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Thread: "Darwinius Masillae" -Missing Link?

  1. #1

    Default "Darwinius Masillae" -Missing Link?

    What do you guys think of this "Missing Link" in the evolution of man?

    Seems like we may finally have proof of evolution(Or as close to proof as we can truely get)
    At the very least, should be entertaining to see how the fundamentalist christian leaders respond



    May 19, 2009—Meet "Ida," the small "missing link" found in Germany that's created a big media splash and will likely continue to make waves among those who study human origins.

    In a new book, documentary, and promotional Web site, paleontologist Jorn Hurum, who led the team that analyzed the 47-million-year-old fossil seen above, suggests Ida is a critical missing-link species in primate evolution (interactive guide to human evolution from National Geographic magazine).

    (Among the team members was University of Michigan paleontologist Philip Gingerich, a member of the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society, which owns National Geographic News.)

    The fossil, he says, bridges the evolutionary split between higher primates such as monkeys, apes, and humans and their more distant relatives such as lemurs.

    "This is the first link to all humans," Hurum, of the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway, said in a statement. Ida represents "the closest thing we can get to a direct ancestor."

    Ida, properly known as Darwinius masillae, has a unique anatomy. The lemur-like skeleton features primate-like characteristics, including grasping hands, opposable thumbs, clawless digits with nails, and relatively short limbs.

    "This specimen looks like a really early fossil monkey that belongs to the group that includes us," said Brian Richmond, a biological anthropologist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the study.

    But there's a big gap in the fossil record from this time period, Richmond noted. Researchers are unsure when and where the primate group that includes monkeys, apes, and humans split from the other group of primates that includes lemurs.

    "[Ida] is one of the important branching points on the evolutionary tree," Richmond said, "but it's not the only branching point."

    At least one aspect of Ida is unquestionably unique: her incredible preservation, unheard of in specimens from the Eocene era, when early primates underwent a period of rapid evolution. (Explore a prehistoric time line.)

    "From this time period there are very few fossils, and they tend to be an isolated tooth here or maybe a tailbone there," Richmond explained. "So you can't say a whole lot of what that [type of fossil] represents in terms of evolutionary history or biology."

    In Ida's case, scientists were able to examine fossil evidence of fur and soft tissue and even picked through the remains of her last meal: fruits, seeds, and leaves.

    What's more, the newly described "missing link" was found in Germany's Messel Pit. Ida's European origins are intriguing, Richmond said, because they could suggest—contrary to common assumptions—that the continent was an important area for primate evolution.
    -Brian Handwerk

    National Geographic:Missing Link

  2. #2

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    This isn't new proof of evolution; evolution is already accepted by the scientific community. It's just another piece of evidence, more proof if you will, though I don't like the word "proof" in science. A very important piece of evidence though. As far as the phrase "missing link" goes, that's misleading. There is no single missing link but dozens or hundreds. It's just one more link in the chain. And the creationists will say it's just another monkey, and a few might say that carbon dating is flawed or fake science.

  3. #3
    soren456

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    Quote Originally Posted by TB29 View Post
    . . . .At the very least, should be entertaining to see how the fundamentalist christian leaders respond . . . .
    Joking, right?

    Facts have never impressed the Christers. Not gonna start now . . . .

  4. #4

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    As a christian I haven't seen anything that disproves god yet. I don't see how god couldn't of used evolution as a means to create all different species. I am pretty sure the bible isn't all of god's game plan.

    So I find all of this "meh" plus it look's like they still got a bit of testing and dating to do on this fossil.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    As a christian I haven't seen anything that disproves god yet. I don't see how god couldn't of used evolution as a means to create all different species. I am pretty sure the bible isn't all of god's game plan.

    So I find all of this "meh" plus it look's like they still got a bit of testing and dating to do on this fossil.
    I am NOT trying to start an argument here :P
    Anything that can be proven without factual evidence, can be disproven without factual evidence.

  6. #6
    Mako

    Default

    This is just the media running wild again. We've long since observed man evolution, as well of that of several other hominids, primates, apes, and monkeys. And thats just our family tree, this isn't including the countless other species. This is exciting because it goes back even further, giving as more links in an area where it's difficult to find them. But evolution is already known to occur and long has been with evidence of several disciplines supporting the others claims.

    What's really going to piss me off, is when they're going to try so hard to appear unbiased they'll parade around the kirk camerons of the world, by proxy giving these crazies validation.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To attempt to avoid what is usually the inevitable. Before ANYONE throws around the word theory. Look up it's scientific definition. If someone after confuses the philosophical definition of theory (which in science is a hypothesis], with the scientific definition, then you only prove your own great ignorance of science.



    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    As a christian I haven't seen anything that disproves god yet. I don't see how god couldn't of used evolution as a means to create all different species. I am pretty sure the bible isn't all of god's game plan.

    So I find all of this "meh" plus it look's like they still got a bit of testing and dating to do on this fossil.
    Zagete already nailed the first sentence. The second part, well if it is God pulling the strings, man does he really suck at it. Theres more extinct species then living, and a hell of a lot of useless adaptations that continue simply for being bundled with one that is useful.

  7. #7

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    The point of science isn't to prove the absence of god. The two are unrelated except when paired by individuals with agendas or bones to pick.

    It's a monkey fossil. Regardless of whatever potential it may serve as evidence for evolution, I think it's cool just because it 47 million years old, excellently preserved, and a new species. The scientists have been working on it in secret for two years, probably to avoid all the political and media crap that ensues when a discovery like this is made. Why can't god and evolution coexist? No reason I can think of. For that reason, it is more accurate and more sensitive to say "creationist" when referring to someone who believes in creationism rather than "christian." There aren't millions of christians that believe in evolution and millions who believe in intelligent design? Of course there are, and few thousand are scientists.

  8. #8

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    I think it's amazing that there were monkey like creatures 47 million years ago. I noticed a family resemblance immediately, and cried, "Uncle Fred, is that you?" Actually, the head looked to be more reptilian which seemed odd to me. Maybe it was the angle of the picture. Anyway, can one really tell what is related to what when it's 47 million years old? I love science and the connections it can make, but at the same time, I have to be convinced. Even so, this is a fantastic find.

  9. #9

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Zagete View Post
    I am NOT trying to start an argument here :P
    Anything that can be proven without factual evidence, can be disproven without factual evidence.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mako View Post
    Zagete already nailed the first sentence. The second part, well if it is God pulling the strings, man does he really suck at it. Theres more extinct species then living, and a hell of a lot of useless adaptations that continue simply for being bundled with one that is useful.
    1. I never said I had proof of god or anything he does. I don't and most likely they will have proof. "That's why they call it a leap of faith, Jack."- John Locke (Lost)

    2.So since god doesn't cover his tracks that means he sucks and most likely doesn't exist?

    I believe in god, I also believe that somewhere out in the universe there is alien life wither it be microbes or god forbid ewoks or wookies. I have personally seen no reason on why science and religion can not fit together in the large puzzle. I am also not certain if the bible was translated properly at all, for all I know everything in it could be wrong even if the translators had the best of intentions.

    However everything just seems to perfect for some larger being not to have a role in how things have played out. It's like why haven't we fallen into the sun? Why are waterfall's in Yosemite so pretty if it's just a course of nature? it's not like that are that rare.. there's handful's of them anywhere there's a mountain. Why do people admire The Grand Canyon if it's a hole in the ground?

    Anyway's that's my two cents. Any of you can stick to your own if you want and I am not here to lecture you or anyone else about my views on why or how we got here.

  10. #10

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