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Richard Dawkins What if you are Wrong?

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A Built on Rock Website A Missing Link

On the whole I think the evidence is less than convincing," said Chris Gilbert, a paleoanthropologist at Yale University. "They make an intriguing argument but I would definitely say that the consensus is not in favour of the hypothesis they're proposing.’


"This fossil has been hailed as the eighth wonder of the world. Frankly I've got 10 more in my basement," said Chris Beard, a curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. He also said of Ida.


"It's not a missing link, it's not even a terribly close relative to monkeys, apes and humans, which is the point they're trying to make.’


Quotes from Live Science.


The Sunday Times on the 24 /5/ 09 had a full page article titled: “Origin of the Specious.”

T

The tagline says it all: ‘Ida the fossil was hailed as the ‘missing link’ in our evolution. Don’t believe the hype.’


David Attenborough has been closely associated with the media hype and made his own authoritative eulogy to Ida. This doyen of the media, a man who has conducted a very public, decade’s long courtship of Mother Nature, is quoted as saying: “The link until now was missing. Well, it is no longer missing.”


Two paleontologists, who have become famous for their disagreements, have come together to criticise the findings of those behind the scientific statements and the publicity surrounding Ida. Christopher Beard, curator of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh records a conversation with his rival Elwyn Simons of Duke University.


“Dr Simons phoned me for the first time in 10 years to share his outrage about this malarkey and, for the first time, I agree with him….First the paper is shoddy scholarship because it avoids comparing Darwinius maxillae (Ida) with similar fossils to put it into a proper context. The rollout was extraordinary and it is now clear that the scientists were under pressure to meet the show business deadlines. The tail was wagging the dog…Simons is not impressed either.


“It’s absurd and dangerous,” he said. “This is all bad science and it plays into the hands of creationists who look for any excuse to discredit evolution….Darwinius is a wonderful fossil, but it is not a missing link of any kind. It represents a dead end in evolution. It tells us nothing that we do not already know, except that people will be overwhelmed by hype.”


There is clearly sufficient dissent regarding this missing link to mar even the honeymoon period. They have found an exceptionally preserved fossil of a lemur like creature and that seems to be the end of the affair. The absurd hullabaloo over Ida demonstrates only one certain fact. Evolutionists are desperate for good news. The news that a missing link has been found is spread as headline news throughout the media. When it all blows up in the faces of those who have supported it, little or nothing is heard, there is no retraction, no apology, and no shame.


In May 2009 a new fossil discovery was unveiled to the world in a blaze of publicity: this creature’s given name is Ida. She has struck awe among scientists and non-scientists alike, appearing worldwide having been introduced to her public for the first time at a press conference at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Ida has been designated a “missing link,” something evolutionists have in short supply. The city’s mayor Michael Bloomberg called Ida an "astonishing breakthrough." But is Ida a missing link?


Not all scientists are convinced. In fact most seem unconvinced by the huge media circus that has been whipped up by those most likely to profit from the exposure. The scientific community is beset by dissenting groups of experts each one pushing their own version of human evolution. Paleontology is a competitive arena.




Paleoanthropologist John Fleagle said: "What does it tell us about human evolution that we didn't know? Precious little!”