Talk:Aquatic ape hypothesis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Evolutionary biology (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of WikiProject Evolutionary biology, an attempt at building a useful set of articles on evolutionary biology and its associated subfields such as population genetics, quantitative genetics, molecular evolution, phylogenetics, evolutionary developmental biology. It is distinct from the WikiProject Tree of Life in that it attempts to cover patterns, process and theory rather than systematics and taxonomy). If you would like to participate, there are some suggestions on this page (see also Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ for more information) or visit WikiProject Evolutionary biology
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Primates (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Primates, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Primates on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Skepticism (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Skepticism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of science, pseudoscience, pseudohistory and skepticism related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Anthropology (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Anthropology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Anthropology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the importance scale.
WikiProject Human Genetic History (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Human Genetic History, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of genetic genealogy, population genetics, and associated theory and methods articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the importance scale.
WikiProject Palaeontology (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Palaeontology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of palaeontology-related topics and create a standardized, informative, comprehensive and easy-to-use resource on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Suggestion - new subsection - anthropological consensus on human evolution[edit]

I'm still trying to do something about this hopeless, negatively biased article. I propose to lead the section about the actual hypothesis/ses by summarizing the contemporary consensus on human evolution, as expressed by the scientific field of anthropology. This is to illustrate the background for Elaine Morgan's AAH, since she based her work on what she perceived as shortcomings to parts of that consensus, straw man arguments and whatnot. Whether we then further detail her challenging of this consensus in the following sections is for a different discussion. If you skeptics really desire an optimal, non-POV article detailing what the hell all this boohah is about, let's start with this, since it should contain the fewest controversies (unless creationists are also hanging out in here, which is not bloody unlikely the way things have been going).

Background - anthropological consensus on human evolution
Family tree showing the extant hominoids: humans (genus Homo), chimpanzees and bonobos (genus Pan), gorillas (genus Gorilla), orangutans (genus Pongo), and gibbons (four genera of the family Hylobatidae: Hylobates, Hoolock, Nomascus, and Symphalangus).
Great Rift Valley in East Africa, key to human evolution.
File:Paranthropus on Plains art.jpg
A classic depiction of the consensus on the earliest evolution of hominins in East Africa, here Paranthropus.
See also: Human evolution

Modern humans, Homo sapiens, developed from earlier forms found as fossils at various locations around the world, seeing an early concentration in East Africa. Other remnants from early humans such as tools, foods, dwellings, etc., have also been detected. Combined, these finds present a partial image of the process, that developed the species Homo sapiens.[1]

From the collective work of anthropology, and in later years also genetics, established consensus states, that humans belong in the biological tribe Hominini, this in the family of Hominidae (the great apes), this in the order of primates, this in the class of mammals. Humans are closely related to, in order of closest kinship, the great ape genera chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and further distant the family of gibbons. Hominini includes the subtribe Australopithecina with the genera Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, Ardipithecus, Paranthropus, Australopithecines; and the subtribe Hominina, encompassing the genus Homo, some of its species being Homo habilis, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, the Neanderthals and modern humans, the latter being the only extant species.[2] There is still some uncertainty about the interrelation between the known Hominin fossils; new finds can still drastically rewrite the human family tree, most recently with Sahelanthropus. Contemporary anthropology estimates, that the direct ancestors of modern humans split from a common ancestor to chimpanzees somewhere between 4 and 8 million years ago in Africa; the fossil ape Sahelanthropus tchadensis which lived some 7 million years ago in Chad is considered the earliest possible homininin.[3]

Since the breakthrough of Darwin and Wallace's theory of evolution in the 19th century, it has been debated why humans have features that distinguish them from their nearest evolutionary relatives; most notably by being near-furless, employing upright bipedal stance on their hind limbs, and having the perhaps most complex brain in the animal kingdom.[4] A wide range of difficult to corroborate hypotheses have been presented as to the evolutionary background of the unique features of modern humans; for human bipedalism e.g. altered carrying behavior, improved energy efficiency, improved thermal regulation, altered social behavior and increased dominance behavior.[5]

The human split from the lineage of the chimpanzees is linked to the geological formation of the East African mountain range Great Rift Valley that extends from Djibouti to Mozambique. In this region are found many of the key fossils of the earliest hominins, leaving it to be considered the cradle of humanity. The most widely considered hypothesis is that woodland dwelling, brachiating hominoids, specifically on the eastern side of the mountain range, gradually lost their habitat to more open areas, for instance grasslands, and that this and other changes forced these hominoids to develop the shapes, that gradually resulted in modern humans.[6]

In recent decades, the traditional image of human origin having taken place in grasslands (e.g. the African savannah) has been challenged, since particularly the oldest homininin fossils are found alongside fossilized fauna and flora from traditional woodland habitats, rather than from grasslands, e.g. the some 4.4 million year old fossil Ardi, an Ardipithecus ramidus.[7]


  1. ^ Leakey, Richard E. (1994). The Origin Of Humankind. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0297815037. 
  2. ^ Stringer, C.B. (1994). "Evolution of Early Humans". In Steve Jones, Robert Martin & David Pilbeam. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-521-32370-3.  Also ISBN 978-0-521-46786-5 (paperback)
  3. ^ Klages, Arthur (2008) "Sahelanthropus tchadensis: An Examination of its Hominin Affinities and Possible Phylogenetic Placement," Totem: The University of Western Ontario Journal of Anthropology: Vol. 16: Iss. 1, Article 5.
  4. ^ Huxley T.H. 1863. Evidence as to Man's place in nature. Williams & Norgate, London. p114–115
  5. ^ Lovejoy, C.O. (1988). "Evolution of Human walking". Scientific American. 259 (5): 82–89. 
  6. ^ "BBC Science & Nature - The Evolution of Man". Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  7. ^ "New Fossil Hominids of Ardipithecus ramidus from Gona, Afar, Ethiopia". Archived from the original on 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 

signing (with falsified date to match the original conclusion of this discussion) for archiver. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 06:05, 3 November 2013‎ (UTC)

Occam's razor[edit]

The attractiveness of believing in simplistic single-cause explanations over the much more complex, but better-supported models with multiple causality has been cited as a primary reason for the popularity of the idea with non-experts.

Er, Occam's razor, anyone? Viriditas (talk) 22:04, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

The clue here is 'better supported'. An explanation which isn't supported by verifiable evidence may be simple - that doesn't make it right. Maybe the wording could do with tweaking though. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:42, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
The source is also 18 years old. Viriditas (talk) 22:59, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Very much enjoy it when anti-AATers say "better supported" and then offer no examples. Yet to find any evidence that "better supports" why humans are the only great apes with deposition of significant subcutaneous fat and loss of hair cover, more common in our aquatic mammal distant cousins — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aquapess (talkcontribs) 10:11, 9 September 2015 Aquapess (talk) 10:21, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
On a further note Andy, one of your favourite comments is that AAT can't be true because there's a general consensus at the moment - that doesn't make it wrong either. Copernicus and Heliocentricism anyone? How about Semmelweis and hand washing? It was his own fellow doctors that insisted he was wrong and millions of people died as a result, and he died peniless in a mental assylum. Think how also contentious it was only 20 years ago to believe that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Revolutions are made by thinking outside the box, not going along with the status quo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aquapess (talkcontribs) 9 September 2015‎
Firstly, I have never stated that "AAT can't be true because there's a general consensus", and secondly, comparisons with Copernicus are ten-a-penny on Wikipedia article talk pages. Every other purveyor of snake-oil, perpetual-motion-machines and 'new physics to prove Einstein wrong' claims to be Copernicus reincarnated. They can't all be right, and accordingly Wikipedia has to stick with the tried and tested method of waiting for the revolution, and then reporting what is in orbit around where. And frankly, as 'revolutions' go, one that merely overturns the scientific consensus on how wet our distant ancestors got doesn't seem that revolutionary. Maybe though that is merely a jaded perspective of one who once actually believed in changing the future, rather than the past (not that I succeeded in either). AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:31, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Is there a specific edit to the article someone wishes to propose? Otherwise this appears clearly to be WP:NOTFORUM and should be closed. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 12:55, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Do editorial changes have to be specific? Or can the general thrust of the article be discussed? Isn't the discussion about what the point of view of the article should be? Should the article help pooh-pooh the theory? Or strike a more neutral tone? (talk) 04:45, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Another example of revolutionary change in scientific orthodoxy is plate tectonics. lack of an overt statement that AAH must be wrong because the scientific consensus says so, does not alter the fact that that is at least part of the overall thrust of the article as it now stands. The Occam's razor point seems a strong one to me. And being grumpy and disappointed is in itself not an argument ... so my children often tell me, anyway ... (talk) 13:53, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Article outdated in name and content[edit]

This article is outdated both in its name and approach. I have just listened to part 1 of a BBC radio 4 programme at [1] by David Attenborough, which states that it is now called the "Waterside ape theory", and is increasingly accepted by mainstream scientists. (Part 2 of the radio program on the latest evidence is tomorrow 15 September.) The subject is outside my field, but is very important in human evolution and badly needs rewriting by someone competent. Dudley Miles (talk) 09:11, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

I have so looked forward to this programm, remembering the laughter that David Attenborough faced going to a symposium on the subject a couple of years ago. At the moment a redirect would be the first step, one that I will try to do (1st time), and it will be interesting to see what all the blog writers now say about the possibility of the hypothesis being feasible.Edmund Patrickconfer 09:28, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Reference to peer reviewed paper in a reputable scholarly journal please? --NeilN talk to me 09:33, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Waterside ape theory search will give this page as first choice. Not sure redirect necessary? Edmund Patrickconfer 09:36, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
NeilN No peer papers found yet but [this link] to the programme will have to do at thye moment, if you can listen to it, not sure where you are geographicially! Edmund Patrickconfer 09:43, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
And does Attenborough refer to peer reviewed papers? Otherwise, he's not qualified to make the determination. --NeilN talk to me 09:48, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
He does, quite a few times, in relationship to particular parts of the theory alongside those for the theory as a whole. Edmund Patrickconfer 09:57, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Okay, if you could provide the names of the papers and the journals they appear in then we could probably dig them up. --NeilN talk to me 10:01, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Attenborough has been promoting this for years, nothing new in that. The claim that it is "gaining traction" is unsubstantiated and unsubstantiatable because it is not true.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:04, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Today's programme was on the history of the controversy, tomorrow's on the latest research. Checking the papers (and maybe books) of the scientists interviewed should provide reliable sources. 10:07, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I predict it is going to be research by the same little group of scientists who have been pushing the theory on this very page for the past decade or so - Vanechoutte, Kuliakis, Verhaegen.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:14, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Just so no one jumps ahead, if you want this article renamed, a requested move discussion will have to occur. --NeilN talk to me 10:15, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Beginning to collate a list, and great to see that “At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counter-intuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.” is still relevent! Edmund Patrickconfer 10:12, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

A start - Episode one papers after one repeat listen on way to work!!! May not be complete and times into programme are in brackets.
  • Columbia Earth Institute 2010 (04.30)in reference to percentage of humanity that lives in coastal region.
  • Scientific American 2010 (25.22) University of Arizona cover story Early Human Dependence on Shellfish on coast of South Africa in ref to recent - 160,000 years ago - history.
  • Scars of Evolution - series 2004 - (39.32) testable predictions in this case Vernix caseosa

is this what you are looking for? Hopefully others will add and it will at least improve the article. Edmund Patrickconfer 10:55, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

No, those are all popular press coverage, what would be required would be actual peer reviewed academic articles suggesting that any version of the Aquatic hypothesis has serious backing in the paleoanthropological scientific community.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:37, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
My limited research on Scientific American was to their website - which may well be lies - "Generally speaking, Scientific American and Scientific American MIND present ideas that have already been published in the peer-reviewed technical literature. We do not publish new theories or results of original research." and of course in this particular case especially so. Columbia Earth Institute is part of Columbia University, hopefully for student numbers they are popular, even so I would like to think they took professional care as to what they and the scientists involved published especially if not peer reviewed. Actually (although I have a form of dylexic so in my case my reading is sometimes open to misinterpretation, so apologies if so, but) the peer review does not have to have serious backing in the paleoanthropological scientific community, what it must do is peer review research into the theory it does not need to back it.Edmund Patrickconfer 12:59, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
No, those are popular science outlets that publish articles of interest to the general reader. This kind of publication is never a reliable or useful gyuide to the scientific standing of any particular theory. Unless supported by sources published in respected academic journals there is no basis whatsoever for claiming that any kind of aquatic evolutionary scenario is gaining acceptance. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:20, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
On an issue such as this there will be peer-reviewed articles on both sides. Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (natural sciences) points out that such articles often report the author's own research, and should be treated with caution as primary sources. The guidance also says that articles in Scientific American are often summaries of a field by a recognised expert; we have to look at each source on its merits, not adopt hard and fast rules. In this case, there are experts on both sides of the argument, so we should be reporting both sides, not taking a POV view that the theory is wrong, as the article does now. Dudley Miles (talk) 14:41, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
There really isnt. You are misrepresenting the status of the hypothesis in your comment. There are no major experts of human evolution that support the AAH - this is simply false. The one actual expert who did was the late Philip Tobias. There are hardly any peer reviewed articles on the AAH: Vaneechoutte, Verhaegen and Kuliakis have recently published a few articles in minor peer reviewed journals and organized a conference on the topic that they have promoted very much (but which didnt feature support from any major experts), but these articles and conference do not show that the theory is gaining traction - and there are vastly many more sources that completely ignore the AAH (you will not find AAH mentioned in any textbooks on human evolution for example or in reviews of advances in the field). You need to read some more actual sources about human evolution and paleoanthropology (reliable academic review articles or textbooks rather than popular science articles which are notorious for pushing interestingnew findings and theories and ignoreing more boring mainstream views and established knowledge) before you make claims about the relative scientific support. This is a VERY clear fringe hypothesis with almost zero percent scientific standing. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 06:10, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
It is true that the theory is generally ignored in popular books on human evolution. I have read many books by Chris Stringer, Ian Tattersall, Donald Johanson, Spencer Wells etc, and it is rarely referred to. However that does not mean that it lacks heavyweight support. Attenborough's programme had quotes from Richard Wrangham, professor of human evolution at Harvard, saying humans learnt to walk bipedally in water; Michael Crawford, director of the institute of brain chemistry and human nutrition at Imperial College, saying that marine foods were necessary to the expansion of the brain (and a quote from Stringer disagreeing); Will Archer of the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology saying that human ancestors were eating catfish 2 million years ago; Professor Naama Goren-Inbar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem saying that diet at the 700,000 year old Gesher Benot Ya'aqov site in Israel included marine nuts which required diving several metres. One resarcher had trawled the Journal of Human Evolution for references to marine resources. She found almost nothing up to 2002, then a gradual increase until 2014 when they had a special issue on aquatic resources and their importance for human brain evolution. This special issue should be a good place to look at the state of expert opinion. It is obviously a minority view, but one held by serious scientists. The Wiki article at present reads like a blog by an opponent, not an encyclopedia article. It needs revision by someone with no axe to grind on either side. I do not intend to take it on as I am almost the only editor working on Anglo-Saxon history and there are plenty of people interested in evolution. Dudley Miles (talk) 11:28, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes the fact that a theory is ignored by summaries of the mainstream view does mean that a view lacks support. It is indeed the best possible evidence. I have not seen Wrangham argueing that human bidpedality is an adaptation to water - if he believes this then presumably he has published this somewhere in a peer reviewed - which would certainly be a notable proponent. So please bring a source that is actually by Wrangham to the table. Evidence of prehistoric humans eating crustaceans, catfish or other marine foods is not the AAH - which specifically posits adaptations to a watery milieu. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 11:56, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
As I said, I do not want to divert from working on Anglo-Saxon history. Hopefully someone will do the research to make the article more balanced. Otherwise it will remain a one-sided argument against the theory. Dudley Miles (talk) 12:19, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Given the theory's standing it would be hard for it not to read as an argument against the theory and observe WP:NPOV and WP:FRINGE.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:25, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Also I think it is necessary to separate the AAH hypothesis (which suggests that water has been the origin of a suit of specific adaptations - the umbrella hypothesis) from the idea that water and occasional wading may have been related to one or a couple of specific adaptations. Certainly serious scholars may entertain the second scenario, but not the first.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:41, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thank you Dudley Miles for the work in providing a informative description of the second episode. It is true that the article is not neutral in its words and presentation, though like you there is limitations to what I can do, and I would have an axe to grind, mainly the total denial of any possibility of this theory being correct or partly correct and given obviously the number of scientists and/or professors that have just committed a foolish mistake of expressing support for parts of the theory I am not alone. It has and I am sure will continue to lead to wonderful evening conversations with fellow workers especially archaeologists! Once I have finished my work on Mathew Hopkins and Edmund the Martyr I may well take a deep breath and.....Edmund Patrickconfer 12:29, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

I am very glad to hear you are working on Edmund. I know very little about East Anglian history. Any chance of seeing it at FAC? I aim to get Æthelflæd to FAC soon. Dudley Miles (talk) 14:04, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
moved conversation to my talk page more appropiate. Edmund Patrickconfer 14:40, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I found this article by Wrangham, Cheney, Seyfarth and Sarmiento in which they do propose that lacustrine wading (in a savannah context!) provided necessary preadaptations for bipedality. "Wrangham, Richard, Dorothy Cheney, Robert Seyfarth, and Esteban Sarmiento. "Shallow‐water habitats as sources of fallback foods for hominins." American Journal of Physical Anthropology 140, no. 4 (2009): 630-642." This is however part of his somewhat theory about underground storage organs (tubers) being an important resource for early hominins - so it is hard to assess how the reception of the idea has been. It has 70 citations on google scholar, but I havent looked through them.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:36, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Link to site with malware[edit]

The sentence "Conversely, both Morgan and Algis Kuliukas have accused Moore of distorting Morgan and other AAH-proponents presentations from the debate, using only little referencing" is followed by two citations. The first of these needs to be removed. When I clicked on it, my browser left a message stating, "The site ahead contains malware Attackers currently on might attempt to install dangerous programs on your computer that steal or delete your information (for example, photos, passwords, messages, and credit cards)." FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 10:03, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

I’ve added a Wayback Machine URL from a few months before the given access date. More recent captures suggest the site has been unmaintained or abandoned for the last year or two.—Odysseus1479 15:32, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:37, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

BBC Radio 4 Documentary 14th/15th September 2016[edit]

Having just listened to the two-part mini documentary series from the BBC on this subject, isn't it time this page was updated a little to make it a bit more positive?

Please can impartial readers listen to the documentary and make some appropriate amendments?

AlgisKuliukas (talk) 14:04, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Why should the BBC documentary have any effect on wikipedia's coverage?·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:15, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Because more compelling evidence was presented. The BBC is not the same as The National Enquirer or Fox News. JMcC (talk) 17:11, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
BBC and other news sources are not very reliable sources for science topics, especially not for the scientific standing of controversial theories or hypotheses.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:05, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree that a broadcast is not a suitable reference for a topic of this type, but it was very useful in pointing to good RS sources, particularly the publications of Richard Wrangham and the 2014 special issue of the Journal of Human Evolution. It was also useful in drawing attention to a far better name, 'waterside ape'. The current name comically exaggerates the claims of the theory, and has always put me off it. It would of course be necessary to check how generally the new name is now used before proposing any move of the article name. Dudley Miles (talk) 08:52, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The increase in the number of [visitors] to this page does show that there is a real requirement to bring the article up to date, with for example a name change, which as DM says is a better name and reflects the hypothesis some what better.Edmund Patrickconfer 12:28, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

The name change is impossible, the waterside/wading hypothesis and the AAH are different things - that some former AAH supporters are trying to shift the goalposts to frame their theory in a way that is more acceptable is not reason to change it.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:36, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
It might be possible to have an article that could be titled something like "the role of water in hominin evolution" that discusses both the AAH and the wading hypothesis. But it wouldnt be very different from the current article since none of the water-related adaptation scenarios are commonly accepted·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:44, 16 September 2016 (UTC).
I think name change is premature and not too important. Sure the theory is changing but it is recognizably the same. To answer an earlier comment, the name of David Attenborough should be enough to add some weight to the Radio 4 programmes. But the article itself is dated and leaves out many lines of argument that have been brought in over the years. Chris55 (talk) 10:08, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
I disagree, Chris. The name change is key for me. The "aquatic ape" was supposed to be an ironic term (of the apes, which are most definitely not aquatic, we are the most aquatic) but it would appear that the irony flew over the heads of an entire field. It seems they are determined that it must actually mean something extreme and ridiculous. It is, of course, the worst kind of straw man argument, but if we change the name it shows we are serious about this point. Elaine Morgan and I wrote a chapter in the 2011 book "50 Years after Hardy: Waterside Hypotheses of Human Evolution" on this very subject where we defined the new label which is, note, in the plural. [Kuliukas, AV , Morgan, E (2011). Aquatic scenarios in the thinking on human evolution: What are they and how do they compare?. In: Vaneechoutte, M , Verhaegen, M , Kuliukas, AV (eds.), (2011). Was Man More Aquatic In The Past? Fifty Years After Alister Hardy: Waterside Hypothesis Of Human Evolution. Bentham (Basel)]
Alice Roberts cites Foley & Lahr as some kind of refutation but it clearly fails to understand this point as it seems to deliberately obfuscate and muddle arguments from different ideas. (See my published reply to that... [Kuliukas, AV Removing the “hermetic seal” from the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis: Waterside Hypotheses of Human Evolution. Advances in Anthropology 4:164-167, (2014).])
This latest episode in this long running saga - the BBC documentary and the response to it - shows how narrow minded and entrenched anthropology has become on this. More fool them. I think it is turning into a scandal of Piltdown Proportions and egg will be on their collective faces when the truth on all this finally comes out as it inevitably will. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 23:21, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
"The name change is impossible" - what? Who are you to tell the proponents of an idea what they can or cannot call it? The "AAH" is a subset of Waterside Hypotheses of Human Evolution, so they're not very different, really. Because people like you never got the irony of the term (of the apes which are not at all aquatic, we are the most aquatic) some of us decided long ago that it should be re-labelled. The "shifting the goalposts" allegation is nothing but a slur. Not a good sign from someone who is pretending to be impartial.
Kuliukas AV, Morgan E, (2011). Aquatic scenarios in the thinking on human evolution: What are they and how do they compare?. In: Vaneechoutte M, Verhaegen M, Kuliukas AV, (eds.), (2011). Was Man More Aquatic In The Past? Fifty Years After Alister Hardy: Waterside Hypothesis Of Human Evolution. Bentham (Basel)

AlgisKuliukas (talk) 07:39, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

If you actually had an interest in participating in our collective goal of improving this encyclopedia you would know that the naming of article follows our naming policy which states that we must use the most commonly used name as the title for articles. The fact that you have tried to rebrand the theory by proposing other names for it is therefore irrelevant as long as these names have not caught on in wide usage by other scholars. For the name change to be possible you would have to demonstrate that the proposed name is more common than the one it currently has.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:45, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough. But there are many subjects that have multiple names and Wikipedia seems to be rather elegant at handling those. You wouldn't have a vested interest in keeping the name the same as it can be more easily dismissed that way, would you? Pretty much every comment you make here is a negative one, so it wouldn't surprise me. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 08:02, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
That aspersion is somewhat humorous coming from you who has invested your entire career and reputation in defending a controversial hypothesis. What vested interest is it that you are insinuating I might have? ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:53, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
You don't like this idea. You've railed against it here for years, I'd say obsessively so. That's reason enough, I'd say. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 10:02, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

POV tag[edit]

Cmeiqnj, can you please explain why you added a POV tag to the article? --NeilN talk to me 14:33, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

See the section above. Clearly several readers disagree that the tone of the article as it currently stands is consistent with NPOV. The third paragraph of the lead seems obviously problematic: it presents opinions as undisputable fact ("the evolutionary fossil record does not support any such proposal"), throws around words like "simplistic" and "non-experts", and relies entirely on two evidently partial sources.
The AAH is one of many hypotheses attempting to explain human evolution through one single causal mechanism, but the evolutionary fossil record does not support any such proposal.[1][2] The notion itself has been criticized by experts as being internally inconsistent, having less explanatory power than its proponents claim, and suffering from the feature that alternative terrestrial hypotheses are much better supported. The attractiveness of believing in simplistic single-cause explanations over the much more complex, but better-supported models with multiple causality has been cited as a primary reason for the popularity of the idea with non-experts.[2] Advocacy for the AAH has been labeled by commentators such as science writer Brian Regal as being more ideological and political rather than scientific and hence, pseudoscientific.[1]


  1. ^ a b Brian Regal (2009). Pseudoscience: A Critical Encyclopedia: A Critical Encyclopedia. pp. 25–27. ISBN 9780313355080. 
  2. ^ a b Langdon JH (1997). "Umbrella hypotheses and parsimony in human evolution: a critique of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis". J. Hum. Evol. 33 (4): 479–94. doi:10.1006/jhev.1997.0146. PMID 9361254. 
Also, the Langdon 1997 reference is cited no less than eighteen times in the text as it stands! That article is not a disinterested review of the evidence for and against the theory; it is a position paper which merely uses the aquatic/waterside ape theory as part of its rhetorical ammunition in pursuit of a broader point. Somebody seems to have given WP:UNDUE weight to sources arguing along a particular line. (A quick Google search turns up a couple of direct rejoinders to Langdon's paper, neither of which is cited in our article [2][3].) Given that there are such problems even in the lead, and given the discussion above, I think it is appropriate to alert the reader that the article may have some issues with neutrality. Cmeiqnj (talk) 15:04, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
The present paragraph re the recent BBC programme is not remotely neutral. Considerations are "being at last given the attention they deserve", uncited. "showed how much new research is increasingly swinging scientific opinion" is someone's opinion of the radio programme. It can't possibly be cited _to_ the programme. Pinkbeast (talk) 15:48, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. This wasn't neutral either so I've removed the entire paragraph. --NeilN talk to me 16:08, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Thirded, full of editorializing and undue weight to Attenborough who is not an authority or a representative of scientific consensu.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:45, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
In describing the theory, the lead says only that it is the "idea that the evolutionary ancestors of modern humans spent a period of time adapting to a semiaquatic existence". The rest is secondary. The lead should contain more about the theory, and leave the rest till later. Arrivisto (talk) 09:31, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Again, I'm unsure why somebody who has devoted his life to the study of all life forms in the world should be regarded as "not an authority" on evolution. Attenborough has physically met gorillas, chimps, orangutans, which is more than can be said for most of us. And AAT relies heavily on comparative anatomy between our closest great ape relatives and aquatic mammals. Therefore as it stands, Attenborough seems the best qualified to comment on comparative evolution of humans, but that's just my opinion
Furthermore, the Radio 4 piece was extremely well researched, and cited a number of recent research papers, including ones from Nature. Genuinely curious whether either NeilN or Maunus have listened to both full shows? (talk) 10:11, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Lastly, such heavy reliance on one 20-year old criticism (Langdon's) suggests a weak argument from the anti-AAT camp. There have been no rebuttals to the latest research mentioned in Attenborough's show. Surely the point of science is to progress with new information, not to hang on to old ideas of the past? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:14, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

A very high quality source that should get a very good amount of weight[edit]

This source is extremely good because it gives an assessment of the status of different waterside hypotheses relative to eachother, and to the mainstream land-based scenario. It is a secondary source published in a highly respected journal - one of the best possible kinds of sources for any scientific topic.

Foley, Robert, and Marta Mirazón Lahr. "The role of “the aquatic” in human evolution: constraining the aquatic ape hypothesis." Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 23, no. 2 (2014): 56-59.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:00, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Not really. It's unscholarly (it doesn't draw from the latest scholarly publication on the subjects by the authors of these ideas themelves, not even the chapter in the book that is exactly pertinent to the subject of their paper) and peddles the usual mix of misunderstandings and (I suspect deliberate) obfuscations. Classic straw man. That "Maunus" rates this paper as "very high quality" is very illuminating. If you are going to cite this paper, why not my reply?
Kuliukas, AV Removing the “hermetic seal” from the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis: Waterside Hypotheses of Human Evolution. Advances in Anthropology 4:164-167, (2014).
It gives more credence to Jim Moore's (not the anthropologist, the amateur self-styled journalistic investigator) web site than it does to a scholarly work written by a majority of professional scientists. If a student did that in an essay it'd get a red line through it. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 09:38, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
In Wikipedia we rank articles not according to how much they agree with us or whether they cite research we like, but according to the degree of professional review they have been subject to, and the status of the publisher (whether publishing house or journal) that has published them. "Evolutionary Anthropology" is one of, if not the, primary journal for studies of human evolution. This can be seen from its impact factor for example 2.4. "Advances in Anthropology" which published your response, is not in the same tier with an impact factor of 0.40. One might ask why your rebuttal wasnt published in the same journal as the article you are responding to?I assume that you did submit it there.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:43, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, one might ask why and the answer would be rather obvious. The editors at Evolutionary Anthropology, like you, clearly don't like this idea ether. Like you, they'd rather wish this idea would just go away. Like you, they clearly also didn't have a problem that it gave primacy to Jim Moore's (not the anthropologist) web site than a scholarly textbook. Just like the last "great refutation" Langdon (1997) which also failed to draw anything from Roede et al, published six years earlier. Who needs scholarliness when you can distort a perfectly plausible hypothesis with distortions and misrepresentations and know you'll still get published in the top journals? AlgisKuliukas (talk) 10:08, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Excellent, that is all we need to know. If the editors and reviewers at the top evolutionary anthropology journal did not find your rebuttal or critique convincing or meritorious of publication, then neither should wikipedia.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:11, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Have you read my critique of Foley & Lahr? You haven't have you? All you care about is that there's (finally) some attempt to reject the damned "AAH" and the impact factor of the journal that published it is higher than the one that replied. So, why don't you agree to citing Joordens et al paper? Nature has the highest impact factor of all. Suddenly, the rules change, right? That's different. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 08:07, 27 September 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:8003:8540:B300:9CCB:F5EA:C687:4B5A (talk)

  • Another article from the same issue studies the "sinuses for flotation" hypothesis. Rae, Todd C., and Thomas Koppe. "Sinuses and flotation: Does the aquatic ape theory hold water?." Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 23, no. 2 (2014): 60-64.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:05, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
The abstract reads "How many fields of science have two entirely parallel communities that essentially are hermetically sealed from each other?" It inevitably reminds me of the situation in Plate tectonics before the 60s. Here was a theory propounded in 1912 as "continental drift" which turned out to be essentially correct but was totally dismissed by most geologists until it was finally shown beyond doubt. Ok he didn't propose a mechanism but that had been filled in by Holmes by 1942. And even Holmes didn't get it precisely right. But the basic issue is that it was dismissed by the vast majority of scientists for more than 50 years. Could happen again you know. Chris55 (talk) 23:11, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
You need to read the rest of the article.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 06:40, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Also replied to in the paper above. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 08:07, 26 September 2016 (UTC)


I've started a new section on paleontological evidence, because it seems that most of this article is back to front. It starts off in the lead claiming a scientific consensus (for what it's actually not clear) by quoting only a contentious opinion book, and mixes up conjectures and evidence and judgments all the way through. Scientists are characterised throughout as "proponents" and thereby implicitly dismissed along with the non-professional Elaine Morgan.

The fact that there are already many peer-refereed papers, some by notable scientists, cited in this article would be easy to miss altogether. It's obvious that real scientific support for the idea has only emerged in the last few decades because ideas are easy, but proving them can be very difficult indeed. I notice that Savannah theory redirects directly to bipedalism even though that article says there are at least 12 explanations for this (others list up to 30).

Some of the supporting evidence such as auditory exotosis and vernix caseosa was never claimed by Elaine Morgan at all and may be better characterised as a test of the theory. It's clear that the central thesis (that humanity was shaped by proximity to water) might be true whilst many of the claimed effects (descended larynx, finger wrinkling?) might have nothing to do with it. Cause and effect may have been muddled in presentations but shouldn't we be trying to steer clear of this? Probably if the hypothesis is eventually accepted, there will be one or two clear reasons for it and all the others will then be re-evaluated. Chris55 (talk) 12:27, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

There is no "real scientific support" for the theory, and its proponents are just that - proponents. I have removed the section on paleontological evidence. Evidence for exploiting wetlands or lacustrine resources are not evidence for AAH or for the wading hypothesis. The surfer's ear claim is a single primary source and we would need some good secondary sources to claim that it actually supports a wading scenario. Also H. erectus are several million years after the evolution of bipedality, so how H. erectus fossils in anyway can support the AAH is a bit of a mystery to me. The section is giving undue weight to primary sources aand to minority views, and also seem to be misrepresenting the first source - it cannot be included in this form. Please do not reinsert without first having a consensus that the material is in line with policy (NPOV).·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:29, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
To delete properly published scientific articles because 'There is no "real scientific support" for the theory' sounds to me like pure prejudice. Have you tried reading any of those articles? I've provided an abstract for the second–I've read other stuff by the same author. Chris55 (talk) 15:52, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
I am deleting it because it appears to violate NPOV and misrepresent a source. If there is a consensus that it conforms to policy it can be reinserted. A theory that has real scientific support is not repeatedly rejected by specialists writing in specialist journals. That proponents of a theory claim they have evidence does not mean that that their theory now has scientific support.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:56, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
There's nothing violating NPOV nor do I believe it misrepresents a source. The additions do not try to prove bipedality as you claim and NPOV demands that minority views be represented not censored as you are trying to do. Chris55 (talk) 16:18, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
You seem to suffer of some misunderstandings of our basic policies. Please read WP:BRD. It matters not whether you believe I am right or wrong - it matters if there is a consensus to include. There is not at this point.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:23, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
This looks like synthesis to me. Where are the cites for the opening paragraph? --NeilN talk to me 16:25, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, and the entire paragraph is written from an unabashed "pro-AAH" POV which is of course not acceptable.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:28, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
The first paragraph is actually rather sceptical of the AAH and is the main reason I have not in the past considered myself a "believer". Interesting idea, yes; what actually happened, who knows? I find the papers mentioned here and a number of other publications some of which have been excluded from this article in a similar way, rather more productive. It's a pity the mind police here have so made up their minds that they ban any positive addition to the article. I expect I can find an appropriate citation given a little time. Chris55 (talk) 17:00, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
So, no cites for "The absence of supporting evidence from paleontology has probably been the major reason why scientists have given little support to the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis. Because the majority of the claimed effects are to soft tissues, evidence has not been forthcoming to either confirm or deny them", just your opinion. --NeilN talk to me 17:32, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  • If you have a DOI for the Rhys-Evans and Cameron paper I would appreciate it. I strongly doubt it mentions the AAH or claims to support it, given that it is a paper about Homo erectus a species that lived several millions later than the time period covered by the AAH. This also goes for the Joordens paper. It seems to me that Chris55 is not adequately distinguishing between support for AAH and " any evidence of hominins being in contact with water"·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:30, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
You clearly delete things without even looking at them. The abstract that is linked from that paper mentions it explicitly. Let others have a look at it too. Actually you are quite wrong in your claims about the period covered by AAH. H. Erectus is one of the first species to show conclusive encephalization and that is very relevant to a shellfish diet. Chris55 (talk) 16:47, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
This doesn't answer my question. --NeilN talk to me 16:52, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
no, but there's a perfectly good citation. Actually I thought that was Maunus, unless you are the same person. I answered your question above.Chris55 (talk) 17:04, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
"a perfectly good citation" does not mean that you get to include the material if it is contested by others. Two people have questioned it. I suggest you self revert your ltest reinsertion of the contested material. How can water be responsible for both bipedalism and encephalization which developed several million years apart? That would require that all human ancestors for around four million years have lived in an aquatic environment. Is the hypothesis you are proposing really that unreasonable?·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:17, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Actually NeilN only questioned the non-cited part. When you show some inclination to consider the cited articles (I didn't need to go to a library to get them) then it might be worth discussing it. I don't believe that another editor has the right to delete material just because of their preconceived opinions. And if you think you're too busy for that, then maybe you shouldn't be so active here. Chris55 (talk) 17:39, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, the non-cited part is blatantly non-neutral apart from being uncited and most likely uncitable. And I questoined the other parts because you gave them undue weight (both being primary articles) and likely misrepresented because of the chronological discrepancy. And yes all material that is not cited or which is cited but contested can be removed untill there is a consensus to include it. I cannot get the Rhys-Evans article through ebsco-host which is why I asked for the DOI.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:43, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Non-permitted material[edit]

I tried to post this material on the page but two editors ganging up on me means that it will disappear instantly. I would therefore like to know why it should not be permitted. From the discussion above you will see that none of my basic points have been addressed. The citations include a Nature article which is designed to be read by the general scientific public and papers given in conferences that have been well publicized.

Paleontological evidence[edit]

The absence of supporting evidence from paleontology has probably been the major reason why scientists have given little support to the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis. Because the majority of the claimed effects are to soft tissues, evidence has not been forthcoming to either confirm or deny them. However there have been more recently several lines of supporting evidence.

  1. The preponderance of shells associated with early human sites demonstrates that sea food formed a large part of their diet. Re-examination of these remains has recently led to the discovery of cut marks on the bones of catfish found at the Koobi Fora sites in Africa, as well as evidence of fish procurement in Olduvai Gorge. This had the effect of providing the brain-selective nutrients (DHA and [Arachidonic acid|AA]]) which fuelled encephalization.[1] The food remains of Homo Erectus from the holotype site Trinil, Java have been shown to be largely sea shells and show early signs of engraving.[2]
  2. The identification of surfer's ear in remains of homo erectus and neanderthals shows that they spent considerable periods of time in cold water. These bones develop gradually in the ear protecting the ear drum during swimming and diving.[3]


  1. ^ Stewart, Kathlyn (2010). "The Case For Exploitation Of Wetlands Environments And Foods By Pre-Sapiens Hominins". In Stephen Cunnane, Kathlyn Stewart. Human Brain Evolution: The Influence of Freshwater and Marine Food Resources. Wiley. pp. 152–158. 
  2. ^ Joordens, JC; et al. "Homo erectus at Trinil on Java used shells for tool production and engraving". doi:10.1038/nature13962. 
  3. ^ Rhys-Evans, P. H.; Cameron, M. (2014). "Surfer's Ear (Aural Exostoses) Provides Hard Evidence of Man's Aquatic Past". Human Evolution. 29 Issue 1/3: 75–90. 

Chris55 (talk) 19:58, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Delete the first two sentences and maybe you'll have a better case for inclusion. The discussion above indicates that you still haven't addressed the WP:SYNTH concern brought up by NeilN. Right now, that is the main reason this text is being challenged. clpo13(talk) 20:13, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
The second sentence might be more of a point of view, but I don't see why the first sentence is in any way controversial. For maybe 30 years nobody did present any paleontological evidence that these theories were true and why would any scientist worth their salt touch it whilst that was the case? If a Wiki admin won't accept that, they certainly won't consider the possibility that the situation is changing. Chris55 (talk) 22:00, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
The absence of fossil evidence is such a commonplace criticism that it's pretty easy to produce citations going back to the coiner of the term, Desmond Morris (The Naked Ape, 1967) "It demands..the acceptance of a hypothetical major evolutionary phase for which there is no direct evidence" (p30), La Lumiere's 1981 Royal Society paper (Evolution of Human Bipedalism, A Hypothesis About Where it Happened, (Phil Trans vol 292, no 1057, p103) "So far, the aquatic hypothesis has received little acceptance because no supporting fossil evidence has been adduced." It is even found in the main source for this article, Brian Regal's Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience (a tertiary source incidentally): "The major problem of her work is that she offers little or no physical evidence to support it." (p26)
Perhaps more interesting is the comment of Phillip Tobias, 3 times nominated for a Nobel prize for his work in the paleoanthropology of Homo habilis and Sterkfontein: "Hardy’s work was largely ignored by his contemporaries, but Elaine Morgan (1982, 1990, 1997), Marc Verhaegen (Verhaegen et al., 2002), Michael Crawford, Stephen Cunnane, Leigh Broadhurst, and others have revived interest in the fundamentally sound merits of aquatic diets and habitats, especially for the brain." (Human Brain Evolution, Wiley-Blackwell 2010 pxi) It doesn't sound as if he considered it a pseudoscience as the dominant editors of this page believe. Chris55 (talk) 12:27, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Tobias was the only major authority of paleoanthropology to ever say anything positive about the AAH (as far as I can tell Wrangham does not himself refer to the AAH in his wading hypothesis of bipedalism) and even so he clearly states in the introduction to Cunnane's book that it is not the AAH that is likely to be correct but rather a more limited proposal about the role of aquatic environments in encephalization and or bipedalism. And yes, the absence of paelontological evidence is well known. Which is also why it is a major breech of NPOV to claim unqualified that there is now such evidence, based only on a single primary source that claims that H. erectus fossils spent time in water but shows no actual supporting evidence for any adaptations to aquatic environments. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:51, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
So you can dismiss him because you don't know of any others?. Convenient.
I didn't quote the two sentences before the bit I quoted from Regal: "By the late 1990s, Morgan's work was receiving some positive reviews by the mainstream. It was pointed out that not all her ideas were completely off the mark." This is not the impression one gets from the cited passages from this work in the lead. Get real Maunus, this is 2016 and things are moving forward. "Evidence" is not "proof" so back off about NPOV, you're not showing much of it yourself. Chris55 (talk) 14:08, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
No I will not back off, you are misrepresenting science and that is something I don't take kindly to. Things are indeed moving forward regarding our knowledge of the complexities of human evolution, and AAH has absolutely nothing to do with that movement. Tobias cannot be dismissed, but he does not represent a mainstream perspective in this case, neither does Wrangham - and the article need to make that clear. The mainstream view is and has always been that AAH is bunk - even if a role for water can be established in the evolution of a few specific trait (which it has not been, in spite of claims to the contrary). ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:17, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
I care about science too. Please do not insult me by accusing me of misrepresentation when all you have done is to claim that nobody has the right to say anything positive about AAH and have not faulted what I've written. Also I can't see why it is relevant what the author of the "Delta Hypothesis" should think about AAH. Chris55 (talk) 14:32, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
That is clearly not "all I have said" or indeed even a part of what I have said. I have provided specific sources from a top journal (both of which reject the hypothesis and neither of which you bothered to read). And I have pointed out that the vast majority of top researchers in paleoanthropology do not consider the AAH to have any scientific support (if it did they would write about it in their literature reviews, textbooks, and articles, but they do not). IN the face of such a situation it is very much a misrepresentatoin of science to claim that one or two articles that claim to provide evidence for the hypothesis are in fact doing so. Nobody is talking about "proof" since we are not discussing mathematics. But no discovery is "evidence" for any hypothesis untill there is a general consensus in a scientific field that it is indeed "evidence". In this case there is no such consensus that surfer's ear in H. erectus support the AAH or that encephalization required marine resources that could only be found in an AAH type scenario. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:53, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
"Bothered"? I don't happen to have free access to either of those articles and will have to travel 40 miles to a library to read them. I will try and do that when I can but don't make assumptions. Chris55 (talk) 15:32, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
It is a myth that the fossil evidence doesn't back the so-called "AAH" (better labelled in the plural "waterside hypotheses of human evolution" Kuliukas and Morgan 2011). Practically every hominid fossil found was from depositional substrates. Much of it is unequivocal. In addition to the three citings offered above, I'd also include...
1. Vignaud, P., Duranger, P., Mackaye, H., Likius, A., Blondel, C., Boisserie, J., de Bonis, L., Eisenmann, V., Etienne, M., Geraads, D., Guy, F., Lehmann, T., Lihoreau, F., Lopez-Martinez, N., Mourer-Chauvire, C., Otero, O., Rage, J., Schuster, M., Viriot, L., Zazzo, A., Brunet, M. Geology and palaeontology of the Upper Miocene Toros-Menalla hominid locality, Chad. Nature 418:152-155, (2002). Possibly the earliest evidence for a putative biped - found slap bang in the middle of paleo lake chad in a stratigraphic layer called the anthracotheriid unit because of the predominence of those hippo ancestors found alongside it. Of course, we are told that doesn't count. Bovid faunal remains are cherrypicked and given primary importance.
2. Johanson, Donald C; Taieb, Maurice (1976). Plio-Pleistocene hominid discoveries in Hadar, Ethiopia. Nature Vol:260 Pages:294-298. Yes even this critical and famous paper basically placed Hadar in a wetland for about a million years. "Fossil preservation at this locality is excellent, remains of delicate items such as crocodile and turtle eggs and crab claws being found." (p 296.)
3. Brown, F., Harris, J., Leakey, R., Walker, A. Early Homo erectus skeleton from west Lake Turkana, Kenya. Nature 316:788-792, (1985). Another landmark paper. Another lakeside habitat. Turkana Boy - hello?
4. Marean, CW , Bar-Matthews, M , Bernatchex, J , Fisher, E , Goldberg, P , Herries, AIR , Jacobs, Z , Jerardino, A , Karkanas, P , Nilssen, PJ , Thompson, E , Watts, I , Williams, HM Early human use of marine resources and pigment in South Africa during the Middle Pleistocene. Nature 449:905-909, (2007). Probably the earliest evidence of fully modern humans, and it's by the coast.
5. Walter, R., Buffler, R., Bruggermann, H., Guillaume, M., Berhe, S., Negassi, B., Libsekai, Y., Cheng, H., Edwards, R., von Cosel, R., Neraudeau, D., Gagnon, M. Early human occupation of the Red Sea coast of Eritrea during the last interglacial. Nature 405:65-69, (2000). And another.
These are just a few of the better known ones. It's scandalous how almost an entire field can continue to pretend all of this doesn't count. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 03:34, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
It is your job to change that by publishing more convincing evidence. And my guess is that you will not make more scientists believe you by complaining about censorship on wikipedia.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 06:29, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Who are you to tell me what my job is? Who are you anyway? What makes you think you can act as the guardian of the truth here? AlgisKuliukas (talk) 06:46, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
You are the one going on and on about truth. I am the one trying to tell you that Wikipedia reports the scientific consensus regardless of whether you or I think it is true.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:12, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Look, of course I am not opposed to Wikipedia reporting the scientific consensus. I do the same thing when I teach my students. I would be on your side on this on almost every other matter and I think you do a great job - usually. I do not even deny that most anthropologists are hostile to what they think this idea is. All some of us are arguing for is that the article needn't be so dismissive and hostile. I guess my main beef is this: What evidence do you use to determine that the field actually are against the idea? Is it just chatting over a coffee? Aren't we supposed to do this sort of thing through the scientific literature? If you search that the number of papers open to the idea (from people who are not even proponents) outnumber the critiques by about 8:1. If one includes papers written by proponents it's much higher even than that. That's hardly a strong case for a rejection. We know anthropologists don't like the idea but they've done a disgracefully bad job of doing any science or even writing anything in the literature to tell us why. The fact you cite Foley & Lahr "A very high quality source" (!) says it all. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 09:35, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
The interesting number is not the number of articles that critique it, but the ones that do not mention it. AAH and watersifde arguments are generally ignored in evolutionary anthropology textbooks, in reviews of the literature on bipedalism, in reviews of the literature on hairlessness, in reviews of the evolution of encephalization etc. IF the community eventually considers the theory to be promising or gaining support then we will see this change. And that is when we start revising the way we present the theory in Wikipedia.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:51, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough, I suppose. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 10:12, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
This is really all i have been arguing. Personally I can be sympathetic to individual aspects of the wading hypothesis, and also acknowledge that given the vital nature of water to mammalian existence it has not been sufficiently studied as a factor in human evolution. But personal beliefs matter not in this case.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:16, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Proposal: Distinguish between AAH and other "water related" scenarios[edit]

The "Aquatic Ape Hypothesis" has generally referred specifically to the idea that all or most of the traits that set humans apart from other apes can be attributed to water - or in the very least the idea that our ancestors were so aquatic that they acquired a suite of adaptations specifically to a watery environment. The wading hypothesis of bipedalism is distinct from the AAH, because it does not propose a suite of traits, but only one. This is presumably why it has accumulated somewhat more support than the AAH proper. Support for the wading hypothesis as such is not support for the AAH. And in the same way evidence of consumption of marine resources is not support for the AAH. We can see this from the fact that Wrangham proposes wading as a factor in bipedalism - without claiming to support the AAH or citing Morgan. And we can even see it in Tobias' foreword to Cunnane et al. where he clearly distinguishes between the AAH which he considers unlikely, and specific water related proposals such as a role in encephalization or bipedalism. The article should do a better job of distinguishing the AAH (which is widely rejected, even by some of its proponents who now favor "waterside" scenarios) and the possibility that hominin ancestors acquired one or more specific adaptations through interaction with water.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:24, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Maybe it's worth including Tobias's proposals so that others can see what he is and isn't saying:
  1.  The role of waterways in hominid development highlights a real problem that needs to be addressed. We need new investigations such as by fresh, open-minded research students and post-doctoral fellows. 

  2.  I am not yet convinced that all of the traits included in the original Aquatic Ape Hypothesis can be reasonably attributed to that hypothesis. Research on those traits should be updated. 

  3.  We should not telescope too many phases and characteristics of hominid evolution into a single, over-arching hypothesis. 

  4. Above all, let us keep our thought processes open to changes of paradigms, and especially to the change which would be necessitated with growing evidence of the role of waterways in hominid evolution.
  5. Finally, the role of water, while long appreciated and emphasized by ecologists, has been sadly neglected by human evolutionists.
Certainly my earlier proposal is quite consistent with this. The Aquatic hypothesis is generally taken to be the effect of water on the development of humans and afaics Morgan has lists of effects some of which may be proved and others disproved so it isn't a single hypothesis. Maybe some people believe that they should all be taken as a bundle: I see no reason for this. I think her list has varied over time (though I'd have to check this to be sure). Certainly she doesn't much emphasise brain size and there seem to be serious disagreements in the "AAT/H community" as to the timescale of these developments. If we started from here then maybe we could improve the article without the ideological wrangling. If you want to start a new more generalised article to avoid the "stigma" of the AAH then we may have to show that there is indeed a more general movement - as measured by conferences, journals etc. At present it still seems to be centred around the AAT/H theme. It's a pity Tobias died 2 years after writing the above. Chris55 (talk) 15:06, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for copying Tobias' text, very useful. He clearly defines the AAH (which he traces not only to Morgan, but to Hardy, Wood and Westenhöfer) as having a number of trait, and he also states clearly that he is not convinced by all of them - the AAH is not just any effect of water, it is a broad proposal involving multiple effects (which is exactly why critics reject it as an "umbrella hypothesis", and exactly why Tobias himself warn against telecsoping too many traits and phrases into an overarching hypothesis - [the question of bipedalism and encephalization for example invole completely different species and a distance of several million years - even if they could both be explained by water it still would not be the same hypothesis]). The umbrella hypothesis is not the same as individual hypotheses which can stand and fall on their own merits as evidence is produced - taht is why the umbrella hypothesis and the individual sub-hypotheses need to be separated conceptually in the article.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:18, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
You say "the AAH is not just any effect of water, it is a broad proposal involving multiple effects" but I don't think Tobias's comment supports that. He says "I am not yet convinced that all of the traits included in the original Aquatic Ape Hypothesis can be reasonably attributed to that hypothesis." So he's identifying the water hypothesis as basic. Clearly umbrella hypotheses are very difficult to verify but given that the orthodox view identifies human development as occurring on the savannah this has been the only view arguing for the place of water. Morgan argued back from effects to a cause (right or wrong) and it's the cause that is basic. Chris55 (talk) 08:57, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
I think he clearly proposes that the "original AAH" included too many traits and that the pursuit of an umbrella hypothesis is not going to be fruitful. That by the way is not because umbrella hypotheses are difficult to "verify" but because they are extremely likely to be wrong due to the way evolution works, and simultaneously extremely likely to circumvent the scientific process by presuming a certain cause instead of asking "what is the cause?" - this latter problem, the problem of presuming the conclusion, is what pushes umbrella hypotheses towards pseudoscience, and why a serious schlar like Tobias of course warns against telescoping too many hypothesis under the same umbrella.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:09, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
We're getting closer to agreement and I don't think anyone will be surprised that Morgan is not following good scientific methods. It could be an opportunity for WP to clarify these things from proper sources. I know it was not you that introduced the "pseudoscience" idea into the lead, but the references to Regal's book have been incorrectly used to support all sorts of things and maybe it's time to remove them altogether from the lead. As I pointed out he accepts that Morgan's ideas have been getting more positive notices from the scientific community. Looking at the edit which introduced it with its phrasing "by intermingled male and female parenting efforts" it looks as if the author had a particular axe to grind. The earlier quote from Regal was better. Chris55 (talk) 12:44, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
I've just been rereading Regal's piece about AAH and cannot find anything that can justify the line "Advocacy for the AAH has been labeled by commentators such as science writer Brian Regal as being more ideological and political rather than scientific and hence, pseudoscientific". Certainly he underlines that Morgan's original line was pure feminism, but after the semi-favourable quote above, nearly a quarter of the article is taken up with a discussion of her more recent response to Steven Pinker's book "Blank Slate". The odd thing about this is he gets Pinker's argument 180° wrong. He says "Steven Pinker of MIT, supported the idea first put forward by Enlightenment philosopher John Locke of a tabula rasa. Pinker arged that the human brain was essentially blank". He then mocks Morgan for opposing him. But anyone who's ever read any of Pinker's work will know that he argues for a "Language Instinct" (the name of his most famous book) and indeed made Chomsky the Cartesian change his position on the topic. A glance at the blurb on the book will confirm Pinker's position. ("For Pinker, the belief that we are all born as "blank slates" upon which culture places its decisive imprint is not only wrong but dangerous.") Any competent editor would have picked up this error, which calls into question whether this can be called in any way a reliable source. Since it is anyway a tertiary source the above sentence needs to be removed. Chris55 (talk) 18:23, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
I read it also, and was surprised that he would misrepresent Pinker like that attributing to Pinker the very idea that his book is a critique of. I think Regal maximally can be cited for his critique of Morgan's work (not of any of the more recent work) and for the "pseudoscience" label.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:45, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
So you support this labelling of "pseudoscience" despite the fact that he admits her work is "receiving some positive reviews by the mainstream" and that the article looks as if it was dashed off after a long night out? And because of that you feel justified in saying "the entire paragraph is written from an unabashed "pro-AAH" POV which is of course not acceptable" (even though the major part of the paragraph repeats criticism of AAH made since Desmond Morris)? Chris55 (talk) 20:15, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Morgan's work clearly is pseudoscientific in its bent - a few positive reviews suggesting that maybe it is worth looking into the evolutionary effects of water does not change that. Regal, regardless of how badly the article is written, can be used simply to note that some have described her work as pseudoscience. That was not the paragraph that was written from a clear proponents POV, that was the paragraph in which you used a couple of semi relevant primary sources to suddenly claim that there is established empirical support for the hypothesis - even though most anthropologists disagreee and do not consider either of those to be evidence for AAH. But we cannot begin stating that there is "evidence for the theory" until such a time when we can report that there is a wide consensus that the findings claimed to be evidence for a water related scenario indeed are evidence for just that. Untill then we can talk about claims, arguments, proposals and hypotheses. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 05:40, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
It is no more "pseudoscientific" than Ardrey's Killer Apes or even Desmond Morris' "The Naked Ape". It's popular science. See the Tobias comment. You people really have got the wrong end of the stick here. The irony of the label just flew straight over your heads, didn't it? "Most anthropologists" don't even know what "it" is. They don't even know that "it" is a "they". The literature critical of the so-called "aquatic ape" is pathetically weak. They exaggerate, misrepresent and distort. The classic straw man. And you are doing the same here. It's very illuminating that the latest "refutation" by Alice Roberts ( cites Foley and Lahr as some kind of evidence from literature of why waterside ideas must be wrong. If this is the best, the latest arguments you have - it's time to give up. You are fighting on the wrong side of history. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 06:57, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
The only dog that I have in this fight is Wikipedia's mission which is to represent the scientific consensus, which is not favorable to any of the "waterside hypotheses" currently. Let history do its job, and when it has we will report it.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:00, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I find that hard to believe, frankly. Ok, so let's take language origins, for an example. The Wikipedia article lists about seven hypotheses. How did the editors decide which ones get in there? What's the mainstream "consensus" there? I bet there are anthropologists who are proponents of some of those ideas who attack others' as vehemently as some "mainstream" anthropologists attack what they think is the "AAH". Again, it's just ad hoc. Admit it, you simply just don't like the idea - and I suspect it's because you've been arguing against it for so long, with so much smug self-assurance, you know you're going to look like a fool if it turns out to have been right all along. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 07:17, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Language origins is a quite different case. There are many theories, and no consensus - other than the common sense consensus that it was not any single factor that lead to the evolution of this complex faculty, but rather a convergence of multiple factors (since languages benefits the species that has it in multiple ways sociality, improved conceptualization, transfer of knowledge etc.). The article on language origins was written by Anthropologist Chris Knight who is himself a proponent of a controversial theory of language origin, of which I think he is about the only major supporter. He was however able to write a fairly balanced article that describes all the different theories without unduly promoting his own. This however is not really relevant for this article at all.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:28, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Ah... it's different. What a surprise. Always is. It's anthropology's dogma: Hardy was wrong, all else follows. It's relevant in that you say you need consensus, except you don't. Incidentally, did you know Chris Knight is a friend of waterside ideas. "Blood Relations" gives it a very fair hearing, unlike you. The cognitive science department at Memphis too, are very interested in waterside ideas in helping their models of language origins. That's just another aspect of these fascinating ideas you have managed to bury away with your closed-minded negativity. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 09:23, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I do know that he is a capable anthropologist, who unlike you realizes when his ideas have not been met with general acceptance and does not cry out "censorship!" "I am being oppressed by the silverbacks" on public internet sites as you do. And if you cant see the difference between explaining one phenotypical trait through mutiple factors and explaining multiple trais by a single factor then that goes a way towards understanding why noone takes your work seriously. If you were made of the same mettle as Knight you would be improving our article on Human evolution and the volution of bipedalism to write a thorough and balanced review of the literature - even if that meant writing negatively about the way your own favorite theory has been received. Knight has contributed immensely to improving the encyclopedias content on the evolution of language. You on the other hand seem to be here primarily to promote your own view over those of others - and in doing so you would be doing a disservice to Wikipedia's readers. That is why I am generally being negative towards you and other editors who will rather spend their time by pushing their own views than on improving the encyclopedia.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:47, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
See, that's because language origins is different. What are you on about? Do you think there is a law that says multiple traits cannot be explained by a single factor, then? If hominins started living by the coasts and (I know it's crazy!) occasionally went swimming and diving, what do you think would happen? Only one aspect of physiology would change (if so, which one?) or several? I have contributed to the article on bipedality both here and elsewhere, and I've been very fair and critical of all models, including wading, actually. (see No-one has ever attempted to do a critical evaluation of all bipedal models as far as I am aware. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 10:24, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
It is odd to me that having read what you have you don't understand that an argument that seeks to derive all major human adaptations from a single environmental factor requires vastly more evidence than an argument deriving a single adaptation from a combination of a suite of factors. As for a review of all bipedal models, maybe you should start by doing that then and see how the preponderance of the evidence falls before claiming to having a patent on Darwin's own truth? Personally, I would have expected such a review to be chapter one in a dissertation on wading hypotheses.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:36, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Why does it need "vastly more evidence"? That's just typical wishful thinking on the part of an aquaskeptic. Each trait - say, e.g. the evolution of the human hair pattern - needs just as much, no more no less, evidence to argue it is explained by swimming, sexual selection, sweat cooling, parasite detection, or any other idea - including a combination of them. I did that, thank you. My PhD thesis starts with 4 chapters which are basically an introduction to hominin bipoedalism and a thorough review of all the literature about the subject. Approximately, 150 pages and 60,000 words. As far as I aware (and I've been studying this for 20 years) it is the most comprehensive literature review of bipedalism ever. Now, I'm sure, you'll come up with a different argument now as to why waterside arguments must be wrong. I have no patent. I just think the evidence for the wading hypothesis is head and shoulders above the others. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 10:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:8003:8540:B300:9CCB:F5EA:C687:4B5A (talk)
Some of us have been trying to relabel these ideas for years.
Kuliukas, AV , Morgan, E (2011). Aquatic scenarios in the thinking on human evolution: What are they and how do they compare?. In: Vaneechoutte, M , Verhaegen, M , Kuliukas, AV (eds.), (2011). Was Man More Aquatic In The Past? Fifty Years After Alister Hardy: Waterside Hypothesis Of Human Evolution. Bentham (Basel).
There are several specific hypotheses of human evolution that propose that wading, swimming and diving through water may have affected our phenotype, compared to chimpanzees. They are entirely evidence-based, in tune with the theories of natural selection and plausible. Just because an entire field seems to have failed to get the irony of a catchy label (of the apes that are most definitely not aquatic, we are the most aquatic) science has been largely paralysed in terms of researching these fascinating areas. This is not being deliberately nebulous to obfuscate or moving the goalposts as we are often accused of. Morgan never really changed her mind on her "U-turn more aquatic, then not" idea till the day she died. Verhaegen's "aquarboreal ancestors followed by a most aquatic phase for Homo erectus followed by more terrestrial H sapiens" has been fixed for about 16 years at least, as has my "River Apes ... Coastal People" model.
Just because a simple idea has great potential explanatory power, it doesn't mean it must be wrong, contra Langdon (1997). The wading hypothesis is head and shoulders above the other ideas in terms of evidence and plausibility but clearly it is different from the other waterside hypotheses as it came much earlier, perhaps even before the Pan-Homo LCA, and also likely occurred ina different environmental scenario (perhaps rivers and lakesides). If one postulates that a population of hominins started making their living from coastal habitats (incredible to some, I know!) and so occasionally went swimming and diving for food, it is exactly what one would expect that they'd start to phenotypically diverge away from any other hominins that did not do so. As long as one remembers that we are not postulating mermaids, but merely some, slight, selection from swimming and diving the cluster of peculiar traits seized upon by Morgan are exactly what one would expect to see. What on earth is all the fuss about?
The best Tobias quote on this was on the BBC/Discovery documentary on the "aquatic ape" in 1998.
"I see Elaine Morgan, through her series of superbly written books, presenting a challenge to the scientists to take an interest in this thing, to look at the evidence dispassionately. Not to avert your gaze as though it were something you that you hadn't ought to hear about or hadn't ought to see. And those that are honest with themselves are going to dispassionately examine the evidence. We've got to if we are going to be true to our calling as scientists." (Tobias 1998).
Please stop this ridiculous censorship. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 03:58, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
In the six or seven years we have been discussing this here on the talkpage you have come across as anything but "dispassionate". A dispassionate researcher confronted with scholars who are unconvinced of their evidence do not scream "censorship!", they do not try to influence how wikipedia or popular media depicts their theory - rather they do out and collect more evidence. An encyclopedia is conservative in its depiction of the standing of knowledge within any field, so this is the comletely wrong place to be trying to convince anyone. Go and convince your colleagues, and when there is a general consensus in favor of any aspect of the AAH or wading hypothesis then I will be more than happy to single-handedly change wikipedia's depiction of the theory to say so. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 06:01, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I have just spent the last 17 years doing a Master's and PhD. I've had several papers published and co-edited a book in which I wrote two and a half chapters. But, of course, you'll find some excuse to dismiss all that too. The counter arguments are always, as Dan Dennett wrote, so thin and ad hoc. The simple truth of the matter here is that you are just very biased and extremely closed-minded on this subject, like most physical anthropologists. I really can understand why. It's not going to look very good for people like you, even those that hide behind secret pseudonyms, when the tide finally turns on this and the simple, powerful, elegance of these waterside ideas is generally realised. The word "Piltdown" comes to mind. No one expects anything here but a fair portrayal of the evidence and an open-minded approach that does not look like it is run by a bunch of priests clinging to an old religion. My passion for the subject is irrelevant. AlgisKuliukas (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 06:42, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
It is very relevant that you come across as someone who found the conclusion long ago and is now looking for the evidence to support it. I understand of course that it has to be frustrating that the scientific community does not find your work convincing, but that really is of zero relevance for wikipedia whose job it is to report the consensus of the community of scholars. If wikipedia had been written in 1920 we would have described the Piltdown hoax as genuine, yes. If in 20 years science considers your work to be groundbreaking and to have provided most likely explanations for human evolution, then that is what we will write then. Be patient, provide more evidence. Publish more. This is not the right place for you to fight your battle with the paleoanthropology establishment·maunus · snunɐɯ· 06:49, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Well the wading hypothesis is rather obvious to anyone who has seen a chimp in waist deep water. It's not my fault that anthropologists ignored this idea, handed to them on a plate 56 years ago, or that I was the first to actually do some of that thing (it's called "science") to test the various predictions of the wading hypothesis. How much more do we have to publish? How many more years do we have to do research on these matters? The evidence from you and your fellow bouncers over the years is that no matter what we do, no matter who we find that says anything positive, there'll always be a negative repost. And you accuse me of coming to a fixed conclusion and sticking to it! That would be you, sir! AlgisKuliukas (talk) 07:05, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I am not coming to any conclusions, since I do not work in paleoanthropology, I am reporting the conclusions reached by the scientific community - because that is wikipedia's job. I cannot tell you how much more you need to publish for other scholars to find your work convincing, bu if you have published over 17 years and still find people unwilling to accept your argument you may want to change your basic approach.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:10, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
So you're not just a closed-minded bouncer, you're an unqualified closed-minded bouncer. Who appointed you into this role? Ever heard of Thomas Khun? I just need to read Foley and Lahr for five minutes to realise that the problem of approach does not lie with waterside proponents but the stubborn closed-minded silver backs in positions of authority in anthropology. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 07:24, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
No, but I've heard about Thomas Kuhn. Let the paradigm change and then see if you come out on top. Your claims that history will vindicate you are somewhat pathetic. I am qualified to determine how scientific consensus assess the "waterside hyppothesis". Given that you clearly very passionately believe you have found the truth, the whole truth and nothing but Darwin's own truth so help me Morgan, I think the one who is unqualified to carry out Wikipedias mission, which is to represent the scientific view on this issue, is you.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:30, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the typo correction. Sneering isn't what one expects from someone who pretends to be an impartial referee on these matters. I have openly disagreed with most of the other waterside proponents on some thing or other actually, even Elaine, so your are (again) inaccurate in your interpretation of this subject. If you are so well qualified for this role, how come you advise people that a paper that gives more credence to an amateur's web site than to a scholarly book is a "very high quality source"? If a student did that in an essay, they'd get a red line through it. But never mind that, eh? It's against the damned "aquatic ape" so it MUST be good. You are the one who's slavish faith in received wisdom is pathetic. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 09:16, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
You may want to go back through your own prior posts and redact any instances of "sneering". Or ad hominem attacks, or aspersions, or speculations about motives or namecalling of scholarly opponents. At least if you want to have a chance at being considered a serious scholar instead of an obsessive hypocrite.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:47, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Please tell me more about Foley & Lahr's paper being a "very high quality source". Can you justify that, other than the impact factor of the journal it was published in? Do you agree they were right to give more credence to Jim Moore's (not the anthropologist) web site than our scholarly book? Do you think they were right to back Henry Gee's creationst slur? Why am I asking? They are the mainstream so they must be right. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 09:55, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I would be happy to give my own opinions of this in private conversation on my talkpage or elsewhere, but here it is irrelevant whether I personally agree with Foley and Lahr. What is relevant is that their critique was published in the most respected evolutionary anthropology journal, after passing review by a panel of the most respected experts in the field. That is why it should be given more weight than your rebuttal and your book published by Bentham Press, known for their less than rigorous peer review. It is irrelevant whether the mainstream is "right", but if we can both acknowledge that the AAH or waterside hypotheses are not currently mainstrea, then the decision is easy. Wikipedia policies forbids us from representing it as if it has significant scientific support, untill such a time when it has become mainstream.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:08, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
And there you have it: The mainstream are right because they are the mainstream. Sad, but true. AlgisKuliukas (talk) 10:28, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I am not really sure how, having read Kuhn, this can be a surprise to you.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:30, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
The surprise (and disappointment) is that the one scientific field who one would expect to understand this problem and not allow it to happen to them, are anthropologists. It's shocking how closed minded they have been about this for 56 years and continue to be today. I was banned from the Facebook "Public" Group "BioAnthropology News" after I posted a video clip of orang utans wading asking "Can anyone point to better evidence in support of a model of hominin bipedalism?". I expect you'd defend that too, right? AlgisKuliukas (talk) 10:28, 27 September 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:8003:8540:B300:9CCB:F5EA:C687:4B5A (talk)