Re: Bipedalism and theorizing... was Re: Morgan and creationists

John Waters (
Mon, 19 Aug 1996 03:33:05 +0100

Elaine Morgan wrote:
> In article <> wrote...
> > (HARRY R. ERWIN) wrote:
> >
> > >And completely untestable without much better material than we have. I
> > >suspect body hair reduction occured with the emergence of H. erectus.
> >
> > Gerrit wrote:
> >
> > >That's what I suspect too,assuming that the reduction of bodyhair is
> > >related to thermoregulation
> Newman and others make the case that body hair reduction must have
> occurred while the hominids were still in the woods and the sweating
> followed later, on the savanna, necessitated becuse they were the
> only ones there without a protective coat of fur. That kind of makes
> sense to me.
> Elaine
> JW: Me too. It fits my hypothesis that bipedalism was caused
by the extension in the period of infantile helplessness from
24 hours (as in Apes today), to three months (as in Hss today).

Whether you consider evolution to have occurred in a smooth
Darwinian continuum, or an Eldridge/Gould set of digital
steps, it seems unlikely that the present situation occurred
in a single jump. Once the period of infantile helplessness
extended beyond a week, the nursing female would have been
forced to adopt a bipedal form of locomotion while carrying
her baby in her arms. This could be expected to occur while
the specie was still in its Ape habitat.

The mere carriage of the baby in the arms of the nursing
female would lead to thermoregulation problems for the
baby. Extended carriage could lead to death by heatstroke
under extreme conditions. While a reduction in the growth
rate of body hair would help the infant, the moulting of
the fetal hair on its head would probably precede such a
development. This is a characteristic of some human babies
today. However, it has no affect on the individual as an

Does this seem a reasonble proposition?