Re: Morgan Tears 1

Phillip Bigelow (
31 Oct 1995 16:11:37 -0800

Elaine Morgan <> writes:

>Nevertheless, let's lean over backward to accommodate Coco,
>and say merely this. At the very lowest estimate, the
>difference in *degree* of the propensity to shed psychic tears
>between us and the apes is vast.

Well, not quite. If the only difference is in *degree*, then from a
systematic (cladisticly-derived) point of view, psychic tears in homindae
can CERTAINLY be a plesiomorphy from the anthropoid clade. Remember that
only the PRESENCE of a character trait is necessary. It's degree of
expression is trival when determining if a trait is shared between taxa.
However, since I don't think Fossey's anecdotal account of a "crying" Coco
is scientifically significant, I still think that both sides are blowing
smoke rings. A scientific survey of the Order Primates must be conducted...
which obviously hasn't happened if Elaine is reduced to quoting anecdotal

>creepers! Where'd you get those weepers?" I note that the SMH
>folk are not falling over themselves to supply an answer.
>(more follows)

Cut the "SMH" label, Elaine. We are not lock-stepping marchers like your
side is! :-)
If the Coco anecdote that Fossey wrote about turns out to be
SCIENTIFICALLY supported (which it hasn't yet), then our explaination would
be that weeping is a plesiomorphy, and was shared by the common ancestory of
gorillas and hominidae.