Re: Becoming altricial/bi

J. Moore (
Wed, 4 Oct 95 10:47:00 -0500

JM> > You offer no support for your contention that "the long period was
JM> > already there for physical development". Infants having feet
JM> > adapted for easier and more frequent bipedalism would not depend
JM> > on a period of longer infant development, as you suggest.

Pa> You're missing the main point of my posting. I really (at this stage)
Pa> have no interest in brain development.

That is becoming painfully evident.

Pa> I agree that it was mostly much
Pa> later (2.5-1.5mya?) but how, why or when, does not concern me now.

It is demonstrably tied in with our longer infant development
period, and therefore with the subject of altricial infants.

Pa> My case is that the development of *bipedalism* necessarily involved an
Pa> altricial period. The physical development would be that you see in
Pa> your own children. They have to learn to walk. But the real thrust of
Pa> my case concerns the relationship between the mother and infant. The
Pa> infant can no longer cling. It has to be awkwardly carried or put down.
Pa> This has a drastic effect on the mother's behaviour. She can no longer
Pa> readily flee from predators, or easily forage, or even comfortably
Pa> sleep.

A) Your contention that children during the transitional phase
could not grasp is not just unproven, but actually rests on
assumptions that are false, and which Alex Duncan has already
pointed out to you. Hominids even later than the transitional
population retained quite good climbing, and therefore grasping,
abilities, despite your unsupported claims to the contrary.

B) Even if the transitional hominid child couldn't grasp as well
as a chimp of the same age, this would not be a special problem
for a bipedal mother as it would be for a quadrupedal mother.
Whereas a quadrupedal mother in that circumstance would be forced
to adopt an awkward stance most of the time, no specially
different stance would be needed for a bipedal mother.
In fact, this would tend to reinforce bipedal abilities.

Pa> The bipedal hominoid mother could not have spent the altricial period in
Pa> the trees. Nevertheless she had to have a safe "home base".

Pa> Please respond to these last two sentences.
Pa> Paul.

Neither point makes any sense. They are simply unsupported
claims which depend on your contention, contrary to paleoanthro
evidence, that transitional hominids did not retain climbing
abilities, and that for millions of years, the one organ which
didn't develop during the longer infant development period was the

If you want to attempt to support these claims, please do so.
Keep in mind that countering physical evidence of long-standing
requires more than simply repeating claims.

Given your response to Alex's post, I won't hold my breath. He
gave you a number of valid points to ponder, which you
characterised as "100% abuse. 0% logic." If you consider
pointing out facts as being "100% abuse", well...

Jim Moore (

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