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Watch Positively Incorrect! TV with Scott Cluthe.
Nobody likes being fooled, but sometimes it seems the whole world that falls for it. Tonight Scott Cluthe interviews Jonathan Maxwell, author of “Piltdown Man and Other Hoaxes.”
The new book explores scientific frauds through history. It focuses especially on the Piltdown Man Hoax, which is sometimes casually called the Missing Link Hoax.
In the early 1900s, a group of men unearthed a human cranium and jaw from an excavation in Piltdown, England. Soon, many scientists hailed the discovery as being Charles Darwin’s “Missing Link.” Decades later, the discovery was revealed to be an elaborate hoax. The cranium came from a thoroughly modern human being, while the jaw came simply from an ordinary ape. In the process, the fraud cast a dark shadow on the emerging scientific field of paleoanthropology, the study of human origins.
Maxwell’s book examines other frauds as well, including those involving Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, lake monsters, mermaids, and Atlantis.
Maxwell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Berry College, along with a psychology minor. At present, he is enrolled at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. His first book, “Murderous Intellectuals: German Elites and the Nazi SS,” received the 2011 Allbooks Review Editor’s Choice Award in the Category of Best Non-fiction Book.
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