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Re: Absence of Canines in Apiths

Subject: Re: Absence of Canines in Apiths
From: "Jim McGinn"
Date: 26 Dec 2005 11:47:53 -0800
Newsgroups: sci.anthropology.paleo
Paul Crowley wrote:

> > >> In my model the adoption of tools/weapons is organic.
> > >> Your model is silly in comparison in that there is no underlying reason
> > >> at all for them to begin employing clubs.
> > >
> > > Chimps do it now,
> >
> > They certainly do not!
>
> You quote Kortland below, setting out how they do.

Kortland involves an observation of an incident involving a leopard.
My model for communal territorialism involves constant intracooperative
vigilance of a somewhat clearly defined communal territory (let's say a
city sized, town sized patch of forest that persists near a lake).
The vigilance would be continuous, day after day (but more intense in
the dry season).  At any moment a herd of food competitors or a
predator might be spotted and the call would go out to make a show of
force, weapons in hand.

Such behaviors would have only been adaptive in the context of the very
unusual selective factors associated with monsoon forest habitat--most
notably, predatory massacre behavior.

>
> > > All I assume here are periods of drought.
> > > No big deal.  But even they are not
> > > essential.
> >
> > Without some kind of environmentally caused periodic scarcity
> > there is even  less reason for them to assume the territorialism in
> > you model than you have already.
>
> This is crazy in any event.  What species
> (of, say, mammal or primate) has natural
> populations which don't regularly encounter
> scarcity?   Along with forgetting Darwin,
> you have (just like standard PA) forgotten
> Malthus.

Read what I wrote: Without some kind of ENVIRONMENTALLY CAUSED periodic
scarcity there is even  less reason for them to assume the
territorialism in your model than you have already.  If you are (now)
claiming that the motivation for them assuming weapons is the result of
the same kind of periodic malthusian scarcity that all species
experience then it brings us to wonder why there aren't a lot more
species that employ weapons that do currently.  Paul, you seem to not
want to confront that fact that the communal territorialism in my model
is categorically distinct both with respect to the specific behaviors
involved and--most importantly--with respect to the unit of selection
if these behaviors are successful or unsuccessful.  In my model it's
literally a matter of survival for the community as a whole.  You don't
have this in your model.


>
> > >> Your island notion is contrived.  Unnecessary.
> > >
> > > Isolation (over hundreds or thousands
> > > of generations) is essential.  Freedom from
> > > predators likewise.  Without an island,
> > > neither is possible.
> >
> > Pure nonsense.
>
> Say how or why.

See my hypothesis.

>
> > > There is nothing vague.  You say that
> > > the weather changed ONCE,
> >
> > The climate changed.  Weather always changes.
> >
> > > and your
> > > population of 'chimps' was in the right
> > > place at the right time, and was able to
> > > react appropriately to this change.
> > > If it had not done so (or had died out
> > > then or later) we would not be here.
> > > Right?
> >
> > Obviously they didn't die out, right?  (What's your point?)
>
> Your theory relies on everything working
> out perfectly (for it to succeed on the day).

It does?  How so?

> It's like invoking a strike of lightning in the
> right place at the right time.  The odds
> against it working are enormous.

Why?

>
> > > That is not a scientific proposal.  It has
> > > no 'wiggle-room'.  Events in the natural
> > > world do not happen like that.  Failure
> > > is the norm, and repeated attempts at
> > > anything are essential.
> >
> > I haven't the slightest idea what your point is.
>
> Let's say two scientists find a population of
> primates in Spain that has obviously got there
> from Africa.  Scientist A says that there was
> some really bad weather in Africa in July of the
> previous year which drove some to make the
> journey and they succeeded.  Scientist B says
> that any bad weather was irrelevant, and that
> the monkeys had been trying to swim across
> for thousands (or tens of thousands) of years,
> and eventually some had finally made it at
> some unknown time in the past.
>
> Which theory is more likely to be true?

I suppose B.  But what's this got to do with anything?

>
> > >> >> > Put some groups of modern chimps on an
> > >> >> > island without sleeping trees and you get
> > >> >> > something like this.
> > >> >>
> > >> >> Nonsense.  This is nothing but wishful thinking.
> > >> >
> > >> > What else would they do?
> > >>
> > >> They'd continue in the chimp lifestyle.
> > >
> > > Not possible.  The predators are gone, and
> > > most of the island has no sleeping trees.
> > > The population will inevitably become
> > > ground-sleeping.
> >
> > So, what's this got to do with them, supposedly, picking up clubs.
>
> Like other chimps, they'd be picking them up
> sometimes anyway.  But, being on the ground
> all the time, means that they now hold on to
> them.  And the clubs become 'serious'
> weapons.

The problem you're going to be facing over and over again with this is
that if it is this simple then why don't apes currently employ clubs on
a constant basis.  In my model I have them shifting to a lifestyle in
which a collective show of force is a constant necessity in that if
they don't then the whole community will be massacred during the dry
season.  So, in my model, there is a direct causal linkage between the
existence of the adaptive behavior (collective shows of force to ward
off food competitor species) and the survival of all members of the
community.  I don't see this in your model.

>
> > >   It will learn to survive on roots.  Each band will defend itself
> >
> > Why?  Against whom?
>
> Against other bands of chimps.  Bands of
> chimps fight.
>
> > > with
> > > all means available, and since escape is
> > > now usually impossible (there being few
> > > trees) that means picking up heavy lumps
> > > of wood:  i.e. clubs.
> >
> > Why?  They have canines.
>
> a) Clubs are better than canines -- you can keep
> away from the other guy's canines;  and when
> you hit the other guys, you don't suffer any
> injury at all to your own hand or arm;
> b) You can eat roots, and even though your
> teeth are not so good, you can still live and
> fight;  the other guys, who are not eating those
> roots, go hungry, and often die of starvation.

Your model fails to indicate a shift in lifestyle that has selective
factors that indicate why humans are the communal, large group species
that we are now.

>
> > >> > Nope.  Tool and weapon use was fundamental
> > >> > to bipedalism.  Darwin knew that.  You (and all
> > >> > of modern PA) have forgotten it.
> > >>
> > >> Your ignorance of my model makes this conversation counterproductive.
> > >
> > > Your model has tool-using animals sleeping
> > > in trees.  Darwin knew better over 150 years ago.
> >
> > In my model whether or not they slept in trees is an open issue.
>
> An "open issue" !  What a dope you are.
> It changes everything.  How did they cope
> with nocturnal predators?   How did they
> ever start to cope with nocturnal predators?

Collective show of force (see above).

> Could they range away from sleeping trees?
> Or from large trees generally?
>
> > > Point to one paper on early hominid diet
> > > in a PA 'scientific' journal that considers
> > > the effect of sand and gravel taken in with
> > > roots.
> >
> > Point to one that doesn't, idiot.
>
> Do a search on 'early hominid diet' in the
> 'scientific' journals.  Not one paper you
> locate will mention roots as part of the diet.

What does this tell you?

>
> > >> You need to read Goodall.  Goodall studied savanna chimps, not bonopo.
> > >
> > > There are, I understand, some 'savanna
> > > chimps' in West Africa -- Senegal AFAIR.
> > > They are no different morphologically from
> > > any other chimps, although they may have
> > > 'cultural adaptations'.  Goodall stuck with
> > > East Africa -- the Rift Valley, and to 'forest
> > > chimps'.
> >
> > Wrong.  Bonopo (jungle chimps) reside in west Africa.
>
> The word is 'bonobo' and they live SOUTH
> of the Congo river.  Get an atlas and see
> where that is.  The river isolates them from
> standard chimps.  Also there are no gorillas
> south of the Congo -- so bonobos occupy
> a composite chimp/gorilla niche, especially
> as regards diet.  They eat more green
> vegetation.
>
> > "Savanna" chimps reside in East Africa.
>
> Not so.
>
> > Calling any chimp
> > a savanna chimp is somewhat of a
> > misnomer in that they actually live in jungle habitat (but it's more
> > savanna-like in East Africa).
>
> Quite wrong.  In Senegal they have huge
> territories because the vegetation is
> sparse.
>
> > >> >> Grains, nuts, and dried fruit is hard.
> > >> >
> > >> > Primates can't digest uncooked grain.
> > >
> > > Which non-human primate eats grain?
> >
> > We're not talking about non-human primates, are we.
>
> Humans only eat cooked (and de-husked)
> grain.  Did early hominids cook their food?
>
> > >> > Nut kernels are not hard -- stones can
> > >> > be used to break open hard shells.
> > >> > Dried fruit is unknown (or virtually
> > >> > unknown) in nature.
> > >
> > > What animal (primate or otherwise) eats
> > > 'dried fruit' ?
> >
> > Hominids.
>
> Loser.
>
> > > -- not even the most desperate
> > > of the homeless.  Somehow I don't
> > > think that behaviour was recent in
> > > our evolution.  Standard PA never
> > > presents ANY account of how, when
> > > or why human ancestors stopped
> > > doing this.  Strange, what?  Guess
> > > what dope thinks that's OK, and who
> > > tamely follows them into that blind
> > > alley of ignorance?
> >
> > Shut up, imbecile, I haven't indicated one way or another.
>
> It's a basic part of human evolution.
> If you don't account for it

A shift to communal territorialism, as described above, does account
for it.

> , you don't
> have a theory.  Standard PA doesn't
> try to account for it but, at least, they
> don't claim to have any theory.
> (Strangely, they think that's OK.)
>
> > >> > Secondly,
> > >> > there is nothing in your scenario that
> > >> > allows you to rule out similar occurrences
> > >> > in other species.
> > >>
> > >> I suppose that accusation can be thrown at any model.
> > >
> > > Eh?  You have a wildly fanciful account
> > > of proto-hominid animals engaging in
> > > some entirely new and complicated form
> > > of behaviour -- some 'communal' whatsits
> > > -- for no good reason, other than that the
> > > weather has changed.
> >
> > Well, retard, look around you.  We are a communal species.
> > Certainly more so than chimps.  If you can't explain this
> > you don't have a hypothesis.
>
> Sure I explain it. Once (substantial) monogamy
> came in

This is to put the cart in front of the horse.  Monogamy could not have
emerged without communal selection.


> (as it did with descent from the trees
> and bipedalism) there was no limit to the size of
> the group.

This is tacked on (at least you're consistent).  In my model it's
intrinsic to the scenario itself.  It is the communal selective factors
of my model (missing or tacked on in your model) that dictate the
emergence of large, size scalable, group structure.


> True, it takes a lot of organisation
> and other institutions, and getting there took
> (and is still taking) a lot of time.  In my theory,
> early hominids would often be in groups of
> hundreds, perhaps even thousands.  Many

This is tacked on (at least you're consistent).  In my model it's
intrinsic to the scenario itself.  It is the communal selective factors
of my model (missing or tacked on in your model) that dictate the
emergence of large, size scalable, group structure.


> species manage large social groups, and
> hierarchy is essential -- but even chimps show
> the beginnings of that.  There is no need to say
> much more about early hominids;  the need for
> language, and for lots of culture would have
> been pressing, but would have been relatively
> slow to evolve.

You have no SELECTIVE FACTORS that dictate the emergence of large group
size.  All you do is tack it on.

>
> > >> Yep.  And it doesn't require a sophisticated mind.  (But it does begin to
> > >> select for such.  You'd have to have a comprehensive understanding of my
> > >> model to fully understand what I mean by this.)
> > >
> > > Your model is much too complicated for
> > > any evolutionary scenario.  Remember
> > > parsimony?  Simplicity rules.
> >
> > No, you retard, parsimony and simplicity are two different things.
>
> The concepts often overlap -- in theory
> and especially in practice.

Nonsense.  Look it up.

>
> > >> Who cares?  The significant factor here is that your model fails
> > >> to explain the emergence of large communal groups.  Without
> > >> this you have no hypothesis.
> > >
> > > Where do you get this from?  I set out
> > > explicitly how and why larger groups
> > > would evolve.   The shift to ground-
> > > sleeping was crucial in numerous ways.
> >
> > You completely failed to indicate a SELECTIVE benefit to larger
> > groups.  (I have no trouble with this at all in my model.)
>
> I don't know how you fail to see that in my
> scenario.  As I told you, larger groups would
> usually do better than smaller ones, for all
> manner of reasons.

Vague nonsense.  If it was this simple then all species would only
maintain very large groups.

>
> > >> > Your model does not begin to compete with
> > >> > mine.  Tell me where, how and why monogamy
> > >> > came in.
> > >>
> > >> I think it's a social adaptation that has to do with equallizing the
> > >> incentive for all of the members to participate in the war/sports
> > >> behavior
>
> This is sheer fantasy -- and hopelessly
> unrealistic.

The thing about the communal territorialism of my model is that it
provides selective reasons for there to be more of a balance of
incentives for all members of the community.

>
> > > So you have monogamy up in the trees?
> > > Did they make extra-large tree-nests
> > > for couples?
> >
> > Shut-up, jackass.
>
> Practical questions arise and need answering.
>
> > > Can't you see how ridiculous your theory
> > > gets?   You have a huge change in 'social'
> > > behaviour, and in morphology, while
> > > retaining every other aspect of chimp
> > > behaviour.
> >
> > Specifically?
>
> Under your theory, the hour-to-hour and
> day-to-day behaviour of your early hominids
> would be identical to those of chimps.  (In
> fact, they'd have the same morphology --
> but, for some unknown reason, you can't
> see that.)

No.  I can't see that.

>
> > > The a few million years later,
> > > they drop all the chimp bits, without
> > > noticing, with no change in morphology.
> > > And (of course) the tree-living hominid
> > > then goes extinct, since it has served its
> > > purpose in your theory, and is no longer
> > > needed.
> >
> > Your the only one that is obsessed with tree living.
>
> Darwin and me.  Guess which side is right.
>
> Have you ever heard the phrase 'come down
> from the trees'?   Have you any idea what it
> might mean?   Do you really think it means
> spending the same amount of time in them as
> chimps?  You (and standard PA) think it does.
>
> Your theory (and standard PA) simply can't
> cope with the issue.  Bad news.  Bad theories.

I think the communal territorialism of my model explains perfectly why
it would have been much more difficult in this monsoon/mosaic habitat
for predators to sneak up and surprise them.  In my model they would
know they were coming because the alarm would have been sounded--due to
the cooperative nature of the members of a community--and they'd be
ready for the predators by way of a show of force.

>
> > >> In my model they have no alternative to communal territorialism.
> > >
> > > At first glance, 'no alternative' theories
> > > sound good.  But then you realise that
> > > they are one-shot theories.  If that
> > > population at that time did not do exactly
> > > what it had to do, then we would not be
> > > here.
> >
> > This is the way evolutionary scenario are supposed to be, you idiot.
> > Otherwise there is no reason for evolutionary change.
>
> Where did you get such a crazy idea?
> The first birds took to the air because they
> were forced off the ground?  (I suppose it
> was a change of climate.  Did it make the
> ground icy, or what?)   The first amphibians
> were driven from the water to come on land?
> Was that a change of climate too? The first
> seals took to the sea because they were
> driven from the land?  Did the expansion
> of a desert make them take to the water?

Without a dry season you don't have a compelling rationale for the
adoption of communal territorialism because without it you don't have
communal selection.

>
> This is Evolution -99 (minus 99).  It's
> Evolution for idiots.
>
> > >> In your model it happens for no reason at all.
> > >
> > > Chimps have "communal territorialism" now.
> >
> > Shut up, idiot.  They do not.
> >
> > > It steadily evolved in early hominids, for
> > > larger groups, with weapons, with monogamy,
> > > sleeping on the ground, eating roots, excluding
> > > baboons, getting steadily larger -- all so that
> > > each band could do better than its competitors.
> > > No reason other than competition is required.
> >
> > Selection is require, you dipshit.
>
> Sure.  Competition selects.  I thought you
> knew that.

You haven't indicated why larger groups would have the competitive
advantage in your scenario.  I do in my scenario.

>
> > >> >> > You still refuse to defend "grains, nuts,
> > >> >> > bugs, dried fruit," -- because you know
> > >> >> > that such a list is indefensible.  You
> > >
> > >> > What animals are eating that food now?
> > >>
> > >> We are.
> > >
> > > We do not live in forests, nor go into them
> > > to collect this 'food'.  Your answer is false.
> >
> > Maybe you don't,  but normal humans do eat these things.
>
> List "these things".  How can I search for
> them on Google?  Or are they reserved solely
> for your imagination
>
> > > Standard PA has not the faintest clue
> > > about niche, and therefore about diet.
> >
> > Oh, shut up.  And we're supposed to take your unqualified
> > opinion over their opinion.
>
> They don't have an 'opinion'.  That's
> one of their most obvious problems.
>
> > > There was a HUGE change in diet for
> > > early hominids.  That is manifest from
> > > the dramatic change in teeth. What was
> > > it?  Standard PA says nothing, so you
> > > (tamely following on) say nothing too.
> >
> > I hardly think anybody would describe my hypothesis as tamely following.
>
> What different do you say?

See my hypothesis.

>
> > J. Moore said:
> > During the 1960s Dr. Kortlandt, a Dutch researcher, did a number of
> > experiments with wild chimpanzees in natural populations in Africa.
> > One of these was to see how different populations of chimps react to
> > predators.  To do this, he used a stuffed leopard dummy with
> > electrically moveable head and tail.  A baby chimpanzee doll was placed
> > in the leopard's front paws and the dummy was placed where it would be
> > encountered by mixed groups of chimpanzees, including females with young,
> > in all the experiments.  Several populations of chimpanzees were so
> > tested several times, including groups in two different jungle areas,
> > and a group of savannah woodland chimpanzees.  All the chimp groups
> > reacted by picking up sticks as clubs,
>
> Did you see this about clubs?

Yep.

>
> > breaking small trees and tree
> > limbs to use as clubs, and throwing these at the leopard dummy.  An
> > interesting difference emerged between the jungle chimps and the
> > savannah chimps.  The jungle chimps, while aggressive toward the
> > leopard, were uncoordinated in their attacks and when throwing objects,
> > never actually hit the leopard.
>
> >   "The results with savannah chimpanzees, however, were quite different.
> > They grabbed the largest of the available clubs, which was 2.10 m long,
> > and they tore down small trees of about the same length; they slashed
> > viciously at the leopard with these.
>
> Chimps more used to open space had more
> experience using clubs.  What a surprise.

It's not a surprise to me.

> Those which lived in trees most of the time
> were no so good at handling clubs.  What
> a surprise.
>
> >   "A side effect of the experiment was the observation that the savannah
> > chimpanzees more often walked erect than do the jungle chimpanzees."
>
> To handle clubs, you need to be able to
> walk erect.  You don't need that to run
> around trees.

Yep.

>
> > > As another example, a requirement to change
> > > the method of locomotion would be a huge
> > > obstacle -- inconceivably large in nearly all
> > > instances.  In effect, the species becomes
> > > disabled while it goes through the change.
> > > In some ways, it would have to go into a
> > > kind of 'purdah' (or a state of chrysalis) while
> > > it made the switch.   Just like standard PA,
> > > you don't see this -- having the species
> > > endure its transient state for no good reason
> > > while also supposedly coping with predators
> > > and competitors and all the usual problems.
> >
> > I think the fact that chimps do, so often, assume a bipedal stance make your
> > comments above regarding 'purdah' look really stupid.
>
> Humans often go on their hands and knees
> (especially in infancy).  Does that mean
> that they are well on the way to becoming
> quadrupeds?   If (for some strange reason)
> one population of humans really had to
> revert to quadrupedalism, how long would
> it take?  And would the new species be
> fast at running, good at climbing and
> effective at fighting, while it was going
> through the process?

What's your point here?

Jim


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