'Missing Link' Primate Fossil Debunked

Oct. 21, 2009 – Remember Ida, the fossil discovery announced last May with its own book and TV documentary? A publicity blitz called it “the link” that would reveal the earliest evolutionary roots of monkeys, apes and humans.

Experts protested that Ida wasn’t even a close relative. And now a new analysis supports their reaction.

In fact, Ida is as far removed from the monkey-ape-human ancestry as a primate could be, says Erik Seiffert of Stony Brook University in New York.

He and his colleagues compared 360 specific anatomical features of 117 living and extinct primate species to draw up a family tree. They report the results in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.

Video at source.

Read more: dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/10/21/ida-primate-fossil.html

Don’t they come up with some missing link or other about every fifteen minutes? Sure are desperate to prove we evolved from monkeys.

One disturbing thing about today’s media is that they create a great deal of buzz around a story, but they barely cover retractions and clarifications later on. The result is the initial buzz of the story is taken as truth, and accuracy gets secondary treatment. This fossil will be no different.

It’s not just evolution issues either. Remember the disappearance of bees? I haven’t heard an update in years. Yet the press made the issue seem dire; why no follow up?

:rolleyes: What a joke these missing links are!

Those wacky scientists. Always reviewing and reevaluating evidence, trying to discover new evidence, and then changing their theories if warranted. Why can’t they just proclaim the revealed truth and stick with it forever?

Some of them even think that diseases are caused by germs and not demons.

Yet more evidence that only Creation Science should be taught throughout American Schools and Colleges.

Sorry, only the One True Church does that…

No, quite a few churches do that. And they don’t always agree.

I think you’re right.

It is often uninformed, or half-informed people who make a big deal out of a discovery that even scientists are not in agreement about, giving the impression that something (such as this “missing link”) is settled science, when indeed it is not.

Sarcasm noted.

Bad science is bad science. I find it ironic that people in the scientific community jump all over the Intelligent Design folks and call them pseudo-scientists, yet they overpublicize poorly thought out theories all the time.

When other scientists debunk them, we get pathetic responses about “reviewing and reevaluating evidence.” If they had scientifically reviewed and evaluated the evidence properly in the first place, they wouldn’t have made such wild statements. :shrug:

Apparently, the scientist who was pushing the idea of “Ida” as an important missing link, wasn’t in line with much scientific thinking, anyway, and, didn’t do the computer analysis that is customary in these circumstances (my SIL is a computational phylogeneticist who does this sort of thing.)

Here is a clearly written analysis of the whole situation:

wired.com/wiredscience/2009/10/reconfiguring-ida/

Thanks for the link…here are some highlights:

The analysis of Perry’s team, published Wednesday in Nature, would likely be of purely academic interest had Darwinius been introduced according to paleontological custom. That would have been in carefully written papers presented for review to the scientific community, who already had some informal familiarity with the research. But that’s precisely what didn’t happen.

As prominent paleontologists soon pointed out, Hurum’s team was pushing a theory that most researchers had already dismissed, that anthropoids — monkeys and apes, including ourselves — are descended from lemur-like members of a primate subfamily called adapids, of which Darwinius was one.

This back-and-forth is typical of science and especially paleoanthropology, a research field predicated on competing interpretations of tiny bone fragments. It’s also the sort of dialogue that was missing from Darwinius’ overhyped debut.

“Ultimately it’s about science, and how sound the science is,” said Perry.

This is the money quote from Hurum that shows what a poor excuse for a scientist he is:

At the time, asked by The New York Times about his team’s promotion, Hurum said that “any pop band is doing the same thing,” and that “we have to start thinking the same way in science.”

Sir David Attenborough went right along with him in the documentary, so his credibility is also shot. I think it is a matter of someone finding the conclusion they wanted to find.

**‘Missing link’ Ida lacks evolutionary insights **

Appearances can be deceptive. Ida, a fossil so complete that it launched 1000 headlines in May, might actually be too damaged to reveal much about primate evolution, according to a new analysis.
When Ida, also known as Darwinius masillae, was revealed to the world, many were impressed by its exquisite preservation – even its final meal could be seen, preserved in its 47-million-year-old gut.
Jørn Hurum at the University of Oslo, Norway, and colleagues analysed the fossil and suggested it could help link both major groups of extant primate: the strepsirrhines (lemurs and lorises) and the haplorrhines (tarsiers, monkeys and apes).
That conclusion was hotly contested by many, and is contradicted in a new analysis by Erik Seiffert at Stony Brook University, New York, and colleagues. The team has just discovered a new 37-million-year-old primate in Egypt, which they have namedAfradapis.
Convergent evolution

     	     	          		 		  	     	                                                    Seiffert's team carried out a phylogenetic analysis of 117 extinct and extant primates that looked at 360 morphological characteristics. Their analysis places both *Afradapis* and *Darwinius* firmly on the strepsirrhines branch. The researchers suggest that the characteristics *Darwinius* appears to share with the haplorrhines are the result of convergent evolution.

more…

This is my favorite…actual proof via x-ray:
http://forest.jrc.ec.europa.eu/docs/pattern/guidos/homer-in.png

Actually, proving we evolved from monkeys would disprove the current theory of evolution…

This story comes too late for me. I’ve already included “Grandma Ida” in my family geneology. I’ve been such a fool…:blush: Rob

Wow! Not to mention the waste of paper it took to go all the way back!

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