Re: AAT Theory

chris brochu (
26 Sep 1995 14:18:23 GMT

In article <446dla$> Thomas Clarke, writes:
>> The parsimony argument I was making had more to do with habitat than
>> habit - tree to land vs. tree to water to land. The "water" stage is not
>> preserved, and I see nothing in extant hominoids to suggest its presence.
>How about behavior? I think humans are the only primates that swim.

Agreed, behavior should be included in our analysis. But the most
parsimonious explanation for our evolution is still not the AAT, with or
without it. That's how parsimony works - you take all available evidence
and select the explanation that best fits all of it.

Some postings on this subject seem to suggest a thought process like,
"well, your idea may explain facts A through Y, but since my idea
explains Z better, mine must be correct." That's not parsimony. That's
special pleading.

I'd highly recommend Brooks and McLennan's _Phylogeny, Ecology, and
Behavior_ as an introduction to how evolutionary scenarios are currently


ps - the subcutaneous fat I see is on both the musculature and skin,
aquatic or not.