Friday, December 16, 2011

Evolution quotes #8

Michael Hammond, a sociologist of science at the University of Toronto, commenting on Piltdown:

"'what could have led so many eminent scientists to embrace such a forgery?'[1] How is it that trained men, the greatest experts of their day, could look at a set of modern human bones-the cranial fragments-and 'see' a clear simian signature in them; and 'see' in an ape's jaw the unmistakable signs of humanity? The answers, inevitably, have to do with scientists' expectations and their effect of the interpretation of data."[2]

[1] "A Framework of Plausibility for an Anthropological Forgery," Anthropology, vol. 3, p. 47 (1979)

[2] Roger Lewin (noted science journalist), Bones of Contention (New York, NY: A Touchstone Book published by Simon & Schuster Inc., 1987), p. 28 citing "Myths and Methods in Anatomy," Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, vol. II, no. 2, pp. 87-114 (1966), p. 61

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