Sir Arthur Keith’s Tribute to Charles Dawson

“The fossil remains found at Piltdown by Mr. Dawson set students of man’s evolution the most difficult task that has confronted them hitherto. In his characterization, Piltdown Man was quite unlike any fossil type known to us. Sir Arthur Smith Woodward was impressed by his simian similarities; I, on the other hand, was impressed by those features which, as I thought then, were eminently human and modern. Hence arose those discrepancies between us–discrepancies of a quarter of a century ago.

Since then, much has happened. Discoveries are being made which help to throw Piltdown man into his proper place in the crowded throng of evolving human forms. We now know that when the Piltdown type was being evolved in England–or at the western end of the Old World–a totally different type had come into being in the Eastern lands of the Old World. The Eastern types had low receding foreheads, modelled as in the gorilla and chimpanzee. The Western or Piltdown type differed; it had a relatively upright and high forehead modelled not on gorilla lines but rather on those of the organg. While the Eastern forms retained in their shape of head the low squat type of the chimpanzee and gorilla, the Western or Piltdown type tended to assume the higher vaulted skull seen in modern races. There is no denying that in many of his features Piltdown man foreshadowed some of the structural modifications we find in modern races of mankind. Sir Arthur Smith Woodward, I know, will agree with me as to how Piltdown man came by such features; he came by them independently, for discoveries of recent years have proved that diverse races of mankind have undergone the same structural change quite independently of each other. And there is also no denying that through all his known parts there runs a simian vein in Piltdown man, in his skull and brain as well as is in his mandible.”

Excerpt (emphasis added) from the 1938 speech by noted evolutionist Sir Arthur Keith on the occasion of the unveiling of a memorial in honor of Charles Dawson on the spot where Piltdown Man was “discovered”.

Piltdown Man, you may recall, was one of the most famous paleontological hoaxes of history. It only took the combined brain power of leading evolutionists 40 years to conclude that the Piltdown “fossil” was actually a composite of a human skull, the jaw of an orangutan, and the filed down teeth of a chimpanzee. As events turned out, Sir Keith was partially right though, its just that it took until 1958 for Piltdown Man to take its proper place along side all the other imaginary proofs of human evolution.


One Response to Sir Arthur Keith’s Tribute to Charles Dawson

  1. morsec0de says:

    “Piltdown Man, you may recall, was one of the most famous paleontological hoaxes of history.”

    And we’d like to thank the religious figures who use the power of prayer and scripture to discover this was a hoax…

    …wait…you mean scientists discovered it was a hoax?

    Guess those scientists can’t get anything right. Except when they do.

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