Friday, November 18, 2005

Piltdown Man

Piltdown Man - Piltdown man was one of the most famous hoaxes in science. This site covers the history of the hoax, its reception by the paleontological community, how the hoax was executed, its exposure, myths and misconceptions, and theories about the perpetrator.

Who created this hoax? It is still unknown. Wikipedia noted, "Assigning responsibility for the hoax has been a minor academic industry for a number of years. Charles Dawson was naturally the prime suspect, but a number of prominent persons had been to the site at various times, including Arthur Conan Doyle and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and various theories were proposed naming them. The general idea was that a practical joke had been played on Dawson, or on paleontologists generally, but the locking away of the specimen had prevented immediate discovery, and the huge publicity for the discovery had caused the hoaxer to keep silent."

From the site:

This is the home page for Piltdown man, a paleontological "man who never was". In April of 1996 there was an extended discussion in the talk.origins news group about the Piltdown man hoax. During the discussion I checked the web and discovered that Piltdown man did not have a home page. I resolved to eliminate this deficiency in the scholarly resources of the world wide web; here, for your delectation, is Piltdown man's home page. Corrections and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

This page has been laid out so that it can be read sequentially or so that you can skip around in it using links. It is broken up into sections and subsections. Each section is headed by a list of links to the other sections. Each subsection has links back to the list of sub sections. There are brief biographies and a bibliography with internal links to them through out the text. This page is a self contained, text only, document. However there are links to supporting documents and pictures.

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