Re: Reply to Holloway

Ralph L Holloway (
Sat, 15 Jul 1995 13:16:19 -0400

On Thu, 13 Jul 1995, Elaine Morgan wrote:

> 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.
Nothing has been disproved, Elaine, and the controversy isn't really
about Elaine Morgan's AAT evidence or the lack thereof, but whether or
not early Australopithecines, or Ardipithecus, or whatever, retained some
arboreal adaptations. You've raised your nonsense to the position of a
serious contending scenario, and I'm real sorry, Elaine, but very few
accept your visions as something seriously deserving of careful rebuttal,
because in fact you only have assertions and not one scrap of fossil
evidence that can be interpreted as eityher an aquatic adaptation of
something retained from one. I don't mind arguing evidence, Elaine, but I
do mind arguing your ego, and you can trot out whatever Robin Dunbar has
to say, or Dawkins, or whomever, and it just doesn't cut any mustard with
me. Sorry. I've argued with Dunbar about the brain and found him relatively
uninformed about it works or what it is constructed of, and a failure to
see where hios theory takes him in light of recent evidence regarding
human variation in brains, and you can read all about it in one of last
year's Behavhioral Brain Sciences issues (BBS).> Sorry, Ralph, but nearly
all the bits of AAT evidence I'll be delighted to argue with him on AAT too.

> -- 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.

Fair enough, but judging from everything that you have presented thus far
on this thread, as well as your "defense team", I haven't felt like I've
been exactly overwhelmed by the crushing weight of the speedily
accumulating new evidence.
"No case. Abuse plaintiff's > attorney." That seems to be your policy.
> Since I haven't seen you "abuse" or "disabuse" your defense team of their
rubbish, I
can only assume that you have agreed with it, as long as it seems to
bolster your conception of what the evidence is or isn't.
You have some video shots of bonobos wading in water. That's nice,
but what you can't seem to grasp is that whatever explanation you may
provide, a picture of a bonobo or two wading in water is not evidence con
or pro anything regarding ATT. It ois this crucial thing about what
constitutes evidence that is the major stumbling block for me and many
others who have been trained in Geology, comparative anatomy, and
paleontology. As far as I am concerned you have the advantage of
religious conviction, and I remain totally agnostic, if not downright
Ralph Holloway