Tonight the History Channel runs a much-anticipated documentary titled The Link based on a recent fossil discovery that some scientists, and the media promoting them, say “changes everything.” In other words, Darwin was right. After 200 years we finally have the missing link to prove his molecule to man theory of the origin of the universe. Her name is “Ida” and she proves that man really did come from apes! Really? Not so fast.
Ida, originally known as Darwinius massilae in honor of Charles Darwin, is allegedly 47 million years old and was found in Germany. Despite all the hype, she does not look like a transitional “apeman” but more like a small tree-climbing primate with a tail called a lemur. So where’s the link to humans? It’s still missing according to some experts.
This week I enjoyed a timely conversation with Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis and founder of the amazing Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Sitting in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Washington located minutes from Capitol Hill, I asked Ken what he thought about the recent discovery of Ida.
“Apparently, the scientific community has gotten ahead of itself,” he said. “Many leading evolutionists are beginning to back peddle on Ida, but the book, journal article and documentary are already out.”
“It sounds like the rush to make Ida the ‘missing link’ is going to backfire and embarrass evolutionists,” I replied.
“Exactly!” Ken said with a grin in his distinctly Australian accent. “They rushed the scientific process and exaggerated the claims. In the end, I think this will hurt not help those who promote evolution.”
Ken went on to cite two articles about Ida already released by AiG, a creation apologetics ministry committed to defending biblical authority from the first verse of the Bible. In one of the articles titled, “Ida: The Real Story of This ‘Scientific Breakthrough,’” AiG researchers listed excerpts from numerous media sources that show how scientists are divided. For example,
University of New England paleoanthropologist Peter Brown remains skeptical. He pointed to a story in the Weekend Australian in which one of [coauthor Jørn] Hurum’s coauthors, University of Michigan paleontologist Philip Gingerich, said the team would have preferred to publish in a more rigorous journal such as Science or Nature.
Dr. Gingerich told the Wall Street Journal: “There was a TV company involved and time pressure. We’ve been pushed to finish the study. It’s not how I like to do science.”
“That rings all sorts of warning bells,” Professor Brown cautioned. He said that however it was prepared, the paper did not provide sufficient proof that Ida was the ancestral anthropoid.
“It’s nice it has fingernails, something we have, as do most primates . . . but they’ve cherry-picked particular character[istics] and they’ve been criticized (by other scientists) for doing that.”
From “Scientists Divided on Ida as the Missing Link,” Leigh Dayton, The Australian, May 21, 2009
The hype surrounding the discovery of Ida is another example of how shaky science is used to promote ideology. The truth is evolution cannot be supported by the simple scientific method taught in high school. Scientific proof requires observation, experimentation, falsification and predictable results. Evolution fails on all four accounts. For example, nobody has ever observed macro evolution as it allegedly happened over millions of years.
In a letter to a friend named Asa Grey, Charles Darwin wrote, “I am quite conscious that my speculations run beyond the bounds of true science. . . . It is a mere rag of an hypothesis with as many flaws and holes as sound parts.” Yes, Ida is another attempt to make scientific riches out of Darwin’s rag.
Let’s be honest. Evolution is more an ideology than science. In fairness, creationism too is an ideology, based on belief in God and confidence in the Holy Scriptures starting with Genesis 1:1. But at least creationists admit this. Duane Gish, a Ph.D. scientist in biochemistry and a creationist, says it this way, “Evolution theory is indeed no less religious nor more scientific than creation.”
For a long time the fossils have just said no when it comes to evolutionist’s claims. They still say no despite Ida and the rush to say we found Darwin’s missing link.