RE: Report: chimps used simple tools 5 million years ago

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Tue May 28 2002 - 16:27:11 BST

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    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: RE: Report: chimps used simple tools 5 million years ago
    Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 08:27:11 -0700
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    How about if the stones were found around a stump amid the remains of nut
    shells near a few dino skeletons?

    > <Did they have to actually modify the stones for these objects to
    >qualify as
    > > tools? Can't the chimps be given credit for at least using some sort of
    > > implement/tool as a means to an end, not unlike we humans? If this find
    > > stands up to scrutiny, I'm sure there will be those who will still
    > > struggle
    > > to keep humans within the charmed circle. The thought of chimps from way
    > > back when doing humanesque things might be unnerving to someone of the
    > > special creation mindset, not to mention their phylogenetic proximity to
    > > us.
    > > It's better to ignore such information, lest dissonance rear its ugly
    > >
    > > ;-)>
    > >
    > >
    > It's not the thought of chimp tool use that bothers me, I have no
    >problem with that, indeed think it's both fascinating and adds to the
    >arguments for evolution (indeed, arguably for cultural evolution). Nor do
    >think tools need to be modified objects. Indeed, it would be a very
    >interesting thing to find our relatives tool using a long time ago.
    > All that bothers me is how do you tell an unmodified stone tool on
    >the ground from millions of years ago from just another stone on the
    >I'm sure there are clear disciplinary ways of inferring this, I just don't
    >see how one can claim this with any high level of accuracy. From the
    >description in the piece posted to the list it sounds like they inferred
    >this from the proximity of a number of stones shaped a certain way, near a
    >tree stump.
    > Let me put it another way, if a number of flattened stones were
    >found near a dinosaur skeleton, would one assume that the dinosaur used
    >tools, or that environmental forces, or coincidence over millions of years
    >resulted in the stones being nearby?
    > I'm probably disparaging months of analysis and considered reasoning
    >by experts in a totally obtuse and unfair manner, it just strikes me as a
    >bit of conjecture very difficult to demonstrate with any veracity.
    > Vincent

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