Re: Aquatic ape theory

Bryce Harrington (
Sat, 23 Sep 1995 20:13:27 GMT

In article <43sov3$>,
Phillip Bigelow <> wrote:
> (Bryce Harrington) writes:
>>What if the hominid was already at least partially bipedal
>>when it became aquatic?

>That is a convenient way of keeping a theory alive.

Not at all. I've been lurking in this newsgroup for several years now
and never have I seen the theory so alive and so heavily discussed.
Well over half the posts in this group revolve around AAT. I'm simply
trying to provide an alternative idea. I don't care who is "winning"
or who's case is "strongest." I just want to find out what the truth
really is.

> Keep in mind that if you put the origin of bipedalism back in the
>terrestrial environment,then you are weakening your case for the less
>well known traits, (such as sweating and hair loss) being
>aquaticly-created, too.

*My* case? I find it funny that you, Phil, and Jim clump everyone who
mentions AAT in a positive way into some nebulous AAT fan group and
assume that they all are working to prove the same theory, and then
you get all up in arms when Elaine groups her opposition into the
"Savannah-ists." I've noticed that everyone, "AATers" and "Savannah-ists"
(or "Mosaic-ists") alike, have different opinions on what "the theory"
really is. So knock off using Troy's comments to beat up Elaine, or
Elaines to beat up the casual commenter. It stinks of Creationist-style
attacks, and I'm sure none of us want that.

>And, as Elaine
>Morgan, herself, has written, (ref.: "The Aquatic Ape") the evidence
>should be examined *as a group*, rather than as individual traits.

Well, I don't take everything Elaine writes as absolute truth. She's
doing a great job defending Hardy's theory, and she's put a great deal
of work in developing it, but in some ways I think she'd have been
more successful focusing on only the two or three strongest pieces of
evidence. I think that the AAT has the _structure_ necessary to build
up very credible hypotheses on everything from ventro-ventral sex to
speech. But these things are not *part* of the theory, in that the
theory does not depend on these parts to validate itself. If by
concentrating on the few traits which are completely intertwined in
the theory we can solidify the structure, then I believe the other
traits will fall into place.

> By throwing out your bipedalism argument, all the other evidence takes
>a hit, too.

*My* bipedalism argument? And you may accept the other allegedly
aquatic traits as evidence, but I find them circumstantial at best.
I've noticed that rather than strengthening the AAT case, they have
hampered it by providing easy ways for anti-AAT people to chip away
at. Anti-AAT people find one small part of the AAT, show that there
is some question as to its validity, then claim that because they
found a flaw the whole theory is void. IMHO, each trait should be
looked at separately and thoroughly. Perhaps bipedalism is not an
aquatic derived trait. So what? That doesn't mean that hair loss
could not still be an aquatic adaption. Less probable, perhaps, but
not impossible.

> <pb>


Bryce Harrington