RIP Elaine Morgan

Elaine Morgan, who has done a many thing in her life and is also the chief proponent of the more recent version of the Aquatic Ape Theory, has died at the age of 92.

Dr Morgan only retired at the start of this year from writing a weekly column for the Western Mail after suffering ill health in 2012.

The coal miner's daughter, who lived in Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taf, passed away on Friday morning, three weeks after suffering a stroke.

Her daughter-in-law Kim Morgan said: "She was an incredible woman and so inspirational to so many people."
Her book The Descent of Woman became an international bestseller, turning her into a feminist hero who toured the US three times.

She went on to devote her attention increasingly to the subject of human origins.

She was awarded the OBE in 2009 for services to literature and education and earlier this year she was made an honorary freeman of Rhondda Cynon Taf.

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I loved her aquatic ape book, not because the theory she put forward was any good, but because her take down of Desmond Morris and the naked Ape was very funny.

A pity that Elaine couldn't attend any more our recent symposium held in London on 8-10th May 2013 "Human Evolution: Past, Present & Future".
Human Evolution will publish the proceedings (including a paper of mine after a guest post at Laden's blog):

Letter from Editor
Introduction by Peter Rhys-Evans
1. Human's Association with Water Bodies:
The Exaggerated Diving Reflex and its Relationship with the Evolutionary Allometry of Human Pelvic and Brain Sizes
Oppenheimer S
2. Human Ecological Breadth:
Why Neither Savanna nor Aquatic Hypotheses Can Hold Water
Langdon JH
3. Endurance Running Versus Underwater Foraging:
An Anatomical and Palaeoecological Perspective
Munro S
4. Wading Hypotheses of the Origin of Human Bipedalism
Kuliukas A
5. The Aquatic Ape Evolves:
Common Misconceptions and Unproven Assumptions About the So-Called Aquatic Ape Hypothesis
Verhaegen M
6. The Epigenetic Emergence of Culture at the Coastline:
Interaction of Genes, Nutrition, Environment and Demography
Broadhurst CL & Crawford MA

7. Man's Place Among the Diving Mammals
Fahlman A & Schagatay E
8. The Origin of Articulate Language Revisited:
The Potential of a Semi-Aquatic Past of Human Ancestors to Explain the
Origin of Human Musicality and Articulate Language
Vaneechoutte M
9. The Darwinian-Like Evolution of Language From Near Incipient Vernaculars to Modern Idioms
Bichakjian BH
10. Surfer's Ear (Aural Exostoses) Provides Hard Evidence of Man's Aquatic Past
Rhys Evans PH & Cameron M
11. Human Brain Changes Resulting from an Aquatic Phase in Hominid Evolution
Chiarelli B
12. Dental Microwear and Diet:
As Indicators of Geographic and Cultural Contexts in Human Evolution
Puech P-F & Pinilla B
13. Aquatic Adapting of Human Newborns
Meijers DJW
14. A Living Based on Breath-Hold Diving in the Bajau Laut
Abrahamsson E & Schagatay E
15. Human Breath-Hold Diving Ability
Schagatay E
16. Sara Campbell, World Champion in Deep Diving After 9 Months of Training
How Is This Possible?
Johansson O & Schagatay E
17. The Global Crisis in Brain Nutrition and the Rise in Mental-Ill Health
Crawford MA, Hussein I, Nyuar KB & Broadhurst CL
18. What About the Future of Homo sapiens?
Odent M

By marc verhaegen (not verified) on 07 Nov 2013 #permalink

Elaine's passing makes Jim Moore's unpleasant personal attacks on her seem even more distasteful..