Re: Who Killed the Australopithecines?

JoeBeaver (
17 Apr 1995 22:43:35 -0400

BARD writes:

> I made the point that "large terrestrials" are discovered
> all the time.
> You asked for an example of a "large terrestrial" discovered
> within the previous two decades. You added the condition:
> "new species within an established genus don't
> count."
> I noted that by adding this condition you require my
> assertion to conform to your definitions ("heads you win,
> tails, I lose").
> You went on to clarify what you had really meant when you
> asked me to present evidence of a recently discovered "large
> terrestrial" etc.
> I put the question to you that if I presented such evidence
> per your conditions would you then accept the premise/point
> (large terrestrials discovered all the time).
> You responded you'd be forced to concede "it was possible."

AHA! I understand! I misunderstood the question. I thought you were
asking if I would accept the original hypothesis, not the one about large
terrestrials. If presented with such an example, I would indeed have to
accept the statement that large terrestrials are being discovered all the
time. I have problems with the "all the time" part, but would have to
accept the idea behind it--specifically that there may well be large
animals out there which remain to be discovered. My "possible" point was
in answer to what I thought was the original "premise." I apologize for
my error.

> I responded,
> So, your acceptance of the premise is more
> connected to what you believe about other species
> than what you *know* about A. species...?
> Inasmuch as I clearly introduce a second premise with the
> above sentence, your call for a restating of "the premise" is
> proper; however, what I seem to be doing here is connecting the
> child to the parent; that is, reconnecting the discussion to
> the idea that started it.
> Thus, I'll restate this root premise:
> I believe A. species did not die out, but was in fact
> killed off.

Hmmm. Perhaps I'm still missing something. How does the fact (if
such it is) that large terrestrials remain undiscovered provide support
for this hypothesis? If the connection you see between the two has been
posted previously (that is, before I so rudely jumped into the
discussion), I apologize for my obtuseness.
As to the hypothesis in question, are you suggesting "killed off" by
being out-competed by another species or something more along the lines of
Finally, by "A. species" do you intend the entire genus