Re: Bipedalism facts to deal with

Elaine Morgan (
Sat, 25 Nov 1995 13:46:07 GMT

In article: <> (J.
Moore) writes:
> 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.
>> These are actual primate behaviors -- situations when primates
> have been observed many times using bipedalism. These are what
> are called "facts": facts are things that are real and cannot be
> simply waved away as you're trying to do. You have to deal with
> these inconvenient facts or you're gonna look more and more like a
> crackpot.
> When hands are needed to carry food.- Not always. Small items are
carried in one hand; larger items often dragged by one hand. Only bulky
(in relation to the primate's body size) or awkwardly shaped items are
carried bipedally. And once the food has been carried there is reversion
to quadrupedalism. For bipedalism to become habitual you have to
postulate one primate that spent a hell of a lot of its time carrying
food, specify what kind of burden it would be that necessitated humping
it in two arms, and explain why it changed its habits to make that
procedure necessary. Several attempts to do this have foundered on the
rocks of subseqently discovered data.

To obtain a better view. This often leads to postural bipedalism. Never
to locomotor bipedalism.

Jumping across small brooks. Or wading through them , yes. Careful -
you're in borderline ecology here.

Displays. You've split this into two to make your list your list look
longer. But you have still not explained why one primate, and one only,
would carry over a behaviour associated with a particular situation into
a habitual mode of locomotion. A female chimp might display by backing up
to a male and "presenting" - this has never evolved into the
position that all males walk forwards and all females walk backwards.

When watching an unusual part of the surroundings
When loacting another member of the group.

Here again you are subdividing for effect. Both of these are accounted
for under "to get a better view". It is known as scanning behaviour and
never leads to locomotor bipedalism.

These are what are called "facts". You have to do deal with them or in
your own words you're gonna look more and more like a crackpot.> >