Re: aquatic humans...

Gerold Firl (
24 Jan 1995 12:19:46 -0800

In article <3g23fs$> (John Brock) writes:

>I wonder if anyone can tell me whether there exists any particularly
>damning counterargument to the Aquatic Ape theory, some major flaw in
>the theory, or is it simply dismissed for lack of fossil evidence.

The aquatic ape hypothesis (AAH) is largely based on a misunderstanding of
the physiological basis for the naked human skin. Many aquatic mammals are
hairless, so the hypothesis was raised that humans may have taken an
aquatic detour on their evolutionary path. A cursory examination of human
physiology is sufficient to provide a more parsimonious explanation
however. Humans have the most effective heat-rejection system of any animal
on earth; this is one of our truely unique adaptations. Our naked skin
functions as an evaporative heat-transfer interface, giving us the ability
to engage in prolonged activity at high temperatures. I would suggest that
the development of of our sweat system was a necessary prerequisite, or at
least co-development, for full bipedalism on the open savanna. By giving
hominids an environmental niche where they could venture out from the trees
in safety (during high-temperature mid-day conditions, when other savanna
dwellers are quiescent), our sweat system may have made it possible for the
awkward transition from an arboreal to terrestrial lifestyle to take place.
There is no need for the aquatic hypothesis.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf