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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CC002:

Nebraska Man (Hesperopithecus haroldcookii) was described on the basis of a single tooth that turned out to come from a peccary. This tooth was used to construct an entire species, complete with illustrations of the primitive man and his family.


Gish, Duane T., 1985. Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record. El Cajon, CA: Creation-Life Publishers, pp. 187-188.


  1. The tooth was never held in high regard by scientists. Osborn, who described it, was unsure whether it came from a hominid or from another kind of ape, and others were skeptical that it even belonged to a primate. The illustration was done for a popular publication and was clearly labeled as highly imaginative.

    Nebraska Man is an example of science working well. An intriguing discovery was made that could have important implications. The discoverer announced the discovery and sent casts of it to several other experts. Scientists were initially skeptical. More evidence was gathered, ultimately showing that the initial interpretation was wrong. Finally, a retraction was prominently published.


Foley, Jim, 2001. Creationist arguments: Nebraska Man.

Mellett, James S. and John Wolf, 1985. The role of "Nebraska man" in the creation-evolution debate. Creation/Evolution 16: 31-43.

Further Reading:

Gould, S. J., 1991. An essay on a pig roast. In Bully for Brontosaurus, pp. 432-47. New York: W.W.Norton.
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