Human prehistory is not something about which anyone ought to be dogmatic. A few years ago, the “Mitochondrial Eve” hypothesis was being presented to the public virtually as fact; now it is under a cloud. Newspaper stories have reported the redating of a skull fragment in Java attributed to Homo erectus. Now said to be 1.8 million years old, the fossil seemingly places this claimed ancestral species in Asia long before it was supposed to have migrated from Africa.
Evidence of this kind could receive wide publicity because, although it disappoints the expectations of some paleoanthropologists, it excites others and does not threaten the coherence of the accepted picture of human evolution in any fundamental way. But what if an apparently modern human fossil were found in sediments dated two million years old? Would the astonishing finding receive credence? Possibly there would be irresistible pressure to recalculate the date, to reattribute the fossil to some pre-human species, to question the competence of the discoverer, and eventually to forget the whole thing.
According to Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson, something of that sort has happened before, and happened often. This is because of a dual standard that is applied to evaluate evidence. Evidence of early humans or their tools is readily accepted if it fits with the orthodox model of human evolution. Evidence that is just as reliable, but which does not fit the model, is ignored or even suppressed. It fairly quickly drops from the literature, and within a few generations is almost as invisible as if it had never been. As a result, it is virtually impossible for rival understandings of early human history to gain credence. The evidence that would have supported them is no longer available to be considered.
In their lengthy work titled Forbidden Archaeology, Cremo and Thompson provided a stunning description of some of the evidence that was once known to Science, but which has disappeared from view due to the “knowledge filter” that protects the ruling paradigm. The detective work required to unearth this evidence was impressive, and the authors reported what they had found and how they had found it in such careful detail, and with such thorough analysis, that they deserved to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, relatively few professional scientists are willing to consider evidence that upsets prevailing views and comes from a source out of the academic mainstream.
Scientists like other human beings all have motives, and biases that may cloud their judgement, and the dogmatic materialism that controls the minds of many mainstream scientists is far more likely to do damage to the truth because it is not acknowledged as a bias. In the end, the important thing is not why the investigators were motivated to look for a certain kind of evidence, but whether they found something worth reporting, and worth serious consideration by the scientific community.