spinning yarns

Lucie M. Melahn (lmm5@cornell.edu)
29 Apr 1994 04:14:44 GMT

My final thoughts on the AAT: I said I'd stay out of it, but now I'm
just going to try, again, to put an end to it.

People are getting into very heated battles over the evidence for and
against aquatic v. savannah apes. There is no point to this.

Anthropologists have locked horns for years over questions for which we
DO have a lot of fossil/molecular evidence: the "African Eve" theory vs.
regional continuity, the relationship of Neandertals to Homo sapiens
sapiens, the evolutionary relationships of chimps, gorillas, and humans.
We are probably nowhere CLOSE to resolving these, yet we have lots of
evidence to work with.

Now, we have no fossils for a period of millions of years (don't know
exactly how many, but I think it's more than 10 million). The chances
that these fossils are being "covered up" are next to nil; anyone who
discovers an ape/human fossil from this period will be more famous than
Leakey and Johanson combined.

Isn't it REALLY SILLY to be coming up with VERY COMPLICATED stories about
what may have happened during a 10 million-year-plus period for which we

In bad science, you decide what happened then look for evidence. In good
science, you look at evidence and figure out what you think happened. But
you need evidence to be able to do this. And please don't tell me you can
look at modern humans for evidence. You have to look at creatures that
were alive when all of this supposedly happened i.e., fossil evidence.
NOthing else is good enough.

My asbestos suit is zipped up, flame away.

Lucie Melahn