Paleoanthropologists are married to prehuman fossil apes


4/04/20  

Imagine that you have been married to a good partner for 10 years. Then you find out that before your marriage, someone was killed by a drunk driver. It was never discovered that your partner was probably the driver in that accident. Do you now discuss it openly with people and ruin your marriage? Or do you keep this new information hidden and try not to think about it?
 
That is the sort of situation that scientists were in when they started to suspect that the prehuman fossil apes that they were married to—Piltdown Man, Java Man, Peking Man, Lucy, Turkana Boy, Little Foot—had serious problems. (see this published article for some details.) 
 
It is also the situation they are now in as they learn about AAT and Galapagos and Bioko. Paleoanthropologists are all married to prehuman fossil apes. Now they hear about the possibility that humans evolved very simply and directly from isolated chimpanzees, without the formation of any fossils. To openly discuss that could easily ruin their marriage. 

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