The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

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L'Emmerdeur
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Re: The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

Post by L'Emmerdeur » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:25 pm

Jim Moore has examined the claims of the aquatic ape hypothesis in detail, and created a website presenting his findings.

Aquatic Ape Theory: Sink or Swim?

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Re: The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

Post by mistermack » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:17 am

L'Emmerdeur wrote:Jim Moore has examined the claims of the aquatic ape hypothesis in detail, and created a website presenting his findings.

Aquatic Ape Theory: Sink or Swim?
Yes, I read some of that a few years ago, and he was rightly scathing of it then. I just noticed that the wikipedia page on Elaine Morgan was rather generous to the idea, and actually ended by saying "However since about 2000 it has achieved significant acceptance and serious scrutiny, as shown by David Attenborough in a 2016 pair of radio programmes entitled The Waterside Ape, which included recent discovery of growths in the ear in hominid fossils today found in diving cultures or surfers."

As if David Attenborough was some sort of scientist, rather than a jounalist, just like Elaine Morgan.
So people are still getting sucked in by it, even today.
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Re: The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

Post by Brian Peacock » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:31 pm

I seem to remember Alice Roberts telling Attenborough to sit down and shut up after those radio programs.
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Re: The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

Post by mistermack » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:42 pm

I think Attenborough was also enticed by the equally flawed persistence hunting hypothesis.

He needs an Alice Roberts to keep him on a chain.
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Re: The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

Post by NineBerry » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:42 pm

None of these hypothesis are either proven or disproven. The are still a lot of gaps in our understanding of human evolution. There could very well have been early acquatic phases.

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Re: The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

Post by JimC » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:18 pm

It doesn't have to be a single phase, long since abandoned. The ocean littoral and freshwater lakes could always have been one of the niches we learned to exploit from time to time, and that this aspect of our environment had at least some evolutionary impact on both our structural features and behaviour, even if only relatively minor.
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Re: The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

Post by mistermack » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:13 am

You could say the same about any ape. Water is normally a desirable thing to have in your territory.
The question is whether the ape specialised in some way.
Some monkeys in coastal areas do very well out of eating shellfish, even using stone tools as hammers to crack them open. Monkeys are opportunists, like apes are. They haven't evolved any special adaptations, because there's a huge population of non coastal monkeys, doing ok as well, and the genes are being constantly remixed and refreshed.

Moose spend a lot of time in water, browsing. It's an important part of their diet. You don't call them aquatic mooses. They just exploit whatever they find in their area.

In Africa, you get crocodiles in the rivers, and bull sharks in the coastal waters. It's likely to make all out water specialising a bit dangerous, to say the least. It doesn't exclude some water use, it's just a factor.

In the end, when you look for GOOD evidence of some sort of specialised aquatic past, it's not there. Unless you interpret a load of stuff one way only, which is what they do to push it.
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