WEIT discussed how the instinctive grasping reflex observed in newborn babies can best be interpreted as a relic of behaviour in pre-hominids (new-born babies hanging on to their mothers)
This is not a revolutionary new idea. I am amazed that it is even contentious. This was accepted wisdom in the UK several years ago.
O’Reilly’s counter starts from the position of apparently never having heard of the idea that “anecdote is not evidence”.
When my first child was very young, she had a habit of grasping my hair while feeding. My hair was long at that time.
It seemed to please and comfort her.
(Can I be the only person who sees it as a commentary on O’Reilly’s attitude to her offspring that – believing pleasure and comfort to be the only reason for the baby’s hair-grasping – O’Reilly immediately got her hair cut? )
However, grasping has many uses for a human infant – it is the principle [sic – a pedant] way the infant contacts reality (unfortunately by attempting to put things in its mouth), that being the only sense that is even moderately well developed.
This sentence is too ambiguous to follow. She seems to have meant to put the end of the sentence in the bracket, so I’ll ignore the bit about taste.
We are left with grasping being described as the main way in which an infant contacts reality. What? Does this make any sense?
In case you can’t answer that rhetorical question, let me answer it for you. “No.”
So what? Well, this Uncommon Descent post was O’Reilly’s “answer” to:
Incidentally, what do the ID and the Evolution-is-limited-in-scope (Behe, et all) do with data like this:
“Mouth random words” is what they do, apparently.
Oh, and betray that they implicitly acknowledge the role of evolution 🙂 :
However, I also suspect that it has been a long time since any such skill as hanging on to mother was needed.
A long time? As in “the sort of time scales and species changes that evolution would predict”?