Man, Time, and Fossils: The Story of Evolution

By Ruth Moore | Go to book overview

XXI
EVOLUTION REVISED A NEW TIME AND A NEW WAY

SINCE 1950 the scientific evidence has pointed inescapably to one conclusion: man did not evolve in either the time or the way that Darwin and the modern evolutionists thought most probable. The physicists and the geologists by 1950 had clearly shown that the world is older and man is younger than anyone had dared to estimate before.

By that year, the men who dug into the ancient caves of South Africa and China, looking for traces of early man and the part-human, part-anthropoid races that had preceded him had succeeded. All the major steps in the evolution of man were for the first time filled in; the hitherto missing link had been found. But the missing link was not what science had expected; no one had imagined a being with the head of an ape and the body of a man.

What did it mean? The physicists and geologists and fossil- hunters did not say. They merely presented their dates and materials. Oakley indicated only that Galley Hill man was relatively modern and that modern man instead of going back some one million years belonged to a period of about fifty thousand years ago.

The question was insistent: what did it mean? How did the new findings affect the theory of evolution? This was a problem for the anthropologist, because the whole problem of man's origins and evolution was affected.

The surprising and almost unbelievable fossils that came from the banks of the Solo River, from Dragon-bone Hill, and from

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