The Java Man (Pithecanthropus Erectus)

Howard E. Wilson
Abilene, Kansas

The expose of the so-called Piltdown Man as a hoax is history. In reporting that hoax, Time magazine of Nov. 30, 1953, p. 83, has this to say in a footnote: "Other early humans are heavily documented by multiple finds of their bones. Neanderthal man, discovered in 1857, is as real as the Romans. Java man (1891), Peking man (1928) and man of the types recently found in Africa are too well proved to be the creations of wishful theorist, or of jokers." After such statements as this, a person would think that the proof of these is abundant and honest as well as scientific. This statement is not one whit stronger or more positive than statements which have appeared elsewhere.

In this article, we are going to examine just one of these "well proved men." Let ever), reader know that I have the documentation for everything I say. 1 have read everything listed in the Reader's Guide on the Java Alan up to Oct., 1954, with the exception of only two or three articles. The reason they were not read is: They were not in the library of Kansas State College, Manhattan, Kansas. I have abundant notes. If any reader thinks anything which I do, not document in this article is of critical importance, let him write to me: Route 1, Abilene, Kansas.

As a person reads through the periodical material, he is never certain what the find labeled the "Java Man" consisted of. Sometimes, in the early articles, three fragments are spoken of (a tooth, skull cap, and femur or thigh bone). Later, without explanation or any indication that anyone is conscious of any difference, four fragments are discussed (a tooth having been added). Still later in 1925 (the first notice appeared in 1895), there are three loose teeth and a jaw fragment with roots of teeth imbedded in it. All of these variations are not the result of additional discoveries. are the statements made of a single discovery made by Dr. Dubois. The various descriptions of the number and kind of fragments which made up the discovery are prefaced with words like, "The actual discovery consisted of

In 1911 a group of scientists went to Java where Dr. Dubois made his discovery and thoroughly excavated the entire area surrounding the original site. No additional remains of a similar nature were found. Remember this when you read and hear of new discoveries.

Other disagreements among the experts Consist of : the age of the layer in which the remains were found, as to whether the remains were male or female, whether the tooth (at first) or teeth (later) were simian (ape-like) or human.

Probably the most important single issue involved was whether or not the three fragments were from the same individual. THIS WAS ASSUMED by some. The whole argument as to whether a "missing link" had been found rests upon this assumption. The way in which it was concluded that the "Java Man" was a missing link is: (1) It was deduced that he walked upright because of the nature of the femur (thighbone). (2) It was assumed that he was below the human level of intelligence because of the small size of the cranial capacity. (3) It is further assumed that evolution always works upwards. Thus, since an ape has neither upright posture nor a large cranial capacity, a creature which walked upright with a larger cranial capacity than an ape but smaller than a human JUST HAS TO BE A STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT BETWEEN THEM. But not a single one of these points is proven. They are assumed! In the remains which were discovered, not one factor was present which would enable a criminal investigator to determine whether or not fragments of a body are from the same individual. In fact the skull cap had a matrix of material as hard as rock imbedded in it.

Some writers claimed the remains showed no evidence of water erosion. Others claimed they did. Some claimed the remains showed identical or similar wear, while others claimed part of them showed water erosion and others did not.


During the early decades of the discussion, a person would have thought that the casts and other data supplied were accurate. Also one would have thought from the positive assertions made and the scientific reputation of those involved that they had been able to examine the remains themselves. This idea receives support from such statements as the following by D. C. Marsh: Referring to two teeth, a skull cap-and a femur, he says, "All these were shown at the International Congress of Zoologists, held at Leyden, in September last. . . .Dr. Dubois, moreover, kindly invited Prof. Virchow, Sir William Flower, and myself to come an hour before the meeting and personally examine the remains Science, new series, vol. 111, pp. 790ff, May 29, 1896. But feel the shock when nearly three decades later the following is published:

There is a "skeleton in the closet" or man's evolutionary history, and Prof. E. DuBois . . . holds the key. The "closet" is said to be a good stout safe in Haarlem, Holland, and the skeleton is none other than that of Pithecanthropus erectus, the famous ape-man who lived in Java over a half million years ago. For thirty years scientists from all over Europe have besieged Dr. DuBois for permission to examine the remains, while eminent anthropologists have crossed the ocean for that purpose only to be turned away at the door. -- Science, new series, vol. 57, June 15, 1923, supplement 8.

What was the result when the remains were finally permitted to he examined? The following, will show. Please note that it is stated to he the FIRST opportunity for thorough examination.

After thirty years denial to his fellow scientists from all nations, Dr. Eugene Dubois . . . has accorded to the American School for Prehistoric studies in Europe, under the direct-ion of Dr. Alex Hrdlicka, of the Smithsonian Institute, the courtesy of the first opportunity to make a thorough examination of the original fossils . . .

. . according to Dr. Hrdlicka . . .

"None of the published illustrations or the casts now in various institutions is accurate. Especially is this true of the teeth and the thigh bone. The new braincast is very close to human. The femur is without question human." - Science, new series, vol. 58, Aug. 17, 1923, supplement 8.

The abundant pages of learned discussion which had gone on before had no basis of fact. There could be no sound conclusions because there were NO ACCURATE CASTS IN ANY INSTITUTION IN THE WORLD!

Dr. Hrdlicka died Sept. 5, 1943. The following statement about him will be of interest at this point:

". . . he discarded both the theory of man's existence in the Western Hemisphere in prehistoric times and that of the "missing link" in the development of the human species, and asserted that his investigations disproved in general any relationship between intelligence and the size and shape of the skull." - The Encyclopedia Americana, 1953 edition, vol. 14, p. 462, column 2.


One of the debatable points used as proof of the "Java Man" being, a "missing link" was the size of the brain that would have gone into the skull from which the skull cap came. The Smithsonian Institute Report of 1913 states that Dr. Dubois first estimated the capacity at about 1000 cubic centimeters, but later reduced this estimate to 900 cc. or a little over. The Report further states that the average cranium of a white American is about 1500 cc. in the male and about 1350 in the female. The largest living anthropoid apes are stated as only rarely attaining or exceeding 600 cc.

In 1925 issue of Science, it is stated that only the smallest among pigmy races have brains as small as 900 cc. Sir Arthur Keith, the British anthropologist, sets 1000 cc. as the lowest brain size that can be called human. (Wouldn't that make the smallest of the pygmies not human?) But in Science, new series, vol. 75, June 10, 1932, supplement 11, is the statement: "In the Smithsonian collection there are 32 American Indian skulls of small statured but otherwise apparently normal individuals ranging in capacity from 910 to 1,020 cc.


The Smithsonian Institute Report for 1913 on pages 495-501 has this statement:

It should be stated at once that there is no room for doubt as to the place of discovery of the several bones and their geological or paleontological relations. The several pieces were found in situ, in the process of scientific exploration, by a careful and competent observer.

But in the Science News Letter, vol. 33, p. 346, May 28, 1938, is a statement which changes the picture. In talking about the discovery of a "new Java Man skull," it is said:

Dr. von Koenigswald's recently found adult skull gives a definite date to the Java ape-man. This has been a matter of dispute in the case of Dr. Dubois' find, for the earlier skull was excavated while the Dutch physician was away from the Trinil gravel pit and he never was able to ascertain definitely from his native assistants just where they found it.

This is just another example of things seeming to be one way all along, and then without warning, apology or repentance they are shown to be something else and the original assumptions and conclusions are continued as if nothing had changed.


You can prove anything if you make your own evidence. Likewise, in geology you can prove anything if you make your own time schedule. Anyone who is becoming seriously involved in this un-scientific "faith" should check thoroughly upon how the dating of fossils is carried out.

In the text books and in dictionaries, even those of recent date, "Neanderthal man" is represented as a "less primitive" man than "Java Man" and was supposed to have lived 50,000 years ago, while "Java Man" is supposed to have lived some 500,000 to 1,000,000 years ago. (As you consider the time element involved, remember that the oldest object which has been dated with reasonable certainty is only about 3000 years old!) What we are about to see is further evidence that this is a "faith." The evidence discovered certainly belied these conclusions, yet instead of changed the conclusions, it is merely stated that the "Java Man" lived too long! In Science News Letter, vol. 33, May 28, 1938, p. 346, it is stated that the new "Java Man" remains which were being found were mixed up with "Neanderthal Man" remains. The remains are of such a nature and left in such condition that one "race" was evidently eating t1he other in the same manner that present day cannibals in Borneo do. Thus two "links" who are supposed to be at least 400,000 years apart are found to he eating one another!

Did this change any conclusions? No. Science News Letter 14 months later carries an article where the man who found these remains and gave this conclusion is represented as stating the "Peking Man" and "Java Man" are the most primitive forms and resemble one another. The same article goes on to state that they are considered to be 500,000 to 1,000,000 years old with "Java Man" regarded as the older!

Contrary to the certainty which is so frequently and blatantly expressed, the "Java Man" is not honestly and truly proven to e as claimed.

Let us "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" - I Thes. 5:21. Let us obey our Lord when he said, "Take heed what ye hear" (Mark 4:24) and "Take heed therefore how ye hear" (Luke 8:18). Only in this way can we prevent someone making spoil of us "through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" -- Col. 2:8. May our heavenly Father help you not to become enamored by the paraded scholarship of those who have degrees (which only indicate recognition from men) nor to become intimidated by the claims for these "links" which are made with such obvious assurance.

Truth Magazine II:3, pp. 8-10
December 1957