Re: Oh No! No More AAT Please!

5121 Student 09 (
28 Apr 1994 22:18:53 -0400

>> (5121 Student 09) writes:
>Because such bodies of water tend to promote fossilization, isn't it
>odd that no aquatic apes have turned up in the fossil record?

Yes, I do. I also think it is odd that no fossils have turned up
for an entire 4 million year stretch. The very same stretch that
would clear up this mess.

>>> and overwhelmingly massive comparative data for a
>>>wide variety of other mammals, all showing the transition to savannah-
>>>adapted forms as the climate altered with the uplift to the west and
>>>the capture of the Indian Ocean climate between that and the growing
>>>Himalayan massif.
>>>All of that is hard evidence, against not a single "aquatic" specimen.
>>That hardly qualifies as *hard* evidence.
>It does in my book.

Which is exactly why I must strongly question everything you post.

>>Please explain (since it is *so* simple) how the following are
>>savannah adaptations?
>Once bipedal, hair loss promotes evaporative cooling.

I thought Pete Wheeler explained that water is a much better cooler.

>>Increased adipose fat tissue in the breast and thighs of women developing
>> at puberty.
>Sexual selection [hint: puberty]

Fat chick float better. [hint: buoyancy]

>>Dilute urine
>Compared to what?

Beats me. I just made that up :-)

>>Salty tears
>All body excretions contain salt. The concentration of salt in sweat and
>tears is HYPOTONIC relative to blood plasma. That means that they are not
>a means of excreting excess salt.

Who said they were? I just want to know how they are a savannah adaptation.

>>the Diving reflex
>Identical to "fight-or-flight" reflexes.

The bronchiols in the lungs actually contract when the face comes
in contact with water. Decreased lung function is *not* fight or flight.

>>Ventro-ventral mating
>Also occurs very often in pygmie chimpanzees. Also not a human

It also occurs in dolphins, whales, and manatees. What's your point?
I want to know how it is a savannah adaptation. Come on guy, this
is *so* simple. Remember?

>>Floating infants
>Infants tend to drown easily.

Only because they are not raised in an aquatic environment. Infants
in such an environment can swim *before* they can walk.

Babies can and do float. This is an indisputable fact. I've seen
it with my own eyes. How is this a savannah adaptation. *so* simple.

>>Sheltered nostrils
>Flat faces

Oh, of course, flat faces ... savannah, an immediate connection there.

>>head hair with rest of body hairless
>Bipedalism reduces the amount of body surface exposed to the sun.
>The one area of the body for which this is not true is the top
>of the head.

Very good. To bad the same can be said for cooling off in the
nearest pond. Head is exposed, must remain covered. Body is
cool, no need for hair.

>>Upright stance
>[1] Reduction of heat stress.
>[2] Increases range of visual field
>[3] Hands are free to gather and carry foods.
>[4] Primates that are suspensory feeder tend to be
> bipeds when they have to be terrestrial.
>[5] Bipedalism is more efficient energetically than
> primate-style quadrupedal locomotion when covering long distances.

I agree. Unfortunatly, this seems to be the basis for the
entire savannah theory (oh sorry, I forgot you mentioned before
that there is not "savannah theory").

>>find hand-grasping ability
>Retention of primitive primate condition. Fine motor skills are
>associated with manipulation.

Well, good. I'm sure that could only be used on the savannah.
Wow, it's all so simple.

>>communication through calls rather than badges or pheromones
>In general, this is the rule for anthropoid primates

I've never heard this. Can you back it up with a reference please?

>>enlarged complex brain
>The fossil record clearly shows that the brain did not enlarge,
>relative to body size, or become significantly more complex until
>Homo habilis. Australopithecus afarensis has a very small brain.

I feel like I'm on Jeopardy. What question goes with this answer?

>>feet not grasping
>Toe placement stablizes stance for bipedal locomotion.

Of course we all know human ancestors would never stand in water.
This is something they would just never, never do. Bad, ape,
stay away from that water, or else.

>>>And the picture leaves little or
>>>no room for an aquatic ape, but a whole geological province for savannah
>>>apes, which we are -- regardless of whether our every feature can be
>>>(or should be) "explained" by that.
>>Yea let's ignore those pesky details that don't agree with our
>>preconceived notions.
>Which is exactly what you are doing.

Well that's because it was all so simple and here I was trying
to make it complicated by trying to think of something that
makes sense. Silly me.

>>I don't disagree with your interpretation of the available evidence.
>>I do, however, strongly disagree with your assertion that it is the
>>only sensible and reasonable interpretation of that evidence.
>You have yet to show that your interpretation is either sensible or

Yea, I see now how *crazy* I was for thinking man may have spent
time in the water. Golly, I can't even think of anything more
stupid than that. Why would he even go near the water let alone
in it.

Oh, well, except to drink I mean. Oh, and of course for the food
in and near the water. But except for those two very rare cases
when would he ever go near the water? Oh, right to cool off.
Well, ok besides all those reasons I would be ludicrous to even
consider than man ever even looked at the water.

My [unsensible and unreasonable] 2 cents.
David Greene