The Piltdown Man Hoax

On this day in 1912 Charles Dawson announced to the Geological Society of London the finding of the Piltdown Man skull, which supposedly belonged to a missing link between apes and humans. Some scientists expressed doubts about the skull’s authenticity, believing that it was a human skull with an ape’s jaw attached. However, the skull was not officially revealed as a forgery until 1953. Unfortunately by then the fraud had lead to significant confusion in research on human evolution and wasted the time of many scientists (over 250 papers were written on the subject).

Piltdown man examination

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