Re: An alternative to ST and AAT

John Waters (
30 Nov 1996 21:08:49 GMT

Phillip Bigelow <> wrote in article
> John Waters wrote:
> > JW: I tend to feel a general answer is often a load of
> > mush. It is the details which are interesting. Would
> > care to outline the basic questions you think we should
> > anwering here?
> My favorites are outlined below.

(Snipped a list of pertinent questions)

JW: These are interesting questions Phillip, although I am
not sure that I understand them all. For example, this
question :

> How many different species of each hominid can we

JW: What do you mean by each hominid here? Could the
question also read *How many different species of hominid
can we find*. Or is that a different question?

> How different from each other are these distinct

JW: At the current rate, it seems that virtually every
fossil hominid will be classified as a separate species.
Are you calling for a re-examination of the rules of
classification here? I have often wondered about these
Paleontological species.

> 2) Analysis of the raw data (on-going, and much to be
> What is the phylogeny of the whole group of fossil
> based on skeletal structures?

JW: This appears to exclude extant taxa. Is this

> What are the basic biomechanics of the locomotion of
> each fossil taxa? Are they different between
> Is there a temporal trend in biomechanical changes,
> or does the data appear to indicate random change?

JW: Do you think you can reach any useful conclusions if
you exclude extant taxa?
> Also note one other thing in my list: not a *single*
question regarding
> how "special" our hominid lineage is. That is because,
> I don't believe that our lineage is that "special" in the
first place.

JW: Amen to that.