The Counter-Critique

Langdon’s Critique of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis: It’s Final Refutation, or Just Another Misunderstanding?

Kuliukas, AV  (2011). Langdon’s Critique of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis: It’s Final Refutation, or Just Another Misunderstanding?. In: Vaneechoutte, M , Verhaegen, M , Kuliukas, AV  (eds.),  (2011). Was Man More Aquatic In The Past? Fifty Years After Alister Hardy:  Waterside Hypothesis Of Human Evolution. Bentham (Basel).

Abstract

Thus far, there has been no challenge to Langdon’s 1997 critique [1]of the aquatic ape hypothesis (AAH),  despite its having a number of weaknesses. The paper lacks scholarliness as it does not draw upon the one published  scientific investigation into the plausibility of the AAH in the literature, i.e., that by Roede et al. [2]. Langdon’s  summary of “anatomical evidence for the AAH” seems to have been directed against an exaggerated interpretation  of Alister Hardy’s hypothesis that humans were “more aquatic in the past” [3]. Most of the critique was based on  cursory and superficial comparisons with fully aquatic mammals, such as cetaceans, rather than considering whether  human ancestors could have been more aquatic than those of apes. Even on this basis, Langdon considered eleven  out of twenty-six traits to be “possible aquatic adaptations” or “consistent with the AAH”.

Get the full chapter (or e-book) here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *