Re: ev. of tools

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Fri, 10 Mar 1995 21:40:10 -0500

Bob, I think your perception is probably quite widely shared, including
me, and a couple of generations before me. The problem is not these three
kernals, but the hard tasks of what they include in terms of variable
units and selection pressures (or genetic drift) that can be falsified.
The brain, for example is just too complex to find a single selection
paradigm based on size alone. Similarly, the canines might have had
important neuroendocrine-target-tissue interactions involving sociality
and aggression within and between groups. Bipedalism is extremely complex
with a spectrum of variables to think about ( rather, speculate about)
that go from securing nourishment in patchy environments to thermal
regulation factors, etc, etc.
R. Holloway.
On Fri, 10 Mar 1995, SS51000 wrote:

> My enthusiasm for tool-making and tool-using as a parsimonious
> explanation for hominid evolution is based on what I suddenly realized
> was an unstated, and perhaps not widely shared, notion of what hominids
> *are*. For a long time now I have viewed hominids as characterized
> essentially by (1) bipedalism, (2) small canines, and (3) large brains.
> The tool hypothesis seems to help account for all three, while other
> hypotheses seem to address them one at a time. It occurred to me that
> one reason several readers find my position unclear could be that they
> don't share my conception of what hominids are. Admittedly, my notion
> is strongly anatomical/skeletal in nature, based on direct comparison of
> ourselves with the great apes. I think I got my trio of features from
> an old article by Milford Wolpoff, but I have forgotten the exact
> reference. It sounds like its ultimate origin could be *The Descen
> t of Man*. Can anyone tell me the source? --Bob Graber