Re: AAT Theory

Troy Kelley (
Mon, 6 Nov 1995 14:28:17 GMT

Subject: Re: AAT Theory
From: J. Moore,
Date: Sat, 4 Nov 95 12:44:00 -0500
In article <> J. Moore, writes:
>-> >positions. I posted this request once before and I was simply told
>-> to go >read the literature, which was essentually a brush off. If you
>-> have a >good theory to bipealism, please post it.
>-> >Troy
>-> In other words, you want folks to do your homework for you. You
>-> have taken the position that explanations proposed by anthropologists
>-> are unsatisfactory yet it turns out that you don't know what those
>-> explanations are and have not really investigated them.
>-> Phil Nicholls
>That about sums up the general position of AATers, apparently.
>Jim Moore (

I just think that since there is no good theory of bipedalism, that you
are trying to get out of discussing it. We all know how you love to shoot
down AAT, but when it comes to defending your own theories, you tell me
to go to the library.

Well, the fact is, I already know most of the accepted ideas on
bipedalism, but I thought I would give you a chance and explain your
view, and maybe point out something that I have missed. So much for that.

Let me see, the basic theories on bipedalism
1) It evolved to aid in certain carrying items, either children, tools,
foods, water etc. I think this is a pretty weak argument. First, unless
we are talking about just simple sticks, we know that bipedalism evolved
before MAJOR tool use began. Secondly, if we are concerned with carrying
children, then the women would be the only ones to develop bipedalism
because they are the major caretakers of children. Third, we know that
chimps and apes carry items, and while they may be bipedal for a short
time while actually carrying the item, they revert back to quadrapedalism
after they are done.
2) Traveling between trees. This is weak too, because when you are
traveling between trees you are at more risk to predatation. So, if you
happen to be still working out that awkward bipedal posture, on the way
to the next tree, you would be an easy target for another predator. This
would naturally select out any hominids who even attempted bipedalism
while in dangerous situations.
3) Feeding on higher plants. We know that other animals do this too,
antelopes and other creatures, and while they may be bipedal while they
are feeding on the plants, they always revert back to their original
quadrapedalism after they are done.
4) Provisioning for family. This is a similar concept to carrying items
back to the home sight, however, the problem here is that it assumes
monogamous family unit. It assumes that one male or female is interested
in carrying the food back to his or her own family. We know that most
primates are not monogamous, and it could be argued that humans are not
monogamous either.
5) Reducing the amount of heat exposure to the sun. I have already
addressed this. We know that bipedalism evolved before humans were out on
the "open plains", running prey down until exhaustion. Also, there are
plenty of other animals on the plains, including baboons, that are
exposed to heat stress and yet have not adopted this strategy to deal
with it.

Did I get them all? Even without going to the library? Please let me know
if not (I am sure you will). So which one do you want to discuss? The are
all such good theories, I would imagine you would want to discuss all of
them ;)