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The Skulls Wars - Was The Missing Link The "Out Of Europe" Piltdown Man, The "Out Of Asia" Peking Man, The "Out Of The Middle East" Palestine Man. Or As Doctors Raymond Dart And Robert Brown Proved, The "Out Of Africa" Australopithecus? An Astounding Anthropological Story Of Intrigue, Insult, Hoaxe And Triumph, Produced And Narrated By Richard Kiley, Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An MP4 Video Download Or Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD! (Color, 1995, 48 Minutes.)
Raymond Arthur Dart (February 4, 1893 - November, 22 1988) was an Australian anatomist and anthropologist, best known for his involvement in the 1924 discovery of the first fossil ever found of Australopithecus Africanus, an extinct hominin closely related to humans, at Taung in the North of South Africa in the Northwest province.
Robert Broom FRS FRSE (November 30, 1866 - April 6, 1951) was a British- South African medical doctor and palaeontologist. He qualified as a medical practitioner in 1895 and received his DSc in 1905 from the University of Glasgow. From 1903 to 1910, he was professor of zoology and geology at Victoria College, Stellenbosch, South Africa, and subsequently he became keeper of vertebrate palaeontology at the South African Museum, Cape Town. He became the world's foremost authority on Australopithecus, and by the end of his life, he had collected more extinct hominin skulls than all others had combined.
Australopithecus (Latin: Australis, "Southern"; Ancient Greek: Pithekos, "Ape'") is a genus of early hominins that existed in Africa during the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. The genera Homo (which includes modern humans), Paranthropus, and Kenyanthropus evolved from some Australopithecus species. Australopithecus is a member of the subtribe Australopithecina, which sometimes also includes Ardipithecus, though the term "australopithecine" is sometimes used to refer only to members of Australopithecus. Species include A. garhi, A. africanus, A. sediba, A. afarensis, A. anamensis, A. bahrelghazali and A. deyiremeda. Debate exists as to whether some Australopithecus species should be reclassified into new genera, or if Paranthropus and Kenyanthropus are synonymous with Australopithecus, in part because of the taxonomic inconsistency. The earliest known member of the genus, A. anamensis, existed in eastern Africa around 4.2 million years ago. Australopithecus fossils become more widely dispersed throughout eastern and southern Africa (the Chadian A. bahrelghazali indicates the genus was much more widespread than the fossil record suggests), before eventually becoming pseudo-extinct 1.9 million years ago (or 1.2 to 0.6 million years ago if Paranthropus is included). While none of the groups normally directly assigned to this group survived, Australopithecus gave rise to living descendants, as the genus Homo emerged from an Australopithecus species at some time between 3 and 2 million years ago. Australopithecus possessed two of three duplicated genes derived from SRGAP2 roughly 3.4 and 2.4 million years ago (SRGAP2B and SRGAP2C), the second of which contributed to the increase in number and migration of neurons in the human brain. Significant changes to the hand first appear in the fossil record of later A. afarensis about 3 million years ago (fingers shortened relative to thumb and changes to the joints between the index finger and the trapezium and capitate).
Charles Dawson (July 11, 1864 - August 10, 1916) was a British amateur archaeologist who claimed to have made a number of archaeological and palaeontological discoveries that were later exposed as frauds. These forgeries included the Piltdown Man (Eoanthropus Dawsoni), a unique set of bones that he found in 1912 in Sussex. Many technological methods such as fluorine testing indicate that this discovery was a hoax and Dawson, the only one with the skill and knowledge to generate this forgery, was a major suspect. The eldest of three sons, Dawson moved with his family from Preston, Lancashire, to Hastings, Sussex, when he was still very young. Charles initially studied as a lawyer following his father and then pursued a hobby of collecting and studying fossils. He made a number of seemingly important fossil finds. Amongst these were teeth from a previously unknown species of mammal, later named Plagiaulax Dawsoni in his honour; three new species of dinosaur, one later named Iguanodon Dawsoni; and a new form of fossil plant, Salaginella Dawsoni. The British Museum awarded him the title of 'Honorary Collector.' He was then elected fellow of the Geological Society for his discoveries and a few years later, he joined the Society of Antiquaries of London. Dawson died prematurely from pernicious anaemia in 1916 at Lewes, Sussex, England.
Sir Arthur Keith FRS FRAI (February 5, 1866 - January 7, 1955) was a British anatomist and anthropologist, and a proponent of scientific racism. He was a fellow and later the Hunterian Professor and conservator of the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He was a strong proponent of Piltdown Man, but finally conceded it to be a forgery shortly before his death. After his death, many came to believe that he was complicit with Charles Dawson in perpetrating the Piltdown Man fraud.
The Piltdown Man was a paleoanthropological fraud in which bone fragments of a 500-year-old human skull fitted with a modern orangutan jaw were presented as the fossilised remains of a previously unknown early human. Although there were doubts about its authenticity virtually from the beginning (in 1912), the remains were still broadly accepted for many years, and the falsity of the hoax was only definitively demonstrated in 1953. An extensive scientific review in 2016 established that amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson was responsible for the fraudulent evidence. In 1912, Charles Dawson claimed that he had discovered the "missing link" between ape and man. In February 1912, Dawson contacted Arthur Smith Woodward, Keeper of Geology at the Natural History Museum, stating he had found a section of a human-like skull in Pleistocene gravel beds near Piltdown, East Sussex. That summer, Dawson and Smith Woodward purportedly discovered more bones and artifacts at the site, which they connected to the same individual. These finds included a jawbone, more skull fragments, a set of teeth, and primitive tools. Smith Woodward reconstructed the skull fragments and hypothesised that they belonged to a human ancestor from 500,000 years ago. The discovery was announced at a Geological Society meeting and was given the Latin name Eoanthropus Dawsoni ("Dawson's Dawn-Man"). The questionable significance of the assemblage remained the subject of considerable controversy until it was conclusively exposed in 1953 as a forgery. It was found to have consisted of the altered mandible and some teeth of an orangutan deliberately combined with the cranium of a fully developed, though small-brained, modern human. The Piltdown Hoax is prominent for two reasons: the attention it generated around the subject of human evolution, and the length of time, 41 years, that elapsed from its alleged initial discovery to its definitive exposure as a composite forgery.
Missing Link, originally a scientific, but now a non-scientific term for a hypothetical or recently-discovered transitional fossil. It is often used in popular science and in the media for any new transitional form. The term originated to describe the hypothetical intermediate form in the evolutionary series of anthropoid ancestors to anatomically modern humans (hominization). The term was influenced by the pre-Darwinian evolutionary theory of the Great Chain Of Being and the now-outdated notion (orthogenesis) that simple organisms are more primitive than complex organisms. The term "missing link" has been supported by geneticists since evolutionary trees only have data at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference and not evidence of fossils. However, it has fallen out of favor with anthropologists because it implies the evolutionary process is a linear phenomenon and that forms originate consecutively in a chain. Instead, last common ancestor is preferred since this does not have the connotation of linear evolution, as evolution is a branching process. There is no singular missing link. The scarcity of transitional fossils can be attributed to the incompleteness of the fossil record.