November 21, 1953

On November 21, 1953, the British Museum revealed that the 40-year-long hoax of the Piltdown Man was officially ended. The Museum stated that the Piltdown Man was a “perfectly executed and carefully prepared fraud” that was conceived, planned and executed between 1907 and 1911. The fake hominid skull was constructed from the following; the remains of a recent human cranium which had thickened through disease, half the lower jaw of an orangutan which had been altered to resemble a human’s, and a doctored canine tooth. When the Museum was confronted with the possibility that the Piltdown Man was fraudulent, it brought in experts and investigated. When the investigation proved that the artifact was fraudulent, the Museum published the findings. This is in stark contrast to what happens when a religious artifact is suspected of being fraudulent, like the Shroud of Turin or all the separate Holy Prepuce’s in various shrines around the world. The faithful and leadership of the religions close ranks and forbids the examination and testing of the artifacts. Scientists on the other hand, say, “Here it is. Prove me wrong,” whether they want to or not.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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