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Acacia

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Sep 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/14/98
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Hello, I'm really interested in paleo-anthropology and I was wondering
if anyone could recommend some good up to date non-fiction books about
human evolution or anything relating?

I'm 16 and I've always been fascinated with human evolution, especially
with the Neanderthals.

So far the only information I have I got from National Geographic
magazines, Discovery, TLC, and History channel programs.

Thanks...

*~Acacia~*


Lorenzo L. Love

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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Acacia wrote:

Try the FAQ:
http://www.anatomy.usyd.edu.au/danny/anthropology/sci.anthropology.paleo/FAQ.html

Also try Jim Foley's Fossil Hominid FAQ:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/fossil-hominids.html
and it's 'Futher Reading' link.

And John Wikins link page:
http://www.wehi.edu.au/~wilkins/evolinks.html

Watch out for the crackpots and pseudo-scientists. There's tons of them out
there quite willing to fill you full of nonsense.

Lorenzo

Gerrit Hanenburg

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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Acacia <thef...@erols.com> wrote:

>Hello, I'm really interested in paleo-anthropology and I was wondering
>if anyone could recommend some good up to date non-fiction books about
>human evolution or anything relating?

>I'm 16 and I've always been fascinated with human evolution, especially
>with the Neanderthals.

In that case you should read "In Search of the Neanderthals" by Chris
Stringer and Clive Gamble (published by Thames and Hudson, 1993) and
"The Neandertals: Changing the Image of Mankind" by Erik Trinkaus and
Pat Shipman (Knopf, 1993).

For human evolution in general the following are good textbooks:

"Reconstructing Human Origins. A Modern Synthesis" by Glenn C. Conroy
(W.W. Norton, 1997. 557 pages).

"Principles of Human Evolution" by Roger Lewin (Blackwell Science,
1998. 420 pages). This one I particularly recommend as an introductory
text.

All of the above are available in paperback.

Should paleoanthropology turn out to be much more than a passing
interest, and you want to go for the academic level, then you should
get a copy of Milford Wolpoff's 2nd edition of "Paleoanthropology"
(McGraw-Hill, June 1998. 936 pages).

Gerrit

Anne Gilbert

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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In a previous article, thef...@erols.com (Acacia) says:

>Hello, I'm really interested in paleo-anthropology and I was wondering
>if anyone could recommend some good up to date non-fiction books about
>human evolution or anything relating?
>
>I'm 16 and I've always been fascinated with human evolution, especially
>with the Neanderthals.
>

>So far the only information I have I got from National Geographic
>magazines, Discovery, TLC, and History channel programs.
>
>Thanks...
>
>*~Acacia~*
>
>

YOu might want to try a book whose title is "Fairweather Eden". I have
it, although not handy, so I can't tell you who the authors are. It's
not about human evolution as a whole, just the phase of it that
encompassed the hominids that lived at Boxgrove, England, about 500 kyr
ago. If you want more information, I can get back to you in a day or two
with more. . .
Anne Gilbert
--
Anne Gilbert
keb...@scn.org, avgi...@hotmail.com
Visit my website at http://members.tripod.com/~kebara and read about my
Great Science Fiction Masterpiece

Marc Verhaegen

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to

Acacia heeft geschreven in bericht <35FDA22F...@erols.com>...

>Hello, I'm really interested in paleo-anthropology and I was wondering
>if anyone could recommend some good up to date non-fiction books about
>human evolution or anything relating?
>
If you want to understand something on human evolution, read:
E Morgan 1997 The aquatic ape hypothesis. Souvenir London,
M Roede ed.1991 The aquatic ape: fact or fiction. ibid.

For general information on hominid fossils, eg,
GC Conroy 1990 Primate evolution. Norton NY
L Aiello & C Dean 1990 An introduction to human evol.anatomy. Academic Press
London

Marc

Maryellen1934

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
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"The Neanertals", by ERIK Trinkau and Pat Shipman
is good for people who don't have any real training in science, but who
are interested in evolution.(me)
There are many books by Johanson, Leakey, Walker,
and Schick(on tools) that are easy to come by. I found 2 college text
books that were very helpful
for someone new to the subject.(me, again)
One was an intro. to physical anthropology, and the other is on
principles of human evolution.
There's lots of duplication, but I liked both.
You can get them (I try to get used copies)
at a college or university, after the students have bought theirs.
I'm amazed at how many books on the subject
are published. (lots on evolutionary theory)
"Science" is a good publication for up-to-date
reports.
Have fun!

Surf Usenet at home, on the road, and by email -- always at Talkway.
http://www.talkway.com

Jason Eshleman

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
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Gerrit Hanenburg <G.Han...@inter.nl.nomail.net> wrote:

>Acacia <thef...@erols.com> wrote:

>>Hello, I'm really interested in paleo-anthropology and I was wondering
>>if anyone could recommend some good up to date non-fiction books about
>>human evolution or anything relating?

>>I'm 16 and I've always been fascinated with human evolution, especially
>>with the Neanderthals.

>In that case you should read "In Search of the Neanderthals" by Chris


>Stringer and Clive Gamble (published by Thames and Hudson, 1993) and
>"The Neandertals: Changing the Image of Mankind" by Erik Trinkaus and
>Pat Shipman (Knopf, 1993).

Both a good reads and still largely up to date.

>For human evolution in general the following are good textbooks:

>"Reconstructing Human Origins. A Modern Synthesis" by Glenn C. Conroy
>(W.W. Norton, 1997. 557 pages).
>
>"Principles of Human Evolution" by Roger Lewin (Blackwell Science,
>1998. 420 pages). This one I particularly recommend as an introductory
>text.
>
>All of the above are available in paperback.
>
>Should paleoanthropology turn out to be much more than a passing
>interest, and you want to go for the academic level, then you should
>get a copy of Milford Wolpoff's 2nd edition of "Paleoanthropology"
>(McGraw-Hill, June 1998. 936 pages).


Or Richard Klein's *The Human Career* (sorry, no publisher info of the top
of my head). The first edition was published in 1989, but when I saw
Klein in Feb, he mentioned the second edition was coming around the corner
perhaps in time for 1999.

-Jason

Maryellen1934

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Sep 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/22/98
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I've been trying to study human origins on my own for a year (or so).
I have Lewin's textbook,
and was wondering about Wolpoff's. At $96,
I hesitate to buy it. Really worth the $$ ?
Any suggestions for self-study? Thanks.

keith

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Sep 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/22/98
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Acacia <thef...@erols.com> wrote:

>Hello, I'm really interested in paleo-anthropology and I was wondering
>if anyone could recommend some good up to date non-fiction books about
>human evolution or anything relating?

>I'm 16 and I've always been fascinated with human evolution, especially
>with the Neanderthals.

>So far the only information I have I got from National Geographic


>magazines, Discovery, TLC, and History channel programs.

I believe "The Sixth Exrinction" by Richard Leakey is good. I'm not a
human evo fundie myself, so I'm not too sure. But, certainly you
should go for general evolution texts too. Anything by Richard
Dawkins is an excellent start, preferrably the earlier stuff, the more
recent works are a litte stale. Try "The Blind Watchmaker". I know
this isn't human evo, but you need the principles as well as the
history.


Keith

Don't knock at Death's door. Ring the bell and run away.
He hates that.

(remove 'nzibar' from the end of address at top to reply by
e-mail)

Floyd Code: v1.2a n TW 0/0/ FD 2? 0 ATD 2 0 17.0% <13jun98>
a.a #1202


distal

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Sep 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/23/98
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>Gerrit Hanenburg <G.Han...@inter.nl.nomail.net> wrote:
>
>>Acacia <thef...@erols.com> wrote:
>
>>>Hello, I'm really interested in paleo-anthropology and I was wondering
>>>if anyone could recommend some good up to date non-fiction books about
>>>human evolution or anything relating?
>
>>>I'm 16 and I've always been fascinated with human evolution, especially
>>>with the Neanderthals.
>
My suggestion is "The Fossil Trail" by Ian Tattersall, from the Oxford
University Press. It's $14.95 for the paperback. The Lewin book is also
excellent. In fact the two really compliment each other, giving a very
balanced overview of the theories and history of the science of PA.
Leakey's "Origin of Humankind" is designed for beginners and would make an
excellent introduction to the field.

Angel Garcia

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Sep 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/24/98
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All these books are slaves of Darwin's idea of human ancestors
in Eocene and cradle in Africa.
All such ideology is faulty and missleading. In fact has been exposed
as contemptuous and arrogant since it despises the 'billions' of
believers in a Creator of mankind who lives in Earth and elsewhere
(in heaven, meaning other planets).
The correct theory has to include some extraterrestrial input for
terrestrial animals, apes and hominids; and now has been put forward
in every essential detail (like TIME-frame and location) in the
set of books TETET-xx.
The TETET-98: Generacion del Hombre en Marte is going to appear,
Deo volente, by december-1998. It is in juicy Spanish by a
Spaniard-Canadian Dr. who has written 20 books and 13 of them dealing
with ETI. Such extraterrestrial origin of Homo Sapiens is well
established already. The book TETET-98 is finished and definitive;
expensive due to graphics (26 plates of very good photocopies with
all relevant images from Cydonia by NASA (1976, 1998).

--
Angel, secretary of Universitas Americae (UNIAM). His proof of ETI at
Cydonia and complete Index of new "TETET-97: Creatoris Digitus.." by Prof.
Dr. D.G. Lahoz (leader on ETI and Cosmogony) can be studied at URL:
http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~bp887 ***************************

Lorenzo L. Love

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Sep 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/24/98
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Angel Garcia wrote:

I believe that when this thead started, I mentioned something about
crackpots...


Angel Garcia

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Sep 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/25/98
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Crackpots are all those who still follow 'Descent of Man' of a
an old C. Darwin. Darwin said "ARROGANT FOREFATHERS who put
their descent in demi-gods"; a very arrogant and stupid statement, indeed.
From where did he get such insight ?
And there are many cracpots at present who BELIEVE in such idiocy
as a DOGMA of the church of Darwin: they take all honest believers
in God, miracles, prophecies... as lunatics and crackpots without
havin studied a bit of the vast body of knowledge on which God's believers
base their arguments; they take the Pope as either an idiot or a
maquiavelic liar (whatever fits best their atheistic idiocy).
It is just a matter of trivial artistic analysis to see that these images
are not random play of shadows:

http://www.interlog.com/~uniam/MAROR.GIF
http://www.geocities.com/Eureka/Concourse/9460/parlis.jpg
http://www.geocities.com/Eureka/Concourse/9460/ojo.jpg
http://www.geocities.com/Eureka/Concourse/9460/scho.gif
http://www.interlog.com/~uniam/FAES.GIF
http://www.interlog.com/~uniam/MMG4.GIF

etc., etc., etc. up to 70 Monuments with artistic content !!!.

One has to be very, very brutish and absolutely negated as
Art critic to confuse these with machine-paintings or faces in the clouds.

Gerrit Hanenburg

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Sep 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/25/98
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Maryellen1934" <chim...@nospam.webtv.net> wrote:

>I've been trying to study human origins on my own for a year (or so).
>I have Lewin's textbook, and was wondering about Wolpoff's. At $96,
>I hesitate to buy it. Really worth the $$ ?

I think it's worth the money (otherwise I wouldn't have bought my own
copy). Wolpoff pays much attention to the fossils, with lots of
illustrations of specimens, suggestions for further reading and
references, a glossary of anatomical and other technical terms
frequently used in paleoanthropology. The book has separate detailed
chapters dedicted to gracile and robust australopithecines, early
Homo, European Neandertals, etc.
However, you should realize that Wolpoff has a somewhat unusual view
of the evolution of Homo sapiens. He is one of foremost proponents of
multiregional evolution. As a result he considers well known specimens
such as the "Turkana Boy" as early Homo sapiens. Despite his emphasis
on that theory, I think the book has it's value as one of the most
comprehensive sources on human evolution in its field (and despite a
few errors I've discovered).
Unfortunately the book is probably too specialised and too expensive
for most public libraries.

>Any suggestions for self-study? Thanks.

I you have Lewin's book you already have a good introduction. Follow
his suggestions for further reading.

Gerrit

Btw, Wolpoff's book doesn't make a single mention of the AAT ;-)

S. J. Fedos

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Sep 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/26/98
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You might want to find Race and Human Evolution, by Wolpoff and Caspari.  It covers the multiregionalism theory and is no where near $96.00. In fact, check www.amazon.com.  Amazon has the paperback edition for $13.60 and the hard cover for $18.20.

Steve Fedos
Northern Virginia Community College

S. J. Fedos

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Sep 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/26/98
to
Both Lewin and Tattersall are good books and would provide a solid overview ( including Tattersall's new book, Becoming Human).  I also can recommend Bernard Campbell's Humankind Emerging; Cavalli-Sforza, The Great Human Diasporas, and Stringer & McKie's African Exodus.  For a perspective on the multi-regionalism theory, I suggest Race and Human Evolution : A Fatal Attraction, by  Rachel Caspari & Milford Wolpoff.  Personally, I'm not convinced of the multiregionalism theory from a genetics stand-point, but it is well argued.  If that isn't enough, David Pilbeam's The Ascent of Man, Rick Pott's, Humanity's Descent: The Consequences of Ecological Instability, and last, but not least, Lucy : The Beginnings of Humankind, Donald Johanson & Maitland Edey.

As for Scientific Creationism, Faces on Mars, UFO's, ET's, Space seeding, alien intervention, etc. etc. etc... well let's just say that stuff's better left for the SCI-FI channel, than sci.anthropology.paleo.

Good Luck.

Steve Fedos
Northern Virginia Community College
 

Angel Garcia wrote:

Marc Verhaegen

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Sep 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/27/98
to

>
>Gerrit
>
>Btw, Wolpoff's book doesn't make a single mention of the AAT ;-)

Therefore, if you want to understand something on human evolution read also,
eg,


E Morgan 1997 The aquatic ape hypothesis. Souvenir London,
M Roede ed.1991 The aquatic ape: fact or fiction. ibid.

The "old" books (Aiella & Dean, Wolpoff, Conroy...) give a lot of excellent
information on the fossils, but their interpretations are terribly biased.

Marc


Lorenzo L. Love

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Sep 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/27/98
to

Marc Verhaegen wrote:

You might as well read von Däniken's books and all the recent faces on Mars
nonsense. It all has about the same basis in reality.

Lorenzo

Anne Gilbert

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Sep 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/28/98
to

In a previous article, Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be ("Marc Verhaegen") says:

>
>>
>>Gerrit
>>
>>Btw, Wolpoff's book doesn't make a single mention of the AAT ;-)
>
>Therefore, if you want to understand something on human evolution read also,
>eg,
>E Morgan 1997 The aquatic ape hypothesis. Souvenir London,
>M Roede ed.1991 The aquatic ape: fact or fiction. ibid.
>
>The "old" books (Aiella & Dean, Wolpoff, Conroy...) give a lot of excellent
>information on the fossils, but their interpretations are terribly biased.
>
>Marc
>
>
>
>

I found some of these books to be quite good. Why do *you* think they
are biased?

Anne Gilbert

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Sep 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/28/98
to
1...@xenon.inbe.net>
Organization: Seattle Community Network

In a previous article, lll...@thegrid.net ("Lorenzo L. Love") says:

>
>
>Marc Verhaegen wrote:
>
>> >
>> >Gerrit


>>
>> Marc
>
> You might as well read von Däniken's books and all the recent faces on Mars
>nonsense. It all has about the same basis in reality.
>
>Lorenzo
>
>
>

Well, there are a lot of AAT theorists hanging around here. . .They might
as well read AAT books. . .

Roger Taylor

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Sep 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/30/98
to
>Acacia <thef...@erols.com> wrote:
>
>>Hello, I'm really interested in paleo-anthropology and I was wondering
>>if anyone could recommend some good up to date non-fiction books about
>>human evolution or anything relating?
>
>>I'm 16 and I've always been fascinated with human evolution, especially
>>with the Neanderthals.
>
>>So far the only information I have I got from National Geographic
>>magazines, Discovery, TLC, and History channel programs.

A lot of the books which have been reccommended to you will be very
heavy for a 16 year old. To get a good initial view and where you can
choose your subjects as you wish, you might try:
The Cambridge Encylopedia of Human Evolution
Edited by Jones, Martin and Pilbeam.
Forword by Richard Dawkins.
Cambridge University Press
ISBN 0-521-46786-1

From this you will be able to choose any particular area of interest to
go on to later.

Best of luck with the subject, but beware of conventional wisdom from
strongly opinionated people who talk a lot but will not listen.
--
Roger Taylor

Marc Verhaegen

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Oct 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/1/98
to

Anne Gilbert >>>Btw, Wolpoff's book doesn't make a single mention of the AAT

;-)
>>
>>Therefore, if you want to understand something on human evolution read
also, eg,
>>E Morgan 1997 The aquatic ape hypothesis. Souvenir London,
>>M Roede ed.1991 The aquatic ape: fact or fiction. ibid.
>>
>>The "old" books (Aiello & Dean, Wolpoff, Conroy...) give a lot of

excellent
>>information on the fossils, but their interpretations are terribly biased.
>>
>I found some of these books to be quite good. Why do *you* think they are
biased?


Yes, excellent information. But no mentioning of AAT.

Marc

Lorenzo L. Love

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Oct 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/1/98
to

Marc Verhaegen wrote:

I don't think that they mention ancient astronauts, alien abductions,
scientology, Atlantis, the face on Mars or any of a hundred other crack pot
theories either. I guess that makes them biased.

Lorenzo

alg...@my-dejanews.com

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Oct 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/30/98
to
I have to chip in here...

> I don't think that they mention ancient astronauts, alien abductions,
> scientology, Atlantis, the face on Mars or any of a hundred other crack pot
> theories either. I guess that makes them biased.
>

To bracket the AAT with these "other crack pot theories" is being very
ignorant.

Don't you think the theory deserves any discussion at all? The Cambridge
Encyclopedia of Human Evolution (one Richard Dawkins states he would take to a
desert island if he had to take just a handful of books) obviously doesn't.
There is literally no mention of it at all.
But then again the 200 page volume has just one sentence on a possible guess
for why we lost our hair and four or five confused and contradictory theories
on why we started walking.

The AAT is only a model, but it can explain these two human attributes and
many more.

The thing I don't understand is why are the so-called scientists so against
it? I can only imagine it is because they have publicly dismissed the idea
for so long, they will look kind-of ridiculous when it turns out that they
never spotted something this obvious that was right in front of their
collective noses. You would think they'd apply scientific principles to the
debate and, if the model is so weak, knock it down with something logical.
Instead most antagonists of AAT seem only able to resort to childish
fun-poking and patronising, sneering jibes at its supporters.

Algis Kuliukas


-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

Nick Maclaren

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Oct 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/30/98
to

In article <71c7ra$5c1$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, alg...@my-dejanews.com writes:
|> I have to chip in here...
|>
|> > I don't think that they mention ancient astronauts, alien abductions,
|> > scientology, Atlantis, the face on Mars or any of a hundred other crack pot
|> > theories either. I guess that makes them biased.
|>
|> To bracket the AAT with these "other crack pot theories" is being very
|> ignorant.

Part of the trouble is that many protagonists on both sides have
started to regard anything that the other side says as being
necessarily nonsense, and have therefore ended up in extreme
(and probably untenable) positions. This isn't an unusual
problem :-)

At its weakest, the aquatic theory claims that a lot of our
characteristics came from a time when we foraged in swamps and
shallow water, and spent most of the DAY wet and quite a lot
actually underwater. That may be right or wrong, but there are
plenty of plausible locations, foods and so on - and lots of
evidence that mammals can move from a dry lifestyle to that and
back again.

At its strongest, it claims that we became a fully marine mammal
(rather like a dugong or sea otter) and then came back onto
land. This theory is considerably less plausible, and it is
quite reasonable to regard it with suspicion in the absence of
very good evidence.


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

rwa...@junctionnet.com

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Oct 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/30/98
to
In article <71casg$kjv$1...@pegasus.csx.cam.ac.uk>,

Isn't this the problem with the AAT. We have the AAT in, ahem, full
flood and also the dried out fallback position when the incoming
becomes too hot and heavy. A recent poster to this NG put it very well
when he said that genuine scientific theory has a pretty clear idea
what it's about. Lacking any credible evidence the AAT can't set any
bounds around itself and is a morass of unsupported speculation.

rwa...@junctionnet.com

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Oct 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/30/98
to
In article <71c7ra$5c1$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,

alg...@my-dejanews.com wrote:
> I have to chip in here...
>
> > I don't think that they mention ancient astronauts, alien abductions,
> > scientology, Atlantis, the face on Mars or any of a hundred other crack pot
> > theories either. I guess that makes them biased.
> >
>
> To bracket the AAT with these "other crack pot theories" is being very
> ignorant.
>
> Don't you think the theory deserves any discussion at all? The Cambridge
> Encyclopedia of Human Evolution (one Richard Dawkins states he would take to a
> desert island if he had to take just a handful of books) obviously doesn't.
> There is literally no mention of it at all.
> But then again the 200 page volume has just one sentence on a possible guess
> for why we lost our hair and four or five confused and contradictory theories
> on why we started walking.
>
> The AAT is only a model, but it can explain these two human attributes and
> many more.
>
> The thing I don't understand is why are the so-called scientists so against
> it? I can only imagine it is because they have publicly dismissed the idea
> for so long, they will look kind-of ridiculous when it turns out that they
> never spotted something this obvious that was right in front of their
> collective noses. You would think they'd apply scientific principles to the
> debate and, if the model is so weak, knock it down with something logical.
> Instead most antagonists of AAT seem only able to resort to childish
> fun-poking and patronising, sneering jibes at its supporters.
>
> Algis Kuliukas
>
> -----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
> http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own
>

It has been looked at and dismissed. The Internet is a godsend to
fringers of every possible stripe. Publishing books and magazines,
operating organizations etc etc is much more expensive and less
effective in spreading the word than is running a website and writing
to a newsgroup. Which is fine. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

The AAT proposes a history of human evolution which is quite simply
spectacularly at odds with what we know about evolution and its
mechanisms. Consider. The Last Common Ancestor to apes and man at
some point in the last five to ten million years takes to the
water where it evolves a whole host of aquatic features - bipedality,
hairlessness, descended larynxes, singing (!) etc etc. Then for
some reason this aquatic ape abandons the water to such a degree
that no aquatic apes or men survive or have left any remains.
Lucky devils that these beached aquatic apes are they find that
their aquatic adaptations not only allow them to survive on land
but they are so wonderfully useful that we, Homo sapiens, were
able to become the most phenomenally successful terrestrial ver-
tebrate ever. We dominate every terrestrial habitat there is with
the exception of the polar icecaps (and given sufficient reason
we could extensively colonize them too).

AAT proposes this as an explanation for various anatomical features
rather than the straight forward position of features so obviously
of great use in terrestrial environments of every kind evolving
as a result of adaptive pressures imposed by terrestrial life.

Until and unless the AAT comes up with solid evidence to support
its claims paleoanthropolgy is quite right to ignore a 'theory'
which at its heart contains such a massive absurdity. Resources
are scarce and life is short.

Nick Maclaren

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Oct 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/31/98
to
In article <71db7f$pi4$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, <rwa...@junctionnet.com> wrote:
>
> Isn't this the problem with the AAT. We have the AAT in, ahem, full
> flood and also the dried out fallback position when the incoming
> becomes too hot and heavy. A recent poster to this NG put it very well
> when he said that genuine scientific theory has a pretty clear idea
> what it's about. Lacking any credible evidence the AAT can't set any
> bounds around itself and is a morass of unsupported speculation.

Perhaps. Now exactly how does that differ from the savanna theory?

Also, you are claiming that the aquatic ape theory started out in
its strong form and has since been weakened. But is that actually
true? It is certainly claimed, by its opponents, but hard evidence
of that hypothesis hasn't been produced.

One of the standard "dirty tricks" in so-called scientific debate is
to choose the most extreme form of your opponent's theory, laugh it
out of court, and them claim that ALL of your opponents have been
defeated. It quite often works, too.

[ For one really good example of this, take a look at the medical
attitudes to psychosomatic diseases over the past century or so.
But there are dozens of others. ]

Marc Verhaegen

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Oct 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/31/98
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Nick Maclaren

>
>Part of the trouble is that many protagonists on both sides have
>started to regard anything that the other side says as being
>necessarily nonsense, and have therefore ended up in extreme
>(and probably untenable) positions. This isn't an unusual
>problem :-)
>
Well, no doubt, the savanna theory is ridiculous nonsense, which should be
forgotten as soon as possible, as most anthropologists seem to confirm by
now (though most of them still don't accept any "aquatic" theory):

The savanna hypothesis of human evolution was strongly promoted by Professor
Dart in 1924 after the discovery of the skull of Taung in South Africa’s
treeless grasslands. He wrote (1925): ‘It will appear to many a remarkable
fact that an ultra-simian and pre-human stock should be discovered, in the
first place, at this extreme southern point in Africa, and, secondly, in
Bechuanaland, for one does not associate with the present fringe of the
Kalahari desert an environment favourable to higher primate life. It is
generally believed by geologists (vide A. W. Rogers, "Post-Cretaceous
Climates of South Africa," African Journal of Science, vol. xix., 1922) that
the climate has fluctuated within exceedingly narrow limits in this country
since Cretaceous times’ and ‘South Africa, by providing a vast open country
with occasional wooded belts and a relatively scarcity of water, together
with a fierce and bitter mammalian competition, furnished a laboratory such
as was essential to this penultimate phase of human evolution”.
While we now known that the climate did change since the time of Taung
(Partridge, 1985), Dart was thus convinced that the present and the ancient
environment did not differ significantly and that the Taung child had lived
in such open grasslands. Dart only got recognition a few decades later when
Piltdown Man (rather big brain and big teeth) had been unmasked as a fraud,
and anthropologists accepted the Taung fossil (small brain, small teeth) as
a more likely link between apes (small brain, big teeth) and humans (big
brain, small teeth). However, they not only accepted Dart’s view on Taung’s
affinity, but also his view on Taung’s lifestyle in a dry and open country.
Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that a savanna past of humans is
comparatively and physiologically extremely unlikely, since humans are in
almost every respect very different from savanna-dwellers (e.g.,
Schmidt-Nielsen, 1979; Morgan, 1982, 1990; Verhaegen, 1991, 1997). In a
comparison of humans with apes, arboreal, semi-aquatic, fully aquatic and
savanna mammals (Verhaegen, 1993), not one single feature distinguishing the
savanna mammals was found in humans. Mammals of dry, warm and open
landscapes are relative independent of drinking-water and water-containing
nourishment, have a high tolerance of dehydration and radiation heat, have
high diurnal body temperatures and high daily temperature fluctuations, and
high renal concentration power. They usually have very large external ears,
a slender build, and running velocities of 30 miles per hour and more. They
are not plantigrade like bears, eared seals or African hominoids. Most of
them do not have dextrous hands like racoons, many otters and primates. They
never have abundant fat tissues under the skin, but protect themselves from
the sun with short, light-reflecting fur (or with dust coverings in
elephants or rhinoceroses). Their vocalisations are less varied than those
of dolphins, otters or primates are. They never copulate face to face like
some slow branch-hangers (sloths, pottos, orang-utans), marine mammals
(cetaceans, sirenians) and humans. All have an excellent sense of smell, as
opposed to many marine mammals and humans. Most of them grow up fast and
reach adulthood in less than three years, unlike hominoids, walruses,
cetaceans or sirenians. They often sustain body temperatures of more than
40°C (Grant’s gazelle can maintain 46°C for many hours) and show temperature
fluctuations of more than 6° between day and night. Their urine
concentration can be twice that of humans. They can bear a dehydration of 20
per cent and more, whereas in humans a dehydration of more than 10 per cent
is fatal without medical intervention. They are very conservative with salt
and water (many savanna mammals, even carnivores like the fennec fox, do not
need drinking-water), and never sweat ten to fifteen litres a day as humans
can do in hot environments (hunting-dogs and many other savanna-dwellers do
not sweat at all).
These data are recently being appreciated by anthropologists:
‘physiologically, biochemically and histologically, we should be hopeless as
savanna-dwellers. All of the former savanna supporters must swallow our
earlier words’ (Tobias, 1995).

IOW, it's only because Dart found his Taung fossil in a dry & open country,
that two generations of anthroplogists were fabricating data to make human
ancestors fit in a savanna milieu.

>At its weakest, the aquatic theory claims that a lot of our
>characteristics came from a time when we foraged in swamps and
>shallow water, and spent most of the DAY wet and quite a lot
>actually underwater. That may be right or wrong, but there are
>plenty of plausible locations, foods and so on - and lots of
>evidence that mammals can move from a dry lifestyle to that and
>back again.
>
>At its strongest, it claims that we became a fully marine mammal
>(rather like a dugong or sea otter) and then came back onto

>land...

I don't think anybody claims that we were ever fully aquatic. Humans can't
produce their own vitamin C, and AFAIK vitamin C is absent from marire food
(except beluga skin).
(But I do think that humans, at least in some seasons & at least the adult
males, once dived frequently for shellfish, perhaps a bit like sea otters
(eg, using stones & floating on the back to crack shellfish).)

Marc

Marc Verhaegen

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Oct 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/31/98
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rwa...@junctionnet.com

>
> Until and unless the AAT comes up with solid evidence to support
> its claims paleoanthropolgy is quite right to ignore a 'theory'
> which at its heart contains such a massive absurdity. Resources
> are scarce and life is short.
>
It seems that you are unaware of a few facts. For instance:

? Lukeino KNM-LU 335 ‘pre-australopithecine’: ‘The red beds seems to contain
marginal lacustrine deposits as indicated by the presence of algal mats and
lacustrine bivalves (including complete specimens with valves in the closed
position)’ (Pickford, 1975).
? Tabarin KNM-TH 13150 ‘pre-australopithecine’: ‘The fauna includes aquatic
animals such as molluscs, fish, turtles, crocodiles, and hippotami, along
with others that might be found in the vicinity of a lake of river’ (Ward &
Hill, 1987).
? Ardipithecus ramidus: ‘Sedimentological, botanical and faunal evidence
suggests a wooded habitat for the Aramis hominids […] Aquatic elements
(turtle, fish, crocodile) are rare. Large mammals (hippopotamus,
proboscideans, rhinos, equids, giraffids, bovines) are rare. Primates are
very abundant’ (WoldeGabriel et al., 1994).
? Kanapoi KNM-KP 29281 Australopithecus anamensis: Fish, aquatic reptiles,
kudus and monkeys are prevalent. ‘A wide gallery forest would have almost
certainly been present on the large river that brought in the sediments’
(Leakey et al., 1995).
? Chad KT 12 A. cf. afarensis: ‘The non-hominid fauna contains aquatic taxa
(such as Siluridae, Trionyx, cf. Tomistoma), taxa adapted to wooded habitats
(such as Loxodonta, Kobus, Kolpochoerus) and to more open areas (such as
Ceratotherium, Hipparion) […] compatible with a lakeside environment’
(Brunet et al., 1995).
? Garusi-Laetoli L.H. A. anamensis or afarensis: Teeth and mandible
fragments, the hardest skeletal parts which are frequently left over by
carnivores (Morden, 1988), come from wind-blown and air-fall tuffs, but
always near watercourses at the time (Leakey et al., 1976). Cercopithecine
and colobine monkeys are present (Westenhöfer, M. (1924)., 1981; Leakey et
al., 1976).
? Hadar, Afar Locality: ‘Generally, the sediments represent lacustrine, lake
margin, and associated fluvial deposits related to an extensive lake that
periodically filled the entire basin’ (Johanson et al., 1982)
? Hadar AL.333 A. afarensis: ‘The bones were found in swale-like features
[…] it is very likely that they died and partially rotted at or very near
this site […] this group of hominids was buried in streamside gallery
woodland’ (Radosevich et al., 1992).
? Hadar AL.288 gracile A. cf. afarensis: Lucy lay in a small, slow-moving
stream. ‘Fossil preservation at this locality is excellent, remains of
delicate items such as crocodile and turtle eggs and crab claws being found’
(Johanson & Taieb, 1976).
? Makapan A. africanus: ‘[…] very different conditions from those prevailing
today. Higher rainfall, fertile, alkaline soils and moderate relief
supported significant patches of sub-tropical forest and thick bush, rather
than savannah. Taphonomic considerations […] suggest that sub-tropical
forest was the hominins’ preferred habitat rather than grassland or
bushveld, and the adaptations of these animals was therefore fitted to a
forest habitat’ (Rayner et al., 1993; see also Reed, 1993; and Wood, 1993).
? Taung australopithecine: ‘the clayey matrix from which the Taung cranium
was extracted, and the frequent occurrence of calcite veins and void
fillings within it (Butzer 1974, 1980) do suggest a more humid environment
during its accumulation’ (Partridge, 1985).
? Sterkfontein A. africanus & Swartkrans A. robustus: Many South African
australopithecines are discovered in riverside caves, presumably often
filled with the remainders of the consumption process of large felids
(Brain, 1981).
? Kromdraai: A. robustus was found near grassveld and streamside or marsh
vegetation, in the vicinity of quail, pipits, starlings, swallows, and
parrots, lovebirds and similar psittacine birds (T.N. Pocock in Brain,
1981).
? Turkana KNM-ER 17000 & 16005: A. aethiopicus was found near the boundary
between overbank deposits of large perennial river and alluvial fan
deposits, amid water- and reedbucks (Walker et al., 1986).
? Lake Turkana: ‘The lake margins were generally swampy, with extensive
areas of mudflats […] Australopithecus boisei was more abundant in fluvial
environments, whereas Homo habilis was rare in such environments […]
Australopithecus fossils are more common than Homo both in channel and
floodplain deposits. The gracile hominids […] seem to be more restricted
ecologically to the lake margin than are the robust forms’ (Conroy, 1990).
? Ileret A. boisei: ‘the fossil sample reflects climatic and ecological
environmental conditions differing significantly from those of the present
day. At Ilerat, 1.5 Myr ago, climatic conditions must have been cooler and
more humid than today, and more favourable to extensive forests […] The
prominence of montane forest is particularly striking […] dominated by
Gramineae and Chenopodiaceae appropriate to the margins of a slightly saline
or alkaline lake’ (Bonnefille, 1976).
? Konso A. boisei: ‘The highly fossiliferous sands at the mid-section of
KGA10 are interpreted to be the middle to distal portions of an alluvial
fan, deposited adjacent to, and extending into, a lake. Fossils and
artefacts deriving from horizons of sands and silts are not abraded and show
evidence of minimal transport. A large mammalian assemblage has been
collected from the deposits, showing a striking dominance of Alcelaphini […]
to indicate the presence of extensive dry grasslands at KGA10’ (Suwa et al.,
1997).
? Chesowanja A. boisei: ‘The fossiliferous sediments were deposited in a
lagoon […] Abundant root casts […] suggest that the embayment was flanked by
reeds and the presence of calcareous algae indicates that the lagoon was
warm and shallow. Bellamya and catfish are animals tolerant of relatively
stagnant water, and such situation would also be suitable for turtles and
crocodiles’ (Carney et al., 1971).
? Olduvai middle Bed I: A. boisei O.H.5 as well as habilis O.H.7 and O.H.62
were found in the most densely vegetated, wettest condition, with the
highest lake levels (Walter et al., 1991), near ostracods, freshwater
snails, fish, and aquatic birds (Conroy, 1990); ‘[…] the middle Bed-I faunas
indicate a very rich closed woodland environment, richer than any part of
the present-day savanna biome in Africa […] (Fernández-Jalvo et al., 1998).
Fossilized leaves and pollen are rare in the sediments of Beds I and II, but
swamp vegetation is indicated by abundant vertical roots channels and casts
possibly made by some kind of reed. Fossil rhizomes of papyrus also suggest
the presence of marshland and/or shallow water’ (Conroy, 1990). ‘[…]
Cyperaceae fruits were common in H. habilis habitat (Bonnefille, 1984).
Ancient Egyptians ate Cyperus papyrus root which was also present at Olduvai
in swamp-margins and river banks’ (Puech, 1992).
? Olduvai O.H.24 habilis: ‘Crocodile remains predominate among the faunal
material from this site and more than 2,000 teeth were found. Tortoise
plates, shells of Urocyclid slugs, fish vertebrae and scales, bird bones and
pieces of ostrich eggshell were also relatively common (Leakey et al.,
1971).
? Malawi UR 501 early Homo: ‘The Plio-Pleistocene Chiwondo Beds of Northern
Malawi have yielded molluscs and fragmented remains of fish, turtles,
crocodiles and large mammals […] Microvertebrates and carnivores are
virtually unrepresented in the assemblage […] The general ecological setting
of the Malawi Rift during the Late Pliocene was a mosaic environment
including open and closed, dry and wet habitats, and which harbored a small
and ecologically unstable paleolake Malawi’ (Schrenk et al., 1995).
? Chemeron KNM-BC1 early Homo: ‘The Fish Beds […] seem to be almost entirely
lacustrine and fluviatile; fish remains are abundant […] Molluscs also lived
in the lake, and locally their remains accumulate to form shelly limestones’
(Martyn & Tobias, 1967).
? Turkana Boy KNM-WT 15000 H. erectus: ‘Mammalian fossils are rare at this
locality, the most abundant vertebrate fossils being parts of small and
large fish. The depositional environment was evidently an alluvial plain of
low relief […] Typical lacustrine forms (for example, ostracods, molluscs)
could invade the area […] The only other fauna found so far in the
fossiliferous bed are many opercula of the swamp snail Pila, a few bones of
the catfish Synodontis and two fragments of indeterminate large mammal bone
[…]’ (Brown et al., 1985).
? Mojokerto H. erectus: ‘The basal part of the Putjangan Beds is composed of
volcanic breccias containing marine and freshwater molluscs. The rest of the
Putjangan Beds is composed of black clays of lacustrine origin’ (Ninkovich &
Burckle, 1987).
? Peking H. erectus: ‘A big river and possibly a lake were located to the
east and contained various water species; along the shorelines grew reeds
and plants, which were home for buffalo, deer, otters, beavers and other
animals’ (Poirier, 1978); ‘[…] accumulation in quiet water. The cave at this
time was probably the locus of ponded water and was probably more open to
the athmophere’ (Weiner et al., 1998).
? Hopefield, Rabat & Terra Amata: H. erectus fossils came from sandstone
made up from dune sand resting upon a former sea beach (DeLumley 1990). In
Terra Amata, ‘there are also indications that the inhabitants ate oysters,
mussels and limpets – shells of which are present. The presence of fish
bones and fish vertebrae indicate that the population also fished’ (Poirier,
1987).


rwa...@junctionnet.com

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Oct 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/31/98
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In article <71eldr$e3p$1...@pegasus.csx.cam.ac.uk>,

nm...@cus.cam.ac.uk (Nick Maclaren) wrote:
> In article <71db7f$pi4$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, <rwa...@junctionnet.com>
wrote:
> >
> > Isn't this the problem with the AAT. We have the AAT in, ahem, full
> > flood and also the dried out fallback position when the incoming
> > becomes too hot and heavy. A recent poster to this NG put it very well
> > when he said that genuine scientific theory has a pretty clear idea
> > what it's about. Lacking any credible evidence the AAT can't set any
> > bounds around itself and is a morass of unsupported speculation.
>
> Perhaps. Now exactly how does that differ from the savanna theory?
>

How? In this. When new evidence indicated that hominid evolution
occurred in a wetter, more wooded habitat that became the new 'theory'.
In other words science goes where the evidence takes it.

> Also, you are claiming that the aquatic ape theory started out in
> its strong form and has since been weakened. But is that actually
> true? It is certainly claimed, by its opponents, but hard evidence
> of that hypothesis hasn't been produced.
>

The claim is that it's not easy to figure out exactly what the AAT
is at any given point in time. Either they are claiming that hominids
had an aquatic phase in their evolution substantial enough to pro-
duce profound morphological and metabolic changes or they're not. The
fall back position - ancient hominids exploited resources that were
to be found in swamps, along shorelines etc - is perfectly fine. Why
on earth wouldn't they? But such a commonsensical conjecture hardly
justifies the status of a theory, especially one with a name that
implies so much more.

> One of the standard "dirty tricks" in so-called scientific debate is
> to choose the most extreme form of your opponent's theory, laugh it
> out of court, and them claim that ALL of your opponents have been
> defeated. It quite often works, too.
>
> [ For one really good example of this, take a look at the medical
> attitudes to psychosomatic diseases over the past century or so.
> But there are dozens of others. ]
>

You're right. Tne construction of strawmen pollutes far too many
discussions of the type found in this group. However I must say
that Marc's vision of aquatic ape infants sleeping the night away
while bobbing around on the waves, their upper lips clamped firmly
over their nostrils tops anything I could come up with in the way
of a parody!

With regards to your point about psychosomatic diseases coming to
be seen as real let me state my basic point. The demonstrating of
the psychosomatic component of illnesses does not give status to
iris analysis and therapeutic touch; the discovery of the Kraken/Giant
Squid does not give status to Nessie and the Sasquatch; the
triumph of Wegener and plate tectonics does not give status to the
Flat Earthers. They only establish the tests that alternative
'theories' have to pass. A hound, set to the task of tracking a fox,
which takes off after every hare that crosses its path quite quickly
becomes a useless mutt. Science is no different.

Regards,
Rick Wagler

rwa...@junctionnet.com

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
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In article <71fu6o$pbg$1...@xenon.inbe.net>,

"Marc Verhaegen" <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be> wrote:
>
> rwa...@junctionnet.com
> >
> > Until and unless the AAT comes up with solid evidence to support
> > its claims paleoanthropolgy is quite right to ignore a 'theory'
> > which at its heart contains such a massive absurdity. Resources
> > are scarce and life is short.
> >
> It seems that you are unaware of a few facts. For instance:
>
> ? Lukeino KNM-LU 335 ‘pre-australopithecine’: ‘The red beds seems to contain
> marginal lacustrine deposits as indicated by the presence of algal mats and
> lacustrine bivalves (including complete specimens with valves in the closed
> position)’ (Pickford, 1975).
>
>
[Rest of list snipped for reasons of space. Please refer
to Marc's original post]

This is an interesting list and I thank you for it but just what
do you propose I should conclude from it?
A} That various fossil hominids inhabited or at least ventured
into swamps, lagoons etc. Fine. Why not?
B} That conditions in South and East Africa were wetter and the
forest cover more extensive than Raymond Dart thought they
were when writing 75 years ago? Sure, okay. Even silly old
paleoanthropologists learn a thing or two in 75 years.

A lot of this list looks like it tells us where _fossils_ are created
rather than where hominids were living. I'm sure I wouldn't be telling
you something you don't know if I were to say that fossilization is
vanishingly rare when considering the total number of individuals of
extinct species that existed and that being buried quickly by flood
waters is about the best way there is to accomplish the task.

My qustion for you or anyone else is this. Given what we know or can
confidently hypothesize about the life histories of the various hominid
species in your list are their fossils abundant, rare or somewhere in
between when compared to the fossils of unambiguously aquatic animals
such as crocodiles, hippos, turtles etc?

And if I may, ask how many of the authors you cited in this list and
did the field work which provided the data which you seem to think
provides support for the AAT support you in this?

rossmacf

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
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Marc Verhaegen wrote in message <71fu6o$pbg$1...@xenon.inbe.net>...

Marc,
You undersell yourself. AFAIR, the last time you posted all of this material
in an effort to shut an opposing view (mine) up, you included reference to
the South African caves (I think at Sterkfontein) having molluscs in them.
I never did get around to asking how a limestone cave containing the remains
of leopard or hyena (both noted aquatic predators) kills could represent
support the AAT?

rossmacf

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
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Nick Maclaren wrote in message <71casg$kjv$1...@pegasus.csx.cam.ac.uk>...writes:

>|> To bracket the AAT with these "other crack pot theories" is being very
>|> ignorant.
>
>Part of the trouble is that many protagonists on both sides have
>started to regard anything that the other side says as being
>necessarily nonsense, and have therefore ended up in extreme
>(and probably untenable) positions. This isn't an unusual
>problem :-)
>
>At its weakest, the aquatic theory claims that a lot of our
>characteristics came from a time when we foraged in swamps and
>shallow water, and spent most of the DAY wet and quite a lot
>actually underwater. That may be right or wrong, but there are
>plenty of plausible locations, foods and so on - and lots of
>evidence that mammals can move from a dry lifestyle to that and
>back again.
>
>At its strongest, it claims that we became a fully marine mammal
>(rather like a dugong or sea otter) and then came back onto
>land. This theory is considerably less plausible, and it is
>quite reasonable to regard it with suspicion in the absence of
>very good evidence.
>Nick Maclaren,
>Email: nm...@cam.ac.uk
>

G'day Nick...

This is a reasonable and moderate view of the AAT / anti-AAT debate. However
I find that since tuning into this NG I have become a strong anti-AAT
advocate, because of the nature of the AAT proponents' arguments. I cannot
but agree with those who find that the AAT ground is continually shifting,
from the early '70's position of a primarily marine aquatic niche to the
minimalist forest paddler position, but always supported by the most dubious
of scientific theorising.

Recent posts from Elaine Morgan indicate that much of the theory used to
support her original AAT speculations, such as salt cravings, tearing and
breath-holding in neonates, can no longer be seen as evidence of AAT;
however I struggle to understand what are the remaining cornerstones of her
version of AAT.

As regards Marc Verhaegen's version, it seems to rely on (a) support from a
very narrow group of scientists - i.e. himself & Norman McPhail & their
joint writings, (b) impossibly convoluted speculations about gorillas &
chimps evolving from bipeds, (c) out of context references to molluscs found
around fossils, without any reference to the detail of the research of the
paleontologists whose work is being cited, and (d), as he is again at it
this week, attacking straw man versions of the "savanna ape theory" (how
many times do the references to the savanna as not being a treeless plain
have to be posted??).

I really wish, as you do, that the arguments didn't have to rely on
personalised attacks on people's belief systems, but if the people in
question could rely more on science and less on belief systems, the
arguments wouldn't run this way.

I still can't discern a well thought out Aquatic Ape Theory which references
exactly which lines of evidence support it and which don't, what type of
aquatic niche was occupied, or what tests can be applied to prove or
disprove the theory.

Any takers on a response (who am I kidding??)

Marc Verhaegen

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
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rwa...@junctionnet.com

>>
>> ? Lukeino KNM-LU 335 ‘pre-australopithecine’: ‘The red beds seems to
contain
>> marginal lacustrine deposits as indicated by the presence of algal mats
and
>> lacustrine bivalves (including complete specimens with valves in the
closed
>> position)’ (Pickford, 1975).
>>
>>
> [Rest of list snipped for reasons of space. Please refer
> to Marc's original post]
>
> This is an interesting list and I thank you for it but just what do you
propose I should conclude from it?


The literature shows that not only the Taung cranium, but most hominid
fossils - from a time span covering at least the last six million years -
have been discovered in varied, but consistently wet environments: in humid
forested areas or/and in the immediate proximity of abundant water
collections at the time. However, there are the well-known difficulties of
paleo-ecological reconstructions (Shipman & Harris, 1988): ‘taphonomic
events […] may selectively destroy or distort the fossil record and the
association among species’; animals ‘may stray out of their preferred
habitats into other areas’; ‘habitats are often complex and mosaic’;
‘ecological zones or habitats [migrate] across basins in response to
climatic and other fluctuations’; and, most importantly, ‘depositional
variables […] bias the fossil record by sampling a disproportionate number
of habitats related to water (e.g., lake margins, streams, channels, deltas)
and by failing to sample many open-country habitats farther away from water
sources’. Indeed, that many hominid fossils have been discovered in such
places by no means proves that they actually lived there. However, it
certainly does not exclude it.
The list shows that some very early hominids, as opposed to later
australopithecines, have been found near lacustrine molluscs (Lukeino and
Tabarin ca. 6.5 and 5 Ma). But later, Ardipithecus ramidus, supposedly
another early hominid, must have lived in a wooded habitat, amid
predominantly colobine monkeys (Aramis ca. 4.5 Ma). Pliocene
australopithecines ca. 4-3 Ma apparently frequently dwelt in warm and humid,
more or less closed environments (gallery forest or wooded habitat in
Kanapoi, Chad, Hadar, Makapansgat, but inconclusive for Garusi-Laetoli).
Pleistocene robust australopithecines since 2.5 Ma probably lived in
generally dryer and more open landscapes (grassland in Kromdraai and Konso),
but their remains lay in riverbanks, lagoons, marshes, lake-margins, near
papyrus (Olduvai) and reed (Kromdraai, Olduvai, Chesowanja). All Homo
species, in contrast with the australopiths, are found near molluscs.

Conclusions:
- no evidence of savanna,
- earliest hominids 6-5 Ma near molluscs,
- early australopiths 4-3 MA in gallery forests,
- robust australopiths in reed & papyrus beds,
- Homo species near molluscs.

What is interesting in this list is
(1) the apparent difference between the Australopith. & Homo species,
(2) the confirmation by dental & microwear & other data:

Wetland apes: hominid palaeo-environment and diet
Marc Verhaegen & Pierre-François Puech - UMR 6569 du CNRS - Faculté d’
Odontologie de Marseille - France 1998 Abstracts Dual Congress

The combination of the available evidence from different anthropological
researches makes it clear that hominid evolution did not begin in warm and
dry but in warm and wet conditions.
a. No feature typical of savannah mammals is found in humans: low need of
drinking-water or succulent food; concentrated urine; tolerance of
dehydration and radiation heat; high diurnal body temperatures and daily
temperature fluctuations; high velocities; digiti/unguligrady; poorly
developed vocalisations and dexterity...
b. Comparative studies of cheekteeth microwear suggest that the australopith
diet included marshland plants (PF Puech). In afarensis, the enamel has a
polished surface (cf. mountain beaver, capybara: sappy aquatic herbs and
grasses, buds and bark of young trees). In boisei, it displays more pits,
wide parallel striations and deep recessed dentine (cf. beaver: aquatic
plants, bark, more woody parts). In habilis, the margins of the striae have
been polished and slightly etched (cf. coypu: reed, sedges, marsh plants,
fruits, molluscs).
c. Robust australopiths resemble reed/bamboo-eaters in front teeth reduction
and cheekteeth broadening (cf. gentle lemurs, giant panda, EL DuBrul), and
estimates of the robusts’ bite force also suggest “low-energy food… to be
processed in large quantities… hard and round in shape” (B Demes & N Creel).
d. The low Sr/Ca ratios in Swartkrans robusts have been explained by partial
carnivory (unlikely with their herbivorous dentition), eating leaves and
shoots of forbs and woody plants (cf. kudu) and eating food from wet,
well-drained streamside soils (A Sillen).
e. Palaeo-ecology indicates that early australopithecines lived in warm,
humid and often forested landscapes. Robust australopiths dwelt near more
open environments like grasslands, marshlands and lagoons. Homo species are
frequently found near ancient lakes, seas and rivers where molluscs were
abundant.
It seems that early australopiths were bipedal frugi/herbivores in forest
clearings (cf. western gorillas eat sedges, wading in shallow waters, D
Chadwik). The robusts later ate marshland plants like papyrus, reed, nuts
etc. Early Homo used stones to crack nuts and shellfish (cf. mangrove
capuchins, M Fernandes). This would explain stone tool use for other
purposes, the rapid spread to SE Asia, and the increase in brain size (SC
Cunnane).

Marc http://www.flash.net/~hydra9/marcaat.html

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
to
rossmacf

>Marc,
>You undersell yourself. AFAIR, the last time you posted all of this
material
>in an effort to shut an opposing view (mine) up, you included reference to
>the South African caves (I think at Sterkfontein) having molluscs in them.

No, never molluscs near A.africanus AFAIK:
- Makapan A. africanus: ‘[…] very different conditions from those prevailing


today. Higher rainfall, fertile, alkaline soils and moderate relief
supported significant patches of sub-tropical forest and thick bush, rather
than savannah. Taphonomic considerations […] suggest that sub-tropical
forest was the hominins’ preferred habitat rather than grassland or
bushveld, and the adaptations of these animals was therefore fitted to a
forest habitat’ (Rayner et al., 1993; see also Reed, 1993; and Wood, 1993).

- Taung australopithecine: ‘the clayey matrix from which the Taung cranium


was extracted, and the frequent occurrence of calcite veins and void
fillings within it (Butzer 1974, 1980) do suggest a more humid environment
during its accumulation’ (Partridge, 1985).

- Sterkfontein A. africanus & Swartkrans A. robustus: Many South African


australopithecines are discovered in riverside caves, presumably often
filled with the remainders of the consumption process of large felids
(Brain, 1981).

>I never did get around to asking how a limestone cave containing the


remains
>of leopard or hyena (both noted aquatic predators) kills could represent
support the AAT?


What "AAT" do you think I'm supporting?

The available data suggest the australopiths were bipedally wading
herbivores, at first in gallery forests (graciles), later also in reedbeds
etc. (robusts). They seem to have lived +- like the lowland gorillas when
they wade in forest swamps & eat aquatic herbaceous vegetation. One of the
differences IMO is that lowland gorillas are known to feed only marginally
on this AHV (some 2%), but the australopiths much more frequently.

(Our thick enamel & tool use suggest our ancestors at that time lived near
the seacoasts & partly consumed shellfish. Fossilisation is very unlikely in
mangrove areas. Tidal water movements spread the bones over a vast area, and
the high acidity dissolves the bony remains. In mangrove areas the sea floor
is plain, so there is virtually no chance for a landslide to cover any
remains. The australopiths are of course not our ancestors but sidebranches.
The inland offshoots of the Australopith. & Homo species are more likely to
be discovered than mangrove dwelling hominids & the most important predators
of these hominids were probably large felids. At that time our ancestors IMO
lived at the Indian Ocean seacoasts. See the finds of erectus-like fossils
(much more humanlike than the australopiths), possibly in India 3.4 mya
(M.P.Singh 1998 Dual Congress 1998), & in Java probably almost 2 mya.)

Marc

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
to
rossmacf

>As regards Marc Verhaegen's version, it seems to rely on

>(a) support from a very narrow group of scientists - i.e. himself & Norman
McPhail & their joint writings,

Is that an argument?
(P-F.Puech has personally studied the enamel microwear of most hominid
species under the electrone microscope. He & his group is one of the few
that have compared the australopith.teeth teeth with mammals feeding on
aquatic herbaceous vegetation (AHV) & discovered striking resemblances.
Because these facts are not well-known that does not mean that they don't
exist.)

>(b) impossibly convoluted speculations about gorillas & chimps evolving
from bipeds,

The last common ancestor of humans & chimps lived 6-4 mya. Most if not all
traditional anthropologists accept that at that time there existed bipedal
hominids. So you must conclude that the LCA, ie, the ancestor of both chimps
& humans, was bipedal. What's your problem? Be logical.

>(c) out of context references to molluscs found
>around fossils, without any reference to the detail of the research of the
>paleontologists whose work is being cited,

I've given the refs several times. What refs do you need?
(You have to see the facts. It's not because you believe that australopiths
did not eat AHV that they didn't. I know this view is opposite to what most
anthropologists used to believe. So what? Open your eyes.)

>(d), as he is again at it
>this week, attacking straw man versions of the "savanna ape theory" (how
>many times do the references to the savanna as not being a treeless plain
>have to be posted??).


What's the alternative? What alternative do you provide, Ross?? Please give
your view.

......

I'm well aware that several details in my views might eventually appear to
be wrong & I know that there is a lot of speculation in these view, I have
no problem with that, but not one single hypothesis in my work is not
supported by the (paleontol., physiol., comparative etc.) data.

Marc

rossmacf

unread,
Nov 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/3/98
to
I do apologise Marc, I have undersold you. Of course the references to the
South African limestone caves were there. I still don't see anything in your
references which necessarily must be viewed as support for AAT. I mean,
doesn't the "savanna" have lakes & streams in it? And BTW, if homininds are
so badly adapted to "savanna", how is it that Khoi San and desert aborigines
in Australia survive so well?

Also, you never replied to my inquiry in reference to panda's thumbs being a
response to an aquatic panda phase. Do polar bears & grizzlies have
oversized metatarsals as do pandas?

Marc Verhaegen wrote in message <71ifi8$5qe$1...@xenon.inbe.net>...

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Nov 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/3/98
to
rossmacf heeft geschreven in bericht <71lntn$p7d$1...@news.eisa.net.au>...

>I do apologise Marc, I have undersold you. Of course the references to the
>South African limestone caves were there. I still don't see anything in
your
>references which necessarily must be viewed as support for AAT. I mean,
>doesn't the "savanna" have lakes & streams in it? And BTW, if homininds are
>so badly adapted to "savanna", how is it that Khoi San and desert
aborigines
>in Australia survive so well?


("so well" seems to be an overstatement: see maps of population densities)

Yes, they're adapted to savannas, but IMO this is a "recent" adaptation
(<<100,000 years in the Khoi-San & <<50,000 in the Austr.aborigines), just
as Eskimos are adapted to polar environments (<<30,000), thanks to our large
brains (primates, seals, dolphins...) & dexterity (racoons, primates...) &
technology (beginning with stone tools: sea-otter, chimp, capuchin) etc.
Most humans are not adapted to polar nor to savanna milieus. People on
vacation prefer to go to the beach, not to the savanna.

And indeed, my refs (alone) are not enough to accept any AAT. As far as they
are reliable (see problems of fossilisation) they seem to suggest that the
early australopiths lived in gallery & swamp forests, the robusts in more
open milieus near marshes (though always near trees). In combination with
dental & microwear data, they suggest that the australopiths (bipedal +
curved phalanges, ie, wading + climbing) fed more on aquatic than on
terrestrial herbaceous vegetation, ie, AHV>THV (whereas in lowland gorillas
THV>>AHV).
(As you know, western lowland gorillas regularly wade bipedally in shallow
forest swamps feeding on AHV. This is not our ancestral lifestyle, yet it's
easily derivable from what I think to be the lifestyle of the LCA of humans,
chimps & gorillas: wading, climbing, stone using, fruit+shellfish eating
(see our "Chimp & gorilla forebears walked on 2 legs"). The australopiths &
Afr.apes became more herbivorous IMO (at first AHV, later THV), whereas Homo
evolved a more diving lifestyle & colonised the Indian Ocean shores & only
much later re-invaded the land following the rivers.

From M.A.Raath etc.ed.1998 "Abstracts of the Dual Congress" Wit
Univ.Johannesburg p.47 & 128-9:

Wetland apes: hominid palaeo-environment and diet

Marc Verhaegen & Pierre-François Puech - UMR 6569 du CNRS - Faculté d’
Odontologie de Marseille - France

The combination of the available evidence from different anthropological


Australopithecine ancestors of African apes?

Palaeo-anthropological data do not exclude the possibility that not only
humans but also chimpanzees and gorillas could have had
australopithecine-like ancestors. In fact, the traditional hypothesis – that
all australopithecines are closer relatives of humans than of chimps or
gorillas – has serious difficulties:
a. The apparent absence or extreme rarity of fossil ancestors or relatives
of any African ape is puzzling.
b. Various australopith-like features are present in premature but not in
adult African apes (e.g. relative orthognathy, less dorsal foramen magnum,
more orthogrady).
c. Australopiths lack the uniquely derived features that set Homo, at least
since erectus, apart from nonhuman primates (e.g. external nose, very large
brain, very long legs), and generally resemble the apes.
d. At the time of the robust australopiths there already lived more
humanlike creatures like KNM-ER 1470.
The Laetoli footprints A and G suggest that australopithecines were partly
or fully bipedal. Bipedalism is generally considered to be the defining
feature of the hominids, which links australopiths with humans. But the
African apes’ locomotion is unique - plantigrady plus knuckle-walking - and
is easily derivable from the kind of “short”-legged plantigrade bipedalism
that is frequently seen in lowland gorillas wading in shallow waters and
occasionally in all African apes. If the African apes had more bipedal
ancestors, there is every reason to include them into the hominids – in
agreement with the comparative molecular evidence of DNA and proteins.

>Also, you never replied to my inquiry in reference to panda's thumbs being
a
>response to an aquatic panda phase.

Romer: surnumerary digits are only seen in the hands of ichthyosaurs (not in
other vertebrates, swimming or climbing or cursorial or whatever).

>Do polar bears & grizzlies have oversized metatarsals as do pandas?


If they had, Gould would have told us, wouldn't he?
(Pandas & other bears split ca.15 mya AFAIR.)

Marc

alg...@my-dejanews.com

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Nov 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/4/98
to

> I still can't discern a well thought out Aquatic Ape Theory which references
> exactly which lines of evidence support it and which don't, what type of
> aquatic niche was occupied, or what tests can be applied to prove or
> disprove the theory.
>
> Any takers on a response

Hi Ross

I'm sorry to hear you've been put off the AAT because of fluctuating theories.
Presumably this hasn't led you to give up on human evolution and start
believing the book of genesis' explanation, which hasn't varied for thousands
of years.

Let's just focus in one aspect of humans and pose the question which model of
human evolution best explains it.

Why did apes become bipedal?

The aquatic explanation suggests that it was an advantage to an ape living in
waist-high water. If the ape could not get up on two legs and wade it would
drown. AATers are all united on this.

What are the traditional explanations?

Well, of course there are many explanations and there is far from unanimity.

Was it

a) To help us to use tools?
b) To cool us down, standing in hot grasslands?
c) To peer over the horizon to look for prey/predators?
d) Pick your own.

Why is the AAT position on this so fantastic?

Algis

Elaine Morgan

unread,
Nov 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/4/98
to
In article <71g24t$6mt$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, rwa...@junctionnet.com
writes

>In article <71eldr$e3p$1...@pegasus.csx.cam.ac.uk>,
> nm...@cus.cam.ac.uk (Nick Maclaren) wrote:
>> In article <71db7f$pi4$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, <rwa...@junctionnet.com>
>wrote:
>> >
>> > Isn't this the problem with the AAT. We have the AAT in, ahem, full
>> > flood and also the dried out fallback position when the incoming
>> > becomes too hot and heavy. A recent poster to this NG put it very well
>> > when he said that genuine scientific theory has a pretty clear idea
>> > what it's about. Lacking any credible evidence the AAT can't set any
>> > bounds around itself and is a morass of unsupported speculation.
>>
>> Perhaps. Now exactly how does that differ from the savanna theory?
>>
>
> How? In this. When new evidence indicated that hominid evolution
> occurred in a wetter, more wooded habitat that became the new 'theory'.
> In other words science goes where the evidence takes it.

You want it both ways. AAT has shifted its emphases when new evidence
came to light . The orthodox position has done the same. In the case of
AAT you describe this as shifty behaviour - having a "fall-back
position" to retire to. When exactly the same thing occurs in the
orthodox context you praise it as being flexible and responding to new
data. It is exactly the same thing with this one exception. When my
thoughts about salt in tears and sweat were invalidated by new evidence
I accepted that but continued to hold that the anomalies must have some
other explanation. I even tried to find one. Among the orthodox only a
very few like P.V.Tobias have faced up to this and said: If the savanna
theory has failed us we are back to square one and must look for another
one. The orthodox stance has been to ignore the need to replace savanna,
to pretend that it is somehow still there, or that a mosaic habitat
somehow constitutes a new "theory". You do well to put it in quotes,
because it explains nothing.


>
>>
>
> The claim is that it's not easy to figure out exactly what the AAT
> is at any given point in time. Either they are claiming that hominids
> had an aquatic phase in their evolution substantial enough to pro-
> duce profound morphological and metabolic changes or they're not.

Okay.let's clarify. I can't speak for "they", because opinions vary.
As much as (say) the orthodox attempts to account for bipedalism vary.
That is in both cases healthy; minds are at work, throwing up ideas.
My idea is that at some point in time the bipedal behaviour that most
primates exhibit when crossing or wading into water became (whether
voluntarily or under duress) habitual enough to cause skeletal changes
selected to make bipedalism more effective. I would call that a
substantial effect, yes. And since water is the only element guaranteed
to produce b.p. locomotion in a wide variety of primates it would be
highly dogmatic to rule it out as a possibility.

Secondly, I also think that at some point they were in the habit of
putting their heads under water. I cannot be sure of the reason.
Maybe the level of water in their habitat varied with the season and it
became necessary to swim to cross wider stretches of water. More likely
they were going under to forage. Maybe break off shellfish from the
underwater rocks as sea otters do. But I believe this behaviour also
became sufficiently habitual to bring about changes, otherwise
unexplained, in the respiratory canal. Since water is the environment
most likely to necessitate changes in the respiratory canal, it would be
highly dogmatic to rule it out unless and until some better idea comes
to light.

Elaine


Elaine Morgan

unread,
Nov 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/4/98
to
In article <71hb2q$o4$1...@news.eisa.net.au>, rossmacf
<ross...@eisa.net.au> writes

>
>Recent posts from Elaine Morgan indicate that much of the theory used to
>support her original AAT speculations, such as salt cravings, tearing and
>breath-holding in neonates, can no longer be seen as evidence of AAT;
>however I struggle to understand what are the remaining cornerstones of her
>version of AAT.

Cornerstaones:

Humans ANOA (and no other apes) use bipedal locomotion

Humans ANOA have lost functional body hair.

Humans ANOA have large deposits of sucutaneous fat, from birth.

Humans ANOA have a descended larunx

Humans ANOA have voluntary breath control

Humans ANOA have proliferating sebaceous glands

Humans ANOA have a movable velum

Humans ANOA have lost apocrine glands except in opubic area

Humans ANOA have infants born covered with vernix

Humans ANOA have lost the habit of pant-cooling

Humans have only half the olfactory powers of other apes.

Humans ANOA have emotional tears.

Humans ANOA gasp when startled. (Can't porve this one but have sought
in vain for scientific evidence of this reaction in any other mammal)

Humans ANOA have resuscitated the hymen, lost to all other primates
higher than the lemurs.

Humans ANOA have lost estrus.

...et al. I do not believe that all these things are best explained
by living in a mosaic habitat, differing from the apes' habitat only in
necessitating occasional walks acroos open ground between one patch of
forest and the next. Do you? In all honesty?

>
>
>I still can't discern a well thought out Aquatic Ape Theory which references
>exactly which lines of evidence support it and which don't,

Well, where have you looked? I tried to give that in my last book

>or which type of
>aquatic niche was occupied,

I dont know, I wasn't there. The evidence points to water. Darwin
hypothesised Africa for our lca. He didn't say where; he didn't know.
The function of a hypotheses is to generate the kind of questions and
research that will bring us nearer to the answers.

what tests can be applied to prove or
>disprove the theory.

I was told for years that the fossil evidence disproved it. It doesn't.
All the long list of human autapomorphies is strong evidnce that our
ancestors lived in a very different habitat from their ape cousins. I
think nobody disputes that. Until someone comes up with a better idea
the water hypothesis is the only one in the field. When savanna was the
only one in the field that was held to be strong evidence in its favour.
It was treated as proven. Until it was proven wrong. Why shouldn't the
water theory be given an equal run for its money, even if it too
ultimately bites the dust?
>
>Elaine


--
Elaine Morgan

rwa...@junctionnet.com

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Nov 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/7/98
to
In article <6Mp6PAAW$KQ2...@desco.demon.co.uk>,

First things first so we don't have things being more unpleasant than
necessary. I am not accusing you or Marc or any other AAT proponent of
being 'shifty' or dishonest in any other sense. Your nemesis Lorenzo
makes accusations of that sort and I find that unfortunate and counter
productive since, IMHO, he has the bigger battalions on his side.

Secondly I put the word 'theory' in quotes not because I think the
revisions to the notion of hominids evolving in habitats that were not
as dry as Raymond Dart first thought is invalid but because I would like to
rescuethe word. A theory in the strict scientific sense is an explanation for
a body of evidence, both observational and experimental, which has
predictive value. Lacking this body of evidence what is described as
a theory is in fact only a hypothesis, speculation, a guess or inspir-
ation. This is not to say that the mosaic 'theory' is unsupported - far
from it - but everything is not a theory. There is a theory of hominid
evolution which says our evolutionary history is a terrestrial one and
that is where the entire body of evidence points. Where people like me
take issue with the amorphous nature of the AAT is when evidence or
common sensical conjecture of ancient hominids being found around lakes
and eating shellfish is proposed as evidence for more extreme notions
for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

> >
> > The claim is that it's not easy to figure out exactly what the AAT
> > is at any given point in time. Either they are claiming that hominids
> > had an aquatic phase in their evolution substantial enough to pro-
> > duce profound morphological and metabolic changes or they're not.
>
> Okay.let's clarify. I can't speak for "they", because opinions vary.
> As much as (say) the orthodox attempts to account for bipedalism vary.

The fact of bipedalism is not in question. Why can't you speak for "they"?
Because there is no consistent theory that has a body of evidence for
which it must account. Cosmologists who argue for 'Big Bang' don't say
they can't speak for other Big Bang Cosmologists. That's understood and
unnecessary because there is a theory attempting to explain evidence which
is independent of any one of them. The situation for the AAT is as if
there were several competing theories of relativity because the speed of
light was unknown and everybody was using a different figure based on
pure guesswork.

> That is in both cases healthy; minds are at work, throwing up ideas.
> My idea is that at some point in time the bipedal behaviour that most
> primates exhibit when crossing or wading into water became (whether
> voluntarily or under duress) habitual enough to cause skeletal changes
> selected to make bipedalism more effective. I would call that a
> substantial effect, yes. And since water is the only element guaranteed
> to produce b.p. locomotion in a wide variety of primates it would be
> highly dogmatic to rule it out as a possibility.

Or rather primates have a body plan guaranteed to produce a minimal sort
of bipedalism when they go into water.

>
> Secondly, I also think that at some point they were in the habit of
> putting their heads under water. I cannot be sure of the reason.
> Maybe the level of water in their habitat varied with the season and it
> became necessary to swim to cross wider stretches of water. More likely
> they were going under to forage. Maybe break off shellfish from the
> underwater rocks as sea otters do. But I believe this behaviour also
> became sufficiently habitual to bring about changes, otherwise
> unexplained, in the respiratory canal. Since water is the environment
> most likely to necessitate changes in the respiratory canal, it would be
> highly dogmatic to rule it out unless and until some better idea comes
> to light.
>

Okay its not ruled out. The point is to rule it in. Want a better 'theory'?
How about the anatomical and metabolic features which have made Homo
sapiens the most phenomenally succesful _Terrestrial_ vertebrate ever
evolving those characters in response to adaptive pressures imposed by
terrestrial life.
Regards, Rick Wagler

Chollian Newsgroup User

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
to
rwa...@junctionnet.com wrote:
: In article <71fu6o$pbg$1...@xenon.inbe.net>,
: "Marc Verhaegen" <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be> wrote:
: >
: > rwa...@junctionnet.com

: > >
: > > Until and unless the AAT comes up with solid evidence to support
: > > its claims paleoanthropolgy is quite right to ignore a 'theory'
: > > which at its heart contains such a massive absurdity. Resources
: > > are scarce and life is short.
: > >
: > It seems that you are unaware of a few facts. For instance:
: >
: > ? Lukeino KNM-LU 335 ‘pre-australopithecine’: ‘The red beds seems to contain
: > marginal lacustrine deposits as indicated by the presence of algal mats and
: > lacustrine bivalves (including complete specimens with valves in the closed
: > position)’ (Pickford, 1975).
: >
: >
: [Rest of list snipped for reasons of space. Please refer

: to Marc's original post]

: This is an interesting list and I thank you for it but just what
: do you propose I should conclude from it?

: A} That various fossil hominids inhabited or at least ventured


: into swamps, lagoons etc. Fine. Why not?
: B} That conditions in South and East Africa were wetter and the
: forest cover more extensive than Raymond Dart thought they
: were when writing 75 years ago? Sure, okay. Even silly old
: paleoanthropologists learn a thing or two in 75 years.

: A lot of this list looks like it tells us where _fossils_ are created
: rather than where hominids were living. I'm sure I wouldn't be telling
: you something you don't know if I were to say that fossilization is
: vanishingly rare when considering the total number of individuals of
: extinct species that existed and that being buried quickly by flood
: waters is about the best way there is to accomplish the task.

: My qustion for you or anyone else is this. Given what we know or can
: confidently hypothesize about the life histories of the various hominid
: species in your list are their fossils abundant, rare or somewhere in
: between when compared to the fossils of unambiguously aquatic animals
: such as crocodiles, hippos, turtles etc?

: And if I may, ask how many of the authors you cited in this list and
: did the field work which provided the data which you seem to think
: provides support for the AAT support you in this?

: Regards,

Marc Verhaegen

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
to

rwa...@junctionnet.com

>rescuethe word. A theory in the strict scientific sense is an explanation
for
>a body of evidence, both observational and experimental, which has
>predictive value. Lacking this body of evidence what is described as
>a theory is in fact only a hypothesis, speculation, a guess or inspir-
>ation. This is not to say that the mosaic 'theory' is unsupported - far
>from it - but everything is not a theory. There is a theory of hominid
>evolution which says our evolutionary history is a terrestrial one and
>that is where the entire body of evidence points.

Please, Rick...
The entire body of evidence (linear build, nakedness, volunt.breathing, SC
fat, apnea diving, etc. etc.) points to some "aquatic" or "amphibious"
theory or whatever you like to call it. Of course, we live at land, but all
evidence suggests we spent a lot of time wading & swimming & diving (& I
call "wading & swimming & diving" aquatic behaviour).

>
>Okay its not ruled out. The point is to rule it in. Want a better 'theory'?
>How about the anatomical and metabolic features which have made Homo
>sapiens the most phenomenally succesful _Terrestrial_ vertebrate ever
>evolving those characters in response to adaptive pressures imposed by
>terrestrial life.


What adaptive pressures imposed by terrestrial life do you mean??? please
name 1.

The point is not that we may be "the most phenomenally succesful
_Terrestrial_ vertebrate" (??, though nobody doubts we are terrestrial), but
how we got there. Certainly not through a savanna phase. Every non-forest
feature we have is much better explained by some "amphibious" (read:
semiaquatic) lifestyle than by some "savanna" lifestyle, see part of my
paper in Nutr.Health 9:165-191 (1993) "Aquatic vs savanna..." in which I
compared human features with savanna mammals, semiaquatics, fully aquatics,
arboreals & apes.
If you have still other (non-savanna) scenarios of human evolution please
let me know.

Marc

DISCUSSION OF THE COMPARATIVE EVIDENCE

Most of the listed human features appear to disprove the savanna hypothesis
in favour of the aquatic and especially the semi-aquatic hypothesis (Table
3).
More typical of (semi)aquatic than of savanna or arboreal mammals are:
nakedness, superficial fat, elaborate sebaceous glands, salty "tears",
multipapillary kidneys, flipper-like feet, broad hands, barrel-shaped
thorax, volitional breath control, poor olfaction, very long childhood and
very high longevity. A few other human features might also be typical of
aquatics (Morgan, 1982, 89; Verhaegen, 1987, 1991 a,c; Rhys Evans, 1992):
proneness to bronchial constriction, and to occlusion of the auditory canal
in swimmers, extensive superficial venous networks, and extensive, valveless
vertebral venous networks.
A second group of features, while characteristic of (semi)aquatic species,
may sometimes be found in arboreal mammals (often in apes), but these also
are absent in savanna mammals: rectal temperature around 37°C, very small
diurnal temperature fluctuations, proneness to dehydration, thermo-active
eccrine glands, ventro-ventral copulation, great angle between spine and
bind limbs, broadened thorax, very large brain, and very long lactation.
Very atypical of savanna mammals are: high water needs, low drinking
capacity, maximal urine concentration of c. 1400 mOsm/1, relatively long
first and fifth digital rays of feet and hands, tool use, well-developed
dexterity and vocality.
A few features, when compared to other mammals, do not allow clear
conclusions: bipedality, descended larynx, external nose, milk composition,
and long gestation.
Several human features are absent in Cetacea, Sirenia and most Pinnipedia:
large paranasal sinuses, moderate ear size, inferior position of the foramen
magnum, broad sternal bones, long clavicles, long arms, very long legs,
scrotal testes. All of these are found in (some or all) other primates, but
only the long limbs and the descended testes (and perhaps the large sinuses)
are normally seen in savanna mammals.
On balance then, if we must choose between an aquatic and a savanna
scenario, the choice is easy: not one single feature distinguishing the
savanna mammals is found in humans (relative independence of drinking water
and of water-containing nourishment, high tolerance of radiation heat, very
high diurnal body temperatures and daily temperature fluctuations, very
large external ears, slender build, high velocity, etc.).
In Table 3, the numerical score for "fully aquatic" is not far short of that
for "semi-aquatic", but in view of our long scalp, axillar and pubic hair,
abundant skin glands (eccrine, sebaceous, and axillar apocrine), scrotal
testes, intermediate ear size, pneumatised skull, inferior foramen magnum
position, broad shoulders, short lumbar spine, non-rudimentary pelvis, very
long legs, tool use, and return to the land, it is unlikely that there ever
existed a fully aquatic stage.....

Marc


Marc Verhaegen

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
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Chollian Newsgroup User

I thought I answered this before.

>: > It seems that you are unaware of a few facts. For instance:

>: > ? Lukeino KNM-LU 335 ‘pre-australopithecine’: ‘The red beds seems to
contain
>: > marginal lacustrine deposits as indicated by the presence of algal mats
and
>: > lacustrine bivalves (including complete specimens with valves in the
closed
>: > position)’ (Pickford, 1975).

>: [Rest of list snipped for reasons of space. Please refer to Marc's


original post]
>
>: This is an interesting list and I thank you for it but just what do you
propose I should conclude from it?

>: A} That various fossil hominids inhabited or at least ventured into
swamps, lagoons etc. Fine. Why not?

OK. Swamp & lagoon = water, isn't? So what are we arguing about?


>: My question for you or anyone else is this. Given what we know or can


>: confidently hypothesize about the life histories of the various hominid
>: species in your list are their fossils abundant, rare or somewhere in
>: between when compared to the fossils of unambiguously aquatic animals

>: such as crocodiles, hippos, turtles etc.?
>
incromprehensable question?
(comma after "...your list"?)
(What can you confidently hypothesize about the life histories of the
various hominid species in my list??)

You seem to ask: How abundant are the fossils of the hominid species in my
list when compared to the fossils of unambiguously aquatic animals such as
crocodiles, hippos, turtles etc.?

The list is about hominid fossils, so the fossils of the hominid species are
"very" abundant.

I think you could better ask, what is the ratio of unambiguously aquatic
animals vs unambiguously terrestrial animals near the hominid fossils? but
then, what is terrestrial? what is aquatic? how near? etc.

Difficult to answer. I can only give:
1) my list (I didn't find any pro-savanna evidence),
2) my impression (for what it's worth to you),
3) the opinion of the authors of the papers,
4) sometimes complete absence of terr.forms,
5) the list is about fossil hominids, not about our ancestors.

1) Please read it carefully & try to find some correlations.
2) IMO:
- earliest hominids (6-5 mya) near molluscs,
- early australopiths (4-3 mya) in swamp & gallery forests,
- robust australopiths (2-1 mya) near reedbeds, riverside, lagoon..
- early Homo (2-1 mya) near molluscs.
IOW there are clear distinctions, which fit the dental (microwear) & the
archeol.data: early australopiths ate (besides fruits) aquatic herbaceaous
vegetation (cf. microwear in capibara...); robusts ate more reeds & sedges
(thick enamel & microwear); Homo fed (partly) on molluscs (cf. tool use).
3) eg,
- Hadar AL.333 A. afarensis: ‘found in swale-like features […] it is very


likely that they died and partially rotted at or very near this site […]

buried in streamside gallery woodland’ (Radosevich et al., 1992).

- Makapan A. africanus: ‘[…] very different conditions from those prevailing


today. Higher rainfall, fertile, alkaline soils and moderate relief
supported significant patches of sub-tropical forest and thick bush, rather
than savannah. Taphonomic considerations […] suggest that sub-tropical
forest was the hominins’ preferred habitat rather than grassland or
bushveld, and the adaptations of these animals was therefore fitted to a
forest habitat’ (Rayner et al., 1993; see also Reed, 1993; and Wood, 1993).

- Taung australopithecine: ‘the clayey matrix from which the Taung cranium


was extracted, and the frequent occurrence of calcite veins and void
fillings within it (Butzer 1974, 1980) do suggest a more humid environment
during its accumulation’ (Partridge, 1985).

- Lake Turkana: ‘The lake margins were generally swampy, with extensive


areas of mudflats […] Australopithecus boisei was more abundant in fluvial
environments, whereas Homo habilis was rare in such environments […]
Australopithecus fossils are more common than Homo both in channel and
floodplain deposits. The gracile hominids […] seem to be more restricted
ecologically to the lake margin than are the robust forms’ (Conroy, 1990).

- Ileret A. boisei: ‘the fossil sample reflects climatic and ecological


environmental conditions differing significantly from those of the present
day. At Ilerat, 1.5 Myr ago, climatic conditions must have been cooler and
more humid than today, and more favourable to extensive forests […] The
prominence of montane forest is particularly striking […] dominated by
Gramineae and Chenopodiaceae appropriate to the margins of a slightly saline
or alkaline lake’ (Bonnefille, 1976).

- Olduvai middle Bed I: ‘[…] the middle Bed-I faunas indicate a very rich


closed woodland environment, richer than any part of the present-day savanna

biome in Africa […] (Fernández-Jalvo et al., 1998). ‘[…] Cyperaceae fruits


were common in H. habilis habitat (Bonnefille, 1984). Ancient Egyptians ate
Cyperus papyrus root which was also present at Olduvai in swamp-margins and
river banks’ (Puech, 1992).

4) sometimes absence of terr.forms in immediate neighbourhood of hominid
fossils, eg,
- Lucy lay in a small, slow-moving stream. ‘Fossil preservation at this


locality is excellent, remains of delicate items such as crocodile and
turtle eggs and crab claws being found’ (Johanson & Taieb, 1976).

- Chesowanja A. boisei: ‘The fossiliferous sediments were deposited in a


lagoon […] Abundant root casts […] suggest that the embayment was flanked by
reeds and the presence of calcareous algae indicates that the lagoon was
warm and shallow. Bellamya and catfish are animals tolerant of relatively
stagnant water, and such situation would also be suitable for turtles and
crocodiles’ (Carney et al., 1971).

- Turkana Boy KNM-WT 15000 H. erectus: ‘Mammalian fossils are rare at this


locality, the most abundant vertebrate fossils being parts of small and
large fish. The depositional environment was evidently an alluvial plain of
low relief […] Typical lacustrine forms (for example, ostracods, molluscs)
could invade the area […] The only other fauna found so far in the
fossiliferous bed are many opercula of the swamp snail Pila, a few bones of
the catfish Synodontis and two fragments of indeterminate large mammal bone
[…]’ (Brown et al., 1985).

5) I have the impression that our ancestors at that time (4-1 mya) lived at
the Indian Ocean shores (see possible finds H.erectus in India 3.4 mya, eg,
M.P.Singh 1998 "First record of mid-Pleisto.hominid from Siwalik" Abstracts
Dual Congress p.67). IOW the African hominid fossils are relatives but
perhaps not ancestors of ours (in fact, I believe the australopiths are just
fossil African apes...). Fossilisation in mangrove areasis is very
difficult: the tides spread the bones over a vast area; the high acidity
dissolves the bones; in the mangrove areas the sea floor is flat, so
landslides can't cover any remains. But inland hominids that dwelt near
lagoons, estuaries and rivers have more chances to be fossilised (=
australopiths).

>: And if I may, ask how many of the authors you cited in this list and
>: did the field work which provided the data which you seem to think
>: provides support for the AAT support you in this?

(what "AAT" do you mean??)
If they use to think as far as you do, very few I'm afraid.

Marc

Elaine Morgan

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Nov 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/8/98
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In article <722dp0$pvn$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, rwa...@junctionnet.com wr

>> >
>> >
>
>First things first so we don't have things being more unpleasant than
>necessary.

I'm sorry if I sounded unpleasant. I wasn't feeling that way .

> am not accusing you or Marc or any other AAT proponent of
>being 'shifty' or dishonest in any other sense. Your nemesis Lorenzo
>makes accusations of that sort and I find that unfortunate and counter
>productive since, IMHO, he has the bigger battalions on his side.
>
>Secondly I put the word 'theory' in quotes not because I think the
>revisions to the notion of hominids evolving in habitats that were not
>as dry as Raymond Dart first thought is invalid but because I would like to
>rescuethe word. A theory in the strict scientific sense is an explanation for
>a body of evidence, both observational and experimental, which has
>predictive value. Lacking this body of evidence what is described as
>a theory is in fact only a hypothesis, speculation, a guess or inspir-
>ation. This is not to say that the mosaic 'theory' is unsupported - far
>from it - but everything is not a theory.

Right, that is very clear. Now: suppose we agree that neither mosaic nor
water scenarios constitute "theories" in the Popperian sense which you
wish to stipulate. Then they are both, shall we say, hypotheses. The
water hypothesis offers a scenario which purports to explain many human
autapomorphies. Until recently the savanna hypothesis did the same. It
claimed to have predictive value but the predictions, insofar as there
were predictions, were not fuilfilled.

I cannot quite see in what sense the mosaic scenario constitutes even a
hypothesis, because I am not at all clear what it purports to explain.
You say "it is not unsupported - far from it ". There is plenty of
support for the idea that hominids lived at some time in a mosaic
environment. But there is very little or no new thinking to connect this
environment with any of the physical facts about the hominids that need
explaining. The strength of the savanna hypothesis was the idea that
protohominids lived in a dramatically different environment from other
apes, which could lead to the dramatic differences that in fact emerged.
The weakness of the mosaic idea is that the difference from the ape
habitat is minor, temporary, optional. If they got overheated they could
move into the shade of the nearby trees. Intermittent lack of such shade
is the only distinguishing feature of the mosaic on which the
conventional scientists seem to be agreed. You may know more than I do
about this. Can you give me references to papers which describe the
mosaic as a good source of explanations?

About predictions. If instead of saying "I think the savanna hyp[othesis
is invalid", I had said: "I predict that the savanna hypothesis will be
found to be invalid and will have to be abandoned", that prediction
would have been fulfilled. If I had said in 1972, "Hardy has named some
anomalies for which the water theory appears to offer a good
explanation. I predict that numbers of other anomalies will come to
light in the next couple of decades which no-one has thought about or
tried to explain which could arguably be connected with a watery
habitat"= then that prediction too would have been vindicated.

However I amm happy to settle for "hypothesis", and by your definition
that puts the water scenario on a scientific par with the mosaic one in
anybody's terms. Would you agree then that there is no good reason why
they should noty be given parity of esteem?

> is a theory of hominid
>evolution which says our evolutionary history is a terrestrial one and
>that is where the entire body of evidence points.

It depends what you call evidence. The fossil evidence is ambiguous.
Virtually all the hominid fossils were found in waterside locations.
It has been assumed that taphonomic bias is the only possible way of
accounting for this. That is an unsafe assumption.

You seem to assume that evidence from comparative anatomy is not
evidence. That is a very unsafe assumption. It is a recent heresy which
came into being after Dart had directed attention to fossil remains and
almost everyone in the field promptly forsook the study of general
comparative anatomy to immerse themselves in studies of bones and teeth
- the only features to fossilise. Darwin's work was 99 oercent
comparative anatomy. And it certainly got results.

>
>> > The claim is that it's not easy to figure out exactly what the AAT
>> > is at any given point in time. Either they are claiming that hominids
>> > had an aquatic phase in their evolution substantial enough to pro-
>> > duce profound morphological and metabolic changes or they're not.
>>
>> Okay.let's clarify. I can't speak for "they", because opinions vary.
>> As much as (say) the orthodox attempts to account for bipedalism vary.
>
>The fact of bipedalism is not in question.

No, but the reason for it is very much in question. It has been sought
in vain for well over a century. You imply that I base my ideas on
"facts" that *are* in question. I am not aware of doing this. If you can
find anything that I have stated as fact when you think it is not a
fact, I will try to sort it out.

>Why can't you speak for "they"?

Because different supporters of the aquatic idea have different
conceptions of how aquatic the creatures might have been. I thought you
were trying to pin me down to a specific pronouncement on this and there
is not enough evidence. I gave you my own guess.The difference between
this and other versions is no greater than the difference between
supporters of svanna scenarios who could not agree whether their
hominids were scavengers or seed eaters or hunters of big game. This
was not assumed to invalidate the whole idea of a savanna type of
existence.

no consistent theory that has a body of evidence for
>which it must account. Cosmologists who argue for 'Big Bang' don't say
>they can't speak for other Big Bang Cosmologists.

No, but any of the speculators about bipedalism - and they are legion -
would not be expected to take responisibility for the vews of other
speculators about bipedalism

The situation for the AAT is as if
>there were several competing theories of relativity because the speed
of
>light was unknown and everybody was using a different figure based on
>pure guesswork.

Ths is a good argument for saying that speculating about human origins
is not an exact science. I agree. It is not a good argument for saying
that any other speculation resembles physics any more closely than the
water speculation does.

>
>> That is in both cases healthy; minds are at work, throwing up ideas.
>> My idea is that at some point in time the bipedal behaviour that most
>> primates exhibit when crossing or wading into water became (whether
>> voluntarily or under duress) habitual enough to cause skeletal changes
>> selected to make bipedalism more effective. I would call that a
>> substantial effect, yes. And since water is the only element guaranteed
>> to produce b.p. locomotion in a wide variety of primates it would be
>> highly dogmatic to rule it out as a possibility.
>
>Or rather primates have a body plan guaranteed to produce a minimal
sort
>of bipedalism when they go into water.

Yes. I agree. But only in one did it become much more than minimal
>

> it would be
>> highly dogmatic to rule it out unless and until some better idea comes
>> to light.
>>
>
>Okay its not ruled out. The point is to rule it in. Want a better 'theory'?
>How about the anatomical and metabolic features which have made Homo
>sapiens the most phenomenally succesful _Terrestrial_ vertebrate ever
>evolving those characters in response to adaptive pressures imposed by
>terrestrial life.

Fine. That could account very nicely for the opposable thumb and the big
brain and the invention of tools. But there are numerous features which
would have been maladaptive for a terrestrial primate when they first
evolved - and are mildly maladaptive even today. Natural selection
could never have accounted for them in a savanna or mosaic setting.
Something extraordinary happened. Why was it only one
ape that turned out so phenominally successful? We all started from the
same original ancestor. Something must have happened to us which did not
happen to them. Your summary does not indicate what you think it was.

Elaine


Koen Robeys

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Nov 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/9/98
to

Elaine Morgan wrote in message ...

>Right, that is very clear. Now: suppose we agree that neither mosaic nor
>water scenarios constitute "theories" in the Popperian sense which you
>wish to stipulate. Then they are both, shall we say, hypotheses. The
>water hypothesis offers a scenario which purports to explain many human
>autapomorphies. Until recently the savanna hypothesis did the same. It
>claimed to have predictive value but the predictions, insofar as there
>were predictions, were not fuilfilled.

Just one point. IF we listen to philosophers at all concerning the value of
science, THEN we can do a lot worse than starting with Popper. In that case,
the mosaic theory has the weak point that it is not very "dangerous": when
is it actually wrong? If humans are so nicely adaptable to savannah and
woodland and water and the pole and mountains and (...), then what does the
theory add to what we already see?

From that point of view, at least, the AAT is much more interesting because
much more dangerous. In its ability to be utterly wrong, it attracts sharp
questions and deep investigations. It is obviously quite shocking to some
people and much more focused on what actually might have happened. It is not
a "safe" theory like the mosaic one, which even if the watertheory were
taken for granted might still manage to claim the aquatic stage was just one
part of what in the end was te big picture - the mosaic.

I noticed many philosophers seem to like AAT for this reason: it provokes,
it makes people stop and think. That doesn't say anything about the value of
its content. It's just their deep conviction the orthodoxy should be
sometimes challenged.


Lenire

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Nov 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/10/98
to
FWIW

I came across a SAT, Spanking Ape Theory, explaining the
loss of fur as a means of facilitating sexual spanking.

That was posted as a joke but quickly there were references
to chimps and such actually spanking.

Aquatic Ape is not erotic in the least.

=====
Any sufficiently convoluted argument can be made to appear to be science
as the layman equates incomprehensibility with science.


alg...@my-dejanews.com

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Nov 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/11/98
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Is this the best you can do? It is not the AAT that is convoluted but the
various traditional theories.

Give me the traditional uncovoluted arguments that explain hairlessness and
bipedalism. It is the human evolutionary 'establishment' that try to pull the
wool over the layman's eyes and make it incomprehensible to them.

Algis

rwa...@junctionnet.com

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Nov 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/11/98
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In article <7252q9$6to$1...@xenon.inbe.net>,

"Marc Verhaegen" <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be> wrote:
> Chollian Newsgroup User
>
> I thought I answered this before.

Hello Marc. This reposting is not my doing. I have no idea who the
Chollian Newsgroup User is. I apologize if it seemed as if I was
badgering you for an answer to my questions. I wasn't and I wish
the person responsible would say what he intended by reposting my
questions.

Regards, Rick Wagler

rwa...@junctionnet.com

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Nov 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/11/98
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In article <724ge2$b3e$1...@xenon.inbe.net>,
"Marc Verhaegen" <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be> wrote:
>
> rwa...@junctionnet.com

>
> >rescuethe word. A theory in the strict scientific sense is an explanation
> for
> >a body of evidence, both observational and experimental, which has
> >predictive value. Lacking this body of evidence what is described as
> >a theory is in fact only a hypothesis, speculation, a guess or inspir-
> >ation. This is not to say that the mosaic 'theory' is unsupported - far
> >from it - but everything is not a theory. There is a theory of hominid
> >evolution which says our evolutionary history is a terrestrial one and
> >that is where the entire body of evidence points.
>
> Please, Rick...
> The entire body of evidence (linear build, nakedness, volunt.breathing, SC
> fat, apnea diving, etc. etc.) points to some "aquatic" or "amphibious"
> theory or whatever you like to call it.

What do you call it? I questioned the careless use of the concept
'theory'. As for whether we are dealing with marine, amphibious,
aquatic, soggy, damp, lighty splashed upon or whatever is for you to
say. You must know by now that people are having a hard time figuring
out what any version of the AAT actually proposes.

> Of course, we live at land, but all the evidence suggests we spent a lot of


time wading & swimming & diving (& I call "wading & swimming & diving" aquatic
behaviour).

Sufficient to produce profound morphological and metabolic changes?
Presumably you say yes but all your recent postings to me and others
is only a list of evidence that hominids spent at least some time around
lakes, lagoons etc. This is not terribly persuasive for the wetter
version of AAT. A labouring elephant gives forth a mouse.


>
> >
> >Okay its not ruled out. The point is to rule it in. Want a better 'theory'?
> >How about the anatomical and metabolic features which have made Homo
> >sapiens the most phenomenally succesful _Terrestrial_ vertebrate ever
> >evolving those characters in response to adaptive pressures imposed by
> >terrestrial life.
>

> What adaptive pressures imposed by terrestrial life do you mean??? please
> name 1.
>

How about the opening up of the landscape of Eastern Africa....you
know the usual...

> The point is not that we may be "the most phenomenally succesful
> _Terrestrial_ vertebrate" (??, though nobody doubts we are terrestrial), but
> how we got there. Certainly not through a savanna phase. Every non-forest
> feature we have is much better explained by some "amphibious" (read:
> semiaquatic) lifestyle than by some "savanna" lifestyle, see part of my
> paper in Nutr.Health 9:165-191 (1993) "Aquatic vs savanna..." in which I
> compared human features with savanna mammals, semiaquatics, fully aquatics,
> arboreals & apes.
> If you have still other (non-savanna) scenarios of human evolution please
> let me know.

So we're back to the savanna as Southern Alberta or Eastern Montana
in a bad year are we? You just won't accept what people constantly
say when they point out that nobody is arguing from the position of
the straw man which seems so necessary to keep the AAT going. However
I'm game for an argument....

If you wish to play the pompous German Professor to the hominid bumblebee
be my guest. I have read several times - oh, okay, skimmed it once - your
list of the many and various ways in which we don't resemble camels. I had
always supposed so but it always helps to have the opinion of an expert.
However unsuited to the savanna you think hominids were they just didn't
care it seems. At some point hominids (Australopithecus,

habilis, erectus who knows) moved into it and eventually (sapiens) became
dominant. Compared to a Musk Ox we're terribly unsuited to life in the
high arctic but there we are. Compared to a lynx we're terribly unsuited
to life in the Northern Boreal Forest but there we are. I could go on...
According to you we are, however, very well suited to life in all the
various marine and aquatic habitats and there we aren't. Not in a
single one of them. You propose that a full and complete suite of traits
which made us accomplished aquatics should have been transferred in toto
to a terrestrial existence and proved so well suited to the task that
sapiens became, and I repeat, the most phenomenally sucessful terrestrial
vertebrate ever. Where are the atrophied aquatic traits? Surely there
must be some? Preadaptation is all very well but to propose it to this
degree is the reductio ad absurdum of the concept.

David Cogman

unread,
Nov 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/12/98
to
On Wed, 11 Nov 1998 19:00:28 GMT, alg...@my-dejanews.com
posted:

>
>
>> I came across a SAT, Spanking Ape Theory, explaining the
>> loss of fur as a means of facilitating sexual spanking.
>>
>> That was posted as a joke but quickly there were references
>> to chimps and such actually spanking.
>>
>> Aquatic Ape is not erotic in the least.
>>
>> =====
>> Any sufficiently convoluted argument can be made to appear to be science
>> as the layman equates incomprehensibility with science.

>Is this the best you can do? It is not the AAT that is convoluted but the
>various traditional theories.

>Give me the traditional uncovoluted arguments that explain hairlessness and
>bipedalism. It is the human evolutionary 'establishment' that try to pull the
>wool over the layman's eyes and make it incomprehensible to them.

Perhaps simply, it can't be explained at the moment should
suffice. That it can not be explained does not mean that anyone
thing that comes along which can not explain it either has merit.


I also fail to see why the "establishment" would give a damn
one way or the other much less what laymen think. I know they are
conspiring to cover the truth of AAT in your mind but much
greater changes have happened to no gain or loss.

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Nov 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/12/98
to

rwa...@junctionnet.com

>> Please, Rick...
>> The entire body of evidence (linear build, nakedness, volunt.breathing,
SC
>> fat, apnea diving, etc. etc.) points to some "aquatic" or "amphibious"
>> theory or whatever you like to call it.
>
> What do you call it? I questioned the careless use of the concept
> 'theory'. As for whether we are dealing with marine, amphibious,
> aquatic, soggy, damp, lighty splashed upon or whatever is for you to
> say. You must know by now that people are having a hard time figuring
> out what any version of the AAT actually proposes.


For my version see http://www.flash.net/~hydra9/marcaat.html

As for "theory", we're dealing here with a historical theory: explaining
what has happened. This is very different from a physical etc. theory.


>> Of course, we live at land, but all the evidence suggests we spent a lot
of
>time wading & swimming & diving (& I call "wading & swimming & diving"
aquatic
>behaviour).
>
> Sufficient to produce profound morphological and metabolic changes?
> Presumably you say yes but all your recent postings to me and others
> is only a list of evidence that hominids spent at least some time around
> lakes, lagoons etc. This is not terribly persuasive for the wetter
> version of AAT. A labouring elephant gives forth a mouse.


DID CHIMP AND GORILLA FOREBEARS WALK ON TWO LEGS?

Only a few years ago, most anthropologists agreed that the origin of human
bipedalism had to be found in a savanna environment some four million years
ago. But now the available fossil evidence suggests that it happened in a
forested habitat and that the date ought to be set further back.
Another recent acquisition in anthropology results from DNA comparisons of
different species. These bio-molecular data - sometimes, rather
inappropriately, called the molecular clock - prompted to move chimpanzees
and gorillas from the pongids to the hominids. The hominoids (humans and
apes) are divided into the lesser apes (the hylobatids or the gibbon and
siamang apes) and the great hominoids. The great hominoids contain two
groups, the pongids and the hominids. “Pongids” in its new definition is now
understood to include the Asian orang-utans and their presumed fossil
relatives such as Sivapithecus and Gigantopithecus, but not any more the
other great apes - the African chimpanzees and gorillas. The “hominid” group
was formerly believed to include only humans and their supposed fossil
relatives the australopithecines (see the NS of 29 March, p 18, Human
origins thrown into doubt).
The molecular “clock” also suggests that the pongids (orangs) and the
hominids (humans, chimps and gorillas) broke into two groups some ten
million years ago. Then the forebears of the gorillas and those of humans
and chimps split apart about eight or six million years ago. Most recently
the ancestors of the chimpanzees and those of humans separated between six
and four million years ago.
These new insights - the forested habitat of the early australopiths, the
“ancient” origin of bipedalism and the “recent” split of African apes and
humans - mean that the last common ancestor of gorillas, chimpanzees and
humans may have been a forest-dweller that walked part of the time on its
hindlimbs. Then the question remains: for what reason did the earliest
hominids begin walking on two legs?
Humans are very peculiar primates. No doubt they have had a special
evolution. Yet they evolved within the same biological constraints as all
other mammals. We think the comparative evidence might provide new ideas
about our evolution through the systematic study of the parallel or
convergent adaptations of different animals in similar environments and the
consistent comparison of human and hominid anatomy and physiology with those
of other species.
Most primates are four-legged tree-dwellers with mobile joints and limbs
that can be stretched and straightened to reach other branches. Thanks to
this locomotor flexibility they can adopt a bipedal gait with extended knees
and hips when wading through water. They prefer this “linear build” rather
than the leaping bipedality with bent knees and hips that some primates use
when moving on the ground. This erect posture allows the wading primates to
hold their heads as far as possible above the water surface. For example,
the western lowland gorillas go wading on their hindlimbs through forest
swamps to supplement their diet with what the researchers call aquatic
herbaceous vegetation or AHV (photo). And the mangrove-dwelling proboscis
monkeys cross stretches of water to reach other mangrove trees walking on
two legs, and they sometimes use this locomotion on dry ground in a
remarkably human-like way.
This suggests that the hominids began walking on two legs, part of the time,
in a milieu where there was a combination of trees and water. The early
hominids might have adopted a bipedal gait when they waded in seasonally or
tidally flooded forests such as gallery, swamp or mangrove forests. We think
an early association with mangrove forests especially is suggested by
several independent arguments: brain size, enamel thickness, tool use, and
the geographical distribution of the hominoid species.
Of the living hominoids, the hylobatids (gibbons and siamangs) as well as
the pongids (orang-utans) live in Asia, whereas only the hominids (humans,
chimpanzees and gorillas) live in Africa. About ten million years ago, most
hominoids, such as Dryopithecus, Sivapithecus, Ouranopithecus and
Ankarapithecus, are found in Eurasia. The Turkish fossil Ankarapithecus
meteai, for instance, displays anatomical features of both pongids and
hominids. These data suggest that pongids and hominids split somewhere in
Eurasia, possibly in the Near East. Therefore it is not unlikely that a
basic hominid population, perhaps ten or eight million years ago, before
entering Africa, could have clustered in the mangrove forests between Asia
and Africa in what eventually became the Red Sea.
These bipedally wading hominids might have fed partly on the bivalves fixed
to the mangrove trunks exposed at low tide. This high-caloric and highly
nutritious diet could have facilitated the building and fuelling of a larger
brain. Michael Crawford, Stephen Cunnane, Lee Broadhurst and others
connected with the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition,
University of North London, have shown that the long-chain poly-unsaturated
lipid ratios of tropical fish and shellfish are more similar to those in the
mammalian brain than all other food sources known. But shellfish, just as
fish and meat and most animal foods, lack vitamin C. Fruits are the richest
source of vitamin C, and most higher primates are predominantly frugivores
that cannot produce their own vitamin C. Fruit production occurs mostly in
forested areas but is often seasonal. Therefore, shellfish is a welcome
dietary supplement for a dexterous frugivore in mangrove forests. Marcus
Fernandes of the Emílio Goeldi Museum, Brazil, describes how the capuchin
monkeys of the mangrove areas supplement their frugivorous diet with
oysters.
Tool use is seen in diverse animals, but the best examples among mammals are
the capuchin monkeys, the chimpanzees and the sea otters. They all try to
open hard-shelled foods by hammering with hard objects. Sea otters feed on
shellfish and crack the shells with stones. The mangrove capuchins even use
oyster shells where stones are not available, Fernandes reports. Chimpanzees
and capuchins also crack open nuts with stones. It thus seems likely that
stone tool use often began with shellfish or nut eating. No doubt, the
hominids, like the capuchins and the sea otters, manipulated hard objects
for opening nuts and oysters. Arguably, this was the beginning of the human
Stone Age technology.
The hominids, present in Africa at least since six million years ago,
radiated into the australopithecines, African apes and humans. Several
side-branches may have gone extinct. Paleontologists now generally accept
the late Colin Patterson’s view that direct ancestors of living species have
little chance to be found in the fossil record. This means that most or all
fossil Australopithecus and Homo species are extinct side-branches of the
living hominids. Geologists say that fossilisation is especially difficult
in mangrove areas. Tidal water movements spread the bones over a vast area,
and the high acidity dissolves the bony remains. Also, in mangrove areas the
sea floor is plain, so there is virtually no chance for a landslide to cover
any remains. So the inland offshoots, which might have dwelt in lagoons,
estuaries and rivers, are more likely to be discovered than mangrove
dwelling hominids.
Many of the more inland branches must have evolved in parallel. As they
followed the rivers upstream, shellfish became rarer, and the shellfish part
in the diet was gradually replaced by plant food. Step by step, they became
more herbivorous and terrestrial again. Since, according to the
bio-molecular data, the hominids first split into the gorilla branch at the
one hand and the human-chimp branch at the other (about eight or six million
years ago), the gorilla branch might have been the first to colonise the
African inland. Presumably they did so along the rivers of the Rift Valley,
and eventually became the present-day herbi-folivorous gorillas that feed on
aquatic and terrestrial herbaceous vegetation. As they moved upstream, they
must have consumed less and less AHV and more and more THV, and AHV is now
known to be less than two per cent in the diet of lowland gorillas. The
chimpanzee branch, one or two million years later, followed them. They
developed parallel features, but generally remained more omni-frugivorous
and more tree-living. Few traces of bipedalism would remain in present-day
chimpanzees and gorillas, since their ancestors’ interlude of frequent
wading and shellfish or AHV collecting was probably short and partial and
long ago. In some ways, we can view many changes as a U-turn back to a more
ancestral lifestyle of non-hominoid primates like monkeys. Features like
bipedal gait, tool use, dexterous hands, enlarged brains or thick enamel
might diminish or disappear.
Developmental mechanisms to account for thick and thin enamel in mammals and
especially in hominoids have been proposed in the 1980s by Laurence Martin
of University College, London. His comparative studies of tooth enamel
formation in apes and humans have suggested that the earliest hominids had
thick enamel. The fossil record tends to supports this view. Thick enamel is
seen in most of our fossil ape relatives, whether they lived before the
human-chimp splitting time (for instance, Siva-, Ourano- and Ankarapithecus,
though not in Dryopithecus) or after that time (the Australopithecus
species, though not in Ardipithecus). In living mammals, thick enamel is
typical of capuchin monkeys or sea otters that eat hard-shelled foods like
nuts or molluscs. “If for example, a mammalogist who know nothing about
hominids were asked which mammalian molar most resembled those of
Australopithecus, the answer would probably be the molars of the sea otter
(Enhydra lutris). This species possesses small anterior teeth, and large,
broad, flat molars with thick enamel”, says Alan Walker. In the sea otters,
it is perhaps not for cracking the shells, he adds, but for the occasional
hard inclusions, which could otherwise damage the dentition. Dental studies
by Pierre-François Puech and co-workers of the University of Marseille,
France, confirm that ancestral features such as back teeth with thick enamel
and rounded cusps, presumably linked to the procession of hard foods, may
have undergone an evolutionary reversal, showing more reduction in the
African apes than in the orang-utans, which still consume more hard-shelled
fruits.
The electron microscopic comparisons by these investigators also showed,
already more than ten years ago, that the early australopithecine molar
teeth had enamel microwear features, such as a polished surface with glossy
appearance, that resembled those of mountain beavers and capybaras, rodents
which feed on marsh plants. Puech was puzzled by these results, since at
that time it was generally believed that human ancestors were savannah
dwellers. But, more recently, it has become clear that most if not all
hominids must have dwelt in “wet” rather than “dry” milieus. For instance,
in 1992, Radosevich and co-workers, in a paper on the Australopithecus
afarensis fossils from Hadar, East Africa, wrote: ‘The bones were found in


swale-like features … it is very likely that they died and partially rotted

at or very near this site … this group of hominids was buried in streamside
gallery woodland’. And in 1993, Rayner and co-workers, on the A. africanus
fossils of Makapansgat, South Africa, wrote: ‘… very different conditions


from those prevailing today. Higher rainfall, fertile, alkaline soils and
moderate relief supported significant patches of sub-tropical forest and

thick bush, rather than savannah … sub-tropical forest was the hominins’


preferred habitat rather than grassland or bushveld, and the adaptations of

these animals was therefore fitted to a forest habitat’. Since then, other
palaeo-environmental reconstructions have confirmed that early
australopithecines typically dwelt in swale-like streamside gallery
woodlands. This is where they might have frequently waded bipedally in
search of aquatic herbaceous vegetation (AHV). It is to be expected that
they did this in the same way, but regularly instead of occasionally, as the
western lowland gorillas do in the shallow swamps of the tropical forest
clearings (photo).
In the meantime, when australopithecines and African ape ancestors were
dwelling in wetlands, our human ancestors were left behind at the coasts.
Homo erectus-like people colonised the Indian Ocean shores and even reached
as far as Java perhaps as early as two million years ago. Over time, these
omnivores improved their shellfish collection and preparation techniques.
Stone use and tool manipulation proceeded as a means of extracting the meat.
It is likely that this advanced their swimming and even their diving
adaptations.
Breath-hold diving is still practised by diverse human populations that
collect shellfish. In contrast with nonhuman primates, diving capabilities
are obvious in the human physiology, as has been demonstrated by Erika
Schagatay, in the physiological lab of the University of Lund, Sweden. All
diving mammals have the ability to breathe at free will whenever they intend
to dive. Many of them, like dolphins and seals, also have large brains, much
larger than most equally large land mammals. We think that large brains and
voluntary breathing, in combination with the rich vocal and musical
abilities as seen in primates like gibbons and other arboreal animals, were
prerequisites for what we now call human language.
Dexterous hands and large brains and spoken language then predisposed them
to occupy also the inland milieus along the rivers. Our ancestors’ linear
build - with the extended knees and hips and backs (the so-called lumbar
lordosis) suited for wading and swimming and diving - made it too difficult
for them to re-adopt a four-legged gait. They were forced to walk on two
legs rather than run on all fours. This bipedality is slower and might be
more expensive than the four-legged locomotion of other terrestrials, but it
allows us to make full use of our dexterous hands. On their way back from
part-time swimmers and waders to full-time walkers on land, our ancestors,
at first, might have spent a lot of time wading and fishing in rivers and
lakes. Other Homo species may have preceded sapiens in re-conquering the
land, to different degrees, as long-legged bipeds: rudolfensis and ergaster
in Africa, erectus and neanderthalensis in Eurasia.
Bio-molecular data suggest that Homo sapiens finds his origins in Africa
some hundred fifty thousand years ago (the so-called African Eve
hypothesis). This seems to be confirmed by palaeontological and
archaeological evidence. The first people with a fully modern anatomy and
without archaic features are found in Africa. And H. J. Deacon,
archaeologist at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, describes the
archaic Acheulian populations of the African Old Stone Age as “stenotopic”.
This means they still occupied a narrow niche in riverine and wetland
habitats. It is only in the Middle and Late Stone Ages that modern human
populations become “eurytopic”, occupying the same niche as the traditional
foragers in Africa today.


>> >Okay its not ruled out. The point is to rule it in. Want a better
'theory'?
>> >How about the anatomical and metabolic features which have made Homo
>> >sapiens the most phenomenally succesful _Terrestrial_ vertebrate ever
>> >evolving those characters in response to adaptive pressures imposed by
>> >terrestrial life.
>>
>> What adaptive pressures imposed by terrestrial life do you mean??? please
>> name 1.
>>
>
> How about the opening up of the landscape of Eastern Africa....you know
the usual...
>

...rubbish

(Because there are some indications that at some places in Africa at one
time or another there were less trees, that means that we began walking
upright. Can you imagine such nonsense?)


......

Marc

Tommy Dye

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Nov 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/12/98
to
Is there a website that details the ATT theory?

Marc Verhaegen

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Nov 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/13/98