Ida “missing link” hype – a lot of hot air!

JP: If you’ve watched CNN or other national media channels this week perhaps you heard about “Ida”.

Article from National Geographic: “MISSING LINK” FOUND: New Fossil Links Humans, Lemurs?


The fossil, he says, bridges the evolutionary split between higher primates such as monkeys, apes, and humans and their more distant relatives such as lemurs.

“This is the first link to all humans,” Hurum, of the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway, said in a statement. Ida represents “the closest thing we can get to a direct ancestor.”

Ida, properly known as Darwinius masillae, has a unique anatomy. The lemur-like skeleton features primate-like characteristics, including grasping hands, opposable thumbs, clawless digits with nails, and relatively short limbs.

Answers in Genesis responds:

For all the headlines and proclamations, this “missing link” story includes an amazing amount of hot air.


  • Nothing about this fossil suggests it is anything other than an extinct, lemur-like creature. Its appearance is far from chimpanzee, let alone “apeman” or human.
  • A fossil can never show evolution. Fossils are unchanging records of dead organisms. Evolution is an alleged process of change in live organisms. Fossils show “evolution” only if one presupposes evolution, then uses that presupposed belief to interpret the fossil.
  • Similarities can never show evolution. If two organisms have similar structures, the only thing it proves is that the two have similar structures. One must presuppose evolution to say that the similarities are due to evolution rather than design. Furthermore, when it comes to “transitional forms,” the slightest similarities often receive great attention while major differences are ignored.
  • The remarkable preservation is a hallmark of rapid burial. Team member Jørn Hurum of the University of Oslo said, “This fossil is so complete. Everything’s there. It’s unheard of in the primate record at all. You have to get to human burial to see something that’s this complete.” Even the contents of Ida’s stomach were preserved. While the researchers believe Ida sunk to the bottom of a lake and was buried, this preservation is more consistent with a catastrophic flood.4 Yet Ida was found with “hundreds of well-preserved specimens.”

How Business Promotion Trumped Scientific Integrity


… media pressures sometimes trump full research integrity (something we’ve seen before), and careless media sources reprint explosive (and unjustified) quotations without consulting as many scientists as they should. Thankfully, though, many in the scientific community are questioning the research and beginning to become more vocal about their concerns regarding how good science and media aren’t the best mix.

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