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Darwin-L Message Log 5:173 (January 1994)

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.


<5:173>From LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU  Thu Jan 27 07:33:20 1994

Date: Thu, 27 Jan 1994 07:33:20 -0600
From: "JOHN LANGDON"  <LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: tools

In message <9401270839.AA09186@midway.uchicago.edu>  writes:

> Isn't it rather obvious that we are physically inferior to apes, that we
> can't run as fast, jump as high, have less stamina, etc... It does not
> seem too unreasonable to assume that toolmaking had a "hand" in this, by
> making purely physical attributes less critical to survival.

I find this an interesting statement, but one that I do not find so obvious.
Are we slower, etc. than the apes? Granted, it is not fair to compare Olympic
athletes to run-of-the-mill apes, nor should we consider only American couch
potatoes. The athletes are self-selected to be atypical of our species. The
couch potatoes are reflective of an undemanding lifestyle made possible by
culture but not a genetic adaptation to culture. Anthropological has been
explicit in arguing that humans have _more_ stamina than other mammals. We may
not be as fast as a gazelle, but I don't have the impression that we lag much
behind apes. Does anyone have any hard data on this?

JOHN H. LANGDON                email   LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY          FAX  (317) 788-3569
UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS     PHONE (317) 788-3447
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46227

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