-side habitats and that as a consequence of
>> >> regularly moving through such habitats by wading, swimming, and diving
>> >> for a long period of time our ancestors became adapted to doing so.
>> >> Even though we are 100% terrestrial today, we still bear the
>> >> evolutionary scars of past that was more aquatic.
>> >
>> >Scars? Like snorkel noses?
>> >(And he wonders why it generates hostility...)
>>
>> Where did Hardy use the word "snorkel"??
>> (Of course you can't know: you haven't even read Hardy.
>> And you wonder why your ignorant pedantry generates hostility...)
>
>Snorkels? You don't remember your own fantasies?

1) Fantasy?? A very simple truth. Neandertals had very protruding noses, no?
(I hope you know that??) If they swam on the back, their noses would have
functioned as a snorkel, OK? What else? Not more difficult than that.

2) I didn't say they often swam on the back, but would not be surprised if
some of them and/or their recent ancestors regularly did:
a) Some neandertal skulls (eg, la Chapelle) had bilateral & extensive ear
exostoses (which are almost exclusively seen in human divers).
b) An external nose is often seen in semi-aquatics (some seals, proboscis
monkeys, tapirs...). Any reason why humans should be an exception? Note it's
never seen in fully aquatic mammals, only in waders (eg, hooded seals &
elephant seals on the beach).
c) Neandertals (still?) had thicker bones than modern humans (though less
than erectus). Thick bones are typical of slow bottom-diving mammals
(walruses diving for shellfish, seacows diving for seaweeds, the extinct
Kolponomos & Ododbenocetops).
d) We know (some?) neandertals ate diverse aquatic foods: some stone tools
bear traces of cattails; shelfish (Italian coast); fish remains (even dried
fish: P-F. & S.Puech 1993 in J.Maroto ed."La mandibula de Banyoles" Centre
d'Investig.Arqueol. Gerona:105-115).
e) Neandertal diet was halfway that of wolves & mammoths, see the figure in
M.P.Richards etc.2000 "Neanderthal diet at Vindija and Neanderthal
predation: The evidence from stable isotopes" PNAS 97:7663–6. Mammoths
(stomach contents) fed on sedges in marshes etc.
f) Rivers seem to connect neandertal populations, not divide them (Rhône
region: French study in JHE-abstracts IIRC).
Conclusion: Perhaps neandertals (or some of them) only waded and/or dived
only seasonllay, perhaps only the males did (AFAIK, ear exostoses are only
seen in males), perhaps not all populations did, perhaps only in some
regions, but the combination of the evidence suggests generally they seem to
have spent more time in & near water than modern humans.

3) You can't read? Where did Hardy use the word "snorkel"?? You don't have
to blame Hardy for something I said. Try to keep our ideas apart please.

Rich Travsky

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Nov 25, 2001, 7:50:45 PM11/25/01
to
marc verhaegen wrote:
>
> Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
> <3BFB34A6...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
> >marc verhaegen wrote:
> >>
> >> Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
> >> <3BF8705B...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
> >> >Algis Kuliukas wrote:
> >>
> >> >> There's no smokescreen, Rich. It's just that if you are going to argue
> >> >> about the merits of the AAH you should at least be aware of the fact
> >> >> that Hardy's original paper - the one on which the AAH founded -
> >> >> merely asked "was Man MORE aquatic IN THE PAST?" Hardly any AAH
> >> >> proponents claim that our ancestors were aquatic in the true sense of
> >> >> the word and no-one claims that we are anything but terrestrial today.
> >> >
> >> >Hardy's little three page digression has not survived the decades of
> >> >research since then.
> >>
> >> :-D No research at all. Only pedants who dismiss a theory becasue they
> >> know "better". Traditional PA hasn't published 1 decent paper on AAT.
> >
> >No research at all? Four decades worth. If AAH were so clear, there'd be
> >more evidence to support it...
>
> The evidence is overabundant. Only it's not (only) in the fossils as
> fossil-hunters want, but rather it's in the comparative data, which for some
> obscure reason you don't want to see.

The fossil record, the only true record we have of those creatures, does
not support your fantasies.



> >> >> The AAH is a modest theory completely undeserving of the hostility it
> >> >> seems to generate in those opposed to it. All it says is that our
> >> >> ancestors lived in water-side habitats and that as a consequence of
> >> >> regularly moving through such habitats by wading, swimming, and diving
> >> >> for a long period of time our ancestors became adapted to doing so.
> >> >> Even though we are 100% terrestrial today, we still bear the
> >> >> evolutionary scars of past that was more aquatic.
> >> >
> >> >Scars? Like snorkel noses?
> >> >(And he wonders why it generates hostility...)
> >>
> >> Where did Hardy use the word "snorkel"??
> >> (Of course you can't know: you haven't even read Hardy.
> >> And you wonder why your ignorant pedantry generates hostility...)
> >
> >Snorkels? You don't remember your own fantasies?
>
> 1) Fantasy?? A very simple truth. Neandertals had very protruding noses, no?
> (I hope you know that??) If they swam on the back, their noses would have
> functioned as a snorkel, OK? What else? Not more difficult than that.

Try it. Lay on your back in the water. Or get someone with a big nose to
try. Make sure you or someone nearby knows CPR.



> 2) I didn't say they often swam on the back, but would not be surprised if
> some of them and/or their recent ancestors regularly did:

> [...]

Who said anything about swimming "on the back"?

> 3) You can't read? Where did Hardy use the word "snorkel"?? You don't have
> to blame Hardy for something I said. Try to keep our ideas apart please.

Running from your snorkel nosed neanderthals theory, eh? Don't blame
you.

marc verhaegen

unread,
Nov 26, 2001, 5:38:38 PM11/26/01
to

Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
<3C0191E5...@hotMOVEmail.com>...


>> >> >Scars? Like snorkel noses?
>> >> >(And he wonders why it generates hostility...)
>> >>
>> >> Where did Hardy use the word "snorkel"??
>> >> (Of course you can't know: you haven't even read Hardy.
>> >> And you wonder why your ignorant pedantry generates hostility...)
>> >
>> >Snorkels? You don't remember your own fantasies?
>>
>> 1) Fantasy?? A very simple truth. Neandertals had very protruding noses,
no?
>> (I hope you know that??) If they swam on the back, their noses would have
>> functioned as a snorkel, OK? What else? Not more difficult than that.
>
>Try it. Lay on your back in the water. Or get someone with a big nose to
>try. Make sure you or someone nearby knows CPR.

?? Lying on your back with a longer airway functions as a snorkel.

>> 2) I didn't say they often swam on the back, but would not be surprised
if
>> some of them and/or their recent ancestors regularly did:
>> [...]
>
>Who said anything about swimming "on the back"?

Why do you think they could not have done that?? It's the easiest way to
swim at the surface - try. Sea otters (tool users) do it.

>> 3) You can't read? Where did Hardy use the word "snorkel"?? You don't
have
>> to blame Hardy for something I said. Try to keep our ideas apart please.
>
>Running from your snorkel nosed neanderthals theory, eh? Don't blame
>you.

Don't be ridiculous: *you* snipped the relevant stuff. Perhaps you should
try to learn what a hypothesis is. I didn't say
neandertals often swam on the back, but would not be surprised if some of


them and/or their recent ancestors regularly did:

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

Rich Travsky

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Nov 28, 2001, 12:57:06 AM11/28/01
to
marc verhaegen wrote:
>
> Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
> <3C0191E5...@hotMOVEmail.com>...
>
> >> >> >Scars? Like snorkel noses?
> >> >> >(And he wonders why it generates hostility...)
> >> >>
> >> >> Where did Hardy use the word "snorkel"??
> >> >> (Of course you can't know: you haven't even read Hardy.
> >> >> And you wonder why your ignorant pedantry generates hostility...)
> >> >
> >> >Snorkels? You don't remember your own fantasies?
> >>
> >> 1) Fantasy?? A very simple truth. Neandertals had very protruding noses,
> no?
> >> (I hope you know that??) If they swam on the back, their noses would have
> >> functioned as a snorkel, OK? What else? Not more difficult than that.
> >
> >Try it. Lay on your back in the water. Or get someone with a big nose to
> >try. Make sure you or someone nearby knows CPR.
>
> ?? Lying on your back with a longer airway functions as a snorkel.

FInd someone with a big nose and try it. Don't fantasize. (Hey, lookee,
a chance to do an actual bit of AAT research!)



> >> 2) I didn't say they often swam on the back, but would not be surprised
> if
> >> some of them and/or their recent ancestors regularly did:
> >> [...]
> >
> >Who said anything about swimming "on the back"?
>
> Why do you think they could not have done that?? It's the easiest way to
> swim at the surface - try. Sea otters (tool users) do it.

Otters are quadrupeds. Easiest? Have you asked a swimmer?



> >> 3) You can't read? Where did Hardy use the word "snorkel"?? You don't
> have
> >> to blame Hardy for something I said. Try to keep our ideas apart please.
> >
> >Running from your snorkel nosed neanderthals theory, eh? Don't blame
> >you.
>
> Don't be ridiculous: *you* snipped the relevant stuff. Perhaps you should

I only snipped the ridiculous stuff.

marc verhaegen

unread,
Nov 28, 2001, 6:30:08 AM11/28/01
to
Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
<3C047CB2...@hotMOVEmail.com>...


>> >> >> >Scars? Like snorkel noses?
>> >> >> >(And he wonders why it generates hostility...)
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Where did Hardy use the word "snorkel"??
>> >> >> (Of course you can't know: you haven't even read Hardy.
>> >> >> And you wonder why your ignorant pedantry generates hostility...)
>> >> >
>> >> >Snorkels? You don't remember your own fantasies?
>> >>
>> >> 1) Fantasy?? A very simple truth. Neandertals had very protruding
noses,
>> no?
>> >> (I hope you know that??) If they swam on the back, their noses would
have
>> >> functioned as a snorkel, OK? What else? Not more difficult than that.
>> >
>> >Try it. Lay on your back in the water. Or get someone with a big nose to
>> >try. Make sure you or someone nearby knows CPR.
>>
>> ?? Lying on your back with a longer airway functions as a snorkel.
>
>FInd someone with a big nose and try it. Don't fantasize. (Hey, lookee,
>a chance to do an actual bit of AAT research!)

Buy a dictionary instead af talking nonsense: "air tube that can rise above
the surface of water". I hope you don't deny neandertals had more protruding
midfaces & longer noses than sapiens?? IOW, the longer nose & midface simply
functioned as a snorkel in a neadertal swimming on his back. A simple fact a
child can see.

>> >> 2) I didn't say they often swam on the back, but would not be
surprised
>> >>if some of them and/or their recent ancestors regularly did:
>> >> [...]

Travsky snipped the following facts:
(typical of religious fanatics: burn books)

a) Some neandertal skulls (eg, la Chapelle) had bilateral & extensive ear
exostoses (which are almost exclusively seen in human divers).
b) An external nose is often seen in semi-aquatics (some seals, proboscis
monkeys, tapirs...). Any reason why humans should be an exception? Note it's
never seen in fully aquatic mammals, only in waders (eg, hooded seals &
elephant seals on the beach).
c) Neandertals (still?) had thicker bones than modern humans (though less
than erectus). Thick bones are typical of slow bottom-diving mammals
(walruses diving for shellfish, seacows diving for seaweeds, the extinct
Kolponomos & Ododbenocetops).
d) We know (some?) neandertals ate diverse aquatic foods: some stone tools
bear traces of cattails; shelfish (Italian coast); fish remains (even dried
fish: P-F. & S.Puech 1993 in J.Maroto ed."La mandibula de Banyoles" Centre
d'Investig.Arqueol. Gerona:105-115).
e) Neandertal diet was halfway that of wolves & mammoths, see the figure in
M.P.Richards etc.2000 "Neanderthal diet at Vindija and Neanderthal
predation: The evidence from stable isotopes" PNAS 97:7663–6. Mammoths
(stomach contents) fed on sedges in marshes etc.

Conclusion: Perhaps neandertals (or some of them) only waded and/or dived


only seasonllay, perhaps only the males did (AFAIK, ear exostoses are only
seen in males), perhaps not all populations did, perhaps only in some
regions, but the combination of the evidence suggests generally they seem to
have spent more time in & near water than modern humans.

>> >Who said anything about swimming "on the back"?


>>
>> Why do you think they could not have done that?? It's the easiest way to
>> swim at the surface - try. Sea otters (tool users) do it.
>
>Otters are quadrupeds.

So?

>Easiest? Have you asked a swimmer?

Can't you swim?

Rich Travsky

unread,
Nov 29, 2001, 11:19:21 PM11/29/01
to

Tell us where the nasal holes are: on the tip of the nose, or flush
with the upper lip? No human (or human related species like
neanderthals)
has nasal holes on the *tip* of the nose. That'd make it like an
elephant's
trunk.



> >> >> 2) I didn't say they often swam on the back, but would not be
> surprised
> >> >>if some of them and/or their recent ancestors regularly did:
> >> >> [...]
>
> Travsky snipped the following facts:
> (typical of religious fanatics: burn books)

No, snip fantasies.



> a) Some neandertal skulls (eg, la Chapelle) had bilateral & extensive ear
> exostoses (which are almost exclusively seen in human divers).

"Some" - very few. And they can be caused by other things.

> b) An external nose is often seen in semi-aquatics (some seals, proboscis
> monkeys, tapirs...). Any reason why humans should be an exception? Note it's
> never seen in fully aquatic mammals, only in waders (eg, hooded seals &
> elephant seals on the beach).

Irrelevant. Sexual selection can account for it.

> c) Neandertals (still?) had thicker bones than modern humans (though less
> than erectus). Thick bones are typical of slow bottom-diving mammals
> (walruses diving for shellfish, seacows diving for seaweeds, the extinct
> Kolponomos & Ododbenocetops).

It's associated with activity level. Modern humans can show this
also without diving etc.

It's illogical to assume the same functional equivalence in such widely
separated species. If it were you'd expect more similarities.

> d) We know (some?) neandertals ate diverse aquatic foods: some stone tools
> bear traces of cattails; shelfish (Italian coast); fish remains (even dried
> fish: P-F. & S.Puech 1993 in J.Maroto ed."La mandibula de Banyoles" Centre
> d'Investig.Arqueol. Gerona:105-115).

They also ate meat and hunted. Big deal. Or are you going to
deny they ate meat and hunted?

> e) Neandertal diet was halfway that of wolves & mammoths, see the figure in
> M.P.Richards etc.2000 "Neanderthal diet at Vindija and Neanderthal
> predation: The evidence from stable isotopes" PNAS 97:7663–6. Mammoths
> (stomach contents) fed on sedges in marshes etc.

Proves nothing. Mammoths also ate other stuff as well. Stomach contents
of
frozen mammoths show different kinds of leaves (willow, fir, alder).
Humans
(and relatives like neanderthal) are good at exploiting their
environment.

Eating the mammoths can give you the same isotope signature.


> Conclusion: Perhaps neandertals (or some of them) only waded and/or dived
> only seasonllay, perhaps only the males did (AFAIK, ear exostoses are only
> seen in males), perhaps not all populations did, perhaps only in some
> regions, but the combination of the evidence suggests generally they seem to
> have spent more time in & near water than modern humans.

Conclusion: another Marc fantasy.



> >> >Who said anything about swimming "on the back"?
> >>
> >> Why do you think they could not have done that?? It's the easiest way to
> >> swim at the surface - try. Sea otters (tool users) do it.
> >
> >Otters are quadrupeds.
>
> So?

Humans aren't.



> >Easiest? Have you asked a swimmer?
>
> Can't you swim?

Does this mean you haven't asked a swimmer?

marc verhaegen

unread,
Nov 30, 2001, 2:08:12 PM11/30/01
to

Rich Travsky heeft geschreven in bericht
<3C0708C9...@hotMOVEmail.com>...

You simply don't know. When the Moustier neandertal was excavated in 1908,
the dicoverers described the nostrils (which they said they could discern at
that moment) as situated at the tip rather than underneath the nose as in
sapiens.

And even if the nostrils were situated in the same place as in sapiens, the
neandertal protruding midface & long low skull lengthened the airway, no?
Remember: snorkel = air tube that can rise above the surface of water.

>)
>has nasal holes on the *tip* of the nose. That'd make it like an
>elephant's trunk.

More like a probocis monkey nose. :-)

>> >> >> 2) I didn't say they often swam on the back, but would not be
>> surprised
>> >> >>if some of them and/or their recent ancestors regularly did:
>> >> >> [...]
>>
>> Travsky snipped the following facts:
>> (typical of religious fanatics: burn books)
>
>No, snip fantasies.

No: facts.

>> a) Some neandertal skulls (eg, la Chapelle) had bilateral & extensive ear
>> exostoses (which are almost exclusively seen in human divers).
>
>"Some" - very few.

A few, yes, but:
1) Not all skulls have auditory canals.
2) Ear exostoses only develop in *cold* water, IOW, neandertals swimming in
warmer water would not have developed them.
3) It's true that AFAIK only male skulls show ear exostoses. If somebody
knows exceptions, please let know.

>And they can be caused by other things.

Yes, but nearly always in divers.
Any reason why these neandertals must be an exception??

>> b) An external nose is often seen in semi-aquatics (some seals, proboscis
>> monkeys, tapirs...). Any reason why humans should be an exception? Note
it's
>> never seen in fully aquatic mammals, only in waders (eg, hooded seals &
>> elephant seals on the beach).
>
>Irrelevant. Sexual selection can account for it.

No fantasies, man. Sexual selection can account for everything. An external


nose is often seen in semi-aquatics (some seals, proboscis monkeys,
tapirs...). Any reason why humans should be an exception?

>> c) Neandertals (still?) had thicker bones than modern humans (though less
>> than erectus). Thick bones are typical of slow bottom-diving mammals
>> (walruses diving for shellfish, seacows diving for seaweeds, the extinct
>> Kolponomos & Ododbenocetops).
>
>It's associated with activity level. Modern humans can show this
>also without diving etc.

Nonsense. Apes have no thick bones, apiths (except A.robustus femora) had no
thick bones, monkeys have no thick bones, sapiens has no thick bones. Only
erectus & to a lesser extent neandertals had. Among all primates! Explain
that.

>It's illogical to assume the same functional equivalence in such widely
>separated species.

Birds & bees & bats have wings. Are they widely separated IYO?

>If it were you'd expect more similarities.

??

>> d) We know (some?) neandertals ate diverse aquatic foods: some stone
tools
>> bear traces of cattails; shelfish (Italian coast); fish remains (even
dried
>> fish: P-F. & S.Puech 1993 in J.Maroto ed."La mandibula de Banyoles"
Centre
>> d'Investig.Arqueol. Gerona:105-115).
>
>They also ate meat and hunted. Big deal. Or are you going to
>deny they ate meat and hunted?

No, little doubt some at least did. So do humans. Yet we descend from
seaside ancestors.

>> e) Neandertal diet was halfway that of wolves & mammoths, see the figure
in
>> M.P.Richards etc.2000 "Neanderthal diet at Vindija and Neanderthal
>> predation: The evidence from stable isotopes" PNAS 97:7663–6. Mammoths
>> (stomach contents) fed on sedges in marshes etc.
>
>Proves nothing. Mammoths also ate other stuff as well.
>Stomach contents of frozen mammoths show different
>kinds of leaves (willow, fir, alder).

Yes.

>Humans (and relatives like neanderthal) are good at exploiting their
>environment.


Yes, of course: they have arboreal as well as waterside ancestors, climbing
as well as diving ancestors. No wonder they're good at expoiting different
environments.

>Eating the mammoths can give you the same isotope signature.

Possibly, yes. But mammoths ate sedges etc.

>> Conclusion: Perhaps neandertals (or some of them) only waded and/or dived
>> only seasonllay, perhaps only the males did (AFAIK, ear exostoses are
only
>> seen in males), perhaps not all populations did, perhaps only in some
>> regions, but the combination of the evidence suggests generally they seem
to
>> have spent more time in & near water than modern humans.
>
>Conclusion: another Marc fantasy.

No: you have given no argument why generally neandertals would not have
spent more time in & near water than sapiens.

>> >> >Who said anything about swimming "on the back"?
>> >>
>> >> Why do you think they could not have done that?? It's the easiest way
to
>> >> swim at the surface - try. Sea otters (tool users) do it.
>> >
>> >Otters are quadrupeds.
>>
>> So?
>
>Humans aren't.

So?

>> >Easiest? Have you asked a swimmer?
>>
>> Can't you swim?
>
>Does this mean you haven't asked a swimmer?

Sigh.
1) I have asked a lot of swimmers.
2) Can't you know that by yourself?

Algis Kuliukas

unread,
Dec 1, 2001, 8:02:13 AM12/1/01
to
Richard Wagler <taxi...@home.com> wrote in message news:<3BFACF75...@home.com>...

> Algis Kuliukas wrote:
>
> > There is, no doubt, an element of truth in what you say. But there are
> > a couple of points I think you should bear in mind.
> >
> > Firstly, Hardy was very well respected indeed. Becoming an FRS is not
> > easy. His theory had been kept to himself for 30 years and, as such,
> > has to be the most carefully considered scientific theory in history.
> > (Can you name another that was in gestation for so long?) By
> > dismissing it so easily yourself, as doubtless did his peers at the
> > time, you are showing a comptemptous lack of respect for him that only
> > reflects badly on yourself.
>
> How do yuou know it was dismissed so easily? Hardy was
> no amateur. And as an FRS he could reasonably be expected
> to have had access to Nature as a venue for publication. But
> Nature is peer-reviewed so Hardy, having to make recourse,
> to a relatively new publication, probably already
> had the comments he requested - but they weren't favourable.
> I don't know that he submitted to Nature but why wouldn't he?

It is what Phillip Tobias is on record for saying. Something like "we
thought he'd gone mad". It is what Langdon wrote in JHE - something
like "not worthy of the trouble of rebuttal." As to why it was not
published in Nature... I think it was because his original speech - at
the Brighton Aqua club - had been grossly misrepresented in the
popular press and it was thought that a 'popular' science journal
would be the best way of countering that misrepresentation. It would
seem, however, that the established paleoanthropologists were more
persuaded by the drammatic portayal of Hardy's idea in "The Daily
Express" than his carefully written account in New Scientist that
followed.



> > Secondly, at the time the savannah theory was at its peak of
> > respectability. It would certainly have sounded a crazy idea for
> > mainstream paleoanthropologists in those days. Of course, since then a
> > whole load of evidence has come to light showing that dry, open
> > grassland was not the place where bipedalism began. In fact as time
> > has gone by, bipeds have been associated with increasingly earlier,
> > wetter and more wooded habitats. Curiously this has not yet led to a
> > re-evaluation of Hardy's theory, even today.
>
> Because that is not the essence of his theory. More rain and
> forest cover does not equal an aquatic habitat. If it does
> provide more opportunity to be "by" rivers and lakes so what?
> Every mammal outside full blown deserts spends time being
> "by" water. Again what does the AAT propose? And how
> does the reconstruction of early hominid habitats as wetter
> and more forested bring it into play? You take your stand
> on this 'theory' but you don't seem to understand what you
> are committing to.

I think this is your misunderstanding, Rick. All Hardy asked was "Was
Man more aquatic in the past?" Sure he hypothesised about a coastal
habitat but that wasn't necessary for his argument. The actual
location of the habitat for the proposed aquaticism may be in question
but its effect - a pressure to wade, swim and dive - are not.



> > One would have thought
> > that open minded scientists would at least have the common sense to
> > re-test their assumptions when new evidence emerged even if they
> > lacked the respect in someone of such high standing and of a theory
> > that had been so carefully considered.
>
> They did re-test their assumptions. Or more to the
> point Dart's model was significantly re-worked and
> Africa was firmly established as the birthplace of
> humanity.

Ok. But it was only a shift of emphasis from 'grassland' towards
'woodland' and *never* to include 'water-side.'

> The science of palaeoanthropology was
> a volatile place in the sixties and seventies and the
> notion of a firmly entrenched paradigm just does
> not wash.

Maybe. But neither can you deny that the 'savannah' - and by this I
*do* mean open, relatively woodless, grasslands is still the image in
most people's minds for our ancestral homes. This is not my invention.
The BBC production Ape-Man - which was shown only last year - more ore
less says so directly. It talks quite explicitly about this. "As
increasingly hot conditions reduced forest areas, tree-living primates
were forced to adapt to life on the open savannah." (From the book of
the series p62) You have to accept that many specialists (Leslie
Aeillo & Mark Collard are two) still very much favour the
'traditional' savannah-based model. Claiming, as you do, that this is
a staw doll that AAH supporters create to knock down is just creating
another straw doll yourself.

> There were disputes and new theories
> all the time. Remember Ramapithecus? Hardy was
> not facing a closed shop and a serene orthodoxy.

I think the likelihood he is, he was. That's why he was so *very*
cautious about publishing the idea.

> But his little theory had a little problem - no evidence
> backing it up and an overreliance on a thorough
> mischaracterization of human anatomy.

You're kidding yourself. The differences between humans and other apes
are most parsimoniusly explained by adapations to more aquatic
habitats - the alternative explanations are just a diverse string of
'just-so' stories in comparison. You have created for youself and
aquatic straw doll - a view that the AAH says we were 'aquatic' so
that your comparison with whales and dolphins can easily defeat it.

I think you should take on board what Daniel Dennett (1995 p 243)
wrote about it...

"... and over a period of a million years or so they began the
evolutionary process of returning to the sea that we know was
undergone earlier by whales, dolphins, seals and otters, for instance.
The process was well under way, leading to the fixation of many
curious characteristics that are otherwise found only in aquatic
mammals - not in any other primate, for example - when circumstances
changed once again, and these semi-seagoing apes returned to a life on
the land (but typically on the shore of sea, lake or river.)"

and (p 244)...

"... many of the counterarguments seem awfully thin and ad hoc. During
the last few years, when I have found myself in the company of
distinguished biologists, evolutionary theorists,
paleo-anthropologists, and other experts, I have often asked them just
to tell me, please, exactly why Elaine Morgan must be wrong about the
aquatic ape theory. I haven't yet had a reply worth mentioning, aside
from those who admit, with a twinkle in their eyes, that they have
often wondered the same thing."

> Nothing has changed in forty years.

I only partly agree. The evidence has built up for earlier and earlier
bipedalism in wetter and woodier habitats - and yet nothing has really
changed in terms of the main models used to explain it.



> Hardy was an FRS but he was no anthropologist
> or human anatomist/physiologist. As for marine
> biology this is a vast field. What was Hardy's
> particular area of expertise? I don't know. Do you?

Plankton and whale feeding, I believe.

> In any event stop whining about the AAT not getting
> a fair hearing. For that to happen it has to mount
> a credible hypothesis. That's your job. Do that
> and you'll get your hearing. Aiello certainly gave
> you a fair shot.

You're right, UCL gave the idea a very fair hearing. I was very
pleasantly surprised that my thesis received a distinction. The fact
that they were able to give it praise, despite its 'controversial'
subject matter, and accept the logic of most of its argument, even
though it was completely contrary to the UCL's favoured position on
human origins, restored muuch of my 'faith' in the scientific
establishment.

What I am whining about really is that people like yourself seem
determined to shoot down a simple, modest, plausible explanation of
many of the differences between humans and other apes when your own
ideas plainly do not explain those differences at all. I am amazed,
and somewhat depressed, at the the lack of imagination and strength of
conservatism that people like yourself demonstrate.

Algis Kuliukas

marc verhaegen

unread,
Dec 1, 2001, 10:52:16 AM12/1/01