Re: Hubey numbers

H. M. Hubey (
22 Oct 1995 17:23:41 -0400

David Froehlich <> writes:

>> And how much time chimps spend in trees probably
>> shouldn't determine the degree of arboreality of chimps.

>Why not?, shouldn't the degree to which an organism can utilize an
>environment determine the numbers you want to throw at it? Certainly,
>the exact same comment can be made about your contention that hippos are
>100% aquatic.

I rated adaptations to a particular environment higher than the
time spent in certain behavior/environment for a very easy
reason. In order for the adaptation to occur the animal must
have spent a considerable time in that habitat/environment.

So the scale has components of both the past and the present.

And again, I ask you to post your scale. Why don't you try
and let others take a crack at this scale.

>> not the only way to measure things. Besides, almost everything
>> having to do with adaptation of transducers to physical measurements
>> seems to obey power laws and thus should tell us to use something
>> like a decibel scale (i.e. logarithmic).

>Do you know how evolution actually works?

I can't understand what your problem is. Is this a standard
line you and Duncan post everytime you run into something
you can't understand.

Where's the connection between what I posted and what
you write.

And yes, I think I do understand how evolution works. The
real question now seems to be if you understand how
evolution works.

Wow, I should just get out of
>the field entirely since Mr. Hubey has solved all the problems. Don't
>throw verbiage around when you argue so strenuously against it.

I suggested logarithmic scale and didn't solve any problems other
than to imply (clearly to me) that the scale I have in mind
is a relative distance scale and only a part of a possibly
larger scale which would cover all the living animals. Furthermore
I am suggesting that in order to cover the whole kingdom the
scale would have to be logarithmic and furthermore I am
saying that for this small sample we may use a linear scale
to approximate a small portion of the larger logarithmic
curve linearly. Is that a problem?

>I hadn't realized that hippos were so adapted to aqautic lifestyles that
>they cannot exist on land (my take on 100% aquatic). Thank you for
>correcting my misinterpretation.

You still haven't understood but true to form you are still
heavy on the sarcasm and yet you get upset if I let loose with
a little sarcasm of my own every once in a while. Why?

Look, the scale is not simply about how much time the animal
spends in the water? Simple enough to comprehend?

>I am just following your numbers up above. Lemmings, Muskrats etc spend
>at least as much time in the water as hippos.

But do they have adaptations like hippos.

AGain, put up the list and add these critters and others that
you want and put the numbers next to them and let's have a

This is just some kind of a cheap correlation analysis.

>Meerkats are one of the most desert adapted of the mongeese. In fact,

I'll put it on the list.

>Why bother I don't see the usefulness. You are trying to replace a
>multitude of evolutionary and behavioral adaptations with a single
>number. Seems like a fools errand to me.

It seems like those who refuse to do arithmetic do much
more foolish things all the time. The fact of the matter is
that you are using some kind of a scale or some kind of a
multiple correlation mechanism all the time but refuse to
make it public or are only dimly aware of it. All I'm doing
is to force it out in public.

here's the scale again. If we give more weight to past
history and not to the present life style the rankings
given lemmings/muskrats will be low (unless they have some
adaptations to water). The duck is there only to compare to
the penguin. I put the "ringer" meerkat there too.

now we need to look at any special characteristics which
we can explain via other reasons to factor out its effects.
That's what correlation analysis would do since we'd include
another variable in the regression. Anyway, here it is:

So far here's what we have. I changed the scale to account
more heavily for the past instead of the present. Anyone
can join and argue for/against it. But if you want to do so
you should provide suggestions with numbers/rankings.

The ones with ??? could be changed. I solicit numbers for those
that don't have any.

hippo 100 --- adaptation ---closing nostrils
polar bears 90-100 webbed feet --swims
penguin 90-100 adaptation
sea otter any adaptation?
lemmings how long in water?
muskrats any adaptation?
beavers any adaptation?
duck obvious adaptation but we don't expect feather loss :-)
elephant 70-80 higher if naked skin is an adaptation
pig 60-70 possibly higher if skin is an adaptation
grizzly bear 60-70 salmon hunter
dog 50-60 more than cats -- doesn't seem to have a dislike
chimp (bonobo) 50-60 ???
lion 30-40 ??
gorilla 30-40 ??
sheep 30-40 ???
camel 10-20 Special "anti-water" adaptation
meerkats 5-10 Don't need much water -- adopt bipedal posture
X_mouse 0-5 Very Special "anti-water" adaptation

I left some spaces blank. The scale above might not account
heavily enough for the past. In any case, if we tried
correlation-regression analysis, we'd have to provide numbers
or some kind of a scheme in which many parameters whose
presence/absence would serve as numbers (i.e. 0/1). At least
this could allow more focused discussion.


Regards, Mark