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Elaine Morgan, author of the highly influential The Descent of Woman, has died at the age of 92 from a stroke. She will be remembered for challenging male-centric theories of human evolution, and for promoting the idea that early humans, for a short time, began adapting to aquatic life.
Back in the early 1970s, after becoming exasperated with the scientific establishment, the Welsh-born writer took matters into her own hands by publishing her seminal book, The Descent of Woman (1972). In it, she argued against traditional (i.e. male-biased) interpretations of human evolution while challenging the idea that male activities, like hunting, were its primary drivers.
Instead, she proposed that women played an equal — or even superior — role in evolution, and insisted that women should not be relegated to the Darwinian sidelines as ‘mere’ childbearers. She challenged “Tarzanist” interpretations of evolution (namely those of Desmond Morris and the “Savanna Hypothesis”) and, in their place, offered unconventional explanations for human evolution.
Initial Bipedalism is a pseudoscientific theory which suggests that the first mammals were originally aquatic bipeds. The theory is routed in Cryptozoology. The theory is based on a radical concept which most scientists do not accept.
According to the theory of Initial bipedalism, bipedalism remained in the human lineage, whereas other mammals, including monkeys and apes, have developed a mode of quadrupedal locomotion. Initial Bidpedalism claims the ancestor of all mammals were all biped in the past and bound to a marine environment. The evidence cited for this is based on an interpretation of embryology, anatomy and cryptozoological research. Initial bipedalism claims that the common ancestor of all species was a biped, linked to an aquatic habitat.
The theory of Initial bipedalism was first formulated in the 1920s by German anatomy professor Dr Max Westenhöfer, as well as later independently by the Belgian zoologist Serge Frechkop. The theory was further developed by the Belgian-French zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans in the 1950s, here the theory was mixed with cryptozoology. Bernard Heuvelmans's book On the Track of Unknown Animals discusses the theory in detail. The cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson also discussed the theory in his bigfoot book Abominable Snowman, Legend come to Life Charles Fort also mentioned the theory.
The theory was also pursued in the 1980s by the French-German ichthyologist François de Sarre, who added his hypothesis of what he calls the "Marine homonculus", as a common ancestor to all vertebrates, which originally lived in the oceans. His hypothesis is that as a jellyfish, the ancestral creature swam in a vertical position. He claims "Natatory paddles" developed and were never used for locomotion on ground, thus according to De Sarre the human hand with five fingers has remained primitive as in early vertebrates.