The Imaginary Family Tree of Man Australopithecus Homo habilis
The Misconception about Homo rudolfensis Homo erectus Neanderthal s: Their Anatomy and Culture Archaic Homo sapiens , Homo heidelbergensis and Cro-Magnon Man
The Collapse of the Family Tree Latest Evidence: Sahelanthropus tchadensis
and The Missing Link That Never Was
The Secret History of Homo sapiens Huts and Footprints












 The Piltdown Man Scandal

In 1912, a well-known doctor and amateur paleoanthropologist named Charles Dawson came out with the assertion that he had found a jawbone and a cranial fragment in a pit in Piltdown, England. Even though the jawbone was more ape-like, the teeth and the skull were like a man's. These specimens were labelled the "Piltdown man." Alleged to be 500,000 years old, they were displayed as an absolute proof of human evolution in several museums. For more than 40 years, many scientific articles were written on "Piltdown man," many interpretations and drawings were made, and the fossil was presented as important evidence for human evolution. No fewer than 500 doctoral theses were written on the subject.232 While visiting the British Museum in 1921, leading American paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn said "We have to be reminded over and over again that Nature is full of paradoxes" and proclaimed Piltdown "a discovery of transcendant importance to the prehistory of man."233

In 1949, Kenneth Oakley, from the British Museum's Paleontology Department, attempted to use "fluorine testing," a new test used for determining the date of fossils. A trial was made on the fossil of Piltdown man. The result was astonishing. During the test, it was realized that the jawbone of Piltdown man did not contain any fluorine. This indicated that it had remained buried no more than a few years. The skull, which contained only a small amount of fluorine, showed that it was only a few thousand years old.

It was determined that the teeth in the jawbone, belonging to an orangutan, had been worn down artificially and that the "primitive" tools discovered with the fossils were simple imitations that had been sharpened with steel implements. In the detailed analysis completed by Joseph Weiner, this forgery was revealed to the public in 1953. The skull belonged to a 500-year-old man, and the jaw bone belonged to a recently deceased ape! The teeth had been specially arranged in a particular way and added to the jaw, and the molar surfaces were filed in order to resemble those of a man. Then all these pieces were stained with potassium dichromate to give them an old appearance. These stains began to disappear when dipped in acid. Sir Wilfred Le Gros Clark, who was in the team that uncovered the forgery, could not hide his astonishment at this situation, and said: "The evidences of artificial abrasion immediately sprang to the eye. Indeed so obvious did they seem it may well be asked-how was it that they had escaped notice before?"234 In the wake of all this, "Piltdown man" was hurriedly removed from the British Museum where it had been displayed for more than 40 years.

For 40 years, Piltdown man was accepted as the greatest evidence for human evolution. Evolutionist fossil experts claimed to have found a lot of transitional features in the skull. It only emerged later that the fossil was a fake.

232 Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1980, p. 59.
233 Stephen Jay Gould, "Smith Woodward's Folly," New Scientist, 5 April 1979, p. 44.
234 Stephen Jay Gould, "Smith Woodward's Folly," New Scientist, 5 April 1979, p. 43. (emphasis added)