Re: crowley's memory

Phil Nicholls (
Sat, 18 Nov 1995 16:09:14 GMT

Paul Crowley <> raged:

>In article <48aum5$>
> "Phil Nicholls" writes:

>> Why do you think early hominids didn't climb trees?

>It is not a matter of climbing trees. The question is: "Could the
>mother/infant dyad, with such as Lucy or the makers of the Laetoli
>footprints have *slept* comfortably every night in the trees?

>In my view the answer is a categorical "no". Even a PA'ist like
>yourself or Alex must concede that it's uncertain. So consider it.
>Stop putting your head in the sand.

The maker of the Latoeli footprints was fully bipedal. "Lucy" was
fully bipedal. How close "Lucy" in particular and Australopithecus
afarensis in general are to modern human bipedalism is a hotly debated
topic. Whether or not A. afarensis and other australopithecines
climbed trees is a subject of intense debate. Personally I think
there is sufficient evidence to support the position that the earliest
hominids were at least partially arboreal. Given the "uncertainty"
over this issue, as you put it, your categorical "no" is an
unwarrented assumption on your part.

Back to the original issue of what explanations have to "deal" with it
is important to remember that "Lucy" and the maker of the Latoeli
footprints were hominids and that if we are going back to the origin
of bipedalism we are looking at protohominids. There is reason to
assume that protohominids had to give up climbing trees in order to
walk bipedally.

>> Why do you think early hominids showed secondary altriciality?

>See above.

Since your assumption about tree climbing is flawed your assumption
about altricality is also lacking in evidence.

>> What facts lead you to these conclusions? I'll save you the trouble.
>> None. You are making assumptions about early hominids based on
>> modern hominids (one of the major flaws of the AAH) and there is no
>> evidence to support those assumptions. Until you have evidence we
>> don't need to "deal" with it.

>Lucy and Laetoli are evidence.

But they don't support your assumptions. A better response on your
part would be to explain in as much detail as you can what exactly
about "Lucy" and Laetoli is evidence in support of your position.

>Even IF you don't accept them, you have to concede at some point. 3mya? 2.5mya? 2mya?
>But you won't. You'll duck. And you'll wonder why people distrust your science.

I will concede when I see some evidence. Show me some evidence to
support your assumptions. Tell me what about "Lucy" indicates she
gave up climbing trees or had altrical young. Discuss some anatomy,
Paul. Cut the handwaving. Let's see some data.

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