London May conference - how did it go?

Discussions about Waterside Hypotheses of Human Evolution or any other topic related to human evolution.

Moderator: CEngelbrecht

Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby fceska » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:06 am

I really do think people on both sides have failed to understand just how little selection is needed for the phenotypes to have changed so much. It's basic population genetics. I'm always struggling to understand how people on both sides of the "divide" seem to have failed to grasp this point.


I haven't failed to understand that, but just because it can happen, it doesn't mean that it did. We know that if you selectively breed Russian wild foxes for non-aggressive traits, after 3 generations you get pie-bald pooches with floppy ears. But nature rarely deliberately selects for specific characteristics or intensively breeds in any particular direction. Nature allows those best suited to their environments to survive and pass on their genes. Depending on the circumstances it can be an inexorable plod towards any change at all. If we all have flat paddle-like feet, it means that at some point in our past it became necessary to have them, or die out.

I also have learned enough about skeletal anatomy to understand that the joints and other traits show clear weight bearing in Homo erectus, just like us, if not more. As a medical practicioner, Marc should know this better than I do.


I'm thinking out loud here - trying to clarify my own ideas. Please bear with me:
Isn't it possible that our ancestors at one time, long ago, possibly between 5-7 mya, dangled from trees in swamps and perhaps waded a little, thereby gradually separating themselves from Pan who stayed in the trees? Isn't it also possible that at another later time, different ancestors preferred the swamp to the trees and spent their time wading in the shallows and eating on the shore? Isn't it possible that over differing periods of history, our ancestors dangled from the trees, waded in the shallows, swam in the water, and lived on the shore, gradually becoming more and more upright, as hominid fossils show, developing weight-bearing traits, until finally as Homo Erectus, they began to spend almost all their daylight hours diving and living off shallow food sources: shellfish, shrimp, etc., more or less giving up a land based existence except for coming ashore to sleep at night? If so, during that phase mightn't their bones have become heavier even though they still retained the weight bearing traits that they had already acquired from earlier generations? And wouldn't this also explain how we acquired so many unique aquatic traits and why they belong to all of us, not some of us? After all, the fossil and anatomical evidence at any time can only show what happened 'up to' that point in evolution.

I asked him, repeatedly, over several days, if he thought Homo erectus was or was not adpated to terrestrial bipedalism and how much terrestrial bipedalism he thought they would have done. When I met him, face to face, in London a few weeks ago, I asked him these questions again.


Just because HE had weight bearing features, didn't mean he needed them at that time. I have an appendix now, but I don't need it. So I don't understand the question fully either. Was HE adapted to terrestrial bipedalism, or was his ancestor? Am I adapted to a swimming / diving existence, or was my ancestor? Will future generations be able to tell, from looking at my skeleton, how much swimming or diving I might be doing? I don't think there is a clear yes / no answer unfortunately. It would be nice if there was, but then we wouldn't be talking about it. ;)

Francesca
fceska
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:14 pm

Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby CEngelbrecht » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:49 am

fceska wrote:Isn't it possible that our ancestors at one time, long ago, possibly between 5-7 mya, dangled from trees in swamps and perhaps waded a little, thereby gradually separating themselves from Pan who stayed in the trees? Isn't it also possible that at another later time, different ancestors preferred the swamp to the trees and spent their time wading in the shallows and eating on the shore? Isn't it possible that over differing periods of history, our ancestors dangled from the trees, waded in the shallows, swam in the water, and lived on the shore, gradually becoming more and more upright, as hominid fossils show, developing weight-bearing traits, until finally as Homo Erectus (...)


"Prefer" is perhaps the wrong word, again your own point is that there would've been a selective pressure to keep going back in the water. Some genetic drift is possible along the way, but when these profound differences between Homo and Pan/Gorilla/Pongo collectively can be argued linked to some level of aquaticism, selective pressure would be parsimonous, by far.

Also remember, that Pan didn't stay in the trees, they evolved to live largely on the ground, possible from an e.g. Dryopithecus-like canopy origin (like us). (And then of course why are they on all fours today, and we're not?)
(And Homo sapiens, Homo erectus, etc. have lower case on the second word, because of Latin grammar and stuff. Elaine used to be harangued for making the same mistake, and the nay-sayers are aparently willing to use anything against these ideas.)
User avatar
CEngelbrecht
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:10 pm
Location: Scania, Sweden

Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby fceska » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:53 am

"Prefer" is perhaps the wrong word...
...(And Homo sapiens, Homo erectus, etc. have lower case on the second word, because of Latin grammar and stuff. Elaine used to be harangued for making the same mistake, and the nay-sayers are aparently willing to use anything against these ideas.)


Okay, okay. I'm a creative writer, not a scientist anyway! :roll: ;)

Francesca
fceska
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:14 pm

Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby CEngelbrecht » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:06 pm

Algis, people are mentioning an aquatic opponent in London (forgot his name), that went off on an emotional tare early on. It sounds like like that would've weakened the criticism against human aquaticism, at least to the crowd present.

Would you say that Marc equally may have weakened the support of aquaticism, by perhaps going a bit too wet, or at least be perceived as such by the crowd in London?
User avatar
CEngelbrecht
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:10 pm
Location: Scania, Sweden

Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby AlgisKuliukas » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:38 pm

CEngelbrecht wrote:Algis, people are mentioning an aquatic opponent in London (forgot his name), that went off on an emotional tare early on. It sounds like like that would've weakened the criticism against human aquaticism, at least to the crowd present.

Would you say that Marc equally may have weakened the support of aquaticism, by perhaps going a bit too wet, or at least be perceived as such by the crowd in London?


That was Don Johanson, the guy who discovered Lucy. Yes, he went off the rails and ranted during the Q & A at the end of the first session. "The Aquatic Ape theory is WRONG!!!" It would have been funny except that I know he'd be introducing me up in the next session and then I'd have to return the compliment to him in the one after that.

Most neutrals I spoke to afterwards (and there were many of those, mainly doctors and other health practitioners) thought he damaged the aquaskeptic cause by doing that.

I managed to make a joke of it when I introduced him, though: I said "Well Don's certainly already answered one question that was at the back of my mind this morning: Is he a closet 'aquatic ape' proponent!"

I thought Marc's talk on the Origin of Language was pretty dreadful. Full of his own opinions and very low on evidence. The stuff on pachyostosis and exostoses, at least, are evidence based.

I keep saying this but I can't understand why there aren't more people looking at the middle ground here. Stephen Munro suggested I was kind of letting the side down by not supporting Marc et al more, but from my point of view they're the ones letting Elaine down by going too extreme.

Algis
Waterside hypotheses of human evolution assert that selection from wading, swimming and diving and procurement of food from aquatic habitats have significantly affected the evolution of the lineage leading to Homo sapiens as distinct from that leading to Pan. (p118)
Kuliukas, A., 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, A. (2011). Was Man More Aquatic in the Past?
User avatar
AlgisKuliukas
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:24 pm

Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby AlgisKuliukas » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:48 pm

fceska wrote:
I really do think people on both sides have failed to understand just how little selection is needed for the phenotypes to have changed so much. It's basic population genetics. I'm always struggling to understand how people on both sides of the "divide" seem to have failed to grasp this point.


I haven't failed to understand that, but just because it can happen, it doesn't mean that it did. We know that if you selectively breed Russian wild foxes for non-aggressive traits, after 3 generations you get pie-bald pooches with floppy ears. But nature rarely deliberately selects for specific characteristics or intensively breeds in any particular direction. Nature allows those best suited to their environments to survive and pass on their genes. Depending on the circumstances it can be an inexorable plod towards any change at all. If we all have flat paddle-like feet, it means that at some point in our past it became necessary to have them, or die out.



Of course, but the point is the degree of selection need not have been much, so why argue for more than it need have been? It's tactically bad and logically too.

fceska wrote:
I also have learned enough about skeletal anatomy to understand that the joints and other traits show clear weight bearing in Homo erectus, just like us, if not more. As a medical practicioner, Marc should know this better than I do.


I'm thinking out loud here - trying to clarify my own ideas. Please bear with me:
Isn't it possible that our ancestors at one time, long ago, possibly between 5-7 mya, dangled from trees in swamps and perhaps waded a little, thereby gradually separating themselves from Pan who stayed in the trees? Isn't it also possible that at another later time, different ancestors preferred the swamp to the trees and spent their time wading in the shallows and eating on the shore? Isn't it possible that over differing periods of history, our ancestors dangled from the trees, waded in the shallows, swam in the water, and lived on the shore, gradually becoming more and more upright, as hominid fossils show, developing weight-bearing traits, until finally as Homo Erectus, they began to spend almost all their daylight hours diving and living off shallow food sources: shellfish, shrimp, etc., more or less giving up a land based existence except for coming ashore to sleep at night? If so, during that phase mightn't their bones have become heavier even though they still retained the weight bearing traits that they had already acquired from earlier generations? And wouldn't this also explain how we acquired so many unique aquatic traits and why they belong to all of us, not some of us? After all, the fossil and anatomical evidence at any time can only show what happened 'up to' that point in evolution.



I doubt it very much. The weight bearing traits persisted for almost 1.6 Ma. It's much more parimonious that they just walked around like we do, pretty much as much as we do.

That doesn't mean they didn't swim and dive more than chimps though. Of course, I agree with that - and that would have been enough.

fceska wrote:
I asked him, repeatedly, over several days, if he thought Homo erectus was or was not adpated to terrestrial bipedalism and how much terrestrial bipedalism he thought they would have done. When I met him, face to face, in London a few weeks ago, I asked him these questions again.


Just because HE had weight bearing features, didn't mean he needed them at that time. I have an appendix now, but I don't need it. So I don't understand the question fully either. Was HE adapted to terrestrial bipedalism, or was his ancestor? Am I adapted to a swimming / diving existence, or was my ancestor? Will future generations be able to tell, from looking at my skeleton, how much swimming or diving I might be doing? I don't think there is a clear yes / no answer unfortunately. It would be nice if there was, but then we wouldn't be talking about it. ;)

Francesca


Bones are very plastic in the sense that even in one life time they are moulded by life experience. I very much doubt that such massive traits that were clearly to do with weight bearing would be vestigial. Look up Wolff's law.

Algis
Waterside hypotheses of human evolution assert that selection from wading, swimming and diving and procurement of food from aquatic habitats have significantly affected the evolution of the lineage leading to Homo sapiens as distinct from that leading to Pan. (p118)
Kuliukas, A., 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, A. (2011). Was Man More Aquatic in the Past?
User avatar
AlgisKuliukas
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:24 pm

Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby CEngelbrecht » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:16 pm

Quick question. Were any of these proceedings filmed, by any chance?
User avatar
CEngelbrecht
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:10 pm
Location: Scania, Sweden

Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby AlgisKuliukas » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:54 pm

CEngelbrecht wrote:Quick question. Were any of these proceedings filmed, by any chance?


Yes, Chris.Everything was filmed. Still waiting to see what they're going to do with all that.

Algis
Waterside hypotheses of human evolution assert that selection from wading, swimming and diving and procurement of food from aquatic habitats have significantly affected the evolution of the lineage leading to Homo sapiens as distinct from that leading to Pan. (p118)
Kuliukas, A., 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, A. (2011). Was Man More Aquatic in the Past?
User avatar
AlgisKuliukas
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:24 pm

Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby CEngelbrecht » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:37 pm

http://play.streamingvideoprovider.com/ ... 5752&time=

Got access to the videos, well worth the 20 punds.

Donald Johanson's outburst during the session 1 discussion puzzles me. Algis, are you aware of what "version" of AAH he's been told? I mean, he's the man who's dug out his fair share of the human fossil archive (Lucy, for crying out loud), so it doesn't make sense that he's so outraged against this idea, based on everything being presented now (the whole clergy issue with Morgan notwithstanding). But his outburst would make sense, if he's been watching too much Animal Planet and thinks that AAH is about the mermaid nonsense.

You didn't get a chance to ask him about that, did you? It seems to be a wide spread misinformation, so why the hell not Johanson too?
User avatar
CEngelbrecht
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:10 pm
Location: Scania, Sweden

Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby AlgisKuliukas » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:15 pm

CEngelbrecht wrote:http://play.streamingvideoprovider.com/popapp.php?l=&w=965&h=665&p=aea59def46ac9156f0e42a3a3f2d6cf3&title=Human+Evolution+Conference&bgcolor1=%23FFFFFF&bgcolor2=%23DDDDDD&uk=BqvI0ZNf8k4Ppimge6PTXy#clip=665752&time=

Got access to the videos, well worth the 20 punds.

Donald Johanson's outburst during the session 1 discussion puzzles me. Algis, are you aware of what "version" of AAH he's been told? I mean, he's the man who's dug out his fair share of the human fossil archive (Lucy, for crying out loud), so it doesn't make sense that he's so outraged against this idea, based on everything being presented now (the whole clergy issue with Morgan notwithstanding). But his outburst would make sense, if he's been watching too much Animal Planet and thinks that AAH is about the mermaid nonsense.

You didn't get a chance to ask him about that, did you? It seems to be a wide spread misinformation, so why the hell not Johanson too?



Yes, the production quality id very good.

I didn't get the chance to ask him about it, no. I would have asked him exactly the point you're making - what does he think the "aquatic ape hypothesis" is?

I did manage to get a little joke in about it. I actually introduced him as I was chair for his session. So Don and I share that at least now - we both introduced each other!

After I listed some of his accolades, I said that he had already answered one question this morning that had been on my mind before the conference - "was he a closet 'aquatic ape' proponent?" He didn't look very amused by it!

Algis
Waterside hypotheses of human evolution assert that selection from wading, swimming and diving and procurement of food from aquatic habitats have significantly affected the evolution of the lineage leading to Homo sapiens as distinct from that leading to Pan. (p118)
Kuliukas, A., 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, A. (2011). Was Man More Aquatic in the Past?
User avatar
AlgisKuliukas
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:24 pm

PreviousNext

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron