Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Missing Link Goes Missing

It made front page news here in my hometown. Referred to by many as the "missing link" it has quickly gone the way of the "gay gene".

The fossil of a lemurlike creature that probably weighed no more than 2 pounds when it was fully grown is remarkable because it is the most complete primate specimen ever obtained from so long ago, experts say. (statesman)

Hmm, well that didn't seem so big a deal after all.

The discovery was presented with much fanfare at a press conference at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where researchers called the finding a "missing link" and a publisher from Little, Brown (which put out a related book called "The Link") called it "a scientific discovery that will undoubtedly revolutionize how we understand our own evolution." (FoxNews)

Oh well, there you have it, the precursor ahead of the book release. That explains the hoopla and the lack of science...

...David Attenborough announced with confidence that the missing link ‘is no longer missing,’ but the way the evidence has been presented and handled has raised questions about media manipulation, especially from the London Times science correspondent Mark Henderson; he seems quite miffed.

Mark Henderson reports that doubts have arisen now that others have finally been given access to the fossil and suggests that Ida is related to ‘nothing that exists today.’ Although Ida is an important fossil, he writes that ‘she isn’t all that’ and complains that the researchers haven’t provided sufficient evidence to justify their claims. He argues that this is…
‘…especially serious given the publicity blitz behind Ida…a popular book, a documentary, a website and an exhibition have been launched on the back of this find, before it has received full scientific scrutiny.’
(Uncommon Descent)

Even Time Magazine said the whole thing is overhyped:

...Most paleontologists will roll their eyes at that sort of overhyped nonsense, especially given that there's real science lurking underneath. After wading through the false advertising, though, most people might have a hard time finding it.

The sorry state of modern journalism, and science for profit make for an awkward coupling do they not?


Yours, Sincerely said...

Don't confuse the poor journalists with the facts--their minds (and the book deal) are made up!

kkollwitz said...

Missing links or not, the Left will use Evolution to 'prove' God's not necessary. They like it not because it's 'scientific' but because they can use it as a stick to beat Theists.

eutychus said...

Yours- you are right of course, what was I thinking...?

KK- and that's the major point isn't it? I don't have a problem with evolution per se, though it obviously has some problems, rather I reject it when it attempts to become theology or would that be atheology.