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Why is man so different from his nearest relatives the Apes?

I believe the AAT has many valid points, and answers questions yet unanswered by conventional theories.

In 1930 a young marine biologist named Alister Hardy was struck with an evolutionary (and revolutionary) hypothesis. In 1960 he came out publicly with his Aquatic Ape Theory.

Gorillas & Chimpanzee's are not THAT different from each other, so why did MAN become so very different?

Something very unusual must have happened to our distant ancestors to account for the dramatic change in hominids. Was that something an aquatic stage in our evolution?

I was first introduced to AAT when I happened upon a book in the library called "The Descent of Woman" written by Elaine Morgan.  Although the book was published in the early 60's it held me spellbound with its new ideas. 

The book was so fascinating that it stayed in my mind for years.  Later I looked up other books by Elaine Morgan.  I am currently reading "The Scars of Evolution".

Here are some of my notes from this book: 

The Scars of Evolution - Elaine Morgan

What our bodies tell us about human origins

Darwin’s theory of evolution propose that we share a common ancestor with apes.

But if that is so, why are we SOO different from them? "When a species splits and gives rise to 3 separate lineages, there is no reason to expect that species C will differ from A & B any more widely than A & B differ from one another." And Gorillas split off long before we did.

"The chief mystery does not lie in any one of these anomalies, not even the wonderful brain or dexterous hands or miracle of speech. It lies in the sheer number and variety of the ways in which we differ from our from our closest relatives in the animal kingdom."

"Something must have happened to our own ancestors which did not happen to the ancestors of apes and gorillas. No one expresses surprise that the anomalies were not more evenly shared, so that gorillas learned to speak, people walked on 2 legs, and chimpanzees became naked."

"Something happened… that affected only one particular group among the ancestral anthropoids and set off them off on the long road to becoming human. "

"The key question is "what happened" Whatever it was , it affects every one of us because it had far-reaching consequences on the ways our bodies function - or , frequently, malfunction."

"It is proving very difficult to demonstrate that our bodies are adapted by natural selection for life on the savannah." "Chance proposes; natural selection disposes." -( if a mutation is not beneficial to the species, it won’t become the norm.)

"When Einstein was asked to express in a few words how the idea of relativity came to him he replied, "I ignored an axiom. Eliminate proposition number one, that man evolved on the savannah. Postulate, just for the sake of argument, that the crucial early stage of humanoid evolution did NOT take place on the savannah." Then where did it take place?

The Cost of Walking Erect

"Walking on 2 legs does not seem by any means a difficult trick to perform when you belong to a species that has been practicing it for a few million years. Unless, that is , you are a (baby) and have just tumbled down for the 65th time; unless you have broken a leg and, not having 3 others to fall back on, are reduced to hopping or hobbling with a stick…"

"The first bipedalists were not semi-human creatures. They were animals opting to walk on their hind legs. It was a costly option for them to take up, and we are still paying the installments. The mammalian spine evolved over a hundred million years and reached a high degree of efficiency… "

"Our distant ancestors departed from the time-honored mode of locomotion and converted themselves into walking towers, with a high center of gravity and a narrow base. There are some other creatures which make use of bipedalism either some of the time or all the time – for example: kangaroos, and ostriches. But they do not proceed with their spines perpendicular; their total body weight is equally and fairly widely distributed around the point where their feet touch the ground. This gives them much greater stability…"

"Human vertical locomotion presents more formidable problems, and any sensible engineer confronted with them would insist on starting from scratch. He would probably suggest a spinal column running down the center of the trunk, with heart, lungs, liver and other organs arranged around it as symmetrically as possible. Supporting sigaments would be attached to the collar bones rather than the spine… and so on. Evolution of course, does not work like that. Every re-adaptation is a process of make-do and mend."

The spine is curved - "these kinks are essential to prevent the bipedal primate from falling over." "The lower vertebre have grown bigger to sustain the unprecedented vertical pressure they now have to bear. The pelvic girdle has been moved into a different plane, and the iliac blades on each side of it have spread and flattened into saucer-like shape to hold the main weight of the intestines."

"Of all the man-hours lost to industry through various forms of illness, the highest percentage derives from our mode of locomotion." - back problems.

"Apart from the changes in the skeleton, the muscular anatomy also had to be remodeled. Walking and standing, plus the strenuous maneuver of rising to an erect posture from sitting or squatting, make heavy demands on the muscles of the legs and buttocks which consequently grew in size and strength."

"And the abdomen needed something to keep the organs in. Drastic evolutionary measures have been taken by way of damage limitation, and in humans the wall of the lower belly is now protected by 3 sheets of muscle criss-crossing over one another like a bandage applied to an awkwardly placed wound. " (it’s not complete, causing hernias)

The flow of blood is yet another problem. "Our vertical posture means that the heart is twice as high above the ground as it would be if we were quadrupedal, and throughout most of our body the blood’s return journey to the heart is uphill all the way. The simple act of rising to our feet, by causing the blood to drain away from the heart, can cause cardiac output to drop by 20 percent!"

"Endocrine glands sited above the kidneys produce hormones which respond to actual or potential physical "emergencies". The best know is adrenalin, the "fight of flight" hormone." Another hormone is aldosterone which regulates blood pressure, and inhibits the excretion of salt. "The emergencies which stimulate the production of aldosterone are listed in medical textbooks as:

1) surgery;
2) anxiety;
3) a diet deficiency in salt;
4) hemorrhage;

"The fifth emergency applies particularly to bipeds. Rising from bed or from a chair produces a six-fold increase in the amount of aldosterone in the blood!"

This bears no relation to the amount of exertion needed to attain or sustain erect posture. The explanation once again lies in the pull of gravity on the bloodstream. The main baroceptors which monitor changes in blood pressure are situated in the neck. When these baroceptors register a change in blood pressure, they trigger appropriate responses such as increased output of aldosterone." (These receptors can’t tell the difference between surgery and standing up!)

These disadvantages would have been immediate to our ancestors who first decided to walk upright, without a lot of the advantages we have now. (including the knee locking mechanism)

So Savannahists - would have us believe that a group of apes suddenly decided to walk upright despite the difficulties it caused. "They would not have done the in the blind faith that after the fist few hundred thousand years the process would become easier and might in some way pay off. The incentive must have been immediate and powerful!"

Read more about it.  Here are some other web sites dedicated to AAT:

Other related Evolution Sites:

For those who do NOT believe in Evolution, but believe that the Bible is Fact.

If Adam & Eve were the only people on the earth at the time - who did Cain fear killing him?  And who did he marry?

To me Science and evolution don't disprove God's existence, they PROVE it.  The more complex the world is, the more certain that a superior being MUST be responsible for it.

Ape,Proconsul africanus, Australopithecus, Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon


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