Re: An alternative to ST and AAT

Thomas Clarke (
19 Nov 1996 21:41:18 GMT

In article <> Phillip Bigelow <> writes:
> Thomas Clarke wrote:

> > If some primates had developed bipedalism 10 or 20 million years ago,
> > bipedalism like that practiced by Australopithecenes and Hominids, then
> > the did not evolve very far along an evolutionary trajectory similar
> > to A/H or else we would come across ancient artifacts (fossil artifacts?).

> Not definatively. There is no gaurentee that a
> low-population, geographically-isolated, delicate species of
> bipedal primate would be found as a fossil. Given enough
> time searching, the odds stay pretty much the same as they were
> when one began searching for the fossils.

But that was my point. H.s went from being a low-population,
geographically isolated, delicate species to one whose existence
threatens the biosphere as a whole in 10,000 years.
Conversesly, it has only been the past few thousand years in which
H.s's signature on the planet has been unmissable. Had H.s
been wiped out in the last glacial, I suppose any other species
that did develop a science of paleontology might well miss the few
H.s and A.a fossils there are prior to the Holocene.

> This subject is getting into the science of "taphonomy", Tom,
> and it involves probabilities, sedimentation rates, basin-analysis,
> pH of the sediment, numerical abundance of the hypothetical
> species, erosion rates, geographical range of the hypothetical
> species, re-working of the material, and lastly, this question:

You are making it too complicated again - bring in all that
paleontology stuff you have filled your head with. It is common
sense that no species has ever made to the present state of H.s.
Taxophony has little to do with preservation of stoneworks and
massive open pit mines etc.

Granted, though that a species equivalent to Neanderthals might well
be missed had such developed millions of years ago.

> "Do species that inhabit mountainous terrane have a REASONBLE

I don't remeber bringing up mountain primates...

> The correlary is that there is always a possibility that other,
> now-extinct bipedal primates of another clade existed. Proving
> it is an extremely difficult proposition.

Sure. But that is a scientifically unprovable possibility.
You might find such a fossil, but until you do it is just speculation
and I thought you didn't care for that.

> Hope that clarifies this for you. There are no gaurentees of
> preservation when it comes to taphonomic processes.

Except when the critter insists upon piling millions of tons of stone
on top of its remains so that they are hard to miss...
But then other critters rob your grave anyway...

Tom Clarke