Since the science of genetics and the laws of heredity were not fully known in the 19th century, Darwin and the early evolutionists who followed him regarded bipedalism as something easy to account for. The most popular theory was that apes living in the African savanna grew more upright in order to be able to see over the surrounding grasses.249 However, it did not take long to realize that this Lamarckist theory was completely wrong.
Modern-day evolutionists have only a single thesis with which they seek to account for the origin of bipedalism. According to the theory of transition from jungle to open spaces,, the ancestors of humans and apes once lived together in the jungle. Due to jungle shrinking or for some other reason, some of them moved over to open plains, and bipedalism was born as a result of adaptation. Both the apes in the trees and the bipedal human beings began evolving in their own separate directions.
When examined, however, this thesis, dreamed up under the logic of "making the best of a bad job," is seen to be just like its predecessors, very far from being able to account for bipedalism. It is impossible at the molecular level for there to be such an adaptation. Even if such a thing is assumed to have taken place, there is no evidence of it in the fossil record. Moreover, according to this theory, the East African jungles must have begun shrinking 10 to 15 million years ago. Yet research carried out proves the exact opposite, and no such development ever took place in East Africa. 250 The plants observed in the region have remained unchanged for millions of years. In short, the transition from jungle to the open plains never happened.
Even when considered in logical terms, the theory in question about the origin of bipedalism is unacceptable. In the event of trees disappearing, the most natural course would be for apes to migrate to another region, or be wiped out with the elimination of their natural habitat. There is no basis for the theory that monkeys adapted to living on the ground.
It may be suggested that the shrinking of the jungles was the factor that initiated the phenomenon of humanization. This is a palaeontological fact. Napier's thesis is compatible with this, but it leaves out the following question: While one animal species was leaving the jungle and setting out on the path to becoming human, why did its closest relative, the ape, remain in the jungle? The less speculation, the harder it is to find an answer. The answer given by Hermann Klaatsch, in the early part of the century, when anthropology was in its infancy, was very interesting. According to Klaatsch, hominid apes also attempted to become human, but theirs was ‘an unfortunate endeavour.' They were unable to rise up in the process of evolution, and withdrew into the ‘protective darkness of the jungles.' But then the question of ‘Why were apes unsuccessful?' comes to mind. 251
249. Donald Johanson, "Comment J'ai Trouvé le Passage du Singe a L'homme: Du Nouveau Sur Les Ance[circonflex needed!)tres De L'Homme," Cahier Sciences du Figaro-Magazine, 1983, p. 110.
250. J. D. Kingston, "Isotopic Evidence for Neogene Hominid Paleoenvironments in the Kenya Rift Valley," Science, vol. 264, 1994, pp. 955-959.
251. Uluğ Nutku, Felsefe Arşivi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Vol. 24, 1984, p. 86.