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Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique.
© Bernard Fontanel, DEC.

Piltdown Man

Science based on empirical research strives to deliver facts. Yet scientists inevitably leave traces of bias in their work. Others deliberately pervert research for personal gain. Charles Dawson was one such man. Finding fertile ground among palaeontologists eager to confirm their own theories, the 1912 “Piltdown Man” hoax took forty years to uncover. Its exposure illustrates the strength of the scientific method. Unlike religion or ideology, scientific knowledge can be disproved, and proved.