Re: Who Killed the Australopithecines?

Fri, 21 Apr 1995 18:24:49 GMT

In article <3n8e7o$>,
Phil Nicholls <> wrote:
>In article <>, BARD <> wrote:
>>>Please note the last sentence in the second paragraph of my original
>>>message. Australopithecus robustus may have continued to exist until
>>>as recently as 700,000 years ago, well after the extinction of
>>>Homo habilis and well after Homo erectus left Africa.
>>>The only sign of violence we can see in any of the Australopithecine
>>>fossils is some evidence that leopards considered them good prey.
>>>Your proposal is an extraordinary claim and extraordinary claims
>>>require extraordinary evidence. You have presented NO evidence
>>>MY position is that there is no evidence as to what caused the
>>>extinction of Australopithecines and therefore there is no reason
>>>to suspect and unnatural demise.
>>>Phil Nicholls "To ask a question you must first
>> I repeat....
>> What *EVIDENCE* do you have that A. species demise
>> was due to natural extinction?
>I am, perhaps mistakenly, under the impression that we are talking
>about scientific evidence here. To repeat my previous answer,
>I don't know what caused the extinction of any species of Australo-
>pithecines. You are the one proposing a specific cause and therefore
>the burden of proof is on you, not me.
>I assume natural extinction because there is no evidence to suggest
>otherwise. You are the one proposing a specific cause. All you are
>being asked to do is to support it with some evidence.
>Try completing the following statement:
>IF Homo ___________ [fill in species] killed off Australopithecines,
> THEN we should find _____________________________________________
> __________________________________________________ [indicate
> observations from the fossil record that you predict should indicate
> genocide].
>To put forward a hypothesis you have to have an IF/THEN relationship
>between your explanation and the data.
>If you can't generate predictions then you don't have a hypothesis.
>Phil Nicholls "To ask a question you must first


The fossil record has its limitations...

Therefore it is not a mistake to remove our
paleo anthropologist hats in place of

If we do this we may encounter ideas far more
compelling than those suggested by a few incomplete skeletons.