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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. Sili says

    What a peculiar day. I find you agreeing with (or being agreed with by) both Jerry Coyne and James McGrath.

  2. kevinalexander says

    From Wikipedia

    –The Toba supereruption (Youngest Toba Tuff or simply YTT[1]) was a supervolcanic eruption that occurred sometime between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago at Lake Toba (Sumatra, Indonesia). It is recognized as one of the Earth’s largest known eruptions. The related catastrophe hypothesis holds that this event caused a global volcanic winter of 6–10 years and possibly a 1,000-year-long cooling episode.
    The Toba event is the most closely studied supereruption. In 1993, science journalist Ann Gibbons suggested a link between the eruption and a bottleneck in human evolution, and Michael R. Rampino of New York University and Stephen Self of the University of Hawaii at Manoa gave support to the idea.–

    Which population of humans would be best adapted to survive this event? Hunters chasing nearly non existent game? Gatherers collecting fruit from dead trees? Or a few living near the sea and already adapted to using their grasping hands to collect shellfish in the intertidal zone?

  3. says

    I remember how I mentioned the AAH in front of my evolutionary biology teacher at university. He replied, laughing, that there is about as much evidence that people evolved from water dwelling apes, as there is evidence that people evolved from pigs. I thougth about what he said, then rejected the AAH and never thought too much about it again.

  4. Brian says

    Which population of humans would be best adapted to survive this event? Hunters chasing nearly non existent game? Gatherers collecting fruit from dead trees? Or a few living near the sea and already adapted to using their grasping hands to collect shellfish in the intertidal zone?

    OR … space apes already adapted to the freezing temperatures of outer space?!

  5. Amphiox says

    Which population of humans would be best adapted to survive this event? Hunters chasing nearly non existent game? Gatherers collecting fruit from dead trees? Or a few living near the sea and already adapted to using their grasping hands to collect shellfish in the intertidal zone?

    While this is an interesting point, it has nothing to do with the AAH.

    At the time of the Toba event, modern humans had already evolved, and already been in existence for at least 100000 years. The species was already H. sapiens, and all the morphological features the AAH purports to explain the origin of had already evolved.

    Beachcomber human =/= Aquatic Ape.

  6. kevinalexander says

    At the time of the Toba event, modern humans had already evolved, and already been in existence for at least 100000 years. The species was already H. sapiens, and all the morphological features the AAH purports to explain the origin of had already evolved.

    Yes. And there was much more genetic variation in the pre bottleneck species than there is today. That’s how we know there was a bottleneck. I’m sure that we made a living in as many different environments then as we have since and that must have included local variations in design. Every species spread over a large area does this. Even Galapagos finches.

    I’m not advocating the extreme version of AAH where we sped through the waves competing with dolphins for fish. That deserves ridicule. I’m saying that maybe we got our ability to do very well wading in shallow water by wading in shallow water and that local populations that did best at that had an advantage when Toba erupted. We were already walking upright. We already had the sensitive feet which are unique among bipeds.

    Another example, why is there a gasping reflex when we are startled? What’s the point unless it came in handy when you trip on something unseen in muddy water? It doesn’t fossilize with the skeleton and may not have been included in the people that Toba killed.

  7. Amphiox says

    I’m saying that maybe we got our ability to do very well wading in shallow water by wading in shallow water and that local populations that did best at that had an advantage when Toba erupted.

    That’s still not the AAH.

    There is also no evidence in the fossil record that there was any morphologic change in humans after the Toba event that actually requires postulating a wading lifestyle to explain.

    Finally, all evidence suggests that by the time of the Toba event we had already evolved the modern behavioral human mind, which means that adaption could and probably was, mostly if not entirely cultural.

    For I time I had wondered myself if the Toba event had contributed to the evolution of the modern behavioral mind, by bottlenecking out of the population those individuals who lacked the genetic capability for it, but there is more and more evidence coming to fore for modern behaviors long before Toba, making that postulation increasingly unlikely.

  8. Amphiox says

    Another example, why is there a gasping reflex when we are startled?

    The gasp reflex is primitive among mammals.

  9. Blattafrax says

    Another example, why is there a gasping reflex when we are startled?

    Oh, I dunno. Do other primates have it too? Like, you, know, the ones that live in trees?

  10. Amphiox says

    I’m not advocating the extreme version of AAH where we sped through the waves competing with dolphins for fish. That deserves ridicule.

    Well, there are actually no versions of the AAH, extreme or not, that talk about “competing with dolphins or fish”. Even the most “extreme” versions of the idea are talking more about an amphibious ape, rather than an aquatic ape, and indeed amphibious to a degree even more tied to dry land than something like, say, a sea otter.

    But the idea that early humans might have gotten a large supply of their protein from a beachfront source hardly even qualifies as “amphibious”. Would you call Alaskan Brown Bears amphibious because they get a lot of their animal protein from salmon?

  11. Blattafrax says

    Errrg. That’s not an extra comma. It’s a vestigial decoy prawn. Very useful for hunting in an aquatic environment don’t-you-know.

  12. Amphiox says

    What’s the point unless it came in handy when you trip on something unseen in muddy water?

    And I would also say that a reflex that produces a powerful, involuntarily, uncontrollable inspiration is just about the worst possible thing any organism could do in the event of tripping on something and falling while partially immersed in water.

  13. kevinalexander says

    I meant to add,

    At the time of the Toba event, modern humans had already evolved,

    Modern human skeletonshad evolved. That’s all we know for sure.

  14. kevinalexander says

    And I would also say that a reflex that produces a powerful, involuntarily, uncontrollable inspiration is just about the worst possible thing any organism could do in the event of tripping on something and falling while partially immersed in water.

    I don’t know about you but when I’m at the beach I get my air before my head hits the water, that’s kind of the point I was making.

    Anyway, if the gasp reflex is primitive in mammals then I concede the point and thank you for the information.

  15. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Which population of humans would be best adapted to survive this event? Hunters chasing nearly non existent game? Gatherers collecting fruit from dead trees? Or a few living near the sea and already adapted to using their grasping hands to collect shellfish in the intertidal zone?

    Ones capable of chemosynthesis, just like those sulfur bacteria in ocean vents!

    So obviously THAT’S how humans survived that stage, because no other evidence is required if it seems like your just-so story would explain something!

  16. jefrir says

    We already had the sensitive feet which are unique among bipeds.

    So, unique among us, kangaroos and wallabies, and few rodents? And shared with our closest relatives? Because that doesn’t sound like a very impressive claim, really.

  17. Sastra says

    Reading this I couldn’t help but wonder if someone could pull off a Sokol-style hoax and sneak a deceptively serious speaker for the Space Ape hypothesis into something like that New Age-y/Spiritual Paradigm Symposium PZ’s going to be attending in October.

    Of course, the point would be severely diluted since there’s not much challenge there. Whoa, someone managed to put some bizarre piece of pseudoscience across at a convention devoted to ancient aliens, crop circles, and “edgy” conspiracy theories: color me surprised. Not.

    Still, it might be fun to start a cult.

  18. lochaber says

    I don’ get how a shore environment would be less affected then any other after a supervolcanic eruption.

    Wouldn’t many of the shellfish be killed off by the ash deposits?

  19. Amphiox says

    I don’t know about you but when I’m at the beach I get my air before my head hits the water, that’s kind of the point I was making.

    And a reflex is the worst possible way of getting that air, as it is involuntary and violent, and you have no way of controlling the time at which your head hits the water. You are at least as likely to trigger the reflex too late and inhale an entire lungful of water and drown than to get any benefit at all from breathing one extra lungful of air.

    And indeed, as people who dive know, inflating your lungs just before you submerge is actually the worst thing you can do if you want to hold your breath underwater for the longest possible period of time. The stretch reflex in your diaphragm is triggered, which actually increases air hunger and the urge to take another breath.

  20. Acolyte of Sagan says

    From OP

    2. we don’t have much body hair because……

    This fallacy really gets my goat. I know it’s a pedantic gripe but we have as much body hair as the rest of the great apes, at least in terms of hair follicles. The only reason we appear to be the ‘naked’ member of the ape species is that our hairs are far shorter and finer than those of the gorilla, chimpanzee, etc. so are far less noticable.

    Regarding the AAH; am I right in thinking that the first evidence (sic) for this hypothesis was that human back-hair growth is in a downward direction (suggesting that it enabled better streamlining properties in water – as with beavers, otters and so on), as opposed to our nearest primate cousins whose back-hair growth is generally at right angles to the spine as with most quadrupedal mammals in direction?
    Personally, I think it would be more accurate to say that our back-hair growth pattern is more of an adaptation to standing upright, allowing for a more efficient run-off of water.
    Obviously, the Homo species have always depended on fresh water for survival, so it’s no surprise that the vast majority of them lived – as we still do – close to reliable sources of fresh water, and were in all likelihood wading in the shallows – and maybe even diving in the deeper parts – almost as soon as they left the arboreal life behind. This, of course, doesn’t make us an aquatic ape; a wading ape yes; an occasional swimming ape maybe; a regularly thirsty one certainly, but not aquatic in the true sense of the word.

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

    And where does this leave owls? Are they space-birds?

  21. Acolyte of Sagan says

    And here’s a thought; if the AAH idea is right (OK, I said it was just a thought; no hate-mail please) was Kevin Costner’s character in the interminably terrible Waterworld an example of regressive evolution?

  22. kevinalexander says

    Wouldn’t many of the shellfish be killed off by the ash deposits?

    Obviously, yes but the ash deposits wouldn’t be the deadliest long term effect. The blocked sunlight would first affect the plants, then the animals that ate them, then the animals that ate them. Clams and other filter feeders would still get nutrients if only from the decomposing bacteria that would be the survivors in a world gone cold.

  23. Amphiox says

    Clams and other filter feeders would still get nutrients if only from the decomposing bacteria that would be the survivors in a world gone cold.

    That sort of diet would be extremely likely to make the clams poisonous to humans or any other animals that tried to eat them.

  24. kevinalexander says

    I give up, you win.

    Next time, I think I’ll start an evo-psych discussion, those are always fun.

  25. Acolyte of Sagan says

    #25 & 26; What if they quickly gathered enough dead fish and land-fauna (is sea-life still fauna?) to see them through the nuclear winter. If it was that cold, deep-freezing wouldn’t be a problem; all they’d have to do is thaw and re-heat as neccessary :-)

  26. ck says

    Be careful with this. I think it’s been proven time and time again that there is no idea so outlandish that someone, somewhere won’t take it completely seriously.

  27. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Next time, I think I’ll start an evo-psych discussion, those are always fun.

    Just as boring as this “disussion” is. The hard evidence is lacking for those making the claims in either case.

  28. Ulysses says

    Sastra @19

    Of course, the point would be severely diluted since there’s not much challenge there.

    But since it’s a New Age-type convention, wouldn’t a severely diluted point become more powerful because of homeopathy?

  29. jamessweet says

    I have the teensiest soft spot for the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis…. so much pseudoscience just badly fails the “smell” test, it’s just like, “Wow, that’s fucking stupid, how could anybody believe that?” My reaction on hearing AAH was more like, “Wow, that’s a really interesting idea tell me more!”… and of course, the more I found out, the more wildly implausible it became.

    I guess what I’m saying is, one of the most beautiful things about humanity is coming up with ideas like AAH and then rejecting them… those ideas that are “so crazy they just might be right!”, and 99.9% of the time aren’t, but they are so beautiful in their audacity, and there’s still that 0.1% of the time when they do turn out to be right… The only problem is, the jury has been back for decades, and we ain’t aquatic apes. But still, I love that somebody thought of the idea. So I always feel a little bad mocking it. (Well, just a LITTLE…)

  30. dfarmer1584 says

    This is interesting; it is a good reminder to be humble in what I think I know. I am not a biologist/ anthropologist. I have just a dangerous little bit of reasonably well informed laymen’s knowledge in those areas. I have encountered the aquatic ape idea, though I can’t recall exactly when or where. I never “championed” the idea, but I recall finding it very interesting–not entirely ridiculous prima face. It didn’t seem absurd on the surface. I did not know that the idea was laughable to the pros.

    Again, this is a good reminder to me that it is most important to understand what I do not know, or that I do not know.

  31. robro says

    The Space Ape Theory (SAT) could be a big break through. It fits nicely with the Von Daniken hypothesis and the L Ron Hubbard conjecture. Even the Panspermia advocates might be interested. It’s a great opportunity for syncretism, which means it just has to be a good idea. Perhaps the BBC would do a docudrama and the Guardian could do an article…probably “for sure” if they can get Sir Attenborough to join hands and sing.

    Actually, this is the second time recently that Attenborough has lent his considerable media clout to support a fringe idea.

  32. yubal says

    Several people already encouraged me not to refer to my baby boy as “great African ape”. I don’t know why? Not “black”(*) enough to be originally African or not hairless (**) enough to be truly ape?

    He likes bathing in warm water, though, and he is truly a great ape from what I can tell.

    (*) never met a black person in my life. All of them just express different skin shades of brown.

    (**) never met a hairless person in my life. All of them just express different numbers of hair on their ape-like body.

  33. Marcel Williams says

    The aquatic ape hypothesis was first conceived by marine biologist, Sir Alister Hardy, back in the 1920s. But he didn’t reveal his hypothesis to the public until 1960 during a lecture and then in an article in the journal New Scientist.

    Elaine Morgan first encountered the hypothesis after she read a synopsis of it in the Desmond Morris book, the Naked Ape. Then she wrote about it in her own book, the Descent of Woman in the early 1970s.

    Basically, Hardy’s argument was that humans became bipeds and developed a thick subcutaneous fat because they needed to wade into shallow water in order to get access to shellfish. Such food gathering behavior is actually common in many tribal populations even today.

    The smoking gun, IMO, is the fact that humans are the only primate that has kidneys with medullas that are normally lobulated in their morphology. This is a characteristic that is universal in marine mammals. Lobulation of the medulla in kidneys increases the surface area between the medulla and the surrounding cortex, enhancing the rate in which high concentrations of ingested salt can be excreted from the body.

    Marcel F. Williams

  34. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The smoking gun, IMO, is the fact that humans are the only primate that has kidneys with medullas that are normally lobulated in their morphology. This is a characteristic that is universal in marine mammals. Lobulation of the medulla in kidneys increases the surface area between the medulla and the surrounding cortex, enhancing the rate in which high concentrations of ingested salt can be excreted from the body.

    1) Is this characteristic actually universal among marine mammals?
    2) Is this characteristic unique to marine mammals?
    3) Is it typical to find unrelated species developing identical – not analogous, but identical – physiological adaptations to solve similar environmental problems?

  35. mikecline says

    Marcus said it well above, we are still beach apes and that is very different from the aquatic ape hypothesis. Much of human history is the interaction between groups adapted to the coast and those adapted to inland environments. Like any other species, we fill in the gaps/niches, and adapt and/or change and then use that to better fill the gaps/niches. The coastal people were badass cause they figured out canoes and clambakes. Then the future inland people figured out how to ride animals and cross mountains and deserts. In a way it’s been a back and forth between coast and inland people ever since.

  36. Marcel Williams says

    “Marcel, what about the spider monkey?”

    Lobulated medullas are nonexistent in Catarrhines (old world monkeys and apes)– except for humans.

    Amongst, the Platyrrhines (new world monkeys) a slight– minority– of Black-handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) have two or three medullary pyramids. A slight majority have unipyramidal kidneys.

    Humans, however, are the only primates with kidneys universally characterized by lobulated, multipyramidal, medullas. Human kidneys typically exhibit 8–18 medullary pyramids.

    Marcel F. Williams

  37. Marcel Williams says

    ” Is this characteristic actually universal among marine mammals?”

    Actually, there is one strange exception. T dugong (Dugong dogon) differs from all other marine mammals by exhibiting kidneys characterized by long medullary crest suggestive of some sort of transverse medullary lobulation

    “Is this characteristic unique to marine mammals?”

    Most terrestrial have unipyramidal kidneys. But there are some terrestrial mammals with multipyramidal kidneys. Nearly all of them appear to be descended from semiaquatic marine ancestors, elephants and bears for instance. Camels, however, appear to have developed their multipyramidal kidneys as an adaptation to eating desert plants or drinking from brine pools with extremely high salt content (higher even than seawater).

    ” Is it typical to find unrelated species developing identical – not analogous, but identical – physiological adaptations to solve similar environmental problems?”

    Its called convergent evolution.

    You can read a chapter in a book, I wrote on the subject at:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=KX5XuWYKsLYC&pg=PA148&lpg=PA148&dq=Marine+Adaptations+in+Human+Kidneys&source=bl&ots=s9BSo8q_bR&sig=TokZjMoi3yntPLtHjz8JuNScxNQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Hn19UfylOYqmiQKkwYH4CQ&ved=0CJEBEOgBMA4

  38. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Modern human skeletonshad evolved. That’s all we know for sure. – kevinalexander

    Not true: there is clear evidence of symbolic behaviour – use of shells for ornamentation for example from before Toba. According to an article in the March 2013 Scientific American there is evidence of heat treatment of stone tools from 164,000 years ago, and engraved ochre from 100,000 years ago. “Toba made us fully human” is a lovely idea, but the evidence simply doesn’t support it.

  39. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Let’s try this again:

    ” Is it typical to find unrelated species developing identical – not analogous, but identical – physiological adaptations to solve similar environmental problems?”

    Its called convergent evolution.

  40. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Most terrestrial have unipyramidal kidneys. But there are some terrestrial mammals with multipyramidal kidneys. Nearly all of them appear to be descended from semiaquatic marine ancestors, elephants and bears for instance. Camels, however, appear to have developed their multipyramidal kidneys as an adaptation to eating desert plants or drinking from brine pools with extremely high salt content (higher even than seawater).

    Elephants…and…bears…are “marine.”

    This is some pretty blatant wishful thinking.

    Also, why not posit adaptation to arid climates as an explanation for human kidneys, since we know ancestral humans lived in them to a significant extent?

    Well, besides the above.

  41. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Yes; there’s stuff in it, just very dilute, and it has kinetic energy, so we can define a temperature for it based on statistical mechanics.

  42. says

    Re: 45 Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) 29 April 2013 at 1:50 am (UTC -5)
    Wishful thinking? That’s your argument?

  43. says

    @ Marcel Williams

    The behaviour of modern humans is irrelevant to the AAH. The processes in our evolution it seeks to explain fall between our divergence from the LCA with chimpanzees and the emergence of early Homo, in other words between 5-6 and 2 mya. In this time frame we have no evidence whatever for the exploitation of marine resources – the earliest evidence for that is from East Turkana and dates to 1.95 mya (Braun et al 2010). Even this early site is an outlier, and, though butchery sites of terrestrial animals have been found which predate the East Turkana finds, we have no earlier evidence at all for what was, supposedly, our most critical dietary component.

    Furthermore hominin skeletons remained arboreally adapted until the appearance of Homo ergaster in the fossil record, again after 2.0 mya. Even Homo habilis retained arboreal adaptations in its upper body. For at least two and a half million years australopithecines were facultative bipeds who still spent some of their time in the trees. I’m not saying this in itself totally rules out the AAH, but it does take us rather a long way from the ecological model it proposes.

  44. says

    If space is the temperature of the objects in it, then space near the Earth is, umm, around the temperature of the Earth (depending on the albedo of the objects and other such considerations).

  45. chrisf says

    The only reason we appear to be the ‘naked’ member of the ape species is that our hairs are far shorter and finer than those of the gorilla, chimpanzee, etc. so are far less noticable.

    Speak for yourself.

  46. sawells says

    I think we can all agree that the AAH does a very good job of explaining why we are as hairless as otters and seals, why children swim instinctively and never drown, and why our skin is so waterproof it doesn’t go wrinkly after ten minutes in the bath.

    Oh, wait.

    Personally I favour the Ballroom Dancing Ape hypothesis – after all, our human posture and gait makes us uniquely well adapted for ballroom dancing and this can _only_ be the result of direct selection for ballroom dancing in our ancestry.

  47. David Marjanović says

    Which population of humans would be best adapted to survive this event? Hunters chasing nearly non existent game? Gatherers collecting fruit from dead trees? Or a few living near the sea and already adapted to using their grasping hands to collect shellfish in the intertidal zone?

    Let me quote the “between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago” part back at you. Anatomically modern humans have been existing for 200,000 years. This catastrophe, which is the reason that all 7 billion humans together are genetically about as diverse as one tribe of 55 chimpanzees, came way too late for the aquatic-ape hypothesis.

    Yes. And there was much more genetic variation in the pre bottleneck species than there is today. That’s how we know there was a bottleneck. I’m sure that we made a living in as many different environments then as we have since and that must have included local variations in design. Every species spread over a large area does this. Even Galapagos finches.

    o_O The Galápagos finches aren’t one species. They’re fourteen. And what is this talk about “must have”? It’s not like there’s no fossil record!

    our ability to do very well wading in shallow water

    That would work a lot better if our feet were more birdlike.

    We already had the sensitive feet which are unique among bipeds.

    *eyeroll* Yes, that’s because we’re descended from tree climbers, sorry about the pun. Everything is the way it is because it got that way.

    Modern human skeletonshad evolved. That’s all we know for sure.

    It’s not like the rest of the body left no traces at all on the skeleton. Every bone is adapted to the forces it exerts, from its general shape to details of muscle attachment sites (like the directions of the microscopic Sharpey’s fibers).

    Actually, this is the second time recently that Attenborough has lent his considerable media clout to support a fringe idea.

    What was the first?

    The smoking gun, IMO, is the fact that humans are the only primate that has kidneys with medullas that are normally lobulated in their morphology. This is a characteristic that is universal in marine mammals. Lobulation of the medulla in kidneys increases the surface area between the medulla and the surrounding cortex, enhancing the rate in which high concentrations of ingested salt can be excreted from the body.

    Marine mammals all have extremely large or extremely lobulated kidneys. No comparison to humans.

    That humans have the most lobulated kidneys of any primate* isn’t surprising: we live in the driest environments of any primate. You’ve mentioned camels.

    * Accepted for the sake of the argument. I lack the literature to check this.

    not analogous, but identical

    Well, yes, that happens; convergent evolution isn’t rare.

    Then the future inland people figured out how to ride animals and cross mountains and deserts.

    Whoa. Riding came really late. It’s hardly 5,000 years old.

    Most terrestrial have unipyramidal kidneys. But there are some terrestrial mammals with multipyramidal kidneys. Nearly all of them appear to be descended from semiaquatic marine ancestors, elephants and bears for instance.

    …Elephants, maybe. But seeing how manatees still can’t drink seawater, that can’t have gone far.

    Bears… *blink* where did you get that from? That doesn’t remotely fit the fossil record.

  48. robro says

    David Marjanović — Re first time that Attenborough supported a fringe idea: He promoted the claim a couple of years ago that a fossil discovered in Germany is a primate.

  49. David Marjanović says

    I’ve now read the book chapter. Right in the abstract, it claims that “rhinoceroses also appear to have had semi-aquatic ancestors that frequented marine environments”. The only certain rhino that was ever considered possibly semiaquatic (because it has short legs like a hippo, if not even more so) is Teleoceras; it’s not an ancestor of anything alive today, and there hadn’t been a sea near Nebraska in thirty million years by then. The abstract goes on to suggestively mention sweat and tear glands, but sweat and tears are always salty.

    Now, another supposed rhino is Hyrachyus which, for instance, somehow reached Jamaica. But the latest phylogenetic analysis I’ve found (link to pdf behind paywall) fails to find out if it’s on the rhino or the tapir side of things; both have been argued. In any case, there’s no reason to think it’s an ancestor of anything known.

    Table 1 declares the bears “terrestrial/semi-aquatic”. Today, the only semiaquatic bear is the polar bear, and that’s a really young descendant of the brown bear. In the fossil record, there’s Kolponomos. From what I’ve found, it really is an ursid (it has also been considered other things); but it’s clearly not an ancestor of anything alive today – it has lost the third lower molar, while today’s bears retain it.

    Page 151 mentions beavers as a counterexample (they have multipyramidal kidneys, but their history is entirely restricted to freshwater and dry land). This is not addressed any further in the rest of the chapter. o_O

    Anthracobune wasn’t a proboscidean, and it wasn’t one of their ancestors either; Proboscidea goes back to the beginning of the Thanetian, the last of the 3 stages of the Paleocene. The earliest proboscideans may have been semiaquatic, but that doesn’t make them marine.

    Why extrapolate from the supposed island-hopping of the babirusa, which doesn’t hop but stays on Sulawesi, to all Suidae? Pigs past or present have no other connections to marine environments.

    To say it’s “unknown” whether the multipyramidal kidneys of giraffids “are the result of a high salt diet due to the consumption of halophytic plants in xeric environments or coastal predation on sea weeds” (p. 152) is quite the understatement. Giraffidae has a pretty good fossil record from purely terrestrial places. Your speculation is hopelessly unparsimonious.

    …So, “humans have active sweat glands that excrete sweat that is usually hypotonic relative to the blood plasma” (p. 152). Hypotonic?!? The sea would give us a Darwin Award for doing such a stupid thing. Looks like we’ve tended to stay close enough to lots of freshwater throughout our evolutionary history, then.

    “So, clearly all extant humans had a common ancestor in their evolutionary past that consumed foods with an extremely high salt content.” That’s two sentences after the mention of our hypotonic sweat. What were you thinking? And what were the reviewers thinking, or weren’t there any?

    P. 153 claims we can produce urine with 3.6 % salt. Uh, why can’t we drink pure seawater, then? We can drink a mixture of 2/3 seawater and 1/3 freshwater, but anything saltier than that kills us in the long run, I thought.

    “Still, clearly, if such hominins had the ability to excrete hypertonic sweat” – untestable speculation.

    P. 154 and 155 aren’t shown by Google today, so I can’t tell if the conclusions mention the human fossil record (though the rest of the text doesn’t…) or if the acknowledgments mention any reviewers. However, the next two chapters have no acknowledgments whatsoever, the following two chapters are cut off again, the one after again lacks an acknowledgments section, and the last one is cut off again…

    Both this lack of acknowledgments and the contents of many (maybe all) chapters make it look like the whole book wasn’t peer-reviewed.

  50. David Marjanović says

    He promoted the claim a couple of years ago that a fossil discovered in Germany is a primate.

    Oh, do you mean Darwinius? It is a primate, alright. More specifically, it’s an adapiform. The unusual claim here (which hasn’t withstood the evidence) is that Adapiformes belongs to Haplo(r)rhini, like us, instead of Strepsi(r)rhini, like the lemurs & lorises. That’s all.

  51. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Well, yes, that happens; convergent evolution isn’t rare.

    Convergent evolution means “identical?” That’s new. I’m thinking pterosaur wings vs. bat wings as a really simple example.

  52. cheesynougats says

    Well, I learned something from this post: I have misunderstood the AAH all these years. I thought that it meant that early hominids lived near water and swam with some frequency. To me, that seemed pretty obvious, so I supported it.

  53. anthrosciguy says

    Well, I learned something from this post: I have misunderstood the AAH all these years. I thought that it meant that early hominids lived near water and swam with some frequency. To me, that seemed pretty obvious, so I supported it.

    That’s because there’s a “PR version” and a full version of the idea. The PR version, put forth to the general audience, and usually what’s seen in blog comments by AAT/H proponents is the PR version used for hooking people; the in-depth version you hear when you get past the door is ludicrous.

    The AAT/H is not just the idea that our ancestors, or some of them, waded at times, swam at times, and used some water-sourced foods. As perhaps the world’s supreme environmental generalist (what other single species lived in so many environments even before modern technology?) it is to be expected we would wade and swim at times (although unlike almost all mammals, but in common with African apes, we lack the instinctive ability to swim). As an opportunistic omnivore it’s expected that we would have eaten most anything we could as long as it wasn’t poisonous. That is not in doubt. And that’s part of what I refer to as the PR version of the AAT/H, something that virtually everybody in the field agrees with already and which does not bring anything new to the table (no pun intended). By getting people to agree with the PR version, and pretending it is something new they’ve brought to the field, AAT/H proponents claim support.

    But the full version of the AAT/H is that a great many features of humans, virtually all the biggies, are due to water use. And the animals they are forced to use as examples of supposed convergence (and sometimes name explicitly) are cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenia. This isn’t going to happen with just a bit of wading, or even a little swimming, certainly not from walking along tidal flats or flood plains after river floods picking up stranded fish and digging up shellfish. Yet that is the AAT/H claim.

    The PR version vs. full version tactic is uncomfortably close to the ID wedge tactic. And sad to say, that is not the only tactic AAT/Hers and creationists have in common.

  54. cheesynougats says

    @anthrosciguy:
    Thanks for the info. I had heard that some hominid adaptations were due to AAH, and they sounded legit to me. However, as someone earlier in the thread mentioned, our kidney adaptations can be explained just as well (or better) by living in arid environments. I would think our finer fur would make more sense in high-temperature arid environments as well. Still, these are my just-so stories, and I am a layperson and have not done any actual research; YMMV.

  55. anthrosciguy says

    I had heard that some hominid adaptations were due to AAH, and they sounded legit to me.

    Exactly how the PR version works. You don’t expect to be lied to, and you wind up being deceived through no fault of your own other than the “crime” of wanting to learn more about evolution. That’s why you so often hear the adaptations being referred to as present in “aquatics” or as “associated with water” rather than their admitting they’re talking about whales and seals (and describing our characteristics inaccurately, which is guaranteed GIGO). Or that they’re making up aquatic ancestries for animals like rhinos or bears.

  56. Marcel Williams says

    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) “Elephants…and…bears…are “marine. This is some pretty blatant wishful thinking.Also, why not posit adaptation to arid climates as an explanation for human kidneys, since we know ancestral humans lived in them to a significant extent?Well, besides the above.”

    @Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    The Sirenians (dugongs, sea cows) are the closest phylogenetic relatives of the elephants. And the earliest elephants were semiaquatic creatures like, Anthracobune and Moeritherium have been recovered from coastal marine environments as far back as the late Eocene. There have also been a growing number of articles related to the semiaquatic origin of elephants over the past few years.

    Seals and Sea lions are the closest phylogenetic relatives of the bears. One of the earliest bears was an early Miocene species called Kolponomos. Kolponomos was an otter-like creature who apparently fed on benthic marine invertebrates. Kolponomos has also been argued to be close to and maybe perhaps the last common ancestor of bears and pinnipeds. Amongst modern bears, the marine polar bears have kidneys with the most medullary pyramids.

    Kidneys with lobulated medullas are an adaptation to the consumption of large amounts of salt. Camels have them because they eat desert plants with extremely high salt contents and drink salt water from brine pools. Most other mammals have them because they eat coastal marine animals or plants.

    Most humans in sub-Saharan Africa live in fauna prolific environments that are deficient in salt– except for the coastlines.

    Marcel F. Williams

  57. Marcel Williams says

    jamesfish “The behaviour of modern humans is irrelevant to the AAH.”

    2jamesfish

    I didn’t say it was! The last significant semiaquatic phase for human ancestors probably ended around 2.6 million years ago, IMO, when global sea levels started to fall and Homo was no longer isolated from continental Africa on a coastal island. Early hominins probably became isolated on an island in the Northern Afar region when sea levels began to rise again at the beginning of the Pliocene about 5.5 million years ago: reflooding the dessicated Mediterranean and the Red Sea. The Northern Afar region has been repeatedly flooded by marine waters during the interglacial periods.

    Marcel F. Williams

  58. says

    The Sirenians (dugongs, sea cows) are the closest phylogenetic relatives of the elephants. And the earliest elephants were semiaquatic creatures like, Anthracobune and Moeritherium have been recovered from coastal marine environments as far back as the late Eocene. There have also been a growing number of articles related to the semiaquatic origin of elephants over the past few years.

    There have been two ways this has been claimed: a features of fetuses, which is way far from being conclusive, and a nonsensical claim about elephant trunks that ignores the fact that they are useful appendages. Modern elephants are not directly descended from the early relatives of elephants you mention; in fact that is the same wrong claim as the rhinoceros claim you made earlier. If you expect to have your claims taken seriously you’ll have to start arguing honestly and with facts.

  59. Marcel Williams says

    @David Marjanović

    I love your deductive reasoning skills– or lack there of:-)

    My argument is that marine mammals universally have lobulated medullary areas within their kidneys because it is an adaptation that enhances the excretion of ingested salt by increasing the surface area between the medulla and the cortex within the kidney.

    My argument as to why humans also have lobulated medullas in their kidneys is because they had ancestors that once specialized in exploiting coastal marine food resources: shellfish and fish.

    My argument as to why camels also have lobulated medullas in their kidneys is because they consume plants with extremely high salt contents and drink from brine pools that have salt contents higher than seawater.

    My general argument is that practically all mammals that have kidneys with lobulated medullas either evolved them as marine dietary adaptations or salt plant adaptations to desert environments.

    You, of course, offered no better explanation for the origin of medullary lobulation in mammalian kidneys. In fact, you offered no explanation at all! Science is actually about attempting to explain things– not simply ignoring them because their inconvenient to your preferred paradigm:-)

    But if you actually think that you know more about the evolution of medullary pyramids in the kidneys of primates and other mammals than I do– then I’d love read your published papers on the subject:-)

    Marcel F. Williams

  60. says

    Also, Marcel, if you want your arguments to be taken seriously, you’re going to have to publish in someplace other than Medical Hypotheses and Bioscience Hypotheses. Pay to play non-peer-reviewed journals might sound impressive to laypeople, but those are notorious in science.

    Speaking of that, I’ve got a longstanding question about Medical Hypotheses for anyone: does anyone know of an actually good article ever published in Medical Hypotheses?

  61. Marcel Williams says

    Eurasian magpie “You really should familiarize yourself with http://www.aquaticape.org website. The island-offshore-Afar stuff is specifically refuted here”

    That’s a very old and outdated website that I’m very familiar with. But I do agree that Danakil was never an island. But there was a large island just north of the Danakil Alps that was surrounded by marine floodwaters for over two million years where I believe human ancestors may have been isolated from continental Africa during the Pliocene which would explain why humans have lost so much of their genetic variation and how they avoided exposure to the baboon C virus which infected all other primates in Africa when it was active.

    But if you have a specific objection, please present. But there’s nothing unusual about primitive humans and other primates exploiting aquatic environments for food. The only question is, did a primate ever become specialized in such behavior for an extensive period in its evolutionary history and are humans descended from such primates. And I think the answer is clearly and obviously yes!

    Marcel F. Williams

  62. Eurasian magpie says

    You know the second link I gave in my post#66? Under the word “here”? The same fricking page shows how it is quite wrong to claim that humans haven’t been exposed to the baboon C virus. And outdated? That specific page was added 2 March 2012. Aquaticape.org is constantly updated. You are playing this game dishonestly.

  63. says

    @ Marcel Williams

    You totally ignored the rest of my post: there is no archaeological evidence – not a shred – for the exploitation of marine resources by Homo or australopithecines prior to 1.95 million years ago. But anyway, you seem to have found a nifty monocausal explanation for several aspects of modern human physiology, so by all means continue to ignore the archaeological and palaeoanthropological evidence from the period you are wildly speculating about.

  64. David Marjanović says

    Convergent evolution means “identical?”

    Sometimes, yes.

    In the simplest cases (sites in a nucleotide/amino acid sequence), it always does.

    The Sirenians (dugongs, sea cows) are the closest phylogenetic relatives of the elephants.

    LINE insertion sites support the hyraxes as even closer.

    And the earliest elephants were semiaquatic creatures like, Anthracobune and Moeritherium have been recovered from coastal marine environments as far back as the late Eocene.

    The anthracobunids, or at least some of them, were marine. Fine. But Moeritherium? And what do you mean by “as far back as the late Eocene” when Eritherium, the oldest known proboscidean, is from the late Paleocene and thus twenty million years older?

    There have also been a growing number of articles related to the semiaquatic origin of elephants over the past few years.

    Yes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean “marine”.

    Seals and Sea lions are the closest phylogenetic relatives of the bears.

    Let me look up what the latest results are; will take till tomorrow. Pinnipeds, bears, skunks, red pandas, procyonids and mustelids are quite a mess that has taken long to sort out.

    One of the earliest bears was an early Miocene species called Kolponomos. Kolponomos was an otter-like creature who apparently fed on benthic marine invertebrates. Kolponomos has also been argued to be close to and maybe perhaps the last common ancestor of bears and pinnipeds.

    But these two statements contradict each other, and you don’t even notice. The paper I linked to says that Kolponomos is an ursid. That means it’s closer to the extant bears than the extinct hemicyonids (“dog-bears”) were, let alone than the pinnipeds are; Ursidae and Hemicyonidae are sister-groups. It is, therefore, a bear that has gone off and done its own thing, which was to become semiaquatic.

    Besides, K. is simply too young to be the last common ancestor of all Arctoidea anyway. It’s from the Miocene; the pinniped Enaliarctos was already present in the Oligocene.

    Kidneys with lobulated medullas are an adaptation to the consumption of large amounts of salt.

    How about this wording: they’re an adaptation to excrete salt together with as little water as possible. Situations where that’s an advantage can be caused by ingesting too much salt just as well as by having too little water available.

    What do you think?

    The last significant semiaquatic phase for human ancestors probably ended around 2.6 million years ago, IMO, when global sea levels started to fall and Homo was no longer isolated from continental Africa on a coastal island. Early hominins probably became isolated on an island in the Northern Afar region when sea levels began to rise again at the beginning of the Pliocene about 5.5 million years ago: reflooding the dessicated Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

    o_O

    O_o

    Wait. There’s no evidence for Homo before 2.5 Ma ago. If there’s evidence for the very existence of any such island, please tell us. The Red Sea ever drying out is likewise news to me. Are you sure you or your sources aren’t just making shit up as you go along?

    Do follow the link in comment 66.

    My general argument is that practically all mammals that have kidneys with lobulated medullas either evolved them as marine dietary adaptations or salt plant adaptations to desert environments.

    You, of course, offered no better explanation for the origin of medullary lobulation in mammalian kidneys. In fact, you offered no explanation at all!

    Yes. I showed that, whatever the explanation is, it can’t be yours.

    :-|

    I don’t know enough about comparative kidney anatomy to come up with one on my own (I’m a paleontologist, so I only know bones); but Google Scholar and I know enough about the fossil record to tell that it’s massively unparsimonious to suppose a saltwater phase in the history of rhinos, bears, giraffes, or humans.

    I did point out that many of us live in drier environments than all other primates (except maybe baboons and djeladas, I guess), so conservation of water may well have been a selection pressure that made our kidneys more lobulate.

    Finally, it follows logically from your book chapter that we can drink undiluted seawater indefinitely. We can’t.

    Speaking of that, I’ve got a longstanding question about Medical Hypotheses for anyone: does anyone know of an actually good article ever published in Medical Hypotheses?

    There’s one that looks good to me, but I forgot what it was about… :-] I posted about it in the [Lounge], but I don’t remember when.

    That’s a very old and outdated website that I’m very familiar with.

    The last update is from “2 Mar 2012″. Perhaps you never scrolled down that far?

    I believe human ancestors may have been isolated from continental Africa during the Pliocene which would explain why humans have lost so much of their genetic variation

    Uh, why did you enter this thread without reading the comments before yours??? The most likely cause for that bottleneck was brought up in comment 2. Yes, two.

    It can in any case be dated to less than 600,000 years, because it must have happened before our split from the Neandertalers + Denisovans.

    You totally ignored the rest of my post: there is no archaeological evidence – not a shred – for the exploitation of marine resources by Homo or australopithecines prior to 1.95 million years ago.

    That’s why he conjures up that island to make his hypothesis less testable. Some scientist that is.

  65. Marcel Williams says

    anthrosciguy:

    “Also, Marcel, if you want your arguments to be taken seriously, you’re going to have to publish in someplace other than Medical Hypotheses and Bioscience Hypotheses. Pay to play non-peer-reviewed journals might sound impressive to laypeople, but those are notorious in science.Speaking of that, I’ve got a longstanding question about Medical Hypotheses for anyone: does anyone know of an actually good article ever published in Medical Hypotheses?”

    @anthrosciguy

    My various scientific publications have been cited by scientist in lectures, books, and in journals such as:

    Human Molecular Genetics

    Cell

    Nature Reviews Genetics

    PLoS Genetics

    American Naturalist

    Trends in Genetics

    Intelligence

    Brain, Behavior and Evolution

    Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy

    Trends in Neurosciences

    Journal of Anthropological Sciences

    Resource and Energy Economics

    Journal of Neuroscience Methods

    Journal of Evolutionary Biology

    Paleobiology

    Human Genetics

    But iff you think people shouldn’t be reading these scientific journals because scientist like to cite my research then that’s your choice:-)

    Marcel F. Williams

  66. Amphiox says

    Marcel Williams, so far I have seen you propose both a date and a location. With a hypothesis far less specific than that, Neal Shubin found Tiktaalik.

    So go and find your 2.6 million year old hominid fossil in an unambiguously marine stratum, and then come back.

  67. Marcel Williams says

    Eurasian magpie

    29 April 2013 at 3:04 pm (UTC -5)

    “You know the second link I gave in my post#66? Under the word “here”? The same fricking page shows how it is quite wrong to claim that humans haven’t been exposed to the baboon C virus. And outdated? That specific page was added 2 March 2012. Aquaticape.org is constantly updated. You are playing this game dishonestly.”

    Sorry, but its hard to take this person’s website seriously. For several years, it claimed that the human kidneys showed absolutely no evidence of the marine adaptations seen in other marine mammals. But now that’s disappeared. Oh well:-)

    Another mistake the website makes is that sweat can’t be used to excrete excess amounts of ingested salt because sweat and tears are isotonic with the plasma in the bloodstream. Sweat only has to be hypertonic relative to the body’s cellular compartment in order to be utilized as mechanism for salt excretion.

    However, the consumption of marine invertebrates can imposes a problem because marine invertebrates tend to be isotonic with seawater. The Red Sea, for instance is about 4% salt. Human kidneys can only excrete salt with a content up to 3.6%. However, the consumption of marine invertebrates also produces metabolic water which can dilute the salt content of plasma to a level that enables human kidneys to excrete the hypertonic fluid. Sweating can aid in this by reducing the amount of ingested salts needed to be diluted by the metabolic water and processed by the kidneys.

    And here are some references for human isolation from retrovirus in Africa:

    Evolution of type C viral genes: evidence for an Asian origin of man
    Benveniste RE, Todaro GJ.. Nature 1976;261:101–8.

    Molecular cloning of a family of reroviral sequences found in chimpanzee but not human DNA
    Bonner TI, Birkenmeier EH, Gonda MA, Mark GE, Searfoss GH, Todaro GJ.. J Virol 1982;43(3):914–24.

    Lineage-specific expansions of retro- viral insertions within the genomes of African great apes but not humans and orangutans.
    Yohn CT, Jiang Z, McGrath SD, Hayden KE, Khaitovich P, Johnson ME, et al. Plos Biol 2005;3(4):e110.

  68. says

    2.6 million year old hominins were all still part-time brachiators. I suppose the arboreal retentions in the upper bodies of various australopithecines are about to be explained away as adaptations to a very specific form of butterfly stroke.

  69. Marcel Williams says

    jamesfish: “You totally ignored the rest of my post: there is no archaeological evidence – not a shred – for the exploitation of marine resources by Homo or australopithecines prior to 1.95 million years ago. But anyway, you seem to have found a nifty monocausal explanation for several aspects of modern human physiology, so by all means continue to ignore the archaeological and palaeoanthropological evidence from the period you are wildly speculating about.”

    But there shouldn’t be any paleontological or archeological evidence on continental Africa since my hypothesis asserts that the ancestors of Homo went through a semiaquatic phase on an island in the Northern Afar region– isolated from the African continent– during the Pliocene.

    That’s why I believe that lithic tool technology and Homo suddenly appear in the fossil record after global sea levels began to fall, ending the Pliocene. But there is absolutely no evidence of Homo gradually evolving from Australopithecus on the African continent. Homo and its tool technology seem to appear suddenly from out of nowhere!

    I’ve published a few maps of where I believe this island was located.

  70. says

    This whole argument is surreal. Marcel Williams has yet to engage with any of the, actually surprisingly substantial, evidence from the period in which our allegedly semi-aquatic ancestors lived. Instead we are treated to “and that’s how the kidney got its lobes”.

  71. Marcel Williams says

    jamesfish “2.6 million year old hominins were all still part-time brachiators. I suppose the arboreal retentions in the upper bodies of various australopithecines are about to be explained away as adaptations to a very specific form of butterfly stroke.”

    @jamesfish

    I believe Hurzeler (the discover of the complete skeleton of Oreopithecus) was correct in his hypothesis that Oreopithecus was a hominin. Oreopithecus was clearly semiaquatic in its behavior and appears to have specialized in feeding on aquatic plants. I also believe that it exploited freshwater aquatic invertebrates on the ancient island where it was isolated for two million years which is why it probably developed a precision grip, as hypothesized by Alister Hardy for the earliest semiaquatic hominin.

    Oreopithecus is also remarkably similar in its craniodental morphology to Sahelanthropus. I recently discussed this on my blog:

    http://newpapyrusmagazine.blogspot.com/2013/04/evidence-of-cerebral-reorganization-in.html

    Marcel F. Williams

  72. Marcel Williams says

    jamesfish: “So your argument places the location of our evolution more or less where Graham Hancock places Atlantis.”

    No that’s your argument:-)

    But if you’re familiar with the Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene geology of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea then you’d know that both were flooded by marine waters around the beginning of the Pliocene after the dessication of both seas during the late Miocene.

    Marcel F. Williams

  73. says

    Yes, flooded areas provide an excellent habitat for fringe theorists. “Oh there’s tonnes of evidence, but it’s all under the sea so we haven’t found any of it yet”. Don’t you think it’s a little bit too neat? You get to dismiss the evidence we do have, and go right on hypothesising into a vacuum.

    If your contention is specifically that Homo itself is the product of an aquatic evolution, rather than the Australopithecines, why does Homo not eat very much seafood until the late Middle Palaeolithic? Why is it a genus of such excellent runners? Why are Homo fossils never found in coastal contexts? If we evolved in the sea we seem to have promptly abandoned it and not gone near it for the better part of another two million years.

  74. says

    Sorry, that should have read “why are early Homo fossils never found in coastal contexts”. Obviously later Homo populations are.

  75. Amphiox says

    No fossil no talk, Marcel. 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.

  76. Marcel Williams says

    jamesfish: “Yes, flooded areas provide an excellent habitat for fringe theorists. “Oh there’s tonnes of evidence, but it’s all under the sea so we haven’t found any of it yet”. Don’t you think it’s a little bit too neat? You get to dismiss the evidence we do have, and go right on hypothesising into a vacuum.”

    The area Eritrea where these fossil remains should be is currently not flooded. And, of course, the island itself was never completely covered by water.

    jamesfish: “If your contention is specifically that Homo itself is the product of an aquatic evolution, rather than the Australopithecines, why does Homo not eat very much seafood until the late Middle Palaeolithic? Why is it a genus of such excellent runners? Why are Homo fossils never found in coastal contexts? If we evolved in the sea we seem to have promptly abandoned it and not gone near it for the better part of another two million years.”

    I believe in a two phase scenario. The first aquatic phase occurred on the island Tuscany-Sardinia during the late Miocene. It ended at the beginning of the Messinian which started sometime between 7.2 to 7.3 million years ago when Tuscany became part of Italy and the Italy became connected to North Africa via Sicily. Oreopithecus radiated into North Africa becoming Sahelanthropus.

    The second aquatic phase occurred at the beginning of the Pliocene (5.5 million years ago), at the end of the Messinian crisis when rising sea waters flooded the Red Sea probably isolating some ardipithecines on an island, I call Afar, in Eritrea. These isolated ardipithecines evolved into Homo. This semiaquatic phase ended when sea levels dropped again around 2.6 million years ago allowing Homo to radiate all over sub-Saharan Africa.

    After 2.6 million years ago, Homo was pretty much the hunter-gatherer we see today exploiting all kinds of environments, including marine environments.

  77. Marcel Williams says

    Amphiox: “No fossil no talk, Marcel. 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.”

    In order to find fossil remains of a species that lived on specific island or islands, you have to recover them from the area where the island or islands existed. The semiaquatic hominin, Oreopithecus, lived on island in the Mediterranean for about 2 million years, and its remains have been found in abundance.

    Its my hypothesis that the African island where the second phase occurred is in a small area in the Northern Afar.

  78. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    My various scientific publications have been cited by scientist in lectures, books, and in journals such as [long list] – Marcel Williams

    So what? Have you published anything relevant to the AAH been published in any peer-reviewed journals? If so, please give us the reference(s).

  79. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Research on the Toba event has just been published.

    The idea that humans nearly became extinct 75,000 ago because of a super-volcano eruption is not supported by new data from Africa, scientists say.

    In the past, it has been proposed that the so-called Toba event plunged the world into a volcanic winter, killing animal and plant life and squeezing our species to a few thousand individuals.

    An Oxford University-led team examined ancient sediments in Lake Malawi for traces of this climate catastrophe.

    It could find none.

    “The eruption would certainly have triggered some short-term effects over perhaps a few seasons but it does not appear to have switched the climate into a new mode,” said Dr Christine Lane from Oxford’s School of Archaeology.

    “This puts a nail in the coffin of the disaster-catastrophe theory in my view; it’s just too simplistic,” she told BBC News.

    The results of her team’s investigation are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

  80. mothra says

    I always favored the naked mole rat hypothesis for human development. Our subterranean ancestors lost body hair as it was not necessary in the uniform climate of their large underground borrows. Crown and pelvic region hair folicle density preserved for protection. Elongate body form was an adaptaton for tunnelling (as seen in worms). Digging sticks and stone tools (which have been found!) were originally used for constructing tunnels and only later co-opted for hunting. The lobulated kidneys evolved for the dry environment. It all fits. Thanks Marcel, you’ve opened up my eyes to a new way of thinking /not

    Thank you David Marjonovic for having persistance and patience.

  81. David Marjanović says

    I’ll look for the latest phylogeny of Caniformia next.

    So go and find your 2.6 million year old hominid fossil in an unambiguously marine stratum, and then come back.

    That wouldn’t even be enough – it could have been swept in.

    Sorry, but its hard to take this person’s website seriously. For several years, it claimed that the human kidneys showed absolutely no evidence of the marine adaptations seen in other marine mammals. But now that’s disappeared. Oh well:-)

    He corrects his website, and that makes you less inclined to take it seriously?

    Again, what kind of scientist are you???

    Another mistake the website makes is that sweat can’t be used to excrete excess amounts of ingested salt because sweat and tears are isotonic with the plasma in the bloodstream. Sweat only has to be hypertonic relative to the body’s cellular compartment in order to be utilized as mechanism for salt excretion.

    And how easy is it to make the blood hypertonic relative to the cells? AFAIK, camels manage to do it, allowing them to keep the blood liquid despite losing water, but we don’t.

    However, the consumption of marine invertebrates can imposes a problem because marine invertebrates tend to be isotonic with seawater. The Red Sea, for instance is about 4% salt. Human kidneys can only excrete salt with a content up to 3.6%.

    Ocean water is about 3.5 % salt. So, if we can make urine with 3.6 % salt, why can’t we drink pure seawater indefinitely?

    And here are some references for human isolation from retrovirus in Africa:

    Evolution of type C viral genes: evidence for an Asian origin of man
    Benveniste RE, Todaro GJ.. Nature 1976;261:101–8.

    Nineteen seventy-six.

    FFS. A paper the “origin of man” from 1976. That’s purely of historical interest. You’re insulting your own intelligence by citing it.

    Molecular cloning of a family of reroviral sequences found in chimpanzee but not human DNA
    Bonner TI, Birkenmeier EH, Gonda MA, Mark GE, Searfoss GH, Todaro GJ.. J Virol 1982;43(3):914–24.

    That one’s still as old as I. Might as well be from the Mesolithic. “Molecular cloning” is right up there with “for thine hand I have holden”: molecular biology was in the stone age back then.

    Lineage-specific expansions of retro- viral insertions within the genomes of African great apes but not humans and orangutans.
    Yohn CT, Jiang Z, McGrath SD, Hayden KE, Khaitovich P, Johnson ME, et al. Plos Biol 2005;3(4):e110.

    You misspelled “retroviral” and “PLoS” (you know, Public Library of Science), but I found it. The discussion section offers several alternatives.

    But there is absolutely no evidence of Homo gradually evolving from Australopithecus on the African continent. Homo and its tool technology seem to appear suddenly from out of nowhere!

    What… what about the so-called Homo habilis, the so-called Homo rudolfensis or Kenyanthropus rudolfensis, the so-called Australopithecus sediba, and Kenyanthropus platyops? Oh, and, the so-called Homo floresiensis?

    (It’s a pity that most paleoanthropologists are ancestor-worshippers who don’t even get the idea of doing a phylogenetic analysis. But I digress.)

    I’ve published a few maps of where I believe this island was located.

    Good. Is there geological evidence that there was an island there?

    I believe Hurzeler (the discover of the complete skeleton of Oreopithecus) was correct in his hypothesis that Oreopithecus was a hominin.

    What. That’s desperate of you.

    Oreopithecus was clearly semiaquatic in its behavior

    “Clearly” applies to “you’re making shit up”.

    and appears to have specialized in feeding on aquatic plants.

    Or, y’know, terrestrial ones. Like a ground sloth or a chalicothere or a homalodothere or a therizinosaur, only smaller than most of those and on a predator-free island.

    I also believe that it exploited freshwater aquatic invertebrates

    Based on what evidence, if any? Here’s a paper on tooth enamel microwear that concludes “that Oreopithecus bambolii had a leaf-based diet”. No wonder, when it has lophodont teeth like a deer! (Link to Google Books.)

    But if you’re familiar with the Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene geology of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea then you’d know that both were flooded by marine waters around the beginning of the Pliocene after the dessication of both seas during the late Miocene.

    You keep saying this, and I still can’t find a reference for any desiccation of the Red Sea. Please provide a reference.

    Oreopithecus radiated into North Africa becoming Sahelanthropus.

    As opposed to just dying out when the predators came in, and belonging to Dryopithecinae* instead of Homininae.

    * …which would then be renamed Oreopithecinae, because that name has priority.

    The idea that humans nearly became extinct 75,000 ago because of a super-volcano eruption is not supported by new data from Africa, scientists say.

    Oh. Oops.

    Thank you David Marjonovic for having persistance and patience.

    It’s called SIWOTI syndrome coupled with an inability to estimate how long pretty much anything will take.

  82. David Marjanović says

    Oh. Missing (or misspelled) </blockquote> tag after the first paragraph on the long quote.

  83. David Marjanović says

    The latest papers on caniformian phylogeny seem to be this one (fig. 1), which finds strong support for Ursidae lying outside a Pinnipedia-Musteloidea clade (though separated by a rather short branch), and this one (fig. 3), which finds an Ursidae-Pinnipedia clade with such weak support that the authors call the situation “unresolved” and conclude we need more data.

  84. ChasCPeterson says

    how easy is it to make the blood hypertonic relative to the cells? AFAIK, camels manage to do it, allowing them to keep the blood liquid despite losing water, but we don’t.

    No, it’s impossible for any animal to achieve any osmotic gradient between intra- and extracellular fluids. Camels just have higher tolerance for dehydration. They can add impermeable solutes to blood to maintain plasma volume at the expense of other fluid pools, but the osmotic comcentrations go up everywhere the same.

    Ocean water is about 3.5 % salt. So, if we can make urine with 3.6 % salt, why can’t we drink pure seawater indefinitely?

    We cannot make urine with 3.6% salt.
    Human kidneys can concentrate NaCl only up to about 600 mOsm/L worth; seawater is about 1000 mOsm/L in NaCl. We can make urine with a total solute concentration of up to 1200-1400 mOsm/L, but about half of that is obligately urea.

  85. says

    Another mistake the website makes is that sweat can’t be used to excrete excess amounts of ingested salt because sweat and tears are isotonic with the plasma in the bloodstream. Sweat only has to be hypertonic relative to the body’s cellular compartment in order to be utilized as mechanism for salt excretion.

    And how easy is it to make the blood hypertonic relative to the cells? AFAIK, camels manage to do it, allowing them to keep the blood liquid despite losing water, but we don’t.

    Actually, on my website I make a point of pointing out that we’re talking about cellular plasma in the section where I explain to the audience what homeostasis is (scroll down on this page: Tears and the AAT/H.

    So Marcel is also either mistaken or lying about what my website says regarding plasma, which doesn’t give a lot of confidence in what else he says about it, or anything else.

  86. ChasCPeterson says

    we’re talking about cellular plasma

    I’ve never seen that term.

    Our body’s cells contain fluid, called plasma. This is not just blood plasma, but the fluid in all our cells.

    The contents of cells are collectively called ‘cytoplasm’, but ‘plasma’ refers specifically to blood, and it refers specifically to the liquid portion outside of the cells.

    Blood plasma is one component of the extracellular fluid (ECF); as opposed to the intracellular fluid (ICF).

  87. Marcel Williams says

    88
    Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    30 April 2013 at 9:30 am (UTC -5)

    “My various scientific publications have been cited by scientist in lectures, books, and in journals such as [long list] – Marcel Williams

    Nick Gotts”So what?”

    What do you mean by so what??? Scientist who have reviewed my work, cited my work, asked for copies of my work, introduced my work in their lectures, and who have encouraged me to publish my findings is really all I care about! There’s nothing sacrosanct about peer reviewed journals, IMO.

    Other physicians and scientist on the editorial board decided whether or not my AAT paper would be published in their journal. And I’m extremely happy about that!!!

  88. Marcel Williams says

    “I always favored the naked mole rat hypothesis for human development. Our subterranean ancestors lost body hair as it was not necessary in the uniform climate of their large underground borrows. Crown and pelvic region hair folicle density preserved for protection. Elongate body form was an adaptaton for tunnelling (as seen in worms). Digging sticks and stone tools (which have been found!) were originally used for constructing tunnels and only later co-opted for hunting. The lobulated kidneys evolved for the dry environment. It all fits. Thanks Marcel, you’ve opened up my eyes to a new way of thinking /not

    Thank you David Marjonovic for having persistance and patience.”

    @mothra

    So your arguing that cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenians evolved the medullary pyramids in their kidneys from mole rats??? That’s very interesting and tells me a lot about your scientific insite:-)

    Marcel F. Williams

  89. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Marcel Williams,

    What do you mean by so what??? Scientist who have reviewed my work, cited my work, asked for copies of my work, introduced my work in their lectures, and who have encouraged me to publish my findings is really all I care about! There’s nothing sacrosanct about peer reviewed journals, IMO.

    I mean that if your work was any good, you’d be able to get it published in peer-reviewed journals. But in any case, at present we have only your word for it that others have cited your work, introduced it in lectures, etc. Moreover, scientists sometimes cite work they consider completely wrong. you could at least direct us to specific peer-reviewed papers where your work is cited, so we can see and judge for ourselves what their authors think of it.

    @99 Can you really be that stupid? The “mole rat hypothesis” was a joke.

  90. says

    The contents of cells are collectively called ‘cytoplasm’, but ‘plasma’ refers specifically to blood, and it refers specifically to the liquid portion outside of the cells.

    Blood plasma is one component of the extracellular fluid (ECF); as opposed to the intracellular fluid (ICF).

    Sorry. You’re correct. My mistake.

  91. Marcel Williams says

    David Marjanović

    “He corrects his website, and that makes you less inclined to take it seriously?”

    Again, what kind of scientist are you???”

    He didn’t correct it. He just removed it, not admitting that he was wrong.

    “And how easy is it to make the blood hypertonic relative to the cells? AFAIK, camels manage to do it, allowing them to keep the blood liquid despite losing water, but we don’t.”

    That’s what you have kidneys for, to excrete hypertonic fluids salt in order to avoid the dehydration of the cellular compartments. Plus we also produce metabolic water which dilutes the salt content of plasma.

    “Ocean water is about 3.5 % salt. So, if we can make urine with 3.6 % salt, why can’t we drink pure seawater indefinitely?”

    Sealions that have been given salt water to drink tend to regurgitate it, apparently because of the high magnesium levels which is probably why it has a similar effect on humans. But, again, I believe humans evolved in a coastal marine environment that had a salt content of about 4% (the Red Sea).

    And here are some references for human isolation from retrovirus in Africa:

    Evolution of type C viral genes: evidence for an Asian origin of man
    Benveniste RE, Todaro GJ.. Nature 1976;261:101–8.

    “That one’s still as old as I. Might as well be from the Mesolithic.”

    So is Einstein’s theory of relativity, but it still works.

    “What… what about the so-called Homo habilis, the so-called Homo rudolfensis or Kenyanthropus rudolfensis, the so-called Australopithecus sediba, and Kenyanthropus platyops? Oh, and, the so-called Homo floresiensis?”

    Homo appears in the fossil record after 2.6 million years ago. That’s after the last semiaquatic marine phase ended. There is no evidence that australopithecines were moving in the direction of Homo. Their encephalization quotients also remained the same. A few years ago, Dr. Alba used an encephalization formula I conceived a decade ago to measure the intelligence of Homo floresiensis and also found that it was on an australopithecine level of intelligence.

    Journal of Anthropological Sciences Vol. 88 (2010), pp. 11-48
    Cognitive inferences in fossil apes (Primates, Hominoidea): does encephalization re!ect intelligence?
    David M. Alba

    “Good. Is there geological evidence that there was an island there?”

    Yes there is!

    “Clearly” applies to “you’re making shit up”.

    Harrison & Rook, Function, Phylogeny, and Fossils: Miocence Hominoid Evolution and Adaptations. 1997

    “The remains of Oreopithecus bambolii are extremely abundant in VI, and this species represents one of the commonest mammals at the site…..Evidence for a primarily aquatic setting and a humid forested environment is provided by the extensive lignite accumulations, the common occurrence of skeletal remains in anatomical connection, the abundance of fossil crocodiles, chelonians, and freshwater mollusks, and the occurrence of otters…..The area was evidently poorly drained, and the forested areas were interspersed with numerous freshwater pools and shallow lakes. pg 335

    “Interestingly, there is also a corresponding decline in the abundance of Oreopithecus in V2, which might simply imply a relatively narrow ecological preference by this taxon for swampy, forested habitats.” pg. 336

    “Another possibility is that Oreopithecus was exploiting aquatic or wetland plants, such as water lilies, reeds, sedges, cattail, pond weeds, horsetails, and stoneworts, all of which are abundantly represented in the pollen spectrum from Baccinello.” pg. 341,

    “Based on what evidence, if any? Here’s a paper on tooth enamel microwear that concludes “that Oreopithecus bambolii had a leaf-based diet”. No wonder, when it has lophodont teeth like a deer! (Link to Google Books.)”

    Oreopithecus was clearly a hyper-folivore in its cranio-dental morphology. But even folivores like to add a little protein to their diet. Hardy suggested that the origin of the human precision grip was a manual adaptation to designed to enhance feeding on shellfish. And there were abundant shellfish remains at the sites where Oreopithecus was found. So it would be difficult to believe that they would avoid exploiting them for their protein content. Oreopithecus also has some very weird incisors with pointy cusp-lime turbercles with the central one being the most prominent. There’s also a lot of wear on the incisors. I speculated in my paper on the subject that it might have been used to pry open or to scrape out the meat from collected shellfish. Nothing unusual about primates feeding on shellfish, by the way. Its seen in both Catarrhines and Playtyrrhines.

    “You keep saying this, and I still can’t find a reference for any desiccation of the Red Sea. Please provide a reference.”

    There are a ton of references in my papers on the subject and in the chapter of the book which I believe I’ve already posted. If anyone once a pdf copy of my papers, then they can email me at: newpapyrus@yahoo.com

    As opposed to just dying out when the predators came in, and belonging to Dryopithecinae* instead of Homininae.

    “Oreopithecus is astonishingly similar to Sahelanthropus in its craniodental morphology. The foot of Ardipithecus is also similar that that of the oreopithecines.”

  92. David Marjanović says

    They can add impermeable solutes to blood to maintain plasma volume at the expense of other fluid pools

    Ooooooh, so it’s the same trick as urea in the blood of sharks and coelacanths. That makes sense.

    We cannot make urine with 3.6% salt.

    Gosh and golly! I’ll be darned to heck! Why am I so surprised!!! :-)

    some idiosyncrasy in the commenting system used here

    It’s the lack of an idiosyncracy: you have to spell the entire URL out, http and everything – the site doesn’t add it for you. URLs that lack it are turned into local links, which is the default.

    I’ve never seen that term.

    It’s called cytoplasm in English. German, for one, likes to translate the “cyto” part and hasn’t borrowed plasma twice.

    Scientist who have reviewed my work, cited my work, asked for copies of my work, introduced my work in their lectures, and who have encouraged me to publish my findings

    Wait, wait. Your list doesn’t differentiate between papers that cite your work approvingly and papers that only cite it to refute it; and they don’t differentiate between your publications on the AAH and your publications on whatever else you’ve worked on.

    This is so painfully, embarrassingly obvious that I didn’t even respond to it at first.

  93. Amphiox says

    But there is absolutely no evidence of Homo gradually evolving from Australopithecus on the African continent.

    I’d say the fact that people are still arguing over whether the name of that taxon should be H. habilis or A. habilis is significant evidence in and of itself.

  94. Amphiox says

    Once more Marcel Williams:

    You have proposed a time period, 2.6 million years. You have proposed a location. So go to strata of that age and location and find yourself a fossil. Use isotopic analysis to demonstrate a diet primarily of sea food. Demonstrate one, just one, anatomical feature in that fossil that is unambiguously an aquatic adaption.

    Underwater fossil recovery is possible.

    Neal Shubin went to what is generally considered one the harshest environments on earth to find Tiktaalik.

    No fossil, no talk.

  95. ChasCPeterson says

    That’s what you have kidneys for, to excrete hypertonic fluids salt in order to avoid the dehydration of the cellular compartments.

    That’s one thing kidneys can do, and hu,man kidneys aren’t very good at it, comparatively speaking.

    Plus we also produce metabolic water which dilutes the salt content of plasma.

    Not exactly wrong, except that, in humans, breathing to get the oxygen from which metabolic water is made causes an obligate respiratory water loss that far outstrips the metabolic water gained from that oxygen.
    oops again

  96. Amphiox says

    Also, with regards to the emergence of the Homo body plan, show that AAH is more parsimonious than the persistence hunting hypothesis. All those human kidney adaptions are pretty consistent with adaption for persistence hunting and cooling via sweating.

  97. David Marjanović says

    He didn’t correct it. He just removed it, not admitting that he was wrong.

    He doesn’t need to make a big showy apology. What’s important is that the information on the site, in its current form, is correct.

    BTW, what’s so hard about using the <blockquote> tag? Again:

    <blockquote>this</blockquote>

    turns automatically into

    this

    . (I had to use a trick to prevent this in my examples.) You can nest them, too:

    And how easy is it to make the blood hypertonic relative to the cells? AFAIK, camels manage to do it, allowing them to keep the blood liquid despite losing water, but we don’t.

    That’s what you have kidneys for, to excrete hypertonic fluids salt in order to avoid the dehydration of the cellular compartments. Plus we also produce metabolic water which dilutes the salt content of plasma.

    Not answering my question. Fortunately that’s no longer necessary.

    Ocean water is about 3.5 % salt. So, if we can make urine with 3.6 % salt, why can’t we drink pure seawater indefinitely?

    Sealions that have been given salt water to drink tend to regurgitate it, apparently because of the high magnesium levels which is probably why it has a similar effect on humans. But, again, I believe humans evolved in a coastal marine environment that had a salt content of about 4% (the Red Sea).

    Again not answering my question.

    And here are some references for human isolation from retrovirus in Africa:

    You posted that one already. It’s been refuted already, too – we actually have the decaying corpse of that retrovirus in our genomes.

    So is Einstein’s theory of relativity, but it still works.

    Research on it hasn’t stopped, though, so you don’t need to cite Einstein’s papers from 1905, you can cite papers and textbooks from 2013.

    Science Marches On.

    There is no evidence that australopithecines were moving in the direction of Homo.

    That’s not how evolution works anyway. It doesn’t have future goals in mind, because it doesn’t have a mind. You have it backwards.

    Their encephalization quotients also remained the same.

    So what? Why can’t it have increased later?

    Good. Is there geological evidence that there was an island there?

    Yes there is!

    Then show me!

    “The remains of Oreopithecus bambolii are extremely abundant in VI, and this species represents one of the commonest mammals at the site…..Evidence for a primarily aquatic setting and a humid forested environment is provided by the extensive lignite accumulations, the common occurrence of skeletal remains in anatomical connection, the abundance of fossil crocodiles, chelonians, and freshwater mollusks, and the occurrence of otters…..The area was evidently poorly drained, and the forested areas were interspersed with numerous freshwater pools and shallow lakes. pg 335

    o_O That doesn’t mean it lived in those lakes. Taphonomy?

    “Interestingly, there is also a corresponding decline in the abundance of Oreopithecus in V2, which might simply imply a relatively narrow ecological preference by this taxon for swampy, forested habitats.” pg. 336

    Including, y’know, the forests at their edges.

    “Another possibility is that Oreopithecus was exploiting aquatic or wetland plants, such as water lilies, reeds, sedges, cattail, pond weeds, horsetails, and stoneworts, all of which are abundantly represented in the pollen spectrum from Baccinello.” pg. 341

    Doesn’t fit the microwear that wasn’t known in 1997.

    But even folivores like to add a little protein to their diet.

    Well, by definition, not much.

    Hardy suggested that the origin of the human precision grip was a manual adaptation to designed to enhance feeding on shellfish.

    Unnecessary hypothesis. And isn’t the precision grip older than Homo?

    And there were abundant shellfish remains at the sites where Oreopithecus was found. So it would be difficult to believe that they would avoid exploiting them for their protein content.

    …Seriously? Deer don’t eat shellfish either.

    Oreopithecus also has some very weird incisors with pointy cusp-lime turbercles with the central one being the most prominent. There’s also a lot of wear on the incisors. I speculated in my paper on the subject that it might have been used to pry open or to scrape out the meat from collected shellfish.

    Except that the microwear doesn’t fit that. Check out the incisors of the Eocene antilope-sized and -shaped hyraxes.

    There are a ton of references in my papers on the subject and in the chapter of the book which I believe I’ve already posted. If anyone once a pdf copy of my papers, then they can email me at: newpapyrus@yahoo.com

    …Why don’t you simply tell us a reference? I’m not asking for “a ton”.

    “Oreopithecus is astonishingly similar to Sahelanthropus in its craniodental morphology. The foot of Ardipithecus is also similar that that of the oreopithecines.”

    You can’t do phylogenetics by taking two species and saying “oh, how similar”. You need at least four: three so you can tell which two of the three are more closely related to each other than to the third, and the fourth as an outgroup to root the tree.

  98. David Marjanović says

    Neal Shubin

    Neil.

    breathing to get the oxygen from which metabolic water is made causes an obligate respiratory water loss that far outstrips the metabolic water gained from that oxygen.

    Oh snap!

    the persistence hunting hypothesis

    That one doesn’t actually work; outrunning antelopes or deer only works under very rare conditions (geographically speaking), requires the ability to carry water with you, and so on and so forth. We seem to be adapted to walking maybe 10 km daily in a savanna.

  99. says

    He doesn’t need to make a big showy apology. What’s important is that the information on the site, in its current form, is correct.

    I guess Marcel is going to find my website even less reliable since I just corrected my mistake about what I’d wrongly called “cellular plasma (and thanks, ChasCPeterson , for correcting me on that).

    I have at times mentioned when I had something wrong on my site and corrected it; one such was my info on the descended larynx, where I thought pointing out what I’d said before and what was accurate was important since so many people make the same mistake. I’m sure I have errors on my site; I try not to, and appreciate it whenever anyone points one out.

  100. ChasCPeterson says

    I think your site’s a great resource, anthrosciguy–thanks for maintaining it.

  101. G Stewart says

    I did a search in google scholar for “Marcel F. Williams”.
    It turns out he’s got papers published in “Medical Hypotheses”, “Speculations in science and technology” and of course a book about the aquatic ape hypothesis which you can see on google books,

    “Was Man More Aquatic in the Past? Fifty Years After Alister Hardy … edited by Mario Vaneechoutte, Algis Kuliukas, Marc Verhaegen”

    Being cited doesn’t necessarily mean you are correct either, they could be citing you to say that what you wrote is a pile of crap.

  102. Marcel Williams says

    “Actually, on my website I make a point of pointing out that we’re talking about cellular plasma in the section where I explain to the audience what homeostasis is (scroll down on this page: Tears and the AAT/H.

    So Marcel is also either mistaken or lying about what my website says regarding plasma, which doesn’t give a lot of confidence in what else he says about it, or anything else.”

    Sorry for trashing your site. But it bothers me when someone attempts to trash a hypothesis by hiding or avoiding the hard evidence. Humans are the only Catarrhine primate that has a lobulated medulla, a universal characteristic in marine mammals, and in mammals who are descended from marine mammals. Yet your website is supposedly seriously attempting to write about the aquatic ape hypothesis and somehow managed not to mention it. Astonishing!

    Marcel F. Williams

    Marcel F. Williams

  103. Marcel Williams says

    Nick Gotts: “But in any case, at present we have only your word for it that others have cited your work, introduced it in lectures, etc.”

    That’s why scientific papers usually have extensive references that the reader can check. And my published papers always have extensive references. So its not just my word.

    Marcel F. Williams

  104. Amphiox says

    This whole kidney thing really sets off alarm bells for me.

    It is exactly like all of the other debunked so-called evidence for the AAH. X feature of modern humans, (conveniently never something that is ever preservable in the fossil record) is supposedly “unique” to modern humans. X feature supposedly is found “only” in marine mammals or animals supposedly descended from marine mammals. And every single time something in this chain of reasoning turns out to be flat wrong.

    Even if correct this is not enough. You need multiple, different, lines of evidence converging on the same finding to constitute reliable evidence for a hypothesis. Different as in different in type, not just another example of the same kind of evidence you already. One such line may be enough to propose a hypothesis, but if you want the hypothesis to be considered a serious one, you need at least two.

    For the AAH, something more and different from just comparative X with only other living species.

    No fossil no talk.

    (This kind of evidence is also something that can sound quite convincing to non-experts who have background in human anatomy and physiology but little in that of other mammals or paleontology in general. The first part of it, human feature X, grabs their attention, but they lack the expertise to evaluate the second half of the argument with proper skepticism. It is not surprising that the ranks of the true believers in AAH are often drawn from the ranks of people with this kind of background, physicians and human physiologists and the like.)

  105. Marcel Williams says

    “Being cited doesn’t necessarily mean you are correct either, they could be citing you to say that what you wrote is a pile of crap.”

    And it doesn’t mean that you’re incorrect either:-) But I really don’t write science papers to satisfy the needs of other people. I write them to reveal the results and conclusion of my research.

    Marcel F. Williams

  106. Eurasian magpie says

    *headdesk*
    *facepalm*

    Marcel. No one is questioning the diligence of referencing in your publications. People want to know if your articles have ever appeared in reference lists of other folks’ scientific articles.

    Plus seconding what Chas said in #111!

  107. Marcel Williams says

    “This whole kidney thing really sets off alarm bells for me”

    It probably set off alarms because you never imagined that the aquatic ape hypothesis could actually be true! And there is nothing more devastating than someone destroying a preferred paradigm.

    I’ve already published a research paper and a chapter in a book on human and mammalian kidney morphology. So I’m pretty confident in my conclusions.

    So its up to others to come up with a better answer as to why humans have medullary pyramids in their kidneys and all other Catarrhine primates don’t.

    Unfortunately for them, that’s not going to happen. I’ve pretty much solved this problem:-)

    Marcel F. Williams

  108. says

    But it bothers me when someone attempts to trash a hypothesis by hiding or avoiding the hard evidence. Humans are the only Catarrhine primate that has a lobulated medulla, a universal characteristic in marine mammals, and in mammals who are descended from marine mammals

    Trashing my site? :) It would bother me more if you praised it. Look at the above. It manages to not mention what even you know, because you’ve said it yourself:

    “kidneys with lobulated medullas do occur in: elephants, bears, rhinoceroses, bison, cattle, pigs, and the okapi.” – Marcel Williams

    So it’s not an marine adaptation necessarily. And you know it, but try to claim it as one.

  109. says

    I did a search in google scholar for “Marcel F. Williams”.

    If you look via Publish or Perish, you find, for instance, 5 cites for his 2006 paper in Medical Hypotheses. Two are him citing himself, two are fellow AAT/H proponents, and one is a general reference in a paper about urinalysis of captive rhinos.

  110. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    First thing Marcel Williams does to set off my alarm bells to use a sig when he also uses his name for his ‘nym. Egotist first class. Followed by more alarm bells with his self referencing, not understand what that means. Egotist first class. No solid evidence, all imagufactured evidence presented must be looked at sideways and still don’t fit. No smoking gun, like bones from a beach environment. But then, I really don’t think he wants to look. He might be wrong, and his ego won’t allow that.

  111. Ragutis says

    And there is nothing more devastating than someone destroying a preferred paradigm.

    I’ve pretty much solved this problem

    His science might be shite, but you have to admire his humility.

    OK, Marcell, there’s this antecedent hominid that lived in an environment suitable to gathering shellfish, and had the teeth to open and consume said shellfish… could you show us any appropriately aged piles of discarded bivalve shells? If you can, do they bear any markings to tie them to Oreowhatsis? Those maps you mentioned, could we see them? What do geologists think of them? What evidence did you consider in making them?

    I’m by no means a scientist, and I doubt that I’d qualify as even remotely scientifically literate, but on a tack similar to Amphiox above, these things would be evidence to at least partially support your hypothesis. Why aren’t you out looking for it? I’m pretty sure validating the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis would be a Nobel worthy discovery. I mean, isn’t overturning a long-favored idea just about the best way to make a name in science? Sitting around “hypothesizing” isn’t going to get you anywhere other than maybe an interview on Coast to Coast Radio or 15 seconds on a History Channel show.

    Also, are you dictating your posts, per chance? :

    If anyone once a pdf copy of my papers,

  112. Amphiox says

    I see that arcel Williams has, unsurprisingly, revealed that he lacks the intellectual honesty to even bother to read my prior posts. Because if he had done so, he would have known that I used to be a believer in the AAH, and in fact the AAH was my introduction to human origins science. And I am very familiar with the kind of fallacious argument he is trying to make about kidneys because back when I was 15 I was making the exact same types of arguments in favor of the AAH myself.

    But I grew up and out of that phase.

  113. Amphiox says

    One coprolite, of the appropriate age, of clear hominid origin, with seafood residue in it.
    Or anything equivalent.

    No fossil no talk.

  114. Ragutis says

    Is that your way of saying he doesn’t have shit for evidence, Amphiox?

  115. Amphiox says

    Is that your way of saying he doesn’t have shit for evidence, Amphiox?

    If he only had that shit for evidence, he’d be in a stronger position than he is right now.

  116. Ichthyic says

    And there is nothing more devastating than someone destroying a preferred paradigm.

    actually, most scientists make a living TRYING to take apart existing “paradigms”.

    what you know about people likely comes from watching television from your basement?

    your parent’s basement?

  117. Ichthyic says

    I write them to reveal the results and conclusion of my research.

    then one can only conclude, since you haven’t listed the actual journal and volume your article is published in, that you are lying about this part.

    seems you’d WANT to share that info…

    unless it was some hack journal like “Biologia di Rivista” or something like that…

  118. Ichthyic says

    So I’m pretty confident in my conclusions.

    they laughed at Galileo!

    otoh… they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

  119. ChasCPeterson says

    its up to others to come up with a better answer as to why humans have medullary pyramids in their kidneys

    *sigh* Dude, you have no answer as to ‘why’. All you have is a correlation (sez you) between internal subdivisions of renal medulla and habitat among large mammals. Even if it wasn’t such a crappy correlation, causation could not be inferred without some corroboratory idea of function.
    So, let’s hear it, please: How and why would multiple medullary pyramids be an adaptation to aquatic apedom? Functionally? How and why are multiple pyramids better than one in that situation?

    Another thing. Since you have “published a research paper and a chapter in a book on human and mammalian kidney morphology” you are surely aware that the multiple pyramids in human kidneys (technically termed a ‘compound reticulate’ design) are in no way comparable to the discrete reticulate kidneys of pinnipeds etc. Unlike an expert like you, most folks probably have no idea what a truly “lobulated” kidney looks like. Here are some examples of pinniped kidneys; people can judge the alleged similarity to human kidneys for themselves.
    exhibit A
    exhibit B
    exhibit C

    [you’ve picked the wrong place to pitch bullshit about comparative physiology.]

  120. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Nick Gotts: “But in any case, at present we have only your word for it that others have cited your work, introduced it in lectures, etc.”

    That’s why scientific papers usually have extensive references that the reader can check. And my published papers always have extensive references. So its not just my word. – Marcel F. Williams

    When dishonesty gets this blatant, you have to wonder what the liar thinks the point of it is. You previously asserted that others had cited your work on the AAH. How does the fact that there are references in your work show that your claims about others citing it are true? You identified no specific papers in which they did so, and you still have not done so.

    Here’s what I said:

    But in any case, at present we have only your word for it that others have cited your work, introduced it in lectures, etc. Moreover, scientists sometimes cite work they consider completely wrong. you could at least direct us to specific peer-reviewed papers where your work is cited, so we can see and judge for ourselves what their authors think of it.

    We’re still waiting.

  121. ChasCPeterson says

    oops, my bad: just got the chance to read further back and it seems that Mr. Williams did propose a mechanism, sort of, for the function of multipyramidal kidneys:

    Lobulation of the medulla in kidneys increases the surface area between the medulla and the surrounding cortex, enhancing the rate in which high concentrations of ingested salt can be excreted from the body….
    My argument is that marine mammals universally have lobulated medullary areas within their kidneys because it is an adaptation that enhances the excretion of ingested salt by increasing the surface area between the medulla and the cortex within the kidney….
    My argument as to why humans also have lobulated medullas in their kidneys is because they had ancestors that once specialized in exploiting coastal marine food resources: shellfish and fish.

    yeah. Unfortunately, the surface area in contact between cortex and medulla has ab-so-lute-ly nothing to do with the mechanism for producing concentrated urine in mammals. It’s the relative length of the medullary tubules. As a matter of fact, the fact that pinnipeds can produce such comcentrated urine (> 2400 mOsm, about twice as concentrated as seawater) is something of a puzzle, because their fully reniculate kidney lobules have such relatively short tubules.
    And it’s downright dishonest to claim that the pinniped kidney has “lobulated medullary areas”, because their discrete reniculate* lobules have completely subdivided medullas and cortexes (cortices), consisting essentially of a large number of mini-kidneys.
    And look here (my emphasis):

    The kidneys of pinnipeds and cetaceans are reniculate in structure, unlike those of terrestrial mammals (except bears), but this difference does not confer any greater concentrating ability. Pinnipeds, cetaceans, manatees and sea otters can concentrate their urine above the concentration of sea water, but only pinnipeds and otters have been shown to produce urine concentrations of Na+ and Cl- that are similar to those in sea water. This could afford them the capacity to drink sea water and not lose fresh water. However, with few exceptions, drinking is not a common behavior in pinnipeds and cetaceans. Water balance is maintained in these animals via metabolic and dietary water

    Dietary water, because they eat mostly fish, which themselves osmoregulate their body fluids to about 35-45% the salt content of seawater. Therefore eating raw fish is like a drink of water.

    Mr. Williams continues:

    However, the consumption of marine invertebrates also produces metabolic water which can dilute the salt content of plasma to a level that enables human kidneys to excrete the hypertonic fluid. Sweating can aid in this by reducing the amount of ingested salts needed to be diluted by the metabolic water and processed by the kidneys.

    I’m sorry, but this is purest bullshit.

    *(I embarrassingly misspelled this as ‘reticulate’ in my #130).

  122. says

    BTW, this is an area of my website which needs a rewrite, especially in light of this guy’s PhD research from a few years back which also destroys Marcel’s claims:

    “Therefore, the variation in kidney morphology
    observed in marine mammals does not appear to afford them
    any greater benefit than terrestrial mammals, suggesting that
    the adaptation of mammals to a hyperosmotic environment was
    accomplished via more conventional mechanisms such as
    hormonal regulation of urine concentration and/or the rate of
    urine formation. The reniculate kidneys of cetaceans and
    pinnipeds probably evolved in response to their large body size
    and diving abilities and not to the osmotic challenge posed by
    a marine environment (Bester, 1975; Vardy and Bryden, 1981).”
    OSMOREGULATION IN MARINE MAMMALS
    by RUDY M. ORTIZ
    The Journal of Experimental Biology 204, 1831–1844 (2001)
    And he has more where that came from.

    BTW, he mentions this, which has a connection to AAT/H “research”:

    “The immersion of humans in water results in a diuresis
    associated with an increase in thoracic and mean arterial
    pressures (Epstein, 1992). This connection between the
    cardiovascular system and the kidney was termed the
    Henry–Gauer reflex after the two researchers who
    demonstrated that arterial distention in the dog resulted in an
    almost immediate diuresis (Gauer and Henry, 1976). For
    pinnipeds, which spend more than 75 % of their time
    submerged in water, this reflex would be disadvantageous
    because of increased urinary water loss. The pressure effects
    of water immersion were simulated in harbor seals by
    continuous negative-pressure breathing, but no change in urine
    output was induced (Murdaugh et al., 1961a). The lack of a
    diuretic response to negative-pressure breathing suggests that
    a Henry–Gauer reflex is not present in seals, which would be
    advantageous for a mammal living primarily in water.”

    The connection is that Elaine Morgan claimed this reflex in humans was evidence for the AAT/H.

    http://faculty.ucmerced.edu/rortiz/pdf/Osmo%20Marmam%20Rev.PDF

  123. Marcel Williams says

    Just to further annoy some of the anti-aquatic ape folks out there, I should note that the 2002 edition of the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals does mention the marine mammal-like kidneys of humans in its chapter on Kidney, Structure, and Function:-)

    Marcel F. Williams

  124. Marcel Williams says

    anthrosciguy

    30 April 2013 at 6:26 pm (UTC -5)

    But it bothers me when someone attempts to trash a hypothesis by hiding or avoiding the hard evidence. Humans are the only Catarrhine primate that has a lobulated medulla, a universal characteristic in marine mammals, and in mammals who are descended from marine mammals

    “Trashing my site? :) It would bother me more if you praised it. Look at the above. It manages to not mention what even you know, because you’ve said it yourself:“kidneys with lobulated medullas do occur in: elephants, bears, rhinoceroses, bison, cattle, pigs, and the okapi.” So it’s not an marine adaptation necessarily. And you know it, but try to claim it as one.”

    This is what I claimed in my recent article on the subject (Marine Adaptations in Human Kidneys In: Was Man More Aquatic in the Past? Fifty Years After Alister Hardy – Waterside Hypotheses of Human Evolution (2011)):

    Abstract

    Humans possess kidneys that are normally multi-pyramidal in their morphology, a characteristic that is unique to Homo sapiens amongst primates. While uni-pyramidal kidneys predominate in terrestrial mammals, kidneys with multiple medullary pyramids are nearly universal in marine mammals. In salt water environments, renal medullary pyramids appear to function as a means to increases the rate of salt and nitrogenous waste excretion by increasing the surface area between the cortex and medulla. While renal medullary pyramids seem to have no functional value in freshwater environments, most freshwater aquatic mammals with renal pyramids can be phylogenetically traced to either marine ancestors or aquatic ancestors that frequented marine environments. Terrestrial mammals with multi-pyramidal kidneys such as elephants, bears, and rhinoceroses also appear to have had semi-aquatic ancestors that frequented marine environments. However, the multi-pyramidal kidneys of the Bactrian camel and Arabian camel (dromedary) were apparently convergently evolved as adaptations to high salt consumption in xeric terrestrial environments where camels consume halophytic plants and drink water from brine pools with natural salinities higher than seawater. The numerous vestiges of aquatic adaptations in the human body in addition to the abundant distribution of corporeal salt excreting eccrine sweat glands and the excretion of salt tears in humans, strongly suggest that the multiple medullary pyramids of the human kidneys probably evolved as an adaptation to a coastal marine ecology rather than to a xeric terrestrial environment.

  125. Marcel Williams says

    “anthrosciguy: If you look via Publish or Perish, you find, for instance, 5 cites for his 2006 paper in Medical Hypotheses. Two are him citing himself, two are fellow AAT/H proponents, and one is a general reference in a paper about urinalysis of captive rhinos.”

    My most cited paper is “Primate Encephalization and Intelligence”. The encephalization formulas on your website, by the way, don’t accurately measure the relative intelligence of primates. You should be using the Lapicque exponent 0.28 in Snell’s equation of simple allometry. That’s what Dr. Alba used to measure the Hobbit fossils.

    But my marine kidney hypothesis was discussed in great detail by Dr. Rossetti in the journal: Urologia. And he pretty much agrees with me since he’s apparently been examining the kidneys of various mammalian species for decades:

    Il rene parla: l’uomo viene dal mare (Translation: The kidney speaks: man comes from the sea)
    SALVATORE ROCCA ROSSETTI
    Professore Emerito di Urologia, Università di Torino

    Urologia / Vol. 74 no. 2, S-7 2007 / pp. S1-5

    Marcel F. Williams

  126. Marcel Williams says

    “First thing Marcel Williams does to set off my alarm bells to use a sig when he also uses his name for his ‘nym. Egotist first class. Followed by more alarm bells with his self referencing, not understand what that means. Egotist first class. No solid evidence, all imagufactured evidence presented must be looked at sideways and still don’t fit. No smoking gun, like bones from a beach environment. But then, I really don’t think he wants to look. He might be wrong, and his ego won’t allow that.”

    I find it amusing that you’re so obsessed with me and my ego:-) How about presenting a better hypothesis for the multipyramidal medullas that exist in the human kidney!

    The best way to defeat an opponent during a scientific debate is with a better hypothesis. Its that simple!

    Marcel F. Williams

  127. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Marcel, found your smoking gun bones yet? If the answer is no, you have nothing new to say to convince anybody of any of your claims. Your “evidence” is as concentrated as a drop of tea in Lake Superior.

  128. David Marjanović says

    What is it with not using the <blockquote> tag?

    Humans are the only Catarrhine primate that has a lobulated medulla, a universal characteristic in marine mammals, and in mammals who are descended from marine mammals.

    Oops. Did you notice? You’re again claiming marine ancestry for rhinos, bears, giraffes and whatnots. Without ever addressing the phylogeny papers I cited. Embarrassing, embarrassing.

    I’ve already published a research paper and a chapter in a book on human and mammalian kidney morphology. So I’m pretty confident in my conclusions.

    What, two publications? *blink* I’m a 30-year-old postdoc, and my eighth paper is in press. Is there so little you can say about the AAH that you’ve only got two publications out of it?

    So its up to others to come up with a better answer as to why humans have medullary pyramids in their kidneys and all other Catarrhine primates don’t.

    Combination of size and not living in a rainforest. I’ve brought up that latter part several times in this thread already, so it’s a bit surprising that you overlooked it.

    Here are some examples of pinniped kidneys; people can judge the alleged similarity to human kidneys for themselves.

    Whoa. Those look trippy.

    The connection is that Elaine Morgan claimed this reflex in humans was evidence for the AAT/H.

    LOL.

    This is what I claimed in my recent article on the subject (Marine Adaptations in Human Kidneys In: Was Man More Aquatic in the Past? Fifty Years After Alister Hardy – Waterside Hypotheses of Human Evolution (2011)):

    Yes, and above, in this same thread, we’ve refuted it! Is your long-term memory as bad as that of Duane Gish!?!

    But my marine kidney hypothesis was discussed in great detail by Dr. Rossetti in the journal: Urologia. And he pretty much agrees with me since he’s apparently been examining the kidneys of various mammalian species for decades:

    The argument from authority is a logical fallacy. Why don’t you tell us what the paper says?

    I’ll google for it in the meantime.

  129. David Marjanović says

    Now isn’t that interesting. Google Scholar doesn’t find that paper. It doesn’t even find anything if I just search for “il rene parla”.

    Google itself finds 8 results, most of which are random collisions of “il rene” and “parla”. The rest are mentions of a presentation by Rossetti from 2006. The paper is nowhere to be found.

    Now, I know a journal that is published by a tiny museum, is not available online as a pdf, and is not peer-reviewed. Searching for semana veröffentlichungen schleusingen still finds 533 ghits.

    Just how tiny a journal is Urologia???

  130. David Marjanović says

    (…uh… of course the journal as a whole isn’t available “as a pdf”. But the individual papers aren’t either.)

  131. Marcel Williams says

    Ragutis: “His science might be shite, but you have to admire his humility.”

    I’ve been debating this issue for years and researching this stuff forever. You’d probably be surprised how hostile many pro-AAT people are to my ideas, especially since many of them seem to advocate aquatic adaptations in human evolution after 2.6 million years ago— which I see absolutely no evidence for.

    I sometimes correspond with Desmond Morris on this subject. Desmond Morris is a strong proponent of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis and he was a close friend of Sir Alister Hardy. And he mostly seems to like my ideas. He also informed me that he’s in possession of all of Professor Hardy’s– unpublished research– on the subject on the aquatic ape hypothesis.

    I just enjoy solving evolutionary puzzles. Its interesting. And I’m very good at it!

    Marcel F. Williams

  132. David Marjanović says

    He also informed me that he’s in possession of all of Professor Hardy’s– unpublished research– on the subject on the aquatic ape hypothesis.

    Then why the fuck doesn’t he publish it??? Does anybody gain anything from keeping it secret?

    And I’m very good at it!

    You’re not good, however, at responding to criticism. Care defending a marine origin for bears or rhinos, perhaps? Or giraffes?

  133. says

    I just enjoy solving evolutionary puzzles. Its interesting. And I’m very good at it!

    “Making shit up” does not count as solving a scientific problem.

  134. Marcel Williams says

    ChasCPeterson: “*sigh* Dude, you have no answer as to ‘why’. All you have is a correlation (sez you) between internal subdivisions of renal medulla and habitat among large mammals. Even if it wasn’t such a crappy correlation, causation could not be inferred without some corroboratory idea of function.”

    *Sigh*Well “Dude” if you simply read my published papers on the subject, you’d already know why:

    “Marine mammals tend to have kidneys that are larger than similar sized terrestrial mammals [6,9,10] which is apparently due to their kidney’s thick and exceptionally lobulated medullas [6].

    However, increasing the size of the medulla also increases the surface area between the cortex and the medullary region.

    Expanding the area where the cortical originating loops of Henle can enter the expanded surface area of the me- dulla, therefore, increases the quantity of filtrate that can be immediately processed by the medulla into concentrated, highly saline, urine.

    Since the ingestion of significant quantities of hyper- tonic fluids from the consumption of marine invertebrates, or the incidental ingestion of salt water, could rapidly dehydrate a mammal’s intracellular compartment, expanding the surface area of the cortex and the medulla could increase the rate in which excess salts are processed for excretion.

    If an expanded surface area between the cortex and the medulla is adaptively advantageous for a marine diet, then any further expansion between the cortex and the medulla – through medullary lobulation – would further enhance a marine mammal’s ability to rapidly process and excrete ingested hypertonic fluids.

    The multipyramidal medullas of the kidneys of marine mammal, therefore, appear to be an evolutionary adaptation to mitigate saline water induced intracellular dehydration by substantially expanding the surface area between the cortex and the medulla, in order to enhance the rate of hypertonic urine production and excretion.”

    Morphological evidence of marine adaptations in human kidneys, Medical Hypotheses (2006) 66, 247–257

    Marcel F. Williams

  135. Marcel Williams says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls: “Marcel, found your smoking gun bones yet? If the answer is no, you have nothing new to say to convince anybody of any of your claims. Your “evidence” is as concentrated as a drop of tea in”

    Yes! For the first semiaquatic phase on the island of Tuscany-Sardinia.

    Marcel F. Williams

  136. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I just enjoy solving evolutionary puzzles. Its interesting. And I’m very good at it!

    Evidently practicing paleontologists and physical anthropologists don’t have the same egotistical appreciation for your unintellectual and unevidenced drivel. Whereas I see no solid and conclusive evidence to doubt those in the field. Lots of evidence to doubt you and your word.

  137. Marcel Williams says

    anthrosciguy: BTW, this is an area of my website which needs a rewrite, especially in light of this guy’s PhD research from a few years back which also destroys Marcel’s claims:

    “Therefore, the variation in kidney morphology
    observed in marine mammals does not appear to afford them
    any greater benefit than terrestrial mammals, suggesting that
    the adaptation of mammals to a hyperosmotic environment was
    accomplished via more conventional mechanisms such as
    hormonal regulation of urine concentration and/or the rate of
    urine formation. The reniculate kidneys of cetaceans and
    pinnipeds probably evolved in response to their large body size
    and diving abilities and not to the osmotic challenge posed by
    a marine environment (Bester, 1975; Vardy and Bryden, 1981).”

    That’s true! There are many terrestrial mammals that can concentrate salt in their urine at a higher level than marine mammals as I pointed out in my paper. The advantage of medullary lobulation is that it increases the surface area between the cortex and the medulla which enhances– the rate– in which hypertonic fluids can be excreted in order to avoid dehydration.

    “OSMOREGULATION IN MARINE MAMMALS
    by RUDY M. ORTIZ
    The Journal of Experimental Biology 204, 1831–1844 (2001)”

    Yeah, I cited and corresponded with Rudy Ortiz when I was writing my paper.

    I don’t think the sea otter has medullary pyramids in its kidneys because of its size:-) And I don’t think camels have medullary pyramids in their kidneys because of their ability to dive:-) But they are interesting hypotheses.

    Marcel F. Williams

  138. Marcel Williams says

    David Marjanović: “(…uh… of course the journal as a whole isn’t available “as a pdf”. But the individual papers aren’t either.)”

    I could send you a pdf copy the Urologia article. But its in Italian, so you can Google translate it yourself. He also made a copy of one of my old maps. You can email me at newpapyrus@yahoo.com

    Marcel F. Williams

  139. Marcel Williams says

    David Marjanović: “Then why the fuck doesn’t he publish it??? Does anybody gain anything from keeping it secret?

    I have no idea. But he a couple of years ago that he planned to write a book about it. Of course, Hardy kept his aquatic ape hypothesis a secret for more than 30 years until he was forced to publish on it. Its actually an amusing story.

    “You’re not good, however, at responding to criticism. Care defending a marine origin for bears or rhinos, perhaps? Or giraffes?”

    I respond to criticism with the facts. There were marine bears in the past and there are marine bears in the present (the polar bear has the most medullary pyramids of any bear or terrestrial carnivore). Some of the earliest rhino fossils are found with some of the earliest Sirenians. Giraffes and the okapi are closely related to each other and both have multipyramidal kidneys. So the question is, did they evolve them from eating extremely salty plants in desert regions like the camel or did they evolve them from eating salty plants along the sea shore. Some camels do eat aquatic plants along sea shores, but I’m pretty confident that the camel’s kidneys evolved from eating salty desert plants and drinking from salt desert brine pools as I’ve stated in my most recent article on the subject.

    If the fossil record was perfect, then perhaps, I’d have all the answers. But unfortunately its not!

    Marcel F. Williams

  140. Marcel Williams says

    Amphiox: “Also, with regards to the emergence of the Homo body plan, show that AAH is more parsimonious than the persistence hunting hypothesis. All those human kidney adaptions are pretty consistent with adaption for persistence hunting and cooling via sweating.”

    Interesting hypothesis. What animal do you know of that has evolved lobulated kidneys for that reason? Or is this another hominin-unique hypothesis that has never before been seen in nature! Modern physical anthropology has plenty of ‘em!

    Marcel F. Williams

  141. Marcel Williams says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls”Evidently practicing paleontologists and physical anthropologists don’t have the same egotistical appreciation for your unintellectual and unevidenced drivel. Whereas I see no solid and conclusive evidence to doubt those in the field. Lots of evidence to doubt you and your word.”

    They seem to be very content these days not being able to explain the origin of bipedalism, the origin of speech, the origin of long head hair, the loss of straight hair in tropical populations, the reduction in insulatory body hair, the increase in insulator body fat and the dramatic modification of the medullary area of the human kidneys.

    They might even tell you the explaining such things is really not all that important:-)

    Marcel F. Williams

  142. ChasCPeterson says

    Just to further annoy some of the anti-aquatic ape folks out there, I should note that the 2002 edition of the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals does mention the marine mammal-like kidneys of humans

    and has this obvious error been removed from the second (2009) edition?

    The best way to defeat an opponent during a scientific debate is with a better hypothesis. Its that simple!

    NO. The ONLY way to ‘defeat’ an opposing hypothesis is to TEST IT, with DATA.
    Battling armchair hypotheses is wanking, not science.

    my marine kidney hypothesis was discussed in great detail by Dr. Rossetti in the journal: Urologia

    Here‘s [Rivista Internazionale di Cultura] Urologia, vol. 74, no.2. Nothing there by a Rossetti, no pages prefixed with an ‘S’. I surmise therefore that the reference is to a supplement to the journal, not the journal itself, and in my experience such supplements are usually volumes of conference abstracts. Far from a peer-reviewed “article”.

    Marine mammals tend to have kidneys that are larger than similar sized terrestrial mammals [6,9,10] which is apparently due to their kidney’s thick and exceptionally lobulated medullas

    Misleading; see below.

    However, increasing the size of the medulla also increases the surface area between the cortex and the medullary region.

    Does not follow. Subdivision might have this effect, but not thickening.

    Expanding the area where the cortical originating loops of Henle can enter the expanded surface area of the medulla, therefore, increases the quantity of filtrate that can be immediately processed by the medulla into concentrated, highly saline, urine.

    “Therefore”? That does not follow either. The challenge is not maximizing the rate of filtration (which is anyway not limited by the size corticomedullary surface), it’s how much that filtrate can subsequently be concentrated. That depends on the ration of meudullary to cortical thickness, again not on the surface area between them.

    expanding the surface area of the cortex and the medulla could increase the rate in which excess salts are processed for excretion.

    Do you have any clue what you’re talking about, functionally/ How do you imagine that excess salts are “processed”, and why would the surface area bewtween the cortex and medulla effect this rate?

    further expansion between the cortex and the medulla – through medullary lobulation – would further enhance a marine mammal’s ability to rapidly process and excrete ingested hypertonic fluids.

    See above. People who actually study marine mammals say it ain’t true.

    The multipyramidal medullas of the kidneys of marine mammal

    Do you really think that ‘multipyramidal’ is comparable to ‘discretely reniculate’? Or do you know how different they are but insist on pretending they’re the same thing?

    appear to be an evolutionary adaptation to mitigate saline water induced intracellular dehydration by substantially expanding the surface area between the cortex and the medulla, in order to enhance the rate of hypertonic urine production and excretion.

    blah blah blah: Kidneys still do not work that way.

    The advantage of medullary lobulation is that it increases the surface area between the cortex and the medulla which enhances– the rate– in which hypertonic fluids can be excreted in order to avoid dehydration.

    How? How does it enhance the rate of salt excretiuon? Are you suggesting that this surface area constrains the number of nephrons? the rate of filtration? concentrating ability? what? more importantly: how?

    I don’t think the sea otter has medullary pyramids in its kidneys because of its size:-) And I don’t think camels have medullary pyramids in their kidneys because of their ability to dive

    Sea otters do not have medullary pyramins, it has discrete reniculi. All otters do!
    Camels do have multiple renal pyramids–but so do pigs, cattle, and in fact all large ruminants (that would include the ceteceans, btw).

    You’ve got nothing. You’re pushing a similarity that doesn’t even exist. According to the veterinary literature to which I have access at the moment:
    Humans, camels, and pigs have unlobed multipyramidal kidneys.
    Cattle, elephants, hippos, and other large ruminants have grossly lobed kidneys with multiple pyramids but a continuous cortex.
    Bears, otters, pinnipeds, and ceteceans have grossly lobed kidneys with discrete reniculi, each of with has its own separate cortex and medulla.

    Nothing. is what you’ve got.

  143. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nothing. is what you’ve got.

    Nothing plus attitude plus nothing equals less than nothing. You don’t even have something that qualifies as a scientific idea. And real scientists expect bones from the proper geographical strata dated to the claimed years for minimum verification.

    Do you have that level of scientific data? (Same level as cold fusion showing both heat and neutrons consistently from the same cell, at the proper heat levels, or a captured or dead bigfoot carcass). If you do, you have put up the ONLY information that gets you heard further. Otherwise, if you had integrity and honesty, like real scientists, you would simply shut the fuck up publicly until you have said data. Your ego and lack of honesty keep shining through your posts. Boring and wrong TRUE BELIEVER™.

  144. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And MW, if you are serious, submission information for:

    Nature
    Science

    You know, the peer reviewed journals where serious scientists publish paradigm breaking discoveries.

    Put up with peer review or shut the fuck up.

  145. says

    You’re pushing a similarity that doesn’t even exist.

    This is the essential method of the AAT/H, and has been since Hardy started talking about it. Whether fat, hair, kidneys, whatever, they describe things inaccurately so they can claim a similarity. And that’s just the beginning of their mistaken approach to science.

  146. says

    Of course, Hardy kept his aquatic ape hypothesis a secret for more than 30 years until he was forced to publish on it. Its actually an amusing story.

    Amusing I don’t know, but there’s certainly something funny about the way Hardy and Morgan told it. Basically, their claim was that, due to worries about career advancement, Hardy didn’t say anything about it because he wanted to avoid controversial subjects. But in between 1930 and 1960 he did do writings on evolution, specifically on his idea that telepathy played a significant role in evolution, from “the psychic pool of existence”. He was also a very credulous believer in the paranormal, citing famous frauds as solid evidence of psychic powers. The idea that this was not controversial is of course ludicrous.

    The claim is that Alister Hardy held back on the idea for 30 years because he feared making any controversial statement, usually said to be because he wanted to become a Fellow of the Royal Society. He’s explicitly said this, on camera, and it’s been repeated by many people afterward. But does it hold water? He said he came up with the idea in 1930, and we can grant the possibility that Hardy didn’t want to do any controversial work before he got his FRS. He got that in 1940. What was his excuse for the next 20 years? He wrote “Telepathy and Evolutionary Theory” for the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research in 1950. That isn’t controversial? In the 1950s he wrote other things about the paranormal and his belief that it influenced biology and our evolution; that wasn’t controversial? Really? He even got a knighthood in 1957. The notion that fear of controversy made Hardy hold back his aquatic theory when he was writing on far more controversial ideas doesn’t add up — it just doesn’t fit the facts.

    I would like to see what other research Hardy on the idea, because the little bit he ever presented was full of holes even on that part of the subject he might be expected to know about (for in stance, the diving reflex, which in 1978 he thought was a new discovery and restricted to humans and diving animals.

    There is actually no real sign that Hardy thought this idea was terribly important. After his talk to the SCUBA club in 1960 and his resulting article, he never brought it up except when he was asked to and/or had a camera and microphone stuck in his face. Meanwhile he was busy with his true major interest, the paranormal, to which he not only devoted his retirement but much of his academic career.

  147. Amphiox says

    It is somewhat amusing to see Marcel come back, after all this time, with a response to the thing I threw out about persistence running, and yet ignore the reply David M gave me, like 2 friggin posts immediately afterwards.

    Children, if you ever want to learn how to properly engage in a scientific debate, come here and take a long, good look at what Marcel Williams has been doing here.

    And do the opposite.

  148. Amphiox says

    The best way to defeat an opponent during a scientific debate is with a better hypothesis. Its that simple!

    HYPOTHESIS DEATHMATCH!

    LET’S GET RREEEAADDYYYY TO RRRRRUUUMMMMBBBLLEEEE……!!!!

    Um, no.

    Science no work tha’ way.

    Every hypothesis must stand and fall on its own merits.

  149. Amphiox says

    Camels do have multiple renal pyramids–but so do pigs, cattle, and in fact all large ruminants (that would include the ceteceans, btw).

    Which would mean the multiple renal pyramids in cetaceans have little if anything at all to do with an aquatic lifestyle, seeing as the feature is primitive to the clade.

  150. Amphiox says

    And I suppose it does not hurt to repeat:

    No fossil no talk.

    How about this: One, (ONE), hominid bone from the appropriate time period with a clear mark of a shark bite, an embedded tooth, or a mark that can be unambiguously shown to be from a shark bite. Because the fossils of actual marine mammals are just about loaded with marks like those, whereas the known fossils of hominids show the marks of predation by savannah predators.

    I mean, that wouldn’t prove an aquatic lifestyle, but at least it is some evidence for beachcombing.

  151. algiskuliukas says

    Re 115. “…like all of the other debunked so-called evidence for the AAH.”

    Please cite a single paper from the palaeoanthropological literature that even mentions, let alone “debunks” the wading hypothesis of human bipedalism. Save the work of Carsten Niemitz, it’s all been ignored.

    Incredible. The one factor guarranteed to compel our ape cousins to switch to bipedalism, not just postural and momentarily but for movement as long as the conditions prevail and it’s been all but ignored.

    If anything, this is true of most of the big four or five characteristics Elaine wrote about. As always, aquaskeptics twist and distort the facts in order to try to discredit a perfectly plausible idea.

    Algis Kuliukas

  152. algiskuliukas says

    There is clear evidence for early modern humans procuring shellfish from coastal habitats.

    Marean, C., Bar-Matthews, M., Bernatchex, J., Fisher, E., Goldberg, P., Herries, A., Jacobs, Z., Jerardino, A., Karkanas, P., Nilssen, P., Thompson, E., Watts, I., Williams, H. Early human use of marine resources and pigment in South Africa during the Middle Pleistocene. Nature 449:, (2007).

    Algis Kuliukas

  153. ChasCPeterson says

    The Cricetidae are a family of rodents in the large and complex superfamily Muroidea. It includes true hamsters, voles, lemmings, and New World rats and mice.

    The one factor guarranteed to compel our ape cousins to switch to bipedalism, not just postural and momentarily but for movement as long as the conditions prevail

    ha! No aquaskeptic here, another True Believer.
    Becaue it’s true! Chimps and gorillas cannot wade!

  154. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No bones, no evidence. What part of that statement do AAH True Believers™ have trouble with? Oh yes, they don’t have any….

  155. John Morales says

    Um, isn’t a scientific hypothesis one that is amenable to disproof?

    (If it can’t be disproven, it’s but a conjecture)

  156. Amphiox says

    re @162,163;

    The “Wading Hypothesis” for bipedalism is not the AAH, so it isn’t relevant to that comment. Considering that bipedalism was already evident in Sahelanthropus and Ororrin, both in densely forested habitats, the time scale is completely different. And considering those fossils it fails the parsimony test compared to quite a lot of other competing theories even before additional evidence needs to be considered.

    The idea of MODERN humans collecting shellfish is not controversial, and has been discussed earlier in this thread, and also has nothing to do with the AAH. It does provide an explanation for the existence of Red Lobster, I suppose.

  157. Amphiox says

    Even the assertion that wading would “guarantee to compel” a switch to obligate bipedalism is a claim without evidence, and in fact is logically farcical.

    An amphibious ape could happily wade on two legs in water and revert to four limb locomotion on land, no different from the similar advantage of alternating gaits as seen in forested environments. A fully aquatic ape would be adapted for swimming, not wading. Thus no “guarantee” or “compulsion” in either case.

    Imagining a creature that only wades in shallow water while never venturing back on shore, and never needing to swim in deeper waters is biologically ludicrous.

    Ironically, the switch the bipedalism is the one thing, out of all the AAH arguments that we DON’T see in any other aquatic of semi-aquatic mammal. And if there were really some sort of “guarantee” or “compulsion” one would have at least expected obligately bipedal polar bears.

  158. David Marjanović says

    Yes! For the first semiaquatic phase on the island of Tuscany-Sardinia.

    Now you just need to provide some evidence that we’re descended from Oreopithecus. Does it have any autapomorphies?

    I could send you a pdf copy the Urologia article.

    Yes, please! I’ll send you an e-mail tomorrow, or you can just find my address in Google Scholar.

    But its in Italian

    I can read scientific papers in Italian; I know French, and I had 6 years of Latin in school. (Google Translate for Italian is still pretty crappy.)

    I respond to criticism with the facts. There were marine bears in the past and there are marine bears in the present (the polar bear has the most medullary pyramids of any bear or terrestrial carnivore).

    I’ve already mentioned how much evidence you just gloss over. Let me be clearer this time:

    – You’ve tried to claim that Ursidae and Pinnipedia are sister-groups, so that their last common ancestor may already have been semiaquatic and marine, and the bears could have inherited adaptations to such a lifestyle. But Pinnipedia is probably not the closest surviving relative of Ursidae, and it’s definitely not its sister-group: that is Amphicyonidae, a clade of terrestrial carnivores with no known exceptions.
    – You’ve tried to claim that Kolponomos could have been the last common ancestor of Ursidae and Pinnipedia. But it’s too young for that, and various features show it’s already an ursid – it’s not a common ancestor of (Ursidae + Amphicyonidae), let alone a common ancestor of ((Ursidae + Amphicyonidae) + Pinnipedia).
    – You seem to imply that the polar bear, Ursus maritimus, is a direct descendant of Kolponomos linked by a straight line of similarly semiaquatic marine animals. That’s just silly. The brown bear, Ursus arctos, is paraphyletic with respect to the polar bear; it’s the last ancestor of the polar bear. No other Ursus species past or present are semiaquatic or marine, and the same holds for all other ursids except the very distant Kolponomos. Kolponomos is just not relevant for Ursus maritimus; it’s at a completely different position in the ursid tree.

    What I haven’t said before:

    – Funny how you suddenly call the polar bear a “terrestrial carnivore”. It’s not terrestrial, it’s semiaquatic and marine.
    – Its greater number of medullary pyramids may well be related to its marine environment. But could it be related to the fact that it’s much more carnivorous than any other extant bear and therefore has a higher salt intake?
    – I wonder if the reniculate kidneys of bears are related to their hibernation. During hibernation, they don’t pee, but they do keep producing urea. The ability to make very concentrated urine sounds like a big advantage in that situation – keep in mind that what’s concentrated doesn’t need to be salt.

    Some of the earliest rhino fossils are found with some of the earliest Sirenians.

    Again:

    – It’s not clear if Hyrachyus is on the rhino side of things or the tapir side of things.
    – If you have evidence that H. was an ancestor of anything known to science, show us. A phylogenetic analysis with a zero-length branch despite a large data matrix would do fine.
    – Those earliest sirenians, Pezosiren, still had fully functional hindlimbs. They may not have been more aquatic than a hippo, only more marine.

    Giraffes and the okapi are closely related to each other and both have multipyramidal kidneys. So the question is, did they evolve them from eating extremely salty plants in desert regions like the camel or did they evolve them from eating salty plants along the sea shore.

    Or is your whole assumption that multipyramidal kidneys have anything to do with salt wrong, and the point is to conserve water instead?

    Some camels do eat aquatic plants along sea shores, but I’m pretty confident that the camel’s kidneys evolved from eating salty desert plants and drinking from salt desert brine pools as I’ve stated in my most recent article on the subject.

    And I’m confident, as I’ve said above, that the selection pressure on camel kidneys is to conserve water. Various desert rodents also make very concentrated urine (more concentrated than anything humans can do) for, evidently, that reason.

    If the fossil record was perfect, then perhaps, I’d have all the answers. But unfortunately its not!

    “The fossil record isn’t perfect, so it’s useless” is a silly excuse. Even the fossil record of lissamphibians – frogs, salamanders, caecilians – is good enough for several purposes, as I demonstrated with Michel Laurin in my 2007 paper. (An update of that paper is in press.)

    The fossil record of giraffes looks pretty dense to me.

    They seem to be very content these days not being able to explain the origin of bipedalism, the origin of speech, the origin of long head hair, the loss of straight hair in tropical populations, the reduction in insulatory body hair, the increase in insulator body fat and the dramatic modification of the medullary area of the human kidneys.

    Bipedality: see below. Long head hair, curly hair in tropics, reduction of hair elsewhere: adaptations to walking around in a savanna without overheating. Kidneys: conservation of water in that same savanna. Increase in fat: uh, show me. I want numbers that compare us to other apes; I bet we overlap very broadly with orang-utans at the very least. Language: …why would language have anything to do with habitat? Anyway, you can groom one person at a time, but you can gossip with three at the same time. That way, your tribe can expand from 50 to 150 people; as long as there’s enough food, that’s an enormous advantage.

    All of these, except possibly about the kidneys, are widely accepted hypotheses; I didn’t come up with them myself.

    They might even tell you the explaining such things is really not all that important:-)

    It is important – but an explanation that contradicts the data is not better than no explanation at all.

    I repeat: it’s not better than admitting you can’t explain something. It’s worse.

    Here’s [Rivista Internazionale di Cultura Urologica] Urologia, vol. 74, no.2. Nothing there by a Rossetti, no pages prefixed with an ‘S’. I surmise therefore that the reference is to a supplement to the journal, not the journal itself, and in my experience such supplements are usually volumes of conference abstracts. Far from a peer-reviewed “article”.

    Ah, that makes sense.

    Now, when a conference abstract hasn’t turned into a paper in six years, that can mean a number of things, but usually it means something in the abstract was wrong. Most abstracts turn into papers within three years, in my field at least. (And many, of course, are about papers that are in press during the conference or were published up to several months earlier.)

    Do you have any clue what you’re talking about, functionally/ How do you imagine that excess salts are “processed”, and why would the surface area bewtween the cortex and medulla effect this rate?

    The million-dollar question!

    Camels do have multiple renal pyramids–but so do pigs, cattle, and in fact all large ruminants (that would include the ceteceans, btw).

    You mean artiodactyls, not ruminants. Cattle/antilopes/stuff, deer, giraffes (including the okapi) and pronghorn are ruminants; cetaceans, pigs and camels are not. (And elephants aren’t even artiodactyls; maybe you were aiming at “ungulates”, but that term turned out to be hopelessly paraphyletic about 15 years ago in the least generous way to look at it.)

    Amusing I don’t know, but there’s certainly something funny about the way Hardy and Morgan told it. Basically, their claim was that, due to worries about career advancement, Hardy didn’t say anything about it because he wanted to avoid controversial subjects. But in between 1930 and 1960 he did do writings on evolution, specifically on his idea that telepathy played a significant role in evolution, from “the psychic pool of existence”.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Which would mean the multiple renal pyramids in cetaceans have little if anything at all to do with an aquatic lifestyle, seeing as the feature is primitive to the clade.

    Yep. Only the discrete reniculi* do.

    * That’s Latin for “little kidneys”; it’s a diminutive.

    How about this: One, (ONE), hominid bone from the appropriate time period with a clear mark of a shark bite, an embedded tooth, or a mark that can be unambiguously shown to be from a shark bite. Because the fossils of actual marine mammals are just about loaded with marks like those

    Importantly, this doesn’t require a shark attack. Many shark species are happy scavengers. All the big mosasaur and plesiosaur skeletons are full of shark bite marks, and shark teeth are scattered all around them.

    Incredible. The one factor guarranteed to compel our ape cousins to switch to bipedalism

    Uh, no, there is no “switch to”. Bipedality is ancestral. On the very rare cases that gibbons have to come down to the ground or move along thick branches, they walk bipedally, holding their arms out of the way. Orang-utans often do the same. That’s not surprising – they hold their bodies vertically most of the time anyway! The knuckle-walking of chimpanzees and (to a lesser extent) gorillas is what needs an explanation, not our bipedality.

    There is clear evidence for early modern humans procuring shellfish from coastal habitats.

    That’s way too late for Marcel “Marcel F. Williams” Williams, who thinks the last semiaquatic phase in our history ended when the Pleistocene began and Homo erectus/ergaster/whatever showed up in the fossil record. Haven’t you read the several comments where he said so?

  159. David Marjanović says

    Also, what’s so hard about the <blockquote> tag??? Using it would make your posts much easier to read.

    It’s not clear if Hyrachyus is on the rhino side of things or the tapir side of things.

    “Things” being Ceratomorpha.

  160. Amphiox says

    If the fossil record was perfect, then perhaps, I’d have all the answers. But unfortunately its not!

    Faced with an imperfect fossil record, Shubin went out and searched for more fossils. So did the Leakeys. And lots of others with interest in trying to explain human evolution.

    What they didn’t do is go on blog threads and spew out random hypotheses without fossil support, and wank about the lack of fossils.

    If there ever entertained such hypotheses, they kept them to themselves until they found the fossils that provided the support. Then they published everything, along with the fossil analysis, to wide acclaim.

  161. Amphiox says

    Another typical pattern of the AAH people:

    1. Claim X feature is shared by humans and exclusively marine mammals.
    2. When someone shows them that this feature is in fact found in terrestrial mammals, turn around and claim these terrestrial mammals had marine ancestry.
    3. In most instances, the evidence pertaining to that marine ancestry is as flimsy as the evidence pertaining to the AAH itself, and the logic just as specious.

    It becomes a circle-jerk of aquatic ancestry suppositions.

    It’s not the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis anymore. It’s the Aquatic Ape/Artiodactyl/Perissodactyl/Ursid/Rodent/etc/etc Hypothesis. What’s next? Bats?

  162. Amphiox says

    They seem to be very content these days not being able to explain the origin of bipedalism,

    Time frame wrong for the AAH. Multiple other more parsimonious theories already in play.

    the reduction in insulatory body hair,

    Time frame wrong for the AAH. Also has multiple other more parsimonious theories.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/19/science/why-humans-and-their-fur-parted-ways.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    http://www.scienceboard.net/community/perspectives.200.html

    This “content’ thing seems to be pure projection.

  163. Ichthyic says

    But my marine kidney hypothesis was discussed in great detail by Dr. Rossetti in the journal: Urologia.

    that’s it then, is it?

    that’s what you have?

    right, everyone is wasting their time with you.

    run along and play.

  164. ChasCPeterson says

    It does provide an explanation for the existence of Red Lobster, I suppose.

    I laffed.

    During hibernation, they don’t pee, but they do keep producing urea. The ability to make very concentrated urine sounds like a big advantage in that situation – keep in mind that what’s concentrated doesn’t need to be salt.

    As a mater of fact, due to the solubility charateristics of urea, it is impossible for a mammal to concentrate salt without also concentrating urea. That’s why we can’t drink seawater.
    But, again, nobody can figure out any reason why lobed or reniculate kidneys should be any better at concentration, and empirically they’re not.

    Camels do have multiple renal pyramids–but so do pigs, cattle, and in fact all large ruminants (that would include the ceteceans, btw).

    You mean artiodactyls, not ruminants. Cattle/antilopes/stuff, deer, giraffes (including the okapi) and pronghorn are ruminants; cetaceans, pigs and camels are not. (And elephants aren’t even artiodactyls; maybe you were aiming at “ungulates”, but…)

    I know all that and no, I meant ruminants. Phrased poorly: it was supposed to read “pigs, [cattle, and in fact all large ruminants]” but yeah, I sloppily included cetaceans as presumed descendants of ruminants. I never mentioned elephants.
    And I think you’ll find that camels are, indeed, ruminants.

  165. Amphiox says

    How about this:

    Take a handful of these supposed AAH traits, say 3. Find some genes linked to them. Demonstrate that the link is real (or cite where this has already been done). Do some molecular clock style analysis and date the major selective sweeps for those genes. Show that all of them underwent selective sweeps at the same time, suggesting they all evolved in response to a concurrent set of selection pressures like, say, aquatic living. Match that time to your proposed time for your aquatic phase.

    Repeat for a known aquatic animal that shares those traits you want to talk about. Show that they too experienced a concurrent selective sweep congruent to the time their ancestors adapted to the water.

  166. David Marjanović says

    The Cricetidae are a family of rodents in the large and complex superfamily Muroidea. It includes true hamsters, voles, lemmings, and New World rats and mice.

    Oh. Yeah, whatever you call “rats” and “mice” in America. ;-) See also: “blackbird”.

    As a mater of fact, due to the solubility charateristics of urea, it is impossible for a mammal to concentrate salt without also concentratng urea. That’s why we can’t drink seawater.

    Oh. Makes sense.

    So, could I drink seawater if I ate some urea on the side? :-)

    But, again, nobody can figure out any reason why lobed or reniculate kidneys should be any better at concentration, and empirically they’re not.

    I managed to miss that point. Thank you.

    And I think you’ll find that camels are, indeed, ruminants.

    They ruminate, but they’re not ruminants any more than a kangaroo or a proboscis monkey is. Tylopoda and Ruminantia were long thought to be sister-groups, forming Selenodontia, but even this hasn’t held up under analysis of molecular as well as morphological data.

  167. Marcel Williams says

    Amphiox

    “Claim X feature is shared by humans and exclusively marine mammals.
    2. When someone shows them that this feature is in fact found in terrestrial mammals, turn around and claim these terrestrial mammals had marine ancestry.”

    Again, my claim is that the lobulation of the medullary region of the mammalian kidney as an adaptation to enhance the rate of excretion of large amounts of ingested salt. The lobulation in the medullary region in marine mammals is– universal– because they live in a salt water environment. That’s pretty obvious. The lobulation of the medullary region in camels appears to be the result of the camel’s consumption of salty plants and drinking from brine pools with a salt content– higher than sea water. (Wrote a whole chapter in a book on the subject:-))

    So now you have two choices: either an mammal developed the lobulated medullary region in its kidneys as a result of consuming salty marine fauna or flora or it developed its kidneys because it had to consume extremely salty plants in the middle of the desert and drink from brine pools with a salt content higher than sea water.

    I’ve seen no evidence that suggest that modern humans or fossil humans were specialized on feeding on salty desert plants or drinking water from brine pools in the middle of the desert. But I’ve seen tons of evidence that modern humans and fossil humans and even other primates like to collect coastal marine fauna.

    Marcel F. Williams

  168. Marcel Williams says

    “But, again, nobody can figure out any reason why lobed or reniculate kidneys should be any better at concentration, and empirically they’re not.”

    That’s because the lobed medullary region is not related to concentrating urine. As I’ve explained in two different articles on this subject, the lobed morphology of the medullary region of the mammalian kidney is related to– expediting– the excretion of concentrated urine by increasing the surface area between the cortex and the medulla. The more surface area there is between the cortex and the medulla, the faster concentrated urine can be produced and excreted in order to avoid dehydration.

    Marcel F. Williams

  169. Marcel Williams says

    @Amphiox

    Where are your brine consuming desert fossils:-)

    Marcel F. Williams

  170. Marcel Williams says

    David Marjanović “Now you just need to provide some evidence that we’re descended from Oreopithecus. Does it have any autapomorphies?”

    Published a paper on the subject back in 2008. But I did recently discuss it on a blog at: http://newpapyrusmagazine.blogspot.com/2013/04/evidence-of-cerebral-reorganization-in.html

    Hurzeler, however, was the first to suggest that Oreopithecus was a hominin. Hurzeler was the paleontologist who discovered the only complete skeleton of Oreopithecus. And he never wavered from his conclusion that Oreopithecus was a hominin.

    Marcel F. Williams

    Marcel F. Williams

  171. algiskuliukas says

    Re: 167, 168, 172

    Hardy and Morgan both wrote about wading in the context of bipedal origins so it’s a little convenient for aquaskeptics to pretend it away as “not the AAH”.

    It is the usual straw man argument.

    The argument about timescale is also a straw man. Hardy and Morgan’s original speculation on the timescale, as well as nature of the “aquatic” selection (i.e. a kind of U-Turn) is not the only one.

    Some of us have moved on from this.

    Kuliukas, A., Morgan, E. (2011). Aquatic scenarios in the thinking on human evolution: What are they and how do they compare?. In: Vaneechoutte, M., Verhaegen, M., Kuliukas, A. (eds.), (2011). Was Man More Aquatic in the Past? (eBook). Blackwell Science (Basel).

    Kevin Hunt’s idea that behavioual contexts in which bipedalism is seen in our ape cousins (the only comparison that really matters here) may be indicative of the regimes of selection which brought it about are key.

    More wading and climbing would have encouraged the selection for traits for bipedalism, less would have discouraged them. It’s a very simple point, and yet it’s all been ignored for over 50 years by the field of science responsible for understanding human evolution.

    I find that shocking.

    Algis Kuliukas

  172. Marcel Williams says

    anthrosciguy: “There is actually no real sign that Hardy thought this idea was terribly important. After his talk to the SCUBA club in 1960 and his resulting article, he never brought it up except when he was asked to and/or had a camera and microphone stuck in his face. Meanwhile he was busy with his true major interest, the paranormal, to which he not only devoted his retirement but much of his academic career.”

    Maybe you should write to the Queen of England and tell her that she shouldn’t have knighted Professor Hardy in 1957 for his scientific contributions to British science:-)

    In 1977, in Zenith Magazine, Professor Hardy wrote another article about the aquatic hypothesis:

    “The only previous publication of my hypothesis was my article in the New Scientist of April 1960, and only then was I forced to publish it to protect myself from the outrageous distortions of my views that appeared unexpected in the national press. For thirty years, I kept the idea to myself, always waiting for the fossil evidence which I felt must surely come…. Desmond Morris devoted a page or two to my ideas in The Naked Ape in 1967…..In passing, I may say that Desmond Morris tells me he now thinks it likely that I am right.”

    Unfortunately, Hardy bought into the idea that Oreopithecus was not a hominin. This may be due to the fact that Oreopithecus was a folivore and a hominoid adapted to a freshwater environment rather than the marine environment that he had predicted. But it was probably also due to the fact that most anthropologist believed that the thick molar enameled Ramapithecus was the earliest hominin. Oreopithecus appeared later in the fossil record, had much less molar enamel enamel that Ramapithecus and Australopithecus. So this would have required hominins to reduce their molar enamel during the Oreopithecus phase and then increase molar enamel again during the Australopithecus phase. Of coarse, now we know that Ramapithecus was not a hominin at all.

    But the fossil and genetic evidence now suggest that there were probably two semiaquatic phases in human ancestry. The first semiaquatic freshwater phase occurred on the island of Tuscany-Sardinia during the late Miocene. A second, marine phase, is suggested by the morphology of the human kidneys and the reactivation and increase in the number of eccrine sweat glands and by the genetic evidence which strongly suggest that humans were isolated from the rest of Africa during the Pliocene.

    Humans now appear to be in a phase where the eccrine glands are being deactivated again in order to reduce salt loss– especially in Africa.

    Marcel F. Williams

  173. John Morales says

    Marcel quotes Chas and waffles thus:

    “But, again, nobody can figure out any reason why lobed or reniculate kidneys should be any better at concentration, and empirically they’re not.”

    That’s because the lobed medullary region is not related to concentrating urine. As I’ve explained in two different articles on this subject, the lobed morphology of the medullary region of the mammalian kidney is related to– expediting– the excretion of concentrated urine by increasing the surface area between the cortex and the medulla. The more surface area there is between the cortex and the medulla, the faster concentrated urine can be produced and excreted in order to avoid dehydration.

    So, Marcel’s retort is that the lobed medullary region is not related to concentrating urine, but instead is related to faster concentrated urine production and excretion via increased surface area.

    (Such fatuity!)

  174. David Marjanović says

    Again, my claim is that the lobulation of the medullary region of the mammalian kidney as an adaptation to enhance the rate of excretion of large amounts of ingested salt. The lobulation in the medullary region in marine mammals is– universal– because they live in a salt water environment. That’s pretty obvious. The lobulation of the medullary region in camels appears to be the result of the camel’s consumption of salty plants and drinking from brine pools with a salt content– higher than sea water. (Wrote a whole chapter in a book on the subject:-))

    You keep repeating this nonsense, even though it’s been refuted several times in this thread already!

    What is wrong with you?!?

    David Marjanović “Now you just need to provide some evidence that we’re descended from Oreopithecus. Does it have any autapomorphies?”

    Published a paper on the subject back in 2008. But I did recently discuss it on a blog at: http://newpapyrusmagazine.blogspot.com/2013/04/evidence-of-cerebral-reorganization-in.html

    That post just shows that you don’t even understand my question.

    An apomorphy of a taxon is a character state present in that taxon but not in various ancestors. (Apo- is related to off; apomorphy = feature that has evolved off in a different direction, so to say.)

    A synapomorphy of two sister-groups is a character state present in those two groups and their last common ancestor but not their second-to-last reconstructible ancestor. (Syn- = “together”.)

    An autapomorphy is a character state present in one group but not its last ancestor. (Auto- = “self”.)

    Now, if Oreopithecus has any autapomorphies, any innovative features where Sahelanthropus retains a more conservative state instead, it cannot be an ancestor of Sahelanthropus – unless we assume the trait evolved back and forth, which means we’d have to assume two steps instead of just one.

    Does it have any autapomorphies?

    And he never wavered from his conclusion

    Irrelevant. What evidence did he base his conclusion on?

    Maybe you should write to the Queen of England and tell her that she shouldn’t have knighted Professor Hardy in 1957 for his scientific contributions to British science:-)

    Frankly, yes, she should have found another reason. It’s ridiculous to think there is such a thing as “British science”!

    A second, marine phase, is suggested by the morphology of the human kidneys

    No, see above.

    and the reactivation and increase in the number of eccrine sweat glands

    What do you mean by “reactivation”, and wouldn’t we expect sweat glands as a cooling mechanism on a savanna?

    and by the genetic evidence which strongly suggest that humans were isolated from the rest of Africa during the Pliocene.

    No, see above!

    Do you even read this thread? Or do you just pop in, copy & paste one sentence, reply to it, and pop out for the rest of the day?!?

  175. ChasCPeterson says

    oo, this thread’s still alive…sort of?

    whatever you call “rats” and “mice” in America. ;-)

    oh, not just us. Anybody ever anywhere would call this a rat and this a mouse.
    (of course, 99.99% of people would call a vole or even a shrew a ‘mouse’ and maybe then wonder about the tail.)
    But it was silly of me to forget about hamsters in the first place.

    See also: “blackbird”.

    Oh, I can assure you that many of the icterids are maximally melanin-enhanced. But of course this is exactly why birds get Official Common Names as well as official Latin binomials.

    could I drink seawater if I ate some urea on the side? :-)

    ew.
    (but no, there’s still the total osmotic-concentration ceiling.)

    They ruminate, but they’re not ruminants any more than a kangaroo or a proboscis monkey is. Tylopoda and Ruminantia were long thought to be sister-groups, forming Selenodontia, but even this hasn’t held up under analysis of molecular as well as morphological data.

    Here’s my chance to quote one of my favorite scientific sentences ever, by Sir Kenneth Blaxter: “Ruminants ruminate.”
    That’s pretty much the definition of ‘ruminant’ in vernacular English, and it need not refer to a monophyletic lineage any more than ‘monkey’, ‘toad’, or ‘algae’ does.

    So but we have dueling definitions. Truth is I had forgotten the existence of a formal taxon Ruminantia, and I had to look up Selenodontia and Tylopoda too (these taxa would have been called suborders back in my day…onion on my belt…what?)

    So, yeah, I’m going to stick with my version. Camelids are (behaviorally) ruminants, despite not being classified as ruminantians. (It’s very interesting, though, to see the pigs stuck in the phylogevy between camelids and Ruminantia. I hypothesize a loss of the ancestrally herbivorously-specialized digestive tract with increasing omnivory in protopigs. And now I see where peccaries seem to have unnecessarily complex stomachs. cool.)

    As far as I know, most of the other convergent foregut fermenters (hippos?, colobines, sloths, hoatzins) do not ruminate.
    Kangaroos do.
    (Or not: according to this, “while regurgitation may be observed in marsupials, it is not analogous to rumination (and referred to as merycism). It is probably not necessary for digestion, but might help to stimulate saliva production.”) Interesting.

    wouldn’t we expect sweat glands as a cooling mechanism on a savanna?

    It’s the only plausible functional explanation for them.

  176. ChasCPeterson says

    As I’ve explained in two different articles on this subject, the lobed morphology of the medullary region of the mammalian kidney is related to– expediting– the excretion of concentrated urine by increasing the surface area between the cortex and the medulla. The more surface area there is between the cortex and the medulla, the faster concentrated urine can be produced and excreted in order to avoid dehydration.

    Mr. Williams, we all know you’ve authored a book chapter, because you keep telling us the same damn thing over and over. Me, I have merely made a living teaching human and comparative physiology for the last 25 years. And I am trying to understand your point here, not because I think you’re onto something with regard to human evolution (it’s ridiculous), but rather because I think the convergent evolution of discretely multi-reniculate kidneys in cetaceans and (the ancestors of) pinnipeds is interesting and potentially worth exploring. So I’m actually trying here, but I keep failing. I suspect this is more your fault than mine, but here’s yet…another…chance.
    As I understand your claim:
    a) you are presupposing a mechanism for concentrating urine to a degree useful in eating marine invertebrates.
    b) you are asserting that increasing the surface area in contact between cortex and medulla somehow “expedites” excretion by increasing the rate of urine production.
    c) you seem to be claiming that the multipyramidal/continuous cortex kidneys of, say, humans and camels and the discrete reniculate kideys of cetaceans and pinnipeds are two more-or-less equivalent ways of accomplishing this increase in surface area.

    Fair enough? Assuming I have this right, let me expand a bit on each point in turn.
    a.) Agreed that a diet of marine invertebrates alone would impose a salt load on any mammal (in fact any vertebrate); it’s equivalent to drinking seawater and seawater is >3x the concentration of mammalian body fluids, both intracellular and extracellular.
    And one way to deal with such a salt load would be to have a hyperconcentrating kidney capable of excreting salt in higher concentrations than the seawater-equivalent diet.
    But another way would be to expand the diet to include marine fish (sharks excluded), which spend the energy necessary to maintain body fluids at a similar concentration to mammals; this is the equivalent of a brackish drink of water, and at some ratio of fish to inverts it would dilute the salt load from the saltier diet items enough to obviate hyperconcentration.
    And still another way would be to wash down your clams and urchineggs with nice refreshing draughts of freshwater, or beer.
    Which of these options is observed in all humans ever? Which is seen in none?

    b.) But suppose I am a marine mammal who has benefited from the first tactic: I have a hyperconcentrating kidney tht will allow me to eat marine invertebrates exclusively and even drink seawater and still be able to excrete the salt load (baleen whales, sea otters, crabeater seals, and walruses fit this bill…humans? it is to laugh: haha!). Maybe–maybe–my energy requirements are such that I have to eat so much of my salty diet that I chronically max out the concentrating ability of my kidneys, and then I might actually benefit from increasing the production rate of my maximally concentrated urine. I am granting you this as a plausible scenario despite some doubts.
    This still leaves my real question:
    What is it about increasing the surface area between cortex and medulla that would concomitantly increase urine-production rate? After all, there is nothing of physiological interest that occurs at that interface. Are you simply suggesting an increase in the number of nephron tubules? If so, why would the number of nephrons per kidney, or per volume of kidney, be constrained by the cortex/medulla surface area? You need to explain your proposed mechanism with some mechanistic details.

    c. I must insist yet again that the multipyramidal kidneys of humans and camels are not morphologically similar to the discrete reniculate kidneys of pinnipeds and cetaceans (and that both differ from kidneys with fully lobed medullas and crptically continuous cortexes). Your claim (I’m being generous) seems to be that the similarity is functional, because both designs increase the c/m SA.
    This is, of course, a testable claim. Do you have any evidence that:
    1) morphologically different kidneys vary systematically in urine-production rates?
    2) morphologically different kidneys vary systematically in c/m SA?
    3) morphologically different kidneys vary systematicaly in the number or density of nephron tubules?
    4) there are any correlations among these variables irrespective of kidney design?
    if so, please bring it.

    if not? wanking, not science.

  177. Amphiox says

    Marcel Williams:

    That is why I also said fossil GENES were ok. Find the GENES associated with your kidney traits, show that they underwent a selective sweep circa 2.6 million years ago. Show that you have evidence that actually pertains to the relevant time periods in the PAST, as opposed to merely features seen in the present with no evidence as to when they arose.

    NO FOSSIL NO TALK.

  178. Amphiox says

    You keep repeating this nonsense, even though it’s been refuted several times in this thread already!

    Isn’t interesting that Marcel would post that in response to one of my comments, which was only peripherally related to those details, but ignore all the other posts which directly refuted it?

    Notice how he deliberately ignored by post about genes when he tried to quip about fossils?

    The segue into obvious intellectual dishonesty continues apace.

  179. Amphiox says

    Maybe you should write to the Queen of England and tell her that she shouldn’t have knighted Professor Hardy in 1957 for his scientific contributions to British science:-)

    Since when is an appeal to authority considered a valid argument about anything?

  180. Amphiox says

    Hardy and Morgan both wrote about wading in the context of bipedal origins so it’s a little convenient for aquaskeptics to pretend it away as “not the AAH”.

    And it is EXTREMELY INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST of you to deliberately mischaracterize those arguments in this fashion.

    The idea that wading is the origin of bipedality may be part of the AAH, but that is NOT what those arguments were talking about. Because the period of time cited therein occurs WELL AFTER bipedality has already been well established in the human lineage. The existing evidence of shoreline habitation among human ancestors also occurs LONG AFTER bipedality had been established.

    This alone makes the evidence so cited of shoreline habitation IRRELEVANT to the claim that wading is the selective cause of bipedality.

    You cannot cite evidence to a behaviour that dates to 150000 years or even 1 million years as an explanation for a trait that was ALREADY ESTABLISHED OVER 3.5 million years ago, if not 6 million years ago. To even cite such evidence in that context is either idiocy or dishonesty.

    What is NOT part of the AAH is the idea that humans and human ancestors may have spent time living near beaches and harvesting beach resources for food. This is a widely accepted and routine part of the existing widely accepted narrative concerning human evolutionary history. Even if AAH advocates wish to include it in their overall scenario, it DOES NOT COUNT as part of the AAH, but it does not distinguish the AAH from any other rival hypothesis.

  181. David Marjanović says

    oh, not just us. Anybody ever anywhere would call this a rat and this a mouse.

    Point taken.

    And now I see where peccaries seem to have unnecessarily complex stomachs.

    Interesting. Didn’t know they do.

    As far as I know, most of the other convergent foregut fermenters (hippos?, colobines, sloths, hoatzins) do not ruminate.

    Correct; of those you mention, only the colobine Nasalis does.

    After all, there is nothing of physiological interest that occurs at that interface. Are you simply suggesting an increase in the number of nephron tubules?

    I strongly suspect that he doesn’t even know what the cortex and the medulla consist of.

  182. ChasCPeterson says

    the colobine Nasalis does.

    huh. Pretty cool.
    (‘kipedia cites this brief and interesting article, but the authors are very careful to not call the behavior “rumination”.)

  183. David Marjanović says

    the authors are very careful to not call the behavior “rumination”

    I’m not sure why – because it’s optional rather than obligatory?

  184. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    And one way to deal with such a salt load would be to have a hyperconcentrating kidney capable of excreting salt in higher concentrations than the seawater-equivalent diet.

    Another would be a bucketful of iced Tecates.

  185. ChasCPeterson says

    I’m not sure why – because it’s optional rather than obligatory?

    I got the impression that it was because they hadn’t demonstrated a size-sorting mechanism, and/or to avoid the implication of homology to ruminants. (btw, only my ‘not’ was meant to be italicized)

    Another would be a bucketful of iced Tecates.

    Indeed. Thought I said that.
    (mmmm, grilled rock lobsters & Coronas in Rosarito Beach…)

  186. ChasCPeterson says

    I’ve decided to eat some cioppino tonight. Trader Joe’s sells it froze and it’s pretty good, with fish, shrimp, mussels, scallops, and I think clams and maybe crab. I will balance the salt load with sufficient Dale’s Pale Ale to avoid the dehydration of my intracellular compartment, and I will ponder my ancestors as I chew.
    I’m also thinking about re-reading From Fish to Philosopher.

  187. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I had to google cioppino. Why haven’t I heard of this? I got a stack of pop gen exams to spend the evening with. Depending on their quality, I will be either drinking High Life or drinking a lot of High Life.

  188. algiskuliukas says

    And it is EXTREMELY INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST of you to deliberately mischaracterize those arguments in this fashion.

    The idea that wading is the origin of bipedality may be part of the AAH, but that is NOT what those arguments were talking about. Because the period of time cited therein occurs WELL AFTER bipedality has already been well established in the human lineage. The existing evidence of shoreline habitation among human ancestors also occurs LONG AFTER bipedality had been established.

    This alone makes the evidence so cited of shoreline habitation IRRELEVANT to the claim that wading is the selective cause of bipedality.

    What? It was you who claimed that the wading idea was not part of the so-called “aquatic ape hypothesis” when it always has been. Why do you people always arrogantly just assume you have the moral high ground?

    What arguments? There are several waterside hypotheses. The original “U-turn” idea of Hardy and Morgan is not fixed in stone. Like any scientific idea, it evolves as evidence emerges.

    My own “River Apes… Coastal People” model was specifically worked out to fit the consensus view of the evidence.

    You cannot cite evidence to a behaviour that dates to 150000 years or even 1 million years as an explanation for a trait that was ALREADY ESTABLISHED OVER 3.5 million years ago, if not 6 million years ago. To even cite such evidence in that context is either idiocy or dishonesty.

    Ad hominem noted. Please check your facts, and learn what the current thinking is about these ideas before going off on a rant.

    What is NOT part of the AAH is the idea that humans and human ancestors may have spent time living near beaches and harvesting beach resources for food. This is a widely accepted and routine part of the existing widely accepted narrative concerning human evolutionary history. Even if AAH advocates wish to include it in their overall scenario, it DOES NOT COUNT as part of the AAH, but it does not distinguish the AAH from any other rival hypothesis.

    Well that’s convenient for you. The ideas you are happy with you delimit as being not part of the “AAH”, whilst the bits you identify as being wrong must be.

    If it’s so widely accepted please point me to a single paper in the anthropological literature that predates Niemitz, that considers that wading through shallow water may have been a factor in the evolution of bipedalism.

    Algis Kuliukas

  189. algiskuliukas says

    Sorry, messed up the blockquotes here. Why can’t one edit a post?

    Algis Kuliukas

  190. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    algiskuliukas:

    Why can’t one edit a post?

    Because the site doesn’t allow for it.

    A wise person can, however, preview a post before submitting.

    An even wiser person will know the preview is stuffed and botches hyperlink placement — but you had none.

    (This has been happening for months; it indicates either carelessness or incompetence on the part of those who run the blog)

  191. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, hard to have and evidence based discussion without links.

    Ad hominem noted. Please check your facts, and learn what the current thinking is about these ideas before going off on a rant.

    Ad hominen isn’t an insult. Learn what it really is. Why you were dismissed was explained. That doesn’t make it an ad hominen. Insults are OK, especially if you behave in a dishonest manner, which you did. Arrogance is not an argument, but a symptom of the inability to consider yourself wrong.

  192. algiskuliukas says

    There was nothing dishonest about my behaviour. If anyone was “dishonest” it was the person who goes by the name of “Amphiox” although I think it is perhaps better put doen to ignorance. Apparently he/she thinks the “aquatic ape theory” is cast in stone and never changes.

    The same accusation could be made against the field that in 50 years has never considered, as even a possibility, that the one scenario that guarrantees bipedal locomotion in our nearest relatives might have had something to do with the evolution of it in us.

    Algis Kuliukas

    PS

    I tried the “Preview” button again, but it didn’t do anything.

  193. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There was nothing dishonest about my behaviour. If anyone was “dishonest” it was the person who goes by the name of “Amphiox” although I think it is perhaps better put doen to ignorance. Apparently he/she thinks the “aquatic ape theory” is cast in stone and never changes.

    Shit is still shit. Your attitude is shit. The theory is bullshit. NO EVIDENCE FOR IT.

  194. John Morales says

    [OT]

    algiskuliukas:

    I tried the “Preview” button again, but it didn’t do anything.

    That means your browser is set to block either (or) certain scripting or domain relevant to that.

    (It’s part of Google APIs)

  195. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    [rhetorical]
    Why are True Believers™ of inane theories always so short on evidence, and so long on arrogance?
    [/rhetorical]

  196. Amphiox says

    Apparently he/she thinks the “aquatic ape theory” is cast in stone and never changes.

    And I already explained EXACTLY why the evidence previously presented concerning human use of shoreline resources does NOT have anything to do with the AAH, because the timeframes are all wrong. It does not matter how much the AAH changes, that part will NEVER be a relevant part of the AAH, because the time frames are wrong and the time frames are ESTABLISHED FACTS, not theories.

    And here you are, ignoring that and presenting an argument that has nothing to do with what I said.

    And you have the nerve to deny being intellectually dishonest.

    You are pathetic.

  197. Amphiox says

    What? It was you who claimed that the wading idea was not part of the so-called “aquatic ape hypothesis” when it always has been.

    I did NOT, EVER, claim that the wading idea was not part of the AAH.

    Here`s my original quote.

    The idea that wading is the origin of bipedality may be part of the AAH, but that is NOT what those arguments were talking about.

    I claimed that the EVIDENCE (citations) previously presented, to which I was responding to, about humans exploiting shoreline resources, had no relevance to that part of the AAH, because the timeframes are wrong.

    It was this deliberate misrepresentation of what I wrote that I called intellectually dishonest, which it fucking is. And here you are, REPEATING THE SAME DAMN THING.

    And you have the nerve to claim you aren`t being intellectually dishonest.

    And in the meantime, also educate your lying ass regarding what ad hominem actually means, as that is yet another thing you either have no clue about, or are deliberately lying about.

  198. David Marjanović says

    I tried the “Preview” button again, but it didn’t do anything.

    Scroll down. The preview appears below the comment window.

    And make sure you don’t downplay the differences between your version of the AAH and Marcel Williams’s. They’re two hypotheses that contradict each other; at least one of them must be wrong.

  199. algiskuliukas says

    @ Amphiox

    So why in post 167 did you write “The “Wading Hypothesis” for bipedalism is not the AAH,”?

    The ad hominem attack is hallmarkof the ignorant and bigotted response to anything involving the dreaded ‘a’ factor.

    The incredible arrogant assumption is that not only do they know more about this than we do (but they still can’t tell us their explanation for all the traits we say might have resulted from some differential in selection from wading swimming and diving as compared to chimps)but that they are all perfectly honest and goody-two-shoes and we’re all lying cheats.

    The bizarre hostility to this idea, specifically from paleoanthropologists, is as interesting as the idea itself.

    Algis Kuliukas

  200. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The ad hominem attack is

    What ad hominem attack? It wasn’t. You’re wrong about that, just as your theory is wrong.. Prove otherwise with evidence, not your opinion.

    The incredible arrogant assumption is that not only do they know more about this than we do

    Since you know nothing but your presuppositions, that is a false statement. Yawn, typical True Believer™ unable to consider they are WRONG..

  201. ChasCPeterson says

    Nerd’s right, AK, your rhetoric is way over the top.
    You’ve got nothing.
    That’s because by itself, a personal conviction of plausibility, let alone the jump to only possible explanation!!, is nothing.

    I posted links above to photos of our closest relatives, acknowledged quadrepeds, nevertheless wading bipedally quite adeptly. Where is the selection pressure?
    Unles you’re positing 16-hour days in like neck-deep water, in which case, frankly, come on.
    By which I mean bring evidence or admit you’re a fantasist (no, more rhetoric won’t cut it).

  202. Amphiox says

    So why in post 167 did you write “The “Wading Hypothesis” for bipedalism is not the AAH,”?

    Because it isn’t. Anymore than the “loss of body hair due to savannah parasites hypothesis” is the Savannah Hypothesis. At BEST it is one small part of the AAH, but it is also a sub-hypothesis that can easily fit into many other larger hypotheses, so you cannot call it the AAH, as it is not a distinguishing feature of it.

    Furthermore, which I have mentioned before, and I note that you continue to deliberately ignore, I was responding specifically to the citation given in #163, which has nothing to do with the AAH because the time frame is wrong.

    And you have the nerve to continue to claim that you are not being intellectually dishonest.

    The reason the so-called “wading hypothesis” has been largely ignored by the wider scientific community is because it fails the most basic of all requirements for a hypothesis to be taken seriously. There is zero background evidence to suggest it, the logical train that tries to argue for it fails to convincingly demonstrate any way in which it might be superior to or preferable to any of the other rival existing hypothesis (all of which have at least SOME evidence that suggests them, however small), and it is less parsimonious that all of those alternatives.

    A newly proposed hypothesis has to pass at least one of those 3 baseline criteria before serious scientists will be willing to expend their not unlimited time and resources to consider it. It might be different if humans had unlimited mental and material resources to devote to research, but humans don’t.

    We ALREADY HAVE fossil evidence that demonstrates that at the time of the transition to bipedality human ancestors lived in densely forested areas far, far inland.

    That is why AAH proponents like Marcel have long ago abandoned the “wading hypothesis” arguments and shifted their timeframe forward to the 2.6 million region, when bipedality had already been long established by at least 2 million years if not far more, and they have a convenient gap in the fossil record so there’s no pesky fossils around to disprove their contentions outright.

    Also, I note that you continue to misuse the term “ad hominem”. Since I have already pointed out this misuse in the very post you were responding to, your failure here indicates not incompetency on your part, but a deliberate act of disregard. Which is the DEFINITION of intellectual dishonesty.

    And you have the nerve to continue to act indignant about that charge.

    And just to be clear regarding the ad hominem business, your ideas are wrong NOT because you are intellectually dishonest. They are wrong because they are wrong. The “evidence” you attempt to cite is off on time frames by millions of years, and the logical train you try to construct to justify them goes off the rails even before it leaves the station.

    You are wrong because you are WRONG. You are intellectually dishonest because YOU ARE CONTINUING TO BEHAVE, OVER AND OVER AGAIN, IN AN INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST FASHION.

  203. ChasCPeterson says

    One can also turn the question around and ask what sort of observation would be incontrovertible evidence for the AAH.
    I’d say an adaptation like this would be convincing.

  204. David Marjanović says

    Ah, crap.

    I wrote a long review of Rossetti’s “paper”, and when I submitted the comment, the computer crashed; at first I just thought the Internet was down, but eventually it turned out that even Ctrl+Alt+Del didn’t work, I had to switch off brutally and restart.

    Everything anew.

  205. David Marjanović says

    So…

    Rossetti’s publication is the keynote lecture of the 55th meeting of the Society of Urologists of Northern Italy. At the time (2007), Rossetti was already retired; that’s probably why he got the keynote lecture. Except for the references, the “paper” reads like a transcript, complete with thanks to the introducers at the beginning, “thank you” at the end, and plenty of autobiography in between. The “interesting” stuff starts only on the second page.

    Rossetti begins by pointing out that humans, cattle, elephants and bears as well as marine mammals have multipyramidal kidneys, as opposed to the plesiomorphic unipyramidal one. In marine mammals, he writes, they excrete salt: “the larger the contact between cortex and medulla of the kidney, the larger and faster the excretion of the salt, with return to the equilibrium; the tubules delegated to this ?task?, coming from the cortex, descend deep into the medulla, therefore more cortex surrounds the medulla and the function is stronger (5).”

    Reference 5 is:

    “Berta A. Sumich J.L. Marine mammals, evolutonary [sic] biology. 2003, Academic Press San Diego.”

    Then comes a bizarre sentence: “The nonmarine aquatic mammals […] feed on marine algae, crustaceans and mollusks that have a notable internal hypertonicity because their circulating liquids, isotonic with respect to the external environment, are markedly salty; therefore the nonmarine aquatic mammals, like otters, beavers etc., are equally and ?sometimes? even more exposed to” this problem; “their kidney is characteristically multipyramidal (6).”

    what is this I don’t even

    Freshwater otters eat freshwater fish. They don’t migrate two thousand kilometers back and forth daily. And even if their food contained way too much salt, it wouldn’t matter, because they could drink as much freshwater as they wanted, swimming in it after all.

    Beavers don’t eat marine fucking algae, they eat bark and wood from trees that grow next to freshwater.

    Naturally, I wondered if I had simply misunderstood the sentence. But reading it again and again yields the same result. (The part I left off is a parenthesis that just says not all “freshwater” mammals are completely restricted to freshwater.) Anyone else wanna try?

    I mammiferi acquatici non marini (a parte il fatto che non eccezionalmente s’inoltrano e a lungo nel mare, pur essendo comunemente circondati d’acqua dolce) si nutrono di molluschi, crostacei ed alghe marini, che hanno un’ipertonicità interna notevole, ossia i loro liquidi circolanti, isotonici rispetto all’ambiente esterno, sono marcatamente salati; quindi i mammiferi acquatici non marini, come lontre, castori, ecc., sono ugualmente e forse maggiormente esposti al danno suddetto: il loro rene è caratteristicamente multipiramidale (6).

    Ref. 6 is:

    “Martin R.M.Mammals of the Ocean.1977 G.P.Putman’s Sons. New york” (missing spaces and lowercase york in the original)

    I guess that’s just cited for the observation that otters and beavers have multipyramidal kidneys, not for the rest of the sentence.

    Then Rossetti writes that marine mammals have larger kidneys than terrestrial ones of the same proportions, and that this is due to the lobulate structure of their kidneys; “the increase of the size of the medulla leads to an increase of the contact surface between cortex and medulla. The expansion of the surface between cortex and medulla corresponds to the area where Henle’s loops […], coming from the cortex, descend deep into the medulla, in which the filtrate can immediately be transformed into strongly concentrated and salty urine; it does not follow that the increase of the cortex/medulla contact surface corresponds to an increase of the quantity of the urine with which excess salt is excreted.” I conclude again that, from the point of view of a kidney, salt excretion and water conservation are one and the same. But water conservation never occurs to Rossetti; he says such kidneys are an adaptation to salt, and he cites references 7 and 8, which are… perhaps comparative physiology textbooks like reference 14? Or primary literature? Well, no:

    “7. Williams M.P. [sic] The adaptative significance of endothermy and salt escrection [sic] amongst the earliest aschosaurs [sic – archosaurs]. Speculati. Sci. Technol. 1997,20,237-247.
    8. Williams M.P. [sic] Morphological evidence of marine adaptation in human kidneys. Med. Hypot..2006,66,2,247-257.”

    Now look at that. It’s Williams citing Rossetti citing Williams as independent support!

    Anyway. So “why do some terrestrial mammals have multipyramidal and polylobate kidneys?” We have to make the effort of figuring their evolutionary history out, says ref. 9; “many paleontological finds demonstrate the gradual evolutionary transformation, with intermediate forms; thus, the bears, the ursids, are derived [derivano in parentela] from the pinnipeds (one of the first ursids from the early Miocene, Kolponomos [lack of italics in the original], was a walrus-like creature); the elephants are derived [derivano per parentela stretta] from the sirenids (manatee) (10); the rhinoceros [singular!] from the tapirs and so on.”

    Well, on bears and elephants and rhinos, see higher up in this thread. My Italian isn’t good enough (…like, I never learned it…) to tell, but I sense massive confusion of mothers and sisters, of ancestors and sister-groups. Rhinos aren’t tapirs; rhinos and tapirs are sister-groups.

    So, what are the glorious references 9 and 10? Perhaps outdated vertebrate paleontology textbooks? I wish.

    “9. Morgan E. The descent of woman. 1972, Souvenir Press, London.
    10. Hardy A. Was man more aquatic in the past? New. [sic] Sci. 1960,7,642-645.”

    That’s where Rossetti gets his information from, laddies and gentlewomen.

    E l’uomo?” First of all, he says, it’s important that we are “the only one among the primates to have multipyramidal kidneys (11). Not only that, but the human kidney is certainly larger and heavier than that of the other, nonhuman primates: for example the kidneys of a male chimpanzee of 50 kg weigh 135 g on average, while the kidneys of a woman of 55 kg are about twice the size and weigh 275 g (12).” Now, surely ref. 11 is a handbook of comparative anatomy, and ref. 12 is either that or a paper by somebody who has cut a lot of chimps apart, perhaps even Rossetti himself (the autobiographical part says he’s done some comparative kidney anatomy). Right? Right? Wanna bet?

    Wrooooong.

    “11. Hardy A. Was there a Homo aquaticus? Zenith.1977,15,1,4-6.
    12. Morgan E. The aquatic ape. 1982, Stein and Day, New york [sic]”

    Instead of citing the primary or secondary literature, Rossetti cites the tertiary or quaternary literature – and it’s again by the same two people! He evidently want us to take everything Hardy and Morgan say at face value.

    He goes on to explain Hardy’s version of the hypothesis, citing 10 and 11. Then I run out of grammar, but somebody “affirmed that such semiaquatic phases of hominid evolution ?would have been? favored by isolation in islands in the sea near the coast or in lakes, rivers, or swamps. The elaboration of the observations and the ideas of Hardy convinced other authors (13) that the excretion of salt through sweat and tears constituted further proof [!] of the coastal marine origin of the ancestors of man.”

    Who are these plural converts to the AAH?

    “13. Morgan E. The scars of evolution. 1990 Oxford Univ. Press. New york [sic]”

    Just the one. The same one again. Laugh, scream, facepalm, headdesk? “What to do”, wrote Lenin.

    Then comes the stuff about the human kidney producing urine with 3.6 % salt, and for this, the abovementioned ref. 14 is cited, a book titled “Vertebrate physiology”. Rossetti recognizes that this isn’t enough to live off “algae and marine invertebrates”, but brings up metabolic water. He never mentions how much water we lose every time we exhale (see higher up in this thread).

    Then he claims, without a citation, that the near-absence of sweat glands in other primates must mean that they’re salt glands, and then he claims the same for the tear glands, claiming we (especially as babies) cry so much more than the other primates, brings up the salt glands of marine birds which happen to be near the eye, and cites ref. 15.

    “15. Zeifnan D.M. An ethiological [sic] analysis of human infant crying. Answering Tiriberguis [sic] four questions. Dev.Psychobiol. 2001,39,265-289.”

    These salt glands (also, judging from grooves on the skulls, found in fully aquatic Jurassic and Cretaceous crocodiles-in-a-very-wide-sense) aren’t the tear glands, though. They’re additional.

    And then comes Oreopithecus, not mentioned by name, its completely speculative and fossil-free emigration to Africa at one of the times when the Mediterranean fell dry, and Afar Island. That part is rather cute. Figure 2 has 3 unnamed parts. At the bottom is a photo of the landscape. At the top is an elevation map of what the region looks like today. It’s taken from somewhere (it’s all in English, for starters), but no source is cited. The Red Sea is white, and three shades of gray show areas more than 60 m above sea level, between 0 and 60 m, and below sea level (the Danakil Depression). Between 5 and 3.5 million years ago, says the text on the next page, the sea level was 50 m higher than today, and the legend of fig. 2 repeats this number. Yet, the middle part of the figure was generated by simply turning everything below 60 m white. This produces Afar Island. It’s quite silly to assume that no erosion, deposition, or volcanism has taken place in the last 5 million years. But let’s accept this for the sake of the argument. How much of the island is due to those 10 m of fictitious extra sea level rise? On both sides of the island, an island chain is shown to be dense enough that the largest gaps are perhaps 2 km wide, and on one, the entire chain is on territory that is above sea level today. Clearly, this map is not evidence that the supposed island was in fact an island. (And that’s before we get to the question of whether our ancestors lived there.)

    The retrovirus is brought up, citing that paper from 1976 and nothing else.

    Some quick waffling about bipedality, and a concluding sentence of how it’s a long story but the kidney tells it all.

    Faaaaaail.

    If I were given this presentation (duly formatted as a manuscript) and asked to review it, I’d recommend rejection. I’m aware what a strong thing this is to say; but no amount of revision would keep that work off Failblog.

    Rossetti’s qualifications as a physician must be impressive. As a scientist, however, he’s a hack. There’s no other way to put it.

    Next: the two papers on Oreopithecus I was sent with Rossetti’s lecture. Or, rather, just one of them, because the other is a review paper on the history of the study of O. till 1987, when they still weren’t even sure if it was an ape or an Old World monkey, so little was known of it.

  206. David Marjanović says

    The AAH looks to me a lot like a circle jerk now. There are Morgan’s books, Hardy’s three- and four-page papers in popular magazines, Williams’s ten-page papers in journals with “speculations” and “hypotheses” in their names plus his chapter in that circle-jerk book without peer review (see upthread), Rossetti’s lecture that wouldn’t withstand any semblance of peer review, and that’s it – they all just cite each other. *headshake*

    If you decide to write it again

    Scroll up: I basically promised to, a week or two ago. That’s why I said “everything anew”. Rest assured, this version is better than the original. :-) Except I forgot to mention this time that not all sea cows (sirenians) are manatees; Rossetti and probably Hardy having no idea of the animals they’re talking about doesn’t reflect well on what they say.

    Rossetti was already retired; that’s probably why he got the keynote lecture

    …uh, that’s obviously only part of the reason. The other must be impressive achievements as a urologist.

  207. David Marjanović says

    Now look at that. It’s Williams citing Rossetti citing Williams as independent support!

    By which I mean it’s Williams, upthread, citing {Rossetti citing Williams} as independent support. In reality, he’s just citing himself from comment 136 onwards.

  208. ChasCPeterson says

    OOOOOooh. Escrection amongst the earliest aschosaurs.
    Why didn’t Mr. Williams say so in the first place? That’s a horse of a different color!

  209. ChasCPeterson says

    I forgot to mention this time that not all sea cows (sirenians) are manatees;

    If only the massive, fully marine, and salty-as-all-get-out kelp-eating Steller’ses were available for study.
    Fuckers.

  210. says

    Man, I remember the usenet days when these same guys would come on with their repetitive non-sequiturs and non-evidence for the AAT, and they would go on and on for weeks.

    Absolutely nothing has changed. Same kooks for the soggy ape hypothesis, same pathetic arguments, same obnoxious persistence. And it’s been over 20 years. You’d think if they had a decent case they’d have won over some new people by now.

  211. David Marjanović says

    Marcel Francis Williams (2008): Cranio-dental evidence of a hominin-like hyper-masticatory apparatus in Oreopithecus bambolii. Was the swamp ape a human ancestor? Bioscience Hypotheses 1: 127–137.

    (Interesting that it’s another 11-page article – not 10 as I stupidly said above. Interesting also the institutional affiliation: “Mu Omega Enterprises”. Sounds creative.)

    Ten keywords. That’s a generous journal.

    Repeated failure to get the dots on Johannes Hürzeler. Come on, Elsevier had no problem printing those in 2008.

    “Additionally, an extensive compilation of hominoid cranio-dental and postcranial characteristics strongly supports a close phylogenetic relationship between Oreopithecus and the earliest African hominins Sahelanthropus and Australopithecus“, says the abstract. But why no phylogenetic analysis?

    The 2003 paper on tooth microwear in Oreopithecus that I linked to in commen 91 is cited. It is, however, pretty much ignored in favor of: “However, the extensive wear on the oreopithecine canines and incisors along with their manual precision grips may indicate that freshwater invertebrates were also included in their diets.” Failure of peer review… oh, oops, judging from the acknowledgments, the paper wasn’t peer-reviewed in the first place.

    The first 3 pages after the abstract, and part of the 4th, are basically a literature review. I find nothing objectionable in them, except for the passage on p. 131 that calls Mabokopithecus “its possible African ancestor” (“it” of course being Oreopithecus). Wait, what? To determine that it’s an ancestor, you’d need an extremely dense fossil record, and you’d first of all need to show that M. lacks any autapomorphies (a zero-length branch in a cladogram would do nicely). No attempt to deal with these problems is made in the paper. Also, the paper later makes clear that Mabokopithecus is twice as old as Oreopithecus; some dense fossil record that is.

    Then the new stuff begins. The rest of p. 131 emphasizes how many similarities there are between O., Australopithecus and Homo. But the previous 4 pages just argued at length that these similarities are correlated – they’re adaptations to different degrees of living off tough plant matter, so it’s not surprising that they tend to occur together in the same “genera”. Counting them separately for the purposes of phylogenetics amounts to counting a single character several times. This accounts for tables 1 through 4; table 5 consists of characters associated with bipedality and characters associated with grasping.

    Three works, dating from 1975, 1989, and 1997, are cited that “have suggested that Oreopithecus may have exploited aquatic plants as a food resource.” Five are cited as saying that “Western Gorillas are also known to wade bipedally into swamps to feed on aquatic plants”. But where would the selection pressure come from that would force O. to stay in the swamps for so much of its time that it wouldn’t develop a quadrupedal way of terrestrial locomotion the way gorillas have?

    “It should also be noted that bipedal wading has also been proposed for the origin of bipedalism in dinosaurs and their [the]codont ancestors who also appear to have been arboreal and semiaquatic in nature”, citing references 71 to 75. I’ve never seen that suggestion outside of this thread, so I had to check. Ref. 71 is the great and mighty Romer (though it’s bizarre that his textbook “Vertebrate Paleontology” is cited just as “Paleontology” – Romer didn’t give a flying fuck about trilobites or graptolites). Well. Romer never said dinosaurs or their ancestors were arboreal. He thought that, because of the apparently semiaquatic proterosuchids, a semiaquatic lifestyle was ancestral for what is now called Archosauriformes, pointed to the fact that the hindlimbs are longer and stronger than the forelimbs in crocodiles, considered it an adaptation for quickly swimming off from a standstill, and concluded that it was a great starting point for the evolution of bipedality. So far, so good, so outdated.

    Ref. 72 is a largely popular book. I’ve read it. It simply repeats what Romer said, without adding new evidence. It’s a waste of space to cite it in this context.

    Ref. 73 is another book with a rather popular-sounding title (“The last of the ruling reptiles”), though it was published by Columbia University Press. I bet it deals more with extinction than with the origin of archosaurs (“ruling reptiles”), though… in other words, I bet it just cites Romer.

    Ref. 74 is the famous popular book by Halstead & Halstead. It’s one of the books I grew up with. Gorgeous illustrations, horribly outdated, though. It just repeats what romer said, without adding new evidence. Again a waste of space to cite in this context.

    Ref. 75 is what Rossetti cited as his ref. 7, only correctly spelled this time. Well, I haven’t read that paper, but if there were a lot of evidence in it, would it have been published in Speculations in Science and Technology?

    Back to literature review: O. shows adaptations to standing but not running or even walking that much; this is suddenly twisted from standing under trees like a ground sloth to standing in water.

    “While the cranio-dental evidence strongly indicates that Oreopithecus was intensely folivorous, the unusual amount of wear on the canines and incisors in addition to the thickness of the central incisors which bear a number of small mammelons[*], may suggest that aquatic [in?]vertebrates were also included in their diets.” Why? How? No explanation or citation is given. Wouldn’t we expect plenty of wear if O. used its incisors to rip leaves off of branches and used its canines as intermediates between incisors and premolars (instead of as weapons) like Paranthropus? As I mentioned upthread, such comb-shaped incisors (just much more extremely comb-shaped) are also found in the Eocene antelope-sized and -shaped hyraxes of Africa. They make plenty of sense in a leaf-eater.

    Also, I really wouldn’t try to break clams open with my incisors or even my unusually large canines. :-S Yet that’s exactly what’s suggested a few lines later. What’s also suggested is scraping clams out of their shells with the incisors; yet, the large upper canines would limit the size of such shells, and this hypothesis completely fails to explain the cusps on the incisors while predicting they’d be more rounded (when seen from in front) than they are. A reference is given: it’s what Rossetti cited as ref. 8.

    * Little boobs. 19th-century anatomists, and not just the strictly Victorian-age ones, were fucking obsessed with boobs. Hence the mastoid (“boob-like”) process on the human skull, and Mastodon (“boob tooth”), a name which was awarded twice – the younger instance has been renamed Mastodonsaurus.

    “Molecular evidence suggesting a split between humans and chimpanzees just 4–6 Ma [ago], [sic] has been argued as evidence excluding Oreopithecus from hominin ancestry.” No reference. Dude, you claim that molecular evidence suggests these dates, you cite the papers that find those dates, or it didn’t happen!

    “However, the hypothesis of a constant rate of neutral mutations amongst animal taxa is no longer tenable since” – uh, where have you been the last twenty years?!? Molecular divergence dating hasn’t required the assumption of a constant mutation rate in a long time.

    “Additionally, the remains of the earliest African hominin remains” – calling them remains of remains is oddly fitting – “(S[ahelanthropus] tchadensis) are currently dated [to] between 6.8 and 7.2 Ma [ago] […] Therefore, any molecular clock estimates dating the human–ape [wrong; human/chimpanzee!] divergence at only 4–6 Ma [ago] [refs. 94–96] can no longer be considered tenable.” Oh, now we get references. We still don’t get confidence intervals or anything. And the references date from 1997 (ancient history), 1998 (ancient history, plus the author has a track record of… finding dates that don’t match the fossil record) and 2001 (marginal). :-/ I don’t know if the paleoanthropologists have stopped quarreling over the affinities of Sahelanthropus (some, from a rival team*, immediately claimed it must be a female gorilla relative); assuming they have, its age is close enough in the absence of confidence intervals.

    * The closer you get to humans, the worse the science gets.

    Oh, I almost forgot figure 3. It shows a “Cladogram of the hominoids based on the data from Tables 2–5.” Homo is explained as “humans and their tool using ancestors”; there are tool-using crows out there, and chimpanzees make spears and use them to hunt bushbabies, so that wasn’t a smart thing to say. But I digress. First of all, a cladogram is the outcome of a cladistic ( = phylogenetic) analysis. Where is the analysis? The text doesn’t mention it a single time. Where is the data matrix (I do hope an attempt to deal with the correlated characters was made… hah), what program was used, how many steps is the tree long, what was the outgroup (I hope not Hylobates, because that would assume that Oreopithecus is closer to us than the gibbons are!), what are the CI, RI and RC, and how about some Bremer and bootstrap values? Not a word on them. What a fail whale.

    Worse, it assumes the monophyly of Australopithecus. The way that name is commonly used, and is indeed used in the tables, Australopithecus contains the ancestors of Homo and KenyanthropusK. is mentioned in the text but not in the tables or the figure.

    The figure shows gorillas and chimps as sister-groups. That’s pretty clearly wrong. And a clade that contains Australopithecus, Oreopithecus and Sahelanthropus but excludes Homo… seriously? That contradicts not just textbook wisdom, but the text of the same paper as well.

  212. David Marjanović says

    OOOOOooh. Escrection amongst the earliest aschosaurs.
    Why didn’t Mr. Williams say so in the first place?

    To be fair, that’s just Rossetti not knowing English or Latin and not noticing his own typos. Italian has simplified the Latin consonant system; “excretion” is simply escrezione (z pronounced [ts]).

    If only the massive, fully marine, and salty-as-all-get-out kelp-eating Steller’ses were available for study.
    Fuckers.

    *sigh* All seconded. :-(

    soggy ape hypothesis

    You just won your own thread, do you know?

    *steal*

    commen

    Oh! A typo! :-)

    plus the author[s] ha[ve] a track record of… finding dates that don’t match the fossil record

    No, actually, I’ll spell it out: it’s the Nature paper by Kumar & Hedges. The one mocked by Shaul & Graur in their 2004 paper whose title begins with “Reading the entrails of chickens”, because Kumar & Hedges had such a blithely ignorant attitude to calibration constraints for their dating studies. Crown-group placentals deep in the Early Cretaceous! Yaaaay! No, just miscalibration of a tree distorted by long-branch attraction: way too few calibration points applied way too uncritically. Placentalia is less than half as old as they found.

  213. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, DMFDM, Owlmirror, and Sastra have been hot of late. Great reading, and nothing to add to their analyses. Two thumbs and two big toes up…

  214. anthrosciguy says

    Man, I remember the usenet days when these same guys would come on with their repetitive non-sequiturs and non-evidence for the AAT, and they would go on and on for weeks.

    Same as it ever was. There’s a thread, now at Talk Rational, which started in the Dawkins forum in 2008. The AAT/Her there is Algis Kuliukas, who shows up here (and at other blog comment threads) mostly to complain that people are not accurately describing his claims (they are) and to complain about me and my website (my URL is a special sore point with him), along with PZ’s past endorsement of it. He rarely comes up with a new argument, does contradictory statements and attracts a certain audience drawn to see how outrageously he can mangle evolutionary theory. Past errors include thinking that drift was another word for mutation, wildly misunderstanding convergent evolution, and a host of others… and this is after he’d been studying at a supposedly postgrad level in the subject for years.

    Others — like Marc Verhaegen and our Marcel here — also indulge in incestuous citing. The community of proponents has a small number of papers — mostly in non-peer review or off-topic journals run by friendlies — to the point where they’re able to do so. And of course they cite Morgan. After reading Morgan’s stuff for my website, and going back and forth with her in the mid-90s on usenet, I can confidently say that anyone citing her as a factual reference for virtually anything (as opposed to referring to her work for critical or historical purposes) is making a dumb mistake. And that despite the fact that she’s often been able to find good sources. She just doesn’t report them accurately, and has been known to alter quotes without indication as well. Her supporters (like Algis, mentioned above) dismiss the idea that indicates a problem with her work.

  215. anthrosciguy says

    The AAH looks to me a lot like a circle jerk now. There are Morgan’s books, Hardy’s three- and four-page papers in popular magazines, Williams’s ten-page papers in journals with “speculations” and “hypotheses” in their names plus his chapter in that circle-jerk book without peer review (see upthread), Rossetti’s lecture that wouldn’t withstand any semblance of peer review, and that’s it – they all just cite each other. *headshake*

    As I mentioned just above, incestuous citing is a big thing within the AAT/H community. There are only a few other papers that have been done, and they’re all pretty poor (I mention some of them on my website). The errors they all make render them extremely unreliable sources of information, which of course destroys the value of citing them for factual things as they do frequently. A lot of self citation is done too, either directly or as you noted above, indirectly by Person X citing. someone who cited Person X.

    And for many of these statements, such as the rhinos descended from semiaquatic ancestors (and many others), they have been corrected many times yet still make the statement. Obviously that doesn’t make for good science. It’s something that is done in such a way as to have the appearance of science without actually being science. Maybe there should be a word for that. :)

    Rossetti and probably Hardy having no idea of the animals they’re talking about doesn’t reflect well on what they say.

    Hardy didn’t commit that mistake. I wouldn’t expect him too, as he was a in general good marine biologist at some things (although in 1978 he wrote some really stupid things about the diving reflex that included the belief that the findings he mentioned were new, even though they dated from the 1930s; I would have expected him to know that, given his field). He was also an extremely credulous paranormal believer.

  216. John Morales says

    [meta]

    anthrosciguy, IMO your site is in a similar category to the talk.origins archive.

    (Thanks!)

  217. David Marjanović says

    Marcel Williams and Algis Kuliukas are over there now (together with a believer in the expanding Earth who has been sleeping since Wegener died); I’ve directed them here.

  218. algiskuliukas says

    Re 229

    “Past errors include thinking that drift was another word for mutation, wildly misunderstanding convergent evolution, and a host of others… and this is after he’d been studying at a supposedly postgrad level in the subject for years.”

    Jim Moore’s (unqualified ex car mechanic with a huge chip on his shoulder, not the real anthropologist, in case you were under that misapprehension) usual slurs. As always, they are at best gross misrepresentations/twistings of the truth, at worst blatant lies.

    “After reading Morgan’s stuff for my website, and going back and forth with her in the mid-90s on usenet, I can confidently say that anyone citing her as a factual reference for virtually anything (as opposed to referring to her work for critical or historical purposes) is making a dumb mistake.”

    Moore slurs. His shock-horror “Can AAT/Her Research Be Trusted?” page contains four pathetic, barrel-scraped, tincy-weency errors out of 40 years of Elaine Morgan’s work. One of them is from a newsgroup posting and in one of them, if anyone is doing the misrepresntation of the facts, it’s Moore himself.

    http://www.riverapes.com/AAH/Arguments/JimMoore/Quotes.htm

    Jim Moore’s web site is not any kind of “resource” except one demonstrating how ignorant gossip can be swallowed by authorities who should know better like PZ Myers.

    It fails to mention the key fact in the whole debate (humans swim and dive better than chimps) and it omits Hardy’s “first and foremost” point.

    I asked Myers to justify his support of his crap but he just threw an insult at me.

    A great intellectual response from aquaskeptics, then – do no science, just sneer, and hide behind the gossip of an unqualified hatchet man.

    Brilliant.

    Algis Kuliukas

  219. algiskuliukas says

    Re 224

    “Absolutely nothing has changed. Same kooks for the soggy ape hypothesis, same pathetic arguments, same obnoxious persistence. And it’s been over 20 years. You’d think if they had a decent case they’d have won over some new people by now.”

    What an admission of ignorance!

    In recent the two “rejections” of the so-called “aquatic ape hypothesis” have been answered.

    John Langdon’s unscholarly, straw man, parody (the one paper published in a proper anthro journal on the subject)…

    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)

    Jim Moore’s masquerading attempted character assassination web site…

    http://www.riverapes.com/AAH/Arguments/JimMoore/JMHome.htm

    Some of us have moved on. Others, like PZ Myers, are still clinging to their initial knee-jerk misunderstandings.

    Algis Kuliukas

  220. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, more OPINION from a True Believer™ who can’t put up the conclusive evidence (it doesn’t exist), and can’t shut the fuck up. Liars and bullshitters operate where the True Believer™ does. His word will always be treated with extreme skepticism, as it should.

  221. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    I see Kuliukas just cited himself, thus proving anthrocisguy’s point.

  222. ChasCPeterson says

    Jim Moore’s (unqualified ex car mechanic with a huge chip on his shoulder, not the real anthropologist, in case you were under that misapprehension) usual slurs. As always, they are at best gross misrepresentations/twistings of the truth, at worst blatant lies.

    Internet logicians, take note! That right there is a true argumentum ad hominem, spotted in the wild!

    the key fact in the whole debate (humans swim and dive better than chimps)

    Wait, that‘s the “key fact”?
    You probably should have kept that to yourself; now there’ll be all kinds of competition in the anthropological crackpot market:
    The Pole-Vaulting Ape Hypothesis
    The Driving a Stck-shift Ape Hypothesis
    The Doing The Macarena Ape Hypothesis
    etc.

    Although the construction of those isn’t parallel…howzabout
    The Ice-covered Frozen Lake Ape Hypothesis
    uh
    The Desert Or At Least Relatively Dry Savannah-Like Habitat Ape Hypothesis (wait, no, that one’s called “Anthropology”)
    hmm

    No, you know what? I can’t think of any plausible alternatives to your crackpot obsessions, so I guess you must be right! I’ll be looking for your book down at the local branch library this afternoon for a proper inculcation.
    Cheers!

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I asked Myers to justify his support of his crap but he just threw an insult at me.

    Gee, did he call you a evidenceless True Believer™? After all, that is all you are. All noise, NO SOLID EVIDENCE.

  224. Amphiox says

    Not only does he cite himself, he doesn’t even provide a link for his citations, not even to an abstract.

    Which is simply pathetic.

    NO FOSSIL NO TALK.

  225. anthrosciguy says

    Speaking of Algis and abstracts, here’s a blast from a couple years ago that’ll provide some insight into his thoughts on how to do science:

    anthrosciguy:
    In answer to my question about whether he’d read a paper he’d cited, a paper which was in a language he does not read but which had an abstract in English:

    You actually read the study, not just the abstract? Could you forward me the paper? Do you read Norwegian?

    Algis:
    As the author of a scientific critique I thought you’d have realised that the abstract of a paper is designed to report all the major findings without the need to read it all.

  226. algiskuliukas says

    Re 238 – Yeah, only waterside proponents do that, no-one else. Take a look at anthro”sci”guy’s web postings, they very often cite his own “work”. The only difference is mine is peer reviewed whereas his masquerading web site isn’t. There, he writes whatever gossip and slurs he likes with impunity.

    Re 239 – Oh brilliant. Never heard that one before. But here’s the thing: Pole valulting, riding bicycles etc require technology and cannot be learned before the individual has learned to move in the way they do close to 100% of the time.

    Re 240 – No. If I remember rightly he called me an idiot. A real intellect this, apparently.

    Re 241 – Apologies…

    http://www.waterside-hypotheses.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=133

    Thus far, there has been no challenge to Langdon’s 1997 critique of the aquatic ape hypothesis (AAH), despite its having a number of weaknesses. The paper lacks scholarliness as it does not draw upon the one published scientific investigation into the plausibility of the AAH in the literature, i.e., that byRoede et al. Langdon’s summary of “anatomical evidence for the AAH” seems to have been directed against an exaggerated interpretation of Alister Hardy’s hypothesis that humans were “more aquatic in the past”. Most of the critique was based on cursory and superficial comparisons with fully aquatic mammals, such as cetaceans, rather than considering whether human ancestors could have been more aquatic than those of apes. Even on this basis, Langdon considered eleven out of twenty-six traits to be “possible aquatic adaptations” or “consistent with the AAH”.

    If citing my peer reviewed work but without a link and not providing an abstract is “pathetic” I guess that makes anthro”sci”guy citing his own gossip, which is not peer reviewed (e.g. re 242) is “great”, right?

    As Dan Dennett said, the aquaskeptic arguments are always so thin and ad hoc.

    Algis Kuliukas

    PS

    Hey, PZ? Are you there? Are you really happy to stake your reputation on Jim Moore’s gossip-filled web site? Why’s that? Have you even read it? Don’t tell me… I’m an “idiot” right?

  227. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Am I the only one who is suspicious of any “scientist” (with papers and everything! (even if they are written in crayon)) who comes on to a blog and acts like a petulant child because the author and their readers aren’t being nice enough about said “scientist’s” work?

  228. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @anthrosciguy #242

    Quite literally rolling on the floor laughing now :) thank you so much for relaying that little exchange.

  229. Amphiox says

    As the author of a scientific critique I thought you’d have realised that the abstract of a paper is designed to report all the major findings without the need to read it all.

    This is indeed hilarious to see.

    The FIRST thing real scientists learn when they learn how to review the literature, is that you need to read the whole paper to assess it for internal and external validity to determine how much credence you should give to the findings claimed in the abstract.

    Am I the only one who is suspicious of any “scientist” (with papers and everything! (even if they are written in crayon)) who comes on to a blog and acts like a petulant child because the author and their readers aren’t being nice enough about said “scientist’s” work?

    Real scientists know that everything they publish is and will be open to critique, even after (especially after) getting through peer review. Some of that critique will be savage. Even if the research methodology is “perfect” and the evidence is superb. It is part of how science works. It is an integral aspect of what science IS.

    Responding to such critiques in the appropriate ways and with the appropriate means is part of a REAL scientist’s job.

  230. ChasCPeterson says

    You all seem to have missed the fact thatAalgis Kuliukas has a Masters degree.
    In Science.

    So back off.

  231. algiskuliukas says

    Re 245… when you’ve stopped “quite literally” (yeah, right!?) rolling on the floor, you might consider the context of this latest anthro-slur.

    (Note that anthro-slur-guy didn’t provide a link, but I do)

    http://talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=931821#post931821

    Scraping the barrel, a bit, Jim?

    Nystad et al (2008) Baby swimming and respiratory health. Acta Paediatr. 2008 May;97(5):657-62. (Abstract) Did a study of thousands of Norwegian infants who had been “swimming” (actually, just floating in water with elements of self-propulsion) “in the first six months of life.”

    The abstract of the paper provides all the evidence we need to know about the material point (that which Jim Moore never gets)…

    Humans can learn to swim before they learn to walk.

    This study included thousands of exposures to “baby swimming at the age of 6 months”.

    As usual with Jim’s slurs. If one has one’s critical thinking switched on, and not slammed off, as is the case with aquaskeptics who are despetrate to believe anything he writes, one finds that he’s twisting words at best, or lying blatantly, at worst.

    Algis Kuliukas

  232. chigau (違う) says

    algiskuliukas
    If you really want to communicate with PZ, you should send him an email.

  233. algiskuliukas says

    Re 247 – Sneering – the best response to Hardy shown in 53 years. Brilliant science, this.

    Algis Kuliukas

  234. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Amphiox

    Exactly. I make no claims to being a real scientist, but my degree was in geology and even that basic experience means I am well enough aquainted with scientific papers, peer review and the scientific method to know that Kuliukas is not responding the way any proper scientist would. I understand completely that having your sincerely held and presumably highly educated opinions questioned, critiqued and derided must hurt a bit, but I have never seen any scientist throw a wobbly because of it. It’s simply how science works; the appropriate response is to bring the evidence and prove to people that your hypothesis is valid. Not to throw a fucking tantrum.

  235. chigau (違う) says

    algiskuliukas
    Well … you have only a Master’s Degree and PZ has a PhD.

  236. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Algis Kuliukas

    Since you are an evidenceless True Believer™, I am treating everything you say with utter skepticism. A real problem has been pointed out to you. Nobody has to agree with you. If they don’t they are still good scientists. Criticism of your work is expected, including refutation of said work. Welcome to science, where you ego is held in check by the evidence, not your OPINION.

  237. algiskuliukas says

    Re 254 – Great. Evidence. I agree.

    So show me that key paper where the wading hypothesis was even discussed, let alone rejected. Don’t tell me, no need – as it’s as crazy as the idea that the entire universe was created in six days, just for us, right?

    I thought science was supposed to be done through the peer reviewed literature, not coffee room gossip.

    Where is PZ Myers’ ego held in check? He dismisses me as an “idiot” without even the slightest attempt to defend his support of Jim Moore’s gossip-filled web site. His ego seems to be unbounded to me.

    Algis Kuliukas

  238. anthrosciguy says

    Algis:
    Don’t tell me… I’m an “idiot” right?

    Do you imagine you’re doing anything here that might convince anyone otherwise?

  239. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I thought science was supposed to be done through the peer reviewed literature, not coffee room gossip.

    Sorry, nothing you say is of interest due to you being a proven imagufacturer of evidence; you pretend something is evidence when it isn’t even suggestive. Your OPINON is therefore *floosh* sent to the sewage. You prove yourself right with conclusive evidence. We don’t have to disprove a damn thing. Welcome to real science.

    He dismisses me as an “idiot”

    Gee, your continued posting here is prima facie evidence of you being an egotistical idiot. Do get with the program. Your idea isn’t going anywhere here, as there isn’t any solid EVIDENCE for it. Only an idiot would keep showing they have no evidence, just their OPINION.

  240. anthrosciguy says

    I thought science was supposed to be done through the peer reviewed literature, not coffee room gossip.

    Says a guy posting in a blog’s comments section. :)

    But of course, as Algis knows (because I have pointed it out to him) the AAT/H has had quite a lot of looking at over the years. Both Hardy’s short article in a popular science magazine and Morgan’s pop books and popular science magazine articles have garnered hundreds of academic cites over the ears, as many or more than most work presented in such venues. It hasn’t gotten accepted, which is what Algis equates with examination. And it hasn’t had academic papers devoted solely to it, because once the ideas are examined and found to be “supported” by falsehoods, misunderstandings of evolutionary theory, and altered quotes, why would there be. I’ve also noted over the years that Algis consistently exempts himself and other AAT/H proponents from this notion that anything someone doesn’t agree is worthwhile will necessarily be dealt with in detail in a peer-reviewed journal.

  241. algiskuliukas says

    Re 256, 258

    Lies and gossip, as always. For example it is a blatant lie to suggest that I think acceptance “equates” examination. This is all this charlatan has done for 17 years… twisted people’s words to make slurs about them – but only if they’re open about the idea he is obsessed with discrediting.

    The “hundreds” of cites, anthro-“sci”-guy mentions include mostly positive referrals.

    Notice that he didn’t cite any paper that specifically referred to, let alone attempted a rejection, the wading hypothesis. This is because he knows there isn’t one.

    So the one factor guaranteed to induce bipedalism in our ape cousins – the one thing that would kill them if they tried to move quadrupedally – and not one paper even looks at it.

    This, PZ presumably thinks, is good science.

    It’s a joke, it really is.

    Algis Kuliukas

  242. Lofty says

    I reckon a wading ancestor would have bequeathed us with long stick like birds legs. Otherwise wading is just about the slowest form of locomotion possible!

  243. Peez says

    A few choice quotes from Mr. Kuliukas:

    “…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.”

    “The whole point of tendlines is that you can get an informed prediction for the data points outside of the data range. What’s the point of a trendline that only tells you what you already know?”

    “Teeth are affected by epigentic factors too. Duh. Ever heard of wear?”

    “I understand cladistics, statistics, genetics better than you do, you dumb arse.”

    No doubt Mr. Kuliukas will claim that these quotes have been taken out of context (they aren’t), and that he has already admitted to the ‘minor’ epigenetics error (which he did, after he repeatedly resisted correction and then finally admitted that he had to look up what it meant).

  244. says

    Wasn’t that covered in an episode of Lancelot Link?
     
    Come to think of it. LL provides far better evidence that our distant ancestor were jet-setting spies than we have for the AA hypothesis.

  245. David Marjanović says

    John Langdon’s unscholarly, straw man, parody (the one paper published in a proper anthro journal on the subject)…

    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)

    Interesting that this critique isn’t published in a journal but in a book that, as we’ve established upthread, wasn’t even peer-reviewed.

    And you are one of its editors.

    Not only does he cite himself, he doesn’t even provide a link for his citations, not even to an abstract.

    A link is upthread. Williams has a chapter in the same book, which is on Google Books – he cited it, with a link, for his assertion that bears and rhinos had aquatic ancestors.

    mine is peer reviewed

    Wait, what? Not a single chapter in that book even has an acknowledgments section (except perhaps those that are hidden by Google…), and all contain glaring mistakes (see above!) that review would have caught.

    The FIRST thing real scientists learn when they learn how to review the literature, is that you need to read the whole paper to assess it for internal and external validity to determine how much credence you should give to the findings claimed in the abstract.

    Seconded.

    Humans can learn to swim before they learn to walk.

    Well, duh. It requires very little coordination. Walking requires great care about the trajectory of your center of mass. I bet gibbons can swim before they can walk, too (they’re bipeds, you know) – I’m sure nobody has tried…

    So show me that key paper where the wading hypothesis was even discussed, let alone rejected.

    See, I don’t think the Journals of Negative Results have an impact factor. In most countries, to get and keep a job, scientists must ramp up the impact factors of their publications as much as possible – and most journals, including all those with the highest impact factors, only accept the most newsworthy manuscripts they get.

    The refutation of what is perceived as a crackpot hypothesis that almost nobody accepts anyway – no matter if this perception is justified – is not newsworthy.

    This does not mean that you can’t find facts or results in the literature that contradict the AAH or make it unnecessary. Looking for them, though, is your job.

    I thought science was supposed to be done through the peer reviewed literature, not coffee room gossip.

    Says one of 3 co-editors of a book that wasn’t peer-reviewed but contains chapters by him.

    Where is PZ Myers’ ego held in check? He dismisses me as an “idiot” without even the slightest attempt to defend his support of Jim Moore’s gossip-filled web site. His ego seems to be unbounded to me.

    Stop acting as if you had a dagger sticking out of your chest!

    PZ’s perception is that you’re a crackpot, and he’s too busy to spend days discussing with crackpots. That’s why he leaves it to us. Is that so hard to understand?

    PZ is a scientist; he has trained long and hard to call a spade a spade. I don’t see why you think it would require a lot of ego to use the word “idiot”; PZ thinks it describes you, so he used it. :-|

    So the one factor guaranteed to induce bipedalism in our ape cousins – the one thing that would kill them if they tried to move quadrupedally – and not one paper even looks at it.

    Have you forgotten comments 18, 55, 164, 167, 168, 169, 193, 214 and 215? They explain quite clearly why the speculation about wading is so obviously untenable that there’s no point in writing a paper about it.

    Maybe you should scroll up and read the entire thread again.

    “…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.”

    There is no single “lineage leading to the African great apes”. The chimps are closer to us than to the gorillas.

    “The whole point of tendlines is that you can get an informed prediction for the data points outside of the data range. What’s the point of a trendline that only tells you what you already know?”

    what

    The point of a trendline is to illustrate that a trend is, in fact, present, and if it goes up or down. Without such additional information as the r², however, it still won’t tell you how good the evidence for that trend is – how likely it is that it’s not just the product of random.

  246. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    For example it is a blatant lie to suggest that I think acceptance “equates” examination.

    For True Believers™ they think their “evidence” is so persuasive when examines it, they are convinced. You exhibit that thinking, even if you don’t put it into words. The AAH theory is not convincing at all. It has no solid and conclusive evidence.

    Notice that he didn’t cite any paper that specifically referred to, let alone attempted a rejection, the wading hypothesis. This is because he knows there isn’t one.

    Working scientists don’t waste their time refuting non-proven hypotheses. And anything to do with AAH is not even a hypothesis. It is an idea that should be abandoned.

  247. David Marjanović says

    Working scientists don’t waste their time refuting non-proven hypotheses.

    You typed too fast. Disproving non-proven hypotheses is, ultimately, all scientists do. Nothing is ever proven.

  248. anthrosciguy says

    Humans can learn to swim before they learn to walk.

    Well, duh. It requires very little coordination. Walking requires great care about the trajectory of your center of mass. I bet gibbons can swim before they can walk, too (they’re bipeds, you know) – I’m sure nobody has

    Actually, this is yet another of those falsehoods that Algis has had carefully explained to him. He’s referring to the infant swimming reflex which seems to be shared by all mammals and is lost after a few months of age. The people who actually run so-called “infant swimming programs” around the world clearly state that with the exception of a few unusual children kids can’t be expected to learn how to swim until about the age of two years. You’ll note that this is long after the vast majority of infants learn how to walk.

    “The whole point of tendlines is that you can get an informed prediction for the data points outside of the data range. What’s the point of a trendline that only tells you what you already know?”

    what

    The point of a trendline is to illustrate that a trend is, in fact, present, and if it goes up or down. Without such additional information as the r², however, it still won’t tell you how good the evidence for that trend is – how likely it is that it’s not just the product of random.

    It’s important to understand just what trendline Algis is talking about. Lately he’s been comparing his to the trendlines we have from global warming studies, which of course use an astounding array of data from multiple sources — and still we find global warming not following the trendlines — they’re a guide for what might happen if this happens or that.

    In Algis’ case he’s using a study on swimming and shaving off body hair for competitive swimmers. Since I found this study (it wasn’t hard, but no AAT/H proponent bothered to do it) I’ve explained what it shows and doesn’t show, and I’ve since corrected Algis mistaken claims about it many times. (It showed a small effect during a non-swimming stroke which might explain the approximately 4% difference in times in big swim meets compared to previous meets. For modern swimmers this could, in the fastest sprint events, amount to about one quarter of a mile per hour). And this is changing from what we have to no hair at all. Algis claims this means that changing from chimp-style hair to ours would yield a similar improvement, but there is no evidence that this is so, and while he has spent upwards of 3-4 years worth of 40-hour work weeks arguing online in forums and newsgroups, he hasn’t done a study to try to demonstrate this. In fact he has in the past excused himself from not doing this sort of thing by claiming that just getting permissions for something like this would take years of 40-hour work weeks.)

    Now Algis took the human hair characteristics to no hair characteristic of competitive swimmers as his “trendline” and then used that to claim that going from chimp hair characteristics to human hair characteristics would yield a similar improvement.

    That’s what he was talking about when he made his comment about his “trendline”

  249. David Marjanović says

    In fact he has in the past excused himself from not doing this sort of thing by claiming that just getting permissions for something like this would take years of 40-hour work weeks.

    He could just glue lots of hair to himself, or to a professional swimmer, and see what happens. :-| Even when upgraded to a meaningful sample size, this won’t require any permissions, not much time, and not really much money.

  250. Amphiox says

    Anything obtained from extrapolating a trend line beyond the limits of the actual real life measurements that you regressed to make the line is a prediction/hypothesis and nothing more. It does not constitute evidence for anything, and requires future independent confirmation.

    Because what you THINK might be a linear (or whatever) relationship may not be so, particularly if outside the range of measurements you made to derive the curve.

  251. Amphiox says

    The more you observe them, the more it is clear that all these AAH people are practicing cargo cult science. It has the superficial FORMS of real science, but none of the proper inner workings. Nor do they, upon closer inspection, even realize the significance of the things they are blindly and superficially aping.

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

    Journals of Negative Results

    Curse you, David Marjanović! I now know that spiders do not affect fruit set in Byrsonima intermedia. And presumably, one useful piece of knowledge was ejected from my brain to make room for this important scientific finding …

  253. ChasCPeterson says

    the one factor guaranteed to induce bipedalism in our ape cousins – the one thing that would kill them if they tried to move quadrupedally

    This is just such a bizarre argument.

    Chimps and gorillas wade bipedally when they wade deep enough. It’s easy–they probably can’t help it even if they wanted to–because the water buoys their upper-body weight. In fact, if human bipedality were an adaptation to wading, we wouldn’t need all these weight-bearing lumbar/sacral/pelvic kludges.

    Capybaras wade a hell of a lot more than any apes do and do it quadripedally.
    Hippos wade, dive, and swim all the time. They’re only bipedal in Fantasia.

    this is boring now

  254. anthrosciguy says

    Because what you THINK might be a linear (or whatever) relationship may not be so, particularly if outside the range of measurements you made to derive the curve.

    In Algis’ case his “trendline” is made up of two points, which he then extrapolates from. I have to think that drawing a line between two points of data, even without the problematic aspects of this particular data (which I get into on my website and have painstakingly explained to Algis for some years now) and calling it a trendline is pushing that term well past validity.

  255. anthrosciguy says

    Hippos wade, dive, and swim all the time.

    Interesting trivia point: adult hippos, despite being semiaquatic mammals, cannot swim.

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

    Hippos wade, dive, and swim all the time. They’re only bipedal in Fantasia.

    And Madagascar (and Madagascar 2, and …)

    I have a photo of a hippo in an photo album somewhere. It’s basically a photo of a lake with some egrets and a pair of nostrils somewhere in the middle.

  257. ChasCPeterson says

    adult hippos…cannot swim.

    For what value of “swim”?
    They can’t float? Or they can’t make forward progess while at least neutrally buoyant?
    or what?

  258. anthrosciguy says

    No, not as adults. Apparently they’re too dense. They’re also not particularly fatty, despite their appearance. They certainly hold their breath very well, and run on the bottom and are able to do a sort of slow motion bounding. So the only time they’re neutrally buoyant is much like the time we can be “weightless” by jumping up in the air.

  259. algiskuliukas says

    Re 63… “You don’t expect to be lied to”.

    No, one doesn’t, so why do you twist people’s words all the time?

    Why don’t you ever report the basic ideas here openly and honestly?

    Why, to name just one example of many, does your page about the (rather minor) point about salt hunger not even mention, let alone cite extensively from, the article written by Derek Dentonspecifically about the Elaine Morgan’s take on his ideas. This, is the most important paper on the very subject that your web page is about but rather than even mention it exists, you peddle your own extremely biased, warped opinions about the subject.

    Denton, D. The Biology of Salt Hunger and the Aquatic Ape Theory. ReVision 18 (2):14-18, (1995).

    The astonishing thing is that respected authorities like PZ Myers have blindly backed this kind of sleazy journalism rather than do any science at all on the subject.

    I want to ask PZ – have you even read the web site you say is so good, or did you just think “mockery is good” like you do here, and back it on that, very ignorant, basis?

    Algis Kuliukas

  260. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Algis Kuliukas:

    The astonishing thing is that respected authorities like PZ Myers have blindly backed this kind of sleazy journalism rather than do any science at all on the subject.

    What’s not astonishing is that you’re getting to have your say here.

    (Anyone can see how you’re taking advantage of the opportunity to put your case)

  261. algiskuliukas says

    Re 261 – Big deal. In thousands of posts I sometimes make minor errors. What is “Peez” claiming here? That only people open to the idea that some (perhaps slight) differential in selection from wading, swimming and diving might explain why we’re so different from chimps make mistakes, and that people who think it’s as likely that the universe was created in six days, just for us, dont?

    Re 264 – It was peer reviewed as much as most scientific books are. It’s interesting that pseudoskeptics would rather pass off my critique of Langdon’s “Parsimony” paper because I was one of the editors of the book rather than show the slightest interest in reading it and considering if its criticisms were well founded. As usual the critical thinking is one-way only.

    Re 267 – More lies and misrepresntations. That entire post is anthro-lie-guy doing what he always does… cherry picking the bits of internet conversation he likes (because he thinks he can twist it into some gossip against the damned “aquatic ape”) and applying his special interpretation to them to make them look as bad as possible. Most infants learn to walk around around 11-12 months. They can learn to move in water long before that. That’s the material point. Millions of human infants have been observed doing this, zero chimps. As usual, the material point never gets cited by Jim Moore (ex car mechanic, not the real anthropologist), just sordid sounding cherry picked gossip.

    PZ Myers apparently thinks thiskind of “research methodology” is great!

    I have used trendlines, as they are used every day in science, to show all sorts of correlations which indicate that (shock horror) as humans do swim and dive better than chimps, it’s only sensible if you’re a Darwinist, to consider if that might be the result of some natural selection.

    Re 269, 270 – See how this works. One pseudoskeptic twists the truth to make a slur. Another comes in and twists it some more. It’s mob rule. The law of the witch hunt. It’s the very antithesis of rational scientific argument but this is the best response these guys have been able to come up with in over 50 years against a simple, plausible, Darwinian idea that could actually be very helpful.

    PZ Myers extols that “methodology” himself. “Mockery is good”.

    Shameful.

    Re 272 – Of all Mammalia, which species, that are quadrupedal on dry land most of the time, switch to bipedalism when moving in shallow (waist deep) water? Oh, gosh – what a surprise, it’s that clade closest to us, the great apes.

    It’s the one idea on bipedal origins that a six year old could spot, but because of an ingorant tribal obsession with misrepresenting a simple idea about human evolution, authorities like PZ Myers, Henry Gee and John Langdon would rather peddle slurs that it is like creationism.

    What is wrong with these people?

    Re 273 – is simply a lie. Great, isn’t he PZ?

    Algis Kuliukas

  262. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @ Kuliukas

    Fuck me, are you still whining? Have some dignity, man.

  263. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Evidenceless True Believer™ still won’t shut the fuck up? Abject loser, liar and bullshitter.

  264. Owlmirror says

    Of all Mammalia, which species, that are quadrupedal on dry land most of the time, switch to bipedalism when moving in shallow (waist deep) water? Oh, gosh – what a surprise, it’s that clade closest to us, the great apes.

    Isn’t the point of the AAH to find behaviors that distinguish humans from other apes; things that humans do that other apes don’t?

    I note that non-great-ape monkeys also wade bipedally. Image Google “wading monkey”.

    Humans doing what most primates do is neither surprising nor evidence of a derived trait.

    If you’re arguing that wading leads to bipedalism, then shouldn’t at least some of those other wading monkeys and apes have become bipeds?

  265. David Marjanović says

    The more you observe them, the more it is clear that all these AAH people are practicing cargo cult science. It has the superficial FORMS of real science, but none of the proper inner workings. Nor do they, upon closer inspection, even realize the significance of the things they are blindly and superficially aping.

    All seconded.

    Curse you, David Marjanović!

    *evil laughter*

    Hippos wade, dive, and swim all the time.

    Adult hippos don’t swim, and apparently can’t. They’re dense enough to just walk on the bottom.

    (And when I inhale little enough before diving, I don’t float back up either; I have to jump from the bottom, or swim. When I want to, I can sink like a stone. I’m not exactly a dinosaur.)

    Interestingly, they can’t run either (by a biomechanical definition – I still can’t recommend annoying them on land).

    They’re also not particularly fatty, despite their appearance.

    There’s strong selection for their body shape: adult hippos are too round to be attacked by crocodiles. :-)

    I want to ask PZ –

    Dude… seriously… look at this blog and ponder the question of whether PZ could possibly have time to read every comment.

    If you want to ask him something, try e-mail.

    Re 264 –

    I find it interesting that you reply to only one paragraph of it and completely ignore all the rest: does that mean you agree with it?

    It was peer reviewed as much as most scientific books are.

    What do you mean by that? For the third time: there are plenty of glaring, screechingly, grindingly obvious mistakes in it that any review would have caught, and no reviewers are ever mentioned – there aren’t even any acknowledgments sections!

    Don’t try to make a tu quoque argument.

    They can learn to move in water long before that. That’s the material point. Millions of human infants have been observed doing this,

    Millions?!? That I strongly doubt.

    zero chimps.

    Well, there aren’t millions of chimps, and probably there have never been. It’s easily possible that behaviors as rare as a human baby swimming simply haven’t occurred in chimps for statistical reasons alone!

    the real anthropologist

    The closer you get to humans, the worse the science gets.

    humans do swim and dive better than chimps

    How many chimps have ever even tried?

    See… humans recognize themselves in a mirror; so do chimps; so do orang-utans; gorillas refuse to look at a mirror. They recognize themselves on video, as long as the camera isn’t pointed straight at their eyes, because looking someone in the eye is a threat if you’re a gorilla.

    It’s the one idea on bipedal origins that a six year old could spot

    Go back to comment 264. It contains a list of the comments in this thread that explain why the origin of bipedality in humans does not need an explanation!

    What kind of asshole are you, believing you can take part in a conversation without reading all of it? I do wonder about comment 283.

    Re 273 – is simply a lie.

    So? How many data points do you have, then?

  266. David Marjanović says

    If you’re arguing that wading leads to bipedalism, then shouldn’t at least some of those other wading monkeys and apes have become bipeds?

    No, because they don’t wade often & long enough that there’d be any selection pressure on them to stay bipedal on dry land. By circular logic, our ancestors must have waded that much.

    …or just, like gibbons, happened not to have evolved knuckle-walking or fist-walking.

  267. Peez says

    Big deal. In thousands of posts I sometimes make minor errors.

    This is one of Mr. K.’s standard methods for attempting to avoid responsibility for posting outrageously wrong statements: he claims that the errors were “minor”, and claims that they are rare. Of course neither of these claims is true, just about every time that Mr. K. posts on this subject he makes one error or another, and these errors are often rather major. Further, he sometimes insists that he was right even when the error has been pointed out and explained repeatedly. In the case of the “epigenetics” error, he finally admitted (after berating others for being ignorant) that he did not know what the term meant and had never looked it up, and he used this as an excuse for being wrong.

    Most infants learn to walk around around 11-12 months. They can learn to move in water long before that.

    Note the ‘bait-and-switch’ here, he compares “walk” to “can learn to move in water”. Leaving aside the dubiousness of the claim that “Most infants… can learn to move in water long before… 11-12 months”, the vast majority of infants do move on land without training long before they can walk, and they can do it while breathing easily.

    …the material point never gets cited by Jim Moore (ex car mechanic, not the real anthropologist)

    This is a creationist tactic that Mr. K. is very fond of:

    CA118: Your arguments do not count because you are not qualified.

    I have used trendlines, as they are used every day in science, to show all sorts of correlations which indicate that (shock horror) as humans do swim and dive better than chimps, it’s only sensible if you’re a Darwinist, to consider if that might be the result of some natural selection.

    Mr. K. continued to insist that extending trendlines beyond the data used to generate them is standard in statistics, even after I presented a quote from a statistics text specifically stating that it is not. Here he seems to be trying to move attention away from that particular gross error by bringing up some rather vague reference to “correlations” (not exactly the same as trend lines, but we can let that pass) that somehow show that humans swim and dive better than chimpanzees. Never mind that he has presented no such correlations, or trendlines, perhaps this is just another of those “minor errors” that he inevitably makes in his many posts.

    …authorities like PZ Myers, Henry Gee and John Langdon would rather peddle slurs that it is like creationism.

    This is the flip side of Mr. K.’s love-hate relationship with formal credentials: he eagerly dismisses those who lack formal credentials if they do not agree with him, but then he just as eagerly dismisses those who do have top-notch formal credentials if they do not agree with him.

  268. ChasCPeterson says

    It’s the very antithesis of rational scientific argument

    get off the fucking internet, man. It’s a huge waste of your time. You need to collect some data so that you have some science to publish, then publish your data in a real-live scientific journal (not, e.g., a special AAH edition of ReVision, whatever that even is, or your upcoming e-book).
    Because that’s what scientists do. They don’t just engage in rational arguments (you want ‘philosophers’ for that one). They don’t keep making the same refuted claims over and over and over (you want ‘crackpots’ for that one). And they don’t spend much time valiantly crusading against the internet infidels nonbelievers aquaskeptics like you’ve done here and here. You want ‘trolls’ for that one.
    And they certainly don’t make an ostesibly intellectual idea personal, like you’ve done with Moore and now Myers. You want, I don’t know, ‘narcissist assholes’ or something for that one.
    hth.

  269. algiskuliukas says

    Re 286…What do you mean by “AAT”? Some of us have moved on…

    “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.” (p 118)

    Kuliukas, A., Morgan, E. (2011). Aquatic scenarios in the thinking on human evolution: What are they and how do they compare?. In: Vaneechoutte, M., Verhaegen, M., Kuliukas, A. (eds.), (2011). Was Man More Aquatic in the Past? (eBook). Blackwell Science (Basel)

    Comapring apes to humans is exactly what one should do to test those hypotheses.

    Re 282 – 285 etc . Note the tried and tested “method” of aquaskeptics. Nasty ad hominem but no content.

    Re 289 – “Peez” childish “cut and paste this and your a creationist” tactic has been dismantled before but he didn’t have the intellectual coiurage to reply.

    http://www.talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1253440#post1253440
    http://www.talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1346606#post1346606
    http://www.talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1427628#post1427628
    http://www.talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1427609#post1427609

    Re 290 – Published in 2009.

    Kuliukas, A., Milne, N., Fournier, P. The relative cost of bent-hip bent-knee walking is reduced in water. Homo 60:479-488, (2009).

    Don’t tell me… that doesn’t count, right? It’s what creationists do.

    Algis Kuliukas

  270. says

    I want to ask PZ –

    That you can do easily, any time…but will he answer when you call him?

    Probably not, because you’re a loon.

  271. ChasCPeterson says

    re hippos, I know they can walk, run, and bound on the bottom (I’ve watched them do so, for hours, on many trips to the San Diego Zoo), but that’s not the same question I’m asking: whether or not they can float at will. Buoyancy in nonobese tetrapods is very little affected by fat and is nearly 100% due to lung air; this is as true for turtles (self-cite) as for humans (not just you, David). If adult hippos cannot float, it would mean that their maximum lung capacity is insufficient to buoy the rest of their body mass, and this would be highly unusual. Which is why I’m asking.

    re: hair and swimming. On the one hand it’s terribly misleading to base any conclusions on observations of competitive swimmers. I was a sprinter in highschool, and I shaved once, and I swam the fastest I ever did. I suspect the physical effect of reduced frictional resistance was (perhaps a small) part of the reason. And we see swimmers today experimenting with various full-body suits that offer even less resistance than hariless skin, and those might also help a bit.
    But these are extremely highly trained specialists. An average or even above-average (but not systematically trained) human swimmer would likely experience no effect at all, even sprinting full-out.
    On the other hand, it seems prety obvious that a thick coat of chimp-hair is going to slow down a human sprinter quite a bit; there’s little need for actual measurement there. Anybody who’s swam while clothed should intuit this. But even this effect would be much greater for sprinting than any more leisurely sort of swimming or wading (i.e. foraging)(and plus even Michael Phelps would be easy meat for any crocodile or shark that was interested, so where’s te selection for swimming speed? (yeah, I know the I only-have-to-outrun-you joke)).

    Naw, hairlessness is far more parsimoniously explained. Fur creates a boundary layer, and such a boundary layer defeats the purpose of using sweat glands and convection to cool the body. These effects are easily measurable in any, all, and every human.

  272. ChasCPeterson says

    Don’t tell me… that doesn’t count, right? It’s what creationists do.

    On the contrary, man. First, I never said anything about creationists, and although you may feel generally beseiged here I am not responsible for anything anybody else says.

    Second, credit where due. That’s a legiimate piece of science. As someone with a long-time interest in the energy costs of locomotion (2 self cites), I even sought out the details (btw the pdf served from your website is probably in violation of Elsevier’s copyright restrictions), and found the results most interesting. However, I found your use of the Discussion to flog the AAH (in, if I read you correctly, Australopitheicines?) to be a stretch. Clearly–from the data presented–the energetic advantage of fully upright posture over bent-knee posture is only manifest on land.

  273. David Marjanović says

    This is a creationist tactic that Mr. K. is very fond of:

    CA118: Your arguments do not count because you are not qualified.

    It’s the good old argumentum ad hominem.

    Because that’s what scientists do. They don’t just engage in rational arguments (you want ‘philosophers’ for that one).

    Apparently this needs to be pointed out a bit more often.

    Re 282 – 285 etc . […]
    Re 289 –

    Oh, look! No response to my comments 287 and 288!

    Kuliukas, A., Milne, N., Fournier, P. The relative cost of bent-hip bent-knee walking is reduced in water. Homo 60:479-488, (2009).

    Oh, look! Another attempt to explain why we are bipedal, even though that doesn’t need an explanation because it’s a plesiomorphy! It looks like somebody is desperately trying to ignore my comments 287 and 288.

    It’s not working, man. I don’t forget such things.

    I’m asking: whether or not they can float at will

    Difficult to tell. Apparently they haven’t been observed doing so. However, hippos do have osteosclerotic limb bones, making their limbs much heavier than one would expect from size and proportions alone.

  274. Peez says

    Re 289 – “Peez” childish “cut and paste this and your a creationist” tactic has been dismantled before but he didn’t have the intellectual coiurage to reply.

    http://www.talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1253440#post1253440
    http://www.talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1346606#post1346606
    http://www.talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1427628#post1427628
    http://www.talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1427609#post1427609

    I invite anyone interested to follow those links and read what Mr. K. has posted.

  275. ChasCPeterson says

    hippos do have osteosclerotic limb bones, making their limbs much heavier than one would expect from size and proportions alone.

    That’s very interesting*; thanks.
    And their size and proportions alone are impressive enough!

    *(because, of course, bone is the densest of tissues, and because turtles, of course, also have a lot of it.)

  276. anthrosciguy says

    re: hair and swimming. On the one hand it’s terribly misleading to base any conclusions on observations of competitive swimmers. I was a sprinter in highschool, and I shaved once, and I swam the fastest I ever did. I suspect the physical effect of reduced frictional resistance was (perhaps a small) part of the reason. And we see swimmers today experimenting with various full-body suits that offer even less resistance than hariless skin, and those might also help a bit.
    But these are extremely highly trained specialists. An average or even above-average (but not systematically trained) human swimmer would likely experience no effect at all, even sprinting full-out.
    On the other hand, it seems prety obvious that a thick coat of chimp-hair is going to slow down a human sprinter quite a bit; there’s little need for actual measurement there. Anybody who’s swam while clothed should intuit this. But even this effect would be much greater for sprinting than any more leisurely sort of swimming or wading (i.e. foraging)(and plus even Michael Phelps would be easy meat for any crocodile or shark that was interested, so where’s te selection for swimming speed? (yeah, I know the I only-have-to-outrun-you joke)).

    I’ll try to do this in shorthand; I’ve explained it on my website and in forums an awful lot. First, the study I mentioned did show an effect, but there’s several caveats. First, it’s small, the test was only done on a coasting non-swimming period, and only on young men. There was a later study done on both young men and young women, while swimming, and they got the same effect for both even though the young women were noticeably less hairy. This suggests it isn’t just a drag thing. The fact that for a long time it’s been known that this effect works after shaving down but only 4 times or so a year also suggests its not just drag, if at all. The idea is that it’s what they call feel for the water, which is that you have greater sensitivity to what the water is doing around your body and as a result can use better positioning and stroke to cause less drag. Ie., not due to the drag reduction from hair loss per SE, but drag reduction due to position and stroke. Any competitive swimmer will know that a major part of advanced training in swimming is position and stroke to reduce drag while maximizing push.

    The other part of the hair and drag thing is that there was a study using a seal form without and without hair, and the hairy form had less drag. This is due to the effects of boundary layer turbulence, and appears to be, for instance, why dolphin skin has small ridges (its also part of the thought behind the competition body suits for swimming). An interesting tidbit that sheds light on how Algis thinks science should be done is that when I looked up the two studies back in the early 1990s – one finding more hair worked better and one finding less hair worked better – I presented them both. Algis has consistently stated that my presenting both something “for” and ” against” my position could only be a mistake on my part. Obviously it’s what you do in science, but Algis considers that not ignoring and hiding contrary evidence is a mistake.

    The bottom line on our hair and swimming is that, aside from the tiny effect we’re talking about potentially, the AAT/H claim amounts to claiming that millions of years of selection pressure led to us having exactly the hair characteristics that competitive swimmers do not want.

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

    anthrosciguy, I like your last line a lot.

    I once was trying to develop a hair coat *for* swimmers. The idea was that a soft layer of just-right fibers would damp out turbulence, and a few long guard hairs would direct and stabilize flow. I studied fur seals for a while, and spent a lot of time watching wheatfields in the wind. I just got bored with it, by the way, it wasn’t that I decided hair was bad—there are far more hairy swimmers than hairless ones.

    If hairlessness was swimming related, it must have developed while speed-swimming, which doesn’t seem to be instinctive at all.

    I’ve a developmental hypothesis that is related to our running ancestry, and it explains short body hair and long head hair really well, something that the Aquatic Ape story claimed to, all the decades ago when I first heard of it. (Mine’s not worth describing yet, but it’s at least as good as the AAH.)

  278. David Marjanović says

    And their size and proportions alone are impressive enough!

    …Wow. Those are some broad ribs. Some look vaguely temnospondyl-like.

    Algis considers that not ignoring and hiding contrary evidence is a mistake

    That makes him dishonest.

    I wanted to write “intellectually dishonest” at first, but there’s really no point in a qualifier.

  279. algiskuliukas says

    Re 292

    Wow, the great man himselfs actually “responds”…

    Well not really. Notice how he evades a simple question completely.

    “…have you even read the web site you say is so good, or did you just think “mockery is good” like you do here, and back it on that, very ignorant, basis?”

    and, get this, adds another ad hominem: “you’re a loon”.

    Brilliant!

    “you’re an idiot” and now “you’re a loon”.

    With intellectual responses like this from “scientific authorities” who needs childish ignorant sneering?

    This pretty much sums up the ignorant response, for over 50 years, to several simple, plausible and Darwinian waterside hypotheses of human evolution.

    Shocking.

    Algis Kuliukas

  280. algiskuliukas says

    Re 294 – Thanks for your rare, but much welcomed, open mindedness and fairness.

    The key points on bipedal origins, surely, are these:

    How did it start?
    When did it start?
    If the LCA of Pan/Homo/Gorilla was already bipedal, was their bipedality like ours?
    If not, how did it differ?
    Why, did some then lose that bipedality, whilst in one clade only it became the obligate orm of locomotion?
    If the LCA of Pan/Homo/Gorilla was not bipedal, why did one lineage only become so?

    I put it to you that wading helps answer all these questions.

    If the LCA was already somewhat bipedal, what better scenario than as a wading-climbing swamp dweller? It acts as a perfect precursor to both knuckle-walking and striding bipedalism.

    If the LCA was not bipedal, then wading offers the perfect scenario for one lineage to become so.

    My energy-efficiency studies showed that whatever the scenario, early, non-optimal, bipedalism is made easier in water than on land.

    Anecdodatal studies show that wading in waist/chest deep water is the one scenario that will induce otherwise quadrupedal great apes to move bipedally.

    I find it astonishing that such a blatantly obvious factor has been ignored by anthropology for so long simply because of an obsessively hostile misunderstanding of a simple idea.

    PZ Myers’ ignorant hostility is remarkable in this context, don’t you think?

    Algis Kuliukas

  281. algiskuliukas says

    Re 293 Even sweat cooling for nakedness is a waterside hypothesis because it only makes evolutionary sense in close proximity to permanent fresh water courses.

    Of course the best, simplest, most efficient way of cooling down is to go for a dip.

    Crazy, right, PZ?

    Algis Kuliukas

  282. John Morales says

    Algis Kuliukas:

    With intellectual responses like this from “scientific authorities” who needs childish ignorant sneering?

    This pretty much sums up the ignorant response, for over 50 years, to several simple, plausible and Darwinian waterside hypotheses of human evolution.

    Let’s take it at your world.

    So, for 50 years now several simple, plausible and Darwinian waterside hypotheses have failed to get any traction in science.

    (What was the last published peer-reviewed paper which endorsed any of those hypotheses?)

    Shocking.

    Helicobacter pylori.

    (That should give you hope, no?)

  283. algiskuliukas says

    Re 298

    I’ll try to do this in shorthand; I’ve explained it on my website and in forums an awful lot. First, the study I mentioned did show an effect, but there’s several caveats. First, it’s small, the test was only done on a coasting non-swimming period, and only on young men.

    Not true. Sharp & Costil did several studies/trials. The most significant of which was the “passive push off” trials because they precluded the “placebo” effect of just feeling better having shaved.

    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

    There was a later study done on both young men and young women, while swimming, and they got the same effect for both even though the young women were noticeably less hairy. This suggests it isn’t just a drag thing.

    Clutching at straws. The Kruger et al study did not do the passive push off trials, so their results could have been due to subject “feelings” affecting swimming performance.

    Krüger, J., Mikoleit, J., Heck, H. The influence of total body shaving on performance and lactic acid behaviour in swimming. DEUTSCHE ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR SPORTMEDIZIN 51(2):55-58, (2000).

    The fact that for a long time it’s been known that this effect works after shaving down but only 4 times or so a year also suggests its not just drag, if at all. The idea is that it’s what they call feel for the water, which is that you have greater sensitivity to what the water is doing around your body and as a result can use better positioning and stroke to cause less drag. Ie., not due to the drag reduction from hair loss per SE, but drag reduction due to position and stroke. Any competitive swimmer will know that a major part of advanced training in swimming is position and stroke to reduce drag while maximizing push.

    But the whole point of the passive push off trials by Sharp and Costil was to show that even without doing any swimming at all, shaving body hair still resulted in significant (approx 9%) drag reduction.

    The other part of the hair and drag thing is that there was a study using a seal form without and without hair, and the hairy form had less drag. This is due to the effects of boundary layer turbulence, and appears to be, for instance, why dolphin skin has small ridges (its also part of the thought behind the competition body suits for swimming).

    Absolutely, so there are two mammalian ‘solutions’ to drag reduction – either to lose significant amounts of body hair or to increase it to such density that the boundary layer of each hair fuses into a continuum. The hypothesis is human ancestors evolved down option 1.

    <blockquote An interesting tidbit that sheds light on how Algis thinks science should be done is that when I looked up the two studies back in the early 1990s – one finding more hair worked better and one finding less hair worked better – I presented them both. Algis has consistently stated that my presenting both something “for” and ” against” my position could only be a mistake on my part. Obviously it’s what you do in science, but Algis considers that not ignoring and hiding contrary evidence is a mistake.

    The mistake, as Jim knows, was in peddling the idea that such drag reduction would not help them escape sharks!

    <blockquote The bottom line on our hair and swimming is that, aside from the tiny effect we’re talking about potentially, the AAT/H claim amounts to claiming that millions of years of selection pressure led to us having exactly the hair characteristics that competitive swimmers do not want.

    Nonsense. The exact hair characteristics that competitive swimmers do not want, I suspect, is more like wearing a gorilla suit.

    Note how the self-appointed world authority on this idea, the guy PZ Myers (no less) thinks wrote the “definitive web resource” on this idea, is still peddling a misrepresentation of the idea, even after years of being corrected on it.

    He is peddling the idea that the nakedness for drag hypothesis is about convergence with cetaeans when it is not. It is merely psotulating that, compared to chimps/gorillas, if our ancestors were subject to more selection from surface swimming than they were, we’d expect to see a phenotypic change resulting from drag reduction.

    It is interesting to note that putting that body hair that is clearly involved with sexual signalling, the part of the body most likely to be covered with hair just happens to be that part above the surface of the water whilst swimming. It is also interesting that the part of the body where follicle density is at its highest (on the scalp) has less functional body hair than most other places and seems to be responsible in the diving reflex.

    Crazy, right, PZ?

    Any comment – other than another ad hominem?

    Algis Kuliukas

  284. John Morales says

    PS Here, Algis Kuliukas, let me fix it for ya:
    Re 298

    I’ll try to do this in shorthand; I’ve explained it on my website and in forums an awful lot. First, the study I mentioned did show an effect, but there’s several caveats. First, it’s small, the test was only done on a coasting non-swimming period, and only on young men.

    Not true. Sharp & Costil did several studies/trials. The most significant of which was the “passive push off” trials because they precluded the “placebo” effect of just feeling better having shaved.
    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

    There was a later study done on both young men and young women, while swimming, and they got the same effect for both even though the young women were noticeably less hairy. This suggests it isn’t just a drag thing.

    Clutching at straws. The Kruger et al study did not do the passive push off trials, so their results could have been due to subject “feelings” affecting swimming performance.
    Krüger, J., Mikoleit, J., Heck, H. The influence of total body shaving on performance and lactic acid behaviour in swimming. DEUTSCHE ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR SPORTMEDIZIN 51(2):55-58, (2000).

    The fact that for a long time it’s been known that this effect works after shaving down but only 4 times or so a year also suggests its not just drag, if at all. The idea is that it’s what they call feel for the water, which is that you have greater sensitivity to what the water is doing around your body and as a result can use better positioning and stroke to cause less drag. Ie., not due to the drag reduction from hair loss per SE, but drag reduction due to position and stroke. Any competitive swimmer will know that a major part of advanced training in swimming is position and stroke to reduce drag while maximizing push.

    But the whole point of the passive push off trials by Sharp and Costil was to show that even without doing any swimming at all, shaving body hair still resulted in significant (approx 9%) drag reduction.

    The other part of the hair and drag thing is that there was a study using a seal form without and without hair, and the hairy form had less drag. This is due to the effects of boundary layer turbulence, and appears to be, for instance, why dolphin skin has small ridges (its also part of the thought behind the competition body suits for swimming).

    Absolutely, so there are two mammalian ‘solutions’ to drag reduction – either to lose significant amounts of body hair or to increase it to such density that the boundary layer of each hair fuses into a continuum. The hypothesis is human ancestors evolved down option 1.

    An interesting tidbit that sheds light on how Algis thinks science should be done is that when I looked up the two studies back in the early 1990s – one finding more hair worked better and one finding less hair worked better – I presented them both. Algis has consistently stated that my presenting both something “for” and ” against” my position could only be a mistake on my part. Obviously it’s what you do in science, but Algis considers that not ignoring and hiding contrary evidence is a mistake.

    The mistake, as Jim knows, was in peddling the idea that such drag reduction would not help them escape sharks!

    The bottom line on our hair and swimming is that, aside from the tiny effect we’re talking about potentially, the AAT/H claim amounts to claiming that millions of years of selection pressure led to us having exactly the hair characteristics that competitive swimmers do not want.

    Nonsense. The exact hair characteristics that competitive swimmers do not want, I suspect, is more like wearing a gorilla suit.
    Note how the self-appointed world authority on this idea, the guy PZ Myers (no less) thinks wrote the “definitive web resource” on this idea, is still peddling a misrepresentation of the idea, even after years of being corrected on it.
    He is peddling the idea that the nakedness for drag hypothesis is about convergence with cetaeans when it is not. It is merely psotulating that, compared to chimps/gorillas, if our ancestors were subject to more selection from surface swimming than they were, we’d expect to see a phenotypic change resulting from drag reduction.
    It is interesting to note that putting that body hair that is clearly involved with sexual signalling, the part of the body most likely to be covered with hair just happens to be that part above the surface of the water whilst swimming. It is also interesting that the part of the body where follicle density is at its highest (on the scalp) has less functional body hair than most other places and seems to be responsible in the diving reflex.
    Crazy, right, PZ?
    Any comment – other than another ad hominem?
    Algis Kuliukas

  285. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    YAWN, more irrelevant and imagufactured “evidence” that doesn’t do a damn thing to “prove” the AAH idea. How fast humans can swim? Irrelevant….like all you “evidence”. Where are the bone from the proper sites? That is evidence. So, until you have the smoking gun, shut the fuck up True Believer™, as anything you say must base the highest level of skepticism, and it can’t even pass the lowest.

    You aren’t gaining any converts. All you are doing is making a noisy ass of yourself.

  286. Ichthyic says

    Any comment – other than another ad hominem?

    nope. it’s all you deserve.

    your scholarship sucks, you have no clue how to do science, and you have a personality disorder to top it all off.

    seek assistance.

    don’t waste the rest of your life.

  287. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Any comment – other than another ad hominem?

    Insults aren’t ad hominems. You can’t get anything right. But then, that requires one to acknowledge they can be wrong. The first rule any scientist knows. Which makes you a non-scientist, as you can’t be wrong.

  288. Ichthyic says

    and, get this, adds another ad hominem: “you’re a loon”.

    it’s not ad hom if it’s accurate.

  289. ChasCPeterson says

    My energy-efficiency studies showed that whatever the scenario, early, non-optimal, bipedalism is made easier in water than on land.

    That is not a conclusion that I would draw from the data presented.

    Anecdodatal studies show that wading in waist/chest deep water is the one scenario that will induce otherwise quadrupedal great apes to move bipedally.

    http://www.chimpsanctuarynw.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/web-annie-bipedal-2-yh-grass.jpg
    http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/images/uploaded/medium/Bipedal-Gorilla-m.jpg
    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7093/7367713010_97659a9fa8.jpg

    PZ Myers’ ignorant hostility is remarkable in this context, don’t you think?

    since you asked, no, not really. Almost everyone is ‘ignorant’ of your particular hobbyhorse, so there’s nothing remarkable about that, and if you think he’s hostile to you, you should see when he really gets going. Frankly, I find your single-minded crusading more remarkable by far.

    Even sweat cooling for nakedness is a waterside hypothesis because it only makes evolutionary sense in close proximity to permanent fresh water courses.

    That humans need regular access to fresh water is not in dispute. If they were in the freakin water al the time they wouldn’t need to sweat.

    It is also interesting that the part of the body where follicle density is at its highest (on the scalp) has less functional body hair than most other places and seems to be responsible in the diving reflex.

    wut

  290. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Kuliukas seems to be under the impression that “ad hominem” is synonymous with “insult”. Hint: it’s not.

  291. Arawhon says

    As someone who who isnt a scientist, but has a deep seated love of science, having gone back through the links posted by Peez has shown Algis Kuliukas to be a liar, hypocrite, fraud and on par with creationists. You do cargo cult science.

  292. algiskuliukas says

    Re 307, 308. Thankyou very much indeed. Much obliged! :-) Please just call me Algis.

    Re 309 “Proof” is not on the agenda for any scientific idea.

    Re 310 – 312 What is your problem, guys?

    Re 313 – On land, the cost differential between a Bent Hip Bent Knee (BHBK – 50 DEG.) flexion and fully upright in humans was 55% more. In waist deep water it was 18% more. At greater knee flexions or greater depths the reduction was greater. I don’t see how you could have read the paper and not seen that this would make non-optimal gaits more likely in water than on land.

    Re the pretty pictures of apes walking bipedally on land. Please. Hunt’s (1994) 701 hour study of chimps in the Gombe reported approximately 2-3% bipedality, most of it in trees in postural “bipedalism” where more than half the body weight was on the hind limbs. Almost no incidents of walking on land.

    Hunt, K. The Evolution of human bipedality: ecology and functional morphology. Journal of Human Evolution 26:183-202, (1994).

    Jo Myers Thompson reported 24% in bonobos whilst observing aquatic foraging and in my short pilot study for my masters I found that of what little time captive bonobos at Planckendael spent in water – approx 90% of it was bipedal.

    Myers Thompson, J. (2002). Bonobos of the Lukuru Wildlife Research Project. In: Boesch, C., Hohman, G., Marchant, L. (eds.), (2002). Behavioural Diversity in Chimpanzees and Bonobos. Cambridge (Cambridge)

    Kuliukas, A. Wading for Food: The Driving Force of the Evolution of Bipedalism?. Nutrition and Health 16:267-289, (2002).

    Re PZ, bring him on. What’s he afraid of?

    Re

    That humans need regular access to fresh water is not in dispute. If they were in the freakin water al the time they wouldn’t need to sweat.

    You haven’t been listening. I know this is crazy for some people to comprehend but the idea is not that we lived IN the water but BY the waterside. The astonishing bit is this – sometimes, our ancestors waded, swam and dived. Crazy isn’t it? Von Daniken looks boring in comparison.

    No-one has ever said they were in the “freakin water all the time”. If you get to stretch the claim to whatever you want, there is no point having any discussion. Unfortunately this is all most orthodox anthros have ever done.

    Shocking.

    Re 314, 315 – The usual ignorant tribalism one expects.

    What is wrong with these people?

    Algis Kuliukas

  293. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still flailing without solid evidence. Nothing but bullshit and attitude. That does not make a scientific argument. It makes a True Believer™ sound loony.

  294. Arawhon says

    algiskuliukas at 316

    Re 314, 315 – The usual ignorant tribalism one expects.

    What is wrong with these people?

    I had no idea who you were before reading your posts and then reading through the links posted by you and quoted by Peez. Everything I said is my impression of you created by your own words and what I understand of science. You’re a perfect example of Dunning-Kruger and how ego gets in the way of good science.

  295. Amphiox says

    To repeat yet again:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/occams-corner/2013/may/07/aquatic-apes-creationism-evolution

    Pertinent quote:

    Now, this is all very interesting, but it’s easy to come up with any old just-so story to “explain” any set of features you choose.

    and

    Second: basing deep evolutionary hypotheses on superficial details of soft-part anatomy is always risky, partly because we know little about when that anatomy evolved.

    But in this case we actually DO know a little about when some of that anatomy evolved:

    We know that bipedalism was well established at least 6 million years ago, from the fossils of Sahelanthropus and Orrorin. And if you dismiss those two finds as insufficiently complete, we have absolute certain evidence of bipedalism for Ardipithecus about 4.5 million years ago.

    We ALSO know from molecular dating of the genes of human head and pubic lice that humans lost their ancestral body hair no more than 3.3 million years ago, and likely quite a bit later than that.

    The two features did not evolve at the same time in response to the same set of selection pressures.

    We ALSO know, from fossils between 3 and 6 million years ago, that human ancestors were 1) already fully bipedal and 2) lived in dry, wooded and savannah areas. So we cannot even invoke a continuous aquatic phase spanning the entire time.

    This basically destroys the “wading” contention right there. Even if you think it a beautiful idea (which, incidentally, I did when I first encountered it (as explained upthread, the AAH was actually my introduction to the science of human origins when I stumbled upon it as a teenager)), it has already been destroyed by the ugly facts.

    NOTHING Agis presents on this subject is relevant until he can resolve the timing discrepancy demonstrable in the known fossil record. He is spinning nothing more than historical alternate-universe fan fiction until he does.

    At least the other guy was smart enough to realize this and abandon the wading contention in his arguments, pegging his aquatic phase to the 2.0-2.5 million year transition-to-homo period.

    It is one thing to try to cram your pet theory into a gap in which there is little or no fossil evidence. It is another thing entirely to try to hang onto an aspect of a theory that has ALREADY BEEN FALSIFIED by the known fossil evidence.

    (We can also add the “extensive usage of aquatic resources” claim to this list as well. Intermittent usage dates back no longer than 1.95 million years and then only as a small subset of a larger, clearly terrestrial foraging pattern. Extensive utilization of such resources, as would be expected for any species deserving to be called “aquatic, dates only to <130,000 years, ie with just modern and near-modern Homo.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890732/)

    The key component of any valid evolutionary hypothesis is the congruence of postulated selection pressure and adaptive response to it IN TIME.

    If Agis and co. had TIME SENSITIVE evidence showing such congruence, they'd need less than a tenth of the stuff they've already produced about the specific features themselves and people would be excited about their contentions. The flip side of this, is that 90%+ of all they've produced is useless make-work busying to hide the hard fact that they do NOT have this essential TIME related evidence.

    Because the TIMES don't match.

    And if the time doesn't match, you've got natch.

    If you don't even have time evidence at all, you got less than natch.

    That's why fossils matter, be they bone, tool, trace or gene. Because fossil evidence is TIME evidence. Datable evidence.

    NO FOSSIL NO TALK.

  296. Amphiox says

    It is also hilarious to see Algis accuse the commenter @314 of ignorance when that commenter if RIGHT about the definition of ad hominem, and Algis is wrong.

    Which in turn makes it even more hilarious to see him in the same sentence accuse the commenter @315 of ignorance, when in so doing he immediately demonstrates himself to be a “fraud, hypocrite and liar” vis-a-vis that same lying, fraudulent, hypocritical accusation against @314, which is exactly what @315 accused him of.

    Yes, indeed he is a lying, fraudulent hypocrite, as demonstrated solely by those of his comments that do not even reference his AAH hobby-horse.

  297. Peez says

    algiskuliukas:
    Re 293 Even sweat cooling for nakedness is a waterside hypothesis because it only makes evolutionary sense in close proximity to permanent fresh water courses.

    Of course the best, simplest, most efficient way of cooling down is to go for a dip.

    Crazy, right, PZ?

    Note that Mr. K. proposes that sweat cooling only makes sense when you live next to water, and in the very same post explains why sweat cooling makes no sense when you live next to water, and he does not seem to notice the contradiction.

    ChasCPeterson:
    That humans need regular access to fresh water is not in dispute. If they were in the freakin water al the time they wouldn’t need to sweat.

    algiskuliukas:
    You haven’t been listening. I know this is crazy for some people to comprehend but the idea is not that we lived IN the water but BY the waterside. The astonishing bit is this – sometimes, our ancestors waded, swam and dived.

    Even after having it pointed out, he still doesn’t get it: if “the best, simplest, most efficient way of cooling down is to go for a dip”, then where is the selection for sweat cooling?

  298. Peez says

    algiskuliukas:
    How do you close a blockquote on this blog?

    FSM on a stick, aren’t you supposed to be some sort of IT person? I consider myself rather ignorant about computer use but it took me all of about two minutes to figure that out.

  299. Peez says

    Thumper; Atheist mate:
    Kuliukas seems to be under the impression that “ad hominem” is synonymous with “insult”. Hint: it’s not.

    It has been observed that Mr. K. makes errors on just about everything that he posts about. It really is remarkable.

  300. ChasCPeterson says

    Re the pretty pictures of apes walking bipedally on land. Please.

    I posted those pictures not to argue that apes spend much time moving bipedally, but as sufficient evidence to refute this very strong assertion by you:

    Anecdodatal studies show that wading in waist/chest deep water is the one scenario that will induce otherwise quadrupedal great apes to move bipedally.

    Clearly that’s false. Other scenarios ythat induce bipedality include walking in tall grass and carrying food.

  301. chigau (違う) says

    Peez
    Plain ‘chigau’ is fine.
    You can copy/paste ‘nyms. I always do (even Peez) because I don’t trust my own typing.

  302. ChasCPeterson says

    On land, the cost differential between a Bent Hip Bent Knee (BHBK – 50 DEG.) flexion and fully upright in humans was 55% more. In waist deep water it was 18% more. At greater knee flexions or greater depths the reduction was greater. I don’t see how you could have read the paper and not seen that this would make non-optimal gaits more likely in water than on land.

    Again–that is not a conclusion one can draw from the data presented.

    Wading, the buoying effect of water reduces the costs of fighting gravity and makes gait irrelevant to the energetic cost of wading (which is instead due mostly to overcoming the frictional drag of the relatively viscous medium).
    Humans are built to walk upright and therefore adopting a different gait is energetically non-optimal on land.
    So what? We have no measurements of Autralopithecines for comparison.

  303. Arawhon says

    I really do recommend those links to talkrational.org that algis links too. They do not show him in the best of light. Apparently algis has a fixation on wading that is simply unhealthy.

    my favorite is the list they keep showing his misunderstandings.

    He still doesn’t understand drift.
    He still doesn’t understand the concept of the null hypothesis.
    He still doesn’t understand hypothesis testing.
    He still doesn’t understand refutation.
    He still doesn’t understand that in science you can’t prove a negative.
    He still doesn’t understand nearly neutral selection.
    He still doesn’t understand convergence.
    He still doesn’t understand exaptation.
    He still doesn’t understand the comparative method.
    He still doesn’t understand taphonomic bias.
    He still doesn’t understand falsification.
    He still doesn’t understand experimentation.
    He still doesn’t understand cladistics.
    He still doesn’t understand systematics.
    He still doesn’t understand phylogeny.
    He still doesn’t understand parsimony.
    He still doesn’t understand evidence.
    He still doesn’t understand plausibility.
    He still doesn’t understand data.
    He still doesn’t understand statistics.
    He still doesn’t understand average.
    He still doesn’t understand selection pressure.
    He still doesn’t understand slight selection.
    He still doesn’t understand strong selection.
    He still doesn’t understand sexual selection.
    He still doesn’t understand speciation.
    He still doesn’t understand introgression.
    He still doesn’t understand hybridization.
    He still doesn’t understand genetics.
    He still doesn’t understand population genetics.
    He still doesn’t understand markers of phylogeny.
    He still doesn’t understand osteometry.
    He still doesn’t understand complexity in ecological relationships.
    He still doesn’t understand the effects of UV on skin pigmentation.
    He still doesn’t understand Carey and Crompton’s energetics study.
    He still doesn’t understand the scalp.
    He still doesn’t understand development.
    He still doesn’t understand irony.
    He still doesn’t understand logic.
    He still doesn’t understand the “argument from authority” fallacy.
    He still doesn’t understand ad hominem.
    He still doesn’t understand criticism vs hostility.
    He still doesn’t understand the meaning of “support”.
    He still doesn’t understand the meaning of “dissection”.
    He still doesn’t understand the difference between “plausible” and “conceivable”.
    He still doesn’t understand the difference between “sexual selection” and “fecundity”.
    He still doesn’t understand the meaning of “light-hearted”.
    He still doesn’t understand the meaning of “over-zealous”.
    He still doesn’t understand the meaning of “sedentary”.
    He still doesn’t understand what a typo is.
    He still doesn’t understand finance.
    He still doesn’t understand analogy.
    He still doesn’t understand metaphor.
    He still doesn’t understand hypocrisy.
    He still doesn’t understand Greek.
    He still doesn’t understand reading for comprehension.
    He still doesn’t understand his own arguments.
    He still doesn’t understand how to act like an adult.
    He still doesn’t understand that he’s a failed scientist.

    This is as of 1-23-2011 on the thread, and I am learning so much.

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

    I’m not seeing anything convincing in any of the Aquatic support, here. A few odds and ends ….

    If somebody shaved swimmers, then had them do a “passive push-off” drag test, you still can’t discount that the swimmers had more sensitive skin and adjusted their allegedly passive bodies to reduce turbulence and friction.

    Sweating is less useful in a humid environment. Living near water is humid. Living near salt water doesn’t provide access to fresh water. Beach-dwelling wading apes aren’t going to develop sweating—they may lose the hair off their legs to allow greater water flow over expanded blood vessels, or something.

    Sweating would more likely have developed *after* early humans figured out how to carry water with them on cursorial hunts.

    Bipedalism could have developed when some ape started using his digging stick as a walking stick.

    Spending hours on someone else’s blog claiming that the blogger is behaving like a loon isn’t nicer than just coming out and calling them a loon. (A right creationist trick, by the way, acting all righteous for not being insulting.)

  305. anthrosciguy says

    Sweating would more likely have developed *after* early humans figured out how to carry water with them on cursorial hunts.

    While that could be true, note that back in the 1960s and before the !Kung typically did not carry water with them on their day-long hunts. Any water they needed they got in ways we also see chimpanzees using, like using leaves to sop up water from the crooks of trees and bushes.

    As for carrying water, both humans and chimps in dry areas sometimes carry watery tubers or lianas for water.

  306. algiskuliukas says

    It’s funny watching aquaskeptic groupies sticking up for each other and repeating the ignorant slurs of others.

    Mob rule. Alive and well in anthropology.

    Amazing.

    Algis Kuliukas

  307. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    algiskuliukas:

    And the mob is still waiting for any actual evidence that supports this ‘just-so’ story.

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

    aquaskeptic groupies

    Can we get that bronzed, or something?

    Comment 333 is a classic.

  309. says

    Algis, you’re done. You have run out of things to say. You have not provided ANY evidence to disprove my Lancelot Link Hypothesis. Just go away.

  310. ChasCPeterson says

    This is not what a mob looks like.
    This is what a bunch of individuals, each of whom has come to the same conclusion individually, looks like.

  311. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s funny watching aquaskeptic groupies sticking up for each other and repeating the ignorant slurs of others

    The others you mention are yourself, who is utter and totally unskeptical of his own claims. Which is utterly and totally unscientific, as you should be the most critical of your claims. Which, if you were honest, wouldn’t see the light of day, as they don’t prove your idea. It doesn’t even rate as a hypothesis. That requires of modicum of real, not imagufactured, data.

    You are trying to sell us your idea. Lose the attitude that you are the smartest person at this blog if you want anybody to listen to you. Your ego is in your way of being a real scientist, which is obvious from your posts.

  312. Amphiox says

    I know this is crazy for some people to comprehend but the idea is not that we lived IN the water but BY the waterside. The astonishing bit is this – sometimes, our ancestors waded, swam and dived.

    And thus, faced with insurmountable evidence, Algis has retreated his claims so far as to fall squarely into the realm of banal trivialities.

    There is nothing astonishing about that assertion. Every freaking primate that has ever lived has had populations that have sometimes found themselves living by watersides, and sometimes have waded or swam. Gorillas have been seen doing it, bonobos, chimps, orangutans, multiple monkey species, even lemurs.

    If that is what you’ve fallen to resorting to, you should be honest and stop calling your hypothesis the “Aquatic Ape Hypothesis”, and just call it the “Ape Hypothesis”.

  313. Amphiox says

    I guess we can also add “mob rule” along with “ad hominem” to the list of things Algis does not know the meaning of.

  314. Amphiox says

    Note that Algis’ freshwater riverside strolling contention is directly contradictory to Marcel Williams’ kidney finangling, which requires seawater.

  315. Ogvorbis, aquaskeptic groupie! says

    So asking for evidence shows that we are a mob? Where is my mobcap?

  316. Amphiox says

    The divergence in claims between Algis and Marcel Williams is telling.

    In real science, the pattern we see for new ideas is that the major variants of the basic idea converge together over as they all cleave to what the evidence shows as it mounts.

    But with these various AAH ideas, we instead see them splitting apart into more and more increasingly unrelated variants.

    This of course is the pattern that is typical for religions.

  317. Ogvorbis, aquaskeptic groupie! says

    But with these various AAH ideas, we instead see them splitting apart into more and more increasingly unrelated variants.

    When there is no evidence, making shit up is easier.

    This of course is the pattern that is typical for religions.

    When there is no evidence, making shit up is easier.

  318. David Marjanović says

    Why, did some then lose that bipedality, whilst in one clade only it became the obligate orm of locomotion?

    Uh… gibbons never walk quadrupedally as far as I know. They climb, and they walk bipedally; nothing else.

    If the LCA was already somewhat bipedal, what better scenario than as a wading-climbing swamp dweller?

    A brachiator.

    Look at a gibbon. Try to imagine an animal with such proportions trying to walk quadrupedally.

    It’s so simple!

    Anecdodatal studies

    *blink* What?

    show that wading in waist/chest deep water is the one scenario that will induce otherwise quadrupedal great apes to move bipedally.

    All of them also do it on dry land, just less consistently.

    Even sweat cooling for nakedness is a waterside hypothesis because it only makes evolutionary sense in close proximity to permanent fresh water courses.

    Of course the best, simplest, most efficient way of cooling down is to go for a dip.

    Sweat glands do, however, mean that the opportunity to go for a dip in a river full of crocodiles* and hippos** was not available often enough.

    * Will kill you when they’re hungry.
    ** Will kill you. Just so, for trespassing. Every year they kill a lot more people than crocs do.

    The mistake, as Jim knows, was in peddling the idea that such drag reduction would not help them escape sharks!

    Are you shitting us?

    No human can outswim a shark. To escape a shark, you need to scare the shark away, to get far enough out of the water, or a bigger boat. Similar things hold for crocodiles and hippos.

    How do you close a blockquote on this blog?

    As you should have noticed from the use of < and >, and the use of the abbreviation “HTML” under the comment window, this blog uses unaltered HTML (not BBCode or suchlike). All HTML tags that need to be closed are closed with /.

    Are you, like, new on the Internet? ~:-|

    Re the pretty pictures of apes walking bipedally on land. Please. Hunt’s (1994) 701 hour study of chimps in the Gombe reported approximately 2-3% bipedality, most of it in trees in postural “bipedalism” where more than half the body weight was on the hind limbs. Almost no incidents of walking on land.

    Bonobos walk bipedally a lot more often. So do orang-utans – except they hardly ever walk in the first place. Gibbons practically never walk at all, but when they do, it’s always bipedal.

    We ALSO know from molecular dating of the genes of human head and pubic lice that humans lost their ancestral body hair no more than 3.3 million years ago, and likely quite a bit later than that.

    To be fair, how was that calibrated?

    Whatever happened to Marcel Williams?

    Very good question. I’d like to think that my comments 219, 220 and 225 showed him the errors in his reasoning and the holes in his knowledge, but his last comment here is 185 – he didn’t answer to a single one of my questions in 187.

    Sweating would more likely have developed *after* early humans figured out how to carry water with them on cursorial hunts.

    The whole hypothesis that running for hunting played a role in our evolution is very, very shaky. Running down an antelope or deer or the like only works on a few kinds of soft ground, takes a long time, requires (as you mention) the ability to carry sizable amounts of water around, and is quite inefficient as a way of “putting some food on your family”. What we’re really adapted for seems to be walking maybe 10 km per day in a savanna.

  319. David Marjanović says

    But with these various AAH ideas, we instead see them splitting apart into more and more increasingly unrelated variants.

    “There are no sects in geometry.”
    – Voltaire

  320. vaiyt says

    I know this is crazy for some people to comprehend but the idea is not that we lived IN the water but BY the waterside. The astonishing bit is this – sometimes, our ancestors waded, swam and dived.

    But you’re positing that they waded, swam and dived long enough, and depended enough on it for survival, that it dictated their posture, their distribution of body hair and glands, and even the structure of their kidneys.

  321. anthrosciguy says

    A couple of points folks probably don’t know about Algis’ 5 hours at the zoo study (his 92% claim is from there) and about Jo Myers Thompson’s observations of wild bonobos. He’s talking about Myers Thompson’s study because I have repeatedly pointed out that it has the highest percentage of bipedalism observed while wading of any study except Algis’, and hers shows only 24.14% of bouts (Algis has called that “vague” despite her detailed descriptions). Note the use of “bouts” and not time; in Myers Thompson’s study the bonobos were seen to be bipedal in 24.14% of the observations made, which necessarily means less than 24% of the time. This makes for an even wider gap between Algis’ observation and everyone else’s, which cries out for examination but which Algis did not do.

    First, in the zoo case it is clear that the bonobos there were not able to enter the moat (where the wading took place) quadrupedally due to the steep sides. Algis lied about this for well over a year by claiming that a female bonobo had done so but that, although he had a picture of her quadrupedal in the moat that looked like a video frame, he did not have video of this incident unlike all the others (37 seconds worth in total for all of them). After more than a year of lying about this it turned out that A) he did have video of this incident, and B) the female did not enter the moat quadrupedally but instead just as all the others had, by backing in with hands on the bank. They were also retrieving food from the water which means they needed at least one hand free.

    It’s also worth noting that in none of this 37 seconds did any bonobo fill the definition that Myers Thompson used for her observations: “striding two or more consecutive steps bipedally”.

    It’s also interesting that in Myers Thompson’s observations bonobos were seen to be bipedal in 24.14% of wading bouts compared to

    Myers Thompson’s team’s observations of bonobos doing bipedal locomotion in 24.14% of wading bouts is compared to their observations of bonobos being bipedal during “20% of grassland encounters” (not 20% of the time, but, again, encounters). And she noted that it’s very likely those numbers were skewed higher for wading, because “Except for the observations at the pools, the effect of observer presence on locomotion is immediately evident. Upon detection, bonobos drop to a quadrupedal posture and flee on the ground. However, at the pools bonobos display more boldness while observers remain behind a constructed observation blind.”

    In those observations it’s not clear that there would be any difference between wading or not vis a vis bipedality due to the above.

    Algis has had all this information explained to him clearly and carefully many times for some years now.

  322. algiskuliukas says

    Re 334 – Evidence? To pick just three… 1) Humans do swim and dive better than chimps and have a whole gamut of perculiar traits consistent with some (perhaps only slight) selection that is consistent with that. 2) The one place extant great apes switch from their normal quadrupedal mode of locomotion to a bipedal one is in waist/chest deep water. No other Mammalian taxa does this. 3) Thousands of fossils attributed to humans have been found in paleohabitats dominated by permanent water course. Thousands attributed to Homo, but only one attributed to Pan.

    Rational, scientific minded people are not supposed to deny evidence like this and pretend it away like I know the mob here will.

    Tell me which “just so” story from mainstream anthropology do you prefer? Is it Lovejoy’s “Provisioning Hypothesis”, Wheeler’s “thermoregulation hypothesis”, Hunt’s “Postural feeding hypothesis”, Tanner’s “Penile display” hypothesis, McHenry’s “energy efficiency” hypothesis, Jablonski’s “Threat Display” hypothesis, Filler’s “Miocene developmental mutation” hypothesis, Crompton et al’s “Orang-utan-like twee-wobbling hypothesis”? Or is just the usual “God knows, but I’m mysteriously certain it couldn’t have been anything to do with moving through water”?

    Algis Kuliukas

  323. algiskuliukas says

    337 – Yeah, right! Then why do so many of you copy the ignorant slurs of each other? The aquaskeptic response has, for 53 years, been a morally bankrupt facade of the pretence of rigour and authority and precisely zero intellectual courage.

    It’s astonishing that a field of science (with the notable exception of John Langdon, who at least did try to write some kind of official refutation, unscholarly straw man that it is) could have “responded” in such an ignorant way. They ignore completely, twist words, misrepresent, throw stupid insults, peddle gossip and back an ex car mechanic’s sleazy attempted character assassination rather than open their minds to the possibility that moving through water might have had a slight effect on our phenotype.

    It’s a scandal of Piltdown proportions.

    Algis Kuliukas

  324. algiskuliukas says

    Re 339 – What an admission of ignorance. Notice how these pseudoskeptics are incapable of moving on from their initial, knee-jerk, misconception of what the idea is.

    Some of us have moved on.

    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. (p118)

    Kuliukas, A., Morgan, E. (2011). Aquatic scenarios in the thinking on human evolution: What are they and how do they compare?. In: Vaneechoutte, M., Verhaegen, M., Kuliukas, A. (eds.), (2011). Was Man More Aquatic in the Past? (eBook). Blackwell Science (Basel)

    Ignorant sneering is all you lot can do. Isn’t that right, PZ?

    Algis Kuliukas

  325. algiskuliukas says

    Re 341 – Not really. See how aquaskeptics just blurt out their ignorant misconceptions without bothering to check what it is the person their criticising has written repeatedly for over ten years.

    River Apes (pre Homo bipedal wading-climbers inhabiting seasonally flooded riparian habitats)

    Coastal People (Homo largely, but not exclusively, living as coastal foragers).

    This is just my own model. Williams and others have their own.

    Aliens from outer space are more likely, right?

    Algis Kuliukas

  326. algiskuliukas says

    Re 347 – Population genetics 101. For selection to overcome drift it need only be slight.

    s > 1 / (2Ne)

    Specifically, greater than the reciprocal of twice the effective population size.

    In simple terms – even if our ancestors went swimming and diving just once a week – and chimp ancestors didn’t, only someone ignorant about how evolution works would think that this wouldn’t cause a massive phenotpyic shift.

    Mainstream anthropologists use this principle themselves when it comes to the evolution of efficient bipedalism, but their blind spot about the dreaded ‘a’ factor requires that they sneer and roll their eyes and invoke images of space apes rather than apply a modicum of rational thought when faced with someone who dares to have the audacity to wonder of Hardy and Morgan might have had a point.

    Algis Kuliukas

  327. algiskuliukas says

    Re 348 – Cue anthro-gossip-guy, as always, to come in with his carefully cherry picked lie slurs.

    I did say it was a short pilot study. I reported it honestly and openly in the paper where the findings were reported and in my master’s thesis. Jim’s sleazy tactics are to try to prretend that I have tried to hide the fact that it was a very short study.

    As always, anthro-lie-guy mysetriously forgets to mention that I interviewed a field worker who had worked there for months who confirmed that this was normal behaviour for the bonobos, or that even in my 5 hours study I observed more instances of largely unsupported bipedalism than Hunt did in over 700.

    Selective cherry picking like this, presumably, is what impressed PZ Myers. His web site doesn’t even report the key fact in the whole debate (humans swim better than chimps) and only cherry picks the silliest sounding snippets from Hardy evading completely his “first and foremost” point.

    He repeatedly twists Dan Dennett’s open minded comments about these ideas to pretend that he thinks it is like creationism. His web page about the (rather minor) “salt hunger” point carefully avoids mentioning, let alone citing extensively from, the one paper written by the guy at the centre of his allegations about Elaine Morgan’s take on his ideas.

    Denton, D. The Biology of Salt Hunger and the Aquatic Ape Theory. ReVision 18 (2):14-18, (1995).

    Jim’s lie slurs about my response to his (and his gang’s) hounding and nit picking is typical. At least I have video recordings to back up my observations. Which other paper on bipedal origins has that? Never mind, eh? The rules change when water is not involved.

    If steep sided banks can be invoked to discount this as a plausible scenario for bipedal origins, then how about coming down from trees? Suddenly the rules change and – that’s just fine.

    See how desperate this guy is to deny evidence? An eight year old who has seen David Attenborough’s “Life of Mammals” episode where chimps were wading in water from let to right – bipedally, of course – would understand the point, but this strange bunch of pseudoskeptics have to deny anything, no matter how obvious, related in the slightest way, to wading, swimming and diving.

    As always, Jim thinks that just because he’s peddled these lie slurs before , he thinks he’s “explained” them to me. He mysteriously forgets that each time, I reply countering all of his slurs.

    Great “web resource” this.

    Algis Kuliukas

  328. algiskuliukas says

    Re 345

    Re gibbons. Great apes, David, we are part of the clade of great apes.

    All of them also do it on dry land, just less consistently.

    A lot less. That’s the point. Hunt’s study reported around only 3% bipedality and almost all of that was in the trees in the context of postural feeding. Bipedal walking on dry land is exceptionally rare in chimps and gorillas. In waist/chest deep water it’s a 100%certainty.

    What is your problem? Why does blatant evidence like this have to be denied? Are you stupid or something?

    Sweat glands do, however, mean that the opportunity to go for a dip in a river full of crocodiles* and hippos** was not available often enough.

    Incredible how aquaskeptics unashamedly use such facile points. And sweat cooling on the savannah, as per Wheeler’s hypothesis? No problem. That gets through peer review and is taught in university level text books as a smart option.

    So all permananet water courses are “full” of corcs and hippos, are they? Blimey. Such a stark view of waterside life.

    No human can outswim a shark

    Duh. You didn’t get the point. This was Jim Moore’s “clever” slur, something presumably PZ Myers read and was impressed by. That the Sharp and Costil studies showing a slight drag reduction in body hair would have been pointless anyway because it wouldn’t have helped us escape sharks.

    I’m glad you agree with me that it was a stupid point to make. It’s a shame PZ Myers didn’t spot it.

    Re “blockquotes”. I am so sorry I am not used to this ridiculous blog format where you have to load three hundred posts before you get to your own and it provides such a pathetic bunch of features.

    What we’re really adapted for seems to be walking maybe 10 km per day in a savanna

    Hah! Nice one! So, that’s women carrying children too, right? Yeah, that makes sense. Suddenly predation is wished away, is it?

    The placethe evolution of long distance, efficient walking makes most sense is in the best place it can be done – on flat, firm, vegetation-free substrates. The striding gait largely relies on a fully extended limb, which is impossible whilst walking in bush, even in long grass it is impaired.

    Now, if only they had pavements, lawns and carpets…

    Where on the planet do you find perfectly flat, firm, vegetation-free substrates with topologies that, by definition are convoluted and require potentially much greater movement than circular ones?

    Right be the water’s edge on river banks and at the sea/lake shores.

    Crazy, right? Aliens from outer space are just as plausible.

    Algis Kuliukas

  329. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still nothing but bullshit from the True Believer™, who is wasting his time here with his drivel. The real scientists here have seen his evidence and declared it Cargo Cult Science, and ignore his continued attempts to bully us into accepting his idea. Not enough evidence to be a hypothesis. Nothing but drivel. Why he can’t shut the fuck up is beyond the ken of rational people.

  330. algiskuliukas says

    Re 357 – The “intellectual response”, again. Incredibly, though… more intellectual than PZ himself!!!

    What a bunch of ignoramuses! It’s like trying to debate the Red Queen Hypothesis with a bunch of 15 year old Millwall fans!

    Algis Kuliukas

  331. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I see the bully can’t shut the fuck up. Just because you want to talk about your True Belief™ doesn’t mean that others are tired of your evienceless drivel. Getting the last word in is a sign of bullying. Stop bullying. You have had your say. You say has been rejected by real scientists. Now what? Further drivel convinces nobody, and you have no new evidence to present. All your evidence is soundly refuted. You have nothing but an inane idea, also rejected, left. Fade into the bandwidth.

  332. chigau (違う) says

    When you are reduced to whinging about the format of the blog, you should probably leave.

  333. Lofty says

    Algis:

    (Whinge) Why can’t you lot see how brilliant I am? You’re all just a pack of meanies!!! (/whinge)

  334. Amphiox says

    Re gibbons. Great apes, David, we are part of the clade of great apes.

    SO WHAT?

    We are ALSO part of the clade that includes gibbons. And as the clade that includes gibbons is the BIGGER clade that also includes all the great apes, the argument pertaining to it is all the more relevant.

  335. Peez says

    I have mentioned algiskuliukas’ use of creationist tactics (tactics, Mr. K., tactics), the pattern is quite noticeable here (references are to An Index to Creationist Claims http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html.
    .
    “…the material point never gets cited by Jim Moore (ex car mechanic, not the real anthropologist)”
    CA118. Your arguments do not count because you are not qualified.
    .
    “I find it astonishing that such a blatantly obvious factor has been ignored by anthropology for so long simply because of an obsessively hostile misunderstanding of a simple idea.”
    CA320. Scientists are pressured not to challenge established dogma.
    .
    “This pretty much sums up the ignorant response, for over 50 years, to several simple, plausible and Darwinian waterside hypotheses of human evolution. “
    CA310. Scientists find what they expect to find.
    .
    “PZ, bring him on. What’s he afraid of?”
    CA340. Evolutionists do not accept debate challenges.
    .
    “Mob rule. Alive and well in anthropology.”
    CA320. Scientists are pressured not to challenge established dogma.
    .
    “Tell me which “just so” story from mainstream anthropology do you prefer?”
    CA510.1. Problems with evolution are evidence for creation.
    .
    “It’s astonishing that a field of science (with the notable exception of John Langdon, who at least did try to write some kind of official refutation, unscholarly straw man that it is) could have “responded” in such an ignorant way. They ignore completely, twist words, misrepresent, throw stupid insults, peddle gossip and back an ex car mechanic’s sleazy attempted character assassination rather than open their minds to the possibility that moving through water might have had a slight effect on our phenotype.”
    CA310. Scientists find what they expect to find.
    CA118. Your arguments do not count because you are not qualified.
    .
    “It’s a scandal of Piltdown proportions.”
    CC001. Piltdown man was a hoax.
    .
    “Incredible how aquaskeptics unashamedly use such facile points. And sweat cooling on the savannah, as per Wheeler’s hypothesis? No problem. That gets through peer review and is taught in university level text books as a smart option.”
    CA325. Creationists are prevented from publishing in science journals.
    .
    The parallels are remarkable.

  336. Amphiox says

    ONE piece, Algis. ONE piece of correlative time evidence added to just a TENTH of everything else you’ve babbled out, and you would have a case. Without that piece you can keep talking until the oceans dessicate and it strengthens your case not one bit.

    It is the correlative time evidence that turns a just-so story into a valid evolutionary hypothesis. Without that evidence it is just an ever more fanciful just-so story. All you’re doing is making one leg of your stool ever longer. Your stool is not standing because it is missing the other two legs.

    Until you present evidence that resolves the time discrepancy in the known fossil record, you are just wasting our time.

    NO FOSSIL NO TALK.

  337. Peez says

    Amphiox:
    SO WHAT?

    We are ALSO part of the clade that includes gibbons. And as the clade that includes gibbons is the BIGGER clade that also includes all the great apes, the argument pertaining to it is all the more relevant.

    Careful, algiskuliukas is a bit weak on cladistics, you are only going to confuse him (more). Guess who posted these comments:

    …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.

    We analysed the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of three human (African, European and Japanese), three African apes (common and pygmy chimpanees and gorilla) and one orangutan in an attempt to estimate most accurately the substitution rates and divergence times of hoiminoid mtDNAs.

    What are the great apes they studied, if not our sister clade?

  338. Peez says

    Regarding cladistics…

    If algiskuliukas is true to form he will claim that he just happened to forget to type an “s” here and coincidentally an “s” there too, and that I am quoting him out of context, and that I am ‘nit-picking’. Perhaps he did forget an “s”, and perhaps he did forget another one in just the right spot to be consistent with the first “s” that he missed, but then the statement that he made makes no sense. In any event, here is the context:

    http://talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=1513313#post1513313

    AlgisKuliukas:
    Now, no matter what human forms lived before that date, even if they were skeletally indistinct from the way we are today, if there is good evidence that the LCA (the last common ancestor, Jim – try to remember what this means) of every human being

    anthrosciguy:
    Algis double downs on stupid. I used actual well-dated fossils of the earliest known Homo sapiens from a study done in this millennium. Algis thinks this is not the right way to figure out when the earliest known Homo sapiens popped up. And he shows he doesn’t understand genetics… again.

    Keep it up!

    “last common ancestor of the human mtDNAs” — Horia et al. It’s even in the abstract, Algis. Did you not read it, or do you not understand it? or is it both of the above?

    AlgisKuliukas:
    Jim double downs on stupid and obstinate! I pointed out exactly why the fossil evidence is trumped in this debate by the molecular evidence but it clearly sailed over your head.

    I guess this is what you get when you have a spanner man appointed as world expert on a matter of human evolution.

    It is not a matter of when the first Homo sapiens “turned up”, not even the first Homo sapiens sapiens but whether the clear evidence of coastal life is sufficiently early to have predated the LCA (do you know what this means, Jim?) of everybody.

    Notice that Jim is playing one of his Harry Potter evade guessing games games again.
    I read it and I understood it but I don’t think you are capable of doing so.

    This is where being so obsessed with dissing ideas for 18 years gets you, Jim. You end up looking like a fool.

    eversbane:
    OMG, you’re stupid!!! THAT’S THE WRONG LCA!!!!!!!!! The shell midden sites predate OoA, not the emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens. Please, Algis. Stop this now, before it’s too late.

    AlgisKuliukas:
    Bullshit.

    Abstract
    We analysed the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of three human (African, European and Japanese), three African apes (common and pygmy chimpanees and gorilla) and one orangutan in an attempt to estimate most accurately the substitution rates and divergence times of hoiminoid mtDNAs. Nonsynonymous substitutions and substitutions in RNA genes have accumulated with an approximate clock-like regularity. From these substitutions and under the assumption that the orangutan and African apes diverged 12 million years ago, we obtained a divergence time for humans and chimpanzees of 4.9 million years. This divergence time permitted calibration of the synonymous substitution rate (3.89 X 10 -8/site per year) To obtain the substitution rate in the displacement (D)-loop region, we compared the three humans mtDNAs and measured the relative abundance of substitutions in the D-loop region and synonymous sites. The estimated substitution rate in the D-loop region was 7.00 x 10-8 /site per year. Using both synonymous and D-loop substitutions, we inferred the age of the last common ancestor of the human mtDNA as 143,000 +- 18,000 years. The shallow ancestry of human mtDNAs, together with the observation that the African sequence is the most diverged among humans, strongly supports the recent African origin of modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens

    Horai, Satoshi; Hayasaka, Kenji; Kondo, Rumi; Tsugane, Kazuo; Takahata, Naoyuki (1995). Recent African Origin of Modern Humans Revealed by Complete Sequences of Hominoid Mitochondrial DNAs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA Vol:92 Pages:532-536.

    Their paper also looked at African diversity too – hence the last sentence in the abstract.

    What are you on about?

    The OoAII diaspora date estimates are even later… For example, Haplogroup F (an early divergence after the OoAII diaspora) is dated around 48 Ka +/- 10Ka.

    But it’s interesting that you mention the OoA. Even if you’re right that the Homo sapiens sapiens LCA was around 200Ka – and I notice that the gang here are not very quick in citing any papers to show that – the Marean et al evidence still predates the OoAII migration and so, clearly, coastal life could have potentially affected most human populations.

    I predict the gang here will continue to deny this most blatant and obvious evidence and keep egging each other on in their headless chicken incredulity dance. I predict not one of them will criticise any other gang member and say something like “hold on, Algis is right here – he has a point.”

    Like the demented cult following they are. Mass suicide is a more palatable alternative.

    eversbane:
    Read the paper Algis. We cannot stress this enough in scientific investigation: READ THE PAPER!!

    When (if) you do read the paper, look at the sample. They can only date the LCA between the members of the sample population. They cannot give you the LCA between Homo sapiens sapiens and our immediate post-speciation sister clade because you can’t get a genetic sample from that immediate post-speciation sister clade. LCAs have to be between descendent post-speciation sister clades. The Horai date is between members of the same clade: Homo sapiens sapiens. You cannot get the LCA of Homo sapiens sapiens without a member of the immediate post-speciation sister clade. None of these dates can give you the H.s.s./immediate sister clade LCA. Horai et al. do not provide you what you think you want – you just make of it what you think you need (and that from the last sentence of the abstract).

    AlgisKuliukas:
    What are the great apes they studied, if not our sister clade?

    Please cite a paper that suggests the LCA of all humans alive today was earlier than 164,000, or accept that the Marean et al evidence is in my favour.

  339. David Marjanović says

    Amphiox, you haven’t told me yet how the divergence date of human lice was calibrated.

    Thousands of fossils attributed to humans have been found in paleohabitats dominated by permanent water course. Thousands attributed to Homo, but only one attributed to Pan.

    No fossils of Pan have been found anywhere else either. That’s how the fossil record works: fossils are preserved where sedimentation occurs, and that usually means water or wind (in sand dunes) is involved.

    The tag for italics, BTW, is <i>.

    Some of us have moved on.

    And again you cite that joke of a book that wasn’t peer-reviewed. Wrongly claiming that other edited books aren’t peer-reviewed either is not a counterargument.

    Re gibbons. Great apes, David, we are part of the clade of great apes.

    So what?

    So fucking what?

    Their bipedality is clearly homologous to ours as well as to that of chimps, gorillas and orang-utans. So of course they’re relevant here.

    What needs an explanation is the origin of knuckle-walking!

    What is your problem? Why does blatant evidence like this have to be denied? Are you stupid or something?

    Well, ponder that a bit longer.

    And sweat cooling on the savannah, as per Wheeler’s hypothesis? No problem. That gets through peer review and is taught in university level text books as a smart option.

    So? What’s wrong with it?

    So all permananet water courses are “full” of corcs and hippos, are they? Blimey. Such a stark view of waterside life.

    You sound like you’re trying to wish your beautiful picture into existence.

    Duh. You didn’t get the point. This was Jim Moore’s “clever” slur, something presumably PZ Myers read and was impressed by. That the Sharp and Costil studies showing a slight drag reduction in body hair would have been pointless anyway because it wouldn’t have helped us escape sharks.

    I’m glad you agree with me that it was a stupid point to make. It’s a shame PZ Myers didn’t spot it.

    Uh…

    It’d be a stupid point to make against your hypothesis, because yours doesn’t involve the sea at all.

    It’s a point that has to be made, lest one lie by omission, against Williams’s hypothesis.

    Hah! Nice one! So, that’s women carrying children too, right? Yeah, that makes sense. Suddenly predation is wished away, is it?

    Out in the open, you can see the predators coming, and then you can defend yourself. Chimps do that all the time.

    Even spears are older than humans: chimps make and use spears to hunt bushbabies.

    In contrast, by the time you see a 7-m-long crocodile, this is what usually happens next.

    Re “blockquotes”. I am so sorry I am not used to this ridiculous blog format where you have to load three hundred posts before you get to your own

    …I’m not sure what you mean. Either you’re on an extremely slow connection, or you just complained about having to read the previous comments before writing your own.

    The features here are pathetic, that’s true. So use them at least.

    The placethe evolution of long distance, efficient walking makes most sense is in the best place it can be done – on flat, firm, vegetation-free substrates. The striding gait largely relies on a fully extended limb, which is impossible whilst walking in bush, even in long grass it is impaired.

    “Savanna” is a very broad term, as I’m sure you’re aware. There are tropical grasslands with quite short grass.

  340. David Marjanović says

    Careful, algiskuliukas is a bit weak on cladistics, you are only going to confuse him (more). Guess who posted these comments:

    No, cladistics has two meanings: it’s sometimes used as the cover term for the methods of the science of phylogenetics (now that it is a science; not long ago it was an art), sometimes specifically for the method called “maximum parsimony” (somewhat misleadingly).

    What’s wrong about those comments is that they rest on the assumption that the other great apes, or at least the African ones, are more closely related to each other than any of them is to us. The chimps + bonobos are closer to us than (to) the gorillas. But that doesn’t change anything about his argumentation, except perhaps the timeframe.

    eversbane:
    Read the paper Algis. We cannot stress this enough in scientific investigation: READ THE PAPER!!

    When (if) you do read the paper, look at the sample. They can only date the LCA between the members of the sample population. They cannot give you the LCA between Homo sapiens sapiens and our immediate post-speciation sister clade because you can’t get a genetic sample from that immediate post-speciation sister clade. LCAs have to be between descendent post-speciation sister clades. The Horai date is between members of the same clade: Homo sapiens sapiens. You cannot get the LCA of Homo sapiens sapiens without a member of the immediate post-speciation sister clade. None of these dates can give you the H.s.s./immediate sister clade LCA. Horai et al. do not provide you what you think you want – you just make of it what you think you need (and that from the last sentence of the abstract).

    Whew, wow, there’s a lot of confusion about terminology going on there.

    1) If we ignore all the dead and focus exclusively on the living, the chimps + bonobos are our sister-group. If we don’t do that, and often we can’t, our sister-group are the Neandertalers + Denisovans – or if you count them as “us” because there’s been introgression, our sister-group is some kind of “Homo erectus” or “Homo ergaster“, probably a part of one of those “species”.
    2) Paleoanthropologists are, by and large, ancestor-worshippers who don’t think in trees and don’t use phylogenetic nomenclature. Consequently, Homo sapiens does not have a definition other than “everything that’s similar/close enough to Linnaeus to count as the same species”, and “species” does not have an official definition. It has about 150; depending on the definition, there are from 101 to 249 endemic bird species in Mexico right now. If you want to use the term “Homo sapiens” or “Homo sapiens sapiens” for “the last common ancestor of all humans alive today, and all its descendants”, or as “everything closer to us than to the Turkana boy” (a much larger clade!), or whatever, go ahead, do it, but state it clearly and do not assume that anybody else in the discussion will have the same definition in mind. Otherwise you’ll talk past each other, which has evidently happened in the discussion above.
    3) There are species concepts under which every cladogenesis is a speciation. Under at least one of those, “speciation” is even a synonym for cladogenesis. But there are yet other species concepts, notably the good old “if they interbreed they’re the same species”, under which cladogenesis and speciation have nothing to do with each other. This is an important point that is often missed even in the primary literature.

  341. ChasCPeterson says

    or a bigger boat.

    ha! iswydt

    In simple terms – even if our ancestors went swimming and diving just once a week – and chimp ancestors didn’t, only someone ignorant about how evolution works would think that this wouldn’t cause a massive phenotpyic shift.

    That’s just an incredible assertion. You are a crackpot and a zealot.

    sweat cooling on the savannah, as per Wheeler’s hypothesis? No problem.

    No problem because empriically, that’s the situation where it’s most effective. Convection.

    it provides such a pathetic bunch of features.

    and we like it that way. Yikes, could you imagine this place if it had a forum-like ‘quote’ button?

    The striding gait largely relies on a fully extended limb, which is impossible whilst walking in bush, even in long grass it is impaired.

    Because our ancestors, so adept at wading and swimming and diving and striding along beaches and mudflats, could not possibly have figured out the technology of the ‘footpath’.

    Where on the planet do you find perfectly flat, firm, vegetation-free substrates with topologies that, by definition are convoluted and require potentially much greater movement than circular ones?
    Right be the water’s edge on river banks and at the sea/lake shores.

    How many natural riverbanks and lakeshores have you seen that were stridable?
    Savannahs are circular?

    Aliens from outer space are more likely, right?

    no, man. The spaceape thing is a joke. Like all crackpots you are humorless about your hobbyhorse.

    But what you are too far gone to ever be able to see clearly again is the fact that there are alternative hypotheses, some of them testable and some tested, even, that everybody but you regards as more likely.

    OK? It’s not laughing at Edison and Einstein, it’s not a scientific scandal of Piltdown-like proportions.
    It’s you, and a whole lot of people who disagree with you. That’s it. Deal with it and quit whining on the fucking internet.

  342. ChasCPeterson says

    there are yet other species concepts, notably the good old “if they interbreed they’re the same species”, under which cladogenesis and speciation have nothing to do with each other.

    wait, what?
    How is the evolution of reproductive isolating mechanisms not both speciation and cladogenesis?

    depending on the definition, there are from 101 to 249 endemic bird species in Mexico right now.

    do you remember your source for this oft-cited statistic?

    Oh, and btw: ReVision is, it seems, a peer-reviewed “Journal of Consciousness and Transformation”. They cast a wide, wide net:

    Topics covered include religion and spirituality, consciousness studies, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, ecology, science, and the arts. There is an emphasis on the dialectic and dialogue between conflicting world views, spiritual pursuits, or intellectual and academic disciplines.

    make of that what you will.

  343. chigau (違う) says

    Where on the planet do you find perfectly flat, firm, vegetation-free…

    The High Arctic.
    Good striding place, that.

  344. David Marjanović says

    Yikes, could you imagine this place if it had a forum-like ‘quote’ button?

    Yikes! Every comment would, like, quote all previous ones! *hides under desk and trembles in terror*

    How is the evolution of reproductive isolating mechanisms not both speciation and cladogenesis?

    Isolating mechanisms can evolve by anagenesis, long after a cladogenesis. They don’t need to cause a split in a population; in such cases, they change “hybridization isn’t happening but could still happen” to “hybridization can’t happen”.

    Under Hennig’s species concept, to take the extreme, anagenesis is chopped liver. Every cladogenesis, and only cladogenesis, was a speciation to Hennig.

    do you remember your source for this oft-cited statistic?

    I heard it at a conference. I’m pretty sure it’s in the abstract, which I’m going to look up tomorrow, but I don’t know where that presentation took it from; I once looked for it and failed. Given how often I mention it, I should ask the author.

    Oh, and btw: ReVision is, it seems, a peer-reviewed “Journal of Consciousness and Transformation”. They cast a wide, wide net:

    ROTFLMAO!

    The title led me to suspect something vaguely in this direction, but I had no idea it went that far!!! :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

  345. Peez says

    David Marjanovic':
    No, cladistics has two meanings: it’s sometimes used as the cover term for the methods of the science of phylogenetics (now that it is a science; not long ago it was an art), sometimes specifically for the method called “maximum parsimony” (somewhat misleadingly).

    Thank you, I am familiar with cladistics but I am not sure of what the “no” is in response to or what point you wish to make.

    What’s wrong about those comments is that they rest on the assumption that the other great apes, or at least the African ones, are more closely related to each other than any of them is to us.

    That is one possibility, another is that the author does did not understand what a clade is, yet another is that the author just didn’t think about it.

    The chimps + bonobos are closer to us than (to) the gorillas. But that doesn’t change anything about his argumentation, except perhaps the timeframe.

    I disagree (though my point was less about this specific argument and more about his confusion regarding the “clade” here). This is related to your point above:

    Their bipedality is clearly homologous to ours as well as to that of chimps, gorillas and orang-utans. So of course they’re relevant here.

    What needs an explanation is the origin of knuckle-walking!

    Mr. K. certainly seems to be thinking of in terms of two branches: us (bipedal) and them (knuckle walking), this is betrayed in his comments about clades and in his arguments about the evolution of human locomotion.

  346. Amphiox says

    Amphiox, you haven’t told me yet how the divergence date of human lice was calibrated.

    I don’t think I have the necessary background to actually answer that question properly myself, but here is the citation to the original paper that postulated that date.

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/5/7

  347. Amphiox says

    (And you were serious about asking for the calibration the first ime, David? It wasn’t just a joke for Algis’ benefit?

    Damn you, you real scientists, you! Always demanding more corroboration for claims! Never accepting anything at face value, even when it conforms with your own ideas!

    The nerve! Making me support my claims with real evidence, and not even accepting the simple evidence I first provided, but making me *horror* *gasp* show the actual validity of the evidence itself!

    Mutter, mutter, mutter….)

  348. Amphiox says

    So all permananet water courses are “full” of corcs and hippos, are they? Blimey. Such a stark view of waterside life.

    In the regions of sub-Saharan Africa where human ancestors lived, this is actually pretty close to true.

    But think of it not as a problem but as an opportunity.

    It means a chance to find some of that corroborative time evidence. ie, Fossils with evidence of predation by crocodylians.

  349. Amphiox says

    And sweat cooling on the savannah, as per Wheeler’s hypothesis? No problem. That gets through peer review and is taught in university level text books as a smart option.

    That gets through because there is corroborative TIME evidence of human ancestors actually living on the savannah during the period where the sweat cooling was postulated to have arisen (among other things).

    The researchers proposing that hypothesis did their due diligence and provided the second and third legs to their “stool”.

    See, this is a case of YES FOSSIL YES TALK.

    NO FOSSIL NO TALK.

  350. Amphiox says

    No fossils of Pan have been found anywhere else either. That’s how the fossil record works: fossils are preserved where sedimentation occurs, and that usually means water or wind (in sand dunes) is involved.

    With riverside environments being excellent ones for the preservation of fossils, one would expect there to be a wealth of good fossil evidence for Algis and co. to draw on to find time related evidentiary support for their contentions.

    And yet, instead of eagerly going on expeditions to find such fossils, we find them wasting their time talking in circles on blogs…..

  351. anthrosciguy says

    I observed more instances of largely unsupported bipedalism

    A note for folks here unfamiliar with Algis’ past few years: he’s now saying “largely unsupported bipedalism” because we unkind people have pointed out that he described the incidents in his thesis inaccurately. For instance in one case he captioned a photo as unsupported bipedalism when the bonobo in the photo was clutching reeds for support.

    At least I have video recordings to back up my observations.

    Although in his thesis Algis made some high-minded statements about how video like his was a valuable resource for future study and would allow his claims to be verified, he has since stated that he has destroyed most of it. This happened after folks asked him to provide enough video to verify his claims about percentages in and out of water, etc.

    An eight year old who has seen David Attenborough’s “Life of Mammals” episode where chimps were wading in water from let to right – bipedally, of course –

    That video was taken in a refuge where chimps are provisioned from boats, forcing them to wade into deep water and carry food. Their behavior there is so unusual that one of them has been observed swimming.

    Duh. You didn’t get the point. This was Jim Moore’s “clever” slur, something presumably PZ Myers read and was impressed by. That the Sharp and Costil studies showing a slight drag reduction in body hair would have been pointless anyway because it wouldn’t have helped us escape sharks.

    I’m glad you agree with me that it was a stupid point to make.

    One wonders why Algis himself made it then (also saying “I predict you’ll all be eating humble pie pretty soon.” That was 1998. He also said then: “Clearly if some of the bipedal wading apes lived by lakes and the sea, the ability to swim would be a huge evolutionary advantage. Every day tribes of hominid would be terrorised by crocodiles and sharks and it would tend to be the slowest swimmers getting picked off day after day, year after year. The advantage of having less water-resistance through a lack of hair would be slight, but multiplied by all those apes and all those generations, it becomes significant.”)

    He’s since offered shifting reasons, ranging from riptides (which I pointed out are not effectively handled by swimming better and faster, but by swimming smarter) to the noption that our ancestors would’ve been in large groups and contrary to the way we, and chimps, typically handle predators we’d abandon the slower swimmers, which means males abandoning females and females abandoning their young.

    BTW, this shifting of reasons, also done by AAT/Hers with environment and anything else they talk about, is something you often see in other pseudoscience but is such a central feature of the AAT/H that I’ve dubbed it ZING!ability.

  352. anthrosciguy says

    When you are reduced to whinging about the format of the blog, you should probably leave.

    Wait, you haven’t seen him whine about my URL (www.aquaticape.org) yet. He’s been doing that since 2004!

  353. anthrosciguy says

    And again you cite that joke of a book that wasn’t peer-reviewed. Wrongly claiming that other edited books aren’t peer-reviewed either is not a counterargument.

    What peer review is is another — yet another — of those things Algis doesn’t quite have a handle on. He has stated, for instance, that the thesis submitted as part of his one-year masters program was “peer reviewed”.

  354. anthrosciguy says

    What needs an explanation is the origin of knuckle-walking!

    Which is doubly fascinating since it seems to have developed twice, yet it’s an oddball form of walking.

  355. Owlmirror says

    do you remember your source for this oft-cited statistic?

    I heard it at a conference. I’m pretty sure it’s in the abstract, which I’m going to look up tomorrow, but I don’t know where that presentation took it from; I once looked for it and failed. Given how often I mention it, I should ask the author.

    Googley-Moogley: [species definitions birds Mexico]

    Agapow et al. The impact of species concept on biodiversity studies. The Quarterly Review of Biology. Vol. 79, No. 2, June 2004. pg. 161 (PDF)

    On page 166, there’s a line in the table:

    [Organisms] Endemic birds, [Location] Mexico, [Species (Non-PSC)] 101, [Species (PSC)] 247, [Nested?] Unknown, [Reference] 32

    Reference 32:

    Peterson A T, Navarro-Siguenza A G. 1999. Alternate species concepts as bases for determining priority conservation areas. Conservation Biology 13:427–431. (PDF)

    Abstract: […stuff elided …] Under the biological species concept, 101 bird species are endemic to Mexico and are concentrated in the mountains of the western and southern portions of the country. Under the phylogenetic species concept, however, total endemic species rises to 249, which are concentrated in the mountains and lowlands of western Mexico.[…]

  356. anthrosciguy says

    It’d be a stupid point to make against your hypothesis, because yours doesn’t involve the sea at all.

    Actually, Algis’ claims involve the rivers, the sea, and any other form of water he can think of (he’s said that Goodall’s observation of chimps walking bipedally on wet ground after a rain is evidence for his claims). And they ZING! back and forth as needed to escape criticism as well as predators. :)

    But also, when I first brought up predators and the problem they pose for the AAT/H (back in the mid-90s) I pointed out that although you’d tend to think that sharks in salt water, crocs in fresh would be the thing, both are found in each type of water. For instance, bull sharks (which are even today quite dangerous to humans) travel up rivers for many miles, and Nile crocodiles enter saltwater easily (for instance, they’ve swum to Zanzibar which is over 20 miles offshore).

  357. anthrosciguy says

    Oh, and btw: ReVision is, it seems, a peer-reviewed “Journal of Consciousness and Transformation”. They cast a wide, wide net:

    ROTFLMAO!

    The title led me to suspect something vaguely in this direction, but I had no idea it went that far!!! :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    You don’t know the half of it. The main AAT/H guy in that issue, after Elaine Morgan, was a firm Velikovsky supporter who described himself as “more Velikovskian than Velikovsky.”

  358. ChasCPeterson says

    That was 1998.

    aw, jeez. A real hardcore case.

    Googley-Moogley: [species definitions birds Mexico]

    guess I coulda thought of that. Thanks, man!

  359. anthrosciguy says

    And just to cement what Algis has stated about his beliefs about bipedalism, here’s a couple quotes from him:

    “Sideways wading clearly creates significantly less drag than moving frontally. The excellent “Life in Moving Fluids” by Steven Vogel provides the basic fluid mechanics behind this observation but actually you only have to put your hand outside a moving car to feel the effect for yourself. Placed front-on, it gets buffeted heavily by the wind. Place it sideways and it cuts through the air like a knife. Sideways certainly would be the optimal mode of wading at all depths if humans were able to propel themselves with as much force as they do frontally.

    An ape specialised in wading might therefore be expected to adopt a sideways gait to maximise its efficiency. The notion seems far fetched at first but if you dispel any pre-conceived notions and look at the facts dispassionately, I think you’ll agree that the evidence that Lucy might have moved in this way is quite staggering.”

    A very large part of his masters thesis was about sideways wading.

    Also from his masters thesis:

    To conclude: The most parsimonious explanation for the knuckle-walking traits of A. afarensis has to be, simply, that A. afarensis was a knuckle walker.

    This is indeed counterintuitive if one assumes that A. afarensis moved only in the terrestrial and arboreal substrates. However if one considers that its bipedality was primarily for moving in water, then the dilemma disappears. Seen this way A. afarensis had three modes of locomotion for three different substrates: climbing and brachiating for the trees; knuckle-walking on solid ground and wading in water. It is claimed here that a clearer explanation has not, thus far, been suggested.

  360. anthrosciguy says

    aw, jeez. A real hardcore case.

    You remember his mentioning “space aliens” up there? that’s related to a grudge he’s had from earlier than ’98.

  361. Peez says

    … the evidence that Lucy might have moved in this way is quite staggering.

    (bold added)
    That still makes me chuckle.

  362. anthrosciguy says

    It means a chance to find some of that corroborative time evidence. ie, Fossils with evidence of predation by crocodylians.

    There actually is such, found in the last few years by a researcher specialist in crocs who used to post in newsgroup action in the 1990s (and who backed up my statements about crocs as predators then). But this isn’t evidence that our ancestors spent much time in water, just that they did sometime, which is not and never has been in dispute (AAT/Hers generally pretend a binary either/or world view where if we ever waded or swam, they idea is completely correct). It simply shows that the AAT/H claim of peaceful crocs and predator-free watersides are a fantasy.

    Speaking of which, did you know we won the “War on Crocodiles” around 2 million years ago? You’ve got to read Algis to learn things like that. He’s got a lot of tidbits like that, along with made up hominid species and hybridization between them, and made up scientific concepts (“Darwinian Default Assumption”) as well as profound misunderstandings of actual scientific concepts (convergent evolution, for instance, and a misunderstanding of parsimony so wrong one anthropologist has told him “Your concept of parsimony is a delusion”.

  363. Amphiox says

    There actually is such, found in the last few years by a researcher specialist in crocs who used to post in newsgroup action in the 1990s (and who backed up my statements about crocs as predators then). But this isn’t evidence that our ancestors spent much time in water, just that they did sometime, which is not and never has been in dispute (AAT/Hers generally pretend a binary either/or world view where if we ever waded or swam, they idea is completely correct). It simply shows that the AAT/H claim of peaceful crocs and predator-free watersides are a fantasy.

    It would at least be a place for them to start. They could, for example, do an isotopic analysis of those croc marked bones to show that the hominin in question spent most of its life in the water and eating food derived from the water (as was done to show that Spinosaurus was primarily a fish eater and not a dino eater, for example).

    With such fossils in hand, they could try to assemble a case using the fossil details that the specimen in question spent most of its life near and in the water, as opposed to just coming to the water to drink like any other terrestrial mammal and getting croc-napped.

    Of course they never do any such thing.

  364. David Marjanović says

    Thank you, I am familiar with cladistics but I am not sure of what the “no” is in response to or what point you wish to make.

    I’m trying to say that the mistake lies in the phylogenetic hypothesis, not the method used to arrive at it: Algis believes, or believed at the time, that chimps + bonobos and gorillas are sister-groups to the exclusion of us.

    And you were serious about asking for the calibration the first ime, David? It wasn’t just a joke for Algis’ benefit?

    I was dead serious. I’ve published on the often underestimated importance of getting calibration dates right. Thanks for the ref; deep down, in the Methods section, the dating methods are described, and they’re probably good enough for this case.

    It means a chance to find some of that corroborative time evidence. ie, Fossils with evidence of predation by crocodylians.

    That is actually in the link I provided in comment 367, and it doesn’t make any of our ancestors more aquatic than a gnu or zebra.

    Although in his thesis Algis made some high-minded statements about how video like his was a valuable resource for future study and would allow his claims to be verified, he has since stated that he has destroyed most of it.

    Gah!

    What peer review is is another — yet another — of those things Algis doesn’t quite have a handle on. He has stated, for instance, that the thesis submitted as part of his one-year masters program was “peer reviewed”.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or to facepalm.

    Googley-Moogley: [species definitions birds Mexico]

    …I’m still not really used to teh Google. I shall repent and worship more. Thanks for showing me the errors of my ways.

    he’s said that Goodall’s observation of chimps walking bipedally on wet ground after a rain is evidence for his claims

    Seriously? That’s hard to imagine.

    although you’d tend to think that sharks in salt water, crocs in fresh would be the thing, both are found in each type of water.

    True, but not often.

    You don’t know the half of it. The main AAT/H guy in that issue, after Elaine Morgan, was a firm Velikovsky supporter who described himself as “more Velikovskian than Velikovsky.”

    O_o o_O Far out, man.

    An ape specialised in wading might therefore be expected to adopt a sideways gait to maximise its efficiency. The notion seems far fetched at first but if you dispel any pre-conceived notions and look at the facts dispassionately, I think you’ll agree that the evidence that Lucy might have moved in this way is quite staggering.

    And what is that evidence that everybody else has been ignoring so hard?

    To conclude: The most parsimonious explanation for the knuckle-walking traits of A. afarensis has to be, simply, that A. afarensis was a knuckle walker.

    If they’re even there, they’re too rudimentary for that. I remember the paper.

  365. anthrosciguy says

    he’s said that Goodall’s observation of chimps walking bipedally on wet ground after a rain is evidence for his claims

    Seriously? That’s hard to imagine.

    Well, there is a long long list of things Algis has said that would be hard for you to believe anyone actually said them: :)

    I should remind you that in Jane Goodall’s landmark survey of chimp
    behaviour she ranked moving over wet ground (after or during rain)
    second in her big three factors to compell bipedalism. (Van
    Lawick-Goodall (1968:177.) So, Jason, did you just forget this or was
    it simply inconvenient to include it into your reasoning?

    It’s a simple, basic observation. But because it favours the AAH you
    just refuse to accept it. Biased is the word.

    Algis Kuliukas in sci.anthropoloogy.paleo Oct 21 2005

  366. anthrosciguy says

    They could, for example, do an isotopic analysis of those croc marked bones to show that the hominin in question spent most of its life in the water and eating food derived from the water

    I don’t have a handy ref, but this kind of info is apparently out there. I’ve read that Tim White used such info in response to Dan Dennett’s request for evidence against the AAT/H.

  367. Lofty says

    My local newspage dropped this item into my lap this morning on the origins of human bipedalism. No wading required. The article pdf is unfortunately paywalled, someone here may have access. Summary:

    Why did humans walk upright? Previous models based on adaptations to forest or savannah are challenged here in favour of physical incentives presented by steep rugged terrain—the kind of tectonically varied landscape that has produced early hominin remains. “Scrambler man” pursued his prey up hill and down dale and in so doing became that agile, sprinting, enduring, grasping, jumping two-legged athlete that we know today.

  368. Amphiox says

    Doesn’t support soggy apes, since this is long after bipedality evolved,

    Yeah. That was one of the dates I referenced in an earlier post regarding how the dates simply do not correlate. Though it is a little closer to Marcel Williams’ version of things….

  369. algiskuliukas says

    Re 359 – 361 …. Childish.

    Re 362 – Why draw the line at apes? Why not include OWMs? The point is humans are closer, genetically, to chimps than they are to Gorillas. So the base clade of interest to consider is the great apes.

    Re 363, 365, 366, 373 – Peez’s facile posts have been answered many times over @ TalkRational.

    Re 367, 368 – Not worth answering.

    Re 379 – Clutching reeds for balance, whilst standing upright in shallow water, is hardly the same as holding on to a brach whilst feeding in a tree as per Hunt’s definition of bipedalism. Jim’s usual slurs.

    Algis Kuliukas

  370. Ichthyic says

    Peez’s facile posts have been answered many times over @ TalkRational.

    is there some reason you LEFT talkRational to come here and bloviate?

  371. algiskuliukas says

    Re 395

    I’ve read that Tim White used such info in response to Dan Dennett’s request for evidence against the AAT/H.

    Why would he do that, Jim, if Dennett thinks the “AAT/H” is like creationism, as you have been peddling for years?

    Re 401 Still post there too – to act as a critical voice to anthro-lie-guy, who PZ Myers thinks is the “definitive web resource” on this idea but refuses to answer simple questions about how or why he made such an endorsement.

    See, one can post in two places. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp.

    Bloviate? What, you mean give reasoned, evidence-based arguments in the face of a gang of verbal bullies who largely just throw insults and twist your words?

    Algis Kuliukas

  372. Ichthyic says

    Bloviate? What, you mean give reasoned, evidence-based arguments

    that’s what you think you’ve been doing?

    ah, there’s the problem.

    you need help dude, seriously.

    stop wasting your life.

  373. Amphiox says

    Why draw the line at apes? Why not include OWMs? The point is humans are closer, genetically, to chimps than they are to Gorillas. So the base clade of interest to consider is the great apes.

    When the trait in question is POSSESSED BY THE SISTER GROUP, then the base clade of interest to consider is most definitely not just the great apes.

    The line is drawn at apes because the TRAIT IN QUESTION is possessed throughout that clade, both in the gibbon branch and the great ape branch. OWMs are not included BECAUSE THEY DO NOT POSSESS THE TRAIT IN QUESTION.

    This is BASIC evolutionary theory here.

    Here you are trying to make arguments for a evolutionary hypothesis and you demonstrate an inability to understand even the basics of how evolution works.

  374. Amphiox says

    What, you mean give reasoned, evidence-based arguments

    Even if your arguments were really reasoned and evidence-based, they don’t matter one bit until you present evidence resolving the time discrepancy. You are simply adding to one leg of your stool, which is already maxed out. Without the other two legs your stool still falls over no matter how much more you polish your one leg.

    Because you have only got one leg.

    NO FOSSIL NO TALK.

  375. algiskuliukas says

    Re 403-406 – The hostility this idea invokes is really wierd. Please try to remember that all that is being proposed is a simple, plausible, evidence-based, Darwinian, potential explanation for the remarkable phenotypic differences between humans and our nearest cousins, the chimps.

    No-one is thinking about mermaids.

    Let me repeat that, because I know how some people seem to have got into into their heads that this is what the whole idea is about. Even Marc Verhaegen, who espouses the most extreme aquatic pressure (in Homo erectus grade hominins) I know of, is not thinking about mermaids.

    Most waterside proponents are simply arguing that one lineage of hominids evolved on lake and sea shores and did slightly more wading, swimming and diving than the other lineages that would end up as chimps.

    That’s it.

    Re 406 – What “time discrepancy”? My River Apes… Coastal People model is based entirely on the evidence. Early evolution of bipedalism (through wading-climbing). Gorillas/chimps largely stopped wading but carried on climbing – hence knuckle-walking. Humans “came down from the trees”, stopped climbing but carried on wading – hence obligate bipedalism evolved.

    River Apes – pre Homo, Coastal People – post Homo.

    What is your problem? There is an abundance of fossil evidence placing early hominins in riparian and lakeside habitats and some of the earliest evidence for modern humans is on the coasts of Africa.

    Marean, C., Bar-Matthews, M., Bernatchex, J., Fisher, E., Goldberg, P., Herries, A., Jacobs, Z., Jerardino, A., Karkanas, P., Nilssen, P., Thompson, E., Watts, I., Williams, H. Early human use of marine resources and pigment in South Africa during the Middle Pleistocene. Nature 449:, (2007).

    Here we show that by 164 kyr ago (+-12 kyr) at Pinnacle Point (on the south coast of South Africa) humans expanded their diet to include marine resources, perhaps as a response to these harsh environmental conditions

    GOT FOSSILS, SO TALK AND STOP SNEERING!

    Algis Kuliukas

  376. Owlmirror says

    Most waterside proponents are simply arguing that one lineage of hominids evolved on lake and sea shores and did slightly more wading, swimming and diving than the other lineages that would end up as chimps.

    That’s it.

    Really?

    So you’re not making the claim that this alleged lifestyle resulted in evolutionary changes in physiology and anatomy?

    Here we show that by 164 kyr ago (+-12 kyr) at Pinnacle Point (on the south coast of South Africa) humans expanded their diet to include marine resources, perhaps as a response to these harsh environmental conditions

    GOT FOSSILS, SO TALK AND STOP SNEERING!

    Some humans lived by the sea and ate seafood.

    Um, yay?

  377. Ogvorbis: Arkranger of Doom! says

    The hostility this idea invokes is really wierd. Please try to remember that all that is being proposed is a simple, plausible, evidence-based, Darwinian, potential explanation for the remarkable phenotypic differences between humans and our nearest cousins, the chimps.

    Except that there is no evidence — paleontological, paleoanthropological or achaeological. None. Zero. Zip.

    Here we show that by 164 kyr ago (+-12 kyr) at Pinnacle Point (on the south coast of South Africa) humans expanded their diet to include marine resources, perhaps as a response to these harsh environmental conditions

    Er, 164,000 years ago (give or take) is long after these so-called water-based adaptations showed up — specifically, bipedalism. How about some evidence from the period that Homo went from quadrapedal to bipedal?

    Why is it that when someone shows up here to support a antithetical idea, they claim to be skeptical because they accept the theory with no evidence and those of us who ask for evidence are accused of not being skeptical enough? of blindly following the current paradigm?

  378. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Childish.

    That is your temper tantrum over us demolishing your “evidence”, and not listening to you. Show us where your freeze peach means you must be listened to if you speak bullshit, which you do. Stop being an immature idjit and realize that the no sale sign is up at this blog. You don’t have the EVIDENCE to pass muster with the real scientists hear. You know, those with more advanced degrees who have been doing science most of their lives.

    Here we show that by 164 kyr ago

    Which is irrelevant to the inane claim that wading/swimming caused bipedalism in hominids. You can’t keep your story straight. Nobody has said Homo sapiens hasn’t eaten shellfish, not might have lived near shores. But your timeline is out of whack, and you are too egotistical to notice that minor>/strike> fatal refutation of your idea. It isn’t an hypothesis even.

  379. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gack, strike tag didn’t close properly in # 410. *mutters about offering to Tpyos*

  380. marc verhaegen says

    Humans didn’t descend from aquatic apes, of course, although our ancestors were anatomically & physiologically not adapted to regular running over open plains as some anthropologists still believe. Instead, Pleistocene Homo populations simply followed the coasts & rivers in Africa & Eurasia (800 ka, they even reached Flores >18 km overseas), google “econiche Homo”.
    –eBook “Was Man more aquatic in the past?” introd.Phillip Tobias
    http://www.benthamscience.com/ebooks/9781608052448/index.htm
    –guest post at Greg Laden’s blog
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/01/30/common-misconceptions-and-unproven-assumptions-about-the-aquatic-ape-theory

  381. marc verhaegen says

    Hardy & Morgan were wrong in situating their semi-aquatic phase >5 Ma.
    Our littoral adaptations (slow & shallow diving for shellfish & presumably seaweeds) were probably wholly Pleistocene <2.6 Ma: brain enlargement (DHA), external nose, ear exostoses, diaspora to Indonesia, England & the Cape along coasts & rivers, whale butchering c 1 Ma (Gutierrez CRAS), reaching Flores c 800 ka, pachyostosis, platymeria, shellfish eating (Joordens JHE), archaic Homo is always found next to edible shellfish & large bodies of water (Munro 2010), etc.
    From the coasts they wandered inland along the rivers, possibly esp.during warmer periods: summer? seasonally, eg, following salmon? interglacials?
    How else could they have reached Pakefield & Flores? running over the savanna?? They were much too heavy & slow for frequent running (greyhound vs buldog). They simply followed the coasts with a lot of seafood, rich in DHA. No special pleading à la savanna & endurance running nonsense (Savannahstan, born to run, le singe coureur, dogged pursuit of swifter animals…) needed.

  382. marc verhaegen says

    That neandertals were big game hunters on the open plains is far-fetched fantasy. Some were found at the coast (Gibraltar, Stringer PNAS), other inland along rivers (often washed into caves with erosion later). If we don’t want to place these coastal & inland neadnertals into different populations, they can simply have followed the rivers seasonally. How much easier was it to butcher a carcass – and even more so to kill an ungulate in reed or mud – at the waterside than on the dangerous terra firma? Google econiche Homo.

  383. anthrosciguy says

    You’ve now been graced with a sample of why Marc Verhaegen got the nickname “macro man” in the sci.anthropology.paleo newsgroup. It’s sort of a Gish Gallop of abbreviated claims mashed together. Anyone interested in comedy could take a look at my page on him on my website. He’s got some goodies: rhinos and mountain beavers are semi-aquatic, Neanderthals has snorkel noses with nostrils either at the ends or on top of their noses, and his claim you can exist for months eating marine fish and drinking seawater.

    http://www.aquaticape.org/verhaegen.html

    There’s an Algis page too, but it needs some adding to.

    http://www.aquaticape.org/kuliukas.html

  384. ChasCPeterson says

    jeez, another true believer, but of course in his own pet ‘scenario’. For this guy it’s aqua-arboreal apes and human adapatations to “slow, shallow diving” like manatees or walruses.

    Please stop just cutting and pasting shit from where you’ve previously posted it elsewhere. That’s not communication.

    Most waterside proponents are simply arguing that one lineage of hominids evolved on lake and sea shores and did slightly more wading, swimming and diving than the other lineages that would end up as chimps.
    That’s it.

    Really? So you’re not making the claim that this alleged lifestyle resulted in evolutionary changes in physiology and anatomy?

    The entire point.
    Pretty disingenuous to imply it’s just about, you know, clambakes at the beach and a dip to cool off.

    Marean, et al. Early human use of marine resources and pigment in South Africa during the Middle Pleistocene. Nature 449:, (2007).

    Use of what “marine resources,” one might well ask? I haven’t found the full text of the paper yet (haven’t tried that hard yet either), but here‘s an NSF pres release that implies that all of the invertebrate remains found were intertidal species and therefore did not require slow, shallow diving or even wading to obtain. (It also points out that shellfish seem to be very late additions to the human diet, barely predating agriculture.)
    And here‘s an interesting pdf that makes the point explicit (” The shellfish exploited by early modern humans on the south coast were all intertidal”), and argues that although early-human use of coastal habitats was extremely important both ecologically and biogeographically, “adaptation” to such lifestyles is plausibly and parsimoniously entirely cultural.

    That is, despite extensive, or even temporarily exclusive use of coastal habitats and food resources by early humans, the differences between humans and other African apes that are the raisin date of the AAH had already evolved for other reasons.

  385. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gee, the idea that a species needing water would stay near sources of water. Who would have thunk?

    But it doesn’t provide any evidence whatsoever for an aquatic or semi-aquatic hominid. That is nothing but speculation on the part of True Believers™.

  386. algiskuliukas says

    Re 408.

    Biology works like this… If species a does more swimming and diving than species b, then in relatively short evolutionary timescales natural selection will drive their phenotypes apart.

    If you accept human ancestors might have done more swimming and diving than chimp ancestors, and I know that’s like proposing the universe was created in six days just for us, for some people, then why is it so hard to accept that there’d be a consequential differential in selection too?

    What’s your problem?

    Algis Kuliukas

  387. algiskuliukas says

    Re 409

    Almost all the evidence ever found of hominids is from waterside habitats. There is significant evidence of coastal life from the earliest modern humans.

    Humans do swim and dive better than chimps, just as they club trees better than and we are more efficient walkers/runners than they are. Why is only the first of those three facts problematic when trying to explain it by natural selection?

    The one place extant great apes switch to bipedalism to MOVE is in waist/chest deep water.

    Why are the defenders of the faith here not castigated for denying blatant evidence like creationists are?

    Algis Kuliukas

  388. algiskuliukas says

    Re 413 Stop kidding us. You wouldn’t be impressed by anything provided if it was open to the idea you are we to mock.

    Algis Kuliukas

  389. ChasCPeterson says

    Biology works like this… If species a does more swimming and diving than species b, then in relatively short evolutionary timescales natural selection will drive their phenotypes apart.

    It ain’t necessarily so. There are some necessary steps missing there between the time budget and the genetic response to selection. An already generalist omnivore need not adapt at all, phenotypically, to a new dietary resource. There are also a number of (to most people) more plausible options than you are suggesting, for every step from environment to phenotypic change.

  390. ChasCPeterson says

    you don’t get it, man. You have no “blatant evidence”. You really don’t.

  391. algiskuliukas says

    Re 417. Jim Moore (the ex car mechanic, not the real anthropologist, in case, like John Langdon, you were under that misapprehension) doing his gossip slur thing that he does so well and PZ Myers values so much.

    After all, mockery is good, right, PZ?

    Now I disagree with Marc on many of his ideas but i would never stoop to cherry picking out of context snippets to make cheap, gossipy slurs, like Anthro-slur-guy does, to counter his points.

    This is all Jim Moore does. It’s really, really shoddy but PZ thinks his gossip is the best resource on the web on this subject.

    See my critique…

    http://www.riverapes.com/AAH/Arguments/JimMoore/JMHome.htm

    Algis Kuliukas

  392. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Er, 164,000 years ago (give or take) is long after these so-called water-based adaptations showed up — specifically, bipedalism. – Ogvorbis

    Indeed: 164,000 years ago is later than the first anatomically modern human skeletal remains in Africa. To claim evidence of diet including marine resources at this date as evidence for their role in human evolution suggests ignorance of a truly impressive breadth and depth.

  393. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    See my critique…

    Your OPINION is meaningless. You couldn’t critique your way out of a torn wet paper bag with your head sticking out. You can’t show the evidence required for real scientists to believe you. Why is that? IT DOESN’T EXIST DUMBFUCK.

  394. Tethys says

    Almost all the evidence ever found of hominids is from waterside habitats.

    Whut!? Nearly all the hominid fossils have been found in areas that favor preservation? You don’t say!

    There is significant evidence of coastal life from the earliest modern humans.

    Olduvai Gorge is not anywhere near the coast.

    I am however, happy to know that chimpanzees are much better at clubbing trees than humans. ;D

  395. algiskuliukas says

    Re 422 “Not necessarily…” “Need not…” Etc but ABSOLUTELY PRECLUDED from study by palaeoanthropologists. Why’s that?

    Algis Kuliukas

  396. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but ABSOLUTELY PRECLUDED from study by palaeoanthropologists. Why’s that?

    Evidence by citation, or you are nothing but lair, bullshitter, True Believer™ who nobody, including working anthropologists, has to take seriously. Drop your ego fuckwit. Maybe you will realize the problem with your inane idea is you, and your imagufactured “evidence”. There is no AAH hypothesis. It doesn’t even rate as an idea….

  397. algiskuliukas says

    Re 425… duh!

    Of course bipedalism preceded the other traits. Everyone Knows this.

    Are you listening? River Apes… Pre Homo in seasonally flooded gallery forests… Ideal for bipedalism to evolve. Coastal People… Post Homo on coasts… Ideal for efficient striding bipedalism and some swimming and diving. Don’t tell me, space apes are more likely, right?

    I predict that I will have to explain this about a thousand times before the penny finally drops for pseudo-skeptics here. That’s usually how long it takes.

    Still, who needs a rational exchange of ideas with idiots and loons when you have mockery, eh PZ?

    Algis Kuliukas

  398. ChasCPeterson says

    “Not necessarily…” “Need not…” Etc but ABSOLUTELY PRECLUDED from study by palaeoanthropologists. Why’s that?

    Nobody’s precluding anybody from studying anything. Certainly not here. Certainly not me.
    So when you have some sort of evidence that wading, swimming, or diving are necessary for the evolution of human phenotypic features, then people will listen. You don’t seem to realize that people simply see your scenarios as less plusible than more conventional terrestrially based models. If ancestral humans could eat the shellfish they ate by walking out there at low tide and picking it up, then there’s no reason to add the additionally onerous hypothesis of diving or even wading.

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

    I’m from Missouri. Show me, if you would, some present-day humans who live as Aquatic Apes.

    I can look around the world and see nomadic herders, savannah hunters and primitive agriculturalists. Any previous stage of human existence is re-capped, somewhere, by somebody.

    The closest that I see to aquatic life is lived by island folk in tropic climes. They seem to use every bit of technology they can to stay out of the water, such as boats, fishing platforms and stilted huts, and when they go into the water, they use goggles, nets and spears. Nobody, repeat, nobody, is wading about with their bare hands in the shallows.

  400. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still, who needs a rational exchange of ideas with idiots and loons when you have mockery, eh PZ?

    Says the person who engages in mockery and non-evidence. Hypocrite be they name. Either provide what we real scientists consider the “smoking gun” evidence, or begin to think you might be WRONG. Sorry, given that your ego is bigger than an arrogant liberturds, it is impossible for you consider you are wrong….you need to learn the first lesson of science. You must be your harshest critic, not your pet sycophant….

  401. Amphiox says

    Here we show that by 164 kyr ago (+-12 kyr) at Pinnacle Point (on the south coast of South Africa) humans expanded their diet to include marine resources, perhaps as a response to these harsh environmental conditions

    As already mentioned way upthread, the timescale doesn’t match, so those fossils have no relevance to the idea you are trying to peddle.

    In fact the phrase “humans EXPANDED their diet” clearly indicates that this was a newly adapted behavior, and that earlier, in the time frames which ARE relevant to your contention, they DID NOT DO THIS.

    Fossil evidence of PREFERENTIAL aquatic habitation AT THE TIME OF THE EMERGENCE OF BIPEDALITY.

    Because just living by riversides some of the time is no different from the regular savannah hypotheses, because, gasp, there are rivers running through savannahs, and all other major savannah inhabiting TERRESTRIAL mammals also come to rivers and other sources of water frequently. You know, to drink.

    NO FOSSIL NO TALK.

  402. Amphiox says

    Sahelanthropus, Ororrin, Aridipithecus. THESE are the fossils in the time frame relevant to the development of bipedality.

    THESE fossils show NO reasonable evidence of preferential aquatic habitation.

  403. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    THESE fossils show NO reasonable evidence of preferential aquatic habitation.

    Gasp, you mean our True Believer might be WRONG??? *checks for extra heavy duty fainting couch* SWOON….snicker*

  404. Amphiox says

    And the bipedalism in the gibbons suggests even the possibility that the bipedalism of Sahelanthropus, Ororrin, and Aridipithecus was not any sort of new evolutionary innovation in those lineages requiring any new explanation. It could simply be a retained ancestral trait dating all the way back to when the lineages walked bipedally on branches in trees, and it is the knuckle walking of chimps and gorillas that needs a special explanation within the great ape clade.

  405. Amphiox says

    And the vast majority of ALL fossils of largish mammals are found in waterside habitats, because those are the habitats where fossils are most likely to form.

    Once again in this we see another symptom that is common through the AAH strain of thought. The exclusive attention to the human lineage to the exclusion of all other relevant comparisons. The failure to notice gibbon bipedality due to exclusive attention on just the hominid/chimp split, the presence of which entirely changes the calculus upon which bipedalism in the whole clade needs to be viewed. The ridiculous assertion that the majority of hominin fossils being found beside watery environments is somehow a special thing, when virtually everything from cynodonts to dinosaurs are all preferentially found beside watery environments due to the conditions that preserve fossils. The assertion that the paucity of chimpanzee fossils in similar environments is actually something of relevance, without knowing that we basically don’t have any good chimpanzee fossils from any time any where.

    All this represents a pattern of thought indicative of viewing the human branch as something special, when it is not, and paying too much attention to it in isolation without regard for anything else.

  406. anthrosciguy says

    Biology works like this… If species a does more swimming and diving than species b, then in relatively short evolutionary timescales natural selection will drive their phenotypes apart.

    And what are the aquatic adaptations different between crab-eating macaques and rhesus macaques?

    And of course your problem is that what you are arguing — in terms of features (inaccurately described, hence your GIGO problem) and at times also explicitly — is selection via convergent evolution between us and cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenia. That just isn’t happening by walking along a shoreline and occasionally taking a dip.

    Almost all the evidence ever found of hominids is from waterside habitats.

    Your continuing problems with the concept of taphonomy have been noted many times.

    but ABSOLUTELY PRECLUDED from study by palaeoanthropologists. Why’s that?

    As I and others have pointed out to you many times for many years now, nothing and no one is precluding you from doing research. But you have chosen instead to spend a great deal of time spouting off online in newsgroups and forums. Using your own statements about how much time you’ve spent, I’ve figured conservatively that this amounts to 3-4 years or more of 40-hour work weeks you could’ve spent doing research. It seems clear you don’t think the idea is worth your own time; why should others — people who don’t share your opinion of its importance — spend theirs if you won’t spend your own?

    In addition, you’ve offered bizarre ideas for “experiments” that you say would provide support for your claims. They’ve had one thing in common: they would be impossible or unethical to do. This keeps you from doing them… but others have pointed out ways you could do such experiments with the impossible and unethical removed, yet you still refuse to do them. This suggests you don’t really believe they would turn out the way you claim you think they would. If you believed it you’d do the experiments. If you believed your idea was really any good you wouldn’t be here. You’d be doing the work you say your ideas desperately need.

  407. algiskuliukas says

    Re 440 –

    Re Macacques – I don’t know as I haven’t studied them. But if there is as significant a difference in their swimming abilities as there appears to be between humans and chimps then I would expect there to be some phenotypic changes, wouldn’t you?

    Re cetaceans etc. Jim Moore, misrepresenting the argument as always. This is all he’s ever done.

    Re taphonomy – yes, that old one is always trotted out. Thousands of fossils attributed to Homo from waterside habitats, one (maybe) to Pan – yet somehow the lie is peddled that the fossil evidence is AGAINST waterside ideas.

    Re my research. What Jim Moore isn’t reporting, of course, is that unlike him, I returned to university, studied Human Evolution at UCL and got a Masters degree (with a distinction) and started a PhD at UWA. I have done new empicial research into a simple idea on bipedal origins that the field had ignored for almost 50 years, presented it at scientific conferences (including AAPA 2009) and got them published in the peer reviewed literature. In short, I’ve done what you’re supposed to do in science.

    To pay the bills all this time I’ve had to continue to work in IT. On top of this, I have found time, and consider it my duty, to act as a critical voice about Jim Moore’s astonishingly uncritical acclaimed gossip and twistings on the internet medium.

    Jim, meanwhile, has a sleazy, gossip-filled, masquerading web site which is nothing more than an attempted character assassination of Elaine Morgan, where he gets to write whatever misreprentations he likes with impunity.

    As a result of this HE gets a public endorsement from PZ Myers!

    Outrageous.

    Algis Kuliukas

  408. David Marjanović says

    Re 362 – Why draw the line at apes? Why not include OWMs? The point is humans are closer, genetically, to chimps than they are to Gorillas. So the base clade of interest to consider is the great apes.

    Well, I explained that in comment 367, which is…

    Re 367, 368 – Not worth answering.

    Okie-doke, then. If you refuse to convince me that I’m wrong on this, I’ll continue to think I’m right and you’re wrong.

    BTW, 368 wasn’t even directed at you.

    Please try to remember that all that is being proposed is a simple, plausible, evidence-based, Darwinian, potential explanation for the remarkable phenotypic differences between humans and our nearest cousins, the chimps.

    Plausibility is subjective and therefore irrelevant. What’s relevant is that even your hypothesis is difficult to impossible to square with a whole lot of evidence, as I’ve been trying hard to explain and you’ve been trying even harder to ignore. Far from being simple, your hypothesis is actually quite unparsimonious.

    What is your problem? There is an abundance of fossil evidence placing early hominins in riparian and lakeside habitats and some of the earliest evidence for modern humans is on the coasts of Africa.

    I’ve tried to explain uttermost basic taphonomy. You’ve ignored it.

    our ancestors were anatomically & physiologically not adapted to regular running over open plains as some anthropologists still believe

    Oh, on this I agree. The adaptations are to regular walking over open plains.

    –eBook “Was Man more aquatic in the past?” introd.Phillip Tobias

    Excuse me, why do you add to this thread when you so clearly haven’t read the comments above yours?

    How else could they have reached Pakefield & Flores? running over the savanna??

    To get to Flores, you can do the same thing the deer did. Where’s Pakefield?

    That neandertals were big game hunters on the open plains is far-fetched fantasy. Some were found at the coast (Gibraltar, Stringer PNAS), other inland along rivers (often washed into caves with erosion later).

    Did you know the science of sedimentology exists? Honestly, did you?

    “Washed into” doesn’t produce cave loam, FFS.

    How much easier was it to butcher a carcass – and even more so to kill an ungulate in reed or mud – at the waterside than on the dangerous terra firma?

    Waterside? What waterside and what mud in winter in the middle of an ice age?

    his claim you can exist for months eating marine fish and drinking seawater

    If you can (somehow) catch enough fish, that might actually work. I hope I never need to try, though.

    the raisin date

    Heh. Explanation for the newbies: that’s what a creationist who wandered in here a few years ago thought “raison d’être” was.

    The one place extant great apes switch to bipedalism to MOVE is in waist/chest deep water.

    Learn more about orang-utans.

    And stop ignoring the gibbons. They’re not irrelevant just because of a historical fact of nomenclature.

    Re 422 “Not necessarily…” “Need not…” Etc but ABSOLUTELY PRECLUDED from study by palaeoanthropologists.

    What are you smoking, and can I get it legally in the Netherlands?

    The fuck is it “precluded”! No matter how much you wish otherwise, the AAH are (plural) rejected a posteriori, because they turn out not to fit the data as well as alternatives. They’re not rejected a priori. There is no thought police outside of North Korea.

    Are you listening? River Apes… Pre Homo in seasonally flooded gallery forests… Ideal for bipedalism to evolve.

    You are not listening any time Amphiox or I mention that bipedality is as old as apehood itself. Animals with very long arms that already spend almost all their waking time with a vertical body simply keep this posture when on the ground or a thick branch: this is observable today in gibbons and, to a lesser degree, in orang-utans.

    429. Nice chap, isn’t he, PZ?

    Who fucking cares? He’s right. Isaac Newton and Richard Owen were enormous assholes, off the top of my head.

    I find it funny, though, that you wrote this after your own comment 424, which says nothing but “Jim Moore is meeeeeeean!!!1!” – there’s not a single argument in there. Pathetic!

  409. David Marjanović says

    (Newton’s humble-sounding “if I have seen farther than others, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants” was a dig at the short Robert Hooke.)

    Re Macacques – I don’t know as I haven’t studied them. But if there is as significant a difference in their swimming abilities as there appears to be between humans and chimps then I would expect there to be some phenotypic changes, wouldn’t you?

    Then study them already!!!

    You’ve been “working” on swimming in primates for how many decades now, and you don’t even know about those macaques!?! Are you shitting us, or are you shitting yourself?

    Re taphonomy – yes, that old one is always trotted out. Thousands of fossils attributed to Homo from waterside habitats, one (maybe) to Pan – yet somehow the lie is peddled that the fossil evidence is AGAINST waterside ideas.

    In rainforests, even the rivers aren’t good sites for the preservation of fossils. That’s an often-observed fact. Go back to undergrad.

    And BTW, as I’ve already mentioned, the HTML tag for italics is <i>.

    and got them published in the peer reviewed literature

    Like where?

    And may I ask what prevented you from completing your doctorate?

  410. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, still lacking the “smoking gun” physical evidence. No convinced of anything but that the True Believe™ is a fuckwitted egoist of the highest order….

  411. chigau (違う) says

    Living close to water means aquatic adaptations?
    What if they were thirsty?

  412. ChasCPeterson says

    his claim you can exist for months eating marine fish and drinking seawater

    If you can (somehow) catch enough fish, that might actually work. I hope I never need to try, though.

    If you could (somehow) catch enough fish, you’d be much better off skipping the small amounts of seawater.

  413. Amphiox says

    Re 367, 368 – Not worth answering.

    It is telling, this. I just had the opportunity to look back at 367 and 368, and those were dense, information-packed, informative posts.

    That Algis would declare that kind of post “not worth answering” tells us a lot about the kind of person he is. And it tells us nothing good.

    “Not worth answering” is either code for “over my head so much I didn’t understand it at all” or it is an example of pure intellectual dishonesty.

  414. Amphiox says

    Re taphonomy – yes, that old one is always trotted out.

    It is always trotted out because you have not provided a satisfactory answer to it. That it is “old” is just yet another indictment of the intellectual bankruptcy of your position, that it has still failed to answer such an old criticism.

    Thousands of fossils attributed to Homo from waterside habitats, one (maybe) to Pan – yet somehow the lie is peddled that the fossil evidence is AGAINST waterside ideas.

    Evidence AGAINST? Not necessarily. But it does not count as evidence FOR.

    Now the DATES of those fossils attributed to Homo? That would be evidence AGAINST. The lack of any notable, definitive aquatic adaptations in those fossils, despite the proximity to water in which it was found? That would also be evidence AGAINST. The associated findings, such as predator marks, tools, isotopic ratios, refuse, etc, that all show diverse habitat exploitation including some aquatic but primarily in the vast majority terrestrial? That too is evidence AGAINST.

    Not to mention that NO fossils attributed to Homo are in any way relevant to your primary claim about bipedalism, since bipedalism evolved millions of years before genus Homo appeared.

    Or are you arguing for Marcel Williams’ version of the AAH now? You do realize that your version and his version are incompatible, right? Your timescales don’t match.

    Your TIME scales DO NOT MATCH.

    An evolutionary theory that posits events on time scales that DO NOT MATCH the fossil record is wrong.

    End. Of. Story.

    Until you resolve the time discrepancy with new evidence, you have nothing, and are doing nothing but spinning and ever more elaborate just-so story.

    NO FOSSIL NO TALK.

  415. Amphiox says

    You’ve been “working” on swimming in primates for how many decades now, and you don’t even know about those macaques!?!

    Of course he doesn’t. He’s been working on bipedal primates for decades now, and he didn’t even know about gibbons.

    If it isn’t a great ape, he doesn’t care. Or doesn’t want to care. His hypothesis only even begins to sound like making sense if one ignores the entirety of the primate family except for humans, chimps, and bonobos.

  416. Amphiox says

    Please try to remember that all that is being proposed is a simple, plausible, evidence-based, Darwinian,

    Plausible only gets you to the starting line. After that you need evidence.

    When the primary and most relevant evidence, the timescale shown in the fossil record, directly contradicts a number of your claims, you don’t have anything remotely resembling “evidence-based”.

    potential explanation for the remarkable phenotypic differences between humans and our nearest cousins, the chimps.

    Now see, you haven’t even demonstrated that the phenotypic differences between humans and chimps are “remarkable” in any way to necessitates a special, unparsimonious explanation. When you factor bonobos into the equation, many of the differences turn out not to be so stark at all.

    The even call the differences “remarkable” is the same homo-centric myopia evident in your failure to take note of the gibbons or the macaques.

  417. anthrosciguy says

    If you can (somehow) catch enough fish, that might actually work. I hope I never need to try, though.

    They’re too salt-laden. And of course seawater only exacerbates the situation.

  418. David Marjanović says

    Or are you arguing for Marcel Williams’ version of the AAH now? You do realize that your version and his version are incompatible, right? Your timescales don’t match.

    To be fair, Williams claims two semiaquatic phases: one for Oreopithecus, which, like, totally waded in swamps for a living and was, like, totally a direct ancestor of Sahelanthropus, and then a later, independent one for the immediate ancestry of Homo four million years later.

    Of course he doesn’t. He’s been working on bipedal primates for decades now, and he didn’t even know about gibbons.

    If it isn’t a great ape, he doesn’t care. Or doesn’t want to care.

    Oh, so it’s like Feduccia not knowing anything, or caring, about dinosaurs other than modern birds. I see.

    They’re too salt-laden.

    Really? Aren’t they at least isotonic with us?

  419. anthrosciguy says

    eBook “Was Man more aquatic in the past?” introd.Phillip Tobias

    Excuse me, why do you add to this thread when you so clearly haven’t read the comments above yours?

    That’s what Marc does; his nickname in the newsgroup he frequents is “Macro Man”, for his incessant cut and pasting of previously posted and usually off the immediate topic stuff. For instance one of his posts above is a cut and paste from another blog comment elsewhere.

    As for Tobias’ contributions to the AAT/H, Marc didn’t tell you Tobias’ idea about how we got to Gibraltar, did he. Tobias was talking about hominins and stegodon having a “close and intimate relationship” like that “between elephants and their mahouts in the Indian sub-continent in recent centuries” (“when one considers the close and intimate relationship that exists between elephants and their mahouts in the Indian sub-continent in recent centuries, it is interesting to speculate whether a relationship existed between the movement of early humans and early elephantids across such straits as that between the Sunda Shelf and Flores.”).

    He’s not through with that line either, he’s got mammoths in there too, because apparently we didn’t get to the Iberian peninsula by migrating through the Middle East, we swam across from Morocco on the backs of mammoths (“Moreover, could those North African mammoths have been associated in any way with the crossing by humans, from Ceuta and Morocco into Iberia. as long ago as 1.5 million years before the present?”).

    I wrote up a forum post (the above is part of that) a couple years ago on Tobias’ written statements re the AAT/H. Some might find it interesting reading.
    http://talkrational.org/showthread.php?p=943077#post943077

  420. anthrosciguy says

    Now see, you haven’t even demonstrated that the phenotypic differences between humans and chimps are “remarkable” in any way to necessitates a special, unparsimonious explanation.

    Algis has quite a few idiosyncratic “definitions” for actual words. Parsimonious is one. So much so that one critic, John Langdon, has told him “Your concept of parsimony is a delusion.”

    And plausible is another; Algis has conflated it with “conceivable”. (To someone pointing out that a poster who was explaining genetics to Algis didn’t say “plausible”, as Algis has claimed he did, Algis replied

    Ok “conceivable” was the actual term used – sorry. It makes such a big difference.

    Clutching at straws or WHAT?

  421. anthrosciguy says

    Really? Aren’t they at least isotonic with us?

    No, but even if were so, it’s not enough for providing fluids long term, not without fresh water.

  422. anthrosciguy says

    Algis has also, BTW, claimed Sahelanthropus was semiaquatic based on some cherry picking of associated fauna (and ignoring the detailed corrections, with refs, he was given). And of course poor old Oreo has been an AAT/H mainstay for ages now.

  423. anthrosciguy says

    To add to my comment about Marc Verhaegen and his seawater and fish claim, apologies but I’ll do a little cut and pasting myself from my website’s page on him:
    http://www.aquaticape.org/verhaegen.html

    He has claimed that seawater is potable to humans:
    “Never heard of the Bombard experiments? French Navy IIRC. When one gradually shifts to drinking small frequent bits of seawater + eating fish, it’s possible to survive for months.”
    Verhaegen, May 8, 2004 sci.anthropology.paleo

    ———————————–

    This is incredibly stupid, and dangerous — it’s completely false and if followed, would result in extreme ill-health and, if continued, death. How a medical doctor could believe such nonsense is incredible to me. The experiments of Dr. Alain Bombard, and the subsequent followup experiments by the French Navy, did not show what Verhaegen claims they did.
    Dr. Bombard did an experiment where he drifted in a raft across the Atlantic, supposedly without any rations being used other than things he got from the sea. I say supposedly because he did carry fresh water and provisions which he was not supposed to use, and it may be that he didn’t, but Dr. Hannes Lindemann, who later did several similar experiments with more data reported, also reported that Bombard was reprovisioned at sea at least twice, with photos of one of these times being printed in a Dutch newspaper. Regardless, Bombard did definitely do something that was difficult at best and came through alive and in relatively good health, although anemic and having lost 55 pounds in 65 days, and he did (and does) advocate the drinking of small amounts of seawater as an emergency measure. His voyage seems to very often be inaccurately reported (although generally not so inaccurately as Verhaegen did). His idea was to start off drinking seawater and getting fresh water temporarily (until he could collect rain) from crushing chucks of fish (which he would catch) in a press, and using a fine net to get plankton for Vitamin C, the major dietary necessity he couldn’t get from fish. This is problematic, however, as Lindemann found that one couldn’t get fresh water from fish in such a manner, not surprising since their bodily fluids are saline. Nevertheless, Bombard claimed he managed to do so and survived in this way for some days, although I don’t find it clear just how many, not having his book before me. What I find mentioned online is that he drank seawater (in addition to his fish juice, apparently) for no more than 3 to 6 days at a time, but that rain didn’t come for 23 days. This would suggest that he used other water before he got the rainwater. At any rate, after the rains started, his problem was not lack of fresh water, in fact, he joked that he might drown in it if the rain kept up, and after several such rains he had more than enough rainwater for his voyage.

    The French Navy experiments suggested that small amounts of salt water could be drunk starting right away when the body was well hydrated, and that if you then drank fresh water after several days your body could then flush out excess salt. It must be stressed that they, and Dr. Bombard, considered this an emergency measure only, as they recognized that it’s not a healthy thing to do — their suggestion was simply that it could be used to stave off death at some cost to short-term health. They also recognized that seawater can only be used safely if used in small amounts and with fresh water being available soon to help dilute it and flush out the excess salt from the body. The dangers of salt buildup are loss of mental functions, general lethargy, and the danger of complete renal shutdown (which keeps the kidneys from getting rid of many of the body’s toxins and results in a fairly rapid deterioration and death). It should be noted that Dr. Lindemann considered the drinking of seawater to be an extremely bad idea, and that no one (no one in their right mind) would suggest that seawater could be used as a water source (without desalination) for humans for more than an extremely brief period — a few days at most — Verhaegen’s suggestion that it could be done for months is absurd.

  424. anthrosciguy says

    BTW, Marc Verhaegen is a medical doctor; keep that in mind as you think about his above claim. :)

  425. David Marjanović says

    Tobias was talking about hominins and stegodon having a “close and intimate relationship” like that “between elephants and their mahouts in the Indian sub-continent in recent centuries”

    What next?

  426. anthrosciguy says

    That’s what keeps people over at TRF coming back, to see just what lunacy someone will say in support of the AAT/H. Just a couple weeks ago Algis came up with the idea that there is no benefit for a human to have a larger brain until they reach adulthood.

    Here’s a couple of his statements on that one:

    AlgisKuliukas:
    The material point, which of course pseudoskeptics never see, is that it makes no evolutionary sense to pump an infant full of energetically expensive tissue before and after birth in order to provide a buffer against “nutritional stress” to allow brain growth, which is only going to be of potential adaptive benefit in years to come.

    It makes no sense as the mother will be with the baby all the time anyway until weaning.

    That was a followup to his previous statement where he snarkily castigated others for pointing out the reality of human infant brain growth.

    Originally Posted by Algis
    Of course, upon this layer of special pleading, another is placed on top – it’s because of our massive brains – that’s why our infants need this remarkably expensive tissue layer, to ensure that, just in case, in about 15 years time (if they’re lucky) they might have a brain that’s a little bit smarter than the skinny infant next to them. Then, maybe, they might be slightly better able to survive.

    There seems to be an endless supply of this sort of nonsense available.

  427. Amphiox says

    Just a couple weeks ago Algis came up with the idea that there is no benefit for a human to have a larger brain until they reach adulthood.

    Sheesh.

    Now that is truly some weapons-grade stupid.

  428. ChasCPeterson says

    If you can (somehow) catch enough fish, that might actually work.

    They’re too salt-laden.

    Really? Aren’t they at least isotonic with us?

    No, but even if were so, it’s not enough for providing fluids long term, not without fresh water.

    I think you’re wrong about this. Marine teleosts typically regulate their extracellular fluids at 320-400 mOsm, only a little bit hyposmotic to ours (about 300 mOsm). I don’t see why our kidneys couldn’t deal with that salt load.

    Lindemann found that one couldn’t get fresh water from fish in such a manner, not surprising since their bodily fluids are saline.

    Not fresh water, no, but not brackish enough to kill you, unlike seawater (about 1000 mOsm).

  429. ChasCPeterson says

    oops: marine teleosts are only a little bit hyperosmotic to us, I meant.

  430. anthrosciguy says

    I’d seen different numbers, as I remember, but I’ll recheck that. Problem is that our kidneys can’t handle all that much if we don’t have something to offset it, to flush them out. Not for long that is. With fresh water available, yes. With only very salty water, I don’t think so. But it’s worth checking again.

  431. anthrosciguy says

    Talking a look at Lindemann’s book, he actually said: “Only the eyes, blood
    and spinal liquids of fish supplied me with fluids; to extract liquid from the rest of a fish’s body one needs especially built presses.” And he was adamant about needing fresh water (apparently he’d tried an earlier short trip drinking saltwater and soon had some terrific health problems, starting with severe swelling in his legs, which isn’t particularly surprising).

  432. algiskuliukas says

    Re anthro”sci”guy’s never ending gossip. Two can play that game.

    Oooh, did you hear what he said recently about Daniel Dennett? After years of misrepresenting his views about Elaine Morgan, trying to twist his words to suggest that he put the “AAT” in the same bracket as creationists, I wrote to Daniel to ask for clarification and he made it clear that he never linked this idea to “ID” etc and that he still thought the “AAT” was a good idea.

    Jim’s response, rather an admit a mea culpa and apologise, was to call him “stupid”.

    Bit of theme here, eh PZ? Not the most honest or intellectual response though, is it?

    Algis Kuliukas

  433. anthrosciguy says

    Algis, you know that you’re lying about what I said. (Perhaps people wouldn’t think of you as a lair so often if you didn’t, you know, lie so often.)

    You provided a short response, part of an email exchange you had (your end of which was strawmanning my positions) where you quoted Dennett saying:

    I have never dismissed the AAT or likened it to creationism. I think it still makes more sense than any other theory of human physiology.

    My immediate reply was:
    “If that’s what Dennett thinks about the AAT/H he is either incredibly uninformed about what it actually is, what the facts actually are, or he’s stupid, or*. (He also writes pretty unclearly, as in his NYT piece where he clearly wrote what he said to you he didn’t mean to. :))”

    I hold with that. I think the last possibility is the least likely, the first is quite likely, and the middle one is virtually certain, since it is the single biggest problem surrounding the AAT/H. Most people simply don’t know about the real facts about the wide-ranging false “facts” which make up the support given for the AAT/H.

    And later I pointed out that Dennett was responding to your strawman rather than what I and others have actually said:
    “I don’t recall anyone here saying Dennett “dismissed” the AAT/H.

    And the only likening we’ve talked about re Dennett is in terms of the category he put it in in the NYT article, where he definitely did put it in the same list as several other ideas with insufficient hard evidence, including ID creationism.”

    I also pointed out that Dennett is an arch adaptationist, with several links to essays about that problem.

  434. algiskuliukas says

    Re 471

    Note the lie-slur, Jim’s trademark. Anyone open to the idea (shock horror) that human ancestors we exposed to some (perhaps only very slight) differential in selection compared to chimp ancestors must not only be wrong, but somehow dishonest.

    Anthro-slur-guy is also very hypocritical. I have been trying to update his original knee-jerk misunderstanding of these idea for years but he continues to misrepresent them. He calls them a “PR version”. I expect therefore that Dan Dennett understands what these ideas are more than the ex car mechanic with a chip on his shoulder does.

    The material point here is that Jim Moore has been deliberately misrepresenting Dennett on this idea for years. Don’t take my word for it. search the TalkRational archives for any post by “anthrosciguy” containing Dennett and you’ll see a constant theme: a denial that he is open or supportive of the idea and an attempt to peddle the idea that Dennett only mentions it in order to tar it with the same kind of brush Jim wants to.

    Note that even he, after his misrepsentations have been exposed, he still clings to the same distortion… That he “put it in the same list” as creationism and never mind the KEY POINT that Dennett was telling creationists to GET IN LINE BEHIND proponents like “AAT”ers because, unlike creationists, they were at least trying to help a paradigm shift by doing science. Dennett was discriminating between creationism and people open minded to Hardy/Morgan but wild horses couldn’t drag Jim Moore to accepting it.

    Note that his own attempt of a “PR” version of this, backfires at the end when the ex car mechanic has the prevention to lecture Dan Dennett on the general principles of evolutionary biology.

    Great, isn’t he, PZ? You must be so glad you tied your reputation to this charlatan’s mast.

    Algis Kuliukas

  435. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Evidenceless True Believer™ still won’t let the thread die a natural death., No evidence to prove their idea is even a hypothesis. Nothing but bad attitude and ego. What a liar and bullshitter.

  436. says

    Not only is Algis unable to stop repeating his stupid claims and personal attacks, he’s now unable to stop doing it in TWO threads.

    This isn’t going to count as two citations for your “theory”, Algis.

  437. ChasCPeterson says

    Who cares what Dan Dennett thinks about physiology?
    It’s almost as uninteresting as what I think about philosophy.

  438. Amphiox says

    Poor Algis.

    Reduced to poorly crafted, transparent ad hominems.

    And these are REAL ad hominems, not the just-an-insult-but-not-a-real-ad-hominem that he was trying to accuse others of way back near the beginning of the thread.

  439. David Marjanović says

    Not only is Algis unable to stop repeating his stupid claims and personal attacks, he’s now unable to stop doing it in TWO threads.

    Where is the other?

  440. says

    Kuliukas: Ad hominem & appeal to authority in the same comment? Wow.

    I am an ex-manual laborer and ex-nurseryman. Saying that someone is an ex-car mechanic is a pitiful attempt at a slur. And should I mention that my father was a car mechanic? You’re winning no friends here.

    Dan Dennett is a fine philosopher, but not much of an animal physiologist. His opinion on this issue, for or against, doesn’t have all that much weight.

    You, on the other hand, have a hard-won reputation as a kook that’s only been growing since I first encountered you on usenet.

  441. algiskuliukas says

    Re 479 – So it’s ok for you to throw insults (“idiot”, “loon” and now “kook”) but when I criticise the guy whose web site you called “the definitive web resource” an “ex car mechanic” you get all touchy. Is this because you have a position of authority and I don’t? I see. That’s fair

    I think I need to remind people that the Jim Moore you back is an ex car mechanic to disabuse them of the possible notion that they might think it is the real anthropologist at UCLA that I am referring to and that you are backing. I had breakfast with John Langdon the other day and he didn’t realise this, so I know it’s an easy mistake to make.

    The other reason I often throw this at him is because he is the self-appointed world authority on this idea, author of “the definitive web resource”, no less – something he never fails to boast about. I put it to you that world authorities should have at least some relevant qualification in the science they claim to lecture the world about. Jim’s hubris knows no bounds here and he sees it as his domain to lecture anyone on any aspect of evolutionary biology.

    Ignoring your latest eight-year-old name calling, for the third time, please substantiate your remarkable support of his masquerading web site.

    Have you even read any of it?
    If so, all of it?
    With a critical eye, or did you just think “mockery is good” and leave it at that?
    How, as someone who is supposed to be a scientist, can you defend his outrageously dodgy, cherry picking, journalistic/gossipy methodology? Are you really that biased against the so-called “AAH”?

    Algis Kuliukas (not Kuliakis)

  442. algiskuliukas says

    479

    Oh and one more thing…

    Dan Dennett is a fine philosopher, but not much of an animal physiologist. His opinion on this issue, for or against, doesn’t have all that much weight.

    So, how come you rate Jim Moore’s (the one whose only ‘qualification’ is that he once helped proof read a book for Nancy Tanner) opinion so much higher than Dennett’s and anyone else’s on this matter? Is it just because you just agree with his biased and ignorant opinions?

    Algis Kuliukas

  443. David Marjanović says

    Thanks, I didn’t know the other thread was still going. o_O

    Is it just because you just agree with his biased and ignorant opinions?

    Yes.

    Why does PZ agree with him?

    Because he evaluates the arguments instead of the person, and finds them to be better supported than the AAH. That’s why.

    The argument from authority, and its mirror image called argumentum ad hominem, are both logical fallacies. Stop making them already.

    I don’t understand what’s so hard to get about this.

  444. ChasCPeterson says

    no, wait: Let’s keep playing the argument-from-authority game for one more second before abandoning it as the classic and obvious FALLACY it is.

    Just because when it comes to credentials in animal physiology, I have Dennett’s and PZ’s and everybody else around here’s asses kicked (unless Vic Hutchison shows up).
    And I’m calling bullshit on the whole thing, wading, rivers, swimming, coastal adaptations, diving, babies, kidneys, dietary arguments. All of it.

    We’d be done here if that argument wasn’t on the face of it a classic and obvious FALLACY (even if, in this case, true).
    actually, I wouldn’t mind being done here anyways.

  445. Michael Clark says

    You’ll note that Algis will not argue the issue, provide evidence in support of his “hypothesis”, or rebut the rebuttals, but will instead complain endlessly about being persecuted. What is your hypothesis, Algis? How have you tested it? What were your methods? What were the results? How does your world view fit in (or not) with what we already know? How do you respond to criticism of this view?

    Not a word.

    Etc. etc.

  446. Amphiox says

    I must say that Algis’ recurring demonstration of laughably thin skin on this thread is as good a refutation of the entire AAH as any.

    Such a thin skin could NEVER have evolved if ancestral humans spent any significant amount of time in the water. The leeches and lampreys would have massacred the lot of them.

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

    Algis, you are the only one obsessed with people’s credentials, and the only one arguing from authority. I don’t care who makes an case, nor do I care what they used to be, or what they are now—I care about the case or argument as it stands, on its own merits.

    The folks here at Pharyngula do that. You probably missed it, but one day Richard Dawkins popped in here, and started trying to make an argument from his own authority—he got his ass handed to him. And it happened to him again, later, in another case.

    You, Algis, are just like the creationists and Christians who think that atheists are all knee-crawling worshippers of Dawkins, Darwin, PZ Myers and the Invisible Pink Unicorn (blessings on her holy hooves). You think we are just following a leader, and that if you can yell loud enough, and sling enough feces, we will all start following you.

    You are doing the same thing that has been done by many a kook, including sneering at people while not actually calling them names, then wailing about having been called names when people categorize you accurately. How do you want us to describe you, Algis? “God-King”? “Enlightened One”? “Mister Happy-Pants”?

    By the way, I am an ex-baby-sitter, an ex-carnival worker, a former kept man, and was many times a factory worker. Now I am a person with a Master of Science degree, who graduated Summa Cum Laude in the Honors College. None of which counts for shit in the comment section of an atheistic biology blog.

  448. algiskuliukas says

    Re 485

    What is your hypothesis, Algis?

    That wading in shallow water was a major component of the evolution of hominid bipedalism.

    How have you tested it?

    I did research into the degree of extant ape (bonobo) bipedalism in water and on dry land, following on from K Hunt’s premise that behavioural contexts conducive to bipedalism in extant apes might give us clues as to the factors that led to its evolution.I found that in water captive bonobos were far more likely to move bipedally than on land.

    Kuliukas, A. Wading for Food: The Driving Force of the Evolution of Bipedalism?. Nutrition and Health 16:267-289, (2002).

    I also did research into looking at the effect of speed, knee-flexion and depth of water on the energetic cost of bipedal locomotion. This followed on from the Carey & Crompton paper which did not vary knee flexion and ignored water totally. I confirmed their findings that on land the cost of a BHBK gait is 55% more than a fully upright one, but that it water, this differential was significantly reduced and/or eliminated.

    Kuliukas, A., Milne, N., Fournier, P. The relative cost of bent-hip bent-knee walking is reduced in water. Homo 60:479-488, (2009).

    What were your methods?

    See published, peer-reviewed papers for details.

    What were the results?

    See published, peer-reviewed papers for details.

    How does your world view fit in (or not) with what we already know?

    For 50 years, anthropologists have ignored water as a possible vehicle to induce bipedal locomotion models about the evolution of bipedalism even though it is the one scenario guarranteed to induce it with 100% predictability in extant great apes.

    Putting that self-imposed blind spot aside, I agree with the mainstream that vertical climbing was also a major component of bipedal origins and that efficient, TERRESTRIAL walking was a major factor in it’s later optimisation.

    How do you respond to criticism of this view?

    I criticicise it back, as one is supposed to do in a rational debate.

    Terrible, eh, PZ?

    How do you respond to this these days?

    SPACE APE!! SPACE APE!! SPACE APE!! SPACE APE!! SPACE APE!!

    Algis Kuliukas

  449. David Marjanović says

    Such a thin skin could NEVER have evolved if ancestral humans spent any significant amount of time in the water. The leeches and lampreys would have massacred the lot of them.

    Day saved.

    That wading in shallow water was a major component of the evolution of hominid bipedalism.

    The trick is that, as I brought up long ago in this thread, that bipedality is as old as Hominidae in the broadest sense of Hominidae.

    When orang-utans walk, which they almost never do, they very often walk bipedally.

    When gibbons walk, which they almost never do, they always walk bipedally.

    It follows straight from their adaptations to brachiation.

    Why do you think we haven’t simply retained this bipedality? Why do you think our ancestors lost it and then gained it again? Or do you think gibbons and orang-utans somehow evolved it independently from each other? If so, why do you think so?

    on land the cost of a BHBK [ = bent-hip-bent-knee] gait is 55% more [efficient?] than a fully upright one

    At what speeds, over what distances?

  450. says

    So, how come you rate Jim Moore’s (the one whose only ‘qualification’ is that he once helped proof read a book for Nancy Tanner) opinion so much higher than Dennett’s and anyone else’s on this matter?

    Because I’m looking at the arguments and the evidence, rather than who presented them.

    You should try it.

  451. says

    Also, as you may have noticed ChasCPeterson is the guy with the best background in this subject here, so why aren’t you engaging his evidence rather than whining about “ex-car mechanics”?

  452. anthrosciguy says

    BECAUSE he’s noticed ChasCPeterson is the guy with the best background in this subject here.

  453. vaiyt says

    Anyone open to the idea (shock horror) that human ancestors we exposed to some (perhaps only very slight) differential in selection compared to chimp ancestors must not only be wrong, but somehow dishonest.

    This is not what you’re saying, though.
    .
    This is what you’re actually saying.

    That wading in shallow water was a major component of the evolution of hominid bipedalism.

    This is what is being disputed. We aren’t closed to the general idea that humans faced differentials in selection compared to our ancestors. We just aren’t convinced that THIS ONE PARTICULAR differential was a factor.
    .
    Try being more honest and perhaps you will get less mockery in return.

  454. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Try being more honest and perhaps you will get less mockery in return.

    Trouble is he thinks he’s Barbara McClintock, when he is more like Fleischman & Pons a year after the cold fusion debacle. His ego outstrips his evidence, and egg on his face just keeps piling up.

  455. algiskuliukas says

    Re 490, 491 I do, PZ. I realise that I am in a minority on this and that people like you and Henry Gee and a tribe of followers who want to be hard nosed skeptics too, think the idea that wading through shallow might have helped in the evolution of hominin bipedalism is as crazy as space apes, but I keep looking at the evidence and the arguments and I keep thinking… nope, they’re all wrong, there’s probably something in this.

    The one place an extant great ape (that would otherwise move quadrupedally) will switch to bipedalism with 100% certainty is in waist/chest deep water. Practically every paleohabitat in which fossils in the early hominin grade have been found are consistent with wading.

    I also look at the counter arguments and, as Dennett pointed out, they’re always thin and ad hoc. I look at the 35+ published models on bipedal origins over 150 years and I call most of them “rubbish”. I notice that the current de rigeur position is a bizarre combination of “no need to worry, we were ALWAYS bipedal” and “who knows, it could have been genetic drift acting on some vertical climbers but not others”. And I note that authorities like you would rther still point students to an amateurish, gossip-filled web site than the literature on this subject.

    You say you’ve read Jim Moore’s web site. Really? How much? With a critical eye?

    How can you justify that it contains an order of magnitude on old, discredited ideas (like salt tears) than on the wading hypotheses which doesn’t even merit a page on it’s own? “Definitive web resource”? You’re having a laugh.

    This is just one of scores of blatant examples of Jim Moore’s sleazy journalistic practices. Have you ever wondered if there might be a counter-critique and read that (http://www.riverapes.com/AAH/Arguments/JimMoore/JMHome.htm) most scientifically minded people would at least consider it.

    On ChasCPeterson, I note he distanced himself from Jim Moore’s gossip here a few days ago. Maybe you should too.

    If Chas wants to use all his great expertise to explain to me why wading is so obviously a bad idea in terms of explaining hominin bipedal origins I’d be very happy to debate it with him.

    May I suggest a forum where it is a little easier to debate such matters.

    http://www.waterside-hypotheses.com/

    Algis Kuliukas

  456. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still nothing but attitude, no evidence that would satisfy a real scientist you aren’t a crank and a loon. Quit doing copypasta meaningless screeds. Either supply that conclusive evidence or shut the fuck up like a scientist with honesty and integrity would do. Your continued screeds show a lack of both.

  457. algiskuliukas says

    Note 490 criticised me for doing the “argument from authority”, 491 uses that very argument itself.

    I get it. Any idea to do with the dreaded ‘a’ factor is wrong, all else follows.

    Algis Kuliukas