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An Ecology of Ecstasy

Nicholas Humphrey

17 April 1980
The Spiritual Nature of Man 
by Alister Hardy.
Oxford, 162 pp., £6.95, December 1979, 0 19 824618 8
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... Age 27. Classification of experience: 1(b)(d); 7(a)(b)(f)(g)(i); 8(e); 9(a); 11(n); 12(a). When Alister Hardy began his career in Zoology at Oxford, the Rev. W.A. Spooner was presiding over New College. Whatever the proclivities of his fellow students, it surely cannot have been Hardy of whom the story is told that ...

My Granny

Patrick Wall

20 May 1982
The Monkey Puzzle 
by John Gribbin and Jeremy Cherfas.
Bodley Head, 279 pp., £8.50, April 1982, 0 370 30469 1
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Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies 
by Michael Ruse.
Addison-Wesley, 356 pp., £6.95, April 1982, 0 201 06273 9
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The Aquatic Ape: A Theory of Human Evolution 
by Elaine Morgan.
Souvenir, 168 pp., £7.95, March 1982, 0 285 62509 8
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The Neck of the Giraffe, or Where Darwin went wrong 
by Francis Hitching.
Pan, 288 pp., £2.50, April 1982, 0 330 26643 8
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... grown in Camford common rooms when they tire of discussing their mortgage problems. In 1960, Sir Alister Hardy, professor of zoology, proposed that man, in his long journey from the trees to Oxford University, had diverted into the water for some crucial developments. What better place to learn to stand on legs without falling down? Shorten the toes and ...

Keep me

Alison Jolly: Natural selection and females

10 August 2000
Mother Nature: Natural Selection and the Female of the Species 
by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy.
Chatto, 697 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 7011 6625 8
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... to explain why our babies are so plump, except the ‘aquatic ape’ hypothesis championed by Sir Alister Hardy, and, recently, by Elaine Morgan and Simon Bearder. So far, they are a minority of three among physical anthropologists – but I confess it’s a lovely idea that we could have spent a million years on a tropical beach, shedding our fur and ...

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