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Anthropologist resigns in 'dating disaster'
Worlnetdaily ^ | February 19, 2005 | unattributed

Posted on 02/19/2005 7:36:30 AM PST by Woodworker

Panel says professor of human origins made up data, plagiarized works

A flamboyant anthropology professor, whose work had been cited as evidence Neanderthal man once lived in Northern Europe, has resigned after a German university panel ruled he fabricated data and plagiarized the works of his colleagues. Reiner Protsch von Zieten, a Frankfurt university panel ruled, lied about the age of human skulls, dating them tens of thousands of years old, even though they were much younger, reports Deutsche Welle. "The commission finds that Prof. Protsch has forged and manipulated scientific facts over the past 30 years," the university said of the widely recognized expert in carbon data in a prepared statement.

Protsch's work first came under suspicion last year during a routine investigation of German prehistoric remains by two other anthropologists. "We had decided to subject many of these finds to modern techniques to check their authenticity so we sent them to Oxford [University] for testing," one of the researchers told The Sunday Telegraph. "It was a routine examination and in no way an attempt to discredit Prof. von Zieten." In their report, they called Protsch's 30 years of work a "dating disaster."

Among their findings was an age of only 3,300 years for the female "Bischof-Speyer" skeleton, found with unusually good teeth in Northern Germany, that Protsch dated to 21,300 years. Another dating error was identified for a skull found near Paderborn, Germany, that Protsch dated at 27,400 years old. It was believed to be the oldest human remain found in the region until the Oxford investigations indicated it belonged to an elderly man who died in 1750. The Herne anthropological museum, which owned the Paderborn skull, did its own tests following the unsettling results. "We had the skull cut open and it still smelt," said the museum's director. "We are naturally very disappointed."

Protsch, known for his love of Cuban cigars and Porsches, did not comment on the commission's findings, but in January he told the Frankfurter Neue Presse, "This was a court of inquisition. They don't have a single piece of hard evidence against me." The fallout from Protsch's false dating of northern European bone finds is only beginning.

Chris Stringer, a Stone Age specialist and head of human origins at London's Natural History Museum, said: "What was considered a major piece of evidence showing that the Neanderthals once lived in northern Europe has fallen by the wayside. We are having to rewrite prehistory." "Anthropology now has to revise its picture of modern man between 40,000 and 10,000 B.C.," added Thomas Terberger, an archaeologist at the University of Greifswald. Frankfurt University's president, Rudolf Steinberg, apologized for the university's failure to curb Protsch's misconduct for decades. "A lot of people looked the other way," he said.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Germany; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: academia; anthropology; archaeology; c14; chrisstringer; crevolist; evolution; fraud; germany; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; neandertal; neandertals; neanderthal; neanderthals; radiocarbondating; rcdating; reinerprotsch; resignation; rudolfsteinberg; science; thomasterberger; vonzieten
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Even peer-reviewed work can have problems. Technology can aid in uncovering bad work.
1 posted on 02/19/2005 7:36:32 AM PST by Woodworker
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To: Woodworker

We've ALL had dating disasters...you just move on and hope you'll get lucky the next Friday night. Sheesh.


2 posted on 02/19/2005 7:39:31 AM PST by Pharmboy ("Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God")
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To: Woodworker
Hmmmm... Sounds like an excellent candidate for the Colorado University Ethnic Studies Department Chairmanship.
3 posted on 02/19/2005 7:40:25 AM PST by drt1
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To: Woodworker
Related to this thread?

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346673/posts

4 posted on 02/19/2005 7:41:10 AM PST by Egon (Government is a guard-dog to be fed, not a cow to be milked.)
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To: Woodworker
I am shocked and outraged to learn that a German professor has been forced to resign because of a dating disaster. Let's face it, we've all had our ups and downs when it comes to our social lives. To deprive someone of his livelihood simply because of a faux pas on a date is nothing short of . . .

What? It's not that kind of dating? It's dating the age of a human skull? Never mind.
5 posted on 02/19/2005 7:42:00 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest (Watching the Today Show since 2002 so you don't have to.)
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To: Woodworker
Anthropologist resigns in 'dating disaster'

I had one of those last week.

Didn't quit my job over it.

6 posted on 02/19/2005 7:42:51 AM PST by Lazamataz (Proudly Posting Without Reading the Article Since 1999!)
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To: Pharmboy

Get lucky next Friday night? Brilliant!


7 posted on 02/19/2005 7:42:53 AM PST by laredo44 (Liberty is not the problem)
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To: Woodworker

I think the dating disaaster related more to the cigar than the porsche. They usually dig the hot cars.


8 posted on 02/19/2005 7:45:05 AM PST by Rippin
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To: Woodworker
We are having to rewrite prehistory

Don't worry about it, Chris. Since historians are rewriting recent history and the news media's rewriting current events, why should you guys be left out?

9 posted on 02/19/2005 7:45:22 AM PST by Bob
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To: Woodworker; martin_fierro; Chad Fairbanks; mhking
"We had the skull cut open and it still smelt," said the museum's director. "We are naturally very disappointed."

Fish-in-skull ping.

10 posted on 02/19/2005 7:45:38 AM PST by Lazamataz (Proudly Posting Without Reading the Article Since 1999!)
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To: Woodworker

11 posted on 02/19/2005 7:48:01 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Woodworker

Does anyone see a future where we could say "Professor Smith just pulled a 'von Zieten,'" in much the same way that people now use "Lewinsky" as a verb? ;)


12 posted on 02/19/2005 7:49:30 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: blam

This may affect some of your studies...


13 posted on 02/19/2005 7:50:26 AM PST by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: Woodworker

If you're going to date 20,000-year-old women, what do you expect?


14 posted on 02/19/2005 7:55:17 AM PST by ScottFromSpokane (http://drunkengop.blogspot.com/)
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To: Lazamataz; mikrofon

I hake to say it, but that pun leaves me cod.


15 posted on 02/19/2005 7:56:34 AM PST by martin_fierro (There's a plaice for everything)
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To: Woodworker

He may have lied and faked his way on invented data, but hey, at least he wasnt a Creationist.


16 posted on 02/19/2005 7:59:50 AM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: Woodworker

It's OK he'll get work with the environmental movement.


17 posted on 02/19/2005 8:00:39 AM PST by Mike Darancette (MESOCONS FOR RICE '08)
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To: lepton
"This may affect some of your studies..."

Thanks, probably not.

18 posted on 02/19/2005 8:03:09 AM PST by blam
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To: martin_fierro
I hake to say it, but that pun leaves me cod.

I've always said you were a little cod.

19 posted on 02/19/2005 8:04:11 AM PST by Lazamataz (Proudly Posting Without Reading the Article Since 1999!)
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To: Pharmboy

Sure, we've all had our share of dating disasters, but I try to avoid dating women if the inside of their head is smelly... I hate cutting them open, and thinking "Ewww... Ripe..."


20 posted on 02/19/2005 8:09:09 AM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Celibacy is a hands-on job.)
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