Re: AAT Questions...

David L Burkhead (
17 Jul 1995 23:23:12 GMT

In article <> writes:
>Reply to Burkhead:
>>name one aquatic mammal that became bipedal"
>Nobody can name any nonhuman animal aquatic or otherwise that became
>bipedal so that's a bit pointless-

1) The claim is often made that an aquatic stage was important
stage in the development of bipedalism in humans.

2) The objection often raised to savannah theories is that "no
other savannah creature has developed this approach."

3) "No other aquatic creature has developed this approach."

If the argument works for your, it works against you just as well.

>> name one aquatic mammal that weeps for grief and I will eat your
>I can't let you do that: I have enough trouble with in its unmasticated
>But Steller, the one that Steller's seacow was named after. reported
>that when he separated a sea otter from its cubs, so that it could see
>them but not reach them, it wept. You may say that is anecdotal but you
>can't deny it is an experiment that could very easily be repeatd

Note that I _also_ said use the same standard you would accept as
evidence for primate weeping for grief. I have seen a chimpanzee
female, whose young offspring has died, weep from grief. If _your_
anecdote is acceptable, then _my_ anecdote is acceptable.

>Reply to Nicholls.
>You say our nostrils point down (a) because we are catarrhine. Every
>higher primate east of the Atlantic is catarrhine. Why don't all their
>nostrils point down?

A chimpanzee has a protruding snout. Put a chimpanzee nose on a
human face and, lo and behold its nostril points down.

>(b) because of loss of facial prognathism. This is an old story, which
>says it wasn't the nose that stuck out, it was the rest of the face
>that shrank back. --as if that explained anything. So why didn't the
>nose shrink back when everything else was doing it?

Why should it? Contrary to the myths common to the "popular"
versions of evolution, not everything has a reason.

>(c) early hominids did't have nostrils like ours. Nobody knows what
>they were like. You only know they didn't have an ossified nasal spine.
>Neither does a sea elephant, but it's got quite a remarkable appendage
>all the same.

You contradict yourself here. If nobody knows what early hominid
nostrils were like, then it is not justified to say what they were, or
were not, like. If nobody knows what they were like, then you cannot
make a pronouncement like "early hominids didn't have nostrils like
ours." You may _assume_ it, but that's all it is--an assumption.

So far, that's all I see--assumption, smoke and mirrors.

David L. Burkhead

Spacecub - The Artemis Project - Artemis Magazine

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