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Author Topic:   Aquatic Ape theory?
Inactive Member

Message 60 of 138 (215789)
06-10-2005 2:47 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Sylas
04-07-2004 5:18 AM

This little problem.
The way I see it:

Elaine morgan is not a scientist, she has not 'proven' anything.

But did Darwin prove anything? He formulated a theory, other people 'proved' it.

I am afraid that the generation that grew up hearing of Morgan's theories (or hardi's) grow up to be anthropologists who can Prove it.

What I do not like about Jim Moore's page is that he does not much practise what he preaches.

What he does is so easy, let me demonstrate:

My open letter to Jim Moore:

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Sylas, posted 04-07-2004 5:18 AM Sylas has not yet responded

Inactive Member

Message 61 of 138 (215791)
06-10-2005 2:53 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Dr Jack
04-08-2004 6:35 AM

"IIRC, most early homanid finds are on shore-lines (at the time of deposit, not ness. now), and nearly all early human settlements are on either rivers or shorelines. However, shore-dwelling is a whole whack away from being aquatic. "

For some people, this is not a proof, but little detail that should not be considered.

Human blindness has always stunned me.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Dr Jack, posted 04-08-2004 6:35 AM Dr Jack has not yet responded

Inactive Member

Message 62 of 138 (215801)
06-10-2005 3:46 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Denesha
04-11-2004 2:08 PM

"Vital dependance of water (fresh or marine), at least at one ontogenic stage.
I'm just out of the shower. I'm not aquatic.
Consider aquatic mammalia as Cetacean and other Pinnipedes.
I'm not specialist but I see a brand off-topic discussion rising soon."

That's why aquatic ape theory is ridiculous, the name is wrong.

How should it be called? beach ape? that's what I call it, Beach ape theory. I do not think even Elaine thinks humans ever were fully 'aquatic' but she uses the word wrong. Anti elaine people THINK she thinks so...

"LOL, thats must mean it should be replaced with the aquatic ape theory then huh? Since the aquatic ape theory has so much more evidence to give credence to it. Perhaps you could share.
And as Abby indicated Humans are just slow meat puppets in the water...link"

What, what planet are you from?

See link above or think about this.
1) chimpanzees are about 6 times stronger than humans
2) humans are not faster on the water than on land, so? we are faster ON WATER THAN OTHER PRIMATES, but mostly slower on land.
What do you take from that? nothing I assume.

"And just a brief walk into google land I found this Which seems puts the aquatic ape were he belongs: in the toilet."
I did put that link in to the toilet...

"Conversely, crocodiles were more serious demographic regulators. Thus could speculate that the primitive human spread was to avoid crocodiles first"

It is a scientific fact that humans ALMOST were wiped out at one point, but the few that survived were quite busy making babies - humans have very small gene pool.

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 Message 24 by Denesha, posted 04-11-2004 2:08 PM Denesha has not yet responded

Inactive Member

Message 63 of 138 (215830)
06-10-2005 8:20 AM

Why anthropologists don't accept the Aquatic Ape Theory

John Hawk:
Nor can the theory hide behind the idea of exaptation. One might propose that the features that were originally adapted in the aquatic environment found new purposes when the formerly aquatic apes moved onto land. But each of these features still requires an adaptive explanation for why it would be maintained. And each of these adaptive explanations would probably be equally credible as an evolutionary hypothesis for the origin of the characteristics outside the aquatic environment."

"In other words, the Aquatic Ape Theory explains all of these features, but it explains them all twice. Every one of the features encompassed by the theory still requires a reason for it to be maintained after hominids left the aquatic environment. Every one of these reasons probably would be sufficient to explain the evolution of the traits in the absence of the aquatic environment. This is more than unparsimonious. It leaves the Aquatic Ape Theory explaining nothing whatsoever about the evolution of the hominids. This is why professional anthropologists reject the theory, even if they haven't fully thought through the logic. "

What I find worrying in this article by a real anthrolologist, is that he says:
1) "One might propose that the features that were originally adapted in the aquatic environment found new purposes when the formerly aquatic apes moved onto land. "

To me it sounds like "aquatic ape theory says that our ancestors lived totally in water, and then suddenly they moved to inland and had nothing to do with water."

Does Aquatic ape say it like this? Alistar Hardy Started this theory 'movement' by asking 'Was man MORE aquatic in the past?'

What does it say? First it says, man is quite aquatic now, but perhaps we were more so in the past. When a marine biologist says we are aquatic I assume that he does not mean humans are or have been FULLY aquatic, but that we do spend time in and around the water alot, and have done so more in the past.

Strange is that those who agressively fight against Aquatic ape theory claim that it is ridiculous idea that our ancestors were living in the water, and those features should have disappeared when we moved back to land.

Above idea seems stupid, but that's just my idea.

what I have read about AAT, it says that geological evidence says that humanity's birth place had much more water than these days, it says that our ancestors actually were a small number of people, thus their adaptative features became dominant faster than should have been expected - small genepool.

What many does not understand is that we are still somewhat aquatic, at least I swim every week, I go to shower every day, and I do swim for fun - these features are not features of other primates.
I have never heard of swimming primate, but I have heard of primates playing at the water, but swimming for fun, that's unheard of.

So to John Hawk, these features cannot go away because we are using them even today, if it's strange to you, go to a beach on a sunny day (in the summer please).

Lack of fossils is one critique against AA theory, but I see it unnessessary as there are evidence of current day humans gathering near the water all over the planet. It is a proof that we are semi aquatic. It is silly to assume we had our ancestors had aquatic phase and it's in the past. If you cannot swim, I can teach you in 10 hours, in 20 hours if you are thick headed.

I cannot do that to other primates.

It is possible that Aquatic Ape theory is not correct, but if you do not like it, you should formulate Semi-Aquatic-Ape theory, as for all decency, that should be obvious to all living humans.
(Morgan's books popularity prove that masses agree with her, scientists are slowly waiting for small evidences, and for some reason they have to bark at theories that do not have those evidences ready. How long it took to prove Theory of Relativety? I have not heard that anyone would have called Einstein a 'house wife' or such, many did not believe it, but it was proven, in a civilised way.)

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by 1.61803, posted 06-10-2005 12:18 PM artturi has responded

Inactive Member

Message 65 of 138 (216060)
06-11-2005 2:10 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by 1.61803
06-10-2005 12:18 PM

Re: Why anthropologists don't accept the Aquatic Ape Theory
I have read her book and that thought never occurred to me. My idea is that it never occurred to her either, it just occurred to anti-att movement...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by 1.61803, posted 06-10-2005 12:18 PM 1.61803 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Inactive Member

Message 66 of 138 (216075)
06-11-2005 3:19 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by 1.61803
06-10-2005 12:18 PM

Re: Why anthropologists don't accept the Aquatic Ape Theory
my AAT theory says that 7 million years ago ethiopia was flooded, there are geological evidence of that.

my theory also says that some homids got stuck to a place with a lot of lakes and rivers, so they has to adapt to a wet environment, learn to gather and eat food from water, sweeeet water.

Swimmers straighen their back, swimmers lose hair as water protect them from the sun.

Their sense of smell is not used, it degenerated, sense of hearing changed, it turned analytical. Vocal cords got better, people learned to sing in order to analyse water - speaking is a later form of singing. (kognitive scientist say people learned to sing FIRST).

Ethiope, or that place they lived in, and they had to scatter to find rivers and lakes to live near. We conquered the planet, and still lived by the water.

there is nothing unearthl about my theory as fossils seem to point that way, evolution worked a bit slower than in elaine's version.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by 1.61803, posted 06-10-2005 12:18 PM 1.61803 has responded

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Inactive Member

Message 68 of 138 (216522)
06-13-2005 3:22 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by artturi
06-11-2005 2:10 AM

Re: Why anthropologists don't accept the Aquatic Ape Theory
Hmmm... My post was quite fuzzy.

I wanted to say that...
"To assume all of Homo sapiens morphology and traits can be traced from one arboreal ape that adapted to living in the water and over time adapted back to a terrestrial existance is asking to assume a great deal. "
that perhaps Elaine never saw it like that, but that our fossil findings tell that that gradual change came from gradual or less gradual adaptation to watery environment. What I have heard is that many fossils have been found near lakes, rivers and shores.

At least that's how I understood it.

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Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by hitchy, posted 06-14-2005 12:12 AM artturi has responded

Inactive Member

Message 70 of 138 (216752)
06-14-2005 5:29 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by hitchy
06-14-2005 12:12 AM

Re: Why anthropologists don't accept the Aquatic Ape Theory
"Why would proto-humans have to adapt to water?"

That is the question. There is strange debate about this question ,or the question 'has humans adapted to the water?'

It does not seem obvious to all that modern humans HAVE adapted to the water quite well, naturally not to the point of water animals, but for a terrestial animal, quite well.

When we have adapted so well, and our ancestors 4 million years ago were, then at what point did the adaptation take place?

If it has taken place, scientists should find out why. A shocking detail for me is that antropologists do not think it is important, as if they did not think we have adapted to the water.

so the question is "Why would proto-humans have to adapt to water?"
- they have, so there was a reason for it. Geological evidence say that millions years ago( I guess it was 7), the place where about the first fossils were found, was flooded. It's much drier now. So naturally our ancestors had to adapt. And I do not mean that they had to adapt to living completelly in the water, like 100% of the time, but much.

How many people knows that there are kids today who can sleep in water? My friend has seen one, the boy was 9 years old and was sleeping on the water, face down, occasionally breathing water by turning his head. I have seen the pictures of the babies under 1 yrs who play in the water with the fishes, and the book said they go to the surface to breath every 5 - 10 minutes. That's modern time human. (go to the dead sea to meet these 'dolphin kids', raised by russian pioneer. Those kids have spent half of their waking life in the water, beginning from birth.)

It's almost foolish to compare those results with a chimpanzee who's our closest relative. Totally different level.

If you live your life far away from water you forget how well we can live in the water, how important the water is to humans. It is. But the time will show the full truth about human history, and the water will be a big part of it, naturally not the only part of it.

Human is quite successful in adapting to all kinds of environments, perhaps because we came from forest dwellers, who adapted to water, who finally were so generalist that anything goes. Watery adaptation took away our accurate sense of smell, hearing became analytical but not so accurate, and new adaptation made us smarter, adaptation usually does that. Soon we will adapt to outer space! (kind of, that could be lethal though...)

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Replies to this message:
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Inactive Member

Message 71 of 138 (216754)
06-14-2005 5:38 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by artturi
06-14-2005 5:29 AM

Re: Why anthropologists don't accept the Aquatic Ape Theory
To highlight one thing.

Chimpanzee is about 6 times stronger than homo sapiens.

Perhaps it's fitting to say that homo sapiens is 6 times more adapted to water than chimpanzee.

You gain some, you lose some.

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Inactive Member

Message 73 of 138 (216817)
06-14-2005 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by hitchy
06-14-2005 9:48 AM

Re: Why anthropologists don't accept the Aquatic Ape Theory
Hello, sorry that I cannot give you any links to day, but I find them tomorrow.

But I have a question or two.

"ust b/c an animal can exploit a certain habitat does not mean that that habitat affected its modern form. Sloths are great swimmers, but I would like to see how their evolutionary history was affected by the water. Same with dogs. Or tigers. They are not extremely well adapted for an aquatic or semi-aquatic existence. But they all can swim!"

What do you mean? can you explain it in a different way. (what is a Sloth?)

and this "ther explanations are simpler and more direct--standing upright on two legs is advantageous in grasslands where the taller you are, the further you can see over the grasses; "

I do not understand. It's possible that humans just happened to be the only mammals to develop the upright walking posture. Is that simple?
I find it a long shot. There is this animal who's name I cannot recall, sissle or something, that lives in savannah. it does stand up to look around, !But it Walks on All Four! - it's faster.
- simple and more direct. I cannot see why our ancestors would have given up their natural stance when all grassland apes/monkeys have not. It's not logical.

What is logical is that they did not deside to defy gravity, but they adapted a more straight posture when SWIMMING - if you try to walk like a chimpanzee in the water you see what I mean - water resistance makes you want to straighten up your body - up or straight (horisontally) - it's aquadynamics. I do not like Elaine Morgan's theory that says that our forefathers wanted to keep their heads up, that's why upright stance. I think its just that they wanted to swim more easier way -simple and direct. (see, I am a swimming instructor, ir you want to save energy and swim faster, you straighten your body and dive.)

"a reduced sense of smell is just what you would expect from an animal that is vision oriented (interesting how our vision is related to us being diurnal, just like the other great apes)."

This I did not know, I thought that great apes DO have a great sense of smell. especially those who live in the grasslands. If evolution is 'adaptation to environmental changes' then our evolution has gone backwards million miles.

It's logical that our forefathers survived because they adapted better to environment changes than other animals. It's not logical to say that they survived despite the fact they lost some vital abilities. Like the small, it's VITAL on the grasslands, it's vital almost anywhere but on lakes, shores, rivers - by the water, IN the water.

Mammals that moved to the water, Lost their sense of smell, nearly. As did our forefathers. Mammals that moved to the water, greatly increased their understanding of sound - they started to sing, like whales, like dolphins, like us. It's a way to analyze environment ,what you hear tells you about the environment. My kognitive teacher told me that most likely humans learned to sing long before they started to talk, long before.

All I know that chimpanzees are better adopted to grasslands than us.
1) their fur protect them from the sun
2) they are six times stronger than us, even if they are shorter.
3) their sense of smell is superior to us, they avoid predators better than do us.
4) their hearing is better, if not as analytical as ours

So how did we adopt to the grasslands? I do not understand.
Someone here said we have adoptend to many different environments. I think so too. We still can climb, not as well as other apes. We can swim, far better than any primate, or should I say, we can, unlike other primates. we can run, but not better than other primates, isn't running important in the grasslands?

when looking at our history, we should look what we can do now.
1) we are by far the best swimmers of all primates - isn't that adaptation to watery environment.
2) we are by far the weakest primates. that's not adapting to grasslands. It's just that mammals who adapt to water change their muscle structure - muscles get closer to the bones, so they get weaker but better on swimming, not sure how.
3) we are by far best at sound producing and analysing, a feature common on aquatic mammals.
4) we are smarter than other primates, that suggests that we have a history of adapting to new environments more often than they do. Using your head makes it better.
5) our skin burns in the grasslands -afrikan people neeeeed clothes. is that adaptation to the grassland?

as John Hawk, antropologist that does not believe in aquatic ape theory says, 'there is no savannah theory.'

Dogs, tigers can swim, but can they catch me? On land, without a sweat, on the water, they do not even try, most often it would seem like they were AFRAID of water. I cannot see why, water is wonderful, I love it. I have even heard of most people saying that. I have even heard that most western people go to shower every day! Dogs tend to run away from shower, just like it was something nasty.
Dogs love grasslands, apes love the forest, people love forests, water, cities and mountains. We can go anywhere, but still shore properties DO cost more than other properties. Most capitals (all???) are by the water. If we have such a connection to the water, should it mean that at some part of the history, some primate faced the choise of 'adapt to watery condition or die?' Who knows, but I think it's most propable.

At least large part of the fossils have been found near a lake, river, shore, and I mean a lake that was there by the time the ancestor died.

We can eat herbes de mare, most primates cannot - that's adaptation.

so "Beware of running with a novel idea just b/c of its novelty. Thanks."

Indeed, beware of novel ideas, try to make a theory that MAKES SENSE, and find if new evidences go by it's way or against.

I have never ever seen other theory that would make any, I mean ANY sense. Sorry if that sounds unoffensive, no offence meant.

my friend met about 9 years old kids who have spent half of their waking life in the water. She met them here in finland, as these russian kids came to some swimming conference. On of the kids went to sleep to the water (he was tired) and occasionally turned his head to the surface to breath, but otherwise he was immersed. He did not wake up to breath...

I have read a book of these kids and there was pictures of babies in an aquarium, playing with fishes, and every few minutes, sometimes even 5 minutes apart they swam to the surface to breath. small babies.

Show me a primate who can do that! Modern man has underrestimated the full capabilities of a swimming human.

-art, at your service, the links come tomorrow.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by hitchy, posted 06-14-2005 9:48 AM hitchy has not yet responded

Inactive Member

Message 74 of 138 (217215)
06-15-2005 3:45 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by hitchy
06-14-2005 9:48 AM

Re: Why anthropologists don't accept the Aquatic Ape Theory
Here is one site: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/5168/aat.html

one book I read was 'water and sexuality', writer forgotten. Elaine morgan wrote also 'The Descent of Woman' that I read, it was an eye opener after TRYING to read desmond morris's naked ape.

But interesting links on that aat link above.

One page got me thinking: " Understanding chimpanzees, and through them proto-humans, therefore requires explaining chimpanzee anatomy, diet and social system first."

if you change chimpanzee into human it turns out to " Understanding humans, and through them proto-humans, therefore requires explaining human anatomy, diet and social system first."

That's my field of interest.

I am not sure if I am actually aquatic ape fan, because I read Elaine morgan's books long time ago and people keep saying she said we descend from apes who lived in the water and adapted to land later. funny thing that I do not remeber anything like that, but I will check that this year. to me she explained why we are different from other primates, and it all comes down to adapting to water. I do not believe our ancestors were any better adapted to water than me, because I have seen what small kids can do in the water with little 1/2h or weekly training. It's a lot - but they are pathetic physically compared to orangitangs or chimpanzees, but they beat their a..es in the water. See what I mean?

So I take Aquatic ape theory with a grain of salt, and wait for better theory that propably will never come.

This message is a reply to:
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Inactive Member

Message 75 of 138 (217330)
06-16-2005 3:56 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by 1.61803
06-10-2005 12:18 PM

Re: Why anthropologists don't accept the Aquatic Ape Theory
"When the word aquatic is used in biology it is assumed from the start that one is talking about a creature who's principal niche is in the water and not just a beach dweller."

One more link added: http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=906104

that says:
"Theory that humans underwent a semi-aquatic phase at some point in their evolution."

Computer professionals often are horrified how inaccuratelly mundane men, non enlightened, muggless, use words. I guess the same goes with biologists and anthropologist. I think Elaine Morgan is scientifically a mugggle, unenlightened so she does not know that "When the word aquatic is used in biology it is assumed from the start that one is talking about a creature who's principal niche is in the water", she uses it like a normal person would.

That's why it's " a load of nonsense to others."

Not sure if I should believe in aquatic ape theory or 'lake theory' because biologist will not accept the word 'aquatic'.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by 1.61803, posted 06-10-2005 12:18 PM 1.61803 has not yet responded

Inactive Member

Message 76 of 138 (217548)
06-17-2005 2:52 AM

So you think we developed in the grasslands?

Is this false then?:
Chapter 2. Aquatic Transition
• Between twelve and six million years ago, the Pliocene drought pushed our lineage into the sea for survival.

Can anyone prove there was no Pliocene drought? any links?

Inactive Member

Message 77 of 138 (218317)
06-21-2005 4:57 AM

Finally serenity
At least I have found a clear understanding of Aquatic Ape theory and it's place in origins of human evolution.

I read a section of a book called 'ihmisen synty' - origin of human, a book that know's nothing of Aquatic ape theory.

That book explained that 13-6 years ago around ethiopia was struct by serious floods that came and went, but mostly came.

Whole ecosystem was strained and many new species were born. One pre-primate ape divided into several sub species, our homo-line was one line.

Our ancestors adapted to wet and changing environment, and learned to eat animals harvested from water. When environment dried, our ancestors continued to follow rivers and found many other places that they adapted to - finally homo sapiens had adapted to all kinds of environments.

Aquatic ape theory explained what happened 5 - 10 million years ago, and those who oppose the theory just complains that things that happened afterwards do not confirm the theory - without understanding that the theory only explains what during that the Pliocene drought.
They also think theory says our forefather during that drought was fully aquatic - because of the word 'aquatic' confuses them. Theory is not about that.

AAT enthuastics should remember that after that period our race adapted to dry and all kinds of environments. We are generalists. And all of our features are not explained away with AA theory, but it explains why we are so different from other primates.

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