Something NOT serious!!!!!!!

Deus Ex Machina (X8H1@MUSIC.STLAWU.EDU)
Wed, 8 May 1996 03:08:55 EDT

Ok I got this from my friend who got it from the UGA humor digest.
I cannot verify whether or not its an actual letter, but it is very
funny. --Matthew Joanis

> Paleoanthropology Division
> Smithsonian Institute
> 207 Pennsylvania Avenue
> Washington, DC 20078
> Dear Sir:
>Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labeled "211-D,
>layer seven, next to the clothesline post. Hominid skull." We have
>given this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to
>inform you that we disagree with your theory that it represents
>"conclusive proof of the presence of Early Man in Charleston County
>two million years ago." Rather, it appears that what you have found is
>the head of a Barbie doll, of the variety one of our staff, who has
>small children, believes to be the "Malibu Barbie". It is evident that
>you have given a great deal of thought to the analysis of this
>specimen, and you may be quite certain that those of us who are
>familiar with your prior work in the field were loathe to come to
>contradiction with your findings. However, we do feel that there are a
>number of physical attributes of the specimen which might have tipped
>you off to its modern origin:
> 1. The material is molded plastic. Ancient hominid remains are
> typically fossilized bone.
> 2. The cranial capacity of the specimen is approximately 9 cubic
> centimeters, well below the threshold of even the earliest
> identified proto-hominids.
> 3. The dentition pattern evident on the "skull" is more consistent
> with the common domesticated dog than it is with the "ravenous
> man-eating Pliocene clams" you speculate roamed the wetlands during
> that time. This latter finding is certainly one of the most intriguing
> hypotheses you have submitted in your history with this institution,
> but the evidence seems to weigh rather heavily against it. Without
> going into too much detail, let us say that:
> A. The specimen looks like the head of a Barbie doll that a dog has
> chewed on.
> B. Clams don't have teeth.
> It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that we must deny your
> request to have the specimen carbon dated. This is partially due to
> the heavy load our lab must bear in its normal operation, and partly
> due to carbon dating's notorious inaccuracy in fossils of recent
> geologic record. To the best of our knowledge, no Barbie dolls were
> produced prior to 1956 AD, and carbon dating is likely to produce
> wildly inaccurate results. Sadly, we must also deny your request that
> we approach the National Science Foundation's Phylogeny Department
> with the concept of assigning your specimen the scientific name
> "Australopithecus spiff-arino." Speaking personally, I, for one,
> fought tenaciously for the acceptance of your proposed taxonomy, but
> was ultimately voted down because the species name you selected was
> hyphenated, and didn't really sound like it might be Latin.
> However, we gladly accept your generous donation of this fascinating
> specimen to the museum. While it is undoubtedly not a hominid fossil,
> it is, nonetheless, yet another riveting example of the great body of
> work you seem to accumulate here so effortlessly. You should know that
> our Director has reserved a special shelf in his own office for the
> display of the specimens you have previously submitted to the
> Institution, and the entire staff speculates daily on what you will
> happen upon next in your digs at the site you have discovered in your
> back yard. We eagerly anticipate your trip to our nation's capital
> that you proposed in your last letter, and several of us are pressing
> the Director to pay for it. We are particularly interested in hearing
> you expand on your theories surrounding the "trans-positating
> fillifitation of ferrous ions in a structural matrix" that makes the
> excellent juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex femur you recently discovered
> take on the deceptive appearance of a rusty 9-mm Sears Craftsman
> automotive crescent wrench.
> Yours in Science,
> Harvey Rowe
> Curator, Antiquities

Matthew D. Joanis '98
St. Lawrence University
Anthropology (IS a science!)