Re: Parasites and paleoanthropology

Keith Norris (keith@GECKO.BIOL.WITS.AC.ZA)
Fri, 19 Jul 1996 13:11:50 LOCAL

Paul Crowley <> wrote:

>I suggest that a thorough and wide-ranging study of h.s.s.
>parasites (and their evolution) would show that fairly dense,
>localised and sizeable hominid populations have inhabited areas
>close to standing bodies of fresh water in the tropics at or near
>sea-level for many hundreds of thousands of years. In other words,
>such a study would go to disprove hunting/savannah theories of
>human evolution.

No it would not. The savannah theory does not mean arid, without water.
Early man would have needed water from some place, not so? Just because we
have parasites associated with water does not mean we had an aquatic phase,
just that we utelised water for drinking and eating (i.e. fish etc.). I
suspect that you are trying to propogate the AAT. I suggest you read the
letters pages of New Scientist directly after Hardy's original article if this
is the case. One of them addresses this problem.

Keith Norris
University of the Witwatersrand
South Africa