david l burkhead (
8 Jul 1996 14:52:37 GMT

In article <> James Borrett <> writes:
>David Cloutman wrote:
>> It is generally agreed upon that humans are one of the few mammalian
>> species that do NOT have an instinctual ability to swim. It seems odd
>> that this would be so if our ancestors were aquatic.
>Generally agreed upon by whom? Do you have a reference for this claim? Do
>wading birds have an instinctive ability to swim? Do humans have an

Are wading birds a mammalian species? This one is news to _me_.

>instinctive ability to climb trees? I don't think so, so whoever
>suggested our ancesters were arboreal must have been smoking crack. :O)

As a matter of fact, humans _do_ have a pretty good "instinctive"
_ability_ to climb trees. Nobody _taught_ me to climb trees when I
was a kid. I managed that quite on my own as soon as I was physically
able to manage it (and was quite a terror to my parents from that).

And if humans _did_ have an instinctual ability to swim, there
would be a lot of swimming instructors out there put out of work. You
don't have to be _taught_ something that's instinctive.

David L. Burkhead "If I had eight hours to cut down a tree, I'd spend seven sharpening
FAX: 330-253-4490 my axe." Attributed to Abraham
SpaceCub Lincoln