Re: aat-reply to Moore.

Elaine Morgan (
Sat, 08 Jul 1995 13:36:36 GMT

Ralph Holloway writes:

>I repeat my assertion. Those palaeontologists who have spent
>their lives on bipedal locomotion have a very hard time
>taking AAT seriously. Sorry, but there it is.

I know you do, and I'm sorry too. But you're having an
equally hard time not taking AAT seriously, aren't you?
because none of the alternative theories holds water (no pun
intended) and you cannot agree on why bipedalism evolved only
once or why it evolved at all.

We need specialists who spend their lives on a single facet
of human evolution like bipedalism - we could get nowhere
without them - but it can mean that they ignore all the
corroborative evidence from all the other parts of the human
body including all the parts that do not fossilise. If
bipedalism was the only physical human anomaly that remained
unexplained, I would gladly take as gospel anything those
specialists said about it. But there are a dozen or more. And
the specialists in all those fields take the same stance: We
cannot tell you exactly why the skin or the larynx or the
control of the tear glands are so different from those of the
chimpanzee, but we have spent our lives in the relevant
disciplines and you must accept our word for it that in this
case AAT is not the answer. It must be something else. We may
find out later . Or (and I have heard this phrase more than
once) we may never find out.

I don't think we will ever find out without a
multi-disciplinary approach. And the drive for a
multi-disciplinary approach tends to come in the first
instance from non-specialists. Sorry, but there it is.

Elaine Morgan
Elaine Morgan