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'Missing Link' in Human Evolution Found, Say Scientists

Missinglink A small monkeylike fossil scientists are calling 'Darwinius masillae' is the elusive "missing link" in human evolution, scientists say. The fossil, discovered in 1983, had been split in half and sold to private collectors, but was recently brought back together by researchers led by Jørn Hurum, of the University of Oslo Natural History Museum.

Said Hurum:

“This fossil will probably be pictures in all the textbooks for the next 100 years. This is the first link to all humans... truly a fossil that links world heritage. This fossil is so complete. Everything’s there. It’s unheard of in the primate record at all. You have to get to human burial to see something that’s this complete.”

The Times reports: "Darwinius masillae, a small monkey-like creature that lived 47 million years ago, illuminates a critical chapter in the human story when the primate family tree split into two branches, one of which ultimately led to us. The fossil could even mark the point at which the evolutionary lineage that gave rise to humans, apes and monkeys diverged from the one that produced more distant primate cousins such as lemurs, lorises and bushbabies. Its anatomical features suggest it lies close to the origin of the human branch and that the creature, or something rather like it, could be an ancient ancestor of humans and their closest animal relatives"

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  1. And here the whole time I thought my ex was the missing link.

    Posted by: mikey | May 19, 2009 11:50:45 AM


  2. That's a great article on the "missing link". Thanks for posting it.

    However, I can hear the Right Wing Nut Jobs screaming all over the world that this is a "hoax" created by Satan to test their "faith".


    I have to say this, if you don't believe in evolution, you're a fucking idiot.


    There's nothing that says you can't believe in God if you believe in evolution. If there is a God, I think It would be capable of anything.

    Posted by: Bobby | May 19, 2009 12:12:18 PM


  3. This is very exciting news.

    They've announced "missing links" in the past that later turn out to be hoaxes. Hopefully this won't turn out to be the case - although this bit at the end of the article is worrisome:

    "The PR operation has been criticised by some scientists, who believe it is wrong for a discovery to receive such heavy publicity before it has been published so that other researchers can evaluate it."

    That's not a good sign.

    DU

    Posted by: Daniel | May 19, 2009 12:17:52 PM


  4. But this contradicts the dating of the dinosaur fossils on display at Liberty University. I don't understand.

    I agree with Bobby, above.

    Posted by: reality is reality | May 19, 2009 12:26:54 PM


  5. Magic man done it!

    Posted by: Wes | May 19, 2009 12:47:07 PM


  6. I was thinking it was my ex, but his tail wasn't that long... that skinny, but not that long.

    Posted by: kansastock | May 19, 2009 12:57:17 PM


  7. The find is great, but the article misleads. There is no such thing as a "missing link". We have found many fossils that lie on the continuum between early primates and us.

    Evolution is always happening. Every species in existence is a "link" between the earlier form that gave rise to it, and whatever will come next.

    And Daniel, the idea that all the "missing links" have been "hoaxes" is straight out of a nutjob Christian "Chic tract". It's bullshit. There have been a few hoaxes throughout history, yes. But we also do have a mountain of credible evidence about our ancestors and hominid relatives.

    Oh and Bobby, yes you are a fucking idiot if you don't believe in evolution. But I also think it is illogical to believe in both evolution and God, at least the "loving God" Christians claim exists.

    Evolution, and nature in general, is an arms race to survival. It's a cruel, unforgiving world. Watch any nature show. Animals ruthlessly hunt down other animals and tear them limb from limb. Entire species go extinct, and only those with beneficial mutations live long enough to create offspring. Survival in nature is a weeding out process and it is driven by death. Death, suffering and carnage.

    Is this is work of a "loving God"? Hardly. If you can believe that then you're just as uninformed as any evolution denialist.

    Posted by: Eshto | May 19, 2009 1:03:17 PM


  8. Andy, are you sure it is not a whippit or a greyhound?

    Posted by: amoyer | May 19, 2009 1:05:58 PM


  9. The god of christianity is not a loving god anyways.

    The thing is, most people don't just believe in god. They believe they KNOW god, his intentions, his desires, what he approves and doesn't approve of. They speak for god.

    And they most often accept dogma clearly written by mostly awful humans meant to control other humans.

    'Intelligent design' is religion adapting to survive in an increasingly educated world. Moderate religion is the same thing. Most people do not take scriptures literally anymore, only because they can't if they are to appear credible or sane. For hundreds of years that wasn't the case, and in many places still isn't, and people suffer for it.

    Ironically, religion has had to evolve to continue its existence and relevancy in the modern world.

    Posted by: Wes | May 19, 2009 1:14:34 PM


  10. These are all great arguments. I love this kind of chatter. I wish people would do this more often.

    As an atheist, I often feel disenfranchised and bullied by religious followers and feel shy to mention it sometimes for fear of reprisal.

    Carry on!

    Posted by: Michael | May 19, 2009 1:48:56 PM


  11. Daniel

    There have been a "FEW" frauds due to desire for fame and money, but the evolutionary tree is not full of frauds. It is quite detailed.

    You are 100% correct though on the

    ".....The PR operation has been criticised by some scientists, who believe it is wrong for a discovery to receive such heavy publicity before it has been published so that other researchers can evaluate it.."

    Every thing in every branch of science must be submitted to peer review before mass publicizing to the masses. Peer review shakes out slight mistakes, misreading of test results, and or out and out fraudulent stuff.


    Red flags!!!!! whenever something is not submitted for peer review before a rush to publish for the masses.

    ------------------------

    Bobby

    They actually do say such. I have heard id cultists trully say in all seriousness that either satan put fossils in the ground to lead the faithful astray or by god himself to test the faith of the faithful

    Crazy!!!

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | May 19, 2009 3:40:59 PM


  12. Not the Montauk Monster again -- how many times is that this month? LOL

    Posted by: David B. 2 | May 19, 2009 4:55:07 PM


  13. You know folks, as a Christian and a Gay Man I think this is amusing. Maybe this is, maybe this isn't the missing link - but the real question is are we loving each other and taking good care of each other? Are tolerant of those we expect to be tolerant of us? Do we forgive those who might not accept us?

    All the monkey skeletons in the world don't amount to anything if we can't love each other for who we ALL are.

    Posted by: dvdinorl | May 19, 2009 6:51:32 PM


  14. Nope. The head is way too small to be Dick Cheney.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | May 19, 2009 7:54:35 PM


  15. The ignorance of evolutionist never fails to surprise me. How is this a missing link between monkeys and humans? Ida is just an exinct breed of monkey. Big deal! When they show me anything remotely human-like I'll begin to ponder. And why did this fossil suddenly become unleashed after 20 years. Any evolutionists out there should read 'Science vs. Evolution.' That will rattle them.
    God bless,
    Prof Wilson

    Posted by: Prof Wilson | May 20, 2009 2:32:59 AM


  16. dvdinorl said:

    "All the monkey skeletons in the world don't amount to anything if we can't love each other for who we ALL are."

    I'm sorry, but this is wrong! That's exactly the sort of thinking that we as Christians should be trying to dispel- that the physical world doesn't matter as long as we have the spiritual world to replace it. We should have compassion for our fellow man, by all means- it's one of the foundations of the Christian religion. However, we can't hand-wave science.

    (Let me make it clear that I am a creationist.)

    That’s not the issue here. That ‘science’ is unimportant is a viewpoint that can and will be used against you, and other Christians- people can point to it and say, "Therefore, a critical part of Christianity is to ignore the truth."

    Which is absolutely wrong. After all, Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength." That the founder of Christianity said as much should certainly make you think.

    I just wanted to clear it up for anyone who reads this: Science is important, too. You need to have a firm and solid foundation for your faith, otherwise, what’s the point?

    Posted by: unshaken | May 20, 2009 7:10:14 AM


  17. You can’t believe in the god of the Bible and believe in the science of evolution. In fact you can’t believe in the god of the Bible, that god of Abraham, and believe in any of the sciences like evolution, geology, astrophysics, archaeology, and biology to name just few. All of these sciences prove Genesis to be a lie and if the beginning of the scriptures is a lie then the rest that follow is also a lie. Genesis is very specific with names and places of which none of it can be backed with any tangible evidence.
    As a Deist I most certainly do believe in God and this discover doesn’t change my mind. But then I don’t believe in a magical god and I don’t need the lie of scriptures to make me feel secure in my faith.

    Posted by: 1♥ | May 20, 2009 10:08:58 AM


  18. Very fascinating. I'm looking forward to the documentaries which this will spawn.

    Posted by: The People's Program | May 20, 2009 10:21:30 AM


  19. "I have to say this, if you don't believe in evolution, you're a fucking idiot."


    Well, I have to say this, If you believe that everything is here because of random, undesigned, beneficial mutations, you are a fucking idiot.

    Posted by: Brandon | May 20, 2009 2:29:53 PM


  20. "All of these sciences prove Genesis to be a lie"

    Name just ONE!! Then I will show you how thoughtless and absurd your whole paragraph is.

    Posted by: Daniel | May 20, 2009 8:00:59 PM


  21. Well, you think that is a story? How about this...Mr Christian himself, answering to a greater father has had a little twist-about on that issue. Are you kidding me? Bush was elected TWICE because of the Christian right. He totally snubbed Al Gore on the global warming, in essence snubbing science itself. Now he has moved the Bible from his desk to his bookshelf next to the Dan Brown books? Quite a backslider:

    http://www.socoolaz.com/article/World_News/World_News/Scientific_Missing_Link_Found_Bush_Family_Celebrate_in_Texas/30261

    Posted by: The Grayheck | May 21, 2009 12:00:08 AM


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