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FW: Orgins of Man??
- To: jasoncs at purdue_edu, jfranklaurent at email_msn.com, noturus2 at aol_com, fisheads at dotstar_net, vbrach at juno_com, davis at sahs_stjohns.k12.fl.us, TGreenw900 at aol_com, earthwise1 at juno_com, nfc at actwin_com, gwsnr at sunflower_com, tmercer at wichita_infi.net, willy at itis_com, hunt at qni_com
- Subject: FW: Orgins of Man??
- From: robertrice at juno_com (robert a rice)
- Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 10:05:20 +0000
> > The story behind the letter below is that there is this guy in
> > RI
> > named Scott Williams who digs things out of his backyard and sends
> > stuff
> > he finds to the Smithsonian Institute, labeling them with scientific
> > names,
> > insisting that they are actual archaeological finds. This guy really
> > exists
> > and does this in his spare time! Anyway...here's the actual response
> > from
> > the Smithsonian Institution. Bear this in mind next time you think
> > are
> > challenged in your duty to respond to a difficult situation in
> > Smithsonian Institute
> > 207 Pennsylvania Avenue
> > Washington, DC 20078
> > Dear Mr. Williams:
> > Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labeled
> > layer seven, next to the clothesline post...Hominid skull." We have
> > given
> > this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to
> > you
> > that we disagree with your theory that it represents conclusive
> proof of
> > the
> > presence of Early Man in Charleston County two million years ago.
> > Rather,
> > it appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll, of
> > variety that one of our staff, who has small children, believes to
> > "Malibu Barbie." It is evident that you have given a great deal of
> > thought
> > to the analysis of this specimen, and you may be quite certain that
> > those of
> > us who are familiar with your prior work in the field were loathe to
> > come to
> > contradiction with your findings.
> > However, we do feel that there are a number of physical attributes
> > the
> > specimen which might have tipped you off to its modern origin:
> > 1. The material is molded plastic. Ancient hominid remains are
> > fossilized bone.
> > 2. The cranial capacity of the specimen is approximately 9 cubic
> > centimeters, well below the threshold of even the earliest
> > proto-homonids.
> > 3. The dentition pattern evident on the skull is more consistent
> > the
> > common domesticated dog than it is with the ravenous man-eating
> > clams you speculate roamed the wetlands during that time. This
> > finding is certainly one of the most intriguing hypotheses you have
> > submitted in your history with this institution, but the evidence
> > to
> > weigh rather heavily against it. Without going into too much detail,
> > us say that:
> > A. The specimen looks like the head of a Barbie doll that a dog has
> > chewed
> > on.
> > B. Clams don't have teeth.
> > It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that we must deny your
> > request to
> > have the specimen carbon-dated. This is partially due to the heavy
> > our
> > lab must bear in its normal operation, and partly due to
> > notorious inaccuracy in fossils of recent geologic record. To the
> > of
> > our knowledge, no Barbie dolls were produced prior to 1956 AD, and
> > carbon-dating is likely to produce wildly inaccurate results.
> > Sadly, we must also deny your request that we approach the National
> > Science
> > Foundation Phylogeny Department with the concept of assigning your
> > specimen
> > the scientific name Australopithecus spiff-arino. Speaking
> > I,
> > for one, fought tenaciously for the acceptance of your proposed
> > taxonomy,
> > but was ultimately voted down because the species name you selected
> > hyphenated, and didn't really sound like it might be Latin.
> > However, we gladly accept your generous donation of this fascinating
> > specimen to the museum. While it is undoubtedly not a Hominid
> fossil, it
> > is,
> > nonetheless, yet another riveting example of the great body of work
> > seem
> > to accumulate here so effortlessly.
> > You should know that our Director has reserved a special shelf in
> > own
> > office for the display of the specimens you have previously
> submitted to
> > the
> > Institution, and the entire staff speculates daily on what you will
> > happen
> > upon next in your digs at the site you have discovered in your
> > back
> > yard.
> > We eagerly anticipate your trip to our nation's capital that you
> > proposed in
> > your last letter, and several of us are pressing the Director to pay
> > it.
> > We are particularly interested in hearing you expand on your
> > surrounding the trans-positating fillifitation of ferrous ions in a
> > structural matrix that makes the excellent juvenile Tyrannosaurus
> > femur
> > you recently discovered take on the deceptive appearance of a rusty
> > Sears Craftsman automotive crescent wrench.
> > Yours in Science,
> > Harvey Rowe
> > Chief Curator-Antiquities
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