Java Man

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In 1891, Eugene Dubois, who had dedicated himself to searching for the theory of evolution’s so-called missing link, discovered a skull fragment on the shores of the River Solo on the island of Java in Indonesia. Dubois believed that this skull possessed both human and simian (ape-like) properties. A year later, he discovered a thigh bone some 15 meters from where he had found the top of the cranium and concluded that this thigh bone—which was very similar to those of human beings—and the skull might have belonged to the same body.

Based on these two pieces of bone, he adopted the idea that this fossil might be a transitional form and gave it an impressive scientific name: Pithecanthropus erectus, or “upright-walking ape-man.” Popularly referred to as Java Man, the fossil had a skull volume of around 900 cubic centimeters and was suggested to be around 500,000 years old.

Dubois thought that the Trinil stratum in which the fossil was found was underneath the border between the Pleistocene and Pliocene (Tertiary) periods; and was certain that human beings had evolved during the Middle Pleistocene. For that reason, according to Dubois, the age of Java Man was entirely compatible with its being the missing link. However, Dubois had prepared a study of the Javanese fossil fauna before he discovered that fossil—which study totally contradicted the information was to provide about Java Man. But following his discovery of Java Man, his comments regarding the fauna study made an abrupt about-face.

Marvin L. Lubenow spent some 20 years researching Java Man. In his book Bones of Contention, he states that Dubois did not possess sufficient geological knowledge when he discovered the fossil:

 When Dubois issued his first description of the fossil Javanese fauna he designated it Pleistocene. But no sooner had he discovered his Pithecanthropus than the fauna had suddenly to become Tertiary. He did everything in his power to diminish the Pleistocene character of the fauna. 230

Dubois said that the thigh bone and the skull belonged to the same creature. Yet eminent scientists of the time came to the opposite conclusion. The famous Cambridge University anatomist Sir Arthur Keith clearly stated that a skull with such a volume could not belong to an ape and revealed the absence of structural features permitting powerful mastication and particular to apes. Keith said that the skull was very definitely human.

Dubois’ claims on the basis of these two bones approached the fantastic. A directed perspective underlay his claims. Since Dubois was an evolutionist, he acted in the light of certain preconceptions and was unwilling to consider any alternative possibility. He also harbored obvious hostility towards those who criticized his opinions.

Another discovery that totally refuted Dubois’ ape-man nonsense came from Dr. Walkhoff, an anthropologist, who found the upper part of a human molar tooth in a dried-up region of the River Solo, no more than three kilometers (two miles) from where Dubois had discovered Java Man. This fossilized molar was human and dated back to a period as old as that to which Java Man supposedly belonged. A team of experts who were all evolutionists carried out this project, with the aim of finding fossils to verify evolution. Nonetheless, the head of the team, Professor Selenka, concluded that modern man and Java Man had lived at the same time, and that there could therefore be no evolutionary relationship between Java Man and modern human beings.

In the final chapter of the report, Dr. Max Blanckenhorn, who acted as project secretary, apologized to readers for having demolished Dubois’ thesis with their discovery instead of confirming it!

All this goes to show that there is no difference between Java Man, depicted as an ape-man, and modern humans. The only thing that can be suggested with regard to Java Man is the small size of the skull volume, although there are races with small skulls living today. In addition, among these races are native Australians, who live not so very far from the island of Java. Thus the fact that Java Man is a genuine human becomes even clearer.

230 Marvin L. Lubenow,  Bones of Contention, p.  88. 2009-08-15 15:07:34

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