‘Where Silverberg goes today, the rest of science fiction will follow tomorrow’
This month: ‘Two Cheers for Piltdown Man’
Science used to be a lot simpler when I was a boy, back in the days when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. The atom was made up of just three particles – the proton, the electron, and the neutron – plus the neutron was a ghostly particle that existed in theory but which nobody seemed able to find. As for the evolution of the human race, the story began with Java Man, Pithecanthropus erectus, the first primitive hominid that was more like a man than an ape, and continued on through a handful of other fossil species – basically, just Peking Man, Heidelberg Man, and Piltdown Man – to our extinct cousin, Neanderthal Man, and eventually down to us, Homo sapiens, the only extant human species . . .
You can read the rest of the column here, and find Robert Silverberg’s eBooks here – including Reflections and Refractions, a collection of his non-fiction columns. Please note: each column will remain on the site for one month only.