Talk:Aquatic ape hypothesis

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Vernix caseosa[edit]

After removing all the content that is sourced to arguments made by Attenborough, we were left only with the original argument by Morgan and a description of the feature. As such, it does not rise to the level of "academic research". So I removed the section. If we find some research that is connected to AAH about this subject that was published in academic journals, I'm happy to restore the section. jps (talk) 17:44, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Wrong! The cited research came right out of the Scars of Evolution programme that Attenborough made in 2003. Let me quote you Tom Brenna, whose paper is cited in this section, from Attenborough's 2016 programme:
"To cut a long story short, we eventually found marine mammal centres on the west coast in California who were willing to collect samples. We analysed the vernix of sea lions and humans in the same way by mass spectrometry and we found that they were extremely similar both in their structure and in their quantity. We found that the structure of the molecules were similar and we found that the distribution of the various molecules were similar. So they were strikingly the same and we also did some quantitative analysis which told us they were being produced, at least in the context of the vernix, in a very similar way. An extraordinarily exciting result, and in fact we also saw this in a single harbour seal that we were able to acquire and we saw the same thing there and so I’m almost willing to say this probably extends to all marine mammals.". (Attenborough 2016, 2nd programme, 31:25)
Um... That Attenborough interviewed Brenna is undeniable, but I don't see Tom Brenna himself connecting this research to AAH. Can you find any indication of such? jps (talk) 19:02, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
The paragraph before the quotation I gave you includes the comment: "one person who listened to those programmes was Professor Tom Brenna of Cornell University and he was intrigued. As a chemist and specialist in mass spectrometry he had spent many years researching the biochemistry of human vernix. So when he heard this observation of vernix potentially in another species he set off on the hunt." So here you get it. A radio programme can actually influence scientists at Cornell! Chris55 (talk) 19:07, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, that's not what I asked for. Please try again. A publication by Brenna that indicates his work is supportive of the AAH is what we need here. Not a radio transcript. jps (talk) 19:09, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
I reject that argument. Brenna has done the research, published the paper (with his team) and contributed supportively to Attenborough's programme called the Waterside Ape. That adds up to full relevance to this article. Chris55 (talk) 19:19, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
If I listen to a program and that inspires me to do an analysis that leads to a publication and then I'm later interviewed by the person who made the podcast about that paper, that is one kind of story. Is that the story you would like to be told? If so, we need something more than just Attenborough to back up that this is at all important to the overall story of AAH. jps (talk) 19:27, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
No, I'm not asking for it to be told. You were challenging the idea that this section concerns the topic of the article and I was showing that it did. A meta-analysis if you like. No need to add more. Chris55 (talk) 20:20, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The story as I told it is connected to AAH. The previous section discussion that was included was not. jps (talk) 20:25, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

What was included was "In a second radio series in 2016, The Waterside Ape, Attenborough included a report from Tom Brenna of Cornell University that vernix from California sea lions was composed of the same fatty acids as are found in that of humans." It does seem to be connected. Chris55 (talk) 23:17, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
That's not the story as outlined. jps (talk) 10:58, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
I've put a quotation from the 2011 AAH conference at the end of the section which claims less than Attenborough but establishes the link to the AAH more clearly. Chris55 (talk) 16:37, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
It most certainly does not! It makes no mention of AAH whatsoever. jps (talk) 18:22, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm confused about this. Previously, a comment regarding fingertip wrinkling as an adaptation to water was accepted after a WP:OR argument when the following page was presented as a reference: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/pruny-fingers-are-evolutionary-advantage/ As far as I'm aware, the research itself does not have to mention the AAT (either for or against) as long as a reputable source is found demonstrating that AAT supporters believe this to be evidence. This page is about describing the aquatic ape theory isn't it? It's not a list of publications that mention AATAquapess (talk) 09:48, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Rather distinctly from MjolnirPants, I'm not opposed to using grey-literature and internet-based sources in the article, but the warning is that this will require the introduction of a lot more of the grey-anti-literature to boot. There are websites excised by the pro-AAH crowd which have been done so on the basis of the lack of credentials of the author and the lack of editorial control of the self-published blog/website. Since AAH is WP:FRINGE, I'm not particularly worried by that if the sources can be judged to be reliable. However, I'm also fine with going with what I judge to be the current consensus which is that we should only use sources which have been published or are verified to come from academic professionals speaking in an academic capacity. To that end, blogs have been removed in favor of peer-reviewed papers and published commentary by acknowledged experts in mainstream science reporting outlets. If this is upsetting to you, I suggest you think carefully about how you would feel if Jim Moore's website started to make an appearance here. As long as we keep that website out, similar sources (and I would include the IFLScience source in that) should also be excluded. jps (talk) 19:03, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I will personally revert anyone who uses iflscience as a source, and will flood any RSN discussion about them with examples of their crappy approach to science journalism and ridiculous sensationalist headlines. They are not reliable for anything but their own views. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:27, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
That's really quite interesting, given that IFLS has been accepted as a source elsewhere on wiki, and this particular piece merely states that AAT supporters were interested in the wrinkled fingertip research, and qualified it with an anti-AAT comment to give a balanced view:

This information has piqued the interest of those who subscribe to the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis (AAH), which claims that ancestral apes lived in water at least part of the time. Others, however, dismiss the idea, as these adaptations could have come from water being ever present in the environment without spending as much time in it as proponents of AAH would say.

Why is it not possible to present both sides of the argument like this on the Wikipaedia page too?
Mostly because it treats with equal validity two claims that aren't on the same footing. The "argument" isn't between experts, it's between people complaining online. Not really what Wikipedia tends to write about according to our editorial standards. jps (talk) 19:05, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
I dunno. Why is it not possible for you to get into the habit of signing your comments?
jps, it's IFLScience in particular, not internet-based science sites that I'm opposed to. I've seen some really awful crap from them. Like an anonymous article that takes an interesting but obscure hypothesis which has never been tested, presents it as established fact, and then goes on to portray adherents of a fringe theory as being on an equal footing with the mainstream view. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:26, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

List outlining AAH features[edit]

Dear all, there have been a number of changes to create a large overhaul of the AAH page. I think that the page definitely needed some improvements, but at the end of the day, Wikipaedia is an information source, so the purpose is to describe the topic outlined in the title. For this reason, I propose that the list of features purported to be linked to AAH should be returned. This list was accepted for many years by both pro and anti-AAT editors.

The list format was ultimately rejected as being problematic in the sense that it assumed equality of strength of evidence/investigation. Some things were just plain wrong in Hardy/Morgan's list (subcutaneous fat claims, e.g.) while others are inspirational but hardly considered convincing evidence (iodine and PUFAs, e.g.) Summarizing in paragraph form seemed like a better way to allow for a narrative description of the ideas that can be weighed more easily by the reader according to their own judgment. jps (talk) 18:57, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

The Hardy/Morgan hypothesis[edit]

Hardy's hypothesis as outlined in the New Scientist was:

My thesis is that a branch of this primitive ape-stock was forced by competition from life in the trees to feed on the sea-shores and to hunt for food, shell fish, sea-urchins etc., in the shallow waters off the coast. I suppose that they were forced into the water just as we have seen happen in so many other groups of terrestrial animals. I am imagining this happening in the warmer parts of the world, in the tropical seas where Man could stand being in the water for relatively long periods, that is, several hours at a stretch.[1]

Morgan's most recent summary of the thesis was in 2011:

Waterside hypotheses of human evolution assert that selection from wading, swimming and diving and procurement of food from aquatic habitats have significantly affected the evolution of the lineage leading to Homo sapiens as distinct from that leading to Pan.[2]

Neither Hardy or Morgan ever envisaged a stage where humans lived at sea, although this quickly became part of the public perception. Also the time period for this dependence has changed significantly over the last 50 years in line with anthropological thought.[citation needed]

The possible consequences of Hardy's hypothesis,[a] discussed by Hardy and Morgan, include:

  • Bipedalism: Hardy stated:
It seems to me likely that Man learnt to stand erect first in water and then, as his balance improved, he found he became better equipped for standing up on the shore when he came out, and indeed also for running.[3]
  • Loss of body hair: Hardy pointed out that "the loss of hair is characteristic of a number of aquatic mammals, for example, the whales, the Sirenia and the hippopotamus", though he pointed out that the hairs were still there, though so reduced in thickness that they were almost invisible. When swimming in the sun, only the head still needs protection. Morgan compares this with seven other theories for hairlessness starting with parasites.[4]
  • Subcutaneous fat: unlike other primates, humans have an extended fat layer, that is seen more markedly in whales and other sea mammals. This was Hardy's original spur to forming the theory, quoting a 1929 book: "The peculiar relation of the skin to the underlying superficial facia is a very real distinction, familiar enough to everyone who has repeatedly skinned both human subjects and any other member of the Primates."[5] Hardy also notes that this contributes to human ability to cope with varying air temperature, which adds to their widespread distribution in different habitats.
  • Speech: Humans together with aquatic mammals depend less on smell and touch as means of communication than vocalisation.[6] By the 1980s Morgan focused on the human larynx, which is situated in the throat rather than the nasal cavity, a feature that is shared by some aquatic animals who use it to close off the trachea while diving; it also facilitates taking large breaths of air upon surfacing.[7]
  • Eccrine sweating and Tears: Human sweat using a different type of gland than other primates, which predominately use panting for cooling as sweating is wasteful of water for an animal on the savannah, although baboons and patas monkeys (which feed on fruit) do supplement this by sweating. Humans, alone among primates, cry. Tears are often observed in sea birds to get rid of excess salt.[8]
  • Sex: Human sexual activity varies in several ways from other primates. Copulation is typically frontal, which is observed in aquatic mammals and manatees, but not apes. This front entry probably causes the loss of orgasm in the female.[9]
Human infants can control their breath without instruction
  • Swimming: humans share with aquatic mammals the diving reflex by which the heart slows down when under water reducing the need for oxygen.[10] Infants also have a specific diving relfex present until 6 months where the glottis spontaneously closes when they are submerged under water.
  • Fat babies: Human babies have far more fat, acquired in the latter stages of pregnancy. This helps in swimming which they can do naturally if exposed early enough.[11]
  • Water birth: Birthing in a pool has evidence of reducing pain during labour, and is now supported by the Royal College of Midwives. It is available at most NHS labour wards in the UK
  • Fingertip wrinkling in water: Wrinkling of fingertips when immersed in water is now known to be under neural control in response to water. Studies have investigated whether this gives rise to increased grip under water.
This is a very brief description of features previously accepted by both sides of the argument, and is a much shortened version of previous edits, so it does not give undue weight either way. It is a good summary of the main features of the AAH and then readers can analyse the evidence for themselves as to whether they believe it or not. Does anyone object to this section being reinstated?Aquapess (talk) 18:16, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I do, for one. In my opinion, the present "Hardy/Morgan hypothesis" section already summarizes the hypothesis quite adequately. In addition, we do not want to give undue weight to arguments that are factually wrong (and thus not accepted by both sides), such as the one about human subcutaneous fat, which is just like other great apes' fat, and very unlike the fat evolved by furless aquatic mammals - to cite just one example. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 18:49, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Hi Doctor Joe, thanks for your reply. Maybe that is something you could add to the section on subcutaneous fat, to show both sides of the argument, and then people can make up their own minds based on the facts. I am not sure what you mean exactly though, is it about the biochemical composition of the fat? I'm sure that must be very similar, since the great apes are our closest relatives. I think AAT supporters believe the function of the fat is most important, in that it only functions as a thermal insulator in water, whereas hair (which we have largely lost) serves better as a thermal insulator on land. Moreover, the structure may be the same, but the amount and distribution of it is different - chimps do not have fat deposition on the breasts and buttocks the way humans do, and they are unable to lay down thick fat stores even when being overfed, which is why you do not see obese chimps, even when being kept as pets.
Regardless, whilst you may believe the subcutaneous fat argument to be flawed, it is nevertheless agreed upon within the AAT community, and therefore a page purporting to describe it, should at least mention it, even if the editors wish to present reasons why they believe it to be flawed — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aquapess (talkcontribs) 20:18, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I agree with DoctorJoeE. This is undue. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:59, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Yup. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 20:31, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
"Agreed on within the AAT community" pretty much underscores my point, yes? DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 19:06, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Um yes, because this page is called The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis?
Not that long ago, there were two camps of palaeobiologists - ones who believed that birds evolved from dinosaurs and others who swore that anyone thinking that way was crazy. Having separate camps of thought is part of the progression of science - you analyse and weigh up the evidence rather than shy away from discussion Aquapess (talk) 20:42, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
Sigh. How many times have I heard this exact same argument from a supporter of some fringe theory or another? In this case, it's particularly bad because there is no AAH camp. There's just a bunch of non-anthropologists whining about anthropologists not taking their pet theory seriously, and a very small handful of anthropologists saying "well, if you just take this one aspect out of it, then it might be part of a legitimate explanation".
If all you've got is these sorts of rhetorical arguments, then please stop. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:37, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't think this proposal is a good one. Nor do I think it is accurate to claim there was anything approaching a consensus that this outline was appropriate for Wikipedia. jps (talk) 22:51, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Hardy, Alister Clavering (1977). "Was there a Homo aquaticus?". Zenith. 15 (1): 4–6. 
  2. ^ Kuliukas, Algis V.; Morgan, Elaine (2011). "Aquatic Scenarios in the Thinking on Human Evolution: What are they and How do they Compare?": 106–119. 
  3. ^ Hardy 1960.
  4. ^ Morgan 1990, pp. 69-79.
  5. ^ Wood Jones, Frederic (1929). Man's Place among the Mammals. Longmans, Green & co. p. 309. 
  6. ^ Morgan 1982, pp. 99-101.
  7. ^ Morgan 1997, pp. 123-136,147.
  8. ^ Morgan 1990, pp. 92-101.
  9. ^ Morgan 1982, pp. 66-69.
  10. ^ Morgan 1972, p. 72-78.
  11. ^ Morgan 1982, pp. 83-88.

Catch-22[edit]

There is a remarkable Catch-22 situation operating here:

The work of proponents of the AAH is inadmissible because they are advocates of a fringe theory, and mentioning their work would give it "undue weight".

Simultaneously, work that might be supportive of AAH, but whose authors choose not to make this connection overt, is inadmissible because they have not referred directly to the hypothesis.

How very jesuitical, I'm impressed. Or am I thinking of Torquemada? George Orwell? No it's definitely Catch-22! Urselius (talk) 17:24, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

It's none of the above. It only seems like a catch-22 because of the underlying assumption that an article about the AAH must promote the AAH. If one eliminates that assumption, then there's nothing circular or impossible about it. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:04, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
If people want this article to reflect different rhetorical points, they need to convince the outside world to make sources that comply with our policies and guidelines. Publish in Nature. Publish in Science. Make the references explicit. jps (talk) 22:49, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
But simultaneously, many of your sources are articles in books or newspaper articles. Where are the research articles in "Nature" or "Science" stating that AAH is wrong? Why do you guys have to rely on Langdon so much if these journals you state are so awash with anti-AAH articles?Aquapess (talk) 00:19, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Now you're just making stuff up. Both jps and I have commented multiple times on the lack of sources excoriating the AAH. Stop. You're becoming disruptive. Either help us improve the article or go prove you're not an SPA. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 01:04, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
The lack of anti-AAH sources is somewhat indicative that the mainstream has not found it compelling enough to comment much more on the idea. That is hardly surprising. As Hitchens's Razor points out, there is an asymmetry in controversies over reality. The onus is on the advocates to make the opponents sit up and pay attention. This is not done on web fora, in Wikipedia, or in the comment sections where all the content currently resides. It is done in flagship peer-reviewed journals. jps (talk) 07:35, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Jps, but that's exactly it. Your camp would interpret it as AAH being ignored. But with the absence of comment, it could well be interpreted that people are afraid to comment positively on the AAH for fear of being ridiculed by people who misunderstand the theory. It is clear that there is an interest in the role that the sea and what role it might have played in human evolution, otherwise they would not be getting published in PNAS and Nature. However, they cannot put a comment stating a pro-AAT stance for fear of their reputations. Surely the researchers must know that their results would be interpreted positively by the pro-AAT camp. If they were really so against it, they would qualify somewhere in their paper with a statement such as "we are not proponents of any aquatic ape theory and these results should not be interpreted as being in support of any such theory". But they don't.
Lastly, I'm not sure what an SPA is, but last time I checked, Wikipaedia didn't take kindly to threats being thrown around on their boardsAquapess (talk) 08:40, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Please read WP:ADVOCACY and WP:THETRUTH. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:12, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Primarily aquatic diet[edit]

An edit conflict has been breaking out about whether to use Gee's take-down of AAH in the Guardian or to use a synthesized claim from a PNAS paper that does not mention AAH. I think the rules of Wikipedia are clear that my version is better than the one that the other editor desires. diff

But more than this, I want to make it clear what the problem is. AAH cannot rely on evidence that a human in the past ate seafood. The AAH, to be supported, needs evidence that there was sustained consumption of seafood as a primary food source for a significant enough period of time to affect evolutionary outcomes. The PNAS source doesn't come close to providing such evidence.

jps (talk) 11:46, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

Agreed. This is a huge barrier to overcome. "Some humans ate a heavily aquatic diet in the past" doesn't even come close to being what this particular version of the hypothesis requires, which is that either a large proportion of the population ate a heavily aquatic diet immediately prior to a genetic bottleneck event, almost all of humanity ate a heavily aquatic diet during a genetic bottleneck, or almost all of humanity ate a heavily aquatic diet for a prolonged (in evolutionary terms) period of time. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:52, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I lament that we may be arguing over what the semantic value of "fondness" is in the Guardian article, but I think it is not simply, "I ate some aquatic food yesterday". Undoubtably, Braun says that this foodstuff makes nutrient arguments about brain growth more plausible, but this is getting more than a step removed from aquatic apes. jps (talk) 14:25, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
1) I agree, AAH cannot rely on evidence that humans in the past ate seafood. However the PNAS article was added to correct the date about when seafood eating first occurred, not as evidence either for or against AAH (although the article does state that this consumption of seafood could have helped to increase early human brain expansion, which AAH supporters also believe)


2) The reason to remove the Guardian article is because it was being used to date the earliest evidence for human consumption of seafood - it is unreferenced - it does not point to an original source of information, so it is not a reliable source. "primary" was added to the wiki article later, but is not mentioned in the Guardian article later. Moreover, other evidence has been published showing human seafood consumption prior to 200,000 years ago [1] quote "found evidence for freshwater shellfish consumption by hominins"Aquapess (talk) 22:03, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
The date from PNAS just documents that human ancestors ate things found in water. This is quite different from claims that humans were systematically eating seafood living near the ocean 200,000 years ago. They are substantively different points. Evidence for consistent sea dwelling is at oldest from 200,000 years ago. Evidence that human ancestoars (and indeed other primates) ate things found in water can be found going back much further, but certainly is not AAH fodder as it doesn't differentiate a hominid from other apes or indeed primates! jps (talk) 07:28, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Sorry jps, what exactly are you trying to say with the Guardian reference? I thought it was being used to give a date for when the archaeological evidence first shows humans or their ancestors eating seafood. Now you're saying it says "consistent sea dwelling" - which is it? And how on earth would "consistent sea "dwelling"" show up in the archaeological record?
Hardy stated that humans would have had to have come back to land in order to sleep and do other activities, and he suggested that they must have spent about half their time on land. Nobody has ever suggested that humans "dwellt" in the sea, they merely took advantage of what it had to offer, and spent a lot of time foraging in the water. That's it.
Furthermore, yes hominin doesn't differentiate between human and other great apes, but are you seriously suggesting that early Pan (or Gorilla) picked up tools and ate seafood (in the forest no less) and then put the tools down again and promptly forgot all about them? This is an intriguing idea.
Please read the Nature paper regarding shellfish consumption at 500,000 years though if you dislike the PNAS paper: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v518/n7538/abs/nature13962.html Aquapess (talk) 08:27, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm trying to be as faithful as possible to Gee's complaint. If you disagree with his complaint, that is something you need to publish elsewhere. Wikipedia is a place where we report what is said. We cannot litigate this dispute. If I understand Gee correctly, he is arguing that we have evidence for sustained seafood consumption (which is, not inland) from about 200,000 years ago which aligns with evidence for coastal settlement of humans as well! Using shells as tools is not evidence of sustained seafood diet. Eating clarias is not evidence of pressure on brain development in favor of nutrients like iodine or PUFAs which are not found in inland aquatic foodstuffs. I think his point, briefly made, is clear. If you think there is dramatic evidence (though neither of the papers you are citing provide it) that he is incorrect, you need to get a secondary source published that points this out. But we cannot stitch together your argument using papers that make no mention of AAH. Sorry, that's simply not how Wikipedia works. jps (talk) 14:33, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Hi again Josh, so what I'm trying to say is that Gee's article is unreferenced, which means that although he says that the earliest seafood consumption was 200,000 years ago, he has no evidence to back it up. Since it is a personal opinion piece in the Guardian, he could really say anything and we would have no way of knowing if it was correct. A source for a date cannot point to an opinion, but should point to evidence
As I said below, you are welcome to insert the article at another place if you wish to discuss Gee's opinions, but a source to substantiate a claim on the earliest date humans ate seafood doesn't have to mention AAT. It only has to mention human ancestors, evidence and a (reliable) date. Aquapess (talk) 16:43, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────And what I'm saying is that the fact-checking doesn't fail on that basis because, it seems to me, you misunderstand Gee's point which is that seafood (from the sea) was first eaten with fondness (as a major food source) only from ca. 200,000 years ago. I have seen evidence provided by other editors on this page that serious coastal settlements date back to approx. that time, and I have seen no evidence for serious coastal dwelling before then. That doesn't mean it didn't happen, but I don't think Gee is incorrect in using this as a convenient marking point. Neither of your sources point to evidence for settlement nor high levels of seafood (from the sea) consumption -- and thus neither, I contend, directly contradict Gee's general point as I read it and as we explain it in the article. If Gee was wrong about the time estimate for an agreed upon age for evidence of serious fondness for seafood, then I would like to see sources that are better than the ones you describe which clearly demonstrate such. Otherwise, we're just filling in a timeline of accoutrements associated with water, food, etc. in human/hominid history. Timeline of human and hominid interaction with water this article/section is not. jps (talk) 17:02, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

"Primary source of food"[edit]

Hello, just wish to discuss the editing conflict over the statement

Niemitz's hypothesis places the wading bipedalism of hominids as occurring in the late Miocene,[47] being a primary diet source for any group of humans is, at oldest, from 200,000 years ago.[51]

Reference 51 is a Guardian article[2].
I'm claiming WP:OR because
1) The article does not state that seafood was a primary diet source for humans. It says only "our fondness for seafood is much more recent, emerging, as far as we know, with the origin of our own species around 200,000 years ago". Therefore the source does not make the statement for which it is being used
2) There is no reference to confirm the evidence that the earliest "fondness" of seafood by early humans was 200,000 years ago. Therefore it is not a testable, scientific source of information
3) There is research (which was available at the time), demonstrating that early humans ate seafood as early as 1.95 million years ago. [3] This is from a reputable source, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
4) The AAH does not state that humans exclusively subsisted on an aquatic diet. It merely states that in addition to hunting, early humans supplemented their diet with substantial amounts of seafood when game was not available. It is a common misconception of AAH that it means humans ONLY subsisted on the sea, and modern day hunter gatherers also do not eat game every day, but supplement their diet with other food sources.

Therefore, the Guardian article should be removed with its factually incorrect statement, and updated with information from a scientific source


It's a little rich to claim that an article from 2010 is an "update" to an article published in 2013, but I agree arguing over whether "fondness" is properly contextualized is as a primary diet source is hard to determine. Still, it seems a reasonable interpretation to me, but if others want to explain an alternative interpretation of Gee (not just stick-in-the-mudism), I'm all ears.
You cannot complain that the Guardian article doesn't have a source. We are not editors of the Guardian article. We just report what it says.
Whether humans or other apes ate aquatic food is incidental to the question of AAH (see above). More importantly, the PNAS article does not mention AAH.
AAH cannot work as stated with supplementation (although you don't explain what you believe "substantial" supplementation actually is). The point is that in order for AAH to work, you must have an evolutionary pressure. At the point where it is claimed that simple supplementation of the diet with aquatic foods is consistent with the hypothesis, there is no longer any difference between AAH as an idea and normal statements about human anthropological development. We are writing an article about how AAH has been argued (mostly by Morgan and Hardy) and what people have said about it. That rehabilitation has not been occurring with reference to the hypothesis itself is something we cannot do anything about. One source mentions AAH. The other does not. We can only go by the sources which mention AAH.
jps (talk) 17:41, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
1) No, but the article strongly implies it through the context. We are not robots, and we are not expected to read like robots. If we were, we would not be asked to summarize what sources say.
2) Not our problem. See jps's response.
3) "early hominids" != "early humans". Homo Sapiens first appeared in the fossil record 200kya and while the earliest Homo lines appeared 2.8mya, the source you cited specified "hominins" which is the same thing as "hominids".
4) See the section above. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:00, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Hey guys, thanks for the quick reply, unforuntately you cannot simultaneously say that this article lacks scientific basis, and then refuse to add in a scientific article when it doesn't agree with your opinion without losing credibility.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Aquapess (talkcontribs) 20:58, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm not real concerned about my credibility with you, and I've never even suggested that we can't use that particular article. All I've done is point out that you drastically misrepresented what it said. That doesn't really say anything bad about my credibility. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:02, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
If "that particular article" refers to the one published in PNAS, I will suggest that we can't use it here, because (as already pointed out) it does not mention the AAH, much less assert that the reported findings support it. Making or implying a connection not explicitly stated by a source violates WP:OR and WP:SYNTH. Them's the rules. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 21:23, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Dear all, thank you for your quick and polite responses. That's ok, I've proved my point, that when a tenuous, unreferenced source agrees with your opinion, then "heavily imply" is ok, but if its pro AAT then it's WP:OR, thank you :) Aquapess (talk) 21:34, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I would respectfully suggest that you re-read the above responses, as you clearly do not (or choose not to) understand what they say -- nor, apparently, do you have a cogent grasp of the guidelines under which WP operates. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 21:42, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree with the good Doctor. You haven't proven anything except that you're not listening to anyone else. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:46, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for your comment Doctor Joe. From one doctor to another, I think you can agree that "heavily imply" would not wash in any text book.
Lastly, the Guardian article, as I stated above, was being used to date when humans first ate seafood. Even if the PNAS paper is contested, other subsequent research has also shown human seafood consumption to be earlier to roughly 500,000 years ago [1] quote "found evidence for freshwater shellfish consumption by hominins" from the abstract. This still means that the Guardian article is out of date, indeed, the author qualified his statement with "as far as we know" because he knows science moves along and new evidence can be found all the timeAquapess (talk) 21:57, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
"heavily imply" would not wash in any text book. It would go over a hell of a lot better than "early hominids were human", or "humans were around 2mya" or even "humans were around 500kya". Any of those would get the writer fired and blacklisted in a heartbeat. This isn't even anthropology 101, this is stuff I learned in middle school. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:08, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Hi MjonlnirPants. I don't really understand what you mean, I think there is some confusion here. The aquatic phase happened some time between when early human ancestors split from Pan and before they became anatomically human. If, as in the quote, it happened in the late Miocene, that would be well before the appearance of the genus Homo. We're talking about early human ancestry, not anatomically modern humans. I think perhaps either "humans" was added as an error, or the second half of that sentence needs to be removed entirely. Of course the earliest time point when evidence of seafood consumption by humans can be found can be no earlier than the appearance of humans themselves, otherwise it's just tautologyAquapess (talk) 00:04, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, and your edit stated that "humans" were eating an aquatic diet 2mya. Which is bullshit. If you'd said that "early hominids" were eating that diet, that would have matched the source. Why do I have to explain this to you? (This still doesn't address whether this is due or relevant or neither, however.) ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 01:05, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
No, humans was in the original edit. I didn't add it, I merely changed the date and added a reference. You can check it if you likeAquapess (talk) 08:08, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Actually, re-reading the Guardian passage, it says that although humans diverged from other hominins 5 mya, evidence of seafood consumption at the time was only datable back to the emergence of humans (this is not defined what that means, because 200,000 ya doesn't correspond either to the appearance of Homo or Anatomically Modern Humans - AMH).
So if I understand you correctly, if we change the terminology to "human ancestors" instead of just "humans" then we can reinsert the sentence with the PNAS reference and the correct date? Because although they state "hominin", the authors clearly imply that this has impact on our knowledge of human evolution, stating could have played an important role in the evolution of larger brains in the early history of our lineageAquapess (talk) 08:17, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Your edit caused the article to make a demonstrably false claim. Not only that, but a claim whose falsehood could be demonstrated by a middle schooler. I don't care if you re-worded the existing text, composed new text, or concentrated real hard until the text appeared on its own: when you put a ridiculously bullshit claim in wikivoice on a page where I can see it, I'm going to revert you. Every single time, no questions asked. As will the vast majority of other editors here. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:16, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

As far as correcting the text and re-inserting it; as I already pointed out, there are issues with whether or not this information is due and relevant. The AAH is not mentioned in either of the papers you cited, whereas it is mentioned in the guardian source. I'm not as opposed as jps is to this sort of inclusion, but that doesn't mean I'm for it, either. If you have a good argument for inclusion, and can propose a use that doesn't reek of synth, then I'm okay with it. But you need to convince me before I'll support it. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:39, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for your polite response again. The problem is that in this case the Guardian article was being used to give a date of when humans first ate seafood - for this, an article doesn't have to mention AAT. It only has to mention humans (or their ancestors), seafood consumption and evidence that is reliably datable, with an estimated date. For example a page on the dinosaur theory of human evolution may have a sentence on when feathers first appeared in the fossil record. This sentence does not have to reference a dinosaur/bird evolution theory page, only the original research paper of the earliest fossil where feathers are found.
You guys are welcome to insert the Guardian article elsewhere if you would like to quote about Henry Gee's opinions, but it's not a reputable source to pin down a specific time point in human evolution according to wiki's rulesAquapess (talk) 16:38, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
in this case the Guardian article was being used to give a date of when humans first ate seafood No, it isn't now and never was used that way. And yes, it is a reliable source according the WP:IRS. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:44, 3 May 2017 (UTC)


Cite error: There are <ref group=lower-alpha> tags or {{efn}} templates on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=lower-alpha}} template or {{notelist}} template (see the help page).

  1. ^ a b Joordens, Josephine (12 February 2015). "Homo erectus at Trinil on Java used shells for tool production and engraving". Nature. 518: 228. Retrieved 02/05/2017.  More than one of |pages= and |page= specified (help); Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ Gee, Henry (2013-05-07). "Aquatic apes are the stuff of creationism, not evolution". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-03-16. 
  3. ^ Braun, David; Harris, John; Levin, Naomi; McCoy, Jack; Herries, Andy; Bamford, Marion; Bishop, Laura; Richmond, Brian; Kibunjiai, Mzalendo (23 April 2010). "Early hominin diet included diverse terrestrial and aquatic animals 1.95 Ma in East Turkana, Kenya". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107 (22): 10002. Retrieved 2 May 2017.