To: Steve Quarrella Nov1893 09:34:36 Subject: Piltdown Man Steve Quarrella, dreaming of se
From: Marty Leipzig Rec'd
To: Steve Quarrella Nov-18-93 09:34:36
Subject: Piltdown Man
Steve Quarrella, dreaming of seeing the Great Karroo, said to Fredric Rice:
SQ> Hwaet, Fredric!
SQ> 28 Oct 93, dixit Fredric Rice ad Steve Quarrella:
FR> It appears to have been hoaxed by a Christian and debunked by
FR> scientists. God Marty _did_ post a little something on it,
FR> offering some names I have not seen before. And, looking at
SQ> I've missed it completely.
Do not approach 100 C, for I will, by the magic of the dancing
ham-fingers, repost this little (if not slightly abridged)
version of "The Piltdown-town Hoax, or, The Great English
Gravel Pit Fossil Fraud and British Brain Fry".
"Piltdown Man" refers to a fraudulent flock of fossils "found"
in a gravel pit in Piltdown, England, UK, Britain, in the early
part of the heady days of the early 20th century. (Gad...I need
to get another cup of coffee).
Ahhh...that's much better. Anyways, these "fossils" were a
portion of the cranial vault (which was later determined to be
that of a medieval woman (Know her? Just a thought.) and an
apelike mandible (which proved to be a chemically altered
500 year old orang-utan jaw). To the scientists of BAAS (British
Association for the Advancement of Science (British ASS to
those less felicitous), these fossils appeared to be ancestral
to man and were saddled with the moniker "_Eoanthropus
dawsoni_" ("Dawson's dawn-man"...ain't latin great?). There is
a great deal of subterfuge and consternation regarding Dawson
(who found the fossils and later stashed them after he reported
them to the BAAS and was taken slightly less that totally
seriously by a large portion of the constituency.)
Of course, the creationist crowd go all aslather about this,
claiming intentional fraud, purposeful hoax and "those godless
atheistic evolutionists create fossils to support that godless
concept of evolution".
Baloney and baloney^3.
Piltdown was finally laid to rest as a hoax in the 1950's
(after Dawson went the way of all flesh and the fossils were
turned over for further study), but the identity of the
perpetrator still remains somewhat unsolved. It probably was
not Dawson, but the evidence points to the probability that the
hoaxer was none other than the Jesuit scientist Pierre
Teilhard de Chardin. Gotta watch those churchers, they be one
Creationists love to cite Piltdown (erroneously, of course)
as how scientists can be duped into believing what they "wish
to be true". What they refuse to note is the fact that the
Piltdown hoax was probably perpetrated by a churchman in
the first place, and secondarily, the fraud was exposed by
scientists themselves, not by creationists. So when the
creationist crowd holler about Piltdown, just gently remind
them (with a sledgehammer, if necessary) that Piltdown is
a classic case of self-correcting science doing the business
... Creationists are fossils in their own time.
--- Blue Wave/Max v2.12
* Origin: A Little Corner in Time BBS (1:106/113.0)
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank