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The aquatic theory uninterrupted?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.
Griff

Griff

Certified SCUBA Rider
May 7, 2002
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i've got a few uninformed questions/problems regarding this theory. these stem from my own personal observations and your posts, and not from any in depth reading on the matter.

why do woman usually have more fat and less hair than men? it doesnt make sense to say that the hair and fat are hydraulic efficientcy adaptations assuming that the man is the hunter. this would make sense if the woman hunted mostly in the water or if the nursing stages ect were in water, but if it were in africa, i think that the pools of water and the hunting happened on land. i think that any body of water would be the worst place to take care of offspring because of the predator factor.

also the sweat glands problem. if we were in the water for long enough to loose our hair, why would we still need to sweat? do any amphibious/aquatic animals have sweat glands?

about breath holding, can you please explain the reason why you feel its such a special adaptation.

how does the way our hair lies on our arms help. i think that from a fuids based perspective, they are best suited to fluid flow perpendicular to the arm (if you give a thumbs up, parallel to your thumb, in the opposite direction to which it is pointing). i feel this is more realistically a design better suited to the aerodynamics of our walking.

CEngelbrecht, how are a Preference for sexual conduct and being bipedal a sign of adaptations to an aquatic environment?

i look forward to your responses.
mark
 
Roan

Roan

Deeper Blue Wayfarer
Jul 12, 2003
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Last night I did some homework, read D. Montgomery's Aquatic Man and African Eve, I found it very interesting, it answered alot of my questions and ultimately helped me to zzz . Yeah, I guess evolving (growing) more hair wouldn't be the way to go: this aquatic ape wasn't in the water as much as a seal and the hair would get all crusty and infested with little critters all the time :yack .
 
K

Kim Eslinger

New Member
Apr 16, 2003
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I'm still unconvinced that it is possible for the aquatic ape to shed that much hair based on the minimal amount of time he would spend in the water per the above conclusions....and i am indeed confused about how sexual conduct is in any way an argument for this strand of evolution?
 
Roan

Roan

Deeper Blue Wayfarer
Jul 12, 2003
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Some of my reading last night got pretty racy. I had to take a shower after reading Chapter 6! I guess in the 60's some folks started looking for an explanation for the supposed strangeness of human sexual activity :eek: . Evidently the supine position for intercourse is for the most part a human preference. Our aquatic Cassanova would not have it easy to mount a female on all fours out on some coral reef or in surging shallow water. Montgomery and others speculate that they learned to do it face to face and hanging on each other. According to Elaine Morgan, together with changes in the pelvic bones necessary for efficient swimming and a vertical stance, the female vagina shifted its position forwards and became buried deeply within two seperate folds of skin to protect it in a salt water and sandy beach environment. It (the reading) gets steamier; excuse me while I have a cigarette :hungover .

Seriously though Kim, the work I cited in my previous post does I think address a large part of question(s).
 
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E

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
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People are saying you need a big nose to deal with big breasts, as opposed to a flat nose for flat breasts; except that this does not explain why [big nose + big breasts] as opposed to [flat nose + flat breasts] ??


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 
B

Bernt

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2003
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Sounds like you have had some steamy reading Roan :) And Eric, you should do some research on that flat nose flat breast correlation :)

And Griff, I am with you on your scepsis.

One point however: Females having more subcuatanous fat is an adaption to their role in reproduction. They need a fat store to go on while bearing forth a child. This is also why you see them all getting the munchies when pregnant. Morning sickness (vomiting) is another possible adaption having to do with teratogens, i.e protecting the infant versus teratogenous substances by having their warning apparatuous (feeling sick) calibrated to be overly sensitive (lots of good research on this). Well, back to the issue. Women being fatter has nothing to do with womens aquatic abilites.
 
Shadowkiller

Shadowkiller

Digital Hunter
Jul 30, 2002
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Originally posted by efattah
People are saying you need a big nose to deal with big breasts
Wrong way around!
One theory is that the female with larger breasts has less chance of suffocating her young. Our large and protruding nose would get squashed by a flat breast.

If you have a close look at a feeding infant (ask the mother first) you will see that the shape of the breast allows for the nose of the infant to clear it.

Any mothers out there who can confirm from personal experience?

As for the extra fat females have: I don't think it points towards an aquatic adaption, its purely a child rearing reserve.

But tribes living in Africa's interior like the Bushman (San) have pronounced buttock fat storage capabilities. So maybe a lack of this adaption is more evidence towards the auqatic/seashore ape?
 
CEngelbrecht

CEngelbrecht

Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2002
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As for the sexual conduct, some have compared humans with dolphins and other whales, they too do it belly-to-belly. The dolphin male goes below the female, while two humpback whales go vertical in the surface belly-to-belly. I don't understand exactly why this is a benefit in the water, but see the above mentioned studies by Elaine Morgan about the turn of the female vagina, that's as much I know about it myself.

As for the sweat, Elaine Morgan wrote somewhere that sweat was a way to get rid of exessive salt while double functioning as body cooler. Tears also should do this. Think about that: You cry because you need to get rid of salt! Most land animals, the lion, etc., have glans to moist the eye, but we humans led it all out in severe amounts, this the lions doesn't do. On another side, many sea animals cry tears in large amounts like we do. Sea gulls has been seen letting it all out while scientists held them tight for marking, giant sea turtles has been seen doing the same during hands-on studies (the idea is: they get scared = they cry!). Once more, ocean crocodiles cry salty tears while fresh water crocks does not.

As for the turn of the hairs on f.i. the arms and why these hairs haven't dissapeared entirely, then that has most likely been because (given the AAT) we are only like half way to become a complete marine mammal or have turned the process somewhere. Consider that African & Australian blackskins who are out in the sun all the time and didn't wear clothes before the days of whiteskin colonization have very little hair on their body compared to whiteskins from the cold north (like Scandinavians or Russians) who wears thick layers of clothes all the time. Even when these people live on the savannah and should grow more fur to match the additional animals, they don't (they have lost more of their layer of fat, though). The Scandinavians I'm told are the most hairy of the human genepools (and the Chinese the less hairy, for some reason). The thought is that some of us have turned back towards more fur on the body, because we have become more landy the last couple of million years.
As for the hair on the head, some indicate that it stayed on because we kept our head a lot above water and in the sun, and that when the brain started to grow we needed a warmth isolator against the sun. Therefore the hair started to grow. Also, it could've double functioned for the cub to hang on to the mother's head's hair, instead of the hair on the belly, as the chimp cup does (this could also explain why we boys loose our hair in an early age!). Again, the blackskins have this curly afro hair to cool the most in the sun, and the whiteskins (who may not have emigrated away from Africa before no more than a couple of hundred thousand years ago) migrated to a much rainier climate, which straightened the hair much more to let rain run down faster. (Are you as confused as I am? That's what they say.)

I think the conclusion so far is that 5-10 million years ago our ancestors were much more aquatic than today, but aquatic like the otter, not like the dolphin. Of more recent date we have turned more and more landy because our newfound intelligence gave us benefits on land more than in the water (the tools). Now adays we are then moving away from the aquatic stage. Keep up that freediving tradition!!!

Again, I recommend Elaine Morgan's 'Homo Aquaticus', it has most of what has been presented in these threads.

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
 
CEngelbrecht

CEngelbrecht

Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2002
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I forgot to answer on the bidepal thing:
Being bipedal is in general lunacy on the savannah. If a babboon, another primate who lives on the African savannah, has a cup and needs to run from a predator she runs on three limbs carrying the cup in the fourth one. She doesn't stand up to run on two like humans, because it's still faster to run on three than on two, when you're build for it. There's no imidiate benefit to suddenly stand up perminently for better overview of the plains. It's not impossible, but still highly unlikely.
The bipedalism is highly debated, but in the water it aparently becomes a benefit, or at least for primates. The Japanese makaka that goes into warm lakes during cold winter also is on two legs when it is in the water, holding on to rocks with its 'hands' (and on fours when on land). They even sit up on branches sometimes, so maybe they are too on a slow way to something similar to our present stage (that's a maybe). Because being on two is the easiest when you need to keep your breath holes clear of the water.
(Try search Google for images on 'snow monkey' and you'll see what I mean.)

As for the nose job: If the baby only needs the nose benefit for feeding on the breasts, then why do we keep it when we're grown up? Then it should disappear along with the cup fat and we should all have noses like the grown up chimp.

But of course, I don't know, not even the scientists knows anything for sure.

Chris Eneglbrecht, Copenhagen
 
Shadowkiller

Shadowkiller

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Jul 30, 2002
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As for the nose job: If the baby only needs the nose benefit for feeding on the breasts, then why do we keep it when we're grown up? [/B]


NOOOOOOO!:duh

The breast has developed to suit the nose. Not the other way around...:duh
 
SThompson

SThompson

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Apr 15, 2002
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This is an interesting theory, and I am surprised that it hasn’t been discussed more on the forums here. Let me see if I can toss something into the mix. For those of you wanting some good reading Elaine Morgan’s books are well written and interesting, whether you buy into the whole aquatic ape theory or not. This stems from the web, books, and my own thoughts.

The first thing you need to remember about evolution is the time frame. We are talking about VAST amounts of time, geologic in scale, even when speaking of punctuated equilibrium. A lot can change in that amount of time. All of these adaptations probably did not occur at once but rather in a series, each one allowing greater access to food sources and the ability to escape predators by exploiting both land and sea. Also remember that in Darwinian terms traits don’t always have to be of primary value, but can be secondary, tertiary, or even quaternary to other, more beneficial traits. It is also important to remember that traits don’t evolve into the most efficient structures necessarily, but rather just efficient enough to get by. Only with further selective pressure does the next round of adaptations move through a population.

Hair – I have a feeling that lack of body hair is a byproduct of living in a warm, moist environment. Assuming that early man spent a lot of time scavenging along the seashore, in and out of the water many, many times a day having a layer of dead, moist, bacterially active protein next to your skin is a bad thing. Think of the critters, fungus, and germs that would breed in there. With the selective pressure of cold being absent it would be easier to lose most of the hair rather than adapt it to water. It stayed thick in the armpits, groin, and head most likely because that is where large amounts of blood (veins, arteries) pass close to the surface and you lose a lot of body heat. Probably important if you are in the air any amount of time. The rest of the hair could definitely go. Is it critical? No. Would it make the population a little bit healthier? Perhaps enough to be selected for, especially if coupled with another more primary trait.

Breathe Control – This one is a pretty strong argument. No other simians that I know of have it. It is why we can talk. The only reason to have it is to dive under water. It isn’t necessary for communication; lots of other animals don’t need to stop breathing to vocalize. If anyone can think of any other reason you need to be able to hold your breathe other than diving I would love to hear it.

The other human peculiarity is called "the descended larynx". A land mammal is normally obliged to breathe through its nose most of the time, because its windpipe passes up through the back of the throat and the top end of it (the larynx) is situated in the back of its nasal passages. A dog, for example, has to make a special effort to bring its larynx down into its throat in order to bark or to pant; when it relaxes, the larynx goes back up again. Even our own babies are born like that.

A few months after birth the human larynx descends into the throat, right down below the back of the tongue. Darwin found that very puzzling because it means that the opening to the lungs lies side by side with the opening to the stomach. That is why in our species food and drink may sometimes go "down the wrong way". If we had not evolved an elaborate swallowing mechanism it would happen every time. This arrangement means that we can breathe through our mouths as easily as through our noses. It is probable that this is an aquatic adaptation, because a swimmer needing to gulp air quickly can inhale more of it through the mouth than through the nostrils. And we do know that the only birds which are obligatory mouth breathers are diving birds like penguins, pelicans and gannets. As for mammals, the only ones with a descended larynx, apart from ourselves, are aquatic ones - the sea lion and the dugong.

Sweat- We sweat out of the wrong glands. We use enormous amounts of water and salt when we sweat. We are the only mammals to do so. So, one can interpret this to mean that humans evolved in a place that had large amounts of potable water and copious amounts of salt (unlikely to find either on a savanna). In fact, salt is one of the most difficult trace minerals for animals to find. Deer and elk, for example, seek out any source of salt. This is why salt licks are effective. One of the few places salt is readily obtained is near the sea. Something to think about.

Humans have 2 distinct types of sweat glands. One type is the eccrine, or sudoriferous, glands, which serve a cooling function. The sweat secretions which pass through the lumen of eccrine glands are never accompanied by cell secretions. Thus, scent-producing substances which are byproducts of cell metabolism are not secreted by these glands. They do, however, cool extremely effectively when combined with naked skin. Hominids are particularly sensitive to heat because of their large brains but lack of carotid rete. This defends against counter-arguments - savannah animals have not lost their fur and that shaving a sheep causes it to overheat in the sunshine. - the second point answered by bipedalism. Full benefit of nakedness only comes with sweat glands and bipedal posture. You have to be mostly upright to get the best exposure for cooling. This also might explain the hair tract orientation too. Further, thermoregulation hypothesis of bipedalism is self-defeating. It relies on grassland, specifically. No trees to block the breeze at shoulder height but some grass to block the breeze at knee height - otherwise why go bipedal. The sweat cooling must be fuelled by water but next to water you find trees. Plus what were they doing, wandering around in the mid-day sun? Looking to pick carrots?

The second type of sweat gland found in humans, called apocrine glands, are responsible for the production of body odor. Portions of secretory cells found near these glands enter the gland’s lumen along with the sweat secretions. These cells secrete a substance which contains fats and proteins. When apocrine sweat, combined with cell secretions, reaches the skin’s surface, the normal flora of the skin act on the sweat to produce body odor. While eccrine glands are distributed more or less uniformly across the skin, the densest collections of apocrine glands in the human body occur in the axillary organs (armpits). Clusters of apocrine glands are also found in the suprapubic region, circumanal region, perineum, face, scalp, and umbilical region of the abdomen. These secretions are unique in humans. In particular, septum secreted in mass amounts on the upper back and face may break down in such a way to actively retain moisture in the skin and protect from sun exposure, especially with the repeated drying effects of water and sun exposure. It is common knowledge that people with oily skin and acne get less symptomatic when exposed to sun and water – the two factors tend to clean the skin of the huge proteins that are being secreted in large amounts. Instead of “drying out” they “clear up”. This is conjecture, but probably as accurate as anything else.

Fat - Humans are by far the fattest primates; we have ten times as many fat cells in our bodies as would be expected in an animal of our size.

There are two kinds of animals which tend to acquire large deposits of fat - hibernating ones and aquatic ones. In hibernating mammals the fat is seasonal; in most aquatic ones, as in humans it is present all the year round. Also, in land mammals fat tends to be stored internally, especially around the kidneys and intestines; in aquatic mammals and in humans a higher proportion is deposited under the skin.

It is unlikely that early man would have evolved this feature after moving to the plains and becoming a hunter, because it would have slowed him down. No land-based predator can afford to get fat. Our tendency to put on fat is likelier to be an inheritance from an earlier aquatic phase of our evolution. It is true that some apes, especially in captivity, may put on weight, but we still differ from them in two important ways. One is that they are never born fat. All infant primates except our own are slender; their lives may depend on their ability to cling to their mothers and support their whole weight with their fingers. Our own babies accumulate fat even before birth and continue to grow fatter for several months afterwards. Some of this fat is white fat, and that is extremely rare in new-born mammals. White fat is not much good for supplying instant heat and energy. It is good for insulation in water, and for giving buoyancy.

The other difference is that in our case the subcutaneous fat is bonded to the skin. When an anatomist skins a cat or rabbit or chimpanzee, any superficial fat deposits remain attached to the underlying tissues. In the case of humans, the fat comes away with the skin, just as it does in aquatic species like dolphins, seals, hippos and manatees.

Eyes – As Eric noted- myopia is prevalent and is useful in the water. While I am sure it is exacerbated by reading/pc use the fact that we are so predisposed should be an indicator of something.

Diving Reflex – I don’t think any freediver can doubt its veracity, and similar reflexes (vasoconstriction, blood shift) has been noted many times in other aquatic mammals.

Hope you found this long-winded but informative,
 
Griff

Griff

Certified SCUBA Rider
May 7, 2002
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I'm still not sure about the sexual position. Dolphins ect do it missionary because they dont have any other way, dogs do it in thier own style because they cant do it any other way. humans have the choice of a wide range of positions, and maybe they found out how much fun kissing was and just stuck to what felt better.
also, isnt the theory that the pelvic bone has shifted not because we walk upright, not because we swim better flat, or are they all just theories?

can you also clarify they breathhold theroy. i saw grizzly bears diving for salmon in some deep lakes, this surey impies some sort of breathhold skill. i still think that we can hold our breath because we want to. i'm sure that eric has a lot of crazy examples of what man can do if he thinks about it for long enough. with vocal cords, are a chimps vocal cords not more developed that a lesser intelegent animal? what i mean is that our vocal cords are as good as they are because we needed a more sophicticated means for communication, and in doing so we loose some other abilities. for example, walking on two legs has made it damn difficult and quite funny to try and walk on all fours, development in one area results in "regression" in other areas.

but anyway, i know these ideas arent tryng to win a court case here, and its fun to speculate. i do think that the idea that they spent a lot more time on the beach is definately the most logical and viable, but i dont need all the theories to think that, just watch a few episodes of surivor, and see where we "Survive" better.
i think that our design allows us to live in incredibly diverse environements, and the beach is the easiest of the lot.
now what i cant understand is why the northern hemisphere is where most of the western population lives, but the southern hemisphere has all the best beaches:duh
cheers
mark
 
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Stephan Whelan

Stephan Whelan

Papa Smurf
Staff member
Admin
Jan 7, 1999
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Folks...

It's interesting to note that Paul Kotik (FreeDiving Editor) has been working on an article and interview with Elain Morgan. We hope to have it published within the next few weeks!

Thanks!
 
Will

Will

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Jun 20, 2003
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One axiom of MDR theory is I believe, attackable. 'The presence of a hypoxic response indicates marine behaviour of an ancestral mammal.' Now my stomach can digest a plastic cup, but that doesn't require that my ancestors ate plastic.

In the last thread an alternative evolution of MDR, involving hibernation, evoked little comment. This discouraged me until I remembered a walk I had taken through a mile of caves in Ligura. At about 400m from the entrance were the remains of both bears and humans. Why did humans delve so deep (20 - 30 metres is adequate to escape wind, rain etc) if not for the same reason as the bears - to hibernate. During winter, and especially the iceage, hunting and gathering would have been very difficult. Evolution would have selected for cavemen who stored energy subcutaneously as fat, and used it to fund 3 months deep sleep. I don't know how hibernation is triggered in bears, & indeed it would be folly to assume humans used the same mechanism. However as hibernation is seasonal behaviour it is probably controlled by light-dependant hormones such as Melatonin.

So our cold, but fattened from summer, apeman makes his way deep into the cavern, lies down to sleep with the missus, or a bear (why not a cuddly symbiotic relationship!) and sleeps, at first normally. As the hibernation hormones build they may trigger a decrease in the rate of breathing, inducing hypoxia. This is turn triggers the host of responses (bradycardia, vasoconstriction ...) that we are familiar with. The apeman may 'dive-sleep' thus for a lot longer than with a normal metabolism.
After the iceage, and with increasing behavioural improvements (clothes, fire ...) hibernation becomes unneccessary, and so the hibernation hormones may have subsided into redundancy, while the response to hypoxia remained, and was erroneously termed MDR by scientific aquaphiles...

Other pieces of evidence for MHR
Larger breasts store more energy for winter.
Hinernating bears evolved into diving seals.
Nocturnal animals are myopic.
Ever noticed how the more sleep you get the more you feel you need? Maybe we could still hibernate...
Umberto fell asleep on a wreck at 15m, and was woken after 5 minutes, by the first contraction. At depth, with neutral lung position due to pressure, this is not uncommon.
 
B

Bernt

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2003
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The problem with your theory of hibernation is that we do not have the capacity to hibernate, to be able to hibernate, one needs extreme energe conservatory capabilities. Our immense brains (relative to body size) burn most of our energy during immobilization, and would be too costly to maintain for a hibernating animal.
 
K

Kim Eslinger

New Member
Apr 16, 2003
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Women being fatter has nothing to do with womens aquatic abilites. [/B]


Yikes! Women being fatter???!!! :naughty We are NOT fatter, we simply aren't as lean as you guys (and you don't seem to like us when we are!). :confused:

Seriously though, it sounds like you guys have been reading some, uh, interesting material. Are you sure this is all in the pursuit of science? What do some more modern day scientists have to say on the subject?
 
B

Bernt

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2003
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-Body hair: The evidence here seems inconclusive. It may be a:
1. Byproduct of living in a warm, moist environment.
2. Coadaption to culture/clothes, life in varying climates
3. An adaption a watery environment.

There seems to be no reason to prefer the aquatic adaption hypothesis before the other two. Personally I find a combination of 1 and 2 most compelling.

-Subcutanous fat:
1. This seems to be a stronger candidate as an aquatic adaption. Thermoregulation and boyancy in the water. I find SThompsons last post very informative on this matter. But there are other possible candidates here:
2. Plain thermoregulation in colder environments (northern hemispheres). Comparing eskimos to Zulus, one finds great differences in body fat percentage. Also eskimoes are short, stocky, and have a more barrel formed torso. This helps preserve heat. Rearing a Zulu in Greenland would not lead to an Eskimo phenotype and vice verce (the escimo would not get more pigment protecting from the sun). But then again, perhaps all humans have a much higher whit fat percentage than other mammals.
3. Humans are built for endurance more than speed. Travelling great distances, wearing our prey out (mammoths and the like), feasting occationaly, a high fat percentage would be functional as a energy deposit.

Here it seems to me that one may find reasons to prefer hypothesis 1 before 2 and 3. Primarily that our fat deposit primarily is subcuatanous (vs Hypothesis 3) and finally that even Zulu hunters have more subcutanous fat than one generally would predict.

-Diving reflex.
1. Breatholding adaption for the aquatic ape.
2. Ancient adaption observable in many organisms (pigs trained to breathhold for example (see first thread)

I think unirdna made a strong argument in the last thread for hypothesis 2 to emerge victorious.

-Prefrence for watery environments. I can not see any other possible explanation than humans at least having lived near lakes or the sea during our evolutionary history. The prevalence of aquafobia (as with aracnofobia) is very high though.

-Breath control
1. Diving adaption.
2. Byproduct of the language adaption
Here I find no evidence for chosing H1 befor H2.

-Preference for sexual conduct.
It seems to me to be a long shot labeling this as an aquatic adaption.

-Offspring behavior (inborn swimming ability, giving birth in water etc)
1. Aquatic adaption
To me, this seems to be the strongest piece of evidence supporting the aquatic theory. I find no alternative explanations.

-Bipedalism.
1. There seems to be little compelling evidence indicatiing this as an aquatic adaption.
2. Energy conservation. SThompson has some interesting critique of this hypothesis in his last post. Unirdna accounts best for this as in the first thread.

-Aquatic adaptation of hair & limbs.
Aquatic adaption of the hair seems to be a hypothesis we may reject based on the discussion in this thread.
 
CEngelbrecht

CEngelbrecht

Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2002
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----------------------------
-Body hair: The evidence here seems inconclusive. It may be a:
1. Byproduct of living in a warm, moist environment.
2. Coadaption to culture/clothes, life in varying climates
Personally I find a combination of 1 and 2 most compelling.
----------------------------

Again, the Africans has lesser hair on their body than the Europeans, and the Europeans are the most dressed people in the world (the Russian wearing fur), while the Africans are like the less dressed people in the world. Again, no other mammal of the human body size living on the savannah (which is hardly moist, by the way) have shed their fur, they have kept it, even in the blazing sun. The 1 + 2 combination doesn't link up compared to a watery adaptation which is so well tested amongst other animals.


----------------------------
-Prefrence for watery environments. I can not see any other possible explanation than humans at least having lived near lakes or the sea during our evolutionary history. The prevalence of aquafobia (as with aracnofobia) is very high though.
----------------------------

Also consider that the 6 billion humans on the planet place themselves mostly near ocean or river beds. If we were a savannah mammal, we'd be expected to place ourselves in plain areas with wide crop fields for being close to the food (like Wisconsin), but our biggest and most succesful cities are placed near watery areas (like New York or Shanghai).


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-Breath control
1. Diving adaption.
2. Byproduct of the language adaption
Here I find no evidence for chosing H1 befor H2.
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It's the other way around: You can't have language without conscious breath control. The screems of the chimp are reflectorial, while the 'coca cola' of humans require conscious halt and movement of the animal's diphragm.


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-Preference for sexual conduct.
It seems to me to be a long shot labeling this as an aquatic adaption.
----------------------------

I'm not for or against it either, but it seems an interesting concept when no other primate does it belly-to-belly, and many aquatic mammals do it.
Someone mentioned the kiss: Orangutangs also kiss as a social thing, when two females meet in the jungle f.i. In humans the kiss can be not only a sexual thing, but also a social thing (French people kiss each other all the time, Russian guys kiss each other on the mouth), like the orangutang. FWIW, I don't think the kiss is an aquatic adaptation.


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-Bipedalism.
1. There seems to be little compelling evidence indicatiing this as an aquatic adaption.
2. Energy conservation. SThompson has some interesting critique of this hypothesis in his last post. Unirdna accounts best for this as in the first thread.
----------------------------

Again, compare humans to penguins. Penguins stand up on land and swims horizontally in the water, same as humans.
If option 2 was accounted for, then we're still faced with the question: Why are we naked in the first place? Standing up and sweating a lot is generally the best way for cooling off when you're naked, yes, but why be naked if it has proven most effective to keep the fur like all middle-sized mammals do on the savannah?
I think again it's the other way around: We swam in the waters and got more and more naked, then we gradually turned back to inner land when tools gave us a benefit, we already stood up, already we sweated to get rid of salt and it just turned out to be two very effective ways to cool off in the sun. But again it wasn't as effective as being on all fours with fur and no skinfat, so still today people go back into the water whenever it gets too hot and our stomachs are full anyway. Hence, the girl in the bikini.


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-Aquatic adaptation of hair & limbs.
Aquatic adaption of the hair seems to be a hypothesis we may reject based on the discussion in this thread.
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I still disagree, when the other man apes body hairs turn so differently, and when the human body hairs are so well adjusted to surface & underwater swimming.


But anyhoo, the human never got so far as to be an 'ocean ape' like Jacques Mayol dreamed of. We're more this 'beach ape'. It could be that, if we continue to live with the water the way we do, in a couple of million years we become this 'primate dolphin' or something. If so, then right now we're just a middle section.

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
 
Jon

Jon

Dairyland diver
Supporter
Apr 7, 2001
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If we were a savannah mammal, we'd be expected to place ourselves in plain areas with wide crop fields for being close to the food (like Wisconsin), ), but our biggest and most succesful cities are placed near watery areas (like New York or Shanghai).


Time for a little geography lesson here kids.;) Ever since I did my instructor training in sunny California, almost 20 years ago, I have heard the same thing: "Where do you dive in Wisconsin, flooded cornfields?" :head

We happen to be located inbetween TWO of the five great lakes, which comprise 23% of the entire worlds fresh water supply, this may interest some of you west coast types during the hot, dry, days of summer.:t

Here is a quick shot of our state from space.:D

Jon
 
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K

Kim Eslinger

New Member
Apr 16, 2003
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Originally posted by CEngelbrecht
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-Prefrence for watery environments. I can not see any other possible explanation than humans at least having lived near lakes or the sea during our evolutionary history. The prevalence of aquafobia (as with aracnofobia) is very high though.
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Also consider that the 6 billion humans on the planet place themselves mostly near ocean or river beds. If we were a savannah mammal, we'd be expected to place ourselves in plain areas with wide crop fields for being close to the food (like Wisconsin), but our biggest and most succesful cities are placed near watery areas (like New York or Shanghai).

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen

But you guys are missing the point with the number of people living on or near water. From a historical and archaeological perspective the evidence of man living on or near water is a survival issue. Man needs fresh water to survive. We settle on or near water today as much for survival as for commerce and communication.

Take into account the simple fact that until the invention of the train, automobile or airplane, land divided people from one another. The best method of transport for long distances was by water. This is why the development of strong maritime power during the preceeding centuries resulted in a dominant culture. Thus our settlement patterns in the past resulted in far more people living along coastlines, lakes and rivers than elsewhere. Ship and boat traffic brought news, food, goods, and families to the settlements. We placed factories along waterways for power and we placed our major cities near large areas of fresh water and transport. A viable harbor meant a large port town. Today, as in the past, our children and grand children tend to continue to settle in the places where there are established cities with the things they need to survive. Hence the continuing growth on our coastlines and rivers.

Therefore, I would argue that your hypothesis regarding the evolution of man as an aquatic based on our preference for water is unsupportable. In prehistoric times, man gathered in places where there was plentiful drinking water. Our ability to use that water for communication is why we are still settled so heavily in estuarine and water environs.

FYI, the arguments for NY's placement by the way is one that goes into exploration and colonization not evolution. I think we are stretching the evidence to fit the hypothesis - never a sound scientific practice.

Also, consider this - even savannah animals are primarily located where they can find water.....does that then make them an aquatic as well?

Just my thoughts. Let's hear yours.... :D
 
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