Re: Speciation - how do you know?

Stephen Barnard (
Mon, 07 Oct 1996 07:38:43 -0800

Paul Crowley wrote:
> In article <>
> "Stephen Barnard" writes:
> > The point is, Paul, that you present both the absence of lions in
> > Eurpope and the presence of lions in Europe as *prima facie* evidence
> > that Neaderthals didn't hunt. You must see the gross inconsistency in
> > this argument, because I believe that you are a logical, reasoning human
> > being. You *have* to admit, to retain any credibility at all, that
> > either one or both of your arguments are incorrect.
> I was presenting the existence and fairly close presence of
> lions as an argument against "Neanderthal hunters". That they
> were even closer than I thought strengthens my point.

I don't read it that way. Here's what you said, Paul:

"Compare these putative hunters to a pride of lions. They have
everything, including sprinting speed. Lions do not find life that
easy. They never adapted to Europe (AFAIK). The prey is too rare
or too dangerous or too something else. So how could a much less
effective hunter with a much greater energy requirement make out?"

My interpretation of this argument is that if lions, which must be
superior hunters compared to Neanderthals, never adapted to Europe, then
it's absurd to suppose that Neanderthals were hunters.

Your back-up position, having been shown that lions *did* inhabit
Europe, is that Neanderthals could never survive as hunters in
competition with lions.

Either of these arguments taken separately is defensible. Taken
together they are nonsensical sophism. They amount to a "proof" that
Neanderthals couldn't have been hunters because lions either did or did
not inhabit Europe - QED.

Steve Barnard