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JackieO

Aquatic Apes R Us

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Inspired by a post by here by Hail the Tripod

Quote

Replying more fully to this now I'm not on my phone. "Aquatic ape theory" is a far better fit for human adaptations unique among primates, than "emerging onto the savannah theory":

  • newborn dive reflex
  • vernix
  • conscious breath control
  • lack of body hair
  • ideal buoyancy
  • subcutaneous fat storage
  • bipedalism
  • downwards facing nostrils
  • big noses but poor sense of smell
  • excellent swimming and diving ability

It is really very relevant to diet, as inland populations routinely struggle to achieve sufficient DHA and Iodine in their (local) diet. The best sources for these are seafood. This video is pretty long, but the content and conclusions are absolutely crucial to healthy diet IMO:

You made me think about this so I...

had a chat with the other half how is a qualified molecular biologist, who agreed with it to my surprise!

I started taking fish oil high in in Omega 3 today and I do feel better already

 

 

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1 hour ago, JackieO said:

Inspired by a post by here by Hail the Tripod

You made me think about this so I...

had a chat with the other half how is a qualified molecular biologist, who agreed with it to my surprise!

I started taking fish oil high in in Omega 3 today and I do feel better already

It’s an interesting hypothesis. There isn’t any slam dunk evidence, but there’s not a vast amount of fossil evidence about human evolution* and what little there is has obvious survivorship bias.

If you were to drop me in the arid, primordial African savannah with a dozen mates and no tools, we’d be dead within 48 hours. If you were to drop us at a temperate, primordial tidal estuary, we would have a great chance of forming a viable community. Why anyone would wed themselves to the idea we are evolved for a brutally hostile environment rather than our ideal habitat, without startlingly clear evidence, I don’t understand.

 

* Which there wouldn’t be if humans were then mostly clustered along the shoreline (like they have been throughout all recorded history), because the end of the ice age put those areas deep underwater.

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I though this had been discussed somewhere on TOS, but I can't find any vestige now. David Attenborough has been popularising the idea, and in 2016 there was a R4 series on "The Waterside Ape". The main points were as given above, and seemed quite compelling. I recall reading around the subject at the time and finding that mainstream academia was quite hostile, and there were explanations for every observation that did not require recourse to a waterside evolution model. For example, every mammal has the mammalian diving reflex, but a waterside development model is not being promoted for gerbils. ISTR one argument against was that several million years ago, the sea or even lake shore was nowhere near where we find early hominid fossils in Africa.

On the other hand, we know from the AGW, dietary fat, and debt-based issuance of currency debates that academics don't want to risk reputation and funding by going against the conventional thought, and those who do have to use low-quality or quack journals to get published, which then tends to cement the idea that they are crackpots and can be dismissed. An interesting backstory to this is a person called Elaine Morgan from the South Wales valleys who had been privately researching and writing on the topic since the 1960s. Morgan kept the ball rolling, but, being unqualified professionally in a related field, perhaps put off other academics from getting involved.

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I suppose what the world wants is an operating manual for human beings, but there are none to be had. Knowing what the earlier prototypes were adapted to do would be really helpful.

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49 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I have read both threads but have not watched the video. I am not sure what this thread is about - will watching the video explain it?

I am guessing it is about homo evolution along the shoreline? 

Yes and Yes.

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56 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I have read both threads but have not watched the video. I am not sure what this thread is about - will watching the video explain it?

I am guessing it is about homo evolution along the shoreline? 

I thought we were genetically bred by the Annunaki. They needed workers and the Neanderthals couldn't be tamed. So we were genetically created.

Explains the lack of evolutionary evidence.

(Apologies to OP for hijacking the thread :)) 

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1 hour ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I am not sure what this thread is about -

It's about the search for the best diet for humans, looking back to what we ate during that fuelled our evolution.

The carnivore thread examines the savannah model and this the aquatic ape theory.

Sorry can't reply more fully atm!

 

Edited by JackieO

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IIRC this theory was also mentioned in one of the Desmond Morris TV adaptations 20 odd years ago. I certainly became aware of it around that time, as I was doing A level biology then, and I remember asking my biology teacher about it. She'd never heard of it. 

I met Elaine Morgan once. She gave a talk at Cardiff University. My wife bought a copy of the Descent of Woman for her to sign.. She should have talked to me about it first,  as I had a first edition in the house she could have had.

xD

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This all rather reminds me of the Rock People and the Shell People of One Million Years BC. 

Of course, maybe Hammer Films got that one bit of the film right and early humans simply evolved according to the different environments they found themselves 

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As @SpectrumFX says this theory is years old and was partly a reaction to the "man the hunter of the plains" hypothesis of standing up to see far with a lot of support for the new theory deriving from the far more equal weight given to both men and women in the new theory compared to the old; one of its major popularisers was a woman writer rather than scientist.

The academic objection to it is that nothing as complex and wide ranging as human evolution can be summarised in such a simple theory however attractive.  Not that it's wrong but that it is a wild over-simplification given the evidence we have which is incredibly limited.

You also cannot prove a theory like that and people do seek simple answers where there may not be any.  I have registered before my objection to the way that the "Out of Africa" theory is presented as fact when the only reason for the higher incidence of older human remains in Africa may be differential preservation: no ice ages.

I was taught as "fact" thirty years that Neanderthals were extinct and no trace of their DNA survives.  As science has improved it has been shown that plenty of Neanderthal DNA exists in Europeans.

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1 hour ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I have read both threads but have not watched the video. I am not sure what this thread is about - will watching the video explain it?

I am guessing it is about homo evolution along the shoreline? 

Ray Mears has talked about it on his tv thing several times.

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