Re: Dissecting the Aquatic Ape: Bipedalism

Elaine Morgan (
Wed, 14 Aug 1996 13:47:41 GMT

In article <4ug4rh$> wrote...

> Paul Crowley <> wrote:
> >
> >I suggest that paleoanthropologists have, once again, let
> >themselves be fooled by a taphonic bias.
> In typical Crowley style, you have again failed to realize that
> paleontologists DEFINED the concept of taphonomic bias, not AAT-supporters.
> Elaine never mentioned this concept in her books on the AA,

I have mentioned it in papers. Not by the name of "taphonomic bias"
but describing the phenomenon nonetheless. Because palaoeontologists
gave it a name doesn't mean they have a monopoly of talking about it.

> and until we brought the subject to your attention here on
> this newsgroup, neither did most of the other AAT-supporters.

Anything that gets discussed on the newsgroup has to be introduced for
the first time by somebody. It doesn't follow that the knowledge of it
was restricted to the one who first brought it up.

> who by my reckoning, don't bother to read highly technical
> academic research written by paleontologists in the first place.

This kind of blanket put-down really doesn;t work.
Similarly you don't bother to read highly technical academic research
in other disciplines. Nobody in this day
and age reads all the highly technical academic research in all the
disciplines because they simply don't have the time. If specialists
only talk to other specialists knowledge is going to get ever more
fragmented and nobody will get a glimpse of the overall picture.
AAT (I was told I musn't call it that but you did) is the only
area where a multi-disciplinary approach is being seriously pursued
and this kind of comment is designed to stifle it at birth.

In this specific case, the principle is surely simple enough to
be grasped by anybody without going through all the literature. The
fossil record is a record of where an animal died, not necessarily where
it lived. Some habitats are more conducive to fossilisation than
others. We've all got to remember that and both sides sometimes
forget it. If I've got that wrong please put me right but it's not
as if we're talking about the General Theory of Relativity here.


> <pb>