Re: Bipedalism facts to deal with

Paul Crowley (
Sun, 19 Nov 95 00:22:56 GMT

In article <> "J. Moore" writes:

> The list Paul posted was of situations in which primates today have
> been observed to indulge in bipedal locomotion. This was quite
> clear from the preceding sentence, which Paul did not copy.
> Removing context from quotes seems to be a popular AAT move.

It's more that making false accusations seems to be de rigeur for
PA'ists. Here are all the relevant bits of Jim's original posting
in He's answering a mundane query from GF.

GF> There must have been some more immediate reason for adopting
GF> an upright stance. (Mustn't there?).

JM> No and yes. The emphasis is on the "no" because you may be
JM> falling into a common trap, of assuming that something must force
JM> or compel such an action. On the contrary, becoming more
JM> predominately bipedal could have simply been done by one or more
JM> populations of the common ancestor between African apes and
JM> hominids. Bipedalism is part of virtually all primates' locomotor
JM> repertoire, for a variety of reasons, and turns out to be
JM> particularly useful in more open country. At the bottom I've
JM> posted part of a post from Phil Nichols on this subject that sums
JM> it up pretty well.

And here's *ALL* of the his quote from Phil Nichols:

Bipedalism summary from Phil Nicholls ( post:
Pn> [1] Preadaptation = most primates can walk bipedally. Apes are the
Pn> most bipedal of all primates with chimpanzees reported to engage in
Pn> bipedalism something like 10-11% of the time they are on the ground.
Pn> This means that the common ancestor was at least as proficient at
Pn> bipedalism as living apes and may have been more so as they had not
Pn> yet become knuckle-walkers.
Pn> [2]Behavioral Shift more than likely early hominids undertook a
Pn> behavior shift toward increased frequency of bipedalism. Very likely
Pn> it occurred under conditions that are likely to result in bipedalism
Pn> in living apes today.
Pn> - when hands are need to carry food.
Pn> - to obtain a better view of the surrounding area.
Pn> - jumping across small brooks
Pn> - treat displays.
Pn> - when watching an unusual part of the surroundings
Pn> - when locating another member of the group
Pn> - greeting and courtship displays.
Pn> [3] Biological Changes = simply put, morphological changes follow
Pn> behavioral ones.

My quotation was NOT taken out of context. Phil was stating that apes
would become more bipedal if they did more "jumping across small brooks"
and the like. *This* was a good explanation for bipedalism.

Why are PA'ists so unhappy with their own theories?

> JM> shift toward increased frequency of bipedalism. Very likely it
> JM> occurred under conditions that are likely to result in bipedalism
> JM> in living apes today". Then he offered a list of situations when
> JM> apes today have many times been observed using bipedalism in the
> JM> wild:

Phil Nichols said nothing (that Jim quoted) about " . . observed
using bipedalism in the wild".

> JM> Yet Paul feels that the actual field observations of 45 years of
> JM> primates are " wildly unrealistic", and offers only a typo flame
> JM> as his contribution. Well, you're right Paul, Phil typoed and I
> JM> didn't catch it, therefore the past 45 years of primate field
> JM> observations never really happened. Mass hallucination, I guess.

It's the increased frequency of "jumping across small brooks" as an
*explanation* for bipedalism that is wildly unrealistic. That's why
I did not notice the typo of "treat displays". And I did not bring it
up for discussion - Alex Duncan accused me of ignorance in typing it.

I am perfectly happy with the observations that chimps use bipedalism
for about 10% of the time. I am *not* happy that hominids could have
developed bipedalism while living in the same environment as chimps
without a very special explanation. None is forthcoming from the PA