Talk:Aquatic ape hypothesis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Article milestones
June 17, 2017Peer reviewReviewed

Pseudoscience template[edit]

I recently noticed the removal of this article from the {{Pseudoscience}} template. I checked if this article was described as pseudoscience then noticed the sentence: "Anthropologist John D. Hawks wrote that it is fair to categorize the AAH as pseudoscience", so have reverted it. My revert was then reverted by another editor asking me to check if the article supported it ("Only appropriate to list something here as pseudoscience if this is supported in the relevant article") but also claiming that the article would also need to be in the category to be in the navigation template ("Aquatic ape hypothesis is not within Category:Pseudoscience. I suggest you take up the subject on the article's talk page"). Since I don't care much, I'll leave this note and let others decide. Thanks, —PaleoNeonate – 06:47, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

Hmm so WP:NAVBOX: "The grouping of articles by one method neither requires nor forbids the use of the other methods for the same informational grouping. Instead, each method of organizing information has its own advantages and disadvantages, and is applied for the most part independently of the other methods following the guidelines and standards that have evolved on Wikipedia for each of these systems." and I note that the editor who removed it (CEngelbrecht2) has a history of trouble in relation to this topic. I would like to understand FreeKnowledgeCreator rationale, since the article does support that it's pseudoscience, inclusion in a category is not necessary to be in a navigation box and we have the WP:PSCI policy. Thanks, —PaleoNeonate – 07:46, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

The article notes the opinions of two critics who consider the Aquatic ape hypothesis pseudoscience. Their opinions are presented as opinions, however; they are not presented as fact. The Aquatic ape hypothesis article does not identify its subject as pseudoscience in the way that many other topics are unambiguously identified as pseudoscience by their articles (such as Intelligent design, for example). I am not really interested in debating the topic; I'm simply noting that for the hypothesis to be identified as pseudoscience in the Pseudoscience template, the article would have to give much more weight to the view that it is pseudo-scientific. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:00, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
You're right that it's more ambiguous, thanks for the comment. Although I remembered a bit about the main claims, this piqued my interest to reread the article, then I've been looking for updated information and sources tonight. Unsurprisingly, I mostly find non-expert reviews, but also some expert criticism. Anthropology itself has always been a shady field, in this case it's anthropology mostly made by amateurs. It can be credited as inspiring a little research, yet is mostly considered a falsified hypothesis (some keep entertaining it, possibly indulging in pseudoscience, for others it's fantasy, ideology or simply the appreciation of an alternative view to old anthropology) but inferring that the hypothesis itself was pseudoscience may be a little pushed, afterall... —PaleoNeonate – 04:09, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Placing a page in the category "pseudoscience" does not necessarily mean that the idea is confirmed by everyone to be pseudoscience (how could it?). Rather, it is a category used for when there are documented reliable sources naming the topic as pseudoscientific. I think we have that situation here. Perhaps a consideration should be given as to whether this subject should be added to List of pseudosciences, however. I think it represents a fantastically interesting edge case. It's probably closer to a failed hypothesis that exposed a naked emperor while being naked itself. jps (talk) 11:38, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

At the same time, you have other reliable sources labeling this topic "stigmatized", arguing that this stigma is a serious hindrance for the reconstruction of the human past.
If the whole topic is to be labeled pseudoscience, it's a very strange pseudoscientific topic at that. It'd be the only pseudoscientific topic I know of, where what's actually being proposed isn't what's being rejected time and time again, and where Nullius in Verba somehow doesn't apply. With this one topic, students of paleoanthropology are expected not to form their own opinion in the faculties by reading certain banned volumes, while it takes any first year art student to explain to a toddler, why Dan Brown is a nutball. With Elaine Morgan, the kids don't have to know her argumentation, so they can see for themselves why she was so full of it, and they risk their exams by keep asking questions about it (that is a true story).
At best, the topic can only be labeled fringe science. At worst, its treatment by the fraternities the last fifty years would be labeled an scientific scandal of Galilean proportions. Pseudoscientific just doesn't apply and never has.--CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 21:25, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Fixed. Per the sourcing AAH has been characterized as pseudoscience. And per WP:PSCI, we need to up-front about this so I've mentioned it in the lede (it was already in the body). Also fixed up categories/templates and listed AAH at List of topics characterized as pseudoscience. Alexbrn (talk) 14:23, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
its treatment by the fraternities the last fifty years would be labeled an scientific scandal of Galilean proportions -- please save your personal conspiracy theories intended to make you look oh-so-enlightened while giving you frequent opportunities to look down on those who disagree with "science" an idea you chose just to be controversial for some other site. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:24, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
I think the material about it being a pseudoscience could do with expanding if possible.Slatersteven (talk) 14:26, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
A recent survey study asked scientists if they agreed with the criticism that AAH is pseudoscience. Many more disagreed than agreed: So AAH has indeed been characterized as pseudoscience, but this does not seem to be the majority view. Cricetus (talk) 21:32, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
I've added Tuomisto et al. mentioned by Cricetus to the lead, which is a very interesting publication that settles the debate whether scientists consider AAH pseudoscience. It's important to let the readers know this (professional but informal) opinion exists, but putting the subject matter into Category:Pseudoscience and Template:Pseudoscience along with other evident crackpots is somehow misleading (unless we divide the lists by "level of crackpotness" but that would be an overkill), especially now we have data showing that scientists, even the expert (paleo)anthropologists, largely disagree. ChakAzul (talk) 06:29, 4 February 2021 (UTC)

Lets all lay of the PA's please, it helps no one.Slatersteven (talk) 14:28, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

Edit warring over lead[edit]

Edit warring over the lead by Alexbrn is a seriously unwelcome development for this article given its controversial nature. The protocols on removal of content specify: "If there is any doubt the removal may be controversial, or if it has been restored following a previous removal, it should be discussed on the page's talk page prior to removal." WP:RVREASONS and should be adhered to. The allegations he makes in his edit summaries regarding the long established content he seeks to remove are baseless. Almanacer (talk) 10:40, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

What edit warring, I see 3 (2 non consecutive) edits by him this month, and 1 by you.Slatersteven (talk) 10:53, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Also WP:RVREASONS is a mere essay, whereas WP:V is a policy - and no, we're not going to inject stuff into the lede that misrepresents the cited source. (Add: and Almanacer is at it again[1] - have notified them that DS apply in this area). Alexbrn (talk) 10:56, 4 October 2019 (UTC); amended 11:06, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
This phrasing being continuously edit warred out of the lede by user Alexbrn:
Though much of the mainstream academic community ignored or derided the initial proposal, a small group of academics in the last 15 years have undertaken research programmes linked to the AAH.[1]


  1. ^ Milam, Erika (2013). "Dunking the Tarzanists. Elaine Morgan and the Aquatic Ape theory". In Oren Harman & Michael R Dietrich. Outsider Scientists: Routes to Innovation in Biology. University of Chicago Press, p. 232.
As Alexbrn states in two of his removals of the lede.
"Novel source in lede, and thr source does NOT SAY THIS anyway"
"Rv. naughty to make stuff up"
You can read the source yourselves and draw your own conclusions as to whether the above summary is misrepresentative:
I sincerely doubt, that Alexbrn has actually read it him/herself.
--CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 12:50, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
It needs attribution as it is one source. Moreover it lack important context (such as most of them are not anthropologists, or even biologists). Also what is this source, a book, a magazine, what is its provenance?Slatersteven (talk) 14:08, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Okay, we can add this one to the same paragraph:
--CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 14:22, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
What does it say? Also is it even an RS?Slatersteven (talk) 14:25, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Is De revolutionibus an RS? --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 14:34, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
What has that to do with anything?Slatersteven (talk) 14:36, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
It's just strange, how so many sources on this topic are still only one source. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 14:46, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
What? Where has that been said?Slatersteven (talk) 14:50, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
You did, just now, 14:08. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 14:56, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
I have to agree that the sentence implies that AAH is garnering actual scientific rapport and was unfairly derided, and both of these statements are false   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  19:34, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

Okay, why not suggest different Ledes? Remember that - as the lede is a short summary of the body of the article, we cannot say anything that isn't in the body of the article. And strong statements require strong (if not stronger) references. I would advise stop arguing about who did what and confine the issue to the article. Present potential ledes (and their supporting documentation) below. That way, we can work collaboratively to a consensus. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 14:56, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

It has just proven impossible over the years to reach consensus on this article, because you can't summarize this idea without the neutral reader suddenly stop laughing at it. And they're supposed to laugh at it. On this one topic, Nullius in Verba doesn't apply. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 15:11, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
The lede "The hypothesis remains highly controversial and is generally more popular with the lay public than with scientists; it is generally ignored by anthropologists", that seems to be to sum it up nicely. It does not say it is totally ignored, just mostly ignored.Slatersteven (talk) 14:59, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
And it's not necessary to point out that significant studies have taken place in. People don't need to ever know that. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 15:09, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
later decades? one source for that sentence is from 2014, the other 2012.Slatersteven (talk) 15:14, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Right, 'cause you censor out all the other sources. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 15:18, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
OK, I am not going to try and not be sarcastic. Which source from 2020 have you presented? as to be a decade after 2014 it would have to be at least one published in 2020.Slatersteven (talk) 15:20, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Good day - axe handle? What are we doing here? --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 15:24, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Well I am saying we already cover the fact that most anthropologists and non lay persons have ignored this (and thus by implication some have not). That this (in fact) reflects the situation as it was when this source "Dunking the Tarzanists. Elaine Morgan and the Aquatic Ape theory" was published. Thus nothing needs to change. That this is unlikely to have changed over the last decade.Slatersteven (talk) 15:32, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
So, so. (2016) (2019)
Just off the top of me head.--CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 15:42, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
None of those contradict the claim that its "generally ignored by anthropologists". In fact the disputed edit does not say anything that contradicts it.Slatersteven (talk) 15:46, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
The edit is not trying to. It just summarizes, that aquatic studies are taking place, despite all the derision and ignorance. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 15:50, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Well lets see. As it stood when this was first posted three was one source, published in 2013, thus could not have been a source for "last 15 years", nor (as far as I can tell) does it say that there have been "research programmes linked to the AAH". It says one academic said there should be more study, and one paper that said that sea foraging may have helped humans become bipedal (which is not what AAH claims). Thus I would suggest (based on that source) the claim is undue. I am unable to verify what your two new sources say. So can you provide a summary or quote of the text you think supports the edit?Slatersteven (talk) 16:18, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
The foreword in Evans 2019 is plenty:
I can ooDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22The+Waterside+Ape:+An+Alternative+Account+of+Human+Evolution%22&hl=da&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi3rKSjgoPlAhWKepoKHVshCYEQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=%22The%20Waterside%20Ape%3A%20An%20Alternative%20Account%20of%20Human%20Evolution%22&f=false
--CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 16:28, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
I think you need to quote it, as I cannot find where it mentions any new studies over the past 5 or so years that would be classed as academic (apart from the book it is a forward to).Slatersteven (talk) 16:32, 4 October 2019 (UTC)nly put the telescope in front of you, Your Holiness, if you're not gonna look into it, I can't help you.
If you're feeling lasy, foreword pages xiii and xiv is enough. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 16:47, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Its not laziness, I cannot see any. So I am asking you to provide one example.Slatersteven (talk) 16:51, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Sabotaging the link. Real mature. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 17:13, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
That looks like an edit conflict (If you care too look there was a bizarre text moving), and you have still not provided one quote. I would also suggest lay of the PA's.Slatersteven (talk) 17:15, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
>SIGH< Euh-kay...
"In 2004, Elaine said that she thought that within 10 years AAT would be 'over the cusp' and in the mainstream of evolutionary anthropology. That was certainly the case in terms of public support and, with this pivotal book, Peter Rhys-Evans has pushed the weight of evidence well beyond the tipping point. [...] I thought I had pretty much kept abreast of research relevant to AAT, but I found more than a dozen astonishing facts that were completely new to me in this invaluable reference work. I also found a number of new, as yet untested hypotheses, including an exciting and very credible mechanism for the evolution of the descended larynx. These will, I'm sure, result in many more revelations in the future. There has never been a better time to be an evolutionary anthropologist." ("The Waterside Ape: An Alternative Account of Human Evolution", Peter H. Rhys Evans 2019, foreword by Gareth Morgan, page xiv.)
Anything else? It's real hard to assume good faith. I know it's still heresy to actually read these banned volumes and form your own opinion. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 17:51, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes something that supports "small group of academics in the last 15 years", not "since 2004 Peter Rhys-Evans".Slatersteven (talk) 08:58, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
  • What do other encyclopedias say ?? H. James Birx (2006). Encyclopedia of Anthropology. SAGE. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-7619-3029-7....yup 40 years of nothing!!!--Moxy 🍁 16:12, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Jim Moore??? You don't mind the opinions of that amateur? Because he says what you want to hear?
Just like people chastising Elaine Morgan's contributions about beach apes of human origin for being the pathetic fancies of a feminist playwright... while being fine quoting Robert Ardrey the playwright talking merrily about the skull splitting males of human origin. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 16:22, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Now we've got Almanacer, with an explicit bad faith agenda, trying to edit-war material into the lede which is (a) not in the body and (b) misrepresenting the source. This is bad. Alexbrn (talk) 22:13, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

You're just disgusted, that independent researchers are indeed ignoring the command of the fraternity cardinals, conducting heretical studies into this beach ape concept. Why won't they just let you keep censoring this inconvenient truth? --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 22:23, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
What's the next item on your agenda? Deleting that four line quote by Alister Hardy from 1960, that doesn't make it all sound crazy? Delete any mention of iodine and the hominin brain? Y'all have done this in years past. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 22:29, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Better to WP:FOC. We're not going to misrepresent sources and disregard the WP:PAGs to promote nonsense, however much advocates wish it. If you want to promote this stuff maybe start a blog, or try Wikiversity or something? Alexbrn (talk) 22:31, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
There you go, "to promote nonsense", enough said. You know, that the Earth is the center of the Universe, no damn way you'll look into that damn telescope.
What's bad is how many years Wiki have letten y'all get away with censoring one of the most important ideas of our time. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 22:46, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Here's the problem from what I'm seeing: the only information relevant is what the author says about how AAH works, whereas the part you're focusing on is how shocked the author is about the fringe status of AAH   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  23:03, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
No, my problem is, that this article is apparently not supposed to relay, what the idea is about. We all know it's nuts and pseudoscience, but every time you summarize the idea, it just doesn't look insane. And we all know, it's supposed to look insane, therefore we obivously can't relay what the idea is about, and we have to turn the article into gobbledygook. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 00:12, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, somebody told me a big fat lie around junior high; that we can't possibly repeat the atrocity of 1632 against Galileo, 'cause now we have the scientific method. The treatment of this idea just collides with a feeling of utter betrayal by my elders, 'cause they quite clearly ignore their own scientific method, whenever the next incovenient truth hits them personally. Sure, nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature ... unless the fraternity cardinals don't feel like it. Thrasymachus was right, and y'all can keep urinating on your own giants. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 00:33, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
That's not the situation at all. Take the passage, "Though much of the mainstream academic community ignored or derided the initial proposal, a small group of academics in the last 15 years have undertaken research programmes linked to the AAH," that you want in the article so badly. What exactly does this tell me about how AAH works? Exactly nothing. It's just "AAH deserves more respect"   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  01:57, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
Indeed, Almanacer's edit[2] is also misrepresenting the source which says nothing about "research programmes" and cannot possibly tell us about "the last fifteen years" since it it over six years old. What is more ledes (per WP:LEDE) are meant to summarize material that already exists in the article body - where this content would be poor in any case. Add on top deletion of the fact that AAH "is generally ignored by anthropologists" and a grammar error and we have something which is in every way a bad WP:PROFRINGE edit. Alexbrn (talk) 03:56, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

I am going to advise everyone to calm down. There is a lot of namecalling and accusations of bad faith. Focus on the edits, and not the editor.

In the interest of clarity, each person here please present - concisely, please - the problem in a single, short paragraph. No more, no less. And no attacks. Just give it a try, please. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 02:38, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

see above[3]. Alexbrn (talk) 03:54, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
None of the sources presented seem to support "a small group of academics in the last 15 years have undertaken research programmes linked to the AAH". They may support different text, but no alternative has been presented for us to discuss.Slatersteven (talk) 09:01, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
The problem in sum is edit warring (accompanied by PAs “bad faith”, “making stuff up”) over content removed from the lead without consensus viz: "Though much of the mainstream academic community ignored or derided the initial proposal, a small group of academics in the last 15 years have undertaken research programmes linked to the AAH” and deemed unacceptable because, to quote the edit summary “Ledes can only summarize content which appears in the body”. This objection is transparently in bizarre denial of the content of the article which covers scientific research explicitly linked to the AAH in the section of the article on “Related academic and independent research”. As for other objections, the time frame of “15 years” can be replaced with “last decades” as per the body text; the objection to the phrase “ scientific research programmes “ is trivial; it is a description of normal scientific work as mentioned in the citation and covered in the above mentioned section of the article. Almanacer (talk) 16:46, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
Adding new content needs consensus, not removing it. But the objection is that is was undue because the bulk of "supporting studies" are not from experts in the field, whereas the bulk of experts in the field have rejected the theory. Yet despite this the support gets paragraph and the rejection get a line (as we give the early proponents a vast amount of space in the lede, thus the whole lede would need a re-write for balance if we add yet more claim of support). Moreover I am not sure the body does support "in the last 15 years", as I am having trouble finding any mention of supporting studies carried out in the last 15.Slatersteven (talk) 16:58, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
I think that it is perfectly fair to point out that the wording should not say or imply that the studies conducted by AAH proponents necessarily support AAH. What I think is verifiable is that a) proponents of AAH have conducted studies because of their interest in AAH and b) these studies have been published in various venues, but c) there is no evidence that anyone outside the AAH proponent community thinks these studies actually support AAH. How to illustrate that is not easy to do in a simple summative statement. jps (talk) 18:01, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
There is no mention of “support” or “supporting studies” in the wording. It refers to research “linked” to AAH. Since an entire section of the article is given over to such research, mentioning it in the lead is fully consistent with WP:LEAD. And to repeat what I’ve already stated, reference to “the last 15 years” can be replaced with verbatim from the body viz. “last decades”; in fact either wordings correspond to the dates of most of the research papers in the “Related academic and independent research” section. Almanacer (talk) 19:05, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
Let's not make stuff up. This kind of the stuff is undue WP:PROFRINGE puffery and per WP:RELTIME we can't be unclear about time periods. It's not going in the lede. Alexbrn (talk) 19:55, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
Mention of the scientific work covered in the article section on “Related academic and independent research” merits inclusion in the Lead as per WP:LEAD and WP:NPOV. I’m glad you have now taken the trouble to read the article, generally a good idea before contributing here, and are no longer objecting to the content on the ground that “Ledes can only summarize content which appears in the body”. Try reading the section more closely and you will find all the content is cited to academic publishers of books and journals whose editorial teams and peer reviewers provide the judgements on which WP depends on to determine reliability and relevance of content. As opposed, that is, to individual editor’s POVs on what constitutes “puffery” fringe material or anything else. Hurling around defamatory remarks about established scientists and attempting to portray their work as pseudoscience to the detriment of their reputation could get you and, more importantly, WP into serious trouble: “a defamatory claim is actionable” WP:BLP. All the research papers are clearly dated - WP:RELTIME is a non-issue.Almanacer (talk) 21:11, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
That is one of the most pathetic WP:CRYBLPs I've seen! Now that's it been established that the material you were trying to get into the lede is bogus, I think we're done. The outcome is positive in that at least we have some article improvement. From RS it's clear that the book was closed on the AAH a while ago and it remains as a crank science rump for True Believers. Wikipedia needs to be clear about that, to be neutral. Alexbrn (talk) 05:19, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
Well at least we can see where’re you’re coming from with this stream of denigration and personal insult allied to repeated baseless objections to substantive reliably sourced content and contempt for peer reviewed science. And as stated there is a point where your denigration has tipped over with the pseudoscience accusation and other comments into defamation of accredited scientific work to the detriment of the reputations of the scientists who undertake it as well as the reputation of WP - a matter that will be pursued elsewhere in due course. The deny, remove and denigrate strategy you employ no doubt relies on the assumption your tendentious contrarian posturing however transparently fraudulent ( eg “novel to the lede”, “fails WP:V”, etc.) will not be matched to the rebuttals which contradict them with the same persistence as you continue to ignore them. How long it will work remains to be seen. Almanacer (talk) 20:18, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
  • The article already includes cited statements that:
-The AAH is rejected by the scientific community.
-That it has been described by a professional member of a relevant field as equal to creationism in terms of plausibility.
-That it has been labelled pseudoscience by professional members of relevant fields.
The lede summarizes the body, plain and simple. I can't find source- or policy-based consensus on this page to exclude the description of AAH as pseudoscience from the lede. Even if there were a brief moment where its supporters had a circle-jerk while people who understand that WP:PSCI is policy were somewhere else, that doesn't mean it's consensus.
Now, I will grant that I might personally think that this idea is not as loony as most other forms of pseudoscience, but anyone can see that it's still clearly rejected and not without reason. Even if ten years from now AAH becomes mainstream anthropology, Wikipedia is especially conservative when it comes to science. Whether research is being conducted or not means nothing, as Parapsychology gets plenty of research programs. What is needed are professionally-published mainstream academic sources (from the relevant fields) which explain the hypothesis as plausible or credible, written by individuals who are not seeking any sort of credit for proving it -- proof that uninvolved academics who would know better see AAH as having merit. We don't actually cite De revolutionibus orbium coelestium in Heliocentrism so comparisons to Galileo and Copernicus are just pointless indirect attacks that only make their speaker come across as yet another egotistical fringe-advocate. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:22, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

A bit of history[edit]

The offending sentence in the lede was workshopped for a time to allow for a summary of the final section of the article. I am a bit uncomfortable with the final section of the article as I have always been because it seems a bit overdone in comparison to the actual notability of these researchers. There are some problems with citogenesis and back-scratching, but this is elucidated rather well in Milam's chapter on the subject, I would say. How we indicate this is another matter. The wording that was cobbled together back when MPants was mediating was basically to point out that (a) there were AAH-inspired people doing (b) work they try to publish in various venues (including some rather dubious ones) and they are (c) generally ignored but for their champions like Attenborough and the other academics and academic-adjacents. Nevertheless, I think it reasonable to let people know that such work does get published here and there. How exactly to WP:WEIGHT this, however, is not something I pretend to know. I defer to those pointing out issues with sourcing above, but am happy to help if I can. jps (talk) 15:52, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

For all those complex systems, Wiki still can't protect this topic.
I don't know what would be worse, if the vandalism and censorship comes from soldiers of creationism, or misguided voices of free science. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 22:39, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
I don't know why you think the "wiki" should "protect" this topic. Surely, you've been around long enough to understand now that this is not going to happen here. If protection is your goal, you ought to try a different website. jps (talk) 22:50, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
Okay, let me put it this way: In 2016, David Attenborough did his infamed radio special for BBC, summarizing the latest years' developments about aquatic apes, waterside apes, etc. The day after, several paleoanthropologists came out in the press, thoroughly denouncing Attenborough for being 'irrelevant'. Damage control, that's what it was. "Sorry David Attenborough, We Didn't Evolve from 'Aquatic Apes'" was the headline from PAs Alice Roberts and Mark Maslin. Then, as they were pushed for further, it quickly turned out that Roberts and Maslin ... hadn't even heard the radio special in question! They couldn't even be bothered! As soon as it's Elaine Morgan, they do not have to read up! Nullius in Verba does not apply!
That is how this idea is being treated! At the least art historians actually read The Da Vinci Code, before they tell us, that Dan Brown is full of shit! Tell me, how there isn't something completely wrong here??? For decades!
And I'm a complete pseudolunatic for calling it out? For feeling a deep sense of injustice against Elaine Morgan? Where do you think I get the analogies with Galileo and them cardinals from? PAs are deeply corrupted here and not worthy of being called scientists! --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 23:53, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
Mecum omnes plangite. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 00:23, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Some busybody: Well, what about, for instance, the presentation about Vernix caseosa in newborn human babies versus in harbour seal cups? How can that be the "stuff of creationism"--?
Maslin: I don't know anything about that. I can't speak to Vernix caseosa.
B: Well, just based on the radio piece with Attenborough--
M: I haven't heard that radio piece.
B: [--] Beg your pardon? You haven't heard it?
M: I haven't heard it.
B: You didn't hear the radio piece, you're rejecting so thoroughly the day after it aired???
M: I'm sorry, I don't have any more time for this.
That's not an exact transcript, but it's the gist of it. This is what's going on! --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 01:17, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
You are arguing with the wrong group of people. If you think that these think pieces in response to Attenborough should be retracted, you need to contact the publishers. If they retract the pieces, I guarantee Wikipedia editors will sit up and pay attention. jps (talk) 16:48, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

Arbitrary break 2: the wiki strikes back[edit]

Look, all the flowery rhetoric is nice and all, but we aren't here to argue the merits of the hypothesis.
That bears repeating:
We are not here to argue whether the AAH is valid or poppycock. None of us here are anthropologists; even if we were, our opinion as editors has no bearing on the article. Full stop.

It has been pointed out that the current lede represents the current state of the body of the article. Is that a fair assesment? If I could trouble you all, please answer yes or no, below. Do try to limit any statement as to the motives of others out. Stick to the facts. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 01:47, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

  • The current lede is fine as is. jps (talk) 15:52, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Try this:
Alternative lede
Submerged infant in a pool
Newborns float and hold their breath instinctively when submerged. This is argued to be one of many aquatic adaptations by proponents of the aquatic ape hypothesis.
A female gorilla wades across a body of water. Observed bipedalism in many simian species in shallow water is argued as illustrative of the origin of human bipedalism.

The aquatic ape hypothesis (AAH), also referred to as aquatic ape theory (AAT) and more recently the waterside model,[1] is the idea that the ancestors of modern humans were more aquatic in the past. The hypothesis in its present form was proposed by the marine biologist Alister Hardy in 1960 who argued that a branch of apes was forced by competition from life in the trees to hunt for food such as shellfish on the sea shore and that this explained many characteristics such as man's upright posture. This proposal was noticed by Elaine Morgan, a script writer, who objected to the male image of the "mighty hunter" being presented in popular anthropological works by Raymond Dart, Desmond Morris and others. Whilst her 1972 book The Descent of Woman was very popular with the public, it attracted no attention from scientists, who saw no way of testing assertions about soft body parts and human habits in the distant past.

Morgan removed the feminist polemic in several later books, and her ideas were discussed at a 1987 conference devoted to the idea.[2] Her 1990 book Scars of Evolution received some favorable reviews, but the thesis was subject to scathing criticism from the anthropologist John Langdon in 1997 who characterized it as an "umbrella hypothesis" because while advocates for AAH argue it explains a lot, the hypothesis is not more parsimonious than simply rejecting the hypothesis.[3]

Since around 2000, one corollary of the hypothesis has received some support within the scientific community:[4] that at some point in the last five million years humans became dependent on essential fatty acids and iodine, which are found in abundance in aquatic resources. Efficient function of the human brain requires these nutrients.[5][6][7] In recent years, another observation gaining ground centers on observing aural exostoses in fossilized Homo erectus specimens, necessitating extensive aquatic activity for early Homo.[8]

The entirety of the "aquatic ape" proposal remains highly controversial, and is more popular with the lay public than with scientists.[9]


  1. ^ Attenborough 2016.
  2. ^ Roede 1991.
  3. ^ Langdon 1997.
  4. ^ Attenborough 2016, 18:54 Increase in aquatic research.
  5. ^ Cunnane & Stewart 2010.
  6. ^ Stewart, K; Cunnane, S; Tattersall, I, eds. (2014). "Special Issue: The Role of Freshwater and Marine Resources in the Evolution of the Human Diet, Brain and Behavior". Journal of Human Evolution. 77: 1–216.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  7. ^ "The Matrix of Comparative Anthropogeny (MOCA) -- Aquatic Food Consumption". Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  8. ^ Rhys-Evans, PH; Cameron, M. "Aural exostoses (surfer's ear) provide vital fossil evidence of an aquatic phase in Man's early evolution". Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  9. ^ Bender R, Tobias PV, Bender N (2012). "The Savannah hypotheses: origin, reception and impact on paleoanthropology". Hist Philos Life Sci (Historical article). 34 (1–2): 147–84. PMID 23272598.
--CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 06:36, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
NO, as it give undue weight to a few studies, and largely ignores the bulk of "scientist" who oppose it.Slatersteven (talk) 09:09, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Okay, like whom? What bulk of scientists who opposes it? Apart from John Langdon's "umbrella hypothesis" rebuttal from 1997 (don't know why the theory of evolution isn't an umbrella hypothesis, but never mind that now), there's actually very little rejection in official litterature. I only know of personal blogs and a few op-eds in the daily press to burn Attenborough at the stakes. Official academic litterature is loaded with official rejections of Bigfoot, ancient astronauts or Dan Brown, but when it comes to these beach apes, the crickets are deafening. The experts have almost never gone on record to tell us, why oh why Elaine Morgan was such a drivelin' lunatic. It's almost as if they don't dare to, 'cause they know they can't make it stick. Everyone assumes it's refuted anyway, even though they don't quite know why.
That's why it's almost impossible to balance out the lead with this assumed mass rejection of AAH. 'Cause there's almost nothing in official print to source it with.
"One of the reasons, I think, for an early hostility to it, was purely a feeling that, 'Well, why didn’t one of us come up with that? If it was true, one of us would have come up with it first.' It was a kind of incredulity almost, that this outsider could produce this theory which seemed to pull so many threads together. But there was also a feeling that they were all glancing around the room, feeling, 'Well, I can’t personally think of the knock down argument, but surely one of you can.' And there was the thing that, 'Which one of us is it that has got the knock down argument?' And it gradually became apparent that none of them had the knock down argument!"
- Graham Richards, Scars of Evolution, BBC Radio 4, 2005
--CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 14:17, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
You right of course, as we say they have ignored it, which still means we give undue weight to a fringe.Slatersteven (talk) 15:53, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Well, then go ahead and delete the entire article! Then there's no point in even having it! Let's just mimic Academia's reponse to it! --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 16:00, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

Ironically, this is the first time you've offered an actual way forward that is within the bounds of what it is possible to do at Wikipedia. If you think there is a strong case to be made to delete this article, feel free to file WP:AfD. jps (talk) 16:42, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

Alternative lede 2

Following the stand of contemporary academic science, this idea does not exist! Do not write anything about it! Doing so risks ban to your Wikipedia account!

I was actually trying. Desperately. But there's nothing official in the litterature to quote from. No one wants to say flat out, what's so obviously stupid about it. Langdon is still the only one, and his is an incredibly weak rejection. We all know AAH is being fiercely rejected by the academic establishment, but no one wants to say why. Personally, I know why they can't say why. 'Cause the big boys just can't say flat out, that they're disgusted that some grandma armchair scientist got the better of all their fraternity degrees. How dare that peasant have a point? Who cares if we're old beach apes? Elaine Morgan's not supposed to be right!
That's why you panic at a genuine summary of what's going on again and again. 'Cause you've all been told this is laughable pseudoscience. You know it is! But a genuine summary just can't carry that over. And the pseudo part is supposed to be in there. We're supposed to laugh at this. Where is the stuff I'm supposed to laugh at? This presentation makes perfect sense! Something is wrong! I know these lunatics believe in mermaids, and there's nothing about mermaids or sea monkeys here! Elaine Morgan must have believed in them mermaids, that's all I was ever told about this! Who the hell cares, what she actually wrote, I need those lies confirmed! --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 15:55, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
There isn't any reason for us to argue with you about the situation. The sources are what they are, the state of the field is what it is. As we've tried to explain to you for years, Wikipedia is simply not set-up to do what you want to do. As you rightly point out, the subject is on the whole ignored by the mainstream and to the extent that we can talk about it, the discussion is haphazard and treated as a second thought rather than someone looking carefully into it. We have a number of sources which explain this state of affairs anyway. It may very well be as you say, but without serious sources that can make this case, our hands are tied here. You need to go encourage the creation of sources that are of the quality and provenance that we use in Wikipedia articles in general before you can effect the change you want to see here. jps (talk) 16:04, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
At this point in time, the vast majority of sources in the peer-reviewed litterature are supportive of aquaticism in human evolution. Only one is speaking officially against it.
Bingo. That should make it very easy to finally compose a balanced summary of all this hooplah. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 16:13, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
There isn't enough cited to independent sources for us to follow that lede. You need to encourage the field to cite it. Then we'll pay attention. Right now, it's a WP:Walled garden. jps (talk) 16:18, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Alfred Wegener was a joke for fifty years. No geologist dared to pursure the fancies of that pathetic wheatherman speaking out of office. Academic careers were destroyed for trying. His was an inconvenient truth, too.
All the headway hasn't come from PAs, complacent with presenting every single African hominoid as another hominin. It had to be outsiders again. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 16:28, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Have you read Right great wrongs? It has cleary been shown to you before. There is absolutely nothing we can do about the situation outside of Wikipedia. You are clearly mad with PAs, but Wikipedia is not a venue of PAs. jps (talk) 16:39, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Nope, RGW is also completely new to me.
What would Wikipedia circa 1950 have done about Alfred Wegener's nonsense about floating continents? Are you telling me, it would be perfectly reasonable to just not list his baloney about matching coastlines of Africa and South America? --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 16:44, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps best to see what academics think of your argument Association fallacy#Galileo Gambit.--16:48, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia ca. 1950 would have not hailed Wegener as the insightful scientist he turned out to be in hindsight and would have only discussed his opinions inasmuch as they were noticed by independent sources who, absolutely, were generally detractors. That's just the way it is. If you think there should be a different way of setting up the website, you either need to propose changes to our model at the policy level or start a different reference work. jps (talk) 16:51, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

This will be my last word on this matter, as we are going round in circles (at best). I oppose any edit to the lead that gives undue weight to claims this is being taken more seriously, when it is clear that academia largely ignore it. This is not some call to delete this page (and I have argued long and hard that all fringe topics deserve articles, its what I want to come here to read about. That however does not mean (nor should we) give the impression that fringe views are not fringe views, or do anything that implies any kind of mainstream acceptance. THus I have not choice then to say I oppose any change to the lead unless I say otherwise.Slatersteven (talk) 16:13, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

This article is gobbledygook. And it is, because this fringe concept is caught in a grotesque limbo of being historically assumed to be nonsense, while more and more PR research confirms, that it never was. That is what the article should be summarizing. Wikipedia fails in its objective on this one. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 16:34, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
"Objectivity" is not the name of the game. WP:NPOV with respect to WP:V WP:RS is. You are fighting this battle in the wrong place. jps (talk) 16:39, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
I guess I have completely misunderstood the purpose of Wikipedia. It was never meant for information, but for indoctrination. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 16:54, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Six of one/half a dozen of the other? I'm surprised it took you this many years to understand. The point is that Wikipedia cannot be "objective" because it is crowd-sourced. If we named CEngelbrecht2 the editor-in-chief, you would clean things up in short order, no doubt. But that's not how things work here. So the community, such that it is, cobbled together a set of rules that looks at what the sources in the outside world say (and offers a few guides for how to evaluate them for independence and reliability) and simply summarizes the status quo. If you are opposed to the status quo, this makes Wikipedia feel like it's in opposition to you. The way to fix that is to change the status quo. It's a conservative (in an information science and epistemological sense) reference work. jps (talk) 16:58, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
You know what status quo is on this? That paleoanthropology just don't have a case against Elaine Morgan, and never had. And now the entire field is stuck in most likely realizing it, but they can't admit dishonourable defeat to somebody from outside their fraternity. That it has to be researchers from other natural scientific fields other than paleoanthropology having to do their job, doing the research they are supposed to be doing. And making more and more headway doing it.
And, fair enough, I wouldn't know how the hell to summarize that. 'Cause it's such a grotesque situation. --CEngelbrecht2 (talk) 17:19, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm sorry you feel like the status quo is so grotesque, but Wikipedia simply isn't the place to fix it. If you think it should be, you can propose to alter our policies and guidelines accordingly, but I would suggest actually fighting this battle in places where you can effect change where our policies currently ask us to pay attention to--at the level of attributable publications. jps (talk) 17:26, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Just to let people know, CEngelbrecht2 is currently indefinitely blocked so may be unable to participate in this discussion further. Nil Einne (talk) 10:33, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

Can we condense this into one place now, its hard to follow where someone said something.Slatersteven (talk) 18:03, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

"the whale"[edit]

"He pointed to humans' lack of body hair as being analogous to the same lack seen in certain other marine mammals, such as the whale and the hippopotamus"

"The" whale? Which one? There is no such thing as "the whale". Please change to "He pointed to humans' lack of body hair as being analogous to the same lack seen in certain other marine mammals, such as whales and the hippopotamus". --Khajidha (talk) 13:59, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

"The Japanese are resilient." "The car is useful." The plus singular noun is a (rather pretentious) way of talking about generalities.
There are also two hippo species. I disagree that this is at all confusing. Further, saying something like "other marine mammals" implies that humans are marine mammals which they are not. jps (talk) 15:49, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
I think it is fair to say the average reader will know they mean "whale" as in the type of animal.Slatersteven (talk) 16:19, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
So you're saying it's even worse than I thought on first read. Recommend changing to "He pointed to humans' lack of body hair as being analogous to the same lack seen in whales and hippopotamuses". --Khajidha (talk) 18:18, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
I would prefer "He pointed to humans' lack of body hair as being analogous to the lack of body hair in whales and hippopotamuses." I don't think hippos are generally considered a marine mammal. jps (talk) 18:39, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I caught that and left it out of my last suggestion. --Khajidha (talk) 19:29, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
It bears pointing out, yet again, that we editors have no standing to evaluate the scientific nature of the comments issued by reliable sources. We only evaluate them as fringe theories. Tl;dr: leave the science to the scientists. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 01:26, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

...Okay. But I think we have an edit here that we all agree upon. jps (talk) 01:29, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

We should say what he says, if he says "marine mammals, such as the whale and the hippopotamus" so should we. I think we need a quote here so as to avoid us second guessing what a source meant.Slatersteven (talk) 08:38, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
Go ahead and dig up a quote if you think it better. I think it's silly. jps (talk) 11:22, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
I do not have access to any of those sources, but if there are doubts as to what he said (or if what he said is correct) we need a quote. What we should not do is alter what he said to better fit what we think is correct.Slatersteven (talk) 11:31, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
I don't have any doubts about the sentence we agreed to above and am willing to implement it once protection expires tomorrow. If you have doubts, feel free to propose some alternate wording involving quotes. You can use WP:Resource request if you can't get access. I have read these sources some time back and am confident we are being true to them. jps (talk) 13:27, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
If the sources show that he actually said "marine mammals, such as the whale and the hippopotamus", then we REALLY shouldn't be relying on him as a source. --Khajidha (talk) 15:16, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

Nothing on Shell Middens[edit]

Shell Middens are found in coastal or lakeshore zones all over the world.

Once upon a time there was a huge discussion on this subject promoted by AAH advocates. Problem is, there isn't much in the way of WP:Independent sources which connect these to AAH as a salient feature of the argument. Part of the problem is the disconnect between AAH and anti-AAH straw horses. AAH proponents claim that anti-AAH refuse to accept any evidence that humans were near water. The pooh-pooh-ers characterize the AAH proponents as simply looking for any water-association in anthro/acheao as evidence. We're left in the middle looking for sources which offer enough analysis so our readers can understand the context in a WP:NPOV fashion that is duly WP:WEIGHTed by WP:MAINSTREAM analysis. Not an easy task. jps (talk) 10:40, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
The oldest shell midden is from Blombos Cave so it doesn't really have any bearing at all on AAH   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  21:56, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

Tuomisto, Tuomisto, and Tuomisto study[edit]

As was already said at Wikipedia:Fringe_theories/Noticeboard#AAH (permalink)

the paper has no independent citations outside the AAH citogenesis community, this is also a social science paper published in a journal that is not dedicated to social science. -- ජපස

Having read the paper, the study's results and its conclusions are wildly out of whack. The results throw a huge number of "hypotheses" at the respondents and ask them to "rate the credibility of 51 alternative hypotheses that have been proposed to explain their evolutionary origin (such as freeing the hands for tool use or seeing over tall grass)". The analysis then groups all the AAH traits into a large group called "other" and says that the credibility of that aggregate group is rated as highly as some of the individual parts of the Bipedalism or Encephalization groups. This is not science in any actual sense of the word. The large number of items surveyed and hopelessly muddled analysis and really dodgy credibility scores render the whole thing meaningless. Of the three related authors (siblings?), one works on tropical rainforest plant communities, one works on experimental psychology, and one organic pollutants; none work on human evolution. On top of all that, the Discussion doesn't actually say what the editor was trying to get it to say. There is no way that this can be included under any rational standard. -- Eggishorn

It doesn't take a scientist to tell that if you poll people with "which is better, A, B, C, or D?" you don't just add up B, C, and D against A and call it a day. You have to poll with "which is better, A or B+C+D?"

In short, that dog won't hunt, monsignor. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:53, 6 April 2020 (UTC)

I was surprised to see that the noticeboard article cited above starts by calling Ecology and Evolution an "out-of-the-way journal". According to its web page it's published by Wiley (one of the world's leading science publishers), it's peer reviewed, and it's supported by the British Ecological Society, the European Society for Evolutionary Biology and the Society for the Study of Evolution. To me, that sounds like a respectable scientific journal in a relevant field.
I am also puzzled about the claim that "the Discussion doesn't actually say what the editor was trying to get it to say". I did try to do an accurate summary of what the source said, but it is true that not all of the information came from the Discussion section of the paper, some came from the Results section. I would think that's allowed, however.
The justification for reverting my edits was "That study dishonestly lumps together the results of various AAH ideas against specific mainstream ones". Maybe I did not read the paper well enough, but I did not see comparisons like that. Instead, the comparisons were either between specific AAH ideas and specific mainstream ones, or between the average scores of groups of ideas (e.g. dryland vs. water-related).
The survey paper largely seems to confirm what many editors here have been saying all the time: hypotheses that swimming or diving have played a role in human evolution are not popular, and anthropologists are especially critical of them. Both of these points were included in my proposed edits of the AAH article. However, the survey study also reported that most scientists did not think that AAH is pseudoscience. Is this why the paper must be deprecated and cannot be cited? Now the wikipedia article gives a lot of weight to the claim that scientists do consider AAH to be pseudoscience -- based on a conference report which briefly mentions that someone said so in a talk, and a blog post that is more than 10 years old. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cricetus (talkcontribs) 21:50, 7 April 2020 (UTC)
  • The source is junk and should not be used per WP:FRIND. Alexbrn (talk) 07:35, 5 February 2021 (UTC)


There needs to be a consensus on the Talk page before a paragraph like this can be added. Thanks for commenting.

Bioko island postulated to be the aquatic location[edit]

Bizarre creatures sometimes evolve on islands, a phenomenon known as the island syndrome. Geology professor Allan Krill recently suggested[1] that humans evolved by peripatric speciation on a barren volcanic island, in a scenario similar to that of the Galapagos Marine iguana. The chimpanzee-human last common ancestor may have accidentally rafted to proto-Bioko island of western Africa. As with the iguana, these arboreal animals may have been stranded with no forest foods, and their exclusively marine diet and semiaquatic habitat resulted in unique anatomical changes. Bioko has a rainy climate with neither strong sun nor cold nights, so body fur would not be as necessary there. Bioko has no large predators, so primates evolving into vulnerable humans could survive there without inventing weapons. Beaches on Bioko are visited by many sea turtles each night during much of the year, so turtle eggs and meat could have been shared by blubbery semiaquatic humans without tools or fire. Plentiful marine food may have supported large coastal populations, as with the marine iguana. Dense habitation may have led to self-domestication and Proto-Human language. Some hominins may have left Bioko and invented clothing, tools, and fire, that were necessary elsewhere. Because the warm humid climate of western Africa causes bones to decay rapidly, no mammal fossils have ever been reported from Bioko or any areas inhabited by chimpanzees or gorillas. Therefore there is no fossil evidence for chimpanzee or gorilla evolution, or for an early human presence on Bioko. If there was an average population of 10,000 semiaquatic humans on Bioko for 5 million years, this would be one billion people. The corpses of the 200 people who would have died each year could have been buried respectfully in the sea. Genetics might be able to test the Bioko hypothesis. Complementing the recent African origin of modern humans it seems possible that Neanderthals and early modern humans came directly from Bioko while it was connected to the mainland by a Pleistocene land bridge. Krillaa (talk) 12:17, 25 July 2021 (UTC)

I am not sure the ideas of a man operating well outside his area of expertise should be included.Slatersteven (talk) 12:21, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
that journal only appears to be interested in publishing these kinds of fringe ideas. It says it won't publish anything with actual empirical evidence, and to me it seems it's more of a creative writing journal than a scientific one   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  14:49, 25 July 2021 (UTC)

Are you saying that relevant ideas, that have been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, are not qualified to include in a controversial topic that has been deemed to be ‘pseudoscience’? Isn’t the real problem that this paragraph shows the aquatic ape hypothesis to be both scientific and plausible? Dunkleosteus77, it seems to me that you are afraid of the aquatic ape hypothesis seeming plausible, because it challenges the 38 wikipedia articles about hominns that you have authored. Krillaa (talk) 05:01, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

See wp:fringe, and this is not even by an evolutionary biologist.Slatersteven (talk) 09:34, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
This is also not a place to be publicizing your own work (looking at your username I assume you're Mr. A. Krill?)   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  14:54, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

The aquatic ape hypothesis is a fringe theory. On wikipedia it looks like pseudoscience because most of the actual evidence in support of it is not mentioned. No wikipedia reader would ever think that the aquatic ape hypothesis is a mainstream or orthodox theory There will be no confusion about this. I am trying to inform wilipedia readers that within the context of this fringe theory there is a plausible location. These testable ideas have been published in a mainstream scientific journal. You are trying to keep wikipedia readers from knowing about this location and this open-access science article, and there is no legitimate justification for hiding these facts. Krillaa (talk) 16:50, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

That is like saying "well yes I know the moon is not made out of green cheese, but I want to tell readers about what kind of green cheese it is". Sorry, but if the theory is fringe it does not matter where they did not evolve, as the scientific community says they did not evolve there. Nor (again) does it matter what a non-subject matter expert thinks. He (or is it you) is not a biologist.Slatersteven (talk) 16:55, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

Slatersteven, if you really think this comparison is intelligent, you should retire (again) as a wikipedia editor. Science knows exactly what the Moon is made of. Science has no idea about where in Africa humans were exposed to the selection pressures that caused them to evolve so differently than other primates. An average chimp is considerably stonger and can run much faster than anyone in the Olympics. Why? Why did humans lose their protective body hair and their long canine teeth, that all other primates still have? Do you have possible answers? Do you care? Krillaa (talk) 06:20, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

I agree with Slater, I think your evidence here is flimsy beyond belief, and your arguments in support of your view are unconvincing and immature. Your source is an essay written by a Geologist (part of the problem with the AAH is that there are no anthropologists endorsing it) and published in one of the "Ideas in..." journals, which are technically peer-reviewed, but which states on it's about page that: ""IEE does not publish traditional review articles, or papers based primarily on experimental, data-driven studies." and which describes it's activities as "publish[ing] forum-style articles that develop New ideas or that involve original Commentaries on any topics within the broad domains of fundamental or applied ecology or evolution." (Emphasis in original)
So no, we're not going to include an entirely speculative essay by an author with absolutely no relevant credentials published in a journal that makes no effort to filter pseudoscience from science, provided it's written in sufficiently up-to-date jargon. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:56, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

Note they have admitted they are the author of this piece [[4]].Slatersteven (talk) 14:03, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

That explains a lot. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:15, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
@Krillaa: I happen to agree with you that there is a distinct possibility of the existance of an aquatic ape. One only has to look at (eg) coronovirus to see evolution writ large. But it is understandably a fringe theory and may well stay at that for the chances of fossils being found in a tidal zone that itself may not have existed for 100,000s of years must be very small. Science moves ever onwards (look at Plate tectonics) to see how even into the 1960s people backing such proposals were not appointed to various universities! Writing and having an article published (I believe the paper you reference is written by you, please correct me if I am wrong) but then not acknowledging that fact, or checking if such a reference is acceptable does nothing to further the case for the aquatic ape. Wikipedia is a encyclopedia and as such should and must list the hypothesis and the informed / referenced thoughts of those that work in the field. Edmund Patrick confer 07:26, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

Speciation on Bioko is an alternative paradigm that must be ignored (for now). It would mean «game over» for paleoanthroplogy as we know it. Krillaa (talk) 12:23, 30 July 2021 (UTC)

Don't pretend that your argument isn't super arbitrary. If your entire idea is based solely on absence of evidence isn't evidence of absent, and any supporting evidence is inherently undiscoverable, I can pick any island I want and just say chimp fossils simply haven't been identified that far away yet, or make up an island which is now underwater and can't be discovered   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  16:28, 30 July 2021 (UTC)
I understand that Geology isn't exactly a magnet for cranks, but surely, you have to have some experience with the sorts of people who publicly pronounce that "[my pet theory] means "game over" for [field of science]." Were any of them ever even remotely right? ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:45, 30 July 2021 (UTC)
MjolnirPants, Flood geology. MrOllie (talk) 12:50, 30 July 2021 (UTC)
I literally had that in mind when I said that they have to have some experience with it. ;) ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:07, 30 July 2021 (UTC)
When third party RS decides it should not be ignored so do we. Until then it violates wP:fringe and wp:undue to include it.12:26, 30 July 2021 (UTC)Slatersteven (talk)
krillaa What? Edmund Patrick confer 14:27, 30 July 2021 (UTC)

There are three questions you are asking: 1. Why is an aquatic environment indicated? 2. Why is the island syndrome indicated? 3. Why is Bioko island indicated? I suggest that you read something by Elaine Morgan (free pdfs on and then read my paper three times. And try thinking for youself, instead of waiting for reliable sources with conflicts of interest to consider this alternative paradigm. (If you can’t change your mind, how do you know you have one?) Krillaa (talk) 07:11, 1 August 2021 (UTC)

No, there is one, do wp:rs care about this. You do not have consensus, it is clear you do not and it is now time to wp:dropthestick.Slatersteven (talk) 09:50, 1 August 2021 (UTC)

Agree. Thanks for commenting. Krillaa (talk) 11:44, 1 August 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ Krill AG (2020). "A paradigm for the evolution of human traits: Apes trapped on barren volcanic islands". Ideas in Ecology and Evolution. 13: 1–10. doi:10.24908/iee.2020.13.1.n.