Re: Reply to Holloway

J. Moore (
Sat, 22 Jul 95 12:22:00 -0500

Rl> I've erased the previous posts and am too lazy(right now) to go to the
Rl> Archives for this thread. What I remember is that the context in which
Rl> Dennet's book was mentioned and people such as Wilson, Dawkins, Pinker,
Rl> Calvin (actually, the last wto or three were mentioned by Mr. Dooley,
Rl> weren't they?) was that they, unlike palaeoanthropologists who have
Rl> devoted their research lives to the question of the evolution of human
Rl> bipedalism, do not roll up their eyes regarding the AAT. My sense was
Rl> that these people were mentioned as open to the possibility that AAT was
Rl> as viable an alternative to conventional theory as any other. I thought
Rl> these people were being mentioned as favorable to the AAT position. If I
Rl> misread these posts, I apologise.
<deleted text>
Rl> Ralph Holloway.

I'm sure no one wants to put erroneous words in Elaine
Morgan's mouth, so it should be noted that she didn't say that
Dawkins and Wilson have supported the AAT. Instead, she said that
the author of a book, which was "praised by Richard Dawkins, Jared
Diamond, Edward O. Wilson, et al." (they wrote blurbs which appear
on the back cover) asked people (none of whom he names) to tell him
"exactly why Elaine Morgan must be wrong about the AAT."

These *unnamed* people, most apparently in fields only tangentally
related to the study of human evolution, were then apparently unable
to offer a detailed enough critique to be "worth mentioning".
Except of course for some who offered no support but instead "admit,
with a twinkle in their eyes, that they have often wondered the
same thing."

One wonders how many of these same people would've been able to
offer an off-the-cuff, detailed critique of *exactly* what's
incorrect about, say, Van Daniken's *Chariots of the Gods*? Or
perhaps some of the current non-AAT Souvenir Press titles, such
as *Without a Trace -- More Evidence from the Bermuda Triangle*,
*The Philadelphia Experiment -- Project Invisibility*, or *The
Turin Shroud is Genuine*? Would their comments on these theories
have been "worth mentioning"?

So we have in this book no AAT support, and certainly not from the
"names" Morgan dropped (it would apparently surprise her that
reviewers can actually like and even recommend a book, play, or
movie without agreeing with every statement in it). Instead we
have on the one hand people who offer no support whatsoever, and
those who offer no support but say they "wonder" about it.

This Morgan evidently views as a marvelous vindication. ("Wow!"
says Morgan.)

This ability to grasp at straws at least explains her ability to
tenaciously cling to the strawman "savannah theory" she
constructed and first grasped nearly 25 years ago. ;-)

Jim Moore (

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