Re: Bipedalism and theorizing... was Re: Morgan and creationists

Phillip Bigelow (
Sun, 30 Jun 1996 19:24:48 -0700

Paul Crowley wrote:
> In article <> "Phillip Bigelow" writes:
> > (4) Hypotheses without attendant, plausable, testable explainatory
> > mechanisms should be discarded as psuedo-scientific arm-waving.

> This would rule out most hypotheses about past events. You'd have
> to bin much history, and nearly all paleoanthropology and astronomy.
> Are all theories about the Big Bang and black holes pseudo-scientific
> arm-waving?

Not all. Only those particular Big Bang and black hole theories that are
not testable. The ones that are not testable belong in the trash-can.

The Microwave Background Explorer satellite of a few years ago measured
residual microwave radiation (essentially "fossil radiation") that
supports the idea of some type of "Big Bang" event.

And the presence of certain types of sub-atomic particles also fits with
the mathematical models of a primordial "Big Bang".

And the presence of gas in relativistic orbits around star systems
presently ONLY points to the reality of black holes.

Since the presence of residual microwave radiation (2 degrees K., if I
remember correctly), and the presence of certain sub-atomic particles
("quarks"), and the presence of gas in relativistic velocities, all fall
within the category of "testability", then I submit that the rigorousness
makes the Big Bang Theory and the presence of black holes
well-constructed theories.
Note, however, that I didn't say that they are the "right" theories; I
just noted that they pass the litmus test for rigorousness.

> For example: Did early (bipedal) hominid females carry their infants
> in the ventral position or in their arms or did they (like h.s.s.)
> mostly leave them down in a safe place?

Such ancient behavior is untestable, and therefore will forever be
unresolved, because it lacks both real evidence and unambiguous evidence.
In which case, I get really bored with such mindless speculation REALLY
FAST, and I will wander over to ideas that show better promise of being
tested and/or falsified.
Paul, when you follow the logic path too far in any direction, and you
don't rely on hard evidence along the way, you run the risk of basing a
"logical" conclusion on another "logical" conclusion. And of course,
both conclusions could have no basis in fact. Elaine Morgan did this in
her book _The Aquatic Ape_, and then made the scientifically-baseless
conclusion (based on bad logic, not on hard evidence) that elephants must
have had an aquatic past (along with her other mind-excursions into
"La-La" Land). That's no way to write about science, if you ask me.