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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CC004:

Initial newspaper reports of the Peking Man discovery reported that ten skeletons were found, but only a partial skull was ever exhibited. These skeletons have been suppressed, probably destroyed by scientists because they were too human and thus did not provide evidence for evolution. No scientists ever questioned what happened to the ten skeletons.


Bowden, Malcom, 1981. Ape-men: Fact or Fallacy? 2nd ed., Bromley, Kent: Sovereign, pp. 95-96.


  1. A contemporary report of the claim in Nature referred only to "remains of ten individuals." A letter from Teilhard de Chardin says, "Black estimates that there are traces of at least 10 individuals." Probably the newspapers, which are frequently inaccurate on scientific matters, assumed the most sensational interpretation of the "traces" and turned them into entire skeletons.

  2. Other reports of the find by the scientists involved mention only finding a skull, including a letter written before the supposed decision to do away with the skeletons. If the skeletons existed, surely they would have been mentioned as well.

  3. Fraud is highly improbable because the secret would have to be kept by many people, including English, French, and Chinese scientists and dozens of workers. Probably none of the scientists would have been willing to destroy the skeletons, because a discovery of such size and completeness would have made their career, no matter what the skeletons showed.

  4. Excavating the skullcap alone required a significant amount of effort. It is highly unlikely that excavating ten entire skeletons to the point where they could be analyzed could be done in three weeks.

  5. Bowden's claim that no scientist questions the reports of the ten skeletons is simply wrong. At least two scientists referred to the newspaper exaggerations. [Boule 1929]


Foley, Jim, 1999. Creationist arguments: The lost Peking Man skeletons.


  1. Boule M., 1929. Le Sinanthropus. L'Anthropologie 39: 455-460, cited in Foley 1999.

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created 2001-2-18, modified 2003-9-4