Re: What did AAT Supposedly eat?

Phil Nicholls (
8 Jan 1995 00:52:38 GMT

In article <3emuh5$>, Sir CPU <> wrote:
>-Troy, I know of no one, except you, who has called the known hominid
>-fossils as "AAT fossils". As far as I know, even Morgan herself hasn't
>-stated such a thing. The hominid fossils in the collections of the
>-except for the new discovery of A. ramadus, have all been classified as
>-terrestrial bipeds. If any of them _was_ classified as an aquatic
>-it would have appeared in a science journal stating this, not to mention
>-a plethura of popular magazines from _Time_ to _Weekly Reader_.
>- Where on earth do you get your information?
> <pb>
>How can you classify anything as terrestrial or semi-aquatic and be
>absolutley sure?
>This is exactly the point I was making with my "polar bear challenge".
>You simply
>cannot tell from the fossil remains whether something was semi-aquatic or
>not. A terrestrial black bear's fossils and a semi-aquatic polar bear's
>fossils would look the same. If you could tell the difference we would
>not be having this argument. So you can't say "there are no AAT fossils"
>because you can say you know for certain one way or the other.
>And just because something has a current classification doesn't mean it is
>not wrong. The earth used to be "classified" as flat.
>Troy Kelley

If you should ever enroll in a critical thinking class you will recognize
this as an argument from ignorance (it has a fancy latin name, but I have
forgotten it). It is used a great deal in courtrooms to refute testimony
by expert witnesses and that is basically what you are doing.

An argument from ignorance is a logical fallacy (fortunately for lawyers
a jury often doesn't realize this). No, we cannot rule out the possiblity
that Australopithecines may have waded into the water from time to time.
We can also not rule out the possibility that Lucy was a lesbian, that
she died of a virus transported to earth by aliens from the planet
Xenon or a hundred other silly things.

Science works by looking at the evidence and drawing con inferentially
based on what we know, not what might be possible. Bipedalism is a form of
terrestrial locomotion. There are no mammals that are aquatic and bipeds.
Most of her anatomy, like that of any primate, is originally an
adaptation to arborealism, hence the flaws in the design.

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