Re: Morgan; various

Phil Nicholls (
Fri, 10 Nov 1995 20:27:16 GMT (H. M. Hubey) graced us with the following

> (Phil Nicholls) writes:

>>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?
[note: I do you the courtesy of quoting you in complete sentences.
Please do the same for me.

>It doesn't prove that they didn't.

>In one book, someone claims that the Neandertals did not make
>use of salmon during the spring salmon run. How does he know

He doesn't and his statement has no more validity than yours (aside
from the fact -- and I could very well be wrong about this -- salmon
is found only in North America. Likewise I am not rejecting the
possibilty that early hominids or protohominids exploited shellfish.
It's just that in order to claim they DID used a particular resource
we have to have EVIDENCE, especially if it is an important part of
your scenerio.

>Even bears know enough to catch salmon and now we are told
>point blank that Neandertals did not eat salmon. For one thing,
>after a cold winter, when the spring came they'd be quite
>happy to be moving around instead of possibly spending their
>days and nights cooped up in some caves. Secondly, they'd probably
>gorge themselves on the salmon instead of taking it to the cave.
>Thirdly, without salt, how would they try to preserve it for the
>winter? It would rot during the summer heat.

Native American's preceive salmon and other fish by smoking and/or
drying it.

>Similar comments apply to this kind of thinking above. IF you can
>find animals making use of a food source, would it be reasonable
>to imagine smarter animals not being able to realize the food
>potential and make use of it? We see chimps eating termites.
>Do you think the early hominids would have missed the chance
>to eat shellfish?

Again, we have little direct information about diet and I don't
exclude the possiblity. That is very different from saying "aquatic
hominids ate shellfish and that is why we have salty tears."

>It shouldn't even be discussed.

>>what are your grounds for believing in aquatic shellfish-eating apes?
>>I'll save you the trouble of answering: none.


There are three components to belief: content, grounds and attitude.

Content is what you believe.

Grounds are the reasons why you believe it (evidence).

Attitude is the degree to which you believe or disbelieve something.

Dogmatism is when the attitude toward believe is disproportionate to
the grounds supporting believe.

My question is very simple. Why do you believe they ate shellfish.
Simply stating they could have is begging the question.

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