Karen (
Wed, 10 Jul 1996 02:27:19 GMT (david l burkhead) wrote:

>: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.

I don't know that it is agreed on by any consensus that humans have
instinctual ability to swim however I have seen a lot of instances in
childbirth films from my days in Lamaze classes (phew.!) that showed
an alternative method of childbirth in tubs of warm water, the water
being thought to be more comfortable for a newborn leaving its'
mothers' womb.
In all of these films, the baby held its' breath and kicked its'
feet. Whether or not this is an instinct to swim or the fight and
flight or whatever, I don't think it supports aquatic apism.
Blinking at loud sounds is also 'instinctual' as are many other things
such as wailing very loudly.
To put any one of them forth as support for any speculation is just
speculation, just so stories and while just so stories are fun, they
aren't really all that helpful to understanding things. Because there
are always a wide range of other possibilities for such traits


>: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