May Day Media Frenzy: Missing Link Discovered?

Touted as the most important discovery to come along in 47 million years, the alleged new  ‘missing link’ the one that is supposed to connect us directly with apes. This hype is being played up big time to gather public interest. The Texas Freedom Network touted the news as proof  concerning their belief in  the so-called abundant supply of transitional animals in the fossil record.

In the Wall Street Journal, Gautam Naik writes…

“Anthropologists have long believed that humans evolved from ancient ape-like ancestors. Some 50 million years ago, two ape-like groups walked the Earth. One is known as the tarsidae, a precursor of the tarsier, a tiny, large-eyed creature that lives in Asia. Another group is known as the adapidae, a precursor of today’s lemurs in Madagascar.”

“The discovery has little bearing on a separate paleontological debate centering on the identity of a common ancestor of chimps and humans, which could have lived about six million years ago and still hasn’t been found. That gap in the evolution story is colloquially referred to as the “missing link” controversy. In reality, though, all gaps in the fossil record are technically “missing links” until filled in, and many scientists say the term is meaningless.”

Interesting to note, the scientists who wrote a peer reviewed paper on the fossil don’t even claim it’s a ‘missing link.’

Reading their disclaimer…

“Note that Darwinius masillae, and adapoids contemporary with early tarsioids, could represent a stem group from which later anthropoid primates evolved, but we are not advocating this here, nor do we consider either Darwinius or adapoids to be anthropoids.” Humans are considered “anthropoids” in the story of evolution.

So what about this new lemur fossil of a female nicknamed Ida? The fossil was actually discovered back in the 1980s in Germany and has been part of a private collection until purchased for research. The study of the fossil was kept a secret until the major unveiling media campaign this month along with the History Channel’s scheduled program about it.

Preliminary indications are as follows; this particular ancient lemur doesn’t have a claw used for grooming and also it doesn’t have a toothcomb (a fused row of teeth) normally used for grooming by a modern lemur. According to Philip Gingerich who I had brief contact with in the past, and is the American Paleontological Society president said it’s unknown if this particular ancient lemur had a nose or not.

So there you have the differences in the animal which is being used to hype it as a new species, the so-called ‘missing link’, other than that, it resembles a modern lemur.  Speaking of a modern lemur, some have been found in rock strata below Ida.  Monkeys also have been found in rock strata below Ida.

In addition to Ida being so complete for an animal being that is assumed to be 47 million years old with little difference to modern ones, these observations from the rock strata totally disrupt the evolutionary time frame!

Similarities in themselves is no proof of evolutionary transitional forms nor is there any scientific proof that only total uniqueness is designed by intelligence namely; God, like an orphan gene which that in itself gives the hypothesis of evolution problems.

The BBC writes…

“Independent experts are keen to see the new fossil but somewhat sceptical of any claim that it could be “a missing link”. Dr Henry Gee, a senior editor at the journal Nature, said the term itself was misleading and that the scientific community would need to evaluate its significance.”

“It’s extremely nice to have a new find and it will be well-studied,” he said. But he added that it was not likely to be in the same league as major discoveries such as “Flores man” or feathered dinosaurs.”

Of course the discoverers are all for the hype because of the possible fame attached to the the story and those who didn’t discover the fossil are slower to make such a conclusion until further study is done. Even from an unlikely source “Time” has weighted with skepticism on the media frenzy story concerning the fossil of Ida…

“Most of what we understand about primate evolution is pieced together from bits of teeth and jaws,” says Michael Novacek, curator of paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. Ida, by contrast, has pretty much every bone, from the skull to the tip of the tail, and they’re all in place. Not only that: you can see impressions of its fur in the surrounding material, and there are even the remains of what was presumably Ida’s final meal (leaves and fruit) still visible where the digestive tract used to be.”

What is interesting about this particular fossil, it was preserved so well, of course evolutionists reject a global flood and try to explain the rapid fossilization of the animal by some volcanic gases which poisoned the lemur causing it  to fall into a lake then buried by sediments before she could decompose. But falling into a lake and being buried rapidly is not what happened, it was the global flood in the days of Noah which is the most likely cause for a rapid fossilization of Ida.

“The purchaser’s stated motivation for obtaining the fossil seemed to emphasize business over research. University of Oslo paleontologist Jørn Hurum nicknamed the fossil “Ida” after his own small daughter and told UK news outlet The Guardian, “You need an icon or two in a museum to drag people in…this is our Mona Lisa and it will be our Mona Lisa for the next 100 years.”

“Hurum purchased the fossil for an undisclosed sum from the dealer based on seeing only three photographs and not the actual fossil, a “huge gamble” that suggests pressure to make some kind of return on the university’s investment.” -ICR

The business aspect of the hype has a high potential of hurting future discoveries as the public would grow weary of such claims. But from what has been actually observed and it’s not every day one agrees with a liberal slanted publication like Time, but a few missing features (a toothcomb, and a claw) doesn’t necessarily prove it’s a missing link between ape and man.

3 thoughts on “May Day Media Frenzy: Missing Link Discovered?

  1. I like the fact this article points out it was a planned media circus created by the likes of the AP, CNN, History Channel, and the AP while drawing our attention to the fact that not only creationists are skeptical, but even people like New Scientist, Chris Beard, paleontologists like Richard Kay and Callum Ross all say “cherry picked” or not a “missing link.” It’s rare to see this many people from both sides agreeing on a fossil.

  2. Sure, this is a hyped up story which has little to do with science (even though the fossil itself is beautiful and very interesting), but all with the marketing of a movie, a book, etc etc.
    I am not happy with this stupid hyping at all. Some people have pointed out that the actual science is not that well done (not bad either, but certainly not at a high standard).

    But one hyped up story says nothing about evolution itself, of course!

    Would you dismiss all of christianity because of the latest news coming out of Ireland ? Where thousands of children have been systematically raped, whipped, malnourished etc. by catholic priests and nuns over the last 50 years ?

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