Another One Bites The Dust

Tear up the wallchart documenting “humanity’s long lost ancestor”. Correct the recently altered “primate family tree” (pdf). Dismiss the 3.7bn year timeline “from bacteria to mammals” (pdf). Ignore the front page comment by Sir David Attenborough.

Ida, the 47million-year-old fossil described as the “first link in human evolution” and vociferously championed by the media (including the Guardian) earlier this year, is no such thing, according to a team of scientists. They say that Ida is, instead, from a “group of extinct primates” which are “not ancestors” to humans.

From: Ida, the fossil that fascinated the world, may miss out on missing link status

4 thoughts on “Another One Bites The Dust

  1. Dawn,

    Yeah, you’re probably right. The other new “missing link” called Ardi has also been sensationalized in the press. It was reconstructed from “thousands” of bone “fragments”. I believe the pelvis was especially fragmented. These fragments also had to be sifted through from numerous other fragments in the boneyard (it took a team of scientists about 17 years). Despite this, these scientists supposedly were able to reconstruct this splintered pelvis and other features (some fragments were reportedly smaller than toothpicks) enough to definitively say that this was a bi-pedal primate with both human and chimp-like characteristics (and the “human” characteristics are basically the shape of some of the teeth and the supposed bi-pedalism).

    This was the same basic story with “Lucy” I believe. The pelvis was severely crushed. The scientists tried to reconstruct the badly crushed pelvis and “Tada!”, it turns out that the pelvis had bi-pedal characteristics! Of course, on both counts there are no doubt scientists who would dispute the findings and question the possibility of coming to such conclusions based on crushed bones and thousands of bone fragments. But those voices get forever drowned out in the hype, as you pointed out.

    God Bless,

    BTW, I have no problem with extinct forms of primates that are unlike anything we have seen today, even bi-pedal ones. But finding such extinct primates does not mean that they are our ancestors. One has to presuppose evolutionary theory to draw such conclusions. The existence of extinct primates with characteristics different from any primates we see today is simply not enough to establish ancestry or an evolutionary progression. All it objectively demonstrates is that there once existed primates different from what we find today (but since when are evolutionary scientists objective?).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s