Re: naked bipeds

Phil Nicholls (
Mon, 23 Oct 1995 07:51:15 GMT

Paul Crowley <> graced us with the following

>In article <466u69$>
> "Alex Duncan" writes:

>> As far as naked bipedalism goes: you seem fixated on the idea that
>> functional hairlessness and bipedalism must have evolved at the same
>> time. This is not a fixation shared by paleoanthropologists.
>> Australopithecines were probably not functionally hairless, because:
> <snips>

>When you see a species with two striking and unique adaptions,
>either one of which is enough to mark it off from all its
>relatives and which (a) have no obvious link, and (b) developed
>in a short time period, then it is parsimonious seek an
>explanation which covers both.

Nearly every species has one or two unique adaptations. In the case
of Homo sapiens you are being very selective. IF we have learned
anything about human evolution it is that everything does not happen
at once. We know, for example, that bipedalism occurs before
expansion of brain size or tool use. Hairlessness could have occurred
only within the last 40,000 years for all we know.

The parsimony argument only holds IF THERE IS REASON TO BELIEVE THEY

>The resistance by paleoanthropologists to any such program
>would appear to be irrational and require an explanation of
>a sociological nature.


Phil Nicholls
"To ask a question you must first know most of the answer"
-Robert Sheckley