Wednesday, May 20, 2009

47-Million-Year-Old Fossil the Missing Link?

You know a story is big when Google changes their search engine logo to resemble this fossil.

The basic headline?

"Scientists yesterday unveiled a 47-million-year-old fossil that they’re calling the "missing link" between primates and humans. Technically called a Darwinius masillae, but nicknamed "Ida," the juvenile female primate was discovered in Germany’s Messel Pit and is one of the most intact fossils ever found. In fact, scientists were even able to identify her last meal: fruit, seeds and leaves." (click for more)

National Geographic here...

"Revolutionary" Fossil Fails to Dazzle Paleontologists

So what does this mean? Has the missing link been found? Well here is an interview with Dr. Fuz Rana with one Christian perspective from Reasons to Believe.

This article from Evolution News.

Also, a blog post here at Uncommon Descent and another Christian perspective from Answers in Genesis.

This will become another icon like "Lucy." On a side note, this has been released with the PR blitz of a major movie (book, website, documentary) all without a lot of examination and peer review. Time will tell. But I wouldn't be surprised to see a retraction on page 26 sometime in the future clarifying the import of this fossil.

For a very helpful introduction to evolution, the fossil record, and intelligent design see the Design of Life.

Helpful thoughts from Stand to Reason

"One question that has to be raised with any fossil evidence is the presupposition and interpretation imposed on the evidence placing it in the fossil chain of evolution. Fossils don't come lined nicely in the strata in transitional order, as the pictures of fossils lined up in science books nicely illustrate. Fossils are dated, which gives us their historical place, but that doesn't prove transition. What is evident in the fossil evidence, and in Ida, is variation in species, which isn't at all remarkable. Claiming those variations are proof of one species evolving into a new one is an interpretation of those physical features already with the assumption of evolution, not objective proof.

A transition is only a transition only if it occupies the space in the historical development that it needs to occupy, and no fossil can provide that proof without the presumption of evolution imposed upon it placing it in the transitional chain. That's circular reasoning."

No comments: