Paul's bizarre def, and his diatribe, was Re: tree-climbing

J. Moore (
Wed, 18 Oct 95 11:03:00 -0500

Pa> > Then of course there's his recent, equally ridiculous, contention
Pa> > that bipedalism should be defined not by what an animal does, but
Pa> > whether an infant can grasp with its feet. From Paul Crowley's
Pa> > post of 1 Oct 95:
<snipped -- Paul's bizarre proposed definiton of bipedalism>
Pa> My proposed definition was partly in response to much talk in this group
Pa> about the issue. Defining "bipedalism" when looking at adult chimps,
Pa> adult gibbons and adult imagined hominids was creating a lot of
Pa> confusion. My proposed definition is clear and unambiguous.

It is ridiculous, and yes, bizarre, to insist, as you did, that
the actual locomotion of animals not be used to determine what
sort of locomotion they predominately use.

Pa> Again the bizarre-ness is in your head. As you are well aware, the
Pa> profession is frequently criticised for its masculine orientation and
Pa> its unthinking adoption of a sexist viewpoint. It focuses on adult
Pa> males, their hunting capability and the like: "The women and children
Pa> can be ignored - them's womens' matters - they can look after them-
Pa> selves and the kids, and us men can leave them to it - what they do is
Pa> of no interest to real men - we're into much more important things."

Pa> The criticisms are invariably acknowledged - and then forgotten. But you
Pa> are now actually justifying this. Try and *think* a bit more about
Pa> bipedalism. Read what I said carefully again. Find a paleo-
Pa> anthropologist who's a feminist, if such a person exists. If you can't,
Pa> try any intelligent woman and discuss it with her.
Pa> Paul.

That odd sound you're hearing is the sound of laughter ringing over
the nets, emanating from those who know my background. Suffice
it to say that feminist paleoanthropologists do, and did, exist.

Jim Moore (

* Q-Blue 2.0 *