courtesy of the American Natural History Museum
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Despite energetic media coverage hailing it as the "missing link," the fossil remains of a purportedly 47-million-year-old animal found in Germany lack any real significance in the debate over the origin of mankind, in the view of two experts.
Nicknamed "Ida," the discovery was made in 1983 by private fossil collectors but didn't make headlines until recent days with the rollout of a History Channel documentary called "The Link," which will air May 25.
The pitch of Ida as the missing link is "full-out sensationalism by people who are bypassing the scientific community with a direct-to-the-public appeal on behalf of Darwinism."
-- Answers in Genesis
Kurt Wise, who earned a Ph.D. in paleontology from Harvard University under the supervision of evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould, said he could only comment on the basis of information in news reports.
"It is always exciting to find a well-preserved fossil, especially of something as rarely preserved as a juvenile primate," Wise wrote in a statement to Baptist Press. "The Messel site has generated a large number of spectacular fossils. Although the sediments seem to have been from a lake, it is an unusual one, somehow allowing remarkable preservation of animals both of the lake and the land.
"The unusual conditions of the Messel lake 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 effects of Noah's Flood," Wise, professor of science and theology and director of the Center for Science and Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said.
Ida is about the size of a small cat, with four legs and a long tail, the Associated Press reported. It also is considered the best preserved fossil ever found for a primate, even featuring stomach contents consisting of fruit and leaves. Scientists estimate the creature died at about 9 months of age. Read More