Re: Hominid Altitudinal-Latitudinal Adaptations

Phillip Bigelow (
Sat, 26 Oct 1996 21:38:43 -0700

Paul Crowley wrote:
> In article <> "Phillip Bigelow" writes:
> > Paul Crowley wrote:
> > > Hominids have been naked for a sigificant period of time.
> >
> > Sorry to be such a but-insky with this pesky little question, but
> > I have to ask this: EVIDENCE, Paul? EVIDENCE?
> I was careful to say "significant" (or try to say it). Since the
> whole of Hss is naked we're quite safe in concluding that it has
> been a feature of the species for some 60 Kyr, at least.

"Safe conclusions" can be flat wrong. Since "sparceness of hair"
is not a STRICTLY defining character trait of our species, that leaves
a lot of latitude as to how variable it has been with Homo gen. in the
IF you wanted to claim that "sparceness of hair" IS a defining
character trait of our species, then you can push it back in time
ONLY as far as our species goes. And that is no further back than
about 100,000 - 200,000 years. The Homo clade goes back at least
a couple million years. And there is *no* available evidence
regarding whether these creatures were as hairless as us.
Speculation can get you anywhere and nowhere at the same time.

> It's an adaptation that would appear to go with sweating.

Horses and pigs sweat. They are not aquatic, and they aren't
hairless either.

> Since nakedness is such a remarkable adaptation, it probably
> indicates a radical change in niche, and it is unlikely that it
> could have been adopted without other major changes. That is
> one reason why I prefer to date it back to the speciation of the
> hominid line.

You can date it back to the Precambrian if you like. It's just
that your train of speculation is just that; speculation. There are
no facts in what you wrote.

>You may want to associate it with later
> developments, but you can hardly put it within the last 2 Myr.

I see no reason why it can't be put it in that time frame.
I also see no reason to restrict it solely to that time frame.
I'll tell you what I see, Paul. I see a lack of real evidence.

> We obviously don't have a lot of evidence. But we can draw some
> reasonable conclusions from what we have.

Or even over-stretched speculation....apparently.