One more aquatic ape for the road

Sun, 1 May 94 04:25:57 GMT

David Greene ( responds to my recent post:

>> In a pervious post I outlined the characteristics of pseudoscience
>> advocates. The above post follows the profile I offered almost
>> to the letter. The author is now essentially stating that the
>> reason no hard evidence exists to support the aquatic ape is that
>> there is some kind of censorship of young, unestablished scientists
>> by older ones. Now, to some extent this is true,

> Excuse me? This is true!

What I said was "to some extent this is true" not "this is true."

> Well, then, my first question is how do I become an _established_
> scientist? By accepting the dominant paradigm?

One becomes an established scientist by developing a body of
research, by publishing the results of that research and by attending
meetings with your colleagues to discuss there research. In _The
Structure of Scientific Revolutions_ Thomas Kuhn refers to this as
the activity of "normal science" -- puzzle solving.

There is always a resistance to new ideas by those who have built
their life's work on old ideas. What this means is that if you are
going to challange the old ideas you need to be good and you need to
have your facts straight. There are many examples in the history of
science in which the young turk overthrows a cherished theory.
Overthrowing an established theory should not be an easy task.

> Also, please note I made no mention of the AAT in this post.
> It seems you _accidentally_ deleted my last line so let me
> repeat it here:

> I have little faith in any product of such an environment.

Well, that is your lose. You obviously have no concept of how
science is done, so this is not a big surprise.

>> Having now raised the charge of censorship, this AAT proponent
>> has now joined the ranks of those who found Velikofsky, Eric
>> Von Dannikan and Scientific Creationism compelling alternatives
>> to conventional science.

> Having now admitted to censorship, this proponent of...
> oh, wait, what is he a proponent of again?...
> oh, right, he believes whatever the dominant paradigm book says today.
> Where can I get my copy?

I did not admit to censorship. It would appear that you are now
practicing another favored tactic of creationists: misquoting your

The paradigm to which I subscribe is called evolution. As to a
theory or hypothesis about the origin of bipedalism, I have done
nothing more than mention some put forward by various authors I
have come across. There is no consensus about the origin of
bipedalism amoung anthropologists. Now while there is no consensus
about which hypothesis is correct there is a consensus about some
ideas, including Morgan's Aquatic Ape Theory. You should already
know what that consensus is by now.

> At least now I know why this guy has never actually posted
> his explanation of how man evolved. Just the tireless mantra:
> read Pete Wheeler, read Pete Wheeler. Come on Mr. Nicholls,
> an original thought never killed anyone, just a few carreers.

I have posted my own hypothetical scenerio. However, this thread is
not about my scenerio. It is about the aquatic ape hypothesis and
what is wrong with it.

The reason I suggest Wheeler is because he is one of the few who have
suggested a mechanism to explain sweating, hairloss AND bipedalism.
Actually, there is no reason to believe that the earliest hominids
were hairless or that the sweated like modern humans

As for original thoughts, I would be most happy to listen to any
original thoughts you may have about human origins. Let me know when
you have one.

>> I hate to say I told you so, but ...

> Yea, you told me and every other person who doesn't share your
> narrow minded views to shut-up.

I challange you to find any message posted by me in which I told you
or anyone else to shut up. I did suggest that there are some recent
developments in paleoanthropology that would be more interesting than
yet another AAH discussion. I tried to get myself to shut-up, but I
have little willpower when it comes to a debate.

Apparently no one else agreed about alternative topics. Therefore
you now have my full attention in the AA debate. Believe me, I am
just getting warmed up.

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