Re: Oh No! No More AAT Please!

Bryce Harrington (
27 Apr 1994 10:31:30 -0700

In article <> (NICHOLLS PHILIP A) writes:

>Hominid fossils are retrieved largely from areas associated with
>bodies of water because the water source plays a role in fossilization
>process. For permineralization of the bone to occur, water must
>perculate through the soil and pick up mineral salts.
>Because such bodies of water tend to promote fossilization, isn't it
>odd that no aquatic apes have turned up in the fossil record?

Excuse this laymen, but are you sure that people (I mean,
anthropologist type people) have looked in seaside locations for
fossils? As far as I understand, there are at least two places which
the AAT has indicated as good locations to look for fossils. But I have
heard nothing to indicate that anyone has looked in these areas.

Also, I'm not sure about your allegation that fossilization was as
likely to have occurred. My geologist friend has informed me that
sea shores are *terrible* places to find fossilization because of the
constant reworking of the sea bed. The only way they could have
fossilized would be through massive floods, volcanic eruptions,
or so forth.

Now, if the apes had been living near lakes and not the ocean, things
would be different. Also, if they had been living in a salt marsh
(which is kind of what I think), then fossilization would have been
more likely.

I am not saying that there won't be any fossils to be found; on the
contrary, I hope there are because if there aren't than there is *no*
way to convince you that AAH is correct. I'm just saying that you
cannot use the lack of evidence against a theory when that evidence
may not have even been preserved or when that evidence may be out there
but no one is looking in the right locations.

If you want to disprove AAH, the easiest way is simply to find a
complete series of fossils with no possibility for aquatic behavior
(for example, all fossils found in savannah areas). The fact that the
current series of fossils, while in no way complete, have all been
"savannah" dwellers is the biggest argument against AAH.

>Once bipedal, hair loss promotes evaporative cooling.

True, but in the sun, no hair == more heat absorbsion. And even if this
is such a good strategy for heat loss, why haven't other animals
adopted it? (I know this is an over used counter argument, but your
response is not new...)

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

I don't think so; I think this is an energy store for making babies.
(Too obvious for you Philip? ;-])

>>Floating infants
>Infants tend to drown easily.

True, if you leave a baby face down in a puddle of water they'll drown.
If you throw an inexperienced infant in a pool, panic and drowning
will likely occur. However! It _is_ possible for babies to float
easily in the water.

I don't think that this is a really good argument for the AAH, but it
isn't incorrect.

>>Sheltered nostrils
>Flat faces

Come on, Philip. Alright, then why the flat face? And I see no reason
why a flat face implies a need for sheltered nostrils. Your assertion
may be correct, but I require more of an explanation before I
accept this.

>>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'll have to agree with Philip here. AAH cannot lay claim to increased
brain size, in spite of how much Morgan might desire it. I think
that the brain size increases were a result of savannah life.

>>Yea let's ignore those pesky details that don't agree with our
>>preconceived notions.
>Which is exactly what you are doing.

He is not, Philip. I hate how adversarial you can get. Now, I know
you can make good, scientific arguments, but instead you resort to

>>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

Look, for some reason you don't accept any arguments, and then you
imply that they're insensible and unreasonable. Just because they
don't fit into your world view, just because they might be wrong,
does not make them insensible or unreasonable.

I get the feeling that you're just trying to bully the AAH discussers
away like you did last time.

Bryce Harrington