Man, Time, and Fossils: The Story of Evolution

By Ruth Moore | Go to book overview

XIII
DUBOIS AND VON KOENIGSWALD JAVA: PITHECANTHROPUS AND GIANTS

Was the oldest Homo sapiens Pliocene or Miocene? In still older strata do the fossilized bones of an ape, more anthropoid, or a man, more pithecoid than any yet known await the researches of some unborn paleontologist?

-- T. H. HUXLEY:

Man's Place in Nature ( 1863)

IF MANKIND evolved from some form of apelike ancestor, where was the evidence? Why were there no bones to testify to the stages through which man had passed on his upward climb? Why were there missing links?

These questions were hurled at Darwin, and there was no effective answer he could give. He could reply only that the geological record was incomplete, that very little of the earth's surface had been searched for the remains of early man and his forebears.

It was true that strange bones occasionally had been found. Men had looked at them and wondered. But in the end they were dismissed as the relics of animals or of some kind of freak. Cuvier, the great French scientist, Lamarck's contemporary and opponent, was completely sure that man could not have

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