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Elaine Morgan


Book review by Anthony Campbell. The review is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

This book covers almost exactly the same ground as Morgan's earlier book The Scars of Evolution. In other words, it is a defence of the aquatic ape hypothesis using the same arguments as in the earlier work. As such, the same comments apply.

There are some minor differences. As a concession to academic custom Morgan has for the first time included numbered references, although the tone of her writing is still popular and accessible. She now states categorically that the savannah hypothesis for human origins is defunct, as opposed to merely weak and inadequate. The aquatic ape hypothesis, in contrast, is she believes stronger than ever. However, she has now abandoned the suggestion, made in her earlier book, that sweat and tears originally evolved to facilitate the excretion of salt. Her reasons for doing so are described in some detail in order to defend herself against the accusation that her retraction seriously weakens the case for the aquatic ape hypothesis.

Anyone wishing to get a popular overview of the debate would do equally well to read either book; the differences between them are not great enough to make it necessary to read both.

See also The Scars of Evolution for my assessment of the evidence.

%T The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis
%A Elaine Morgan
%I Souvenir Press
%C London
%D 1997
%G ISBN 0-285-63518-2
%P 205 pp
%K evolution
%O paperback
%O illustrated

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