Re: Dating Adam

Terry M. Gray (
Fri, 31 May 1996 10:24:47 -0400

>Glenn Morton wrote:
>>As to stretching things, the making of naked female statues seems to me to
>>be a uniquely human activity. Men from 6 to 106 have been known to admire
>>the female form. No ape does this. Does the making of the naked statue
>>imply lust?
Then Bill Hamilton wrote:
>I certainly agree that it's a uniquely human activity. And it certainly
>could imply lust, as well as the ability to interpret abstractions.
>However, I'm not convinced that it implies religion.

How about if we say that it's a unique hominid activity? Since we're the
only lineage left among the hominids, it's impossible to tell whether a
given activity is uniquely human or shared by all hominids.

This is not an uncommon situation in evolution--where some ancestral shared
character is presently extant in a single surviving species. We can use
the character now to identify the species, but not necessarily so before
other sibling species had gone extinct.


Terry M. Gray, Ph.D. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Calvin College 3201 Burton SE Grand Rapids, MI 40546
Office: (616) 957-7187 FAX: (616) 957-6501

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