Alex's point... was Re: First Family and AAT

J. Moore (
Fri, 13 Oct 95 10:31:00 -0500

Cl> > Well, it seems you got the point of my argument. AATer's are always
Cl> > asking "if bipedalism is so wonderful, how come chimps aren't
Cl> > bipedal?"
Cl> > This certainly reveals some lack of knowledge about the way evolution
Cl> > works. But it is also just plain bad argument, as I was trying to
Cl> > point out by turning it around.

Cl> Now I am really confused. Wait I think I get it.
Cl> You want to say that a consequence of my position is that starting with
Cl> ANY genetic stock, similar conditions will result in similar
Cl> adaptations. E.G. dolphin-like apes as a result of adaptation to water.

Cl> This is silly. Different stock results in different adaptions, although
Cl> there are broad similarities.

It IS silly, which is exactly Alex's point. This ridiculously
silly position is Elaine Morgan's position, and indeed that of
virtually all the pro-AAT writers. They say, for example, that if
humans had had evolved on land, they would use exactly the same
means of thermoregulation as distantly related mammals ("On the
supposition that man's ancestor's moved out from the trees to open
ground and needed sweat-cooling, they might be expected to have
followed the example of the wild ass and the camel in adapting
their apocrine glands for that purpose." (Morgan, 1990:82, *The
Scars of Evolution*).

There are many other examples of this idea, which you rightly
point out as being ludicrous, in the work of Morgan and other AAT

Cl> By the way how does eveolution work in your view?
Cl> My view is that change occurs in the direction of increasing fitness.
Cl> If there is not difference in fitness with respect to some trait, then
Cl> it can vary or drift randomly. Are you saying that bipedalism has no
Cl> fitness value?
Cl> Tom Clarke

That being predominately bipedal is useful does not mean that all
organisms will take it up. Chimpanzee locomotion worked quite
well in their neck of the woods for millions of years, and it
works well still. Unfortunately, unlike our locomotor adaptation,
it has confined them to a rapidly dwindling neck of the woods.

Jim Moore (

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