lions, chimps and sticks

Alex Duncan (
7 Oct 1995 22:10:51 GMT

In article <> H. M. Hubey, writes:

>>>Why doesn't someone get some chimps let loose on the African
>>>plains among lions and see how many survive.
>>Before we waste any time with this, why don't you tell us why it would be
>>relevant, given that 1) the earliest known hominids were not living on
>>the "African plains" 2) when hominids did move onto the plains they were
>>much better armed than chimps, and 3) since hominids are diurnal and most
>>large African predators are nocturnal, they rarely would have encountered
>>one another.
>In response to
>1) Aside from humans the chimps are the closest

I wonder if I repeat things often enough, will you get it? Setting
chimps loose on the African plains w/ sticks is irrelevant to model early
hominid behavior because:


>2) We'll try the same with humans (preferably with a group of
>anthropologists who claim chimps swinging sticks can fight off
>lions) :-).. And then we'll interpolate the results for chimps
>and humans, and presto!! that should be something like our
>hominid ancestors

Again, Hubey's ignorance shines through. I assume you think a lion would
successfully attack a GROUP OF STICK WIELDING CHIMPS? If this is what
you think, then you are clearly as ignorant about lions as you are about

>3) Where did the hominids go at night? Did they climb trees or
>burrow under ground?

Why don't you read one of the articles I referenced in another thread?

>PS. With prey as slow as quasi-bipedal hominids, the predators
>might have gone hunting during the day. Who'd miss out on such
>easy dessert? No need to chase them down and spend all that
>energy under the hot sun. One wallop, instant dessert.

And you accuse us of being fuzzy? Sure, maybe the lions would go hunting
in the daytime. Maybe they'd domesticate the hominids and treat them
like cattle. Maybe they'd enlist their friends the space aliens to shoot
the hominids with lasers. These ideas are all about equally testable.

BTW -- chimps are about as "quasi-quadrupedal" as early hominids were
"quasi-bipedal". By your argument, chimps should be extinct by now.

Alex Duncan
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712-1086