Re: refs re: crying as a marine marker

David Froehlich (
Fri, 20 Oct 1995 10:50:08 -0500

On 20 Oct 1995 wrote:

> (Phillip Bigelow) wrote:
> > Actually, Elaine Morgan and Hardy made the claim that hunans are the only
> >primates that shed emotional or non-emotional tears. Where is their
> >references for this claim? Did they do the research themselves? (No).
> >Did they provide a reference for each primate that was studied? (No).
> >Do they even know how many primate species there are in the world? (No).
> >They should not have even made the claim of "fact" in the first place.
> >That is lousy scientific method, if you ask me.
> No, this is making a testable hypothesis. This is a cprnerstone of scientific method.
> Were they incorrect in their claim? (No.)

I see no evidence of a test. Speaking of evidence, to test a hypothesis
one must have evidence. To test this tears hypothesis you must present
evidence that the tears in humans are only shared with marine mammals and
no others (and in fact, that this is an evolutionary development that can
only occur in marine habitats but that is a separate test). To date all
we have is anecdotal testimonials. Have you lokked at anything other
than marine mammals? Are there any primates that do this? Ungulates?
Shrews? Bats? Non-marine carnivores? (This ignores the problems with
how to determine emotions in something that cannot communicate with you
(despite Hubey's statements to the contrary, I do not see how these
observations can be anything more than anthropomorphisizing).

David J. Froehlich Phone: 512-471-6088
Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory Fax: 512-471-5973
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
The University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712