Re: Beyond The Naked Ape

Gerold Firl (
25 Jan 1997 00:13:57 GMT

In article <>, (Fernando Raimundo) writes:

|> I read The Naked Ape when I was about 16, and it made a big impression on
|> me. Now at 33, I think the book suffers from many Morris's excesses, and
|> contains a lot of speculations. Still, I think the core of it has, well, a
|> kind of down-to-earth, simple, and irrefutable (huh...) veracity.
|> In certains circles, however, it appears to be considered good scientific
|> practice to declare any idea as nonsense, if that idea had been stated in
|> The Naked Ape...
|> Is there a reason for that? The Naked Ape itself is my only window in that
|> particular area; I know of no other work seriously taking on the same
|> subject. So are there other serious works on the same subject, no matter
|> what the conclusions are? Any opinions? Any comments?

For me, one of the main reasons why _naked ape_ looks so silly is
because morris missed _so_ badly on many of his most basic
speculations. Take the title, for instance. The naked skin of man is
clearly an adaptation aimed at increasing our heat-rejection capacity;
in the heat, we can outrun any animal on earth. Of course, even today
many people fail to understand this, so I don't blame morris too much
- still, he prefers the sensational to the prosaic. That's a good
strategy for short-term noteriety, but doesn't wear well in the long

_The third chimpanzee_ is a good recommendation for a modern update,
and I'd also suggest _on human nature_ by edward wilson. _The
evolution of human sexuality_ by donald symmons is excellent as well.

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