Re: Fossils and Pseudoscience

Kevyn Loren Winkless (
17 Jan 1995 22:38:15 GMT

(I'm afraid I forget who wrote this...)
>> Morgan has received a sympathetic hearing from a few
>> scientists, such as Desmond Morris. The theory was
>> originally proposed by a very well respected and qualified
>> zoologist, Sir Alister Hardy. He wasn't an anthropologist,
>> of course, but that makes him better qualified to judge
>> some aspects of the AAH than any anthropologist.

I think it is very important to note here that while some anthropologists
think that Mr.Morris has some good ideas and good points regarding humans
and human evolution, that many view his work very skeptically.
Especially the work he has published for popular reading. I personally
think that zoology could have a great deal to teach anthropology in terms
of researching human origins. BUT I find some (sometimes many - depends
on my mood ;)) of Morris's assertions a little far fetched. Quite
possibly, this very tendency (which others I talk to notice as well) of
his to make reasonable statements, and then use them as tentative
foundations for speculation, should make his support of questionable
value. I've read a couple of papers of his in professional journals, and
they seem quite thorough, so don't get me wrong. But he does like to
speculate for shock value to get people thinking...his support of AAT may
merely be support of the shock value. Kind of like zen: if the student
doesn't get it, hit him with something strange or paradoxical to make him
think from a different perspective.

As for sir Hardy, the different perspective of zoology would undoubtedly
make it easier for him to assess certain aspects of the hypothesis, but
physical anthropologists have a better detail knowledge of human
structure and physiology than a general zoologist could have. Where the
PAs focus may blind him, the general zoologists wider perspective may
make him ignorant of details. The challenge is not to convince the
people who do not know the details, but to convince the people who know
the subject best of all.