Re: now for a really stupid question

Herb Huston (
13 May 1995 15:46:55 -0400

In article <3p036l$>,
DWilhelmy <> wrote:
}ok. if you throw most mammals into a swimming pool they manage to paddle
}around, at least for a little while (not that i am speaking from
}experience). why does this not seem to apply to humans?
}is it some culturally-induced panic that makes it necessary for us to
}LEARN to be water-safe? where in our evolution did we forget how to
}paddle and decide to thrash and scream instead?

If you can get to a good university library, you might want to check
M. McGraw, "Swimming Behavior in the Human Infant," _Journal of Pediatrics_
15:485-90 (1939). In her experiments McGraw found that newborns, when
placed in the water correctly, did not panic and could actually swim under
supervision. However, they eventually lose this swimming ability.

} and what about other

She also tested young chimpanzees. They had to be pulled out of the water
immediately to prevent their drowning.

-- Herb Huston