Reply to Holloway

Elaine Morgan (
Thu, 13 Jul 1995 17:10:24 GMT

Delighted you are still with us.
We have had conributors befor who pride themselves on their
healthy scepticism but why is it always such a one-way
When they were told we evolved from apes who moved to the
savannah they swallowed it whole. Now it's disproved and
they're told we're descended from apes on the forest edge
(presumably taking a solemn oath not the mate with their
kinfolk deeper in the forest) and they swallow that whole
too. Why don't they say: "I want to see some evidnce of
savannah mosaic adaptations in the earliest hominids before
I believe any of that rubbish"? No such evidence exists.

Sorry, Ralph, but nearly all the bits of AAT evidence you
quote against me are antique. I freely admit my first book
while conatining a core of truth and common sense, was
amateurish, politically motivated, satiric, under
researched, and written by an Eng Lit graduate
professionally engaged in writing tv drama. Good prima
facie reasons for busy scientists to conclude without
reading it : "This is not serious science" (fair enough) and
"nothing this woman writes will ever be worthy of our
consideration". The second bit was a conclusion too far. I
have come a long way in 23 years.

-- InThe Scars of Evolution you will seek in vain for a
mention of hair tracts or swimming babies or the directionf
the nostrils. New evidence for AAT comes in faster than
anything I have to keep in abeyance pending further facts. I
do't say you should buy that book because that would
infringe Netiquette but I strongly urge you to get a copy
from a library.

Much of what you say is concerned with assessing the reltive
status and credibility of people who may or may not support
AAT. There is an old story about a new lawyer getting out of
his depth and signalling to an older colleague asking what
to do. He was sent a note: "No case. Abuse plaintiff's
attorney." That seems to be your policy.

I would rather debate the facts but here are two more quotes
to try to persuade you that in Europe at least not everyone
in academia thinks I am some kind of nit/

Professor Robin Dunbar, one of the contibutors to the
Cambridge Encyclopdia of Human Evolution, wrote: "Morgan, a
writer with impeccable credentials and a wonderfully
intimate style has attracted a significant following in the
decades since she wrote The Descent of Woman. "
Following a seminar I gave at the Dept of Zoology in Oxford,
a letter from the Dept. said "A great many people in the
dept. have commented on what a wonderful seminar you gave
and mused on why the AAT has met with such wholesale
opposition.... We hope to hear a great deal more serioys
consideration of your views."