Re: An alternative to ST and AAT

John Waters (
22 Nov 1996 09:16:21 GMT

Phillip Bigelow <> wrote in article
> John Waters wrote:
> > Gerrit Hanenburg <> wrote in
> > article <56p69i$>...
> :
> : What do you make of that, Gerrit? I know your figure is
> : average for all types of australopithicenes, but this
is a
> : huge difference. How can the experts make such enormous
> : mistakes? (Assuming it was a mistake).
> Why do you characterize two different hypotheses derived
> different hard data as "enormous mistakes"?
> They are simply different intrepretations of available
> They are probably, within a rough first approximation,
> both viable hypotheses. Unfortunately, science can be a
> messy discipline...but that is what makes it interesting!

JW: Whoops. Sorry, I forgot. Professional scientists don't
make mistakes, do they? They simply interpret data in
different ways. ;-)

To be fair to the professionals in this matter, according
to Gerrit they were elucidating different things. Harvey
and Clutton-Brock, were trying to determine the age of the
most long lived individuals, while Mann was trying to
determine the mean average life span of the species. I
imagine from an evolutionary perspective, the latter would
be more useful.

In this context, an average life span of 22 years for A.
africanus implies that the females must have given birth to
their first infant at the age of eleven. This is similar to
modern Chimpanzees. Interesting isn't it?