Did we evolve from aquatic apes? Elaine Morgan on TED.com

Posted by: Matthew Trost

Elaine Morgan is a tenacious proponent of the aquatic ape hypothesis: the idea that humans evolved from primate ancestors who dwelt in watery habitats. Hear her spirited defense of the idea — and her theory on why mainstream science doesn’t take it seriously. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2009, July 2009 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 17:13)

Twitter URL: http://on.ted.com/25

Watch Elaine Morgan’s talk from TEDGlobal 2009 on TED.com where you can download this TEDTalk, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 475+ TEDTalks.

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Comments (3)

  • Marc Verhaegen commented on Dec 18 2013

    Yes, Ewen, there’s a lot of’real’ evidence, comparative, fossil, nutritional etc. evidence, please google, eg,
    -econiche Homo,
    -Greg laden blog Verhaegen,
    -Rhys Evans Vaneechoutte.
    Rather than running over savannas, Homo populations during the Ice Ages followed coasts & rivers, collecting different waterside & shallow aquatic plant & animal foods.
    Human Evolution publishes in 2 special editions the proceedings of the recent symposium with David Attenborough & Donald Johanson on human waterside evolution ‘Human Evolution: Past, Present & Future’:
    Special Edition Part 1 (end 2013):
    - Peter Rhys-Evans: Introduction,
    - Stephen Oppenheimer: Human’s Association with Water Bodies: the ‘Exaggerated Diving Reflex’ and its Relationship with the Evolutionary Allometry of Human Pelvic and Brain Sizes,
    - JH Langdon: Human Ecological Breadth: Why Neither Savanna nor Aquatic Hypotheses can Hold Water,
    - Stephen Munro: Endurance Running versus Underwater Foraging: an Anatomical and Palaeoecological Perspective,
    - Algis Kuliukas: Wading Hypotheses of the Origin of Human,
    - Marc Verhaegen: The Aquatic Ape Evolves: Common Misconceptions and Unproven Assumptions about the So-Called Aquatic Ape Hypothesis,
    - CL Broadhurst & Michael Crawford: The Epigenetic Emergence of Culture at the Coastline: Interaction of Genes, Nutrition, Environment and Demography.
    Special Edition Part 2 (begin 2014) with 12 contributions.
    If you want recent information or publications, please let me know at m_verhaegen@skynet.be.

  • Ewen Fraser commented on Nov 27 2013

    Sounded plausible but where is any real evidence?
    Unfortunately circumstantial evidence is all that many people need especially when the conspiracy card is thrown into the mix.
    The “loss of hair” justification is particularly weak. Actually they were all pretty weak ideas.
    Good on her for questioning. Science needs people to ask questions. However science only works if questions are followed up by hard work. It certainly doesn’t work by just making stuff up – that is called religion.

  • David Walker commented on May 30 2012

    I can’t get this TALK out of my head. This could make the human race reconsider who we are.
    What I remember from the 90″s that sticks with me is the shape of our noses. The fact that we can dive. Noststrils protected.