Henry Fairfield Osborn

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Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn

Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn was a former head of the Department of Palaeontology at New York’s American Museum of Natural History. Dr. Fairfield is famous for his involvement in regards to the Nebraska man. Nebraska man was promoted based on the find of a single peccary-like tooth (wild pig-like tooth). Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn wrote the following in the press concerning Williams Jenning Bryan:

“The earth spoke to Bryan from his own state of Nebraska. The Hesperopithecus tooth is like the still, small voice. Its sound is by no means easy to hear... This little tooth speaks volumes of truth, in that it affords evidence of man’s descent from the ape."[1][2]

In addition, Dr. Osborn was a prominent advocate of eugenics.[3]

Osborn represents that overlooked third catogory in the creation/evolution debate. He was a staunch political conservative and devout Christian who believed in evolution and fought long and hard to make sure it was included in the US public school system. The many individuals like Osborn make it difficult to reduce the evolution discussion to simple black and white terms.

See also


See: Regal, Brian. Henry Fairfield OSborn: Race and the Search for the Origins of Man (Ashgate, 2002).