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View Poll Results: How valid do you consider the so-called Aquatic Ape Hypothesis?

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  • 1. Absolute drivel, it's pseudo-science!

    25 62.50%
  • 2. Far-fetched, but at least based on observations

    7 17.50%
  • 3. Can't decide, further research needed

    3 7.50%
  • 4. It's quite the intriguing idea, which may explain a lot of peculiar human traits

    2 5.00%
  • 5. It's the greatest scientific discovery since Darwin!

    3 7.50%
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Thread: Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

  1. #201  
    Forum Bachelors Degree CEngelbrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    The transition to bipedalism happened in the trees.
    You need to let go of your Tarzan image long enough to consider where it comes from. It stems back to Raymond Dart in 1924, who presented the Taung child (the first known Australopithecus) from South africa and revolutionized the understanding of our origin. A very admirable individual, as he had his own fight against a stagnant scientific establishment, which he wasn't part of (and being Australian didn't help either back then). He fought academic arrogance for twenty years, being heavily ignored for the same reason as Hardy and Morgan: His case of an African origin was socially an inconvenient idea.
    Raymond Dart - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    However, he seems to have been wrong in one aspect; the original habitat. From him comes the focus on grasslands (the Savannah), because that's where we have found the Australopithecines (and later the Homos and Ardi). The element not then taken into account is that the geographical landscape is as dynamic as biological life. This idea was only ten years old in Dart's time (with Alfred Wegener) and equally not taken seriously for several more decades. Only the last few decades have paleoanthropology taken geological history into full account, which now rules out at least the Savannah for eg. bipedalism. Originally, anthropologists have worked with the transition to bipedalism in a scenario that went from forest to savannah. Now their best option (apart from amphibious, which aparently is an insult to suggest), is to consider bipedalism in a jungle or in a 'mosaic' habitat, which seems a very vague definition.

    It is stagnant to think that the idea of human bipedalism being developed from trees is strongly founded, because it isn't. It's an assumption. And one based on a then incomplete perspective on the original habitat/s. Yes, it is most likely that way back (20-12mya) we were indeed jungle beings (with Proconsul, Dryopithecus, etc.), but what is not unlikely is that at the point of divergence from the Pan and Gorilla mutual lineage, it may have been more complicated. It is fair to pressume, that what ever made humans stand out from these two cousins would be a drastic difference in habitat. And when observing that it's a general trend in primates to move through water wading bipedally with a vertical spine, how can one not consider an amphibious past for bipedalism in human evolution, now that bipedalism became the human standard?
    "The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there's no place for it in the endeavor of science. (History) shows us clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong, and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources."
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  2. #202  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    Comparing to members of the same family which are land dwellers is the perfect way to see if there is a notable morphology difference
    Not if there are large differences in size, climate, geography, diet, etc. Especially size, since that seems to be the aspect of interest.
    But that is exactly what you are doing with the comparison to foxes etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    what amphibious animals in that size range have the fat though? As noted on this site Oregon Zoo Animals: Sea Otter sea otters do NOT have a fat layer.
    And as also noted by that very same site, most "marine" mammals do have a fat layer.

    Sea otters do have considerable subcutaneous fat, btw - just not the blubber layer we find in most other "marine" mammals.
    Cite it please! the link I provide is very specific in saying that sea otters do not have a fat layer.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    But the central problem here is the direction of argument. The fat layer on humans agrees with, and correlates with, a period of amphibious phase adaptation. Also, it lacks better - or even other - explanation. That would be true if humans were the only animal on the planet so adapted. A sea otter that stores fat (oil) in its fur to trap air and insulate against cold is not evidence against the correlation between human fat and possible hominid amphibious lifestylings.
    See my comments below to CEngelbrecht:

    Elephants and rhinos have not been suggested as past aquatics. The Proboscidea has the dead end side branchMoeritheriidae which was semi aquatic, but they are not close to the modern elephants, and much closer to modern elephants are the mammoth and mastodon, very much not hairless.

    Same thing goes for the rhinos Amynodontidae which were amphibious, died out in the Miocene and were not in the same family as modern rhinos, while the modernSumatran Rhinoceros has a notable amount of fur and is in the same tribe as the woolly rhino.

    Remember, when I first suggested otters I was specific in noting the Giant otters of the Amazon due to the similarity in size to what an aquatic ape would have been, and living in the same latitudes.

    As noted in the post just above, current evidence shows the honomids evolving in a mosaic type habitat, which is also similar to that of giant otters.

    I would not rely on the hippos due to them being 4-6 times the size of the hypothetical amphibious ape.
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  3. #203  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    The transition to bipedalism happened in the trees.
    You need to let go of your Tarzan image long enough to consider where it comes from. It stems back to Raymond Dart in 1924, who presented the Taung child (the first known Australopithecus) from South africa and revolutionized the understanding of our origin...
    You have no idea what I'm talking about.

    Please don't comment again until you've read all the references I've presented.
    Nearly all of the above lines of evidence can be questioned, and all have more than one possible cause (although some may have no cause at all).
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  4. #204  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleoichneum
    Not if there are large differences in size, climate, geography, diet, etc. Especially size, since that seems to be the aspect of interest. But that is exactly what you are doing with the comparison to foxes etc...
    It is exactly what I was avoiding, as best I could, by choosing mammals paired by size, general diet (carnivore, omnivore, etc), habit (hibernate?) and general geographic location - in response to your request for smaller mammals compared.

    And why I also chose the giant otter to picture, in my linked photo - warm water, shallow water foraging, about the right size.
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    Sea otters do have considerable subcutaneous fat, btw - just not the blubber layer we find in most other "marine" mammals.

    Cite it please! the link I provide is very specific in saying that sea otters do not have a fat layer.
    All mammals have a layer of fat under their skin, of some degree of thickness. The discussion here is one of degree and deposition pattern. This link is more typical in making the blubber thickness specific in the comparison - as in most descriptions of sea otters, the comparison is with other cold water aquatic mammals, and the two cold water strategies of thick layer of oily fur on the outside and thick layer of blubber on the inside are more clearly contrasted: Ecologists Study the Interactions of Organisms and Their Environment | Learn Science at Scitable. The zoos are not comparing sea otter fat with land animal fat.

    Either way, we see that a greater and more noticeable fat/oil layer following the skin correlates with more amphibious niche compared with dryland niche in mammals. The direction of argument is from the observed greater and more noticeable human fat layer to its implications, not the other way around. The human way of being and getting fat is a strange feature for a more dry land guess, and requires explanation, but a natural fit for a more aquatic guess, and is explained.

    (btw: Your linked popular zoo description of sea otters classifies them as marine mammals, also, which if you are accepting their language without consideration for circumstance would remove them from our specific discussion. )
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  5. #205  
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    Let us suppose that we leave cold water, and deep sea species out of our discussion. Those are different environments with different selective criterion than the one that is proposed. Most likely it would have been warm coastal areas of Africa, or Rivers. We needn't discuss Walrus, and probably can leave out most any creature that has "sea" in its name. Indeed, maybe instead of discussing outright "aquatic" apes, we should be discussing "apes that exclusively dwell near fresh water."

    Lliving near water would allow for the stamina strategies other posters have mentioned. Sweat glands are pretty useless if you don't have a ready source of moisture to fill them with. If you do, then you can run down animals that are subject to overheating on a hot day. Also, if bathing started early on, then hairlessness would improve hygiene, which certainly saves a lot of calories in the long run, especially in Africa.

    Also, we've already established that human clans were not greatly subject to predators. Modern Chimps have been shown to be able to defend themselves quite well against attacking leopards. I'm pretty sure our ancestors were free to put their camp pretty much anywhere they wanted.

    Chimps Attacking Leopard - YouTube
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  6. #206  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post
    And when observing that it's a general trend in primates to move through water wading bipedally with a vertical spine, how can one not consider an amphibious past for bipedalism in human evolution, now that bipedalism became the human standard?
    How powerful are these photos! We can see that the bonobos always move bipedally when wading though water, either it's just knee deep or chest deep. On land, they're capable of bipedal standing (picking up a tool, group playing in p.19), but when moving (transporting a baby, or just roaming around), they always fall back to quadrupedal.

    Although we don't have photos of our human ancestors, this can be understood as a general pattern in the great apes, that if any ape (extant or extinct) is going into water, they have to go two-legged, while on land, four-legged is still their favorite gait. In contrast, other mammal taxa, and even the monkeys -- our 2nd closest relatives, still go into water four-legged. There must be something special in the body structure and body balance of the apes. Perhaps we should not be surprised if bipedalism already exist far back at the root of the apes 20 million years ago (as Filler suggested), but we should ask why only the human ancestors chose it as their only way, and perfected it with great evolutionary time and efforts.

    Back to the photos, they present big challenges to various non-AAH hypotheses. The ape mothers carry babies at their back four-legged, no any hypothetical need of holding infants in arms. They carry tools, do displays... etc by standing on 2 legs, but with minimum leg movements (standing and walking are totally different things). Wading bipedalism is the only satisfying hypothesis that is consistent with the ape behaviors that we know.
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  7. #207  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Oh no, Chaka.

    Our aquatic dog is only a stage in evolution, with a residual love of the water left. Modern dogs, of course, are re-adapted to land, and no longer swim underwater.

    Of course, my Canis aquaticus idea is total bulldust. Just as much as the aquatic ape idea. But the evidence for Canis aquaticus is just as compelling (or uncompelling) as the aquatic ape. Both ideas are just plain unscientific.
    No, even after a species was re-adapted to land, we can still detect traces of aquatic adaptations, which are still at work sometimes, or being used in other ways (pre-adaptation).

    A classic example is the elephant, they are best described as a savannah mammal today, but there're many features that we can suspect of a different original usage. Like the long trunk, it's used as a drinking device, and it's very common to say it's evolved for drinking, also the long tusks (as defense?) and naked skin (too hot in savannahs?). But at the same time they can also be explained in an aquatic way (trunk as snorkel, tusks as shovel for eating aquatic plants, naked skin like marine mammals), together with other features that are hard to explain in a terrestrial way (lack of pleural cavity, kidney structure, internal testicle), and some vague notions like "they're good swimmers". All putting together, the Aquatic Elephant Hypothesis (AEH) was exactly the same as the AAH, in terms of argument style, existence of other explanations ("we don't need those aquatic explanations"), and lack of solid evidence (before 2008). I don't see how AAH is so unscientific or uncompelling compared to AEH.

    Your Canis aquaticus is not even a valid model because there is no arguments like the AEH and AAH. There are times that people want to make parody, like the "Pussy Cat Theory, but eventually they will become a parody of itself, like the Darwin ape.
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  8. #208  
    Forum Freshman chakazul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    A few posts back, Paleoichneum pointed out that a hypothetical aquatic ape would have been small. I would like to point out, to expand on that, that all small aquatic and amphibious mammals have fur. A fat layer is sufficient thermal insulation only if it is very thick - forming blubber. Small aquatic or amphibious mammals cannot form thick blubber, so they evolve fine and very dense fur, like otters and sea otters. If a small aquatic ape evolved, it would not have a layer of blubber. It would have even denser fur than modern day chimps.
    I always want to have some deeper analysis on the whole issue of fat and fur, because the facts seems don't always support or contradict AAH. The real situation is more complicated than just "see, dolphins are naked!" or "see, otters have fur!".

    Firstly, the time that our thermoregulatory features was evolved (gain of subcutenous fat, loss of body hair, retain certain hairs, dark pigmentation) should be near the time of Homo sapiens, or at least later Homo, far away from the time of small hominins like Ardi and Lucy. This is based on the time estimation of hair lice and pigment evolution.

    Next, it's suggested that fur is retained only in small-sized or polar-dwelling aquatics. Other cases, when extra heat retention is not needed, fur can be shed by evolution. We're certainly not polar-dwelling, so let's see if we can be said as small-sized:
    beaver 13-32kg
    sea otter 14-45kg
    Lucy 29-42kg
    capybara 35-66kg
    Homo erectus 40-68kg
    Homo sapiens 54-83kg
    monk seal 70-300kg
    hippo 3000-4500kg


    We see that while Lucy (Australopithecus) is in the small-size group (I imagine a furry Lucy), later humans are right between the small-size group and the middle-size group (seals, dolphin). This causes a problem because we can kick humans into either group -- into small-size predicts that the "aquatic ape" should maintain a dense fur like sea otters, into middle-size predicts that it should lose functional fur like monk seals.

    I guess another factor will be the need (selective pressure) of deep diving. Humans, at least the coastal peoples, can dive deeper than sea otters and capybaras, that makes their thermoregulation needs more similar to the monk seals. Of course, a mathematical multi-dimensional analysis could solve the riddle.
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  9. #209  
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    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    There must be something special in the body structure and body balance of the apes. Perhaps we should not be surprised if bipedalism already exist far back at the root of the apes 20 million years ago (as Filler suggested), but we should ask why only the human ancestors chose it as their only way, and perfected it with great evolutionary time and efforts.
    Hominina is the only lineage to have given up on the trees to adapt a fully terrestrial niche. That is enough. There is no need to add water related selection.


    @iceaura. Note that Chak accepts Filler's findings, even though he remains one step away yet from full understanding of the implications.
    Nearly all of the above lines of evidence can be questioned, and all have more than one possible cause (although some may have no cause at all).
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  10. #210  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by paleoichneum
    Not if there are large differences in size, climate, geography, diet, etc. Especially size, since that seems to be the aspect of interest. But that is exactly what you are doing with the comparison to foxes etc...



    It is exactly what I was avoiding, as best I could, by choosing mammals paired by size, general diet (carnivore, omnivore, etc), habit (hibernate?) and general geographic location - in response to your request for smaller mammals compared.
    Wait, why is looking at the morphological similarities and differences in a family which has both terrestrial and marine+amphibious members incorrect? This seems to be one of the methods used for arguing for an amphibious ape in the human evolution, the morphological differences between us and chimps, gorillas, etc

    And why I also chose the giant otter to picture, in my linked photo - warm water, shallow water foraging, about the right size.

    I still waiting for the citation of the assertion that otters have a notable amount of fat for warmth retention.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    A few posts back, Paleoichneum pointed out that a hypothetical aquatic ape would have been small. I would like to point out, to expand on that, that all small aquatic and amphibious mammals have fur. A fat layer is sufficient thermal insulation only if it is very thick - forming blubber. Small aquatic or amphibious mammals cannot form thick blubber, so they evolve fine and very dense fur, like otters and sea otters. If a small aquatic ape evolved, it would not have a layer of blubber. It would have even denser fur than modern day chimps.
    I always want to have some deeper analysis on the whole issue of fat and fur, because the facts seems don't always support or contradict AAH. The real situation is more complicated than just "see, dolphins are naked!" or "see, otters have fur!".

    Firstly, the time that our thermoregulatory features was evolved (gain of subcutenous fat, loss of body hair, retain certain hairs, dark pigmentation) should be near the time of Homo sapiens, or at least later Homo, far away from the time of small hominins like Ardi and Lucy. This is based on the time estimation of hair lice and pigment evolution.

    Next, it's suggested that fur is retained only in small-sized or polar-dwelling aquatics. Other cases, when extra heat retention is not needed, fur can be shed by evolution. We're certainly not polar-dwelling, so let's see if we can be said as small-sized:
    beaver 13-32kg
    sea otter 14-45kg
    Lucy 29-42kg
    capybara 35-66kg
    Homo erectus 40-68kg
    Homo sapiens 54-83kg
    monk seal 70-300kg
    hippo 3000-4500kg


    We see that while Lucy (Australopithecus) is in the small-size group (I imagine a furry Lucy), later humans are right between the small-size group and the middle-size group (seals, dolphin). This causes a problem because we can kick humans into either group -- into small-size predicts that the "aquatic ape" should maintain a dense fur like sea otters, into middle-size predicts that it should lose functional fur like monk seals.
    The thing to note with this is that the aquatic phase is the suggested driver for the development of the feature that are already seen in Australopithecus and Ardipithecus. Therefore the larger group of mammals should be ruled out as comparable animals as the proposed amphibious phase would have occurred with an ape similar in size or smaller then Ardipithecus.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    I guess another factor will be the need (selective pressure) of deep diving. Humans, at least the coastal peoples, can dive deeper than sea otters and capybaras, that makes their thermoregulation needs more similar to the monk seals. Of course, a mathematical multi-dimensional analysis could solve the riddle.

    In regards to modern humans as comparable, how do you figure in the high altitude adapted human tribes/groups? Or to put it a different way, prove its not a very recent phenotype that has emerged in the last few thousand years as a result of selective pressures of a tribal selective pressure to be better at diving.
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  11. #211  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Elephants and rhinos have not been suggested as past aquatics. The Proboscidea has the dead end side branch. Moeritheriidae which was semi aquatic, but they are not close to the modern elephants, and much closer to modern elephants are the mammoth and mastodon, very much not hairless. Same thing goes for the rhinos Amynodontidae which were amphibious, died out in the Miocene and were not in the same family as modern rhinos, while the modern Sumatran Rhinoceros has a notable amount of fur and is in the same tribe as the woolly rhino.
    To recap, both have been suggested as past aquatics (based on the study of Moeritheriidae and Amynodontidae, and an interesting study on elephant embryos). But you’re right, it is also contested. There is no current concensus among zoologists if the two threads was or was not direct ancestors to elephants and rhinos. I haven’t been able to discern whether the conclusion that these two threads should be dead ends is based on comparative phylogenetics, or simply on a silly assumption that modern elephants and rhinos ’of course’ are fully terrestrials, and therefore can’t possibly have direct aquatic ancestors. In such case, it is a bit mysterious that both these naked terrestrial mammals have extinct aquatic relatives, and coincidentally they are not their direct ancestry in either case (???).
    And concerning the long haired sumatran rhino, consider that there have existed both long-haired elephants (woolly mammoths) and rhinos (woolly rhinos) in mesolithic ’Ice Age’ times. In that context, the sumatran rhino (with really long body hairs) may be an immediate descendant to the long-haired rhinos of the last ice age.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Remember, when I first suggested otters I was specific in noting the Giant otters of the Amazon due to the similarity in size to what an aquatic ape would have been, and living in the same latitudes.
    Right, then it’s not impossible that the aquatic apes kept their fur for eons, similar to giant otters, and as they grew in body size, they shed the fur and produced ’blubber’, becoming what we look like today. That is of course speculation, because unfortunately the fossil archive didn’t preserve fur or skinfat. We exist in a mind gap about when proto-humans shed the fur, while eg. the date for human bipedalism is easier to establish from the bones. The only suggestions come from genetic predictions, and they may be drastically inaccurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    I would not rely on the hippos due to them being 4-6 times the size of the hypothetical amphibious ape.
    Not the pygmy hippo, which is the one I mentioned, and the comparison goes with modern humans, not the aquatic ’starters’. However, the pygmy hippo weighs appr. twice as much as a modern human, so yes, a direct comparison is still difficult.
    The option is also to consider, that we never stopped being this aquatic ape. Or, at least as late as 100kya years ago we were still aquatic/semi-aquatic/amphibious, whichever. Perhaps we have only just started to adapt beyond an aquatic stage with the introduction of terrestrial agriculture (~10kya). That would explain why we are still attracted to coasts/beaches, our bathing behavior, various aquatic dieting benefits, all of that. That would also explain Homo Sapiens’ migration route out of Africa along the Southern coasts of Asia (beginning ~125kya), which is now being mapped on the Arabian peninsula.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    You have no idea what I'm talking about. Please don't comment again until you've read all the references I've presented.
    Excuse me, what references? The one link you posted is dead right now. Which paper by Filler on Ardi do you refer to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    We have fair records of the transitions to aquatic of Cetaceans and Pinnipeds... but nothing Hominid. Nothing that supports a transition to aquatic anyway.
    Except for bloody Oreopithecus, but nobody cares …

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    Hominina is the only lineage to have given up on the trees to adapt a fully terrestrial niche. That is enough. There is no need to add water related selection.
    But that's exactly what there is. Otherwise, there is no biological precedence for primate bipedalism or primate nakedness. We don’t see bipedalism or nakedness in a grassland primate like the baboon, or arboreal primates like gorillas, chimps, orangutangs, gibbons, etc. Not seeing a potential aquatic connection leaves several key human traits as just one peacock’s tail after another, and how can that be supported by parsimony, when having biological precendence for these traits among aquatics?
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  12. #212  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    I guess another factor will be the need (selective pressure) of deep diving. Humans, at least the coastal peoples, can dive deeper than sea otters and capybaras, that makes their thermoregulation needs more similar to the monk seals. Of course, a mathematical multi-dimensional analysis could solve the riddle.
    In regards to modern humans as comparable, how do you figure in the high altitude adapted human tribes/groups? Or to put it a different way, prove its not a very recent phenotype that has emerged in the last few thousand years as a result of selective pressures of a tribal selective pressure to be better at diving.
    Right, that's a good point. Breath hold diving ability would have to be shown as a general feature in all human peoples throughout history. How that can be done across fossils and archeology, I do not know.

    But hell with it, let's take me as an example. I am an over-weight ethnic Scandinavian male in the thirties. Scandinavians may be an old sailing culture, but not traditionally a diving culture (like ie. Mediterreneans, Indonesians, Pacifics, etc.), not untill the invention of Scuba, anyway (1940's).
    I began freediving actively in 1997 and went straight for meters and seconds, but I never reached more than intermediate level at best, with max diving depth at 32 meters (104 feet) in a competition in 2000. Circa 2001, I got the idea to run a marathon, which I trained for for a whole year and ran 2002. After that marathon, I fell completely out of my training schedule and never got into it again, diving or running. Since then my body weight has risen extensively, with most of it around the waist (you get the picture). I am far from an athletic wonder, and as such perhaps representative for a 'regular' humanity (I don't know, what ever).
    Several times, I have desperately tried to get back into my old running schedule, and I can't even semi-run more than few hundred yards in one stretch, and that leaves my lungs heaving for the rest of that day. My legs can't do it, my knees can't do it, my heart and lungs sure as hell can't do it. I have to provide way too much time in my week to get it back up, which I haven't had to give for several years (work. etc.).
    Now, the last time I was seriously in the water was 2007, when I was in Egypt spectating a competition. I haven't trained actively since '02, and I dived for one day only, using the same old fins I had always used. Still I managed to reach beyond 20 meters of depth in my shorts, circa 2/3 of my past max. So out of absolutely nowhere I can still manage quite a lot in the water, but nothing on land.
    And before you say: "Yeah, but you got the technique down, and the proper equipment..." I had the running technique down as well back then, and the proper running shoes. I knew everything about running style and shoes and what not, and even using all that knowledge, I can't run a mile today, my body won't do it. But my fat self can still reach 20+ meters at a whim on a single session.
    If I'm a fully terrestrial animal (an endurance runner, which ever), why the heck don't I have some naturally occuring response in my body that allows me to run much better than that on a whim (to flee a predator, catch prey, etc.), when I can still plunge pretty damn good comparatively?
    I will predict, that any one of you in here between the ages of 15 and 55 with a normal health, will after 5-10 sessions of dive training easily be able to hold your breath (static) for at least two minutes and freedive to 10 meters depth (33 feet), regardless of gender, ethnicity or athletic background. That's my experience from freediving circuits.
    "The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there's no place for it in the endeavor of science. (History) shows us clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong, and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources."
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  13. #213  
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    This still does not prove that the diving ability is anything other then a trainable feature though. People can train to become amazing sprinters, weightlifters, and gymnasts too if they work hard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    This still does not prove that the diving ability is anything other then a trainable feature though. People can train to become amazing sprinters, weightlifters, and gymnasts too if they work hard.
    Yes, but base talent is always an important factor in any such activities. My point is that an aquatic potential seems to be readily available to all people after mere days of training, after little hard work comparatively. At least that's my experience in that sportive community for the last 15 years. I have seen it come easy to old and young, even children, and in countless etnicities and social and economic levels. For long distance running, I had to train hard several times a week for a full year, and I have none of it left now, but my aquatic potential remains. What am I then most likely, a forest ape, grassland ape or a beach ape?
    "The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there's no place for it in the endeavor of science. (History) shows us clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong, and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources."
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    Wait, why is looking at the morphological similarities and differences in a family which has both terrestrial and marine+amphibious members incorrect?
    Who said it was? You asked for a comparison of niches involving other and smaller mammals than the giant otters etc already mentioned, I handed a few over. Providing useful comparisons of one sort does not invalidate any other sort.

    Here's a couple more - swine vs deer; ducks vs chickens (the wild versions clearer, note presence of insulating oily feathers).
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    I still waiting for the citation of the assertion that otters have a notable amount of fat for warmth retention.
    I don't know why giant otters are noticeably fat, OK? It's just an illustration of a correlation - warm water shallow water foraging, amphibious niche, extra little fat cushion. It's an easily observable pattern in mammals, with a perfectly reasonable mechanism or two (flotation also enters, streamlining and water flow patterns even, but the correlation is the only observation).

    I can tell you from personal experience - handling them, skinning them - that the river otters around Minnesota also have noticeable fat under their skin - more than comparably sized dryland mammals in the region that do not hibernate. More than a coyote or fox or even bobcat (a non-amphibious swamp dweller), say.

    The direction of argument is crucial, here - no one is arguing that subcutaneous fat is necessary for amphibious niches. Only that its presence in humans matches one of the visible patterns, and has a reasonable mechanistic explanation. It tends to agree with an aquatic phase proposal, and tends to contradict some other proposals, for human evolution.
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    This still does not prove that the diving ability is anything other then a trainable feature though. People can train to become amazing sprinters, weightlifters, and gymnasts too if they work hard.
    Hence the observation that in the swimming and diving and shallow water foraging stuff, we are dealing with quite young children at play world wide (or, if seriously foraging as many are, doing work that even quite young children are fully capable of).

    You won't find multiple human cultures all over the planet populated with human children who are stronger and quicker than gorillas, better gymnasts than gibbons, faster runners than baboons.
    Quote Originally Posted by englebrecht
    Right, that's a good point. Breath hold diving ability would have to be shown as a general feature in all human peoples throughout history.
    Not really. For this argument, a planetary spread of the physiological setup (African Pacific Islander and American and European does nicely) answers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    can you give a reference for smaller amphibious mammals having thick fat layers?
    You don't need that.
    That attitude is pseudoscience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post
    And when observing that it's a general trend in primates to move through water wading bipedally with a vertical spine, how can one not consider an amphibious past for bipedalism in human evolution, now that bipedalism became the human standard?
    How powerful are these photos! We can see that the bonobos always move bipedally when wading though water, either it's just knee deep or chest deep. On land, they're capable of bipedal standing (picking up a tool, group playing in p.19), but when moving (transporting a baby, or just roaming around), they always fall back to quadrupedal.
    That is false, and since you have been shown the facts on other forums, you know this is false, so we know that you are lying. This, BTW, makes you an unreliable source of information.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthrosciguy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    can you give a reference for smaller amphibious mammals having thick fat layers?
    You don't need that.
    That attitude is pseudoscience.
    I'm inclined to agree on that. The lack of proper referencing has indeed been a weakness for many AAH-proponents, including Morgan's early work. But that doesn't mean that with proper use of references, AAH would be dead.


    Quote Originally Posted by anthrosciguy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post
    And when observing that it's a general trend in primates to move through water wading bipedally with a vertical spine, how can one not consider an amphibious past for bipedalism in human evolution, now that bipedalism became the human standard?
    How powerful are these photos! We can see that the bonobos always move bipedally when wading though water, either it's just knee deep or chest deep. On land, they're capable of bipedal standing (picking up a tool, group playing in p.19), but when moving (transporting a baby, or just roaming around), they always fall back to quadrupedal.
    That is false, and since you have been shown the facts on other forums, you know this is false, so we know that you are lying. This, BTW, makes you an unreliable source of information.
    Personal attacks are a weakness too, Rove. But is the wading-primates claim false, is that what you're saying?
    "The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there's no place for it in the endeavor of science. (History) shows us clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong, and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources."
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    Quote Originally Posted by eversbane
    ominina is the only lineage to have given up on the trees to adapt a fully terrestrial niche. That is enough.
    Simply describing the situation somehow magically explains it?
    Quote Originally Posted by anthrosciguy
    can you give a reference for smaller amphibious mammals having thick fat layers?
    You don't need that. That attitude is pseudoscience.
    No. It was instead more rigorously "scientific" than the post it responded too. I posted an actual photograph of a relevant niche otter, you can see for yourself, rather than some web page description of uncertain accuracy, provenance, and relevance.

    I was trying to be polite. The direct answer would be to point out that the demand revealed either a basic incomprehension of the argument, or a trolling technique with which I am all too familiar. Why are the aquatic phase speculators held to (mostly bogus, anyway) standards of evidence not remotely approached - hardly even recognized - by anyone else in this discussion? By people who don't seem to be following the argument, even?

    As far as a reference for small aquatic-niche mammals tending to have a little extra fat layer under their skin (not a "thick fat layer", which is either misled or misleading) even when they don't hibernate (is anyone actually doubting that?), I can continue to provide yet more examples if you want - beavers and muskrats compared with rats and squirrels and hares, water shrews compared with shorttailed shrews (Mammals of Wisconsin - Google Books), otters and even mink compared with weasels and martens, and so forth (notice that an amphibious niche also predicts larger size in a given climate, another heat budget factor and one suggestive of increasing advantages to terrestrial adaptation) and I predict the response will continue to be something like the responses so far - such as a quote from a casually written layman-vague zoo description involving a different comparison and one animal, which even if relevantly and technically accurate (even if sea otters had no fat under their skin at all) actually supports the aquatic phase argument (that since amphibious niches of warmblooded animals tend to involve extra provision of insulation at skin level, usually involving oils or other fats, the finding of such provision in any form supports speculative consideration of amphibious adaptation to explain it),

    presented as if it would have to be refuted or something by amphibious phase speculators. WTF?

    Scientifically, if that's even a real issue, we don't need to be talking insulation at all - the provision of extra fat for metabolic heat production, especially brown fat (as in human infants subcutaneously, and interestingly - humans exhibit many neotenic features compared with chimps etc - in some adults that retain the capability), is also consistent with amphibious niche.
    Last edited by iceaura; August 27th, 2011 at 06:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    You have no idea what I'm talking about. Please don't comment again until you've read all the references I've presented.
    Excuse me, what references? The one link you posted is dead right now. Which paper by Filler on Ardi do you refer to?
    Algis Kuliukas in HOMO: http://www.riverapes.com/Me/Work/200...HBKinwater.pdf

    In which Algis demonstrates that wading in water is less efficient that walking on land, and that the cost differential between gaits decreases to zero with depth. In which Algis demonstrates that wading will not select on gait morphology. In which Algis misrepresents Carey and Crompton (see Algis' references: I can provide that paper, as well.)

    Filler: PLoS ONE: Homeotic Evolution in the Mammalia: Diversification of Therian Axial Seriation and the Morphogenetic Basis of Human Origins

    There is nothing in the Filler paper about Ardi. The discussion in Filler that is relevant is primarily about Morotopithecus bishopi, the first to inherit the homeotic transformation of the lumbar spine that is of interest to us.

    Ardi: Online Extras: Ardipithecus ramidus

    The papers about Ardi that you should read were published by Science in October 2009. There are 11 papers written by something like 30 or 40 investigators from the fields of paleoanthropology and paleoecology.

    I've tried to talk to iceaura here. I've tried to talk to chak at TalkRational and the Richard Dawkins Forum. Are you going to listen to me, or will I just end up casing you around your own empty argument? If you cannot get to any of these papers I can provide them direct by email or dropbox. If you are content to post word salads about Dart then by all means continue as you were, but if you want to learn the topic you must read - I will not waste my time spoon feeding you.
    Nearly all of the above lines of evidence can be questioned, and all have more than one possible cause (although some may have no cause at all).
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    We have fair records of the transitions to aquatic of Cetaceans and Pinnipeds... but nothing Hominid. Nothing that supports a transition to aquatic anyway.
    Except for bloody Oreopithecus, but nobody cares …
    Oreopithecus possesses the same homeotically tranformed lumbar spine as all descendants of Morotopithecus do. That lumbar spine was the result of a mutation that happened in a population of arboreal apes of the Early Miocene. Arboreal apes. This mutation that allows bipedalism occurred in the trees app. 20Ma - it had nothing to do with water. Oreopithecus is just one of several lineages (including Hominidae and Hylobatidae) that inherited this mutation. However, Oreopithecus possessed a feature of the foot that was not inherited by any other ape. Oreopithecus is a fine example of the typical late Miocene ape, but it is not a Hominid ancestor. The material point with Oreopithecus, however, is that its bipedalism was the result of inheriting the lumbar homeotic transformation described by Filler in Morotopithecus, and not the result of water related selection. If any claim can be made about Oreopithecus with relation to water-caused selection it might be the foot. But that feature was not inherited by any other ape and is certainly not typical of any Hominid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    Hominina is the only lineage to have given up on the trees to adapt a fully terrestrial niche. That is enough. There is no need to add water related selection.
    But that's exactly what there is. Otherwise, there is no biological precedence for primate bipedalism or primate nakedness.
    Bipedalism is a feature inherited by descendants of Morotopithecus. It is a type feature of apes of the late Miocene. It was inherited by Hylobatidae and Hominidae. It has been lost somewhat in Pan and Gorilla: not so much in Pongo or Hylobatidae. Attenuation of hair is a separate issue not related to bipedalism.
    We don’t see bipedalism or nakedness in a grassland primate like the baboon
    Nakedness is not related to bipedalism: they are separate topics. Baboons are Cercopithecoid monkeys. They did not inherit the Filler lumbar transformation. They are not naturally inclided to bipedalism (although they will 'practice' bipedalism when wading). While not naked, the Patas monkey is the closest analogy to humans. It sweats second only to humans, it controls its core temperature only second to humans, it has the most omnivorous diet of the Cercopithecoid monkeys, and it has less need to visit water than do other Cercopithecoid monkeys.
    , or arboreal primates like gorillas, chimps, orangutangs, gibbons, etc.
    Orangutans and Gibbons are more basal in the lumbar/pelvic that are chimps or gorillas. Other issues like attenuation of hair are separate issues. Hominina did not invent bipedality. It was only refined for terrestrial efficiency in the absence of arboreal selection pressures. The other extant Hominoidea lost bipedality to specific extents dependent on the specifics of their arboreal specializations.
    Not seeing a potential aquatic connection leaves several key human traits as just one peacock’s tail after another, and how can that be supported by parsimony
    That is the most parsimonious solution. What definition of parsimony are you using. It does not mean "Most logical to me." It means "fewest complicating factors." Adding water is adding complexity. That does not increase parsimony - it increases the requirement for supporting evidence.
    , when having biological precendence for these traits among aquatics?
    Which aquatics are you invoking? You cannot draw analogies to aquatic taxa without invoking equivalent selection regimes. If you are claiming blubber and hairlessness like aquatic species then you have to give as muchevolutionary time and as much adaptive selection as is seen in those species. Do you claim equivalent adaptive histories between humans and aquatic species?
    Last edited by Eversbane; August 27th, 2011 at 11:30 PM.
    Nearly all of the above lines of evidence can be questioned, and all have more than one possible cause (although some may have no cause at all).
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    This still does not prove that the diving ability is anything other then a trainable feature though. People can train to become amazing sprinters, weightlifters, and gymnasts too if they work hard.
    Yes, but base talent is always an important factor in any such activities. My point is that an aquatic potential seems to be readily available to all people after mere days of training, after little hard work comparatively. At least that's my experience in that sportive community for the last 15 years. I have seen it come easy to old and young, even children, and in countless etnicities and social and economic levels. For long distance running, I had to train hard several times a week for a full year, and I have none of it left now, but my aquatic potential remains. What am I then most likely, a forest ape, grassland ape or a beach ape?
    No matter how hard you train you will never compete with an actual aquatically adapted mammal. Not even with an aquatically adapted bird. Humans are pitiful swimmers. Human runners can kill.

    Anecdotal evidence is useless. And that's all you've presented - anecdotes.
    Nearly all of the above lines of evidence can be questioned, and all have more than one possible cause (although some may have no cause at all).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    No matter how hard you train you will never compete with an actual aquatically adapted mammal. Not even with an aquatically adapted bird. Humans are pitiful swimmers. Human runners can kill.

    Anecdotal evidence is useless. And that's all you've presented - anecdotes.
    How did human runners develop their stamina? Clearly we depend quite a lot on our active sweat glands. How did we come to depend on our sweat glands if we weren't living near fresh water? We'd effectively be deprived of our most useful trait if we made our camp anywhere else.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    No matter how hard you train you will never compete with an actual aquatically adapted mammal. Not even with an aquatically adapted bird. Humans are pitiful swimmers. Human runners can kill.

    Anecdotal evidence is useless. And that's all you've presented - anecdotes.
    How did human runners develop their stamina? Clearly we depend quite a lot on our active sweat glands. How did we come to depend on our sweat glands if we weren't living near fresh water? We'd effectively be deprived of our most useful trait if we made our camp anywhere else.
    You're making the mistake of assuming a dichotomy of either being in water in, at waterside or having no water at all. This is an unfortunately common mistake and is encouraged by proponents of the AAT/H. Humans have managed to live in areas for hundreds of thousands of years (hominins for millions) in areas other than waterside. They've managed to do well, and they can do so in much the same way that savanna chimps can, with no more "technology" than chimps are capable of using. In fact !Kung hunters using traditional hunting techniques did daylong hunts through much drier and more arid places than are posited by mainstream paleoanthropology (and evidenced by fossils) while not carrying water, getting any water they needed via the same techniques we see chimps using (leaves to sponge up water, drinking water in crooks of trees, etc.). So to claim we could not have done so is to claim we could not do what we in fact did, and of course that cannot be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    This still does not prove that the diving ability is anything other then a trainable feature though. People can train to become amazing sprinters, weightlifters, and gymnasts too if they work hard.
    Yes, but base talent is always an important factor in any such activities. My point is that an aquatic potential seems to be readily available to all people after mere days of training, after little hard work comparatively. At least that's my experience in that sportive community for the last 15 years. I have seen it come easy to old and young, even children, and in countless etnicities and social and economic levels. For long distance running, I had to train hard several times a week for a full year, and I have none of it left now, but my aquatic potential remains. What am I then most likely, a forest ape, grassland ape or a beach ape?
    No matter how hard you train you will never compete with an actual aquatically adapted mammal. Not even with an aquatically adapted bird. Humans are pitiful swimmers. Human runners can kill.

    Anecdotal evidence is useless. And that's all you've presented - anecdotes.
    To put some numbers on this re training, the absolute fastest swimming human athletes in the fastest (shortest) swimming events can manage less than half the speed of a crocodile, and crocodiles are hardly the fastest swimmers around. And those athletes are twice as fast as typical human swimmers, and as I mentioned this is for extremely short events (and for that matter presentday athletes are about 50% faster than the fastest human swimmers from a hundred years ago, which gives an idea of how slow even the fastest of us are). We are terribly slow swimmers. And, unlike most mammals, indeed unlike most primates, we don't have an instinctive ability to swim, which seems odd -- to say the least -- for an animal claimed to have evolved most of its characteristics due to swimming.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    How did human runners develop their stamina? Clearly we depend quite a lot on our active sweat glands. How did we come to depend on our sweat glands if we weren't living near fresh water? We'd effectively be deprived of our most useful trait if we made our camp anywhere else.
    To add to anthrosciguy's post:

    What creature on the face of the Earth does NOT live 'near' water? Aside from this being a relative term, every creature requires water and must find sources for it. What makes you think that we need a water supply to such a degree that we couldn't have ventured more than a sweating distance from a body of water?

    Lets get back to some comparisons with other animals. What animal is NOT 'waterside' and dependent on watercourses? Is there any biological relevance to needing access to freshwater in the discussion of human evolution? Does it explain bipedalism? No. Eversbane has done a very nice job of providing materials that show that bipedalism is a basal trait. Does it explain our relative hairlessness? No. Hairlessness is not an expected trait specific to aquatic species.

    So what of value is the AAT meant to provide the scientific community? What evidence is there that sets us more uniquely waterside than any of the other terrestrial creatures?
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    Quote Originally Posted by eversbane
    In which Algis demonstrates that wading in water is less efficient that walking on land, and that the cost differential between gaits decreases to zero with depth. In which Algis demonstrates that wading will not select on gait morphology.
    - - -
    Hominina did not invent bipedality. It was only refined for terrestrial efficiency in the absence of arboreal selection pressures. The other extant Hominoidea lost bipedality to specific extents dependent on the specifics of their arboreal specializations.
    - - -
    That is the most parsimonious solution. What definition of parsimony are you using. It does not mean "Most logical to me." It means "fewest complicating factors." Adding water is adding complexity.
    And that shows why we ask that critics of the amphibious adaptation proposal submit their arguments and evidence, rather than just make empty assertions and cryptic references to research - because the quality of their arguments and state of their comprehension of the issue is then revealed, as right there.

    The amphibious ape proposal is shaky, speculative, and all manner of informal and whatnot - but it seems to be just about the only game in town regarding bipedalism and a few other features of hominid physiology. That is almost its strongest point - that it makes some sense, and the alternatives are as visible above in content and supporting argument.

    btw: Just to put a point on things, notice that the following assertion is presented with absolutely no evidence, argument, or supporting reasoning:
    Which aquatics are you invoking? You cannot draw analogies to aquatic taxa without invoking equivalent selection regimes. If you are claiming blubber and hairlessness like aquatic species then you have to give as muchevolutionary time and as much adaptive selection as is seen in those species.
    That is the kind of garbage we get from people badgering the amphibious speculators for references and so forth, assigning labels like "pseudoscience" to imaginary attitudes, and generally shitflinging without themselves demonstrating even basic comprehension of the issues at hand.

    Look: how much evolutionary time and how "much" adaptive selection did it take to somewhat boost the subcutaneous fat layer in a weasel, somewhat increase the oiliness of its fur, somewhat increase its size, web its feet, and end up with an otter? For bipedalism, throat structure, flat webbed feet, and subcutaneous fat in hominids, we have potentially something like a million years to play with. As far as "equivalent" selection regime, we have the major topic of discussion: immersion and foraging in shallow water; rich food and possibly other benefits for reward and the obvious physiological demands for selection pressure - that's hard to comprehend? WTF?
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eversbane
    In which Algis demonstrates that wading in water is less efficient that walking on land, and that the cost differential between gaits decreases to zero with depth. In which Algis demonstrates that wading will not select on gait morphology.
    - - -
    Hominina did not invent bipedality. It was only refined for terrestrial efficiency in the absence of arboreal selection pressures. The other extant Hominoidea lost bipedality to specific extents dependent on the specifics of their arboreal specializations.
    - - -
    That is the most parsimonious solution. What definition of parsimony are you using. It does not mean "Most logical to me." It means "fewest complicating factors." Adding water is adding complexity.
    And that shows why we ask that critics of the amphibious adaptation proposal submit their arguments and evidence, rather than just make empty assertions and cryptic references to research - because the quality of their arguments and state of their comprehension of the issue is then revealed, as right there.

    The amphibious ape proposal is shaky, speculative, and all manner of informal and whatnot - but it seems to be just about the only game in town regarding bipedalism and a few other features of hominid physiology. That is almost its strongest point - that it makes some sense, and the alternatives are as visible above in content and supporting argument.

    btw: Just to put a point on things, notice that the following assertion is presented with absolutely no evidence, argument, or supporting reasoning:
    Which aquatics are you invoking? You cannot draw analogies to aquatic taxa without invoking equivalent selection regimes. If you are claiming blubber and hairlessness like aquatic species then you have to give as muchevolutionary time and as much adaptive selection as is seen in those species.
    That is the kind of garbage we get from people badgering the amphibious speculators for references and so forth, assigning labels like "pseudoscience" to imaginary attitudes, and generally shitflinging without themselves demonstrating even basic comprehension of the issues at hand.

    Look: how much evolutionary time and how "much" adaptive selection did it take to somewhat boost the subcutaneous fat layer in a weasel, somewhat increase the oiliness of its fur, somewhat increase its size, web its feet, and end up with an otter? For bipedalism, throat structure, flat webbed feet, and subcutaneous fat in hominids, we have potentially something like a million years to play with. As far as "equivalent" selection regime, we have the major topic of discussion: immersion and foraging in shallow water; rich food and possibly other benefits for reward and the obvious physiological demands for selection pressure - that's hard to comprehend? WTF?
    I'm sorry but mainstream paleoanthropology has been providing sensible explanations for human evolution for a long long time and the AAT/H proponents, at the highest level, have provided nothing that fits the facts. By my reasoning that means there's more weight to be given to the evidence-based side. It is incumbent on the people doing evidence-free specuation (because "evidence" that isn't true is evidence-free) need to do some work and provide evidence. It is not incumbent on anyone to drop their own research and spend time and money trying to dig up evidence for those speculators.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    cryptic references to research
    Hey, evers. How is your ironometer doing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthro
    I'm sorry but mainstream paleoanthropology has been providing sensible explanations for human evolution for a long long time
    For relevant example (bipedalism, throat morphology, fat layer, dietary needs and preferences, behavioral features as mentioned here, etc) ? I keep hearing about their existence, but somehow they never actually show up.

    The "mainstream" Just So story for bipedalism was for many years a sort of hand waving reference to the advantages of bipedalism for a large brained tool using hominid in savannah environments, for example. That was never sensible, being in flat contradiction to standard Darwinian evolutionary theory for starters, and exhibiting a remarkable gullibility whenever the details of sequence or selection pressure were filled in. The "seeing over tall grass" selection pressure, the "face to face sex" selection pressure, the "carrying tools and infants" selection pressure, and so forth, were all acceptable to the same mainstream that was dismissing the pressures of amphibious foraging as aberrant guesses. Only the more recent changes to the timeline squelched them - and now we are treated to bipedal arboreality, itself unexplained (magic mutation, taking over the treetops for no apparent reason) and without current exemplification (apparently all the bipedal apes deserted the trees they had evolved in) presented as somehow enforcing bipedal terrestriality without offering any particular advantage in the transition.

    That kind of thing is your notion of "sensible"?
    Quote Originally Posted by anthro
    By my reasoning that means there's more weight to be given to the evidence-based side.
    That would be the amphibious side, in this thread so far. To relist: bipedalism, fat layer, throat morphology and development, behavioral preferences and capabilities, dietary aspects, the timeline as established in the fossil lineage to date. There isn't a single piece of credibly argued evidence visible in this thread for any other "side" of the features under speculation. So any time you want to supply some - - - -
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    cryptic references to research
    Hey, evers. How is your ironometer doing?
    You rarely see someone so resistent to learning. The greatest paleontological analysis of recent times is termed 'cryptic' and dismissed out of hand. Not even any curiosity to go find out what it says. And the only scientific work done by an AAT proponent... ever... ignored - tossed aside like a used tissue.

    It really is a quite facinating display.
    Nearly all of the above lines of evidence can be questioned, and all have more than one possible cause (although some may have no cause at all).
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by anthro
    I'm sorry but mainstream paleoanthropology has been providing sensible explanations for human evolution for a long long time
    For relevant example (bipedalism, throat morphology, fat layer, dietary needs and preferences, behavioral features as mentioned here, etc) ? I keep hearing about their existence, but somehow they never actually show up.

    The "mainstream" Just So story for bipedalism was for many years a sort of hand waving reference to the advantages of bipedalism for a large brained tool using hominid in savannah environments, for example. That was never sensible, being in flat contradiction to standard Darwinian evolutionary theory for starters, and exhibiting a remarkable gullibility whenever the details of sequence or selection pressure were filled in. The "seeing over tall grass" selection pressure, the "face to face sex" selection pressure, the "carrying tools and infants" selection pressure, and so forth, were all acceptable to the same mainstream that was dismissing the pressures of amphibious foraging as aberrant guesses. Only the more recent changes to the timeline squelched them - and now we are treated to bipedal arboreality, itself unexplained (magic mutation, taking over the treetops for no apparent reason) and without current exemplification (apparently all the bipedal apes deserted the trees they had evolved in) presented as somehow enforcing bipedal terrestriality without offering any particular advantage in the transition.

    That kind of thing is your notion of "sensible"?
    Quote Originally Posted by anthro
    By my reasoning that means there's more weight to be given to the evidence-based side.
    That would be the amphibious side, in this thread so far. To relist: bipedalism, fat layer, throat morphology and development, behavioral preferences and capabilities, dietary aspects, the timeline as established in the fossil lineage to date. There isn't a single piece of credibly argued evidence visible in this thread for any other "side" of the features under speculation. So any time you want to supply some - - - -
    When you don't read the relevant literature the facts are necessarily invisible.
    Nearly all of the above lines of evidence can be questioned, and all have more than one possible cause (although some may have no cause at all).
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    There isn't a single piece of credibly argued evidence visible in this thread for any other "side" of the features under speculation. So any time you want to supply some - - - -
    To be fair, this thread is about the AAT, not any other idea.

    Bipedalism has been killed as an aquatic trait via eversbane's citations.

    Fat layer has not been adequately argued for by AATers. It is a trait. Any evidence that it is an exclusive trait to aquatic species? Well, no.

    Throat morphology? What is the argument there?

    Dietary aspects? Hahaha! Um... do you realize that humans occupy almost every environment on Earth and have adapted to eating what they are required to eat in each of these environments? Aquatic environments do not provide some exclusive nutrient. We can and do survive quite well on a fully terrestrial diet.

    WHAT do the fossils tell us about aquatic behavior (or lack of)? And why?

    I don't see anything resembling a scientific argument for this idea. I see only speculation and anecdotes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eversbane
    The greatest paleontological analysis of recent times is termed 'cryptic' and dismissed out of hand. Not even any curiosity to go find out what it says. And the only scientific work done by an AAT proponent... ever... ignored - tossed aside like a used tissue.
    The intentions behind your continual accusations and misrepresentation of my posts - pretending to take my "cryptic" label as referring to the research and analysis itself, instead of to your worthless references to it, for example - are no longer hidden.

    So far you haven't presented anything like what you describe, here. You have referred to some stuff, but not argued from it or presented the evidence you find significant from it - and what little specific reference you make appears to show misunderstanding of the argument by you (the bent-leg wading efficiency comparison you alluded to, say, or the apparent acquisition of key structural features by a still arboreal proto-hominid you mention). It's hard to tell, since you refuse to actually present reasoning, but you appear to have simply mistaken the import of these findings and analyses.

    That is, your links and references appear to refute your claims for them, in some cases explicitly (I quoted one), and you refuse to argue otherwise - preferring repetition of assertion to argument or evidence. You have not presented and argued a single piece of evidence for any of your assertions on this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by anthro
    and the AAT/H proponents, at the highest level, have provided nothing that fits the facts
    That is false, but more to the point irrelevant.

    The amphibious phase speculators here on this thread have been presenting facts, and even more pertinently arguments, for several pages now. What your idea of "the highest level" (of what?) have been saying is beside the point. If you have a contribution to make to the discussion here, make it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Bipedalism has been killed as an aquatic trait via eversbane's citations.
    Oh bullshit.

    Fat layer has not been adequately argued for by AATers. It is a trait. Any evidence that it is an exclusive trait to aquatic species? Well, no.
    It is not argued as "exclusive". It is observed as needing explanation, and its common correlation with water immersion niches make it more consistent with the amphibious phase proposal than any other presented so far. Unless you have a better idea?

    Throat morphology? What is the argument there?
    Humans have an unusual and oddly developing throat structure, which increases their breath control in ways beneficial to amphibious doings while imposing serious risks otherwise (we choke on our food frequently). It's another little piece of evidence consistent with an aquatic heritage, and difficult to explain otherwise - that's all.

    Dietary aspects? Hahaha! Um... do you realize that humans occupy almost every environment on Earth and have adapted to eating what they are required to eat in each of these environments? Aquatic environments do not provide some exclusive nutrient. We can and do survive quite well on a fully terrestrial diet.
    And once again the poor quality of the critics' arguments is highlighted. Humans did not evolve in every environment on earth, we were slow to spread to them until after significant technological breakthroughs, we are physiologically poorly adapted to most of them, and we must employ considerable effort and ingenuity to survive - even now - in fully terrestrial environments especially.

    WHAT do the fossils tell us about aquatic behavior (or lack of)? And why?
    They tell us that bipedalism almost certainly predated tools, fire, open country niche invasion, and the huge brain. They tell us that we {probably} evolved {major features, such as bipedalism} from arboreal primate ancestors {directly, in agreement with amphibious phase proposals, without the terrestrial intermediary thought necessary for decades by the aat critics}.
    Last edited by iceaura; August 29th, 2011 at 07:45 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
    Bipedalism has been killed as an aquatic trait via eversbane's citations.
    Come on, when, and where, did eversbane's citations (Filler and Ardi papers) killed wading bipedalism?
    Have they explicitly ruled out any existence of water along human evolution? Have they explicitly ruled out the possibility of water's influence, on either the origin of bipedalism or its later maintenance? Or have they proposed any single hypothesis, supplemented with solid evidence, that makes all other hypotheses unnecessary?

    Instead, we found something like thisNow that's some real discussion on the mechanism of our bipedal origin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthrosciguy View Post
    I'm sorry but mainstream paleoanthropology has been providing sensible explanations for human evolution for a long long time and the AAT/H proponents, at the highest level, have provided nothing that fits the facts. By my reasoning that means there's more weight to be given to the evidence-based side. It is incumbent on the people doing evidence-free specuation (because "evidence" that isn't true is evidence-free) need to do some work and provide evidence. It is not incumbent on anyone to drop their own research and spend time and money trying to dig up evidence for those speculators.
    Excuse me, you mean the case of human evolution has been happily closed? We already got all the right answers (better unrelated to water) with evidence and general acceptance? No, not even the scientists have the confidence to say so.

    Doing speculations, spending time and money to dig up evidence, is what everyone in the paleoanthropology circle is doing from past to present, terrestrial theorists and amphibious theorists altogether. Any problem?
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  38. #238  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    This still does not prove that the diving ability is anything other then a trainable feature though. People can train to become amazing sprinters, weightlifters, and gymnasts too if they work hard.
    Yes, but base talent is always an important factor in any such activities. My point is that an aquatic potential seems to be readily available to all people after mere days of training, after little hard work comparatively. At least that's my experience in that sportive community for the last 15 years. I have seen it come easy to old and young, even children, and in countless etnicities and social and economic levels. For long distance running, I had to train hard several times a week for a full year, and I have none of it left now, but my aquatic potential remains. What am I then most likely, a forest ape, grassland ape or a beach ape?
    No matter how hard you train you will never compete with an actual aquatically adapted mammal. Not even with an aquatically adapted bird. Humans are pitiful swimmers. Human runners can kill.

    Anecdotal evidence is useless. And that's all you've presented - anecdotes.
    We are pitiful swimmers and divers compared to seals and dolphins, no matter how we train ourselves. Yes. This is a fact.
    Our fellow primates, and most land mammals, are pitiful swimmers and divers compared to humans, no matter how they got trained. This is also a fact.

    Swimming: All land mammals use doggy paddle, only humans abandoned it, developed much more efficient breaststroke and front crawl and the like. Perhaps we've evolved from reflexive doggy paddle to conscious breaststroke, trading the need of learning with higher efficiency and flexibility -- the same happened to the shift from primitive calls to our conscious speech.

    Diving: Perhaps swimming is a bit controversial but diving is what separate us from the terrestrials. Everyone with minimum training (like me) can free-dive a few meters, with professional training 20m, with traditional amphibious culture 60-70m, with lifetime training 100-250m. For comparison, the semi-aquatic sea otter dive usually 30m and deepest 100m. Similar range.

    How about chimps, dogs, or to be fair, the diving macaque monkey? Can they dive deeper than a few meters? Even trained from birth to death?
    No, you don't even have an anecdote for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by anthrosciguy View Post
    To put some numbers on this re training, the absolute fastest swimming human athletes in the fastest (shortest) swimming events can manage less than half the speed of a crocodile, and crocodiles are hardly the fastest swimmers around. And those athletes are twice as fast as typical human swimmers, and as I mentioned this is for extremely short events (and for that matter presentday athletes are about 50% faster than the fastest human swimmers from a hundred years ago, which gives an idea of how slow even the fastest of us are). We are terribly slow swimmers. And, unlike most mammals, indeed unlike most primates, we don't have an instinctive ability to swim, which seems odd -- to say the least -- for an animal claimed to have evolved most of its characteristics due to swimming.
    River otters and beavers swim slower than crocodiles, have they all got eaten? Sea otters and manatees swim slower than sharks, have they been driven to extinction? Humans run slower than any savannah predator or even an average chimp, should they been driven to extinction?
    Wrong to say that speed is unimportant, but your obsession with speed is very unrealistic. Nature doesn't work like that, or else we should see only the fastest machines left in the biosphere.

    Remember Charles Darwin said: "It's not the strongest, fittest, fastest or smartest that will outlast others and ultimately survive, but those who adapt to change."
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Bipedalism has been killed as an aquatic trait via eversbane's citations.
    Oh bullshit.
    I suggest you read the material as eversbane has suggested. He is right that your refusal to do so is... curious.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Fat layer has not been adequately argued for by AATers. It is a trait. Any evidence that it is an exclusive trait to aquatic species? Well, no.
    It is not argued as "exclusive". It is observed as needing explanation, and its common correlation with water immersion niches make it more consistent with the amphibious phase proposal than any other presented so far. Unless you have a better idea?
    Um... you SAY that but you haven't demonstrated that.

    There are plenty of terrestrial species that possess that fat layer. You are proposing that there is an aquatic reason for how thick it is in some creatures over others, forgetting the most basic reason for possessing fat. Energy storage. We are LUCKY in that we have enough success that we can eat enough as individuals to build up this layer. Zoo residing apes of all kinds tend to do the same. Everything that stores energy as fat has an interest in storing as much fat as possible to help in lean times.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Throat morphology? What is the argument there?
    Humans have an unusual and oddly developing throat structure, which increases their breath control in ways beneficial to amphibious doings while imposing serious risks otherwise (we choke on our food frequently). It's another little piece of evidence consistent with an aquatic heritage, and difficult to explain otherwise - that's all.
    You SAY that, but how have you demonstrated that? I regularly see diving dogs with as much breath control as any person. I have seen many rodents with breath control surpassing that of humans. Any animal that has vocalizations possesses breath control. This is not a unique and defining trait of humans, let alone aquatic species. WHAT importance does it have in saying anything of value about our evolution? That we interacted with water as much as wolves and rodents? Does it say ANYTHING about our relation to water? I'd say no.

    Look. What IS relatively defining about humans is our extensive use of language. That seems to be all the explanation needed for our throat structure.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Dietary aspects? Hahaha! Um... do you realize that humans occupy almost every environment on Earth and have adapted to eating what they are required to eat in each of these environments? Aquatic environments do not provide some exclusive nutrient. We can and do survive quite well on a fully terrestrial diet.
    And once again the poor quality of the critics' arguments is highlighted. Humans did not evolve in every environment on earth, we were slow to spread to them until after significant technological breakthroughs, we are physiologically poorly adapted to most of them, and we must employ considerable effort and ingenuity to survive - even now - in fully terrestrial environments especially.
    Which is we we occupy so many of them so well.

    Intelligence is a trait, just like a fur coat or a set of horns. What is necessarily needed from aquatic environments that is unavailable from terrestrial sources?

    Better yet! What is the purpose of AAT? Is it to explain why we are different from the other apes? So what is needed in our diet, differentiated from chimpanzees, that can not be obtained from terrestrial sources?

    The problem you have here is that you are moving a goal post. We survive just fine away from the water, and now you are injecting some non-demonstrated restriction on using this blatant fact countering your assertion. Show me FACTS, not vague assertions. Why should I take you seriously?

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    WHAT do the fossils tell us about aquatic behavior (or lack of)? And why?
    They tell us that bipedalism almost certainly predated tools, fire, open country niche invasion, and the huge brain. They tell us that we {probably} evolved {major features, such as bipedalism} from arboreal primate ancestors {----}.
    LOLOLOL! You didn't answer my question in any way, shape, or form. Care to try again?

    Um... Take a look at the edit and tell me why this isn't a perfectly adequate environmental context by itself.

    Basically, you have provided absolutely nothing on the fossil front. So tell me, why should I take you seriously?
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    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
    Bipedalism has been killed as an aquatic trait via eversbane's citations.
    Come on, when, and where, did eversbane's citations (Filler and Ardi papers) killed wading bipedalism?
    You didn't read them.

    Eversbane explained why the data in Algis' paper demonstrates that selection on gait morphology goes AWAY in water. It is very clear. Buoyancy relaxes restrictions on gait, making a very broad range of gait morphologies perfectly viable in water. Also, the energy consumption of the act increases as depth increases, making the act of wading energetically detrimental. No selection on gait, no benefits with regards to energy. The wading explanation for bipedalism is dead. Absolutely dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Have they explicitly ruled out any existence of water along human evolution?
    Strawmen. Don't use them. They make the users look very foolish.

    Lions are terrestrial. Has anyone explicitly ruled out any existence of water along feline evolution?

    See how stupid that sounds. Every animal requires water to some degree. Is the AAT really this pointless to simply say that a particular species came in contact with water in the past? Almost every individual creature on the planet has come into contact with water in their lifetimes. What the heck is the scientific relevance to saying someone had a glass of water or was skipping stones on a lake?

    The AAT attempts to explain particular traits of humans, as set apart from other apes, as requiring an aquatic phase. This has not been demonstrated in any way. You are required to make the case that water was necessary. Otherwise, this idea is scientifically useless.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Have they explicitly ruled out the possibility of water's influence, on either the origin of bipedalism or its later maintenance?
    Um... YES. Read the material, Chak.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Or have they proposed any single hypothesis, supplemented with solid evidence, that makes all other hypotheses unnecessary?
    The AAT IS unnecessary until there is a shred of evidence in support of it. Also, read the thread. The hypotheses you are seeking are already contained in this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Instead, we found something like thisNow that's some real discussion on the mechanism of our bipedal origin.
    Where is the DATA? That is just discussion; and discussion worthy of some serious contention. You SAY it is "real discussion" on bipedal origins because it entertains your preferred idea more than the other participants in this thread do. If you think they have some sturdy arguments contained in that discussion for AAT, bring it into this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthrosciguy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    No matter how hard you train you will never compete with an actual aquatically adapted mammal. Not even with an aquatically adapted bird. Humans are pitiful swimmers. Human runners can kill.

    Anecdotal evidence is useless. And that's all you've presented - anecdotes.
    How did human runners develop their stamina? Clearly we depend quite a lot on our active sweat glands. How did we come to depend on our sweat glands if we weren't living near fresh water? We'd effectively be deprived of our most useful trait if we made our camp anywhere else.
    You're making the mistake of assuming a dichotomy of either being in water in, at waterside or having no water at all. This is an unfortunately common mistake and is encouraged by proponents of the AAT/H. Humans have managed to live in areas for hundreds of thousands of years (hominins for millions) in areas other than waterside. They've managed to do well, and they can do so in much the same way that savanna chimps can, with no more "technology" than chimps are capable of using. In fact !Kung hunters using traditional hunting techniques did daylong hunts through much drier and more arid places than are posited by mainstream paleoanthropology (and evidenced by fossils) while not carrying water, getting any water they needed via the same techniques we see chimps using (leaves to sponge up water, drinking water in crooks of trees, etc.). So to claim we could not have done so is to claim we could not do what we in fact did, and of course that cannot be.
    Here we are talking about creatures that have already fully evolved the sweat glands and running stamina, finding creative ways to supply the water to fuel it. Usually you don't evolve a trait first and then afterwards begin using the strategy that makes that trait useful. The strategy has to come first, so there will be a selective pressure to drive the trait. Our early stamina running ancestors probably didn't have exceptional stamina yet when they started.

    Odds are, they made use of an abundant water resource while developing their sweat glands, and then afterward started learning good ways to harvest water from creative places, as opposed to learning creative ways to harvest water first, and then starting into the whole stamina runner thing. Wouldn't that be a more logical source for the selective pressures?
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    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    We are pitiful swimmers and divers compared to seals and dolphins, no matter how we train ourselves. Yes. This is a fact.
    Our fellow primates, and most land mammals, are pitiful swimmers and divers compared to humans, no matter how they got trained. This is also a fact.
    The bold is false. VERY, VERY false. Facepalm.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Swimming: All land mammals use doggy paddle, only humans abandoned it, developed much more efficient breaststroke and front crawl and the like.
    Training is not instinct. We learn how to drive cars, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Perhaps we've evolved from reflexive doggy paddle to conscious breaststroke, trading the need of learning with higher efficiency and flexibility -- the same happened to the shift from primitive calls to our conscious speech.
    WTH is this? Facepalm.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Diving: Perhaps swimming is a bit controversial but diving is what separate us from the terrestrials. Everyone with minimum training (like me) can free-dive a few meters, with professional training 20m, with traditional amphibious culture 60-70m, with lifetime training 100-250m. For comparison, the semi-aquatic sea otter dive usually 30m and deepest 100m. Similar range.

    How about chimps, dogs, or to be fair, the diving macaque monkey? Can they dive deeper than a few meters? Even trained from birth to death?
    No, you don't even have an anecdote for that.
    Nice job killing your own thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    River otters and beavers swim slower than crocodiles, have they all got eaten? Sea otters and manatees swim slower than sharks, have they been driven to extinction? Humans run slower than any savannah predator or even an average chimp, should they been driven to extinction?
    Wrong to say that speed is unimportant, but your obsession with speed is very unrealistic. Nature doesn't work like that, or else we should see only the fastest machines left in the biosphere.
    Yet proficiency in swimming and diving are being used in attempts of AATers to support their idea. Yawn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Here we are talking about creatures that have already fully evolved the sweat glands and running stamina, finding creative ways to supply the water to fuel it. Usually you don't evolve a trait first and then afterwards begin using the strategy that makes that trait useful. The strategy has to come first, so there will be a selective pressure to drive the trait. Our early stamina running ancestors probably didn't have exceptional stamina yet when they started.
    You can't drive a car before you have a car.

    These things develop hand-in-hand. Mutations are not anticipated. You have to have a trait before you can exploit it. You exploit your traits to the best of your ability. If you are successful, the physical traits may get passed on to your progeny.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Eversbane explained why the data in Algis' paper demonstrates that selection on gait morphology goes AWAY in water.
    No, he didn't. He made some kind of vague assertion, and commanded us to reread a paper whose authors specifically and with explicit reason claim otherwise. He hasn't argued the matter at all. Neither have you. I think you are both mistaken, but since I have little clue to your actual reasoning I have no idea how you came to your conclusions.

    When you do attempt to argue, you say things like this:
    The AAT attempts to explain particular traits of humans, as set apart from other apes, as requiring an aquatic phase. This has not been demonstrated in any way. You are required to make the case that water was necessary.
    That is all false - the description of the aat argument, and the claims of what is required for it, and the conclusion of what has been demonstrated or needs to be demonstrated.

    The AAT argument is that certain human features are consistent with adaptation to amphibious niche by an arboreal ape ancestor. That consistency, once argued, is evidence for a reverse engineering argument (that has enjoyed subsequent support in discovery), not demonstration, and part of its value for science is in its raising of the bar for plausible argument: for a long time we have been treated to proposals by self-described "mainstream" or "serious" researchers that make much less sense, are poorly argued, and are far less consistent with this evidence.

    It's not that an amphibious phase is "required", it's that it makes better sense than the extant alternatives. It is not that anyone claims to have "demonstrated" anything, it's that the alternatives presented so far are clearly less plausible - some of them borderline ludicrous, in fact. Many of them refuted by recent discoveries. The reasoning behind them confused.
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Training is not instinct. We learn how to drive cars, too.
    And we learn how to walk bipedally, talk, focus our eyes, handle things with our hands, climb trees, etc.

    So is your argument that none of those behaviors have any bearing on speculations of our evolutionary origin?
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Odds are, they made use of an abundant water resource while developing their sweat glands, and then afterward started learning good ways to harvest water from creative places, as opposed to learning creative ways to harvest water first, and then starting into the whole stamina runner thing. Wouldn't that be a more logical source for the selective pressures?
    No, it wouldn't. For starters, the fossil evidence of our structural evolution doesn't match the implied timeline. After that, neither does observation of current human dietary advantages, foraging, and related physiology. We need pretty sophisticated tools both cultural and material, including shelter, fire, and butchering gear, to make long distance running a reasonably profitable foraging practice - that meat has to be located, captured and killed if alive, butchered in any case, brought back to camp or camp to it, and prepared for consumption by women and children. All of that in an environment full of serious predators. We will have been long time and deeply experienced, intelligent and capable, efficiently bipedal hominids before that happens routinely.

    Meanwhile the kids have had dinner - say: handfuls of clams easily scooped up from shallow water while playing, eaten raw after breaking their shells on a rock.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Odds are, they made use of an abundant water resource while developing their sweat glands, and then afterward started learning good ways to harvest water from creative places, as opposed to learning creative ways to harvest water first, and then starting into the whole stamina runner thing. Wouldn't that be a more logical source for the selective pressures?
    No, it wouldn't. For starters, the fossil evidence of our structural evolution doesn't match the implied timeline. After that, neither does observation of current human dietary advantages, foraging, and related physiology. We need pretty sophisticated tools both cultural and material, including shelter, fire, and butchering gear, to make long distance running a reasonably profitable foraging practice - that meat has to be located, captured and killed if alive, butchered in any case, brought back to camp or camp to it, and prepared for consumption by women and children. All of that in an environment full of serious predators. We will have been long time and deeply experienced, intelligent and capable, efficiently bipedal hominids before that happens routinely.

    Meanwhile the kids have had dinner - say: handfuls of clams easily scooped up from shallow water while playing, eaten raw after breaking their shells on a rock.
    What are you basing the assertions above on?

    And yes that is a request for references. And before you get all affronted I will point to the top of the page where the title of the forum is The Science Forum. One of the keys to science is backing assertions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Here we are talking about creatures that have already fully evolved the sweat glands and running stamina, finding creative ways to supply the water to fuel it. Usually you don't evolve a trait first and then afterwards begin using the strategy that makes that trait useful. The strategy has to come first, so there will be a selective pressure to drive the trait. Our early stamina running ancestors probably didn't have exceptional stamina yet when they started.
    You can't drive a car before you have a car.

    These things develop hand-in-hand. Mutations are not anticipated. You have to have a trait before you can exploit it. You exploit your traits to the best of your ability. If you are successful, the physical traits may get passed on to your progeny.
    You start with a Model T, not a Corvette. The earliest version of a survival strategy is some ramshackle thing that you have to start by turning a crank in the front of it. If it is successful, then the new selective pressure will cause it to become refined over time, into a polished road monster with air conditioning that can go zero to 60 in 5 seconds.

    Stamina hunting probably worked on the basis of a very slight advantage at first. But the most successful hunters were the ones that did it superbly, and they started having a lot of kids.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    What are you basing the assertions above on?

    And yes that is a request for references.
    It's not a serious one. Do you really require references for the observation that human stamina hunting or foraging over land requires capable bipedalism and all the rest mentioned there?

    If you are talking about the timeline, features, etc, the multiple references already posted - with great fanfare and demands that we all read them several times - will do very well. Surely I can discuss stuff already posted, assume the people who posted it read it? If I am replying to somebody who posted or invoked those references themselves, surely I can assume they are acquainted with them? This is a discussion, we're on page 3 - do I have to repost everything every time I mention it or invoke its content?

    Can I argue nothing on my own authority and reason - are we some kind of over-suppressed journalists, forbidden to say anything for ourselves?

    We have a poster here who linked to a casually written zoo exhibit blurb as a reference for the assertion that otters had no subcutaneous fat - none at all - and insisted on the most rigid and rigorous acceptance of that exact wording. Did you have a word with them, seeing as how this is a "science forum" and that was ridiculous?

    Or for short - don't be silly. The reference for that summary is simply the thread so far. If you have an argument against any of it, just make the argument. You don't see the more reasonable people here badgering folks for references in matters they are familiar with, simple arguments that reason from what is thread visible, ordinary discussion of an agreed data and fact base.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
    Bipedalism has been killed as an aquatic trait via eversbane's citations.
    Come on, when, and where, did eversbane's citations (Filler and Ardi papers) killed wading bipedalism?
    You didn't read them.

    Eversbane explained why the data in Algis' paper demonstrates that selection on gait morphology goes AWAY in water. It is very clear. Buoyancy relaxes restrictions on gait, making a very broad range of gait morphologies perfectly viable in water. Also, the energy consumption of the act increases as depth increases, making the act of wading energetically detrimental. No selection on gait, no benefits with regards to energy. The wading explanation for bipedalism is dead. Absolutely dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Have they explicitly ruled out any existence of water along human evolution?
    Strawmen. Don't use them. They make the users look very foolish.

    Lions are terrestrial. Has anyone explicitly ruled out any existence of water along feline evolution?

    See how stupid that sounds. Every animal requires water to some degree. Is the AAT really this pointless to simply say that a particular species came in contact with water in the past? Almost every individual creature on the planet has come into contact with water in their lifetimes. What the heck is the scientific relevance to saying someone had a glass of water or was skipping stones on a lake?

    The AAT attempts to explain particular traits of humans, as set apart from other apes, as requiring an aquatic phase. This has not been demonstrated in any way. You are required to make the case that water was necessary. Otherwise, this idea is scientifically useless.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Have they explicitly ruled out the possibility of water's influence, on either the origin of bipedalism or its later maintenance?
    Um... YES. Read the material, Chak.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Or have they proposed any single hypothesis, supplemented with solid evidence, that makes all other hypotheses unnecessary?
    The AAT IS unnecessary until there is a shred of evidence in support of it. Also, read the thread. The hypotheses you are seeking are already contained in this thread.
    So in the end, you and Eversbane didn't provide any counter evidence against a possible influence of wading to the origin or maintenance of bipedalism, nor providing any solid supporting evidence for any competing hypothesis (to name a few: infant carrying, tool carrying, display, keeping cool, walking on tree branches, or Filler's pure mutation without natural selection).

    In light of current findings that early hominins were living in moderately humid paleo-environment (i.e. not an arid place as assumed before), that they at least part-time exploiting aquatic food source, and the known behavior of wading bipedally in extant primates, Wading Bipedalism is now a legitimate possibility. The saying that it's "unnecessary" is somehow outdated and ignorant to the above-mentioned scientific context.

    (Oh I'm re-reading Algis's paper and Eversbane's comments. Get back to you later~)


    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Instead, we found something like thisNow that's some real discussion on the mechanism of our bipedal origin.
    Where is the DATA? That is just discussion; and discussion worthy of some serious contention. You SAY it is "real discussion" on bipedal origins because it entertains your preferred idea more than the other participants in this thread do. If you think they have some sturdy arguments contained in that discussion for AAT, bring it into this thread.
    I say it's a "real discussion" because Niemitz gave a throughout analysis of all hypotheses of bipedalism in town. He criticized and dismissed some like Threat Display, Infant Carrying, and Thermoregulation, but regard some like Food Carrying and Canopy Scrambling as possible aspects, even sought to reconcile them with Wading. At the end, any feature may have been caused by multiple factors.

    He supported the Wading factor by various points, like the specific arrangement of subcutaneous fat (concentrated in the lower body), a possible co-evolution of aquatic parasites with humans (citing parasitologists), and statistics data to support a habitual preference to watered environments.

    What's important with this paper is not whether wading bipedalism is supported or not, but how this hypothesis can be treated as a valid one, being considered, evaluated, like all other possibilities. I found this attitude much more rational and scientific.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    What are you basing the assertions above on?

    And yes that is a request for references.
    It's not a serious one. Do you really require references for the observation that human stamina hunting or foraging over land requires capable bipedalism and all the rest mentioned there?

    If you are talking about the timeline, features, etc, the multiple references already posted - with great fanfare and demands that we all read them several times - will do very well. Surely I can discuss stuff already posted, assume the people who posted it read it? If I am replying to somebody who posted or invoked those references themselves, surely I can assume they are acquainted with them? This is a discussion, we're on page 3 - do I have to repost everything every time I mention it or invoke its content?

    Can I argue nothing on my own authority and reason - are we some kind of over-suppressed journalists, forbidden to say anything for ourselves?

    We have a poster here who linked to a casually written zoo exhibit blurb as a reference for the assertion that otters had no subcutaneous fat - none at all - and insisted on the most rigid and rigorous acceptance of that exact wording. Did you have a word with them, seeing as how this is a "science forum" and that was ridiculous?

    Or for short - don't be silly. The reference for that summary is simply the thread so far. If you have an argument against any of it, just make the argument. You don't see the more reasonable people here badgering folks for references in matters they are familiar with, simple arguments that reason from what is thread visible, ordinary discussion of an agreed data and fact base.
    Now that you have whined about being subjected to normal scientific conditions and not actually supplied anything....

    I was meaning for these two statements

    "We need pretty sophisticated tools both cultural and material, including shelter, fire, and butchering gear, to make long distance running a reasonably profitable foraging practice - that meat has to be located, captured and killed if alive, butchered in any case, brought back to camp or camp to it, and prepared for consumption by women and children."

    who says that pre-Australopithican honinids would need to be anywhere near that sophisticated to make savanna kills a viable means of subsistence?

    and

    "Meanwhile the kids have had dinner - say: handfuls of clams easily scooped up from shallow water while playing, eaten raw after breaking their shells on a rock."

    And what clams are you interacting with that can be just scoped off the shore
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    "We need pretty sophisticated tools both cultural and material, including shelter, fire, and butchering gear, to make long distance running a reasonably profitable foraging practice - that meat has to be located, captured and killed if alive, butchered in any case, brought back to camp or camp to it, and prepared for consumption by women and children."

    who says that pre-Australopithican honinids would need to be anywhere near that sophisticated to make savanna kills a viable means of subsistence?
    You left out the part about the predators. You also invoked as a cutoff example a fully bipedal, apparently fairly sophisticated hominid - the kind that I observed were necessary for the niche, in my arguing against that niche providing the selection pressure for bipedalism etc. in the first place.

    So who says? The short answer would be that I do. Seems like a reasonable observation, and argues against the order of development asserted to be "logical" by the poster being replied to - who supplied no references for his assertion, either, and that of course is just fine, since he was contributing to a discussion or argument rather than introducing new info.
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    And what clams are you interacting with that can be just scoped off the shore
    That was "shallow water", not "shore" (although some of the famous oyster beds exploited by the original Red inhabitants of Manhattan Island, New York, were easily harvested at low tide without even wading, and clam digging in the sand at low tide is kind of familiar to oceanside residents in lots of places), and I can't say I ever identified them to species, as a child.

    They are easily found by feeling around with one's feet, while wading in a lake - waist to chest deep water on a seven year old is the beginning of their prevalence, at least in northern lakes that freeze down a couple of feet and solidly to the bottom in the near shallows.

    We didn't eat them raw, but we could have. In addition to shellfish rich ocean shallows, most of the lakes and rivers in Minnesota even now - and certainly before agricultural degradation - have shallow water stretches that will feed a foraging child to satiation with a couple of hours of child-typical effort. The muddy stretches feature clams, the rocky ones crayfish, the vegetated ones frogs.

    One "reference", if you really need one for this, would be to pages 1 and 2 of this thread, where the Mokken children's foraging is discussed and linked and so forth.
    Last edited by iceaura; August 30th, 2011 at 01:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    "We need pretty sophisticated tools both cultural and material, including shelter, fire, and butchering gear, to make long distance running a reasonably profitable foraging practice - that meat has to be located, captured and killed if alive, butchered in any case, brought back to camp or camp to it, and prepared for consumption by women and children."

    who says that pre-Australopithican honinids would need to be anywhere near that sophisticated to make savanna kills a viable means of subsistence?
    You left out the part about the predators. You also invoked as a cutoff example a fully bipedal, apparently fairly sophisticated hominid - the kind that I observed were necessary for the niche, in my arguing against that niche providing the selection pressure for bipedalism etc. in the first place.

    So who says? The short answer would be that I do. Seems like a reasonable observation, and argues against the order of development asserted to be "logical" by the poster being replied to - who supplied no references for his assertion, either, and that of course is just fine, since he was contributing to a discussion or argument rather than introducing new info.
    Modern chimps do a pretty good job of fending off leopards by using improvised clubs. I think I linked video of that in one of my earlier posts on this thread, but I can dig it up if you want to see it.

    However, stamina hunting would only work if you could run while carrying a weapon in your hand. Otherwise, you catch up to the prey and find yourself very inconveniently unarmed.



    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    And what clams are you interacting with that can be just scoped off the shore
    That was "shallow water", not "shore" (although some of the famous oyster beds exploited by the original Red inhabitants of Manhattan Island, New York, were easily harvested at low tide without even wading, and clam digging in the sand at low tide is kind of familiar to oceanside residents in lots of places), and I can't say I ever identified them to species, as a child.

    They are easily found by feeling around with one's feet, while wading in a lake - waist to chest deep water on a seven year old is the beginning of their prevalence, at least in northern lakes that freeze down a couple of feet and solidly to the bottom in the near shallows.

    We didn't eat them raw, but we could have. In addition to shellfish rich ocean shallows, most of the lakes and rivers in Minnesota even now - and certainly before agricultural degradation - have shallow water stretches that will feed a foraging child to satiation with a couple of hours of child-typical effort. The muddy stretches feature clams, the rocky ones crayfish, the vegetated ones frogs.

    One "reference", if you really need one for this, would be to pages 1 and 2 of this thread, where the Mokken children's foraging is discussed and linked and so forth.
    That easily leads to a starting point where humans are living near a vast supply of fresh water before they begin the whole stamina hunting process. Maybe shell fishing alone wasn't enough, and they needed a way to get more food. Or maybe it was enough, but more is always better?

    I don't see why a combination of the two selective forces couldn't work together.
    Last edited by kojax; August 30th, 2011 at 05:58 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    a possible co-evolution of aquatic parasites with humans (citing parasitologists)
    Niemitz listed 8 parasites: Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium falciparum, Schistosoma haematobium, Dracunculus medinensis, Brugia timori, Onchocera volvulus, Wucheria bancrofti. Of these, five are transmitted by mosquitoes, one by the black fly, and one by drinking contaminated water. Only Schistosoma haematobium requires wading, and that is in fresh water, not the beach to which we are supposed to be attracted. Schistosoma survives among non-aquatic people, so obviously an aquatic lifestyle is not required.

    Dracunculus medinensis causes the infected person to feel a burning sensation, often immersing the affected limb in water for relief. Once the blister or open sore is submerged in water, the adult female releases hundreds of thousands of guinea worm larvae, contaminating the water supply. This would hardly have evolved if the infected persons were wading for significant portions of the day. So this actually appears to contradict the AAH, or so it seems to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Here we are talking about creatures that have already fully evolved the sweat glands and running stamina, finding creative ways to supply the water to fuel it. Usually you don't evolve a trait first and then afterwards begin using the strategy that makes that trait useful. The strategy has to come first, so there will be a selective pressure to drive the trait. Our early stamina running ancestors probably didn't have exceptional stamina yet when they started.
    You can't drive a car before you have a car.

    These things develop hand-in-hand. Mutations are not anticipated. You have to have a trait before you can exploit it. You exploit your traits to the best of your ability. If you are successful, the physical traits may get passed on to your progeny.
    You start with a Model T, not a Corvette. The earliest version of a survival strategy is some ramshackle thing that you have to start by turning a crank in the front of it. If it is successful, then the new selective pressure will cause it to become refined over time, into a polished road monster with air conditioning that can go zero to 60 in 5 seconds.

    Stamina hunting probably worked on the basis of a very slight advantage at first. But the most successful hunters were the ones that did it superbly, and they started having a lot of kids.
    Sure. But you still start with a car before you learn to drive it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Eversbane explained why the data in Algis' paper demonstrates that selection on gait morphology goes AWAY in water.
    No, he didn't. He made some kind of vague assertion, and commanded us to reread a paper whose authors specifically and with explicit reason claim otherwise. He hasn't argued the matter at all. Neither have you. I think you are both mistaken, but since I have little clue to your actual reasoning I have no idea how you came to your conclusions.
    Were you trained by Algis in the arts of irony?

    You clearly are not interested in the data or learning what the data says. I think any serious conversation with you is over.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    When you do attempt to argue, you say things like this:
    The AAT attempts to explain particular traits of humans, as set apart from other apes, as requiring an aquatic phase. This has not been demonstrated in any way. You are required to make the case that water was necessary.
    That is all false - the description of the aat argument, and the claims of what is required for it, and the conclusion of what has been demonstrated or needs to be demonstrated.

    The AAT argument is that certain human features are consistent with adaptation to amphibious niche by an arboreal ape ancestor. That consistency, once argued, is evidence for a reverse engineering argument (that has enjoyed subsequent support in discovery), not demonstration, and part of its value for science is in its raising of the bar for plausible argument: for a long time we have been treated to proposals by self-described "mainstream" or "serious" researchers that make much less sense, are poorly argued, and are far less consistent with this evidence.

    It's not that an amphibious phase is "required", it's that it makes better sense than the extant alternatives. It is not that anyone claims to have "demonstrated" anything, it's that the alternatives presented so far are clearly less plausible - some of them borderline ludicrous, in fact. Many of them refuted by recent discoveries. The reasoning behind them confused.
    Haha. Okay, this conversation is hopeless. The AAT is meaningless by your description.


    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Training is not instinct. We learn how to drive cars, too.
    And we learn how to walk bipedally, talk, focus our eyes, handle things with our hands, climb trees, etc.
    My point stands.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    So is your argument that none of those behaviors have any bearing on speculations of our evolutionary origin?
    Essentially, yes. Can you figure out why? I really want to get an answer and explanation from you on this question. Preferably in it's own separate post.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    For starters, the fossil evidence of our structural evolution doesn't match the implied timeline. After that, neither does observation of current human dietary advantages, foraging, and related physiology. We need pretty sophisticated tools both cultural and material, including shelter, fire, and butchering gear, to make long distance running a reasonably profitable foraging practice - that meat has to be located, captured and killed if alive, butchered in any case, brought back to camp or camp to it, and prepared for consumption by women and children. All of that in an environment full of serious predators. We will have been long time and deeply experienced, intelligent and capable, efficiently bipedal hominids before that happens routinely.
    Wow. You really know absolutely nothing about basic survival. It's actually fairly easy and does not require any extremely advanced technology, division of labor, group population, or proximity to water.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Meanwhile the kids have had dinner - say: handfuls of clams easily scooped up from shallow water while playing, eaten raw after breaking their shells on a rock.
    That is more effort AND more chancy than the most basic forms of terrestrial sustenance. Do you want a hint?
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    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    So in the end, you and Eversbane didn't provide any counter evidence against a possible influence of wading to the origin or maintenance of bipedalism, nor providing any solid supporting evidence for any competing hypothesis (to name a few: infant carrying, tool carrying, display, keeping cool, walking on tree branches, or Filler's pure mutation without natural selection).
    Haha! Actually, Chak, evers did on both counts. It happens to be the most parsimonious explanation as well. Hint: it is also contained amongst the Ardi papers.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    In light of current findings that early hominins were living in moderately humid paleo-environment (i.e. not an arid place as assumed before),
    WAS it assumed before by mainstream anthro?

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    that they at least part-time exploiting aquatic food source,
    Like terrestrial generalists such as bears, raccoons, rodents, etc... and many predators like wolves, hyenas, etc... and various herbivores... blah blah blah.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    and the known behavior of wading bipedally in extant primates,
    You mean the bipedal wading made possible by our basal morphology that allowed us to walk bipedal without the need for water in the first place?

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Wading Bipedalism is now a legitimate possibility.
    Made possible by a preexisting bipedal morphology.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    The saying that it's "unnecessary" is somehow outdated and ignorant to the above-mentioned scientific context.
    LAWL!

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    I say it's a "real discussion" because Niemitz gave a throughout analysis of all hypotheses of bipedalism in town. He criticized and dismissed some like Threat Display, Infant Carrying, and Thermoregulation, but regard some like Food Carrying and Canopy Scrambling as possible aspects, even sought to reconcile them with Wading.
    ALL of which are either ridiculous, or miss the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    At the end, any feature may have been caused by multiple factors.
    THAT is your problem right there.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    He supported the Wading factor by various points, like the specific arrangement of subcutaneous fat (concentrated in the lower body),
    In contrast to....?

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    a possible co-evolution of aquatic parasites with humans (citing parasitologists),
    Derp. Yeah, just about EVERY SINGLE ANIMAL HAS TO HAVE ACCESS TO DRINKING WATER. Almost every animal has a susceptibility to certain waterborne parasites. We have been over this on other forums. This is not an argument for a specific waterside selection regime with humans. You are still basically arguing AAT in such a way that it is absolutely meaningless. By your argumentation, ALL animals are "waterside" animals. So than what is the point of AAT? Humans are no different from any other terrestrial (aka waterside, lol) species?

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    and statistics data to support a habitual preference to watered environments.
    EVERY ANIMAL HAS TO HAVE ACCESS TO DRINKING WATER. Show me data that most other terrestrial animals are not concentrated around bodies of water to the degree humans are.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    What's important with this paper is not whether wading bipedalism is supported or not, but how this hypothesis can be treated as a valid one,
    I do not treat invalid arguments as valid ones. That someone does has no bearing of the validity of the facts.


    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    ...being considered, evaluated, like all other possibilities. I found this attitude much more rational and scientific.
    Then you should check out astrology. There are some people who 'consider and evaluate' its merits like all other possibilities. Or homeopathy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    I suggest you read the material as eversbane has suggested. He is right that your refusal to do so is... curious.
    Uh, dude, if you think for three seconds, it may occur to you that somebody so repetitively and obsessively devoted to making assertions like that when they not only don't know, but can't know, what they are talking about, is unlikely to be either correct or a source of valuable suggestions. Where did you get the idea that I hadn't read the material?

    Consider: I'm looking at a couple of posters who are telling me what I have and haven't read, while apparently unable to post arguments or analyses based on what they claim to have read themselves.
    Quote Originally Posted by 'eric
    Wading Bipedalism is now a legitimate possibility.
    Made possible by a preexisting bipedal morphology.
    Quite possibly - nothing like a capable terrestrial structure, of course, but some quirk in the specific arboreal adaptations that lent itself to further selection in a new environment.

    But we have no evidence of that. The lumbar structure mutation, for example, seems to coincide with the most plausible beginnings of wade niche adaptation, and predate by an eon the major dryland opportunities; meanwhile, it has no obvious advantages in the treetops. There are no living arboreal apes or other primates with such a modification.

    You would normally start by considering the timeline fossil, timeline genetic, or current sequential structure evidence we have for either bipedalism prior to the obvious wading opportunities and apparent adaptations, or transitional and early adapting quadrupedal structure after the early opportunities for open country selection. But there is none.

    The evidence points to the other way around. The bipedalism appears to predate everything else, for starters ( by both timeline and reasoning: the plausible transitional structures make little sense as dryland terrestrial foraging adaptations), and the rest of the basic physiology points to a later overlay of adaptation for distance and terrestrial efficiency on a basic bipedal structure (example: the sex dimorphism favoring male running.)
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    So is your argument that none of those behaviors have any bearing on speculations of our evolutionary origin?


    Essentially, yes. Can you figure out why?

    Meanwhile the kids have had dinner - say: handfuls of clams easily scooped up from shallow water while playing, eaten raw after breaking their shells on a rock.


    That is more effort AND more chancy than the most basic forms of terrestrial sustenance. Do you want a hint?
    No. You are just going to have to actually present an argument. Other people can't be expected to guess at your belfry's ecosystem.
    Last edited by iceaura; August 31st, 2011 at 12:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Here we are talking about creatures that have already fully evolved the sweat glands and running stamina, finding creative ways to supply the water to fuel it. Usually you don't evolve a trait first and then afterwards begin using the strategy that makes that trait useful. The strategy has to come first, so there will be a selective pressure to drive the trait. Our early stamina running ancestors probably didn't have exceptional stamina yet when they started.
    You can't drive a car before you have a car.

    These things develop hand-in-hand. Mutations are not anticipated. You have to have a trait before you can exploit it. You exploit your traits to the best of your ability. If you are successful, the physical traits may get passed on to your progeny.
    You start with a Model T, not a Corvette. The earliest version of a survival strategy is some ramshackle thing that you have to start by turning a crank in the front of it. If it is successful, then the new selective pressure will cause it to become refined over time, into a polished road monster with air conditioning that can go zero to 60 in 5 seconds.

    Stamina hunting probably worked on the basis of a very slight advantage at first. But the most successful hunters were the ones that did it superbly, and they started having a lot of kids.
    Sure. But you still start with a car before you learn to drive it.
    If we're going to make this a consistent analogy, then, the environment is the car. Evolving is learning. You have to be skillful enough to at least turn the key and put the car in gear before your learning process can begin, but you don't start out with Danica Patrick's skills. You start out as a silly teenager who can barely go 10 feet without slamming on the brakes or having a near accident.


    In order for us to start stamina hunting we would have to have started with enough stamina to defeat at least one other type of animal. That's it. We don't need to have started out as perfect paragons of fitness. However, once a strategy is starting to pay off, an evolving organism finds that it's possible for it to pay off more if the organism adapts more. More is better. We should not expect that the first stamina hunters were as good as modern humans are. It's highly unlikely that they were.

    So, the question we are left with is: what coincidence lead to the first human having enough stamina to defeat the first opponent? If your stamina is 10, and you need 20 stamina to get a kill (I hope you'll forgive my trying to quantify), then there is no selective pressure available to drive you from 10 to 11. 10 doesn't get a kill, and 11 doesn't get a kill, so humans with 11 stamina don't have much of an advantage over humans with 10 stamina in terms of feeding themselves. Gradual mutation isn't going to suddenly jump from 10 to 20. So what got us up to the necessary threshold? (Hint: our hands didn't evolve for the purpose of manipulating tools, but they work for that purpose...... what do you think our stamina might have evolved for?)
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    Or maybe initially our stamina wasn't an inherent trait? Maybe we were naked by coincidence of living near pools of water we could bathe in. Maybe we drank lots of water and had developed sweat glands to enable us to regulate our body temperature better. Maybe we became bipedal so we could stand up in the water and look down into it from above to find shell fish?

    The savannah possibility is just as good, though. Kangaroos survive in a similar environment to the one most commonly suggested to have given rise to humanity, and they're fully bipedal. Perhaps foragers evolve means of using a minimal amount of energy to travel far distances, without so much focus on how fast they get there. The Kangaroo's hopping mechanism is considered to be incredibly energy efficient. The bipedal stance must be helping with that, because you can use gravity to do some of the work by leaning forward and tipping off of your back legs. (For kangaroos, the mechanism is a sort of springy tendon in their legs that conserves the energy of the hop like a spring, combined with the tipping effect.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    a possible co-evolution of aquatic parasites with humans (citing parasitologists)
    Niemitz listed 8 parasites: Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium falciparum, Schistosoma haematobium, Dracunculus medinensis, Brugia timori, Onchocera volvulus, Wucheria bancrofti. Of these, five are transmitted by mosquitoes, one by the black fly, and one by drinking contaminated water. Only Schistosoma haematobium requires wading, and that is in fresh water, not the beach to which we are supposed to be attracted. Schistosoma survives among non-aquatic people, so obviously an aquatic lifestyle is not required.

    Dracunculus medinensis causes the infected person to feel a burning sensation, often immersing the affected limb in water for relief. Once the blister or open sore is submerged in water, the adult female releases hundreds of thousands of guinea worm larvae, contaminating the water supply. This would hardly have evolved if the infected persons were wading for significant portions of the day. So this actually appears to contradict the AAH, or so it seems to me.
    Hi Harold,

    (I will refer to Aspöck & Walochnik 2007, which is cited by Niemitz)

    The most crucial point: These parasites exclusively use human as the final host (or almost exclusively in some cases), and their intermediate hosts all develop in water -- aquatic snails, aquatic crustaceans, fresh water fish, mosquito larvae, fly larvae... That means, for these species to survive, human AND aquatic hosts are the absolute requirements.

    Ah yes, fresh water fits the scenario, because human ancestors only go coastal in later stage, while near the origin of bipedalism, rivers or lakes are where they might have waded.

    If I haven't misunderstand your words, the Medina worm (Dracunculus medinensis) needs human to put their legs in shallow water to propagate larvae and continue their life circle, and human needs to wade in water to relieve the pain. That is what Aspöck & Walochnik 2007 said, that a "peaceful coexistence" (free from pain or other malicious effects) indicates a long time co-evolution.

    Another strong point is that Schistosoma is able to escape from human's immune system, by storing human antigen record on their surface, or synthesizing molecular mimicry. That can't be done without co-evolution.

    The question is, how long is enough for co-evolution to occur? Have it been done in the time of, say, agriculture, or all the way from the beginning of human evolution? We don't know.
    But what's obviously wrong is what Jablonsky said: AAH is wrong because we are infected by waterborne parasites. The details suggest otherwise.
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    The savannah possibility is just as good, though.
    No, people here are not talking about savannah.

    They're not even talking about natural selection or environmental adaptation.

    They're talking about runaway sexual selection (only rarely in peacock tails and deer horns but suddenly highly pervasive in human, like the whole female body or our precious brain), about pure mutation (defying any type of selection), about genetic drift (not so important except in neutral genetic traits or population bottlenecks).

    They're talking about super environmental generalist (unheard of in the whole animal kingdom), about the miracle of training (a thing so magical that can bypass our physical limits as a primate).

    Up to this point, I'm surprised by how our creative mind can invent new concepts or use concepts in surprising ways, just to avoid a non-peculiar idea that involves only natural selection.
    I think I start to miss the old-school savannah hypothesis....
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    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Hi Harold,

    (I will refer to Aspöck & Walochnik 2007, which is cited by Niemitz)

    The most crucial point: These parasites exclusively use human as the final host (or almost exclusively in some cases), and their intermediate hosts all develop in water -- aquatic snails, aquatic crustaceans, fresh water fish, mosquito larvae, fly larvae... That means, for these species to survive, human AND aquatic hosts are the absolute requirements.
    Yes, but to get bitten by a mosquito, you only have to be somewhere near water, not in it. Everybody drinks water.
    Ah yes, fresh water fits the scenario, because human ancestors only go coastal in later stage, while near the origin of bipedalism, rivers or lakes are where they might have waded.

    If I haven't misunderstand your words, the Medina worm (Dracunculus medinensis) needs human to put their legs in shallow water to propagate larvae and continue their life circle, and human needs to wade in water to relieve the pain. That is what Aspöck & Walochnik 2007 said, that a "peaceful coexistence" (free from pain or other malicious effects) indicates a long time co-evolution.
    The human needs to wade, but the guinea worm would not need to evolve a way of making him wade if he is already wading every day. That parasite is spread by drinking contaminated water.

    Another strong point is that Schistosoma is able to escape from human's immune system, by storing human antigen record on their surface, or synthesizing molecular mimicry. That can't be done without co-evolution.
    The schistosoma is the only parasite on the list that does support the idea the human ancestors waded. How much wading is the question. Modern humans wade enough now to spread the disease and keep it going.

    The question is, how long is enough for co-evolution to occur? Have it been done in the time of, say, agriculture, or all the way from the beginning of human evolution? We don't know.
    But what's obviously wrong is what Jablonsky said: AAH is wrong because we are infected by waterborne parasites. The details suggest otherwise.
    I don't understand the last part of what you wrote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Hi Harold,

    (I will refer to Aspöck & Walochnik 2007, which is cited by Niemitz)

    The most crucial point: These parasites exclusively use human as the final host (or almost exclusively in some cases), and their intermediate hosts all develop in water -- aquatic snails, aquatic crustaceans, fresh water fish, mosquito larvae, fly larvae... That means, for these species to survive, human AND aquatic hosts are the absolute requirements.
    Yes, but to get bitten by a mosquito, you only have to be somewhere near water, not in it. Everybody drinks water.
    To make co-evolution possible, both species have to be in the same environment for a considerably long time -- both in term of hours within a day, and in terms of evolutionary time, meaning thousands or millions of years in continuity.

    In other words, co-evolution needs symbiosis, symbiosis needs co-existence.

    Ah yes, fresh water fits the scenario, because human ancestors only go coastal in later stage, while near the origin of bipedalism, rivers or lakes are where they might have waded.

    If I haven't misunderstand your words, the Medina worm (Dracunculus medinensis) needs human to put their legs in shallow water to propagate larvae and continue their life circle, and human needs to wade in water to relieve the pain. That is what Aspöck & Walochnik 2007 said, that a "peaceful coexistence" (free from pain or other malicious effects) indicates a long time co-evolution.
    The human needs to wade, but the guinea worm would not need to evolve a way of making him wade if he is already wading every day. That parasite is spread by drinking contaminated water.
    The parasite enters the human body by drinking, but the only way to get its larvae out is by staying inside human legs, and wait for contact to water (a stimulus of lowered temperature). Once they're out, they go find the aquatic intermediate host (copepods). This is how these little things evolved.

    Another strong point is that Schistosoma is able to escape from human's immune system, by storing human antigen record on their surface, or synthesizing molecular mimicry. That can't be done without co-evolution.
    The schistosoma is the only parasite on the list that does support the idea the human ancestors waded. How much wading is the question. Modern humans wade enough now to spread the disease and keep it going.
    Yes, that's the question I posed -- to prove that whether it's a brief event in modern times, or an ancient one.
    Only a phylogentic study of the speciation event can answer.

    The question is, how long is enough for co-evolution to occur? Have it been done in the time of, say, agriculture, or all the way from the beginning of human evolution? We don't know.
    But what's obviously wrong is what Jablonsky said: AAH is wrong because we are infected by waterborne parasites. The details suggest otherwise.
    I don't understand the last part of what you wrote.
    I was referring to Nina Jablonsky's book "Skin - a natural history":

    If hominid ancestors had lived in an aquatic habitat during their early evolution, the human immune system would reflect a history of assault by such [waterborne] parasites. It doesn't. Only in the last ten thousand years or so have we started spending much time in the water, as we developed agriculture and fishing, and our immune systems have not yet been sharpened by natural selection to resist the attack of the nasty organisms that inhabit these freshwater lakes and rivers.


    However, as our parasitologists have shown, the human immune system does reflect a history of assault by not resisting but peacefully coexisting with those parasites, i.e. became commensalistic symbionts. This suggests an evolutionary influence more than the 10k years of agriculture can offer.
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    One more interesting point from our parasitologists: The aquatic parasites mentioned all originated from African waters, and not elsewhere on the earth. That was the homeland of humanity, but not agriculture.
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    Here's a paper on the origins of Schistosoma mansoni infection in humans: Origin and diversification of the human parasite. Schistosoma mansoni. They derived an estimated figure of some 400,000 years for when this parasite began to infect humans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chakazul View Post
    Hi Harold,

    (I will refer to Aspöck & Walochnik 2007, which is cited by Niemitz)

    The most crucial point: These parasites exclusively use human as the final host (or almost exclusively in some cases), and their intermediate hosts all develop in water -- aquatic snails, aquatic crustaceans, fresh water fish, mosquito larvae, fly larvae... That means, for these species to survive, human AND aquatic hosts are the absolute requirements.
    Yes, but to get bitten by a mosquito, you only have to be somewhere near water, not in it. Everybody drinks water.
    To make co-evolution possible, both species have to be in the same environment for a considerably long time -- both in term of hours within a day, and in terms of evolutionary time, meaning thousands or millions of years in continuity.

    In other words, co-evolution needs symbiosis, symbiosis needs co-existence.
    I'm still not getting why the human ancestors have to be aquatic to get bitten by mosquitoes.
    Ah yes, fresh water fits the scenario, because human ancestors only go coastal in later stage, while near the origin of bipedalism, rivers or lakes are where they might have waded.

    If I haven't misunderstand your words, the Medina worm (Dracunculus medinensis) needs human to put their legs in shallow water to propagate larvae and continue their life circle, and human needs to wade in water to relieve the pain. That is what Aspöck & Walochnik 2007 said, that a "peaceful coexistence" (free from pain or other malicious effects) indicates a long time co-evolution.
    The human needs to wade, but the guinea worm would not need to evolve a way of making him wade if he is already wading every day. That parasite is spread by drinking contaminated water.
    The parasite enters the human body by drinking, but the only way to get its larvae out is by staying inside human legs, and wait for contact to water (a stimulus of lowered temperature). Once they're out, they go find the aquatic intermediate host (copepods). This is how these little things evolved.
    The point was, the parasite is adapted to infect non-aquatic critters by forcing them to go to the water.
    Another strong point is that Schistosoma is able to escape from human's immune system, by storing human antigen record on their surface, or synthesizing molecular mimicry. That can't be done without co-evolution.
    The schistosoma is the only parasite on the list that does support the idea the human ancestors waded. How much wading is the question. Modern humans wade enough now to spread the disease and keep it going.
    Yes, that's the question I posed -- to prove that whether it's a brief event in modern times, or an ancient one.
    Only a phylogentic study of the speciation event can answer.
    Would that even answer it, given that an aquatic human host is not currently required?
    The question is, how long is enough for co-evolution to occur? Have it been done in the time of, say, agriculture, or all the way from the beginning of human evolution? We don't know.
    But what's obviously wrong is what Jablonsky said: AAH is wrong because we are infected by waterborne parasites. The details suggest otherwise.
    I don't understand the last part of what you wrote.
    I was referring to Nina Jablonsky's book "Skin - a natural history":

    If hominid ancestors had lived in an aquatic habitat during their early evolution, the human immune system would reflect a history of assault by such [waterborne] parasites. It doesn't. Only in the last ten thousand years or so have we started spending much time in the water, as we developed agriculture and fishing, and our immune systems have not yet been sharpened by natural selection to resist the attack of the nasty organisms that inhabit these freshwater lakes and rivers.


    However, as our parasitologists have shown, the human immune system does reflect a history of assault by not resisting but peacefully coexisting with those parasites, i.e. became commensalistic symbionts. This suggests an evolutionary influence more than the 10k years of agriculture can offer.
    When I look up the definition of commensalistic, it says it means beneficial to one species, harmless to the other. This is distinct from parasitic.
    Last edited by Harold14370; September 1st, 2011 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Mixed up my parasites.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Kangaroos survive in a similar environment to the one most commonly suggested to have given rise to humanity, and they're fully bipedal.
    Yes, but not exactly like humans, as they lack the vertical spine position in their bipedalism. This is (today) only seen in two groups: Humans and penguins. Behaviorly, vertical bipedalism is also seen in quite many (non-human) primate species, when they move through a body of water (lakes, streams), which may be a key to understand its origin in humans.

    The two groups of bipedal marsupials, macropodidae (various kangaroos) and potoroidae (small rodent-like jumpers), are bipedal the same way all birds are (except penguins); Only the rear limbs have regular contact to the surroundings (as opposed to mammals, reptiles, etc. where all four have contact in most species) and the rear limbs is at an angle of near 90 degrees on the spine, this similar to eg. mammal quadrupeds, also at a 90 degree angle.

    The erect body position on land (with a 180 degree angle between rear limbs and spine) is apparently very rare among air breathers (terrestrial or aquatic), so one could suggest it might have occured in a similar adaptation. I don't think anyone would contest that penguins are an aquatic group, and bipedalism with a vertical spine not being the only indication of something aquatic about humans, might be symbolic of an evolutionary similarity between these birds and these primates (or though penguins are some 55mya as a seperate group and humans are perhaps 5-10mya).

    The key might lie in the subdivision of fore and rear limbs in both birds as a family and primates as a mammalian subfamily. In birds, the fore limbs are originally adapted to glided flight, while in primates, the fore limbs are widely adapted to interact with the surroundings (even though most primates still move around quadrupedally). Birds fly with their fore limbs, while primates grab, pick and carry with theirs. An interesting variation is elephants, whose nose (the trunk) is adapted to interact with the surroundings, while it stays on all fours.

    As an aquatic bird, the forelimbs of penguins have adapted from glided flight to guide underwater propulsion. Their rear limbs have migrated from the near-90 degrees to a full 180 degrees on the spine, most likely to aid hydrodynamics when moving under water (the 90 degree angle would drag and cost oxygen during dives). When they seek back on land, to flee from predators, mate and tend to offspring, then because of the 180 degree angle, they are at a vertical body position.

    In early humans, a similar thing might have happened, in that these early aquatic apes waded in belly deep water in a vertical body position, similar to other primates, but as a standard to a certain degree. Then gradually the legs migrated from the chimp-like 90-degree angle between rear limbs and spine, to a 180 degree angle to benefit hydrodynamics. When back on land, these aquatic apes gradually refrained from moving quadrupedally (like other wading primates), and resorted to the upright vertical bipedalism we recognize in ourselves today. The big difference here would be that these aquatic apes are only suggested to being largely waders and perhaps not so often divers (not as much as penguins, anyway). Then of course one might imagine, that penguins also went through a wading stage, which originally triggered the vertical bipedalism. (But granted, that is speculation.)

    It would be peculiar, that the only other known example (today, anyway) of a constantly vertical bipedaler besides humans, are those aquatic birds.
    Last edited by CEngelbrecht; September 2nd, 2011 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Clarification, not marine birds, but aquatic birds
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    Chakazul,


    The malaria parasite Plasmodium spp. infects all primates (probably) and certainly infects all major vertebrate groups. It would be safe to assume then that we were hosts for the ancestors of this organism since a time before there was even such a thing as primates. Both host and parasite are, and have been, co-evolving in an arms race that has been underway for a very, very long time. More than 150-200 million years? The species that most commonly infect humans (Plasmodium malariae, P. falciparum, P. vivax, and P. ovale) diverged from their common ancestor before the evolution of the Hominids.


    Rivers and lakes are not neccessary. All that is required is standing water of any sort - a pool of water collecting between the branches of a tree will do nicely.


    As Harold says, mosquitos and malaria don't lend support to the AAH.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post

    In early humans, a similar thing might have happened, in that these early aquatic apes waded in belly deep water in a vertical body position, similar to other primates, but as a standard to a certain degree. Then gradually the legs migrated from the chimp-like 90-degree angle between rear limbs and spine, to a 180 degree angle to benefit hydrodynamics. When back on land, these aquatic apes gradually refrained from moving quadrupedally (like other wading primates), and resorted to the upright vertical bipedalism we recognize in ourselves today. The big difference here would be that these aquatic apes are only suggested to being largely waders and perhaps not so often divers (not as much as penguins, anyway). Then of course one might imagine, that penguins also went through a wading stage, which originally triggered the vertical bipedalism. (But granted, that is speculation.)

    It would be peculiar, that the only other known example (today, anyway) of a constantly vertical bipedaler besides humans, are those marine birds.
    Whatever humans did in water would have to have involved stamina, so it could lead to the land based strategy of stamina hunting. Spears would make sense as a water hunting technique. Don't some humans still use spears in that way?

    Clearly we're not very fast swimmers or runners. We're just plain not very fast. We didn't need to flee from predators once we knew how to fight back, so there was no reason to evolve toward movement speed, but we did need to catch food some how.

    But what kind of water activity would give advantage to a semi aquatic mammal with lots of stamina?
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eversbane
    The greatest paleontological analysis of recent times is termed 'cryptic' and dismissed out of hand. Not even any curiosity to go find out what it says. And the only scientific work done by an AAT proponent... ever... ignored - tossed aside like a used tissue.
    The intentions behind your continual accusations and misrepresentation of my posts - pretending to take my "cryptic" label as referring to the research and analysis itself, instead of to your worthless references to it, for example - are no longer hidden.

    So far you haven't presented anything like what you describe, here. You have referred to some stuff, but not argued from it or presented the evidence you find significant from it - and what little specific reference you make appears to show misunderstanding of the argument by you (the bent-leg wading efficiency comparison you alluded to, say, or the apparent acquisition of key structural features by a still arboreal proto-hominid you mention). It's hard to tell, since you refuse to actually present reasoning, but you appear to have simply mistaken the import of these findings and analyses.

    That is, your links and references appear to refute your claims for them, in some cases explicitly (I quoted one), and you refuse to argue otherwise - preferring repetition of assertion to argument or evidence. You have not presented and argued a single piece of evidence for any of your assertions on this thread.
    I call Poe. No one is otherwise intentionally this resistent to acquiring knowledge.
    Nearly all of the above lines of evidence can be questioned, and all have more than one possible cause (although some may have no cause at all).
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Can I argue nothing on my own authority and reason
    What's the name of this forum?
    Nearly all of the above lines of evidence can be questioned, and all have more than one possible cause (although some may have no cause at all).
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post
    As an aquatic bird, the forelimbs of penguins have adapted from glided flight to guide underwater propulsion. Their rear limbs have migrated from the near-90 degrees to a full 180 degrees on the spine
    I haven't been responding to the nonsense being spewed forth in favor of the AAT/H here lately, but this I have to, because it's both nonsense and an example of why this nonsense is so annoying to those who bother to study the facts.

    Anyone who says this about penguins has not bothered to look at a penguin skeleton, and that means not taking even 30 seconds time to do an online search for an image. Yet on the basis of this level of incredible lack of knowledge and curiosity they ask others to accept their views.

    108032137_1a0bff0e32.jpg

    Look at the bird's legs, and how they hold their legs at about a 90 degree angle to the spine, just like most other birds. And finding this image took, and I mean literally, less than 30 seconds. It's not just random AAT/H fans on forums saying nonsense like this; major proponents of the idea have done so. Their ideas are based on that level of ignorance and that level of interest in correcting their ignorance.

    I've seen nonsense spewed about the supposed fattiness of otters relative to other mustelids, and so much other crap that it's like reading the utterings of creationists -- it's just that bad. I beseech the fans and proponents of the AAT/H: please stop being so ignorant that you make yourself look stupid. At least attempt to use facts, real world information, and accurate ideas about evolutionary theory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
    Sure. But you still start with a car before you learn to drive it.
    If we're going to make this a consistent analogy, then, the environment is the car. Evolving is learning. You have to be skillful enough to at least turn the key and put the car in gear before your learning process can begin, but you don't start out with Danica Patrick's skills. You start out as a silly teenager who can barely go 10 feet without slamming on the brakes or having a near accident.
    The analogy is not that the environment is the car. That was never the case, was it? The car is in analogy to the trait. Stamina/endurance. You have to have some amount of stamina/endurance before you can learn to use it to its full usefulness. Creatures to not evolve to meet situations. Mutations happen. THEN those mutations are dealt with by the individual and tested by the environment. Access to water, carrying water, or knowing how to hydrate away from water are things that the individual must learn in using the stamina/endurance trait the individual already possesses due to mutation.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    In order for us to start stamina hunting we would have to have started with enough stamina to defeat at least one other type of animal.
    Absolutely not!

    We need some amount of stamina for accomplishing something that is beneficial to survival. That does NOT necessarily mean defeating an animal. However, as this trait progresses, one of its uses BECAME persistence hunting. Mutations do not anticipate uses. Uses are innovated from existing traits. Thinking anything else is environmental determinism, which is bogus and one of the main problems of AATer thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    That's it. We don't need to have started out as perfect paragons of fitness. However, once a strategy is starting to pay off, an evolving organism finds that it's possible--
    Let me stop you there. Mutations are never anticipated. They are random. An organism can only use its existing tratis to the best of its ability. organisms who lack these traits may die off, making that trait more prevalent. SOMEWHERE down the line, a mutation happens. It MIGHT be for increased stamina. If it is, it can THEN be selected for.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    More is better.
    facepalm.jpg

    There are no absolutes in biology.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    So, the question we are left with is: what coincidence lead to the first human having enough stamina to defeat the first opponent?
    See above

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    If your stamina is 10, and you need 20 stamina to get a kill (I hope you'll forgive my trying to quantify), then there is no selective pressure available to drive you from 10 to 11. 10 doesn't get a kill, and 11 doesn't get a kill, so humans with 11 stamina don't have much of an advantage over humans with 10 stamina in terms of feeding themselves.
    Energy efficiency from getting to point A to point B. Surviving the heat or beating the midday sun getting from an expired shady waterhole to the next. It doesn't matter really. What matters is that the trait is useful to a degree in some survival task. NOT necessarily killing game.

    This is the problem with creationist argumentation, so I hope you see the flaw here. Think: What use is half a wing? Half a wing can't fly. ........but it can glide, slow falls, display for mates or against predators, help insulate clutches of eggs, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Gradual mutation isn't going to suddenly jump from 10 to 20.
    It is also worth pointing out that slow and steady is not the only game in town.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    So what got us up to the necessary threshold? (Hint: our hands didn't evolve for the purpose of manipulating tools, but they work for that purpose...... what do you think our stamina might have evolved for?)
    So you already get it. Just apply that thinking to stamina.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthro
    I haven't been responding to the nonsense being spewed forth in favor of the AAT/H here lately, but this I have to, because it's both nonsense and an example of why this nonsense is so annoying to those who bother to study the facts.

    Anyone who says this about penguins has not bothered to look at a penguin skeleton,
    Apparently, you just aren't following the argument. Which is a better explanation for your lack of sensible contribution here than the unwarranted esteem in which you hold your own as yet unsupported opinions.

    The skeleton you link to has a vertical spine, the animal walks with its body held upright, and the awkward manner of its connection and support partly explains why penguins don't walk very well - they clearly didn't evolve by way of selection pressure toward walking and terrestrial bipedalism.

    What is your point?
    Quote Originally Posted by anthro
    I've seen nonsense spewed about the supposed fattiness of otters relative to other mustelids, {etc etc etc }
    You seem to think that your merely labeling something "nonsense" carries some weight in an actual argument. It doesn't. Your posts here have been a combination of irrelevance (all that crap about the foolishness of many speculations regarding aquatic proto-humans ) and error (your mistake about the implications of the timeline established by the Ardi fossils and analysis). What I am going to assume, since you haven't supplied any info and I have skinned mustelids, is that you are aware of the presence of some fat under the skin of weasels in general. Good for you (note my agreement that all mustelids carry some subcutaneous fat, when another poster tried to claim that sea otters had none). Now make an argument.

    Tell us why the relatively minor but suggestive issue of the unusual fat layer enwrapping humans argues for anything else better than holdover from amphibious adaptation. Tell us how bipedalism involving a vertically held spine incrementally evolved from a normal primate one argues for anything else better than for the selection pressure of wading. Tell us how the bizarre throat morphology of humans indicates incrementally selected adaptation for something else more plausibly than for the kinds of breath control advantageous to amphibious niche. And so forth.
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The savannah possibility is just as good, though. Kangaroos survive in a similar environment to the one most commonly suggested to have given rise to humanity, and they're fully bipedal.
    Kangaroos do not walk on their hind legs, holding their bodies upright. And this informs - because we have many instances of hind leg bounding adaptation to dry land locomotion, including visible transitional forms. The adaptation appears to be incrementally valuable, with a natural pathway of selection. Quadrupeds of different lineages, sizes, diets, and circumstances, including arboreal ones, have acquired some of the necessary structures - squirrels and hares and "jumping" mice and kangaroos and so forth.

    The quadruped structurally adapted and seriously modified toward getting up on its hind legs and walking, anything like a transitional stage toward hominid bipedalism, on the other hand, is very rare. Despite the ubiquity and generality of quadrupedal adaptation to open land travel, including some apparently originally arboreal quadrupeds, we have very few in any visible transitional forms; we have nothing incrementally adapted to terrestrial bipedal walking or running. Examples?
    Last edited by iceaura; September 3rd, 2011 at 11:50 AM.
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    Please show that the amount of subcutaneous fat is of notable amount and used as a insulator in the Giant river otter of South America. Anecdotal assertions based on the smaller forms found in the Central/Northern temperate regions of North America does not prove that tropical amphibious mammals around 100lbs in size use the fat the way you assert.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    Please show that the amount of subcutaneous fat is of notable amount and used as a insulator in the Giant river otter of South America.
    I linked to a picture of a Giant Otter. Look at it. That is a warm water shallow water forager.

    I have no interest in whether or not the fat is used mostly - or at all - for insulation. It's a common use of such fat, but there are others - especially in amphibious and aquatic animals.
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    Anecdotal assertions based on the smaller forms found in the Central/Northern temperate regions of North America does not prove that tropical amphibious mammals around 100lbs in size use the fat the way you assert
    My assertion is of the correlation. Nothing is being "proved".

    The response was to a request, by others, that "smaller" mammals be considered. An entire range of medium and smaller sizes was posted, with the pattern - the more aquatic mammals (and birds, btw) tend to have more fat in a layer following the skin - fairly clear.
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    Can you verify that the folds in your linked image are due to fat and not due rather to loose skin?

    This is a science forum, and it follows the guidelines of any science related activity, when references are requested they should be supplied. I will not take you on your word in a controversial discussion like this.

    No it is not clear, as the request by me was that animals in the weight and size range of the proposed amphibious ape be considered, specifically that of the giant otter.

    Im not sure why you should be taken with more credibility then the sea world webpage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    In order for us to start stamina hunting we would have to have started with enough stamina to defeat at least one other type of animal.
    Absolutely not!

    We need some amount of stamina for accomplishing something that is beneficial to survival. That does NOT necessarily mean defeating an animal. However, as this trait progresses, one of its uses BECAME persistence hunting. Mutations do not anticipate uses. Uses are innovated from existing traits. Thinking anything else is environmental determinism, which is bogus and one of the main problems of AATer thinking.
    Think of mutation as a rock that keeps on growing, and the environment is a chisel that keeps chiseling that rock into a sculpture. So, you'll understand that when I say a new trait is being driven by the environment, I mean that the chisel is cutting all of the other parts of the rock back so that trait is all that's left. It's not really as random as people make it sound when you look at it that way.

    If a mutation has no use, then the chisel will cut it away just as readily as it cuts all the other chunks of rock away, but if it does have a use then it stays, and it's the only thing that does.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    That's it. We don't need to have started out as perfect paragons of fitness. However, once a strategy is starting to pay off, an evolving organism finds that it's possible--
    Let me stop you there. Mutations are never anticipated. They are random. An organism can only use its existing tratis to the best of its ability. organisms who lack these traits may die off, making that trait more prevalent. SOMEWHERE down the line, a mutation happens. It MIGHT be for increased stamina. If it is, it can THEN be selected for.
    Mutation always happens, constantly. The fact it's random guarantees it will eventually point in every possible direction multiple times, depending on how long you wait. There's really not an "if" involved with that part. It's more of a "when".

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    So, the question we are left with is: what coincidence lead to the first human having enough stamina to defeat the first opponent?
    See above
    Let me refine that. The question is what selection process chiseled humanity into an organism that would be capable of defeating its first opponent in a contest of fitness?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    If your stamina is 10, and you need 20 stamina to get a kill (I hope you'll forgive my trying to quantify), then there is no selective pressure available to drive you from 10 to 11. 10 doesn't get a kill, and 11 doesn't get a kill, so humans with 11 stamina don't have much of an advantage over humans with 10 stamina in terms of feeding themselves.
    Energy efficiency from getting to point A to point B. Surviving the heat or beating the midday sun getting from an expired shady waterhole to the next. It doesn't matter really. What matters is that the trait is useful to a degree in some survival task. NOT necessarily killing game.

    This is the problem with creationist argumentation, so I hope you see the flaw here. Think: What use is half a wing? Half a wing can't fly. ........but it can glide, slow falls, display for mates or against predators, help insulate clutches of eggs, etc.
    The problem is that nearly every creature everywhere sees stamina getting selected for. Why did our ancestors develop more of it than the others? How did we get ahead?

    Something in our environment must have driven us in that direction more strongly than it was driving them (by which I mean chiseled everything else away more aggressively.)


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Gradual mutation isn't going to suddenly jump from 10 to 20.
    It is also worth pointing out that slow and steady is not the only game in town.
    Huge jumps run into the problem that the first being with a new trait usually has to mate with another being that doesn't have the trait. If it's too big a mutation, maybe they can't mate. Even if they can, then their offspring are only 1/2 mutants. Their grand kids are only 1/4 mutants, their great grand kids are only 1/8 mutants..... etc. Of course each descendant has a small chance to get the full trait undiluted, so that helps.

    Small jumps are easier because a small variation in the genome is always present. Most people look at least slightly different from the other people around them in small, and probably insignificant ways, but maybe in a new environment that seemingly small difference would begin to mean a lot.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    So what got us up to the necessary threshold? (Hint: our hands didn't evolve for the purpose of manipulating tools, but they work for that purpose...... what do you think our stamina might have evolved for?)
    So you already get it. Just apply that thinking to stamina.
    Yeah. I am wondering what got us there, and whether AAH holds the answer or if we have to look somewhere else.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    I suggest you read the material as eversbane has suggested. He is right that your refusal to do so is... curious.
    Uh, dude, if you think for three seconds, it may occur to you that somebody so repetitively and obsessively devoted to making assertions
    You? Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    like that when they not only don't know, but can't know, what they are talking about, is unlikely to be either correct or a source of valuable suggestions. Where did you get the idea that I hadn't read the material?
    It is obvious in your posting, argumentation, and assertions clearly made lacking the insight of the materials provided.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Consider: I'm looking at a couple of posters who are telling me what I have and haven't read, while apparently unable to post arguments or analyses based on what they claim to have read themselves.
    We are not the ones making the assertions. You are the one who needs to back up your claims. You are asserting. All we need to do is dispute them. You haven't even attempted to show your assertions are backed up by evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 'eric
    Wading Bipedalism is now a legitimate possibility.
    Made possible by a preexisting bipedal morphology.
    Quite possibly - nothing like a capable terrestrial structure, of course, but some quirk in the specific arboreal adaptations that lent itself to further selection in a new environment.

    But we have no evidence of that.
    So we go with parsimony. This requires one less step than the wading idea and has all the merits or lack of.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    The lumbar structure mutation, for example, seems to coincide with the most plausible beginnings of wade niche adaptation, and predate by an eon the major dryland opportunities; meanwhile, it has no obvious advantages in the treetops. There are no living arboreal apes or other primates with such a modification.
    Assertions and a failure of logic. The mutation does have an obvious advantage in terrestrial walking. Why is wading needed? Right, right, it is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    You would normally start by considering the timeline fossil, timeline genetic, or current sequential structure evidence we have for either bipedalism prior to the obvious wading opportunities and apparent adaptations, or transitional and early adapting quadrupedal structure after the early opportunities for open country selection. But there is none.
    What? No. That is not scientific. That would tell you nothing. That is like looking at sales records for a corner store to find a purchase coinciding with a murder nearby to determine who the killer is. The logic doesn't follow. There is no reason to think the murderer is the one who made the purchase.

    Not only that, but what the heck do you mean, "wading opportunities"? There are ALWAYS 'wading opportunities' constantly for almost every species throughout time. There are always bodies of water in a species home range. This is one of the stupidest arguments I have ever heard. Seriously. Think about this.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    The evidence points to the other way around. The bipedalism appears to predate everything else, for starters ( by both timeline and reasoning: the plausible transitional structures make little sense as dryland terrestrial foraging adaptations), and the rest of the basic physiology points to a later overlay of adaptation for distance and terrestrial efficiency on a basic bipedal structure (example: the sex dimorphism favoring male running.)
    Assertion and word salad.

    What is your argument that the morphology does not make sense as terrestrial morphology? Back up your assertions. Get to it man! You are becoming a bore very quickly.


    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    So is your argument that none of those behaviors have any bearing on speculations of our evolutionary origin?

    Essentially, yes. Can you figure out why?
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Meanwhile the kids have had dinner - say: handfuls of clams easily scooped up from shallow water while playing, eaten raw after breaking their shells on a rock.

    That is more effort AND more chancy than the most basic forms of terrestrial sustenance. Do you want a hint?
    No. You are just going to have to actually present an argument. Other people can't be expected to guess at your belfry's ecosystem.
    You don't even want a hint, eh? You aren't here to learn or think.

    The easiest form of sustenance to acquire that is ever as much nutritious as your clams and such AND less likely to cause illness is INSECTS. I have never heard of someone getting some form of poisoning from insects. I have on MANY occasions heard about people getting sick from eating tainted clams and oysters.

    Have you ever read up on anything about survival in the wilderness? That is the FIRST thing that should clue you in on human evolution; actual methods of survival sans advanced technology.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Think of mutation as a rock that keeps on growing, and the environment is a chisel that keeps chiseling that rock into a sculpture. So, you'll understand that when I say a new trait is being driven by the environment, I mean that the chisel is cutting all of the other parts of the rock back so that trait is all that's left. It's not really as random as people make it sound when you look at it that way.
    Two problems with this analogy. Mutations keep happening, the the 'rock' is constantly changing shape. Maybe not as much as the environment chisels away, but those changes are happening all the time. Also, the environment is dynamic and changes with the changes in the species itself. The chisel can't chisel the rock without altering itself. You CAN'T cut away all the other parts completely and new parts (mutations) may prove to be better for the sculpture than the intended form. Also, there ISN'T an intended form. The analogy fails.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    If a mutation has no use, then the chisel will cut it away just as readily as it cuts all the other chunks of rock away, but if it does have a use then it stays, and it's the only thing that does.
    You don't seem to be familiar with genetic drift. Mutations without benefit can and do reach fixation in populations. Again the environment is dynamic and is effected by the species evolving, so what is useful and what is not never stands still, and there is luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Mutation always happens, constantly. The fact it's random guarantees it will eventually point in every possible direction multiple times, depending on how long you wait. There's really not an "if" involved with that part. It's more of a "when".
    Given that the environment is dynamic and the changes in species alter the environment, you can't say which direction is the peak of fitness. There is no direction. ANY mutation could shift the 'direction' of the species. There is more at work than a single trait at any given time. Evolution does not happen by scientific experiment, controlling all variables except for the trait in question.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    The question is what selection process chiseled humanity into an organism that would be capable of defeating its first opponent in a contest of fitness?
    You are still looking at this the wrong way. That 'first opponent' is nonexistent. (and I am assuming you are still talking about a successful hunt) There is a very nice gradation of prey types and sizes. Where do you draw a significant line? That is the problem here. People think there is some sort of wall to get past. There really isn't a wall here. Chimpanzees hunt today. There was an interesting study recently about chimps in the process of hunting a certain type of monkey into extinction, actually. What makes you think the last common ancestor did not engage in hunting something? Why do you think it would be a leap to go from hunting small game to medium game to large game based on the gradual changes in various traits? What makes you think that a particular set of traits is required for this task? Lions hunt large game, too. But they don't have the same suite of traits that we do. Any number of combinations may have worked. This is simply the one that evolved due to the random mutations available to work with over our evolution.

    If you want a specific selection process, what is the most parsimonious? Well, we know our last common ancestor lived in wooded environments and had obvious arboreal features. Now, we are mostly terrestrial with obvious features that aid in terrestrial tasks. So the most parsimonious explanation is going from A to B. Our traits made it possible to exploit more things terrestrially over time. Not a lot of fanfare there, but fanfare is not science or more true than boring explanations.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    The problem is that nearly every creature everywhere sees stamina getting selected for. Why did our ancestors develop more of it than the others? How did we get ahead?
    I dispute this. SPEED is not stamina, yet can be just as beneficial. Speed can also come at the cost of stamina. A shift in diet. A shift in prey. Organisms evolve in many different ways. I do not see this "every creature everywhere sees stamina getting selected for" that you claim.

    We are not fast. We do not hunt by means of speed. Other animals generally do not hunt by means of persistence.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Something in our environment must have driven us in that direction more strongly than it was driving them (by which I mean chiseled everything else away more aggressively.)
    Bipedalism. We are by far more efficient energetically than quadrupeds. Bipedalism is a trait we acquired that BECAME useful in this task. It wasn't the task that produced bipedalism. Mutation leads change, not environment.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    So what got us up to the necessary threshold? (Hint: our hands didn't evolve for the purpose of manipulating tools, but they work for that purpose...... what do you think our stamina might have evolved for?)
    So you already get it. Just apply that thinking to stamina.
    Yeah. I am wondering what got us there, and whether AAH holds the answer or if we have to look somewhere else.
    Okay, I should have pointed this out earlier.

    "So what got us up to the necessary threshold?" Is totally the wrong way to look at evolution. See above. A gradual process does not require a threshold for a particular trait to come under selection.

    What makes you think AAT has an answer of any kind?
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    Please show that the amount of subcutaneous fat is of notable amount and used as a insulator in the Giant river otter of South America.
    I linked to a picture of a Giant Otter. Look at it. That is a warm water shallow water forager.

    I have no interest in whether or not the fat is used mostly - or at all - for insulation. It's a common use of such fat, but there are others - especially in amphibious and aquatic animals.
    Wow. You really don't care at all, do you? You post a picture to go with your assertion just to say now that you don't care whether or not it is consistent with your assertions. You are a waste of time. This is a joke.


    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    Anecdotal assertions based on the smaller forms found in the Central/Northern temperate regions of North America does not prove that tropical amphibious mammals around 100lbs in size use the fat the way you assert
    My assertion is of the correlation. Nothing is being "proved".

    The response was to a request, by others, that "smaller" mammals be considered. An entire range of medium and smaller sizes was posted, with the pattern - the more aquatic mammals (and birds, btw) tend to have more fat in a layer following the skin - fairly clear.
    So where is that consideration in your argument? I don't see it. Again, this is a joke.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    The easiest form of sustenance to acquire that is ever as much nutritious as your clams and such AND less likely to cause illness is INSECTS.
    An inadequate source of nutrition, completely unreliable, and not nearly as easily obtained as you seem to think (clams, crayfish, oysters, etc, are much more easily acquired in quantity without gear, free hands, etc, and usually more easily prepared for consumption). You have never heard of anyone poisoned by insects because people don't go around eating all kinds of bugs in large quantities all year - most of the time bugs are too hard to catch and too small to be worth the effort. If they did, you would: several insects species would be lethal if eaten in in meal sized amounts. They often, for example, concentrate the poisons that make so many plants inedible to humans. You don't have to worry about that, because the opportunity of eating insects in large quantities is uncommon in both time and space.

    Unlike shallow water foraging, where we have the Mokken and several other peoples for examples: there are no human cultures that rely on insects for basic nutrition, no places or environments in which eight year old humans are self-supporting via insect harvest , nowhere on this planet where insects do or even can feed a tribe of human beings long enough or well enough for even one cycle of reproduction.
    Quote Originally Posted by "eric'
    Bipedalism. We are by far more efficient energetically than quadrupeds. Bipedalism is a trait we acquired that BECAME useful in this task. It wasn't the task that produced bipedalism. Mutation leads change, not environment.
    The aquatic phase proposal deals with the selection pressures that led to bipedalism in the first place.

    In that regard, environment can very well lead change - by rewarding and thereby establishing bipedal behavior in an animal poorly structured for it, thereby even better rewarding incremental structural adaptations as supplied by occasional mutation, for example. That's a standard evolutionary sequence, and seems a likely one in the evolution of hominids. Particularly regarding human beings - with their quite unusual physiological setup unexplained - we need a plausible set of selection pressures.
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    Insects are very easy to catch. Note the large number of taxa that have large swarm cycles at least once a year, and many of the African species of Hymenopterans, Isopterans, etc... are colonial. Most human cultures other then the Western European and US/Canadians include insects as a notable component of the diet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    Insects are very easy to catch. Note the large number of taxa that have large swarm cycles at least once a year, and many of the African species of Hymenopterans, Isopterans, etc... are colonial
    Even the very largest swarms are not easy to gather in large numbers without gear, last maybe a week at the outside, do not happen even every year - and people have to eat and support children more often than a couple of weeks out of the year.

    Recall: we are talking about a mostly arboreal quadruped lacking in any but "found stick" tools.

    Insects are not easy to catch or prepare, and you would have to catch huge numbers of them to support a community of people (we don't really know how many - we have no examples of people living like that). It takes comparable effort to catch a frog or a grasshopper, and the frog provides many times the nutrition. For a clam from a good clam bed, a crawdad from a densely populated lake, there's no real comparison - you can feed a family for less than an hour a day for months, hang out in the trees nearby, and have fun doing it.

    But what are we arguing here? Is somebody proposing that humans evolved their peculiar features under selection pressure of an insect swarm foraging niche?
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    So you are going to dismiss a very important source of easily obtainable food based on what? the volume needed to make a meal?

    Also I note you only addressed one group of insects I mentioned.

    The insects and indeed any food, would have been eaten raw, so preparation time is a not relevent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    So you are going to dismiss a very important source of easily obtainable food based on what? the volume needed to make a meal?
    Sure. Insects are not the main source of food - or any nutritional aspect of diet, such as protein, calories, vitamins, etc - for any human culture ever known, for even one reproductive generation. It's because sufficient quantity is not easily or reliably obtainable.

    The closest might be the lower classes of the protein starved (to the point of industrial scale cannabilism) Aztec Empire living in present day Mexico City, and their reliance on "worms" - insect larvae, IIRC - sieved from the mud of the big lake there. In this argument, that is not only tech dependent, but an extension of shallow water foraging.

    The insects and indeed any food, would have been eaten raw, so preparation time is a not relevent.
    Processing of a bug is not just cooking - unless you want to load up the digestive tracts with some pretty rough exoskeleton as well as dubious waste and chemicals. But raw bugs are still less nutritious, and inferior even to the present day auxiliary role of bugs as human food - mostly cooked.

    But to return to the thread topic: is someone proposing that the human features being used to argue for amphibious adaptation - bipedalism, throat morphology, etc - are better explained by insect foraging?

    (Specifically: dry land insect foraging - arthropods of various kinds are of course part of the shallow water wader's immediate reward).
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    Insects are arthropods of various kinds, and are an immediate reward of any foraging system.

    No one is suggesting that any feature is the result of foraging for insects. Insects would make up only a small part of the early hominid diet - as it makes up a small part of most hominoid diets. In fact, most Old World primates, monkeys and apes, are omnivorous to some degree, and when they eat animals it's usually insects. Even Gorillas eat ants. In a study of Gorilla fecal matter Weaver ants were a notable component of 9% of samples.

    What is being offered is a terrestrial alternative to the marine coast diet that offers all the nutritional claimed to be essential for brain development (not that that has anything to do with brain evolution). The fact is that the nutritional elements claimed to be essential are available in a terrestrial setting. An aquatic setting simply is not necessary.




    Have you read Filler, yet?
    Nearly all of the above lines of evidence can be questioned, and all have more than one possible cause (although some may have no cause at all).
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    The easiest form of sustenance to acquire that is ever as much nutritious as your clams and such AND less likely to cause illness is INSECTS.
    An inadequate source of nutrition, completely unreliable, and not nearly as easily obtained as you seem to think (clams, crayfish, oysters, etc, are much more easily acquired in quantity without gear, free hands, etc, and usually more easily prepared for consumption).
    Poe. No way an honest person could say something so wrong with such bold, barrel-chested confidence.

    Insects are among the most nutritious things to eat. High in protein, fat and HIGHER in many other nutrients than meat. I've been looking online and can't find a comprehensive nutritional assessment for insects or oysters, but for the values that are given, they are absolutely comparable. Insects are easily obtained in the kind of hand to mouth foraging early humans probably engaged in and other great apes DO engage in. Insects are VERY reliable as they are among the most abundant classes of animal life on the planet. They are EVERYWHERE. And insects require no processing.

    Have you ever read a survivalist handbook or anything equivalent? If you are in a situation where you must forage for food, insects are the first things on the list. They are your quickest source of protein and fat.

    Eating oysters, on the other hand, poses some risk, notably Vibrio vulnificus.


    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    You have never heard of anyone poisoned by insects because people don't go around eating all kinds of bugs in large quantities all year - most of the time bugs are too hard to catch and too small to be worth the effort.
    You must be extremely insular. That aside, insects are eaten by YOU in significant quantities, you don't even realize it. And obviously you were never a kid that went outside. I have collected mason jars of field crickets in an evening. I have collected handfuls of grubs from crumbing logs. I have collected jars of cicadas, grasshoppers, and other various arthropods.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    If they did, you would: several insects species would be lethal if eaten in in meal sized amounts. They often, for example, concentrate the poisons that make so many plants inedible to humans. You don't have to worry about that, because the opportunity of eating insects in large quantities is uncommon in both time and space.
    Here is the problem with this. Oysters all have the risk I mentioned. With insects, it is specific species, which are identifiable from other species and the experience can be learned from. The experience of getting sick from eating an oyster offers little to learn to an individual who does not understand red tides and such. People now know enough to eat insect species that are safe. This is more readily applicable knowledge than what is needed to safely consume oysters.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Unlike shallow water foraging, where we have the Mokken and several other peoples for examples: there are no human cultures that rely on insects for basic nutrition, no places or environments in which eight year old humans are self-supporting via insect harvest , nowhere on this planet where insects do or even can feed a tribe of human beings long enough or well enough for even one cycle of reproduction.
    This is called a strawman. Using this tactic makes the user look stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by "eric'
    Bipedalism. We are by far more efficient energetically than quadrupeds. Bipedalism is a trait we acquired that BECAME useful in this task. It wasn't the task that produced bipedalism. Mutation leads change, not environment.
    The aquatic phase proposal deals with the selection pressures that led to bipedalism in the first place.
    Goddamn, did you just read what you quoted from me? Mutation leads change, not environment. This is what you AATers have totally backwards in your thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    In that regard, environment can very well lead change - by rewarding and thereby establishing bipedal behavior in an animal poorly structured for it, thereby even better rewarding incremental structural adaptations as supplied by occasional mutation, for example. That's a standard evolutionary sequence, and seems a likely one in the evolution of hominids. Particularly regarding human beings - with their quite unusual physiological setup unexplained - we need a plausible set of selection pressures.
    Oh my gawd, you need to relearn evolutionary biology. Selection pressures can only work on existing phenotypes. You don't get evolutionary results from 'practicing'. An animal that does not have the appropriate physiology for doing a task and DOES have a physiology for another, achieves better results from accomplishing the task it has the physiology for. It might very well be that a mutation comes along that makes a particular task more likely to be in an organism's repertoire, but that mutation is not an expectation of 'practicing' a given task.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    Insects are arthropods of various kinds, and are an immediate reward of any foraging system.

    ...

    What is being offered is a terrestrial alternative to the marine coast diet that offers all the nutritional claimed to be essential for brain development (not that that has anything to do with brain evolution). The fact is that the nutritional elements claimed to be essential are available in a terrestrial setting. An aquatic setting simply is not necessary.
    Bingo! And that is all that is needed, sans evidence for an aquatic phase.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Insects are not easy to catch or prepare
    Oh come on. That's bullshit. Were you never a kid?

    Preparation is not even required for insects. Oysters, however, require tools to access.


    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    , and you would have to catch huge numbers of them to support a community of people (we don't really know how many - we have no examples of people living like that). It takes comparable effort to catch a frog or a grasshopper, and the frog provides many times the nutrition. For a clam from a good clam bed, a crawdad from a densely populated lake, there's no real comparison - you can feed a family for less than an hour a day for months, hang out in the trees nearby, and have fun doing it.
    Lolz, you think adaptation results from removing selective pressures. And a strawman mixed in. Bravo.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    But what are we arguing here? Is somebody proposing that humans evolved their peculiar features under selection pressure of an insect swarm foraging niche?
    No. But someone IS proposing that a removal of selective pressures resulted in our exceptional traits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    So you are going to dismiss a very important source of easily obtainable food based on what? the volume needed to make a meal?
    Sure. Insects are not the main source of food - or any nutritional aspect of diet, such as protein, calories, vitamins, etc - for any human culture ever known, for even one reproductive generation. It's because sufficient quantity is not easily or reliably obtainable.
    Not true. In many cultures where protein is scarce, the main source of protein is insects. In MANY third world countries, insects are an important source of protein. People get what they need where they can.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    The closest might be the lower classes of the protein starved (to the point of industrial scale cannabilism) Aztec Empire living in present day Mexico City, and their reliance on "worms" - insect larvae, IIRC - sieved from the mud of the big lake there. In this argument, that is not only tech dependent, but an extension of shallow water foraging.
    Which is precisely why YOU would seek to cherry-pick out such an example and call it the "closest" example.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    But to return to the thread topic: is someone proposing that the human features being used to argue for amphibious adaptation - bipedalism, throat morphology, etc - are better explained by insect foraging?

    (Specifically: dry land insect foraging - arthropods of various kinds are of course part of the shallow water wader's immediate reward).
    Do you understand how a reasoned discussion works? Look. This thread is about AAT. The purpose of this thread is to present an argument in favor of AAT. Any inconsistencies or flaws in the reasoning for AAT will come up, and that is all that is happening here. AAT does not explain anything that can't be explained in a manner more consistent with observable facts, logical progressions and parsimony. The very fact that there are easier terrestrial sources of nutrition comparable to the source you propose as an important point in favor of AAT, kills any thought that AAT has any explanatory power on this point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eversbane
    No one is suggesting that any feature is the result of foraging for insects. Insects would make up only a small part of the early hominid diet - - - -

    What is being offered is a terrestrial alternative to the marine coast diet that offers all the nutritional claimed to be essential for brain development - -
    So we agree that insect foraging is a generally scant and poor source of nutrition compared with shallow water foraging, and does not support any proposals for the evolutionary development of any major hominid features or the uniquely human structures at issue here.
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Insects are not easy to catch or prepare
    Oh come on. That's bullshit. Were you never a kid?

    Preparation is not even required for insects. Oysters, however, require tools to access.
    I have made whole meals on grasshoppers when thickly abundant and easily caught. It takes a fair amount of time, effort, and agility, and they must be processed - legs removed, etc. It's work. Clams, on the other hand, can be simply banged together hard and sucked out of their shells if you want to be barbaric about it - a tenth the work, per gram of protein. Crawdads a little more - comparable to a grasshopper, but much larger. You don't even have to chase these things.
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Insects are easily obtained in the kind of hand to mouth foraging early humans probably engaged in and other great apes DO engage in. Insects are VERY reliable as they are among the most abundant classes of animal life on the planet. They are EVERYWHERE. And insects require no processing.
    A hominid can hardly survive, let alone reproduce and support a family, on insects. They are too small, too hard to catch, too time consuming to process, the rewarding and edible species too sporadic and unreliable. No human feature is adapted to catching or eating insects. They have no relevance in a discussion of an aquatic phase in hominid evolution.
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Here is the problem with this. Oysters all have the risk I mentioned. With insects, it is specific species, which are identifiable from other species and the experience can be learned from. The experience of getting sick from eating an oyster offers little to learn to an individual who does not understand red tides and such.
    Oysters are just one kind of shellfish - and they are confined to specific salt water habitat. Much easier to learn a couple tricks about shellfish, than distinguish among the thousands of species of insects - especially since the reward is so great.

    Shallow water foraging is much more lucrative, with a much higher payoff of protein and calories per calorie expended, than trying to catch a meal's worth of land bugs by hand. And that supports certain proposals for human evolution.
    Quote Originally Posted by 'eric
    AAT does not explain anything that can't be explained in a manner more consistent with observable facts, logical progressions and parsimony.
    So what features of hominid physiology are you explaining with this silliness about whole tribes of people spending their precious foraging hours on insects?
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    In many cultures where protein is scarce, the main source of protein is insects.
    Name one, and we'll take a look at it. I already pointed to one of the most protein starved cultures ever described, and the only one I know of with a serious reliance on insect protein - the Aztec Empire - and noted that even they didn't try to feed themselves by foraging on land for insects.
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    No. But someone IS proposing that a removal of selective pressures resulted in our exceptional traits.
    Good for them. Filler. The argument is yet another in the line of Just So stories that don't add up, as far as I can see - even just considering bipedalism, a terrestrial ape, one free of arboreal selection pressure, is subject to considerable selection pressure for terrestrial locomotion. The expected result would be quadrupedal locomotion, as in in every other mammal we know of making that transition - and selection pressure against bipedalism, which doesn't work in trees or on land either one, in its transitional stages.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Think of mutation as a rock that keeps on growing, and the environment is a chisel that keeps chiseling that rock into a sculpture. So, you'll understand that when I say a new trait is being driven by the environment, I mean that the chisel is cutting all of the other parts of the rock back so that trait is all that's left. It's not really as random as people make it sound when you look at it that way.
    Two problems with this analogy. Mutations keep happening, the the 'rock' is constantly changing shape. Maybe not as much as the environment chisels away, but those changes are happening all the time. Also, the environment is dynamic and changes with the changes in the species itself. The chisel can't chisel the rock without altering itself. You CAN'T cut away all the other parts completely and new parts (mutations) may prove to be better for the sculpture than the intended form. Also, there ISN'T an intended form. The analogy fails.
    The species can change some parts of its environment, but most of the environment doesn't change. The Sun is still the primary source of nutrition on Earth. Oxygen is still abundant for breathing. It still rains.

    However, you are right that it's not a perfect analogy. Certainly the rock isn't growing uniformly in all directions. It's a jagged old thing, and pieces start to project out of it kind of randomly here and there. The environment's choice of what to cut back isn't so random, though. Suppose instead of a rock, maybe a bonsai plant would be better?

    Your niche decides what you will become. Evolution slows down to a crawl once you fit your niche perfectly.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    If a mutation has no use, then the chisel will cut it away just as readily as it cuts all the other chunks of rock away, but if it does have a use then it stays, and it's the only thing that does.
    You don't seem to be familiar with genetic drift. Mutations without benefit can and do reach fixation in populations. Again the environment is dynamic and is effected by the species evolving, so what is useful and what is not never stands still, and there is luck.
    It depends on your niche. Some niches are very stable. Some aren't. Some species impact their niche, some don't. A small population of predators that feeds on a certain abundant form of prey without significantly altering its numbers would have no measurable effect at all. If it were a large population of predators, and hunts that prey to extinction, then probably then new niche wouldn't last long enough to make a serious change in its biology.



    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Mutation always happens, constantly. The fact it's random guarantees it will eventually point in every possible direction multiple times, depending on how long you wait. There's really not an "if" involved with that part. It's more of a "when".
    Given that the environment is dynamic and the changes in species alter the environment, you can't say which direction is the peak of fitness. There is no direction. ANY mutation could shift the 'direction' of the species. There is more at work than a single trait at any given time. Evolution does not happen by scientific experiment, controlling all variables except for the trait in question.
    It's like feedback in a microphone. If the new mutation changes the selection criteria in a way that makes itself obsolete, then it dies. If it changes the criteria in a way that amplifies its own usefulness, then it survives all the better.

    The fact there is a feedback effect doesn't change the environment's ultimate role as the chooser. It just makes that role more complicated.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    The question is what selection process chiseled humanity into an organism that would be capable of defeating its first opponent in a contest of fitness?
    You are still looking at this the wrong way. That 'first opponent' is nonexistent. (and I am assuming you are still talking about a successful hunt) There is a very nice gradation of prey types and sizes. Where do you draw a significant line? That is the problem here. People think there is some sort of wall to get past. There really isn't a wall here. Chimpanzees hunt today. There was an interesting study recently about chimps in the process of hunting a certain type of monkey into extinction, actually. What makes you think the last common ancestor did not engage in hunting something? Why do you think it would be a leap to go from hunting small game to medium game to large game based on the gradual changes in various traits? What makes you think that a particular set of traits is required for this task? Lions hunt large game, too. But they don't have the same suite of traits that we do. Any number of combinations may have worked. This is simply the one that evolved due to the random mutations available to work with over our evolution.
    If the environment doesn't provide a tangible reward to the organism that has begun moving in a particular new direction, then the randomness of mutation will eventually move back to center. This is due to the "law of large numbers" that is used of in the field of statistics. Roll a million dice, and the relative number of 1's vs. 6's will be much flatter than if you roll a thousand. Roll a billion, and the ratios flatten even more.

    A genetically diverse species is constantly interbreeding, which brings offspring back toward whatever the "average" of all the mutations are, unless some very strong force of selection is pushing them away from that.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    The problem is that nearly every creature everywhere sees stamina getting selected for. Why did our ancestors develop more of it than the others? How did we get ahead?
    I dispute this. SPEED is not stamina, yet can be just as beneficial. Speed can also come at the cost of stamina. A shift in diet. A shift in prey. Organisms evolve in many different ways. I do not see this "every creature everywhere sees stamina getting selected for" that you claim.

    We are not fast. We do not hunt by means of speed. Other animals generally do not hunt by means of persistence.
    What I mean is, ceterus paribus, stamina is beneficial to everyone. If it is being weighed against another, equally valuable possibility like speed, then every species will assign a different weight to it. The scales tip one way or another based on what matters the most to a creature's survival.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Something in our environment must have driven us in that direction more strongly than it was driving them (by which I mean chiseled everything else away more aggressively.)
    Bipedalism. We are by far more efficient energetically than quadrupeds. Bipedalism is a trait we acquired that BECAME useful in this task. It wasn't the task that produced bipedalism. Mutation leads change, not environment.
    So, is your theory more that once humanity found itself on the savanna, surrounded by fast creatures, and needing a way to catch up to them, stamina was the option that was most available? That makes sense, actually.

    We either had to move to fast 4 legged movement, or energetically efficient 2 legged movement, and our existing hardware was more compatible with the second direction.



    "So what got us up to the necessary threshold?" Is totally the wrong way to look at evolution. See above. A gradual process does not require a threshold for a particular trait to come under selection.

    What makes you think AAT has an answer of any kind?
    The "threshold" is the point where a trait begins to be rewarded in a non-zero way. Evolution doesn't make leaps of faith.

    If there's some fish that lives 10 meters below water, and your diving ability is limited to 2 meters, and the possibility of eating that fish is the only reason why diving deeper than 2 meters would ever be beneficial, then evolution isn't going think ahead to make your diving ability increase.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eversbane
    No one is suggesting that any feature is the result of foraging for insects. Insects would make up only a small part of the early hominid diet - - - -

    What is being offered is a terrestrial alternative to the marine coast diet that offers all the nutritional claimed to be essential for brain development - -
    So we agree that insect foraging is a generally scant and poor source of nutrition compared with shallow water foraging, and does not support any proposals for the evolutionary development of any major hominid features or the uniquely human structures at issue here.
    What is wrong with you? Are you paying attention? Or are you trying to convince other people that there is validity in AAT by muddling the discussion by pretending the opposition to AAT is saying something else. This is a poor and unscientific tactic.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Insects are not easy to catch or prepare
    Oh come on. That's bullshit. Were you never a kid?

    Preparation is not even required for insects. Oysters, however, require tools to access.
    I have made whole meals on grasshoppers when thickly abundant and easily caught. It takes a fair amount of time, effort, and agility, and they must be processed - legs removed, etc. It's work.
    Well aren't you a prissy, pampered little thing. No such preparation is required. In fact, NONE is required. But this is trivial. The whole point is that there are other easier sources of equal nutrition terrestrially available.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Clams, on the other hand, can be simply banged together hard and sucked out of their shells if you want to be barbaric about it - a tenth the work, per gram of protein. Crawdads a little more - comparable to a grasshopper, but much larger. You don't even have to chase these things.
    You have never done any of these things, have you? Your thoughts are very skewed and inaccurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Insects are easily obtained in the kind of hand to mouth foraging early humans probably engaged in and other great apes DO engage in. Insects are VERY reliable as they are among the most abundant classes of animal life on the planet. They are EVERYWHERE. And insects require no processing.
    A hominid can hardly survive, let alone reproduce and support a family, on insects.
    Strawman. I would suggest that making yourself look like a fool is not a favorable discussion strategy.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    They are too small, too hard to catch, too time consuming to process, the rewarding and edible species too sporadic and unreliable.
    False. Where did you grow up? In some posh inner city?

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    No human feature is adapted to catching or eating insects. They have no relevance in a discussion of an aquatic phase in hominid evolution.
    AH! Here I see your tactic. You want this dropped so you can spout out about oysters and such for AAT. You still have a problem to face, these sources of nutrition are available terrestrially and are used in the present day to help support populations.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Here is the problem with this. Oysters all have the risk I mentioned. With insects, it is specific species, which are identifiable from other species and the experience can be learned from. The experience of getting sick from eating an oyster offers little to learn to an individual who does not understand red tides and such.
    Oysters are just one kind of shellfish - and they are confined to specific salt water habitat. Much easier to learn a couple tricks about shellfish, than distinguish among the thousands of species of insects - especially since the reward is so great.
    The reward is no greater. Protein and fat levels are fairly equivalent. Your argument fails as far as diversity. Every environment has diverse sources of nutrition.

    Look, the nutrition angle doesn't get you anywhere. Many people today survive entirely on terrestrial sources of nutrition. These sources do not require advanced technology to obtain. You have an opinion but no argument or evidence that this was a selective pressure on any of our traits.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Shallow water foraging is much more lucrative, with a much higher payoff of protein and calories per calorie expended, than trying to catch a meal's worth of land bugs by hand. And that supports certain proposals for human evolution.
    You've never done any of these things before, have you? Your opinion is noted and dismissed (by me anyway). Do you have any actual evidence to present?

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 'eric
    AAT does not explain anything that can't be explained in a manner more consistent with observable facts, logical progressions and parsimony.
    So what features of hominid physiology are you explaining with this silliness about whole tribes of people spending their precious foraging hours on insects?
    Your strawman is old, tired, and idiotic. Find a new shtick. I doubt anyone is impressed.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    In many cultures where protein is scarce, the main source of protein is insects.
    Name one, and we'll take a look at it. I already pointed to one of the most protein starved cultures ever described, and the only one I know of with a serious reliance on insect protein - the Aztec Empire - and noted that even they didn't try to feed themselves by foraging on land for insects.
    I admit to a poor choice of words. In most of the places I was thinking about, the main source of protein is from plants. Insects are a better source of protein, so for a complete diet, insects are often a major staple. I remember hearing about amazon river basin tribes and some south-east Asian populations relying almost entirely on insects, outside of the vegetation they consume, but on a quick look, I don't seem to find any that are exclusive. And I doubt there really are. Every culture has the capacity to kill game. And humans get what they need from what they need to where they live.

    Again, it really doesn't matter. The entire point is that the nutrition you would like to think early humans would need to get from marine sources is available from terrestrial sources, which kills this line of argument from you.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    No. But someone IS proposing that a removal of selective pressures resulted in our exceptional traits.
    Good for them.
    I think you mean good for you, with your proposed coastal paradise of easy pickings and leisurely existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    The argument is yet another in the line of Just So stories that don't add up, as far as I can see - even just considering bipedalism, a terrestrial ape, one free of arboreal selection pressure, is subject to considerable selection pressure for terrestrial locomotion. The expected result would be quadrupedal locomotion
    Bzzzzt, wrong. How about you try to tell me WHY?

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    as in in every other mammal we know of making that transition
    Bzzzzt, wrong again. I did notice you stuck in mammal, too, to try to avoid some obvious examples, like aves.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    - and selection pressure against bipedalism, which doesn't work in trees or on land either one, in its transitional stages.
    Funny how bipedalism works so well for us on land as well as birds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    The species can change some parts of its environment, but most of the environment doesn't change. The Sun is still the primary source of nutrition on Earth. Oxygen is still abundant for breathing. It still rains.
    The environment is everything an organism encounters. this includes other organisms. A forest is an environment. It would not be a forest without the trees that make up the forest. These trees steadily change and adapt like all other organisms. Forests are different depending on the vegetation. Crocodiles, lions, water buffalo, rats, kangaroos, all of these things are parts of their respective environments. The zebras that lions prey on change, and that change alters the environment in which the lions live. The lions have to survive this change in their environment.

    There is no concrete fitness peak. It is an ever shifting thing that shifts with every mutation. Take this grossly over-simplified example:

    A population of zebras gets faster due to a mutation that gets selected for. Now fewer lions are able to make enough kills to support the current population of lions. The zebra population goes up. The zebras resources get used up until it can no longer support the population size. The population crashes due to starvation. The quickest zebras die first due to their increased energy requirements. The faster die off and the zebra/lion populations stabilize back in the original range of phenotypes.

    ...or:

    A population of zebras gets faster due to a mutation that gets selected for. Fewer lions are able to make enough kills to support their prides, but one particular pride has an allele that makes them faster lions. They do just fine. Their population grows and replaces the other prides (the allele at least). Everything is faster, similar numbers of kills are made by lions, so the populations stabilize.

    ...or:

    A population of zebras gets faster due to a mutation that gets selected for. Fewer lions are able to make enough kills to support their prides, but one particular pride has an allele that makes them stealthier lions. They do just fine. Their population grows and replaces the other prides (the allele at least). Zebras are faster, and lions are stealthier. Similar numbers of kills are made, so the populations stabilize.

    ...or any other number of possible outcomes.

    The environment does not determine what kinds of mutations will succeed. The mutations determine the success of the individuals possessing them, and mutations are random.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Your niche decides what you will become. Evolution slows down to a crawl once you fit your niche perfectly.
    If that were true, how are new niches made? Do you see yet what I mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Some niches are very stable. Some aren't. Some species impact their niche, some don't. A small population of predators that feeds on a certain abundant form of prey without significantly altering its numbers would have no measurable effect at all. If it were a large population of predators, and hunts that prey to extinction, then probably then new niche wouldn't last long enough to make a serious change in its biology.
    All species impact their environment, though the extent of the impact may vary. All species compete. All competition has an impact. All phenotypic variations effect how those individuals compete.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    It's like feedback in a microphone. If the new mutation changes the selection criteria in a way that makes itself obsolete, then it dies. If it changes the criteria in a way that amplifies its own usefulness, then it survives all the better.

    The fact there is a feedback effect doesn't change the environment's ultimate role as the chooser. It just makes that role more complicated.
    The environment is also made up of its organisms. Phenotypes determine how these organisms interact. Genes determine phenotype. Mutations effect genes. Mutations change the environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    If the environment doesn't provide a tangible reward to the organism that has begun moving in a particular new direction, then the randomness of mutation will eventually move back to center.
    I never said there wasn't a reward for beneficial mutations. What I am saying is that there isn't a determined direction for evolution to follow. Things don't just keep getting faster, smarter, bigger. Things also get slower, dumber, and smaller. If a mutation benefits the individual more than its contemporaries, that allele is more likely to persist and effects the other organisms in that environment. There is no inerrant trend toward faster or increased stamina.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    This is due to the "law of large numbers" that is used of in the field of statistics. Roll a million dice, and the relative number of 1's vs. 6's will be much flatter than if you roll a thousand. Roll a billion, and the ratios flatten even more.

    A genetically diverse species is constantly interbreeding, which brings offspring back toward whatever the "average" of all the mutations are, unless some very strong force of selection is pushing them away from that.
    What relevance does this have to my original point? Mutations lead change, not environment.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    What I mean is, ceterus paribus, stamina is beneficial to everyone.
    How is stamina beneficial to ambush predators? How is stamina better for a population in an energetically strained environment? How is stamina beneficial to animals that get prey by means of accessing a structure rather than chasing prey down? there are no absolutes in biology.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    If it is being weighed against another, equally valuable possibility like speed, then every species will assign a different weight to it. The scales tip one way or another based on what matters the most to a creature's survival.
    Sometimes the beneficial mutation is a reduction of a trait rather than a reinforcement. Things do not trend towards bigger, faster, stronger, in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    So, is your theory more that once humanity found itself on the savanna, surrounded by fast creatures, and needing a way to catch up to them, stamina was the option that was most available? That makes sense, actually.
    Well, we didn't NEED a way to catch up to prey. We could have easily found ourselves exploiting some other thing based on some other suite of mutations. But as it became the case that we could hunt game in this way, the benefits of having a new resource gave those people a distinct selective advantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    We either had to move to fast 4 legged movement, or energetically efficient 2 legged movement, and our existing hardware was more compatible with the second direction.
    YES.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    The "threshold" is the point where a trait begins to be rewarded in a non-zero way. Evolution doesn't make leaps of faith.
    Mutations are blind and random. So... yes, evolution makes 'leaps of faith'. Sometimes species fall to their death.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    If there's some fish that lives 10 meters below water, and your diving ability is limited to 2 meters, and the possibility of eating that fish is the only reason why diving deeper than 2 meters would ever be beneficial, then evolution isn't going think ahead to make your diving ability increase.
    Evolution is not conducted by lab experiment, controlling every variable except for the one of interest. The things that make diving possible have unrelated effects on other activities. Because these things were selected for other reasons, you still find interesting combinations of traits that make new things possible. We didn't evolve our brains, our hands, and our eyes all for the purpose of making fires, but the combination of those traits make this new possibility possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Well aren't you a prissy, pampered little thing. No such preparation is required. In fact, NONE is required.
    You are simply wrong. Very few insects can be eaten whole and raw in large enough quantities for adequate nutirition. That's why they aren't, by anyone. Try it, and see.
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    You have never done any of these things, have you?
    Nope. I always steamed my clams and boiled my crawdads. I broke clams open, on rare occasions when indicated, on rocks - as even otters do. But you don't have to - and they are a lot less work to process and eat raw than an equivalent quantity of frigging bugs. There's a chore. Do you have any idea how many grasshoppers it takes to make a kilo of grasshopper meat? The clameaters are sitting back picking their teeth while the grasshopper fetishists are still walking around on their hind hands trying to catch another dozen elusive meat-pinheads for their third mouthful, without proper physiology.

    And btw: what environment are you imagining for all this amazingly efficient bulk harvesting of insects? Not a forest, I can assure you. They're scattered, poisonous, brief, buried under bark, and well camouflaged out in the branch tips.
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    The entire point is that the nutrition you would like to think early humans would need to get from marine sources is available from terrestrial sources,
    In the first place, you haven't made that point - the wealth of forage in shallow water is not available from insects on land, for example, or any other reliable and prevalent resource available to an ape trying for some reason to walk on its hind hands on the ground.

    In the second, you have the argument backwards: no one is arguing that shallow water is the only source of rich food anywhere on the planet. The argument is that the richness of shallow water environs would sufficiently reward an arboreal ape to pay for the transition to bipedalism - the transitional forms being ill-adapted to anything, we need a reward rich enough to pay for that inefficiency.

    It's a proposal to explain the as yet unexplained - what set these formerly arboreal apes on their hind hands and kept them there for hours every day over ten thousand generations?
    Quote Originally Posted by 'eric"
    - and selection pressure against bipedalism, which doesn't work in trees or on land either one, in its transitional stages.


    Funny how bipedalism works so well for us on land as well as birds.
    The prevalence of such comments creates the impression that you guys actually don't understand standard evolutionary theory to begin with, and that's why you have so much trouble following the AAT arguments.

    But assuming it was a slip, consider: most flightless birds have flying ancestors - the transitional forms not an obstacle, the payoff easily described, the evolutionary path natural. Not so for hominids.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Well aren't you a prissy, pampered little thing. No such preparation is required. In fact, NONE is required.
    You are simply wrong. Very few insects can be eaten whole and raw in large enough quantities for adequate nutirition. That's why they aren't, by anyone. Try it, and see.
    Please prove this assertion.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Side comment: we have been asked, by the confused, to take the advice of survivalist manuals as indications of how our evolutionary ancestors found food and water and so forth.

    There are some interesting points about these manuals. For one, they deal with survival in less than ideal environments - and so we get an idea of what an ideal environment would be. One doesn't read, in them, lots of survival tips for the shoreline of a well-watered mosaic forest tropical island replete with colonies of birds, palms and trees with edible fruit, fecund tidewater pools, freshwater streams and ponds, warm weather, and so forth. "Coconuts are edible!" is not found in Euell Gibbons's books.

    If you can't survive on your own in that kind of environment, no advice will help you.

    And if you do find yourself stranded in that kind of environment, odds are your best option is to walk over to the nearest hut and introduce yourself. Because those kinds of places are inhabited. They are ideal places for humans to live.

    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    You are simply wrong. Very few insects can be eaten whole and raw in large enough quantities for adequate nutirition. That's why they aren't, by anyone. Try it, and see.

    Please prove this assertion.
    I'm sorry, but are you trolling again? It's an existential negative, unprovable. I don't have a data base of the world's cultures, and it wouldn't "prove" the assertion if I did.

    How about you ask the lads who made the positive assertion for some evidence? An example - a single one - of what they claim to be a common and standard cultural circumstance?

    Failing that - since the critics of AAT are special people not required to put forth proposals of their own or back their claims with evidence and reason - why don't you explain how the claim that some people eat lots of insects has any bearing on the aquatic phase proposal? Does it somehow make shallow water foraging less productive and rewarding? Does it better explain some human feature at issue? Enlighten me, as to the relevance of this bs.
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    So in other words your response is "I have not proof of my statement at all, but since I said it so you have to take it on good faith"

    You have made an assertion about the nutritional value of insects, BACK IT UP WITH A REFERENCE! This is a science forum, if you are questioned on an assertion (As I note you yourself have done several time in other threads) then you should back it up. You do not get ay special treatment that says you dont get to be questioned on an assertion, especially ones that are dubious.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    You have made an assertion about the nutritional value of insects, BACK IT UP WITH A REFERENCE!
    Please state clearly the assertion you find "dubious" and expect a reference for. I can't find one for which a "reference" is possible, or relevant, and I can't find one that is "dubious" in any reasonable light, but perhaps you have read something I said differently than I expected?

    Afterwards, you can try to find a single example, reference, or item of evidentiary support for a primary and dominant role of insects in the diet of any extant or extinct human culture. That was the original assertion on the thread in this tangent - the first one. It's been repeated several times.

    Then, you can try to explain how the entire issue is even relevant to the thread - or as already put:
    How about you ask the lads who made the positive assertion for some evidence? An example - a single one - of what they claim to be a common and standard cultural circumstance?

    Failing that - since the critics of AAT are special people not required to put forth proposals of their own or back their claims with evidence and reason - why don't you explain how the claim that some people eat lots of insects has any bearing on the aquatic phase proposal? Does it somehow make shallow water foraging less productive and rewarding? Does it better explain some human feature at issue? Enlighten me, as to the relevance of this bs.
    Good luck with that.
    Last edited by iceaura; September 7th, 2011 at 09:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    Well aren't you a prissy, pampered little thing. No such preparation is required. In fact, NONE is required.
    You are simply wrong. Very few insects can be eaten whole and raw in large enough quantities for adequate nutirition. That's why they aren't, by anyone. Try it, and see.
    Again, this both wrong and a strawman. Yawn.

    People cook them for several reasons. We humans ARE actually adapted to eating cooked food. We can increase the nutritional value of vegetation and decrease the risk of parasites by cooking. So we cook. We are also able to manipulate, through cooking, the taste and texture of food to be more pleasing to our palette, which, to some degree, is influenced by culture. Why would you expect that people would not alter insects by cooking when they have the option? When you get down to it, there is no reason why insects HAVE to be cooked in order to consume them.

    Now, while some people like oysters raw, it is a very very common practice to cook oysters. Does that mean oysters HAVE to be cooked? By your method of argumentation, I should say "yes", but I am not you, and I do care about accuracy. One thing oysters DO require is removal from the shell. This is processing that is not required for the example of equivalent nutritional value that I have presented.

    By the way, you are still avoiding the main point here. The fact there are equivalent sources of nutrition available terrestrially kills any argument you might put forth nutritionally for AAT.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    You have never done any of these things, have you?
    Nope. I always steamed my clams and boiled my crawdads. I broke clams open, on rare occasions when indicated, on rocks - as even otters do. But you don't have to - and they are a lot less work to process and eat raw than an equivalent quantity of frigging bugs. There's a chore. Do you have any idea how many grasshoppers it takes to make a kilo of grasshopper meat? The clameaters are sitting back picking their teeth while the grasshopper fetishists are still walking around on their hind hands trying to catch another dozen elusive meat-pinheads for their third mouthful, without proper physiology.
    What a waste of time and text.

    So, no. You don't have perspective on this, and you are still strawmanning. Here is a strawman for you:

    Show me a group of humans that survive solely on oysters. Oysters do not contain enough calories to support the energetic needs of human. Try living entirely on oysters. You won't be able to.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    And btw: what environment are you imagining for all this amazingly efficient bulk harvesting of insects? Not a forest, I can assure you. They're scattered, poisonous, brief, buried under bark, and well camouflaged out in the branch tips.
    You obviously never existed as a child outdoors.

    You arguments on this particular subject are ridiculous, you know. This is more whining than anything else. My main point stands. You have not sufficiently shown that the nutritional requirements for humans are not available terrestrially or even that terrestrial sources require advanced technology, and you can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    The entire point is that the nutrition you would like to think early humans would need to get from marine sources is available from terrestrial sources,
    In the first place, you haven't made that point - the wealth of forage in shallow water is not available from insects on land, for example, or any other reliable and prevalent resource available to an ape
    How DO those savannah-dwelling African tribes survive? How DID those Native Americans survive on the plains? How DO the other great apes survive today?

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    trying for some reason to walk on its hind hands on the ground.
    My gawd, you need to relearn evolutionary biology. There is no such thing as the 'practice' effect. Organisms do not gain traits by trying. You can not induce particular mutations by forcing a new activity. Mutation leads change, not environment.

    Also, look at the data from that Kuliukas paper. Selection on gait morphology decreases as subjects enter the water. Selection is greatest where the morphology matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    In the second, you have the argument backwards: no one is arguing that shallow water is the only source of rich food anywhere on the planet. The argument is that the richness of shallow water environs would sufficiently reward an arboreal ape to pay for the transition to bipedalism - the transitional forms being ill-adapted to anything, we need a reward rich enough to pay for that inefficiency.
    Absolute nonsense. Facepalm.jpg

    Every living creature is transitional. Nothing has stopped evolving. Are we all ill-adapted for survival? No. In fact, we ARE adapted for survival. The morphology of humans between the last common great ape ancestor and now was as 'transitional' for the individuals that possessed it as ours is for us.

    The other apes can walk in a bipedal AND a quadrupedal fashion. Are they at a distinct disadvantage? How HAVE they survived for so long with a 'transitional' gait without a coastal paradise to ease the transition?

    You are still arguing that removal of selective pressures resulted in our adaptive traits. 'Derp'

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    It's a proposal to explain the as yet unexplained - what set these formerly arboreal apes on their hind hands and kept them there for hours every day over ten thousand generations?
    I suggest you relearn evolutionary biology. That is not how evolution works. Mutation leads change. It doesn't go the other way around.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 'eric"
    - and selection pressure against bipedalism, which doesn't work in trees or on land either one, in its transitional stages.


    Funny how bipedalism works so well for us on land as well as birds.
    The prevalence of such comments creates the impression that you guys actually don't understand standard evolutionary theory to begin with, and that's why you have so much trouble following the AAT arguments.