Re: AAT reply from Elaine Morgan

Phil Nicholls (
28 Dec 1994 21:25:06 GMT

In article <>,
Troy Kelley <> wrote:

>>>So, following this logic, hunting dogs, lions, cheetahs, leapards,
>>>hyenas, and a host of other carnavoirs should give birth to plumb babies
>>>because they all have to follow game animals around on the savannah for
>>>food. This is not the case. The fat deposits of these animals is not
>>>similar to the fat deposits in man. I doubt if any of the animals I
>>>listed, as newborns, could float in water the way a human baby can.
>>>Troy Kelley
>>Troy, listen very carefully:
>>Lamarch = OUT
>>Darwin = IN
>>It's been that way for a very long time now. Organisms are a product
>>of environment AND geneology. Therefore the "why don't . . ." questions
>>that AAH love to ask are meaningless except as a display of the
>>"pop-science" level of there understanding of evolution.
>>Philip "Chris" Nicholls Department of Anthropology
>>Institute for Hydrohominoid Studies SUNY Albany
>>University of Ediacara
>>"Semper Alouatta"
>Man.. you sure are a confrontational guy.
>Phil... Listen carefully.. I am not talking about Lamarach I am talking
>about CONVERGENT EVOLUTION.. something you continually choose to ignore,
>mainly because AAT is supported by it.
>Troy Kelley.

Troy, old bean, I am not ignoring convergent evolution at all. I
suggest you take a close look at those examples of convergent evolution
that are known. They are require fairly long time spans and specific
niche parameters through which selection operates. In other words,
the requirments of a particular environment act as a constraint on
form to some degree.

I have now read Morgan's _Scars of Evolution_ (prior to this I had
relied exclusively on her two other books, _Ascent of Woman_ and
_The Aquatic Ape_. ). The features she discusses can only be
considered exclusively aquatic if you use such a broad definition
of aquatic that you are no longer talking about a single niche.
The result is a circular argument:

Q: Why do humans have features A,B and C while apes do not?
A: Because they have an ancestor that was aquatic.
Q: What evidence is there for aquatic ancestry?
A: Humans have features A,B and C, etc., while apes do not.

I don't know of a single case of convergent evolution that occurred
in a two million year timespan.

Philip "Chris" Nicholls Department of Anthropology
Institute for Hydrohominoid Studies SUNY Albany
University of Ediacara
"Semper Alouatta"