The Piltdown Man fraud is generally regarded as the greatest scientific hoax of all time. Charles Dawson, lawyer and amateur archaeologist, geologist, etc., created a phony archaeological scenario with doctored-up artifacts, both hand-delivered by Dawson to the British scientific establishment (mainly Arthur Smith Woodward of the British Museum of Natural History) and planted in the ground, to deceive the world’s greatest scientists of the time (1912-1916) into believing that the remains of an ape-man, a missing link, had been found. Piltdown Man was just one of many frauds committed by Dawson over a time frame of approximately twenty-five years (more on Dawson-as-culprit to come). (See also The Piltdown Forgery by Joseph Weiner, The Piltdown Man Hoax: Case Closed by Miles Russell and Unraveling Piltdown by John Evangelist Walsh).
Piltdown Man was basically, though not exclusively, a British affair. Consider what Roger Lewin had to say in this connection. Bear in mind when reading the following words that these observations come from a hard-core evolutionist and anti-creationist:
“Piltdown Man, the ‘fossil’ that held the British anthropological establishment in its thrall for nigh on four decades…
“…the British anthropological establishment concluded in near unanimity that [orangutan] jaw and [human] cranium were indeed from one individual…Virtually every major voice in British anthropology proclaimed that although the cranium was clearly very modern in aspect, many apelike features could also be discerned; and that while the jaw certainly looked like that of an ape, the trained eye could readily discern important human characteristics in it…
“‘Due to their devotion to these new [evolutionary] ideas,’ says Hammond, ‘a protective screen emerged around the forgery and played a crucial role in its initial acceptance and later defence’.”—Bones of Contention, pg. 60-62
“Given all the many anatomical incongruities in the Piltdown remains, which of course are glaringly obvious from the vantage of the present, it is truly astonishing, that the forgery was so easily embraced, by much of the British establishment at least, any by some notable North American anthropologists, including Henry Fairfield Osborn.” Bones of Contention—pg. 70
To be fair (American) Osborn was initially skeptical that jaw and skull belonged to the same creature (after all, it was “found” in England). Osborn only conceded the authenticity of Piltdown Man to the British after Charles Dawson ingeniously cooked up a second specimen at a second (supposed) location. In today’s cosmopolitan world, it is easy to overlook the major role that nationalistic pride and envy played in the field of paleoanthropology at the time (to say nothing of narcissistic, egomaniacal vainglory-seeking on the part of many involved). A British ape-man was simply irresistible. Indeed, Arthur Smith Woodward went on to title his book on Piltdown Man as “The Earliest Englishman” (1948). Practically every commentator who has written at length on Piltdown Man has remarked upon the powerful influence which nationalism played in the story.
Dawson’s fraud was successful and was not discovered to be a fraud until 40 years later (!) in 1953 by Joseph Weiner and his associates (The Piltdown Forgery by Jospeh Weiner). Most (not all, but most) of the world’s leading scientists accepted the “find” (or acquiesced to majority opinion) as a genuine ape-man. Ridiculous “reconstructions” of Eoanthropus Dawsonii (“Dawson’s Dawn Man”) wound up proudly and triumphantly on display in the British Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History deceiving virtually the entire world for 40 years. Two generations of schoolchildren were raised on a monumental lie in their textbooks.
It should be pointed out in this connection that the fraud was easily detectable even in 1916 if only a simple magnifying glass had been aimed at the filed down molars, or if the impossibly conflicting angles of wear on adjacent molars had been properly noted. Moreover, a comparative specific-gravity test conducted on BOTH jaw and cranium would have proven conclusively that the jaw and skull came from two different creatures. Only the cranium was so tested. Likewise, a chemical evaluation of BOTH cranium and jaw would have revealed that the jaw had as much organic matter as fresh bone, but only the cranium was evaluated for this and was shown to have no organic matter at all (Weiner, The Piltdown Forgery, pg. 71). These omissions were just a few of the critical failures (among several others) of due diligence on Arthur Smith Woodward’s part, and seem inexplicable. After all, the initial dispute about the “finds” was whether the skull and jaw really came from the same creature. Woodward’s derelictions of duty at so many crucial junctures furthered along the hoax and appear suspicious so I can understand why some point the finger at him as the perpetrator. However, there is no real evidence implicating Woodward as the actual perpetrator, just circumstantial inference. Woodward is certainly culpable in the Piltdown Man fraud but not as the perpetrator. Opportunist maybe, but not perpetrator.
It is my considered opinion, having read nearly every major work on Piltdown Man and many secondary works, that Arthur Smith Woodward had his doubts about the genuineness of the Piltdown Man “remains” as a singular creature. But Woodward had what he wanted (support for the hypothesis of evolution—and his particular hypothesis at that) and he was not about to rock the boat, especially since he had his ambitions set on the directorship of the British Museum of Natural History. A monumental discovery such as an accepted “proof” of human evolution, a missing link between man and ape, would go a long way to obtaining that ambition. Better to just leave matters as they were and not potentially upset the apple cart by poking around too much and possibly uncovering details not amenable to the storyline.
Evolutionists respond with resentment when creationists refer to the Piltdown Man hoax (and the Nebraska Man hoax) in their polemics. Evolutionists seem to think there is something unfair or prejudicially irrelevant about creationists’ citations of these hoaxes. But even such high-level evolutionists as Lord Solly Zuckerman and Roger Lewin Ph.D., as we have seen, have done so at some length and they have strongly generalized those hoaxes as representative of how the entire field of paleoanthropology functions. Such observations and criticisms of the field of paleoanthropology have by no means been the exclusive domain of creationists. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man hoaxes. Some evolutionists have acknowledged those lessons. From all indications, however, evolutionists in general are resolutely opposed to learning those lessons. This opposition belies fears that the lessons so-learned will overturn the credibility of evolution in general. And they may very well be right.
Piltdown and Placebos: the Evolutionary Placebo Effect
“I am also aware of the fact that, at least in my own subject of paleoanthropology, ‘theory’—heavily influenced by implicit ideas—almost always dominates ‘data’.”—David Pilbeam, Curator of paleoanthropology at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, quoted by Roger Lewin, Bones of Contention, pg. 127
During the course of my time researching the Piltdown Man hoax, a very remarkable insight occurred to me: the Piltdown Man hoax created an actual scientific control group testing the field of paleoanthropology. Let me explain…
It has long been a known and accepted fact among scientific researchers that the human mind can have amazing effects on the human body; this includes everything from lowering blood pressure, to eliminating headaches, to healing skin rashes (or even creating rashes), ad infinitum. The human mind can exert a very powerful influence upon the biological processes of the human body.
In scientific research, especially in the testing of new drugs, control groups are routinely used to eliminate or counterbalance the “placebo effect,” that is to say, one group of people are given a real drug (the test group) and the control group is given a false drug that is in reality nothing more than a pill or injection of inert material. The subjects in both groups are told what the drug is supposed to do. Because there is a very real “mind over matter” aspect to the human body the people in the control group cannot be allowed to know they have been given a false drug. (Interesting, is it not, how real-world practical science is pursued upon metaphysical, supernatural assumptions?)
In drug testing where placebos are given to control groups, an underlying assumption of this type of research is that BOTH of the groups are subject to the placebo effect, not just the group given the false drug. The test group given the real drug is also subject to psychologically-induced placebo effects. In the actual test group, that is to say the group that is given the real drug, the goal of the experiment is to distinguish in that group the actual effects of the drug from the psychological effect of their minds upon their bodies. The only way to realistically accomplish that goal is to compare the results to a control group administered a false drug. Thus, the actual efficacy of the drug is determined. That is a gross oversimplification, of course, but that is the basic idea. This is all standard procedure for drug testing.
What does all this have to do with evolution and the Piltdown Man hoax? It is my assertion that the Piltdown Man hoax, in “administering” a fraud (a false drug, if you will) upon a group of evolution-minded scientists (paleoanthropologists), inadvertently created an ACTUAL control group experiment valuable in testing and comparing the validity of scientific research in regard to the field of evolutionary paleoanthropology as a whole.
Regarding the Piltdown Man hoax, and its relevance to evolutionary research in general, we are concerned here with what I liken to the placebo effect. The Piltdown Man hoax functioned inadvertently as an effective control group experiment to test how scientific investigation as a whole is actually conducted by evolutionary scientists and how valid evolutionary conclusions are. The scientists involved in the Piltdown Man investigation may be compared to the subjects in a drug testing experiment given a false drug and then compared to the scientific discipline of paleoanthropology as a whole who are investigating real artifacts that need to be evaluated and properly interpreted.
To my mind, the results of the control group aspect of the Piltdown Man fraud are the most important and significant aspect of the whole Piltdown Man affair. The Piltdown Man “artifacts” (the human cranium, the orangutan jaw, the conveniently-missing condyle connecting jaw to skull, the filed-down teeth, the fauna, the artificially stained paleoliths) were the equivalent of a placebo, and the outcome of the research (the ape-man, Eoanthropus dawsonii, Piltdown Man) constituted the placebo effect.
Piltdown Man was not real. He was conjured up and existed only in the minds of the evolutionary scientists who were utterly desperate to have their missing link—especially an English missing link. We learn from this “experiment” to be on guard for subjective analyses of evolutionary scientists in their assessments of the artifacts at their disposal.
Here is the vital question: How much of what we are told about evolution in general by evolutionists is merely the subjective psychological effect of the human mind upon scientific conclusions? Or to phrase it according to our analogy: How much of what we are told by evolutionary scientists regarding their investigations in geology, paleontology, biology, genetics, etc., is nothing more than a manifestation of the “placebo effect?” In the Piltdown Man affair it was in retrospect embarrassingly and indisputably very, very immense. Conclusions were drawn with unshakable certitude by the evolutionists that were not realistically and objectively warranted by the evidence at their disposal. Not only that, but it exercised a very considerable effect, not upon novices but upon a very large group of the world’s leading evolutionary scientists of the day.
As Roger Lewin notes:
“ (T)he real story of it all has been somewhat obscured: ‘namely, what could have led so many eminent scientists to embrace such a forgery?’ How is it that trained men, the greatest experts of their day, could look at a set of modern human bones—the cranial fragments—and ‘see’ a clear simian signature in them; and ‘see’ in an ape’s jaw the unmistakable signs of humanity? The answers, inevitably, have to do with the scientists’ expectations and their effects on the interpretation of data.”—Bones of Contention, pg. 61
Quoting Zuckerman again:
“Let us admit it—anatomists were in fact deluding themselves about their capacity to diagnose marginal human and ape-like characters in bones and teeth.
“How are we to assure we are not fooled again? There can, in fact be no final assurance.” Beyond the Ivory Tower, pg. 73
We are justifiably certain, therefore, that this phenomenon, the evolutionary placebo effect, is widespread and representative of the entire endeavor of evolutionary “science.” Evolutionists will forcefully dispute this generalization, of course, but since we have an ACTUAL control group test case (actually, at least two) proving the pervasiveness and reality of the phenomenon, I say the burden of proof rests upon the evolutionists to prove that it is not generally true. We certainly do not have a test case proving it is not true.
That is the principal lesson of the Piltdown Man affair. I am of the opinion that the true lessons of the Piltdown Man hoax have never really been learned, or at least not internalized, and so the evolutionary “placebo effect” continues to reign supreme in their scientific projects. There is no inkling of a reason to believe otherwise.
Quoting Zuckerman again:
“Where there is any possibility that the fossil may fall into the class of so-called missing links, the likelihood is that any small divergences will become exaggerated…That, alas, is the price we have to pay for the publicity, and publicity-value, which attaches to the term ‘missing link’. The fundamental difficulty…is that the descriptions of possible human or hominoid fossils that have been provided by their discoverers have almost always been so turned as to indicate that the remains in question have some special place or significance in the line of direct human descent, as opposed to that of the family of apes…But all these motives are secondary to the desire for profit.”—Beyond the Ivory Tower, pg. 71
“Whodunit?” and Why the Identity of the Perpetrator is Important.
Charles Dawson was the perpetrator of the Piltdown Man hoax.
Charles Dawson had a certain duality of role in the Piltdown Man affair. He was in certain respects an insider, and in other respects an outsider. He was a lawyer by profession without a university degree. But do not underestimate Dawson. More relevant here, he was an amateur archaeologist, geologist, etc. He was amazingly diverse in his interests and talents and activities. Dawson was a force to be reckoned with. For example, he did not hesitate to take on England’s leading anatomist, Sir Arthur Keith, over the interpretation of the Piltdown Man skull. This fact should give the reader a good idea of Dawson’s own self-estimation of his knowledge and expertise.
Like a magician working a crowd of spectators, Charles Dawson knew his audience, the greatest scientists of the time, and he knew how to dazzle them with his wizardry. (Dawson was even known locally as “The Wizard of Sussex” due to his great string of “successes” of seemingly significant archaeological “finds.”) In Dawson’s case, he literally knew them, not just knew of them. He was personally acquainted with many of the scientists involved, especially Arthur Smith Woodward. He knew what made them tick. Dawson had a very firm grasp of their internal clockwork and he used that knowledge not so much to deceive them, but–to get them to deceive themselves. This was Dawson’s true talent. If we do not grasp this point, then we do not fully understand what happened at Piltdown and exactly what it is that Dawson did. Dawson knew what Arthur Smith Woodward, Grafton Elliot Smith, Sir Arthur Keith, Ray Lankester and the others wanted to hear. And by giving them what they wanted, a plausible story of ape-to-man evolution, he managed to manipulate them. In Woodward’s case, Dawson gave Woodward precisely what he wanted, which was “evidence” of human brain evolution occurring prior to jaw and tooth evolution, a point of contention among evolutionists of the time.
After all of the numerous investigations into the Piltdown Man fraud, there can be no question about who the culprit was. The perpetrator of the Piltdown Man fraud was Charles Dawson and only Charles Dawson. There was no co-conspirator. Having researched nearly everything written on the Piltdown Man fraud, and weighed the case against every suspect named, I am prepared to be dogmatic on that point.
Almost the entire case against Charles Dawson was made from the very beginning of the exposure of the hoax by Joseph Weiner. In addition to the actual Piltdown affair, Weiner also exposed the fact that Dawson had been involved in a whole series of scientific frauds prior to Piltdown Man over approximately a 25 year time frame, although Weiner in 1953 had no idea that Dawson’s frauds were greatly more extensive than he uncovered. Weiner also exposed Dawson’s real estate chicanery against the Sussex Archaeological Society (this certainly goes to the character issue), and extensive plagiarism regarding the history of Hastings Castle. Charles Dawson, it turned out, was a very naughty boy.
It is hard to know where to begin or what to focus upon in the labyrinthine tale of the Piltdown Man fraud, the subsequent examination, quarrels about the nature and significance of the “remains,” the fraud’s exposure, and the hunt for the perpetrator. There are so many names involved in the original events, and then numerous names accused as the guilty party after the fraud was exposed, that the whole affair has become in certain respects like a gigantic, tangled ball of string. It is important in the Piltdown Man hoax to not lose sight of the forest for the trees, and to discern what is truly significant, and what is mere unfounded speculation. And that is what has happened to many commentators. It is my judgment that all of the investigators who accuse someone other than Charles Dawson have either gotten lost in the labyrinth, or perhaps have some ax to grind, or are simply trying to make a name for themselves.
I would urge anyone who wants to research the Piltdown Man hoax in depth to begin by reading Joseph Weiner’s, The Piltdown Forgery, and Miles Russell’s, The Piltdown Man Hoax: Case Closed. Another worthwhile treatment of the subject is Unraveling Piltdown by John Evangelist Walsh. This present article is by no means an in-depth treatment of the subject, but just an overview with some miscellaneous observations I believe to be significant about the affair.
Piltdown Man is not just an interesting story, although it certainly is that. As I noted in my previous article, the Piltdown Man affair shines the spotlight upon some very significant things about modern paleoanthropology (the study of ancient man) and it tells us something significant about the scientists involved in paleoanthropology, and the nature of the conclusions they draw about the evidence they examine.
The question of who perpetrated the fraud is equally illuminating. The rampant speculations and wild flights of fancy about the identity of the perpetrator both by scientists and laymen, and the numerous men accused of the fraud, are every bit as loaded with subjective imaginings as is the evaluation of the Piltdown “evidence” and “artifacts.” The list of accused suspects is almost as long as anybody who ever uttered a word on the subject. As I noted above, the true perpetrator, Charles Dawson, was exposed right from the beginning by Joseph Weiner along with the exposure of the fraud. At this late date, there ought to be no more wild imaginations about alternate culprits or co-conspirators. All the basic elements of Dawson’s culpability were exposed by Weiner (see The Piltdown Forgery). Weiner may have done us all a disservice in this regard, however, because he stopped just barely short of a formal accusation against Dawson. This created the impression that Weiner’s identification of the guilty party was tentative. But this was due to angry responses from Dawson’s defenders and threats of lawsuits by Dawson’s heirs (his stepchildren). Understandable, I guess, but Weiner’s reticence to make a formal accusation against Dawson spawned virtually a whole genre of speculative literature. It is very clear in The Piltdown Forgery whom Weiner believed to be the perpetrator.
As I began to obtain a good familiarity with the Piltdown fraud, the role of Charles Dawson as the perpetrator seemed to me beyond dispute. In light of the facts, Dawson absolutely towers above every other named suspect by a long shot. Why, then, are so many others accused as the perpetrator? With the entire basic case laid out plainly by Joseph Weiner with all of the critical elements, WHY do we find paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould accusing Pierre Tielhard de Chardin of complicity? Or why do we find Gerrell Drawhorn accusing Arthur Smith Woodward? Or how is it that L. Harrison Matthews accuses Martin Hinton of joining in the fun? Or why does author Ronald Millar accuse the preeminent Grafton Elliot Smith in his full-length book on the subject, The Piltdown Men? One would almost think that Weiner had never published The Piltdown Forgery. If Charles Dawson enlisted the aid of a co-conspirator in the Piltdown Man fraud, it was the first time he did so in his twenty-five year career in fraud.
One reason, if not the major reason, why some evolutionists posit a different perpetrator other than Dawson is to attempt to lessen the obvious culpability of the evolutionists involved; if Arthur Smith Woodward or Grafton Elliot Smith, or Sir Arthur Keith, or Teilhard de Chardin or another one of the great minds of the time was the perpetrator, then the fraud can be characterized as a consummate masterpiece of great expertise of one scientist against other scientists. One could understand the success of the fraud if one of the scientists had been the perpetrator. The fraud, indeed, had a certain kind of genius about it. A lot of preparation and planning went into the fraud. But it also had some glaring defects as a work of deception, and these defects went inexplicably unexamined, untested, misunderstood or passed over by virtually all of the principals involved.
There are many commentators on Piltdown Man who indulge in labyrinthine obfuscation, delibertate (in my view) muddying of the waters, by suggesting (or strenuously defending) the assertion that one of the many scientists involved in the investigation was also the perpetrator or co-perpetrator with Dawson or some third party. The attempt by many to lessen the culpability of the scientists involved in the Piltdown Man affair is done for propaganda value. It is indulged in with an eye to the present, not the past. The underlying motivation behind all of the accusations against the great names of the time is to insulate the current Darwinian establishment against skepticism regarding their evolutionary assertions. Better to sacrifice one great name than to let the entire field of evolutionary speculation be called into question!
The CREDIBILITY of the Darwinian establishment is absolutely essential to the ability to maintain the façade of scientific objectivity. The Piltdown Man fraud (and the Nebraska Man hoax, for that matter) blows this myth to pieces no matter who perpetrated the hoax. But the proposition that it was accomplished by a layman, a NON-member of the Darwinian academic elite by means of a hoax with some glaring weaknesses makes the matter much, much worse for the Darwinian establishment. Their extreme readiness in near unanimity to take a marginally plausible scenario and vastly exaggerate the certitude of (evolutionary) assertions which could be legitimately deduced from the evidence at hand speaks volumes about the nature of the Darwinian establishment. The commentators who have undertaken thorough works on the subject of Piltdown Man are sensitive to this fact. Note what Ronald Millar has to say:
“But the spectacle of the learned hoodwinked by the layman appeals to the vulgar sense of humour. An otherwise disinterested public picked on this aspect alone…Charles Dawson became a folk hero for a very brief period.” –pg. 10, The Piltdown Men.
This clearly bothers evolutionist Millar; note the use of the prejudicial adjective “vulgar.” As a faithful team player and good “company man,” Millar closes ranks with the Darwinian-academic-scientific elite to buttress their credibility. Not willing to challenge the façade of infallible objectivity, or something close to infallibility, of the Darwinian establishment, Millar accuses the preeminent anatomist Grafton Elliot Smith as the guilty perpetrator of the Piltdown Man hoax. Of this, says Millar, “I firmly believe.”
So what is Millar’s evidence which is so compelling against Grafton Elliot Smith? What is Millar’s smoking gun? What evidence supplies the ground for such firm conviction? It is Grafton Elliot Smith’s silence about the defects of the fraud and Woodward’s faulty reconstruction of the skull! Says Millar:
“His complete failure to assist [Arthur Smith] Woodward is in my opinion, highly incriminatory.”—pg. 234
Huh? Am I missing something here? ALL of the scientists in the affair were self-deluded by the hoax. Why should Grafton Elliot Smith be any different? Inaction cannot prove anything. Millar goes on to acknowledge , “at the time of the ‘planting’ of the fossils, Smith was in what might be considered a backwater appointment in Cairo” and “At the time of the Piltdown discoveries Smith was mostly in Egypt.” This consideration at a minimum conclusively removes any possibility whatsoever that Grafton Elliot Smith perpetrated the actual mechanics of the hoax. Realizing this, Millar proposes possible collusion between Dawson and Smith. Millar admits, “Try as I may, I have not been able to come up with concrete evidence of the Australian’s [Smith’s] participation.” But then Millar turns right around and says that Dawson as perpetrator “does not fit the bill. And that Smith does” (–pg. 236). This suggests Smith as the lone perpetrator!
Millar must be kidding! Frankly, this is way too much incoherence for me! Millar’s accusation against Grafton Elliot Smith is reckless and irresponsible and patently not credible at all. Millar obviously had no rational basis whatsoever for accusing Smith. Millar simply had a preference, for reasons not explicitly stated, that somebody other than Dawson should be the perpetrator. There is not even any plausible evidence, to say nothing of proof, of a Dawson-Smith nexus. Yet Millar had the effrontery to write a book making a formal, public accusation against Smith.
This effort on Millar’s part was all on behalf of a “higher cause.” This accusation of Millar’s is a propaganda effort to edify and defend the Darwinian establishment. Millar, on the basis of the flimsiest basis conceivable, offers up Grafton Elliot Smith, a preeminent scientist, as a kind of scapegoat to take away the sins of the Darwinian establishment as a whole. If Grafton Elliot Smith was the perpetrator, this provides a plausible scenario regarding how and why nearly the entire leadership of evolutionary paleoanthropology was duped. The inference Millar is making is that the hoax was so expertly conceived, and so expertly planned and so expertly executed by a fellow scientist, that it is perfectly understandable why they were fooled.
But this is all hogwash. It is perfectly understandable why the Darwinian establishment was duped, but it is not for Millar’s reasons. The fraud of layman, Charles Dawson, was successful because it gave nearly all of the leading evolutionary scientists what they so desperately wanted, that is, support for their religious convictions, the religion of Naturalism, and the graven image, evolution, erected in honor of their false god, to which they bow down and worship and dismiss all rationality in doing so.
I turn now to a specific detail of the Piltdown Man storyline going right to Dawson’s guilt like a bullseye. Dawson’s story about how he came into possession of the original “artifact,” part of a human cranium, is that it was given to him by (unnamed) workers digging a pit for road fill material. Dawson’s claim is that they gave him what they assumed to be part of a coconut found in the pit, which Dawson recognized to be part of an ancient skull.
John Evangelist Walsh notes:
“If Charles Dawson was innocent of all complicity in the Piltdown affair, then it is plain that everything he told about it from his own knowledge, barring oversights, must be true. His story about the diggers at the pit finding an intact skull, which they took to be a coconut, smashing it to fragments while saving a piece for him, must be true if he was blameless. But the coconut story is the very element in the tangled tale of Piltdown’s beginnings that, in strict logic cannot be true. Once the fact of forgery has been established, especially a forgery so far-reaching and demanding of such great pains to prepare, any such haphazard beginning is ruled out.
“The notion that the original forged cranium was planted intact in the pit, its discovery left to the whim of busy, unconcerned diggers is nonsense. The forger in that case would have lost control of his project at the start, for he never could have been assured of the outcome…
“Further, if the men did find and proceed to smash the skull, deliberately or otherwise, the breakage pattern certainly would not be the particular one required by the forger.”— (i.e., the condyle connecting the jaw to the skull was conveniently missing making proof-positive association of the two artifacts impossible to determine.) emph. suppl., pg. 212, Unraveling Piltdown
These considerations are decisive, proving Charles Dawson lied about the origin and provenance of the finds, thus directly connecting Dawson with fraud in the case. Any reasonable person, wishing to accuse anyone else as perpetrator, must surely concede both the weight and solidity of Walsh’s observations here.
Another aspect of the Piltdown Man hoax which I find highly significant concerns the basic scenario manufactured by Dawson, which is the alleged close proximity to which skull and jaw had to one another when they were “found.” This was Dawson’s primary persuading element for it would have been quite a coincidence for the skull and jaw to be found so closely together if they did not have some relation to one another. Dawson understood this and so did the whole cadre of scientists involved in the case. However, absolute proof that skull and jaw belonged together could only have been supplied by the connecting condyle which was, of course, conveniently broken off of the skull and missing. The other persuading element supplied by Dawson was a second find, “Piltdown II,” allegedly found about a mile away and also providing more skull and jaw material of an identical creature. Now there were TWO Piltdown Men.
Piltdown II won over a lot of scientists who had remained skeptical up to that point, including Americans Henry Fairfield Osborn of the American Museum of Natural History, along with his fellows there, William Diller Matthew, James H. McGregor and, most significantly, William King Gregory (pg. 105, 110, Piltdown: A Scientific Forgery by Frank Spencer). This was a major defection from the camp of Gerrit Miller of the Smithsonian who was maintaining the jaw and skull came from two separate creatures.
Frank Spencer comments:
“(T)he fact that it had been recovered from a spot immediately adjacent to where Woodward had found a cranial fragment, led them to conclude that the jaw had belonged to the shattered skull. To have supposed otherwise, as several critics later did, was, in Woodward’s opinion, unjustified. The likelihood of making such a find ‘in a single cubic yard of gravel’, would not only be ‘startling’, but also defied the laws of probability.”—pg. 34, Piltdown: A Scientific Forgery, emph. supp.
Evolutionists, however, are very SELECTIVE about recognizing the validity of probability and mathematical significance of data. When Charles Dawson snookered the top scientists in Britain with the Piltdown Man hoax, he was successful in doing so by making sure he gave the scientists not merely one but two specimens of Piltdown Man to eliminate any possibility in their minds about the likelihood of chance deposition of remains, and he made sure the jaw and cranium were (allegedly) in unusually close proximity to one another. The scientists of the time did not require three or four such occurrences to draw their conclusions, and certainly not hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of such occurrences to convince them that the ape jaw and human skull fragments belonged together.
Yet when it comes to thousands upon thousands (indeed millions) of startling “coincidences” of living organisms sporting organic structures with irreducible complexity indicating intelligent design, the evolutionists are in complete psychological denial of the significance of mathematical probability. (See Darwin’s Black Box by Michael J. Behe.) Moreover, with the (astronomical) statistical odds against the likelihood of random formation of even a single one of the simplest of biologically functional proteins to form the basics of living organisms to get life started in the first place, the evolutionists are again in complete defiance of the significance of what the laws of mathematics loudly shout out to them. Again, with millions of unlikely coincidences in the form of specified coded information arrayed in the genetic makeup of living organisms, the evolutionists are in complete denial of the laws of mathematical probability. Two or three such coincidences is not enough for them. Neither are millions. (See Darwin’s Doubt by Stephen C. Meyer.)
One lone, single unlikely coincidence at Piltdown was enough to get evolutionists to rush to conclusions favorable to evolutionary hypotheses (without closely examining the evidence), but they remain unmovably entrenched in denial against literally millions of unlikely coincidences in the makeup of living organisms indicating intelligent creation. Such is the hypocrisy of evolutionists.
Another possibility is that Dawson, a high level freemason, had conspired with others to perpetrate the hoax on the people of the world so that the pseudoscience of evolution and might take root with this false missing link. Unfortunately, there are too many missing links to connect the dots of the entire hoaxers, but we might conclude from all of the evidences on this site of the long war on Christianity and its conspirators, that these were likely of the same secret society.
In 1913, amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson discovered a human cranium alongside an apelike jaw. Declared the possible missing link between human and ape, the Piltdown fossils essentially impeded the infant science of paleontology for 40 years?because they were the only exception to the rule that showed physical changes preceded enlargement of the brain?until they were proven a hoax in 1952. Through the use of numerous original documents and all other research on Piltdown, Edgar Award winner Walsh (The Shadow Rise, LJ 9/1/93) creates a powerful and convincing exposition of how the deception was accomplished. The 11 most likely suspects are examined in terms of opportunity and motive, and four suspects are considered in depth: Conan Doyle, Teilhard de Chardin, Arthur Keith, and Charles Dawson. Walsh believes the importance of solving the Piltdown forgery at this late date is twofold: to show the influence of a prevailing paradigm on thinking and discovery and to protect innocent suspects, which can be done only by proving the identity of the real forger. Easily the definitive work on this topic and, one would hope, the final word on the identity of the perpetrator, this book is riveting and compelling. Highly recommended for all collections.?Gloria Maxwell, Kansas City P.L., Mo.
In 2000, biologist Jonathan Wells took the science world by storm with Icons of Evolution, a book showing how biology textbooks routinely promote Darwinism using bogus evidence—icons of evolution like Ernst Haeckel’s faked embryo drawings and peppered moths glued to tree trunks. Critics of the book complained that Wells had merely gathered up a handful of innocent textbook errors and blown them out of proportion. Now, in Zombie Science, Wells asks a simple question: If the icons of evolution were just innocent textbook errors, why do so many of them still persist? Science has enriched our lives and led to countless discoveries. But now, Wells argues, it’s being corrupted. Empirical science is devolving into zombie science, shuffling along unfazed by opposing evidence. Discredited icons of evolution rise from the dead while more icons—equally bogus—join their ranks. Like a B horror movie, they just keep coming! Zombies are make believe, but zombie science is real—and it threatens not just science, but our whole culture. Is there a solution? Wells is sure of it, and points the way.
Throughout his distinguished and unconventional career, engineer-turned-molecular-biologist Douglas Axe has been asking the questions that much of the scientific community would rather silence. Now, he presents his conclusions in this brave and pioneering book. Axe argues that the key to understanding our origin is the “design intuition”—the innate belief held by all humans that tasks we would need knowledge to accomplish can only be accomplished by someone who has that knowledge. For the ingenious task of inventing life, this knower can only be God.
Starting with the hallowed halls of academic science, Axe dismantles the widespread belief that Darwin’s theory of evolution is indisputably true, showing instead that a gaping hole has been at its center from the beginning. He then explains in plain English the science that proves our design intuition scientifically valid. Lastly, he uses everyday experience to empower ordinary people to defend their design intuition, giving them the confidence and courage to explain why it has to be true and the vision to imagine what biology will become when people stand up for this truth.
Armed with that confidence, readers will affirm what once seemed obvious to all of us—that living creatures, from single-celled cyanobacteria to orca whales and human beings, are brilliantly conceived, utterly beyond the reach of accident.
Our intuition was right all along.