Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

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Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby lw1990 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:53 am

The Aquatic Ape Theory is a heavily demonized/shunned theory by the mainstream which suggests we evolved in a habitat that at one time became flooded (for a long time or seasonally) forcing us to wade in water as a daily or seasonal part of life.

I found its arguments very convincing

http://www.primitivism.com/aquatic-ape.htm

https://theaquaticape.files.wordpress.c ... ations.jpg
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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby tholden » Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:50 am

There are two ways you could look at Elaine Morgan's Aquatic Ape thesis...

You could look at it as a new theory of evolution, in which case I would view it as just another flavor of BS, although opinions might differ...

Or you could view it as a theory of human adaptation. Viewed that way it is the best theory which has ever come down the road, we actually do share a hundred or so characteristics with the aquatic mammals. Our legs being the major limbs is the chiefest visual difference between us and monkeys/apes; legs being the major limbs is an adaptation for swimming and wading. Face-to-face sex... And then you get to the quesiton of having only a minimalistic sense of smell, which would be fatal for a land prey animal, while aquatic mammals do not really require much of a sense of smell. Again there are a hundred or so such cases.

AA theory has never gotten any traction in academia for two reasons: there is no physical/fossil evidence of any sort of an aquatic ape on our planet, and there has never been a body of water on this planet which would be safe for humans to live in. You only need to spend fifteen minutes in the ancient sea monster section of the Smithsonian museum to comprehend why humans never lived in water on this planet.

In other words, Elaine Morgan's thesis is perfectly good, it requires only a different sort of a world to happen on.

A reasonable home world for modern humans needs three things:

It needs to be bright (the relatively tiny human eyes as compared to the huge dark-world hominid and dinosaur eyes).

It needs to be wet (the aquatic adaptation).

It needs to be safe, both from sea monsters and from cosmic radiation; that second proposition generally means an intrinsic magnetosphere.

There are two rocky bodies in our system with meaningful intrinsic magnetospheres i.e. Earth and Ganymede.
Sixty thousand years ago, Ganymede had the other two requirements as well, which is a sort of a long story.

And then there is the case of the sudden appearance of modern humans.

One thing scholars all agree on is that whatever caused Cro Magnon people to appear on this planet when they did was not gradual. Danny Vendramini ("Them and Us") notes:

“The speed of the Upper Palaeolithic revolution in the Levant was also breathtaking. Anthropologists Ofer Bar-Yosef and Bernard Vandermeersch:
“Between 40,000 and 45,000 years ago the material culture of western Eurasia changed more than it had during the previous million years. This efflorescence of technological and artistic creativity signifies the emergence of the first culture that observers today would recognise as distinctly human, marked as it was by unceasing invention and variety. During that brief period of 5,000 or so years, the stone tool kit, unchanged in its essential form for ages, suddenly began to differentiate wildly from century to century and from region to region. Why it happened and why it happened when it did constitute two of the greatest outstanding problems in paleoanthropology.”


Likewise Dwardu Cardona ("Flare Star"):

"Where and how the Cro-Magnons first arose remains unknown. Their appearance, however, coincided with the most bitter phase of the ice age. There is, however, no doubt that they were more advanced, more sophisticated, than the Neanderthals with whom they shared the land. Living in larger and more organized groups than had earlier humans, Cro Magnon peoples spread out until they populated most of the world. Their tools, made of bone, stone, and even wood, were carved into harpoons, awls, and fish hooks. They were presumably able hunters although, as with the Neanderthals, they would also have foraged to gather edible plants, roots, and wild vegetables. The only problem here is that, as far as can be told, the Cro Magnons seem to have arrived on the scene without leaving a single trace of their evolutionary ancestors. Ian Tattersall observed:
'When the first Cro Magnons arrived in Europe some 40,000 years ago, they evidently brought with them more or less the entire panoply of behaviors that distinguishes modern humans from every other species that has ever existed.'"


There is also a question of artwork, i.e. going from hominids with no artistic capabilities whatsoever to the Cro Magnon Sistine Chapel at Lascaux, with no evidence to be found in the world of any sort of a run-up to that.

That obviously is not compatible with the idea of humans evolving from apes and/or hominids.

What that IS compatible with is the idea that Cro Magnon man, fully formed, CAME here from somewhere else in our system, which is the basic thesis of the Ganymede Hypothesis:

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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby lw1990 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:19 pm

The aquatic ape theory, from what I understand, does not suggest humans lived in 'a body of water', something as simple as a jungle or forest being seasonally flooded (creating a type of marshland) would have sufficed. There would be no real way for large 'sea monsters', if they existed alongside us, at the time, to jump from the ocean inland to small bodies of water like marshes or ponds.

There's also some new evidence that evolution, when the species is stressed, can evolve much faster than we previously thought. The stronger the environmental stress to survive, the faster the evolution. Flooding would be a strong motivator to walk bipedally, and to develop further conscious control of our breath, leading to speaking, etc. It would also provide fattier food sources than typically found in a forest (more animal food where there is more substantial water).

I personally find it ridiculous that in order to explain how we were safe from 'sea monsters', we needed a whole different planet origin story..

There are some pretty straightforward reasons we are good at art - we have color vision because of a jungle/forest past, where we needed it to identify ripe or certain types of fruits, which come in a rich array of colors. I'm sure you would fine a correlation if you did some digging as to animals that eat fruit can see in color, especially birds, with of course some outliers. Color vision, and freed hands due to bipedalism, and the association of words with meaning (from concious breath control relating to not drowning) are the foundations of being able to scribble. There have been cave discoveries showing the evolution of scribbles, first people drew only what they saw, such as animals, and then eventually adopted symbolic representations like a triangle, to mean house. Once you understand symbolism, you basically can do art.
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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby willendure » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:11 pm

lw1990 wrote:The aquatic ape theory, from what I understand, does not suggest humans lived in 'a body of water', something as simple as a jungle or forest being seasonally flooded (creating a type of marshland) would have sufficed.


Or perhaps humans simply lived next to water, the sea or a lake, and spent a lot of time in the water fishing, during a period of our evolution. The fish oil and protein helped us evolve large brains. It is a very convincing hypothesis in my view. Even many of our hail follicles point the opposite way to other primates, but the right way to allow water to flow over us, and we don't have flat noses like the other primates. The only land living mammal with blubber under the adult skin, and so on.
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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby tholden » Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:41 am

lw1990 wrote:The aquatic ape theory, from what I understand, does not suggest humans lived in 'a body of water', something as simple as a jungle or forest being seasonally flooded (creating a type of marshland) would have sufficed. ....


Sorry but that is totally wrong, Morgan was in fact claiming that humans were spending their lives IN water and are specifically adapted for that.
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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby tholden » Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:44 am

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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby lw1990 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:57 am

That seems ridiculous, but I'll bite, where does morgan say this?

Here is an excerpt by elaine morgan, link below

The aquatic model suggests that in a flooded habitat, bipedalism may have been resorted to under duress, the significant reward being the ability to breathe air.

http://users.ugent.be/~mvaneech/Morgan.html

"Flooded habitat" does not mean we lived in a body of water.. you can sleep in trees, or on dry raised land, or walk a distance away from a food source where it's not so flooded, whatever. It also could mean seasonally flooded, definitely does not mean we lived like crocodiles.
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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby tholden » Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:59 am

It means those earliest humans spent at least half of their lives in water. They'd come up on land for fruit or to make fire and cook meat or anything else they wanted to cook, and to make weapons and tools. But virtually all of our physical adaptations are for living in water.

In order to evolve into a human, a hominid would have to lose everything he needed to live including:

His fur while ice ages were in progress.

Almost all of his night vision while living amongst large predators which could see very well in the dark.

Almost all of his sense of smell while trying to survive as a land prey animal.

That third item would make an early human an effortlessly free meal for any predator which ever saw him. Of course, an aquatic mammal doesn't really need a decent sense of smell or anything better than ours.
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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:22 am

It means those earliest humans spent at least half of their lives in water. They'd come up on land for fruit or to make fire and cook meat or anything else they wanted to cook, and to make weapons and tools. But virtually all of our physical adaptations are for living in water.

How do you know they 'spent at least half of their lives in water'?
How do you know they had the ability to make fire? Why would a primarily aquatic creature have a need for fire?
We can't see, hear, smell, touch, taste or communicate worth a damn under water. We are also crap at swimming and holding our breath. We can't breathe under water and our skin goes to hell. So how do you reckon that 'But virtually all of our physical adaptations are for living in water'?

His fur while ice ages were in progress.
How do you know they had fur and, allowing that they did, how do you know they lost it during the ice age? Not all the planet was covered in ice, mayhap these hominids lived in the more temperate climes.

Almost all of his night vision while living amongst large predators which could see very well in the dark.
How do you know they had night vision? Lots of creatures today how have no night vision live among large predators who do. Admittedly they cheat by sleeping at night and coming out during the day. Perhaps you are suggesting that these hominids of yours weren't smart enough to work out that one.

Almost all of his sense of smell while trying to survive as a land prey animal
How do you know they lost 'almost all' of their sense of smell? Why would an aquatic or semi-aquatic creature develop a major sense of smell?

That third item would make an early human an effortlessly free meal for any predator which ever saw him
Lots of creatures today get by without a reliance on their sense of smell. 'Any predator'? Are you suggesting a centipede could prey on these hominids? More seriously, how do you think modern humans would cope against any decent-sized predator today? I could mention that smell only works from downwind. Predators know this and hunt from downwind of their intended victims.
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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby Tansi » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:47 pm

When I read Elaine Morgan's book quite a long time ago (say 30 years, give or take) what I found to be the most compelling evidence was not what has been mentioned and subsequently dismissed in this thread - holding breath; lack of fur etc - though I think these things are interesting adaptations that could be accounted for with a period of time during our existence/evolution on this planet which had humans spending a large portion of the time in water or near water -

But rather the points she made in terms of the female body differences. These haven't been addressed here so I will try to stretch my memory to name a few points -

the subcutaneous fat we have as humans is most noticeable, usually, in women - Morgan gave the example of our breasts - no anthropologist ever seems to have addressed why women's breasts were unlike primates - fatty and round (my description not hers).

I believe, as well, there was mention of the woman's menstrual cycle being different - and that it stops while we're in water (in case men aren't aware of this) - why does that happen - why is that different from primates?

I believe there may have been some other differences in the female human compared to primates - such as the positioning of our uterus that she explained but I can't remember how :P

It was, as I mentioned, Morgan's addressing of the differences in women which have, to my limited knowledge, rarely been even considered by anthropologists that made me think that her theory had something to it.

It seems to me and Morgan mentioned this - that a lot of evolution like a lot of things in life and science - end up being considered simply in terms of the masculine perspective. But women are the more abundant sex (51 percent) haha - so why is this the case? Obviously just chauvenism or habit to be more kind - we're used to thinking 'he' and so even in evolution no one much considers - why are women's breasts the way they are - all that comes up is 'whoo hoo becuase men like em that way' which is ridiculous in terms of science (and even in terms of generalizations because didn't the Japanese men like necks? :lol: )

Of course, this doesn't rule out it us all evolving on Gannymede - a new theory to me which I'm curious about - but I tend not to jump to the whole 'other planet' idea too fast - since I don't think things like the aquatic theory have really been considered fully yet. And maybe I'm jumping to conclusions about the effect of the domination of old boys' thinking in evolutionary science but I think it could be because of sexism that the theory was not given much credence in the first place.
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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby tholden » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:49 pm

Again, there is no fossil evidence of any sort of an aquatic ape on this planet and there has never been a body of water on this planet which would be safe for humans to live in. Perfectly good theory, it just needs a different kind of planet to work on.

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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:02 am

And now, after the commercial break, it's over to the sports desk . . . .
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby lw1990 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:53 pm

@tholden
this theory does not claim that humans lived 'in water', but merely waded in it frequently, bathed in it, maybe even gathered food in shallow parts of it such as apes often do when their normal food source is scarce. Most likely a jungle like habitat was flooded, developed a complex of watery creeks/waterways, which provided drinking water and food for the jungle and became hotspots for us as well, and also required us to frequently traverse across them to expand and visit other areas which may have better/easier food, shelter, etc. We accomplished this by wading through water on two legs through shallow areas, or swimming through deeper areas.

you don't need 'fossil evidence' since our body is still aquatically adapted, as pointed out in links in the first post
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Re: Aquatic Ape Theory - human origins

Unread postby jimmcginn » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:36 am

Maybe the one thing that distinguishes all successful human settlements from the unsuccessful human settlements is access to clean drinking water. But that doesn't warrant the absurd speculation that we get from the AAT theorists.
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