Re: Reply to Phil Nicholls.

Phil Nicholls (
10 Jan 1995 21:22:02 GMT

In article <3ess1v$>,
Bryce Harrington <> wrote:
>In article <> writes:
>>Hi Phil
>>You wrote: Morgan has followed the traditional path
>>>of popscience and pseudoscience in that she is
>>>presenting her theory only to a mass audience.
>>>Pop science ignores those with expertise in the
>>>area and tries to make its appeal to the public
>>>at large..Pop scientists only present their arguments
>>>to the masses.
>>Oh honestly! This is Catch 22. Papers submitted to
>>established scientific journals are vetted by believers
>>in the conventional scientific wisdom and if critical
>>of that view they are rejected. What you are saying is
>>"These ideas are unacceptable and the proof of that is
>>that we have not accepted them."
>Talk about circular arguments, Phil. Another thing the two P's like
>to do is use a comment made by one pro-AAH netperson as characterizing
>the theory. What they fail to realize is that like traditional
>theories, no pro-AAH people agree on all points of AAH (how could
>they, there are still so many things we have no way of knowing).

I have focused primarily on what Morgan writes. I have no control over
the inconsistencies of AAH supporters. I am not a mindreader, I can
only deal with what is in print.

>Personally I really detest the "Pop science" claims.


> I don't really
>understand what the people mean by this term.

If you don't understand what people mean by this term then why do you
detest it?

> Many people would
>equate "Pop science" with things like cold-fusion, flying saucers, and
>crop circles. AAH doesn't fall into those categories. If anything,
>I'd put it in the "things to look at a bit more." Even if it is true
>that AAH is not exactly correct it may be that some parts of it may be
>useful in better understanding of evolution. Phil Nicholls even
>presented an article about Bonobos where ideas from the Aquatic
>Hypothesis were used to illustrate another possible theory.

I would put it closer to cold fusion. Pop science is (a) usually not
authored by anyone with expertise in their field (b) is very compelling
to those without expertise in the field (c) is presented in the form of
popular books only [unlike Stephen Hawking who has published his ideas
for both the scientific community and a popular audience.

As for my post about bonobos, I am afraid you missed the point. The
behavior of bonobos illustrates that bipedalism, like eccrine sweating,
is not anomalous as Morgan claims.

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