RIP Elaine Morgan

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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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4 thoughts on “RIP Elaine Morgan

  1. 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.

  2. 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):

    SPECIAL EDITION PART 1 (end 2013)
    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

    SPECIAL EDITION PART 2 (begin 2014)
    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

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