THE SMUGGLING INCIDENT
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TV DECLINED TO COVER
Two documentaries called Dinosaur
Dealers have been broadcast on National Geographic TV. These dealt
with the trade in fossils and fossil smuggling, and described the adventures
of a paleontologist who followed in the tracks of a number of stolen
fossils, or fossils smuggled out of Australia. The trail was followed
detective-style, and the program showed the negotiations carried out
in order to trap the smugglers. In this way, the impression wasgiven
that National Geographic is an idealistic body, chasing hot
on the heels of smugglers and striving with all its might to destroy
this illegal trade. However, the TV channel failed to mention that just
a few years ago it too was involved in smuggling an Archaeoraptor fossil
(and the fraud that accompanied it). In fact, it said not a word about
Let us recall the details of that smuggling
was a forged dino-bird fossil. The remains of the creature, alleged
to be an evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds, had apparently
been unearthed in the Liaoning area of China and were published in
the November 1999 edition of National Geographic magazine.
Thus, the Archaeoraptor fossil
is similar to the earlier Piltdown Man fraud committed by evolutionists.
Archaeoraptor was even described under the headline "Piltdown
Bird" in the well-known magazine New Scientist. The report states
that Archaeoraptor was formed by adding the tail of a dromaeosaurus,
a genuine dinosaur, to a bird fossil, and that this was a fraud
perpetrated in the name of science.
1) Mix and match: Archaeoraptor seems to consist of the tail
of a dromaeosaur, glued to a fossil bird's body (above).
Stephen Czerkas, an American museum administrator,
had bought the fossil from the Chinese for $80,000, and then showed
it to two scientists he had made contact with. Once the expected confirmation
had been received, he wrote a report about the fossil. Yet Czerkas
was no scientific researcher, nor did he hold a doctorate of any sort.
He submitted his report to two famous scientific journals, Nature
and Science, but they both declined to publish it unless it was
first vetted by an independent commission of paleontologists.
Czerkas was determined to have this fantastical
discovery published, and he next knocked at the door of National
Geographic, known for its support of the theory of evolution.
Under Chinese law it was definitely forbidden
to remove fossils unearthed within its borders from the country, and
fossil-smuggling could be severely punished, even by death. Despite
being well aware of this, National Geographic accepted this
fossil which had been smuggled out of China. The fossil was presented
to the media at a press conference staged in the National Geographic
headquarters in October 1999. An illustrated seven-page article describing
the dino-bird fairy tale formed the cover story in the November edition
of National Geographic magazine. Moreover, the fossil was
exhibited in the National Geographic museum, where it was presented
to millions of people as definitive proof of the theory of evolution.
The truth emerged in March 2001: no such
intermediate species as Achaeoraptor had ever existed. Computer
tomography analyses of the fossil revealed that it consisted of parts
of at least two different species. Archaeoraptor was thus
dethroned, and took its place alongside all the other evolutionist
frauds in history. Darwinism-whose claims have never been empirically
verified in the past 150 years-was once more associated with specially
manufactured fossil forgeries.
As we have seen, National Geographic
was once party to that very fossil-smuggling which it now purports
to oppose. Naturally, the fact that in its latest documentaries it
devotes space to bringing fossil smuggling out into the open may be
regarded as a positive sign that it will not tolerate similar abuses
in the future. However, if the TV channel does oppose fossil-smuggling,
then it must also deal with such well-known smuggling incidents as
Archaeoraptor in its programs. No matter how much of a violation
of its Darwinist broadcasting policy it might be, admitting its past
mistakes and taking the side of the truth would be commendable behavior
in the sight of all its viewers.