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Reiner Protsch von Zieten

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Professor Reiner Protsch von Zieten is a controversial scientist known for false dates of transitional forms.

Dating Errors

In 2004, newspapers reported on the dating flaws of Professor Reiner Protsch von Zieten, the former director of the Institute of Anthropology and Human Genetics for Biology at Goethe University in Frankfurt[1], whose carbon dating results had been used to date such specimens such as Hahnhofersand Man and Binschof-Speyer Woman (actually a man).[2][3] The Hahnofersand specimen was estimated by von Zieten to be around 36,000 years old. Independent Oxford research found the specimen to be less than 7,500 years of age -- long after evolution says the neanderthals went extinct.[4] (The age is still outside the estimates of most young-earth creationists, but a drastic reduction nonetheless.) According to the Herne Anthropological Museum in Germany, the remains still exuded an odor when the skull was cut open for further review.[5] Binschof-Speyer was estimated at 21,300, but independent research dated it at around 3,000 years of age.[2]

It appeared to be one of archaeology's most sensational finds. The skull fragment discovered in a peat bog near Hamburg was more than 36,000 years old - and was the vital missing link between modern humans and Neanderthals. This, at least, is what Professor Reiner Protsch von Zieten - a distinguished, cigar-smoking German anthropologist - told his scientific colleagues, to global acclaim, after being invited to date the extremely rare skull. However, the professor's 30-year-old academic career has now ended in disgrace after the revelation that he systematically falsified the dates on this and numerous other "stone age" relics... According to experts, his deceptions may mean an entire tranche of the history of man's development will have to be rewritten. "Anthropology is going to have to completely revise its picture of modern man between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago," said Thomas Terberger, the archaeologist who discovered the hoax. "Prof Protsch's work appeared to prove that anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals had co-existed, and perhaps even had children together. This now appears to be rubbish."[6]

Von Zieten was also accused of trying to sell a collection of chimpanzee skulls to an American collector. He was suspended in 2004, and forced to retire in early 2005.[5] 'Scant news coverage' of the subject drew frustration from Answers In Genesis.[7]

Ancestry Controversy

von Zieten's claims to Prussian ancestry were also disproved (he was actually the son of a former Nazi party member).[2]

References

  1. Science 27 August 2004: 1237. DOI:10.1126/science.305.5688.1237c.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Archaeological Institute of America (2005, May/June). "Look Before You Date." Archaeology. Insider. Vol. 58, No. 3.
  3. Nature 430, 958 (26 August 2004) | doi:10.1038/430958a; Published online 25 August 2004.
  4. Paterson, Tony (2004, August 22). "Neanderthal Man 'Never Walked in Northern Europe'." The Telegraph.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Murdock, Matthew (2005). "Scandalous First Dates for Neanderthals." www.Creation.com.
  6. Harding, Luke (2005, February 18). "History of Modern Man Unravels as German Scholar is Exposed as Fraud." The Guardian.
  7. Line, Peter (2005, April 13). "Upper Paleolithic Blues: Consequences of Recent Dating Fiasco on Human Evolutionary Prehistory." Answers in Genesis.