Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 17, 1953

Concerning Bones And Some Bone-Heads, The Piltdown Man

Wm. E. Wallace, Akron, Ohio

In 1911 an Englishman excavated a hat full of bones from which a universally accepted theory was to be expounded. The leading scientists exclaimed that they had discovered the bones of a man 500,000 years or so old. They made a bust of what they figured the fellow looked like and pictures of same appeared in the textbooks. Anthropologists and paleontologists excitedly proclaimed their theory of the antiquity of man, and students were forced to take it in as fact. They called this fellow the first Englishman, the earliest known specimen of sapient man. Religious leaders protested that such a profound theory could not be expected to be accepted for it was based on such little evidence, if it was evidence at all. These religionists were belittled, ridiculed, and scoffed at by scientists and liberalistic religious educators. Yes, those old dry bones dug up over in England were without a doubt over 500,000 years old! That is what they taught; that is what they so staunchly defended.

Well, now the British Museum of Natural History announces that part of this hat full of bones belongs to a modern ape, rather than to our Piltdown friend. They tell us some one doctored the bones up in such a way as to fool the experts. The fellow who did it was not only a deceiver but evidently one possessed with a good knowledge of chemistry and other related fields of scientific study. I had heard that antique furniture dealers could add to the antiquity of furniture by treating the surfaces in one way or the other thereby making a "rare" article out of grandmother's old buffet. But we hardly expected to learn that men of science, supposedly men of integrity, would so act to confuse countless numbers and corrupt the thinking of the masses. Yet someone did it. The scientists are reluctant to put the blame on any particular person or group because they have so little evidence and proof — looks like to me that they ought to have been more reluctant to expound such a theory on so little "evidence."

They now assert (from HALF a hat full of bones) that the Piltdown man is 50,000 years old rather than the 500,000 or more. So they admit that they made a mistake of 450,000 years or so, just a small mistake. I cannot help but think that if they admit to a mistake of 450,000 years that they could also be in error concerning the 50,000 years. Methinks they may have again missed it — by about 45,000 years. Of course 'tis human to err; but what gets my goat is that the "scientists" do not seem to want to admit it until they have erred. And I reckon we are tempted to "rub it in" but what can you expect when for years and years the professors have drilled the theory into the kids demanding that they accept the theory as scientific fact? I am tempted to visit some of the professors under whom I studied science in my college days, and watch them grin sheepishly like a mule who has et briars'. Unchristian? Maybe so, but I suspect that I could come more nearly convincing then now that there is no science of origins.

This "little" mistake of the scientists has turned out to be monumental and while those folk continue to speculate concerning the origin of man and such like, I'll just hold on to the Biblical account of the Creation which has not been doctored up by some ambitious, hypocritical deceiver or deceivers. Lest this article be taken to mean that all scientists are rascals I say that without them we could not have advanced to our high stage of civilization. Without men well learned in the field of science the environment in which the church works would be difficult indeed. Truly many good Christians are scientists. The men we refer to in this article are parallel cases to many religious leaders — they are misguided, not willing to accept that which is contrary to their personal whims and ideas.