London May conference - how did it go?

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London May conference - how did it go?

Postby CEngelbrecht » Thu May 23, 2013 4:37 am

http://www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk/SiteColl ... lution.pdf

How did the conference in London earlier this month pan out?
Will there be anything published from this symposium?
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Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby AlgisKuliukas » Wed May 29, 2013 6:11 am

CEngelbrecht wrote:http://www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/education-conference-centre/events/2013-evolution.pdf

How did the conference in London earlier this month pan out?
Will there be anything published from this symposium?


It was great, Chris.

There will be a video made of all the presentations, I think and a publication of papers hopefully too. I will keep this thread posted on developments.

I plugged this forum in my talk (on the wading hypothesis) but, again very disappointingly, no-one new has joined.

I'll keep banging away though. The symposium certainly has inspired me.

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?
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Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby CEngelbrecht » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:22 pm

Found blog entries here:
http://theaquaticape.org/
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Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby AlgisKuliukas » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:46 pm

CEngelbrecht wrote:Found blog entries here:
http://theaquaticape.org/


A beautiful blog. Thanks, Chris.

I must say I didn't really find Marc's talk very inspiring or interesting, especially the one on language.

I approached Marc a couple of times and asked him, straight to his face, about the clear weight bearing traits of Homo erectus, for example the articulation of the lunate surface in the acetabulum and the sheer size of that, the proximal tibia/distal femur and the sacral body.

Paraphrased, but this was the gist..

Me: "Surely, Marc, you will concede that these are clear indications of on adaptation to upright walking"

Marc: "I don't know"

Me: "But you are ceratin about the pachyostotic (dense bones) feature being an adaptation to diving."

Marc: "Of course, all diving mammals have this."

When I put this to Stephen Munro, he said pretty much the same thing.

I find this a big problem. Most people I spoke to have no problem with the wading idea and even that some selection for swimming and diving might have occurred, but once you deny clear traits for terrestrial weight bearing, it starts to look very dodgy in my view.

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?
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Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby CEngelbrecht » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:38 pm

Marc et al's view on pachyosteosclerosis and erectus being "more aquatic" than sapiens, I'm willing to reserve judgement on that. I'm also reserving judgement on his notion, that australos may be closer to chimps than to humans (and I don't know if paranthr are then closer to gorillas or something), pending more data and/or argumentation.

These are challenging views, and certainly far beyond the anthropological consensus. But so AAH/WHHE is already, so why not consider the full spectrum? Marc is asking a lot of leniancy, but if that should turn out being the path out of Plato's cave, then so be it. (On the flipside, I don't want to sprint out of that damn cave, either, it does have a very narrow opening, and I don't want bang my head on the ceiling on the way out.)
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Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby AlgisKuliukas » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:00 pm

CEngelbrecht wrote:Marc et al's view on pachyosteosclerosis and erectus being "more aquatic" than sapiens, I'm willing to reserve judgement on that. I'm also reserving judgement on his notion, that australos may be closer to chimps than to humans (and I don't know if paranthr are then closer to gorillas or something), pending more data and/or argumentation.

These are challenging views, and certainly far beyond the anthropological consensus. But so AAH/WHHE is already, so why not consider the full spectrum? Marc is asking a lot of leniancy, but if that should turn out being the path out of Plato's cave, then so be it. (On the flipside, I don't want to sprint out of that damn cave, either, it does have a very narrow opening, and I don't want bang my head on the ceiling on the way out.)


Each to their own, I guess.

I have considered the full spectrum and I think it's wrong. If Homo erectus were as aquatic as Marc et al believe, why have no Homo erectus fossils been found in Australia and beyond? If they crossed the Wallace line to Flores, why no further? Of course, such fossils may yet be found and if so, I would reconsider. But overall I think the weight bearing traits of Homo erectus clearly show it to be a largely terrestrial hominin, just like us. In fact their weight bearing traits are, if anything, more pronounced. They can't just pretend that away.

I think Marc's been right, and me wrong, before, though, so maybe again. Erika Schagatay told me she thought human ancestors were far more aquatic than I do, so I am prepared to admit that I might be mistaken on this.

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?
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Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby fceska » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:37 pm

My two cents worth - which probably aren't even worth that... I don't think Marc has the most eloquent way of stating his views, and often it may be detrimental to his ideas, but so far, I've found his hypothesis the most compelling, and I am more inclined to believe that man was much more aquatic in the past than now, and that Homo Erectus was far more closely adapted to diving than to walking on land due to spending much more time in water than on land. I don't believe our flat paddle-like feet, or webbing between toes evolved for walking on beaches or wading twice a day in shallow water, but for swimming and diving. If we did a U-turn, it was after that and then we adapted to a terrestrial existence and forced our bones to take more weight than they were used to; reasons why we still have so many back problems today.

I know that most skeptics scorn and deride any notion that we may have done more than paddled our feet in the water once or twice a day, and I know Algis is doing a great job in pulling in scientists to consider the more palatable aspects of the theory, but I would hate to think that we are compromising the truth behind the theory just to make John Langdon, et al, take it seriously. If the truth is there, let's go after it in all it's shocking and incredible glory! The day will come when they will look just as ridiculous for knocking it as those who knocked Darwin, Wegener, etc.

I also don't think there's anything wrong with Marc answering: "I don't know" to your question above. It strikes me as perhaps one of the most honest answers that any scientist could come up with. There are still so many things we don't know.

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Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby AlgisKuliukas » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:07 pm

fceska wrote:My two cents worth - which probably aren't even worth that... I don't think Marc has the most eloquent way of stating his views, and often it may be detrimental to his ideas, but so far, I've found his hypothesis the most compelling, and I am more inclined to believe that man was much more aquatic in the past than now, and that Homo Erectus was far more closely adapted to diving than to walking on land due to spending much more time in water than on land.



Welcome, Francesca. Your views are worth every bit as much as any of ours.

I disagree with you about Homo erectus, because they have almost exactly the same skeletal traits as we do - indicative of weight bearing... walking and running, pretty much just like us.

fceska wrote:I don't believe our flat paddle-like feet, or webbing between toes evolved for walking on beaches or wading twice a day in shallow water, but for swimming and diving. If we did a U-turn, it was after that and then we adapted to a terrestrial existence and forced our bones to take more weight than they were used to; reasons why we still have so many back problems today.

I know that most skeptics scorn and deride any notion that we may have done more than paddled our feet in the water once or twice a day, and I know Algis is doing a great job in pulling in scientists to consider the more palatable aspects of the theory, but I would hate to think that we are compromising the truth behind the theory just to make John Langdon, et al, take it seriously. If the truth is there, let's go after it in all it's shocking and incredible glory! The day will come when they will look just as ridiculous for knocking it as those who knocked Darwin, Wegener, etc.



I'm not soft soaping the idea to make it more palatable for anyone, 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 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.

fceska wrote:
I also don't think there's anything wrong with Marc answering: "I don't know" to your question above. It strikes me as perhaps one of the most honest answers that any scientist could come up with. There are still so many things we don't know.

Francesca


There would be nothing wrong with Marc saying "I don't know" that certain skeletal traits in Homo erectus (e.g. very large distal femoral condyles. proximal tibia, huge acetabulum with a clearly anteriorly placed lunate surface etc) were symptomatic of weight bearing if it wasn't for his completely contrasting certainty that a few cherry picked traits (e.g. pachyostotic bones) were "obviously" symptomatic of diving. If he was equally uncertain about that, I for one would find his views more palatable.

I think you are being very generous to Marc, in suggesting that it might just be about his way of communicating, rather than his actual ideas. On the Yahoo group, I was very particular and careful to try to understand exactly what he was saying. 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.

Getting Marc to agree that Homo erectus was adapted to terrestrial bipedalism, like we are, is like trying to get blood out of a stone. I'm sorry, but I find that quite disturbing. Their skeletal anatomy clearly indicates they were as adapted to bipedalism, as we are.

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?
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Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby CEngelbrecht » Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:45 pm

All right, so Marc may have a point about hominin aquaticism originating in flooded woodland, but you can't agree with his reasons for concluding, that He was "more aquatic" than Hs. Is that a fair summarization?

I'm just trying to put things in perspective. We can't agree on everything, but we can't disagree on everything, either.
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Re: London May conference - how did it go?

Postby AlgisKuliukas » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:04 pm

CEngelbrecht wrote:All right, so Marc may have a point about hominin aquaticism originating in flooded woodland, but you can't agree with his reasons for concluding, that He was "more aquatic" than Hs. Is that a fair summarization?

I'm just trying to put things in perspective. We can't agree on everything, but we can't disagree on everything, either.


Marc's rationale for thinking Homo erectus was "more aquatic" than Hs is evidence based. They have heavier bones and there is evidence for ear exostoses. What I find difficult to swallow is that he is happy to cherry pick those traits but ignores the elephant in the room - their clear weight bearing traits which are, perhaps, more clear cut than our own.

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?
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