Re: An alternative to ST and AAT

Phillip Bigelow (
Wed, 20 Nov 1996 18:11:47 -0800

Thomas Clarke wrote:
> 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?).

I responded:
> > 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.

No, that wasn't your point at all. Read what you wrote at the top
of this post. You claimed that IF a bipedal primate
<other than one of our lineage> ever existed in the past, it would
necessarily have already been discovered and dug up.
Read your response through carefully, again.

I earlier wrote:
> > 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 -

Well, gee.... Sorry that I had to drag the conversation *up*
to a higher level of discourse. I promise I won't do that
again, Tom! :-)

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

A taphonomist would counter by pointing out to you that the FACT that
Neanderthal fossils have been discovered STRONGLY indicates that
these creatures were numerically-abundant. It harkens back to what
I wrote earlier(above) about population-number being an important factor
regarding whether a hypothetical species will ever be found as a
fossil in the first place.

I earlier wrote:
> > "Do species that inhabit mountainous terrane have a REASONBLE

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

You didn't. I was countering your (baseless) claim that if an
organism existed in the past, it WOULD HAVE been found. I offered you
a counter-scenario in which, lacking a sedimentary basin to preserve
the fossil, a hypothetical mountain primate of 5 million years ago
has a snowball's chance in hell of being found. Man... you need to
do a little reading in sedimentology and taphonomic processes.

I wrote:
> > 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.

That was the point I was making to YOU. Remember, YOU were the
one who claimed that if a bipedal primate other than a hominid
existed, we surely would have discovered it.
I was just pointing out to you that you can't make that claim, and
remain credible.