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March 5th  2011    Tim Candler

    The "Aquatic Ape Hypothesis" proposes that ancestors of modern humans diverged from apes by adapting to a semi aquatic life before returning to land. 

    The theory suggests that during the Pliocene - 5 to 2 million years ago - our ancestors spent much time in shallow water. Sea levels were considerably lower than they are now, so physical evidence in support of the theory has not been found.  Our water nests, our duck catching equipment, our basking pools, are all long gone to flooding. 

     There are however observations that can be made to support the theory.  The most interesting to me is our hairlessness and our capacity to make fat beneath the skin, which can insulate.  My species can swim and dive and flop about happily in water, until we get cold or shriveled. And many of us, when food is available, eat without regard for quantity, which helps us float

    I mention all this because on this day in 1960 the "Aquatic Ape Hypothesis" was  publicly announced by  Alister Hardy.  A man who won the Templeton prize for his contributions to "affirming life's spiritual dimension."

    As well on this day in 1954 a man whose middle name was Hardy met his end, and though I cannot say I knew him well, I have missed him. 

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