Re: phonics and/or whole language (was Schmidt and Klonsky)
- Subject: Re: phonics and/or whole language (was Schmidt and Klonsky)
- From: Rick Parkany <rparkany@BORG.COM>
- Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000 14:44:51 -0400
- Organization: Prometheus Educational Services
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
George: after reconsidering my glib reply, I offer this REvistation of Piltdown
Man. Obviously, since someone I admire so much as you has been only partially
informed, this is the best reason I can think of for a *revisitation* of these
spurious charges. I rejoin that Peking Man is the discovery the stuff of which
this great man and cosmologist, Telard DeChardin, was made--not the *baiting*
scandal he and others were set up for... ;-} rap.
Piltdown Man :
The Long and the Short of the Pitsdown constroversy REVISITED and Teilard's role
When the hoax was first exposed Dawson, Teilhard, and Woodward were the obvious
suspects; they had made the major finds. In 1953 Weiner fingered Dawson as the
culprit. Stephen Jay Gould argued that Teilhard and Dawson were the culprits.
Woodward generally escaped suspicion; however Drawhorn made a strong case
against him in 1994. Grafton Elliot Smith and Sir Arthur Keith were prominent
scientists that played key roles in the discovery. Millar argued that Smith was
the culprit; Spencer argued that it was a conspiracy between Dawson and Keith.
Other candidates that have been mentioned over the years include Arthur Conan
Doyle, the geologist W. J. Sollas, and the paleontologist Martin Hinton. This is
by no means the end of the list; other people accused include Hargreaves, Abbot,
Barlow, and Butterfield.
This fraud is quite unique. Most scientific frauds and hoaxes fall into a few
categories. There are student japes, students conconcting evidence to fit a
superior's theories. There are confirming evidence frauds, in which a researcher
fabricates findings that they believe should be true. There are outright frauds
for money, fossils that are fabricated for gullible collectors. There are rare
cases of fabrication for reputation, done in the knowledge that the results will
not be checked. And, upon occasion, there are frauds concocted simply as an
expression of a perverse sense of humor.
The Piltdown hoax does not seem to fit any of these categories well. This was
not an ordinary hoax; it was a systematic campaign over the years to establish
the existence of Piltdown man. The early skull fragments were created in advance
and salted with the foreknowledge that more extensive finds would be planted
later. The hoaxer had to have good reason to believe that the salted fossils
would be found.
One of the critical factors in any theory is to account for the fact that the
perpetrator had to be confident that the salted fossils would be found. That
suggests that either Dawson, Teilhard, or Woodward was involved since they alone
made the initial finds. At first sight it would seem that Dawson must have been
guilty since he made the initial find of the first two skull fragments. However
he didn't! They were made by anonymous workmen. The "find" could have been
arranged for a handful of coins. As Vere pointed out, the labourer Hargreaves,
employed to do most of the digging, was also present at the site.
Another critical factor to be accounted for is access to the specimens that were
used in the hoax. Likewise the question of skill and knowledge required for the
hoax must be taken into account.
Below are summaries of the cases to be made against the various possible
perpetrators. At the moment this section is very much under construction!
The candidates for perpetrator
Was it Abbot?
Was it Barlow?
Was it Butterfield?
Was it Dawson?
Was it Dawson and Keith?
Was it Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?
Was it Hargreaves?
Was it Martin Hinton?
Was it Martin Hinton and others?
Was it Grafton Elliot Smith?
Was it W. J. Sollas?
Was it Teilhard de Chardin?
Was Woodward the perpetrator?
Back to perpetrator list
Was Teilhard de Chardin the perpetrator?
In an essay reprinted in The Panda's Thumb, Stephen Jay Gould argues the case
for a conspiracy by Teilhard de Chardin and Dawson. The case is
circumstantial. The suggested motive is a student jape (Teilhard was quite young
at the time.) It was supposed that Teilhard did not have the opportunity;
however Gould shows that this was not necessarily so. Much of Gould's case rests
on ambiguous wording in Teilhard's correspondence. Certainly Teilhard is a
plausible candidate for the mysterious friend who helped discover Piltdown II.
Gould argues that they had intended to blow the gaffe shortly after the initial
but that they were prevented from doing so by WW I. By 1918 things had gotten
out of hand to the point where the hoax could no longer be owned up to.
I do not think that Gould's assessment of motive stands up well. It is plausible
that Teilhard might have concocted a hoax; that is common for frisky students.
However this fraud was planned and prepared years in advance and was executed
over an extended period of time; the nature of the execution of the fraud goes
well beyond the student jape.
The case against Teilhard is considered in detail by Walsh. He argues fairly
convincingly that many of the circumstances stressed by Gould have natural and
Teilhard was also accused of being involved by L. Harrison Matthews who claimed
that Teilhard planted the fossil canine tooth in collaboration with Martin A.C.
Hinton, with Teilhard subsequently "discovering" the tooth. The evidence for
this collaboration is that Hinton told his friend Richard Savage that Hinton and
Teilhard had visited the site together early in 1913. Matthews commented that
Teilhard never mentioned this visit, and subsequent developments have damaged
Hinton's credibility regarding these clues.
"George N. Schmidt" wrote:
> In a message dated 6/24/00 8:49:41 PM, rparkany@BORG.COM writes:
> << couldn't we all read a bit more of
> Engles and a bit less of Marx, and then reinvestigate Vygorsky (banned and
> by Stalin as DeChardin was by the Pope--and in the same Time)?.. ;-} rap.
> Are you really suggesting "Piltdown Revisited" too, RAP?
> George Schmidt
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"Dein Wachstum sei feste und lache vor Lust!
Deines Herzens Trefflichkeit / hat dir selbst das Feld bereit',
auf dem du bluehen musst." Peasant, Richard A. Parkany: SUNY@Albany
Prometheus Educational Services - http://www.borg.com/~rparkany/
Upper Hudson & Mohawk Valleys; New York State, USA
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