Re: Savanna: a slow demise

Thomas Clarke (
28 Sep 1995 13:54:03 GMT

In article <4463oo$> (Phil Nicholls)

> First of all, that early hominids occupied savanna
> habitats is not a theory. It is a fact.

Is it? Where have the fossils been found?

>> I have a very simple standard that I believe all scientist use
> -- evidence. Show me the evidence.

As a person of theoretical bent, who likes to read cosmology.
I resent that. You imply that my interest is not scientific.

> Fact: Pre-hominids were forest dwellers
> Fact: Early hominids were savanna dwellers

As, I asked. is this a fact? Don't forget the 1-2 MY gap
in the record.

> The transition is critical.

Yes indeed. If all that is required for a knuckle walking to
bipedal transition is an ape and a forest margin, they why is not
the world today full of many bipdal ape species?

> I believe it took place in the zone at
> which forests border on savannas. This is because some of the
> earliest hominids clearly retained arboreal adaptations. It makes a
> great deal of sense.

Point of logic: the retention of arboreal adaptations does not imply an
arboreal life style. An arboreal foot with a little webbing could
serve an aquatic/wading life style very well - but I stretch the evidence
as you do.

> Therefore, even if we find the fossils of such apes we have
> no way to know they are aquatic apes.

> So you see, this is not just posturing about definitions and words.

Them's fighting words in cosmological circles. Just because
the transition from a unified force to the seperate strong and
electroweak forces as the universe cooled a few seconds after the big
bang is not directly observable and leaves nothing in the way of
unambiguous signatures in element abundances etc, are you saying
that discussions of this event are not science, are just posturing
about definitions and words?

Tom Clarke