Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Current Opinion (1913-1925). New York: Nov 1913. Vol. VOL. LV., Iss. No. 5)

As originally restored by Dr. A. Smith-Woodward: the jaw of Eoanthropus Dawsonii--is two thirds natural size. The missing teeth are shown by the dotted outlines. . Readers of The Illustrated London News which we follow here will remember that there has been much argument as to what manner of man owned that part of a jaw and portion of a skull which were found not long ago in a gravel deposit near Piltdown Common. It was not long before keen controversy arose between Dr. A. Smith-Woodward, keeper of the geological department of the British Museum, and Professor Arthur Keith, conservator of the museam of the Royal College of Surgeons. Both these gentlemen made reconstructions. Dr. Smith. Woodward’s showed that the Piltdown man (or woman) was half man, half ape; Professor Keith’s that he was a man with a brain as big as that of modem man. So it came that at South Kentsington the fragments of bones were made the basis of what a layman would call a “missing link” “Eoantbropus Dawsonii” with a brain capacity of 1,070 cubic centimeters; while at the Royal College of Surgeons they were made the basis of a large, well-modeled skull with a brain- capacity of 1,500 cubic centimeters. This was labeled 'Homo Piltdownensis.'

That was all a fraud. That jaw bone was just an ape jaw bone with some teeth filed down on it. And so on. Yet, you can trace this "scientific fact" of the day all through the peer reviewed literature of the day, from the "Evolution of the Chin" to "Discovery of Human Remains, Four Hundred Thousand Years Old."

It's interesting what people will believe. Especially those who believe that they do not believe anything or take something on "faith." They do not question what they keep not "believing," for it is not as if they actually have faith in it. They are those who try to adhere to the faith of the faithless.

But they do come to believe plenty. There are still plenty of mythological narratives of Naturalism around, and plenty of people stupid and ignorant enough to have faith in them. The National Geographic still publishes claims based on known frauds, along with other stupid and ignorant ideas.

That is the sort of thing my satire of the detectives below is based on. It is the material of satire.


Jason - Band Member said...

Everyone has religion. It's just that only some people actually realize it.

mynym said...

Maybe some people don't want to realize their religion.

If it is not worth realizing....