AAT is dogma

alex duncan (aduncan@mail.utexas.edu)
9 Aug 1995 01:01:19 GMT

>From Elaine Morgan's post "AAT and the bones":

>As in all sectors of this debate, we seem to be at cross purposes about
>the time scale. One line of argument is that after four million years
>in the sea, the skeleton of afarensis ought to look less like an ape
>and more like a dolphin.

>As for the challenge to predict Ramidus's postcranial skeleton, it is
>(may I say as usual?) a little one-sided. AAT-ers are to stick their
>necks out while the establishment keeps its head down and waits for us
>to come a cropper. Still, if that is the name of the game, what the
>I predict that you will find nothing more surprising in the skeleton of
>ramidus than you found on the dark side of the moon. His fingers will
>be like Lucy's. Pelvis and feet will be much more hominid-like than
>ape-like. They may be slightly less adapted for bipedalism but not
>very much. Whatever was happening there had been happening for a long
>time; it did not begin with the opening out of the forests.

I had a very specific goal in mind when I asked AAT supporters to predict
the postcranial anatomy of A. ramidus. I hoped to demonstrate that AAT
is a non-falsifiable hypothesis, and thus not worthy of discussion in any
group that lies under the heading "science." Ms. Morgan seems to have
proven my point for me.

And so, a question for proponents of the AAT: what would it take to
falsify your hypothesis?

Alex Duncan
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712-1086