Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Missing Link? or Missing the Mark?


ancient-primate47-MILLION-YEAR-OLD PRIMATE FOSSIL UNVEILED – This time they’ve found it! This time they’ve proven it without a shadow of a doubt! This time they have uncovered the fossilized “missing link.” This find is being hailed as possibly the most important find in the advancement of Evolutionary understanding to date. Some eager to have the whole ID movement quashed, and creationism outlawed, are ready to proclaim that this is just one more nail in the coffin of religious fanaticism that so doggedly denies the FACT of Evolution.

You would think from the pro-evolution, anti-creation hype that is being whipped up that they had found the bones of Jesus Himself! (and not just some supposed long lost potentially connected fore bearer on some fictional family tree.) Behold! They have found your evolutionary ancestor … Or have they?

What they have found (some 26 years ago by the way) is not “the” missing link nor even “a” missing link. It is the fossilized remains of a primate something like a lemur. Does it have traits similar to man? Of course it does … It’s a primate. Just like lemurs, monkeys, and apes have those similar traits even today. It is those similar traits that define such creatures as a primate. It does not prove evolutionary movement to or from anything.

The only thing missing here is the link to common sense and rational thought. It’s like me saying that today I saw a butterfly therefore I am good person. I did indeed see a butterfly and I may indeed be a good person (though you are welcome to disagree) but that does not then mean that one leads to the other. There is no reason to conclude a causal relationship between the two. Similarly, this little fossil had opposable thumbs and humans have opposable thumbs … so what?

Before you buy into the hype and the daring jumps of logic surrounding this latest find do a little digging for yourself. A great place to start is with the recent interview with Dr. David Menton on Issues Etc.

A Fossil of the Alleged Missing Link


Author: kenmaher

When I'm not working I enjoy Astronomy, Camping, Comic Books, Epic Fantasy Novels, Games (both playing and designing), Hiking, Juggling, Sci-fi, and building strange things out of pvc pipe. I also enjoy being an honorary pre-schooler with my four great children ... much to their mother's dismay.

2 thoughts on “Missing Link? or Missing the Mark?

  1. The media hype is truly maddening, but to be fair, most of these claims are not coming from scientists but rather PR people from cable networks (who stand to make money off of extravagant claims) and news editors (who rarely understand the science very well).

    As I noted in my recent writeup though, Ida does yet again establish the same pattern we see throughout the animal kingdom, both modern and fossil: a pattern that really only makes any sense in light of common descent. The importance of the traits you note are not simply that they are similar to those found in humans, but that there is a particular pattern of similarity and dissimilarity in ALL of the traits that fits perfectly into a pattern of ancestry and progressive modification over time. One fossil alone indeed does not tell a story. But put them all together and the story is pretty darn clear.

  2. Thank you Drew for the reminder that as we discuss such things we should be careful not to characterize people unfairly. The authors of the one study connected to this find have cautioned against such extravagant claims as seem to be leading the headlines these days. One fossil cannot and will not prove or disprove either side. (I doubt that all the fossils in the world will change the opinions of either side.)

    I would, however, disagree that there is a pattern that only makes sense in light of a common descent. This simply presupposes evolution and interprets such anatomical structures accordingly.

    In order to see this pattern in the fossil (and living) record You FIRST need to believe that there is an evolutionary connection. Only then will such “evidence” as that given for this and other links can be seen. FIRST You need to believe in time frames that can’t be measured without staggering assumptions, and mechanisms that can’t be truly observed, recreated or even rightly understood (i.e. punctuated equilibrium). All the evidence we have before us is right here and right now. Beyond that most everything is speculation based upon the observer’s world view.

    Without that presupposed world view called evolution all you have in the fossil record are distinct organisms with varying degrees of similarities (just as you can see in all the distinct organisms living today). Evolution is not based upon operational science (observable, testable, repeatable), but on historical conjecture that must assume so many things for which there is no direct (only extrapolated) evidence.

    As an admitted creationist (read: someone who believes that the Bible IS God’s Word and in that Word God says what He means and means what He says) I would not hesitate to say that this little creature with its strikingly subtle similarities does not point to any sort of movement between species, but rather proclaims a Creator who designed all things well … just as a painter uses the same palette of paints to render all kinds of wonderful pictures of varying hues and subtleties.

    Thanks for the comments and the conversation! I appreciate the dialog

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