Ida—A Missing Link?
It has been called, not just “a discovery of great significance” (“The Link,” 2009), but the “most significant scientific discovery of recent times” (Leonard, 2009, emp. added). Some scientists claim “it will finally confirm irrefutably Sir Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution” (Leonard, 2009, emp. added). Dr. Jens Lorenz Franzen of Senckenberg Research Institute in Germany referred to it as “the eighth wonder of the world” (as quoted in Scally, 2009), and confidently proclaimed: “When our results are published, it will be just like an asteroid hitting the Earth” (“The Link”). Apparently, Google was so enamored with the find that on May 20 the search engine mogul incorporated an illustration of the animal into its logo. So what’s all the hoopla about? “Our earliest ancestor,” of course (“The Link”). At least, that is what some evolutionists and their friends in the media are telling everyone.
Dubbed Ida (pronounced Ē-da), this 23-inch, lemur-like fossil found in a quarry near Frankfurt, Germany is reportedly the “most complete fossil primate ever discovered” (“Did a Strangely...,” 2009). That, in and of itself, is noteworthy. And, if that was all that was being reported about the fossil, there would be no controversy. Unfortunately, however, some evolutionists have placed the fossil on the Darwinian pedestal.
What can be said about all of Ida’s fanfare? First, no concrete proof has been given (nor can logically be given) for dating the fossil at “47 million years old.” [All evolutionary dating is based upon circular reasoning and/or built-in assumptions (see “The Geologic...,” 2003; DeYoung, 2005; Woodmorappe, 1999).] Second, the “proof” that the animal is an ancient ancestor of humans is nothing more than evolutionists’ speculation about the fossil. Obviously, since evolutionists believe that all humans evolved from fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals over multiplied millions of years, any number of fossil finds could be served up as “evidence” for evolution, when in fact, the fossils are simply the remains of once-living animals—nothing more, nothing less.
In truth, scientific laws such as the Law of Biogenesis preclude the possibility of Darwinian evolution. The DNA molecule and the mind-boggling complexity of the information it contains defy a naturalistic origin. In addition, the problem of human consciousness evolving from inorganic chemicals has never been adequately answered by the Darwinian camp. The fact is, Darwinians cannot prove that humans (or any other organisms) evolved from lower life forms, much less prove that Ida is our ancient ancestor. [NOTE: For a thorough refutation of alleged human evolution, see Harrub and Thompson, 2003).
Third, and perhaps most telling, is the fact that many in the evolutionists own camp have “questioned the conclusions of Hurum and his colleagues about how closely it [Ida—EL/KB] is related to ancestors of monkeys and humans” (Ritter, 2009). John Fleagle, distinguished professor at the State University in New York, referred to the scientists’ analysis of Ida as “‘a pretty weak link’ between the new creature and higher primates” (as quoted in Ritter). “Quite frankly,” Fleagle said, “It doesn’t really tell us much about anthropoid origins” (as quoted in Ritter). In an article appearing in New Scientist titled “Why Ida Fossil is not the Missing Link” (emp. added), Chris Beard, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, wrote:
In order to establish that connection [between Ida and anthropoids—EL/KB], Ida would have to have anthropoid-like features that evolved after anthropoids split away from lemurs and early primates. Here, alas, Ida fails miserably. So, Ida is not a “missing link”—at least not between anthropoids and more primitive primates. Further study may reveal her to be a missing link between other species of Eocene adapiforms, but this hardly solidifies her status as the “eighth wonder of the world” (2009, emp. added).
Beard added: “I actually don’t think it’s terribly close to the common ancestral line of monkeys, apes and people.... I would say it’s about as far away as you can get from that line and still be a primate” (as quoted in Ritter). He further stated that rather than a primate “aunt,” this creature is “more like a third cousin twice removed” (as quoted in Ritter). In his article that is favorable toward the find being an evolutionary link, Tom Leonard conceded: “She is not a direct ancestor of humans and monkeys but it provides a good indication of what such an animal may have looked like” (2009, emp. added). Chris Beard concluded his article by saying: “Instead, Ida is a remarkably complete specimen that promises to teach us a great deal about the biology of some of the earliest and least human-like of all known primates, the Eocene adapiforms” (2009, emp. added).
So, if Ida is not an evolutionary link between anything, what is “she”? Philip Gingerich, president elect of the Paleontological Society in the U.S., described the creature as “a young female adapid” (Naik, 2009). What are adapids? The Princeton University Web site WordNet defines the term as: “extinct small mostly diurnal lower primates that fed on leaves and fruit; abundant in North America and Europe 30 to 50 million years ago” (“Adapid,” n.d.). Notice that adapids are simply “lower primates.” Basically, Ida looks like a lemur that does not have a tooth comb or a grooming claw (Naik, 2009). Some have suggested that the creature did not have “a wet nose,” but Dr. Gingerich is on record as saying: “We can’t say whether it had a wet nose or not” (as quoted in Naik, 2009).
Creationists have long contended that you can divide all of the supposed links of human evolution into two easily identifiable groups—humans and non-humans. Ida is nothing more than a young primate, that happens to be the “least human-like of all known primates.” In truth, one of the most effective ways to assess this find is to simply look at a picture of it. It is easily identified as a cat-sized primate almost identical to a lemur. Any person who has not been indoctrinated with Darwinian teaching would never connect the creature to anything remotely human. We shudder to think what future generations who have shed the false Darwinian assumptions will say when they look back on such unscientific propaganda that so many in our society have embraced. “Ida” certainly did not give rise to humans, but it sure has made a monkey out of the media.
“Adapid” (no date), WordNet, [On-line], URL: http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=adapid.
Beard, Chris (2009), “Why Ida Fossil is not the Missing Link,” New Scientist, May 21, [On-line], URL: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17173-why-ida-fossil-is-not-the-missing-link.html.
DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
“Did a Strangely Human-Like Primate Give Rise to Monkeys, Apes, and Us?” (2009), Discover, May 18, [On-line], URL: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2009/05/18/did-a-strangely-human-like-primate-give-rise-to-monkeys-apes-and-us/.
“The Geologic Timetable and the Age of the Earth” (2003), Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/pdfs/courses_pdf/hsc0304.pdf.
Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2003), The Truth About Human Origins (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Leonard, Tom (2009), “Scientists Unveil Stunning Fossil,” Telegraph, [On-line], URL: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5351315/Scientists-unveil-stunning-fossil.html.
“The Link” (2009), [On-line], URL: http://www.revealingthelink.com/.
Naik, Gautam (2009) “Fossil Discovery is Heralded,” The Wall Street Journal, [On-line], URL: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124235632936122739.html.
Ritter, Malcolm (2009), “Early Skeleton Sheds Light on Primate Evolution,” Yahoo! News, May 20, [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090520/ap_on_sc/ancient_primate.
Scally, Derek (2009), “Fossil Ida a Crucial Finding for the Understanding of Early Human Evolution,” Irish Times, May 21, [On-line], URL: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009/0521/1224247034331.html.
Woodmorappe, John (1999), The Mythology of Modern Dating Methods (El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research).