One day, when classes for both professors began in mid-morning, they met at a local Star Bucks for java, pastries and wifi hookups. As usual, the coffee shop was filled with students and Silicon Valley techno geeks fully submerged in internet activities involving games, research and social media. After an interval of trivial chit chat, Wisenheirmer flipped open his laptop and jumped right into making his point; which turned into a full blown skull session between them.
Wisenheirmer: “Have there been any additional discoveries relative to transitional life forms involving ancient humanoids recently?”
Wishbone: “If you’re here to hassle me about Lucy, since that recent Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie—forget it. I have better things to do.”
Wisenheirmer: “It’s sorta down that same line, so I’ll get straight to the point. I was hoping you could clarify the sudden appearance of Cro-Magnon man at the door steps of Neanderthal man, or should I say the appearance of Cro-Magnon man at the cave entrance. Succinctly, is there a record of transitional life forms from one to the other? Or should I ask, What’s the link between them?”
Wishbone: “I must admit professor, there seems to be no recorded facts of continuous incremental developments till this date. On the other hand, there are still finds from digs the world over. Something will eventually show up.”
Wisenheirmer: “These drawings are supposedly factual representations of the evolutionary progression of ancient man to modern man. No doubt, you must agree with the consensus of the majority of the mainstream scientific community. And that is, most of these have been determined to be hoaxes.”
Wisenheirmer continued: “These are some of the exposures: 1) The ages of some skulls have been changed to reflect that they were far older than they actually were; 2) Teeth and other bones found at some sites were stained for the same reasons; 3) Plaster of Paris models were used to build missing portions of skulls; 4)
The specimen of some jaws and craniums were faked as belonging to the same individual; 5) Animal bones were used as parts from some human like anatomical species; and 6) Some specimens were deliberately fashioned to resemble the missing link, and planted in excavated areas.
Wishbone: “Back to your original question, some insist that anatomically modern humans—Cro-Magnon—and Neanderthals had co-existed, and perhaps even had children together. This now appears to be rubbish. The recent consensus by many paleoanthropologists is that a new kind of man appeared on the planet, seemingly from nowhere, and he was smart, artistic, and however he got here, he landed in a lot of places simultaneously. Some even believe Cro-Magnon were aliens from outer space. If this were so, then this would complicate things even more—so how did they evolve and how did they get here? It’s a classical case of circular logic. Therefore at this point in time, I must agree that all is still unresolved.”
Wisenheirmer: “These so-called ‘ape-men,’ who are supposed to be the ancestors of the human race, have been named after the places where they were supposed to have been discovered. There is the Nebraska Man, the Java Man, the Peking Man, the Heidelberg Man, the Piltdown Man, etc. The question still remains: Why isn’t there a continuous record of incremental developments?”
After all their discussions, Professor Wishbone had to concede that his hypothesis was week and lacked sufficient scientific facts from years of research. On the other hand, he still vowed to continue his research for the missing link. Before they concluded, Wisenheirmer displayed the following animation on his laptop.