Skip to comments.Anthropologist resigns in 'dating disaster'
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.
We've ALL had dating disasters...you just move on and hope you'll get lucky the next Friday night. Sheesh.
I had one of those last week.
Didn't quit my job over it.
Get lucky next Friday night? Brilliant!
I think the dating disaaster related more to the cigar than the porsche. They usually dig the hot cars.
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?
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? ;)
This may affect some of your studies...
If you're going to date 20,000-year-old women, what do you expect?
I hake to say it, but that pun leaves me cod.
He may have lied and faked his way on invented data, but hey, at least he wasnt a Creationist.
It's OK he'll get work with the environmental movement.
Thanks, probably not.
I've always said you were a little cod.
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..."
The gold Mastercard in her purse tipped them off.
I thought this was going to be about another sex scandal.
Some people rob the cradle for love, apparently this guy robs the grave. At least he has standards re: dental hygiene...
Fortunately, this guy will be abble to find a teaching/research position at the same American university that employs Ward Churchill. In fact, it sounds like he would raise the level of integrity at that school.
Now this thing will be playing on my computer 24/7 for the rest of my life.
He who smelt it...dealt it.
Are you sure about that? He misidentified modern humans as Neandertals. That's classic creationist.
More here, including photo of the lovely Reiner:
NOTE! Links at the bottom of the page to articles about other German science scandals.
he should send his resume to cbs.
"Does anyone see a future where we could say "Professor Smith just pulled a 'von Zieten?"
Could happen..."pulled a Protsch" has a nice ring to it, too (easy to remember 'cause it rhymes w/ crotch).
This seems to be real. I've found a couple of other news stories about it. There's an earlier thread on this (by a couple of minutes), but it's already wucked up, and it has an odd title, so let's stick with this one.
The creationoids will have a ball with this. They can add it to their tiny list of fraudulent finds, like Piltdown Man. But it should be noted that the frauds were exposed by scientists, not creationists (who deny the validity of the means used to test the fossils).
well, one of the scientific method's true strengths is its innate tendency towards self-correction through constant re-evaluation.
but, yes, the uber-creationists will have a field day over this.
oh, well: even a stopped clock...
At any moment now they'll be here, screaming that this "proves" the reality of Noah's Ark, the 6,000 year age of the universe, the collapse of everything we know about biology, etc.
There have been one or two other high profile cases in recent years. There was a young physicist who was on the road to superstardom and got caught pretty quickly (he was German I think, working at Bell Labs), and a veteran Danish ecologist who worked on swallows (I'm not sure how his case turned out in the end). I heard also that that guy Lomborg, the author of that book The Skeptical Environmentalist, was having one or two problems in this area in his native Denmark.
Did you all catch that?
The skull is only 255 years old, yet it appeared to be a NEANDERTHAL Skull!!
Based upon appearance, it was CALLED NEANDERTHAL!!
This PROVES that evolution is wrong, for Neanderthals have been so called ancient human ancestors, not supposed to exist today, yet when we find a similar looking skull, we label it NEANDERTHAL...only the Skull is only 255 years old!!
Evolution is such a fun theory, you can think up anything from microbes on meteors to aliens with a mission to populate the planet, but if someone says, "In the beginning, God...
Actually, this does not Prove Noah's fllod, it only proves evolution is based upon fairy tales! :)
Actually, this does not Prove Noah's flood, it only proves evolution is based upon fairy tales! :)
Given the lag nature of the process, falsification can stand up in the short term, but it will be exposed, and the process will move on. That is one of the great strengths of science. Creationists, on the other hand, sheepishly advise that maybe (although feel free to continue to use them if you must), the Paluxy river tracks and the second law of thermodynamics "arguments" might not be very sound!
Thanks for the ping!
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
They only accept Carbon dating if it proves scientists wrong. Of course, creationists ignore the fact they don't do any science and could not find something wrong if their lives depended on it.
Yet, they know enough to know that all of biology is wrong.
It gives cognitive dissonance new frontiers.
There are people who do not think evolution has advanced beyond the theory stage, because it hasn't, who do not subscribe to the young earth belief. Noah's ark may or may not be true, I don't know, do you?
What I do know is there are many holes in the theory of evolution and many, many fakes have been advanced as "proof" that evolution is fact not theory. The reason for the fakes is that hard proof is sorely lacking. This lack of proof is the only fact in the theory of evolution.
To lump all people who do not give credence to evolution as whacko nut jobs who lack education in science is just a little on the liberal side don't you think?
To cite just a few fakes that are proven and so well proven that I will not provide links, if you want to google them you can find them easily enough. 1.)Nebraska man. 2.)One of the best known, Piltdown man.3.) The dino to bird fakes, most notably that of Archaeoraptor liaoningensis, which was supposedly discovered in China and was printed up in National Geographic and later turned out to be a fake comprised of 88 different bones glued together. 4.) The well known horse chart showing the Hyrax as the first early horse, which turned out not to be a horse at all. The order of the horses shown in the chart was also fake. 5.) The fake chart and drawings showing the development of the fetus that supposedly cycled through all the stages of evolution. This was proven to be fake almost immediately but schools kept this chart in text books and taught it as fact for over 40 years.
All these and many more fakes have made many people sceptical about evolution. You don't have to be a creationists or beliver in ID to doubt evolution. I for one do not rule out a third possibility that will someday come to light. In the meantime I will adhere to my belief that evolution is just a theory because it has never been proven to be anything else. Anyone who thinks it is fact has simply not studied all the evidence with an open mind.
Let me reiterate. I am not religious, I do not believe in ID, but also I know evolution to not be proven. I doubt it ever will be. It requires just as much faith to believe in evolution as creationists need to believe in ID.
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