Re: chimps on the savanna? Nooooo.....

Phil Nicholls (
Mon, 30 Oct 1995 03:29:59 GMT (H. M. Hubey) graced us with the following

>Alex Duncan <> writes:

>>Are you suggesting that I should use a general purpose reference instead
>>of the primary literature? Or, do you bring this up as an excuse for
>>your ignorance? ("Well, the only book I've ever read on the subject

>I'm suggesting that you don't even know what shows
>up in an encyclopedia of human evolution, and certainly
>there are going to be no surprises there.

>Naturally people who write in it will be middle-of-the-road
>authors writing already well-established ideas.

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution is a wonderful
collection of information on paleoanthopology and human evolution and
was written by respected authorities in the field.

That being said, it is not the Bible of Human Evolution and it is a
general collection of information believed to be true AT THE TIME OF
PUBLICATION or perhaps some five years before the date of publication
since a work of this magnitude takes a great deal of time to put
together. Certainly you have to be aware of the fact that any
Encyclopedic work is out of date in many respects before is published.

>What you are doing is what you've been doing from the beginning.
>YOu cite references as if there's some kind of an unassailable
>proof whereas all most of them have are some raw measurements,
>photos, pictures, and lots of conclusions which are debatable.

A better response, assuming you had actually read the articles cited,
would have been to state specifically what about these articles you
object to. Instead you complain that they contain "raw measurements"
(amount of time spent by chimpanzees on the savannah) "photos,
pictures" (of chimpanzees on the savannah) and "lots of conclusions
which are debatable" (which you dismiss rather than attempt to

Tell me, is this the way you teach?
Phil Nicholls
"To ask a question you must first know most of the answer"
-Robert Sheckley