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Human Evolution the water theory Elaine MorganThe crucial question about human evolution is why humans differ so strikingly from the African apesdespite their close geneticrelationship Most Darwinists would agree that such differences are usually attributable to differing environmental pressures and hencethat our ancestors at some stage probably occupied a significantly different habitat from the ancestor of the gorilla and the chimpanzeeFor the last half-century it has been generally assumed that it was a much drier habitat Alister Hardys suggestion in 1960 that it might have been a much wetter one was intuitively and almost unanimously rejected Primateswere said to have an innate fear of water which many humans share and the fossils of early hominids were found far inland in arid siteson the African plains Above all Hardys ideas were felt to be unnecessary There was a tacit assumption that the main apehumandifferences had been adequately accounted for in terms of a move by some populations of the last common ancestor from the forest to thesavanna and that any details still unexplained were well on the way to being solved That was a misconception Consensus on the reasons for the emergence of the most salient distinguishing features of Homo - such asbipedalism loss of body hair subcutaneous fat and the power of speech - is no nearer today than it was in Darwins lifetimeHumans are so accustomed to erect locomotion that it takes a specialist to appreciate what a bizarre and costly adaptation it was OwenLovejoy commented For any quadruped to get upon its hind legs in order to run is an insane thing to do Its plain ridiculous As a gaitit is far more unstable than quadrupedalism it takes very much longer to learn greatly extending the period when the female is burdenedwith the task of carrying the infant it is a
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