Piltdown Man Proves Darwin Was Wrong

The Discovery Institute has just posted another bizarre article written by Discoveroid “fellow” Michael Flannery. He’s some kind of librarian at the University of Alabama, and he’s also an adjunct instructor of history and sociology — splendid qualifications for a Discoveroid. The last time we wrote about one of his works was Discovery Institute Abducts Fred Hoyle.

Flannery has argued for a Darwin-Hitler connection — see Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Part VI. Further, he wrote a biography of Alfred Wallace, which was published by — who else? — the Discovery Institute Press. He’s also skilled at other creationist techniques — see More Discoveroid Quote Mining by Michael Flannery.

His latest effort at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog is What the Piltdown Hoax Tells Us, 104 Years Later. It’s painful to read and difficult to critique because it takes so many bizarre twists, but we’ll give it a try. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

A curious anniversary falls this weekend. On December 18, 1912, the infamous Piltdown hoax was unveiled to an astonished audience of the Geological Society of London by lawyer and amateur archeologist Charles Dawson (1864-1916) and Arthur Smith Woodward (1864-1944) of the British Museum. What they showed was nothing short of amazing: the apparent remains of a human-like skull attached to an ape-like jaw. Allegedly unearthed at the Piltdown gravel pit in East Sussex, England, it was hailed as the missing link — a truly history-making discovery!

We know all about Piltdown Man. We’ve called it The Creationists’ Savior, because in their twisted version of reality, its exposure as a hoax has forever discredited Darwin’s theory of evolution. However, as we said in that earlier post:

What the creationists don’t understand is that virtually no competent evolutionary biologist knew what to make of Piltdown Man, because it contradicted the theory of evolution. It was scientists — not creationists — who demonstrated that it was bogus. Evolutionary biologists thought that evidence of man’s ancestors would probably be found in Africa, because that’s where so many non-human primates are found. There are no non-human primates native to England, so it’s quite impossible for man to have evolved there, or on any other island with no ancestral candidates. If Piltdown man were real, Darwin would have been decisively proven wrong.

Okay, back to Flannery. He quotes Loren Eiseley, of whom we never heard, who wrote something decades ago:

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), co-discoverer of the theory of natural selection, was unimpressed with the Piltdown “find” from the beginning.

As we shall see, Wallace had his own reasons for doubting the reality of Piltdown Man. Flannery says:

The archeological “discovery” would have confirmed Darwin’s Descent of Man in dramatic fashion. Indeed Piltdown man was, from a Darwinian perspective, even something that would have been predicted.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Darwin had been dead for decades, but he would have laughed at the idea that man evolved in the British isles. After that wild clunker, Flannery tells us — and this is probably true — that Wallace had ceased to believe in the evolution of man, and that was the reason he rejected Piltdown Man. Flannery even says:

Wallace thought that mankind might well have emerged comparatively recently, and that the rapid evolution of the modern human brain would confirm that “distinct and higher agencies” have been responsible for these mental attributes and attainments.

As we’ve discussed before, Wallace seems to have gone insane in his final years, and that is the reason Discoveroids Adopt Alfred Wallace as Godfather. Flannery continues with a discussion of the “mystery” of the “sudden” appearance of the human brain, and at the end of his post he says:

If the Cambrian “explosion” is just too much change over too little time to be explained by Darwinian processes, the human brain is way too much change over way too little time. Perhaps Wallace’s view of the Piltdown hoax still holds an important lesson for us today. Maybe the most dramatic “explosion” of all is the one that rests within our crania.

So there you are, dear reader. There has indeed been an explosion in someone’s cranium. The opinion of Michael Flannery, the Discoveroids’ favorite historian, is that the hoax of Piltdown Man means Darwin was wrong, Wallace was right, and evolution is a fraud.

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

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6 responses to “Piltdown Man Proves Darwin Was Wrong

  1. I’m surprised you haven’t come across Loren Eiseley before. He was one of the great popularizers of science. I remember especially enjoying his The Unexpected Universe.

  2. Flannery’s book is published by Erasmus Press, which is the publishing arm of thebestschools.org. The bestschools.org was founded by James Barham who testified in Kansas for intelligent design. Interestingly they have a page on the best acupuncture schools.

  3. Piltdown man was intelligently designed, by the hoaxers. It is therefore reasonable to assert that the ID movement began with Piltdown Man, an icon of intelligent design.

    In fact, one of the earliest uses of the “design filter” was by scientists who said “hey, wait, these bones do not go together”, and concluded that the skeleton was the product of intelligent design.

  4. I’m actually thinking about writing a novel about the Piltdown farrago, in which Sherlock Holmes will appear as a minor character. He would have been in his late fifties at the time. I’m sure that everyone here knows that Arthur Conan Doyle, his creator, was a major supporter of the acceptance of Piltdown, but I’d like to keep him out of it.

    I don’t think I’ll give a definitive conclusion of who the hoaxer or hoaxers were. Personally, I incline towards Dawson himself.

    And I think I’ll include a creationist character, who will try to destroy the specimen, on the grounds that it is the work of the Devil.

  5. Ed says: “the ID movement began with Piltdown Man, an icon of intelligent design.”

    That’s very good!

  6. If the Cambrian “explosion” is just too much change over too little time to be explained by Darwinian processes, the human brain is way too much change over way too little time.

    Says who? Even the Cambrian explosion isn’t “just too much change over too little time to be explained by Darwinian processes,” at least according to the overwhelming majority of scientists (especially since it’s now recognized as having occurred over a longer stretch of time than originally thought), so why should the evolution of the human brain be?

    Perhaps Wallace’s view of the Piltdown hoax still holds an important lesson for us today. Maybe the most dramatic “explosion” of all is the one that rests within our crania.

    Maybe pinhead creationists’ brains have exploded (that would explain a lot), but not anyone else’s. Life isn’t a Scanners movie.