Auditory Exostosis and Skeletal Evidence for the AAT

9 Oct 1995 16:52:35 -0400

In article <451kmc$>, (Phillip
Bigelow) writes:

> Auditory exostosis is a *pathology*, it is not an evolutionary
>adaptation. If humans were well-adapted for a cool-cold water
>then we would not show the pathology at all. The same logic applies to
>another, more common cold-water pathology encountered by humans:
>hypothermia. Both auditory exostosis and hypothermia in humans clearly
>we are not able to take cold water without exibiting these conditions.

Let's assume that you are correct. Then:
a. Auditory exostosis will occur in all cases when humans are
repeatedly immersed in cold water.
b. There is no inherited tendency causing any individual to be
more susceptible to auditory exostosis than another.
c. Auditory exostosis is simply a pathogenic reaction to cold
water. It varies in degree depending on the severity of the exposure.
d. AE has no evolutionary significance, and there is little
chance that I will be awarded a medal for suggesting otherwise.

Hope I've got it right, because-given the above conditions- it would
appear that the fossil skull of any aquatic hominoid would have to exhibit
symptoms of AE if its habitat had included frequent immersion in cold

The problem is how cold is cold water? If it's too cold the AAT debunkers
will say the "H" word . . . hypothermia. Conversely, if it's not cold
enough, they'll say no AE. For more on this subject, please see my post
of 8 Oct 95 11:44:22 -0400 "RE: AAT:A method to falsify."

(Let's face it. The opponents of AAT are really working overtime to
falsify what they claim to be a non-falsifiable hypothesis.)

Now, how would this question of mutation or pathology make any difference
to an anthropologist observing a fossil skull exhibiting symtoms of AE?
The answer is "it would not." He would have to draw the same conclusion
regardless of the cause of the AE. Whether or not it was caused by a
mutagen or a pathogen is irrelevant. The conclusion would have to be that
the skull belonged to some individual who had been routinely immersed in
"cold" water. (See page 72 of the March 1995 issue of National

So-and this continues to be MY POINT-if we were to find such a fossil or
fossils dated appropriately, and near to, or depositional from the locale
postulated in Elaine's THE AQUATIC APE or associated with some other
ancient East African littoral, we would have strong PHYSICAL evidence to
support the AAT.

John Thurber