Re: misusing systematics

Elaine Morgan (
Wed, 3 Jul 1996 16:19:54 GMT

Chris accuses me of misusing systematics. I don't even *use*
systematics, let alone misuse them. That is because they do not address
the questions I want answers to. Systematics would tell me what happened
before the hominids split from the apes, how much of our genetic
inheritance came from a common ancestor, which other species we are most
nearly related to. I't's a great discipline, there's a lot of work to be
done in it. I have every resepct for it and no quarrel with it.
But what I am interested in is why we split from the apes, and what
happened to the hominid line after that, so that it led to such an
anomalous end-product as Homo sapiens. On these points systematists have
nothing to say. They are outside their remit. So what do you think you
mean by "misuse"?

You also say you got disillusioned with AAH because people kept
asserting things that had been answered, as if they had their fingers in
their ears. All this shows is that you are not thinking clearly about
the medium in which we are presently operating. People keep joining it;
they ask questions which have been answered and assert things which have
been challenged because they were not in contact at the time. Do you
think I don't get fed up with answering arguments and inaccuracies which
have been answered before? But I recognise that it proves precisely
nothing about the validity of the arguments for or against what is being
said. You should recognise that too.

If you meant that I keep reiterating things that have been proved wrong
you are mistaken. Jim Moore tried to make that one stick and failed. He
was reduced to a silly little quibble about the nomenclature of an
avian gland.