Tag Archives: Ida

Access Research Network’s top 10 science stories of 2009

Here’s the list from ARN, one of my favorite sites on intelligent design.

Here’s my summary:

15. Gene regulatory networks in cell nuclei are similar to cloud computing networks

14. Molecular motors in the cell operate in a coordinated manner

13. White blood cells use legs for gripping, moving and reading distress signals

12. A failed attempt to defeat the argument for irreducible complexity

11. Rapid formation of early galaxies

10. Reverse-engineering of designs in biology for use in human inventions

9. Peppered moths go back to light-gray from black

8. The deflated excitement over Ardi

7. The deflated excitement over Ida

6. The Cambrian explosion defies materialist explanation

5. The edge of evolution confirmed by experiment

4. Genomics destroys the modern sythesis hypothesis

3. The emergence of holisitic explanations in biology

2. Signature in the Cell is released to high acclaim

1. New peer-reviewed paper on ID by Dembski and Marks


ID the Future has three podcasts going over the stories, if you prefer to listen instead of read.

Peer-reviewed journal notes that Ida is not part of human ancestry

This story comes to me from Lone Wolf Archer.

Probably the two best peer-reviewed science journals in the world are Science and Nature. Well, Nature is now reporting on a new piece of research just released showing that the Ida fossil, which was touted by Darwinists as THE MISSING LINK, is actually not a part of human ancestry at all. It’s related to lemur ancestry!

Here’s the Nature story:

A 37-million-year-old fossil primate from Egypt, described today in Nature1, moves a controversial German fossil known as Ida out of the human lineage.

Teeth and ankle bones of the new Egyptian specimen show that the 47-million-year-old Ida, formally called Darwinius masillae, is not in the lineage of early apes and monkeys (haplorhines), but instead belongs to ancestors (adapiforms) of today’s lemurs and lorises.

Lone Wolf Archer has more here, including a link to a longer story that explains the details.

Does the new Ida fossil prove evolution?

Well, if it does, doesn’t that mean that evolution wasn’t proved before?

But I digress. Whenever you have questions about evolution and culture, there is only one blog that you really need to read, and that’s Denyse O’Leary’s Post-Darwinist. She has written no less than THREE stories on the Ida fossil, so let’s take a look at see what she’s found.

First, on May 19th, she noted that the lemur-like fossil contradicted the current best naturalistic theory of human origins.

[The] fossil doesn’t “explain” human evolution; it complicates the picture. The theory that was gaining ground was that humans were descended from tarsier-like creatures, but this fossil, touted as a primate ancestor, is a lemur-like creature.

Second, on May 21st, she added:

This recent Messil Pit find bolsters the case of the lemur supporters against the previously dominant tarsier supporters.

That only creates more confusion about origins, it seems to me, rather than resolving anything.

Where you have opposing histories, evidence that strengthens one history must weaken the other.

It does not necessarily add up to a gain in information.

What if the tarsier advocates find a fossil that bolsters their case in, say, 2012?

And who’s to say that won’t happen – as it has happened already?

Everything gets so complicated, once you look past the “missing link” sound-bites. But many people looking for validation for their atheist lifestyle will never bother – so long as the cultural authorities can offer them some Piltdown Man or Archaeoraptor or Haeckel’s embryos or Peppered Moths, etc., to justify their atheistic faith.

Denyse also points to a round-up of links from Access Research Network, as well as a New Scientist story that is skeptical of Ida’s status as *the* missing link.

Third, on May 25th, she linked to this story from the UK Times Online:

… in the research paper detailing the discovery, the scientists had painted a rather different picture. Ida, they said, “could represent a stem group from which later anthropoid primates (including humans) evolved but we are not advocating this here”.

And more:

Robert Foley, professor of human evolution at Cambridge University, believes many people misunderstand the huge timescales involved in assessing fossils.

“This animal lived around 47m years ago but human-like creatures only appeared in the last 2m years,” he said. “That’s a gap of around 45m years with many other species lying between us and that era. Any one of them could be called a missing link. Really, the term is meaningless.”

Now I know what my many atheist readers are saying: “we’re only skeptical of your beliefs! Not our beliefs!”. Well, I’m sorry, true believers, to throw cold water on you.