Missing Link Between Humans and Apes Found?

May 20th, 2009 by

Researchers say they have found the “missing link” between humans and apes in a fossilized primate they have dated at 47 million years old. According to Daily News:

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.

Officially known as Darwinius masillae, the fossil of the lemur-like creature dubbed Ida shows it had opposable thumbs like humans and fingernails instead of claws.

Scientists say the cat-sized animal’s hind legs offer evidence of evolutionary changes that led to primates standing upright – a breakthrough that could finally confirm Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

“This specimen is like finding the Lost Ark for archeologists,” lead scientist Jorn Hurum said at a ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History.

“It is the scientific equivalent of the Holy Grail. This fossil will probably be the one that will be pictured in all textbooks for the next 100 years.”

The History Channel will air a film concerning the fossil next week, the promo is below: [Link to Video]

Interestingly, the announcement of this research comes just a few weeks after the launch of evangelical Christian Francis Collins’ pro-evolution BioLogos initiative (for perspective on how the BioLogos team believes God could have had a role in evolution, click here).

Robert Crowther at Evolution News & Views of the pro-intelligent-design Discovery Institute was not shaken by the news:

If they weren’t atheists, you’d think the scientists raising the ballyhoo over Ida were hailing the second coming.

Here is yet another icon of evolution. Every time one of these discoveries is made, there’s a huge PR snow job from the Darwin lobby to make it seem like it answers all the questions and objections. I thought Tiktaalik did that. Or maybe Archaeopteryx. It goes at least as far back as Proconsul. Each time the Darwinists seem to forget they already found the missing link — the one fossil to rule them all — and re-find it all over again.

At least CBS News was a bit more skeptical than Sky News when they reported it on Friday.

While the fossil doesn’t relate to the more heated debate over whether chimpanzees and humans share a common identity – the fossil is not the so-called “missing link” — the two factions will likely pounce on this new find with evolutionists claiming the skeleton adds to the limited fossil record.

Today’s Sky News article is amazing in its breathless excitement over this latest missing link. Naturally, this more nuanced and balanced piece is the one the media is jumping on and trumpeting today.

The discovery of the 95%-complete ‘lemur monkey’ – dubbed Ida – is described by experts as the “eighth wonder of the world”.

For perspective on another fossil that was proclaimed to have “illuminat[ed] our ancestors’ transition from sea to land,” only later to be dismissed as a fossil of “poor” quality with radials that “did not seem to match the way modern fingers and toes radiate from a joint, parallel to each other” by evolutionists, take a look at Evolution News & Views’ TikTaalik article.

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