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

Philip Nicholls (
27 Sep 1996 20:30:48 GMT

Paul Crowley <> wrote in article
> In article <01bba86b$96bc23e0$>
> "John Waters" writes:
> > Paul Crowley <> wrote in article
> >
> > > A female chimp with infant would find bipedal progression
> > > extremely difficult if not impossible.
> >
> > JW: Be careful Paul, I can feel feminist hackles rising. A male
> > could do this, but a determined and resourceful female could
> > not. Is that what you are saying?
> Gerrit and I had a long exchange on this here about three months
> ago. Chimps carry infants in the ventral position until they are
> about 4 years old - especially on long journeys when the infant
> gets tired. And infant-carrying is the prerogative of females.
> 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.

As Gerrit and myself pointed out to you, proto-hominids were NOT
Chimpanzees are knuckle-walkers and proto-hominids were not.
your objection based on the biomechanics of infant carrying is
fundementally flawed.

> My argument is that the first step towards bipedalism must
> necessarily have been the putting down of the infant. I believe
> that this probably occured when the females of one population
> began to wade or swim through water in order to get food, or to
> get to a food resource. A lot of evidence points to this, but
> I'd be open to other explanations so long as they compel the
> putting down of the infant.

What evidence points to this, Paul?

Phil Nicholls " To ask a question you must first know
most of the
-Robert Sheckley