Piltdown man and radiocarbon dating afrikadating

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They wanted a 'missing link' on English soil and they wanted it badly – so badly that they fell into the trap of confirmation bias.

This is the tendency to accept any evidence that seems to support one’s belief while rejecting all evidence that is contrary.

To begin, the perpetrator knew what he was doing – lots of convincing "confirmatory evidence" was included with the hoax itself.

Second, the idea of human evolution from ape-like ancestors was fairly new and ideas were emerging and developing rapidly. But most importantly, the Piltdown hoax was born in the midst of a perfect storm of events in and out of science.

Finally, the perpetrator threw in some bogus flint tools, the master plan being to create the long-sought 'missing link' between humans and apes.

(For a timeline of the Piltdown discoveries and important events, see Figure 2.) The plan worked for several reasons.

It was a skull with a human like head and an ape like jaw.Then, in 1953, it all blew up; it was revealed as a total scam - paradoxically, it was in large part exposed by a scientific process that so impresses Scientific Periodicals like : radiocarbon dating.Carbon dating revealed that the Piltdown man's skull was from a human a mere thousand-years-old, and the jaw was from a recently deceased orangutan!The unknown person also filed the teeth in the mandible and excised apish features from the bone.The perpetrator obtained various mammal bones and teeth, some authentic specimens from the Pleistocene and Pliocene epochs of geologic time, and scattered them throughout the pit to make everything appear roughly 1 million years old.

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