Re: Morgan; various

Phil Nicholls (
Sun, 05 Nov 1995 03:43:48 GMT

>EM> Elaine Morgan <>
>DF> David Froehlich <> writes:

>EM> 1. Why didn't the first hominids leave shell-middens? For
>EM> the same reason that sea-otters don't. They don't collect shell-fish; they eat
>EM> them on the spot.

>DF> So there is no evidence because it doesn't exist? You assume a hell of a
>DF> lot about the behavoir of organisms you cant even find fossils for.

>EM>The implication was that absence of shell middens proved that
>EM>shellfish were not being eaten. I was merely pointing out that
>EM>it proves nothing of the kind.

So if you have no fossils of aquatic apes and no accumulated shell
middens (all hominids that consume shell fish leave shell middens)
what are your grounds for believing in aquatic shellfish-eating apes?
I'll save you the trouble of answering: none.

>EM> 3. Chimp bipedalism. Alex, we have had Rodman and McHenru
>EM> quoted at us more than once. Yes, they do indicate that "chimp
>EM> bipedalism and chimp quadrupedalism are about equally energetically
>EM> efficient". But that only applies to their walking, not to their running. Also
>EM> the paper discusses only energy costs, and ignores how much faster
>EM> they are on our legs than on two.

>DF> But isn't energy cost one of the "problems" that AAS is trying to
>DF> explain?

>EM> No. It is one of the problems SMS is trying to explain. AAs
>EM> contends that in water bipedalism was adopted under duress, in
>EM> order to breathe, and was therefore resorted to regardless of
>EM> energy or other costs incurred.

Energy cost is not a problem. It has been suggested as a possible
reason for bipedalism to have emerged as the dominant locomotor
behavior in hominids. If you want to give this a name you sould call
it the energy efficiency hypothesis (since it can be and was tested).
The AAS, on the otherhand, makes no statements that can be tested with
respect to the origin of bipedalism.

Phil Nicholls
"To ask a question you must first know most of the answer"
-Robert Sheckley