Re: Bipedalism and theorizing... was Re: Morgan and creationists

John Waters (
24 Sep 1996 07:51:51 GMT

Paul Crowley <> wrote in article

> While Gerrit demurred, I maintained that it would be almost
> inconceivable that a chimp - female or male - would adopt a
> bipedal posture while carrying a heavy infant.

JW: I am sure you are right. A Chimp physiology would not be
well suited to the bipedal carriage of a heavy infant. However,
that's not the point. In my example, the infant would only be
carried for a short distance. In addition, the infant would be
very young (three days old) and therefore relatively light.
> My argument is that the first step towards bipedalism must
> necessarily have been the putting down of the infant. >

JW: Again I am sure you are right. In the early days of the
transition to bipedalism the lack of a proper bipedal physiology
would have led to the onset of rapid fatigue. This would
necessitate plenty of rest stops, when the baby would be put

> I have Goodall's "Through a Window" to hand. It has many
> of chimps knuckle-walking and clearly looking forward.

JW: I have Goodall's "The Chimpanzees of Gombe" to hand.
Strangely enough it shows all the knuckle walking chimpanzees
looking downwards. Nevertheless they plainly can lift their
heads, as you and I can. The point I am making here, is not that
knuckle walking is detrimental, but that bipedalism confers
advantages in terms of height. In addition, just as knuckle
walking has been fine for Gorillas and Chimpanzees for millions
of years, so bipedalism has been equally fine for hominids for
millions of years.