Krogman, The Croc A New Species of Primeval Man? No, just one of my graduate school professors! -- By: Austin Robbins
BSP 8:4 (Autumn 1995) p. 104
Krogman, The Croc
A New Species of Primeval Man?
No, just one of my graduate school professors!
Upon entering college, and later in Dental School at the University of Pennsylvania, I faced a constant barrage of evolutionary philosophy. Raised in a Christian home and taught the Bible from a very early age, I had no reason to doubt the Biblical record of beginnings. Yet the apparent overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution seemed almost unassailable to me.
This resulted in a compartmentalization of ideas and concepts in my mind. One part of me wanted to hold on to the faith I had been taught. Another readily grasped the “scientific” explanations of origins. I was not happy with the turmoil it produced in me. Many times I really doubted my faith. That all began to change one day in a graduate class at Penn. About 140 students were studying the “Evolutionary Development of Human Dentition” taught by Wilton M. Krogman, Ph.D., Professor of Physical Anthropology. A large man with a massive jaw, he lectured on, among other things, the teeth of crocodiles. As students often do, we nicknamed him “Krogman the croc.”
One afternoon, the subject of his lecture was the development of the four-cusp tooth from the three-cusp tooth. He was trying to show us how the more “primitive” three-cusp tooth with those three cusps in a line (a dog molar) changed into a four-cusp tooth with the four cusps in a square, each cusp at a corner. The four-cusp tooth, he said, could be found mostly in primates
BSP 8:4 (Autumn 1995) p. 105
like monkeys, apes, and chimps.
I found this a fascinating idea and wanted more information. Raising my hand, I asked what I thought was a reasonable question. I said, “Dr. Krogman, you have shown us examples of the three-cusp tooth and examples of the four-cusp tooth. Would you please explain which of those three cusps, the forward, middle or rear moved out of line and which way did it move, toward the cheek or toward the tongue? Also, where did the fourth cusp arise, on the cheek side or on the tongue side, and please give some examples of this occurrence?”
I asked this question honestly, as an interested student. It was a sincere effort to obtain more information. I had no doubt Dr. Krogman would supply an adequate explanation.
His reaction, however, astounded me. He suddenly became red in the face, slammed his notes shut and stalked out of the room! At the time I did not realize that I had asked the most difficult question possible, challenging the standard Darwinian theory of evolu...
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