Anyone else here as nerdy-geeky a fan of AAT as I am?
It was first introduced to me about 10 years ago in a class on Asian Religion and Philosophy. For the first 3 weeks of the class, the professor never even touched Asia; just went over human evolution and migration across the continents. That was the first bit of coolness of that class, the idea being to get us deep into the mindset of where these people lived, how they got there, their probable background, the geology and climate, etc.
During the evolution bit she introduced Aquatic Ape theory as a "Something to think about/think outside the box" type exercise. I was especially intrigued by the politics behind how the idea was presented to the world at large and that the biggest complaints weren't necessarily reasons why the hypothesis can't work, but more along the lines of old men who didn't want to have to rewrite their textbooks. I also called my activist-feminist parents to complain that I'd never heard of Elaine Morgan and "Descent of Woman." I remember us having a copy of "Ascent of Man" in the things-we-hope-our-kids-will-pick-up section of the house. Mom and dad apologized; thought they had "Descent of Woman" in there too.
It came up again in my current Physical Anthropology class. Professor asked a few of us to volunteer to spend last weekend researching it and put together a presentation for the rest of the class. I very eagerly did so, since it was going to be my final project for the class. Downside: Now I need a new topic for my final.
Anyhow, the more I read up on it, the more I like the theory. It feels like it explains many of the differences between us and other primates so much better than "We moved to the savannah and simply, randomly, stood up/lost our fur/got fat/dropped our larynx/learned to hold our breath/etc.
Honestly, I feel with a lot of long-held theories, they tended to be looked upon as much more simplistic than they really are. E.g.; we once had this image of human evolution as a nice, neat, linear process. A evolved into B, evolved into C, and finally H. Now we know it's more like many, many tiny branches of hominids, most all of whom died out and we 'won' so to speak. I suspect that if even if AAT becomes widely accepted, it too is only one piece of a much larger and ever more complex evolutionary puzzle.