Re: AAT:A method to falsify

H. M. Hubey (
11 Oct 1995 22:48:14 -0400 (Phillip Bigelow) writes:

> No, that is not what the fact suggests. It suggests that there may be a
>size-surface area/volume-body-fat thermoregulatory barrier for
>hairless mammals...which should be explored both experimentally and with

It seems to range from human to elephant. If there are smaller ones
than humans, then it gets worse. Do pigs count?

> NOW, Elaine....*if* this physiological barrier does exist for heat
>retention...then you have a problem with hairlessness in your aquatic ape.
>It doesn't spell doom for your theory, but it does spell doom for a hairless
>aquatic ape. All it would falsify is the hairless aspect of the theory.

I guess it says that as it gets bigger it has to develop more
efficient heat expulsion mechanisms (i.e. increase the conductance
at will) but only if it has the "means" (somehow) to decrease the
conductance (where the means may be external i.e. covering up).

Heat expulsion is enhanced by loss of hair/fur. That also leaves
it vulnerable to hypothermia. Elephants can't start wearing
animal hides but humanoids (sometime during their development)
could and did. So elephants would have to operate in a different
range than humanoids -- and not only because of size but also
because of intelligence. It's a more complex problem than
simply one of mass/surface or fat ratio.


Regards, Mark