AAT as tautology

alex duncan (aduncan@mail.utexas.edu)
9 Aug 1995 19:50:15 GMT

The AAT is viciously circular. I had hoped that identifying aquatic
adaptations in pre-A. afarensis hominids might provide AAT proponents a
way out of this, but given Ms. Morgan's post, it clearly doesn't.

As currently formulated the argument goes:

1) Human features such as naked skin, sweating, bipedalism, etc., must be
adaptations to life in the water.

Ergo, the fact that we have these features demonstrates that we once
lived in the water.

I'm reminded of an example of the same thing in a Sci Fi book I read once
by James (?) Hogan. I paraphrase here:

"Look, I can claim a fairy made this flower grow here, but the existence
of the flower doesn't prove the existence of the fairy."

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