Re: Morgan and creationists

Harry Erwin (
Sun, 07 Jul 1996 08:23:21 -0400

In article <>, (Richard Foy) wrote:

> In article <4re67n$>,
> HARRY R. ERWIN <> wrote:
> >Paul Crowley ( wrote:
> >
> >The following is a working hypothesis. The most obvious way bipedalism is
> >advantageous (given the quantitative studies on locomotor efficiency) is
> >sensory. You can see further in environments where you have to move on the
> >ground if your eyes are far off the ground. That means you can move
> >further away from a tree on the ground and safely get back. That means you
> >have a selective advantage over knuckle-walkers in the _forested_-savannah
> >biome. Knuckle-walkers can live there, and you can live in the forest
> >biome, but the rule of relative advantage applies, and both species can
> >survive.
> It seems to me that the most obvious way bepedalism is advantageous
> is that it allows the fore limbs to be used for carrying tools and
> weapons. How far back in the evolutionary process this advantage
> became important is not so obvious.

Quantify, quantify, quantify!

Pan trog. uses tools, so this hypothesis is not testable as stated. What
are some probably false, testable statements relevant to your idea? State
and test them!

Eye height over ground is measureable and can be correlated to distance of
vision and warning time for leopards (etc.) in East African biomes. We can
put together a decent model of tree-to-tree movement in various biomes and
see which ones reward high eye height. If the weighted list of biomes
rewarding high eye height matches the biomes where there is evidence of
hominids and if Pan trog. tends to occupy other biomes, we can then begin
to sharpen the idea.

Harry Erwin Internet:
Web Page:
49 year old PhD student in comp neuroscience (how bats do it) and adjunct lecturer for CS 211 (advanced C++)