Dennett 'falou e disse': a teoria do macaco aquático está certa

quarta-feira, março 11, 2009

A linha de pesquisa que escolhi no mestrado em História da Ciência na PUC-SP, eu optei por História e Teoria da Ciência - Biologia - Teoria da evolução - Século 19. Li bastante sobre aquele período, e li bastante também sobre as teorias evolutivas contemporâneas. Contudo, eu nem sabia desta tal teoria do macaco aquático de Elaine Morgan. E nem que o Daniel Dennett teceu comentários favoráveis a ela.


The Aquatic Ape Theory

ELAINE MORGAN Qualifications:

M.A.(Oxon), two University fellowships, one honorary doctorate. Author of books on human evolution including The Descent of Woman (1972), The Aquatic Ape (1982), The Scars of Evolution (1990), The Descent of the Child (1994), andThe Aquatic Ape Hypothesis (1997).

The proposition

The question confronting all speculation (SIC ULTRA PLUS) on human origins is why we differ from the other apes in so many different ways: nakedness, bipedality, and the ability to speak are striking examples. Darwinists believe that these differences must have been caused by some change in habitat or life-style undergone by our ancestors, and not by those of the chimpanzee.

The question is, what change?

For most of the last century the accepted answer was that proposed by Raymond Dart - that the apes’ ancestors remained in the trees while our own ancestors moved out onto the grasslands, where shortage of fruit and leaves compelled them to become hunters.

Professor Sir Alister Hardy, F.R.S., when he was a young Oxford marine biologist, noted that a fat-lined hairless skin was more commonly found in aquatic mammals than in terrestrial ones, and conceived that the crucial change might have been a shift to a more watery habitat. In 1960, after keeping silent about this idea for thirty years, he published an article about it in New Scientist. He was sternly rebuked by his colleagues for airing bizarre views on a subject outside his speciality and bringing Oxford academics into disrepute. Nothing more was heard of the idea for twelve years.

In 1972 I was moved to write a book appealing for parity of esteem between the sexes. I was reacting strongly against Dart’s macho version of human emergence, as relayed by popular writers like Robert Ardrey. The only alternative paradigm on offer was the aquatic suggestion briefly mentioned in Morris’s best selling The Naked Ape. I found it instantly convincing and with Alister’s permission incorporated it into my narrative.



A opinião de Dennett sobre a Teoria do Macaco Aquático:

"During the last few years, when I have found myself in the company of distinguished biologists, evolutionary theorists, paleoanthropologists and other experts, I have often asked them just to tell me, please, exactly why Elaine Morgan must be wrong about the aquatic theory. I haven’t yet had a reply worth mentioning, aside from those who admit, with a twinkle in their eyes, that they have also wondered the same thing." – Daniel Dennett


The Naked Darwinist - PDF gratuito aqui.