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Piltdown Man

Piltdown man forgery was such a splendid hoax that there is even a pub named after it

Essay by Graham Moorhouse (with alnowledgement to Ann Coulter)

Piltdown man graphic - 2For fifty years, Piltdown man was for those of the Darwinic faith, the equivalent of the Resurrection for Catholics; it proved beyond all reasonable doubt the truths of their one true religion. 

Piltdown man mysteriously turned up in Piltdown quarry, a gravel pit in Sussex, in 1912.  It was "discovered" by an amateur palaeontologist, Charles Dawson.  It was a skull with a human like head and an ape like jaw.  It was a creature not quite ape and not quite man, rather like some of our more militant trade union leaders.  It gave the Dalwinic faithful a possible link between apes and man that they could now triumphantly pin onto their entirely made-up "tree of life."  This militant trade union leader like fossil could not of course prove evolution.  Nevertheless, the secular press carried headlines on the Piltdown man proclaiming, "Darwin's theory is proved true." 

For the more perseptive, it was a little funny-peculiar just how precisely Piltdown man matched what science fiction had taught us to believe that the "missing link" would look like, rather like a space ship landing with little green men inside.  However, it would seem that such healthy scepticism is not something encouraged in Darwinian circles - far too cynical for the scientific mind.

The Piltdown fossil had been "peer-reviewed", so it must be fact, and was consequently embraced with gusto by Scientific America, still flushed at the time with their success in exposing the "Wright brothers’ 1906 flight hoax".  To be fair, Scientific America is consistant: they have repeatedly refused to publish any of the papers from eminent scientists exposing the global warming scam as a pile of the brown stuff because they have not been "peer-reviewed".  Evolutionary experts were queuing up to confirm the age and origin of the Piltdown bones; Arthur Smith Woodward, the leading geologist at the British Natural History Museum gave them his unequivocal support. 

Dawson was given celebrity status, and showered with praise and prizes.  He was made a fellow of the geological Society and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.  He was even offered a position writing editorials for Scientific America.  We could all now happily pen Eoanthropus dawsoni (Dawson's dawn-man) into our family tree - along presumably with earth worms and slugs. 

For more than 40 years, Piltdown man was taught as scientific fact - rather like safe sex is taught today.  Then, in 1953, it all blew up; it was revealed as a total scam - paradoxically, it was in large part exposed by a scientific process that so impresses Scientific Periodicals like Scientific America: radiocarbon dating.

Carbon dating revealed that the Piltdown man's skull was from a human a mere thousand-years-old, and the jaw was from a recently deceased orangutan!   The jaw had been stained with potassium bichromate to make it look old and the teeth had been filed down to make them look a little more human - this was before you could get your teeth seen to on the National Health.  Notwithstanding the fact that it was not even a good fake, the perpetrators of the hoax had easily managed to dupe the leading Dalwiniacs for half a century!   Nothing can dent the faith of the true believer.


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