At the time a politician from Nebraska, W. J. Bryan, was campaigning in the courts against man being descended from the apes. Osborn stated;
...the Earth spoke to Byran from his own state of Nebraska. The Hesperopithecus tooth is like the still, small voice. Its sound is by no means easy to hear... This little tooth speaks volumes of truth, in that it affords evidence of man's descent from apes. (Bowden 1977, 46)
In 1922 the Illustrated London Times ran an artist's interpretation of Hesperopithecus and his wife, all from the remains of one tooth! A few years later more evidence was found and the tooth was determined to be from an extinct pig! Little publicity was given to the error.
In this case you see some of the ingredients of the pre-man game. A discovery is made, a prominent scientist(s) interprets the data in the framework of current scientific thinking. The popular press bridges the gap between the scientist and the lay person, and in the process "fills in" a few details. The man on the street is presented with an image, that will be retained, that man arose from apes.
In this case, how many people read the Illustrated London Times and were influenced by it? Probably many.
References: Bowden 1977, 46 Gish 1985, 187-188 Gish 1990, 80Continue with: Early Man Summary
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