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Darwin-L Message Log 2:123 (October 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<2:123>From hantuo@utu.fi  Wed Oct 27 11:59:43 1993

To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: hantuo@utu.fi (Hanna Tuomisto)
Subject: human evolution
Date: 	Wed, 27 Oct 1993 19:03:09 +0200

I have asked this before, but since no one has answered, I'll ask it again:

Has someone got references to ANY publications where the aquatic ape theory
(AAT) has been seriously considered, and consequently proven either wrong
or less coherent than an alternative terrestrial theory of human evolution?

In several occasions I have heard such claims as "paleoanthropologists have
dismissed the aquatic ape theory for legitimate reasons". Does anyone know
what those reasons are? Soon I'm starting to suspect that the opponents of
AAT have not even given it a serious thought but have simply ignored it for
some non-scientific reason. Such reasons might include:

1) The savanna theory was presented first. Now people take it for granted
and stop being open for alternatives.

2) People imagine that the savanna theory is able to explain more than it
actually is, and that it has been proved correct, so they reject the idea
that any theory could possibly be better.

3) People do actually not know what AAT is, but they reject some straw man
version of it.

4) People are reluctant to admit that they may have accepted the wrong
hypothesis.

5) The first public presentation of AAT was ridiculized in the media.
People are afraid of committing themselves to something that others find
ridiculous.

6) The first book that considered AAT seriously had a feministic tone.
People are afraid that accepting AAT might support feminism, so they prefer
to reject the theory.

7) The most active proponent of AAT is not a paleoanthropologist, and she
is female, so the theory must be wrong.

Please prove to me that at least someone has conciously chosen the savanna
theory on the basis of its scientific merits.

Hanna Tuomisto
hantuo@utu.fi

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