Re: tree-climbing hominid

H. M. Hubey (
13 Oct 1995 16:52:34 -0400 (J. Moore) writes:

>Pa> creature operated (nor AFAIK has anyone else). It's a hypothesis
>Pa> which runs on a "wing and a prayer" and does not go beyond the
>Pa> formulation of the words.

>Try reading some paleoanthropology books and articles. Go to the
>library: there's years and years worth of material on the subject.

He's right; it seems to run on wish-fulfillment more than
anything else.

It doesn't matter how many books you read. They all say the
same thing and even use the same words. Not much there. It doesn't
matter how many times you read the same book and it doesn't matter
how many books you read which say the same thing.

>HoHoHo. This is the same problem for the AAT, yet you feel it's
>somehow not. BTW, Morgan has shortened the time yet again for the
>AAT. Hardy started out at "some twenty million years or more",

So what? They can change the numbers all they want. The question
is if there is any better scenario or if the aquatic scenario
fares better against the competetion.

I think that the chances of even the early mammals developing
in some kind of an aquatic environment would be high. It's almost
ideal. It would be hard to tell from fossils millions of years
old if some lizard-like shape was aquatic like a croc or
some land lizard. The lower life forms are low to the ground,
have large tails for balance, and their feet aren't directly
underneath them (the quads, that is). We expect them to all look
like this. The legs can get smaller, disappear, or get longer and
more quadrupedal (like ungulates) as they evolve. Some of these
animals could have hung around aquatic environments a lot longer
or could have had several such episodes in their history.

>Morgan has been somewhat coy about offering an estimate, generally
>simply saying that it took place during "the five million year
>[fossil] gap", but in her latest book has said the aquatic period
>was for "up to a million years".

So what? The wheel is still spinning. LIke all theories it
also has to take into account other developments and new
finds. The best thing to hope for now would be more advances
in DNA mapping (for all animals). That's probably not too
far away. The rate of increase of computing power will put
a supercomputer (of around 1990) on a desktop by 2000. Soon after
that tremendous computation power will be available on small
machines that can be put in small research labs and thousands
of people will be working on these problems. It shouldn't take
too long now. Meanwhile we can play with imaginary scenarios
for fun :-).


Regards, Mark