Hair and AAS

David Froehlich (
Sun, 8 Oct 1995 17:47:00 -0500

I just had a thought about all of the statements about hairlessness. All
of the living relatives of hominids have hair. Humans do not. Is it not
an equivalent assumption under parsimony (the simplest explanation is the
one to be preffered) that all hominids until Homo sapiens had lots of fur?

The AAS arguements assume that hair is a feature found in the AAS
ancestor. This is a major assumption!!!! All of the arguements about the
loss of hair indicating aquatic lifestyle rest on this premise. Please
tell me how the AAS proponents propose to test this assumption? This
holds true for all! soft (nonskeletal) characteristics!!!

Remember testability is the hallmark of science.

Note that when the diving reflex was held up to this question it failed.

Premise) diving reflex is evidence for AAS
Implicit assumption of the premise) diving reflex evolved in AAS ancestor
(after the chimp-hominid split)

Evidence) All mammals have a diving reflex and in fact the reflex in
humans is poorer than all aquatic mammals and in fact poorer than many
other mammals.

Implication) diving reflex is a primitive feature for all mammals

Implication for AAS) the diving reflex did not evolve in a putatively
aquatic ape.

So, what testable observations does AAS make and how does it explain the
evidence better?

Remember that testability is the hallmark of scientific endevour.

David J. Froehlich Phone: 512-471-6088
Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory Fax: 512-471-5973
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
The University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712