Re: An alternative to ST and AAT

Paul Crowley (
Fri, 06 Dec 96 10:33:42 GMT

In article <581nil$> "Gerrit Hanenburg" writes:

> >BS. Gerrit, knowledgeable and praiseworthy as he may be, is not
> >a scientific institution. It is not within his power to establish
> >a "scientific . . meaning".Gerrit's account of bipedal striding
> >was, in fact, quite confused and the whole purpose of my posts was
> >to point out that it did not permit essential distinctions.
> It does distinguish between different forms of bipedalism,only not by
> using the words you mention above. The meaning of those everyday words
> is too vague for scientific purposes.

Either we invent (and define) new words or we use existing ones.
If we use an existing word, we must respect its everyday
meaning. While we may elaborate on it, we must not go against
it or (a) we will ignore important distinctions made in the
natural language; and (b) we will confuse everybody. This is
what you did. I had said:

PC> But any serious thought on Lucy's morphology should lead to
PC> the same conclusion. If you can't stride, you must waddle.

You replied:

G> Both Lucy and modern humans have what is called striding bipedalism.
G> Waddling only refers to the an excessive lateral displacement of the
G> body during striding. Waddling does not exclude striding.

You now seem to have modified your position. In any case,
reference to any dictionary will confirm that "striding"
excludes "waddling", and vice versa. The essential distinction
appears to be in the length of step: "stride" refers to a long
one whereas "waddle" implies a short step, probably restricted
in some way - most commonly by length of leg.

> For example,it is possible to distinguish between a person with large
> rotational movements of the pelvic and shoulder girdles around the
> vertebral column,and a person with a large lateral displacement of the
> upper body without rotation. While both persons can be called waddlers
> in everyday language,that term does not distinguish between their
> specific patterns of movement.
> By simply specifying biomechanical details you can distinguish between
> the "waddling" of a chimpanzee and a penguin.

I am quite happy that different kinds of "waddling" should be
distinguished; but none of them should be confused with