Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bone Storms

I thought this may had been a mere re-write of Bergman's previous material on the subject of fraud among paleoanthropologists - Bone Wars, but he has new stuff to report.

Fraud and Forgery in Paleoanthropology (PDF is HERE)

Here's the summary:

A review of the history of paleoanthropology leads to the conclusion that the discipline is far less objective than that for physics, chemistry, or even biology. The field is rife with controversy and fraud, including outright faking. Classic examples include Piltdown man and Hesperopithecus, but many other less well-known examples exist that are reviewed in this paper. Several well-documented examples are cited in some detail to illustrate the types of problems encountered, and the results of fraud in paleoanthropology.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although written in 1970, the comments of evolutionist Sir Solly Zuckerman on the field of palaeoanthropology are apparently still relevant today:

"...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 traces of the steps of the transformation.

As I have already implied, students of fossil primates have not been distinguished for caution when working within the logical constraints of their subject. The record is so astonishing that it is legitimate to ask whether much science is yet to be found in this field at all.

...the diagnostic value of marginal anatomical characters can be very easily over-emphasized...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. They become essential diagnostic features. That, alas, is part of the price we still have to pay for the publicity, and publicity-value, which attaches to the term 'missing link.' The fundamental difficulty--and here I repeat what I have written more than once--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.

...there is...both art and science in anatomical diagnosis. The moral is that when one is diagnosing, too much art tempered with too little science can sometimes be highly dangerous.

...the evolutionary inferences we base on structural comparisons are in the end only speculations.

...So much glamour still attaches to the theme of the missing-link, and to man's relationships with the animal world, that it may always be difficult to exorcise from the comparative study of Primates, living and fossil, the kind of myths which the unaided eye is able to conjure out of a well of wishful thinking.

Beyond the Ivory Tower
Sir Solly Zuckerman
(New York: Taplinger Publishing Co., 1970). pp. 64, 69, 71, 72, 74, 94

10:13 PM, December 28, 2009  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home