Re: Re: AAT Questions...

J. Moore (
Sat, 8 Jul 95 14:08:00 -0500

Pa> I apologise for implying that gorillas might wade bipedally.
Pa> I have enough difficulty wading through your posts.

Apology accepted.

Pa> The fact remains that the other species
Pa> I named do wade bipedally. I've even seen them do it on TV.

I've seen them stand and walk bipedally out of water, especially when
carrying things or displaying. Just out of curiousity, and certainly
not because I think you're lying or anything, just when and where on
TV *did* you see bonobos "wading bipedally"? I'd like the title of the
show, with enough information about it so I can see it myself.

Pa> There you go again, misrepresenting a position. All apes can walk on two
Pa> legs to some extent. The proto aquatic ape could certainly have walked
Pa> on two legs without the support of water, just as Macaques, Bonobos and
Pa> Proboscis monkeys do today. The support provided by the water may have
Pa> made it easier for them to maintain that unnatural position.

Please explain how something "unnatural" can be done by all apes and
monkeys. Hint: it isn't "unnatural".

Pa> Pray tell, what sort of sharks and crocodiles infested the ancient salty
Pa> waters of the Afar sea.

Guess you never got around to "wading through" the long posts on
crocodiles and sharks I put together for the benfit of your education.

Pa> If crocodiles were such a prevalent predator of trainee marine mammals,
Pa> as you suggest, then nothing would have made the transition from land to
Pa> water. No Otariidae, no Pinipeds, no Phocids, no Cetacea, no Sirenia, no
Pa> nothing.

I asked you before to name one that's done so that's comparable to
your purported aquatic ancestor:
Name one that's around the size of the common ancestor
(australopithecine/chimpanzee sized), swims as fast as we can (I'll
give them the [unlikely] speed of the fastest Olympic swimmers:
5.1048 mph), spends 4-8 hours a day up in 3-4 feet of water, and
which reproduces as slowly as do chimps and humans who gather/hunt today.
Please, this is the third time I've asked you: name one.

Pa> And if they are such effective predators as you claim, the mere act of
Pa> drinking would have wiped out complete species. A whole panoply of warm
Pa> blooded highly efficient predators roam Africa, but that doesn't mean
Pa> their prey go extinct or stop evolving.

Pa> Your crocodile argument remains bogus.

See above. Name one.

Pa> One of the reasons why I suggested that humans could not have evolved
Pa> bipedalism on the savannah was because of the efficiency of savannah
Pa> predators. You promptly responded by saying they didn't evolve on the
Pa> savannah.

Would you point that out to me? No? Not surprising. I've always said
their most likely environment was the open woodland savannah that existed
in reality at that time, as opposed to *your* "treeless, waterless
savannah" fantasy.

Well, back to the "name one" request:
JM> >Please, I asked you before, but you've not complied: name one.

Pa> The ancestor of the whale was a shoreline scavenger of moderate size. As
Pa> a low slung quadruped, its water speed could not have been great. The
Pa> fossils of this ancient creature were found in the remains of an ancient
Pa> sea that covered northern Pakistan (i.e. warm enough for crocodiles).

You are, I take it, congenitally incapable of providing enough
information to check your claims? No name, no size, no swimming speed,
no reproductive rate info? None at all? You're telling me I have to
leaf through any number of books to study the evolution of whales based
on your unsupported claim? (Given your abysmal track record on the
accuracy of your information so far, I'm not inclined to do so. Give
me some info on it: name, size, estimated swimming speed, estimated
reproductive rate. Tell me where you read it so I can look it up;
that's the way science works.)

At any rate, you'll still be out at sea with that answer, as cetaceans,
as with most mammals actually, have a higher reproductive rate than
chimps and humans who gather/hunt. Oddly enough, even gorillas have a
much higher reproductive rate than chimps and humans who gather/hunt
(about 75% higher). Cetaceans, of course, are also born HUGE and grow
fast, unlike chimps and us. So I'm afraid you'll have to try again with
that naming thing. Next time supply the information requested instead
of just a vague description of a remote possibility of a candidate,

Pa> But, since you have been so intemperate as to call me nuts, you might
Pa> care to atone by listing the land based ancestors of each and every
Pa> aquatic mammal that would not qualify, due to its large size and/or
Pa> incredible swimming speed, as potential crocodile fodder.

Exactly what possible good do you imagine listing the land-based
ancestors of seals, sea lions, sea otters, etc. etc. etc. would do? We
see by looking at the present that animals with the reproductive
rate of chimpanzees and humans and of the same general size and swimming
speed do not exist in these habitats.

On the other hand, we see by looking at the present that animals with
the reproductive capabilities of chimpanzees and humans and of the same
general size *do* exist in the open woodland savannah habitat.

You're having a real hard time comprehending the significance of this,
aren't you?

JM > 2. Why don't humans have really small ears (or no external ears)
JM > like virtually all aquatic mammals?
Pa> >
Pa> >Pa> The size of external ears in aquatic mammals depends on how aquatic
Pa> >Pa> they
Pa> >Pa> are. Sea lions have residual external ears, as do otters. The AAT
Pa> >Pa> suggests that early hominids became partially adapted to an aquatic
Pa> >Pa> lifestyle; probably not much more than can be seen in some human
Pa> >Pa> cultures today. The time span for the aquatic phase was not long
Pa> >Pa> enough for such features as external ears to disappear.

According to the AAT, it was long enough to reshape our skeletons,
and change the structure of our fat, salt regulation, and hair growth
for all time. Why were ears exempt from these *massive* changes?

Pa> Besides not giving any credence to the principle of non-disadvantageous
Pa> intermediates, you seem to have no interest in the principle of
Pa> convergent evolution, either.

The AAT's views on the power of convergent evolution are *exactly* why
I asked about the ears. Explain to me why ears were exempt from the
effects of convergent evolution as invoked by the AAT.

Pa> We are getting a little silly aren't we? It seems that your only
Pa> response to any argument is to cry crocodile.

Now that you mention it, how *did* we survive standing around in
crocodile-infested water for 4-8 hours a day?

JM> >The position described by examination of our body hair orientation is
JM> >*not* "modern freestyle", or anything like it. At any rate, even
JM> >modern
JM> >freestyle swum by Olympic athletes is not fast enough to keep out of
JM> >the jaws of aquatic predators.

Pa> Crying crocodile again.

Now that you mention it, how *did* we survive standing around in
crocodile-infested water for 4-8 hours a day? You seem to not want
to answer that.

Pa> However, you do miss a vital point when you compare sharks with
Pa> a land-based predator. The aquatic ape only has to get to the
Pa> shallows to evade a shark; (sharks are not noted for their wading
Pa> or running).

You must have missed these quotes:

"The bull shark, *Carcharhinus leucas*, is probably the next most
dangerous shark in warm waters."

"Even though it appears to move slowly when cruising the shallows
inshore, it is capable of fast, agile movements when it wants to
attack prey."

"It frequents shallow water near beaches, and is a versatile and
opportunistic feeder that will attack without provocation."

"It is, therefore, a species that poses a serious threat to
bathers in shallow, warm waters."

>From 1989 *Sharks in Question: The Smithsonian Answer Book*
Springer, Victor G. (curator in the Department of Vertebrate Zoology,
Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, Washington,
D.C.), and Joy P. Gold (Technical Information Specialist at the
Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History,
Washington, D.C.) Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington, D.C. and

Pa> A bipedal ape has no such escape route when confronted by a land based
Pa> predator,
Pa> such as leopard, except, perhaps, to dash into the water and dive.

Or to handle the matter as our closest relatives, the chimpanzees of the
open woodland savannah, do.

Jim Moore (

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