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I consider Esau as a monstrous man." ) fossil was over five decades away.

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The species was later renamed, in Scheuchzer 's dubious honor, by Lee Alan Dugatkin An 18th-century misconception about the New World was that cold, damp conditions there stunted its inhabitants.

The French naturalist Buffon long embraced this idea, but he wasn't alone.

Some even lumped the Khoisan peoples (called the "Hottentots") of southern Africa into the same group as apes, classifying them as degenerate children of Adam; citing their lack of "perfect reason" and modesty, 17th-century naturalist Edward Topsell argued that "above all they cannot be Men as they have no religion." Meanwhile, what some Europeans considered evidence of the Old Testament reached new heights of absurdity.

Canon Johann Jakob Scheuchzer found a fossil of what he claimed was a relic of "the accursed race that must have been swallowed up by the waters" of the Great Flood.

But he also tried to reconcile the story with discoveries about the natural world, including the existence of apes.

In this image, Scheuchzer compared biblical Esau (Jacob's inordinately hairy, slightly dim-witted older twin) with a "satyr" (the term at the time for chimpanzees).

Yet a literal interpretation of Genesis started to unravel long before Darwin published .

Europeans were deeply disturbed by the anatomical similarities they saw between themselves and apes, and they struggled to find logical explanations.

That might have been interpreted as an argument against New World puniness but de Pauw insisted that giant frogs were a further sign of degeneracy since frogs are icky.

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