Re: Human Language

Thomas Clarke (
15 Jan 1997 15:09:38 GMT

In article <> (IStaik) writes:
>Per Tom Clarke

>"The aquatic ape hypothesis (AAH for short) has been extensively
>debated on sci.anthropology.paleo. Much flammage was involved.
>It seems that since Elaine Morgan is not a real paleontologist
>(she is a journalist given to hyperbole and rhetoric) many
>find her ideas difficult."

>No one believed Wegner either, but it seems the continents do drift.

Before they jump on you, I will put on my devil's advocate hat and
anticipate the reply.

Wegner had a theory that the continents drifted about in the ocean bed
something like icebergs in the sea, but he had no physically possible

The theory of plate tectonics developed with data from the '57 IGY
and other sources has the continents moving as part of tectonic plates
which are created at mid ocean ridges and are destroyed at trenches
and similar zones. While the details are still being sorted out,
the plate tectonic theory has at least a plausible dynamical basis.

No doubt the situation will be similar with the AAH if the idea ever
comes to partial acceptance.

But to this child who has a fondness for calling the emperor naked,
Wegner's theory and plate tectonics both said that Africa and South
America were part of a single continent. This is the BIG fact.
The rest is important supporting detail.

Likewise with the AAH. Much of what Morgan and Hardy (and Calvin)
suggest will be thrown out, but I would not be at all surprised if
the importance of land/water boundaries in hominid evolution is
not eventually widely recognized.

Until that day, I bow to the data collectors ...

Tom Clarke