Tools and Hominidae

Mon, 20 Feb 1995 14:20:38 CST

R. Holloway writes,

>...when I talk of tool-making, I really mean something very
>different from tool-using. Nor do I believe tool types says anything
>about language , but tool-making processes for almost any of the tool
>types does, to answer Quinlan somewhat (hows that for parsimony?). But
>Bob, what I don't understand is this compulsin for a parsimonious
>explanation that you keep returning to. Why does the explanation have to
>be parsimonious?

Okay, I plead guilty on both scores. First, I miswrote seriously by wri
ting "tool use" when Holloway's work so explicitly relates to *tool maki
ng*. Second, I indeed have a deep "appreciation"--not quite, I hope,
a "compulsion"--for explanations as parsimonious as the evidence allows.
Someone advised scientists to "seek simplicity, and mistrust it." We
anthropologists seem to specialize in the latter but forget the former.
--Bob Graber