Sea Water Temperatures and the AAT (was: Re: Guide for anti-AATers)

31 Oct 1995 16:26:46 -0500

In article <473g2d$>, (Phillip
Bigelow) writes:

> The potential for falsifying the AAT on thermic grounds is looming
>larger and larger on the horizon.

It's nice to know that you think the AAT is potentially falsifiable. Does
this mean it can actually be considered "science?" How exciting!

Unfortunately, you seem to have jumped to some very tenuous conclusions in
your announcement of the AAT's impending death from hypothermia.

I refer you to previous posts that cited references contrary to your
notion that a water temp cooler than 98.6 degrees F is some sort of drop
dead barrier for the AAT.

>From my 7 Oct post::

I believe that you might want to account for the fact that mammals
generate heat. Humans can withstand water temperatures somewhat less
than 98.6 degrees F indefinitely.

I used to have a large graph showing survival times vs. sea water
temperatures when I taught survival courses for the Navy. As I remember,
it gave you about 7 minutes to live at 28 degrees F. and forever
somewhere around 90 degrees F.

>From my 8 Oct post:

I'll be divng in the Florida Keys this very week in water reported to be
near 87 degrees. I never use thermal protection in waters this warm.

In the Persian Gulf today, water temps get very high, sometimes ninety
degrees or more. It gives ships' steam plants great problems because the
injection temp for the condensors is so high and that they are in constant
danger of losing vacuum and having to shut down.

This still doesn't serve as much of an indicator for what sea water temps
might have been at the locale and at the time of the purported aquatic
phase of human evolution, but it is a safe assumption that sea water
temperatures world-wide varied cyclically with the ice ages. They were
also influenced by cataclsmic geologic events and tectonic plate

Elisabeth Vrba has found evidence of a period of global cooling from 7 to
four-and-a-half million years ago, and believes that sea water
temperatures had dropped 5 to ten degrees F at the end of that period.
Unfortunately, that doesn't give us an absolute figure because we don't
have a figure with which to begin. (Help us out, you geochemists and

On the other hand, sea water temp might not be all that critical. Some
human beings have demonstrated tolerance for water and air temperatures
over an amazingly wide range. See the DARWIN READER, pages 40-41
desribing naked Fuegians sleeping on the ground in temps as low as 38F,
suckling newborns in the sleet, diving all day in the icy waters of the
South Atlantic,etc.

You might also want to check this same reference for the Fuegians
dietary habits. You guessed it, lots of shellfish.

John Thurber