CD, AAT, etc. was,Re: AAT Theory

J. Moore (
Wed, 27 Sep 95 12:32:00 -0500

He> From: (HARRY R. ERWIN)
He> Newsgroups: sci.anthropology.paleo
He> Subject: Re: AAT Theory
He> Date: 20 Sep 1995 13:26:22 GMT
He> Organization: George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA Lines: 34

He> Jim Moore's argument with regard to the acceptance of continental drift
He> prior to the discover of patterns of sea-floor spreading rings a bit
He> hollow to someone who observed the paradigm shift from a ring-side seat
He> at UCSD. The continental drift advocates mostly came from the Southern
He> Hemisphere, where the evidence was stronger and they could find jobs.

I didn't say, and certainly did not mean to imply, that there wasn't
intense opposition to the theory. I made two specific points:

1) that AATers using the example of Wegener's theory is terribly
ironic because the only part Wegener was right about (the "what
happened" part: i.e., continents moved) corresponds to the one
part of human evolutionary theory (humans and apes evolved from
a common ancestor) that AATers do not dispute. The part of the
AAT that is different (an aquatic transition from CA to human)
is the mechanism for this change, and it was in the proposed
mechanism that Wegener was also dead wrong; and

2) that when Elaine Morgan claimed that "nobody worth mentioning
would listen to him" (Wegener), she was also dead wrong, and I
posted the names of some who were certainly "worth mentioning",
indeed prominent in their field, who not only listened but
supported him.

It is also relevant that many others who disagreed with Wegener
did listen, and gave arguments against his theory and proposed
mechanism, which he and others strove to answer, at first failing
to do so, but finally doing so. This leads of course to your
later point:

He> My take on the AAT is that it is a beautiful theory, murdered by ugly
He> facts. There are a lot of people out there who have come up with similar
He> theories, and the test of their intellectual honesty is how they deal
He> with inconvenient facts.
He> --
He> Harry Erwin

Quite right.

Jim Moore (

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