Re: Any Thoughts

josephine ryan (jryan@COMPUTEK.NET)
Sat, 27 Jul 1996 00:05:33 -0500

While I found the suggestions for alternative explanations other than those
provided by the geographer for steatopygia interesting, it seems to me that
the most amazing aspect of this story has been overlooked, as well as the
intent of the author of the post. Whether or not steatopygia has a
discoverable adaptive function or represents random drift, it seems odd that
the water conserving aspect of large buttocks would not have been noticed by
Lee and other observers with long experience in the field. I'm picturing
the lipid deposit-challenged Europeans dropping dead from dehydration while
the steatopygic "Bushmen" forge on, sort of like an Energizer battery
advertisement. If Lee's (1979) magnum opus on the !Kung/Ju/'Hoansi even
mentions steatopygia I couldn't find it.

The real issue here is how to deal with colleagues in other disciplines who
are putting out inaccurate/outdated/just plain stupid information to
students. How do we handle this situation effectively, sharing new insights
without completely destroying interpersonal and professional relationships?
Helpful articles under the door? Indirect communication through students?
If I myself have not misinterpreted the original post, I also would be
interested useful ideas on how to handle these delicate situations. Joci
Caldwell Ryan