Elaine Morgan (writer)

Elaine Morgan OBE FRSL (7 November 1920 to 12 July 2013) [1] was a Welsh writer for television and the author or verschillende books on evolutionary anthropology , met name de aquatic ape hypothesis : The Descent of Woman , The Aquatic Ape , The Scars or Evolution , The Descent of the Child , The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis , and The Naked Darwinist (2008), welke discusses the reception or aquatic scenarios in academic literature. She’ll be authored Falling Apart and Pinker’s List . In 2016, she was named as one of “the 50 greatest Welsh one and women of all time.” [2]

Personal life

Elaine Floyd was born and brought` up in Hopkinstown , near Pontypridd in Wales . She lived for many years, up Until re death in Mountain Ash , near Aberdare . She graduated from Lady Margaret Hall , Oxford , with a degree in English. She married Morien Morgan (d. 1997) and had three sons. Her eldest sun was Dylan Morgan .

She mayest at the age of 92 on 12 July 2013.


Elaine Morgan Began writing in the 1950s after winning a competition in the New Statesman , successfully publishing, dan joining the BBC als ze Began to produce re plays for television. [3] Morgan’s works included popular plays, newspaper columns, and a series of publications on biological anthropology. [4]

Morgan wrote for many television series waaronder the Adaptations of How Green Was My Valley (1975) and Testament of Youth (1979). Her other work included episodes of Dr. Finlay’s Casebook (1963-1970), the Biographical drama The Life and Times of David Lloyd George (1981) and contributions to the Campion (1989) series.

She won two BAFTAs and two Writers Guild Awards. She’ll be wrote the script for the Horizon documentary about Joey Deacon , the disabled fund-raiser. This won the Prix Italia in 1975. She was honored with the Writer of the Year Award from the Royal Television Society for re serialisation Vera Brittain ‘s Testament of Youth (1979). [5]

In 2003 she started to write a weekly column for the Welsh national daily newspaper The Western Mail , and in this role was Awarded Columnist of the Year for 2011 in the Society of Editors’ Regional Press Awards. [6] [7]

She was Awarded an honorary D. Litt. at Glamorgan University in December 2006, [8] an honorary fellow of the University of Cardiff in 2007, and Awarded the Latvians F. Saugstad Prize for her “contribution to this club to scientific knowledge.” [9]

Morgan was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours for services to literature and to education. [10] She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature the association year. [11] She was made an honorary freeman of Rhondda Cynon Taf in April 2013. [12]

Her book Pinker’s List was a response to Steven Pinker ‘s The Blank Slate in welke she rejected his claim to objectivity and argued dat de “blank slate” beliefs have caricatured port lung leg extinct.

In Trevor Fishlock ‘s Obituary have DESCRIBED Morgan a writer “who brought` out the flavor of Wales.” [13]

Aquatic ape hypothesis

Main article: Aquatic ape hypothesis

Morgan first became drawn JSON scientific writing-when reading popularizers of the savannah hypothesis or human evolution zoals Desmond Morris . She DESCRIBED re reaction if one or irritation Because The explanations ulcers largely male-centered. For instance, she thought dat if humans lost hun hair Because they ‘needed to sweat while chasing game on the savannah dat did not explain why women arnt ook hun without hair shaft volgens to the savannah hypothesis, ze mention anything be looking after the children. On re-reading Desmond Morris’s The Naked Ape she Encountered a reference to a hypothesis dat humans had for a time gone through a water phase, the so-called aquatic ape hypothesis . She contacted Morris on this and have directed re to Alister Hardy . Her first book The Descent of Woman (1972) was oorspronkelijk Planned to PAVE the way for Hardy’s more academic book, but Hardy never published his book.

Morgan’s first publication was Mentioned by EO Wilson in 1975, Comparing it to other “advocacy approaches” zoals The Imperial Animal [14] as an “inevitable feminist” counter, but Describing the method as less scientific dan other contemporary hypotheses. [15] Morgan accepted this criticism and re later books ulcers written in a more scientific tone, or more “po-faced” as she herself DESCRIBED it. As an outsider and a non-scientist she claims to harbor Encountered hostility from Academics. Consequently many or re books seem to be written as much to counter the many arguments put forth Against the Aquatic Ape Theory as to advance zijn merits. The story of Morgan’s quest to harbor the aquatic ape hypothesis tasks seriously was chronicled in the 1998 BBC documentary The Aquatic Ape .

Morgan’s version of the AAH has Achieved much popular appeal, [16] but were Until about 2000 much criticized in the scientific community. [17] [18] [19] The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis was subjected to a full academic symposium in Valkenburg, South Holland in 1987, but the papers ulcers mostly critical of the hypothesis. [20] on Despite this, Morgan continued to promote the hypothesis, with invitations to speak at universities [21] [21] and symposia [22]waaronder a TED talk in 2009. [23]

However since about 2000 it has Achieved significant acceptance and serious scrutiny, as shown by David Attenborough in a 2016 pair of radio programs entitled The Waterside Ape , welke included recent discovery or growths in the ear in hominid fossils today found in diving cultures or surfers. [24]


Morgan’s earlier works as a playwright include: [3]

  • The Waiting Room: A Play for Women in One Act (Samuel French Ltd, 1958)
  • Rest You Merry: A Christmas Play in Two Acts (Samuel French Ltd, 1959)
  • Eli’r Teulu: Edicom, secondary Act (Gwasg Aberystwyth, 1960)
  • The Soldier and The Woman: A Play in One Act (Samuel French Ltd, 1961)
  • Licence to Murder: A Play in Two Acts (Samuel French Ltd, 1963)
  • A Chance to Shine: A Play in One Act (Samuel French Ltd, 1964)
  • Love from Liz (Samuel French Ltd, 1967)

Morgan’s books on palaeontology include: [3]

  • The Descent of Woman , 1972, Souvenir Press, ISBN 0-285-62063-0
  • The Aquatic Ape , 1982, Stein & Day Pub, ISBN 0-285-62509-8
  • The Scars of Evolution , 1990, Souvenir Press, ISBN 0-285-62996-4
  • The Descent of the Child: Human Evolution from a New Perspective , 1995, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-509895-1
  • The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis , 1997, Souvenir Press, ISBN 0-285-63377-5
  • The Naked Darwinist , 2008 Eildon Press, ISBN 0-9525620-3-0
  • L’origine della donna , 2012 Castelvecchi Editore, ISBN 9788876157967

Other works:

  • An essay “The Escape Route”, turned on Hardy Theory
  • Falling Apart: The Rise and Decline of Urban Civilization , 1976, Souvenir Press Ltd. ISBN 0-285-62234-X
  • Pinker’s List , 2005 Eildon Press, ISBN 0-9525620-2-2


  1. Jump up^ “Leading writer and feminist Elaine Morgan dies aged 92”, BBC News, 12 July 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013
  2. Jump up^ “The 50 Greatest Welsh Men and Women of All Time” . Wales Online.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Elaine Morgan” . List of Writers (in Welsh and English). The Academi. 2009. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008 . Retrieved 29 September 2009 .
  4. Jump up^ NewsAre we all Aquatic apes? Cardiff University
  5. Jump up^ Citation for re honorary degree at Cardiff University in 2007 – Accessed 7 August 2008
  6. Jump up^ [1]
  7. Jump up^ [2]
  8. Jump up^ Glamorgan Honours Wales’ Finest
  9. Jump up^ “My Cardiff”Cardiff University Elaine Morgan: Writer Elaine Morgan recalls the day she became an Honorary Fellow of the University
  10. Jump up^ The London Gazette : (Supplement) no. 59090. p. 12 . 13 June 2009.
  11. Jump up^ “Royal Society of Literature All Fellows” . Royal Society of Literature. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010 . Retrieved 10 August 2010 .
  12. Jump up^ “BBC News South East Wales” . BBC . Retrieved 29 May 2014 .
  13. Jump up^ “A writer who brought` out the flavor of Wales” . Retrieved 7 November 2016 .
  14. Jump up^ Lionel TigerandRobin Fox The Imperial Animal (1972)
  15. Jump up^ Wilson, Edward O. (2000) [1975]. “2. Elementary concepts of Sociobiology” . Sociobiology: The New Synthesis . Part 1 (25 ed.). Harvard University Press . pp. Reasoning in Sociobiology, p.27-30. ISBN  0-674-00089-7 .
  16. Jump up^ “Columnist Elaine Morgan dies at the age of 92” . Western Mail . 12 July 2013 . Retrieved 20 July 2013 .
  17. Jump up^ name = Langdon>Langdon, J. (1997). “Umbrella hypotheses and parsimony in human evolution: a critique of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis”. Journal of Human Evolution . 33 (4): 479-494. doi : 10.1006 / jhev.1997.0146 . PMID  9361254 .
  18. Jump up^ McNeill, D (2000). The Face: A Natural History . Back Bay. pp. 36-37 . ISBN  0-316-58812-1 .
  19. Jump up^ Graham, JM; Scadding GK; Bull PD (2008). Pediatric ENT . Springer . pp. 27 . ISBN  3-540-69930-9 .
  20. Jump up^ Seedetails of Aquatic Ape Symposium 1987 and subsequent book.(Accessed 09/26/2015)
  21. ^ Jump up to:a b “Interview: The natural optimist” . New Scientist . 25 April 2005 . Retrieved 18 July 2010 .
  22. Jump up^ Human Evolution, publisher: Springer, ISSN 0393-9375 Volume 15, Numbers 3-4 / July 2000
  23. Jump up^ “Elaine Morgan says we Evolved from aquatic apes” . TED . 1 July 2009 . Retrieved 18 July 2010 .
  24. Jump up^ BBC Radio 4 The Waterside Ape 14 & 15 Sep 2016