Evolution Encyclopedia Vol. 2
Chapter 18 Appendix Part 1
A N C I E N T M A N
1 - MAN'S "NON-HUMAN" ANCESTRY UNKNOWN TO SCIENTISTS
Contrary to what school texts and popular books affirm so strongly, scientists do not know the ancestry of human beings. Here are some outspoken statements by scientists In regard to the possibility of ever discovering the supposed animal ancestors of human beings:
The likelihood that so-called ancestors of men will ever be found is fantastically remote.
"The chances of finding the fossil remains of actual ancestors, or even representatives of the local geographical group which provided the actual ancestors, are so fantastically remote as not to be worth consideration.
"The interpretation of the paleontological evidence of hominid evolution which has been offered in the preceding chapters is a provisional interpretation. Because of the incompleteness of the evidence, it could hardly be otherwise." —*W. E. Le Gros Clark, Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution (1964), pp. 188.
All solutions are conjectural.
"What was the ultimate origin of man?. . Unfortunately, any answers which can at present be given to these questions are based on indirect evidence and thus are largely conjectural." —*W.E. Le Gros Clark, The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution (1964), p. 174.
In the 19th century, there was no particular evidence to work with.
"The early theories of human evolution are really very odd, if one stops to look at them. David Pilbeam has described the early theories as 'fossil-free.' That is, here were theories about human evolution that one would think would require some fossil evidence, but in fact there were either so few fossils that they exerted no influence on the theory, or there were no fossils at all. So between man's supposed closest relatives and the early human fossils, there was only the imagination of nineteenth century scientists. People wanted to believe in evolution, human evolution, and this affected the results of their work." —*Sherwood Washburn, "Fifty Years of Studies on Human Evolution," The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 1982, p. 41.
In the 20th century, there is little more.
"Those working in this field have so little evidence upon which to base their conclusions that it is necessary for them frequently to change their conclusions." —*Richard Leakey, quoted in Spectator, The University of Iowa, April 1973, p. 4.
There is hardly enough evidence for the study of fossil man to be called a science.
"Judged by the amount of evidence upon which it is based, the study of fossil man hardly deserves to be more than a sub-discipline of paleontology or anthropology. . the collection is so tantalizingly incomplete, and the specimens themselves often so fragmentary and inconclusive." —*John Reader, "Whatever Happened to Zinjanthropus?" New Scientist, March 26, 1981, p. 802.
Where there should be large amounts of evidence—millions of half-human bones,—hardly anything usable has been found.
"As we move farther along the path of evolution towards humans the going becomes distinctly uncertain, mainly owing to the paucity of fossil evidence." —*Richard E. Leakey and *Roger Lewin, Origins, p. 55 (1977).
"The primary scientific evidence is a pitifully small array of bones from which to construct man's evolutionary history. One anthropologist has compared the task to that of reconstructing the plot of War and Peace with 13 randomly selected pages." —*Constance Holden, "The Politics of Paleoanthropology," August 14, 1981, p. 737.
" 'You could put all the fossils on the top of a single desk,' said Elwyn Simons of Duke University." —*Peter Gwynne, *John Corey and *Lea Donosky, "Bones and Prima Donnas," Newsweek, February 16, 1981, p. 77.
"The known fossil remains of man's ancestors would fit on a billiard table. That makes a poor platform from which to peer into the mists of the last few million years."—'Nicholas Wade, "How Old Is Man?" The New York rimes, October 4, 1982, p. A 18.
There is no evidence for the origin of either apes or men.
"The remarkable fact is that all the physical evidence we have for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a single coffin! . . Modern apes, for instance, seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record. And the true origin of modern humans—of upright, naked, toolmaking, bigbrained beings—is, if we are to be honest with ourselves, an equally mysterious matter." —*Lyall Watson, "The Water People," Scientist Digest, May 1982, p. 44.
"Not a single fossil primate of the Eocene epoch from either continent (these 'early' prosimians are found only in North America and Europe) appears to be an acceptable ancestor for the great intraorder of the catarrhines [monkeys, apes, and men], embracing all of the living higher Old Works primates, man inducted." —*E.L Simons, Scientific American, 211(1):50 (1964).
"Human paleontology shares a peculiar trait with such disparate subjects as theology and extraterrestrial biology: it contains more practitioners than objects for study." —*David Pilbeam, "Size and Scaling in Human Evolution," in science, 186:892 (1974).
Since all we have is theories, they are greatly treasured and even fought over.
"I know that, at least in paleoanthropology, data are still so sparse that theory heavily influences interpretations." —*David Pikieam, "Rearranging Our Family Tree," Human Nature, June 1978, p. 45.
[Regarding the various hominid bones and theories] "Each authority has his own theory for which he will fight like a mother for her child." —*R. Andrews, Meet Your Ancestors (1956), p. 27.
Since there are more hominid bone experts than there are hominid bones, we might as well study the bone experts instead of the bones!
"In fact, there are more paleoathropologists than there are specimens to study!" —Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism (1974), p. 191.
There simply are no hominids among the hominoids.
"Amid the bewildering array of early fossil hominoids, is there one whose morphology marks it as man's hominid ancestor? If the factor of genetic variability is considered, the answer appears to be no." —*Dr. Robert Eckhardt, Scientific American, 226(1):94 (1972).
"The links can only be guessed at. . [with] the identities of their parents lost to the past."
"[After noting that] the links that make up the ancestry of the human species can only be guessed at, Eldredge and Tattersall insist that man searches for his ancestry in vain . . If the evidence were there, they contend, 'one could
confidently expect that as more hominid fossils were found the story of human evolution would become clearer. Whereas, if anything, the opposite has occurred.'.. The human species, and all species, will remain orphans of a sort, the identities of their parents lost to the past." —*James Gorman, Discover, January 1983, pp. 83, 84. (Book review of Myths of Human Evolution by *Niles Eldredge arid *Ian Tattersall.)
Theories about man's ancestors are nothing more than science fiction:
"[There is not] enough evidence from fossil material to take our theorizing out of the realms of fantasy." —*New Scientist, August 3, 1972, p. 259. Book review of Bjorn Kurten's Not from the Apes: Man's Origins and Evolution.)
"We then move right off the register of objective truth into those fields of presumed biological science, like extrasensory perception or the interpretation of man's fossil history, where to the faithful anything is possible—and where the ardent believer is sometimes able to believe several contradictory things at the same time." —*S. Zuckerman, Beyond the Ivory Tower (1970), p. 19.
According to *Shipman, we know a lot about what we don't know,—but not much else.
"Where is the ancestral hominid species? The best answer we can give right now is that we no longer have a very clear idea of who gave rise to whom: we only know who didn't. In fact, we don't even know what sort of "ancestral species" we're looking for. Like an earthquake, the new skull has reduced our nicely organized constructs to a rubble of awkward, sharp-edged new hypotheses. It's a sure sign of scientific progress." —*P. Shipman, "Baffling Limb on the Family Tree," in Discover, September, 1988, pp. 87, 89, 92-93.
The record is blank:
"Unfortunately, the fossil record for hominids [the half-human pre-humans) and progids [the ape family] is almost totally blank between four and eight million years ago—an irresistible tabula rasa [an erased tablet; a clean slate] on which to inscribe belief, preconception, and personal opinion." —*A. Zihlman and *J. Lowenstein, "False Start of the Human Parade," in Natural History, August 1979, pp. 86, 88.
Apparently, man made the transformation bonelessly:
"For example, no scientist could logically dispute the proposition that man, without having been Involved in any act of divine creation, evolved from some ape-like creature in a very short space of time-speaking in geological terms—without leaving any fossil traces of the steps of the transformation." —*S. Zuckerman, Beyond the Ivory Tower (1970), p. 64.
Theories about man's evolutionary ancestors are based on feelings rather than facts.
"My reservations concern not so much this book but the while subject and methodology of paleoanthropology. . Perhaps generations of students of human evolution, inducting myself, have been flailing about in the dark; our data base is too sparse, too slippery, for it to be able mold our theories. Rather, the theories are more statements about us and ideology than about the past. Paleoanthropology reveals more about how humans view themselves than it does about how humans came about. But this is heresy . . " —*David Pilbeam, "Book Review of Leakey's Origins, "in American Scientist, (1978), Vol. 88, pp. 378-379.
After a century of study, scientists have crystalized the problem, but that problem will never be solved—because there are no records of humans going back more than a few thousand years.
"Circumstantial evidence, inference, and conjecture have been freely used in attempting to place together the story of mankind and his evolution, but scientific detective studies, during the past century, of remote and living savage and aboriginal tribes have been helpful in crystallizing the overall picture. In all probability, the problem will continue to fascinate the minds of thinking men the world over whether they be theologists [sic.], philosophers, scientists a other specialists. It is doubtful whether it will ever be solved to the satisfaction of all because the human race can be traced back with some degree of surety, only to about 5,000 B.C." —*A.M. Lassek The Human Brain (1957), p.. 11.
Actually, as with the ancestors of all other living species, the facts about man's ancestors are essentially non-existent.
"The evidence for man's evolution could hardly be more tenuous: a collection of a few hundred fossilized skulls, teeth, jawbones and other fragments. Physical anthropologists, however, have been ingenious at reading this record perhaps too ingenious, for there are almost as many versions of man's early history as there are anthropologists to propose them. There are only a few facts on which all the scientists have agreed... —*"Bones of Contention," in Newsweek, February 13, 1987, p. 101.
"Paleontolgical knowledge regarding mans past history is still of the most fragmentary kind. Each additional scrap becomes the subject of a voluminous literature and the basis of an edifice of speculation out of all proportion to the foundation upon which it rests." —*Sir. John Graham Ken, Evolution (1928) p. 212.
If experts had studied the bones, they would quickly have recognized that no case existed for calling those bones "half-man/half-ape."
"A major reason for this confusion is that much of the work on primates [the highest order, which includes man, apes, monkeys, etc.] has been done by students who had no experience in taxonomy and who were completely incompetent to enter this field, however competent they may have been in other respects." —*George Gaylord Simpson, "The Principles of Classification and a Classification of Mammals," in Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 85 (1845), p. 181.
For quotations on the uncertainty of the origins of monkeys and apes, see the chapter appendix to chapter 17, Fossils and Strata. Here is an example of what you will find there:
"Our knowledge of the fossil history of the higher apes is tantalizingly poor." —*Alfred S. Romer, Vertebrate Paleontology (1988).
*Romer might have said it this way: The problems are tantalizing; it is the facts which are poor. Indeed, the facts are not to be found.
"But the smooth transition from one form of life to another which is implied in the theory is . . not borme out by the facts. The search for 'missing links' between various living creatures, like humans and apes, is probably fruitless . . because they probably never existed as distinct transitional types . . But no one has yet found any evidence of such transitional creatures. This oddity has been attributed to gaps in the fossil record which gradualists expected to fill when rock strata of the proper age had been found. In the last decade, however, geologists have found rock layers of all divisions of the last 500 million years and no transitional forms were contained in them. If it is not the fossil record which is incomplete, then it must be the theory." —*Manchester Guardian, "Missing, Believed Non-existent," November 28, 1978, p. 1.
2 - FROM APE TO MAN
Somehow, in some way, apes are to have tuned into people—but no one seems to know exactly how it happened. Here is what the scientists have to say about this deep problem.
The experts are still arguing over the questions:
"The fight is among scientists over just how man did evolve, when he did so and what he looked like." —*Science News Letter, May 29, 1985, p. 348.
So much work and such little results.
"The reader. . may be dumbfounded that so much work has settled so few questions." —*Science, January 22, 1985, p. 389.
We are asked to speculate, assume, conjecture, and interpret. In the process, we might even come across a few facts.
"Come, now, ff you will, on a speculative excursion into prehistory. Assume the era in which the species sapiens emerged from the genus Homo. . hasten across the millenniums for which present information depends for the most part on conjecture and interpretation to the era of the first inscribed records, from which some facts may be gleaned." —*Science (quoting an unnamed former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science), December 30, 1980, p. 1914 (italics ours).
Speculation and myth is flourishing happily.
"The search for the proverbial 'missing link' in man's evolution, that holy grail of a never-dying sect of anatomists and biologists, allows speculation and myth to flourish as happily today as they did fifty years ago and more." —*Sir Solly Zukerman, "Myth and Method in Anatomy," in Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (1988), Vol 11 (2), pp. 87-114.
*Le Gros says that we can hardly differentiate between skulls of different races today, and the few ancient remains found have even less distinctive factors:
"Now it is probable that there are no racial types in which the skull characters are more distinctive than Negroes and Eskimos; and yet experts fail to agree when faced with single skulls whose claims to these types are in question. If a decision proves so difficult in such cases, it will be realized how much more difficult, or even impossible, it will be to identify, by reference to limited skeletal remains, mina racial groups with less distinctive characters." —*W.L. Le Gros Clark, The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution (1984), p. 54.
Even chimps are far and away inferior to human beings.
"The chimpanzee is much superior to other nonhuman primates in memory, imagination, and learning ability. Nevertheless, there is a vast gulf between the intellectual capacity of chimpanzees and of man. Symbolic responses can be learned by chimpanzees only with considerable difficulty, and their frequency fails to increase with experience and age." —*The Biological Basis of Human Freedom, Theodosius Dobzhansky (1958), p. 102. [Columbia University.]
Every book and article on the evolutionary ancestry of man is wrong.
"Every single book on anthropology, every article on the evolution of man, every drawing of man's family tree will have to be junked. They are apparently wrong." —*Joel N. Shurkin, "He's Shaking Mankind's Family Tree, " Boston Globe, December 4, 1973, p. 1.
Theories about man's evolutionary past merely reflect the feelings of their authors.
"An editorial in The New York Times observed that [evolutionary silence] includes so much room for conjecture that theories of how man came to be tend to tell more about their author than their subject. . The finder of a new skull often seems to redraw the family tree of man, with his discovery on the center line that leads to man and everyone else's skulls on side lines leading nowhere." —*New York Times, October 4, 1982, p. A18.
All that the experts have to go on are a few handfuls of broken bones and teeth.
"Primatologists may therefore be forgiven their tumblings over great gaps of millions of years from which we do not possess a single complete monkey skeleton, let alone the skeleton of a human forerunner . . we have to read the story of primate evolution from a few handfuls of broken bones and teeth. Those fossils, moreover, are from places thousands of miles apart on the Old World land mass . .
"In the end we may shake our heads, baffled . . It is as though we stood at the heart of a maze and no longer remembered how we had come there." —*Scientific American, June 1958, pp. 98, 100
Skewed and twisted descriptions stand in place of solid evidence.
"In the great majority of cases the descriptions of the specimens that have been provided by their discoverers have been so turned as to indicate that the fossils in question have some special place a significance in the line of direct human descent, as opposed to that of the family of apes. It is . . unlikely that they could all enjoy this distinction . .
"In the case of primate evolution the inferences are sometimes very insecurely based because of inadequacies of the evidence." —*Julian Huxley, Editor, Evolution as a Process (1958), pp. 300-302.
All the intermediate stages are conjectures lacking concrete evidence.
"We can contrive a theoretical picture of the intermediate stages which presumably must have been interposed between generalized pongid [ape] ancestors and the Australopithecus phase; but, in the absence of the concrete evidence of fossil remains, this is not a very satisfying procedure." —*W.E. Le Gros Clark, The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution (1984), pp. 175.
The ancestor to every species is a missing link, but the one leading up to man is the most glamorous of the missing links.
"The missing link between man and the apes . . is merely the most glamorous of a whole hierarchy of phantom creatures. In the fossil record, missing links are the rule." —*Jerry Ader and *John Carey, "Is Man a Subtle Accident," Newsweek, November a 1980, p. 95.
"Fabricated phantoms" well describes the situation:
"Because there are no links, 'phantom creatures' have to be fabricated from minimal evidence and passed off as though they had really existed. That explains why the following contradiction could occur, as reported by a science magazine: 'Humans evolved in gradual steps from their ape-like ancestors and not, as some scientists contend, in sudden jumps from one form to another . . But other anthropologists, working with much the same data, reportedly have reached exactly the opposite conclusion.' " —*Human Evolution: Smooth or Jumpy?" Science 81, September 1981, p. 7.
As is common with hominid discoveries, the latest one ruins the theories formed to fit the earlier ones:
"[A more recent fossil discovery] leaves in ruins the notion that all early fossils can be arranged in an orderly sequence of evolutionary change." —*Richard Leakey, "Skull 1470," National Geographic, June 1973, p. 819.
Wild leaps, and myths of pure fantasy recklessly applied, captivated minds.
"..The Genesis account seems, by comparison, sober, enough and at least has the merit of being validly related to what we know about human beings and their behavior. . and [the] wild leaps from skull to skull, cannot but strike any one not caught up in the [evolutionary] myth as pure fantasy. . Posterity will surely be amazed, and I hope vastly amused, that such slipshod and unconvincing theorizing should have so easily captivated twentieth-century minds and been so widely and recklessly applied." —*Malcolm Muggeridge, Esquire, July 1974, p. 5a (Book review of Ascent of Man, by *Jacob Bnmowski.)
The gulf between man and beast is vast, so vast that man is not related to the beast.
"No one is more strongly convinced than I am of the vastness of the guff between civilized man and the brutes, or is more certain that, whether from them or not, he is assuredly not of them." —*Thomas H. Huxley, Man's Place in Nature
(1901), Vol. 7 (A leading evolutionist of his time.)j
There is no compelling evidence for the existence of any half-man/half-ape species or leftover bones.
"..Neither is there compelling evidence for the existence of any distinct hominid species during this interval, unless the designation "hominid" means simply any individual ape that happens to have small teeth and a corresponding small face." —*Robert Eckhardt, Scientific American, 226(1):94 (1972).
The confusion becomes more confusing:
"What has become of our ladder if there are three coexisting lineages of hominids (A. ahicanus, the robust australopithecines, and H. habilis), none of the three display any evolutionary trends during their tenure on earth: rune become brainier a more erect as they approach the present day." –*S J. Gould, Natural History, 85:30 (1976). [Gould is a Harvard University paleontologist]
A fully human jaw was found in ancient strata supposedly dated before man ever lived; so the jaw has been set aside to be forgotten.
"At all events after it [a human jaw found in ancient strata] had passed under many eyes, interest waned, largely because the jaw was modern in appearance. Since there was nothing about it that the anatomist would surely regard as primitive, interest quickly faded. Only time will tell how many other ancient human relics have been discarded simply because they did not fit a preconceived evolutionary scheme." —*Loran Eisely, The Immense Journey (1957), p. 18.
The dice were heavily loaded.
"If human remains were found in one of the older Pleistocene deposits, and they proved to be modem in size and shape, they were rejected as spurious antiques, no matter what the state of their fossilization might be. On the other hand, if these remains proved unmodern in character, then they were accepted as genuinely old, even if only imperfectly fossilized. It seemed to me then, as it does now, that, in this matter, the geologist's dice were so beauty loaded that it was scarcely possible for modern man to have a fair throw." —*Sir Arthur Keith, The Antiquity of Man (1929), P. xi.
The experts lose their equilibrium when dealing with this subject:
"The peculiar fascination of the primates and their publicity value have almost taken the order out of the hands of sober and conservative mammalogists, and have kept, and do keep, its taxomony [classification] in a turmoil. Moreover, even mammalogists who might be entirely conservative in dealing, say, with rats, are likely to lose a sense of perspective when they come to the primates, and many studies of this order are covertly or overtly emotional." —*G.G. Simpson, quoted in William Howells (eo:), Ideas on human Evolution: Selected Essays (1962), p. 525.
3 - NEANDERTHAL MEN
What was Neanderthal Man? Was he an ape ancestor, or was he just a human being that was not always getting enough sunlight, and got arthritis from living in damp caves? Here is what the experts say:
"No evidence that inferior."
"There is no evidence that Neanderthal man was in any way inferior to ourselves." —*Fred Hoyle, Ice (1981), p. 35.
"At first, scientists thought that Neanderthal Man was a squat, stooping, brutish, somewhat apelike creature. But later research showed that the bodies of Neanderthal men and women were completely human, fully erect, and very muscular. Their brains were as large as those of modern man." —*World Book Encyclopedia Vol. 15, p. 672 (1966 edition).
"Clearly a race of our own."
"Most paleoanthropologists and the artists working under their direction have given the Neanderthals a shower and a shave and straightened up their shoulder. Neanderthal men and women no longer shuffle along on bent legs, staring vacantly. Now they stride erect and with purpose—not exactly like us in the face, but clearly a race of our own kind." —*B. Rensberger, "Ancestors: A Family Album," Science Digest, 89:34-43 (1981).PS10
"Neandertals [sic.] are now well known, but they present one of the mysteries of human evolution. Anthropologists cannot agree on how they were related to Homo Sapiens populations, which apparently coexisted with them during the same period. At one time, Neandertals were considered our ancestors; but their contemporaniety with modern-looking people raises new questions." —*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 322.
A typical New Yorker, but with spinal osteoarthritis.
"There is thus no valid reason for the assumption that the posture of Neanderthal man of the fourth glacial period differed significantly from that of present-day men . . It may well be that the arthritic 'old man' of La Chapelle-aux-Saints, the postural prototype of Neanderthal man, did actually stand and walk with something of a pathological kyphosis; but, if so, he has his counterparts in modern men similarly afflicted with spinal osteoarthritis. He cannot, in view of his manifest pathology, be used to provide us with a reliable picture of a healthy, normal Neanderthalian. Notwithstanding, if he could be reincarnated and placed in a New York subway—provided that he were bathed, shaved, and dressed in modern clothing—it is doubtful whether he would attract any more attention than some of its other denizens." —*William L. Straus,
Jr., and *A.J.E. Cave, "Pathology and the Posture of Neanderthal Man, " in The Quarterly Review of Biology, December 1957, pp. 358-359.
There simply are not enough bones available for us to know much about the subject.
"The reconstructions suggest far more knowledge of human evolution than we actually possess. We do not have a complete skeleton of any fossil older than Neanderthal, nor do we have airy direct evidence about the extent of hair in these forms." —*B. Campbell, Humankind Emerging (1982), p. 34.
Neanderthal had a larger brain than we do.
"The average brain capacity of modern man is estimated at about 1450 to 1500 cubic centimeters. Unfortunately for evolutionary theory, Neanderthal man had an average brain capacity of about 1600 cc.
"It is dishonest for anyone to draw illustrations of a series of skulls showing increasing brain capacity in man. Some so-called ancestors of modern man possessed on the average a larger brain than modern man's. It is embarrassing to argue that Neanderthal man's evolved more brain capacity than he needed for the 'subhuman' life-style depicted for him." —L.A. von Fangs, "Neanderthal, Oh How I Need You!" in Creation Research Society Quarterly, December 1981, p. 145.
"[Neanderthal Man] had a cranial capacity of about 1600 cc., which is far above the average of male Europeans today. In the gross size of the brain, the Neanderthal ancients were quite up to the level of modern man." —*Earnest Albert Hooton, Up from the Ape (1946), p. 346.
4 - CRO-MAGNON AND RHODESIAN MAN
Here is what the scientists tell us about Cro-Magnon Man, Rhodesian Man, and certain other of our supposed ancestors:
Cro-Magnon Man was superior to modem man.
"The Cro-Magnon race was known to have been superior to modern man, in both physical size and brain capacity. They were tall and well-proportioned, the men often reaching more than six feet in height. As to cranial capacity, it averaged larger than that of either Neanderthal or modern man." —Howard Peth, Blind Faith (1990), p. 130-131.
"It is of great significance that many fossilized skeletons of modem man have been found at many different locations, and often with every indication of being as old as or older than the supposedly less advanced hominoids that have been unearthed . .
"There is no real evidence against the far more reasonable theory, adopted by some, that the Neanderthals, Peking Man, etc., represent degenerate races, descended from Homo sapiens as a result of mutation, isolation, sic. In fact, there is some evidence that modern man himself is a somewhat deteriorated descendant of the ancestors. The Cro-Magnon race of men, who inhabited Europe about the same time as the Neanderthals, are well known to have been superior to modern man, both in physical size and in brain capacity." —H.M. Morris, The Bible and Modern Science, pp. 52 53.
Cro-Magnon Man had a decidedly larger brain than modern man.
"The skull of the Cro-Magnon man . . a massive skull, large in every dimension. . The braincase of this old man is estimated to have contained 1660 cc., which is roughly 150 cc. above the modern European average." —*Earnest Albert Hooton, Up From the Ape (1946), p. 371.
Ancient men lived contemporaneously with modern men, so we did not descend from them. (They may be different races, but one is not ancestral to the other.)
"There was a time when it was thought that perhaps modern man was a direct descendant of the Java man, the Rhodesian man, and the Neanderthal man. As the evidence has accumulated, however, it appears that this is not possible, because some ancient remains of true man have been found which were contemporary with the remains of some of these other forms." —*A.M. Winchester, Biology and Its Relation to Mankind (1964), p. 804.
5 - JAVA MAN
Here is what scientists tell us about Java Man:
Java Man was a hodge-podge of bones from a variety of areas.
"The five fossil fragments [of Java Man] found were: a skull cap which outwardly had the form which might be expected in a giant form of gibbon, a left thigh bone and three teeth. The most distant parts of the fragments were 20 paces apart. Later he added a sixth fragment—part of a lower jaw found in another part of the island but in a stratum of the same geological age." —*Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 14, p. 763 (1946 edition).
A modern man was found in the same level and near where Java Man was found.
"Another example of tampering with the evidence was furnished by Dubois, who admitted, many years after his sensational report of finding the remains of Java Man, . . that he had found at the same time in the same deposits bones that were unquestionably those of modern humans." —Frank Lewis Marsh, Evolution or Special Creation? (1963), p. 26.
Here is *Dubois' own statement denying that his find, Java Man, was human:
"Pithecanthropus [Java Man] was not a man, but a gigantic genus allied to the Gibbons . .
"Thus the evidence given by those five new thigh bones of the morphological and functional distinctness of Pithecanthropus Erectus furnishes proof, at the same time, of its close affinity with the gibbon group of anthropoid apes." —*Eugene Dubois, "On the Fossil Human Skulls Recently Discovered in Java and Pithecanthropus Erectus, " Man, January 1937, pp. 4, 5.
*Milner considers them to be human.
"Dubois dug up the fossil hominid remains he called Pithecanthropus erectus, popularly known as the Java ape-man. It later turned out that they were not very 'apish' after all, and were really an ancient species of human . . They have been named Homo erectus, to reflect the conclusion they were not apes at all." —*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 308.
*Thompson, in his Introduction to *Darwin's Origin, commented on the *Dubois' other admission: that human bones had been found near his "Java Man" gibbon, thus establishing a recent age for both:
"The success of Darwinism was accompanied by a decline in scientific integrity . . A striking example, which has only recently come to light, is the alteration of the Piltdown skull so that it could be used as evidence for the descent of man from the apes; but even before this a similar instance of tinkering with evidence was finally revealed by the discoverer of Pithecanthropus [Java Man], who admitted, many years after his sensational report, that he had found in the same deposits bones that are definitely human." —*W.R. Thompson, Introduction, *Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species, p. 17.
6 - PILTDOWN MAN
Scientists have been very upset over the Piltdown hoax. For some it was seen as but the tip of an Iceberg of fraudulent attempts to prove the unscientific theory of evolution.
Dawson found the Piltdown bones, and the hoax was not realized even as late as 1946.
"The discovery which ranks next in importance . . was made by Mr. Charles Dawson at Piltdown, Sussex, between the years 1911 and 1915. He found the greater part of the left half of a deeply mineralized human skull, also part of the right half; the right half of the lower jaw, damaged at certain parts but carrying the first and second molar teeth and the socket of the third molar or wisdom tooth...
"Amongst British authorities there is now agreement that the skull and the jaw are parts of the same individual." —*Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 14, p. 763 (1946 edition).
It was nothing more than a human skull and an ape jawbone, both heavily doctored.
"One of the most famous fakes exposed by scientific proof was Piltdown man, found in Sussex, England... and thought by some to be 500,000 years old. After much controversy, it turned out to be not a primitive man at all but a composite of a skull of modern man and the jawbone of an ape. . . The jawbone had been 'doctored' with bichromate of potash and iron to make it look mineralized." —"Science News Letter, February 25, 1961, p. 119.
A sentence to think about:
"When preconception is so clearly defined, so easily reproduced, so enthusiastically welcomed and so long accommodated as in the case of Piltdown Man, science reveals a disturbing predisposition towards belief before investigation." —*John Reader, Missing Links (1981).
Let our scientists never forget the lesson to be learned from Piltdown.
"But we have merely to remember cases like Piltdown Man, which turned out to be a fraudulent composite of a genuine fossil skull cap and a modern ape jaw, or Hesperopithecus, the ape of the west, which was eventually discovered to be a peccary." —*Charles E. Oxnard, "Human Fossils: New View of Old Bones," American Biology Teacher, Vol. 41, May 5, 1979, p. 264.
Piltdown is only one in a long tradition of hominid misinterpretations.
"There is a long tradition of misinterpreting various bones as human clavicles. . skilled anthropologists have erroneously described an alligator femur and the toe of a three-toed horse as clavicles." —*W. Herbert, "Hominids Bear Up, Become Porpoiseful, " Science News, Vol. 123, April 16, 1983, p. 246.
Modeling the description to twist the facts, they said the (retooled human) skull strongly resembled certain characteristics of an ape's skull.
"Piltdown's champions . . modeled the 'facts' . . another illustration that information always reaches us through the strong filters of culture, hope, and expectation. As a persistent theme in 'pure' description of the Piltdown remains, we learn from all its major supporters that the skull, although remarkably modern, contains a suite of definitely simian characters) . . Grafton Elliot Smith . . concluded: 'We must regard this as being the most primitive and most simian human brain so far recorded; one, moreover, such as might reasonably have been expected to be associated in one and the same individual with the mandible which so definitely indicates the zoological rank of its original possessor' . . Sir Arthur Keith wrote in his last major work (1948): 'His forehead was like that of the orang, devoid of a supraorbital torus; in its modeling his frontal bone presented many points of resemblance to that of the orang of Borneo and Sumatra' . . Careful examination of the jaw also revealed a set of remarkably human features for such an apish jaw (beyond the forged wear of the teeth). Sir Arthur Keith repeatedly emphasized, for example, that the teeth were inserted into the jaw in a human, rather than a simian, fashion." —*Steven J. Gould, Natural History, 88(3):96 (1979).
"It still comes as a shock."
"Accepting this as inevitable and not necessarily damaging, it still comes as a shock to discover how often preconceived ideas have affected the investigation of human origins.
"There is, of course, nothing like a fake for exposing such weaknesses among the experts. For example, to look back over the bold claims and subtle anatomical distinctions made by some of our greatest authorities concerning the recent human skull and modern ape's jaw which together composed 'Piltdown Man,' rouses either joy or pain according to one's feeling for scientists." —*J. Hawkes, Nature 204:952 (1964).
7 - NEBRASKA MAN
Nebraska Man was but another will-o-the-wisp "ancestor of man" that was later found to be not a man but a pig.
"There is danger on relying on too few measurements"—and too few bones.
"There is a danger of relying on too few measurements, . . An example of this difficulty is provided by the famous case of Hesperopithecus. This generic name was given to a fossil tooth found in Nebraska in 1922, on the assumption that it represented an extinct type of anthropoid ape... As is well known, the tooth proved later to be that of a fossil peccary [a piglike animal]. . . there can be few paleontologists who have not erred in this way at some time or another!" —*W.E. Le Gros Clark, The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution (1964), pp. 26-27.
The inglorious end of Nebraska Man:
"Two years after the 'Monkey Trial' [in Dayton, Tennessee, where Nebraska Man was extolled as the great evidence that man descended from apes],' a team of paleontologists returned to the Nebraska site where Hesperopithecus had been discovered five years earlier, determined to find more of this mysterious creature. To their joy, weathering had exposed parts of a jaw and skeleton on the precise spot. Eagerly, they brushed away dust and sand until the ancient fossil emerged to tell its truth—the infamous molar had once belong to an extinct pig!" —*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 322.
8 - RAMAPITHECUS
Scientists consider Ramapithecus but another farce of over-zealous anthropologists.
Using teeth and jaw to accomplish the task.
"How did Ramapithecus, . . reconstructed only from teeth and jaws—without a known pelvis, limb bones, or skull—sneak into this manward-marching procession?" —Adrienne L. Zihlman and Jerold M. Lowenstein, "False Start of the Human Parade," Natural History, August/September 1979, p. 86.
"Subsequent fossil finds proved Sarich right: Ramapithecus is no longer considered a candidate for human ancestor." —*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 84.
Jaws and teeth cannot tell how he walked
"Locomotion, like body size, cannot be inferred without some post-cranial bones. It would be unwise to speculate about Ramapithecus' locomotion from a knowledge solely of its jaws and teeth." —*David R. Pilbeam, The Evolution of Man (1970).
9 - AUSTRALOPITHECUS
This big word means "southern ape," and stands for an odd assortment of bones found in dry areas of east Africa. Some of the bones are human, some are ape, put them together and great theories emerge. Strong hopes have been pinned on these bones; in fact, for several years now they have occupied the center of attention. And that for a simple reason: there is little else to talk about yet, to date, nothing definite seems to emerge from a study of them.
Here was what was claimed:
"It was Australopithecus . . that eventually evolved into Homo Sapiens, a modern man." —*Robert Reinhold, "Bone Traces Man Back 5 Million Years," The New York Times, February 19, 1971, p. 1.
"By all the evidence men at last had met their long unknown, early ancestors. . . The evidence was overwhelming.. the missing link had at long last been found." —*Ruth Moore, Man, Time, and Fossils (1981), pp. 5-8, 318.
But the claims do not fit the facts:
"But I myself remain totally unpersuaded. Almost always when I have tried to check the anatomical claims on which the status of Australopithecus is based, I have ended in failure." —*S. Zukerman, Beyond the Ivory Tower (1970), p. 77.
Australopithecines were not human.
"Finally, the quite independent information from the fossil finds of more recent years seems to indicate absolutely that these australopithecines, of half to 2 million years and from sites such as Olduvai and Sterkfontein, are not on a human pathway." —*C E. Oxnard, Homo (1981), p. 242.
Australopithecus was just an ape.
"Whatever the difficulties with Oxnard's phylogenetic assessment of Australopithecus, his conclusions regarding morphology and behavior have been prophetic. His and his collaborators' claims that Australopithecus engaged in a form of locomotion quite different from that of Homo were ignored a ridiculed by many for years, but they have recently gained support . .
"Indeed, different workers using more traditional methods of comparative anatomy (Tuttle, Stern and Susman), as well as other techniques (frost), have all to some degree converged upon the view presented by Oxnard that australopithecines were more proficient in the trees and more different from modern Homo in their form of bipedalism than was previously believed." —*B. Shea, "Primate Morphometrics," in Science, (1984), Vol. 224, pp. 148-149.
However, *Leakey concluded that the australopithecines walked liked modern man:
"In his book, The Making of Mankind, published in 1981, Leakey had stated that 'we can now say that the australopithecines definitely walked upright.' " —*Richard Leakey, The Making of Mankind (1981), p. 71.
But others disagree:
"Paleontologists do not know whether Australopithecus walked upright. 'Nobody has yet found an associated skeleton with skull.' " —*J. Cherfas, New Scientist 93:695 (1982).
The facts square with apes, not with men:
"The fact that the anterior portion of the iliac blade faces laterally in humans but not in chimpanzees is obvious. The marked resemblance of AL 288-1 to the chimpanzee is equally obvious." —*J: T. Stem, Jr. and *LR. Susman, American Journal of Physical Anthropology 80:279 (1983).
The australopithecines were merely apes.
"The skull form of all australopithecines is extremely ape-like . . the australopithecines show too many specialized and ape-like characters to be either the direct ancestor of man or of the line that led to man." —*Ashley Montagu, Man: His First Million Years (1957), pp. 51, 52.
"Our findings leave little doubt that . Australopithecus resembles not Homo sapiens but the living monkeys and apes." —*Solly Zukerman, Beyond the Ivory Tower (1970), p. 90.
Its brain is far too small:
"This brain was not large in absolute size; it was a third the size of a human brain." —*Robert Jastrow, The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe (1981), p. 114.
Viewed as a whole, the skull is like that of an ape, not that of a man.
"When compared with human and simian [ape or monkey] skulls, the Australopithecine skull [a skull found in East Africa] is in appearance overwhelmingly simian—not human." —*Sir Solly Zukerman, "Myth and Method in Anatomy," in Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (1988), Vol. 11 (2), pp. 87-114.
It was *Raymond Dart who first discovered the African skulls (which later came to be known as "Dartians") and named them Australopithecus, ("Southern Ape's). But *Milner explains in detail why they are actually human in every way, except in having slightly larger brow ridges and jaws. But that, of course, could be caused by arthritis and rickets, such as afflicted the Neanderthals in Europe.
"Again, seeking that 'link' between men and apes, in 1924 Raymond Dart named his famous Taung fossil 'Southern ape' or Australopithecus—another unfortunate label, according to Kurten. Subsequent discoveries have shown that in their teeth and jaws, in their pelvic structure and upright posture as well as in their use of stone tools, these creatures do not resemble apes, but represent a distinctly human line, older than Homo erectus (Java Man, which is another human skull).
"In 1947, the British anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith first proposed the colloquial name 'Dartians' for Australopithecus ahicanus and its relatives
"When compared to modern apes, the distinctiveness of the Dartians becomes apparent. Where apes have huge canines and gaps for them in the opposing tooth rows, the Dartians have small teeth and no canine gaps. Form and shape of the molars and premolars is similar in humans and Dartians, showing marked differences from ape tooth forms. And although Dartians had heavy jaws and brow ridges—superficially ape characteristics—the attachments of jaw muscles and overall skull shape are more like humans' than apes'. Dartian feet are human in form, without an opposable big toe, and their legs and pelvises indicate bipedal [upright, two-footed] posture.
"In contrast, the modern apes are not Customarily bipedal; they lean forward and walk on folded fingers of their hands to aid their relatively short legs." —*R Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 107.
There is not enough evidence that the Australopithecines walked upright.
"For my own part, the anatomical basis for the claim that the Australopithecines walked and ran upright like man is so much more flimsy than the evidence which points to the conclusion that their gait was some variant of what one sees in subhuman Primates, that it remains unacceptable." —*Solly Zuckerman, Beyond the Ivory Towel (1970), p. 93.
*Leakey thinks they walked like modern apes.
"This australopithecine material suggests a form of locomotion that was not entirely upright nor bipedal. The Rudolf australopithecines, in fact, may have been close to the 'knuckle-walker' condition, not unlike the extant African apes." *Richard E.F. Leakey, "Further Evidence of Lower Pleistocene Hominids from East Rudolf, North Kenya," Nature, May 28, 1971, p. 245.
The skull of the Australopithecine is like that of an ape.
"There is indeed, no question which the Australopithecine skull resembles when placed side by side with specimens of human and living ape skulls. It is the ape—so much so that only detailed and close scrutiny can reveal any differences between them." —*Solly Zuckerman, "Correlation of Change in the Evolution of Higher Primates, " in *Julian Huxley, *A. C. Hardy, and *E.B. Ford (Eds.), Evolution as a Process (1954), p. 307.
10 - THE STORY OF PILTDOWN MAN
Whether some like it or not, the story of the Piltdown hoax will ever stand as a great epoch In the history of evolutionary presentations. Other evolutionary frauds have been repeatedly perpetrated and later uncovered. But the Piltdown hoax was the most shaking of the exposes when it finally occurred, due to the fact that, for decades, Piltdown Man had been proclaimed as the grand proof that man evolved from apes. Here is a story of "Skull Duggery; " the story of Piltdown Man:
*Charles Dawson, a Sussex lawyer, was walking along a farm road close to Piltdown Common, Fletching (Sussex). England one day, when he "noticed that the road had been mended with some peculiar brown flints not usual in the district." Upon inquiry, he was "astonished" to learn that they had been dug from a gravel bed on a farm. He determined that he must go find where this "strange gravel" came from, although no one else in the community had ever considered the gravel strange.
Relating the incident later in December 1912, Dawson said that that walk on the road took place "several years ago." This would put it in 1909 or 1910. It is believed that none other than *Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the imaginative inventor of the Sherlock Holmes detective mystery stories, was involved along with Dawson, in initially developing the idea for this fraudulent placement and later "discovery" of bones.
"Shortly afterwards," Charles Dawson visited the gravel pit (located about halfway between Uckfield and Haywards Heath, interestingly enough, only a few miles from the mansion where *Charles Darwin lived most of his life), and found two men digging gravel. He asked them if they had found any "bones or other fossils," and they told him No. He said that he then urged them to watch for such things, for they might find some in the future.
Not long after, he just happened to walk by the gravel pit again one morning—and was met by an excited workman who said that he found part of a skull in the gravel just after arriving at work! Describing it afterward, Dawson said that "it was a small portion of unusually thick parietal bone that looked as if it might be human and 300,000 years old." That was a lot to figure out at a glance.
Mr. Dawson made immediate search, but could find nothing else in the gravel pit. It was not until "some years later," in the autumn of 1911, on another visit to the spot, that Dawson found another and larger piece of bone. This time it was part of the frontal region of a skull, and included a portion of the ridge extending over the left eyebrow. He just happened to walk over to the gravel pit that day—and there it was!
A short time thereafter, he happened to have *Dr. Arthur Smith Woodward, head of the Department of Geology at the British Museum of Natural History, with him on the day he found the all-important jawbone at the gravel pit. As Woodward looked on,—Dawson dug down and there it was!
This "magnificent discovery" came at just the right time. Both *Charles Darwin and *Thomas Huxley had died, and, although "fossil human bones" had been dug up in various places in far countries, such as the Neanderthal, none of them were of much use to the cause. They were all clearly human.
What was needed was a half-million-year-old half-ape/half-human appearing skull and jawbone. —And where better a place to find such old bones than in perpetually damp England, where even bones half a century old normally have already turned back to dust.
Woodward was an avid paleontologist, and had written many papers on fossil fish. Dawson and Woodward had many long talks together over those bones.
Then *Arthur Keith, an anatomist, was called in. Keith was one of the most highly-respected scientists in England. Author of several classic works, he had all the credentials of respectability: a doctorate in medicine, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Fellow of the Royal Society, President of the Royal Anthropological Institute, plus membership in the Anatomical Society, and the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
There was more talk. Then *Grafton Elliot Smith, a renowned brain specialist, was brought into the circle. Thus was gathered together a team of scientists that was one of the most respected in the British Isles. —And the subject of their penetrating conversations: some bones that were not all there.
The lower jaw was too big for a human skull but, significantly, the upper jaw was entirely missing, and with it part of the lower jaw—and the important lower canine teeth. Also missing were the mating parts for the jaw hinge. That which was missing was exactly that which would have shown (1) whether or not the lower jaw, which was apelike, was from a human or an ape, and (2) whether the lower jaw fitted with the upper skull bones, which were obviously human.
The skull itself consisted only of several pieces. This meant that the size of the brain case could not be determined. The pieces might fit a larger brain case or a small one; there was no way of knowing. Keith, although an ardent evolutionist like the others, was more open to evidence, and theorized 1,500 cubic centimeters for the volume of the brain case, whereas Woodward thought it was only 1,070 (midway between an ape [600 cc] and a human[ averaging 1500 cc]). Keith's estimate, which was slightly larger than some modern men, was made on the basis of the larger jaw. But his estimate angered the other men. Then *Teilhard de Chardin, an ardent evolutionist, although a Jesuit priest at a nearby seminary, found an ape—like canine tooth in that gravel pit. Keith relented at this, and the men agreed on a brain capacity of 1,200 cc.
With this miserly collection of a few bone fragments, the scientists "reconstructed" the entire head of what they proudly proclaimed to be "Piltdown Man." Here at last, they triumphantly declared, was the "long-awaited missing link." Since Latin names are always supposed to prove something, they named it Eoanthropus Dawsoni, which stands for "Dawson's Dawn Man." That name made everything sound scientific.
On December 16, 1912, the discovery was officially announced at the Geological Society. The press went wild. Here was a sensation that would sell newspapers. Many people accepted it; many others did not.
On August 29, 1913 Teilhard stayed overnight with Dawson, and then went with him the next day to the Piltdown pit. And there it was! Another of the two missing canine teeth! It was right there, not far under the gravel in the pit. Imagine that: just setting there, beautifully preserved for 300,000 years, washed by stream water and dampened by ages of British fog,—waiting for Dawson and Teilhard to find it.
This was the crucial third piece of evidence and was duly reported at the 1913 meeting of the Geological Society.
Along with that tooth was found a stegodon (elephant) tooth. That was helpful, for it provided evidence that the bones must indeed be very, very ancient.
More recently, scientists have analyzed that particular stegodon tooth—and found it to contain a remarkably high level of radioactivity (from an ancient inflow of 0.1 percent uranium oxide into it). The radioactive level was far too high for the British Isles, but equal to what one would find in stegodon teeth being recovered at that time in the dry climate of Ichkeul, Tunisia. It just so happened that, from 1906 to 1908, Teilhard, an avid fossil collector for many years, had lived in North Africa and was known to have stayed for a time at Ichkeul near Bizerta in North Tunisia, a site where Stegodon fossils are plentiful.
But not all were satisfied. Some scientists argued that the jaw and skull did not belong to the same individual. It was also observed that the few skull pieces could be arranged in a number of shapes and sizes to match any desired brain case and head shape that might be desired.
In reality, that is exactly what had been done. The parts had been carefully selected with consummate skill to provide only certain evidence, while omitting certain other facts. The objective was to afterward reconstruct the head along ape lines, for the nearer the "reconstruction" could be pushed toward the brute beast, the more convincing it would appear as "scientific evidence" of evolution.
The objections offered were tossed aside and given little attention in scientific societies, and even less in the public press. Human bones do not sell as many papers as do human-ape bones.
The actual bones were placed in the British Museum, and plaster casts of the half-man/half-ape "reconstruction" were sent to museums all over the world.
By August 1913, when the British Association for the Advancement of Science discussed the Piltdown bones, another molar tooth and two nasal bones "had been found" in that same gravel pit. It was marvelous how many pieces of bone kept appearing in that gravel pit!
Here we have bones well preserved after 300,000 years in that damp gravel, whereas all the other millions of upon millions of bones of animals and men who had lived and died in that area during that supposed timespan were not to be found. Just that one set of skull pieces, jawbone, and teeth, and that was it. And so close to the surface. Where does gravel come from? It is washed in from stream beds. Stream beds do such a good job of preserving 300,000-year-old bones! Well, back to the story.
In their final reconstruction of the bones, the men put their solitary canine tooth on the right side of the lower jaw at an angle suggestive of an ape. That helped the cause!
It does not take much to fool people, and the reconstructionists worked with care and forethought. With a human skull and an ape skull jaw before them as they worked, they shaped the plaster to produce an "ape man."
*Captain St. Barbe and *Major Marriott were two amateur paleontologists from Sussex, who later reported that, on separate occasions, they had surprised Dawson in his office staining bones. Because of this, they suspected that his Piltdown bone finds were nothing more than fakes. Yet few would listen to them.
In 1915, Dawson sent Woodward a postcard announcing that he had found more fossils in a different gravel pit somewhere in the Piltdown area. No one has ever been told the location of that pit, however. But these new cranial bones, although even more fragmentary than the first ones, were with all due ceremony published by Woodward as "Piltdown II" finds in 1916, shortly after the death of Dawson.
Then came four other revelations:
(1) *W.K. Gregory in 1914, and *G.S. Miller in 1915, announced in scientific journals that that "right lower" canine tooth—was in reality a left upper tooth!
Scientists were not able to properly identify the only canine tooth in their possession, yet they were very definite in solemnly announcing that the Piltdown gravel was "in the main composed of Pliocene drift, probably reconstructed in the Pleistocene epoch." They had less dexterity with teeth in hand than with their specific dates millions of years in the past.
(2) Another complaint came from *Ales Hrdlicka who, in Smithsonian Report for 1913, declared that the jaw and the canine tooth belonged to a chimpanzee.
(3) A dental anatomist examined the teeth in 1916, and duly reported that they had been filed. The files marks were quite obvious to see. But Keith and Woodward chose to ignore the report. They had good reason to ignore it.
(4) In 1921, *Sir Ray Lankester, maintained that the skull and jaw never belonged to the same creature. His conclusion was confirmed by David Waterston of the University of London, King's College.
But NOT ONE of the above four revelations ever reached the public press in any appreciable amount. A whole generation grew up with "Piltdown Man" as their purported ancestor. Textbooks, exhibits, displays, encyclopedias—all spread the good news that we came from apes after all.
Oil paintings of the discoverers were executed. The bones were named after Dawson, and the other men (Keith, Woodward and Grafton) were knighted by British royalty for their part in the great discovery.
As for the bones of Piltdown Man, too many people were finding fault with them, so they were carefully placed under lock and key in the British Museum. Even such authorities as *Louis Leakey were permitted to examine nothing better than plaster casts of the bones. Only the originals could reveal the fraud, not casts of them.
Decades passed, and then the whole thing blew apart.
As recently as 1946, the Encyclopedia Britannica (Vol. 14, p. 763) stated authoritatively, "Amongst British authorities there is agreement that the skull and jaw are parts of the same individual."
Then, in 1953, *Kenneth Oakley (a British Museum geologist), in collaboration with *Joseph Weiner (an Oxford University anthropologist) and *Le Gros Clark (professor of anatomy at Oxford) somehow managed to get their hands on those original bones. A new method for determining the relative age of bones by their fluorine content had been recently developed. This fluorine test revealed the bones to be quite recent.
Additional examination revealed that the bones of Piltdown Man had been carefully stained with bichromate in order to make them appear aged. Drillings into the bone produced shavings, but should have produced powder if the bones had been ancient, but powder was not produced. Then that canine tooth was brought out—and found to have been filed, stained brown with potassium bichromate, and then packed with grains of sand. No wonder it took so long before the discovery could be announced; a lot of work had to first be done on those bones and teeth.
*Sir Solly Zuckerman, an expert in the field, later commented that the person or persons who perpetrated this deliberate and unscrupulous hoax, knew more about ape bones than did the scientists at the British Museum.
The fluorine test is a method of determining whether several bones were buried at the same time or at different times. This is done by measuring the amount of fluorine they have absorbed from ground water. It cannot give ages in years, but is a high-tech method of establishing ages of bones relative to each other.
"His [Oakley's] radioactive fluorine test proved the skull fragments were many thousands of years older than the jaw. They could not be from the same individual unless, as one scientist put it, 'the man died but his jaw lingered on for a few thousand years.' " —*A. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 383.
In 1955, Weiner, chief detective in the case, later published a book about the hoax, The Piltdown Forgery. He considered Dawson to have been the one who initiated the fake.
"Every important piece proved a forgery. Man was a fraud from start to finish!" —*Alden P. Armagnac, "The Piltdown Hoax, " Reader's Digest, October 1958, p. 182.
(Another good source is *William L. Straus, Jr., "The Great Piltdown Hoax... Science, February 26, 1954. Also of interest is *Robert Silverberg, Scientists and Scoundrels: A Book of Hoaxes (1965).)
The House of Commons was so disturbed by the announcement of the fraud, that it came close to passing a measure declaring "that the House has no confidence in the Trustees of the British Museum. . because of the tardiness of their discovery that the skull of the Piltdown man is a partial fake."
"A member of the British Parliament proposed a vote of 'no confidence' in the scientific leadership of the British Museum. The motion failed to carry when another M.P. [member of Parliament] reminded his colleagues that politicians had 'enough skeletons in their own closets.' " —*A. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 384.
Adding to the embarrassment of a government and nation, three years before the expose the National Nature Conservancy had spent a sizable amount of taxpayers' money in transforming the area in and around that pit into the Piltdown Gravel Pit National Monument!
So that is the story of another exercise in evolutionary futility; the story of Piltdown Man.
11 - ARTISTS TO THE AID OF EVOLUTION
Are not the paintings drawn by artists of half-men/half-ape creatures enough proof! Surely, they ought to know, for they ought to be able to tell from the bones:
Over the decades, a number of outstanding artists have offered their abilities to the service of proving evolutionary theory. Looking at some old bones, they have imagined what dinosaurs and many other extinct creatures might have looked like. The finished artwork has been presented to the public as another "scientific fact." In regard to ancient man, these artists have excelled in painting portraits of imaginary half-apes/half-men who never really existed.
In reality, neither scientists nor artists are able to tell from an examination of a few scattered and partly missing bones what their owner once looked like. Even if all the bones were there, the experts would be unable to tell what the eyes, ears, nose, and lips looked like. Such things as skin color, hair color, general skin texture, the presence or absence of a beard,—all of these things and more would not be identifiable.
But, just now, we will let the experts speak:
"Bones say nothing about the fleshy parts of the nose, lips or ears. Artists must create something between an ape and a human being; the older the specimen is said to be, the more apelike they make it." —*B. Rensberger, "Ancestors: A Family Album," Science Digest, 89:34-43 (1981).
*Hooton tells us that anthropologists should not be doing this:
"No anthropoligist is justified in reconstructing the entire skeleton of an unfamiliar type of fossil man from parts of the skullcap, one or two teeth; and perhaps a few oddments of mandible (jaw bone] and long bones. . Inferences concerning the missing parts are very precarious, unless more complete skeletons of other individuals of the same type are available to support the reconstruction." —*Earnest Albert Hooton, Apes, Men and Morons (1970), p. 115.
There is really not enough evidence on which to base artistic conclusions:
"When a scientist finds a single bone or tooth which supposedly dates back a few hundred thousand years, on what basis of measurement can he draw a picture of the whole creature? When the first fossil bones were discovered many
years ago, there were no other bones with which to compare them, no other measurement by which to judge them, so the first drawings of ancient men were the products of imagination. The men who drew the first pictures imagined man as rather ape-like in appearance, so they drew him with the facial features of a creature sort of halfway between a man and an ape. They gave him a slightly crouching stance, a long face with huge jaws, and a look of doubtful intelligence. This picture has stayed with us down through the years." —David D. Riegle, Creation or Evolution? (1971), P. 47-48.
The public ought to be warned of these efforts of evolutionary advocates to provide evidence which is no evidence—in support of their theory:
"Put not your faith in reconstructions. Some anatomists model reconstructions of fossil skulls by building up the soft parts of the head and face upon a skull cast and thus produce a bust purporting to represent the appearance of the fossil man in life. When, however, we recall the fragmentary condition of most of the skulls, the faces usually being missing, we can readily see that even the reconstruction of the facial skeleton leaves room for a good deal of doubt as to details. To attempt to restore the soft parts is an even more hazardous undertaking. The lips, the eyes, the ears, and the nasal tip leave no clues on the underlying bony parts. You can, with equal facility, model on a Neanderthaloid skull the features of a chimpanzee or the lineaments of a philosopher. These alleged restorations of ancient types of man have very little, if any, scientific value and are likely only to mislead the public." —*Earnest Albert Hooton, Up from the Apes (1946), p. 329.
Imagination takes the place of actual characteristics.
"The flesh and hair on such reconstructions have to be filled in by resorting to the imagination. Skin color; the color, form, and distribution of the hair; the form of the features; and the aspect of the face—of these characters we know absolutely nothing for any prehistoric men." —*James C. King, The Biology of Race (1971), pp. 135, 151.
Imagination takes the place of evidence.
"The vast majority of artists' conceptions are based more on imagination than on evidence . . Artists must create something between an ape and a human being; the older the specimen is said to be, the more apelike they make it." —*"Anthro-Art" Science Digest, April 1981, p. 41.
No one really knows what they looked like.
"No one can be sure just what any extinct hominid looked like." —*Donald C. Johanson and *Maitland A. Edey, Lucy. The Beginnings of Humankind (1981), p. 288.
There is not enough evidence to remove it from the land of fantasy.
"[There is not] enough evidence from fossil material to take our theorising out of the realms of fantasy." —*New Scientist, August 3, 1972, p. 259. [Book review of Bjorn Kurten's Not from the Apes: Man's Origins and Evolution.]
We can hardly differentiate between skulls of different races today, and the few ancient remains found have even less distinctive factors.
"Now it is probable that there are no racial types in which the skull characters are more distinctive than Negroes and Eskimos; and yet experts fail to agree when faced with single skulls whose claims to these types are in question. If a decision proves so difficult in such cases, it will be realized how much more difficult, or even impossible, it will be to identity, by reference to limited skeletal remains, minor racial groups with less distinctive characters." —*W.E. Le Gros Clark, The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution (1984), p. 54.
The ineffable stupidity of saying we know when we do not know.
"Just as we are slowly learning that primitive men are not necessarily savages, so we must learn to realize the that the early men of the Ice Age were neither brute beasts nor semi-apes nor cretins. Hence the ineffable stupidity of all attempts to reconstruct Neanderthal or even Peking man. Exaggeratedly hirsute [hairy] plaster figures of bestial mien [face] glower savagely at us in museums all over the world, their features usually chocolate-brown in color, their hair wild and unkempt, their jaws prognathous [jaws that project beyond the upper portion of the face] and their foreheads receding—and this despite the fact that we have absolutely no idea what color Paleolithic man's skin was or how his hair grew and virtually no idea of his physiognomy. The American authority T. D. Stewart rightly pointed out in 1948 the impossibility of reconstructing hair, eyes, nose, lips or facial expression. 'The probabilities are that the expression of early man was not less benign than our own.' he wrote." —*Ivar Lissner, Man, God, and Magic (1961), p. 304.
Every drawing is wrong.
"Every single book on anthropology, every article on the evolution of man, every drawing of man's family tree will have to be junked. They are apparently wrong." —*Joel N. Shurkin, "He's Shaking Mankind's Family Tree," Boston Globe, December 4, 1973, p. 1.
*Thomas Huxley's drawings illustrate the pretense of later pictorial attempts: Apes do not stand erect and man does not stand partly erect, so Huxley gave them both the same stance.
"But Huxley placed more emphasis on similarities in his illustration than dissimilarities, because he wanted to show that the organization of the human skeleton is, in principle, that of an anthropoid. Therefore he depicted the great apes in an 'erect' position but man in not a completely erect one." —"F. Weindenreich, Apes, Giants, and Men (1946), p. 8-7.
Skewed and twisted descriptions stand in place of solid evidence.
"In the great majority of cases the descriptions of the specimens that have been provided by their discoverers have been so turned as to indicate that the fossils in question have some special place or significance in the line of direct human descent, as opposed to that of the family of apes. It is. . unlikely that they could all enjoy this distinction . .
"In the case of primate evolution the inferences are sometimes very insecurely based because of inadequacies of the evidence." —*Julian Huxley, Editor, Evolution as a Process (1958), pp. 300-302.
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