Re: AAT Theory

Troy Kelley (
Thu, 21 Sep 1995 16:53:08 GMT

Subject: Re: AAT Theory
From: J. Moore,
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 95 10:12:00 -0500
In article <> J. Moore,
>Tk> In article <> J. Moore,
>Tk> writes:
>Tk> Bipedalism a consequence of aquatic life? Mumm.. I don't remember
>Tk> ever saying that one. I don't think that has ever even been implied
>Tk> AAT proponents.
>The actual quote, which you edited, was "bipedalism or 'pelvis
>straightening'", which is indeed said to be the consequence of
>aquatic life by AATers.

JIM.. I am an "AATer". I don't claim that "bipedalism or pelvis
straightening" is a consequence of aquatic. I don't know of any other
"AATer" that has said that either. Again.. bipedalism could have been
made EASIER by an aquatic environment, it is not a CONSEQUENCE.

>And that it's virtually impossible to have evolved on land, in
>spite of the observed fact that many primates habitually include
>bipedalism in their locomotor repertoire.

Again. I don't know of any AATer that has ever said "Bipedalism is
virtually impossible to have evolved on land". This would be stupid
because there is a host of animals that are at least partially bipedal.
You have twisted statements around again. No AATer claims that bipedalism
could not have evolved on land.

>Tk> BTW, the polar bear is about as bipedal as many primates.
>I am not aware that they walk bipedally, only that they
>occassionally stand up. Please give the references which support
>your claim that wild polar bears regularly walk bipedally as do
>many, indeed most, primates.

Watch Marty Stoffer's Wild America. They can walk bipedally.

I got an idea Mr. Reference man. Why don't you post references saying
that they don't walk bipedally? That way I can do my my job during the
day instead of chasing down references for obvious animal behavior.

>JM> >straightening", the pattern of fat deposits is the same as
>JM> >terrestrial bears, no hairlessness, no descended larnyx, no
>JM> >ventral-ventral sex.
>Tk> Ventral-ventral sex is also not a "consequence of aquatic life".
>I agree; that's what the facts say. Unfortunately for the AAT.

Once again Jim, you have twisted statements around. YOU said that
ventral-ventral sex is something that AATers say is a
consequence of aquaitic life. That has never been the case.
You have "agreed" with a contridiction in your own statement.

>JM> >Yes, we can all agree with you that the "polar bear challenge" is
>JM> >a difficult problem for the proponents of the AAT, and one which
>JM> >they haven't addressed. I commend you for bringing it up; now
>JM> >are you going to address it?
>Tk> Not sure what you mean by that Jim.
>Guess you mean you're not going to address the problems that face
>the AAT, such as the challenge of the polar bear. Not surprising.

The polar bear challenge was a challenge to the AAT proponents who say
that there is not enough physical evidence to support aquatic life in our
hominid ancestors. The polar bear challenge proves that an animal can be
aquatic with very little change in physical structures especially in
comparasion to other members of the same species. So the need of AAT
proponents for some proof in terms of physical structures is weak,
because an animal can in fact live in a partial aquatic environment with
very little physical adaptation. Most of the adaptation is non-skelatal,
which is what AATers have been saying for years.

>JM> >Do give us the references which support this completely unsupported
>JM> >claim of yours. And do explain why the AAT is supposed to be
>JM> >given this special preferential "no refs required" status.
>Tk> References to support streamlining?? Gee.. OK.. Just pick up any book
>Tk> that has a picture of an ape or chimp and a picture of a human being
>Tk> tell me which one you think is more streamlined. I would think that
>Tk> there are thousands of books that fall into this category.
>Let's see: humans have big heads and broad shoulders, long legs
>(which create drag -- that's why aquatic mammals have short limbs);
>guess apes would be more streamlined (gibbons especially). Now
>where's your reference to the contrary?

Jim.. the length of something doesn't necessarily create drag. If that
were so, the Blue Whale would not be able to move through the water at
all. Aquatic animals have short PROTRUDING limbs. Their "legs" have
evolved into something more similar to a tail.I would imagine that the
average walrus is "longer" than the averageman.

Also, note I did say "Ape or chip" which happen to be our closest
relatives. Jim, I know you know this but gibbons are pretty far down the
evolutionary tree from us. You say "humans have big heads and broad
shoulders" but they certainly are no bigger than a gorrilla's,
especially the shoulders. Because of our straightened pelvis humans are
generally "flatter" than apes or chimps. Their bodies are hunched over
and rounded. Their spines are not that characteristic "S" shape which is
seen in humans. In other words, humans are more streamlined.

>JM> > Fat pattern the same as terrestrial bears, etc.
>Tk> Speaking of references ... Jim, do you have one for this claim?
>You demanding refs; that's as rich as Morgan doing so!
>The reference is:
>1992 "Allometry of the distribution of adipose tissue in Carnivora",
>by Caroline M. Pond (Ph.D., Department of Biology, The Open
>University, Milton Keynes) and Malcolm A. Ramsay (Department of
>Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon). *Canadian Journal
>of Zoology* 70:342-347.

Well.. I don't have easy access to that book. Why don't you post what the
actual text says? Don't you think that would be a little more helpful
than just posting the name of the book?

>Tk> Jim.. there are plenty of stories of land based predators killing
>Tk> individuals. I don't know about "hundreds during a single night" but
>Tk> am not sure what difference it makes.
>It's just that you claimed you "could post equally as lengthy diatribes
>about lions, cheetahs, leopards, tigers, hyenas or hunting dogs, and the
>ancestors of each" and that "each one of these savanna creatures could
>feature equally as gruesome antidotes" as that of crocodiles
>killing hundreds (well, okay, it was a couple thousand) well-armed
>humans in a single night. I was really looking forward to your
>backing up this wild claim of yours and then you slunk away without
>posting a single one.

First, I don't consider this a "wild claim". Second,
when I get a chance I will post something if you really need it that
badly. But I have a very busy life, and going to the library to find a
book on big cats, so I can post some antidote about some tiger or
leapord killing some people, is not high on my priority list. Why don't
you take a look Jim?
Third, don't you know that people tend to exaggerate? Don't
you know stories like crocodiles killing
a few people can that get blown out of proportion easily?

>Tk> You would trying to paint the
>Tk> crocodile as some kind of extraordinary predator when in fact
>Tk> there are plenty of land based predators that are
>Tk> equally as efficient at killing prey, if not more efficient.
>Name one that, like crocodiles, doesn't respond to bluff and
>threat. Name one that, like crocodiles, grabs an animal and
>doesn't let go, even when being "repeatedly stabbed with spears
>or knives, beaten with sticks, pelted with stones, or had sticks
>rammed down their gullets in order to prise the human victims
>from their jaws...but to no avail".
>Please... name one.

I HAVE. Lions don't respond easily to threat displays. Jim.. you have a
short memory. We have been around this block before. Let me try this

1) Big cats are smart animals. No matter how good a threat display is, if
a cat thinks it can kill you, it will anyway. 2) I have seen a film of a
leapord eating a baboon. The baboon provided a threat display prior to
getting killed -- it didn't help. 3) All sorts of animals provide threat
displays on the african savanna. These are almost always the bigger males
of the species, which would be the case for our early ancestors as well.
How do predators respond to these displays, if at all? Sometimes they
don't, but if they do they don't attack the big strong males and attach
smaller more sickly animals instead. This is because they are SMART
animals, and don't want to waste their time on something they can't

As far as not letting go when attacking something, that behavior is
certainly not unique to a crocodile. I can't believe you would suggest
that it is.

>Tk> They probably controlled the local crocodile population by eating
>Tk> eggs. I have posted this idea before.
>And I have already explained to you why this is quite unbelieveable:
>JM> You are suggesting that these transitional hominids did something
>JM> no animal, including the extremely numerous humans, has managed to
>JM> Given that crocodiles travel for miles, and that they do suffer
>JM> enormous losses of eggs and young and yet thrive anyway...
>and that
>JM> The only period of effective control of crocodile populations was
>JM> modern weaponry, and was largely restrcited to the 1950s and 1960s.
>JM> wasn't done with the method you suggest.

Again.. we have been around this block before. And it is getting

If you can post a reference that says the the crocodile
population at no time declined during 12 MY to 5 MY for easternAfrica,
including all the various sub-parts of eastern
Africa, during the AAT evolution period - then you still don't have
anything. Because I think humans could still survive anyway. But based on
your arguements you act as if you know the crocodile population for the
AAT period remained completely stable. Which I find 1) very hard to
believe and 2) not very related to AAT in the first place.

>Tk> Jim, just because there is an aquatic predator in Africa at the same
>Tk> time the AAT is supposed to have happened does not discount the
>Tk> theory. I think this is a weak argument. There
>Tk> are predators everywhere.
>Tk> Troy Kelley
>As I've mentioned, it is certain that some of our ancestors got eaten.
>You can count on it. But we also see that chimps in open savannah
>woodland environments have managed to survive and therefore so could we.
>We do not see such an animal surviving in crocodile habitat.

MAN.. you make it sound like NOTHING could survive in a crocodile
habitat. Like anything that came even remotely close to some crocodile
"infested" waters would be immediatly consumed by this amazing super
predator. COME ON JIM..Plenty of animals live around crocodile habitats.
Animals have been for millions of years because the crocodile has been
around for at least that long. If your crocodile-super-carnavior was that
efficient of a predator it would eat everything in sight and it would not
have anything left to prey on. Which would spell its own extinction.

>The AAT has consistently side-stepped this
>critical issue: Why is the AAT, alone amongst theories of hominid
>divergence, supposed to be given this preferential treatment?
>Jim Moore (

I certainly haven't side-stepped this issue. And this "preferential
treatment" stuff is getting a little old.

This news group has subjected AAT, AND I might add,
AAT supporters, to some of the fiercest rhetoric I have seen
anywhere on the net. AAT certainly has not asked for
any "perferential treatment" so quit using that line Jim.

Troy Kelley