Stories claiming that fossils of primitive apelike men have been found are extremely overstated. Consider the following sad and sordid history:

1. It is now universally accepted that “Piltdown man” was a hoax. After appearing in textbooks for over 40 years, it was a scientist outside the field of paleontology who exposed the fraud in 1953.

2. “Nebraska man” was based on a single tooth that turned out to be a pig's tooth.

3. “Java man” was based on a skull fragment and leg bone found 39 feet apart.

4. The evidence for Ramapithecus” was a handful of teeth and jaw fragments that were pieced together incorrectly by Louis Leakey and others to resemble a human jaw. Ramapithecus was an ape.

5. A growing consensus is coming to acknowledge that “Homo Habilis” is really bits and pieces of many different creatures that never really existed.

6. “Australopithecines” have an even more apelike appearance. Detailed computer analysis has shown that their body proportions are not intermediate between man and ape.

It would seem that the family tree of man is a very slippery tree–whenever a supposed ancestor to man is placed there, it ultimately drops out as a fraud, mistake, or misinterpretation.

From A Closer Look at the Evidence by Kleiss, April 17.

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