Oh, My! Another Missing Link


You just can’t trust the media to get it right. This week, I heard news reports concerning an exciting new discovery—the “Missing Link”—that proves evolution is true. Some reports called it a “groundbreaking discovery” that fills in a critical gap in human and primate evolution.

The fossil, named “Ida,” is about the size of a cat, with four legs and a tail. It’s remarkably well preserved, down to the contents (fruit and leaves) in the fossil’s stomach area. But a closer reading of the story shows:

  • This isn’t a new discovery at all. It’s a fossil that was found in 1983.
  • The sudden PR “hype” is because of the rollout of a documentary called “The Link,” that will air on the History Channel next week, and a companion book. In other words, this is a marketing campaign, not a new discovery. (The mainstream media fell for a similar trick a couple of years ago regarding the “Gospel of Judas.”)
  • Nothing about this so-called “link” indicates that it could in any way be in any purported chain of human evolution. Top scientists are asking the hype be tempered to reflect the fact that Ida has no transitional features and is therefore irrelevant to the evolutionary hypothesis of human development.

A science writer for the Smithsonian wrote:

This is a shame. I would have hoped that this fossil would receive the care and attention it deserves, but for now it looks like a cash cow for the History Channel. Indeed, this association may not have only presented overblown claims to the public, but hindered good science as well.

A report in today’s Baptist Press quotes Dr. Kurt Wise, a paleontologist with his doctorate from Harvard (he studied under the famous evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould), as saying:

The unusual conditions of the Messel Lake (in Germany, where the fossil was discovered) were probably created by a combination of global warmth (a much warmer earth than that of the present day) and the presence of active supervolcanoes (much larger than any known today) – both a consequence (I believe) of the earth recovering from the effect of Noah’s Flood.

There are also articles about this at The Christian Post and the Discovery Institute. For me, there are two great lessons to be learned from this publicity stunt:

1. Every discovery and every fossil displays the creative intelligence and genius of a Designer/Creator God. It’s a wonder to see how incredibly He created all that was and is.

2. You can’t trust media hype when it comes to the “Missing Link.” That’s something we should have learned with Piltdown Man.