The Waterside Ape

In 1960, the eminent Oxford marine biologist Sir Alister Hardy proposed a revolutionary idea: that our human ancestors had not started their existence on the wide savannahs of Africa, but had become accustomed to living alongside water – swimming and diving in the shallows, collecting the abundant food, and learning to use language and fashion tools. Hardy asserted that this adaptation to living at the waterside –whether by rivers and pools or by the ocean – would also account for a whole range of peculiarities about the human form, including the layers of fat beneath the skin, the relative lack of body hair, the development of language and speech, and what he called our “runaway brains”.

Perhaps surprisingly, it was a screenwriter rather than a scientist, Elaine Morgan, who took up Hardy’s theory and, for over 40 years, progressively refined the evidence for the idea. Most mainstream paleo-anthropologists ridiculed and rejected the Hardy-Morgan thesis for decades, but some influential scientists asked for the proposal to be approached with an open mind.

Sir David Attenborough first considered the controversial theory on Radio 4 in 2004, and in this new two-part series, he brings listeners up-to-date with the story and the evidence put forward since then – for both the hypothesis and also for its continuing detractors. Back in 2004, Sir David asked Elaine Morgan how long it would take for the aquatic adaptation theory to become a mainstream account of human origins. She answered: “I’ll give it ten years.” As the programme reviews the new evidence, has she been proved right?

Presenter/Sir David Attenborough, Producer/Richard Collins for Pier Productions

Re: As we review the new evidence, has she been proved right?

My comment: No experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect ever suggested that Elaine Morgan was wrong.  She accurately predicted that 2014 would be the year in which she was proved right. As far as I know, she was predictably right.

See this 2014 invited review of nutritional epigenetics (and energy-dependent RNA-mediated cell type differentiation):

Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems

The invited review was requested by guest editors for a special issue of “Nutrients.” The reason for the request was clear.

In Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model (2013), I concluded:

…the largest contributor to the development of our personal preferences may be the unconscious epigenetic effects of food odors and pheromones on hormones that organize and activate behavior. If so, the model represented here is consistent with what is known about the epigenetic effects of ecologically important nutrients and pheromones on the adaptively evolved behavior of species from microbes to man. Minimally, this model can be compared to any other factual representations of epigenesis and epistasis for determination of the best scientific ‘fit’.

My 2014 invited review was returned without review. No factual representations of epigenesis and epistasis have been offered for comparison to the ridiculous claims of theorists. For example:

In Mutation-Driven Evolution, which was published on the same day as my 2013 review, Masatoshi Nei concluded:

…genomic conservation and constraint-breaking mutation is the ultimate source of all biological innovations and the enormous amount of biodiversity in this world. In this view of evolution there is no need of considering teleological elements.

In my model, and in the context of Elaine Morgan’s claims, viral latency is biophysically constrained by the nutrient energy-dependent physiology of reproduction in all living genera.

See also: Epigenetics and Genetics of Viral Latency

… viral latency is responsible for life-long pathogenesis and mortality risk…

For brief reviews of Elaine Morgan’s claims, see:

I do not believe any experimental evidence of energy-dependent biologically-based cause and effect suggests that we evolved from any other species. I suspect that Sir David Attenborough will not be the first to consider my model in the context of his review of Darwinian and/or neo-Darwinian theories. There is too much known to serious scientists about energy-dependent RNA-mediated cell type differentiation to reach any other conclusion than the one reached by Paul M. Lieberman in Epigenetics and Genetics of Viral Latency.

I reiterate:

… viral latency is responsible for life-long pathogenesis and mortality risk…

See for comparison:

See also:

The idea that Elaine Morgan can be proved right without proving that Darwian and neo-Darwinian theories are overwhelmingly wrong is an idea that should have been considered during the past 40 years. Instead, consideration of the claims made by theorists have left theorists with nothing more than their ridiculous theories.

See for comparison: Structural diversity of supercoiled DNA, Glucose Tightly Controls Morphological and Functional Properties of Astrocytes,

Tight DNA packaging protects against ‘jumping genes,’ potential cellular destruction Thanks to Teresa Binstock for bringing this article about supercoiled DNA to my attention.

“Tight DNA packaging” and “tightly coiled DNA” are terms used to obfuscate the facts about supercoiled DNA that have already linked viral latency to all pathology.

Supercoiled DNA protects the organized genomes of all living genera from virus-driven entropy. That fact has been the focus of my efforts here and at RNA-mediated.com

Why is Teresa Binstock — co-author of our 1996 Hormones and Behavior review — the only one who seems to be following the literature on RNA-mediated cell type differentiation?

See also: Systematic chemical screening identifies potential antimalarials with new mechanism of action

When Schreiber’s team looked for compounds that met both criteria – displaying a novel mechanism of action and activity during all three disease stages – a series of compounds stood out. All of them acted on the same target, phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase, a complex enzyme that contributes to protein synthesis. When they tested the compounds in mice, it eradicated the malaria parasites during all three stages of the disease.

Cause and effective treatment are RNA-mediated via links from metabolic networks to genetic networks across species.

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