Re: Fossils and Pseudoscience

Pat Dooley (
20 Jan 1995 21:12:09 -0500

Pat Dooley <> wrote:
>|>Children have to be taught to walk. Parents spend a lot of time
>|>holding them upright and encouraging them to take those
>|>first few steps. In turns out that young babies can swim
>|>before they can walk and actually have instincts that stop
>|>them from trying to breath underwater. They lose this ability
>|>within the first year of life, and have to be taught to swim
> This bit about babies bothers me. As I understand it, modern human
>come out effectively "premature", because their large heads would make it

>difficult to pass thru if they were allowed to mature more in the mother.

>Since the fossil record indicates that large brain size occurred after
>bipedalism, wouldn't the pre-large-brain babies be more "mature" when
>just like the other apes?
> So, to argue using modern human babies in their first year of life
>very misleading.
Mature and immature are misleading terms in this context. Human babies are
carried for 9 months which is comparable to the length of pregnancy in
other apes. The real diference is in the growth patterns; human babies
up a lot of fat and brain tissue compared to other ape babies.

All ape babies are relatively helpless at birth; it so happens that human
babies are less helpless in water than other ape babies. Why the
What possible evolutionary reason would so equip a forest or savannah
ape baby? Evolution doesn€t waste resources evolving useless abilities; it
does leave traces of previous abilities that are no longer needed. Two
examples are sweaty palms and the gripping ability of young babies - two
arboreal adaptations.

Pat D