Re: AAT Theory

Thomas Clarke (
5 Oct 1995 12:39:37 GMT

In article <44okk7$> writes:
> In article <> Paul Crowley,
> writes:

> >> > Parsimony only matters
> >> >between two or more explanations. So far there's only one.

> >> If you are unaware of other explanations, then my working assumption must
> >> be that you've never actually read anything in the paleoanthropological
> >> literature. You should strap a sign to your back that says "ignorant."

I can't figure out who's who in the above riposte, but it is an
example of a problem I see a lot on s.a.p. One person (an amateur?)
is arguing in a literary mode, saying things like "there's only one" as a
shorthand for "the AAT is in my belief the only theory that offers a
satisfactory explanation". Then the responsder (a professional?) takes
the words literally, "there IS only ONE", and is so incensed that
an inadvertant ad hominem results.

Maybe there is no way to bridge this apparent gap between Snow's two
cultures, but do try to remember that s.a.p is not a peer reveiwed
journal nor is it a literary magazine.

> Have you read Darwin, Dart, Jolly, Tuttle, McHenry, Zihlman, Hunt,
> Wheeler, etc. etc.? ... For you to qualify this
> material (which you obviously haven't read) as "vague mutterings" is
> ridiculous and ignorant.

Another example of the literary/scientific style clash.

> Ms. Morgan's ideas have been frequently compared to creationism.

<Rather a cheap shot.>

> it appears that most
> of Ms. Morgan's supporters in this newsgroup may have read one or two of
> her works, and have not read anything by mainstream anthropologists (and,
> in fact, seem to know next to nothing about basic mammalian anatomy and
> physiology).

More literary/scientist style clashing.

I really do not understand the aquaphobia of the professionals.
If Morgan's literary style so anathema to them, that they must eschew
any possibility that water played a role in hominid evolution in
order to avoid all possible reference to Morgan's literary works?

Tom Clarke