Re: The meaning of "convergence" in paleo.

Phillip Bigelow (
Thu, 22 Dec 1994 04:48:53 GMT (Pat Dooley) writes:

>In article <>,
> (Phillip Bigelow) writes:
> CONVERGENCE is defined as characteristics of organisms that are similar
>in structure **and function**, but have arisen separately in different
>groups of animals. Convergent characteristics are common in groups that
>become adapted to a **similar habitat** or way of life.
>Well, you got that one right. But it is not restricted to a single
>instance in time. It is perfectly valid to cite the principle when
>discussing evolution at any time. The AAH is not claiming that
>humans are aquatic NOW, (although they are still far more
>acquatic than any other ape). snip...

>Pat Dooley

Unfortunately, you missed the point: Convergence is defined as a
similarity of characters between two species that _already_ share a common
habitat or way of life. The point was that the pro-Aquatic ape people are
claiming that hairlessness _is_ a convergence with animals such as hippos.
As such, the pro-aquatic ape people are mis-using the term, and clearly
don't understand the concept of convergence as well as they should.
They are claiming that humans are convergent with aquatic animals, even
though humans and aquatic animals don't presently share the same habitat.
To repeat my earlier post: The AAT people are doing things in reverse.
Unfortunately, you can't redefine already well-defined definitions, just to
suit your cause. (Hey, _I_ didn't write the definition!).