Pro and Con Excerpts from Feedback

All these excerpts are from feedback emails, which I've sorted into pro and con regarding my site. All typos and grammar are as received. In a couple places I took out potentially identifying info, such as name or a class.


I appreciate the light you have shed on this topic, and the common misconceptions and "Bad Science" surrounding it. Keep up the good work ! I will attempt to never again support such theories in the future so uncritically.
Nice to see this site back up. It is an extremely good place to refer people to.
I would like to say that I really liked your website about the AAT. I heard of the AAT just a few days ago out of a book titled "Losing Faith: A Quest for Truth and the Origins of Life". When I first read it, I found it rather fascinating, but after I visited your site, I found it to be bunk, so thanks for the cold hard facts.
Your AAT site is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Now when I argue with other interested laypeople, I have all the facts I need -- or a resource I can point them to so they can make up their own minds. The amount of work you have evidently put into researching, thinking, and writing is astounding, and you deserve all the brownie points that science and reason can bestow.

Thank you again, for all the work you put into your presentation, and for the several happy hours I just spent at your site.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your most informative website!!
Your work already has been a great light in a large morass.
Your site on Ms. Morgan and the aquatic ape 'theory' is one of the finest pieces of work on the web that I have come across.
To begin, I am an undergraduate at UCSB. I am in my senior year as an anthropologist. Earlier in my college career I checked out all of Elaine Morgan's books from our school library and read them. I was quite convinced of their validity until I read sections of your web-page. Thank you for your careful research into the evidence that Elaine Morgan used as fact in her various publications.
I read *The Scars of Evolution* last year and found it plausible. I saw a refutation online later and could accept that it wasn't as plausible as I thought, but the refutation was pretty scanty. Tonight I saw a refutation on the Straight Dope site that was better, and it had a link to your site, which was devastating. I'll move Morgan's book to my pseudoscience shelves. Thanks for all the good work!
You've really provided some great information on your site...very logical and convincing.
Thank you for all your efforts to seek the truth regarding the aquatic ape 'theory'. You have saved me hundreds of hours of personal research needed to answer intelligent people's questions about this hypothesis. I belong to 2 science lists and they have both - a year apart now asked questions which I would have been struggling to answer without your site.
I would like to applaud your efforts and the time you have spent on your site.
Read nearly everything on your's very interesting...a healthy debate...
I only heard about the Aquatic Ape Theory a few days ago and (although you must have trouble believing this by now) thought the initial claims gave the idea a certain plausability. I might have just filed this away as an intriguing idea that science was taking seriously but fortunately I found it so intriguing that I thought I'd check it out.

It's clear how long you've spent trying to be srupulously fair to these people and I thought I'd just drop a note of encouragement.

I've just read your site on the AAT/H. Bravo! I had wondered about the status of this theory as I read (and was impressed) by a summary of it many years ago, but I wondered why it was never mentioned by "mainstream" popular science despite the steady flow of books on it I saw being published. Congratulations on such a painstaking, largely even-handed critique.
I was impressed with the job you did on the aquatic ape theory, especially what you seem to know about predation.
I searched the web immediately upon finishing The Scars of Evolution, and found your site. I found Elaine Morgan's argument compelling - IF the facts were as stated. But I was suspicious of the absence of real references. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.
Enjoyed your site - just wanted to get bit more background on some pseudoscientific theories.
I have a Ph.D. in biology and the evolution of man has always been an area of particular interest to me.

When I first read the Decent of Woman,I became, and remain totally enamored with the images of aquatic apes. I recognized that Elane Morgan's approach to the subject would not inspire confidence in the scientific community.

I would like to thank you for all the work you have done in checking her references and facts. I am astonished with your thoroughness.

Nice site. ** Anyway, I liked the site. Very well written and referenced.
My name is ______________________ [NOTE: I deleted the name for privacy] and I found myself at your website today after several hours of alternative science reading. Today was also the first day I had ever heard of the AAT. I wanted to comment on your excellent website, it answered many questions I had to this theory. Very informative and readable, even for a 19 year old college brat to understand. Nothing else really to say other than praise.

Have you ever considered writing a book on this subject? I seldom see someone so well informed about what they are writing about. It was just a pleasant surprise to see such a nice website.

Thanks for an informative, exceptionally researched sight.
I'm doing an essay for my evolution class at the moment and have found your website incredibly helpful. The topic is aquatic ape theory, but we have to summarise the scientific evidence which doesn't support the theory. Your website has helped me to research and think of some of the things that don't quite add up.
I found your website arguing against AAT while doing some research I'm doing. When I read the thing on the seal sweating I started laughing out loud as I had a similar experience with Verhaegen on his e-mail newsgroup.
I read your web page and it is very well done.
Your home page is impressive and useful.
It is anyway refreshing to see the theory debunked in this reasoned way, but I only wish some opponent of the AAT had taken it a bit more seriously earlier and done this necessary homework rather than just seeming to disdainfully ignore it. However unlike you I am kind and feel sorry for Elaine Morgan and all the other people who have devoted their lives to mistaken theories. Still for the sake of the truth whatever that may happen to be it had to be done.
I had a very hard time finding con arguments on the AAT. Your site does a terrific job of disproving the AAT with solid facts and counter arguements. If I may venture a bit of a criticism. I think your research and counterarguments stand on their own. It seems you get a bit emotional towards Morgan ( I realize she does the same). I think your site would be more effective (is that possible? How about more enjoyable) if the cuts were kept to a minimum. Thanks for the enlightenment.
This is great. After taking a course on the Evolution of Human Nature at my liberal arts college (maybe my favorite course here, and I'm a senior English major), a friend of mine who saw some special on the Discovery Channel (I think) challenged me to undercut the argument. Without having seen the documentary or read Morgan's book, I didn't have a clue what to say, and with only one semester studying this stuff I probably couldn't have said much even if I had known more about her theory. Your site amusingly and thoroughly put to rest any doubts I had that our class wasn't let down by not hearing any mention of the hypothesis in class from either my professor or Trivers, Wrangham and others we read and had the good fortune to listen to. My friend, while stubborn, should have a hard time refuting your facts and logic. Also, I always find it refreshing and delightful to read someone mercilessly destroy claims that are made self-righteously and without scientific basis. Thanks, and great job!
Compiling the site was no doubt an utterly thankless task, but you can rest assured that it was highly worthwhile as far as this curious bystander was concerned.
Thanks very much for sharing the information on your web site. It's always a pleasure to find something of substance on the internet, and a well reasoned argument is like a fine wine.
Thanks for your site, I was recently involved in a discussion with a follower of AAT, and your argumentation strengthened my gut feeling that their interpretation is not the right way to go. I only didn't know how far-fetched some of their arguments were.
The only downside to your site is that it contains quite a lot of words, which fends off people who would otherwise be interested, in support of your view. And on points it also gets quite personal, which does not add to the discussion, it mainly deviates.

Other than that: great site, glad I've found it.

I've just had my first encounter with your site and I'd like to say I'm impressed.
Cool site on the aquatic ape hypothesis. :> Where's YOUR book? :>
I'm a grad student in geophysics at the Colorado School of Mines. I was searching for information on the development of the theory of continental drift when I stumbled across your site on the aquatic ape "theory". While I've not heard of that particular piece of fringe science before, I thought you had a good page on comparisons of AAT (and other fringe science) with Wegener.
Excellent! Found you by accessing - where you have their best label "anticrank." Have spent an enjoyable - and enlightening - evening reading through your sober, lucid, and temperate responses to AAT afficionados in the person of E. Morgan You have done a huge amount of work and it is deeply appreciated by this reader.
Whew, that was a close one! Fortunately I just happened to find your website first before any others about the AAT. I just read the original "Naked Ape" by Desmond Morris; yes, I know it's very old but it was great! Anyway I was intrigued by the Aquatic Ape theory and wanted to find out more. Superficially it seems to make some sense, and it would be really fun to believe it, but I guess I don't! It's very attractive to anyone who had childhood fantasies about being a mermaid; perhaps this was Morgan's original motivation? Don't be too hard on her, she's trying to protect her innocence...
Anyway I just want to thank you for your honest analysis; that's something which is hard to find these days!
I'm enjoying your article on the pitfalls of AAT, thank you.
Congratulations on your AAT site, which is extremely impressive.
I just paid a return visit to your AAT site. I hadn't seen it for a year or so and I have to say that I think it has come on famously - well presented, well researched and even looking good!
I found your website a fascinating unraveling of the AAT.
First of all, let me express my gratitude for the excellent work you have done on the AAT, and for making this work available to everyone on your website!
I LOVED the site. I first read about the AAT in an undergrad class at UConn (1985?). I'm not sure what pointed me in the direction of the book The Aquatic Ape, but when I read it, I thought the idea was lots of fun and just plain cool. I remember thinking at the time that the book seemed a little less scientific than some of the anthropology textbooks I was reading, but it didn't really matter to me because I was an electrical engineering major - anthropology was just a side interest. It's amazing how much you can theorize about a subject when there's no need to come up with hard evidence. Your site (I've read just about the whole thing) has made me realize how weak the whole AAT theory is. It was a cool idea, it would have been nice if there were something more to it.
I came across your website purely by accident while browsing looking for info about breath reflexes.

Even though it didn’t provide the info I was looking for, I spent some time reading over various parts and found it interesting, informative and entertaining.

Particularly, the section “My response to Elaine Morgan's response to me” was very entertaining reading.

I feel personal attacks and hostility to constructive criticism are a sign of possible insecurity in EM’s belief in her own theories and I just wanted to commend you on the non-inflammatory way your rebuttal was presented.

I have much enjoyed reading your comments on the arguments propounded in favour of 'the aquatic ape theory'. They have certainly convinced me that the evidence in favour is very suspect.

It is regrettable that, as it seems to me, you make so many comments about the intellectual and moral failings of the proponents of AAT. They are human and therefore fallible, as are we all. I would have expected a rational person to be content with assassinating their myths and to leave judgement of character to those acquainted with the individuals concerned.

I've just read through your intro page on AAT: Sink or Swim? and I wanted first to thank you so much for the website.
Good luck with all your further research, and thanks again for the great website and information, and all the work you've put into it.
Just surfed your site on AAT. I recently saw a “documentary” on the subject that was very soft on science – almost like watching “In Search Of…”, but I didn’t realize it at the time. I’m taking an anthropology class, and wondered why Elaine Morgan wasn’t mentioned at all in the text. Now I know.
I have been reading through your AAT: Sink or Swim webpage, and I have found it to be both informative and interesting.
Congrats on your page, interesting reading and well oriented. Keep up the good work.
Your site was a great find for me because since I first came accross aat I've been looking for good scientific arguments against it, but haven't had time to dig up primary sources myself. I also found Morgan's lake of referencing to be frustrating, but I guess I let it slide because she was an amateur, and to honest with you, I suppose I wanted the underdog to win.
As an avid surfer who derived much pleasure from the sentimental concept that somewhere in the genetic code there were Amphibian ancestors that explained and justified the inordinate amount of time I have spent in the ocean surfing.

Your logical critique of the Aquatic Theory has painfully scorched my gills. Since I am now at a lost, thanks to you, for explaining my addictive amphibian aspirations, I will now, late in life, face the hard terrestrial facts to go out and find a land based job. I hope you're happy, you land lubber.

Cool website... don´t know what to believe and I guess thats why it´s so good...
Hello, I was briefly scanning through your aquatic ape website, and found it outstanding. I am a marine biologist myself with a slight knowledge of anthropology. I also belong to the Bad Astronomy message board, a site frequented and run by scientists, not all astronomers.

In one of our non-astronomy discussions, the aquatic ape theory was brought up.

I invite you to drop by, and to contribute if you'd like. Or you may like to hang around and read about the other topics. In any event, I thank you for spending the time in developing such a wonderfully thorough and scientifically rigorous website.

Thanks – I appreciate the amount of work you put into this. I was always tempted to believe in the AAT, but the specific points you make are excellent, and after reading your website, I have to agree, the AAT is doggie doodoo, and I have put it into the same category in my mind as Bigfoot, and UFO’s.
Hi my name is _____________________ [NOTE: name deleted by me].I wanted to find killer whales.I COULD NOT FIND THEM! I am nine. I need buttons to find killer whales. please put some buttons on please!!!!!
Thank you so much for relieving me of my misconceptions!

Keep up the good work.

You seem to be doing an excellent job of taking apart the Aquatic Ape Theory. I haven't double checked your conclusions yet, but your thoroughness of reference and your value of rigorous criticism seem about right.
I recently read Elaine Morgan's book "the aquatic ape", and found it extraordinarily convincing. Having read biology at oxford university I was amazed never to have heard of this theory before, and was determined to find out more about it. I started looking on the internet and quickly came across your website, which I have been reading with great interest.

It is clear to me from reading your site that much of the information provided by AAT proponents is misleading or inaccurate, and that it does not provide a balanced view of the evidence. In this respect I feel a little cheated by Elain Morgan's book, as I found it so convincing when I first read it. However I have also found your own webiste a little frustratin, as it also seems to have a certain missionary zeal (i.e. that the AAT must be destroyed) and it leaves unanswered what I see as the really key questions.

Enjoyed reading your website - balanced and informative.
I have been to your site and your critique gave me a good feeling for what I had missed. What you say does seem to make perfect sense.
Mmmm. I've read your critique of DAs programmes with interest.... You denigtate my childhood hero at your peril! But true science cannot be insulted and does not fear critique. I was impressed with your web site. I shall read it again and the rest of your site, soon!
Thank you for doing the right thing and exposing bad science. I applaud the scientist who goes out on a limb with a questionable theory. Einstein is a pretty good example of that. But Elaine Morgan is clearly more interested in selling books than seeking the truth. She's a novelist who shamelessly deceives the public.
I enjoyed your serious coverage of the aquatic hominid hypothesis but was slightly put-off by your need to include a defense of your ability to do it at all and your exchanges with protaganists or suporters of the hypothesis. This left me with the distinct feeling that you initially set out with the purpose of not objectively examining the theory but to refute it. Having this mindset even before you began your research introduces the question of bias and reduces the effectiveness of your critique in the long run.
You have a large site that quite clearly shows how unscientific Elaine Morgan actually is.
I was on your aquaticape site and found it well-written. I also check out many of the AAT "facts" myself and find them interesting, but as yourself stated - the "facts" are unsupported.

Keep up the good work.

Your website refuting the aquatic ape hypothesis is great.
Hi. Like your site, even though you are destroying some of my favorite beliefs. So it goes.
I just found your site (and spent the next 2 hours reading it!). And an excellent read it is too.
So, thanks for the effort you've put into creating the site, it was much appreciated (and I learnt a lot from it). I will admit that when I first found it I though "Oh no, another crank site, this guy must be obsessed to have spent all this time on this". But, as I read through it, the more impressed I became - not least with your patience with the AAH lot! And you even made me laugh in a couple of places in your critique of Morgan's latest book. I laughed so loudly at " I do that sometimes; someone says "boo" and I jump several million years later." that my wife asked me what I was reading (and was rather puzzled by my attempted explanation!).

And, finally, you have even persuaded me to read Darwin. It will do me good to actually read him, after a life time of referring to his works!

I'd like to offer my thanks for your site on AAT. Having read a number of Elaine Morgan's works, I had felt some sympathy for the AAT, but was uncomfortable with the absence of useful criticism. My early web searches produced nothing more than ugly diatribes against Ms. Morgan, which increased her status as martyr in my eyes. Of course, these searches were back in the late 90s, and for some reason I never came across your site.

So I was greatly pleased when I came across your site, with its detailed refutations of all the major claims of AAT. At last I had an opportunity to see both sides of the debate! The information you offer is compelling, and has shattered any sympathy I had for the AAT. The best kind of learning is that which changes your mind on something, and I offer my appreciation for your providing that.

One suggestion: please tone back the sarcasm and ridicule of Ms. Morgan. You don't need it; your facts demolish her position. The sarcasm and ridicule suggest an emotional involvement that undermines your credibility. The most devastating stance you could take would be a calm, quiet refutation of the arguments themselves. Good writing never draws the conclusions for the reader; it makes them obvious and lets the reader draw them.

The amount of digging you have done to uncover references is impressive. You really are an anthropologist! I commend you for taking the logical, scientific road.
Thank you for your excellent site
on reading your AAT opus, a standing ovation!
I wanted to let you know that I really appreciate finding your website on the AAT/H, which I have just started looking at. I teach a bunch of courses in the philosophy of biology, and we had a little bit of discussion of the AAT/H (on science vs non-science) last semester in my _____________________ [NOTE: specific course info removed for privacy reasons], but it was crammed in to a course that was already pretty full, and I wasn't all that well-equipped to talk about the AAT/H. This semster I'm teaching _____________________ [NOTE: specific course info removed for privacy reasons], where I've decided this year to make Donna Haraway's *Primate Visions* on of the texts. And here I think I will be able to work in a more sustained discussion of the view. Since I also am likely to give students the option of writing or modifying a Wikipedia article on some suitable topic as one of their assignments, the link to your site from that article (which I assume you had input to, but I haven't checked) is great.
Ive just had the pleasure of reading your website. Absolutly fantastic. I had a reference to one of Elains morgans books at the end of one of my lecture notes for my zoology degree. the book was refered to in a 'and this might be worth a read if you fancy looking at the issue from another angle' way. i thought i would have a look at the book to put off revision as its water born past tone sounded just like the kind of thing i would really enjoy being a surfer, a closet hippy and someone who loves it when the scientific world is turned on its head. I then decided that reaserching the book online first might save time. Boy am i glad i did. I have never seen a theory so comprehensivly and profesionaly shot down. it was wonderfull to read. So profesionally argued definatly gonna put some of that in my exam.
Wonderful site, please keep up the good work.
I'm impressed by the amount of work that you've put into your site; I must admit I haven't read it all yet but I'll come back to it.
I just read scars of evolution, and was wondering why I had never heard of the aquatic ape theory before. So, I had a look around on the internet. I think you've done a good job of refuting the theory. Definitely a lot of work, and well done.

thanks a lot...

I have gone through your website, found very informative
Just a quick note to say that I have spent a number of hours today reading through your AAT site ( and it has been an enjoyable and informative experience.
I have just found your site and after many years I am very pleased at last to find someone to answer the many questions raised by the aat. A hard job but someone had to do it.
Thank you for publishing your work on the internet. I had been confused by the AAT until I read your article disclaiming it.
I only have a peripheral interest in this subject, I loved Elaine Morgan's book Descent of woman far more for what she did with the naked Ape than her own hypothesis, which seemed weak. But I want to thank you for making a huge study of this putting all the information out there for anyone who is interested. You have done a great job, and when I have any questions I know where to come.
hello, nice and interesting web site about the aquatic ape
I just read about your site on aquatic ape theory, and it was great. Well I really skimmed it, since you spent way too much time working on it. Really you could have condensed all this material into a single page, and anyone with half a brain would get the point.
I have found your website very interesting and informative, alas, i can only use journal articles for my dissertation.
Some years ago I heard Elaine Morgan speak at Radcliffe College on the theory, and I was rather taken with it. And when I mentioned it lightly to friends who knew more about such things I was dismayed at how dismissive they were... since they never seemed to address the elements of her argument that seemed convincing. I did not thoroughly read you essays. In fact, I quickly found the points I wanted to know more about in your "Claims and the Facts" section.

Arguments on a species would have evolved X because of Y or wouldn't have always seemed weak to me. But your simple list of claims made by proponants and why they are untrue was informative and welcome.

I am hugely disapointed to read that a theory which felt so right to me does not hold up, but I am grateful for the hard work (and clean organization and navigation) you put into this.

Intrigued I 'googled' 'aquatic ape' and found your very interesting internet site. While I've not had time to read all of it, it has put me on notice as to the theory and the possible fundamental holes in it.
I'm perfectly happy that you have your opinion, and you're entitled to it, but I still think you're a coniving weasle for choosing the site name That should be pretty obvious. You, sir, represent everything bad about the internet.
It is nice to see that somebody is taken time to make a deep analyse of the AAT. Good work! But at the same time I have to confess, I am also one of these people beliving at the potential of the AAT....
Bravo! Your website is masterpiece of rationality backed up with clear facts and sources.
I just wanted to thank you for your thorough handling of the "Morgan Theory" (

As it happens, I read the first Morgan book when I was 16 or something (25 years ago!) and was immediately fascinated. Even then I understood that this wasn't science but only speculation - but very believable speculation, I thought then.

Now, as I was reading "The Third Chimpanzee" by Jared Diamond, I once again remembered the aquatic ape theory and started wondering if it ever got anywhere. And, thanks to google, found your site. And got a bit wiser, once again.

So, thanks for your research and effort,

Anyway, this was meant to be a quick note, but since I'm all fired up now, it has become somewhat longer. My apologies. But kudos on the excellent site. It not only addresses the issue in a very fair and honest way, it serves as something of a primer on scientific and logical reasoning, as well as on the importance of doing honest research (rather than cherry-picking quotes). It shows that real science, and real debates, require real work.

I appreciate that. Nice work.

Your site in objection to the AAT is well thought out and executed.
Brilliant stuff, Jim. Seldom have I seen such diligent and persistent skepticism applied to a marginal theory.
Thank you for all your effort put in the creation of this page. I didn't know other terrestial animals can dive :-).
It was yesterday when I faced for the first time the AAT/H; I must say it had a romantic appeal. It was today when I tried to deep my research on the matter when I happened to read your page. This is just a mail to thank you for all the work you have done; specially, for showing us the sources where to deepen the knowledge on this matter.
Objective and carefully prepared scientific analysis of a "theory" is often hard to find in this day and age, especially on the public forum of the internet.

What I liked most about your site was that you simply do what any of the proponents of this fictional idea could have done - and presented your conclusions based on careful review of the available data and information.

It must be embarrassing for Ms Morgan and her ilk to not be able to extricate themselves from this idiocy.

I read Desmond Morris years ago, and found his mention of Aquatic Apes amusing. My father is a marine biologist and I know he thought the idea of an aquatic ape evolutionary pathway was hilarious.

Your site is fantastic, I think it actually is missing a worthwhile page or two: all the other, better, actually scientific studies. I know it's a bit of work, and actually moot when dealing with the theory on it's merits, but knowing about Bramble and Leiberman's paper showing how distance running accounts for a lot of modern human physiology and does so in a very scientific and very well examined way, with fossil evidence to back up the claims. Your site really is fantastic, information wise. You could do with a couple pictures though.
I really like this website and I'm quite impressed by how comprehensive it is. A greater compliment than any I can give, however, is that Prof. _____________ [NOTE: name removed for privacy reasons] included it on his syllabus.
I came across your site when googling "swimming infants", wanting to see if swimming lessons would be of any benefit to my full-of-beans six month old boy. Instead of that info (and yes, that may have been a lame search string for that particular investigation), I ended up having a very enjoyable diversion through your sensible and amusing site. Just wanted to say good on you for doing it, and keep it up.
I just read "The Aquatic Ape" tonight and I admit I was rather taken in by it. Hardy's admission that he was just poisting a speculative hypothesis went a long way toward reasuring me that he was being honest. When I jumped online to check out the idea I fortunately stumbled on your site first. I like to think Im pretty good at detecting pseudoscience, (the lack of citations did raise a red flag) but I wasn't prepared for her (fairly) good reasoning from simply fraudulent evedence. I think you are right to point out the similarities with ID. Pseudoscience is pseudoscience and fraud is fraud. And they that write it can all kiss my ass.
I have come across you website during my research on sodium. I think you have:
1. great address (
2. Great information (loads!)
1. it would be much better if under such a powerful address you could find all these great info more organized and put in a way that is more suitable for online reading.
2. try to make it sound serious and formal.
Well Jim, you clearly don't need it, since you argue with gusto & confidence, but I have to say bloody well done, mate. It is SO good to see an approach which is honest, straight and devoid of the egocentricity which infects science. Fascinating that you should attract such vicious opposition. It appears that you've blasphemed against a religious doctrine. It's the Flames for you, old chap.

I've read a good way through your stuff, as well Morgan et al, also whatever else I can find on human evolution generally and am left with the conviction that it is deserving to apply the common man's reaction .... the AAT/H is just plain bollocks. Not scientific, but the argument is so full of such obvious holes that the BC (Bollocks Conclusion) is inescapable.

I am amazed by your ability to research this subject so thoroughly and express its failings so succinctly and in such depth.
A friend linked me to a video of Elaine Morgan and her advocacy the aquatic ape theory. I was sceptical at first, and by the 12th minute I decided to see if anyone had done any work on the web analysing it the aquatic ape theory. Unfortunately the majority of websites were as emotion driven and baseless as Elaine Morgan herself. However your website really wowed me - very very good work
I liked the sink or swim site, very thorough.
I've just spent hours reading through your wonderful and really appreciate all the (countless) hours you must have spent dissecting, explaining and covering all aspects of AAT/H and its proponents tactics.
While surfing the internet, I came across a video of Elaine Morgan talking about AAH. I'm just a lowly IT manager, not a scientist, but I do find science interesting. I was very caught up in her speech and after she was done I went straight to Google.

Whoa! When I started reading your site, I found myself reading your writing from a frame of mind that was in defense of Ms. Morgan. I was enthralled with her spirit and plain talk, and was sure that you had to be wrong in your critique.

However, it didn't take long for my position to change.

I read through your test of the aquatic ape hypothesis on your website with delight.

I am a retired Natural History Museum research scientist and still Professor at [NOTE: university name removed for privacy reasons] University (marine biology).

I thought the AAH had died out years ago. Believers never let evidence change their mind.

It is nice to see a layperson with so sound a grasp of the scientific method - and of logic.

I've just spent a good chunk of time reading your excellent site, and thought I'd send you a note of appreciation.
That is simply a great job on laying out the science - and well presented in a very clear manner.
I just want to say thank you for your work on

I consider myself a skeptic, and I value science and critical thinking, so I had to slap myself a little after I looked at your website. Because I had watched Elaine Morgan's talk at TED, and found it great. The whole 'conspiracy' theme should have been a red flag, but I did not see it. has been not only a very useful resource for learning about AAT, but also a reminder of how gullible one can be.

I just wanted to say "Thanks" for setting up your website: "Aquatic Ape Theory: Sink or Swim".


I have been reading some of the nonsense you wrote re. "the Aquatic Ape I think you are full of what makes the grass grow green.
[NOTE: this was the complete message]
It is a shame that you have spent so much effort in such a negative and destructive pursuit.
Couldn't you have shown some sensitivity? What kind of person are you?
You are all wet.
[NOTE: this was the complete message]
I study this sort of subject matter independently, and have no stake or interest in one side or another being "right." While I am basically only curious about the topic, I find many or your arguements very unsatisfying.
I have been reading some of your presentation. I cannot say I agree with you. I am in your shoes in yat I have no degree or formal training in anthropology or the like. I have however loked at some of the six billion odd examples surrowinding me. I have also read Elaine Morgan's books and found them clear and logical in explaining how we came to be this way. About 8Ma +or Minus a few million years we were apparently a modest ape From which gorillas and chimpanzees separated and we developed each its own way. The gorillas and chimps apparently developed as terrestal beasts. However humans certainly must have received their development under much dfferent circumstances. Sir Alister Hardy a Marine biologist Suggested ewe had so many aquatic traits that there must have an aquatic phase in our development. IMHO there must certainly have been such a phase and to think otherwise is nonsense.
So much for Sir Alister. but you did have a fat head when born.
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I tried to get to your argument. All I was able to find was your whining about the lack of qualifications of the theory and your own lack of qualifications. I am disgusted by your apology and the random, self-righteous tenor of your response to this issue. Please make sense or get off the internet.
Personally, I find all of it pretty hard to believe - with or without references. After all, aren't all humans fallible? Aren't all scientists biased towards their own work? Everyone can find references and quotations to support their theory, no matter how mad cap it is. Finding flaws in references is no big deal, because the references were probably flawed in the first place.
i went to your hair section first to see if you had an ounce of anything credible to add to the AAT theory.

apparently not.

If your words weren't more nauseatingly pretentious I would have laughed my way through your justifications for sound reasoning, and novel about why theories ought to be questioned. Researching a new subject, the name Elaine Morgan is new to me, but the term "poisoning the well" certainly is not. Perhaps you might display some aptitude in writing for music and film critiques, as far as research is concerned such an outright bias and lengthy plea to the jury does not sound like fair representation of information. With such emotional involvment and defensiveness one may think you are harbouring gills! Just thought I'd drop a line..
I just read your AAT web site. You are one sick and angry puppy.

And just plain mean.
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I ran across your nonsense again . If I can remember how I got here I won't do it again
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Your site is hateful and wrong.

A particular human characteristic, I think, is to have an agenda first and back it up with "facts" and "reasoning" second.

Your site reeks of your having an agenda, and an undisclosed one at that.

Just as creationists moot that god put the fossil record there to test our faith, so you'll argue against AAT. I hope some religions are right and that karma is a true thing. One day you'll choke on your own poison. And I think you know what I'm talking about.

WHY do you not have the guts to say who you are on your website?

This quote is hardly a statement of your name!

As a note, let me state that I am not the Jim Moore who is a primatologist at UCSD, nor am I the Jim Moore who wrote and cowrote several books on Darwin, nor the Jim Moore who's an anthropologist at CUNY. Although I'm not them, from what I've seen of their work, I wouldn't be insulted to be mistaken for any of them. I hope they feel the same.

I can't find anywhere you state "My name is........."

A very unfair & biased critique of AAT.
The logic of the AAT, for me, is undeniably profound. I've discussed with friends with such passion that I've been told to "shut up already."

I read of a woman who developed a Water Ape Thesis back in the 1950s and was sent unceremoniously packing by the male dominated intelligencia of the time. I believe she then used her thesis as the basis for a children's book which was fairly popular when published.

Recently, perhaps within the past year or so, I caught the tale end of some C-SPAN programing honoring the woman I'm writing about.

Was this Elaine Morgan? The symposium vindicated the plausibility of a theory which was, as you know, ignored by academics for quite some time.

The woman I'm referring to was near the age of 80, charming, and gracious.

Boy are you off the beam
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I'm sorry i cnnot see your Facts as facts they seem more like your own ideas and convulated interpitation of things. Your refusal to see things as they are is probably the reason for your negativity.
I don't know much about this subject, but your responses shout of resentment and sour grapes. Maybe you should attempt to think about why this woman threatens you so much.
I looked at the ones of the strong believers then came the strong non-believers,I did not like either very much, finally I tried to pick the unbiased. Your impressive webside appears to be one of those and so is your introduction. How wrong I was, you may very well advocate scientific truths, but does one needs deception to do that? The repect you did build up expertly now lays deflated in my disappointment. Did I detect a great fear as well? This theory is not a fact, it needs a lot more arguments for to even begin to be a danger. However the AAT bug did fly too smoothly into our psychology to be swatted like an annoing fly.
I'm not a particularly faithful proponent of the AAT theory, but the way you are arguing against it is truly ridiculous. All your points are more about form than depth. I'd like to see you rebut the points of the AAT theory in more depth.
if the theory is so wrong, why are you treadding water? When swimming one seas the heavens!
I admire you, Jim, for sticking to your argument despite the evidence. We are, despite your assertions, a shore-adapted animal given our upright posture, flat feet, iodine dependency, infantile blubber, etc., etc. There's no disputing our adaptations for shore life. Adaptation unsuited for the "desert", "arctic", "mountainside forest", or wherever.
I'll bet you have water piped into your house.
Your criticism lack an underlying understanding of the timeframe in which evolutionary processes take in effect. I would like to see a similar criticism about the AAT based on academic point of view, instead of an agree journalistic approach. And by the way, check some of the more resent findings in Africa, which actually support the AAT.
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Go die in the street you f___ing joke of a hominid.
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Having parented two children into adulthood, I can easily recognize adolescent angst and impetuosity. I see a lot of that in your work here. Morgan seems more than willing to be civil and constructive. She makes progress by responding to appropriate criticism. You, on the other hand, remind me of the kid in the child-care center who knocks down the constructions of the other kids, but is unable to build any of his own.

One can respect science and one's elders all at the same time.

While you site offers an interesting opposing view to the AAT, I find some things about your site in general disturbing. Firstly, for a individual who is consistently touting the merits and necessity of proper science you have a amazing tendency to present a biased view throughout your whole site. You are supposed to examine the theory and sources, THEN you make your decision as to the validity of the theory. This is also how your work should be presented. Your writing throughout consistently hints at the conclusion wihch you have already made and and in many places outright makes fun of the theory. Whether or not the theory deserves to be made fun of is besides the point...
History is going to run over you like a big truck squishes a hedgehog. Enjoy.
get a life!
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Im not pro AAT or anythings. Just happen to come across your site. You right about yourself that you are not a scientist because your arguments are self serving and the way you argue stinks.

Your website talk to you friend and have him comment on your site.

I have just been reading your website and I felt I had to comment on its tone. Is it entirely necessary to be so vitriolic in your response? I could not help but feel that a cold considered presentation of yourself and criticism of the Aquatic Ape Theory would do a great deal to the weight of you argument. I am not in a position to comment on the factual mistakes of the Aquatic Ape Hypnosis as I am a PhD student in landscape theory. However the tone of your site suggested drunken pub argument that does not do justice to your clearly in-depth rebuttal of the claims of the proponents of the Aquatic Ape Hypnosis.

It not my intention to cause offence so I hope none is taken.

The miracle is that E.M. would BOTHER to respond to your various ignorances. Do you think anybody BELIEVES your "debunking"? Her responses are the most interesting material on the website. By the way, you certainly DO NOT have to tell anyone all the scientists who are not you. You are just a wannabe Amazing Randy. Thank Elaine for lending the only credibility contained on your website.
Prior to reading your website I was one of the savannah advocatesand had no idea who was pro or contra whatever. That only became clear reading your writing what is clearly contra! That was in no way made obvious in the beginning as it was presented as science. The appeal to the not so scientific who can so easily be misled showed up in the wrinkled fingers suggestion. At the time it inspired me to point this out in my poem where I let my ducky drown, after all few people take a long bath without using some kind of soap or detergent. Fewer still use seawater. Was that being truthful?
I found your pose specious and feeble in the extreme. You contradict yourself from one paragraph to the next.

If this is the best that anti-AAT proponents can do, then the Aguatic Ape theory is not a theory but rock-solid fact.

I have no doubt that you will think that you can pick holes in the above. The reality is that all advances in human knowledge started as theories. There were all pooh-poohed by the scientific establishment at the time. But as time went by, additional evidence (facts not woffle as yours), came to light. Theories were modified, until they became accepted … until the next advance. Cf. Flat Earth/Round/sun goes round the earth/ Solar system etc).

Could it be that you antipathy to the AAT is a disguise for a disbelief in evolution?

Please do not bother to respond, your web site has demonstrated your inability to consider objectively any point of view beyond doubt..

I was interested in the issues, but most of your page is spent quacking about the presentation style of a particular show.
you think you know and i think i know, both ignorant and dreaming!
Well, I've used my cranium to think about all this, and I'll go with Sir Alister Hardy--He originally came up with the 'AAT'.
I stumbled across your website recently, and I found myself somewhat disturbed with the manner in which you criticize the aquatic human evolution theory. I could not finish reading your website because I was so disgusted with how much you slander those who have this theory. You are obviously entitled to your right to express your opinion on this matter, but in the same respect they are entitled to theirs, however misguided you feel it is. Your first several pages discuss the lack of credibility in the authors and citations of the theory, and you continue to discuss minor and insignificant inconsistencies in what they write. If you cannot entirely prove your point without the hard, scientific facts, then you give the impression that you yourself are not credible.
Come on whoever you are/ come on lets get real?
The “aquatic ape hypothesis” should be assessed by scientist with reference to factual and theoretical information indicating the pro and con in a balanced way and not by an amateur as you. In raising the awareness of facts not appropriately explained by the established paradigm amateurs have a role to play by seeing what those trained within the paradigm may overlook, but to assess the validity of “aquatic ape hypothesis” requires knowledge of scientific methodology which you clearly lack. Therefore you are wasting your own and the readers time.
I have red your critics on the AAT/H theory. There is too much bla,bla,bl, and very little concrete statements. It is obvious, that your critics are not objective, you would even criticize Elaine Morgan hairstyling if it would be mentioned in her theory. I like to see your critics on the official Savannah theory and bipedism.

Sorry to tell you that, but I like so see constructive critics.

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