Ch 14: Just Add Water: The Aquatic Ape Story in Science (pp 199 - 212)
in: Was Man More Aquatic In The Past?
Fifty Years After Alister Hardy Waterside Hypothesis Of Human Evolution
Eds. Vaneechoutte M., Verhaegen M., Kuliukas A.
eISBN: 978-1-60805-244-8, 2011.
Science theory argues that all ideas are contextualized in their disciplines and also reflect historical and current cultural and social values. This chapter looks at the origins of the aquatic ape hypothesis (AAH) and its development over fifty years, focusing on the particular contributions of Elaine Morgan. The hypothesis had its genesis in a gendered debate on human difference and has connections with anthropology, primatology, palaeontology and other disciplines. More radically, it has a complex relationship with scientific method, gene-centered neo- Darwinism and theories that advocate multiple agents of biological change. Analysis of the AAH reveals much about the history of various genres in science writing, and constructions of scientific authority and knowledge.