Week 2

I would first like to say that evolution is 100% true, and anyone who says otherwise is ignorant and backwards-thinking. Advances in scientific knowledge about the theory of evolution are in no way an attack on one’s religious beliefs (and yes, I am Catholic). Human beings have always wondered where we have come from and evolution is the best explanation. I find it interesting that we have evolved from a past Hominin species. When I look at the diagram to past Hominin species, I find it fascinating how many there were. Everyone knows about the Neanderthal, but there are many more like Homo erectus and the recently discovered Homo floresiensis, which has been given the nickname “hobbit” due to its short stature. The question I always ask myself when I look at the evolutionary diagram is: Why Homo sapiens were the only ones to survive extinction?  The world would be a much different place today if Neanderthals or Homo florediensis were still alive today.

The failure of the Piltdown Man discovery was a combination of national pride and personal greed.  The discovery was made two years before World War I, which was a time of intense nationalism in Europe. During the turn of the 20th century, many European scientists were discovering early Hominin fossils in many countries in Europe besides England. There must have been intense jealousy at the time by English antiquitarians who hadn’t made a historic discovery of an early Hominin species. It would make sense that someone (whether that be Dawson or not) would have committed the hoax to put English antiquitarians on par with the rest of the Europe. They were probably greedy for attention and fame as well. The hoax was well-crafted, and it’s amazing it fooled the scientific community for forty years. Whoever did it must have been highly intelligent and deeply dedicated to create a hoax on such a large magnitude.