However, had the original bones been available for study, this hoax would probably not have continued for as long as it did.
It was not until 38 years after the bones had been "found" that the hoax was exposed.
was either an Ape-man or in the direct line of human ancestry, because I consider it quite possible that we may discover anthropoid apes (Simiidae) with teeth closely imitating those of man (Hominidae),...
Until we secure more of the dentition, or parts of the skull or of the skeleton, we cannot be certain whether However, even if Osborn made some foolish statements about Nebraska Man, the claim is that most other scientists of the day did not even think that the Nebraska Man tooth was from a primate at all.
There was an attempt to use this tooth at the Scopes "monkey" trial in 1925 as evidence of the animal ancestry of man.
However, it was declared inadmissible by the judge.
It is readily admitted that many scientists believed in Piltdown Man wholeheartedly and made some rather foolish statements concerning the meaning of this "find." It is also admitted that Piltdown Man's general acceptance as a "missing link" was due to the fact that it matched the prevailing opinion of the time as to what such as missing link would look like.
Yes, even scientists have biases and favorite theories.
No one, not even a scientist, likes to see a theory that has cost a great deal of money and much of one's personal time and effort, go up in smoke.
So, some caution might be in order before even long established theories are accepted as the "gospel truth", especially when some of the most famous scientists in the field start to question their own life's work.
In considering the theory of human evolution it is interesting to note that some very well known scientists have actually suggested that the line of human evolution is far from clear.
For example, in 1990, Richard Leakey himself said that, "If pressed about man's ancestry, I would have to unequivocally say that all we have is a huge question mark.