Morg/Nich. Seriously, now

Elaine Morgan (
Fri, 13 Jan 1995 18:18:14 +0000

I apologise for quoting a sentence of yours out of

Misprint in my bibliography. It was a single printer's
error. The numbers had slipped down from the preceding
Newman reference; the proof reader had missed it,
Shock, horror!.

Science papers. Oddly enough I have had science papers
published. I've even had two solicited. I've had a letter
(presumably peer reviewed) published in Nature. Not
oddly at all, none of these contributions had anything
to do with AAT.

Peter Wheeler. I have read all Peter's stuff. He is
intelligent, ingenious, a thoroughly nice guy. He was
the first, I believe, to react to AAT by confronting it
instead of ignoring it. That doesn't mean I have to agree
with him any more than he with me. Several of his early
arguments were ill-founded and had to be dropped. I could
list them if you like. (Some of mine had to be dropped
too.) I never accepted his bipedalism-for-thermoregulation
theory and as you have seen in the current JHE, others are
also now rejecting it.

ECCRINES. This is serious. I haven't seen your posting on
this. If anyone could mail me a copy I'd be grateful. Some
off-the-cuff reactions:

> Primates on the whole do not use apocrines for
I never said or imagined they did. Most primates live in shady
places and don't use sweat cooling of any kind.

> In anthropoids the apocrines become smaller and are
reduced in number.
Nor nearly as much as in Homo. It's like braingrowth and
longevity - a small perceptible shift between simians
and anthropoids, a large leap between apes and humans.

>Chimpanzees do indeed give off eccrine sweat.

Hang on. Are we talking about non-volar eccrines here?
Are you saying they have been found to respond to a
rise in temperature? If yes to both of those, please give
your reference. If it is more authoritative than the
numerous assertions to the contrary, I will back down
pronto, and include this correction in anything else I
write on this subject.

> We know that by 2.5 mya hominids were living on the
savanna as scavengers. Therefore we know that there was a
transition from forest life to savanna life. That is
not a theory, it is a fact.

It is indeed. It is the only fact on which ST is based,
and it is inconclusive. As I wrote in Scars: if you see
a man at the north end of London Bridge and then see
him at the south end, you may feel safe in saying that
he crossed the bridge. However if your second sighting
was five years after the first and if in the interim he
had acquired a deep tan, a UCLA teeshirt and an American
accent, it might cross your mind that he had made some
kind of detour.

>Please tell me what aquatic mammals are bipeds.

I have made a 19-minute video about AAT (copies available,
not for public exhibition, from Dr. Ralph Metzner, 18210
Robin Avenue, Sonoma, CA 95476) It contains two film
clips illustrating what I regard as incipient bipedalism
attributable to an aquatic aspect of the environment in the
proboscis monkey. (In response to the crack about making
money, perhaps I should give an assurance that I have not
made and do not intend to make a penny out of this video nor
recoup what it cost to make.)

>Please tell me what aquatic mammals use eccrine glands for

Harp seals.

> No other savanna animal is descended from an anthropoid

Please tell me what features of a anthropoid ape render it
more likely than a monkey to respond to a grassland
habitat by becoming naked, bipedal, and vocally
articulate. And why the savanna chimpanzee has not made
the slightest move in any of these directions.

> The force of your arguments is inversely proportional
to the expertise of the person reading your book.

Elegantly phrased but unworthy of you. You persist in
implying that a positive attitude to AAT can only be the
result of scientific illiteracy. Westenhofer was an
eminent professor of anthropology. The other originator
of the theory, Hardy, ended up with a string of
academic honours as long as your arm.

Elaine Morgan