FAQ - sci.anthropology.paleo

Daniel Yee (danny@cs.su.oz.au)
2 Jan 1995 23:00:47 +1100

[ This is a regular informational posting. ]

[ this FAQ is currently under construction, please excuse the scaffolding ]



I: Welcome
II: Other net resources
III: Frequently asked questions
IV: Introductory bibliography



Welcome to sci.anthropology.paleo! The subject of this newsgroup is
human and primate evolution. The charter for the group, this FAQ,
and a hypertext archive are available from the group's home page on
the Web:


or by anonymous ftp from ftp.anatomy.su.oz.au in



Other newsgroups covering related material:
sci.bio.evolution (moderated)

Related mailing lists:
arch-l - general archaeological mailing list
(subscriptions to listserv@tamvm1.tamu.edu)
anthro-l - general anthropology
(subscriptions to listservl@ubvm.cc.buffalo.edu)
humbio-l - biological anthropology, primate biology and behaviour
(subscriptions to mailserv@acc.fau.edu)
humevo - human evolutionary research discussion list
(subscriptions to listserv@gwuvm.bitnet)
primate-talk - primate discussion list
(subscriptions to primate-talk-request@primate.wisc.edu)

Interesting World Wide Web pages:

(The home page for this group.)

(Berkeley Museum of Paleontology)

(Anthropology entry in the WWW Virtual Library)

[ please let me know about all the things I have left out! ]



0. You don't seriously expect me to believe this garbage about man evolving
from monkeys, do you?

This kind of polemical question, or anything related (presumably from
creationists), is not appropriate for this group. Please refrain from
following up to such posts in sci.anthropology.paleo; direct the debate
to talk.origins, which is where it belongs.

1. What is the Aquatic Ape Theory?

The Aquatic Ape Theory/Hypothesis (AAT or AAH) argues that the hominid
lineages leading to Homo sapiens spent an evolutionarily significant
period in an aquatic or semi-aquatic environment. This was first
proposed by the marine biologist A.C. Hardy in 1960 ("Was man more
aquatic in the past?" _New Scientist_ 7 1960, pp. 642-5), but has been
popularised in recent years by Elaine Morgan. Her book _The Aquatic Ape_
is probably the best introduction to the theory. A report on a recent
conference on the AAT is _Aquatic Ape: Fact or Fiction?_, Eds. Machteld
Roede, Jan Wind, John Patrick, Vernon Reynolds, Souvenir Press 1991.

The Aquatic Ape theory was the subject of extensive discussion in the
USEnet groups sci.anthropology, talk.origins, sci.skeptic and sci.bio
during 1993. It also made an appearance on the darwin-l and anthro-l

2. What is wrong with the Aquatic Ape Theory?

[ a volunteer to write this would be appreciated ]



Cole, Sonia Mary
_Leakey's Luck: the Life of Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey_
Collins 1975

The standard biography.

Diamond, Jared
_The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal_,
HarperPerenial 1992

A description of human evolution and development, with comparisons
to our nearest relatives, the chimpanzee and the bonobo.

Johanson, Donald & Evey, Maitland
_Lucy, the Beginnings of Humankind_
Touchstone, 1981

A popular account of the discovery and analysis of one of the
oldest human skeletons found.

Johanson, Donald & Shreeve, James
_Lucy's Child, The Discovery of a Human Ancestor_
Avon Books 1989

A popular account of the discovery of a number of fossils at
Olduvai Gorge.

Leakey, Mary
_Disclosing the Past_
Doubleday 1984


Leakey, Richard
_Human Origins_
Lodestar Books 1982

Leakey, Richard & Lewin, Roger
_People of the Lake: Mankind and its Beginnings_
Anchor Press 1978

_Origins Reconsidered_
Doubleday 1992

Lewin, Roger
_Bones of Contention_
Penguin 1989

An popular account of controversies within paleoanthropology
this century.

_In the Age of Mankind_
Smithsonian Books 1988

A popular summary of human evolution with excellent illustrations.

_Human Evolution: An Illustrated Introduction_
Blackwell Scientific 1993

A more technical summary of issues in human evolution.

Morgan, Elaine
_The Descent of Woman_, Souvenir Press 1972

A defense of woman's place in the evolution of mankind. Includes
only a little hint of the Aquatic Ape Theory.

_The Aquatic Ape_, Souvenir Press 1982

A description of the Aquatic Ape Theory, consisting largely of
anatomical parallels between man and aquatic mammals.

_The Scars of Evolution_, Souvenir Press 1990/Penguin 1991

Essentially an attack on all current theories of human evolution
in an attempt to show that AAT is the only theory which fits the

Napier, John
_Hands_, Princeton University Press 1983

Includes an account of the evolution of the human hand, and
related traits such as tool-use, tool-making and handedness.

Willis, Delta
_The Hominid Gang : behind the scenes in the search for human origins_
Viking 1989

[ Thanks to all those who have contributed to this bibliograpy.
Any help fleshing it out further would be most appreciated: basically
provide publishing details and a brief summary of any books or articles
accessible to the general reader. ]


Any comments on or suggestions for this FAQ are welcome.

Danny Yee (danny@cs.su.oz.au)