Re: Savanna: a slow demise

Mrdubious (
22 Sep 1995 22:51:18 -0400

Phil Nicholls sez:
The "savannah theory" is a straw man of your own construction. There
is no savanna theory. There are a number of hypotheses about human
evolution and the savanna figures into most of them because the best
available evidence shows that early hominids occupied savanna
habitates and because at the time hominids appear in the fossil record
savanna biomes were replacing forest biomes.<<<

It is hard to take some of these quasi-religious diatribes seriously when
this kind of word game is played. Most of the hypotheses involve the
savannah because the evidence indicates that early hominids occupied the
savannah and (many of) these theories involve evolutionary changes in
hominids due to conditions on the savannah, but there is no savannah
theory. Did I get this right?

Sometimes I get the feeling that much of this childish name-calling and
nitpicking has more to do with a dislike of Elaine Morgan than any
scientific debate. Mr. Moore's comments leave one wishing he had taken a
high-school debate class (with emphasis on AD HOMINEM arguments), or that
he had learned the basic rules of bureaucratic discussion: (1) It's not
what you say, it's how you say it; and (2) If you think someone is an
idiot, and you call them an idiot, 9 times out of 10 people will think YOU
are an idiot; you have to point out logically and drily how you arrived at
the conclusion that the person is an idiot, and let others make the
decision. I call this passive-aggressive debate.
Some of you sound like heavy metal fans writing to a newspaper to protest
an unfavorable review (your reviewer SUCKS, man).
I don't accept AAT fully, but frankly, the alternatives don't seem any
better. Every argument I've heard against AAT can be used on the
alternatives discussed in this group.

Stuart Dubois
Network Administrator
I only tune in because I don't have time to get an anthropology degree,
and there's no universities here.