Jim Moore's "AAT Sink or Swim?" Web Site
So, finally, we get to Moore's summary page. Eventually he gets to the point where he summarises the whole web site: The AAH, he claims, was never favoured by the evidence and it's supporters very trustworthiness is in question because they misrepresented scientific work, citing it as evidence in favour of the hypothesis when really it actually argued against it.
I challenge both these views.
I argue that the evidence is actually very much in favour of a moderate form of the AAH which, remember, might be defined as the hypothesis that water has acted as an agency of selection in human evolution more than it has in the evolution of our great ape cousins, and therefore explains many of the physical differences between us better than other hypotheses.
Although I have been unable to check all of Moore's allegations of misrepresentations against Elaine Morgan, the ones I have followed up on seemed to lack substance. More often than not it was Moore, not Morgan, who was doing the misrepresenting. Morgan has undoubtedly made a few errors in her research over the years and, perhaps, might even have been guilty of being over-enthusiastic in trying to gather pieces of evidence to support her hypothesis.
However, at least the same degree of over enthusiasm
in trying to seek out any scrap of dirt to discredit the hypothesis cab
equally be levelled at Jim Moore. The very URL of his 'aquatic ape
rubbishing' web site: www.aquaticape.org
shows a degree of dishonesty in his endeavours.
Most of this page is a rehash of some of his earlier
arguments so let's cut all the waffle and get to his last, decisive
Moore concludes this page like this:
problem for the AAT is that the evidence has never favoured it, even though
AATers have said it did, and even though some, like Morgan in her latest
book, have issued mea culpas which claimed the evidence did favor some
points but that more evidence came along and invalidated them.
Let's take that apart, piece by piece.
1) The evidence never favoured it.
When Moore argues that the evidence never favoured it, what he means is the little bits of evidence he has carefully selected from all of Morgan's earliest books don't, according to him, favour it.
2) The evidence cited in favour of it actually was
against it, and calls into question the trustworthiness of the author.
Moore has gone to great trouble to discredit Morgan's work on this web site. His allegations have ranged from her doing poor research to deliberately misrepresenting an argument to make her argument more compelling.
I was very interested to check Moore's claims in this area. Sometimes the reference Morgan cited, that Moore claimed she'd misquoted or worse, was not available to me at the university library and so I had to take his word for it, like I suspect most readers have had to.
On the occasions I could check his allegations, though, I found that more often than not it was Moore, rather than Morgan, who was doing the misrepresenting. If Morgan was guilty of sometimes being over enthusiastic in finding evidence to support her claims, then Moore is equally guilty of searching out any scrap that might be construed as dirt to slap on her.
The fact remains that Morgan, like Hardy before her, has
to a large extent been merely asking questions that the scientific
literature has never attempted to answer.
Finally, one should ask how trustworthy is Moore, when he buys the URL www.aquaticape.org simply as a vehicle to rubbish the hypothesis?
The 'false facts' he keeps banging on about turn out to be minor points of ambiguity, at worst, whilst he has largely misrepresented the AAH, himself.