david l burkhead (
14 Jul 1996 02:26:55 GMT

In article <> (Richard Foy) writes:

[ 8< ]

>1. If newborns kick in water, it may or may not be an indication that
>the kicking is an aquatic adaption.

Perhaps you should explain how you are using the term
"indication" here. If a newborn continues a behavior that it exhibits
on land in the water it provides no special evidence of aquatic
anything. The only way kicking in water might be evidence of aquatic
adaptation would be if it were a behavior not observed out of water.

>2. If newborns kick when born on land it tends to support the idea
>that newborns have an instinct to kick. It provides as by itself
>absolutely no data regarding the cause of the instinct.

Exactly. It provides absolutely no data regarding the cause of
the instinct--even if the behavior continues when the newborn is in
the water. If the behavior were something seen _only_ in water, then
it _might_ be evidence of some kind of aquatic past. Since it is not,
it isn't.

Newborns kick. That they continue to do so in water does not
provide evidence of anything. I suspect that if you took an infant up
in the Space Shuttle and chucked it out the airlock it would continue
to kick in vaccuum (for a few seconds at least). Would this provide
evidence of a "spacefaring ape"?

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