Re: YET another aquatic ape post

WIlliam C. Wilson (
26 Jan 1995 02:21:34 GMT (Sir CPU) wrote:

> From what I read in Desmond Morris' book "Manwatching", the baby's motor
> actions are "coordinated" enough to propel the baby in a specific
> direction. That is swimming. They float on their backs and kick their
> legs and arms and actually move in a direction. Not bad for a newborn.

Excuse me, if the baby is on its back (I assume because it can't breath
otherwise) then its legs and arms are in the air, how do these "paddles"
push the water? Also, limb joints naturally restrict the range of limb
motions to ones that will generate a forward motion if the resistance is
small enough; this is true of all limbed animals (2 & 4). How does
that equate with your innate ability (that had to be specifically
adapted) to swim? The motions a baby makes are those of a land
creature (walking/crawling/swinging) not those of a swimmer. (compare
the difference in speed & efficiency between a dogpaddle and the
modern freestyle or butterfly, a baby could barely dogpaddle while
to move quickly enough for possible escape in the water you need the
motions af the freestyle or butterfly.

> So, it would appear that there is an innate ability to swim that appears
> in humans before the ability to walk, then mysteriously disappears at
> approximately four months of age. I find this fasinating, especially
> because most savanna creatures have the ablity to run almost immediatly at
> birth, in order to escape from predators.

Most primates require extended natal care periods, we should not
compare humans, protohumans, etc to antelope, horses, and other
extremely distant mammal types when comparing survival tactics. If
we stay within the primates or even better, within the anthropoids
we see the real comparisons.

> But, of course, this evidence is not "hard" fossil evidence so you
> anthropologists can ignore it.
> Troy Kelley.

Actually we seldom ignore the evidence, but we do often value it less
because of problems such as poor comparisons, or inattention to detail.
We do try to be objective, if we fail sometimes remember we are human.

WIlliam C. Wilson