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from Elizabeth Anderson:

In his last letter to rival Herbert Spencer, the great Charles Darwin spoke of a "missing link" between man and ape, which would prove once and for all his theory of humans' evolutionary descent from apelike ancestors. The idea of the missing link was seized upon by countless opportunists seeking to earn a quick buck and perhaps make history at the same time. Dozens of humans with genetic anomalies, from the very hairy to the mentally handicapped, were presented by enterprising showmen as "Darwin's Missing Link".