Re: Becoming altricial/bi

Paul Crowley (
Wed, 04 Oct 95 19:38:39 GMT

In article <> "J. Moore" writes:

> 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.

You are using all the discreditable tricks of an academic defending
a lost position. Please don't. It is too obvious and just wastes
everyone's time.

(a) I have not referred to children, but to infants under a year
(or as I offered for your preference) under three months.

(b) If you want to assert that I made "false assumptions", please
state what they are yourself, instead of vaguely referring to
someone else's postings.

> Hominids even later than the transitional
> population retained quite good climbing, and therefore grasping,
> abilities, despite your unsupported claims to the contrary.

(c) I have never suggested or implied that hominids lost "good
climbing abilities" or "grasping abilities". I stated solely that
an infant with a bipedal foot could not *cling* to its mother in
the same way as the infants of the CA did.

> 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.

Why bring in such a comparison? Would the word "smokescreen" be

> 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.

How about a discussion of the problems of a spider if it's young
did or did not have grasping ability?

> 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
> brain.

These are not my contentions - as you are well aware. I fully agreed
with your statements of fact about brain developments; the fossil
record is not contentious.

Your posting is simply an evasion of the issues. You would be more
honest if you'd discussed the OJ trial and called that a reply. You
have made no response to any of my arguments, including those two
sentences. No one who has followed this group believes that you
don't grasp the issues, or doubts that you could give an honest and
clear answer if you wanted to. Your reaction is that of a scurvy
politician - not one of a scientist. I'm very disappointed in you.

I know nothing about you other than what I've seen here in recent
weeks, but I feel that I probably understand, in general, the sort of
"political" pressures you are under. However, the world has changed.
This discussion is in public and on the record. Your reputation is on
the line. You would have got away with these evasions a year or two
ago. No one of significance to you would have noticed. But that time
is past. The Internet has brought down the "Berlin Wall" around
academia. You are in the open and can't hide. No one reading your
recent posts is fooled, or is going to take that sort of shit anymore.