Some F-words in paleoanthropology


Allan Krill
 
Edited

A lot of F-words seem to be taboo in paleoanthropology: Fabricator, Faker, Falsifier, Forger, Fraud. Scientists know about the Piltdown Man hoax from 1912-1953. But most people seem to think that such a hoax would be impossible today. And they don't want to know that the famous Sir Arthur Keith was complicit.

The case of Professor Reiner Protsch (Fraud) has been kept well hidden. Read about it here, because you probably won't find it mentioned elsewhere:
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2005/feb/19/science.sciencenews
https://archive.archaeology.org/0505/newsbriefs/insider.html
https://www.dw.com/en/professor-resigns-over-misconduct-scandal/a-1493421


Fossil Finders are important in paleoanthropology, and they are given special status. Scientists need hominid fossils, and there are almost none, because gorillas, chimpanzees, and probably humans evolved in hot humid areas where bones decay before fossils can be formed. 

To get more hominid fossils to study, 'surface-finds' are accepted. These are fragments lying loose on the ground, with no digging required. It is assumed, but never proven, that the loose fragments are the same age as the millions-years-old strata beneath. This was the case with Lucy. Lucy's bone fragments were found on a Sunday morning in 1974. They were scattered on the ground in such a way that a single desert thunderstorm could have washed them off the plateau, over a cliff and into oblivion, forever.(page 7 in Johanson & Wong 2010: Lucy’s Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins) The fragments were gathered up quickly, with no photographic documentation. No chemical tests were made, to show that the fragments have the same chemistry and belong together. In 2015 it was realized that one of the bones is from a baboon, but still no chemical testing is being done. If there are other bones of this skeleton that don't belong, paleoanthropologists would rather not know about it. 

Fossil Finders are needed so that paleoanthropologists will have material to work with. A new find will bring the finder Fame and Fortune.

Fossil Fellows are scientists who are invited to work with the exclusive fossil materials, and co-author publications with the Finders. They are not inclined to doubt the material's authenticity, because if they do, they will be disinvited from the prestigious publications, and not be invited to study Future Finds.

Fossil Followers are scientists who work with secondary information that is made available, such as casts and photographs of the fossils. They are not given access to the original materials, which are too Fragile. If someone suspects there was a Falsification or Fabrication, they will not mention it, because such an 
accusation could not be proven and would abruptly end their career.

Fossil Fans are people who are interested in human evolution, and help the Finders, Fellows, and Followers to get the necessary Funding for their research. Fossil Fans are not gullible, but they are easily Fooled, primarily by the Finders.

It seems to me that the science of paleoanthropology is F-d up. It is more interested in helping itself, than helping us to understand the origin of humans.

--
Paleohuman.com

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