Re: Tools and Hominidae

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Mon, 20 Feb 1995 17:32:31 -0500

I think you have a good point here, Bob, regarding mistrust, and I guess
that is why I don't orient myself toward the parsimoniuos explanation
first, but rather tend to think everything is more complex than we
realize. I could be very wrong about that.
On Mon, 20 Feb 1995, SS51000 wrote:

> 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