Creationist Wisdom #701: Nebraska Man

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Daily Gate City of Keokuk, Iowa. Their headline is Evidence based on pig tooth, and the newspaper has a comments section.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we have a preacher — Rev. Lester Dumer of the Messiah Lutheran Church, which has no website. We’ll give you some excerpts from the rev’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

On Thursday, July 21, the Daily Gate City reminded us that in 1925, “On this date, the Scopes ‘monkey trial’ ended in Dayton, Tenn., with John convicted of violating state law for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. The conviction was later overturned.”

Okay. What about it? The rev says:

Perhaps the court in Dayton, Tenn., should have refused to take the case on this basis: scientific truth is determined not by a court but by the presentation of truth to the public.

That’s a strange definition of “scientific truth.” It’s also irrelevant to the constitutional status of a law like Tennessee’s Butler Act, under which Scopes was prosecuted. Let’s read on:

The experts, in their attempt to prove evolution to be factual, used “Nebraska Man” as evidence. Artistic imagination had created “Nebraska Man” from a single tooth.

[*Groan*] At the Scopes Trial, Bryan successfully objected to all of Darrow’s evidence, and all of his expert witnesses, and none of that was allowed into the trial. As for Nebraska Man, a briefly mis-identified fossil, it got a lurid but short-lived exposure in the press, to which the discoverer objected, and its erroneous description as a pre-human tooth was soon retracted. But it was in the news during the Scopes trial. Nevertheless, TalkOrigins has an article saying that Darrow did not intend to mention it — see The role of “Nebraska man” in the creation-evolution debate.

The rev’s brilliant letter continues:

In 1927, it was discovered that the tooth, from which “Nebraska Man” had been created, was the tooth of a peccary (wild pig). Truth will out.

As we said in Common Creationist Claims Confuted:

Nebraska Man is well debunked here by TalkOrigins, but there’s more to say. Nebraska Man is one of the biggest non-frauds in history. His fanciful image that was briefly seen in the press was created by a newspaper illustrator, and it was promptly criticized by the biologist who first suggested the tooth he found might be hominid. He reportedly called the illustration “a figment of the imagination of no scientific value, and undoubtedly inaccurate.” The error in identifying the tooth was discovered three years later. Nebraska Man should be in a category of honest errors, like the canals on Mars.

Here’s more from the rev:

I assume that proponents of evolution and its teachers on longer use “Nebraska Man” or the Scopes trial to support their theory.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Neither has ever been used to support the theory of evolution. And now we come to the end:

A rewarding study of creation begins with Genesis chapter one. Follow that with a two-day visit to the Creation-Science Museum at Petersburg, Kentucky. Above all, ask the teachers of evolution and the teachers of creationism good, searching questions.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! There is nothing more to be said.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #701: Nebraska Man

  1. And what IDer, or book o’BS found the evidence to show the mistake??? Oh! Right they did not do anything! It was found by other scientist who corrected their own mistake.

  2. I don’t believe the Rev. Lester Dumer doesn’t know the truth about “Nebraska Man.” You’ve got to admire these preachers for their diligence. It can’t be easy lying and lying and lying and lying and lying and lying and lying and lying and lying and lying and lying and lying and lying for Jesus.

  3. Do not forget the lesson of the children’s game of Telephone (or Chinese Whispers). It is easy to repeat what one think one hears from a reliable source. It is difficult to trace down the true story.
    Although, with Wikipedia, it ought to be easy.

  4. I think you could make a compelling argument that concluding in the existence of a new species of hominid based on a peccary tooth is still more intellectually rigorous than a belief in special creation in 7 days 7000 years ago. I mean, Nebraska Man is wrong, but I don’t think it’s MORE wrong than special creation.

  5. That is 6 days (no creating done on the Sabbath) 6000 years ago.

  6. @TomS – so true, God, being the all-powerful supernatural entity that He is, needed to rest.

  7. Ah, but the preacher forgets the famous Cardiff Giant hoax where christians were groveling before it as evidence of the bible’s reference to giant people. Easy to fool religious, conspiracy thinking people.

  8. The important point is that it was REAL SCIENTISTS who expressed skepticism about “Nebraska man” in the first place, and REAL SCIENTISTS who identified what that fossil really was–just as happened with the more famous Piltdown man. As L. Long notes above, creationists had nothing to do with it.

  9. “Above all, ask the teachers of evolution and the teachers of creationism good, searching questions.” Good idea. “What about Nebraska man?” is not one of them

  10. Christine Janis

    What’s really funny is that nobody in science today (unless they’re creationist watchers) has even heard of Nebraska Man.