Pat Dooley (
10 Dec 1994 00:55:06 -0500

In article <3c5p8n$>, (Phil
Nicholls) writes:

>In article <3c0qrj$>,
>Pat Dooley <> wrote:
>>In article <>, (Russ
>>>Paul-Jones) writes:
>>>1. It is hard to know what kinds of characteristics to look for,
>>> since I don't know what the AA looked like, and I don't know
>>> what mechanisms preserved the aquatic adaptations during
>>> millions of years of evolution in a non-aquatic environment.
>>> This objection is pretty much keeping the hypothesis, well,
>>> hypothetical in my mind. I want a model for the AA critter
>>> and some predictions for the chain of critters between us.
>>The starting point has to be creature that was the common ancestor of
>>chimpanzees and humans. Given that starting point, and I suspect it
>>that much different from a modern ape (homo sapiens excepted!), one
>>to look at what adaptations could be made if such a creature was to
>>partially adapted to aquatic life. The probiscus monkey provides some
>>as do Japanese Macaques.

>And exactly what do you base this on? Also, what information do the
>probiscus" monkey and Japanese Macaques provide?

Both species are partialy adapted to an aquatic existence. They show how
medium sized primates might react and adapt to an aquatic environment.

>>The other starting point is to look at the characteristics of other
>>mammals that
>>have made to the transition to aquatic life.

>Just don't look at the skeletal modifications they have made, right?

If we only looked at the skeletons we might mistake an otter for a weasel.

<<deletions or SPL comment>>

>>Above a certain mass, aquatic and wallowing mammals are hairless.

>So you are proposing convergent evolution? Exactly what do a whale
>and a pig have in common that would lead to hairlessness?

Never ignore the power of convergent evolution. As a former Australian
I am familiar with marsupial species that are almost indistinguishable
non-marsupial species. Why do dolphon skeletons look so much like
their dinosaur equivalents? To answer your question: pigs are wallowers.
While there have been innumerable pig species over the last 20 million
years, it seems that most of the modern versions have difficulty in
the hairiness department. A semi-aquatic ancestry might account for that.

<< more deletions>>

>Subcutaneous fat is found in all mammals.

Yes. But how much? When you look at the stats you find man amongst the
aquatic mammals instead of the primates.

<< deletia>>

>Except that Macaques only stand when the are in water too deep for them
>to wade into as quadrupeds. I have seen numerous films of them wading
>into shallow water to wash sweet potatoes or sort sand from grains and
>they are usually quadrupeds.

It's so nice when your opponents make your point for you. Monkeys are more
quadrupedal than apes, but even they go bi-pedal when the go into water.

>>If subcutaneous fat was an advantage in a savannah environment, then it
>>be as universal amongst savannah animals as fur. Nobody that I have read
>>has been
>>able to make such a case.

>Because if you will pardon my attitude it is a dumb question. Because
>we evolved and were not designed from scratch.

Ignorance is curable. Stupidity is forever. Dumb is somwhere in between.
We evolved from stock that had very little sub-cutaneous fat. Our closest
living relatives have very little sub-cutaneous fat. If that was the
starting point
then the fattiness of the humans needs an explanation. We evolved for the
relatively short span of 10 million years and increased our ratio of fat
to body mass by a factor of 10? If we were designed from scratch you could
guarantee that we wouldn't be nearly so fat and billions would thank the
for that relief.

Pat D returning to the fray, rather belatedly, but then...