Aquatic Ape All Wet

Sun, 1 May 94 04:18:34 GMT

David Greene writes in response to J. Moore
> J. Moore <> wrote:

DG> How is this an advantage?

JM> If you're serious about understanding evolution (of humans or anything
JM> else), wipe the whole idea of features NECESSARILY being advantageous
JM> from your mind.

[45 lines of rhetoric deleted]

> Yea let's ignore those pesky details that don't fit nicely into
> our preconcieved notions.

What Mr. Moore was suggesting is that before you spin evolutionary
yarns it is really a good idea to have some basic understanding of
evolutionary theory. One of the things you learn when you study
evolution is that not everything has an adaptionist explanation.
Your coccyx, for example, is the remains of a tail that you had in

Your response in the first line was to my pointing out that humans
have flat faces compared to apes. Why do I have to show that flat
faces are adaptive for that point to be valid? As a matter of fact,
you fat face is a rather recent development and if you look at the
fossil record you will note that Australopithecines have prognathic
faces and that the mid-facial area often tends to be somewhat concave
relative to the rest of the face.

You cannot construct an meaningful scenerio for human evolution by
simply looking at modern humans and modern apes. Humans did not
evolve from modern apes. Each group has some shared specializations
which may have emerged at any time during the 5-6 million years
following their divergence. You have to look at the fossil record.
It won't help with soft tissues, but the nose is not entirely a soft

Philip Nicholls "To ask a question,
Department of Anthropology you must first know
SUNY Albany most of the answer."