Elaine Morgan, armed with an arsenal of television writing credits and feminist credentials, spent her life on a mission to prove humans evolved in water.

Why you should listen

Television writer and scientific theorist Elaine Morgan may have been known for penning the popular British TV series Dr. Finlay's Casebook, but for decades the Welsh feminist writer championed human evolutionary theories using aquatic species. She wrote six books about the aquatic ape theory, derived from ancient Greek philosophies about human evolution.

Taking a less male-centric approach to evolutionary theory, Morgan's adventure was chronicled in the 1998 BBC documentary The Aquatic Ape. She was an award-winning television writer (she won two BAFTAs and Writers' Guild honors) for Campion, How Green Was My Valley and Testament of Youth. Morgan died in July 2013 at age 92.

What others say

"For my money, she is more scientific than Genesis, more up-to-date than Darwin, more fun than Ardrey, and she writes better than Desmond Morris." — John Rowan Wilson, Sunday Telegraph

Elaine Morgan’s TED talks

Elaine Morgan on the TED Blog
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The week in comments

August 1, 2009

It reads like everyone was inspired by the talks this week (including two more released from TEDGlobal 2009), which feature philosopher Alain de Botton on success, scientist Elaine Morgan on aquatic apes and artist/software engineer Golan Levin on his interactive art. Lets get to the comments: On Elaine Morgan’s talk: We evolved from aquatic apes: […]

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Did we evolve from aquatic apes? Elaine Morgan on TED.com

July 31, 2009

Elaine Morgan is a tenacious proponent of the aquatic ape hypothesis: the idea that humans evolved from primate ancestors who dwelt in watery habitats. Hear her spirited defense of the idea — and her theory on why mainstream science doesn’t take it seriously. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2009, July 2009 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 17:13) Twitter […]

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