Re: Aquatic eccrine sweating ref request, was Re: tears

Thomas Clarke (
7 Nov 1995 13:22:25 GMT

In article <47mc3a$> (Phillip Bigelow) writes:

> (J. Moore) wrote:

>>>Perhaps you could be so kind as to provide a reference for the
>>>notion that harp seals, or any other aquatic mammal, use eccrine
>>>sweating. I've asked Morgan for this but it's been several weeks
>>>now and she hasn't seen fit to reply or supply (a ref).

> responded:
>>Perhaps you should ask her for this single reference politely, instead of
>>asking her to give references for every single claim she's ever made,
>>overnight. It ain't fair to ask an obviously sarcastic question and then
>>expect to get away with slagging someone off for not taking you

> Actually, since Ms. Morgan is, theoretically, at least, the "resident
>expert" on the AAT, it is reasonble of Jim to make the challenge to her.
>Remember that MORGAN is the one who *should* have her facts straight. We
>are just holding her to a reasonable expectation. We certainly wouldn't
>hold amatuers like Troy Kelley or Mark Hubbey to such rigorous

The psychology and sociology and meta-science of those against the AAT
never ceases to amaze me.

Ms. Morgan is a grandmother. I can picture her like Andy Rooney
composing her books on an old Underwood consulting notes on 3 by 5 cards.
It would be rather a burden for someone who works in that style to
type in ALL the references. Not like appending a text file to a
usenet post.

I have this mental image of Jim and Phillip and ... at a public
lecture by Ms. Morgan jumping up and down and yelling

Sometimes I wonder if the problem is not some sort of psychological
hold over from creationist days. To salve the creationists, the
tendency of early evolutionists was to make man a fairly recent
occurrence and to seperate the line leading to man from the apes as
far back in time as possible. This satisifies the two somewhat
contradictory goals of seperating ape from man as much as possible
and of making the origin of modern man recent - like the various
creation stories. The various old museum reconstructions of
Neanderthal man showing him hairy and hunched over show this
preference for making modern features sole possession of h.sapiens.

Sometimes it seems to me that this
style of thought has become ingrained in paleo-anthropologists.
Their reflex seems to be to place the origin of any feature that
distinguishs man from ape as close to the present as possible and
to put the split as far back as possible. Thus there was
considerable resistance to the DNA evidence when it first came
out since it moved the split to more recent times. Fossil
evidence has forced the acceptance of an early origin of bipedalism,
but other soft tissue features all tend to get lumped into
a recent origin. There is no interest in an early origin of
nakedness, or a fat layer, or a descended larynx, or ...

Dusting off that old hoary parsimony principle, it would seem
that lacking evidence to the contrary, that these various
features would have their origin spread out in time throughout
hominid evolution. To place them automatically in fairly recent
times seems to be evidence of an unrecognized assumption in
PA thinking.

I hope I haven't offended with these speculations, but I assure
you that cosmology and other fields are just as subject to
unexamined assumptions.

Tom Clarke