Have you ever heard of ‘Nebraska Man’? He was supposedly the first anthropoid fossil found in North America and claimed to be one of our ancestors on the human evolutionary chain of development. Nebraska Man was a distinct part of the discussion in the struggle for control of education policy in America and even though it was not used as evidence at the famous Scopes Trial in 1925 it was there in the background and was used before the trial as an effective tool in the campaign to promote evolution and to undermine William Jennings Bryan, the prosecution attorney at the trial and opponent of evolution.
Here’s the story. In 1917, a rancher and occasional paleontologist named Harold Cook, found a small, well-worn tooth in sedimentary layers in the Northwestern part of Nebraska. The sedimentary layers in which the tooth was found were thought to be of the Pliocene epoch–a period in the geological timescale supposedly 5.3 to 2.6 million years before the present. These layers were recently reclassified to the Miocene epoch–the layer just underneath the Pliocene and even older. In 1922, some five years after Cook found the fossil tooth, he submitted it to the noted vertebrate paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn for classification. Within a month of receipt, Osborn declared the tooth to look 100% anthropoid and announced it to the greater American public as the first American anthropoid ape. He gave it the impressive name Hesperopithecus haroldcookii (after the finder Harold Cook). All this from just a tooth, mind you.
Osborn was a enthusiastic promoter of the tooth in the ensuing years after 1922 and before the Scopes Trial in 1925, (himself initially called as a witness at the trial but never taking the stand) making casts of the tooth and sending them to 26 institutions across America and Europe. In the few months before the Scopes Trial, Osborn was using the tooth to leave an impression in people’s minds that evolutionary scientists were certain the tooth was from an ape-man. His colleague, William King Gregory, in examining the tooth had initially written that it combines characteristics of chimpanzee, Pithecanthropus, —and man, but Osborn plunged ahead anyway. Gregory then revised his conclusion stating that the tooth was more structurally like that of a chimpanzee or gorilla. Later, after continuing fieldwork in the soil of Nebraska, he changed track again, and wrote that the tooth was that of a peccary, a type of pig, but this wasn’t written up until 1927, two years after the Scopes Trial had ended.
In the end, a tooth promoted by Osborn as that of an ancient anthropoid or ape-man and used in the promotion of evolution, turned out to be that of a pig. It’s another example of the lengths to which unregenerate man, denying the Creator-creature distinction, will go to explain his origins apart from God. Spurning the revelation of God in Scripture, unregenerate man concocts all manner of fanciful stories, including that of trying to use the tooth of a pig in a fairy-tale ape-man connection. Using questionable evidence, he attempts to justify his rebellion against God, and take God out of the picture. For, no God = no responsibility to a higher authority + man can do as he pleases.
For further reading, you might find of interest: http://creation.com/that-pig-of-a-man-didnt-fool-everyone.
Vaya con Dios mis hijas,
Dear ol’ Dad