Re: Polar Bear Challenge for AAH opponents

Phillip Bigelow (
Sat, 24 Dec 1994 00:48:18 GMT

> Pat Dooley <> writes:
>> We're still waiting for an internally consistent explanation of
>> bipedalism, hairlessness, eccrine sweating and sub-cutaneous
>> fat from the AAH opponents.

If you are asking us to "force" a tie-in between these characteristics, why
should we? You have to admit; these characters you refer to are all very
disparate in nature. It is possible that they are all _discrete_ and unrelated characters.

If "internally-consistent explainations" are important to you, then consider
these "internally-consistent characters" that are found in modern humans,
all of which point to a non-aquatic past. This list is an example of how it
is possible to tie together practically anything, and come to just about any
conclusion that you like. I just heaped these data together as I
type this (off-the-cuff, so to speak):

1) Humans have poor hearing under water.

2) Humans are quickly suseptable to hypothermia in both cool and warm water.

3) Humans (and A. afarensis) have strong arches on the bottoms of their feet, which aid in long-distance walking over land; this is useless to aquatic

4) Humans have poor eyesight under water.

5) Humans suffer from a pathologic condition, in which, when exposed to cold
water, there is a re-growth and thickening of bone around the ear canal.
This condition is only found on terrestrial mammals. Aquatic mammals are
fully adapted to cold water, and do not show this pathologic condition when
exposed to cold water.

I don't like the idea of "lumping" character traits together in such a way
as I just did. The main reason that I am against it is that you start out
with a theory and then go fishing (trolling) for selected evidence that will
prove your side. What often happens in such cases is that you
subconsciously "weed out" all of the character traits that disprove your
theory. Therefore, I don't put any credibility in my list of 5 character
traits listed above. I just wanted to demonstrate that, if one wants to
make lists, then there are opposing lists out there that can easily refute
your list. In my opinion, lists are not the way to get at the truth,
whatever the truth will turn out to be.
Frankly, I place much more credibility on the fossil evidence; and the
fossils show _no_ morphological evidence of an aquatic ancestor. And the new
found fossils of A. ramadus continue to convince me of this.