Re: Morgan Tears 3.

Tom Clarke (
7 Nov 1995 21:14:44 -0500

In article <47852g$> Alex Duncan <> writes:
>In article <475278$> , writes:

>>The AAT proposes that elephants have a marine ancestor, which maybe they
>>share with sea-cows. Does anyone else have a good explanation for why
>>elephants are functionally hairless, have lots of subcutaneous fat,
>>convoluted vaginal passageways, retractable penises, violitional breath
>>control etc.etc.? I have also heard it claimed that elephants have the
>>vestiges of a long-range sonar system in their heads, but I don't have a

>I can't believe I'm reading this.

>Let's see if I follow the argument:

>1) Humans have aquatic ancestors. We know this because humans are
>hairless, have subcutaneous fat, and shed tears.

That's the AAT part.

>2) Hairlessness, subcutaneous fat and tear shedding are all adaptations
>to an aquatic environment. Any animal that has these features must have
>had a (relatively recent) aquatic ancestor.

Inductively so, apparently.

>3) Elephants are largely hairless, have subcutaneous fat, and shed tears.

If you say so. I don't know about the tears.

>4) Since elephants have the features noted above, they must have aquatic

Simple logic.

>5) Since humans share these features with elephants, we must have
>aquatic ancestors.

Which follows from 2)

>Can you say "tautology"?

I think you are taking advantage. A loaded syllogism is a dangerous
thing in amateur hands.

If AAT had been replaced by "Elaine Morgan's writings" then
there would have been no tautology.

Tom Clarke

Tom Clarke

>Alex Duncan
>Dept. of Anthropology
>University of Texas at Austin
>Austin, TX 78712-1086

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment
and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against
the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices - Adam Smith, WofN