Talk:Taung Child

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I feel we should keep the Human evolution hominine articles more strictly related to science rather than creationist views. The reason is that there is already too much evidence to back up points and understandings. However I managed to separate the Taung Child articles with scientifically and creationist because there is enough room, also Raymond Darts career did include controversy similarly as Piltdown Hoax.--King of the Dancehall 00:54, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

That is not quite right. Piltdown was a forgery - Dart's Taung child was not. The controversy which started then and has not ceased since has to do with how we - the decendants of those Australopithecines - conceptualise our own past and future.

This fossil (most of the pictures one sees nowadays are plaster-of-paris copies thereof was stored, during the sixties, in the safe of the Anatomy Department of the Medical School in Johannesburg, which in those days was headed by Dart's successor Philip Tobias. (The Anatomy Department was in those years a clearing house for copies of fossils - plaster casts - from all over the world, but especially for those coming out of East Africa. Also, of course, for those coming from South Africa itself: Sterkfontein, Kromdraai, Makapansgat.) I belonged to a small group of medical students who could get an extra degree for spending a year immersing themselves in this material, and it was the most exciting time of my life. Tobias taking that fossil out of the safe, handing it to each of us in turn, the surprise at its weight - which of course the copies can't convey - and Tobias' anxiety that one of us would accidentally drop what was perhaps the most extraordinary object on the planet. (In that year, 1967, Dart - who was officially retired as head of the department - gave a series of lectures which to this have not really been assimilated into current conceptions of just what it was that happened all those millions of years ago. What he called the 'osteodontokeratic' culture. c.f. )

Merge tags[edit]

I noticed that you have added merge tags to a lot of the human evolution fossil pages I have recently created. I understand that these pages are pretty short stubs right now, but I disagree with the merge tags. Eventually I will add pictures and more details about each find. I think if we merged the specimens into the species we might lose a lot of the info. I suppose in a few species represented by 1 or two fossils it wouldn't be too bad to have a section on each fossil, but on species with 5-6 representative fossils, it could get congested very quickly. Also with new fossils being found, we never know how many a species may have in the future. Let me know what you think. Nowimnthing 11:41, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Ah, OK; I checked out the Taung child page. Makes sense now. So, just go on and remove the tags at your discretion. Sorry for the hassle... I was browsing throught the paleo-stubs category and found the pages odd, so I tagged them. Dysmorodrepanis 11:54, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, no problem, I thought a merge discussion might come up at some point, but I do have some valid reasons for wanting seperate pages. If you don't mind I will add this commentary to each of the pages to show that a merge has been discussed. Nowimnthing 16:46, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Reasons against merge of specific fossils into species[edit]

1. Some species have numerous fossils finds, since Wikipedia is not made of paper we can have information on each of these very important finds but that information may be cumbersome in a species article if there are numerous specimens.

2. Each find should eventually have at least one picture if not more, allowing people to see the specific features scientists use to classify species. Again this would be cluttering in a species page.

3. A standardized look to the fossil pages giving pertinant info like date discovered and age will give researchers faster access to the info than trying to dig it out of a species page.

4. Some fossils either have not reached a consensus about their species classification or have changed classifications in the past. Having their own page makes it easy to note the controversy and change the classification if necessary. Nowimnthing 16:56, 24 July 2006 (UTC)


Under the history section: "... this was the first of the fossils which had been found in the twenties and thirties to prove that the human race does indeed have a 'natural history' all of its own - just as Darwin had predicted."

I am an outsider to this subject, but I consider myself a scientist -- one who favors Darwinism over creationism. But after many bouts with hardcore creationists, I feel it is more politically correct to use the term "strong evidence of" instead of the term "prove" because most creationists I have spoken to have no clue as to what the notion of proof means. This could be asking for an edit war.

Strictly speaking, "prove" is something one can only do in exact sciences which have clearly defined formal systems of mathematics to describe natural phenomenon. Determining a found skull to be at any particular point in an evolutionary chain is not what one could call "exact."


>a creature standing 3' 6" (105 cm) at approximately 20-24 pounds.

that's an incredibly low weight for the height !

Thrir 11:13, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


Why do Creationists take an interest in this fossil? This should be mentioned in the article. Drutt (talk) 01:18, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

I would be careful about adding undue weight though if there is something you feel warrants inclusion, please propose here on talk first. Nowimnthing (talk) 13:29, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

After some reading around this topic, I have the impression they think it's a hoax like Piltdown? Drutt (talk) 02:05, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Scientific Criticism of the Dart's Research[edit]

This section had obvious creationist sources supporting what purport to be scientific facts and conclusions. Frankly, much of this unwikified section read like a copy-paste from a creationist source.

No creationist source is a reliable source for matters of science. Only the scientific community decides what is or is not science, and what the scientific opinions are at any given time. References must come from sources as described in WP's guidance for reliable sources. Text not supported by reliable secondary sources is liable to removal, and I have removed some particularly obvious violations of our guidelines.

Further, it is necessary to check the accuracy of the quotations and summaries. We must make sure that summaries of opinions do accurately represent the author in question. I would ask editors to do what they can to bring this article back to the standard of reliability which our readers have a right to expect. Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:57, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Macdonald-ross! I've spent a few dozen edits to address the issues you raised. If you have time, do let me know what you think of my additions and whether you think there are other areas that deserve improvement. And of course don't hesitate to jump in to improve the article further! Cheers! Madalibi (talk) 15:27, 25 July 2014 (UTC)