Re: Tears, and the Underwood.

Alex Duncan (
15 Nov 1995 02:44:10 GMT

In article <> Elaine Morgan, writes:

>F. JDM's theory. Unless I have missed it, he hasn't confided in us. He
>fills many pages with protests that I am wrong, but not a single
>sentence to explain "This is why I think we weep". It joins the long
>list of anomalous human features to which the orthodox response is
>"Your explanation is wrong. I have no explanation and do not need one.
>Perhaps there is no explanation".

I'm sure Jim is perfectly capable of responding to this himself, but
since I got here first...

May I provide an analogy? I don't have a very good idea what it was that
the Irish folks who claimed to see elves (pixies? I don't remember the
exact term) in the previous few centuries were actually seeing. (I
probably should say I don't know what the source of the claims was,
rather than suggest they were actually "seeing" something.) Does it
necessarily follow that since I don't have an explanation for what they
were seeing, they were probably really seeing elves?

Since when does the plausibility of one argument depend upon the presence
or plausibility of opposing arguments? The fact is that Ms. Morgan's
arguments about tears don't make a lot of sense, since they postulate the
very poorly supported "aquatic phase". The fact that Jim Moore hasn't
come up with anything different does not elevate Ms. Morgan's arguments
to the category "reasonable".

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