Re: Moving Targets

Thomas Clarke (
18 Oct 1995 19:46:27 GMT

In article <> writes:

> TC> Ian Tattersal's in his book, "The Fossil Trail", talks about
> TC> the problem with theory. There is precious little evidence but
> TC> we all want to know the story of how man came to be. He argues
> TC> that only cladistic relationships are testable from the data.
> TC> I suppose this means that we should stop arguing about how man
> TC> became bipdeal (drop AAT discussion and all that) until more
> TC> fossils are found.
> TC> Tom Clarke

> An interesting recurring AATer tactic here... When the argument is
> being lost, suggest the argument be dropped. Morgan usually adds
> the "Vietnam option" (declare victory and pull out) when she does
> it.

Sheesh. They won't even let me retire from the field.
I have been reading all these posts about how the AAT is not
testable etc. etc.

Then I find a source that I think speaks to this in a way that
makes a little sense to me; the source says essentially that
absent further fossil evidence any scenario for how bipedalism
developed is untestable.

This I can agree with, I should think any scientifically reasonable
person would agree with it. We don't know how A.a became bipedal,
we can't really know, we can only speculate, until more fossils
are found.

This leaves the door open for the savannah scenario, for the AAS,
maybe even the dreaded alien from space scenario, but probably
not the naked mole rate scenario.

Did anyone watch Nova last night, Oct 17. It seems that Venus
only has creatrs less than 500 MY old. Hard to explain unless
Venus was catastrophically resurfaced 500 MY ago. Of course this
offends uniformitarian geologists. It seems that the catastrophics
are wining though. All sciences have debates like this, why
not P.A? The only debates are about little stuff, like how exactly
it was that the apes move from the trees to the savannah, (oops,
I almost used the dreaded "why" word). If anyone makes a big suggestion
like maybe the apes went from the trees to the shore to the savannah,
everyone freaks. But unlike planetary geology where some professionals
hold the uniform view and some the catastrophe view, in P.A. no
professionals hold other than the tree to savannah view.

This mystifies me.

Tom Clarke