Re: Aquatic ape theory

David L Burkhead (
14 Oct 1995 01:49:55 GMT

In article <> writes:
>In article <45k627$>
> "David L Burkhead " writes:
[ 8< advantage's of not regaining hair = advantages of losing hair >8]

>I think that I've got to agree with the substance of David's logic here.
>If the loss of hair was caused by a relatively brief period 5-4mya,
>then it should have come back since. It's just about possible that an
>aquatic period caused a flip which would not have happened otherwise
>and that new stability then set in. But I feel it's unlikely.
>My view is that the advantages cited by the non-aquatic advocates have
>never been credible, and that an ape living on the savannah/mosaic would
>retain its hair or, if it lost it, would eventually get it back. So for
>this and several other reasons, I believe that the "aquatic" period
>lasted much longer: i.e. 5-1.5 mya.

The trouble is that regaining hair is relatively simple (in
evolutionary terms). For one thing there is a _lot_ of variation in
human hairiness. Thus, there's plenty of variation for natural
selection to "work with."

Also, the real problem with the above scenario is that 1.5 mya
puts you well after the end of the "fossil gap" that gets bandied
about (wherever the gap was, why _obviously_ that must be where the
aquatic ape was). I don't have the dates to hand (and I'm sure
someone will correct me if I'm wrong) but doesn't 1.5 mya put you into
genus homo (habilus or erectus)? It's certainly into the later
australopithecines. Since these species were _not_ aquatic apes, then
a version of AAH which says they are must be discarded.

David L. Burkhead

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