Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:47 pm

Is the Aquatic Ape debunked? Given the evidence, I'd think it played a role? You don't have to go full scuba to recognize we dipped our toes into the water.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:49 pm

There's no reason to think we did more than wade in the shallows.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:53 pm

That's what I said.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by landrew » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:30 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:There's no reason to think we did more than wade in the shallows.
I think when we finally emerged from the grasslands with our powers of reason, it would have been natural for us to exploit the riches of the sea for a few eons. Physiologically, that's when we lost our hair, and developed a layer of subcutaneous fat to serve as insulation. Our fingers and toes began to develop rudimentary webbing. But once we ran out of coastline, territorial disputes would have made a shoreline existence more of a disadvantage, therefore we moved inland, but retained our love of the sea to this very day.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:54 pm

The porpoise response is quite compelling too...…….
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:09 am

landrew wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:There's no reason to think we did more than wade in the shallows.
I think when we finally emerged from the grasslands with our powers of reason, it would have been natural for us to exploit the riches of the sea for a few eons. Physiologically, that's when we lost our hair, and developed a layer of subcutaneous fat to serve as insulation. Our fingers and toes began to develop rudimentary webbing. But once we ran out of coastline, territorial disputes would have made a shoreline existence more of a disadvantage, therefore we moved inland, but retained our love of the sea to this very day.
Yeah, we're actually dolphins. :roll:
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:06 am

The aquatic ape hypothesis is probably wrong. The reason I say this, is that there is a dearth of fossil evidence. If our ancestors had taken to the water, there would be a large number of fossils in aquatic sediment, and there is not.

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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by landrew » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:15 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:The aquatic ape hypothesis is probably wrong. The reason I say this, is that there is a dearth of fossil evidence. If our ancestors had taken to the water, there would be a large number of fossils in aquatic sediment, and there is not.
Don't you think that during the time we were beginning to become good swimmers and mastering the ocean, that we were smart enough not to die in aquatic sediment? Besides that, sharks would have minced us into chum, bones and all, long before the sediment covered our remains.
Don't get confused by lack of evidence. I used to call that "assuming X=0."
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:49 pm

Lack of evidence means there is no evidence. SWAGs are just that.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:23 pm

Landrew

Sharks rarely eat human corpses. If pre humans had taken to water, some would have died in the water, and their bodies covered with sediment. The lack of any such remains makes it seriously unlikely that our ancestors were ever aquatic. Today, pre human remains are found in other situations, not under aquatic sediments.

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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by landrew » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:33 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Landrew

Sharks rarely eat human corpses. If pre humans had taken to water, some would have died in the water, and their bodies covered with sediment. The lack of any such remains makes it seriously unlikely that our ancestors were ever aquatic. Today, pre human remains are found in other situations, not under aquatic sediments.
We find fossils in places where there is rapid disposition and burying of body parts, which is a very rare event. There's nothing to suggest that a shoreline existence would lend itself to producing fossil evidence. If we lived in that environment for a few thousand years, it's very different from other forms which lived and died in the same place for millions of years. Once again, don't assume that lack of evidence is evidence of absence.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:56 am

You want it to be true, so you require it to be true. Not very skeptical. And, barring evidence, there's no reason to consider the matter at all.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by OlegTheBatty » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:44 pm

There are numerous aquatic archaeology sites ranging from Haida Gwai to the Mediterranean. None of them have any evidence for a morphological adaptation to an aquatic environment. The sites are submerged because the sea level rose and inundated them.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:51 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:There are numerous aquatic archaeology sites ranging from Haida Gwai to the Mediterranean. None of them have any evidence for a morphological adaptation to an aquatic environment. The sites are submerged because the sea level rose and inundated them.
Yep. And no change in the physiology, that's a big clue that we didn't go dolphin.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by OlegTheBatty » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:54 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:There are numerous aquatic archaeology sites ranging from Haida Gwai to the Mediterranean. None of them have any evidence for a morphological adaptation to an aquatic environment. The sites are submerged because the sea level rose and inundated them.
Yep. And no change in the physiology, that's a big clue that we didn't go dolphin.
With no evidence whatsoever, the aquatic ape hypothesis is nothing more than an unnecessary complication.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by landrew » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:10 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:There are numerous aquatic archaeology sites ranging from Haida Gwai to the Mediterranean. None of them have any evidence for a morphological adaptation to an aquatic environment. The sites are submerged because the sea level rose and inundated them.
Yep. And no change in the physiology, that's a big clue that we didn't go dolphin.
With no evidence whatsoever, the aquatic ape hypothesis is nothing more than an unnecessary complication.

Evidence exists, whether you declare it so or not. Whether it has been weighed properly or not, is a matter for scientific conjecture, and does not rule out it's validity as a reasonable hypothesis. Consensus doesn't not confer validity, it's merely an illusion.

I'm not a researcher, and I have no stake in believing in the hypothesis or not, but it's invalid to claim that I have some sort of bias in its favor. It's simply a logical process of elimination that hasn't yet occurred. I don't like to see an idea getting short shrift based on it's unpopularity.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by landrew » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:18 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:There are numerous aquatic archaeology sites ranging from Haida Gwai to the Mediterranean. None of them have any evidence for a morphological adaptation to an aquatic environment. The sites are submerged because the sea level rose and inundated them.
I doubt that it happened along the shores of the Mediterranean. When we were spreading out of Africa, the evidence suggests that we followed the long coastline of the Indian Ocean. There is evidence of human habitation in Australia dating back 50,000 years. It makes sense that hominids, having been forced out of the trees, and then onto the grassland savanna, having faced terrible survival pressures, and having evolved a large brain, we would have been able to fashion an existence along the coastlines for a considerable time. Evolution may have started us on a pathway to an aquatic existence. Or not, but it's definitely not necessary to rule it out completely. That seems a bit excessive to me.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:18 pm

It's not "unpopular", it's unsupported.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by landrew » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:36 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:It's not "unpopular", it's unsupported.
How does consensus confer truth?
Do we vote for what is true or false in science?
What's the fear of a hypothesis that has little support? Is it proper to deny it all means for which to explore for more evidence?
It certainly looks that way sometimes.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:55 pm

Where did I say "consensus confer truth", please.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Matthew Ellard » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:41 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote: Yep. And no change in the physiology, that's a big clue that we didn't go dolphin.
Exactly.

It is a really weird claim. Today the modern humans who fish at coastal areas don't actually swim to catch protein. They stand up like any hunter or gatherer.

The claim sort of suggests an image of Australopithecus swimming around beaches catching fish, while the more modern homo habilis was searching for stone tools inland to .....gain knowledge and use more sophisticated stone tools.

At Uni we were very aware we only see stone tools and not woven fish nets and so on, which decomposed, but it was only homo erectus that had the brain size to weave anything....and homo erectus was not coastal based.

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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gord » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:28 am

landrew wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:There are numerous aquatic archaeology sites ranging from Haida Gwai to the Mediterranean. None of them have any evidence for a morphological adaptation to an aquatic environment. The sites are submerged because the sea level rose and inundated them.
I doubt that it happened along the shores of the Mediterranean. When we were spreading out of Africa, the evidence suggests that we followed the long coastline of the Indian Ocean. There is evidence of human habitation in Australia dating back 50,000 years. It makes sense that hominids, having been forced out of the trees, and then onto the grassland savanna, having faced terrible survival pressures, and having evolved a large brain, we would have been able to fashion an existence along the coastlines for a considerable time. Evolution may have started us on a pathway to an aquatic existence. Or not, but it's definitely not necessary to rule it out completely. That seems a bit excessive to me.
If humans were ever aquatic -- and I highly doubt that they ever were -- it would have had to have been before the Australian population of modern humans arrived at that continent. Otherwise, if they were aquatic when they got there, they would have had to have experienced convergent evolution back to dry land just like the rest of us, and we would expect them to exhibit much greater genetic variation from other members of the species.

It's more likely that any aquatic-related traits humans express are throwbacks to previous ancestors that lived an aquatic existence long ago. It would be similar to how chickens still possess the genetic code to grow teeth, so teeth can reemerge in them under the proper conditions.

But even that's highly unlikely.

The hypothesis of the aquatic ape was proposed in 1960 to explain many of the features of human anatomy, and was the aquatic ape period was supposed to have occurred during the gap in the fossil record between 4 and 7 million years ago. But since then, the fossil gap has been filled with at least 13 new species of hominins. Here's a nice article on the topic: https://theconversation.com/sorry-david ... -why-65570

Huh, that was weird. I've known about the aquatic ape hypothesis since I was a kid, but I'd never even heard of Elaine Morgan before.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:28 am

Maybe some small isolated group of homos got some traits and simply got interbred with the rest of the homos. The traits involved served no purpose on the grasslands but they got transmitted as junk? I don't know how improbably that could be...…..but it could be? How else do you get a porpoise response (slowing heart beat when face goes underwater...new borns able to float until rescued)?

There was that interesting book more recently called something like "Our Inner Fish" about all the fish traits we all have...nothing to do with this subject though.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:39 am

We spend the first nine months our lives in an aquatic environment.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Poodle » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:14 am

There can be little doubt that any early humans coming across a rocky shore would have discovered within 24 hours that there was food to be had - primitive mussels clinging to the rocks would have been a good start, crabby things and whelky things and small fish in pools. Not so on a sandy beach, where cockles (for instance) could burrow more quickly than any humans can dig with their hands (try it some time). Mr and Mrs Primitive probably made a mental note to return and, possibly, took some seaweed away for a later snack.
Of course, they could have done the same thing at the edge of a desert, making a quick meal from scorpions and snakes. In fact, they could have, and would have, treated any environment they came across which contained potential food as a resource. This perfectly normal human (even early human) behaviour does not demand a new theory or subspecies.
On the other hand, any human of literary bent coming across such a proposition may well see an advantage in writing a book about it. There's a huge market for pseudoscience.

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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:27 am

The system for knowing what's good to eat is simple, watch the animals. If they're eating one kind of mussel but not another, stay away from the second one.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by landrew » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:40 pm

Well, that's why it's called a "theory."
Not yet a fact or a fallacy.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by landrew » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:43 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:The system for knowing what's good to eat is simple, watch the animals. If they're eating one kind of mussel but not another, stay away from the second one.
Stonefish must have been very instructive.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:49 pm

landrew wrote:Well, that's why it's called a "theory."
Not yet a fact or a fallacy.
No, it's a hypothesis, not a theory.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by landrew » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:53 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
landrew wrote:Well, that's why it's called a "theory."
Not yet a fact or a fallacy.
No, it's a hypothesis, not a theory.
Close enough.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by landrew » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:59 pm

Gord wrote: Huh, that was weird. I've known about the aquatic ape hypothesis since I was a kid, but I'd never even heard of Elaine Morgan before.
https://www.ted.com/talks/elaine_morgan ... uatic_apes
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:12 pm

landrew wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
landrew wrote:Well, that's why it's called a "theory."
Not yet a fact or a fallacy.
No, it's a hypothesis, not a theory.
Close enough.
Yes, if one is a science slob.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by landrew » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:26 pm

I have an ulterior motive. This is based on the notion that less ignorance makes it harder to ridicule:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDGDv0PbTIs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WIxdKLTX7E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9Xtq8z2npw -At 53:15 Attenborough says that the evidence seems to favor the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:30 pm

So?
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:33 pm

The evidence seems to support the idea that humans evolved to be generalists. With our wonderful ability to make and use tools, we can turn our hands to many ways to obtain food and defend ourselves. Sometimes entering water to collect food is part of it. But that is very, very different to evolving as an aquatic ape.

Incidentally, there is another non aquatic primate that enters water to collect food. A macaque in South East Asia actually swims under water to collect shellfish. It has exactly zero obvious adaptations to this.

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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:39 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:The evidence seems to support the idea that humans evolved to be generalists. With our wonderful ability to make and use tools, we can turn our hands to many ways to obtain food and defend ourselves. Sometimes entering water to collect food is part of it. But that is very, very different to evolving as an aquatic ape.

Incidentally, there is another non aquatic primate that enters water to collect food. A macaque in South East Asia actually swims under water to collect shellfish. It has exactly zero obvious adaptations to this.
[snarky]But the macaque couldn't have been doing that for more than, say, 500,000 years, right? Not enough time to mutate.[/snarky]
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by landrew » Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:57 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote:The evidence seems to support the idea that humans evolved to be generalists. With our wonderful ability to make and use tools, we can turn our hands to many ways to obtain food and defend ourselves. Sometimes entering water to collect food is part of it. But that is very, very different to evolving as an aquatic ape.

Incidentally, there is another non aquatic primate that enters water to collect food. A macaque in South East Asia actually swims under water to collect shellfish. It has exactly zero obvious adaptations to this.
[snarky]But the macaque couldn't have been doing that for more than, say, 500,000 years, right? Not enough time to mutate.[/snarky]
Not seeing relevance here. Nearly all animals swim, but only a few begin to transition to aquatic animals.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:05 am

Ha, ha..........I see a lot of relevance here..........but its in disagreeing with everything posted. Hmmm....maybe a distinction or a quibble? EG: Lance makes a good point....but the argument better supports a conclusion that hoomans became SPECIALISTS in tool making. Not generalists to be taken advantage of by every tooth and claw out there.

I could go on, but that would be just a work thru........although the aquatic ape theory is not based on swimming?
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Matthew Ellard » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:31 am

Gord wrote:The hypothesis of the aquatic ape was proposed in 1960 to explain many of the features of human anatomy, and was the aquatic ape period was supposed to have occurred during the gap in the fossil record between 4 and 7 million years ago. But since then, the fossil gap has been filled with at least 13 new species of hominins.
We also know Neanderthals did not have backward displacement at the shoulder joint like other apes...which can't swim.

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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:42 pm

landrew wrote:Well, that's why it's called a "theory."
Not yet a fact or a fallacy.

I see you've already been pounded for this, so I'll be gentle. Like many who have been tailing creationists for 30 years or more, I'm sensitive to their "only a theory" shibboleth. There is no opposition between fact and theory, any more than there is opposition between building materials and architecture. Of course, they aren't the same thing, but they do share a claim to be true (with the usual fuzziness of anything human beings "know" at a given time). I don't like to encourage creationists when they play to their knuckle-walking, mouth-breathing audience, who think a "theory" is just some outlandish fantasy off the top of some idle academic's head.
"We survivors did not seek death. We did not take to the streets when our Jewish friends were taken away. We didn’t raise an outcry until we ourselves were being annihilated. We preferred to remain alive, with the flimsy though accurate excuse that our death would not have helped. We are guilty of being alive."

Karl Jaspers (1883–1968), at the re-opening of Heidelberg University, 1945