Aquatic Apes

22 Sep 2016

David Attenborough's recent TV programme that waltzed around the aquatic ape theory has been given a roasting in some quarters (at WattsUpWithThat for example). A response at ... encapsulates the negative  reaction but the comments at the WattsUpWithThat piece may perhaps catch the flavour of the response from the general public. Not really a mind blowing dispute as the theory goes back nearly 50 years - and it caused a stir at SIS when it came out (with some people expressing interest and others closing the book on the subject). It is therefore surprising that Attenborough raised the issue again - but he is an old man now and he might be going through some of the old stuff again. I thought the TV programme was interesting and presented quite well. Why try and suppress novel ideas? There is plenty of evidence to suggest prehistoric humans lived by the sea side - even as recently as the Holocene (on Dogger Land for example) as they had access to easily picked up food resources such as shell fish and crabs. Some of the sea shore plants developed into useful food resources too - such as the cabbage. The title of the programme was 'The Waterside Human' which appears to be a truthful description of early human behaviour (or at least parts of it). The idea humans evolved from a marine predecessor is of course quite different - but worth mentioning (as Attenborough did). Humans favoured the sea side, lake environments, and rivers and streams. Prey animals had to drink so it was useful hunting territory - quite apart from anything else.