Humans as Aquatic Apes – Elaine Morgan TED

A wonderfully feisty old woman gives consensus “science” a kick in the pants. Essentially the “runner of the plains” hypothesis of human origin has run headlong into problems with the “other stuff” around the hominid finds. Wrong minor flora and fauna for the savanna… So something is very wrong.

She presents a “rejected” thesis from decades back, in 17 minutes and delightful style, pointing out along the way the folly of the consensus approach.

Several of our human traits are shown to be found in aquatic mammals and not elsewhere (subcutaneous fat, breath control, naked skin, etc.) I know that I, personally, am far better at swimming than running.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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8 Responses to Humans as Aquatic Apes – Elaine Morgan TED

  1. Graeme No.3 says:

    I particularly like the bit about Thomas S Kuhn and how scientists continue to use a discredited paradigm**. Now where can i find a modern example?

    **3 minutes 45 to 4 minutes 30 (roughly).

  2. Bill In Oz says:

    I think it’s interesting that the same ‘consensus’ idea was used to suppress the aquatic ape hypothesis, as is now used to promote Gorebull Warming !

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Yeah, that “concensus” thing really galls me. Science only advances by showing the concensus is WRONG, once you accept the concensus rule, you kill advancement and enforce political decisions. The loner with evidence is supposed to overthrow the well entrenched connected who missed it.

  4. rhoda klapp says:

    “At my age I don’t buy green bananas” made me laugh out loud.

  5. tom0mason says:

    Having a heritage of being an aquatic (or semi-aquatic) flesh eating mammals would fit better into how we are today. Our upright stance and hairless nature, our teeth and digestive system appear to hold that this would be the case.
    If only the academic could remove themselves from their conclave of ‘accepted truths’ and properly, dispassionately, investigate then the truth of our ancestry. Unfortunately academia appears to wish that they become some remote and special community who can hand down truths upon the rest of the population without being questioned.
    However as Elaine Morgan says

    “… you have this beautiful paradigm. You’ve believed it for generations, no body has questioned it, you’ve been constructing fanciful things on top of it. Relying on it to be as solid as a rock, and now it’s whipped away from under you. What do you do? What do the scientists do in that case? …
    Well we know the answer ’cause Thomas S Kuhn wrote a seminal treatise on this back in 1962. He said what scientist do when a paradigm fails is, guess what[?], they carry on as if nothing had ever happened. If they haven’t got a paradigm they can’t ask the questions, so they say ‘Yes it’s wrong but supposing it was right and ….’ [laughter] And the only other option open to them is to stop asking the questions. And that is what they have done now. …”

    And so slowly, slowly all of science solidifies into a stultifying edifice of received knowledge (beliefs), where the unanswered questions are just ignored, or at best belittled. An edifice of smug complacency, hubris and a belief that it alone has, all the answers.

  6. Newscaper says:

    Similarly heretical ideas that were only finally accepted in some our lifetimes and are now the conventional wisdom are plate tectonics, and that certain cell organelles like mitochondria and chloroplasts were from separate organisms captured and incorporated.

  7. andysaurus says:

    When I was about 15, (54 years ago) I read her book “The Descent of Woman”. Amongst many propositions, she attributed the need for long hair on females to the need for the young to have something from which to hang. The whole book made such eminent sense to my young mind that I wrote the title in my diary (which I kept at the time). But I didn’t need to do so, I have never forgotten.
    Max Planck said that science advances one funeral at a time. I think we need a few more funerals for those who advance anthropogenic global warming/climate change.

  8. andysaurus says:

    It seems I read it 6 years before it was first published in 1972! Unless the UK edition was published earlier. :)

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