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Best response to the Aquatic Ape nonsense yet

Mockery is good. Behold the #spaceape hypothesis: humans clearly evolved in outer space!

#SPACEAPE

Basic Arguments of the Space Ape Theory:

1. we have evolved big brains relative to our bodies because we don’t need our bodies to move around in space.

2. we don’t have much body hair because what would be the point of a few more follicles worth in 2.73 Kelvin (-270 Celsius)?

3. sinuses, far from being evolutionary spandrels, are little miniature internal space helmets.

4. our outsize eyes clearly show our relation to other species in space.

It’s taking off on Twitter, too. Next time someone brings up the soggy monkey story, I’m just going to reply with “Space Ape!”

Comments

  1. Amphiox says

    Reliably opening shellfish like oysters definitely would require, for a primate, stone tools, and to be really efficient, fire.

    So again, we are probably looking, most likely, at a time frame younger than 3 million years.

    Safely harvesting things like oysters, for a primate, requires enough encephalization to be able to anticipate tides and plan ahead. So some degree of encephalization would had to have already occurred before it was even possible to add shellfish regularly to the diet.

  2. anthrosciguy says

    Algis proposes freshwater wading longer than 6 million years ago,

    Actually, Algis proposes a lot of things, often mutually exclusive. We’ve had a number of times when he’s contradicted himself in a single post; a week or so ago he did it in a single sentence. His timeline has two different species of hominids, one completely made up, living in two radically different environments — one freshwater, one marine — later interbreeding. His hominid ZING! wherever they need to be — if you state some reason it doesn’t work in saltwater, they’re in fresh. If you state some reason it doesn’t work in freshwater, they’re in salt. (This is an old AAT dodge, started with Morgan many years ago.) Oh, and it says we won the War on Crocodiles 2 million years ago, in case you ever wondered why crocodiles no longer exist as a threat to humans.

  3. David Marjanović says

    Algis comments, but completely ignores comment 964. Why, then, comment here at all?

    Anyway. I don’t have access to Nutrition and Health, so I can’t read the paper that proposes sideways wading and ends its abstract with a massive argument from ignorance of taphonomy. I do have access to HOMO:

    Three reviewers and a reviewer or editor are thanked in the acknowledgements. It’s strange, though, that the four reviewers of the previous version are not mentioned. I guess all their comments were ignored, including their suggestion to better avoid using “FU” to abbreviate anything. *giggle*

    “Almost all the theorising by workers in the scientific literature about the possible modes of locomotion of australopithecines to date has been in the context of terrestrial, arboreal or a mixture of the two environs. Serious consideration about how they might have moved in water, or its possible impact on the origins of hominid bipedalism has been conspicuous largely by its absence, although there is a growing body of literature about hydrotherapy and its beneficial effects in exercise regimes for the elderly and post-operatively (see, for example Teramoto et al., 2000; Shono et al., 2001; Fujishima and Shimizu, 2003; Sundelin et al., 2004; Hotta et al., 2004; Barela et al., 2006).”

    Uh… what has that got to do with anything? Why would exercise regimens have anything to do with the origin of…

    …hominoid bipedalism, unless you lump the gibbons into Hominidae (as a subfamily Hylobatinae, as at least some people do) instead of keeping them separate at family “rank” as Hylobatidae.

    “The lack of scientific investigation into the wading hypothesis of bipedal origins is peculiar, considering that the palaeoecological contexts for many of the australopithecine finds have been distinctly “wet and wooded” (WoldeGabriel et al., 2001), climatically variable (Potts, 1998) and dominated by local wetlands (Johanson et al., 1982, p. 391),”

    If only there were a science of taphonomy…

    “Typically the volunteer either walked along one end of a pool or waded from side to side at a given depth, speed and knee flexion, for about three minutes in order for their oxygen consumption to reach a steady state.”

    …This doesn’t make clear if oxygen consumption was actually monitored and found to have reached a steady state in each case, or if it was assumed that 3 minutes had to be enough. Reviewer 2 pointed that out last time (“P3/4: Methods – how was it established that the subjects had in fact achieved steady-state oxygen consumption? The time noted in the Methods (‘about three minutes’) may not have been sufficient, particularly if the activity was interrupted at the end of each lap to turn around and start again.”) – it is intellectually dishonest to simply ignore this comment and submit the unchanged manuscript elsewhere.

    “Once steady state was reached, expiratory gases were collected via a Douglas bag for about 1 min and subsequently analysed to calculate the rate of O2 consumption and CO2 production.”

    Same again: was it established that steady state was in fact reached, or was that simply assumed after 3 minutes had passed? The text doesn’t say.

    “In agreement with Carey and Crompton (2005), we found that the cost of a BK gait (Fig. 1a) with 50° knee flexion (BK50) at 0.3 m/s was approximately 57% higher (student’s t-test, p<0.05) than an FU gait on land.”

    50°? That much? Is that how (untrained) chimps, gorillas, orang-utans and gibbons walk bipedally?

    I read Casey & Crompton (2005)* to see if they mentioned that. They never mention a specific angle; the closest they come is this (in their Conclusions section): “Our field and laboratory studies of orang-utans (eg. Crompton et al., 2003 and Thorpe and Crompton, 2004) show that despite distinctly un-human-like skeletal proportions, untrained orang-utans can and do walk bipedally in what is (in the biomechancally crucial sagittal plane at least) an erect posture, with marked extension of both hip and knee. Is it at all likely then that those smaller differences apparent between the skeleton of Al-288-1 [Lucy] and humans imply that upright walking could and/or would not be adopted in the latter [Lucy again]?”

    So: why 50°? Where does that number come from?

    “These findings may have a bearing on some important issues in the debate about the evolution of hominid bipedalism, generally, and about the possible mode of locomotion of early hominid bipeds such as A. afarensis in particular: Assuming that the results of this study would be as valid in the typical muddy substrata found in flooded forest habitats as we found in our ideal swimming pool experiments, they suggest that for early hominids not yet anatomically specialised for human-like bipedalism the cost of moving through shallow water bipedally may have been less affected by gait in water than on land.”

    Yeah. What if this assumption is wrong, though? Or what if the assumption that the 50° angle is wrong, as Casey & Crompton said it is for orang-utans?

    *crickets chirping*

    “Although there is good evidence, for example from Laetoli, that australopithecines walked on land habitually (Leakey and Hay, 1979) and moving through water bodies would have entailed significant predation risks from crocodiles and territorially defensive hippopotami, there is good reason to suppose that early Homo always retained a significant ecological relationship with waterside habitats, along with their australopithecine-like forebears.”

    This boils down to:

    “Secondly, as tropical rainforest made way for savannah in the Plio-Pleistocene, woodland would not have shrunk in a random manner but systematically, closer to permanent water courses in the form of gallery forests. Our early hominin ancestors, like most forest adapted species, are likely to have clung to these forest refugia (Hughes, 1988; Meave et al., 1991) placing them closer to water courses, paradoxically, the more arid the climate became. Riparian forests are prone to seasonal flooding, a phenomenon likely to have exposed these hominins (Reed, 1997, p. 309) to the need for occasional movement through water and it has been suggested that habitats such as the Okawango inland delta, may have acted as relatively food-rich refugia for taxa, including early hominids, adapted to forests (Wrangham, 2005).”

    That’s weak. Also, I’m not aware of a fossil record from the Okavango delta or anything similar – correct me if I’m wrong.

    “The anticipated objection of taphonomic bias in this evidence can be countered, most importantly, by simply understanding that although death close to water courses does not have to indicate a more aquatic life style, it certainly does not provide evidence against it.”

    Complete and utter non-sequitur. The point is that it doesn’t provide any evidence against terrestriality.

    “The matter at hand is simply the question as to whether such habitats may have provided sufficient selection pressure to favour increased levels of bipedality.”

    And the answer is that we can’t prove that they didn’t – that’s all.

    It’s probably completely beside the point, though, considering orang-utans and gibbons.

    “Indeed, considering those current models of ape-human divergence that place the phenomenon in the context of wooded-savannah mosaics, it is difficult to see how such scenarios differ from the habitats of extant chimpanzees. If such a slight (or even non-existent) shift in habitat is perceived to have been sufficient to drive early hominin evolution it can only be suggested that waterside habitats could be more powerful in doing so.”

    Is “the phenomenon” the selection pressure for “increased levels of bipedality”? If so, it’s all wrong – we’re looking at decreased levels of bipedality in chimpanzees instead.

    “As we can find no reports of other mammalian taxa that share this locomotor behaviour, other than brief instances of postural bipedalism seen in film footage of the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos), bipedal wading would seem to be an almost unique characteristic of Hominoidea amongst mammals.”

    So, what about reports of bipedally wading baboons?

    (Also, it’s highly unusual to put the superfamily name Hominoidea in italics. That’s usually reserved for genera, subgenera, “groups of species”, species, and subspecies.)

    “One of the two species most closely related to humans, the bonobo (Pan paniscus), perhaps the extant species most closely associated with the general body shape of A. afarensis (Zihlman et al., 1978),”

    The general body shape, fine, but the biomechanics?

    “has been shown to habitually move both bipedally and quadrupedally with a knee flexion typically much greater (40–130°) than that in humans (0–75°) (D’Aout et al., 2002).”

    What, are there people who habitually walk around with a 75° angle between the femur and a straight continuation of the tibia? And can a bonobo crouching at 130° really walk?

    But anyway, we finally get numbers. So it’s 40° and more in bonobos, 0° or close in orang-utans (see above). What now? A celebrity deathmatch? An outgroup comparison? Data from chimps or gorillas?

    “We propose that the results of this study should be considered in the light of the fossil evidence, provided earlier, linking the palaeohabitats of early hominins to waterside habitats, and in the context of a climatically variable time period in human evolutionary history (Potts, 1998).”

    Oops, here the “anticipated objection of taphonomic bias” has already been forgotten again.

    It’s not evidence, it’s lack of evidence from drier habitats where sediments weren’t deposited that “links” “early hominins to waterside habitats”.

    “Furthermore, our findings might help to satisfy the apparently contradictory concerns of palaeoanthropologists about the putative gait of the australopithecines. The suggested instability of the FU posture in australopithecines (Berge, 1994; Stern, 2000) would certainly not be as great,”

    Well. Here’s what Crompton’s review of the previous version of the manuscript had to say about Berge (1994):

    “Their main evidence that early hominins would have adopted a gait which, their own experiments show, is just as expensive on land as Carey and Crompton (2005) indicated it was, appear to be the claims of Berge (1994) that erect walking would have been unstable in Au. afarensis. Berge (1994) accepts that the australopithecine lower limb was fully extensible, but argues that the australopithecine glutei and hamstrings would have ‘been relatively more powerful in their capacity to move the pelvis, than to stabilize it, because the muscles lie much further from the joint than do their human counterparts’ (Berge, 1994, p. 271). Kuliukas and colleagues do not note that Berge was working on an earlier model of the Au. afarensis pelvis than that commonly accepted today, nor that the new model gives Au. afarensis a considerably lower centre of gravity than in modern humans, and hence intrinsically greater stability, whether or not the hamstrings and glutei have a biomechanically equivalent function.”

    Given this, it’s flat-out dishonest to cite Berge (1994) without so much as mentioning these issues.

    Ah, but perhaps Stern (2000) (free pdf here) offers supporting evidence? …No. That paper concludes that A. afarensis climbed a lot and possibly walked with, to some degree, bent hips and knees, but doesn’t say anything about instability of any posture.

    * Incidentally, this Robin Huw Crompton is Reviewer 4 of the previous version of Kuliukas et al. (2009)!

    The endurance-running hypothesis is outdated, too

    Because walking instead, as you’ve said.
    Linkage?

    These two threads on Tet Zoo. You’ll find that they read oddly familiar. :-)

    (In both cases, the discussion only turned to that topic after a lot of thread drift.)

    BTW, I never had the impression that the endurance running hypothesis was really mainstream.

    (Is “Vickaryous” a real name?)

    Yes.

    (Or at least, I find it unparsimonious to assume that the guy has been publishing for years and years under a pseudonymic adjective. Haven’t asked him.)

    I can see that painting an image of dear Lord Myers’ “fat arse”

    You fail to grasp that you’re not insulting PZ that way. You’re insulting fat people by using them as an insult.

    It’s a slur, like a racist or a sexist one.

    You’ll find plenty of people calling each other “fuckwit”, “moron” and “wanker” on Pharyngula, but you won’t find “cunt” anymore, and even “dick” is on the way out. And the word “nigger” triggers automatic moderation – if I hadn’t used an HTML trick here, you wouldn’t be seeing this comment till PZ took the time to manually approve it.

  4. ohsu says

    @Memyambal: “Wildebeest? Suddenly we have to be cracking open the skulls of the secondmost horned-headed creature of the plains? Look, there are smaller animals, dead all over the place, and the general rule is that the work of getting into a skull is proportional to the rewards for doing so.”

    While it is certainly true that human ancestors could and certainly did eat the brains of various savannah animals (as evidenced in recent scientific literature), there is still no reason to believe that this was necessary for brain development.

    Just as there are people all over the world who develop perfectly ordinary brains without eating fish, there are people who develop perfectly ordinary brains without eating brains.

    AATers would like to frame this argument as “eating fish vs. eating brains”, and it’s easy to get caught up in which one was most plausible. The real answer is that neither of them is necessary.

  5. David Marjanović says

    “Mille tre, mille tre, mille tre!!!”
    – Leporello in Don Giovanni

  6. anthrosciguy says

    Uh… what has that got to do with anything? Why would exercise regimens have anything to do with the origin of..

    It could be worse: Marc Verhaegen once tried to place a paper referring to humans swallowing goldfish whole. :)

    I don’t have access to Nutrition and Health,

    Algis has the paper available on his site: http://www.riverapes.com/Me/Work/WadingforFood.pdf

  7. ohsu says

    “These findings may have a bearing on some important issues in the debate about the evolution of hominid bipedalism, generally, and about the possible mode of locomotion of early hominid bipeds such as A. afarensis in particular: Assuming that the results of this study would be as valid in the typical muddy substrata found in flooded forest habitats as we found in our ideal swimming pool experiments, they suggest that for early hominids not yet anatomically specialised for human-like bipedalism the cost of moving through shallow water bipedally may have been less affected by gait in water than on land.”

    Algis has always had a peculiar view of evolution. He always wants to place human ancestors in an environment in which things get easier for them so they can get down to the business of evolving.

    Here he proposes that eliminating the cost differential between gaits will somehow favor the evolution of a particular gait. He doesn’t understand that when cost differential is eliminated, then there is no selection pressure for one gait vs. another.

    By demonstrating that cost differential goes to zero as water depth increases, Algis demonstrates that wading does not select for weight bearing gait morphology.

    This is something Algis has a very hard time understanding. He has this very peculiar view of evolution, and it permeates his version of the AAT. He sees watery habitats as making various activities easier for human ancestors, enabling them to get down to the business of evolving.

  8. David Marjanović says

    Even if 100% of human babies floated like corks, and 100% of human mothers swam like Olympic champions to save them; and even if 100% of chimp babies sunk like rocks, and 100% of chimp mothers sank like rocks trying to save them…

    … THE ENTIRE EXERCISE IS METHODOLOGICALLY CIRCULAR. It still doesn’t answer the question of WHY human babies are fat or WHY humans swim better than chimps.

    Are human babies fatter because fat acts as an energy store, and human babies need to support comparatively large and energy hungry brains? Or is it that human babies need to float?

    Are human mothers better swimmers than chimp mothers because of our relative intelligence and behavioral adaptability? Or is our swimming ability an evolved adaptation?

    ALGIS’S THOUGHT EXPERIMENT DOESN’T ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS!

    QFT.

    Myers kinda lost me after “wanker.” No wonder he supports Jim Moore’s smear campaign.

    followed by:

    I think y’all need to eat more seafood.

    Can’t take it, but can deal it out, eh? :-D

    Hey! Why don’t you have a kook fight with Algis, who thinks our ancestors waded in freshwater?

    Celebrity deathmatch!!!

    That’s one place to start. Just that one connection of DHA and Iodine in seafood to the nutrient needs of the human brain is enough to singe it. It’s proven. It’s a no brainer at this point.

    How is it, then, that people can survive without ever eating seafood or so much as seeing the sea at any time in their life?

    …oh, never mind! The paper Chas linked to in comment 989 explains it! You should read it sometime. :-)

    Does any of you eat cow’s brains? How many of you have eaten oysters?

    Brains with egg used to be a common dish where I come from (till people became worried about cholesterol). I’ve fortunately been spared it, but not everyone in my generation has. Oysters? I grew up far from the sea, have never eaten oysters, and most likely never will unless starving or threatened with a loaded gun.

    It could be worse:

    *facepalm*

    Algis has the paper available on his site:

    Thanks! I’ll read it now.

  9. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    His argument goes like this: a) Seafood has lots of iodine and DHA. b) Brain development requires iodine and DHA. c) Humans have big brains. d) Therefore we must have eaten lots of seafood.

    I’m saying, that it’s much more parsimonous that we got it from seafood. I have repeated this point several times, too. It’s like vegetarians that argue, that it’s possible to gain plenty proteine from a purely floric diet. Sure, if you know exactly in which plants to look for it. It doesn’t make it bloody likely that humans evolved to gain proteine without eating meats, whether from land og water. You insist on the added assumption that humans must have found these nutrients on land, without supporting it with observed convergences.

    It should be obvious to anyone following this that Engelbrecht’s hypothesis and Algis’ hypothesis are completely different and mutually exclusive. Algis proposes freshwater wading longer than 6 million years ago, because bipedality is definitely older than 6 million years. Engelbrecht proposes salt water swimming and diving less than 3.3 million years ago, since hairlessness is highly likely to be younger than 3.3 million years.

    Hell with it, let me give you my personal consensus at present: Bipedalism evolved perhaps as early as 7mya with Toumaï, at least 4.4mya with Ardi, this in fresh water habitats in the hinterlands of Africa and as a direct semiaquatic trait, this supported from observering other simian species being bipedal in shallow water (seen e.g. here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAiZFhhHEXU). And during that phase, these hominin could’ve still had fur, because hairlessness in an aquatic mammal is related to its physical size (as well as other factors).

    With the emergence of Homo, these Hominina then made a transit to saline or alcalic waters, which gave a greater access to DHA and Iodine, and then the human brain made the most significant expansion. Again, all these apes needed to access these micronutrients was a stone, the same tool as a sea otter. Simians are already predisposed to use such tools (e.g. illustrated here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvt9ZZis3GY).

    I honestly don’t remember who suggested that two-part evolution, maybe it’s Cunnane, maybe it’s Ellis.

  10. anthrosciguy says

    50°? That much? Is that how (untrained) chimps, gorillas, orang-utans and gibbons walk bipedally?

    Another factor here, this cut and pasted from one of my TRF posts outlining some problems to Algis about what his paper said:

    Yes, the upright gait was the control, and a sensible one since it’s what we use and are well adapted to use. But it just can’t test BHBK that way because we are not adapted to it at all, and all you end up demonstrating is that we aren’t adapted to it. Which makes that pretty much a wasted experiment, although you could make a case, I suppose, that doing it once would demonstrate for sure that it isn’t something we’re adapted to do. After all, you could conceivably get a surprise and find it wasn’t detrimental energy-wise, like how the tests of chimp bipedalism were surprising in showing that bipedalism wasn’t worse for them, energy-wise, like folks thought (it seemed a reasonable thought at the time — nearly 40 years ago that was). And it would be reasonable to assume that if an ancestor habitually used a BHBK gait they would have adapted to using it and would therefore not have our problems with it.

    And see this post of mine from TRF for some tests of chimpanzees and capuchins. The studies referenced there (with excerpts from the papers) showed that while human bipedalism takes less energy than chimapnzees’ walking, but that for chimps and capuchins they use the same amount of energy in locomotion whether quadrupedal or bipedal. Algis’ claims have generally invoked an “energy Rubicon” that we needed to get past. These tests show that even if the LCA had been quadrupedal that Rubicon would not have existed. (Algis has also claimed both that he believed in a bipedal LCA and that australopithecines – including Lucy – knucklewalked. The fact that these statements are contradictory seemingly escapes him.)
    http://www.talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1477875#post1477875

    and:
    What his findings were (clearly shown in his Fig 1 from that paper) is that BHBK and FU are almost equally costly when you get into chest-deep water, but that both gaits are far more costly in water of any depth than on land. This is part of Algis using relative costliness rather than absolute numbers when he talks about the study (which you’ll also recognize as his method when he talks about his masters thesis). There’s a reason he does so: it allows him to claim the studies show something other than what they actually do.

    and:
    Algis’ Homo study showed wading in shallow water took 73% more energy, while his informal experiments walking through brush took 20% more energy. If energy differentials are all that important than this should have told Algis something critical to his studies, but it obviously didn’t. Of course the BHBK part of his study is meaningless unless he’s arguing (against the evidence) that our ancestors were using a BHBK gait, which Algis claims he isn’t and claims hasn’t since before he started his study.

    “The anticipated objection of taphonomic bias in this evidence can be countered, most importantly, by simply understanding that although death close to water courses does not have to indicate a more aquatic life style, it certainly does not provide evidence against it.”

    Complete and utter non-sequitur. The point is that it doesn’t provide any evidence against terrestriality.

    It does provide at least a hint of an argument against the AAT, since we might well expect a great many more hominid fossils if they were commonly in an environment which we know is conducive to fossilization.

  11. ohsu says

    Another problem with Algis’s Homo paper is that he fails to demonstrate that ANY human ancestor had any of the BHBK gaits he tested.

    Who cares what the cost is of a gait no human ancestor ever had?

  12. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Reliably opening shellfish like oysters definitely would require, for a primate, stone tools, and to be really efficient, fire.

    Come on, a sea otter doesn’t need fire to open clams.

  13. ohsu says

    @Chris: “I’m saying, that it’s much more parsimonous that we got it from seafood.”

    You don’t understand the meaning of the word “parsimonious”. Let me help you out.

    Parsimony refers to the simplest explanation that accounts for all the evidence and makes no unnecessary assumptions.

    There is no evidence that humans partook of the marine food chain during the period in which encephalization occurred. On the other hand, all of the fossil evidence places our ancestors in savanna environments during that time.

    The fossils? Remember them? The fossils that demonstrate encephalization? Guess where they’re found. Just guess. Hint: Not the seashore.

    So, no, it’s not more parsimonious to ignore the fossil evidence just because you prefer a story that is refuted by the fossil evidence. Your story requires you to ignore evidence and make unfounded assumptions. That is the opposite of parsimony. This has also been explained to you numerous times.

  14. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    There is no evidence that humans partook of the marine food chain during the period in which encephalization occurred. On the other hand, all of the fossil evidence places our ancestors in savanna environments during that time.

    The fossils? Remember them? The fossils that demonstrate encephalization? Guess where they’re found. Just guess. Hint: Not the seashore.

    You mean the Homo fossils from the Afar depression, that was flooded by sea water 2.5-2mya, exactly during the phase, when human encephalization blasted upwards with e.g. Homo erectus? When that region was a tropical archipelago looking something like this?

    http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/smithore/smithore1105/smithore110500014/9468812-scenic-tropical-island-archipelago-panorama-in-thailand-ang-thong-national-park.jpg

  15. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Come on, a sea otter doesn’t need fire to open clams.

    Typical non-sequitur sloganeer expected from CRANKS/LOONS. Show us some real evidence, evidence that can refute your sorry idea if it was false. And your is false, just fog and mirrors.

  16. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Amphiox, thanks for the re-cap. I’d missed the difference in dates.

    I was popping in to point out that Algis’s freshwater folks, which he says the fossils support, are different from this last nut’s saltines. (Where are the salty fossils, anyway?) Very few aquatic and semi-aquatic critters can live in both fresh and salt water—it’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.

    Making the transition from salt to fresh can be done in evolutionary time, and even in a salmon’s lifetime, but the iodine and DHA that we supposedly need aren’t to be found in the rivers of the world. Indeed, the moist American Great Lakes region was one of the two worst places in the US for iodine shortages. The Pacific Northwest, also rainy and rivery and swampy, was the other. Algis’s river waddlers would have been hardest hit by Engelbrecht’s iodine shortage.

    So are they a team, or what?

    Like all the other believers, they need to work on each other, get their shit into one story, and then come out with a coherent case. But no, they know their fellow-travelers are close-minded nutcases, so they go out into the world to bother the sane folks, who listen politely and who don’t comprehend the amount of crazy that’s flooding past. This validates the believers, who win either way—whether we debate them seriously or fail to comprehend their genius, they believe they have won.

  17. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Making the transition from salt to fresh can be done in evolutionary time, and even in a salmon’s lifetime, but the iodine and DHA that we supposedly need aren’t to be found in the rivers of the world. Indeed, the moist American Great Lakes region was one of the two worst places in the US for iodine shortages. The Pacific Northwest, also rainy and rivery and swampy, was the other. Algis’s river waddlers would have been hardest hit by Engelbrecht’s iodine shortage.

    But that’s exactly the point, why bipedalism emerges so much earlier than encephalization. Bipedalism in only dependent on a shallow water habitat, which can be either fresh, brackish, alcalic or saline (for simians specifically, which would be an exaptation to our mutual brachiating origin, e.g. from Proconsul). Conversely, encephalization is dependent on either alcalic or saline habitats, ’cause those habitats contains food chains with much more DHA and iodine. Because the hominins (subtribe australopithecinae) lived in fresh water first (7-1mya), and then a branch of these (subtribe Hominina) took off and adapted to alcalic lakes or this salt water flooded depression (2.5mya and onward), then their brain could take off in size. ‘Cause now the foodchains could support it, as we see it in other big-brained aquatic and semiaquatic mammals.

    And incidentally, the African savannah didn’t form untill 1mya, so that’s completely out of the picture in terms of causing both bipedalism and encephalization.

  18. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, still not making his case, as it can’t be made.

  19. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Bipedalism in only dependent on a shallow water habitat,

    no, bipedalism doesn’t require water in any form, except in the minds of TRUE BELIEVERS™, the cranks/loons who are so enamored with the idea, they can’t see the facts for their delusions. The savannah hypothesis stands until you can provide better evidence to raise your idea to a hypothesis. Not just the same evidence which if you squint in the right light, upside-down and beginning to pass out, can be used to explain soggy apes.

    And incidentally, the African savannah didn’t form untill 1mya, so that’s completely out of the picture in terms of causing both bipedalism and encephalization.

    Except bipedalism was present 4mya. Why do you keep lying to yourself, and then try to lie to us? We are folks who understand both reality and your self-delusions.

  20. David Marjanović says

    The acknowledgements are copied straight from the MSc thesis, it seems; no reviewers are mentioned, Marc Verhaegen (who strenuously disagrees with the whole thing) is thanked for proofreading and “general advice”, and Elaine Morgan is thanked “for being the inspiration behind this study”.

    The whole thing reads a lot like a MSc thesis.

    The second paragraph is all excited about the association of Sahelanthropus with aquatic and semiaquatic animals like anthracotheriids. Taphonomy.

    The third paragraph declares me nonexistent. Or who knows where I got my essential fatty acids from.

    The fourth presents bipedality as a mystery the origin of which needs an explanation.

    The end of the introduction emphasizes the lack of knowledge about taphonomy again.

    The introduction to section 2.1 contains the word “Hominoidae“. Any qualified reviewer would immediately have asked if that’s supposed to mean Hominidae or Hominoidea.

    Section 3.1 latches onto the claimed discovery (Richmond & Strait 2000) of rudimentary features associated with knuckle-walking in Australopithecus afarensis. I remember a bit of discussion in Nature at the time; apparently it ended with people concluding there was no knuckle-walking, because otherwise we’d all have heard of it. That may not yet have been clear in 2001 when the MSc thesis was written.

    Section 3.2 ends:

    “Ironically Berge (1994) used the same terrestrial assumption in arriving at the opposite conclusion. Her argument for BHBK or ‘waddling’ was based largely on the belief that Lucy’s pelvic morphology would have made it difficult to maintain hip extension during walking and therefore that a fully-upright mode was unlikely. Again, she clearly did not consider if this would have also been the case in water. For the same reason as above, it would seem logical that a totally human-like posture would have been far easier to maintain in water than on land for an early biped as long as it was deep enough.”

    It’s not clear to me what “the same reason as above” is, or how water could increase the range of motion at a joint (as opposed to merely lessening the requirements for muscle power).

    And how would our ancestors have evolved adaptations that allowed them to maintain this posture on land when such adaptations plainly weren’t necessary in the water??? Where’s the selective pressure?

    Section 3.3 begins by stating Algis’s 2001 paper for the empirical finding that wading sideways is, for humans, as easy and fast as wading forward in deep water. But at b>such depths, wouldn’t swimming be easier? Wouldn’t it even be safer, because it’s faster?

    3.3.1 tries to establish that Lucy waded because she had “traits [that] would be conducive to strong adduction and abduction of the thigh and a streamlined hip shape [which would] combine to allow powerful wading through water.” But… such a hip shape leaves little attachment area for thigh abductors. ~:-|

    The 2nd paragraph adds emphasis to a quote that says Lucy had better leverage for abduction and then cites Berge (1994) for the same for adduction. I can’t see the point. A climber needs more mobile limbs than a walker. Why didn’t the reviewers catch that? Is it because they didn’t exist?

    The end of 3.3 reports two bonobos running bipedally, sideways, on dry land (to get out of strong rain that was beginning). I can’t see how that’s relevant to wading. Children all over the world move that way; a Nature (or perhaps Science) paper once showed that it is the most efficient way of locomotion at certain speeds between the optima for walking and running, though it’s still so costly that adults tend to avoid those speeds altogether; I still commonly move that way between the office and the toilet, though I often accelerate enough that I end up breaking into an ordinary forward run.

    Section 4.1.2 begins: “The discovery of Orrorin tugenensis from the Lukeino formation [sic!] in Kenya at the end of 2000 (Senut & Pickford 2001) is the second oldest putative hominid […or hominin, by other people’s definitions…] yet found. It is almost old enough to question the long held assumption that bipedality evolved only on the hominid line since the Pan/Homo split.”

    So close, Algis! So close! :-)

    “The evidence for this hominid’s bipedality is stronger than for Sahelanthropus and, although its paleohabitats [sic] was not as aquatic, there is again nothing in its paleo-habitat [sic] to suggest that it could not have waded.”

    Lack of disproof isn’t evidence that it waded, though…

    The argument from tooth microwear (section 4.2) would be interesting, except it’s not explained at all; it only consists of a few very short quotes from Puech (1992). I guess I’ll need that paper, then.

    4.3 rehashes ignorance of taphonomy once again.

    The conclusions section hardly presents anything that logically follows from the presented data.

    So, finally:

    Why in the fuck would anyone publish a MSc thesis about wading apes and the evolution of bipedality in a journal called “Nutrition and Health”?

    That way it’s practically guaranteed not to be sent to qualified reviewers!

    I also note the complete lack of copyediting: hyphens are used or omitted at random, most commas are missing, half-rewritten sentences abound, all subsections of section 4.1 have numbers beginning with “4.2”, the mention of “Table 6″ in section 4.2.6 refers to table 7, and there are things like the lowercase formation or the ignorance of taphonomy that qualified reviewers would have pointed out. Does Nutrition and Health publish everything it gets unchanged, “as is”?

  21. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    If not for anything else, the savannah hypothesis is long since dead, aquaticism or no. All the earliest hominin fossils are found alongside fossilized fauna and flora from woodland habitats, e.g. Ardi.

  22. ohsu says

    @Chris: “You mean the Homo fossils from the Afar depression, that was flooded by sea water 2.5-2mya, exactly during the phase, when human encephalization blasted upwards”

    Chris, we’ve been through this all before. You know the answers to the questions you’re asking, because I’ve already answered them.

    Cerling et al (2011) demonstrated that the paeloenvironment of all suspected human ancestors for the past 6 million years was open woodland, wooded grassland, or grassland, collectively known as “savannas”.

    Woody cover and hominin environments in the past 6 million years, Cerling et al (2011)

    Abstract
    The role of African savannahs in the evolution of early hominins has been debated for nearly a century. Resolution of this issue has been hindered by difficulty in quantifying the fraction of woody cover in the fossil record. Here we show that the fraction of woody cover in tropical ecosystems can be quantified using stable carbon isotopes in soils. Furthermore, we use fossil soils from hominin sites in the Awash and Omo-Turkana basins in eastern Africa to reconstruct the fraction of woody cover since the Late Miocene epoch (about 7 million years ago). 13C/12C ratio data from 1,300 palaeosols at or adjacent to hominin sites dating to at least 6 million years ago show that woody cover was predominantly less than ~40% at most sites. These data point to the prevalence of open environments at the majority of hominin fossil sites in eastern Africa over the past 6 million years.

  23. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If not for anything else, the savannah hypothesis is long since dead,

    And yet not citation, just your unevidenced OPINION. Your might as well not state unevidenced OPINION, as it doesn’t forward your argument one iota.

  24. David Marjanović says

    Algis has also claimed both that he believed in a bipedal LCA and that australopithecines – including Lucy – knucklewalked. The fact that these statements are contradictory seemingly escapes him.

    Well, is he making both claims at the same time? Or has he dropped the claim about knucklewalking found in his 2002 paper?

    It does provide at least a hint of an argument against the AAT, since we might well expect a great many more hominid fossils if they were commonly in an environment which we know is conducive to fossilization.

    …Good point. How common and how well articulated are skeletons of clearly terrestrial animals like antelopes, bears or pumas in those sites?

    (…Well, pumas are exceedingly rare in the African fossil record, so… that’s part of the answer, I guess.)

    You mean the Homo fossils from the Afar depression, that was flooded by sea water 2.5-2mya, exactly during the phase, when human encephalization blasted upwards with e.g. Homo erectus?

    Don’t act as if H. erectus in the wide sense* was in any way limited to the Afar depression! It stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Cape of Good Hope to Georgia!

    * H. erectus in the narrow sense never occurred outside of eastern, if not southeastern, Asia.

    When that region was a tropical archipelago looking something like this?

    LOL! It was much drier than that, and “archipelago” is an enormous exaggeration.

    for simians specifically,

    That term hasn’t been used in decades.

    which would be an exaptation to our mutual brachiating origin, e.g. from Proconsul

    …which wasn’t a brachiator, but a quadrupedal climber. You’re thinking, I hope, of dryopithecines and the like.

    Because the hominins (subtribe australopithecinae) lived in fresh water first (7-1mya), and then a branch of these (subtribe Hominina) took off and adapted to alcalic lakes or this salt water flooded depression (2.5mya and onward), then their brain could take off in size. ‘Cause now the foodchains could support it, as we see it in other big-brained aquatic and semiaquatic mammals.

    And you still haven’t followed the link in comment 989. I even repeated it in comment 1008, but you keep overlooking it somehow.

    And incidentally, the African savannah didn’t form untill 1mya

    For what definition of “savanna”?

    And incidentally, the African savannah didn’t form untill 1mya, so that’s completely out of the picture in terms of causing both bipedalism and encephalization.

    Except bipedalism was present 4mya. Why do you keep lying to yourself, and then try to lie to us?

    Your reading comprehension is shit, Nerd. You scan for keywords and have automatic reactions to them.

    Bipedality was indeed present 4 Ma ago and 7 Ma ago and probably 20 Ma ago – and indeed the savanna is completely out of the picture in terms of causing it. I’ve been saying so for at least a page now.

    You made a few good points near the end of last page. What happened?

  25. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    If anyone in this thread exhibit quasi-religious pigheadedness, it is the AAH-naysayers and hecklers. You still treat it as a preposterous idea, that water had any influence on human evolution, that it didn’t have on the evolution of chimps and gorillas. And that makes no sense in the face of the collective arguments, which is firmly rooted in Darwinism. No sense what so ever. Except that this idea is about ourselves, and that’s aparently enough to instill mass panic.

    I’m awfully sorry, that I’m a heretic and “believe” in humans being semiaquatic apes, as much as I “believe” in the theory of evolution and the Heliocentric near-universe. And I’ve never been to space. I have been to 150 feet on a breath hold and enjoyed the experience.

    So what if we’re old beach apes?

  26. ohsu says

    @Chris: “If not for anything else, the savannah hypothesis is long since dead, aquaticism or no. All the earliest hominin fossils are found alongside fossilized fauna and flora from woodland habitats, e.g. Ardi.”

    You are a victim of Elaine Morgan’s strawman “hot, arid” savanna. It has been explained to you many, many times, Chris, that “savannas” refer to open woodland, wooded grassland, and grassland.

  27. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    (…) at or adjacent to hominin sites dating to at least 6 million years ago show that woody cover was predominantly less than ~40% at most sites.

    What are the remaining ~60%, I wonder? Water bodies?

  28. David Marjanović says

    I wrote:

    But at b<such depths, wouldn’t swimming be easier?

    I tried and failed to put “such” in boldface.

    The software here also turns all quotation marks that happen to follow a number into double-prime (…second?) symbols. I hate that.

    If not for anything else, the savannah hypothesis is long since dead,

    And yet not citation, just your unevidenced OPINION. Your might as well not state unevidenced OPINION, as it doesn’t forward your argument one iota.

    No, comment 1021 is entirely correct, as you’d know if you’d been reading my comments – if by “savannah hypothesis” we mean the idea that our ancestors first took to the grassier kinds of savanna and then evolved bipedality, which was textbook wisdom till the early 90s or so.

  29. David Marjanović says

    If anyone in this thread exhibit quasi-religious pigheadedness, it is the AAH-naysayers and hecklers. You still treat it as a preposterous idea, that water had any influence on human evolution, that it didn’t have on the evolution of chimps and gorillas. And that makes no sense in the face of the collective arguments, which is firmly rooted in Darwinism. No sense what so ever. Except that this idea is about ourselves, and that’s aparently enough to instill mass panic.

    You’re parroting what Algis has been saying for a page and a half now. Our responses to this still haven’t gone away.

    Do you know what? Go to page 1 and start reading at comment 1. That way, you might avoid making a giant soggy fool of yourself.

    So what if we’re old beach apes?

    Wrong question. Right question: Are we old beach apes? The evidence says no…

  30. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    And yet not citation, just your unevidenced OPINION. Your might as well not state unevidenced OPINION, as it doesn’t forward your argument one iota.

    Actually, there I’m quoting the late great Phillip Tobias, sucker.

  31. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Wrong question. Right question: Are we old beach apes? The evidence says no…

    No, that’s the problem. The evidence is screaming yes. You’re just too terrified to embrace that. You don’t want to know what your are, human. You don’t want to know that everything you are, is a result of predictable biological mechanisms of planet Earth. You don’t want to know that there’s a limit to your existence. (And whatever, that’s your survival instinct, but it’s got nothing to do with scientific thinking,)

  32. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What are the remaining ~60%, I wonder? Water bodies?

    GRASSLAND.

    Actually, there I’m quoting the late great Phillip Tobias, sucker.

    And yet you didn’t cite him. This is a scientific debate with evidence, not a debate from authority or your OPINONS.

  33. algiskuliukas says

    Wow, you only have to blink on this debate and a 100 new posts go in.

    I’m always amazed how the rather hysterical response to this idea tends to draw in so many angry, self-righteous, know-it-alls to try to defend the orthodox position (can anyone describe what that is, by the way? ) and batter it down on the internet, and yet there is still only one, unscholarly, straw man paper that tries to do anything like this in the actual scientific literature.

    Langdon, J. Umbrella hypotheses and parsimony in human evolution: a critique of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis. Journal of Human Evolution 33:479-494, (1997).

    Responded to here…

    Kuliukas, A. (2011). Langdon’s Critique of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis: It’s Final Refutation, or Just Another Misunderstanding?. In: Vaneechoutte, M., Verhaegen, M., Kuliukas, A. (eds.), (2011). Was Man More Aquatic In The Past? Fifty Years After Alister Hardy: Waterside Hypothesis Of Human Evolution. Bentham (Basel).

    The confidence aquaskeptics have that it must be wrong is remarkable when contrasted with the relative paucity of actual science that has been done to test any of these ideas.

    Who needs science, when you have a lot of “there’s more of us than you” group think sneering? I guess this is the take home messsage, but as Dan Dennett clearly said in “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”… the arguments against are always very thin and ad hoc.

    The notion, peddled by many here – that these arguments have all been answered before (always somewhere else, by someone else) is itself not new and has long been repeated and answered by the counter point that those answers have also been replied to many times too.

    So round and round we go…

    As always, it eventually turns into a childish name calling match. The only difference here is that the guy that started the thread opted for that strategy, exclusively, from day one. I guess that, at least, makes PZ quite efficient.

    So, I think it’s time to remind people of some simple realities here rather than reply to each and every point, yet again.

    1. Humans are very different phenotypically from chimps, even though we are closer to them genetically than they are to gorillas. Something must have happenned to us that did not happen to chimps and gorillas and orang utans.

    2. Since the last common ancestor, significant climate change has occurred in the areas where human ancestors are known to have lived, pertaining to that wet stuff beginning with “w”. It didn’t just get drier (causing forests to shrink nearer to permanent water courses) in a simple, linear fashion, but it became more variable and seasonal. Wet-dry cycles of increasing phase and frequency would have, paradoxically, placed our ancestors closer to the water’s edge.

    3. There are only really three basic substrates on the planet through which human ancestors could have moved – on land, in trees or in water. (Discounting the idea that they flew, burrowed underground – or lived in space!)

    4. It is simply irrational to a priori, specifically and deliberately, discount one of the three (water) as a possible factor for ever simply because one has misunderstood a mislabelled, ill-defined and controversial idea on it over 50 years ago.

    5. The degree of selection required to overcome drift is relatively small. If human ancestors waded, swam and dived even slightly more than chimp ancestors did, this would easily be enough to account for all the phenotypic differences we see today.

    6. As long as one does not exaggerate these hypotheses to breaking point, but in fact, scales them back closer to to the minimum of selection required, there is no evidence whatsoever that contradicts any of these ideas. On the contrary there is a lot of evidence in support of them.

    7. Over 53 years fter Hardy, very little science has yet been done to test any of these hypotheses. All we’ve really had is a lot of ignorant sneering. Only when people engage with what the ideas actually are (rather than straw man parodies they can more easily sneer at) and conduct proper scientific investigations to test them, will we finally be in a position to answer the question: Did Hardy and Morgan have a point after all?

    Algis Kuliukas

  34. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The evidence is screaming yes. You’re just too terrified to embrace that.

    Funny, that isn’t the evidence I have seen. Personally, from your attitude, you are terrified to admit you are wrong.

  35. ohsu says

    @Chris: “So what if we’re old beach apes?”

    No problem. It really would be no problem at all to discover that we’re old beach apes. All you need now is what AATers everywhere have needed: Evidence.

  36. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    –What are the remaining ~60%, I wonder? Water bodies?
    -GRASSLAND.

    Absolutely sure? Did they even ask, if there was large water bodies in that habitat? ‘Cause I didn’t read any reference to even considering it. I summize no, ’cause then their careers would wind up among the heretics, wouldn’t it? It’s like the guy that discovered that Neanderthals had larger brains than Homo sapiens, he was terrified of publishing his findings, even though he hadn’t made any mistakes.

    –Actually, there I’m quoting the late great Phillip Tobias, sucker.
    -And yet you didn’t cite him. This is a scientific debate with evidence, not a debate from authority or your OPINONS.

    Unless you are debating from authority. Can see the splinter in the eye of your brother, but not the bone in your hand.

  37. ohsu says

    @Chris: “What are the remaining ~60%, I wonder? Water bodies?”

    This is what’s called religious faith. Chris just knows (or strongly suspects) that if it wasn’t covered by trees then it must have been… bodes of water! Because that’s what the religion of the AAT demands.

    But, no Chris, it was not water bodies. 13C/12C ratio informs about the ratio of tree cover to grassland. Less than 40% tree cover means more than 60% grass cover.

  38. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Funny how true believers seem to not understand certain geological processes. Here in the upper Midwest, there was a vast prairie, and there are a lot of lakes. All (including the big lake to the east of me) left over from the ice-age glaciers. Further south in the same prairie, where the glaciers didn’t reach, lakes tend to be man-made. What was the climate in sub-Saharan Africa? Lakes aren’t expected to be dotted all over the place.

  39. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Nerd: Funny, that isn’t the evidence I have seen.

    Right, because you’re doing the ostrich. This evidence in large part is exactly the same kind of evidence as that which Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace used to to support their theory of evolution. If you’re rejecting the basis for AAH, you have to reject the entire theory of evolution, otherwise you’re hypocritical. Is that really your intention?

  40. ohsu says

    Chris, if you believe the paleohabitat of human ancestors was swamps, marshes, and lakes, it is up to you to DEMONSTRATE it.

    The most recent scientific literature says that it was open woodland, wooded grassland, and grassland for at least the past 6 million years.

    If you disagree, it is your responsibility to DEMONSTRATE your point. All you’re doing here is expressing your faith in a view which is supported by precisely zero evidence.

  41. anthrosciguy says

    The whole thing reads a lot like a MSc thesis.

    That’s because it is. Sorry, I should’ve linked to that as well.
    http://www.riverapes.com/Me/Work/BipedalWadinginHominoidae.pdf

    It has a number of problems in it as well that have been gone over in detail over the years. At least one inaccurately captioned photo (Algis said a bonobo which was clutching reeds for support was exhibiting “unsupported bipedalism”, Lucy as knucklewaker, Lucy wading sideways, etc.). There are also problems in terms of the steep sides of the moat he observed bonobos entering, and his later lying for quite some time — over a year — about one of the incidents of wading he saw.

    The second paragraph is all excited about the association of Sahelanthropus with aquatic and semiaquatic animals like anthracotheriids. Taphonomy.

    This has also been explained to Algis many times, but he continues to make inaccurate statements about it. Here’s one such post of mine from TRF, largely cut and pasted from a 2009 Dawkins forum post, with references to the primary literature and excerpts from it.
    http://talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1095243#post1095243

    Why in the fuck would anyone publish a MSc thesis about wading apes and the evolution of bipedality in a journal called “Nutrition and Health”?

    As I said here earlier: ” One of those is rather suspect as it’s in a pretty obscure and very off-topic journal published and edited by a major AAT/H supporter (Nutrition and Health, head editor Michael Crawford, when I checked in 2010 — several years after Algis’ paper was published — Worldcat showed it held in 65 libraries worldwide; at that time the journal had received 376 cites in its 24 year history; the subject matter for the journal is like the title and completely unlike Algis’ paper).”

    You might find interesting a series of 3 posts I did on AAT papers in Nutrition and Health. At that time I noted: When I looked at Nutrition and Health two years ago [which would be 2010] the journal had published 173 papers since its inception in 1986. This means that over the time period in question nearly 10% of its publishing was basically off-topic AAT/H stuff. It’s this post and the two immediately after it:
    http://talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1693983#post1693983

  42. anthrosciguy says

    That way it’s practically guaranteed not to be sent to qualified reviewers!

    Feature, not bug. Especially when the editor is a friendly. And in this case the editor was and is not just the head editor, but the president of the society that publishes the journal.

  43. anthrosciguy says

    Well, is he making both claims at the same time? Or has he dropped the claim about knucklewalking found in his 2002 paper?

    From TRF, 10-18-2012:
    http://talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1940623#post1940623

    I do not care how Richmond and Strait interpret the knuckle-walking traits or how Kivell and Schmitt interpret the knuckle-walking traits.

    The fact is, there were knuckle walking traits on Au. afarensis and Au anamensis. The most parsimonous explanation for that is that they knuckle walked sometimes.

    AVK

    During this time he would also claim to have thought the opposite, but I don’t have any handy links for that. They were generally accompanying the usual castigating of “everyone” else for thinking LCA was a knucklewalker (which I would occasionally point out was not true using quotes from people like Russell Tuttle, who has been making that point in his research since 1968).

  44. anthrosciguy says

    It does provide at least a hint of an argument against the AAT, since we might well expect a great many more hominid fossils if they were commonly in an environment which we know is conducive to fossilization.

    …Good point. How common and how well articulated are skeletons of clearly terrestrial animals like antelopes, bears or pumas in those sites?

    Leaving the pumas aside (a good thing to do with pumas generally) other non-semiaquatic animals are pretty common. No handy links, sorry. I’m sure they could be dug up. But actually, although not a hominid, the link to the post about sahelanthropus I gave earlier gives a good outline of the kind of thing you tend to find. Primates in general are not that common. Pigs, OTOH, are so common they were used as a test for date correction, for instance in the dating of the KBS Tuff in eastern Africa (which was initially a problem due to later contamination).

  45. ChasCPeterson says

    I never had the impression that the endurance running hypothesis was really mainstream.

    I don’t know. There were a couple of papers in the 90s that stirred up discussion among physiologists. Hochachka was into it.

    Brains with egg

    ever heard the Bill Cosby routine?

    it’s much more parsimonous that we got it from seafood

    you’re bluffing.

    my personal consensus

    you’re amusing

    all these apes needed to access these micronutrients was a stone

    you’re poetic

    So what if we’re old beach apes?

    and you’ve got a cute, if oblivious, tagline. I love it so!? eh?

  46. ChasCPeterson says

    humans and pigs have been mutual competitors, predators, and prey for a loooong time it seems.

  47. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Ohsu: All you’re doing here is expressing your faith in a view which is supported by precisely zero evidence.

    You’re still rejecting all evidence presented to you, as if you ignore it then it doesn’t exist. You’re the one with faith here. And you can’t help someone as pigheaded as that. It’s exactly the same as arguing evolution with a creationist.

    Anthro: Especially when the editor is a friendly. And in this case the editor was and is not just the head editor, but the president of the society that publishes the journal.

    Yeah, aparently somebody agrees that this topic is being despicably censored by the mainstream. That something is awfully wrong about this idea, and it isn’t the idea.

    Chris: So what if we’re old beach apes?
    Chas: (…) and you’ve got a cute, if oblivious, tagline. I love it so!? eh?

    Feel free to quote me, if you want.

    Or how about this one: Elaine Morgan for the Darwin-Wallace medal.

  48. anthrosciguy says

    And incidentally, the African savannah didn’t form untill 1mya

    For what definition of “savanna”?

    Not only is he wrong, this is hardly new info. Here’s a quote from a source I know from 1981:

    “How long has this characteristic savanna mosaic of grasslands, shrubs,
    and forested areas been in existence? Recent pollen studies inidicate that
    grasslands have existed in Ethiopia for over 2.5 million years
    (Bonnefille, 1976a). This suggest that, contrary to common assumptions, eastern
    African grasslands are not necessarily recent or entirely the result of human
    burning activities. Even prior to these new data, the relative antiquity
    of savannas in Africa should have been obvious from the range of fauna
    primarily adapted to such grasslands. Mio-Pliocene deposits
    further indicate that the mosaic quality of this area was present at that
    time (Butzer, 1978)” (Nancy Tanner 1981: 136, *On Becoming Human*. New
    York and London: Cambridge University Press.)

    The refs from the quoted section of *On Becoming Human* are:

    Bonnefille, Raymonde
    1976 “Palnyological Evidence for an Important Change in the
    Vegetation of the Omo Basin between 2.5 and 2 Million Years Ago”.
    In *Earliest Man and Environments in the Lake Rudolf Basin*, Yves
    Coppens, F. Clark Howell, Glynn Ll. Isaac, and Richard E.F. Leakey
    (eds.), pp. 421-431. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Butzer, Karl W.
    1978 “Geo-ecological Perspectives on Early Hominid Evolution”.
    In *Early Hominids of Africa*, C.J. Jolly (ed.), pp. 191-217.
    London: Duckworth.

  49. ohsu says

    Chris: “You’re still rejecting all evidence presented to you”

    Your empty assertions don’t count as evidence, Chris. Sorry.

  50. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Chris: “You’re still rejecting all evidence presented to you”
    Ohsu: Your empty assertions don’t count as evidence, Chris. Sorry.

    This is all you’ve been doing, man. How am I supposed to help you?

  51. vaiyt says

    Algis:

    Humans swim better than chimps.

    Humans do a whole bunch of things better than chimps. So what?

    Really. You can repeat that all you want, but “humans swim better than chimps” is not evidence. Your explanation to HOW humans got to be the better swimmers is exactly what you’re supposed to be finding evidence for! “I think humans swim better than chimps because of an aquatic ape ancestor, and the evidence for it is that humans swim better than chimps”. Wow, truly a scientific giant here, beware the next Galileo! Not.

  52. Michael Clark says

    Chris: This is all you’ve been doing, man. How am I supposed to help you?

    Provide some evidence.

  53. vaiyt says

    All hail Borkquote!

    Algis Kuliukas:

    Humans swim better than chimps.

    Humans do a whole bunch of things better than chimps. So what?

    Really. You can repeat that all you want, but “humans swim better than chimps” is not evidence. Your explanation to HOW humans got to be the better swimmers is exactly what you’re supposed to be finding evidence for! “I think humans swim better than chimps because of an aquatic ape ancestor, and the evidence for it is that humans swim better than chimps”. Wow, truly a scientific giant here, beware the next Galileo! Not.

  54. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    How many of you have eaten oysters?

    *raises hand*

    With an exceptional Saint-Véran.

    I think this thread has the makings of a Titanoboa!

  55. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This is all you’ve been doing, man. How am I supposed to help you?

    By presenting real and conclusive physical evidence….DUH., So far, same old, same old, nothing new, nothing brilliant, nothing we wouldn’t expect from a creobot. In a word, presuppositional.

  56. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think this thread has the makings of a Titanoboa!

    Yep, same oft-repeated circle of claim, refutation of claims, new claims, refutations of claims, even new claims, refutations of those claims, and then the original already refuted claim starts up again. Pathetic.

  57. ohsu says

    @Chris: “This is all you’ve been doing, man. How am I supposed to help you?”

    1. Make true statements.
    2. Support your statements with current scientific literature.
    3. Demonstrate that your factually accurate statements support your argument.

    So far you have made factually inaccurate statements that are contradicted by current literature and that are only tangentially supportive of your arguments.

  58. Amphiox says

    I think this thread has the makings of a Titanoboa!

    Now there is an example of a waterside (aquatic snake) hypothesis that actually has legitimate scientific support!

  59. anthrosciguy says

    Wow, truly a scientific giant here, beware the next Galileo!

    “There are always short-sighted conservative fanatics who are too stupid to see it: this was so in the times of Vesalius, Galileo, Wegener, Hardy etc.etc.” – Marc Verhaegen

    “And I’m sorry, but I detect the same psychological pattern as was evident in the original rejection of Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin, Wegener and Dart, even among these trained scholars.” – CEngelbrecht

    Marc set a record, I think, since he compared his position to Wegener, Galileo, etc his very first online post in 1998. Morgan ended her 2008 book by comparing herself favorably to Mendel, Dart, and Wegener (Wegener is a favorite of AATers). Copernicus and Einstein have come up at times, too.

    Algis goes in for Wegener.

    “There’s been about as much “scrutiny” from anthropologists regarding the so called “aquatic ape theory” in the last 50 years as there was from geologists into continental drift theory around the time of Wegener.” – Algis Kuliukas

    Funny thing there is that there was a lot of scrutiny of Wegener’s ideas, but he lacked a remotely possible mechanism. this is extra ironic for the AAT because the radically different (from mainstream) mechanism is what they bring to the table, and throughout his life, despite several tries, Wegener failed completely at coming up with a plausible mechanism.

  60. Amphiox says

    That way, you might avoid making a giant soggy fool of yourself.

    Too late for that.

    Far, far too late.

    And count me in the ranks of seafood lovers. Crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, octopus, squid, all are among my favorite foods.

  61. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Amphiox:

    Reliably opening shellfish like oysters definitely would require, for a primate, stone tools, and to be really efficient, fire.

    Since some people seem to be confused by the reference to fire, it wasn’t a requirement. It said “really efficient”.

    See, what you do is dump a whole bunch of oysters onto, into or near your fire/heat to cook them. Once they cook, and are what we call “done”, they open up—or rather fail to stay held closed. Bad oysters don’t open, and fire makes things better. You don’t have to pry anything open, and you don’t need a kettle, or even a serving dish. It is very efficient, and it allowed people to live on oysters, even though they needed so many they left long middens of shells piled up.

    It beats the hell out of knocking oyster with a rock and eating the broken bits of shell. Yeah, sea otters do that, but a knocked-open oyster is a big meal for an otter—for a human, it’s a single swallow.

    Go look at oyster-eating contests, then imagine collecting and cracking open that even half that many. Then imagine passing the shards in your stool.

    Even a champion shucker, with a knife and a steel glove, can’t keep up with an oyster swallower seated at the same table. Add in wading, climbing and cut-up feet, and and it’s a hell of a way to make a living.

    Fire makes it possible to live on oysters, because it’s much more efficient.

    ohsu:

    While it is certainly true that human ancestors could and certainly did eat the brains of various savannah animals (as evidenced in recent scientific literature), there is still no reason to believe that this was necessary for brain development.

    Excellent point. Thanks.

    See, Christian, somebody coreected an error of mine, and I appreciated it. Mark that, Algis, and learn from it.

    Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht:

    You insist on the added assumption that humans must have found these nutrients on land, without supporting it with observed convergences.

    No, we don’t insist, no, it isn’t an added assumption, and what does “observed convergences” even mean?

    We do, currently, find all the needed nutrients on land. Assuming that an increase in brain made possible a further increase in nutrient-gathering isn’t too much, is it?

    other simian species being bipedal in shallow water (seen e.g. here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAiZFhhHEXU)

    Heh. I linked to that vid after Algis claimed only great apes ever went bipedal in water. You two really out to get your shit together.

    Notice, if you would, that the little baboons seem to hate the water. You are basing your water-based life on something some monkeys do because they hate water.

    Notice also that the adult baboons are nearly perfectly poised to drop in and swim. Swimming has many advantages over wading, including efficiency.

    You mean the Homo fossils from the Afar depression, that was flooded by sea water 2.5-2mya, exactly during the phase, when human encephalization blasted upwards with e.g. Homo erectus? When that region was a tropical archipelago looking something like this?

    Yah, sure, it looked like that. I’m imagining something more like the Salton Sea, or the Dead Sea. The photo of Thailand islands shoes only one bit of sandy beach, the rest is rocky shores where a climbing chimp would do better than a walking human.

    alcalic

    Alkaline. And how alkaline are we talking about? That shit burns.

    You still treat it as a preposterous idea, that water had any influence on human evolution, that it didn’t have on the evolution of chimps and gorillas.

    And now you agree with Algis that water may have had only the slightest influence. We’ve agreed that such is trivially true—Southeast Asians wade for rice, for instance. So?

    What are the remaining ~60%, I wonder? Water bodies?

    Grass or scrub growth. See, the groundcover is assessed from straight overhead, and 40% trees is a typical American park, or my back yard.

    algiskuliukas:

    I’m always amazed …. there is still only one, unscholarly, straw man paper that tries to do anything like this in the actual scientific literature.

    Yeah, I bet you are amazed. See, the whole idea is internet-level shite, like moon hoaxes, truthers, birthers and creationism. It isn’t science.

    Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht:

    t’s like the guy that discovered that Neanderthals had larger brains than Homo sapiens, he was terrified of publishing his findings, even though he hadn’t made any mistakes.

    And nobody has learned anything at all from that, now have they? No, you know all about it, but scientists still have their heads up their sanctimonious asses, don’t they now?

    If you’re rejecting the basis for AAH, you have to reject the entire theory of evolution, otherwise you’re hypocritical. Is that really your intention?

    No, that’s not the case. It is the case that you are pulling passive-agressive shit.

    Somebody:

    orang utans

    If you want to get picky and semi-Indonesian, it’s orangs utan—people (of the) forest. I did it as orang-orang utan, the other day, just to show off.

  62. anthrosciguy says

    and what does “observed convergences” even mean?

    Granted he’s unclear (many longtime AAT supporters tend to talk so much with each other they start using a sort of shorthand that’s opaque outside their own circle) but I think what he’s doing is believing that if these nutrients are available outside of aquatic diets, we should be seeing various non-human animals with human-size or at least greatly increased brain size due to eating these things. This is a nonsense version of evolutionary theory, but it is what the dietary wing of the AAT preaches. It’s perhaps their biggest non-understanding of evolution.

    Here’s the basic problem: the AAT at its core is environmental determinism. The environment — and here we’re talking about habitat, not environment as in family, learning, etc. — is thought of as the reason for virtually all changes. That’s why they have a strawman version of mainstream theory, which they refer to as “the savanna theory”. Mainstream theories lean heavily toward food-getting and social interaction and deal tangentially with environment, because we do need to explain how humans came to be able to live in so many different and wildly varying environments (even fairly early).

    The dietary wing uses a subset of environmental determinism, dietary determinism. They believe that diet is the key that makes for a big brain. They do this by selectively ignoring various facts and beasties and by making ridiculously bogus comparisons. For instance, Michael Crawford compares dolphins to zebras in brain size without considering that one is a social carnivore and the other an herbivore, which is known to be a big factor in EQ (carnivores: larger EQ, herbivores: lower EQ). He has also compared brain size (as a ratio of brain to body size) between a four year old human and an adult rhinoceros. There are only two reasons for someone to make that argument: he’s completely unaware of how to do it, or he’s being extremely dishonest.

    The thing is, we (outside of AAT-land) don’t expect to see large brains just because of diet. Large brains take more energy and the result is that we tend to see animals having brains that are big enough and not bigger. I explained this with an analogy on my website’s page on the Attenborough BBC Radio 4 show a few years back, when Crawford made some of these bogus brain arguments:

    Larger brains are not necessarily better, because the larger the brain, the more energy it takes to develop it and feed it. So animals seem to develop the size brain they need and that’s about it.

    Think of it this way. Remember that trip you took where you had the huge suitcase and that other guy you were with had a small suitcase? You figured you’d have everything you needed and then some and you did; the other guy had just barely what he needed and no more. Remember how much more rested he was at the end of each day, and how much less energy it took for him to do everything? Just how useful was that huge suitcase that had more than you needed? Not very, right?

    Same thing with brains.

    That page, BTW is here:
    http://www.aquaticape.org/bbc4_notes.html
    and has a sub-page dealing with EQ. I also have a page on the omega-3 and brain business that covers some of this:
    http://www.aquaticape.org/omega3.html

    t’s like the guy that discovered that Neanderthals had larger brains than Homo sapiens, he was terrified of publishing his findings, even though he hadn’t made any mistakes.

    And nobody has learned anything at all from that, now have they? No, you know all about it, but scientists still have their heads up their sanctimonious asses, don’t they now?

    Actually, CE’s claim there sounds like BS to me. Is there any backup for the claim that someone was reluctant to publish something that would make him better known, much less “terrified”?

  63. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht:

    ….. The evidence is screaming yes. You’re just too terrified to embrace that. You don’t want to know what your are, human. You don’t want to know that everything you are, is a result of predictable biological mechanisms of planet Earth. You don’t want to know that there’s a limit to your existence. (And whatever, that’s your survival instinct, but it’s got nothing to do with scientific thinking,)

    The only way that rant makes any sense at all is that you, Christian, used to be a creationist Christian, and that one day somebody addressed that to you. It was eloquent, and it blew your mind, and you became an evolutionist—a convert, not a gradual understander–and you saved the rant. You, still a believer, not a thinker, then latched on to Aquaticism—it’s a big pile of evidenceless hooey, so you felt right at home. Now you, feebly imagining that it’s a big gun, whip out that rant and expect it to be as devastating to us as it once was to you.

    That’s stupid, but that’s the closest to making sense out of that mess that I can get.

    Whatever it was supposed to mean, Christian, and however you came to post it, it makes you a raving nutball. All the rest you have done was at best bad science, but that is gibberingly inappropriate.

    It was eloquent, and it has blown my mind, but it means I will never be an Aquaticist.

    Keep raving, though, Christian—you provoke some excellently-scientific replies.

  64. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1047

    Elaine Morgan for the Darwin-Wallace medal.

    Seconded!

    Well said, Chris!

    Algis

  65. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Seconded!

    Well said, Chris!`

    Algis

    Which means it is utter and total bullshit, given TRUE BELIEVERS&TRADE; without scientific evidence make this claim; nothing but overweening ego on both their parts….

  66. says

    Elaine Morgan for the Darwin-Wallace medal.

     
    Seconded!
     
    Well said, Chris!

    Is there anything more pathetic than two idiots congratulating each other for, essentially, agreeing?

  67. algiskuliukas says

    Apparently I should have spent another two hours replying to another post 964 from David.

    Well, here’s ten minutes worth. I have to go to work.

    Yeah, you keep saying that, and the most charitable interpretation remains that you have no clue what you’re talking about

    Says the guy who, two weeks ago, had never heard of John Langdon or the Hylobation model of bipedal origins.

    You are just repeating ignorant slurs. The e-book was reviewed by at least one reviewer that I know of – a professor emiritus.

    Why do you have to keep doing this? You chastise me for being “personal” – when I am far less personal than most here, including PZ, the guy who started the whole thread. You keep haranging me that it’s only the evidence that counts, and yet he belittle our scholarly book on the basis of nasty, groundless slurs and spurious arguments from authority.

    Who else does it?

    What? More evidence that you haven’t been reading the thread. Practically every one of the dozen (now expanded to about 16) aquaskeptics here have all written hostile personal attacks against me – including PZ!

    If you cannot even recogise that, you’re obviously a very biased and untrustworthy commentator.

    Not really, because Langdon’s paper is from 1997. Enough has happened in this field since then that I’m sure Langdon’s paper is outdated to a significant extent.

    Again, when asked a question about his interest in something critical, David says “he’s not interested”. Funny. Aquaskeptics are fascinated when anthro-slur-guy manages to scrape together some out of context microquote from somewhere (and who cares where?) to misrepresent the argument, but when you point them to the actual debate in the scientific literature – i.e. One paper against, and a critique of that paper – they don’t give a monkey’s!

    I asked for specifics of where he thought I had evaded evidence (2nd time of asking) and this was David’s ranting reply…

    Oh, for instance in every single comment you’ve written since I linked to the four papers on isotope ratios. Or in every single comment you’ve written since it’s been pointed out that sweat glands don’t make sense if you can take a dip at any time. Or in every single comment you’ve written since it’s been explained at such length that chimp feet are better for both wading and swimming than ours. Or in every single comment since I pointed out that not everybody can use their upper lip to shut their nostrils.

    Or in every single comment since it was first pointed out that gibbons brachiate and are bipedal on the ground, that orang-utans brachiate often and are semibipedal on the ground, and that chimps and gorillas brachiate little and mostly knuckle-walk on the ground… it’s all been pointed out several more times, and you ignore it, conflating brachiation (with its selection for very long arms) with vertical climbing in general (with its selection for less long arms) as if I had never pointed out that that’s wrong.

    And last time I explained parsimony to you, you basically just shut up and changed the topic

    Again (3rd time) please give specifics…

    Where did I evade evidence of isotope ratios? sweat glands? chimp feet? the philtrum? gibbon brachiation? or parsimony?

    You’re making it up. You’re doing the hysterical rant thingy.

    What’s wrong with you people? All we’re talking about is the idea that human ancestors might have waded, swam and dived a bit more than chimps’.

    Algis Kuliukas

  68. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Where did I evade evidence of isotope ratios? sweat glands? chimp feet? the philtrum? gibbon brachiation? or parsimony?

    You’re making it up. You’re doing the hysterical rant thingy.

    Everywhere it would have falsified your fuckwitted idea. Which means every time you posted. You have no honesty and integrity, as you cannot consider the fact you are wrong.

  69. ChasCPeterson says

    I just want to acknowledge at this point in time that ‘philtrum’ is an excellent word.

  70. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Algis:

    Well said, Chris!

    Well said? How was that well said? It might have been a good idea to you, which would have merited a “Good idea”, or an “Hear, hear!” You kinda covered that with “Seconded”, but “Well said” is usually used to praise eloquence, not a short suggestion.

    “Well said” would have been appropriate for “Elaine Morgan is the goddess of my idolatry. I will follow her, no matter how far I have to depart from her original precepts. I will defend her from all enemies, foreign and imaginary. I will pretend, I will lie, I will distort and I will misunderstand. I will publish and I will be damned. To that I pledge my time, my sanity and my scientific reputation.”

    See? Eloquence, cribbed from the well-said best.

    But Christian just blurts out a bare-minimum sentence that gives himself away as a pseudo-scientific troll, and you bleat, “Well said.”

    You shoulda said, “Well, fuck.”

  71. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    I can’t find the image, but I think I once saw a chimp with his upper lip everted up over his nose. I didn’t think of it at the time, but I bet he could close his nostrils that way, or at least get a lot closer to it than a human could. Again, a chimp would make a better aquatic ape than a human would.

    Yeah, we could have started off as chimps, evolved one thing, then lost the other thing. Sure.

    By the way, do not Google for “chimp lips”. You get the woman who had her face messed up by a chimp, and a couple of memes.

  72. Amphiox says

    One shudders to contemplate the havoc that red tides would wreak on any poor primate population trying to subsist of shellfish prior to the discovery of fire and cooking.

  73. says

    @ Amphiox

    Yeah, that shit is so toxic, it will even poison land dwellers at some distance from the sea:

    In the summer of 1995-96, South Africa experienced a severe aerosol toxin problem in False Bay which later spread to the coastal resort of Hermanus in Walker Bay. Beachgoers and seaside residents were overcome by the discomfort of coughing, burning of the nasal passages, difficulty in breathing, stinging eyes and irritation to the skin.

    (source)

  74. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1071

    Rich from the guy who often quotes his own gossip and has the hubris to lecture anyone about their understanding of evolutionary principles on the basis of once helping Nancy Tanner proof read a book.

    Re 0163

    It’s perhaps their biggest non-understanding of evolution. Here’s the basic problem: the AAT at its core is environmental determinism

    There speaks an ex car mechanic with one big ego.

    Darwinian natural selection is all about environmental change but it doesn’t stop Jim Moore trying to twist it into some kind of weakness.

    It is as ignorant to pretent that environmental change had no affect on human evolution as it is to pretend that no other factors were involved. As usual, Jim only sees black and white here.

    Michael Crawford compares dolphins to zebras

    This is typical anthro-slur-guy. He cherry picks something (who knows what, or where from) to cast yet another slur because he knows his adoring fans will lap it up without any critical thought.

    Actually cetaceans have a significantly higher EQ compared to most other terrestrial carnivora too. If any “aquatic” people did this sort of thing you can guarantee Jim would suck it up into his database of “false facts” to be regurgiposted ad nauseum forever.

    There is only one reason Jim Moore does this – to distort the idea in order to discredit it.

    The thing is, we (outside of AAT-land) don’t expect to see large brains just because of diet

    Rubbish. Richard Wrangham’s cooking hypothesis basically argues the same thing but obviously from a different (cultural) angle.

    I explained this with an analogy on my website’s page…

    See what I mean? Citing himself. Jim Moore is his biggest fan. Notice none here criticises Jim for this. Suddenly peer review is a non-issue. No-one is asking to see “editorial boards” or questioning whether a professor emiritus is enough.

    Jim gets to act as judge and jury on his web site. He writes whatever he likes with impunity.

    PZ Myers thinks this is great.

    Re 1059

    Algis goes in for Wegener

    Note again, the unsourced gossip. No link to the source. No context. As long as a slur is delivered, he doesn’t care.

    Re 1048

    Here’s a quote from a source I know from 1981

    Jim doing his self aggrandizement thing again.

    Re 1043

    During this time he would also claim to have thought the opposite, but I don’t have any handy links for that

    No, probably because he knows that it’s another misrepresentation and if he provided a link everyone would see that.

    What Jim does with things like this is cherry pick middle-of-the road statements, such as those suggesting that as A. afarensis had some traits consistent with knuckle walking then perhaps they did some knuckle walking, and paste them next to other statements, made in a different context, where broadly I would agree that A afarensis were largely bipedal. In Jim’s black and white world, these two are opposites so he tries to use them, mischievously, to peddle yet more slurs.

    Re 1042

    Feature, not bug. Especially when the editor is a friendly. And in this case the editor was and is not just the head editor, but the president of the society that publishes the journal.

    Compare this with the “definitive web resource”, where the author is also the editor, and also the reviewer and also the guy who decides what feedback is published.

    PZ Myers thinks this is “great” too.

    Re 1041

    It has a number of problems in it as well that have been gone over in detail over the years.

    But Jim never reports that these “problems” have always been replied to.

    The “inaccurately captioned photo” was reviewed by the panel at UCL including Leslie Aiello without comment. It is arguable whether a bunch of reeds constitutes support but even taking this out there is no doubt that the bonobos in water exhibited far more unsupported bipedalism, as a percentage, than Hunt’s chimp study reported.

    Lucy as knucklewaker, Lucy wading sideways

    The usual misrepresentations.

    problems in terms of the steep sides of the moat he observed bonobos entering

    But apparently this is suddenly not a problem when one makes the case of vertical climbing being a major factor in bipedalism.

    Even on very shallow banks, great apes will switch to bipedalism with 100% predictability when wading into water that is waist-chest deep.

    As always, Jim is clutching at straws of denial.

    …his later lying for quite some time — over a year — about one of the incidents of wading he saw.

    The Lie slur. Jim’s hallmark. As usual Jim is trying to twist some misunderstanding of words or some tiny error into a lie. Just like his shock horror “missing ellipsis” evidence against Elaine.

    Contrast these with the way Moore blatantly and most deliberately misrepresented (and still does) Dan Dennett’s clear support of Elaine Morgan’s work and clear distinction between the “AAH” and creationism – for years and years.

    Nutrition and Health

    The usual slurs and gossip. Notice what Jim Moore does not report: That, for example, the journal was good enough for Philip Tobias.

    Tobias, P. Some aspects of the multifaceted dependence of early humanity on water. Nutrition and Health 16:13-17, (2002).

    Notice how the aquaskeptics here have shown not the slightest critical thinking when the special one posts. They swallow his smears and gossip every time.

    Incredible to witness.

    Algis Kuliukas

  75. Michael Clark says

    Any evidence today, “PB”? Chris? Any at all? No? Awww, come on, how ’bout just alittle? None? Well how ’bout tomorrow then? Next week? Next month? Just when do you plan on presenting this evidence you say you have? See, in the 15 years I’ve been reading you folks, I have yet to see any and I would hate to being doing something else the day you finally came through. Unless, of course, there isn’t any –which would make my vigil kind of pointless, wouldn’t it? So whaddya say? Sometime soon? I’m not getting any younger, ya know. :-(

  76. ohsu says

    @Algis: “What’s wrong with you people? All we’re talking about is the idea that human ancestors might have waded, swam and dived a bit more than chimps.”

    This is what is known as Algis’s PR version of the AAT.

    PR Version AAT: “The idea that human ancestors might have waded, swam [sic], and dived a bit more than chimps.”

    Algis’s Real AAT: “The idea that common ancestors of all apes from 20 mya waded, and that these wading apes gave rise to all the modern apes, none of whom wade more than a trivial amount, and that human ancestors became increasingly adapted for terrestrial bipedalism by engaging in this activity which is not terrestrial bipedalism, and then at some point after the human-chimp divergence human ancestors migrated to the shores of the Indian Ocean where they hybridized with a hominid which is currently unknown to science, and the hybrids swam and dove in the sea in direct competition with true marine animals, and that this lifestyle selected for all the features that differentiate us from the other apes, such as hairlessness, brain size, tool use, adiposity, reduced cranio-facial robusticity, language, various social behaviors, etc., etc.”

    It isn’t the idea that human ancestors might have waded, swum, and dived a little more than chimp ancestors that people have a problem with. I think we can humans make use of many, many different environments and resources that chimps do not, and we can conclude that human ancestors at some point in our past certainly did wade, swim, and dive more than those of chimps. Our ancestors also lived in and made use of every other environment on earth more than chimps (except the rainforests of the Congo).

    So it’s not the PR version of the AAT that is the problem. It is all the other bullshit Algis proposes — most specifically that wading, swimming, and diving selected for all the features that differentiate us from chimps — that is the problem.

    Of course, this has been explained to Algis many, many, many times over the years, but he keeps repeating it as if nobody had ever addressed it before.

  77. algiskuliukas says

    This is what is known as Algis’s PR version of the AAT.

    What the guy who calls himself a university means is this is what Jim Moore misrepresents as my “PR version”.

    That’s right. Anthro”sci”guy, he who shall not be criticised, has been twisting and misrepresenting my ideas (like everyone else’s) for years.

    This is why on his web site, the page specifically about me (what an honour!) fails to even mention, let alone describe accurately, the model I have held for about 14 years… River Apes… Coastal People.

    Some “defintive web resource” this.

    Notice how “ohsu” faithfully apes Jim’s tried and trusted technique – to spew out some words that make the idea seem as silly as possible with no shame in the knowledge that they are not in any way accurate.

    Deny, and Distort to Discredit.

    Why do they have to do that? If the idea is so bad, why the need to distort it and lie about what the proponents think? I do not have to distort Von Daniken, Big Foot, Homeopathy, Intelligent Design etc in order to point out why they are rubbish. But these people clearly do with these ideas. A bit of a clue there, I think.

    The hybridisation idea, by the way, is something I’ve been interested in for years – that much is true. But it is not a necessary part of the model as I have spelt out many times. So when ohsu and his gang write things like they’ve “explained these things to me many times before” they are being disingenious because they know that I have replied to such points an equal number of times before also.

    If ohsu is being honest in saying that he has no problem that human ancestors might have waded, swum, and dived a little more than chimp ancestors, it’s odd that he has spend so many hours arguing against every point I have made in favour of that idea in the past several years I’ve had the pleasure of debating with him.

    Algis

  78. David Marjanović says

    No, that’s the problem. The evidence is screaming yes. You’re just too terrified to embrace that. You don’t want to know what your are, human. You don’t want to know that everything you are, is a result of predictable biological mechanisms of planet Earth. You don’t want to know that there’s a limit to your existence. (And whatever, that’s your survival instinct, but it’s got nothing to do with scientific thinking,)

    This piece of telepsychology is on par with “you know full well God exists, you just hate Him; you pretend He doesn’t exist so you can fornicate without feeling guilty”.

    Seriously, be ashamed.

    I’ve always liked various AAHs. I think it would be very interesting to be descended from a soggy ape. Unfortunately, various ugly facts have slain all these beautiful hypotheses. Their blood stinks to high heaven – and you don’t get the idea of so much as blowing your nose.

    Wow, you only have to blink on this debate and a 100 new posts go in.

    Fresh kook equals boost in commenting rate!

    Unless you are debating from authority.

    …which would be a deeply, deeply silly thing to do.

    The whole thing reads a lot like a MSc thesis.

    That’s because it is.

    I know, it says in a footnote to the title that it’s adapted from a MSc thesis. I just expected more adjustments to the format of a paper.

    As I said here earlier: ” One of those is rather suspect as it’s in a pretty obscure and very off-topic journal published and edited by a major AAT/H supporter (Nutrition and Health […] when I checked in 2010 — several years after Algis’ paper was published — Worldcat showed it held in 65 libraries worldwide;

    That sounds like a rather small number.

    at that time the journal had received 376 cites in its 24 year history;

    Ah yeah, I forgot to respond to this the first time you mentioned it: it’s an astoundingly small number. My first paper alone, published only in 2007, has been cited about 100 times so far. That makes up more than a fourth of what a whole journal with a very general title* got in four times as much time?!?

    * It’s not like it’s called “Occasional Papers of Some Tiny Prefectural Museum in Japan”!

    That way it’s practically guaranteed not to be sent to qualified reviewers!

    Feature, not bug.

    Yeah, well, I didn’t want to jump to that accusation without sufficient evidence.

    ever heard the Bill Cosby routine?

    Nope.

    Seconded!

    Well said, Chris!

    Algis

    Good. Now, why don’t the two of you have the kookfight we’ve been waiting for? :-) You think our ancestors were much less aquatic than otters. He thinks different ones of our ancestors were at least as aquatic as otters. Go! Go! Go!

    Apparently I should have spent another two hours replying to another post 964 from David.

    Well, here’s ten minutes worth. I have to go to work.

    Translation: “I’m too lazy to wait for the weekend or anything, so I’ll pick a few cherries and pointedly ignore the rest.”

    Where’s the problem with waiting for the weekend? Or the weekend after? We don’t have to discuss everything right now. ~:-|

    You chastise me for being “personal”

    I have never done that.

    That’s why you can’t find a quote of more than one word from me to that effect.

    As I’ve explained several times now, I don’t give a fuck when you or me or anyone calls people fuckwits, morons, wankers. Insults are irrelevant.

    What I chastise you for is that you try to discuss people instead of hypotheses, characters instead of evidence; that you resort to the logical fallacies of arguments from authority and ad hominem at every opportunity. Insults are entirely separate from that.

    I try to talk about the percentage of C4 plants our ancestors ate, and you try to talk about how Jim Moore once was a car mechanic instead. See, that’s what I chastise you for.

    and yet he belittle our scholarly book on the basis of nasty, groundless slurs and spurious arguments from authority

    I have not made arguments from authority. If you claim otherwise, show me some evidence.

    I do belittle your *giggle* “scholarly” cargo-cult book. One known reviewer for an entire book? No wonder he overlooked so much outright garbage! In the real world most of us live in, scientific books have at least two reviewers per chapter. After all, no single reviewer is likely to be qualified to evaluate the whole range of topics discussed by all chapters together. For this same reason, there tends to be much less overlap between authors and editors, too, and a chapter by one of the editors will often thank the other editor for taking over the job of editor for that chapter.

    Where did I evade evidence of isotope ratios? sweat glands? chimp feet? the philtrum? gibbon brachiation? or parsimony?

    All over the fucking place! Specifically, as I said,
    – you have never commented on the isotope ratios at all;
    – you never commented on sweat glands again after it was pointed out that they’re at best useless if you can just take a dip (…actually, in a freshwater environment, they’re worse than useless, because they make you lose salt, and in a marine environment, they’re also worse than useless, because they make you lose water);
    – you never commented on chimp feet after Menyambal and I pointed out that they’re better suited to swimming and wading (respectively) than human feet are;
    – you never tried to demonstrate that lips large enough to cover the nostrils are ancestral for humans (remember, mine are too small for that);
    – you keep mixing up brachiation and vertical climbing in general, you keep ignoring orang-utans…
    – you’ve never commented on the last time I counted steps.

    Let’s start with isotope ratios. What do you think of those papers? Have you read them yet?

    Take all the time you need to read them. It doesn’t help anybody if you come here again today and fire off a three-liner about the abstracts. We can wait.

    Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht, go to page 1 and start reading at comment 1. You’re repeating lots of stuff we discussed here long ago.

  79. David Marjanović says

    Algis appears again, twice even, and writes comments 1079 and 1082.

    Still hasn’t read most of comment 964, let alone 1003 or 1008.

    If embarrassment were painful, he’d be writhing on the floor now.

  80. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    I, also, would love to be descended from a river ape.

  81. anthrosciguy says

    It is as ignorant to pretent that environmental change had no affect on human evolution as it is to pretend that no other factors were involved. As usual, Jim only sees black and white here.

    Strawman.

    Actually cetaceans have a significantly higher EQ compared to most other terrestrial carnivora too

    Leaving aside very large cetaceans (because EQ as a method breaks down in very large animals) this is true for several species of dolphin, but there are only two species which have larger EQs than many monkeys (and in at least some studies capuchins match those two). This shows definitively that dietary determinism doesn’t explain EQ as the dietary argument within the AAT says.

    The thing is, we (outside of AAT-land) don’t expect to see large brains just because of diet

    Rubbish. Richard Wrangham’s cooking hypothesis basically argues the same thing but obviously from a different (cultural) angle.

    It comes as no surprise you don’t understand mainstream ideas… unless you actually do, in which case you are being dishonest here.

    See what I mean? Citing himself. Jim Moore is his biggest fan. Notice none here criticises Jim for this. Suddenly peer review is a non-issue. No-one is asking to see “editorial boards” or questioning whether a professor emiritus is enough.

    Jim gets to act as judge and jury on his web site. He writes whatever he likes with impunity.

    If I pretended my site was other than what it is than this would be a big problem. But I don’t. It’s just a website written by some guy who happens to know how to look stuff up. OTOH we have papers written in a wildly off-topic journal run by and edited by a friendly. This is then waved about by the author as if it had undergone really critical peer review. But we don’t know what peer review it had, or if, for instance, the editor simply reviewed it himself. Even if he had sent it out to someone, the fact that it’s wildly off-topic for that journal makes it highly likely that it would not go to someone with the requisite expertise. This is why publishing in off-topic journals is a huge red flag for pseudoscience.

    Nutrition and Health

    The usual slurs and gossip. Notice what Jim Moore does not report: That, for example, the journal was good enough for Philip Tobias.

    Tobias, P. Some aspects of the multifaceted dependence of early humanity on water. Nutrition and Health 16:13-17, (2002).

    In fact everything I’ve said about Nutrition and Health is fully and completely accurate. And that would be the same Tobias who claimed we rode mammoths across the Gibraltar strait to populate Spain. Way too far to go round the land way where the fossils are. Your point about my not mentioning Tobias in connection with N&H would be a tad stronger if I had not already linked to my posts critiquing what Tobias wrote in N&H. (DavidM is right; you really need to read previous posts.)

    Jim doing his self aggrandizement thing again.

    My saying I read a book once is “self aggrandizement”? By that standard, what isn’t?

    During this time he would also claim to have thought the opposite, but I don’t have any handy links for that

    No, probably because he knows that it’s another misrepresentation and if he provided a link everyone would see that.

    See, this is one of those things you should avoid, this taking careful aim at your foot and pulling the trigger. What you wind up doing here is claiming I was wrong to say you ever said that the LCA was likely bipedal.

    But Jim never reports that these “problems” have always been replied to.

    You forget that the folks here have seen firsthand the way you reply to data-rich posts.

    The “inaccurately captioned photo” was reviewed by the panel at UCL including Leslie Aiello without comment.

    That indicates your thesis was not carefully vetted. Perhaps they were eager to rid themselves of you because they were tired of what you said were “the predictable groans of frustration from most of my fellow students” when you raised the AAT twice every session.

    problems in terms of the steep sides of the moat he observed bonobos entering

    But apparently this is suddenly not a problem when one makes the case of vertical climbing being a major factor in bipedalism.

    No, the steep sides of a zoo moat in Belgium are not a problem when vertically climbing. You think they should be?

    The Lie slur. Jim’s hallmark. As usual Jim is trying to twist some misunderstanding of words or some tiny error into a lie.

    But you lied. For a year. (Actually it was a couple lies: about one of the incidents of wading in your zoo observation and about having taken video of that incident.)

    when the special one posts

    Listen up, everybody! You heard him. I want special attention from now on when I enter the room!

    Unfortunately for me, even among the tiny community of AATers, Algis’ pronouncements generally fall on uncaring ears. :(

  82. ohsu says

    @Algis: “What the guy who calls himself a university means is this is what Jim Moore misrepresents as my “PR version”.

    No. Because anyone can read what you said. And what you said was, “All we’re talking about is the idea that human ancestors might have waded, swam and dived a bit more than chimps.”

    But that is not the full extent of your concept of the AAT. That’s not the full extent of anyone’s concept of the AAT. And that’s not the part of the AAT anyone has a problem with.

    So, you periodically claim that the idea is this one simple concept about maybe a tiny bit more of wading and swimming. But that is demonstrably not your or anyone else’s actual concept of the AAT.

    So, if there is a misrepresentation here, it is your misrepresentation of your own idea to make it seem like less of deal than it actually is.

  83. ChasCPeterson says

    we (outside of AAT-land) don’t expect to see large brains just because of diet

    Rubbish. Richard Wrangham’s cooking hypothesis basically argues the same thing but obviously from a different (cultural) angle.

    wow. That’s a remarkable misunderstanding. I’d be embarrased.

    in a freshwater environment, they’re worse than useless, because they make you lose salt, and in a marine environment, they’re also worse than useless, because they make you lose water

    yep. Good point.

    Rich from the guy who…

    Hello. Look. At this point, any post that begins like that is just going to lose you even more credibility. Why can’t you get this? Nobody but you (and, arguably, and also understandably, Jim Moore) wants to talk about Jim Moore. Jim Moore is irrelevant to the discussion of the shit you claim on the internet and the shit that Jim Moore posts on his website. That‘s the kind of shit everybody else here wants to talk about. There are other places on the internet for you two to carry out your personal mano-a-mano business.

    Therefore:
    Despite an obvious lack of any authority whatsoever, I would like to propose the following Special Rules for the remainder of this seemingly inteminable thread:

    1. No sentences allowed with ‘Jim Moore’ as the subject, explicit or implied.

    2. No sentences allowed with ‘Algis Kuliukas’ as the subject, explicit or implied.

  84. anthrosciguy says

    BTW, here’s a little more from an older forum post, explaining the concept of Algis’ PR version vs the full version, with quotes showing this is what he really says in each version:

    It’s because your PR version does not make your full statement; it leaves out critical parts of the statement. Your PR version is something that could be acceptable to a great many people, while virtually no one agrees with your full version (even your fellow AAT/H proponents do not agree with your full version). Quite obviously you want people to agree with your PR version, after which you can claim they agree with your full version. But this is not so.

    Your PR version:

    The whole point…

    Waterside hypotheses of human evolution: Assert that selection from wading, swimming and diving and procurement of food from aquatic habitats have significantly affected the evolution of the lineage leading to Homo sapiens as distinct from that leading to Pan.

    Algis Kuliukas 09-03-2011

    Your full version:

    My motives are, and always have been, simply to encourage people in the
    field that is responsible for understanding human evolution to take the idea
    seriously that a slight differential in selection from wading, swimming and
    diving might explain all the phenotypic differences between humans and
    chimps.

    Shocking, isn’t it?

    Algis Kuliukas 06-04-2010

    I have relabelled them… “waterside hypotheses of human evolution”.

    I define this as … ” asserting that since the last common ancestor of humans and chimps/gorillas our lineage has been exposed to a greater degree of selection from wading, swimming and diving than the lineage leading to the African great apes and that this explains all the major phenotypic differences between us and them”.

    Algis Kuliukas 14 Sept 2009 Dawkins forum — from Algis’ summary (“Ok… here’s my summary.”) post

    Well, if you remember I’m suggesting that even very slight selection from moving through water can account for all those differences but that we are/were pretty much 100% (to the nearest integer) terrestrial.

    Algis Kuliukas Aug 18, 2009 (In response to the question: “You’re suggesting that interaction with water accounts for every major difference between chimps and humans, remember?”

    [quote=anthrosciguy] Algis has been quite clear in this forum that he thinks water has shaped all the differences between humans and African apes:

    Yes I do. So?
    Algis Kuliukas Sep 17, 2009

    See the idea? It’s a gross understatement to say this is entirely plausible and evidence based. It’s not only plausible but it is quite brilliant. It expalins all the phenotypic differences between humans and apes at a stroke, a principle of science we call parsimony.

    Algis Kuliukas Sep 14, 2009

    I say for the past ten million years we have continually lived in waterside habitats and that this explains all the unique human characteristics. I thank is about as parsimonious as you could get.

    Algis Kuliukas Mar 05, 2009

    All the major human characteristics that make us differ from the apes are explained in this one, simple, way.

    Algis Kuliukas, posted:

    At RDF:
    Oct 06, 2009
    Oct 10, 2009
    Oct 11, 2009
    Oct 12, 2009
    Oct 20, 2009
    Oct 31, 2009
    Nov 03, 2009
    Nov 09, 2009
    Nov 09, 2009 (again)
    Jan 03, 2010

    at TRF:
    01-25-2010
    01-30-2010
    01-30-2010 (again)
    02-01-2010
    02-02-2010
    02-02-2010 (again)
    02-02-2010(again)
    02-06-2010
    02-08-2010
    02-11-2010
    03-15-2010
    03-15-2010 (again)
    03-16-2010
    03-17-2010
    03-20-2010
    03-22-2010
    03-25-2010
    03-25-2010 (again — one minute after the previous one)
    03-25-2010 (again)
    03-26-2010
    03-26-2010 (again — one minute after the previous one)
    03-26-2010 (again)
    04-06-2010
    04-07-2010
    04-07-2010 (again)
    04-08-2010
    04-11-2010
    04-14-2010
    04-16-2010
    04-21-2010
    05-09-2010
    05-16-2010
    05-28-2010
    06-05-2010
    09-15-2010
    11-04-2010
    (NOTE: this is not a complete list)

  85. anthrosciguy says

    Nobody but you (and, arguably, and also understandably, Jim Moore) wants to talk about Jim Moore.

    Actually, and ironically, Algis talks about me far more than I do. And I’ve got as big an ego as the next man (well, depending on who that man happens to be).

  86. ohsu says

    @Katherine: “Humans swim better than chimps” isn’t even a theory. It’s a conclusion. A possibly false conclusion cause we don’t have chimps trained to swim.”

    Algis uses “humans swim better than chimps” as evidence for his explanation of why humans swim better than chimps… which of course is circular. It goes like this:

    Observation: Humans swim better than chimps.
    Hypothesis: Humans swim bettr than chimps because of water-related selection (WRS).
    Testable Prediction: If humans underwent WRS, then we would be expected to swim better than chimps.
    Evidence: Humans swim better than chimps

    Welcome to the brilliance that is the AAT.

  87. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Sweat glands are worse than useless near water. I can testify.

    I’ve mentioned my hobby/habit/sport of poling my canoe upstream. It is hard work, sometimes, and in a humid and windless river valley, it is muck sweaty. Sweat gets into my eyes, slicks up my grip on the pole, and skids my feet. And it doesn’t cool me a bit. What cools me is jumping out of the boat into the water … gods, that is nice. The trouble is that the hard, sweaty work is getting up the riffles where it’s too shallow to jump in, and that’s where the horseflies attack.

    I watched a dragonfly, one time, catch a horsefly, rip its head off, and fly away with the body. I didn’t know they did that, but I cheered the little bugger out of sight.

    Then I tried to blink more sweat out of my eyes.It didn’t work.

    ====

    I can also testify to the destructiveness of a tsunami. A beach-ape species that lived on an ocean coast long enough to evolve, without getting rolled up by a tsunami, would take some explaining. And evidence.

    —–

    ChasCPeterson, it’d be nice to not have ol’ Algis as the subject, but his craziness has become the thread, thanks largely to his own efforts. But I’ll not mention Jim Moore, because I never have read and/or worshiped him (I respect you, though, Jim) the way Algis thinks we do … and there I go with a twofer..

  88. David Marjanović says

    Sorry, I forgot to reply to this part:

    Algis has also claimed both that he believed in a bipedal LCA and that australopithecines – including Lucy – knucklewalked. The fact that these statements are contradictory seemingly escapes him.

    The 2002 paper makes clear that he believes Lucy waded bipedally in water, knuckle-walked on land, and climbed in the trees. No contradiction.

    On to newer stuff:

    No-one is asking to see “editorial boards” or questioning whether a professor emiritus is enough.

    Because you still haven’t read comment 964 (or several previous ones) for understanding, you still haven’t understood that I asked for the editorial boards only to evaluate your claim that “people like Henry Gee” review everything.

    On the adequacy of one known reviewer for an entire book – and you were among the editors, so how is it possible you don’t know which reviewers you sent the manuscripts to!?!?! –, see comment 1083.

    Compare this with the “definitive web resource”, where the author is also the editor, and also the reviewer and also the guy who decides what feedback is published.

    …That’s why we call it a “web resource” and not a “paper”. :-| You do call your publications “papers” and “scholarly” and “scientific” and “peer-reviewed” and stuff.

    problems in terms of the steep sides of the moat he observed bonobos entering

    But apparently this is suddenly not a problem when one makes the case of vertical climbing being a major factor in bipedalism.

    Huh?

    Also, you’ve confused vertical climbing in general with brachiation in particular again.

    Notice what Jim Moore does not report: That, for example, the journal was good enough for Philip Tobias.

    Tobias, P. Some aspects of the multifaceted dependence of early humanity on water. Nutrition and Health 16:13-17, (2002).

    Rather than casting a good light on the journal, it casts a bad light on Tobias: he chose to publish in one of the least accessible journals possible instead of disseminating his findings.

    Is that paper online for free somewhere? Or do I need to write to Tobias to ask if he has a pdf (it was 2002, so he may not have one)?

    Notice how the aquaskeptics here have shown not the slightest critical thinking when the special one posts. They swallow his smears and gossip every time.

    Much of what he writes about you and other people is simply irrelevant to this discussion, so I don’t bother checking it. Why would I? That’s a different discussion.

    Then I tried to blink more sweat out of my eyes.It didn’t work.

    …Thanks to my eyebrows, I almost never get sweat into my eyes. That’s the textbook explanation of why we have eyebrows. Are yours unusually thin or something?

    I can also testify to the destructiveness of a tsunami. A beach-ape species that lived on an ocean coast long enough to evolve, without getting rolled up by a tsunami, would take some explaining. And evidence.

    Or simply a stretch of beach that was long enough.

  89. Amphiox says

    One need only directly compare Jim Moore’s output on this thread with Algis to come to the inescapable conclusion that Jim is, infinitely, the more honest and decent of the two.

    Algis’ continued equivocation of vertical climbing with brachiation has to be, by this point in time, deliberate. He has been corrected so many times that he no longer deserves any benefit of doubt regarding his motives or that it could be mistake or ignorance. It is, quite simply, a deliberate, continued, repeated lie on his part. Because the truth destroys all his arguments utterly and he cannot admit to that.

    It is only the most notable example at present of a continuing pattern of similar falsehoods that, given the amount of time and amount of corrections provided, can only be considered deliberate lies at this point.

    It is stomach-churning in its intellectual dishonesty. Utterly disgusting.

  90. Amphiox says

    Encephalization in our lineage did not really take off until 2.5 million years ago or so. Everything from the australopithecines back were not notably more encephalized than modern chimpanzees.

    So once again we have a discrepancy in time frame that means that the bipedalism and encephalization issues simply have no relevance one to the other.

  91. Amphiox says

    I’ve always liked various AAHs. I think it would be very interesting to be descended from a soggy ape. Unfortunately, various ugly facts have slain all these beautiful hypotheses.

    It was beautiful enough that it got me interested in the whole subject of human origins when I first encountered it.

    It was rather sad, actually, to learn how weak the evidence for these hypotheses has become.

    It is basic scientific discipline that one must be particularly skeptical of ideas one likes, as one is most vulnerable to bias with things one is emotionally attached to.

  92. anthrosciguy says

    Is that paper online for free somewhere? Or do I need to write to Tobias to ask if he has a pdf (it was 2002, so he may not have one)?

    Tobias died last year. I don’t see it online anywhere for free but I do have a scanned pdf of it. If you’d email me at anthrosciguy AT G mail (make that an address) I could send it to you.

  93. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    David, my eyebrows are very thick and dark. I trim them up a bit to keep from frightening children. And yesterday, just on a warmish day, I had to clean my glasses because my eyelashes were flicking sweat onto them.

    I don’t care how long a coast is, there’s going to be a tsunami on almost every bit of it sometime during the evolution of a species. Maybe, just maybe, the criitters would get all the breaks and the species would survive.

  94. anthrosciguy says

    …Thanks to my eyebrows, I almost never get sweat into my eyes. That’s the textbook explanation of why we have eyebrows. Are yours unusually thin or something?

    I had a post on that at TRF.

    http://www.talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1377693#post1377693

    I think the textbook explanation is wrong, and is one of those things that keeps getting repeated. In looking up my old post I also found that there’s a paper on the importance of eyebrows in facial recognition, which bolsters my suggestion.
    http://web.mit.edu/bcs/sinha/papers/sinha_eyebrows.pdf

  95. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Ohsu: It isn’t the idea that human ancestors might have waded, swum, and dived a little more than chimp ancestors that people have a problem with. I think we can humans make use of many, many different environments and resources that chimps do not, and we can conclude that human ancestors at some point in our past certainly did wade, swim, and dive more than those of chimps. Our ancestors also lived in and made use of every other environment on earth more than chimps (except the rainforests of the Congo).

    We need that big brain first, before we can survive beyond what ever our original habitat(s) were. And if the function and development of the complex human brain is dependent on micronutrients, that parsimonously would’ve come, and still come, most readily from seafood, that argues for an aquatic (saline) habitat to have sparked the development of that brain. It’s not that difficult to understand, is it?

    Again, no sea ape, Aquaman, Mermaid, humans-descending-from-dolphins or all that crap is necessary. Nobody is taking these hominins out to sea. Unless somebody wants to entertain people with a mockumentary on Animal Planet. The tropical beach is our original habitat (from Homo an onward, at least).

    David M.: You think our ancestors were much less aquatic than otters. He thinks different ones of our ancestors were at least as aquatic as otters.

    I don’t know what Algis’ personal consensus is on that, my own is that on par with sea otters would be over the top, unless with the U-turn hypothesis human ancestors have been more aquatic than we are to day. But we are at least as, and I would say more, aquatic than e.g. hippos. This is based chiefly on the potential activity depth of hippos, sea otters and every human being out there, yourselves included. Each and every one of you, if you’re a healthy individual between the age of 15 to 50, can manage within a week of tropical water exposure to reach depths of 50 feet, pushing it to as much as 150 feet unassisted by any diving gear (buck naked, yes, some freedivers are toying with that). That’s much better than hippos, and more than enough to forage for e.g. shellfish. Sea otters have forage depths down to 100 feet, and max depths recorded down to 300 feet. Conversely, no simian species can manage anything close to humans, with the one exception being the proboscis monkey (which Elaine suggests is semiaquatic), which has been observed diving to as much as 60 feet and just happens to have a hooded nose as well.

  96. anthrosciguy says

    Encephalization in our lineage did not really take off until 2.5 million years ago or so. Everything from the australopithecines back were not notably more encephalized than modern chimpanzees.

    A lot of people tend to look only at brain size and not reorganization until Homo, but Ralph Holloway has long pointed out that brain reorganization took place throughout australopithecine times, predating increased brain size. This is an important point, IMO, that often gets ignored because we tend to talk about brain size only. However, since the AAT argument is really talking about energy needs for a larger brain, it’s excusable, but this is just one of those things that rouses my inner pedant.

  97. ohsu says

    @Amphiox “Algis’ continued equivocation of vertical climbing with brachiation…”

    Yes, Algis equivocates these two, and a third thing. The phrase “vertical climbing” can mean two things. it can mean climbing in a vertical direction, going from ground level upward. Chimpanzees, for example, are referred to as “powerful vertical climbers”. There is also “vertical climbing” in the sense of climbing with the body in a vertical posture. This might actually entail bipedal posture and lateral movement of the animal along a branch, using the hands on some other branch for stabilization.

    These are two EXTREMELY different forms of climbing, requiring (or at least employing) very different physical adaptations.

    Climbing in an upward direction.
    Climbing around with the body oriented upright.

  98. ohsu says

    @Chris: “The tropical beach is our original habitat”

    Now all you need is some evidence, and you’ll really have something.

  99. Amphiox says

    A lot of people tend to look only at brain size and not reorganization until Homo, but Ralph Holloway has long pointed out that brain reorganization took place throughout australopithecine times, predating increased brain size. This is an important point, IMO, that often gets ignored because we tend to talk about brain size only. However, since the AAT argument is really talking about energy needs for a larger brain, it’s excusable, but this is just one of those things that rouses my inner pedant.

    While this is true, encephalization is defined in terms of brain mass/size, not brain organization.

    Brain reorganization does not count as encephalization, and does not produce increased encephalization. It simply produces a brain more optimized for certain tasks given the same degree of encephalization.

    And there is no compelling argument that brain reorganization requires or entails the availability of any increase in nutrition, or any increase in the amount of any specific nutrient.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encephalization

  100. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Now all you need is some evidence, and you’ll really have something.

    And that is the Achilles heel of the soggy ape cranks. LACK OF EVIDENCE.

    Why they think evidenceless assertions and bad attitude equals evidence I’ll never know. It isn’t the way to sell real scientists on your pissant (sic) idea. The way to convince scientists is to shut the fuck up until you have that conclusive field evidence. Only then, revive the idea.

  101. ChasCPeterson says

    But we are at least as, and I would say more, aquatic than e.g. hippos.

    what?!

    And based on a comparison of diving depths?!?!

    wow.

  102. David Marjanović says

    I do have a scanned pdf of it. If you’d email me

    Thanks, will do.

    And yesterday, just on a warmish day, I had to clean my glasses because my eyelashes were flicking sweat onto them.

    Wow.

    I don’t care how long a coast is, there’s going to be a tsunami on almost every bit of it sometime during the evolution of a species. Maybe, just maybe, the criitters would get all the breaks and the species would survive.

    I was going to say that this sounds like nothing could live on a beach… but everything that does either seems to have planktonic larvae or can fly, right?

    I think the textbook explanation is wrong […]

    You’ve convinced me. The pics in the paper are impressive.

    And if the function and development of the complex human brain is dependent on micronutrients, that parsimonously would’ve come, and still come, most readily from seafood

    What prevents you from going to comment 989 and following the link in it!?!?!

    I don’t know what Algis’ personal consensus is on that, my own is

    …Are you joking, or do you really not know what the word “consensus” means?

    But we are at least as, and I would say more, aquatic than e.g. hippos.

    Then learn more about hippos. Seriously.

    brain reorganization took place throughout australopithecine times

    Evidence?

  103. David Marjanović says

    And based on a comparison of diving depths?!?!

    As if hippos had the slightest reason to dive thirty meters deep!

  104. anthrosciguy says

    I don’t know what Algis’ personal consensus is on that, my own is

    …Are you joking, or do you really not know what the word “consensus” means?

    Maybe he learned his English by watching old episodes of “Are You Being Served?” where Mrs. Slocum would regularly say “And I am unanimous in that”. :)

  105. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    David Marjanović, I tend to get a bit emotional about tsunamis. I have been awakened by an earthquake in a room with a waterline on the wall, and I’ve seen houses being rebuilt below the debris lines of several old tsunamis, so maybe I shouldn’t speak. And yes, if dugongs and manatees can exist, a littoral ape might make it through tsunami times.

    Sorry for getting all Algis, there.

    ===

    BTW, I’ve seen a few references to animals “rafting” between islands on tsunami debris, but most old references postulate floods or storms or something to get the debris going and the animals on it. It’s tsunamis all the way for me.

    ——–

    I had to give up on contact lenses because the sweat that got in my eyes greased them up something fierce. And me and my daddy are both nice guys, but everybody assumes from our eyebrows that we are pissed-off sonsabitches. Which is why I trim mine. So, yeah for them being signalling devices.

    “The eyebrow flash is a universally recognized unconscious social signal, wherein a person, wishing to approach another whom they recognize and are preparing for social contact, raises their eyebrows for approximately one-sixth of a second.” – Wikipedia

    Heh. I once took off my glasses and put on a pair of those novelty Groucho Marx fake glasses, with the eyebrows, big nose and a mustache. They didn’t alter my appearance at all.

  106. anthrosciguy says

    brain reorganization took place throughout australopithecine times

    Evidence?

    http://www.columbia.edu/~rlh2/Frank_Chuck%28AR2003%29.pdf

    Ralph Holloway has said more to me in conversations over the past years. He’s also got a bunch of his papers available as pdfs which make for a great resource. He’s one of the best guys on brain endocasts.

    http://www.columbia.edu/~rlh2/available_pdfs.html

    The main page on him, listing books authored and such.
    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/e3b/faculty/holloway.html

    Table one in the following summary article also mentions this, and throughout he gives some refs to his papers that might be helpful too.

    Sorry, gotta run and do some shopping. Just wanted to get this off

  107. ohsu says

    We need that big brain first, before we can survive beyond what ever our original habitat(s) were.

    Says who? Behavioral pasticity is a hallmark of primates in general. If our early ancestors were merely as smart as a typical primate, they would have been able to survive in a variety of habitats.

    And if the function and development of the complex human brain is dependent on micronutrients, that parsimonously would’ve come, and still come, most readily from seafood

    It doesn’t matter that seafood has those nutrients if our ancestors didn’t live by the sea. What matters is the food sources that existed in the environments in which our ancestors actually lived.

    The fossils? Remember the fossils? The ones that demonstrate encephalization? They were not found seaside. Remember your assertion that the Rift Valley flooded and was essentially an inland sea? Remember how I posted a reference to Cerling at al demonstrating that 100% of the fossils of suspected human ancestors from the last 6 million years were found in open woodland, wooded grassland, or grassland?

    Remember how we’ve had this discussion dozens of times and you keep making assertions that are supported by no evidence whatsoever and contradict what evidence there is?

    that argues for an aquatic (saline) habitat to have sparked the development of that brain. It’s not that difficult to understand, is it?

    Oh, it’s really easy to understand. I understand it perfectly. It’s just that it’s nonsense.

  108. ohsu says

    And if the function and development of the complex human brain is dependent on micronutrients, that parsimonously would’ve come, and still come, most readily from seafood

    You have no concept whatsoever of the meaning of the word “parsimony”. I’ll explain it to you again, for the umpteenth time.

    Parsimony is a preference for the simplest explanation that accounts for all the evidence and makes no unnecessary assumptions.

    Since 100% of the fossil evidence places human ancestors in open woodland, wooded grassland, and grassland, it is NOT parsimonious to believe they lived on the seashore and ate seafood. Believing that would entail failing to acknowledge the evidence, and making evidence-free assumptions.

    The concept of “parsimony” is tightly related to the concept of evidence… which explains why you don’t understand it. Evidence is a concept you’ve always had a really difficult time with.

  109. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht:

    Each and every one of you, if you’re a healthy individual between the age of 15 to 50, can manage within a week of tropical water exposure to reach depths of 50 feet, pushing it to as much as 150 feet unassisted by any diving gear (buck naked, yes, some freedivers are toying with that).

    So some extreme athletes are experimenting with doing something you say our ancestors did, everyday, to get dinner?

    You’ve just admitted that nobody dives without goggles, nose clips, swim fins and weight belts. And you post that as evidence that our ancestors used to frolic naked through the water.

    Look, I can’t get through a day without walking. The best exercise for me is walking. I can walk long distances, if I have to. I can walk while carrying stuff. I can walk barefoot, buck naked and sporting an erection. The biggest difference between me and a chimp is the shape of my foot—the foot on which I walk—and the sweating I do while I walk, the sweat that cools me as I walk.

    I can walk across Afirica and walk up fucking Mount Kilimanjaro, if I want to. But I cannot swim to Africa, I cannot swim down a fucking lobster, I cannot eat a lobster without getting hives, and I certainly can’t stand around in the National Zoo waiting for a fucking hippo to come up for air, without getting fucking bored and going for a fucking walk.

  110. ohsu says

    Each and every one of you, if you’re a healthy individual between the age of 15 to 50, can manage within a week of tropical water exposure to reach depths of 50 feet, pushing it to as much as 150 feet unassisted by any diving gear (buck naked, yes, some freedivers are toying with that).

    Chris is the king of circularity. Chris is actually the first AATer I know to formalize it into a saying: “The traits themselves are the evidence.”

    According to Chris, the thing the AAT explains is our “aquatic” traits. And according to Chris. the “aquatic” traits are the evidence for the AAT.

    Observation: Humans have traits X, Y, and Z.
    Hypothesis. Traits X, Y, and Z are adaptations for aquaticism.
    Prediction: If humans are aquatic they would be expected to have traits X, Y, and Z.
    Evidence: Humans have traits X, Y, and Z

    Unlike Algis, Chris shows some glimmer of comprehending that this is circular. The funny thing is that Chris doesn’t care. He has shown every sign of being perfectly ok with circular arguments.

  111. ohsu says

    For those who don’t see what my post above has to do with Chris’s post that I quoted:

    For Chris the thing the AAT explains is why we swim and dive. And the evidence for the AAT is that we swim and dive.

    Observation: Humans swim and dive
    Hypothesis. AAT
    Prediction: If AAT then humans swim and dive
    Evidence: Humans swim and dive

    Perfectly circular. Chris doesn’t care.

  112. anthrosciguy says

    Thank you! I wondered if Australopithecus endocasts were detailed enough to show that kind of thing, and the paper shows they are. :-)

    Ralph is the king of the endocast. Nice guy too. Also, as a trivia point pertaining to the general discussion here, he used to post in the newsgroup stuff back in the early to mid 1990s, at a time when most academics didn’t, and didn’t even have their email addresses readily available. He had some interesting things to say in the AAT discussions; I especially liked his point (1995) on the religiosity of the AAT.
    https://groups.google.com/d/msg/sci.anthropology.paleo/ycm0xXa_7-A/KNKiPeT9-IMJ

  113. Amphiox says

    The isotopic evidence already presented way up this thread already clearly demonstrates that early hominids prior to the advent of modern H. sapiens did NOT exploit aquatic food resources to any significant degree. At best it was as a MINOR component of the diet of SOME populations.

    There are many modern human populations that do not ever eat one bit of seafood and their brain development went along just fine without those seafood “micronutrients”.

    The idea that micronutrients from seafood are a requirement for the development of larger brains is simply dead in the water, and floating, bloated, on the brine.

    End. Of. Story.

    The earliest known evidence of extensive seafood exploitation in our lineage coincides roughly with the advent of modern H. sapiens, along with such (presumptively) modern technological advances as harpoons and nets. It also roughly coincides with the earliest evidence of our lineage caring about and keeping track of the passage of time (I think). This would correlate with the ability to anticipate and plan foraging around the tides. For a creature that swims as poorly, yes, poorly, as we do, being caught in the incoming tide is a bad thing, and still represents a significant mortality risk among modern peoples who still practice such shoreline harvesting.

    So if you want to spin a hypothesis about seafood micronutrients giving H. sapiens a cognitive advantage over H. neanderthalensis (or H. denisova), or call upon the exploitation of seashore resources as a mechanism by which H. sapiens survived the great Toba bottleneck ca. 70000 years ago, go right ahead. At least that would be reasonable to suppose given the existing evidence.

    But none of that has any relevance whatsoever to the advent of bipedality (before 6 million years), the reduction of body hair (after 3.3 million years), or the increase in brain size (after 2.5 million years).

    You cannot lump disparate adaptions into a single explanatory selective umbrella if the fossil record clearly shows that these adaptions each arose at vastly disparate times, no matter how pretty the hypothesis of it is.

  114. Amphiox says

    And as for the swimming, we don’t even know WHEN that adaption (if it even is an adaption) appeared. The adaptions for swimming that modern humans have are all behavioral. Being behavioral, they could have arisen at almost any time by being invented by some enterprising individual and then passed along culturally. It could be as old as 6 million years, or as young as 10,000.

    Certainly if you put a skeleton of a modern human side by side with the skeleton of a chimpanzee, there is nothing there that would suggest that the modern human could swim better. If anything, the longer, more powerful arms of the chimpanzee would suggest a superior freestyle stroke.

    So here’s the question. Did modern humans swim better than Neanderthals? Denisovans? Hobbits? Heidelbergs? Erects? Ergasts? Habilines? Australopiths? WHEN did the ability to swim appear in our lineage?

    Until you have some evidence to suggest a time frame, trying to pigeon hole swimming ability differences between modern humans and modern chimps into any sort of evolutionary hypothesis is simply wankery.

    If you don’t have a time frame, you simply don’t have an evolutionary hypothesis. Period.

  115. Amphiox says

    I recall it even being said that most of the sailors in the age of piracy (and the age of exploration) could not swim. Modern humans’ predilection for water play* is very culturally dependent and varies greatly over time and place.

    *And it is really mostly play – when we seek to make a living on the water, we use boats, nets and other tools, and keep ourselves bodily out of the water as much as we can. The vast majority of the wading, swimming and diving that we do is leisure.

  116. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Menyambal: So some extreme athletes are experimenting with doing something you say our ancestors did, everyday, to get dinner?

    50 feet, each and every one of you. In a week. And most relevant foods grow within the first 30.

    Chris: But we are at least as, and I would say more, aquatic than e.g. hippos.
    Chas: what?! And based on a comparison of diving depths?!?!

    What the hell is a better factor to compare aquatic abilities between species?

    David M.: As if hippos had the slightest reason to dive thirty meters deep!

    What about otters? Why would they go thirty, or 100 meters deep?

    David M.: *facepalm* 150 ft = 45.72 m.

    It’s been done, dude:
    http://vimeo.com/7953385
    And if a guy puts on a wetsuit and a noseclip, it’s more than twice that:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxAkKvEmkag
    And if a guy holds onto weights and gets pulled back up, it’s five times that:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwaeH22v7HE
    And to repeat myself from another thread: SHOW ME A CHIMP THAT CAN DO THAT, MOTHER FUCKERS!

  117. ohsu says

    And as for the swimming, we don’t even know WHEN that adaption (if it even is an adaption) appeared. The adaptions for swimming that modern humans have are all behavioral. Being behavioral, they could have arisen at almost any time by being invented by some enterprising individual and then passed along culturally. It could be as old as 6 million years, or as young as 10,000.

    Certainly if you put a skeleton of a modern human side by side with the skeleton of a chimpanzee, there is nothing there that would suggest that the modern human could swim better. If anything, the longer, more powerful arms of the chimpanzee would suggest a superior freestyle stroke.

    So here’s the question. Did modern humans swim better than Neanderthals? Denisovans? Hobbits? Heidelbergs? Erects? Ergasts? Habilines? Australopiths? WHEN did the ability to swim appear in our lineage?

    Until you have some evidence to suggest a time frame, trying to pigeon hole swimming ability differences between modern humans and modern chimps into any sort of evolutionary hypothesis is simply wankery.

    If you don’t have a time frame, you simply don’t have an evolutionary hypothesis. Period.

    Agreed. And before you nail down a time frame, you need to nail down physical traits that make humans better swimmers.

    No AATer has ever discussed the specific physical traits that make humans better swimmers. Some of them say something about fat and buyancy, but that clearly isn’t what makes us better swimmers, since our BEST swimmers (such as Michael Phelps) are exceedingly lean.

    So what is it? What specific anatomical features make us better swimmers? If an AATer could accurately describe them, and then point out when in the fossil record they appear, and then demonstrate that fossils from that period are associated with water, he might have the beginnings of a hypothesis.

    They’ve been at this for DECADES, and this hasn’t occurred to a single one of them.

  118. ohsu says

    And to repeat myself from another thread: SHOW ME A CHIMP THAT CAN DO THAT, MOTHER FUCKERS!

    Circular argument.

    The AAT explains why humans swim better than chimps. The evidence for the AAT is that humans swim better than chimps.

    And around and around and around and around….

  119. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And to repeat myself from another thread: SHOW ME A CHIMP THAT CAN DO THAT, MOTHER FUCKERS!

    Which is a non-sequitur since you can’t show human did that in the past. More imagufactured “evidence” showing your crank status, not real evidence that convinces scientists (which you aren’t) that you have a point. Keep repeating your crank points. Makes more people ignore you and your ideas….

  120. Ichthyic says

    What about otters? Why would they go thirty, or 100 meters deep?

    well, as far as otters go, they do tend to dive deep (relative to their size) sometimes for their forage.

    30 meters dives I have personally witnessed… in marine otters.

    100 meters? unpossible even for a marine otter.

  121. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Amphiox: So here’s the question. Did modern humans swim better than Neanderthals? Denisovans? Hobbits? Heidelbergs? Erects? Ergasts? Habilines? Australopiths? WHEN did the ability to swim appear in our lineage?

    It’s actually much wider than that. It’s not as much swimming, but wading that’s the issue (that would be easier to argue, ’cause when’s the shift from wading to swimming?), wading being argued as having spawned human bipedalism (which later transferred to walking on land). And because bipedalism can be argued to be evident already in Toumaï 7mya (terrestrial or aquatic), and at least in Ardi 4.4mya, then hominins would’ve been wading (and therefore be aquatic) for that long. So all hominins would be eligable to consider as semiaquatics (unless you reject that whole concept, as most of you here still do).

    Marc Verhaegen argues, that Homo erectus was the most aquatic of hominins, which he bases on thicker bones in Homo erectus than modern sapiens (calls it “pachyosteosclerosis”), which he says has precedence in the evolution of whales from land forms to aquatic forms. It would actually be in line with Hardy/Morgan’s U-turn AAH (“Was man more aquatic in the past?” and all that). I personally am not set on that point, sapiens could also be the most aquatic of hominins so far. (If that n’ all that jazz.)

  122. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    YAWN, lots of blather and what-ifs, no smoking guns. NO SALE.

  123. anthrosciguy says

    If anything, the longer, more powerful arms of the chimpanzee would suggest a superior freestyle stroke.

    As I mentioned upthread, humans, relative to chimps, have greatly reduced plantar flexion. If you were looking at skeletons alone, that would suggest the chimp would be the better swimmer.

  124. anthrosciguy says

    Marc Verhaegen argues…

    Just a reminder to anyone thinking of using the above as the opening to an argument; it’s one of the worst possible. :)

  125. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Just a reminder to anyone thinking of using the above as the opening to an argument; it’s one of the worst possible. :)

    Right up there using Algis as reference for his imagufactured “evidence”.

    Hint, if you want to be taken seriously, third party evidence from non-cranks.

  126. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Rev. Big: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ec3_1314384522

    Yeah, and here he freedives: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q916J6rzqno

    Have you noticed, how Cooper has to hold a hand over his nose, because he hasn’t got that hooded nose from evolution to keep water out of his cranial cavities? Note that it’s in a human setting, so Cooper had to be trained to perform that much aquaticism. How many chimps are doing anything comparable to this in the wild? How many humans are habitually bathing completely out of their own free will? Isn’t it like 7 billion?

  127. ChasCPeterson says

    What about otters? Why would they go thirty, or 100 meters deep?

    hmmm.
    Because they live in kelp forests that grow in water that’s that deep and eat shit off the bottom? That’s my guess for the 30.
    Some special treat?
    That’s my guess for the 100.

    100 meters? unpossible even for a marine otter.

    not so

  128. ohsu says

    Marc Verhaegen argues…

    Since Marc Verhaegen is a raving lunatic, I kinda don’t care what he “argues”.

    Verhaegen has made it extremely clear that he believes Homo erectus was a dedicated marine animal that spent its entire life at sea and never (or almost never) came ashore.

    Mark Verhaegen is a clown, and anyone who takes anything he says seriously is a pitiful fool.

  129. ohsu says

    Have you noticed, how Cooper has to hold a hand over his nose, because he hasn’t got that hooded nose from evolution to keep water out of his cranial cavities? Note that it’s in a human setting, so Cooper had to be trained to perform that much aquaticism. How many chimps are doing anything comparable to this in the wild? How many humans are habitually bathing completely out of their own free will? Isn’t it like 7 billion?

    \Circular argument.

    The AAT explains human nose shape. Human nose shape is evidence for the AAT.

  130. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Chris, I can show you a chimp that can go up into space. A space ape.

    As for the hippos, I was trying to get you to think about breath-holding TIME, but of course you don’t think. You also don’t have closeable nostrils. As others said, how do you know how deep a hippo can dive? You don’t, any more than you know that chimps can’t swim.

    (BTW, Chris, our ear-popping with altitude change is not something that would ever come in useful in air, but does in diving. You might want to work that up for your arguments.:))

    Show me, Chris, any primate, including humans, who can free-swim out to a 30-foot depth, free-dive down, gather anything, and free-swim back to shore whilst clutching the goodies, and make a profit on the trip, free-handed, buck naked and tool-free. Without fire. You might want to look around coral reefs, for the short swim, and look for the shoes they’d need for reef-walking.

    You may be able to dive to 30 feet, but I bet you used a boat to get there. You can probably show me a place where a short swim out gets you 30 feet down, but you can’t show me where anybody is subsisting on such a short gathering range. If they move from dive-spot to dive-spot, they probably do it by walking on shore. Walking.

    Humans have lived on clams, recent humans have, and we have mounds of evidence for that. Mounds of shells, with technological trash dropped in the pile. And we still have people who walk out and dig clams.

    Where are your shell mounds? Where is your evidence? Where is your lifestyle still practiced?

    Where is it even possible to live the life aquatic? Go there and do it for a month. Oh, hell, just go.

  131. Ichthyic says

    not so

    aside from the fact I think you do this kind of thing just to annoy me, that’s new info to me.

  132. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Chris, I can show you a chimp that can go up into space. A space ape.

    Pffffft

    I can show you an ape that is colored like a grape. A grape ape.

  133. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Cooper the chimp has to hold a hand over his nose, because he is standing upright in the water. If he were diving downward, swimming downward, and rooting around the bottom with head and hands down, his nostrils would be perfectly oriented. He could then breath out on his way up, as id common practice.

    I hold my nose for swimming downward, and it took me a while to learn to turn loose of it for anything else.

    You notice that some human noses are ideal to be held closed? Like that evolved that way?

    You notice that a good many people of various races and genders don’t have nice big aquatic noses? Noses vary wildly, amongst us humans.

  134. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Notice also that cooper uses a scuba breathing regulator and I’m currently drinking a beer.

    Take that skeptics.

  135. ChasCPeterson says

    this kind of thing

    lol. You mean check facts?
    Don’t take it personal. I don’t believe anything anybody says.
    I even check stuff I say sometimes just to make sure.
    (I do not wish to be perceived as a blowhard, a bluffer, or a bullshitter.)
    Since I’m on the internet, it’s pretty easy.

  136. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    How many humans are habitually bathing completely out of their own free will? Isn’t it like 7 billion?

    Because bathing and swimming skills / adaptations are pretty much the exact same thing.

    But this does not explain this guy I used to go to dead shows with.

    He must be more chimp than man.

  137. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    and I’m currently drinking a beer.

    Take that skeptics.

    I should be skeptical of you drinking good beer????

  138. anthrosciguy says

    The so-called hooded nose has been used a lot by AATers as “evidence”. They make the claim that it keeps water out of the nose while diving. But what keeps water out of noses pretty effectively while diving is physics. If your nose is full of air, it can’t be full of water.

    There’s some other problems with the AAT use of this. If it was needed, it would only work when moving forward through water, not staying still, not jumping in feet first (Morgan used to claim proboscis monkeys had the nose they do — well, that the males do — to keep water out of their noses when they jumped into water head first from the trees. I had to break it to her that proboscis monkeys jump into water from the trees feet first, which if her scenario was right means it would drive water up their noses.)

    This has been explained to Algis, CE, and other AATers (ever since I first explained it to Morgan more than 15 years ago); here’s one such post from TRF:
    http://www.talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1372931#post1372931

    This idea of AATers also has a little problem with macaques, many of which not only duck under but swim underwater very nicely without this nose shape they say is needed. Here’s one (there are many such videos on YouTube, and they have been shown to CE et al. and yet they still make this bogus argument):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4lBp104SBE

    They are far from the only animals which can do this. Dogs, for instance (videos of them on YouTube too).

  139. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Somebody mentioned the Toba bottleneck up there. I saw something that suggested the dates were wrong for it.

    I don’t care—I still have the silver coins I bought on my visit to Lake Toba. It turns out they aren’t really Spanish dollars from 1756, but Chinese-made counterfeits, which just makes them more interesting to me.

  140. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Menyambal: Chris, I can show you a chimp that can go up into space. A space ape.

    Come on, again, that’s human activity, and humans can’t do that without that big brain, which is argued spawned by consuming seafood for at least two million years.

    Menyambal: Show me, Chris, any primate, including humans, who can free-swim out to a 30-foot depth, free-dive down, gather anything, and free-swim back to shore whilst clutching the goodies, and make a profit on the trip, free-handed, buck naked and tool-free.

    The Orang Laut has been cited as such an example, the sea gypsies. Even their kids.
    Gislén A, Dacke M, Kröger RHH, Abrahamsson M, Nilsson DE, Warrant EJ (2003) Superior underwater vision in a human population of sea gypsies. Current Biology 13 (10): 833-83.

    I honestly don’t know, if proboscis monkeys forage anything during their cited deep dives, but these macaques do:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beEAKVZsJe8

    Menyambal: You may be able to dive to 30 feet, but I bet you used a boat to get there. You can probably show me a place where a short swim out gets you 30 feet down, but you can’t show me where anybody is subsisting on such a short gathering range.

    There are still natural peoples doing exactly that. Most spearfishers I know in the Western world just venture out from their local beach, some of them shooting fish for 2-4 hours. Granted, assisted by wetsuits, but this is in temperate waters, not the tropical ones we derive from 100kya.

    Menyambal: If they move from dive-spot to dive-spot, they probably do it by walking on shore. Walking.

    Actually, we don’t necessarily disagree on that.

    Menyambal: Humans have lived on clams, recent humans have, and we have mounds of evidence for that. Mounds of shells, with technological trash dropped in the pile. And we still have people who walk out and dig clams. Where are your shell mounds?

    Oldest kitchen middens I know of is 164kya, in the dawn of sapiens:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17943129
    Other such remains would have been lost by time.

    Menyambal: Where is your lifestyle still practiced? Where is it even possible to live the life aquatic? Go there and do it for a month. Oh, hell, just go.

    You mean like surfers? The sea gypsies? Spearfishers? The Ama? Any town with a public pool? Anybody with a fucking bathroom?

  141. algiskuliukas says

    So much to reply to…. (especially David’s claim that I’ve been evading stuff like the C4 grass thingy) … so little time.

    But here’s a quick one before going to work…

    Ralp Holloway (thanks, Jim) making it clear what he thinks is the alternative to the so-called “Aquatic Ape” idea…

    …that is anywhere near as parsimoniuous as the classical alternative, i.e., an adaptation to increasing dessication, much of it one the interface of forest and
    “savannah”, the latter being “dessicated” only relative to the former.

    Funny. Wasn’t someone here trying to peddle the idea than only “aquatic ape” people are environmental determinists and that the mainstream don’t think in such simple terms?

    If anyone out there is honest and objective enough to apply anywhere near the same kind of critical thinking to this “dessication” idea as they do to waterside hypotheses they’d find it far more lacking in terms of evidential support and far more prone to show stoppers.

    Algis Kuliukas

  142. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Menyambal: You notice that a good many people of various races and genders don’t have nice big aquatic noses? Noses vary wildly, amongst us humans.

    Yeah, but are any of us remotely close to the chimp, which is basically two vertical holes straight into its skull? (Unless we are born with a harelip, or had an accident or something) That’s why Cooper’s nasal cavities fills with water much easier than ours. Morgan argues, that tapirs are semiaquatics (which is supported by their loss of fur and habitat preference), and they too have evolved a hooded nose.
    http://cdn2.arkive.org/media/F2/F21D7ADD-2D3B-4A86-B728-7C76BC281BBD/Presentation.Large/Lowland-tapir-swimming.jpg
    And the elephant is argued to have semiaquatic ancestors, and their hooded nose is suggested to have evolved into their trunk, something that EVEN FRICKIN’ GREG LADEN WROTE AN ENTHUSIASTIC BLOG ENTRY ABOUT, AND THEN THE SAME GUY WRITES THAT AQUATIC APES ARE NUTS!!!
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2008/04/15/elephants-were-aquatic/
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/01/06/aquatic-ape-theory-another-nail-in-the-coffin/

  143. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    EVEN FRICKIN’ GREG LADEN WROTE AN ENTHUSIASTIC BLOG ENTRY ABOUT, AND THEN THE SAME GUY WRITES THAT AQUATIC APES ARE NUTS!!!

    a small problem with this line of reasoning

    apes ≠ elephants

    by any broad definition of either ape or elephant

    No one is arguing against the idea that some land animals have aquatic ancestors. Some even recent ones.

  144. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Rev. Big: What are your thoughts on this movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088161/?

    If I may, that Daryl Hannah is a fellow Asperger Syndrome and smoking hot when wet.

    And that that’s entertainment. Entertainment warps science to please the masses, ever seen The Core? Is it really necessary to refute, that AAH is arguing for the existance of mermaids???

  145. Amphiox says

    Habitual bathing is a recent, VERY RECENT, cultural practice.

    Does H. sapiens bathe more than H. neanderthalensis? H. denisova? H. heidelbergensis? H. erectus? H. ergaster? H. habilis? A. sediba? A. africanus? A. afarensis? A. ramidus? O. tugenensis? S. tchadensis?

    Provide a time frame for the adaption’s appearance or there is nothing worthwhile to talk about.

  146. Amphiox says

    The myoglobin study already discussed up thread quite thoroughly nixes the idea of human ancestors diving to any significant extent more than chimpanzees.

    Nose shape is utterly irrelevant to the topic in the light of that new evidence.

  147. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Rev. Big: No one is arguing against the idea that some land animals have aquatic ancestors.

    Yeah, but y’all are insisting, that it’s blatant pseudoscientific to consider exactly that with these apes, that just so happens to be ourselves. It’s not unreasonable to draw aquaticism out of human bipedalism, furlessness, breath control, speech, encephalization, fat babies, beach habitat preference and bathing behavior, especially when basing it on convergence with other aquatics. It wasn’t unreasonable half a century ago, and it still isn’t.
    The mainstream is fine seeing past aquaticism in other taxa, but when it’s us, people panic and grab the pitchforks. We’d just as well hand this over to the catholic church.

  148. anthrosciguy says

    Is it really necessary to refute, that AAH is arguing for the existance of mermaids?

    Unfortunately that is exactly what it is being used for.

    Well, they were just trying to get ratings by debasing science, but there are some mermaid types out there in AAT-land. One posts regularly at Marc Verhaegen’s Yahoo group. But the major players in the idea do not suggest anything like mermaids, and no one else says they do. We do — well, the annoying amongst us :) — point out that their claims argue for human evolution convergent with cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenia.

  149. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    t’s not unreasonable to draw aquaticism out of human bipedalism, furlessness, breath control, speech, encephalization, fat babies, beach habitat preference and bathing behavior, especially when basing it on convergence with other aquatics.

    Except that has already been refuted ad nauseum, and your claims are dismissed as CRANK FUCKWITTERY, since you are so inept of a scientist you can’t acknowledge the refutation with evidence….

  150. anthrosciguy says

    Yeah, but y’all are insisting, that it’s blatant pseudoscientific to consider exactly that with these apes, that just so happens to be ourselves

    Considering it is not what makes it pseudoscience; insisting that reality shouldn’t be applied to the consideration is what makes it pseudoscience.

  151. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Amphiox: Habitual bathing is a recent, VERY RECENT, cultural practice.

    Come on, bathing is evident in some of the oldest surviving cultures and structures build. Christians bathe their newborns, muslims bathe their dead, hindus bathe themselves in the Ganges. There’s a frickin’ bathtub with dolphin frescoes in the palace of Minos from 1500 BC. The Roman empire had thousands of public and private bath houses. Yes, bathing disappeared from European standard for many centuries after the fall of the Roman empire, but that was a fluke based on lack of ressources, like some places in Asia today, and at the same time as the European “dark ages”, the Islamic, Hindu, Chinese and even Viking cultures bathed extensively. Bathing is not a recent 19th century activity, hell, it may be as old as seven million years.

    Chris: Is it really necessary to refute, that AAH is arguing for the existance of mermaids?
    Amphiox: Unfortunately that is exactly what it is being used for.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mermaids:_The_Body_Found

    Look, Adolf Hitler said a lot of shit about Darwin and Nietzsche’s writings to support his masturbation hysteria, and when you’ve read enough commas by Darwin and Nietzsche, you find out that Adolf was seriously full of shit. Just because people claim that a quote or two support their crap, it’s very far from making any god damnes sense. People used to burn hysterical women alive on a bonfire and blamed a super altruist called Jesus of Nazareth.
    (Granted, in that context, those Animal Planet mockumentaries are misdemeanors.)

  152. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Anthro: We do — well, the annoying amongst us :) — point out that their claims argue for human evolution convergent with cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenia.

    Come on, the internal AAH-consensus (and AAH-people disagree on a lot) argues nothing more aquatic than hippos and sea otters, at least for extant sapiens. Hippos are furless too, and otters use tools to crack clams too.

  153. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not seeing the “smoking gun” evidence from the CRANK Chris. Just imagufactured bullshit of a person who can’t consider they are full of shit….

  154. anthrosciguy says

    We do — well, the annoying amongst us :) — point out that their claims argue for human evolution convergent with cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenia.

    Come on, the internal AAH-consensus (and AAH-people disagree on a lot) argues nothing more aquatic than hippos and sea otters, at least for extant sapiens.

    Yes, that’s right, they do; sometimes even less than that. But at the same time they argue for evolution which is convergent with cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenia. So they’re arguing (using wildly inaccurate descriptions of these features) for convergence with extremely or fully aquatic mammals but with very little selection pressure. That’s all kinds of dumbassery on their part.

  155. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Is it really necessary to refute, that AAH is arguing for the existance of mermaids???

    Do you often day dream about what aquatic life was like? Imagining how these waterborne ancestral apes would live. Perhaps alongside a mer-creature of sorts.

    Have you ever thought about suiting up in one of these?

  156. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You are a crank/loon if……

    You know you are the brightest one out there, but nobody appreciates your genius

    If the idea you promote doesn’t have any real third party evidence

    If you take criticism as personal insults instead of criticism of the idea

    If asked what it would take to show your idea is wrong, you can’t/won’t supply an answer

    You promote your idea by infesting and threadjacking other peoples blogs, and not by the normal scientific methods of publishing in scientific journals and talking about your ideas at professional meetings

    You are a crank/loon if……

    You fail to consult with experts in the field, as they may refute your idea

    You think your opinion of the evidence means anything to those you are selling your idea to

    You think you must get the last word in for victory

    You don’t address solid evidence against your idea with third party scientific evidence, just your opinion of the evidence

    You avoid making any statements that you know can be refuted/falsified easily by people in the field

    You are a crank/loon if……

    You think everybody must agree with you before you move on

    You think a large volume of your opinion is better than one solid piece of evidence

    You think you are right until refuted, and will never allow yourself to be refuted

    You forget you must sell your idea through evidence, not through attitude and handwaving

    You forget the burden of evidence is upon you, and you must provide the evidence that convinces those you are trying convince

    You are a crank/loon if……

    You forget your opinion of your evidence will not be the opinion of those you are trying to convince

    You forget they must make up their minds for themselves, you can’t do that for them

    You forget citations to the scientific literature are evidence and are only refuted by more scientific evidence.

    You forget your opinion is negated by their opinion

    You haven’t sold your idea is three days, it means you need to go for the hard sell

  157. Amphiox says

    Yes, that’s right, they do; sometimes even less than that. But at the same time they argue for evolution which is convergent with cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenia. So they’re arguing (using wildly inaccurate descriptions of these features) for convergence with extremely or fully aquatic mammals but with very little selection pressure.

    It is the basic tactic of “moving the goalposts”, and it is exactly analogous to what the creationists always do.

  158. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht:

    Come on, again, that’s human activity, and humans can’t do that without that big brain, which is argued spawned by consuming seafood for at least two million years.

    But everything we do is a big-brain activity. Cultural.

    And my god, that big-brain-from-seafood argument looks so stupid when you write it like that.

    Most spearfishers I know in the Western world just venture out from their local beach, some of them shooting fish for 2-4 hours. Granted, assisted by wetsuits, but this is in temperate waters, not the tropical ones we derive from 100kya.

    I’ll give you the wetsuits, but I refuse the spearguns, and I assume they are using fins and masks. And big brains. And fish can swim in to replenish their depredation, bottom-dwellers such as shellfish are going to have to grow back, slowly.

    You can only get so much area off a linear beach. You have to double the walking to double the sustainable harvest area. Out on the savannah, you’d quadruple it.

    You mean like surfers? The sea gypsies? Spearfishers? The Ama? Any town with a public pool? Anybody with a fucking bathroom?

    Surfers are NOT subsistence-swimmers. Taking a bath is not diving for barnacles. I shower, by the way, and so do a great many people. I shower to wash off sweat, mostly. Sweat, you know, like chimps don’t have.

    As for your sea gypsies, I’ve swum in Indonesia, and even knew what Orang Laut means. Google them up, and every image shows boats, spears, goggles, stilt houses, and the text mentions barter. They aren’t aping off the shore. (I watched a vid once, and noticed the fellow was sculling with his feet by twisting them sideways—-riddle me the implications of that.)

    There are vids of monkeys splashing about, diving and swimming and foraging on the bottom, and they look just like monkeys.

    Yeah, but are any of us remotely close to the chimp, which is basically two vertical holes straight into its skull?

    I saw a young man in a diner in Nevada, Missouri, who exactly resembled a chimp about the nose—unusual, but it happened. And, me, I have problems looking at people whose noses are cute, small and uptilted enough that I can see into their nostrils—it happens a lot, and seems to be a desired feature among women (and Michael Jackson).

    Yeah, but y’all are insisting, that it’s blatant pseudoscientific to consider exactly that with these apes, that just so happens to be ourselves.

    No, we consider you and Algis to be pseudoscientific. Blatantly and wackaloon. Aquaticism isn’t even a coherent thing—-you two don’t agree with each other, and you contradict yourselves.

    Look, there are wierder things that have become science. Evolution itself, Glacial Lake Missoula, quantum, relativity, plate tectonics, and vaccination. Science isn’t locked up against new stuff, nor is it going to accept every whacked-out ape that comes squishing along. Facts, evidence and a coherent theory are favorite.

    The pseudoscience here is you. That’s why we keep saying that you are like creationists, moon hoaxers, truthers, birthers and other netnuts. YOU are like THEM. Aquaticism in itself is just some random crap.

    Come on, the internal AAH-consensus (and AAH-people disagree on a lot) argues nothing more aquatic than hippos and sea otters, at least for extant sapiens. Hippos are furless too, and otters use tools to crack clams too..

    Why do AAH people disagree on a lot? Where’s your fact base? Where’s your evidence?

    Otters use tools to crack open a meal. Humans use tools to crack open a small mouthful—it doesn’t pay, especially when you have to swim out and back with a handful. Walking around with a tool and a basket, then dumping the clams on a fire, that works. But when it comes to walking through mud, and digging by hand, a chimp would do better.

  159. ChasCPeterson says

    My ultimate ambition, should I ever reach a stage in life in which I can ‘retire’, is to become a full-time beach-hippy.
    Naturalistic fallacy?

    dessication

    The word is ‘desiccation’.
    One ‘s’.
    Two ‘c’s.

    Want to be taken seriously?

  160. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Hippos are furless

    So are elephants and rhinos.

  161. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, this whole thread reminds me of Mythmusmage and another wackaloon trying to convince me that the Patterson Tape of Bigfoot was conclusive evidence of bigfoot’s existence, never mind some severe problems with timelines, earth dampness, receipts for an ape suit, and the admission by a participant it was faked *mentioned in the article*. From the first post, the evidence needed to convince me was transmitted to the TrueBeliever™s, and they never tried to go there. The evidence was simple: 1) captured animal; 2) killed animal; 3) reasonably complete skeleton with DNA. Those would be conclusive. Lesser suggestive evidence would be 4) hair with DNA tags, and 5) skat with DNA.

    The evidence the soggy ape TrueBelievers keep presenting is at best a 5. Nothing the equivalent of the animal, alive, dead, or as a fresh skeleton. Until you can present the equivalent of the live animal, nothing you say or present is going to change my mind. You either hit my bar for evidence, or you back out of the discussion, as you know you have nothing to say. The trouble is TrueBeliever’s can’t put up, and can’t shut up, confirming they are nothing but liars and bullshitters. Gentle, get out of the liar and bullshitter category. Shut the fuck up until you have the equivalent of the live animal. Which means field work and a few years down the road.

  162. ChasCPeterson says

    Jimi and Ethel are no doubt jamming together even now in the afterlife.
    Art Tatum on keys and Sid Catlett on drums because why not?

  163. Amphiox says

    We need to attract some BAND people onto this thread, so we can compare which version of pseudoscience, the AATer or the BANDits, are more like creationists.

  164. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    BAND of Brothers. The guys who fought at Agincourt.

  165. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Birds Are Not Dinosaurs?

    Like this? http://www.icr.org/article/2902/ “Again and again, scientists find that dinosaurs were in fact, a unique group of reptiles, not truly like modern lizards and not bird-like either, but indeed one of God’s marvels of creation.”

    Waugh.

  166. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Here’s a thought about habitat area, based on something I’ve mentioned earlier, about walking up and down the coast covering less area than walking around in the savanna. Numbers are from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Africa

    The total length of African coast-line is 26,000 km (16,000 mi).

    Assuming that all that is beach-ape worthy and that they can utilize a kilometer-wide strip, we get a habitat area of 26,000 km2.

    The land area of Africa (Wikipedia includes adjacent islands) is.30,368,609 km2 (11,725,385 sq mi).

    Assuming all that is plains-ape worthy, we get 1,170 times as much savannah area for our proto-humans to frolic about in, than beachfront properties. (Yeah, the savanna hadn’t formed yet, but neither had the Sahara.)

    And, as I said earlier, it’s a lot shorter walk going cross-country. As illustration, the furthest you could possibly have to walk to an unclaimed bit of African land is approximately of 8,000 km (5,000 mi). But if you are jostling for the last bit of beach, you might have to walk 13,000 km (8,000 mi) along the shore..(Assuming you knew where you were going, of course, in both cases.) Being able to walk in any direction opens up twice the area as being constrained to a corridor..

    Make any assumptions you want, and pick out any area of Africa, and there is simply much less coast than there is inland territory. And for a walking ape, there is less coastal area within a day’s walk than there is of savannah.

    BTW, Africa has a pretty regular shape and straight coasts, and winds up with less coastline than little old Europe. (They shoulda let Slartibartfast put in some fjords.)

  167. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    If a walking/wading/swimming ape is confined to the beach, by his little sand-adapted feet, the need for micro-nutrients or the inability to swim across a rushing freshwater river or around vertical cliffs or through sharks, he’s going to be fucked sooner or later. If he gets to the mouth of the Congo River, he’s boned. If he sees the Cliffs of Insanity, he’s inconceivably hosed. If there’s a red tide, he might as well be in Alabama.He’s got no options but to stay there or go back.

    Any break in the beach-ape shoreline habitat is a one-way ticket. (No, I don’t know what the problems are, because nobody knows how a beach ape lives. Maybe it’s just some asshole apes who fenced off their beach club.)

    A savanna-land ape, on the other hand, can go around a problem, one way or another. A pride of lions? Outflank the bastards. A cliff? Walk along it, walk back from it.The Congo River? Walk up to the headwaters and piss across it.

    Again, there are a lot of assumptions that can be made. Generally, though, the constraints are on the beach ape.

    If he needs seafood, he’s in a linear habitat. If he isn’t Superman, he’s going to find his linear habitat comes to an end, somewhere up and down the line.

  168. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Chris: Hippos are furless
    Menyambal: So are elephants and rhinos.

    Which are argued, by paleontology independent of any aquatic ape “lunatics”, to have semiaquatic ancestors, for elephants e.g. Moeritherium and Arsinotherium, and for rhinos the group Amynodontidae, e.g. the hippo-like Metamynodon. Which would mean, that humans would not be the only mammal taxa to have an aquatic “U-turn” during evolution. So you have convergence on that part, too. And that makes sense, coupling this with the geological calendar, because wetlands come and go with about the same pace as the ice ages. The Sahara pump theory indicates that Sahara has had a multitude of wetlands at various time frames, e.g. with Lake Megachad around the time of Toumaï, and also almost in historical times (e.g. “the 5.9 kiloyear event”).

    Menyambal: Make any assumptions you want, and pick out any area of Africa, and there is simply much less coast than there is inland territory. And for a walking ape, there is less coastal area within a day’s walk than there is of savannah.

    What the hell’s that got to do with it? There’s also a lot of grasslands in Asia, and we don’t exactly live there today, do we? There’s a buck load of mountain ranges and woodlands in the world, we don’t live their in drowes, either. Check a world map of our population density, and you’ll see, that also today we clutter around river, lake and sea coastlines, in particular in India and China:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b9/Population_density_with_key.png/1024px-Population_density_with_key.png

    Menyambal: Again, there are a lot of assumptions that can be made. Generally, though, the constraints are on the beach ape.

    I think the main constraint is, that we can’t discover new things about ourselves without stampeding straight into collective hysteria. Otherwise, this idea is a no brainer at this point, as much as the theory of the heliocentric near-universe or the theory of evolution.

  169. algiskuliukas says

    Ok… about those “isotope ratios” David thinks I’ve been evading.

    85 Amphiox

    Paleontologists have recovered fossils even from underwater sites. If you believe in your hypothesis then commit the resources and do the work. With a far scarcer fossil record dinosaur paleontologist were able to show that Spinosaurus ate primarily fish and not other terrestrial dinos, from isotope ratios in their fossils. Show us the same sort of evidence for A. afarensis or anamensis or africanus or sediba.

    Also explain A. sediba’s obvious arboreal adaptions in light of an aquatic rather than arboreal ancestor.

    Bit of a problem there with “Commit the resources and do the work”. Catch 22 of sneering.

    No one, to my knowledge, is suggesting that any of those hominins ate “primarily fish”.

    My model (RiverApes… Coastal People) has them in seasonally flooded gallery forest habitats eating similar foods to their ancestors with the addition of some waterside sedges and some aquatic fauna.

    392 Amphiox

    Of course they never do any such thing.

    No “they” don’t. When was it decides that real anthropologists don’t do the “water” thing? Why haven;t any mainstream anthros done that? Too crazy, right?

    398 Owlmirror

    Thanks.

    Early hominin diet included diverse terrestrial and aquatic animals 1.95 Ma in East Turkana, Kenya.

    Braun et al (2010) research supports more aquatic fauna in the diet of early Homo through isotopic evidence.

    Ok, that was all on page 1 of the thread. One “isotope” paper so far – and it was in support of more aquatic ancestry.

    Onto page 2 …

    398 Owlmirror
    964 David Marjanovic

    Oh, for instance in every single comment you’ve written since I linked to the four papers on isotope ratios

    Sorry, David. I must have missed it. Please could you provide explicit links (4th time of asking) so I can give my side of the argument against you r slur of evading the “isotope” evidence.

    Then, let’s move onto your other accusations.

    Algis Kuliukas

  170. Michael Clark says

    Oh, I’d have to agree with Chris at this point, it certainly is a no brainer. Here we are, years later, and the wet apes continue to drag out long-discredited talking points. And where are the rebuttals? Why they’re all over the place –unread and ignored.

  171. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1037

    But, no Chris, it was not water bodies. 13C/12C ratio informs about the ratio of tree cover to grassland.

    Funny how the taphony argument is used against the ‘more aquatic’ argument when it suits – after all all fossils are always found by waterside. But when that very argument is used for the idea, suddenly the rules change again.

    As Dennett said – thin and ad hoc.

    Algis Kuliukas

  172. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still ignoring the solid scientific rebuttals of the soggy ape fuckwittery ungentlemen. You have nothing but attitude, more attitude, and even more attitude, but NO EVIDENCE.

    SO NO SALE.

  173. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1083 David Marjanovic

    Unfortunately, various ugly facts have slain all these beautiful hypotheses.

    Ok, maybe Chris was a little “OTT” is his support of the idea, but you are equally OTT here in your dismisal.

    Please cite those “ugly facts” – backed with citations from the literature, of course – that has “slain” this idea.

    What? You mean John Langdon’s paper? You hadn’t even heard of him two weeks ago!

    Fresh kook equals boost in commenting rate!

    Nice slur. Great demonstration of impartiality.

    …it’s an astoundingly small number. My first paper alone, published only in 2007, has been cited about 100 times so far

    Nice slur-boast. Well done.

    You might have noticed that the idea has a ridiculous controversy/hostility surrounding it. I’d like to see you get a paper published in a journal where you were not in bed with the mainstream paradigm.

    …why don’t the two of you have the kookfight we’ve been waiting for? … Go! Go! Go!

    Intelligent post. Thanks. Some of us can show two-way critical thinking on this without worrying that out credibility will be permanently damaged.

    Translation: “I’m too lazy …

    How lazy were you not to have done even enough reading on this subject you seem to think you have the authority to lecture some of us about, to know who John Langdon was, what the Hylobation model of bipedal origins was, or that Philip Tobias had died?

    What I chastise you for is that you try to discuss people instead of hypotheses…

    And yet you do not criticise those here that do that to me. e.g. PZ Myers!!

    Biased hypocrite.

    I try to talk about the percentage of C4 plants our ancestors ate, and you try to talk about how Jim Moore once was a car mechanic instead. See, that’s what I chastise you for.

    Rubbish. I have asked you four times where you think I have evaded any such “talk”. You still haven”t pointed me to one.

    C4 plants? You think that’s a show stopper? Blimey. You really don’t know much at all, do you. Here’s one of several papers that suggest that some C4 foods might have been wetland sedges.

    Peters, Charles R; Vogel, John C (2005). Africa’s wild C4 plant foods and possible early hominid diets. Journal of Human Evolution Vol:48 Pages:219-236

    I have not made arguments from authority…

    Yes you have: Sneering (just above) about how the lack of citations of N & H.

    I do belittle your *giggle* “scholarly” cargo-cult book.

    Have you read it? No, didn’t think so.

    All your bluster about content and evidence being more important than personal opinion – in the bin,

    you have never commented on the isotope ratios at all

    I didn’t realise I was being asked to do so. Wetland sedges are just as likely (if not more) a source of that as anything else.

    you never commented on sweat glands again after it was pointed out that they’re at best useless if you can just take a dip (…actually, in a freshwater environment, they’re worse than useless, because they make you lose salt, and in a marine environment, they’re also worse than useless, because they make you lose water);

    What? How can sweat cooling be seeen as bad if you live close to permanent water courses wheer you could replenish the water thrown away for a few seconds of thermoregulation?

    – you never commented on chimp feet after Menyambal and I pointed out that they’re better suited to swimming and wading (respectively) than human feet are;

    Oh you and Menyabal pointed it out, did you? On what basis? Have you got any citations to back this up – or is it just your fanciful opinion?

    you never tried to demonstrate that lips large enough to cover the nostrils are ancestral for humans

    Scraping the barrel, or what?

    you keep mixing up brachiation and vertical climbing in general, you keep ignoring orang-utans

    Humans did not evolve from gibbons. We evolved, apparently, from vertically climbing great apes. I do not ignore orang utans. I’ve been to see them at Perth zoo many times. I went to Borneo to see them. I love orang utans

    you’ve never commented on the last time I counted steps

    Aw. Sorry you think that, David. So did you count two or three?

    BFD

    What do you think of those papers? Have you read them yet?

    Again…. which papers?

    Take all the time you need to read them.

    Arrogant and patronising.

    These people think they can lecture those of us who have taken this idea seriosuly for years. David you didn’t even know who John Langdon was, what the Hylobatian idea was or that Philip Tobias was no longer with us.

    Why don’t you go away and do some reading?

    1084 David Marjanovic

    If embarrassment were painful, he’d be writhing on the floor now.

    I’ve answered all your “evasions” – the ones I could find something on, anyway.

    Your ignorance on this subject – whilst pretending to be some authority – should be more embarassing.

    1097 David Marjanovic

    so how is it possible you don’t know which reviewers you sent the manuscripts to!?!?!

    That was the publishers’ job. Nothing to do with me, I was only a junior editor.

    Why are you not critical about Jim Moore’s web site – where he gets to write whatver he likes without the slightest hint of peer review or criticism.

    you’ve confused vertical climbing in general with brachiation

    Climbing down from trees – or combing down from brachiating – you do that feet first by definition – not a problem.

    Climbing into water from steeep banks (according only to Jim Moore) making it more likely to move feet first – show stopper (according to Jim Moore.)

    Unsurprisingly, you swallow it without a hint of critical thought.

    ..is simply irrelevant to this discussion, so I don’t bother checking it. Why would I?

    Oh it’s relevant. As I reminded you (but you ignored) the whole thread is about the “Response” to the “aquatic ape”.

    You don’t bother checking it because you seem to think you must agree with everything he wtites . You are simply biased.

    Ok… I’ve read and answered all you posts and found them wanting.

    Algis Kuliukas

  174. algiskuliukas says

    Can I just say I think that Chas is by far the best poster here. The one guy who has shown the slightest inclination toward even handedness. He’s also smart yet modest and quite funny too.

    (Sorry Chas, I hope the aquaskeptic gang don’t now tar wou with our brush. It’s certainly not my desire.)

    Algis

  175. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    When are you pair of TrueBelievers™ going to let us make up minds based on the overall evidence? You must bully us and keep in our faces as you have nothing but blather, and must baffle with bullshit. Try a new tactic. SHUT UP, AND LET US MAKE UP OUR OWN MINDS. NO SALE WITH YOUR PRESENT TACTICS, SO CHANGE YOUR TACTICS.

  176. algiskuliukas says

    Brilliant, “Nerd”. I can’t believe it took you all of 17 minutes to post one of your “TRUE BELIEVER” posts in reply, though.

    Has it ever occurred to you that you might be coming across a even a little more fantical than I am?

    It’s interesting to note that David and the “sciency” types that are so keen on evidence etc never criticise this guy!

    Algis

  177. anthrosciguy says

    semiaquatic ancestors, for elephants e.g. Moeritherium and Arsinotherium, and for rhinos the group Amynodontidae,

    You are not descended from your uncle. The groups you name do not have living descendants; they are not the direct ancestors of any living animal.

    Note to others: this is the standard of AAT evidence in general. Elaine Morgan, for instance, made this claim many times, even in her latest book in 2008 and her 2009 TED talk. And that they continued to make this claim after being corrected on the matter is what makes the AAT pseudoscience.

  178. anthrosciguy says

    It’s interesting to note that David and the “sciency” types that are so keen on evidence etc never criticise this guy!

    Algis

    As DavidM has said, what info is he bringing that needs criticizing? Seems to me there’s a distinct lack of info there, so who cares?

  179. ohsu says

    Algis’s sweat-cooling argument is easily his stupidest argument. And while the stupidity of it has been explained to him dozens of times, he doesn’t show the tiniest glimmer of understanding.

    Here is his sweat cooling argument as taken from his website:

    The Dip-Sweat Cooling Hypothesis:

    The hypothesis that the sweat-cooling thermoregulatory response to overheating seen in humans is a water-side adaptation which evolved as an adjunct to the far more efficient method of cooling of simply going for a dip in near-by bodies of water.

    So, this is Algis’s argument.

    1. Dip-cooling is far more efficient than sweating.
    2. Our ancestors lived in and around water, which means they could dip cool at any time.
    3. Therefore they evolved the far more costly and inefficient method of sweat cooling.

    Now, Algis cannot be made to see how this makes no sense. No amount of patient explanation can get him to grasp that if they dip cooled then they wouldn’t need to sweat. And if they didn’t need to sweat, then they wouldn’t evolve sweating.

    Algis has two responses to this.

    1) They evolved sweating as an “adjunct” to dip cooling. HAHAHAHAHA!! WTF?! This “adjunct” theory suffers from the same appalling lack of logic. If dip cooling is efficient, and if they lived in and around water, they would not need to sweat, even as an “adjunct”.

    2) Since sweating depletes you of water, you have to drink a lot of water if you’re sweating a lot. This second point is perfectly true. The problem for the AAT is that DRINKING water is not the same thing as WADING IN IT. The fact that human ancestors drank water, is not evidence for the proposition that they waded in it.

    The real logic of sweat cooling goes like this:

    Dip cooling is indeed more efficient than sweating. If we had dip cooled we wouldn’t have needed to sweat. Since we sweat, you can be damn sure we didn’t dip cool.

  180. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Nerd? Why should anybody criticize Nerd? It’s a public forum, he’s posting his opinion. He also happens to be factually accurate about True Believers and lack of evidence. (He can also put a little TM after “TrueBeliever”, so he’s got some skill.See? “TrueBelievers™”. Class!)

    My opinion is that he’s completely wasting his time, but aren’t we all?

    He doesn’t post comments like I post comments, but I’d have to be a horrible egotist to fault him for not being just like me.

    I like the energy he puts through in his comments.

    He’s like a jazz trumpet riffing through this muttering mob.

  181. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Ohsu, you might add that if ape-men are sweating in addition to their dip cooling, they are drinking and processing more water and parasites than if not sweating.

    Plus, they are re-drinking the gick that came off in the sweat Unless, of course, they are smart enough to go drink somewhere they aren’t dipping, and have the time, and the water.

    I’ll say it again: Sweat-cooling in a humid and windless environment is a complete waste of time. Worse than useless. A dangerous pain. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

    Show me that humans have something that routes blood to the surface of the legs for cooling in a wading environment, and I’ll take that as evidence for the sloshing apes.

  182. vaiyt says

    It’s interesting to note that David and the “sciency” types that are so keen on evidence etc never criticise this guy!

    While we’re willing to indulge your arguments for the sake of exposing them for the vacuous bullshit they are, Nerd is constantly reminding everyone that you fail the most basic requirement to even be remotely considered scientific.

  183. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Christian, thanks for the population density map. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b9/Population_density_with_key.png/1024px-Population_density_with_key.png

    Now, go back and look at it. Carefully. Trace out all the rivers by the populations wading along them.

    Can you even see any river but the lower Nile? No, you can’t.

    There’s the Ganges plain, if you know there’s a river in there, and the Bangladeshi deltas. But the Bangla area is an artificial gathering of people caused by the breakup of British India, and they keep drowning and dying there—it isn’t a stable, long-term life, it’s a recurring disaster.The Ganges area looks more like people just wanting to get as far north in the flatlands as they can, than like living on the banks of a river.

    We need water for our crops and to drink, and we use water for transport, so yeah, there’s some water bias in our population. But some bias is against water. Look ye …

    London was located at the lowest ford across the Thames. People were trying to get around and across all that fucking, annoying water, and London was the place to do it. We name places for that: Oxford, Chelmsford, Henry Ford, Cambridge .. the fucking pope is the fucking “pontiff”, for Christ’s sake.

    London was also the last place up the River Thames that ships could get to. Ocean traffic has been vital for much of our city-building life. We build cities around harbors, and the best harbors are river mouths. Portsmouth, Plymouth, Dartmouth.

    We move stuff up and down those rivers, because floating is easy (we don’t fucking wade stuff up and down the damn rivers, do we?). Where rivers meet, we sort and trade the stuff we are shipping. St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago.

    When we build along water, we do not, we most emphatically do not, carefully preserve all the nice, oozy, mucky parts of the waterside so we can go wade a-fucking-round and gather snails. We channel the fuck out of the river, we nail it down, we bridge it over and then we shit in it.

  184. David Marjanović says

    People, would you please stop using the made-up name “Homo denisova”? I finally bothered looking it up: the single finger bone is not diagnostic ( = you can’t tell it apart from other humans by looking at it) and has therefore not been named.

    the great Toba bottleneck ca. 70000 years ago

    :-) You, too, should have a look at page 1 of this thread. Toba can’t have had anything to do with that bottleneck.

    50 feet, each and every one of you.

    I once dove to 3 m. I couldn’t go farther because the pressure was just too much.

    50 ft is over 15 m – five times as much.

    I’m untrained, I’m not saying no amount of training could get me there; but if I’m adapted to that shit, why do I suck at it so much?

    What the hell is a better factor to compare aquatic abilities between species?

    …FFS.

    Length of time able to spend underwater? Ability to give birth underwater? Ability to spend lots of time in the water, eat there, escape predators there?

    Once you go below the trivial, depth of diving is like the distance you can piss. It’s a massively useless benchmark.

    As if hippos had the slightest reason to dive thirty meters deep!

    What about otters? Why would they go thirty, or 100 meters deep?

    Because there’s food down there (sea urchins, cucumbers & stars). Why would a hippo dive to the lightless depth of 30 m in a murky river?

    Have you ever thought this through?

    It’s been done, dude:
    […]

    I know. It’s not surprising that a dozen people out of 7.1 billion are extreme athletes that can collapse their lungs and live to tell the tale.

    And to repeat myself from another thread: SHOW ME A CHIMP THAT CAN DO THAT, MOTHER FUCKERS!

    Show me a chimp that has tried, motherfucker. Show me a chimp with comparable motivation and training.

    On the “extreme athletes” part, though, you’re out of luck. There have never been seven billion chimps. Probably not even seven million at the same time.

    And because bipedalism can be argued to be evident already in Toumaï 7mya (terrestrial or aquatic), and at least in Ardi 4.4mya, then hominins would’ve been wading (and therefore be aquatic) for that long. So all hominins would be eligable to consider as semiaquatics

    Go back to page 2 and read up on gibbons, orang-utans, Afropithecus, Pierolapithecus and, yes, Oreopithecus

    Bipedality is ancestral for hominoids, knuckle-walking and fist-walking are derived.

    Marc Verhaegen argues, that Homo erectus was the most aquatic of hominins, which he bases on thicker bones in Homo erectus than modern sapiens (calls it “pachyosteosclerosis”), which he says has precedence in the evolution of whales from land forms to aquatic forms.

    Osteosclerosis and pachyosteosclerosis (I forgot if pachyostosis ever occurs without osteosclerosis) is very common in tetrapods that spend lots of time underwater but don’t go so deep as to collapse their lungs*. It serves as passive buoyancy control. Hippos, as mentioned, are osteosclerotic, as are various semiaquatic amphibians; placoderms, pachypleurosaurs, early whales, and extant sea cows are pachyosteosclerotic. Sea cows have banana-shaped ribs, that’s the “pachy-” part.

    Homo erectus remotely pachyosteosclerotic? That I want to see. At least the pachy- part can’t be true, or somebody would have noticed long ago!

    * Those animals, like ichthyosaurs and extant cetaceans, are osteoporotic instead. Their buoyancy control is active and dynamic.

    Yeah, and here he freedives: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q916J6rzqno

    Have you noticed, how Cooper has to hold a hand over his nose, because he hasn’t got that hooded nose from evolution to keep water out of his cranial cavities?

    And ONE CLICK AWAY from this video, there’s an orang-utan diving with NOTHING over his nose!

    Can you hear me laughing at your evident inability to glance slightly to the right, at the list of suggested videos? Can you hear me?

    You just performed the biggest faceplant since the creationist who effectively didn’t know the sun exists! :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    (Besides, in humans, diving without holding one’s nose isn’t exactly instinctive. It has to be trained. I still can’t do it; I like diving, but I have a very strong reaction to water in my nasal cavity, even if it just gets in 1 mm deep. I wonder if that’s related to my ability to smell extremely humid air… but I digress.)

    Oldest kitchen middens I know of is 164kya, in the dawn of sapiens:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17943129
    Other such remains would have been lost by time.

    Oh, would they. How convenient. Please explain at which age you’d expect no more middens to remain, and why.

    So much to reply to…. (especially David’s claim that I’ve been evading stuff like the C4 grass thingy) … so little time.

    As I keep saying, do take your time. If you don’t have time to reply now, then don’t reply now – reply on the weekend, or the next weekend, or whenever! We can wait.

    otters use tools to crack clams too

    *eyeroll*

    Tool use. You really are stuck in the 1950s.

    Chimpanzees make spears and use them to hunt! And that was published six years ago.

    Birds Are Not Dinosaurs

    Worse. The button Storrs “BAND leader” Olson and the other BANDits wore at the SAPE* meeting of 1996 read: “Birds Are NOT Dinosaurs!”. All capitals and the exclamation mark in the original.

    * Society of Avian Palaeontology and Evolution.

    Feduccia is not a creationist, but the creationist certainly love to quote-mine him.

    His argumentation style becomes more and more like that of a creationist over the decades, too. The important thing you need to know to understand him is that he’s not interested in dinosaurs other than modern birds, so he doesn’t follow the literature about them, but makes grandiose pronouncements about them anyway… so he ends up spewing stuff like aquatic hadrosaurs that everyone in that field gave up forty years ago. It’s getting more embarrassing every year.

    he’s going to be fucked sooner or later. […] he’s boned. […] he’s inconceivably hosed. […] he might as well be in Alabama.

    …I just love this progression.

    I’ve visited Alabama. :-)

    I can’t stop laughing…

    Which are argued, by paleontology independent of any aquatic ape “lunatics”, to have semiaquatic ancestors, for elephants e.g. Moeritherium and Arsinotherium, and for rhinos the group Amynodontidae, e.g. the hippo-like Metamynodon.

    Uh, elephants may well have semiaquatic ancestry, but Arsinoitherium is not a proboscidean, and I’m not aware of evidence it was semiaquatic. For rhinos, do keep in mind that Amynodontidae is a clade that does not contain Rhinocerotidae; by far the most parsimonious assumption is that the apparent semiaquatic lifestyle of Amynodontidae (and of Teleoceras within Rhinocerotidae) is derived, not ancestral. Comment 1200 is right.

    Really, read page 1 of this thread!

    Check a world map of our population density, and you’ll see, that also today we clutter around river, lake and sea coastlines, in particular in India and China:

    That has painfully obvious agricultural reasons.

    Please.

    (Plus, comment 1207.)

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    Algis! Read the following!

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    Oh, for instance in every single comment you’ve written since I linked to the four papers on isotope ratios

    Sorry, David. I must have missed it. Please could you provide explicit links (4th time of asking) so I can give my side of the argument against you r slur of evading the “isotope” evidence.

    I provided all four links in comment 559, with a short correction in 561.

    You replied in comment 560, in a way that clearly shows you hadn’t followed any of the links.

    I called you out on this in comment 593.

    You asked in comment 623: “Which post did you put “the four links in”? Must have missed it.”

    I replied in comment 634: “559. You didn’t miss it – you even responded to it. You just did so without following any of the links.

    (I apologize again for mentioning “seafood”. I corrected that in 561, a comment you also replied to.)”

    In comment 642, you replied to a few cherries picked from 634 – without mentioning 559 or the links in it.

    Ever since, the crickets have been chirping.

    Here, have a fifth link that provides isotope ratios from extant savanna chimps and baboons for comparison with the other four papers.

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    But, no Chris, it was not water bodies. 13C/12C ratio informs about the ratio of tree cover to grassland.

    Funny how the taphony argument is used against the ‘more aquatic’ argument when it suits – after all all fossils are always found by waterside.

    Work on your reading comprehension. The taphonomy of most sites is never used to argue against waterside hypotheses; we merely point out that it can’t be used to argue for them.

    Besides, the fossils are not found “by waterside”. They’re found in water-deposited sediments.

    The ones that aren’t are found in cave sediments and other fissure fillings.

    But when that very argument is used for the idea, suddenly the rules change again.

    I don’t understand what you’re talking about.

    Please cite those “ugly facts” – backed with citations from the literature, of course – that has “slain” this idea.

    I’m not going to copy & paste this entire thread into this comment. It’s really long enough already, LOL.

    What? You mean John Langdon’s paper?

    What? Why would I mean it when I haven’t read it???

    Fresh kook equals boost in commenting rate!

    Nice slur. Great demonstration of impartiality.

    Impartiality?

    No, I am not an American journalist who believes there are exactly two sides to every question and that his duty is to report on those two sides at equal length, ignoring the very question if evidence exists that could decide it. Being a scientist, I take a side, the side of the evidence; doing that forces me to conclude that Chris and you are kooks.

    Nice slur-boast. Well done.

    Oh, I wasn’t trying to boast; sorry for not making that clearer. I was, to the contrary, trying to express surprise that an entire journal could get so few citations – especially because human nutrition & health is a field with lots of interest and billions of dollars in it, while the origin of Lissamphibia is not!

    You might have noticed that the idea has a ridiculous controversy/hostility surrounding it. I’d like to see you get a paper published in a journal where you were not in bed with the mainstream paradigm.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Oh, man. :-D

    What has made the paper so highly cited is the fact that, using two independent methods, it finds different results from all previous attempts at dating the origin of Lissamphibia: this clade is about forty million years younger than people used to think.

    Parroting textbook wisdom doesn’t get you citations. In most journals it doesn’t even get you published in the first place, because the editors will say “too boring”, “not groundbreaking enough”.

    BTW, this young date for Lissamphibia has implications for its phylogenetic relationships. That’s a field where there are three mainstream paradigms; the paper comes down firmly against one of them. Controversy makes a paper more, not less, cited – it’s really funny that I need to explain this again. :-)

    …why don’t the two of you have the kookfight we’ve been waiting for? … Go! Go! Go!

    Intelligent post. Thanks. Some of us can show two-way critical thinking on this without worrying that out credibility will be permanently damaged.

    So… you will not contradict anything Chris posts? Is that what you mean? :-)

    Translation: “I’m too lazy …

    How lazy were you

    So maybe I was. That wouldn’t make you not lazy. Tu quoque remains a logical fallacy. :-|

    not to have done even enough reading on this subject you seem to think you have the authority to lecture some of us about, to know who John Langdon was, what the Hylobation model of bipedal origins was, or that Philip Tobias had died?

    To do science, I don’t need to know the history of science. I need to know the evidence, not who discovered it or when, and the arguments, not who first came up with them or when.

    What I chastise you for is that you try to discuss people instead of hypotheses…

    And yet you do not criticise those here that do that to me. e.g. PZ Myers!!

    ~:-|

    PZ isn’t trying to discuss anything in this thread or the OP (unless you count the very short comment 978). I’m really baffled that you haven’t noticed. He’s not discussing, he’s mocking; he’s insulting you, not discussing you; his insults (“loon” in 292, “kook” in 479 and possibly 224, “wanker” in 935, and… I can’t find any others) are intended as conclusions, not as arguments.

    “Algis is a kook, therefore the AAH must be wrong” would be an argumentum ad hominem; if PZ had committed any such logical fallacy, I’d call him out on it immediately. He just hasn’t.

    :-|

    I have not made arguments from authority…

    Yes you have: Sneering (just above) about how the lack of citations of N & H.

    ~:-|

    what

    …I guess you could construe that as an argumentum ad hominem, if you count the journal as a homo; ad hominem (“X says it so it’s probably wrong”) is the other side of the medal of ad verecundiam = from authority (“X says it so it’s probably true”). I didn’t intend to make any such argument, however; I wasn’t saying it must be crap because people don’t cite it. I was continuing to express surprise that Tobias and you chose this journal, which – evidently – hardly anybody reads, instead of one that would really bring his ideas to public attention. Why would anyone not disseminate their science as widely as possible?

    Was Tobias perhaps trying to escape peer review by independent reviewers?

    Were you?

    I do belittle your *giggle* “scholarly” cargo-cult book.

    Have you read it? No, didn’t think so.

    Oh, I have read a good part of it, because Marcel Williams was so proud of his chapter. It’s all on page 1 of this thread!

    you have never commented on the isotope ratios at all

    I didn’t realise I was being asked to do so.

    …Why else would I bring them up? To fill space? ~:-|

    (…actually, in a freshwater environment, they’re worse than useless, because they make you lose salt, and in a marine environment, they’re also worse than useless, because they make you lose water);

    What? How can sweat cooling be seeen as bad if you live close to permanent water courses wheer you could replenish the water thrown away for a few seconds of thermoregulation?

    Shall I insult your reading comprehension again?

    If you live next to freshwater, sweating is bad because you lose salt (as you quote), and salt is a bit hard to get in that environment. Eating vertebrates (terrestrial or aquatic ones) will help, but eating mollusks emphatically will not. Freshwater clams are incredibly dilute animals.

    If you live next to the sea, sweating is bad because you lose water, and you can’t drink seawater.

    And I didn’t even think of the good point in comment 1205.

    Oh you and Menyabal pointed it out, did you? On what basis?

    On the basis of comparing them to human feet, to the feet of wading birds, to flippers…

    Have you got any citations to back this up – or is it just your fanciful opinion?

    It’s a testable hypothesis. Test it.

    you never tried to demonstrate that lips large enough to cover the nostrils are ancestral for humans

    Scraping the barrel, or what?

    What in the fuck?

    You brought up the fact that at least some people can close their nostrils with their upper lip. I replied that at least some people can’t. Well, if the ability is ancestral and some of us have lost it, that’s perfectly compatible with waterside hypotheses. If, on the other hand, the ability is derived within terrestrial humans, it doesn’t argue for any waterside hypothesis that requires any diving noticeable by natural selection.

    …Oh. Is this another case where I had to walk you through the implications of your own hypotheses?

    you keep mixing up brachiation and vertical climbing in general, you keep ignoring orang-utans

    Humans did not evolve from gibbons.

    Indeed not. Both humans and gibbons evolved from a brachiating common ancestor.

    I do not ignore orang utans. I’ve been to see them at Perth zoo many times. I went to Borneo to see them. I love orang utans

    …but you never mention that they walk bipedally, with extended knees and hips, pretty often. I had to bring that up (several times in the case of bipedality in general).

    Aw. Sorry you think that, David. So did you count two or three?

    Why don’t you look it up instead of mocking basic science theory?

    Take all the time you need to read them.

    Arrogant and patronising.

    I fail to see how it’s arrogant or patronising when I tell you I do not demand an answer to everything right now.

    These people think they can lecture those of us who have taken this idea seriosuly for years.

    Aaaaaaaaand another argument from authority – from your own authority.

    Your ignorance on this subject – whilst pretending to be some authority –

    …It’s really… telling that you believe I’m pretending to be an authority on paleanthropology. I’ve even spelled the obvious out and explicitly said I’m not trying to do that several times.

    Pointing out that you’re wrong doesn’t in any way, shape or form equal or imply pretending to be an authority on anything. I’m not the one who makes arguments from his own authority here!

    so how is it possible you don’t know which reviewers you sent the manuscripts to!?!?!

    That was the publishers’ job.

    That’s weird.

    Why are you not critical about Jim Moore’s web site – where he gets to write whatver he likes without the slightest hint of peer review or criticism.

    *eyeroll* He doesn’t pretend that his site is peer-reviewed, so I don’t need to show that it isn’t, and he doesn’t need to try to show that it is.

    Nice try at changing the topic by making yet another tu quoque argument!

    I criticize the arguments he makes here. See the bottom of comment 1111.

    Climbing into water from steeep banks (according only to Jim Moore) making it more likely to move feet first – show stopper (according to Jim Moore.)

    Unsurprisingly, you swallow it without a hint of critical thought.

    …No, I don’t swallow that. I haven’t engaged with that argument at all. ~:-|

    I will now, though: 1) this only works if so many banks are steep that the ability to climb down them becomes selected for; 2) it’s plain unnecessary because the animals in question are already bipedal.

    Oh it’s relevant. As I reminded you (but you ignored) the whole thread is about the “Response” to the “aquatic ape”.

    *slow headshake*

    Chas is […] The one guy who has shown the slightest inclination toward even handedness.

    By what criterion?

    It’s interesting to note that David and the “sciency” types that are so keen on evidence etc never criticise this guy!

    LOL. It’s true, we don’t criticise him very often, because we’re used to how repetitive he is and how often he has knee-jerk reactions to keywords instead of considering the context. But perhaps you might like to check out the ends of comments 1024 and 1028.

    Show me that humans have something that routes blood to the surface of the legs for cooling in a wading environment

    We do route blood to the surface in general for cooling.

  185. ohsu says

    Chimps live near water, too. So do Gorillas. So do orangutans. So do giraffes, hyenas, jackals, and everything else.

    There is nothing remarkable about humans living NEAR water. This is not evidence that we evolved IN water.

  186. David Marjanović says

    Oh. I have a comment in moderation because it has 7 links instead of the allowed 5 or 6. It also had a borkquote right at the beginning. And it was extremely long. I’ll send it again in 2 parts; if PZ approves the original, all comment numbers from 1208 on will shift.

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    Part 1 of 1

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    People, would you please stop using the made-up name “Homo denisova”? I finally bothered looking it up: the single finger bone is not diagnostic ( = you can’t tell it apart from other humans by looking at it) and has therefore not been named.

    the great Toba bottleneck ca. 70000 years ago

    :-) You, too, should have a look at page 1 of this thread. Toba can’t have had anything to do with that bottleneck.

    50 feet, each and every one of you.

    I once dove to 3 m. I couldn’t go farther because the pressure was just too much.

    50 ft is over 15 m – five times as much.

    I’m untrained, I’m not saying no amount of training could get me there; but if I’m adapted to that shit, why do I suck at it so much?

    What the hell is a better factor to compare aquatic abilities between species?

    …FFS.

    Length of time able to spend underwater? Ability to give birth underwater? Ability to spend lots of time in the water, eat there, escape predators there?

    Once you go below the trivial, depth of diving is like the distance you can piss. It’s a massively useless benchmark.

    As if hippos had the slightest reason to dive thirty meters deep!

    What about otters? Why would they go thirty, or 100 meters deep?

    Because there’s food down there (sea urchins, cucumbers & stars). Why would a hippo dive to the lightless depth of 30 m in a murky river?

    Have you ever thought this through?

    It’s been done, dude:
    […]

    I know. It’s not surprising that a dozen people out of 7.1 billion are extreme athletes that can collapse their lungs and live to tell the tale.

    And to repeat myself from another thread: SHOW ME A CHIMP THAT CAN DO THAT, MOTHER FUCKERS!

    Show me a chimp that has tried, motherfucker. Show me a chimp with comparable motivation and training.

    On the “extreme athletes” part, though, you’re out of luck. There have never been seven billion chimps. Probably not even seven million at the same time.

    And because bipedalism can be argued to be evident already in Toumaï 7mya (terrestrial or aquatic), and at least in Ardi 4.4mya, then hominins would’ve been wading (and therefore be aquatic) for that long. So all hominins would be eligable to consider as semiaquatics

    Go back to page 2 and read up on gibbons, orang-utans, Afropithecus, Pierolapithecus and, yes, Oreopithecus

    Bipedality is ancestral for hominoids, knuckle-walking and fist-walking are derived.

    Marc Verhaegen argues, that Homo erectus was the most aquatic of hominins, which he bases on thicker bones in Homo erectus than modern sapiens (calls it “pachyosteosclerosis”), which he says has precedence in the evolution of whales from land forms to aquatic forms.

    Osteosclerosis and pachyosteosclerosis (I forgot if pachyostosis ever occurs without osteosclerosis) is very common in tetrapods that spend lots of time underwater but don’t go so deep as to collapse their lungs*. It serves as passive buoyancy control. Hippos, as mentioned, are osteosclerotic, as are various semiaquatic amphibians; placoderms, pachypleurosaurs, early whales, and extant sea cows are pachyosteosclerotic. Sea cows have banana-shaped ribs, that’s the “pachy-” part.

    Homo erectus remotely pachyosteosclerotic? That I want to see. At least the pachy- part can’t be true, or somebody would have noticed long ago!

    * Those animals, like ichthyosaurs and extant cetaceans, are osteoporotic instead. Their buoyancy control is active and dynamic.

    Yeah, and here he freedives: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q916J6rzqno

    Have you noticed, how Cooper has to hold a hand over his nose, because he hasn’t got that hooded nose from evolution to keep water out of his cranial cavities?

    And ONE CLICK AWAY from this video, there’s an orang-utan diving with NOTHING over his nose!!!

    Can you hear me laughing at your evident inability to glance slightly to the right, at the list of suggested videos? Can you hear me?

    You just performed the biggest faceplant since the creationist who effectively didn’t know the sun exists! :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    (Besides, in humans, diving without holding one’s nose isn’t exactly instinctive. It has to be trained. I still can’t do it; I like diving, but I have a very strong reaction to water in my nasal cavity, even if it just gets in 1 mm deep. I wonder if that’s related to my ability to smell extremely humid air… but I digress.)

    Oldest kitchen middens I know of is 164kya, in the dawn of sapiens:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17943129
    Other such remains would have been lost by time.

    Oh, would they. How convenient. Please explain at which age you’d expect no more middens to remain, and why.

    So much to reply to…. (especially David’s claim that I’ve been evading stuff like the C4 grass thingy) … so little time.

    As I keep saying, do take your time. If you don’t have time to reply now, then don’t reply now – reply on the weekend, or the next weekend, or whenever! We can wait.

  187. David Marjanović says

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    Part 1 of 2 (…not of 1, obviously… *sigh*)

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    otters use tools to crack clams too

    *eyeroll*

    Tool use. You really are stuck in the 1950s.

    Chimpanzees make spears and use them to hunt! And that was published six years ago.

    Birds Are Not Dinosaurs

    Worse. The button Storrs “BAND leader” Olson and the other BANDits wore at the SAPE* meeting of 1996 read: “Birds Are NOT Dinosaurs!”. All capitals and the exclamation mark in the original.

    * Society of Avian Palaeontology and Evolution.

    Feduccia is not a creationist, but the creationist certainly love to quote-mine him.

    His argumentation style becomes more and more like that of a creationist over the decades, too. The important thing you need to know to understand him is that he’s not interested in dinosaurs other than modern birds, so he doesn’t follow the literature about them, but makes grandiose pronouncements about them anyway… so he ends up spewing stuff like aquatic hadrosaurs that everyone in that field gave up forty years ago. It’s getting more embarrassing every year.

    he’s going to be fucked sooner or later. […] he’s boned. […] he’s inconceivably hosed. […] he might as well be in Alabama.

    …I just love this progression.

    I’ve visited Alabama. :-)

    I can’t stop laughing…

    Which are argued, by paleontology independent of any aquatic ape “lunatics”, to have semiaquatic ancestors, for elephants e.g. Moeritherium and Arsinotherium, and for rhinos the group Amynodontidae, e.g. the hippo-like Metamynodon.

    Uh, elephants may well have semiaquatic ancestry, but Arsinoitherium is not a proboscidean, and I’m not aware of evidence it was semiaquatic. For rhinos, do keep in mind that Amynodontidae is a clade that does not contain Rhinocerotidae; by far the most parsimonious assumption is that the apparent semiaquatic lifestyle of Amynodontidae (and of Teleoceras within Rhinocerotidae) is derived, not ancestral. Comment 1200 is right.

    Really, read page 1 of this thread!

    Check a world map of our population density, and you’ll see, that also today we clutter around river, lake and sea coastlines, in particular in India and China:

    That has painfully obvious agricultural reasons.

    Please.

    (Plus, comment 1207.)

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    Algis! Read the following!

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    Oh, for instance in every single comment you’ve written since I linked to the four papers on isotope ratios

    Sorry, David. I must have missed it. Please could you provide explicit links (4th time of asking) so I can give my side of the argument against you r slur of evading the “isotope” evidence.

    I provided all four links in comment 559, with a short correction in 561.

    You replied in comment 560, in a way that clearly shows you hadn’t followed any of the links.

    I called you out on this in comment 593.

    You asked in comment 623: “Which post did you put “the four links in”? Must have missed it.”

    I replied in comment 634: “559. You didn’t miss it – you even responded to it. You just did so without following any of the links.

    (I apologize again for mentioning “seafood”. I corrected that in 561, a comment you also replied to.)”

    In comment 642, you replied to a few cherries picked from 634 – without mentioning 559 or the links in it.

    Ever since, the crickets have been chirping.

    Here, have a fifth link that provides isotope ratios from extant savanna chimps and baboons for comparison with the other four papers.

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    But, no Chris, it was not water bodies. 13C/12C ratio informs about the ratio of tree cover to grassland.

    Funny how the taphony argument is used against the ‘more aquatic’ argument when it suits – after all all fossils are always found by waterside.

    Work on your reading comprehension. The taphonomy of most sites is never used to argue against waterside hypotheses; we merely point out that it can’t be used to argue for them.

    Besides, the fossils are not found “by waterside”. They’re found in water-deposited sediments.

    The ones that aren’t are found in cave sediments and other fissure fillings.

    But when that very argument is used for the idea, suddenly the rules change again.

    I don’t understand what you’re talking about.

    Please cite those “ugly facts” – backed with citations from the literature, of course – that has “slain” this idea.

    I’m not going to copy & paste this entire thread into this comment. It’s really long enough already, LOL.

    What? You mean John Langdon’s paper?

    What? Why would I mean it when I haven’t read it???

    Fresh kook equals boost in commenting rate!

    Nice slur. Great demonstration of impartiality.

    Impartiality?

    No, I am not an American journalist who believes there are exactly two sides to every question and that his duty is to report on those two sides at equal length, ignoring the very question if evidence exists that could decide it. Being a scientist, I take a side, the side of the evidence; doing that forces me to conclude that Chris and you are kooks.

    Nice slur-boast. Well done.

    Oh, I wasn’t trying to boast; sorry for not making that clearer. I was, to the contrary, trying to express surprise that an entire journal could get so few citations – especially because human nutrition & health is a field with lots of interest and billions of dollars in it, while the origin of Lissamphibia is not!

    You might have noticed that the idea has a ridiculous controversy/hostility surrounding it. I’d like to see you get a paper published in a journal where you were not in bed with the mainstream paradigm.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Oh, man. :-D

    What has made the paper so highly cited is the fact that, using two independent methods, it finds different results from all previous attempts at dating the origin of Lissamphibia: this clade is about forty million years younger than people used to think.

    Parroting textbook wisdom doesn’t get you citations. In most journals it doesn’t even get you published in the first place, because the editors will say “too boring”, “not groundbreaking enough”.

    BTW, this young date for Lissamphibia has implications for its phylogenetic relationships. That’s a field where there are three mainstream paradigms; the paper comes down firmly against one of them. Controversy makes a paper more, not less, cited – it’s really funny that I need to explain this again. :-)

    …why don’t the two of you have the kookfight we’ve been waiting for? … Go! Go! Go!

    Intelligent post. Thanks. Some of us can show two-way critical thinking on this without worrying that out credibility will be permanently damaged.

    So… you will not contradict anything Chris posts? Is that what you mean? :-)

    Translation: “I’m too lazy …

    How lazy were you

    So maybe I was. That wouldn’t make you not lazy. Tu quoque remains a logical fallacy. :-|

    not to have done even enough reading on this subject you seem to think you have the authority to lecture some of us about, to know who John Langdon was, what the Hylobation model of bipedal origins was, or that Philip Tobias had died?

    To do science, I don’t need to know the history of science. I need to know the evidence, not who discovered it or when, and the arguments, not who first came up with them or when.

    What I chastise you for is that you try to discuss people instead of hypotheses…

    And yet you do not criticise those here that do that to me. e.g. PZ Myers!!

    ~:-|

    PZ isn’t trying to discuss anything in this thread or the OP (unless you count the very short comment 978). I’m really baffled that you haven’t noticed. He’s not discussing, he’s mocking; he’s insulting you, not discussing you; his insults (“loon” in 292, “kook” in 479 and possibly 224, “wanker” in 935, and… I can’t find any others) are intended as conclusions, not as arguments.

    “Algis is a kook, therefore the AAH must be wrong” would be an argumentum ad hominem; if PZ had committed any such logical fallacy, I’d call him out on it immediately. He just hasn’t.

    :-|

    I have not made arguments from authority…

    Yes you have: Sneering (just above) about how the lack of citations of N & H.

    ~:-|

    what

    …I guess you could construe that as an argumentum ad hominem, if you count the journal as a homo; ad hominem (“X says it so it’s probably wrong”) is the other side of the medal of ad verecundiam = from authority (“X says it so it’s probably true”). I didn’t intend to make any such argument, however; I wasn’t saying it must be crap because people don’t cite it. I was continuing to express surprise that Tobias and you chose this journal, which – evidently – hardly anybody reads, instead of one that would really bring his ideas to public attention. Why would anyone not disseminate their science as widely as possible?

    Was Tobias perhaps trying to escape peer review by independent reviewers?

    Were you?

    I do belittle your *giggle* “scholarly” cargo-cult book.

    Have you read it? No, didn’t think so.

    Oh, I have read a good part of it, because Marcel Williams was so proud of his chapter. It’s all on page 1 of this thread!

    you have never commented on the isotope ratios at all

    I didn’t realise I was being asked to do so.

    …Why else would I bring them up? To fill space? ~:-|

    (…actually, in a freshwater environment, they’re worse than useless, because they make you lose salt, and in a marine environment, they’re also worse than useless, because they make you lose water);

    What? How can sweat cooling be seeen as bad if you live close to permanent water courses wheer you could replenish the water thrown away for a few seconds of thermoregulation?

    Shall I insult your reading comprehension again?

    If you live next to freshwater, sweating is bad because you lose salt (as you quote), and salt is a bit hard to get in that environment. Eating vertebrates (terrestrial or aquatic ones) will help, but eating mollusks emphatically will not. Freshwater clams are incredibly dilute animals.

    If you live next to the sea, sweating is bad because you lose water, and you can’t drink seawater.

    And I didn’t even think of the good point in comment 1205.

    Oh you and Menyabal pointed it out, did you? On what basis?

    On the basis of comparing them to human feet, to the feet of wading birds, to flippers…

    Have you got any citations to back this up – or is it just your fanciful opinion?

    It’s a testable hypothesis. Test it.

    you never tried to demonstrate that lips large enough to cover the nostrils are ancestral for humans

    Scraping the barrel, or what?

    What in the fuck?

    You brought up the fact that at least some people can close their nostrils with their upper lip. I replied that at least some people can’t. Well, if the ability is ancestral and some of us have lost it, that’s perfectly compatible with waterside hypotheses. If, on the other hand, the ability is derived within terrestrial humans, it doesn’t argue for any waterside hypothesis that requires any diving noticeable by natural selection.

    …Oh. Is this another case where I had to walk you through the implications of your own hypotheses?

    you keep mixing up brachiation and vertical climbing in general, you keep ignoring orang-utans

    Humans did not evolve from gibbons.

    Indeed not. Both humans and gibbons evolved from a brachiating common ancestor.

    I do not ignore orang utans. I’ve been to see them at Perth zoo many times. I went to Borneo to see them. I love orang utans

    …but you never mention that they walk bipedally, with extended knees and hips, pretty often. I had to bring that up (several times in the case of bipedality in general).

    Aw. Sorry you think that, David. So did you count two or three?

    Why don’t you look it up instead of mocking basic science theory?

    Take all the time you need to read them.

    Arrogant and patronising.

    I fail to see how it’s arrogant or patronising when I tell you I do not demand an answer to everything right now.

    These people think they can lecture those of us who have taken this idea seriosuly for years.

    Aaaaaaaaand another argument from authority – from your own authority.

    Your ignorance on this subject – whilst pretending to be some authority –

    …It’s really… telling that you believe I’m pretending to be an authority on paleanthropology. I’ve even spelled the obvious out and explicitly said I’m not trying to do that several times.

    Pointing out that you’re wrong doesn’t in any way, shape or form equal or imply pretending to be an authority on anything. I’m not the one who makes arguments from his own authority here!

    so how is it possible you don’t know which reviewers you sent the manuscripts to!?!?!

    That was the publishers’ job.

    That’s weird.

    Why are you not critical about Jim Moore’s web site – where he gets to write whatver he likes without the slightest hint of peer review or criticism.

    *eyeroll* He doesn’t pretend that his site is peer-reviewed, so I don’t need to show that it isn’t, and he doesn’t need to try to show that it is.

    Nice try at changing the topic by making yet another tu quoque argument!

    I criticize the arguments he makes here. See the bottom of comment 1111.

    Climbing into water from steeep banks (according only to Jim Moore) making it more likely to move feet first – show stopper (according to Jim Moore.)

    Unsurprisingly, you swallow it without a hint of critical thought.

    …No, I don’t swallow that. I haven’t engaged with that argument at all. ~:-|

    I will now, though: 1) this only works if so many banks are steep that the ability to climb down them becomes selected for; 2) it’s plain unnecessary because the animals in question are already bipedal.

    Oh it’s relevant. As I reminded you (but you ignored) the whole thread is about the “Response” to the “aquatic ape”.

    *slow headshake*

    Chas is […] The one guy who has shown the slightest inclination toward even handedness.

    By what criterion?

    It’s interesting to note that David and the “sciency” types that are so keen on evidence etc never criticise this guy!

    LOL. It’s true, we don’t criticise him very often, because we’re used to how repetitive he is and how often he has knee-jerk reactions to keywords instead of considering the context. But perhaps you might like to check out the ends of comments 1024 and 1028.

    Show me that humans have something that routes blood to the surface of the legs for cooling in a wading environment

    We do route blood to the surface in general for cooling.

  188. ChasCPeterson says

    at least some people can close their nostrils with their upper lip. I replied that at least some people can’t.

    just chiming in that none of us with a moustache can do this.

  189. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Has it ever occurred to you that you might be coming across a even a little more fantical than I am?

    No, I intend to make sure any lurkers know of your fuckwittery. If you don’t want me to post, YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP. Otherwise, I will use my freedom of speech to show the world the fool you are.

  190. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    We do route blood to the surface in general for cooling.

    And for flushing with embarrassment.

    Any sign that it routes to coolest areas, even? And doesn’t sweating tie in to surface cooling? Do we do blood routing better than non-sweaters?

    No, that’s all trivial. Thanks.

  191. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Algis, if you want to be scientific:

    1) Seriously consider you can be WRONG.
    2) Don’t give us your opinion of evidence, just the evidence.
    3) Your ideas per se aren’t and never will be evidence.
    4) Evidence is only refuted by more evidence, not your OPINION of said evidence.
    5) Once a line you feel supports your soggy and molding idea has been refuted, it ceases to be discussed further by you. No more circular posts of the same evidence.
    6) When all lines have been used up, and you have no more evidence to present, ADMIT YOUR IDEA IS REFUTED. Which it has.

    Until you start to behave scientifically, your TrueBeliever™ status will be seen by the eyes of all the lurkers.

  192. Doug Hudson says

    Just wanted to say that this has been a very informative thread (especially since I skip over all the posts by Algis and the other AAT guy to avoid killing any brain cells.)

    Not that I ever believed the AAT myself, but much of the information used to refute the specific “arguments” is new to me. Thanks to all for sharing, it may be wasted on Algis et al but it isn’t completely wasted.

    And Nerd of Redhead, lovely succinct takedowns of their nonsense.

  193. Amphiox says

    More bad news for the AAT folks (worse perhaps for Christian than for Algis)

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.2478%2Fs11686-007-0006-3#page-1

    Diving clades, it appears, have, consistently, reduced diversity of lice than their non-diving sister clades.

    But humans have 2 genera of lice, while chimpanzees and gorillas each have only one.

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/5/7

    It is also extremely hard to envision the acquisition of human pubic lice from gorillas 3-4 million years ago as the genetic evidence suggests if at that time humans were semi-aquatic while gorillas were terrestrial. Not only from the point of view of opportunity for infection, but also from the point of view of how the poor lice managed to survive such a drastic environmental change long enough to establish a new population on a new host. Especially if we are positing a salt water environment.

    THESE are the kinds of “ugly facts” that we are talking about. Similar to the myoglobin. Consistently, none of these things ever actually support the AAH. They either show no support for it, or flatly contradict it.

    And yes, you can try to explain them away, each after the other, and you could. But taken together, the more explanations you require to less parsimonious the whole edifice becomes. The nails in your coffin are individually small, but they add up. And your efforts to crowbar them away eventually end up just smashing everything.

  194. Amphiox says

    Has it ever occurred to you that you might be coming across a even a little more fantical than I am?

    Fanaticism is only a problem when one is wrong.

    Fanaticism in the service of what is right is a virtue. In fact, we generally don’t call it fanaticism at all. We call it dedication.

    And Nerd is right.

  195. Amphiox says

    Incidentally, David and MANY other regulars have consistently and frequently called Nerd out when he has been demonstrably wrong.

    This would be evident to anyone who has spent any significant degree of time on Pharyngula.

    But in this case he is not wrong.

  196. David Marjanović says

    Sorry, Algis! You brought up Peters & Vogel (2005); I wanted to reply, but didn’t because I first wanted to check if the 4 papers I linked to cite it, and then I forgot.

    Only the 4th cites it. All four, however, mention sedges (especially their “underground storage organs”) rather prominently. The fourth appears to be saying that Paranthropus boisei, which ate lots of C4, can’t have been eating underground storage organs of any plants alone; the second investigates oxygen isotopes in addition to carbon ones and shows that Australopithecus, while more dependent on water than giraffes, was much less so than hippos and hardly more than zebras and pigs.

    I recommend reading all four papers for an overview – and for the timing of certain things. In particular, Australopithecus anamensis can’t have eaten practically any C4.

  197. anthrosciguy says

    but if I’m adapted to that shit, why do I suck at it so much?

    And why are humans one of the few mammals which are unable to swim instinctively, and why do even professional divers suffer from diving ailments so often (I’d have to dig out the refs I’ve used to support this; perhaps later). For that matter, why do we breath in when we run out of oxygen even when we’re underwater. Mammals adapted to diving — and in the AAT we’re talking about millions of years of supposed adaptation — don’t do this. It’s a reflex for us, they’ve lost that reflex.

    so how is it possible you don’t know which reviewers you sent the manuscripts to!?!?!

    That was the publishers’ job.

    That’s weird.

    I found that odd also. They must have gotten the last full service publisher on earth. :)

    Climbing into water from steeep banks (according only to Jim Moore) making it more likely to move feet first – show stopper (according to Jim Moore.)

    Unsurprisingly, you swallow it without a hint of critical thought.

    …No, I don’t swallow that. I haven’t engaged with that argument at all. ~:-|

    I will now, though: 1) this only works if so many banks are steep that the ability to climb down them becomes selected for; 2) it’s plain unnecessary because the animals in question are already bipedal.

    This has nothing to do with evolved or adapted features or selection; it’s a reference to Algis masters thesis study and the zoo’s moat. When I first read his thesis, I wondered why his percentages for bipedalism while wading are many times higher than the next highest observations by other researchers. At that time I speculated that — besides the well-documented fact that food-getting and food-carrying are the things most highly correlated with bipedalism in chimps and bonobos — maybe it something about the construction of the moat that made it necessary for the bonobos to enter feet-first. Steep and/or slippery sides was my speculation. Later, after I’d seen video clips that Algis had online, I saw my speculation was correct. The bonobos were forced to step in backwards, supporting themselves on the bank with their hand, because they were stepping immediately into knee-deep water at the edge (with the edge at mid-thigh when they in the water at the edge). They then leaned over and snagged the candy they were after (their reason for entering the moat in the first place). Only one actually took any steps at all.

    Algis countered this by claiming it was not true, that there was one incident of quadrupedal wading and in that incident the bonobo had entered quadrupedally at the same place as the other bonobos. I asked for the video of that incident, and Algis claimed he’d never taken any. He said he only had a still of that part where the bonobo was quadrupedal. But the still looked exactly like the extracted frames of video that mae up his other stills. This went on for a year before Algis finally admitted he had taken video and eventually provided it. The video showed that he had been lying about the place the bonobo went in and about the bonobo entering the water quadrupedally. That bonobo in that incident entered just as all the others had.

  198. anthrosciguy says

    We do route blood to the surface in general for cooling.

    Or the opposite for conserving warmth (I used to be able to do this consciously when I was a youngster hiking in Minnesota winters). We do not have anything even remotely close to the sort of heat exchange features in our limbs that we see in pinnipeds, though.

  199. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht:

    Chris: Hippos are furless
    Menyambal: So are elephants and rhinos.

    Which are argued, by paleontology independent of any aquatic ape “lunatics”, to have semiaquatic ancestors… Which would mean, that humans would not be the only mammal taxa to have an aquatic “U-turn” during evolution.

    I have absolutely no problem with evolutionary U-turns, aquatic or otherwise. Nor would I care if humans were the only U-turners in town. And I’ll let others argue the ancestry of our examples.

    I find it slightly odd, though, that the three biggest animals in Africa have all dispensed with fur, and the only thing you see that these big, blocky, heavy-footed, hot-blooded beasts have in common, is that they had aquatic ancestors.

    Despite, mind you, the African otters sporting about with a nice coat of fur, and that we humans, we oh-so-aquatic humans, are hairy bastards.

    Do I need to send you a picture of my ass? Do you want my grizzly-man porn links? Have you not heard of Nair™? Did you not go through puberty? Have you never touched another person?

    Hair has nothing to do with aquaticism, and we aren’t hairless. No matter what your scriptures say.

    (Yes, there are some haired creatures with coats adapted to being aquatic, so some types of hair are aquatic.)

    Menyambal: Make any assumptions you want, and pick out any area of Africa, and there is simply much less coast than there is inland territory. And for a walking ape, there is less coastal area within a day’s walk than there is of savannah.

    What the hell’s that got to do with it?

    It has to do with the fact that your beach apes are restricted to a very small, very specialized, discontinuous habitat. They can’t eat inland without getting brain rot, they can’t swim forever. They are trapped, confined, limited. They are niche creatures with specialized diet. They are the pandas of the geological time period starting with “P”.

    Humans, as now done, live all over the place, and can up stakes and shift a bit when they want to. Beach apes can’t. If they walk to the end of the sand, where the cliffs of the headland drop into the snarling waves, they have to turn around and walk back. Robinson Crusoe had it better, because he could go inland and eat goats.

    An African plains ape can walk out of the sunrise, walk into the sunset, make a left and not give a single fuck. If he eats all the food where he is, he ups and goes somewhere else, and there are many places to go to. Africa is so big his descendents will never fill it all. The world is his oyster.

    The oyster-eater, on the other hand, has to sit on the beach and wait for the oysters to grow back.

    Menyambal: Again, there are a lot of assumptions that can be made. Generally, though, the constraints are on the beach ape.

    I think the main constraint is, that we can’t discover new things about ourselves without stampeding straight into collective hysteria. Otherwise, this idea is a no brainer at this point, as much as the theory of the heliocentric near-universe or the theory of evolution.

    Well, I’ll give you the hysteria, you and Algis and your little collective. And thanks for insulting all of science, once a-fucking-gain.

    Evolution isn’t a theory, it’s a fact. Using creationist terms is one more way you resemble those daft delusionals.

    “No brainer”, indeed. And heliocentricity isn’t obvious, here in my day-to-day life—I said “sunset” up there—nor is the spherocity of the earth. It takes a big brain to add up all the facts about those two, but my big brain can’t add up all your Aquaticism and make it come out as anything but a religion.

  200. Amphiox says

    I have absolutely no problem with evolutionary U-turns, aquatic or otherwise.

    The turtles did a full blown S.

  201. anthrosciguy says

    (Yes, there are some haired creatures with coats adapted to being aquatic, so some types of hair are aquatic.)

    A few years ago I did a page for my website that dealt with the numbers of aquatic and semiaquatic mammals with hair and without, and how often this trait has arisen in evolutionary lineages. You might find it interesting.

    http://www.aquaticape.org/aquatic-semiaquatic-mammals.html

  202. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Menyambal: Hair has nothing to do with aquaticism, and we aren’t hairless.

    Hair has nothing to do with aquaticism? Suddenly we aren’t hairless? Then what the hell has palentology been arguing about since Darwin?

    Menyambal: Evolution isn’t a theory, it’s a fact. Using creationist terms is one more way you resemble those daft delusionals.

    Ok, that’s low. That’s desperately looking for anything to discredit a guy you want to be wrong.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory
    Suddenly I’m a creationist. Can you sleep better now? You know, before you wake up and take your morning shower?

  203. ohsu says

    Let’s just summarize the published evidence that has been presented that Algis and Chris are ignoring.

    Woody cover and hominin environments in the past 6 million years, Cerling et al, (2011)

    All suspected human ancestors from the past 6 million years have lived in open woodland, wooded grassland, or grassland, collectively known as “savanna”. No beach apes. No swamp apes. No wetland apes. No seasonally flooded gallery forest apes.

    Evolution of Mammalian Diving Capacity Traced by Myoglobin Net Surface Charge, Mirceta et al (2013)

    Chimps have a higher score than humans! Humans did not swim or dive more than chimps.

    ——————–

    Anyone else wanna post a paper and a short summary?

  204. ohsu says

    @Chris: “Hair has nothing to do with aquaticism?”

    HAHAHAHAHA!! You say this as if you were genuinely shocked that people don’t see a relationship between hairlessness and aquaticism. As if the whole world just knew that aquaticism led directly to hairlessness. Except… IT DOESN’T. You have to be a faithful member of the church of the AAT to believe that kind of horseshit.

    Seals are covered in hair. Sea lions are covered in hair. Walruses are covered in hair. Otters are covered in hair. Capybaras are covered in hair. Beavers are covered in hair. Muskrats are covered in hair. Coypus are covered in hair. Water voles are covered in hair. Platypussesses are covered in hair. Giant otter shrews are covered in hair. Desmans are covered in hair. Yapoks are covered in hair.

    Cetacia are hairless. Sirenia are hairless. And hippos are hairless.

    So… what is the relationship between hairlessness and aquaticism again? Why don’t you go ahead and describe exactly what the relationship is between aquaticism and hairlessness. Make sure to be precise and use all relevant examples from nature, and make sure to account for mainstream alternatives.

  205. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hair has nothing to do with aquaticism?

    Yep, hair, or lack of it, has nothing to do with your fuckwitted all wet idea, as anybody but TrueBelievers™, that is evidencless liars and bullshitters, such as yourself, acknowldge. It means nothing.

  206. ChasCPeterson says

    Rev, who the hell shaves their donkeys?

    Although I do not know the answer to that question, the place I’d go if I wanted to answer it would be Tijuana.

  207. algiskuliukas says

    Re 559 (David Marjanovic)

    Thank you. Sorry I missed that post. It was not deliberate.

    I haven’t read these papers yet, but will do so when I get time. I’ve read the abstracts though (a crime according to Jim Moore).

    Sorry to disappoint you but these papers are not any kind of show stopper to my waterside model of human evolution. One of these four is not even about human ancestors but those of Theropithecines – so for your “1Ma” range is immediately pegged back to 1.4Ma.

    The Turkana paper (Cering et al) shows that C4 foods increased in Homo grade species. So what? Ever heard of Sedges?

    Note… wetland sedges are very common, easy to procure, and easten by western lowland gorillas and modern humans today.

    The other two are about pre-Homo species. Some of us, you may have noticed, do not propose a pre-Homo coastal phase. Some of us have moved on from the Hardy/Morgan U-Turn hypothesis.

    Turkana and Hadar wer basically wetlands. It’s bizarre the way aquaskeptics try to pretend this simple paleogeographical fact away and cling to just so stories of living off savannah grassland based foods and “floaters”.

    I never “evaded” this evidence deliberately anyway, but I hope you will now have the objectivity to see that is not in any way contradictory to my model.

    Algis Kuliukas

  208. Amphiox says

    Hair has nothing to do with aquaticism?

    No, it really does not.

    Suddenly we aren’t hairless?

    No, we really are not. We possess the same number of functional hair follicles as any other primate.

    Then what the hell has palentology been arguing about since Darwin?

    Investigating more interesting and relevant things, and realizing, one by one, that the old human-centric ideas about our “specialness” with regards to things like our “hairlessness” are wrong, wrong, wrong.

  209. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I never “evaded” this evidence deliberately anyway,

    You always “evade” all real evidence that shows your inane drunken idea is anything other than pure science. Which it isn’t, and never will be. Until you can be wrong (and you are), you can’t ever, ever, be right. Welcome to science.

  210. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Ohsu: Seals are covered in hair. Sea lions are covered in hair. Walruses are covered in hair. Otters are covered in hair. Capybaras are covered in hair. Beavers are covered in hair. Muskrats are covered in hair. Coypus are covered in hair. Water voles are covered in hair. Platypussesses are covered in hair. Giant otter shrews are covered in hair. Desmans are covered in hair. Yapoks are covered in hair.
    So… what is the relationship between hairlessness and aquaticism again? Why don’t you go ahead and describe exactly what the relationship is between aquaticism and hairlessness. Make sure to be precise and use all relevant examples from nature, and make sure to account for mainstream alternatives.

    I can’t go into all that again. Can’t you just re-read this post?:
    http://talkrational.org/showpost.php?p=1621135&postcount=1347

    Again, there’s a correlation between size of an aquatic mammal species and the climate belt it inhabits, as to when it evolves to shed the fur or not (fur otherwise one thing that defines mammals). The bigger the aquatic mammal, the less fur it evolves. The warmer the climate, the less fur it evolves, and vice versa for small aquatics and/or in colder climates. It’s a question of which type of insulation is most effecient in water.
    A large aquatic like the hippo in the tropics are furless, while a small one like the sea otter in the temperates has retained fur. The Steller sea lion from the Alaskan arctic has fur, while the subtropical Californian sea lion is slick as a bottle. And so on and so forth with your above examples.
    And humans are medium sized apes from the tropics, being near furless. Coupling aquaticism to human furlessness (and our subcutaneous fat-slash-blubber on top of it!) is simple convergent evolution.

  211. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And humans are medium sized apes from the tropics, being near furless. Coupling aquaticism to human furlessness (and our subcutaneous fat-slash-blubber on top of it!) is simple convergent evolution.

    No, it’s simply YOU, BEING A CRANK/LOON TRUEBELIEVER™, unable to be wrong. And you are wrong. You haven’t shown otherwise with solid and conclusive EVIDENCE. You know, the stuff that refutes your inane and moldy idea….

  212. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Amphiox: We possess the same number of functional hair follicles as any other primate.

    So now we’re just as furry as a chimp? Is that seriously what you’re arguing? Then what the hell has been under discussion since Darwin?

  213. Amphiox says

    Algis at #1233:

    Re 559 (David Marjanovic)

    Thank you. Sorry I missed that post. It was not deliberate.

    Algis at #560:

    559 No probs.

    So, “I missed that post”???

    There are only two ways you can interpet this. Either Algis is LYING in #1233, flat out, or when he read #559, he saw only the apology in line one and IGNORED the entire next line, which contained all the real scientific substance of that post.

    The first scenario is utterly disgusting in its intellectual dishonesty.

    The second scenario demonstrates a personal ego bloated to putrescence.

    Which is pathetic either way.

  214. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Although I do not know the answer to that question, the place I’d go if I wanted to answer it would be Tijuana.

    Um

    yes. Not that I have any personal experience.

  215. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    1229. Ohsu: Evolution of Mammalian Diving Capacity Traced by Myoglobin Net Surface Charge, Mirceta et al (2013)
    Chimps have a higher score than humans! Humans did not swim or dive more than chimps.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/340/6138/1234192

    I only have access to the abstract, and I don’t see mention of either humans nor chimps. What exactly is the paper listing about human and chimp myoglobin levels?

  216. Amphiox says

    So now we’re just as furry as a chimp?

    I said NOTHING about “furry”. I said we possess the same number of hair follicles on average as chimpanzees (quite possibly more, actually, since IIRC our head hair is denser than theirs, and our body hair follicle density is the same.)

    Our hairs are finer than those of chimpanzees, and within the range of normal variation of humans some are not that far off, really.

    But we have just as many hairs as the average primate, and that means We. Are. NOT. Hairless.

    End. Of. Story.

    You substituting “furry” into the picture, putting words in my mouth that I did not use, is what we call “moving the goalposts”. It is a standard creationist ploy.

    I see that you are just as intellectually dishonest as your buddy Algis.

    I am normally more tolerant of this sort of thing, and will let a few instances slide, but unfortunately for you, your buddy Algis long ago drained my well of tolerance for it on this particular subject.

    Then what the hell has been under discussion since Darwin?

    The fact that the old assumption that humans are “hairless” or have less hair than chimpanzees was an error, and the idea that humans “lost” their hair some time during their evolution was similarly an error. We did not lose our hair. We changed our hair.

  217. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And CHE, that had been total refuted earlier. Only a non-scientific asshole would be bringing it up again. Thanks for providing prima facie evidence of your being a TrueBeliever™, who can’t be wrong.

  218. Amphiox says

    I only have access to the abstract, and I don’t see mention of either humans nor chimps. What exactly is the paper listing about human and chimp myoglobin levels?

    In the Supplemental Data. The authors did a screen of hundreds of species across the entire mammalian clade, including examples of all the major primate clades, including, among the apes both the gibbons and the siamangs, the gorilla, the orangutan, the chimpanzee, and humans.

    Since they found absolutely nothing of note within the primates regarding their main area interest of aquatic ancestry, they do not mention it in the meat of their article or the abstract.

    If you had had the intellectual honesty to read this thread before barging in on it, you would have seen the post where I described this in detail, including which table in the Supplemental Data gives that information.

  219. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    1242. Amphiox: The fact that the old assumption that humans are “hairless” or have less hair than chimpanzees was an error, and the idea that humans “lost” their hair some time during their evolution was similarly an error. We did not lose our hair. We changed our hair.

    Okay, we can piss on the same commas. So we “changed” our hair. Explain to me why it is intellectually dishonest to consider, that humans “changed” their hair (compared to chimps) from aquatic selective pressure, when observing that for some sized, warm climate living mammals adapting to water, less fur is aparently a benefit?

  220. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Why I read this thread:

    he’s going to be fucked sooner or later. […] he’s boned. […] he’s inconceivably hosed. […] he might as well be in Alabama.

    …I just love this progression.

    I’ve visited Alabama. :-)

    Thanks, Menyambal — son of a son of a bachelor, and David Marjanović. Laughing out loud, good thing there’s no one to overhear me.

  221. Arawhon says

    Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht /1245

    Okay, we can piss on the same commas. So we “changed” our hair. Explain to me why it is intellectually dishonest to consider, that humans “changed” their hair (compared to chimps) from aquatic selective pressure, when observing that for some sized, warm climate living mammals adapting to water, less fur is aparently a benefit?

    As someone who isn’t a scientist but has been paying attention to the data presented, it probably has to do with the fact that we sweat cool. Since we sweat a lot, those with finer hair to facilitate better evaporation would be able to hunt better and thus reproduce more. So simple a nonscientist can reason it out just based on knowing evolution and the current data.

  222. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Why does Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht fuck up the blockquotes?

    Isn’t that another item on the kook scale? Can’t learn new techniques? Can’t fit into a polite society and do as others do?

    Hmm.

  223. anthrosciguy says

    Thank you. Sorry I missed that post. It was not deliberate.

    As DavidM pointed out, you did not “miss” that post; you replied to it. You just didn’t address what was in it.

  224. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Okay, we can piss on the same commas. So we “changed” our hair. Explain to me why it is intellectually dishonest to consider, that humans “changed” their hair (compared to chimps) from aquatic selective pressure, when observing that for some sized, warm climate living mammals adapting to water, less fur is aparently a benefit?

    You really are a kook. Everything you see you try to hammer into the aah.

    I bet when you hear hoof beats you think of centaurs.

  225. ohsu says

    Again, there’s a correlation between size of an aquatic mammal species and the climate belt it inhabits, as to when it evolves to shed the fur or not (fur otherwise one thing that defines mammals). The bigger the aquatic mammal, the less fur it evolves.

    Oh my gawd! There IS a relationship between the size of the aquatic animal, the climate zone it inhabits, and whether it is hairless. And guess what?! There is also a relationship between the size of non-aquatic animals, the climate zone they inhabit, and whether they’re hairless.

    OH MY GAWD! I just had a crazy idea! Since exactly the same thing is seen in aquatic an non-aquatic animals… wait… wait.. YES! Being aquatic has nothing to do with it!

  226. anthrosciguy says

    But in fact, although many AATers have tried to make that argument work, to do so they have to ignore animals such as giant otters, tapirs, and many species of seals (and a great many others). This is also the problem with their “abrasion” argument, and in fact all these claims of theirs regarding hair boil down to selectively ignoring info, or simply not knowing the info but making claims based on this ignorance.

    Example: “What to do with the 34 species of pinnipeds? From what I can see about 2/3rds of them seem to be naked.” Algis Kuliukas 7 May 2003

    and when it was pointed out he was wrong, and that in fact seals are not hairless, he still really wanted them to be:

    “True. Perhaps we need to consider what factors make some seals lose their fur whilst others retain it.” – Algis Kuliukas 5 Jun 2003

    His excuse for making claims based on ignorance is illuminating:

    “I’m only a student.” – Algis Kuliukas 10 Jun 2003

  227. Ichthyic says

    Again, there’s a correlation between size of an aquatic mammal species and the climate belt it inhabits

    almost all of the larger ones migrate trans-ocean.

    which climate belt does a blue whale live in?

    answer:

    ALL OF THEM.

    again, you know nothing about what you’re talking about… it’s like an endless argument from ignorance.

  228. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    there’s an orang-utan diving with NOTHING over his nose

    Am I a bad person because, despite the awesomeness of an orangutan swimming (and indeed, to my mind underwater-brachiating: look how it pulls itself down using the edges of the little tunnel between the pools at XXX0,

  229. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    ok, i’m not using the computer again until I’m confident that half-composed posts won’t suddenly get posted by mistake. m-/

  230. Amphiox says

    Again, there’s a correlation between size of an aquatic mammal species and the climate belt it inhabits, as to when it evolves to shed the fur or not (fur otherwise one thing that defines mammals). The bigger the aquatic mammal, the less fur it evolves.

    And every single one of those hair reduced aquatic mammals is much, much, much, much bigger than the average human.

    While several of the aquatic mammals that still retain their fur are ALSO quite a bit bigger than humans.

    And of those aquatic mammals that are roughly the same size as humans? Most of them retain thick fur.

    Yet another nail in the coffin for the AAH.

  231. Amphiox says

    Okay, we can piss on the same commas. So we “changed” our hair. Explain to me why it is intellectually dishonest to consider, that humans “changed” their hair (compared to chimps) from aquatic selective pressure

    What I called dishonest, CHE, was you PUTTING WORDS IN MY MOUTH, using the loaded term “furry” when I said and meant nothing of the sort.

    What is EVEN MORE DISHONEST is the above piece of pathetic dissembling behind which you so ineptly try hide your previous inexcusable intellectual dishonesty.

  232. Amphiox says

    And it must be pointed out yet again, for those too intellectually lazy to actually read the thread, that thanks to evidence like the genetic analysis of human pubic lice, we know the rough time frame during which our lineage thinned its body hair. And, sadly for the AAHers, we also have fossil specimens of human ancestors from within that time frame, and some of those fossils were found with accompanying context evidence that demonstrates what kind of habitat they lived in, and that evidence, taken together, shows that during the time period during which our lineage thinned its body hair, our lineage was LIVING ON THE SAVANNAH.

    There are some aspects of the AAH for which there is no evidence, and which fail on parsimony. And there are other aspects which the existing evidence already falsifies. The idea that water had anything to do with the change in body hair in our lineage is in the second category.

  233. Ichthyic says

    While several of the aquatic mammals that still retain their fur are ALSO quite a bit bigger than humans.

    Indeed. the average pinniped species is larger than a human.

    It is true that the larger the volume, the less efficiently fur keeps things warm, and the more likely blubber replaces or enhances fur, but there are still some rather large pinnipeds that still have fur (elephant seals, for example).

    but I really don’t get how that in any way could possibly even relate to the AAH. If it is an issue of climate… walruses, that have discarded most of their fur, live in the friggen ARCTIC.

    why is anyone even bothering to debate the issue with algiskuliukas any more? It’s pretty clear he’s just making shit up as he goes along.

    In fact, I’m absolutely sure it doesn’t, not to the original AAH especially.

  234. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It is obvious to anyone other than a TrueBeliever™ (also known as unscientific evidenceless bullshitter), that using the lack of hair for humans is a dead subject unless you provide recent (last year) peer reviewed evidence otherwise. Welcome to science, where when you refuted, you stay refuted until you can present new evidence, not just your OPINION of the evidence.

    So, what NEW evidence can you losers present to shore up your well sunk idea, laying at the bottom of the ocean decaying…

  235. ChasCPeterson says

    we can piss on the same commas

    translation, plz?

    No one remember Old Steller’s seacow.
    Hairless skin like treebark. Floated around in subarctic kelp forests, and that’s some cold-ass water.
    “By 1768, 27 years after it had been discovered by Europeans, Steller’s sea cow was extinct.”

  236. Tethys says

    we can piss on the same commas

    translation, plz?

    The translation reads ” I am an idiot who can’t tell the difference between commas and scare quotes.”

  237. Amphiox says

    The translation reads ” I am an idiot who can’t tell the difference between commas and scare quotes.”

    They were pissed on so much that half of it was washed away and the other half got water-logged, sunk, and flipped upside down.

  238. vaiyt says

    Oh, so hairlessness is a trait of mammals adapted to water living in warm environments?

    Capybaras and giant otters.

    The Amazon and Pantanal are every bit as warm as Africa.

  239. Ichthyic says

    Since exactly the same thing is seen in aquatic an non-aquatic animals…

    actually, if anything the “pattern” holds up slightly better in non-aquatic mammals.

    it doesn’t hold up at all with aquatic mammals.

    I’m sure if you start out with the consideration of the differences between water and air, it will become obvious why this should be so.

  240. Ogvorbis. Just plain Ogvorbis. No extras. says

    algiskuliukas (at 1233):

    So what? Ever heard of Sedges?

    David Marjonović (at 1220):

    All four, however, mention sedges (especially their “underground storage organs”) rather prominently. The fourth appears to be saying that Paranthropus boisei, which ate lots of C4, can’t have been eating underground storage organs of any plants alone; the second investigates oxygen isotopes in addition to carbon ones and shows that Australopithecus, while more dependent on water than giraffes, was much less so than hippos and hardly more than zebras and pigs.

    (my emphasis).

    Do you even read other people’s comments? Ever?

  241. ohsu says

    Do you even read other people’s comments? Ever?

    Since Algis just knows he’s right, and he’s decided as a matter of religious faith that nothing anyone could possibly say would ever change his mind, he is not motivated to read other people’s posts carefully.

    What he does is scan them for key words and then reply with canned responses. He effectively overlooks most of what everyone else says.

  242. Ogvorbis. Just plain Ogvorbis. No extras. says

    ohsu:

    I have a dream that Algis will actually answer a question honestly. Probably won’t be this one, but it is worth a try.

  243. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1239 Amphiox

    The second scenario demonstrates a personal ego bloated to putrescence.

    … or, just I was in a hurry, saw an apology and quickly replied “no problem”.

    Fanatical wierdos always ignore Hanlon’s razor and search for malicious intent when it does not exist.

    I said we possess the same number of hair follicles on average as chimpanzees (quite possibly more, actually..

    I asked this before but I don’t remember a reply…

    Do you know ehere humans have most hair follicles/squ cm… the forehead, apparently. Odd that. Do you have a hairy forehead?

    We. Are. NOT. Hairless

    No. One. Said. We. Were.

    The. Material. Point. That. You. Keep. Ignoring. Is. That. Humans. Have. Far. Less. Functional. Body. Hair. Than. Chimps. And. The. Orthodox. Theories. Have. Nothing. To. Say. About. Why. That. Would. Be.

    Capitalised letters with fulls stops really ram home the point, don’t they.

    See Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution. Bizarrely, it doesn’t even mention the human body hair pattern. Intellectual honesty, eh?

    I see that you are just as intellectually dishonest as your buddy Algis.

    You’re a nasty slur monger, just like your lying buddy Jim Moore.

    Where I have been “intellectually dishonest”? I’m onto you now so I expect no evasions.

    Since they found absolutely nothing of note within the primates regarding their main area interest of aquatic ancestry, they do not mention it in the meat of their article or the abstract

    Odd then, then you originally clung to the one or two amino acid changes as “evidence” that humans were less aquatic that chimps and were dancing in the street about this shop stopper.. Who was being intellectually dishonest then?

    And of those aquatic mammals that are roughly the same size as humans? Most of them retain thick fur

    And also (by the way) all of them scramble their flesh over dry ground – not being bipedal – potentially leading to severe skin abrasion.

    Not very intellectually honest again, are you “Amphiox”?

    What is EVEN MORE DISHONEST is the above piece of pathetic dissembling behind which you so ineptly try hide your previous inexcusable intellectual dishonesty

    Get off your fake high horse, you pretentious pillock.

    Anyone that says “Nerd is rigght” doesn’t can’t have any pretence of the moral high ground. You defend a moron because you’re also a moron.

    …our lineage was LIVING ON THE SAVANNAH

    Not much intellectual honesty there. “on the savannah”? where? On the open plains or in micro habitats in seasonally flooded gallery forest microhabitats?

    Don’t care, right?

    They were pissed on so much ….[blaa blaa]

    Not much intellectual honesty there either, “Amphiox”, just ignorant gloating which might make you look very foolish.

    Hey, “Amphiox”…. Who are you, and why do you hate the idea so much that humans might have waded, swam and dived a bit more than chimps since the LCA?

    You are one of the most hysterically aquaskeptic people I’ve ever come across in years. Please explain.

    Algis Kuliukas
    Perth, WA

  244. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1266 Ogvorbis (Yet another anonymous aquaskeptic)

    Do you even read other people’s comments? Ever?

    Yes.

    As almost all of my replies include hyperlinks back to previous posts (to help people check them) as well as quoted samples that I am specifically replying to…

    … it’s a bit of a stupid question, don’t you think?

    But ignoring the usual, tribal, slur… The 4th paper (the only one that cites the paper that David was desperate to make a point about) was about the ancstors of baboons!.

    The C4 “argument” is rubbish. Savannah believers seemed to hope it would show (somehow) that human ancestors only ate animals that fed off savannah grasses (bizarre indeed!) but wetland sedges are a much more plausible source of C4 foods.

    That’s the end of that argument – now can we see a bit of intellectual honesty here?

    Algis Kuliukas
    Perth, WA

  245. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1267 OHSU

    …Since Algis just knows he’s right

    Not really being very honest there, OHSU, are you?

    I have, many times, spelt out in detail, what would make me drop the idea like a stone in a pond.

    I’ve asked people to point me to “other pseudoscientists” who have done that, or other mainstream guys for that matter – hey, or even the self-rigtheous band of pseudoskeptics that seem to be attracted to this idea like moths to a flame?

    OHSU, what would change your mind obout it? When would you stop denying evidence on it?

    I do not “just know” I’m right. On the contrary, the lack of support in places like this has, for years, actually made me more reluctant to finish my PhD. If I cannot even persuade people in cyberspace that this idea has merit, it is hardly an incentive to finish and write up.

    The things that keep me going are the transparently “thin and ad hoc” counter arguments, the blatantly ignorant, sneering responses boasted about here by people like PZ Myers, as well as the insiprational encouragement from wonderful people like Elaine Morgan and Sir David Attenborough.

    Algis Kuliukas
    Perth, WA

  246. Ogvorbis. Just plain Ogvorbis. No extras. says

    … it’s a bit of a stupid question, don’t you think?

    No, I do not think it was a stupid question. Which is why I asked.

    And, given the example cited by me, the question definitely made sense. Dr. Marjonović mentioned sedges. Just a few comments later, you ask if any one has heard of sedges. Makes you sound rather dishonest. Not saying you are, just pointing out that this type of response raises questions.

    And I am not yet another new skeptic. I’ve been here, off and on, since page one. And you still have not presented any evidence for which the most parsimonious explanation is the aquatic ape hypotheosis. You have presented evidence but there are multiple explanations for that evidence. And there is supporting evidence for those other explanations. Your conclusion, based on the evidence, fails at parsimony.

  247. Amphiox says

    Now here is an example of how to do human evolution science properly:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2013/06/26/how-humans-evolved-to-throw-a-fastball/#.UcxPCD5C6Jk

    Here is a salient part:

    The three anatomical shifts in the upper body that are responsible for modern humans’ fastball, then, were located in the fossil record and found to have evolved in concert around 2 million years ago.

    Unlike with swimming, the anatomic changes that produced the superior performance in humans compared to chimpanzees were found, by fossil evidence, to have all evolved together at the same time, making it reasonable to propose a single selective reason for it. If instead, like with swimming, we found that the different anatomical changes that contribute to the ability all evolved at DIFFERENT times, then we cannot invoke any single selective pressure or episode, and the null hypothesis reverts to exaption of three adaptions that arose separately for different reasons, in modern humans with the invention of ball sports, with cultural impetus.

    Here is another interesting point:

    To replicate our ancestors’ throwing abilities, the researchers outfitted the baseball players with modified braces that restricted their torso and shoulder rotations. As predicted, limiting elastic energy resulted in slower angular acceleration of the arm and a slower throw.

    To get around the problem of training chimpanzees, they simulated chimpanzee-like anatomic limitations. The exact same thing could be done with modern human swimmers, to see if chimpanzee-like anatomy really does result in poorer swimming.

  248. Amphiox says

    On the other hand, the superiority of humans at throwing balls compared to chimpanzees is clear and OBVIOUS evidence that human ancestors must have evolved in coconut forests.

    Coconut Ape Hypothesis all the way!

  249. David Marjanović says

    Re 559 (David Marjanovic)

    Thank you. Sorry I missed that post. It was not deliberate.

    I’ve already pointed out several times that you didn’t miss that comment. You replied to it in comment 560.

    I haven’t read these papers yet, but will do so when I get time. I’ve read the abstracts though (a crime according to Jim Moore).

    Sorry to disappoint you but these papers are not any kind of show stopper to my waterside model of human evolution. One of these four is not even about human ancestors but those of Theropithecines – so for your “1Ma” range is immediately pegged back to 1.4Ma.

    See…

    Read more than the abstracts, and you’ll see why that paper is relevant. I had good reasons for mentioning it.

    Turkana and Hadar wer basically wetlands.

    Nope. Read those papers.

    I never “evaded” this evidence deliberately anyway, but I hope you will now have the objectivity to see that is not in any way contradictory to my model.

    Not having read the papers, you don’t know the evidence. See you later.

    Again, there’s a correlation between size of an aquatic mammal species and the climate belt it inhabits, as to when it evolves to shed the fur or not (fur otherwise one thing that defines mammals). The bigger the aquatic mammal, the less fur it evolves. The warmer the climate, the less fur it evolves, and vice versa for small aquatics and/or in colder climates.

    Funny, then, that the exact same thing holds even better for terrestrial mammals: grassland rhinos have less hair than forest rhinos, the woolly rhino had even more, mammoths were bigger but lived in much colder climates than other elephants…

    It looks like most of our hair is so short because this lets our sweat glands work. This same hypothesis also explains why the hair on top of our head is longer: to protect the brain from overheating. The function of armpit and crotch hair seems to be to waft scents around.

    I only have access to the abstract, and I don’t see mention of either humans nor chimps. What exactly is the paper listing about human and chimp myoglobin levels?

    Find me in Google Scholar, drop me an e-mail, and I’ll send you the paper.

    Supplementary information is free in most journals, though. Just download it.

    And go back to page 1 and start reading already!

    Why does Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht fuck up the blockquotes?

    I think he uses the <q> tag instead of the <blockquote> tag. Test:

    test

    Can’t fit into a polite society and do as others do?

    To be fair, this is not a polite society. :-) He called us “MOTHER FUCKERS”, and I called him “motherfucker” back!

    but I really don’t get how that in any way could possibly even relate to the AAH. If it is an issue of climate… walruses, that have discarded most of their fur, live in the friggen ARCTIC.

    why is anyone even bothering to debate the issue with algiskuliukas any more?

    Chris brought that up, not Algis.

    … or, just I was in a hurry, saw an apology and quickly replied “no problem”.

    *facepalm*

    *facepalm*

    *Picard & Riker double facepalm*

    If you’re in such a hurry that you don’t have time to read comments, you don’t have time to reply to them either!

    Why isn’t this blindingly obvious to you?

    No. One. Said. We. Were.

    You didn’t. Chris did in comments 1009 and 1236.

    The. Material. Point. That. You. Keep. Ignoring. Is. That. Humans. Have. Far. Less. Functional. Body. Hair. Than. Chimps. And. The. Orthodox. Theories. Have. Nothing. To. Say. About. Why. That. Would. Be.

    Uh, what I just wrote above isn’t exactly a new idea. ~:-|

    See Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution.

    Link doesn’t work.

    Where I have been “intellectually dishonest”?

    In every single instance where you’ve replied to stuff you haven’t read in full.

    Odd then, then you originally clung to the one or two amino acid changes as “evidence” that humans were less aquatic that chimps and were dancing in the street about this shop stopper..

    *headdesk*

    Work on your reading comprehension!

    And of those aquatic mammals that are roughly the same size as humans? Most of them retain thick fur

    And also (by the way) all of them scramble their flesh over dry ground – not being bipedal – potentially leading to severe skin abrasion.

    Giant otters.

    Anyone that says “Nerd is rigght” doesn’t can’t have any pretence of the moral high ground.

    Wow.

    Two argumenta ad hominem for the price of one! That should become a textbook example.

    Hey, “Amphiox”…. Who are you, and why do you hate the idea so much that humans might have waded, swam and dived a bit more than chimps since the LCA?

    You are one of the most hysterically aquaskeptic people I’ve ever come across in years. Please explain.

    Aaaaaaand another argumentum ad hominem! This time it takes the form I explained at the beginning of comment 1083.

    Perth, WA

    Irrelevant.

    As almost all of my replies include hyperlinks back to previous posts (to help people check them) as well as quoted samples that I am specifically replying to…

    *blink*

    That doesn’t demonstrate you’ve understood anything, let alone the parts you don’t quote. Indeed, several times now I’ve pointed out cases where you misunderstood what you quoted.

    The 4th paper (the only one that cites the paper that David was desperate to make a point about) was about the ancstors of baboons!.

    Uh, no, it’s about close relatives of the geladas. Theropithecus gelada is not Papio papio, P. hamadryas, P. anubis, P. cynocephalus or P. ursinus.

    More importantly, the paper is also about Paranthropus boisei. That’s not mentioned in the abstract; you really need to read the paper.

    It is, however, mentioned in comment 1220. See? Here we have a case where you’ve replied to a comment you haven’t read in full.

    QeD (that’s the Klingon word for “science”).

    but wetland sedges are a much more plausible source of C4 foods.

    Read… the… papers.

  250. Rey Fox says

    Perth, WA

    Irrelevant.

    Hilarious.

    Signed,
    Rey Fox
    Columbia, MO
    USA
    Having Turkey Sandwich For Lunch
    Name Already At Top, Above Timestamp

  251. Amphiox says

    If you’re in such a hurry that you don’t have time to read comments, you don’t have time to reply to them either!

    It was two sentences.

    Two. Sentences.

    On two lines.

    Two. Lines.

    If Algis can look at a post and fail to see the second line, then he needs to see an opthalmologist urgently.

    What a pathetic, pitiful excuse that was!

  252. Amphiox says

    Hey, “Amphiox”…. Who are you, and why do you hate the idea so much that humans might have waded, swam and dived a bit more than chimps since the LCA?

    If you actually had the intellectual honesty to read all the posts on this thread, you would have known that I, in fact, LOVED the idea that humans might have waded, swam, and dived more than chimpanzees since the LCA.

    The idea captured my imagination so much that it got me interested in the whole field of human origins, which I had not been interested in at all prior to stumbling across and reading one of Morgan’s books in a friend’s house I was visiting.

    I spent years reading everything I could get my hands on about the idea.

    Which is why I now know it is bupkiss.

  253. David Marjanović says

    On the contrary, the lack of support in places like this has, for years, actually made me more reluctant to finish my PhD. If I cannot even persuade people in cyberspace that this idea has merit, it is hardly an incentive to finish and write up.

    ~:-| That’s weird. In a thesis you have all the space you need to explain everything in detail and present all evidence at length. That’s harder on a blog or forum, not easier.

    Coconut Ape Hypothesis all the way!

    The Moistened Bint Hypothesis?

    Stryenge women loyin in ponds distribut’n swords is no bisis for a system of government.

  254. Amphiox says

    And those who are actually intellectually honest enough to read the whole thread would have seen that at the beginning, before I lost patience with Algis’ disgusting, dishonest, behavior, in several posts I explicitly described precisely what kind of evidence I would consider good evidence in favor of the AAH and other water-side hypotheses, and what kind of evidence, if presented in sufficient detail, would lead me to accept it as likely to be true.

  255. Amphiox says

    Uh, what I just wrote above isn’t exactly a new idea. ~:-|

    IIRC, the sweating and savannah cooling hypothesis predates the AAH by several decades at least. For Algis to pretend otherwise either suggests profound ignorance for someone who professes to have studied the issue for decades (the FIRST thing you always do when you assess or propose a hypothesis about ANYTHING in science is to fully familiarize yourself with the existing alternative hypotheses already in the literature). Or, more likely, it is simply more pathetic, disgusting intellectual dishonesty on Algis’ part.

  256. Amphiox says

    *headdesk*

    Work on your reading comprehension!

    It is particularly hilarious (and telling) that in my original post where I presented that, it was included as an example of reductio ad absurdum, in direct parallel to the kind and quality of arguments Algis had been making.

    So Algis apparently recognizes that the argument in one direction is limited, but fails to notice that it is exactly the same in nature as all his own arguments in the other direction have been.

    This is called “confirmation bias”, and Algis is a vivid example of it.

  257. Amphiox says

    ~:-| That’s weird. In a thesis you have all the space you need to explain everything in detail and present all evidence at length. That’s harder on a blog or forum, not easier.

    I am fairly certain (and in fact there are documented examples) that the people who judge PhD theses will happily pass theses that they don’t agree with, or even think are wrong, so long as the content is well argued, the experiments well designed and well executed, the hypotheses scientifically valid, and the results and conclusion logically following from the work that was done.

    Because in real life, every scientist thinks every other scientist is wrong, to one extent or another. The day that any scientist stops thinking that other scientists are wrong is the day that that scientist runs out of work to do and no longer has any justification for applying for grants.

  258. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    On the contrary, the lack of support in places like this has, for years, actually made me more reluctant to finish my PhD. If I cannot even persuade people in cyberspace that this idea has merit, it is hardly an incentive to finish and write up.

    Gee, Algis, here you present prima facie evidence you are a monomaniac. There is no reason your PhD dissertation has to be on soggy apes. You could still research soggy apes on the side while writing up and researching another topic. The problem is you are so wrapped up in the idea, you can’t separate you the “scientist” from the idea anymore. Until you do, you can’t be considered a scientist.

    For example, last week I saw an impurity in the HPLC chromatogram of a product I’m working on. I explained it as probably alcohol. If I behaved like you, I would expect everybody to accept that explanation without question and I would pretend my speculation was fact. But, being a scientist, I won’t do that, and today I will either show I was right or wrong with that speculation before anything gets written up. There is nothing bad about being wrong with speculation, as long as you can allow yourself to be wrong and learn from it.

    You can’t let yourself be wrong. Hence, you stopped learning.

  259. Amphiox says

    In other words, Algis is plainly just making excuses for the fact that he is having trouble finishing his PhD because his actual practice and understanding of science stinks, as he has amply demonstrated in this thread.

    I mean, if his PhD work to date reflects what he has shown in this thread, would anyone here, as a supervisor, pass a PhD candidate with a thesis pertaining to evolution who demonstrates no understanding of the importance of cladistics, the significance of out-groups, who cannot apply the principle of parsimony properly to evolutionary hypotheses, who designs “experiments” without adequate or valid controls, and who takes every critique of his scientific work as a personal insult?

  260. Amphiox says

    And again. On this topic, and in regard to Algis, Nerd has been right.

    People haven’t been taking direct note because most of what Nerd has been saying is self-evident and requires no comment.

  261. Amphiox says

    You didn’t. Chris did in comments 1009 and 1236.

    So, Algis is ignoring Chris’ comments, too, except for the ones that directly support his own positions?

    Typical and unsurprising.

  262. David Marjanović says

    Because in real life, every scientist thinks every other scientist is wrong, to one extent or another. The day that any scientist stops thinking that other scientists are wrong is the day that that scientist runs out of work to do and no longer has any justification for applying for grants.

    QFT.

    Also, this should be well known to Algis: he has happily taken the inspiration and encouragement from Elaine Morgan, despite disagreeing with her on how much our ancestors had to do with water – she compares our ancestors to otters, he mostly just has them wade a bit.

    I mean, if his PhD work to date reflects what he has shown in this thread, would anyone here, as a supervisor, pass a PhD candidate with

    Not me. I was held to standards of science, and rightly so.

  263. David Marjanović says

    So, Algis is ignoring Chris’ comments, too, except for the ones that directly support his own positions?

    Well, if he didn’t, he’d need to have the kookfight we’re waiting for.

    Have Marcel Williams, Algis, Marc Verhaegen or Chris ever openly disagreed with each other or with Morgan or Hardy in this thread? We got Algis to (correctly) say that some argument against Marcel’s hypothesis didn’t apply to his own, but only after Marcel was gone, right?

  264. David Marjanović says

    Oh, forgot to explain: HPLC = high pressure/performance/price liquid chromatography.

  265. ohsu says

    Not really being very honest there, OHSU, are you?

    So, here is something you can take to the bank. Any time I say that Algis has expressed a particular view or has made a particular statement, and Algis comes back and says that I’m lying, you can guarantee 100% that I am telling the truth.

    We have been through this now literally dozens of times. And each and every single time I can produce a link to Algis saying exactly what I claim. Every time. Every single time.

    To clarify for those who don’t get what I’m saying (Algis): There has not been a single time where I failed to produce a quote of him saying exactly what I claimed. Not once. Never.

    Interestingly, Algis has not learned from these repeated experiences. It’s as if they hadn’t happened. It’s as if he had no experience of me posting quotes demonstrating that he did, in fact, say what I claimed. I point out that he has said something incriminating, and his knee-jerk reaction is to call me a liar, having completely forgotten the literally dozens of times we have been through this before.

    The inability to learn from past experience is one of the hallmark characteristics of the type of netloon nutjob pseudoscientists for which Algis is the poster boy.

    Now, I will post a quote of Algis expressing his religious faith in the AAT — specifically that there is nothing anyone could say that would change his mind — and three things will happen: 1) Algis will reinterpret his statement to mean something other than what it clearly means. 2) He will forget that this incident ever happened. 3) At some point in the future we will go through this again.

    You can count on these three things as surely as you can count on the sun coming up tomorrow.

    So, here is Algis expressing his religious faith in the AAT.

    “You’re right though, that there is nothing you are going
    to say that is now going to convince me that humans have
    not been subject to water acting as an agency of selection
    more than chimps, since the LCA.”
    –Algis Kuliukas 11/24/2004

    And here’s a link for anyone who wants the context:
    https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=…4/EewyQhvsNP8J

    OMG, what a giant surprise! I produced an example of Algis saying exactly what I claimed! Who would have guessed that?! (Hint: anyone except, apparently, Algis.)

  266. anthrosciguy says

    So what? Ever heard of Sedges?

    David Marjonović (at 1220):

    All four, however, mention sedges (especially their “underground storage organs”) rather prominently. The fourth appears to be saying that Paranthropus boisei, which ate lots of C4, can’t have been eating underground storage organs of any plants alone; the second investigates oxygen isotopes in addition to carbon ones and shows that Australopithecus, while more dependent on water than giraffes, was much less so than hippos and hardly more than zebras and pigs.

    (my emphasis).

    Do you even read other people’s comments? Ever?

    This particular info and the way AATers responded to it inspired an explanation of AAT methods, which I’ve mentioned on the Summary page on my website. It’s a critical problem (or tactic):

    Finally, this quote from a newsgroup describes an essential problem with the AAT/H:

    If you put discovery of the mechanism of evolution first, it means that you have to wait on a convincing trail of artifacts, skeletal material and/or, lately, genetic material, first. If you put the theorization first then you simply have to rearrange the existing material, edit out what is inconsistent, twist and turn the facts, and Walla you have a ‘why’ theory that no-one can absolutely disprove. Of course you also have a theory that is also beyond actual proof.

    One common feature how the theorist actually behave, in an instance whereby they make a claim, it is often based on the lack of evidence they use as evidence for their theory. When the evidence for something arises, then they twist the theory such that lack-of-evidence that previously supported their theory becomes the presence of evidence that supports their theory. Negative of positive, the evidence always supports the leading theory. Why else do you create a theory before you have sufficient evidence, so that you can lead the data as it comes out, at least until so much data comes that the theory looses all support. Very seldomly does the theorist actually back out of supporting his theory because new data fails to support it.

    An excellent example of this are the C13/C12 levels in africanus, as it became increasingly clear that africanus was a grassland derived carbon consumer, the AAT theorist tried to manuever their theory such that it had to be an aquatic grassland that was providing the C13/C12 levels, and the focus then became, see C13/C12 levels support aquatic theory because sedges are also aquatic and thus Africanus must have consumed sedges (not might have, may have or could have, but must have).

    Philip Deitiker, 22 Sep 2004 sci.anthropology.paleo

    In the hands of AAT/H proponents it typically ends up with this formulation:

    a) if A is true, then the AAT/H is true, but
    b) if A is untrue, then the AAT/H is still true.

    I then go on to give another example of this in action, that of apes’ reaction to water.

  267. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I mean, if his PhD work to date reflects what he has shown in this thread, would anyone here, as a supervisor, pass a PhD candidate with a thesis pertaining to evolution who demonstrates no understanding of the importance of cladistics, the significance of out-groups, who cannot apply the principle of parsimony properly to evolutionary hypotheses, who designs “experiments” without adequate or valid controls, and who takes every critique of his scientific work as a personal insult?

    If I was his supervisor, I wouldn’t even let the committee meet for him to defend his dissertation. And if I was a member of the committee (say outside department or university member), a thumbs down due to utter and total inability to do and explain science.

  268. anthrosciguy says

    And also (by the way) all of them scramble their flesh over dry ground – not being bipedal – potentially leading to severe skin abrasion.

    This abrasion excuse was started by Elaine Morgan and has been copied by Algis quite often. It has been explained to him with this is nonsense. For one thing being bipedal gets us out of brush contact to a great degree; if this abrasion problem was a major factor it would indicate selection for bipedalism in savanna conditions (I don’t think that’s a great argument, but that’s what Algis’, and Morgan’s, abrasion excuse would indicate if it were true). Another is that smaller animals, in the real world, suffer rather less abrasion than we do in similar circumstances, since they often move along game trails. We do too, but anyone who has done this at all, particularly following small animals, is aware that they often have a much less obstructed path to follow.

    BTW, one thing Algis has never come to grips with — with his non-abrasive, flat, firm, vegetation free surface wading argument — is that water-covered surfaces are very often not flat, not firm, and not vegetation free. In fact they often have a tangle of vegetation to deal with, holes and dips to deal with, and it’s worst than out of water because even in clearish water these obstacles are harder to see; in unclear water you simply can’t see them at all.

  269. anthrosciguy says

    I have, many times, spelt out in detail, what would make me drop the idea like a stone in a pond.

    Yes, someone torturing baby humans and chimps.

  270. anthrosciguy says

    Funny, then, that the exact same thing holds even better for terrestrial mammals: grassland rhinos have less hair than forest rhinos, the woolly rhino had even more, mammoths were bigger but lived in much colder climates than other elephants.

    I’ve mentioned elsewhere that rhinos are a counter-example for the AAT hair argument. The more water use, the more hair. The Sumatran rhino, sometimes called the Hairy Rhinoceros, has the most hair and swims the most readily. What’s more, instead of its hair being mostly on the surfaces which are out of the water — the AAT argument — the opposite is true.

    But then Marc Verhaegen describes rhinos as “predominantly aquatic”. :)

  271. anthrosciguy says

    That’s not mentioned in the abstract; you really need to read the paper.

    But, but “the abstract of a paper is designed to report all the major findings without the need to read it all.”

    At least that’s what Algis told me. :)

  272. Tethys says

    Algis doesn’t read his own links. From upthread here is the abstract to the paper that he claims proves that C4 came from sedges.

    A small minority of Africa’s wild plant foods are C4. These are primarily the seeds of some of the C4 grasses, the rootstocks and stem/leaf bases of some of the C4 sedges (especially papyrus), and the leaves of some of the C4 herbaceous dicots (forbs). These wild food plants are commonly found in disturbed ground and wetlands (particularly the grasses and sedges). Multiple lines of evidence indicate that C4 grasses were present in Africa by at least the late Miocene. It is a reasonable hypothesis that the prehistory of the C4 sedges parallels that of the C4 grasses, but the C4 forbs may not have become common until the late Pleistocene. CAM plants may have a more ancient history, but offer few opportunities for an additional C4-like dietary signal. The environmental reconstructions available for the early South African hominid sites do not indicate the presence of large wetlands, and therefore probably the absence of a strong potential for a C4 plant food diet. However, carbon isotope analyses of tooth enamel from three species of early South African hominids have shown that there was a significant but not dominant contribution of C4 biomass in their diets. Since it appears unlikely that this C4 component could have come predominantly from C4 plant foods, a broad range of potential animal contributors is briefly considered, namely invertebrates, reptiles, birds, and small mammals. It is concluded that the similar average C4 dietary intake seen in the three South African hominid species could have been acquired by differing contributions from the various sources, without the need to assume scavenging or hunting of medium to large grazing ungulates. Effectively similar dominantly dryland paleo-environments may also be part of the explanation. Theoretically, elsewhere in southern and eastern Africa, large wetlands would have offered early hominids greater opportunities for a C4 plant diet.

    He must have missed the bolded sentence where it shows that they weren’t living in a wetland, so they obviously were not eating wetland plants to get the C4 isotope.

    I’m not sure if this one has been linked yet, but it is futher evidence that the C4 in the various hominids and hominoids was not derived from eating plants, but from eating the various invertabrates and small to medium sized terrestrial critters that ate the C4 plants.

    If Algis used his big brain to actually think about the ramifications of this evidence, he would notice that none of the isotope evidence has them eating aquatic plants or animals, and in fact proves that little if any of their food came from in or near the water.

    Stable isotopes in fossil hominin tooth enamel suggest a fundamental dietary shift in the Pliocene.

    Oh, and Algis? David Marjanovic is not at all arrogant or egotistical. You should thank him for being so nice as to take anything you say seriously enough to correct your multitudes of errors and sloppy science.

    Also, Nerd is not wrong about you and it is absolutely hilarious that the only person who you think has been even-handed is Chas. The wading for mackeral comment was a clue,( I LOLed), but subtlety is not a strong point with Algis.

  273. Tethys says

    I have been musing on the differences in physiology between apes and humans and there is a big one that none of the literature seems to address at all, and is a huge problem for AAH.

    Human females menstruate. Human females bleed for up to six weeks after giving birth.
    There is no way in hell human females could have been aquatic. The infection rate alone would have made the practice a bad idea.

    Do any of you scientists have any information on when humans went from estrus to menses?
    One would think that there is a way to test for a monthly drop in iron.

    If you have ever given birth to, and then bathed a newborn, you would know that they startle and start crying when you give them their first bath. They do this for about the first month or so after birth. They also sink like stones, so the idea that females somehow gave birth in the shallows and then held their babies up out of the water for several years is beyond ludicrous.

  274. Amphiox says

    Human females menstruate. Human females bleed for up to six weeks after giving birth.
    There is no way in hell human females could have been aquatic. The infection rate alone would have made the practice a bad idea.

    Not to mention as well that the male external reproductive organs are ludicrously exposed for a wading, tail-less primate, and any increase in bipedal gait just makes that exposure even worse.

    Candiru isn’t the only fish that likes to exploit dangling, worm-like appendages.

  275. Tigger_the_Wing, Can Fly (provided xe uses an aeroplane) says

    Firstly, I would like to thank all the people who have tirelessly responded to the nonsense in this thread with actual science – I have learned a lot over the last few days (even though some of the pro-aah screeds sent me to sleep, when I awoke I carried right on reading. However, I’ve been sick; that may or may not have any bearing on the apparently soporific effect of the comments) and have discovered more about evolution than I was aware existed. =^_^=

    Secondly, just a couple of points that haven’t yet been addressed.

    Menyambal @ 1075 was recalling a picture of a chimp with its upper lip over its nose; I found one by Googling “chimpanzee expressions”.

    http://static.iltalehti.fi/ulkomaat/juttucheetaMP_ul.jpg

    CHE @ 1236 claimed that “the subtropical Californian sea lion is slick as a bottle”.

    Not according to Seaworld:

    http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/california-sea-lion/physical-characteristics.htm

    When dry, the light to golden brown of the California sea lion’s fur is more apparent. When they are wet, they become dark brown to black.

    When the pro-aah side make such obviously wrong assertions that a sick granny with no experience in science since the 1970’s (and then only as a lowly lab technician) can see that they are bullshitting, why do they seem to think that they can pull the wool over the eyes of the actual scientists here? Are they bored, or something?

  276. Amphiox says

    The ONLY water-related idea that fits with the existing evidence is the idea that, having already become bipedal, human ancestors, living on the savannah found it easier to cross rives on the savannah, enabling them to travel longer distances across the savannah.

    This is a trivial addition to the standard savannah/terrestrial hypotheses, if it hasn’t already been added long ago.

    It should be noted that the alternative hypothesis that adaptions like bipedality, thinned body hair, downturned nostrils, and the like, each evolving at different times in response to different selective pressures were, once all were in place, exapted by modern H. sapiens to swim/wade/dive/exploit shoreline resources as a cultural innovation is something that Algis and co. have not addressed. None of their arguments to date can distinguish this scenario from what they themselves are proposing.

    Those who are actually familiar with real and legitimate evolutionary research know that this kind of exaption scenario is the standard alternative to pretty much any and all adaptionist proposals. It is the first thing that anyone proposing an adaptionist idea is expected to address – to rule out with evidence, or show how their proposal is different from this alternative and how the two can be distinguished from each other.

    If you don’t do this, your adaptionist proposal usually won’t make it through peer review. Even if it does, this will be the very first criticism leveled against it by the greater scientific community, and the very first thing someone seeking to either replicate or overturn your findings will try to address.

    Algis and co. have had decades to address this, but all they have is *crickets* on this front.

  277. Amphiox says

    Human females menstruate.

    It is ironic that the current crop of male AAHers would miss this, considering how the primary focus of nearly all of Elaine Morgan’s arguments had been that male savannah hypothesis proponents had crafted a scenario based primarily on the male’s point of view, ignoring in their male privilege* the potential of selective pressure on the females in the population, and how her version of the AAH addressed these issues better.

    *I think I have mentioned before that Elaine Morgan’s writing was actually the thing that introduced me to the concept of unrecognized privilege, in this context. I had little interest in feminist writing or thought at the time, and if not for that may never have encountered that idea in my formative years, and, being at the time a nerdy introvert with interests in computer science, comic books, and video games, if not for that first accidental exposure to the AAH, I think it would have been 50:50 that I would have ended up in the Slymepit right now.

    So for that at least I am eternally grateful to the AAH as an idea.

  278. ohsu says

    I have, many times, spelt out in detail, what would make me drop the idea like a stone in a pond.

    1) As ASG said, “torturing baby humans and chimps”. While it’s true that Algis has chosen such a brutal “test” that it is a guarantee nobody will ever do the “test”, there’s more to say about this.

    It has been explained to Algis dozens upon dozens of times why his baby-chucking experiment is circular. The rationale for the experiment goes like this:

    Observation: Humans have traits X and Y.
    Hypothesis: Humans have traits X and Y due to water-related selection.
    Prediction: If humans underwent water related selection, then we should have traits X and Y.
    Evidence: Humans have traits ‘X and Y.

    This is perfectly circular, which makes it perfectly worthless.

    2) Algis’s “test” fails to distinguish between adaptation and exaptation.

    a. What would be the expected outcome if humans swim better than chimps as an adaptation?
    b. What would be the expected outcome if humans swim better than chimps as an exaptation?

    The outcome is the same. The “test” doesn’t test for anything relevant.

    This has been pointed out to Algis many, many, many times. Yet it’s as if nobody ever said it. He continues to promote his “test” as if it were pure genius, when it is demonstrably pure horseshit.

  279. anthrosciguy says

    When dry, the light to golden brown of the California sea lion’s fur is more apparent. When they are wet, they become dark brown to black.

    When the pro-aah side make such obviously wrong assertions that a sick granny with no experience in science since the 1970’s (and then only as a lowly lab technician) can see that they are bullshitting, why do they seem to think that they can pull the wool over the eyes of the actual scientists here? Are they bored, or something?

    Facts are impediments to them, obstacles which they need not climb because they just ignore their existence and build imaginary paths instead. Algis did this hairless seals thing when he was in the midst of a PhD quest on the subject, when he should presumably be trying to get real facts for evidence instead of making things up. He did a similar one then using the diet of proboscis monkeys as an analogue for our ancestor’s diets, not realizing (as even a couple minutes’ online search would’ve told him) that proboscis monkeys have a very specialized diet with specialized digestive adaptations to handle it.

    On the sea lion front, Marc Verhaegen for years made a very silly claim about either sea lions or fur seals being, after humans, the “most-sweating mammals” or “most-themoregulatorily-sweating” (he jumped from one species to the other). I’ve got a summary of this, and how I looked up the facts and presented them, on a page on my site:

    http://www.aquaticape.org/sealskin.html

    Perhaps the most interesting thing about this episode (besides Marc’s reactions causing the sci.bio.evolution’s moderator to ban discussion of the AAT from that newsgroup) was that at one point he, very uncharacteristically, thanked me for correcting him. That’d sort of indicate he understood the facts that had been presented to him. But afterward he made the same claim again, this time restricted to his Yahoo group.

    Add that to the data on honesty and the AAT

  280. ohsu says

    Those who are actually familiar with real and legitimate evolutionary research know that this kind of exaption scenario is the standard alternative to pretty much any and all adaptionist proposals. It is the first thing that anyone proposing an adaptionist idea is expected to address – to rule out with evidence, or show how their proposal is different from this alternative and how the two can be distinguished from each other.

    This is 100% true. The null hypothesis to any hypothesis of adaptation MUST BE exaptation. There is a reason it is common practice: it is a logical REQUIREMENT. The scientific method demands it.

    Algis has accused me of making this up, even though it was explained to him by Langdon, and he and Algis discussed it via email.

  281. Tethys says

    Candiru isn’t the only fish that likes to exploit dangling, worm-like appendages.

    Cue the AAH loons claiming that shrinkage is proof of aquatic adaptation.

    I read Elaine Morgan way back in the 80’s, and I thought her aquatic ape interesting but highly unlikely.

    The most valuble takeaway was that evolutionary scientists were biased and limited in their imagination due to ingrained sexism. Breasts as mini life preservers? Um, yeah, that made me wonder if EM had ever given birth, or gone swimming in her life.

    Two of the very obvious ways humans differ from all other primates are found only in the female.
    Breasts and menses are huge changes, and it seems that there still hasn’t been any science done to try and determine how these mutations arose.

    We are the sexy apes. Sexual selection explains the relative furlessness, noses, and secondary sexual characteristics much better than wading or swimming.

  282. vaiyt says

    Hey, “Amphiox”…. Who are you, and why do you hate the idea so much that humans might have waded, swam and dived a bit more than chimps since the LCA?

    That is not what you’re arguing, you dishonest fucktwaddle.

    You’re arguing that the ancestors of humans having waded, swam and dived more is what shaped the differences between us and chimps. That is the point of contention, and the point for which you have no good evidence.

    You sound like a creationist, trying to lie about what you said five minutes ago to confound the audience – except anyone can read what you wrote before. That shit ain’t gonna fly here.

  283. Amphiox says

    Cue the AAH loons claiming that shrinkage is proof of aquatic adaptation.

    And yet, humans have the biggest ones for their body size of all the apes….

  284. Amphiox says

    Two of the very obvious ways humans differ from all other primates are found only in the female.
    Breasts and menses are huge changes, and it seems that there still hasn’t been any science done to try and determine how these mutations arose.

    Breasts reduce streamlining and negatively impact swimming and diving. And there are predators in both fresh and salt water that can detect a drop of blood in a swimming pool’s worth of water from miles away.

    Pity the poor aquatic apesses….

  285. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    1275. David M.: To be fair, this is not a polite society. :-) He called us “MOTHER FUCKERS”, and I called him “motherfucker” back!


    Come on, I saw Myers calling Algis a “wanker” in this thread. *He started it!*

    1289. David M.: Have Marcel Williams, Algis, Marc Verhaegen or Chris ever openly disagreed with each other or with Morgan or Hardy in this thread? We got Algis to (correctly) say that some argument against Marcel’s hypothesis didn’t apply to his own, but only after Marcel was gone, right?


    Oh yeah, don’t worry. There was a heated exchange between Algis and Marc not too long ago about weight bearing properties of Homo erectus. I personally think Marc may be arguing erectus too wet, but I also think Algis may argue all hominins too dry. And Algis, I still think you may placate mainstream anthropology too much, ’cause if Don Johanson flips in London, they’re still not gonna listen to reason. (It’s not like this aquatic idea’s gonna stop excavation expeditions, so what the hell is Johanson afraid off?)
    Marcel I’m personally a little angry at these days, ’cause he made me consider Oreopithecus (9-7mya, it has been argued as a bipedal, semiaquatic ape) as a strong candidate for a hominin ancestor. And then a professor at the geological musum in Copenhagen actually showed me their Oreop. skull, and those teeth do look fucked up. No shovel incisors, while Dryopithecus, Sivapithecus and all hominids has shovel incisors.

    1299. Tethys: Human females menstruate. Human females bleed for up to six weeks after giving birth.


    Yeah, when giving birth above water. You should read up on Michel Odent.

    1299. Tethys: There is no way in hell human females could have been aquatic. The infection rate alone would have made the practice a bad idea.


    And yet James Cook’s expeditions to Australia recorded, that aboriginals gave birth in the water and nursed their young at wading depths. And even today the Orang Laut sea gypsies traditionally gives birth in water, even though missionaries are trying to persuade them otherwise to civilize them an’ stuff. I think many of you are thinking too “white” and temperate in this.

    1300. Amphiox: Not to mention as well that the male external reproductive organs are ludicrously exposed for a wading, tail-less primate, and any increase in bipedal gait just makes that exposure even worse.


    What does every man’s wang do in water?
    -

  286. Eurasian magpie says

    Tethys at 3:01 pm
    Cue the AAH loons claiming that shrinkage is proof of aquatic adaptation

    Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht at 4:09 pm
    What does every man’s wang do in water?

    1h8min. Not bad.

  287. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    1307. Tethys: We are the sexy apes. Sexual selection explains the relative furlessness, noses, and secondary sexual characteristics much better than wading or swimming.


    Ok, why in the fuck is furlessness suddenly automatically sexy? That’s an old bullshit argument. Furlessness don’t just pop up, because it’s somehow sexy just in and of itself. At least it’s not bloody parsimonous. Why the fuck don’t chimps or gorillas think that potential mates with less fur is sexy, and therefore spawning a selective pressure for less fur? Or do humans make up their own evolutionary rules in the tree of life, all of a sudden?

    Yes, human, you think furlessness is sexy in a potential mate (and you’re absolutely right), but that’s because you are a furless mammal species, and a potential mate being adequately furless illustrates reproductive health in that individual. It is by far more parsimonous, that furlessness had an evolutionary function in healthy Homines sapientes. And again you’re rejecting all wet connections, reject that mammal furlessness in most cases is linked to water, past or present, that that can’t possibly be in convergence with human evolution in any shape or form. You reject the entire possibility based on … what?

    1310. Amphiox: (On mens) And there are predators in both fresh and salt water that can detect a drop of blood in a swimming pool’s worth of water from miles away.


    I think only a few simian species have period bleeding among all mammals (“overt”, as opposed to “covert” menstruation, which is all other placental mammals, they don’t bleed). Off the top of my head only humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and rhesus monkeys period bleed. I honestly have no idea why.
    -

  288. ohsu says

    I personally think Marc may be arguing erectus too wet

    Really? HAHAHAHAHA!! Maybe? Ya think?

    Verhaegen thinks Homo erectus was a dedicated marine animal that lived its entire life in the sea and rarely if ever came ashore.

    Marc Verhaegen is a fucking moron and every AATer who takes him even remotely seriously is just as big a moron as he is. This includes you for qualifying your statement above with “may”.

    And Verhaegen, who looks at the skeleton of Homo erectus and sees a dedicated marine animal is the guy AATers consider to be the great “comparative anatomist” of the AAT.

    FUCKING MORONS.

  289. Amphiox says

    Ok, why in the fuck is furlessness suddenly automatically sexy? That’s an old bullshit argument. Furlessness don’t just pop up, because it’s somehow sexy just in and of itself.

    Why the feathery fuck is a big fan of tail feathers sexy to a penhen?

    Why the leathery fuck is a big red ass sexy to some female monkeys?

    Why the scaley fuck is a bright yellow throat patch sexy to some female lizards?

    Why the croaking fuck is a ginormous expanding air sac sexy to some female frogs?

    Sexual selection doesn’t actually require any “rational” reason.

    And, yet, it is documented fact that some modern humans do, in fact, find reduced body hair sexy, moreso than observed in chimpanzees. This is an observation no less relevant than the claim that modern humans swim better than chimpanzees.

  290. Amphiox says

    It should not by now have escaped the notice of the honest people (who actually understand evolutionary theory) watching this that counterarguments against the AAH like the argument-from-menstruation, or the argument-from-penis-dangling, or the argument-from-bra-size are exactly the same in kind and structure, to the arguments that Algis and Chris have been making for the AAH.

    I did that deliberately.

    It is telling that these are the arguments that Algis and Chris have been jumping on and objecting the loudest to, all the while failing to see that their own precious arguments are exactly the same.

    While the real serious objections presenting by myself and many others have all been routinely ignored.

  291. ohsu says

    What does every man’s wang do in water?

    The ONLY thing every man’s wang does in water is get wet.

    I know the answer you’re looking for is “shrink”, but that’s bullshit. Apparently you either have no penis or you’ve never immersed yourself in WARM water. Because in WARM water the penis does not shrink.

    It isn’t WATER that leads to shrinkage, but COOL water, or water that is cooler than typical body temperature. And strangely enough, the same thing happens in COOL AIR if you’re not covering your wang with clothing.

    The factor, then, isn’t water, but TEMPERATURE.

    Are
    you
    a
    fucking
    idiot?

    Yes, it seems you are.

  292. Amphiox says

    If Algis used his big brain to actually think about the ramifications of this evidence, he would notice that none of the isotope evidence has them eating aquatic plants or animals, and in fact proves that little if any of their food came from in or near the water.

    It is even worse for Chris’ version of the theory, since his requires a significant portion of the diet to be marine animals like shellfish, and that should have produced an isotopic signature that would have jumped right out and screamed “shellfish eater! shellfish eater!”, and yet it does not.

  293. Amphiox says

    I know the answer you’re looking for is “shrink”, but that’s bullshit. Apparently you either have no penis or you’ve never immersed yourself in WARM water. Because in WARM water the penis does not shrink.

    And of course, Chris’ version of the theory is all about WARM, TROPICAL waters….

  294. Amphiox says

    And of course, the smallest, cold shrunk human organ is still an order of magnitude bigger than that of a gorilla.

  295. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht:

    Ok, why in the fuck is furlessness suddenly automatically sexy? That’s an old bullshit argument. Furlessness don’t just pop up, because it’s somehow sexy just in and of itself. At least it’s not bloody parsimonous. Why the fuck don’t chimps or gorillas think that potential mates with less fur is sexy, and therefore spawning a selective pressure for less fur? Or do humans make up their own evolutionary rules in the tree of life, all of a sudden?

    Good lord, Christian, cool your jets. You are once again screaming angry disbelief at something that you really should know about.

    Sexual selection is odd and powerful, and pretty much a matter of fashion. Here’s an illustration:

    See, a chimpette wanders out one day, who happens to have slightly less hair than the other chimpettes. She meets a guy chimp, who just happens to find less hair sexy. It doesn’t matter how trivial the difference and desire are, it only has to be slightly there. Their meeting isn’t unlikely, either, over the years, so don’t argue that.

    The two go at it like mad monkeys, and have a couple of chimplets, male and female. Heredity being what it is, the chimplets have little hair, and think little hair is sexy.

    Being chimps, and not having the Bible to guide them, the chimplets boink each other, the hairless, bald-loving incestuous freaks. Their kids are inbred, twisted wierdos, some of which are really hairless and really hung-up on hairlessness. And so it goes.

    And we are their hairless and hairless-preferring descendants. Makes you proud, don’t it?

    Loosen that up to a tribe of monkeys and tribal differences, leaving out the close incest, and you can still get about anything, really fast.

    And to repeat, we are fine-haired, not hairless, and above the neck we are MUCH hairier than chimps.

    And, yes, it’s crazy, fashion-driven and fast.

    For a real-life illustration, go on over to 4Chan, to /s/, which is for images of sexy women, and look for a thread on pubic hair. You can find guys writing out arguments much like this thread, about whether or not women should shave their pubic hair. You will find some guys insisting that it is right, proper, the only decent thing to do, and evolutionarily inevitable that women shave it all off. They say it is sick, disgusting and un-natural to have sex with a woman with pubic hair.

    Now, the fashion for shaving is only a decade or so old. But these guys are just as set and snarly about it as if it were sent down in stone from a mountain. Now, if these guys were actually having sex, and if any woman would have their babies, they’d pass on their culture, perhaps, and any part of their preference that was gene-related.

    Because, see, there are also guys on /s/ who like hairy women …

    (Me, my preferences are still pretty much what was in fashion when I was a young man.)

    So fashions can whipsaw, hard and fast, and if there is any genetic element that can be inherited to keep the fashion going, it can set in stone in a few generations. Right now a lot of the hairless-women fans are also desirous of sexing it up with oriental women, so that may change the human population a bit in a few years.

    And, some twisted guys are fans of bushy hair, and may speciate off if things go well for them.

    While the chimps still like chimpettes, with their lovely black coats and their strong teeth and those nostril that let you see what they are thinking. (Although there was a picture once of a male chimp with some movie starlet. He liked, her, it was evident.)

    So Chris, your incredulity isn’t worth jack, and your lack of knowledge means you should just walk away in shame.

  296. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Oh, and once again, Christian, you seem to be completely ignoring the fact that chimps have evolved and changed just as much as we have since our LCA. Chimps and gorillas seem to have converged on a few things, rather than being the base stock from which we departed.

    I apologize for using chimps in my last comment, because it made it sound like we changed from chimp stock. It’s a common thought, and I need to not reinforce it.

    Our LCA was sorta hairy, and split into coarse-hair connoisseurs and fine-hair fiends.

    Again, we are not descended from chimps.

    Nor are we descended from monkeys. See, your question was practically the same as asking, “If we descended from monkeys, why are their still monkeys?” It’s a dumb question that only reveals the ignorance of the asker.

    (Oh, and while you are on 4Chan, look up “furries”. Or rather, don’t.)

  297. ohsu says

    Chris’s quibbling about whether penises shrink in water or whether furlessness is sexy is EXACTLY what AAT lunatics thrive on. The love bickering about their own personal interpretation of this trait vs. that trait. “You think X has a terrestrial explanation, but I think X has an aquatic explanation.”

    The LOVE it. It’s what they THRIVE on.

    What they HATE are facts that destroy the entire AAT argument.

    Cerling et al (2011). Every suspected human ancestor in the past 6 million years has lived in open woodland, wooded grassland or grassland. No swam apes, no wetland apes, no seasonally flooded gallery forest apes.

    Mirceta et al (2013) Humans did not swim or dive more than chimps.

    It doesn’t matter how you interpret the shape of our noses or whether we have watertight vaginas if the EVIDENCE places our ancestors in savannas and demonstrates that they didn’t swim or dive any more than chimps did.

    That’s it! That’s all! There’s nothing more to say. AATers literally have NO EVIDENCE. All they have ever had is their interpretation of various traits, which doesn’t count for ANYTHING, and certainly doesn’t carry the weight of the actual EVIDENCE that places our ancestors in savannas.

  298. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    AATers literally have NO EVIDENCE. All they have ever had is their interpretation of various traits, which doesn’t count for ANYTHING, and certainly doesn’t carry the weight of the actual EVIDENCE that places our ancestors in savannas.

    Quoted For Mother Fucking Truth.

    All the “evidence” for soggyy apes is what I call imagufactured. It involves looking at real evidence standing on your head with or without hallucinogens, and pretending what you see is meaningful. Reality it is not.

  299. ohsu says

    There are people in this discussion who have said that there were no savannas in Africa before 1 mya, or 3 mya, or whatever. Part of the confusion here is a fairly restricted definition of savanna. The term “savanna” doesn’t mean “hot, arid, and treeless”. It includes open woodlands, grasslands studded with trees, grasslands with clusters of bushes, and treeless grasslands.

    This is the definition used by Cerling et all (2011) wherein he reports that virtually all of the 1300 samples he collected spanning the 6 million year span were “savanna”. How can he say that, and then report that some of the samples showed 40% tree cover? Plenty of us would call 40% tree cover a “woodland” or even a “forest” depending on our cultural biases.

    There is no doubt that the “savanna theory” is dead, in the sense that we know that humans aren’t an environmentally determined product of living in a hot, arid, treeless environment. But the notion that human ancestors evolved primarily in savannas (real ones, not the strawman depiction of them) is not dead. In fact, it is supported by 100% of the evidence.

  300. Amphiox says

    And to repeat, we are fine-haired, not hairless, and above the neck we are MUCH hairier than chimps.

    With this little point it should be noted that the one place, the one place, where loss of hair would MOST improve swimming and diving efficiency, is the top of the head. So much so that among the modern humans who MOST need to increase their swimming efficiency, the professional and olympic athletes, all either SHAVE their head hair, or resort to a little piece of modern technology known as the swim cap.

    And those who do neither mostly don’t make it in competition. If this were an evolutionary competition with selection pressure for swimming efficiency, those fully coifed basterds would be the ones who end up dead.

    And yet, the one place, the one place, where humans GAINED hair compared to chimpanzees, is on the head.

    For every argument for aquatic ancestry that the AAHers have ever made about a trait in modern humans, an exactly opposing argument can be made about the SAME trait, with exactly equal logic and validity, to argue that aquatic ancestry is, frankly, impossible.

    Which is why arguments from traits, standing alone, is flatly invalid in any direction whatsoever. And that is all the AAHers have that is not gross misrepresentation, deliberate distortion, and outright lies.

  301. Tethys says

    Christian responded to my point about humans bleeding for weeks after birth with this:

    Yeah, when giving birth above water. You should read up on Michel Odent.

    Wow, what a dumbshit. Read up on human reproduction and learn that blood is always involved in birth, and all women bleed heavily for several weeks postpartum. Have you ever seen a placenta? Those things are nearly as big as the baby, and highly prized by predators.

    Where you give birth has no effect on how long it takes to heal from preganancy and birth. It is six weeks minimum for most tissue trauma to heal, and several months before your muscles and bones return to their pre-pregnancy state.

  302. ohsu says

    For every argument for aquatic ancestry that the AAHers have ever made about a trait in modern humans, an exactly opposing argument can be made about the SAME trait, with exactly equal logic and validity, to argue that aquatic ancestry is, frankly, impossible.

    Which is why arguments from traits, standing alone, is flatly invalid in any direction whatsoever.

    You are right about quibbling about traits. It is pointless. It never gets past ‘your interpretation vs. my interpretation’. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. It’s nothing but opinions and guesswork. WHICH IS WHY AATers LOVE IT. They’re not scientists in any sense of the word. They’re just pissing in the wind, and they love it when their opponents engage in the same bullshit.

    But there’s an even bigger problem with arguing traits, and it works the same in both directions. ARGUING TRAITS IS LOGICALLY CIRCULAR. It goes like this:

    I observe that humans have a trait. I wonder if the trait is an adaptation. I make up a story that explains how the trait is an adaptation. And where would I find evidence that the trait is explained by my story? My story. And where do I find evidence for my story? The trait.

    Observation: Humans have trait X.
    Hypothesis: Humans have trait X as an adaptation for activity Y
    Prediction: If trait X is an adaptation for activity Y, then… humans would be expected to have trait X
    Evidence: Humans have trait X

    I criticize AATers for failing to get beyond this circularity, but EVERYONE commits the same logical circularity when they conjecture that a given trait fits a given story, without being able to point to non-circular evidential support.

  303. Amphiox says

    But there’s an even bigger problem with arguing traits, and it works the same in both directions. ARGUING TRAITS IS LOGICALLY CIRCULAR. It goes like this:

    I observe that humans have a trait. I wonder if the trait is an adaptation. I make up a story that explains how the trait is an adaptation. And where would I find evidence that the trait is explained by my story? My story. And where do I find evidence for my story? The trait.

    aka, “just-so story”.

  304. ohsu says

    aka, “just-so story”.

    aka Fairytale science of all kinds.

    “UFO abduction reports are best explained by the idea that UFO abduction is real. Evidence that UFO abductions are real? All the people who report being abducted by UFOs.”

    “Bigfoot sightings are best explained by the idea that Bigfoot is real. Evidence that Bigfoot is real? All the sightings people report.”

    We could go on forever. All of these (and the AAT) suffer from the same kind of circularity:

    1) The observed phenomena are explained by a story.
    2) The evidence for the story are the observed phenomena.

    And around and around and around we go.

    Real science avoids the circularity by requiring hypotheses to make robust testable predictions. And logically speaking the prediction must come from somewhere other than the original observation. In the case of paleoanthropology, this evidence usually takes the form of fossils and artifacts, because they are independent of ANY story. They simply are what they are.

    In the case of adaptationist hypotheses, the evidence usually takes the form of multiple traits serving the same function appearing simultaneously and corresponding in time and place with a lifestyle that was likely to be adaptive. (A good example is the material on throwing we’ve kicked around lately. Several different traits affecting throwing seem to have appeared simultaneously. This makes it likely that they were all acted upon by the same selection pressure. And they appeared in a place where throwing could have been adaptive, and during a time when throwing could have been adaptive [for either hunting or scavenging]).

    And this is where the AAT has NOTHING. The traits they claim are aquatic emerge one-here-one-there over a period of 20 million years. This indicates that they were not acted upon by a single selection pressure. And there is zero evidence that humans engaged in a lifestyle in which those supposedly aquatic traits would be adaptive. 100% of suspected human ancestors going back 6 million years lived in open woodland, wooded grassland, or grassland. There is no evidence for a marsh ape, a wetland ape, a swamp ape, a seasonally flooded gallery forest ape, or a beach ape anywhere in human ancestry.

    The AAT is on exactly the same footing in terms of evidence, logic, and methodology, as UFO abductions and Bigfoot. It is logically circular and free of any form of robust evidence.

  305. anthrosciguy says

    Yeah, when giving birth above water. You should read up on Michel Odent.

    Wow, what a dumbshit. Read up on human reproduction and learn that blood is always involved in birth, and all women bleed heavily for several weeks postpartum. Have you ever seen a placenta? Those things are nearly as big as the baby, and highly prized by predators.

    Where you give birth has no effect on how long it takes to heal from preganancy and birth. It is six weeks minimum for most tissue trauma to heal, and several months before your muscles and bones return to their pre-pregnancy state.

    re Michel Odent:

    http://www.skepticalob.com/2009/07/why-lie-about-childbirth-pain-and.html

  306. anthrosciguy says

    One of the bigger problems with AATers arguing about traits is that with few exceptions, they do not describe the traits accurately. (When I first started looking at the claims that make up the AAT, one thing that amazed me was that Elaine Morgan was repeatedly able to find a very good source for info on various traits but would inevitably describe that trait inaccurately anyway.)

  307. Ogvorbis. Just plain Ogvorbis. No extras. says

    So has this become a third endless thread? TAAHET?

  308. anthrosciguy says

    To spell out what I was saying (should’ve put this sentence in the previous comment), what it usually comes down to is more like this:

    AATer’s claimed observation: Humans have trait X.
    Response: No, they don’t.

    and/or

    AATer’s claimed observation: “Aquatics” have trait X.
    Response: No, they don’t.

  309. ohsu says

    One of the bigger problems with AATers arguing about traits is that with few exceptions, they do not describe the traits accurately. (When I first started looking at the claims that make up the AAT, one thing that amazed me was that Elaine Morgan was repeatedly able to find a very good source for info on various traits but would inevitably describe that trait inaccurately anyway.)

    And of course Algis does the same thing. So does Chris.

    I think there are two reasons for this:

    1) They’re not particularly bright people, as evidenced by their inability to comprehend or even remember people’s refutations of their arguments.

    2) They all worship Morgan and follow her lead.

  310. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So has this become a third endless thread? TAAHET?

    Nowadays PZ has the Thunderdome to relegate inane fuckwits like these two to. Remember txpiper did not want to go to the Thunderdome, as he saw it as a failure to get his presuppositional “message” across. The difference in stupidity and arrogant and ignorant attitude between the creobot and these TrueBelievers™ is minimal. None of them can understand that they are refuted with solid scientific evidence.

  311. ohsu says

    Regarding Morgan, Algis, and Chris not being particularly bright, and how this affects their ability to accurately describe traits, I was thinking of a quote first brought to my attention by ASG. Remember this quote by Bertrand Russell?

    “A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”

    This could be said:

    “A stupid person’s description of a trait is often inaccurate, because he unconsciously translates what he reads or observes about the trait into something he can understand.”

    Elaine Morgan is an amusing and engaging speaker, but she has never demonstrated that she actually understands the first fucking thing about any aspect of biology, much less any specifics of human biology or the intricacies of evolutionary biology. And Algis and Chris are virtually intellectual clones of Morgan. They are both as dense as stones.

    It should surprise no one that none of these people can accurately describe the traits. They not only see everything through the filter of their aqua-colored glasses, but they unconsciously translate the uncomfortably difficult and complex world of real biology into something simple enough for a relatively dumb person to understand.

  312. Ogvorbis. Just plain Ogvorbis. No extras. says

    Nowadays PZ has the Thunderdome to relegate inane fuckwits like these two to.

    Oh, I know. The level of absurdity on this one is of a level that txpiper and joey have never attained. And with two true believers who keep citing the same evidence to support two mutually exclusive conclusions? Priceless.

  313. Lofty says

    Let me present the Homeopathic Ape Hypothesis!! (HAH!!). Stupendous amounts of water are involved but no measureable trace of facts at all.

  314. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, for the sake of complete disclosure, meaning honesty and integrity (traits the TrueBelievers™ lack), I was wrong in my suspicions. The peak wasn’t alcohol (methanol or ethanol). But I learned and moved on. The TrueBelievers™ are incapable of such acknowledgements. Unless they acknowledge they are wrong, they stuck in stasis, and can’t move on….

  315. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Let me present the Homeopathic Ape Hypothesis!!

    I prefer the Grog Ape Hypothesis. Those who imbibe too much grog, like our TrueBelievers, think apes drink grog too….

  316. says

    Holy fuck! A thread that really should’ve garnered only 50 or so posts gets a fuck-ton.

    I’m not sure whether I should attribute that to the “just-so story” school of thought, or the “but we’re 90% water, man! And stop bogarting that joint” school of thought.

    (Actually, I respect the later far more than the former.)

  317. says

    And for the record:

    I kinda like txpiper. Xe demonstrated a naiveté, an innocence. You could almost excuse xer’s ignorance.

    Here? Phillip should know better. I mean, after writing entire books and all. It’s kind of hard to excuse your ignorance hanging out like an indecent exposure citation when you have written books.

    All I can do is shake my head and yearn for the days of txpiper.

  318. Amphiox says

    I prefer the Grog Ape Hypothesis.

    It all depends on whether you prefer to respond to their inanities with HAH!!, or with GAH?!

  319. Amphiox says

    or the “but we’re 90% water, man! And stop bogarting that joint” school of thought

    IIRC, we are only 70% water….

    (Cnidarians are 90%+….)

  320. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Tigger, thanks for the chimp pic. That guy looks sealed up, nose and mouth. I keep finding more ways that chimps’d be better aquatic apes than us.

    I just want to suggest the term “scantily furred” for our sexually-selected not-really-hairlessness.

  321. anthrosciguy says

    I just want to suggest the term “scantily furred” for our sexually-selected not-really-hairlessness.

    I might as well stick this in there, but first wanted to point out something I learned about noses some years back. There have been a number of adaptationist ideas about our noses, but AFAIK none of them have any real basis in fact. And here I’ll apologize for not having the refs I’ve like at hand. First, from conversation with Yoel Rak, who’s a specialist on early hominid crania, and especially faces (as you might expect from a guy who wrote a book called The Australopithecine Face) our nose got the way it is, sticking out, not because it sticks out so much as because the rest migrated back, and this is largely due to brain expansion and the anchoring of chewing muscles.

    Here’s a quick and dirty illustration of this I did at TRF to show this:
    http://talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1673165#post1673165

    We also have studies showing the likelihood that all the facial diversity in the early days of Homo were due to drift.

    “Recent paleoanthropological discoveries reveal a diverse, potentially speciose human fossil record. Such extensive morphological diversity results from the action of divergent evolutionary forces on an evolving lineage. Here, we apply quantitative evolutionary theory to test whether random evolutionary processes alone can explain the morphological diversity seen among fossil australopith and early Homo crania from the Plio–Pleistocene. We show that although selection may have played an important role in diversifying hominin facial morphology in the late Pliocene, this is not the case during the early evolution of the genus Homo, where genetic drift was probably the primary force responsible for facial diversification.”

    “Detecting genetic drift versus selection in human evolution”
    Rebecca Rogers Ackermann, and James M. Cheverud
    PNAS December 28, 2004 vol. 101 no. 52 17946-17951

    This is long, and the hair one will be longer, so let me make it a different comment.

  322. anthrosciguy says

    Now on hair, this first is a cut and paste from a comment I did a while back at Greg Laden’s blog:

    A few bits on hair and evolution. First, the AAT/H claim has never really made sense; it’s always been a naive and unsupported speculation based on a naive and faulty analogy — that we’re similar to (usually unnamed) “aquatics”. But our hair characteristics aren’t like those animals at all, and the fact is that we’re extremely dissimilar to any of the hairless aquatic and semiaquatic mammals. It also turns out that hairlessness is a relatively unusual condition for semiaquatic mammals, and even more so when you look at how often it evolved in such mammals. A couple years ago I did a page on my website dealing with that subject: Aquatic and semiaquatic mammals.
    http://www.aquaticape.org/aquatic-semiaquatic-mammals.html

    On how and why we evolved the hair characteristics we have, I’ve been an adaptationist as most people are when they start thinking about this, but I’ve realized (thanks to Larry Moran’s constant prodding) that this is something that needs proving beyond just looking at what we think are good reasons for doing “X”. We do find that our body hair is good for efficiency in sweatcooling, due to the simple effect of physics — sweat cools better than if it evaporates closer to the skin. And we see differences between the sexes that suggest sexual selection. But these things being true doesn’t necessarily mean that this is why we are as we are. It could be drift. The helpful effects regarding sweatcooling could be a spandrel. This is not something I accepted easily, but the more I’ve thought about it the more I see the possibility.

    First, we have some idea now about when our body hair changed from studies of lice genetics, and it’s approximately a million and a half years ago (there are some other much later lice dates as well that may show the use of clothing by our ancestors). And my first thought was that this indicated selection, going along with a generally rangier body and much more widely ranging hominids. All suggesting heat tolerance via getting rid of heat better. But it was also, due to brain size increases around the same time, probably when our secondarily altricial infancy popped up. I used to think this clinched the adaptationist scenario, showing the mechanism and the heat business (and at some point sexual selection) as the selection. It’s possible that this is it, but I no longer think it’s a sure thing, because I’ve thought more about drift.

    If our secondarily altricial infancy led to a mosaic of neotenous features (and it did, didn’t it) it could rather easily include hair changes. These hair changes could have nothing to do with selection for them, but rather a side effect of birth, infancy, and bigger brains. The changes in development would cause changes in hormonal control and this could easily affect a big change in hair without actual selection for that specific change, just as a spandrel from our becoming secondarily altricial and resultant (mosaic) neoteny (both our altricial features and our neoteny are mosaic, affecting some features and not others). This could also mimic sexual selection due to sex differences in hormones, a point I didn’t grasp in the past.

    Hair changes are simple and easy in an evolutionary sense. For instance, all the variations in dog’s coats texture and length is due to just three genes, and there are indications that this is also so in mice, cats, and humans. We also see how easy and quickly these things vary by looking at the variation in our own species.

    Bottom line: our hair characteristics could be due to selection, but using the null hypothesis of drift we can easily build a scenario where drift caused these changes, and any helpful effects are a spandrel. So to determine that it is due to selection requires more proof than we have so far, and frankly, more than people seem to be trying to provide (Larry Moran’s basic ongoing rant on the overall subject of drift and selection).

  323. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    1316. Amphiox: Why the feathery fuck is a big fan of tail feathers sexy to a penhen?
    Why the leathery fuck is a big red ass sexy to some female monkeys?
    Why the scaley fuck is a bright yellow throat patch sexy to some female lizards?
    Why the croaking fuck is a ginormous expanding air sac sexy to some female frogs?


    Sorry for sounding like Morgan, but what the hell just happened to the females in those analogies? Are female humans then furless to also arouse each other, all of a sudden? Or do the little critters automatically become furless, because the big dominant men become furless?

    And is a red butt known to have any other function than as a sexual signal amongst species? Is mammal furlessness known to be only a sexual signal, or is it known for something different, I wonder? (It starts with A.) Are there even a single known convergence of mammal furlessness being a sexual signal, other than as an exaptation?

    I actually think this was exactly what Morgan was talking about in the ’70s. Y’all are thinking with your Johnson, know what I’m saying?

    1298. Tethys: If Algis used his big brain to actually think about the ramifications of this evidence, he would notice that none of the isotope evidence has them eating aquatic plants or animals, and in fact proves that little if any of their food came from in or near the water.
    1321. Amphiox: It is even worse for Chris’ version of the theory, since his requires a significant portion of the diet to be marine animals like shellfish, and that should have produced an isotopic signature that would have jumped right out and screamed “shellfish eater! shellfish eater!”, and yet it does not.


    Yeah, but here’s the thing: Those isotope studies only concern australopithecines, not Homo. I actually can’t find any references to similar isotope studies of Homo teeth. (I’m being paranoid, don’t academics dare seek out this information, because then they might find an aquatic link, and then their careers would be shot?)

    What I can find references for is that two years ago, studies suggests a marked change in diet from H. habilis to H. erectus (the first big brain, right?), from plant to “a broader range of foods.” (That’s actually vague, they didn’t dare to consider seafoods, did they?)
    http://www.newswise.com/articles/first-direct-fossil-evidence-of-diet-differences

    Let’s at least agree, that a change in diet from e.g. habilis to erectus (habilis may be considered a transitional australopithecinae in this context, wet or dry) could’ve spawned the increase in the human brain. You don’t have to cry seafood just from that, but adapting to a new diet could’ve been the mechanism.

    And then you got Cunnane and his group’s observations of (extant) human brain biochemistry. Again, DHA and Iodine being the lubrication for the human brain machine (and other big mammal brains), being found in huge quantities in that damn seafood. You do the math!

    Faced with that, what do you guys do? You challenge every little comma you can find. DHA and Iodine had to have come from somewheres else. The human brain can suddenly function just fine without it,. even though that is exactly opposite of these findings. The coppers piss an’ moan about no evidence, and then when presented with the smoking gun, they just keep looking the other way. Who in the fuck are the True Believers™ here?
    -

  324. Lofty says

    Just had a little search, and guess what? Areas where soils naturally include sufficient iodine for plant foods to provide adequate dietary amounts include much of Africa.
    source
    No I’m not a scientist but I’m sure you could find some scolarly backup yourself.

  325. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    1330. Amphiox: So much so that among the modern humans who MOST need to increase their swimming efficiency, the professional and olympic athletes, all either SHAVE their head hair, or resort to a little piece of modern technology known as the swim cap.

    Morgan has suggested that occasional male baldness can be construed as an adaptation towards just that. That’s of course counter to Hardy’s original notion, that the head remained hairy to protect the scalp from the sun, because that was the body part above water for a wading and/or swimming ape. Note also, that elephants (argued as having semiaquatic ancestors) actually has tusks of hair on its head, so maybe that holds a convergence.
    http://scienceblogs.com/lifelines/2012/10/11/elephant-hair-conditioning/

  326. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Again, DHA and Iodine being the lubrication for the human brain machine (and other big mammal brains), being found in huge quantities in that damn seafood. You do the math!

    Already refuted bullshit. Circular unscientific argument bringing up already totally refuted things for reconsideration WITHOUT NEW EVIDENCE. PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE FOR BEING A CRANK/LOON

  327. Amphiox says

    Again, DHA and Iodine being the lubrication for the human brain machine (and other big mammal brains), being found in huge quantities in that damn seafood. You do the math!

    Again, a diet rich enough in seafood for that to matter leaves a signal in the isotopic ratio in the fossil bones that is unmistakeable. That is how the dinosaur people figured out that Spinosaurus ate lots of fish.

    No such signal has been found in any fossils of human ancestors ever found. You do the math.

  328. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    CHE, either start playing by the rules of scientific debate, or acknowledge to yourself you are nothing but a CRANK/LOON, enamored with an idea that doesn’t sail because it is landlocked when looked at with the hard evidence of science.

  329. Amphiox says

    Yeah, but here’s the thing: Those isotope studies only concern australopithecines, not Homo. I actually can’t find any references to similar isotope studies of Homo teeth.

    But here’s the other, more important thing. The timeframe for the “loss” of body hair has already been dated to 3 to 4 million years ago. It occurred in australopithecines, not Homo. If you’re going to put the aquatic phase into the origin of Homo, then you can’t use the “loss” of body hair argument for your idea. Or bipedalism, for that matter.

    (I’m being paranoid, don’t academics dare seek out this information, because then they might find an aquatic link, and then their careers would be shot?)

    Now this is kook-talk, plain and simple. It is the exact same thing we hear being spewed by AGW deniers, by anti-vaxxers, by alt-medicine types, and by creationists. If any anthropologist propose an aquatic link AND BACK IT UP with isotopic evidence, they would win universal acclaim, and that aspect of the AAH would be instantly accepted, so long as the isotopic evidence held up to scrutiny. Isotopic evidence is widely accepted as near-definitive when it comes to diet.

    So here’s an idea, Christian. Instead of wasting your time arguing on blogs, why don’t YOU go and do some isotopic studies of early Homo teeth?

  330. Amphiox says

    I find it interesting how in 1356 and 1358, CHE spends quite a lot of effort replying to posts of mine that were intended to be facetious, but ignores the more substantial replies of others on the same subjects.

    He also continues to fail to notice that the arguments in favor of the sexual selection hypothesis are trait based and exactly analogous to the ones he has been using for the AAH. (That is in fact why the sexual selection hypothesis is not the most favored one, to my knowledge, among real paleoanthropologists, and the leading hypothesis, IIRC, is actually the sweat-cooling one)

    By attacking the train of logic behind the sexual selection hypothesis CHE is in fact attacking his own train of logic regarding the AAH.

    And he doesn’t even realize it, even after I explicitly spelled it out earlier on this very thread.

  331. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m being paranoid, don’t academics dare seek out this information, because then they might find an aquatic link, and then their careers would be shot?

    Actually, backing up such claims with hard and conclusive physical evidence would make their careers. As anybody who knows science will tell you. Ideas a dime a dozen if supported only handwaving. Conclusive evidence to back up those ideas is golden.
    The AAI posters here do nothing but handwaving. The hard physical evidence requires field trips, bones, in order to change the idea into a hypothesis. Only further physical evidence beyond that will make it a theory. Why are you at blogs instead of in the field getting that evidence? Inquiring minds want to know….

  332. Amphiox says

    The DHA/Iodine argument has always been ridiculous.

    It would only even remotely approach being valid if micronutrient availability were actually shown to be a rate limiting step in embryonic brain development. (That would also constitute a first-step experiment that AAHers could do to find support for their theory, but curiously they’ve never tried)

    The simple observations that there have been large populations of modern humans, with the largest and most nutrient-demanding brains of the entire lineage, who never ate a bite of seafood of any kind for their entire lives and have never had any trouble developing their brains shows this pretty conclusively.

    If DHA and Iodine availability are not rate limiting for brain development, then just having access to a food with more of them than before means jack squat from an evolutionary perspective. All it means is you’re going to be pissing out more DHA derivatives in your urine.

  333. algiskuliukas says

    re 1272 Ogvorbis

    You have presented evidence but there are multiple explanations for that evidence. And there is supporting evidence for those other explanations. Your conclusion, based on the evidence, fails at parsimony.

    Yes, for each waterside explanation, there are multiple non-waterside ones, often contradictory… and you call this “parsimony”.

    1344

    And with two true believers who keep citing the same evidence to support two mutually exclusive conclusions?

    Mutually exclusive conclusions? What are you on about?

    Algis Kuliukas

  334. Rey Fox says

    Morgan has suggested that occasional male baldness can be construed as an adaptation towards just that. That’s of course counter to Hardy’s original notion, that the head remained hairy to protect the scalp from the sun, because that was the body part above water for a wading and/or swimming ape.

    So in other words, wild speculation. You can see why we’re less than impressed.

  335. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes, for each waterside explanation, there are multiple non-waterside ones, often contradictory… and you call this “parsimony”.

    Yes, your idea is bullshit, and dismissed as evidenceless fuckwittery. Then the real hypotheses can be looked at without distractions from CRANK/LOONS like you two.

    Mutually exclusive conclusions? What are you on about?

    You two fuckwits have differing ideas of places and times. Can’t even have one timeline for your idea. Multiple timelines indicate confusion by both of you…

  336. Ogvorbis. Just plain Ogvorbis. No extras. says

    Yes, for each waterside explanation, there are multiple non-waterside ones, often contradictory… and you call this “parsimony”.

    First, you keep referring to waterside. Yet the traits in modern humans you claim are from the AAH require being in the water.

    Second, the non-waterside explanations actually have evidence in the form of artifacts and fossils whereas the AAH is still just a collection of just so stories to try to explain current genotype using a single explanation that keeps tripping over itself to explain everything.

    You really don’t actually read what others have written, do you? You really do just look for what looks like low-hanging fruit and jump at it.

  337. Amphiox says

    Aaannddd Algis saunters back and continues to demonstrate that he does not understand the concept of parsimony, at all.

  338. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    First, you keep referring to waterside. Yet the traits in modern humans you claim are from the AAH require being in the water.

    Poor AK is deprived of any approval for his inane idea he has diluted it like a homeopathic chemist, until water is just be mentioned somewhere and he is vindicated. Pitiful really. Typical of CRANK/LOONS.

  339. ChasCPeterson says

    DHA and Iodine being the lubrication for the human brain machine

    Lubrication for the machine? Sheesh.
    If you understanding of physiology is at this level of not-even-wrong metaphor, then you should be embarrassed to be talking about it.

    our hair characteristics could be due to selection, but using the null hypothesis of drift we can easily build a scenario where drift caused these changes, and any helpful effects are a spandrel.

    First, please do not imagine that, just because he has a professorship, a textbook, and a blog, Larry Moran is a voice of reason on the subject. An evidently competent biochemist, he understands nothing of organisms. He’s a self-appointed expert evolutionary biologist and champion of Gouldian pluralism and damn the torpedos, and imo his level of blowhard crackpot hobbyhorsism is only slightly more mainstream than these aquatic-ape nute loons wackjobs kooks advocates.
    Second, when it comes to phenotypic traits at the organism level, “drift did it” explains nothing; far from a baseline null hypothesis, it’s even more of a just-so story than “selection did it”. Because the functions of hait in mammals generally are well understood: thermoregulation and (secondarily) signalling. As the very boundary between organism and environment, fur is a major effector of thermoregulation, but the other side of that coin is that it allways affects thermoregulation.
    Whole-body surface cooling as a thermoregulatory strategy depends on the lack of a skin-surface boundary layer.
    Period.

    All it means is you’re going to be pissing out more DHA derivatives in your urine.

    Nah, that’s good energy. You don’t piss out good energy. Beta-oxidation and the Krebs cycle. You’ll be exahling the carbon.

    Yes, for each waterside explanation, there are multiple non-waterside ones, often contradictory… and you call this “parsimony”.

    You do yourself no favors with these oblivious displays of ignorance.

  340. Rey Fox says

    It doesn’t help that every time I see the word “waterside”, I think “waterslide”. Clearly I was adapted for the Splish Splash park.

  341. ohsu says

    Aaannddd Algis saunters back and continues to demonstrate that he does not understand the concept of parsimony, at all.

    Algis was told by John Langdon, a Yale educated biologist, paleoanthropologist, and functional anatomist; professor of anatomy; and author of An Evolutionary Perspective on Human Anatomy

    “Your concept of parsimony is a delusion.”

    Of course, this means nothing to Algis. It doesn’t matter who says it to him, or how they say it, he is in capable of even pausing to consider that he may not understand. He just knows that he does understand, and much better than everyone else.

    Of course, Algis’s concept of parsimony really is a delusion. Algis has a few different ways of defining “parsimony”, but among them is the logically fallacious notion that if you can explain a whole bunch of different things with one explanation, then that explanation is parsimonious. One is more parsimonious than many, right? Isn’t that the very definition of “parsimony”? Well, no. It isn’t.

    Let’s say I come home from work one day and I discover the following things: 1) there is a newspaper on my front porch 2) my parrot is dead 3) the butter was left out on the counter 4) my slippers are outside by the pool 5) the thermostat is set to 74 degrees Fahrenheit 6) and the toiled it running over

    Ok, now let’s say I dream up a single story that “explains” all of these things at once. Is my story “parsimonious”? Is it more “parsimonious” than coming up with a separate explanation for each of these things?

    The point is this: If each of the things you’re trying to explain has a different explanation, and you insist on cramming them all into a single “explanation”, your single “explanation” is LESS parsimonious.

    The definition of parsimony is this: A preference for the simplest explanation that accounts for ALL the evidence and makes no unnecessary assumptions.

    Cramming a variety of unrelated phenomena into a single explanation violates BOTH of the basic pillars of parsimony.

    This is where Algis comes in and says, “But I argue that they’re not unrelated phenomena.” Problem is, there is no evidence to suggest that they’re related, and all the evidence available says that they’re not.

    You can’t argue parsimony without evidence, which is something Algis has never understood. If at all possible Chris understands parsimony even worse than Algis does.

  342. anthrosciguy says

    Whole-body surface cooling as a thermoregulatory strategy depends on the lack of a skin-surface boundary layer.
    Period.

    Patas monkeys.

  343. anthrosciguy says

    Morgan has suggested that occasional male baldness can be construed as an adaptation towards just that. That’s of course counter to Hardy’s original notion, that the head remained hairy to protect the scalp from the sun, because that was the body part above water for a wading and/or swimming ape.

    So in other words, wild speculation. You can see why we’re less than impressed.

    Speculation counter to evidence. Both male and female chimpanzees often exhibit baldness.

  344. algiskuliukas says

    Blimey, someone’s a bit keen…

    First of this batch 27 June 2013 at 9:49 am

    Re 1273 Amphiox (1)

    Now here is an example of how to do human evolution science properly

    American anthropocentricsm, you mean? Along the lines of “Hey, why are we so good at baseball?”

    If instead, like with swimming, we found that the different anatomical changes that contribute to the ability all evolved at DIFFERENT times

    “like swimming”? what anatomical changes at what different times are you thinking of?

    To get around the problem of training chimpanzees…

    If I’d have made a point like this, a bunch of anonymous aquaskeptics would pounce on me to point out that humans had not evolved from chimpanzees. I notice that when you do so, it’s a great point.

    Re 1274 Amphiox (2)

    Coconut Ape Hypothesis all the way!

    Brilliant point.

    Re 1277 Amphiox (3)

    What a pathetic, pitiful excuse that was!

    Well, I’m sorry but that was the reason. I’ve answered the points easily anyway. So why are you still whining?

    Re 1278 Amphiox (4)

    I spent years reading everything I could get my hands on about the idea…. Which is why I now know it is bupkiss

    So you claimed before (post 123) but you don’t seem to have actually posted any of that here on this thread, did you? If so, please point to it. If not – it’s not very intellectually honest to expect people to go searching the web for any post written by some anonymous guy who calls himself “Amphiox”.

    You clearly didn’t understand much of it if you now think it’s nothing. Please explain, exactly, what changed your mind.

    Re 1280 Amphiox (5)

    I explicitly described precisely what kind of evidence I would consider good evidence in favor of the AAH

    What? you mean the “shark bite” thing!?

    Hahahaha!!

    I thought you said you were an ex “aquatic ape” proponent!? You clearly misunderstood what it was about.

    It’s not very intellectually honest to peddle slurs that people are not being intellectually honest if they think such daft arguments are anything.

    Re 1281 Amphiox (6)

    For Algis to pretend otherwise either suggests profound ignorance … Or, more likely, it is simply more pathetic, disgusting intellectual dishonesty on Algis’ part.

    “Amphiox” – when did I “pretend otherwise”?

    Why are you so outrageously hostile to me (“disgusting”!!!?) and this idea? When did you become a fanatical born-again savannah evangelist, and why?

    Re 1282 Amphiox (7)

    This is called “confirmation bias”, and Algis is a vivid example of it.

    I’ve seen a lot of “disgusting” confirmation bias frm you, actually.

    Re 1283 Amphiox (8)

    Blimey, one unbiased, reasonable post…. out of hundreds. Well done, “Amphiox:

    Re 1285 Amphiox (9)

    In other words, Algis is plainly just making excuses for the fact that he is having trouble finishing his PhD because his actual practice and understanding of science stinks, as he has amply demonstrated in this thread

    That’s a rather disgunstingly nasty post to make.

    Do you think I insulted your mother, or something?

    …who takes every critique of his scientific work as a personal insult?

    There can be little doubt that that is your intention here, you strange, obsessed, person?

    How many posts do you make on this thread every day day? Are you Jim Moore in disgiuse?

    Re 1286 Amphiox (10)

    Nerd has been right

    Sure he has. He’s a nice reasonable bloke, just like you are.

    Re 1287 Amphiox (11)

    So, Algis is ignoring Chris’ comments, too…

    Huh? Still ranting on…

    Re 1300 Amphiox (12)

    Candiru isn’t the only fish that likes to exploit dangling, worm-like appendages

    That’s a digusting argument.

    Re 1302 Amphiox (13)

    The ONLY water-related idea that fits with the existing evidence is the idea that, having already become bipedal, human ancestors, living on the savannah found it easier to cross rives on the savannah, enabling them to travel longer distances across the savannah.

    So, it HAS to be “savannah”. I see. Funny I thought that was a straw man invention of Elaine Morgan.

    Re 1303 Amphiox (14)

    It is ironic that the current crop of male AAHers would miss this…

    Not true. Chris Knight (male) built a whole model on the idea.

    I thought you said you’d read everything about this?

    Re 1309 Amphiox (15)

    And yet, humans have the biggest ones for their body size of all the apes

    It was a sneer, “Amphiox”. You do not have to respond to a sneer as if it was an actualy argument.

    Re 1310 Amphiox (16)

    Breasts reduce streamlining and negatively impact swimming and diving

    But long distance swimming is one of the few sports where women can out-compete men.

    Explain the adaptive value of big breasts, increased adipocity and carrrying fat, helpless infants for months on the savannah again…

    Re 1310 Amphiox (17)

    Sexual selection doesn’t actually require any “rational” reason

    No, but “explanations” of biological phenomena by sexual selection like peacocks, baboon’s bottoms, lizard patches, or frog air sacs should show clear sexual dimorphism and have no other better explanation, right?

    Re 1317 Amphiox (18)

    Disgusting argument.

    Re 1319 Amphiox (19)

    While the real serious objections presenting by myself and many others have all been routinely ignored

    That is not a very honest argument. Which “serious” (as opposed to just plain silly) objections fo you think have been “routinely ignored”?

    Re 1321 Amphiox (20)

    It is even worse for Chris’ version of the theory, since his requires a significant portion of the diet to be marine animals like shellfish, and that should have produced an isotopic signature that would have jumped right out and screamed “shellfish eater! shellfish eater!”, and yet it does not.

    Which time period are you thinking of? Pre Homo species or not?

    I can see you’re in such a frenzy such subtelties do not seem to matter.

    Re 1322 (21) and 1323 (22) Amphiox

    And of course, Chris’ version of the theory is all about WARM, TROPICAL waters….

    Penis shrinking theory, gone wrong! Disgusting.

    Re 1330 Amphiox (23)

    …it should be noted that the one place, the one place, where loss of hair would MOST improve swimming and diving efficiency, is the top of the head…

    What!? Have you ever seen anyone swim the breastroke? The part of the body most likely to be above the surface of the water just happens to be that part most likely to be covered with hair.

    Re 1333 Amphiox (24)

    aka, “just-so story”.

    But postulating that human throwing ability evolved to help us hunt is great science, apparently.

    Re 1336 Amphiox (25)

    Hamsters? Why?

    Re 1350 Amphiox (26)

    It all depends on whether you prefer to respond to their inanities with HAH!!, or with GAH?!

    Our inanities!!??

    Re 1351 Amphiox (27)

    IIRC, we are only 70% water

    Less than that. So what?

    Re 1360 Amphiox (28)

    No such signal has been found in any fossils of human ancestors ever found

    What was the signal?

    Re 1362 Amphiox (29)

    If you’re going to put the aquatic phase into the origin of Homo,

    “Aquatic phase”? Who’s arguing for that? The body lice evidence is one indicator but it’s not definitive. I think you’re clutching at straws.

    Instead of wasting your time arguing on blogs why don’t YOU go and do some isotopic studies of early Homo teeth?

    A bit hypocritical. A bit unrealistic.

    Re 1363Amphiox (30)

    By attacking the train of logic behind the sexual selection hypothesis CHE is in fact attacking his own train of logic regarding the AAH

    Hardly. Human body hair loss has less sexual dimorphism than your cherr picked list.

    Final post 28 June 2013 at 7:44 am

    Re 1365 Amphiox (31)

    The DHA/Iodine argument has always been ridiculous

    Only, at first glance, when you make the kind of facile points you make.

    When one considers the kind of environment in which the mutations which led to human encephalisation could have occurred, and not simply gone extinct straight away, a high iodine/DHA diet makes more sense than a depleted one.

    Once humans had evolved their smarts, culture and technology would mitigate when moving away from such DHA/Iodine rich habitats.

    The aquaskeptic doth protest too much, methinks.

    31 hostile posts in less than 22 hours! Amphiox, I think you need to get a grip. All we’re talking about is the idea that humans might have waded, swam and dived a bit more than chimps.

    And I’m supposed to be the one who’s obsessed about this idea!!!

    What’s wrong with these people?

    Algis Kuliukas

  345. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    “If you lose your hair in front, first, it means you are a thinker. If you lose your hair in back, first, it means you are a sexy guy. If you lose your hair in font and back, it means you are a real smart fucker.”

  346. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    31 hostile posts in less than 22 hours!

    OK fuckwit, show me where is a polite debating society. It is a rude and crude place. If you can’t take being told your are an idiot, YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE ABILITY TO STOP POSTING YOUR FUCKWITTERY. Here’s PZ’s statement on how he wants his blog run:

    This is a rude blog. We like to argue — heck, we like a loud angry brawl. Don’t waste time whining at anyone that they’re not nice, because this gang will take pride in that and rhetorically hand you a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice. If you intrude here and violate any of the previous three mores, people won’t like you, and they won’t hold back—they’ll tell you so, probably in colorful terms.

    What’s wrong with these people?What’s wrong with you, as you tone troll and can’t/won’t shut the fuck up when thoroughly and scientifically refuted.

  347. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, borked the blockquote in the last paragraph. First sentence AK, the rest my reply.

  348. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Algis, humans might have waded, swam and dived a bit more than chimps. Okay?

    Will you go away, now?

    ===

    Algis, humans might not have waded, swam and dived a bit more than chimps. Okay?

    Will you go away, now?

    ===

    Algis, humans might have waded, swam and dived an eentsy-weentsy immeasurable fraction more than chimps. Okay?

    Will you go away, now?

    ===

    Algis, humans have waded, swam and dived a lot more than chimps, simply because there are more humans than chimps, and they live in more environments than chimps, and are more versatile than chimps. Okay?

    Will you go away, now?

    ===

    Algis, humans might have watched opera, Swan-Laked and diva-ed a bit more than chimps. Okay?

    Now go away.

  349. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    1340. Ohsu: They all worship Morgan and follow her lead.


    Right, because we agree with the bitch. She isn’t exactly Dan Brown here.

    1374. Ohsu: Chris understands parsimony worse than Algis does.


    Not impossible.

    1356: Chris: Again, DHA and Iodine being the lubrication for the human brain machine (and other big mammal brains), being found in huge quantities in that damn seafood. You do the math!
    1359. Nerd: Already refuted bullshit. Circular unscientific argument bringing up already totally refuted things for reconsideration WITHOUT NEW EVIDENCE. PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE FOR BEING A CRANK/LOON


    It’s not refuted, only flatly rejected in a stupid chest pounding contest.

    1362: Amphiox: If any anthropologist propose an aquatic link AND BACK IT UP with isotopic evidence, they would win universal acclaim, and that aspect of the AAH would be instantly accepted, so long as the isotopic evidence held up to scrutiny. Isotopic evidence is widely accepted as near-definitive when it comes to diet.


    All right, where are the studies on isotopic evidence from Homo erectus teeth? Seriously, I haven’t been able to find it. The ones referenced only dealt with australopithecines, and I suggest, that they were semiaquatic (because of their bipedalism), but without DHA and iodine sustenance to sport a large brain. So those wouldn’t show up on these isotopes, if Australo still ate fresh water foods without DHA and iodine, or terrestrial foods like hippos do.
    Again, here I’m proposing that a strand of australopithecines adapted to a saline proteine diet, e.g. consisting of salt water molluscs, this in a sea flooded Danakil depression, alternatively in alcalic vulcanic lakes along the East African rift. And that that diet shift spawned the expansion of this ape brain, e.g. in Homo erectus. (Again, this is not my stuff, more like Cunnane et al’s.)
    Isn’t that a testable prediction? That isotopes from Homo erectus’ teeth would show a spike in whatever the levels are for saline seafood, if to support that the expansion of the human brain was spawned by such, arguing the whole convergence thing with large-brained aquatics.

    And also, there is unfortunately the phenomenon of inconvenient truths. Not just the Al Gore kind, but also amongst academics. My favorite story is about a Swiss scientist that stumpled onto the fact, that adult Neanderthals had larger brain by average than modern sapiens, on roughly the same size body. And guess what? He was terrified of publishing his findings, ’cause he knew it would ruin his career. And guess what? It did. Not because the poor fella made any mistakes, but because this truth went counter to us arrogant little apes thinking, that we are created in the image of … I mean, that we’re the peak of evolution. (What the fuck’s the difference between those two?)

    1362: So here’s an idea, Christian. Instead of wasting your time arguing on blogs, why don’t YOU go and do some isotopic studies of early Homo teeth?


    Yeah, right. Let’s imagine that scene taking place at a palaeoanthropological institute:
    Chris: “Hi, I’m some bozo from the Internet taking part in a flaming quasi-debate on an aspect of human evolution. Would you mind giving me access to some of your eon old, fragile Australopithecinae and Homo fossils, and also whatever gizmo you have for reading isotopic levels on the teeth of these critters? I’m trying to figure out, if any of them ate seafood in ancient times. It would really help to settle an argument.”
    Random professor: “Security!”
    -

  350. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Right, because we agree with the bitch. She isn’t exactly Dan Brown here.

    Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd the true nature of our aquatic commenter shows its face.

    Classy.

  351. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s not refuted, only flatly rejected in a stupid chest pounding contest.

    Where is the solid evidence you and AK aren’t CRANK/LOONS? YOUR WORD ISN’T AND NEVER WILL BE EVIDENCE. Just your mere OPINION.

    Seriously, I haven’t been able to find it. The ones referenced only dealt with australopithecines, and I suggest, that they were semiaquatic

    Your unevidenced suggestion is dismissed as CRANK/LOON fuckwittery. That is why you lost the argument here before you began. You and AK don’t understand EVIDENCE and PARSIMONY. You were refuted by science. But you won’t accept reality.

  352. Ogvorbis says

    Right, because we agree with the bitch.

    Gendered insults are a silencing tactic. Do not use them you sanctimonious asshole.

  353. ohsu says

    Right, because we agree with the bitch.

    Did you read what I actually wrote? It isn’t merely that you agree with her. It’s that you mindlessly repeat her factually inaccurate pseudobiology, pseudoanatomy, and pseudoanthropology.

    Ogvorbis is right. This is nothing more than a silencing tactic on your part.

  354. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Chris: “Hi, I’m some bozo from the Internet taking part in a flaming quasi-debate on an aspect of human evolution. Would you mind giving me access to some of your eon old, fragile Australopithecinae and Homo fossils, and also whatever gizmo you have for reading isotopic levels on the teeth of these critters? I’m trying to figure out, if any of them ate seafood in ancient times. It would really help to settle an argument.”

    Gee, Chris, you made one mistake through the whole screed. YOU SHOULD BRING THE FOSSILS YOU FOUND IN FOR TESTING. Then the gizmo will get used, as no matter what the results, papers will flow. You see, that is you doing field work, which means getting off your butt and doing some actual work to evidence your idea. Like any scientist does. Why won’t you do that? /rhetorical

  355. says

    Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht:

    Right, because we agree with the bitch. She isn’t exactly Dan Brown here.

    I have absolutely no qualms about stepping in while PZ’s occupied to make it impossible for you to post here, if I have to. You will cease to use gendered insults here. You have been warned.

    I would also demand you stop making people named “Chris” look like blithering idiots, but that’s probably asking too much.

  356. Tethys says

    vulcanic lakes along the East African rift

    It’s the “Live Long and Prosper” theory of evolution.

  357. Menyambal --- Ooo, look! A garage sale ... says

    “Vulcanic” and “alcalic”. Vulcanic might be a typo, but “alcalic” comes up as usually not-English, and I once told him it was usually “alkaline”.

  358. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    algiskuliukas

    Amphiox

    …it should be noted that the one place, the one place, where loss of hair would MOST improve swimming and diving efficiency, is the top of the head…

    What!? Have you ever seen anyone swim the breastroke? The part of the body most likely to be above the surface of the water just happens to be that part most likely to be covered with hair.

    Have YOU ever seen anyone swim the breaststroke? I suppose that you think that these wonderful women, swimming in the finals of the 200m breaststroke during last year’s Olympic games, were all big-breasted, long-haired and carrying plump babies whilst not getting a drop of water anywhere above the neck?!

    Shall I repeat what I said before?

  359. anthrosciguy says

    Algis has tried this one before. (“So what mode of selection would make us naked all over except on the part of the body most likely to be above the water surface when swimming the breast stroke.” – Algis Kuliukas 04-15-2010) When it was pointed out that people typically have leg hair, hair on the tops on their heads which, if not cut, is in the water in any swimming stroke, pubic hair, underarm hair, and for males facial hair, he not only refused to accept this as a problem for his claim but came with with this gem:

    Hair on the face? … are you a monkey?

    Not to mention that the typical instinctive mammalian swimming stroke, which humans also use instinctively (but which doesn’t actually work well for instinctive swimming in humans for reasons I have previously discussed) is a dog paddle.

  360. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    When I do the breast stroke I always have my pubic area out of the water.

    Everyone seems to enjoy it so i just keep it up.

  361. Menyambal --- Ooo, look! A garage sale ... says

    Notice that Algis completely ignores the diving part of the issue, and starts getting all oofy about just one particular swimming stroke. Said stroke doesn’t even do what he thinks it would.

    It also requires turning loose of the baby.

    Good job, Algis! You just drowned your own ancestor.

    How long ’til the time streams sort out and he disappears?

  362. ohsu says

    I have corrected Algis on the breaststroke claim before, using a video of a swimmer explaining how to do the breaststroke. Algis’s reply was something like “well, I’m not talking about trained olympic swimmers”.

    Ok, so if Algis isn’t talking about the REAL breaststroke, what version is he talking about?

    Well, Algis has a video of himself in a pool doing the breaststroke, and the top of his head never gets wet… only problem is, he’s not really doing the breast stroke. He’s standing in about 4 feet of water, bent over at the waist, walking along the bottom. His claim that he’s “swimming the breaststroke” is, in very fact, a deliberate deception.

    Here’s a little question: If the AAT is such a great idea, why do its proponents have to fabricate deceptions to support it?

  363. David Marjanović says

    Hair on the face? … are you a monkey?

    Why, yes… yes. The Old World monkeys (Cercopithecoidea or -idae) are closer to us than to the New World monkeys (Platyrrhini); either we are monkeys, or the term “monkey” makes no sense (because it refers to a paraphyletic group).

    Finally finished the review of a manuscript, now I have to run; maybe I’ll manage to catch up with this thread tomorrow. Maybe.

  364. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    1390. Chris Clarke: I have absolutely no qualms about stepping in while PZ’s occupied to make it impossible for you to post here, if I have to. You will cease to use gendered insults here. You have been warned.


    That sounds like a setup for censorship. What, are you afraid that susceptible minds will be persuaded by my “inane ramblings?” I mean, if they really are so bonkers?
    Come on, PZ called Algis a “wanker,” that is a gendered insult too, I’m just adapting to the standard.

    1384. Chris: Vulcanic lakes along the East African rift
    1392. Tethys: It’s the “Live Long and Prosper” theory of evolution.


    Sorry. “Volcano” is spelled with a “u” in Danish.
    -

  365. ohsu says

    Chris Engelbrecht would be perfectly happy to be banned. Then he could claim “censorship” of his brilliant ideas and count himself a martyr for the cause of the AAT.

    One of many behavioral attributes cranks like Algis and Chris have in common with creationists.

  366. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That sounds like a setup for censorship.

    Where do you think you are fuckwit? This isn’t a public park. It is a blog owned by PZ. And he reserves the right to banhammer people who engage in bigotry. Keep talking your disappated ape theory, and that won’t happen. Make racist or sexist slurs, we start wearing raincoats for the splatter.

    What, are you afraid that susceptible minds will be persuaded by my “inane ramblings?” I mean, if they really are so bonkers?

    You have no hope of converting any lurkers. We have refuted your ass and alleged science time and time again. They do see you for the failure you are. Which is why you have to ask yourself, what to you have to gain with continued postings? Nothing….just more embarassment…

  367. Ogvorbis says

    That sounds like a setup for censorship.

    PZed and Chris Clarke are not the government. They cannot censor. This blog is a private site (just as a McDonalds restaurant or Disney World is a private site). Private sites are allowed to ask people to leave, are allowed to disemvowel people, are allowed to ban people. If you showed up at Disney with a protest sign and a bunch of literature claiming that mainstream palaeoanthropologists are being unfair, you would be asked to stop. That is not censorship.

    Come on, PZ called Algis a “wanker,” that is a gendered insult too, I’m just adapting to the standard.

    Which is not a gendered insult. Women can masturbate (and they can do it one dry land).

  368. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    1403. Ohsu: Chris Engelbrecht would be perfectly happy to be banned. Then he could claim “censorship” of his brilliant ideas and count himself a martyr for the cause of the AAT.


    I wouldn’t be happy about it, or though I’ve tried it a couple of times, e.g. on thescienceforum.com.

    And you don’t need to censor creationists. Aparently, there’s a need to to censor AAH “lunatics.” Why is that, I wonder?

    Copernicus, Copernicus …
    -

  369. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    Look, seriously, has anyone measured these diet isotopes y’all are talking about, on the teeth of Homo erectus? Let’s start with erectus, because they have the first really large brain.

    Right now I could make the delusional deduction, that you’re skirting the issue.

  370. Ogvorbis says

    And you don’t need to censor creationists. Aparently, there’s a need to to censor AAH “lunatics.” Why is that, I wonder?

    This is a private site owned by PZed and others. PZed and Chris Clarke are not the government. They cannot censor. This blog is a private site (just as a McDonalds restaurant or Disney World is a private site). Private sites are allowed to ask people to leave, are allowed to disemvowel people, are allowed to ban people. If you showed up at Disney with a protest sign and a bunch of literature claiming that mainstream palaeoanthropologists are being unfair, you would be asked to stop. That is not censorship.

  371. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Look, seriously, has anyone measured these diet isotopes y’all are talking about, on the teeth of Homo erectus?

    Are you a scientist or not? If so, you do the research. Or shut the fuck up.

    And you don’t need to censor creationists.

    Actually they do get banhammered (it isn’t censorship, you are showing your ignorance to the world again) for the crime of proselytizing, or the crimes of sexism or bigotry. Not for being a creationist per se. Just as you won’t get banhammered for your stupid soggy ape theory. Just remember, you are totally and utterly refuted scientifically. Your idea is shown to be intellectually bankrupt. So, why bother here, and go and find greener pastures with more gullible folks and those who don’t have access to real science.

  372. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    CHE: Stop accusing people of ‘censoring’ anyone.

    Banning people for sexist (or racist, or any other -ist) slurs isn’t censorship!!!!

    And why are you asking other people to do the research that YOU ought to be doing, gladly, if you truly believed in the aquatic ape scenario?

    No, you don’t actually want to do anything that might settle the matter once and for all in your mind, do you? You prefer that it should be a matter of faith.

  373. anthrosciguy says

    AATers (Algis, for instance) have a history of confusing the concept of censorship; like many they view people not wanting to discuss some subject in some private venue as being censorship.

  374. says

    Xtian Heckmann Engelbrecht:

    Come on, PZ called Algis a “wanker,” that is a gendered insult too, I’m just adapting to the standard.

    Women don’t wank?

    You were warned. All you had to do was say you’d lay off the gendered insults, but you chose to argue. PZ can let you out if he wants to when his schedule clears up. In the meantime, you sit in this corner and think about what you did.

  375. ChasCPeterson says

    you sit in this corner and think about what you did.

    hmm, his brain will require lubrication.
    I’ll wade out for another mackerel.b

  376. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    1410. Tigger: And why are you asking other people to do the research that YOU ought to be doing, gladly, if you truly believed in the aquatic ape scenario?

    I can’t get access to those bones, I’m not a member of that brotherhood. I was lucky that a lady geologist showed me an Oreopithecus skull (she even went into the basement after it).

    And besides if I actually did this, and the spikes came back as “clams” or something, you’d just cry falsified research, wouldn’t ya? Actually, somebody neutral should do this. (Or will they just be thrown onto the bonfire along with the other AAH-heretics, if they find something inconvenient?)

    Look, let me put it this way: Right now I’m presenting the testable prediction, that if Homo erectus saw an expansion in brain size because of a transition to a DHA and iodine rich, saline-aquatic proteine-diet, then the isotopic indicators you’re talking about from their fossilized teeth would show levels similar to that of these types of seafoods.
    Wouldn’t it be lovely if those tests came back and refuted that possibility? Then the AAH mongers would be struck a serious blow, right?

    But all you naysayers also need to ask yourselves what you are gonna do, if those isotopes comes back as oysters. What are you gonna do, Myers? Clarke? What the hell are y’all gonna do?

  377. Christian Heckmann Engelbrecht says

    1410. Tigger: And why are you asking other people to do the research that YOU ought to be doing, gladly, if you truly believed in the aquatic ape scenario?

    I can’t get access to those bones, I’m not a member of that brotherhood. I was lucky that a lady geologist showed me an Oreopithecus skull (she even went into the basement after it).

    And besides if I actually did this, and the spikes came back as “clams” or something, you’d just cry falsified research, wouldn’t ya? Actually, somebody neutral need to do this, or will they just be thrown onto the bonfire along with the other AAH-heretics, if they find something inconvenient?

    Look, let me put it this way: Right now I’m presenting the testable prediction, that if Homo erectus saw an expansion in brain size because of a transition to a DHA and iodine rich, saline-aquatic proteine-based diet, then the isotopic indicators you’re talking about from their fossilized teeth would show levels similar to that of these types of seafoods.
    Wouldn’t it be lovely if those tests came back and refuted that possibility? Then the AAH mongers would be struck a blow, right?

    But all you naysayers also need to ask yourselves what you are gonna do, if those isotopes comes back as oysters. What are you gonna do, Myers? Clarke? What the hell are y’all gonna do?

  378. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    I’ll wade out for another mackerel.b

    Could you please bring me back a tuna, while you’re at it? =^_^=

  379. Ogvorbis says

    you sit in this corner and think about what you did.

    But if he does sit down, won’t he drown?

  380. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    That sounds like a setup for censorship.

    Ah yes. PZ and Chris, the powerful gods of speech. If he bans you here you will be unable to spew your nonsense anywhere and will be censored for time immortal!

    All hail the censor gods

  381. vaiyt says

    Yeah, right. Let’s imagine that scene taking place at a palaeoanthropological institute:
    Chris: “Hi, I’m some bozo from the Internet taking part in a flaming quasi-debate on an aspect of human evolution. Would you mind giving me access to some of your eon old, fragile Australopithecinae and Homo fossils, and also whatever gizmo you have for reading isotopic levels on the teeth of these critters? I’m trying to figure out, if any of them ate seafood in ancient times. It would really help to settle an argument.”
    Random professor: “Security!”

    I love that I can just quote this by itself.

  382. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    Of course, Rey Fox.

    Women’s hands are far too busy doing the breaststroke whilst holding onto infants and keeping their hair dry.

  383. Menyambal --- Ooo, look! A garage sale ... says

    Me:

    Notice that Algis completely ignores the diving part of the issue, and starts getting all oofy about just one particular swimming stroke.

    My apologies to Oofy Prosser of the Drones Club, and to P. G. Wodehouse.

    That should have read:

    Notice that Algis completely ignores the diving part of the issue, and starts getting all Algis about just one particular swimming stroke.

  384. ohsu says

    Notice that Algis completely ignores the diving part of the issue, and starts getting all oofy about just one particular swimming stroke.

    That’s part of the ZING!ability of the AAT. It is anything and everything and practically nothing at all, depending on what Algis wants it to be.

    Algis fails to see how these two things are mutually exclusive:

    1. We swam at the water’s surface with a particular stroke that left our heads above the water. And we not only did this some, but we did it habitually, regularly, and with such consistency and frequency, not only as individuals but as a SPECIES, such that it exerted selection for a very specific hair pattern, where our bodies are hairless, but the top of our head has hair…

    2. … And at the same time we dove beneath the surface of the water. and we not only did this some, but we did it habitually, regularly, and with such consistency and frequency, not only as individuals but as a SPECIES, such that it exerted selection for the shape of our nose and our ability to control our breathing.

    Algis cannot grasp how these two things are mutually contradicting.

    a) If we had dived enough to select for nose shape and breath control, then our heads would have been under water, and the hair on our heads would have created drag, just as he claims the hair on our bodies did. So, if he’s right about body hair, we should be bald on our head as well.

    b) If we were habitual surface swimmers with our heads held out of the water, we would not have needed breath control or noses adapted for diving.

    Algis has spent 15+ years at this, and such things NEVER occur to him.

    Sure, you’ll get a lot of verbiage out of Algis. But you’ll never even get an internally coherent story out of him, much less one that accounts for actual real world facts.

  385. Amphiox says

    It continues to be amusing to see Algis perseverate over my reductio ad absurdum trait arguments. I guess ridiculous circular trait argumentation is all he’s capable of.

    And, as a matter of fact, not only have I seen the breaststroke, but I know how to do the breaststroke. I was a moderately skilled swimmer as a teenager, and completed the Canadian swimming program up to the final pre-lifeguard training level. I used to be able to do every major stroke except the butterfly, and breaststroke was my best and favorite stroke.

    And no, you cannot properly do the breaststroke without putting your head underwater. And indeed, the part where you put your head underwater is the power/speed part of the stroke cycle that actually gets you moving in the water.

    While it is possible to do a facsimile of the breaststroke with the head always out of the water, it is laughably slow and clumsy, AND it puts the human cervical spine at an awkward angle that will, if kept up for too long, very rapidly produce excruciating mechanical neck pain.

    So, in keeping with the theme of trait circle-jerking, the shape of the human cervical vertebrae are all wrong for that particular stroke that Algis was arguing so incompetently for. And in fact, the location of the chimpanzee and gorilla foramen magnum is more well adapted for doing this head-always-above-water-breast stroke than the human one.

  386. vaiyt says

    That’s just one more contradicting thing on the AAH, really. I cited another upthread – it can’t account for both bipedality AND the differences between humans and chimps, since the origins of those two traits are very far apart.

  387. Amphiox says

    In fact, the most optimized body plan for doing the breast stroke is actually that of a frog.

    One can note that, Kermit aside, the average frog is not bipedal.

  388. Menyambal --- Ooo, look! A garage sale ... says

    Amphiox, thanks. Yet another way the chimps would be better aquatic apes than us.

  389. anthrosciguy says

    Algis cannot grasp how these two things are mutually contradicting.

    Plus that he claims less than 1% water use, which is an effort to make his idea less of a stretch than Hardy’s and Morgan’s. He doesn’t grasp that this makes his idea far more radical than Hardy’s or Morgan’s because of the extreme lack of selection pressure.

    Plus internal contradictions, a hallmark of AAT thought for over 40 years.

  390. anthrosciguy says

    While it is possible to do a facsimile of the breaststroke with the head always out of the water, it is laughably slow and clumsy, AND it puts the human cervical spine at an awkward angle that will, if kept up for too long, very rapidly produce excruciating mechanical neck pain.

    this leads into what is the basic problem Algis faces with this claim. It’s a claim about hair characteristics, inaccurately described of course, and how supposedly ours was selected for due to swimming efficiency/speed. He’s had shifting claims about what he’s talking about this selection pressure being: predators (his claim there requires behavior re predators unlike that of both chimps and human groups, as well as faster members of groups abandoning slower members, which naturally means mothers abandoning their offspring); riptides (I’ve described how raw swimming ability is largely ineffective with riptides while learned methods — swim to the side and don’t struggle against being swept further out, until you reach the edge of the riptide — are), and general efficiency while slowly swimming and looking for shellfish and the like.

    In regard to the breaststroke claim the last is interesting. First, as everyone (but Algis apparently) knows gathering shellfish generally does not require swimming, while hunting down fish is not that easy. But doing either while swimming requires one to swim with their face in the water, the top of the head down and in too, at least halfway. Then we come to the hair and drag problem. Algis has tried to use the sports science info I dug up years ago about hair removal and swimming speed in competition as if shaving from what we have now to no hair at all tells us about going from a presumably chimp-like hair condition to ours. That doesn’t compute. He also has not, despite being corrected on his errors for going on 8 or 9 years now, understood what the research says and doesn’t say about how much of an improvement there is at push-off and coasting speeds, or at competitive swimming speeds (which are far higher than our ancestors were likely able to manage, since after all they are far higher than our best swimmers managed around the turn of the 20th century).

    But physics demonstrates that the slower you go, the less percentage improvement you get from lessening hydrodynamic drag (same reason aerodynamic drag is no big deal at 5mph but important at 60mph and critical at 200mph). So at his cruising for food speed, which would be less than average swimming speed* — average swimming speed being much slower than champion athletes of course — would be perhaps 1 mph, maybe as much as 1.5 mph (as hunters will know, you do better when you walk slower, far far slower, than you normally walk, because otherwise you miss signs; same for foraging while swimming). At that speed the minor improvements seen for competitive swimmers — even if (unlikely, certainly unproven) the same improvement was seen for chimp-style to human-style hair as seen in human-style hair to no hair — would be extremely small. One might say vanishing small.

    *Info on swimming speeds and hair on my web page:
    http://www.aquaticape.org/hair.html

  391. ohsu says

    It would be a piece of cake to test whether our reduced body hair has any effect on drag. This still wouldn’t test the claim of adaptation, because it wouldn’t distinguish between adaptation and exaptation, but at least it could tell us if Algis’s claim of adaptation is possible.

    1. Make a hairy ape suit out of some appropriate material.

    a) The fabric of the material should be very light weight, non-absorbent, and elastic, like the material they use for making the body suits that competitive swimmers wear. Algis has always said that an “ape suit” would definitely not be good for swimming in, but of course most of the awkwardness of the ape suit would be the fabric it was made out of, not the hair on the surface of the fabric. So, the fabric for this experimental ape suit should be something that wouldn’t contribute to weight or drag.

    b) Cover the fabric with hair of the same length, density, and distribution as the hair on a chimpanzee. The hair should be no more or less absorbent than real hair.

    2. See how much drag the hair actually produces

    a) Test for drag using a strict and reproducible measure of drag. This could be done in the swimming pool version of a wind tunnel. A volunteer could get into an “endless pool”, one of those pools with flowing water kind of like a river, and the resistance produced by his bare body could be measured at different water speeds. Then he could wear the hairy suit and the tests could be repeated.

    My very strong suspicion is that that much hair would make virtually no difference whatsoever at the speeds an ordinary person is capable of swimming.

    3. See how much the suit changes performance.

    a) Have someone wear a body suit with no hair and swim for both speed and endurance.
    b) Have the same person wear a body suit with hair and swim for both speed and endurance.
    \
    Again, I strongly suspect that the difference would be insignificant.

    Why don’t I think the difference would be great? I used to be a lifeguard and swimming instructor, and one of the courses I taught to the public was water safety, in which we taught them how to swim fully clothed. (This would be important for someone who was in a boating accident or something and fell into the water fully clothed.)

    I have spent a LOT of time in the water fully clothed when I was a lifeguard, including shoes. And it simply doesn’t make much of a difference. I have swum laps in a pool wearing a long-sleeve button up shirt, tie, dress slacks, and shoes. Once you get used to the sensation, it is no big deal.

    And clothes are a LOT heaver and a LOT bulkier and a LOT more absorbent than the amount of body hair a chimpanzee has.

    I would bet anything that in a test like I propose above the effect of hair would be so insignificant that it would be invisible to selection.

  392. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1394 Tigger

    these wonderful women, swimming in the finals of the 200m breaststroke during last year’s Olympic games

    Showing images of elite athletes, note, is fine when you’re arguing against the crazy idea that humans might have swam more than chimps since the LCA. When you use such arguments in favour, it’s disgusting.

    Watch a bunch of school kids doing it – ones that are just average – note the part of the body most likely to be above the surface of the water. Note that it is the scalp.

    Algis Kuliukas

  393. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I will have to say, we a few spectacular kooks roaming the halls of Pharyngula right now.

  394. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1395 anthro-slur-guy

    Hair on the face? … are you a monkey?

    Jim has “quoted” me saying this several times before so it must be in his distortbase collection of handy slurs. I don’t think he’s ever actually linked to where I am supposed to have written this though – probably becuase if it was seen in its original context everyone would laugh at Jim Moore’s brazen misrepresentation technique.

    (PZ Myers thinks this sort of thing is great.)

    I have, of course, never denied that hair denoting sexual signalling is a problem for this idea, which is why I usually make the point by citing pre-pubescent children. But it is not a problem that is any kind of show stopper when one considers Zahavi & Zahavi’s costly signalling hypothesis. Suddenly, sexual selection becomes a non-argument, then I suppose.

    Algis Kuliukas

    Algis Kuliukas

  395. John Morales says

    Rev, I think the thrice-naming is supposed to be a summoning, not a banishment…

  396. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1400 ohsu

    Well, Algis has a video of himself in a pool doing the breaststroke, and the top of his head never gets wet… only problem is, he’s not really doing the breast stroke. He’s standing in about 4 feet of water, bent over at the waist, walking along the bottom. His claim that he’s “swimming the breaststroke” is, in very fact, a deliberate deception

    These people are incredible.

    What “ohsu” writes here is an absolute, 100%, fucking lie!

    The video clip was taken by my wife and it was of me swimming in our pool – NOT STANDING BENT OVER AT THE WAIST AND WALKING! It is about as unremarkably boring piece of video footage you could imagine, but because I used it to make a simple point in favour of the damned “aquatic ape”, these obsessed pseudoskeptics think they must distort to discredit it.

    What is wrong with these people?

    Algis Kuliukas

  397. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What “ohsu” writes here is an absolute, 100%, fucking lie!

    ONLY IN YOU DELUSIONAL MIND. Your idea died 15 years ago. You can’t admit the truth. What a mother fucking loser you are AK, no mind in the real world, just the world of your imagination and delusion….

  398. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What is wrong with these people?

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU THAT YOU CAN’T ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR IDEA IS SCIENTIFICALLY REFUTED? YOU OPINION OF THAT IS IRRELEVANT TO SCIENCE….

  399. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Anthro-slur-guy’s gossip swallowed uncritically – as usual.

    For it to unswallowed you need third party evidence from the scientiific literature. YOUR UNEVIDENCED OPINION IS IRRELEVANT TO ANY SCIENTIFIC ARGUMENT. Which means everything you say is irrelevant to science….

  400. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1404 Nerd

    We have refuted your ass

    Maybe, but you haven’t refuted the material points that I listed a while back.

    It is a blog owned by PZ. And he reserves the right to banhammer people who engage in bigotry.

    No problem with that if it’s done even handledly. I do not think Chris, as a defender of Elaine Morgan against a hostile, largely male, band of pseudoskeptics, was denigrating women, do you?

    I understand that one of Chris’ posts was banned yesterday for some reason, though, by Chris Clarke.

    If anyone wants to read that, or indeed has the intellectual courage to debate this subject in a place where you will not get away with twisting people’s words, casting nasty slurs against them, calling people “wankers”, “idiots” etc – or, as ohsu did just above, tell blatant lies…

    Join http://www.waterside-hypotheses.com

    Algis Kuliukas

  401. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1409 Anthro-slur-guy

    AATers (Algis, for instance) have a history of confusing the concept of censorship

    Nice slur. Totally untrue, as always.

    PZ Myers thinks this sort of thing is great.

    Algis Kuliukas

  402. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but you haven’t refuted the material points that I listed a while back.

    Actually, they were all refuted. You have nothing except your delusions keeping your failed idea alive. It died years ago due to lack of scientific evidence. Everybody notice but you, being too stupid to keep up with the literature…

    I understand that one of Chris’ posts was banned yesterday for some reason, though,

    Too stupid to read the threads are you? Chris made sexist remarks, and wouldn’t back down. He is temporarily banned by Chris Clarke, who the co-blogger with PZ. PZ makes the final determination on whether the ban is permanent.

    indeed has the intellectual courage to debate this subject in a place where you will not get away with twisting people’s words, casting nasty slurs against them, calling people “wankers”, “idiots” etc – or, as ohsu did just above, tell blatant lies…

    In other words, telling the truth about your dead idea, you, and your lack of intellect, honesty, and integrity….

  403. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah… I see. Am I allowed to suggest, maybe, pretty-please … a bit harsh?

    You can say what you want. Your name isn’t on the masthead, so your OPINION is utterly and totally irrelevant to those who run this blog. In case you haven’t notice. You are a cipher as far as they are concerned, just like your totally refuted idea.

  404. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1420 Menyambal

    Notice that Algis completely ignores the diving part of the issue, and starts getting all Algis about just one particular swimming stroke.

    A bit of an exaggeration but if one assumes that hominins spent significantly more of their locomotor repertoire doing slow surface swimming (perhaps peering into the water for shellfish in coastal shallows – crazy as space apes, right!?) than they did diving (as I do) then it seems reasonable to me.

    Sorry to be so “Algis” about that.

    Algis Kuliukas

  405. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I get the feeling that AK would co-op my kayaking habits into some sort of proof for the aah.

    Maybe even my bread baking (water!) or beer drinking (also water!).

  406. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1421 ohsu

    ZING!ability

    Ohsu aping anthro-slur-guy.

    Algis fails to see how these two things are mutually exclusive

    Yes, I fail there because they are obviously not mutually exclusive.

    The selection for the hood-like nose and breath control would have been as much for surface swimming as it would have been for transient, ocassional, shallow water diving.

    Selection for traits specific to diving might have been nostrils that can be closed and myglobin evolution consistent with greater breath holding capability. We do not see those so I do not think humans were ever particularly specialised to diving.

    Crazy, isn’t it?

    Algis has spent 15+ years at this, and such things NEVER occur to him

    On the contrary, it occurred to me almost from day one and I resolved the matter easily as above.

    Incredibly, after many years of arguing with self-righteous know-it-alls like the guy who calls himself a university, they always find it hard to actually digest what it is you’re saying… they have to deny, and distort to discredit, every time.

    Algis Kuliukas

  407. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1422 Amphiox

    And no, you cannot properly do the breaststroke without putting your head underwater

    But, Amphiox… you are twisting my words. I’m talking about probability. As a breastroke guru, please tell me which part of the body is most likely to be above the surface if you are not racing, but slowly swimming around, peering below the surface for something (crazy, right?)

    What do you mean “properly” anyway? According to some elite coach?

    the part where you put your head underwater is the power/speed part of the stroke cycle that actually gets you moving in the water.

    Exactly, my point. You are thinking about racing, I’m thinking about slow surface swimming, looking for food.

    I thought you said you LOVED this idea? Sounds to me like you are just yet another biasedc pseudoskeptic who is determined to distort it at every point you can think of.

    While it is possible to do a facsimile of the breaststroke with the head always out of the water, it is laughably slow and clumsy

    It would only be laughable if, whilst you were swimming at top speed, you missed some clams down there that I spotted because I was so slow and clumsy.

    cervical vertebrae

    Not so, for the time one is peering below the surface, though, eh?

    Chimps do not swim as well as humans.

    The vast, overwhelming evidence from observations would lead anyone but the most determined aquaskeptic to that conclusion.

    Algis Kuliukas

  408. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1423 Vaiyt

    …it can’t account for both bipedality AND the differences between humans and chimps, since the origins of those two traits are very far apart.

    I wonder how many more hundreds of times I’ll have to correct this sort of zombie misrepresentation before aquaskeptics will finally get it.

    This might be astonishing news to Vaiyt but some of us have moved on from the original Hardy/Morgan U-Turn (single, pre-Homo, distinct “aquatic phase”) hypothesis.

    My model… “River Apes… Coastal People”, was specifically designed around that long understood evidence about human evolution.

    This is probably why the “definitive web resource” page about me doesn’t even mention it, let alone honestly and fairly describe it.

    Great, isn’t he PZ?

    Algis Kuliukas

  409. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1424 Amphiox

    One can note that, Kermit aside, the average frog is not bipedal.

    Brilliant point, especially from someone who says he LOVED the idea.

    Algis Kuliukas

  410. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1426 Anthro-slur-guy

    Plus that he claims less than 1% water use, which is an effort to make his idea less of a stretch than Hardy’s and Morgan’s. He doesn’t grasp that this makes his idea far more radical than Hardy’s or Morgan’s because of the extreme lack of selection pressure

    Black-and-white-stupid-guy, again, boasting about his lack of understanding about population genetics.

    For selection to overcome drift it need only be greater than the reciprocal of twice the effective population size.

    If human ancestors went swimming once a week, for half an hour, and chimp ancestors did not – that alone would provide easily enough selection to account for the remarkable phenotypic differences we see today.

    That would represent less than 0.5% of their waking time and it would clearly have a dramatic effect.

    Only ignorant people who do not understand evolution, or bigots dedicated to distorting perfectly plausible and potentially helpful ideas, would try to twist this into another slur.

    Algis Kuliukas

  411. Menyambal --- Ooo, look! A garage sale ... says

    Algis:

    A bit of an exaggeration …

    No, it’s exactly what you did. You completely ignored what he said about diving—even though the point of his comment was that two things were incompatible—and you started berating him about techniques of swimming the breaststroke, as if he weer an idiot, in your righteous rhetorical rage, AND you were wrong about what you said about the breaststroke.

    Poor reading comprehension, snarling contempt, and incorrect in assertions. All Algis, all the way.

    … if one assumes that hominins spent significantly more of their locomotor repertoire doing slow surface swimming (perhaps peering into the water for shellfish in coastal shallows … than they did diving .

    In other words, they weren’t finding much. We’ve been over and over the fact that seafood is not rich in fat and calories, and you just asserted that these poor schlubs spent most of their time in fruitless cruising.

    I’ve done a bit of snorkeling and swimming while observing the bottom, and I did most of it with my body level, head as if standing at attention, and looking almost straight down at the bottom. See, in water that isn’t perfectly clear, a short sight line is good. If I saw something I wanted, I’d jackknife and go straight down after it. Upon which, my nostrils would fill with water.

    As for your vid, I couldn’t see whether you were walking or swimming, really, but it was a piss-poor and slow search swim. And, as has been said, at that slow a speed, friction is nil.

    By the way, when I swim like that without a snorkel, I tend to roll on over to breathe. You have no way of knowing *exactly* how your homies swam.

    Nor whether they could always find happy little lagoons to swim in.

    ….it seems reasonable to me.

    Well, there’s your problem.

  412. vaiyt says

    Talk about looking like a creationist, now what we’re seeing is the Aquatic Ape of The Gaps.

  413. says

    algiskuliukas:

    Ah… I see. Am I allowed to suggest, maybe, pretty-please … a bit harsh?

    You are here monopolizing the thread at the indulgence of the bloggers. I suggest an attitude of gratitude that you have been allowed to persist as long as you have. It’s been more than 1,000 comments in a thread that’s essentially the Algis Show. If it were my thread you’d have been booted for boring me somewhere in the 150s.

    Nerd of Redhead:

    You can say what you want. Your name isn’t on the masthead, so your OPINION is utterly and totally irrelevant to those who run this blog. In case you haven’t notice. You are a cipher as far as they are concerned, just like your totally refuted idea.

    I can’t speak for PZ, but I don’t remember appointing you my spokesperson, Nerd. You don’t get to announce what or who I find irrelevant, nor the regard in which I hold any individual human being. YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME. GOT IT?

  414. vaiyt says

    If human ancestors went swimming once a week, for half an hour, and chimp ancestors did not – that alone would provide easily enough selection to account for the remarkable phenotypic differences we see today.

    Only if it affected their survival rates or reproductive success.

    That’s the whole point.

    A population doesn’t need special adaptations to swim once a week for half an hour, they need only just enough adaptations to not drown before they get on to do whatever they do in the OTHER 167 and a half hours of the week. Those are obviously much more likely to put selection pressure on them.

    Aquatic Ape of the Gaps indeed.

  415. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1427 anthro-slur-guy

    this leads into what is the basic problem Algis faces with this claim…

    Translation… I am about to ramble on by peddling slurs against an “aquatic ape” guy, taking on my usual pretentious role as “the wise-sage know-it-all” talking to a bunch gullible fools who will believe every word I say because they do not know how to use search engines on the web and find out stuff and decide for themselves.

    shifting claims

    Not shifting at all. Whilst swimming (like doing any form of locomotion) there is not one single selection pressure. Predator avoidance is always going to be one, of course, but only people trying to distort to discredit the idea (that would be Jim Moore, then – who sneered that shaving body hair of competitive swimmers would not help them escape sharks!) would pretend that this specifically should have any significant bearing on our phenotype.

    Rip tides etc are obviously going to put any swimming hominin at risk and so, of course, in populations that regularly swam (crazy, I know, aliens from outer space are more likely, right guys?) some would be taken every year in such circumstances.

    Energy effficiency, of course, would also be a factor for better swimming.

    Odd how these are not a problem when it comes to terrestrial walking or running claims, just those involving the dreaded ‘a’ factor.

    First, as everyone (but Algis apparently) knows gathering shellfish generally does not require swimming, while hunting down fish is not that easy

    I must have countered this point a thousand times but, note how anthro-slur-guy just has to repeat his zombie misrepresentation yet again because he thinks he has a fresh audience of gullible people to impress.

    Yes, Jim, we all know that one can gather shellfish by walking on a beach at low tide. But guess what would happen after a few weeks of that? I know that, to some, the merest thought that our ancestors might have actually got their feet wet makes them go into hysterical rabid fits of panic but please…

    Algis has tried to use the sports science info I dug up years ago about hair removal and swimming speed in competition …

    Yes, again, thanks for that own goal, Jim.

    This was the thing he was sneering at because he thought (hahaha!) that reported increases in speed from shaving body hair wouldn’t help hominins esacpe sharks! What a plonker!

    Sharp, Rick L; Costill, David L (1989). Influence of body hair removal on physiological responses during breastroke swimming. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Vol:21 Pages:576-580

    …and doesn’t say about how much of an improvement there is at push-off and coasting speeds

    That is simply not true.

    There was a surpsingly significant (approx 8.5%) reduction of drag even from passsive slow push off trials (to preclude the placebo effect of ‘feeling better’ after shaving.)

    See these charts (data from Sharp & Cosil above).

    …would be extremely small. One might say vanishing small.

    Jim would call an 8.5% drag reduction vanishingly small, but then this is anthro-slur-guy who’s doing the “reporting”. Jim is again boasting about being ignorant about population genetics 101. Great, isn’t he, PZ?

    Yes, please do read Jim’s web page about “Hair” and then read my counter critique. If you have the intellectual courage please read both with an equally critical mind.

    Algis Kuliukas

  416. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Still, to this point in the conversation, no one has explained aquatic Sasquatches.

    I demand an explanation.

  417. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1428 ohsu

    Or, easier, simply by repeating the Sharp/Costil protocols with people with widely varying body hair and actually measuring, quantitatively how much hair is removed – and redoing the trials as the body hair regrows.

    Algis Kuliukas

  418. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Algis Kuliukas

    Did I spell that correctly? Because my reference points are slim

    What about the world as we know it in reference to humans would not fit into your AAH? Because it seems that there is nothing out there that doesn’t have some tie in in your mind.

  419. algiskuliukas says

    Re 1438 Nerd

    Nerd, proudly showing that he backs ohsu’s lie rather than show the slightest smigeon of independent thought.

    Do you really think I’d contrive a scene in my pool to do that? Why on earth would I even need to? Have you ever swam in a pool at all?

    The fact that the thought this might be a deception even enters the mind of someone says more about their twisted mind than me.

    What’s wrong with these people?

    Algis Kuliukas

  420. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    you are twisting my words. I’m talking about probability.

    No, you are lying and bullshitting out of your ass. Real life data beats speculation and armchair mental wanking every day of the week. Which is why your idea died the death it has. It required you to get up off your ass and find the evidence in the field. That is science.

  421. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    you are twisting my words. I’m talking about probability.

    Nerd, proudly showing that he backs ohsu’s lie rather than show the slightest smigeon of independent thought.

    Your definition of independent thought is agreeing with your bullshit. Which isn’t independent. I think for myself. I have asked you all through for EVIDENCE. You present nothing that isn’t instantly and thoroughly refuted. Your idea is evidencely bankrupt.

    What’s wrong with these people?

    What’s wrong with you, that you can’t accept reality, which is your monomania died a scientific death years ago? I listened to your bullshit. No evidence, NO SALE.

    The problem AK, isn’t with use who follow science, but rather with you who doesn’t understand how science works. Only a delusional fool would hold on to an evidencely bereft idea that can’t be shown to be wrong. Science requires that an idea being proven wrong has to be considered.

  422. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    algiskuliukas

    Your video clip doesn’t show one way or the other whether you were swimming or wading, as it doesn’t show your legs.

    If you are trying to show that a wading ape could look down through the water for potential snacks whilst helping themselves along with a kind of breaststroke, then that video clip is at least as useful as showing that someone can swim whilst just the top of their skull is above the water.

    In either case, it shows nothing one way or the other about the effect of swimming OR wading on hair, as you have shaved all yours off.

    And why did you choose breaststroke, of all the strokes humanity has invented to get around in water? Was it because it was the only one you could think of where the top of the head might remain above the water (in calm water, at least).

    I didn’t post that video of the Olympic swimmers to make a point against aquatic apes, but against your assertion that breaststroke necessarily involves the head being above the water. Or is this another circular argument?

    Observation: Humans have long hair on the top of their heads.
    Hypothesis: Humans have long hair on the top of their heads because of WRS.
    Testable Prediction: If humans underwent WRS, then they would be expected to have long hair on the top of their heads.
    Evidence: Humans have long hair on the top of their heads.

    But adult male humans have long hair on their faces, not just the tops of their heads.

    You know what? I can imagine interesting scenarios, too. I imagine that a full set of facial hair will be irritating to look through when searching for snacks through water. But women tend not to grow such impressive beards and moustaches.

    So