0x7D5 June 0x11:

Paleontologist evidence pointing the quest for the identity of the Piltdown Man hoaxer in startling new directions

For decades, a rather low-energy controversy over who exactly was responsible for the fabrication of the fossilized remains of Eoanthropus Dawsonii, popularly known as Piltdown Man, has raged whenever paleontologists have had too much to drink and succeeded in running all the dinosaur freaks out of the room.

Perhaps most galling to the scientific community is not the fact of the hoax, but rather the fact that it took so long for them to discover what was, in fact, a rather amateurish job of falsification.

Recently, professor Sirawaddi Chardon, working for the Maryland Institute of Technology (no relation), took some time aside from his thesis project ("Phrenology: a science ahead of its time?", available in hardcover this fall) to reexamine the infamous controversy. Using electron micrographs and computer-aided reconstruction, he was able to examine the ersatz fossils in greater detail than possible using only physical analysis. His conclusion is that the very crudity of the forgery is the key to uncovering the forger's identity. To quote his paper (full text available to subscribers): "The erosion of the chewing surface of the creature's molars was definitely performed using primitive stone instrumentation. Yet, at the same time, the erosion shows a precision difficult to reproduce without late twentieth century machinery not available to any of the initial researchers. It was clearly carried out with great delicacy over a long period of time. Interestingly, the patterns of simulated wear on the molars show distinct variation, implying that at least two separate individuals were involved."

It appeared, at the time of that writing, that the paper was doomed to vanish into the obscurity of pithecanthropological journals, raising only more questions. Then researchers engaged on an unrelated project inadvertantly uncovered what would turn out to be the pivotal piece of the explanation. Or, in Dr. Chardon's words, "I was relaxing in my study, leafing through an old issue of Scientific American in a pleasant state of intoxication, highlighting those of my colleagues articles which I felt to be poorly researched, when I came across a picture of a stone awl that bore a striking resemblance to my sketch of the tool used to erode the pithecanthropus premolar. For a moment, my heart raced - someone else had beaten me to the discovery, perhaps aided by research stolen by the graduate student I had to dismiss after her wildly exaggerated allegations of inappropriate sexual advances threatened to tarnish the reputation of my Institute. I turned to the beginning of the article and read it carefully, relieved to discover that the impudent strumpet was uninvolved in this research. I immediately set out to Flores to discuss further the implications of the discovery to my studies. Upon arrival, I made several detailed sketches of the stone tools found at the site; while I was unable to obtain approval to remove any of them from the site, I did obtain enough information to enable my computer models to conclusively prove what I had at first believed merely a wild speculation, scarcely worthy of spending departmental funds on the first-class airfare to investigate."

Dr. Chardon took a deep breath and concluded, thrusting a ream of printouts at this researcher, "It is now clear that the Piltdown Man was the first, overlooked, clue to a hitherto unknown human species - but not to the ancestor that that wretch Dawson had first suspected. For the erosion necessary to manufacture the teeth of Eoanthropus Dawsonii was, in fact, accomplished using a type of stone tool identical to those manufactured by Homo Floresiensis, and with a delicacy that no Homo Sapiens hand could have ever managed."


Fustigator from on 0x7D5 July 0x2:
You know what sucks? That much, not, but suck still never-the-more-or-less, is that no one can count comments there fore nobody can tell whether or not there's any comments here to read. It just seems like there is a comment total of zero so why bother to read them, one thinks, and that think leads quickly to think number 2 which is why should I leave one myself since it will not be read, since nothing will count it as existing? I am a Fustigator, it is my Job to bitch and moan and surely more important things exist to center this important attention and activity to, but I am on my lazy meds today and so this is my Fustigation extent. How can this be rectumfied? Make it count comments, so comments will count. This has been a pubic orifice message.


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