Andrew W. Robinson (
Wed, 20 Apr 1994 18:20:47 CDT

Having read and enjoyed _The Descent of Woman_ many moons ago, I
followed the discussion on the Aquatic Ape Theory last fall with a lot
of interest. Here's a summary of what this amateur got out of it.

(1) The AAT was attractive because it seemed to offer a single cause
for a diverse range of morphological and behaviorial human traits. Good
syntheses are always welcome.

(2) As fossil (read hard) evidence accumulates, the length of time
available for the aquadic phase shortens and that time for the start of
the phase gets pushed further and further back.

(3) Comparisons with other aquadic mammals show that the physical
traits attributed to the aquadic phase are not found in other species.
If the traits are aquadic adaptations, they would be unique.

(4) The physical traits associated with the aquadic phase probably did
not develop during a single period, but were probably spread out over
the entire course of human evolution.

(5) The physical traits attributed with the aquadic phase can be
explained as well or better by other environments and lifestyles.

(6) After twenty or so years, there is still no hard evidence for the
AAT. Though the environment would not be conducive to fossilization,
surely something would have turned up.

(7) Finally, the proponents of the AAT pushed the theory in the popular
forum instead of the scientific community. While not bearing directly
on the merits of a theory, this ALWAYS makes the professionals leary.

How'd I do?

Andrew Robinson

The events depicted herein are fictional. Any similarity to persons
living or dead is entirely coincidental...oops, wrong disclaimer