Missing Link?

Feast your eyes on what a group of scientists call the Holy Grail of human evolution.

A team of researchers Tuesday unveiled an almost perfectly intact fossil of a 47 million-year-old primate they say represents the long-sought missing link between humans and apes.

As an avowed skeptic, I don’t get too worked up when I read this type of stuff in the mainstream media. Google actually linked to this story via its daily custom created banner. The story is just a little too breathless for me. It could also be that it’s not surprising to me. I expected, and still expect, to read news of discoveries like this, because Evolution is fact, and if you believe that it is, these discoveries will be inevitable.

On the other hand, the mainstream media has to be able to sell their news to the general, relatively ignorant public. That’s capitalism, and necessary. The fine nuances of science are not obvious to most people, including me, so Google does a service by making this discovery so front-and-center prominent. Millions of people will be clicking on Google today, and if even a small percentage of them click past the banner, as I did, and read the story, human knowledge has been advanced. I’m certainly not complaining.

PZ Myers  has a nice post on it, explaining its importance  to our knowledge of evolution. Check it out.

I’m particually impressed that they named it after Darwin, too

10 thoughts on “Missing Link?

  1. It’s just another reason why I hate the news.

    It also doesn’t matter what they find if people are hell bent to believe something like Creationism. No silly things like facts or evidence are going to stand in their way, are they?

  2. God could come down and tell the fundies that the Bible was just big joke, and they’d still go on believing in it, because they want to. That’s what belief is all about.

  3. Well, obviously it was created on Day 6 of Creation Week (but not Man) and it was less able to outrun The Flood, so it was buried before the animals that appear to have “evolved” after it.
    The conclusions are inescapable; it was a modern lemur (less the microevolution from then to now) that drowned because Noah didn’t take on the Ark. Secular so-called “scientists” could’ve sorted this all out years ago, without the hard work of looking at stuff, if they’d only read the Bible (and taken it literally) instead of going to schools of so-called “higher education” and digging in the so-called “geologic column” with their so-called “shovels”.

  4. It’s a good find (even if it was found 20 years ago) and the media have had a “field day” discussing it. Lots of “missing link” headlines, don’t do the fossil (and what it represent) justice, but most people are too stupid to get the subtle nuances this fossil actually entails.

  5. Most of the reliable sources I’ve read cast doubt on this being direct mammalian link. They seem to think that it is most likely a cousin line which died out at some later period. There is a much better candidate (apparently) found in China about 10 years ago and in the same 40 million year frame. It’s interesting and helpful (as all fossils are) but an unlikely link.

    By the way, all fossils which can be determined to be ancestral are “missing links”. There is no such thing as “the” missing link. There are endless missing links, most of which will never be found as fossils.

    Allow me to demonstrate the problem: IF the “Lucy” fossil were determined to be a “link”, and if we found Lucy’s daddy, he’d be another link, her child would be another… and so on. The change from one species into a species of a new name is incremental and seamless. If you had a fossil record of every hominid from Homo habilis to Homo erectus (just one branch-point on the hominid bush) there would be endless scientific argument about the point that we can consider it “branched”.

  6. I did get a chance to see this program and it was great, however, this find of a 47 million year old monkey provides little or nothing to document an ancestral link between apes and man.

    An absolutely dynamite find in it’s own right but as far as adding enlightenment to the theory of macro-evolution, it was pure hype without delivering. Only the desire to market this show puts this find in the category of Lucy.

    Missing link? Better keep looking.

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