PBS Eons returned to the subject in its most recent Mysteries of Deep Time podcast, The Case of the Most Famous Fake Human Fossil.PBS Eons turned this podcast episode into a video last November, The Unsolved Case of a Fake Human Fossil.This episode is a mystery in the most classic literary sense of the word. It’s a whodunit detective story that spans more than a century - the saga of the Piltdown Man Hoax. From a gravel pit in Sussex, we follow the faked fossils through history, to what’s now the Natural History Museum in London, where scientists are using new technologies to try to unravel the identity of the fraudster, and explore how this hoax impacted the study of human origins.The podcast episode focuses much more on the fake fossil and the people who likely created it than on its effect on the rest of science. It makes for a good unsolved mystery as well as a good hoax to examine on April Fools Day.
This episode is a mystery in the most classic literary sense of the word. It’s a whodunit detective story that spans more than a century - the saga of the Piltdown Man Hoax.I liked this better as a YouTube video than a podcast episode. If nothing else, it has appropriate images supplementing the audio. I hope PBS Eons turn more of their podcasts into videos.
SciShow uploaded their own video of the story this January, Anthropology’s Greatest Hoax.
Scientists are sometimes deemed objective observers of the world in which we live, but that’s not entirely true. They’re still human and can find themselves victim to fraudsters just like the lot of us.SciShow is much more certain about Charles Dawson being the hoaxer/fraudster than Martin Hinton, who might have been trying to figure out how the fraudster/hoaxer faked the fossils.
That's enough of Piltdown Man. I might write about the IgNobel Prizes next year, which I haven't done for nearly a decade. Time to return to them. In the meantime, follow over the jump for part one of a retrospective about the top holiday posts during the twelfth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.