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"Missing link" found

Posted by: Tedstaff

fossil_plate_full.jpg

Today, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, a revolutionary discovery — one that will stand as a milestone for paleontologists and evolutionists everywhere — was announced. Scientists based at the University of Oslo have discovered “Ida,” also known as Darwinius masillae, a 47-million-year-old fossil that has been proclaimed the “missing link” in connecting human skeletal structure to early mammals.

Scientists found Ida in Messel Pit, Germany and soon found out that she is about twenty times older than most fossils related to human evolution. What makes Ida so special is that despite her classification as an early prosimian (lemurs), she has certain undeniable human characteristics such as forward facing eyes and even an opposable thumb.

This is an exciting and validating day for scientists everywhere. Broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough has said: “This little creature is going to show us our connection with all the rest of the mammals.”

Head on over to The Link for pictures, video and more information about Ida and the team of researchers behind her. Also don’t miss what’s up at the open source journal PLoS One to read about the scientists’ findings.

In the mean time, please enjoy these TEDTalks relating to fossils and evolution (be sure to comment and relate them to this recent news!):

Zeresenay Alemseged

Louise Leakey

Jane Goodall

Susan Savage-Rumbaugh

Comments (283)

  • Mitch J commented on May 21 2009

    To the creationists: Let’s assume that our understanding of evolution is incomplete, and there are complexities we can’t fully explain.* This still wouldn’t justify giving up and saying “God did it”. That’s the same logic employed by primitive religion in explaining away lightning and the rain cycle. It’s a lazy, fallacious way of thinking.

    *Of course, I don’t agree with you here. I think you exaggerate the shortcomings.

    • James Drake commented on May 21 2009

      I agree…just because evolution is not proven does not mean that “God did it!” But by the same token, just because evolutionary theory is the best thing going does not mean that it is fact, either.

      If we stop questioning these things, we never get progress.

      • Christopher Perry commented on May 22 2009

        FYI, the very first thing you learn when you delve into science is that NOTHING in science is EVER proven. EVERYTHING in science is tentative. That is the beauty of science… it’s non-dogmatism. Something you can’t say for religion. Of course you have to understand the concept of PROBABILITY to understand that when science says something is fact what we really mean is that the studies conducted, experiments, evidence found supports a very high probability that our theory is really the case. The computer you are using to comment here on the internet is based on “theories” that are not “proven”, yet it seems to give a sense that these “theories” that make it work are true now doesn’t it?

        • Superk Onna commented on May 26 2009

          “EVERYTHING in science is tentative. That is the beauty of science… it’s non-dogmatism. ”

          You must be new here.

  • James Drake commented on May 21 2009

    This whole thing just smacks of “exploitation of the media”. I mean, before we even hear about the discovery, they already have made several books, a documentary, a promotional website and several other “marketable” items?

    I am also shaking my head at how the NY Daily News article(the one I first read) stated: “… 47 million-year-old primate they say represents the long-sought missing link between humans and apes.”
    What? I thought it showed the link between higher primates(humans, chimps) and Prosimians (lemurs, etc) and therefore connected us to the rest of the animal kingdom. It is this kind of irresponsible reporting on discoveries that gets me, because people will read this, and accept it as truth or even misled. And then the sad truth is, it may not even end up belonging to the Prosimians either!

    But by then, all will be well because then they will write some obscure retraction. That is after it has hit the cover of People, Google, etc and ensured the windfall to come…

  • Fakeer Commentary commented on May 21 2009

    Has anyone looked at the beautiful fossil yet? Or is everyone busy with the creationists and creationist swatters that have come out of the woodwork? If this is a con we’ll know about it soon enough. That’s what the scientific community is about. Just like the creationist con has been called over and over and over….

  • Dano Foley commented on May 21 2009

    Wow, they found the missing link again!
    Another circus is bout to begin,
    bring your dollars and see what they found
    Come universities where suckers abound.
    throw out the obvious rules for this find,
    we have decided what truth is in mind.
    Well make it work, we know how to spin it,
    for PT Barnum said “a sucker is born every minute! ”
    . . .

    • Bert Bril commented on May 21 2009

      Give me alternative theory that WORKS and stop whining.

      There is no ‘spin’ for evolution theory. There is only heavy ‘spin’ against it. Not because they have ANYTHING that is remotely as useful, no, because they it endangers their faith.

      Let’s see, what can we use:
      * we can say the other party uses propaganda
      * We can say it’s not proven
      * We can say it doesn’t make sense
      * We can question the credibility of the other party
      etc. etc.

      Now get cracking and give me an alternative that WORKS. Explanations and predictions. I want to get working theories about animal behaviour, genetics, find oil, …

      Put up or shut up.

      • Dano Foley commented on May 21 2009

        Bert . . you missed the point!
        your loyalty to your opinion supersedes your understanding in simple poetry, this may help. . .

        James Drake’s posting, “This whole thing just smacks of “exploitation of the media”. I mean, before we even hear about the discovery, they already have made several books, a documentary, a promotional website and several other “marketable” items?

        • James Drake commented on May 21 2009

          Exactly! The problem I have with this “discovery” is that it appears to be less about science, and more about creating a “sensation”…less about answering the true mysteries of evolution, and more about showing yet another fossil that doesn’t prove anything except that this creature existed at some point in time.
          Meanwhile, buy the books, watch the documentary, visit the website, come to the exhibit and see what all the fuss is about!!!! CHA-CHING!!!

        • Christopher Perry commented on May 21 2009

          James,

          while your statement is understandable, what you must take into consideration is the level at which evolution is even taught in the United States. The U.S. has the lowest acceptance rate IN THE WORLD (next to Turkey) of the theory of evolution. Thinking back to grade school, I don’t remember being taught a single thing about evolution, nor was it gone over very well if at all in high school. At least articles like this get people talking (and hopefully thinking) about the subject, which is completely ignored in our main stream discourse.

        • Bert Bril commented on May 21 2009

          Dano!

          Oh I missed the point! Right! You do not at all suggest that these people are lying, eh? And eh … if it’s marketed it *must* be wrong, right?

          Nice wording also: ‘loyalty to opinion’. Why not say: you’re such a stubborn idiot that you cannot even appreciate my glorious poetry?

          Try studying the facts before implying that evolution is all about people lying for profit. Now *that* is insulting.

        • James Drake commented on May 22 2009

          Bert,

          Please note that I NEVER implied that evolution is ALL about people lying for profit. Goodness, good sir, I am simply saying that the marketing machine on THIS particular instance is in full gear, and has lead to the use of some perhaps misleading headlines and downright inaccurate information, because it “sounds better”.

          Bert, do you presume that I am against science, and being rewarded for ones efforts? If so, you are flat wrong. I just do not think that marketing is bad…as long as it does not effect the credibility, accuracy or availability of the information being distributed to the public. So yea, unfortunately, you did miss my point as far as I am concerned: Some places out and out reported this incorrectly because they got so little info and good explanation from the scientists. So instead of explaining to us WHAT was found, WHY it matters, and HOW they came to their conclusions, we are left to watch their show, buy their book, to learn more! That’s exploitation

  • Todd Grayheck commented on May 20 2009

    Well, you think that is a story? How about this…Mr Christian himself, answering to a greater father has had a little twist-about on that issue. Are you kidding me? Bush was elected TWICE because of the Christian right. He totally snubbed Al Gore on the global warming, in essence snubbing science itself. Now he has moved the Bible from his desk to his bookshelf next to the Dan Brown books? Quite a backslider:

    http://www.socoolaz.com/article/World_News/World_News/Scientific_Missing_Link_Found_Bush_Family_Celebrate_in_Texas/30261

  • arthur palmisano commented on May 20 2009

    These so called scientist will go to any length discredit creation. The only missing link is the thing that suppose to be between their ears.

    • Michael Anderson commented on May 20 2009

      There there Arthur. Beddy-bye time.

    • Bert Bril commented on May 21 2009

      Creation is not a scientific theory: it doesn’t explain or predict anything. That’s why we want to discredit it: it’s not science at all. Come back when you have an alternative theory that actually WORKS.

      • Christopher Perry commented on May 22 2009

        Intelligent Design is this: Creationism in a fancy tuxedo. And it is indeed NOT science.

  • rara smith commented on May 20 2009

    there are many arguments as to why religious belief is separate from scientific belief. I like to take what I know from my religious upbringing and meld it with the theories seen in science. Did you know that the step on the evolutionary chain before human kind had 13 ribs for example? Adam was not a complete human till his companion was made and God took his 13th Rib to do it (because if he was we would all have 13 ribs right?). Of course those who do not have a belief in any God then ask well that would require a higher being to tell those who wrote the bible. Well, who knows what that higher being is, or could be? you don’t have to agree people I don’t really want any comments saying i am dumb or that I am wrong cause there are no definite answers out there, this is just how I like to bridge the gap.
    Simply put think of the higher being (whatever it is) to be a great scientist working on geological time scales. experimenting with new inventions all the time.

    • joe blow commented on May 20 2009

      did you know that the bible was written by human beings, with even less scientific reference than people nowadays? Adam was not a real person, and god did not breathe life into him. Those are allegories. The bible may as well have been written by Dr. Seuss. The problem with you people is that you try and meld religion and science and they are mutually exclusive. One should not influence the other.

      • rara smith commented on May 20 2009

        Look mr blow, I am agnostic. And when i say higher being i mean it could be Energy for all we know, and it is implied in the sentence that human beings wrote the bible. I could not put enough words to explain my full intent. I believe that something, that is higher then us (anything), was responsible for the evolution of everything starting with the big bang. I just like to explain to the religious followers in a way they can relate to and that the bible is written with symbolism. The greatest scientists start with fanciful ideas and go from there to form a theory. A believer may be more inclined to compare: 7 days to 7 billion years if explained well. you are pretty closed minded. To think that anything is mutually exclusive. There are so many connections in the world it would obviously blow your mind. And I have my degrees in paleo anthroplogy and paleontology so stuff it.

        • Christopher Perry commented on May 22 2009

          Agnosticism is not a creed, it’s a method. If one doesn’t have a belief in a supernatural god/gods then one is an Atheist, by definition. There is no middle ground between theism and atheism.

      • rara smith commented on May 20 2009

        I only said i was raised with a religious background

      • Murry Mellville commented on May 24 2009

        The Bible predicted the Israeli state would emerge again against all impossible odds. This was stated before it became a country. Then it happened, this negates the argument that the Bible is just a bunch of stories.

      • william murray commented on May 24 2009

        that all you got tell me something that makes sence

        • Murry Mellville commented on May 24 2009

          It’s probably not going to make sense to you. The S & P 500 (which is the market) was on its way to complete decimation. What saved the day? The multi year low on the S&P is 666. Check out the chart. In March the market hit that number and charged forward in astonishing fashion. We are in the biggest financial crisis ever. In some ways more complex than the great depression. And by some happenstance the market rallies of the number of the beast. Not coincidence my friend. This economic upheaval is all orchestrated. The scientific community has lost huge credibility with proclaiming Ida the missing link. People who are supposed to be intelligent are absurd. These scientists should now be called speculators. They’re laughable as far as I am concerned. That creature is probably a product demons breading with humans, like the Bible says. Hey what do you know the Bible had the answer? Check out the S&P low. Numbers don’t lie. Since Jesus is my King I know I have nothing to worry about. FYI.

    • Nkwenti Nkwenti commented on May 20 2009

      The Bible is not a science text book and it does not claim to be. It is pointless to even attempt to discuss whether a story in the Bible actually happened, because that is not the point. When my dad first told me the story of the boy who cried wolf, I did not think the story actually happened, but I learned the principle he was teaching me and benefited from it. Had I focused on how truthful the story was, rather than the truth of the story, I would have missed the lesson. So people, stop wasting your time looking at the window when you should be looking through it instead.

      • Christopher Perry commented on May 26 2009

        One problem there Nkwenti, many people believe that the stories in the Bible are literally true, and they act in accordance with those beliefs. This has dire consequences for the rest of us, who really are at hostage to the contents of the book.

  • john hancock commented on May 20 2009

    http://us1.harunyahya.com/Detail/T/EDCRFV/productId/14374
    CHECK IT OUT!!! DARWINISTS ARE LYING TO US!!!
    THIS IS A FRAUD IN THE NAME OF MATERIALISM!!!

    • Adam Mason commented on May 20 2009

      HA! Your enthusiasm is hilarious and great – and the link to the Harun Yaha site is interesting except that it is religious propaganda. I’m all about hearing arguments to refute Darwinism or any other claim that the majority can neither prove nor disprove without a million fossil samples, several labs and dozens of doctorate degrees – so long as it’s not religious.
      Example:

      CONVENTIONAL LOGIC:
      [person 1] I have a baseball
      [person 2] Oh yeh? Prove it!
      [person 1] Here! (has baseball in hand)
      [person 2] Ok, you’re right.

      RELIGIOUS LOGIC:
      [person 1] I have a baseball
      [person 2] Oh yeh? Prove it!
      [person 1] YOU CAN’T PROVE THAT I DON’T!!!
      [person 2] WTF?

      Looks like the materialists have the upper hand. To be honest I do quite like some aspects of religion for community (no not communist) purposes but I’ve never received any religious indoctrination with any success and nowadays there’s too much information to completely explain the esoteric meanings behind religious allegorical symbolism

  • Bradley Monk commented on May 20 2009

    THE MISSING LINK BETWEEN WHAT TWO SPECIES? LEMURS AND MONKEYS? GREAT WORK????

  • Fakeer Commentary commented on May 20 2009

    hey c’mon wasn’t this put there by god as usual to confound us? you prankster god you!

    • Christopher Perry commented on May 20 2009

      Does that trouble anyone here? The idea that God.. might be…messin’ with our heads? I have trouble sleeping with that knowledge. Some prankster God running around: “Hu hu ho. We will see who believes in me now, ha HA.%u201D

    • Bert Bril commented on May 21 2009

      The ‘confound’ concept is actually a very powerful argument, my ‘TED idea’. The need for free choice made God put evidence for evolution in his creation, and this leads to a situation where believers should also support evolution: it works because god has made it good! Why on earth do they so frantically resist this excellent concept?

      • Christopher Perry commented on May 22 2009

        “The need for free choice made God put evidence for evolution in his creation”

        Where is your evidence for these claims?

        • Bert Bril commented on May 24 2009

          Christopher:

          > Where is your evidence for these claims?

          What do you mean, evidence? Since when does evidence play a part in religious beliefs? I was hoping this would be a convincing argument for religious people so they stop their futile attacks at evolution theory: it’s just insane to try to go against the only theory that explains and predicts superbly – even if you think that maybe there are some problems, then still the vast amount of facts supporting it must make you scratch your head …

          I mean if I were religious, I would surely think: Why did God do this …?

  • Adam Mason commented on May 20 2009

    I wonder if there would have been this many comments if Google hadn’t had this fossil splash graphic for their logo today…

    • Jim Johnston commented on May 20 2009

      Oh it’s splashed all over the place – not just there. Reminds me of the accolades given the Nebraskan man! Time to start the clock – only a matter of time before this one is swept under the rug as another great con.

  • Brooke Stewart commented on May 20 2009

    Faith. Science.
    Neither one can be simply looked at and taken for face value. I know as a person of much faith, in our God who by His great mercy we have been born to a living hope through the ressurection of Jesus Christ from the dead, that neither can stand without hope, love or some tangibility that connectes emotionally in our lives. Seriously when it comes down to it humans long for love I’m sure there is some science that can prove that. Upon reading this article I am immeditaely crushed knowing that many will cling quickly to the title ending with found. Recently in my study of God’s word I find it helpful to look up meaning of words rather then take them for what I hope them to be. Do this- look carefully at what the article is saying and proclaiming. Please don’t quickly jump on anything right away. There are two groups here- the ones who automatically hate this and those who love it. Be carefull of what we cling too, examine all sides yours and the others, then conclude.

    • Christopher Perry commented on May 20 2009

      One problem there chief, we have many books on hand (as human beings) that claim to be “God’s word”. Firstly, how do you know that your book is correct and the others are not?

    • Adam Mason commented on May 20 2009

      It’s quite likely that jesus never actually existed (there’s no record of him in the writings of ANY historians of the time – sure maybe he wasn’t that important but walking on water is a pretty impressive feat worthy of remembrance) in fact he is the SUN not the SON, which is reflected (walks) on water, it CROSSES the sky, it DIES at the winter solstice, for three days, at the THIRTY THIRD PARALLEL and after three days it is RESURRECTED by increasing it’s angle spreading light for longer each day. The story of horus, mithras, attis, krishna, dionysus is exactly the same and were recorded long before. Like I said before in another post, I quite like religion it can be beautiful and inspiring, though I’ve never had the opportunity to be religious myself. The new priesthood with white lab coats will tell us what the truth is – the thing is how do we really know? We have to take it on faith! So it’s still a religious conviction we cannot prove or disprove! HOW ABOUT THAT FOR A FINAL LINK?

  • Bert Bril commented on May 20 2009

    And the winner is … Zen Faulkes!

    “Darwinius masillae is just one pebble being added to a mountain of evidence validating Darwin.”

    Well said!

  • Michael Anderson commented on May 20 2009

    Anyone interested in keeping a running count of the logical fallacies used by the Creationists in this thread? I’ve got Straw Man, Ad Hominem, Genetic Fallacy, Burden of Proof, Confusion of Cause and Effect, Appeal to Ridicule, and Appeal to Authority so far…any takers?

    • Jim Johnston commented on May 20 2009

      Before I posted one comment on this blog, I read the rules that we are hear to enjoy a civil exchange of reasons – and will honor these rules. You should too and hope you will.

      Rather than just saying no I am wrong and then seek to hide in the protection of ridicule – bring reason. To resort to this appeal of yours only shows the weakness of your case – not the strength of it. To throw out these vague generalities that life is just made up of simple molecules – then you should have no problem presenting how these systems arranged into the powerful debater you are before me.

      Let us engage in an reasonable exchange and honor this great blog.

      • Michael Anderson commented on May 20 2009

        This great blog ought not to become another place for pointless time-wasting Creationist propaganda, Jim, I can agree with you to that extent. And where are you in response to all the people who used ridicule on your side of the argument?

        BTW, the fallacy you just used is called the Appeal to Pity I believe. Plenty of distortion of what I actually wrote too, that nonsense about “vague generalities that life is just made up of simple molecules” – transparent redirection on the level of a 9-year old, Jim. I am here to tell you that you’re not dealing with a simpleton, nor less someone wanting to “debate” this issue with people who get their information from websites that exist only to feed their biases. I am way beyond that, Jim. You want to argue on that level, do it in a bar.

        • Jim Johnston commented on May 20 2009

          I have not attacked you personally – not much to gain there but strife. I learn more in those I disagree with than in those who agree with my views. I speak for myself and have not been attempting to build an army to come out against you – as you have been requesting.

          You have told everyone in this blog that proteins will just magically come together forming the necessary components that lead into life. So again I ask you to explain how something that is not yet alive – foresees its own death that would eventually come – it recognizes these potential sequences that would somehow understand the language needed for the decoders, the self-correcting systems, and replication devices that also would be needed for its hopeful existence – then collects all this information so it can copy itself when the metabolics somehow engage – ALL WITHOUT ERROR?

          Dead things knowing how to plan for their existence and survival?

          Too much faith for me.

        • Jim Johnston commented on May 20 2009

          I have not attacked you personally – not much to gain there but strife. I learn more in those I disagree with than in those who agree with my view. I speak for myself and have not been attempting to build an army to come out against you – as you have been requesting.

          You have told everyone in this blog that proteins will just magically came together forming the necessary components that lead into life. So again I ask you to explain how something that is not yet alive – foresees its own death that would eventually come – it recognizes these potential sequences that would somehow under the language needed for the decoders, the self-correcting systems, and replication devices that also would be needed for its hopeful existence – then collects all this information so it can copy itself when the metabolics somehow engage – ALL WITHOUT ERROR?

          Dead things knowing how to plan for their existence and survival?

          Too much faith for me.

      • Michael Anderson commented on May 20 2009

        P.S. the web can actually be useful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientific_societies_rejecting_intelligent_design. You’re saying, I gather, that you regard your intellect as being more advanced than the members of the various societies listed here? If so – we have nothing more to talk about. Humility in the face of your intellectual betters is a becoming trait that humans ought to have developed some time in childhood – if it’s given you a miss I can only feel sorry for you.

        Learn the difference between fact and belief; it is an important distinction with infinite value to fully functioning adults. If you do learn it, go find out what the facts are before you come into a place like this with your immovable antiquated biases.

        • Jim Johnston commented on May 20 2009

          Well then – you should have no problem addressing the cybernetic processes in the simplest forms of life. Care to explain the code on code sequencing found in the phi chi 174 bacteriophage. Perhaps you will demonstrate code on code sequencing using Morris code – writing one sequence then come back to the front of that sequence skip the first character and have another cognitive epiphany just waiting there for all of us to read.

          Might be a nice challenge for all these advanced minds. Hey if chance has done it – I am sure this body of minds should have no problem.

          IF A VIRUS CAN WRITE CODE ON CODE – WHY NOT YOU?

        • Jim Johnston commented on May 21 2009

          Hey Michael – Let’s replace Huxley’s six monkeys with this the amazing intelligence found among these scientific societies, you have mentioned above – and have them type out the code on code sequences that you claim was obviously done by these six godlike monkeys.

          Here these dumb little eternally godlike monkeys know more about creating life than all the best minds on your side.

        • Christopher Perry commented on May 21 2009

          Claim CF010:
          Darwinians and Neo-Darwinians have long maintained that randomness, plus long time spans, plus natural selection would (together) do the trick in making specific codes and molecules. However, recent progress in cybernetics has shown by simulation experiments that order sequences, specificity and coding cannot be extracted from randomness on the basis of the Darwinian postulates.

          Source:
          Wilder-Smith, A. E., 1970. The Creation of Life: a cybernetic approach to evolution. Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw Publishers, pg. 116.

          Response:
          1. The claim is unequivocally false. It was made in the early days of computing, apparently on the basis of one failed simulation. Computer simulations since have shown just the opposite of what Wilder-Smith claimed. In fact, genetic algorithms, which use evolutionary principles of mutation, recombination, and natural selection, are used routinely in industry to solve complex problems (Heitk

      • Michael Anderson commented on May 20 2009

        You keep speaking of living entities as machines and their DNA as machine code Jim. You are what we call a freak – and I am the unfortunate freak magnet in this instance. Yes Jim, there are errors, constantly. We call these “mutations”. Read up on them – they are a powerful engine of evolution.

        Your ignorance of science stands out like a flaming red zit on your nose (since you love metaphor so much), your stolen vocabulary and scientific pseudo-knowledge notwithstanding. Bye Jim – I stop arguing when it becomes sufficiently clear that the person I’m arguing with is either an utter dolt or insane.

        • Jim Johnston commented on May 21 2009

          What a great way to end these discussions with you actually endorsing my point that you have been opposing all this time – that life is one highly complex machine. For you are absolutely right to recognize that life is a “powerful engine”. And would only add you need a lot more in place to get this engine going before even mutations could be considered. For mutations are tied to a “powerful engine” for transcription too. You cannot copy the information on a DVD without a DVD transcription machine – so at least you now understand it. So I will honor your definition and agree with you that life is an powerful engine.

          So thank you for your courage – I know how close-minded your side can be, so words like “freak” and “insane” will always be the language of the intolerant and you will need to withstand them. I am very proud of you.

          Thanks for making my case for me.

        • Christopher Perry commented on May 21 2009

          Jim,

          There’s several differences between biological processes and DVD machines. Biological systems:

          1. mutate
          2. multiply
          3. are subject to NATURAL SELECTION

          Quit using false analogies.

  • Don Engel commented on May 20 2009

    Ah, yes, James … The old “repeat lies often enough to make them true” creationist tactic. The strategy works thusly:
    1) Get someone who doesn’t understand science who also has a lot of time to waste.
    2) Have that person systematically repeat decade-disproven falsehoods en masse, either due to ignorance or via purposeful disinformation.
    3) Enjoy knowing that most people are credulous and believe without checking, given information. Make sure you use statistics (incorrectly), mixed in with gosh-golly common sense.
    4) End with a self-defacing statement that (oddly) acknowledges creationism’s ridiculousness but, claims it to be slightly less ridiculous than the theory and fact of evolution (based of course on aforementioned lies).

    Essentially, James Prince, I am calling you either ignorant (acceptable and treatable) or a liar (inexcusable). In either case, your position would be a laugh riot if it wasn’t so prevalent and indicative of a widespread educational failure.

  • Michael Anderson commented on May 20 2009

    This is the first day I’ve been a TED blog member – and what a crashing shame to see it’s been infiltrated by the enemies of rationality. People, TED is not about furthering your charming but antiquated religious views in a public forum. God knows you have plenty of other opportunities to do that. It is about IDEAS – not the lack of them.

    Fact: molecules have natural affinities that bind them into proteins. FACT: proteins have natural affinities that fold them into membranes. FACT: membranes have affinities that build cells. Our children’s children will be able to discuss this the way we talk about the planets in our solar system – your stubborn, willful ignorance in the face of these simple truths will cause them to smile indulgently and pityingly as your relevance to humanity’s future – THANKFULLY, AT LONG LAST – dwindles and dies.

    • Christopher Perry commented on May 20 2009

      A BILLION KUDOS MY FRIEND.

    • Jim Johnston commented on May 20 2009

      Michael you remind of the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail – where all your extremities are cut off and you are claiming “it is only a flesh wound”.

      If this is such a fact – then repeat it. Bring your evidence not your faith. You should be able to prove this fairly simply – and are you doing these experiments in sterile environments? Sure would not want to see some intelligence needed behind these little creations!

      The cell membrane is far more complex than a simple coacervate – it is like saying that a television is a box and all boxes have an affinity to arrange themselves into complex systems.

      Nice con – and some will be gullible enough to believe you.

      • Christopher Perry commented on May 21 2009

        Jim,

        again with the false analogies. Biological sytems are not comparable to man made machines because biological systems DO assemble themselves. They also do three things that DVD players, TVs, or whatever bad analogy you want to bring up don’t do: mutate, reproduce, and are subject to Natural Selection.

    • Jim Johnston commented on May 20 2009

      Amazing how you will attack even the sponsor of this blog.

      • Michael Anderson commented on May 20 2009

        For God’s sake – I’m not here to give you University courses in the workings of the DNA molecule: they cost money. Go spend some. Your laughable use of scientific vocabulary you know nothing of the meaning of, your nonsensical pretense that you understand proteins…enough already!

        • Jim Johnston commented on May 21 2009

          Again bring the evidence and the reasons that convince you that intelligence is not necessary for the creation of a language convention – which is in all living systems. You claim proteins will just naturally form themselves – and never decay in their arrangements – where do you find the evidence to reason that this nonsense should be sold as scientific fact?

          I am getting a chuckle out of you as well – watching your posts that claim so much and offer so little. It is comical to see that the simplest of life forms has more intelligence behind it – then what life you can inject into the dead theory of Darwinism.

          Your ridicule only proves Darwinism is dead. So keep reinforcing the fact you have no facts. Show one reference where one experiment demonstrates a natural way to produce just 100% left hand amino acids.

          Just one will do. Then you will have done the impossible – producing a real fact that Darwinism can be reasonably consider.

        • Christopher Perry commented on May 21 2009

          Jim, wtf is your point here: “Again bring the evidence and the reasons that convince you that intelligence is not necessary for the creation of a language convention – which is in all living systems.”

  • b r commented on May 20 2009

    it looks like a lizard to me..

  • Jim Johnston commented on May 20 2009

    Is Darwinius masillae a needle in this fossilized haystack or a just a piece of hay in a stack of needles? For all the hype, if Darwinists want to con the world with this opium for the atheist – then transitional forms would be as news worthy as finding sand on a beach. To say they actually found a piece of sand that now validates their atheistic oasis – is a desperate grasping for something to keep perpetuating the con that atheism is the bastion of intellectual pursuit.

    Their desperation for validation is evident to all. No reasonable mind will read a book backwards – even Huxley knew where to begin the argument. Yet those in Darwinism are embracing conclusions without validating their simple beginnings. To argue an atheistic origin for all coded machines is to argue for a non-intelligent explanation of how a silicone disk has the material within itself to establish a language convention of codes, and then believe matter can KNOW this language and builds the DVD decoding device.

    • Rizzel Grind commented on May 20 2009

      It’s Chupacabra!!!

      Jim Johnston,
      I hope that I get to shake your hand one day! I’ll admit, I had to read your comment twice, but did enjoyed it both times.

    • Michael Anderson commented on May 20 2009

      Guess that works if biology and machinery were the same thing. DNA is not a piece of machine code, it is a molecule. Learn the difference and get back to us. This is not about atheism – YOU made that argument. If you want to start an argument on that basis you are going to get creamed, because, OBVIOUSLY I would hope, there is no evidence of a creator – isn’t that what FAITH is for? – and unlimited evidence of evolution.

      …and that said, I seem to have touched on a fundamental issue here: if your faith is so strong, why do you people seemingly need to endlessly bash other people’s belief systems to prop up yours? Evolution IS, just like a lot of other things we (and I include you I’d hope) accept as true that weren’t mentioned in the Bible, like the existence of Pluto and galaxies billions of light years distant. Striking out at it frankly casts neither your faith nor your intelligence in a very favorable light.

      • Jim Johnston commented on May 20 2009

        Sorry Michael but biological systems are machines. It is you that reasons that the randomness is the origins for information – for you accept Huxley don’t you? That information can arise without the need of a mind. The nonsense you want us to accept is that one can take a huge blender fill it with all the materials used in building a house; that is the concrete, glass, wood, water, nails, adding a some paper and a pencil too, then in all the random collisions one would eventually have a house and inside would be the blueprints that mirror the dimensions of this house. According to Huxley this is what happened. And yet biological systems and the miniaturization upon which these machines are built have the capability of replication and self-correction.

        The problem for you is not just the information. It is in the language convention behind the codons themselves – and randomness that is not to UNDERSTAND this language but blindly build a decoding machine to run the code and this is life.

        • Michael Anderson commented on May 20 2009

          No, they AREN’T machines. That’s what Descartes and other ancients used to say, but some of us are well past that now. And if you read my other posts you’ll realize that CURRENT information says nothing about “randomness”, so your metaphor has nothing to do with current understanding of biological systems, and your repeating it, as someone else here has pointed out, doesn’t make it so. “Accept Huxley”? Time for a new argument I’m afraid, the ones in the Creationist pamphlets are hopelessly out of sync with the times.

        • Fakeer Commentary commented on May 20 2009

          why does the creationist mandate always seem like it was written by a construction worker? and even if there was a creator would it not be audacious to propose that the logic of creating life is on the same lines as you building a condo? the mere fact that such an example is used indicates you are drawing a parallel between your realm of knowledge to that of god (which allegedly is infinite) thus also equating yourself to god. what insane logic is this? in a few years when self-sustaining molecules are created in a test tube does that make those researchers god? your reasoning is on the edge of an implosion.

      • Jim Johnston commented on May 20 2009

        Great question Michael. Do books force one to consider there is an author? Codes a Programmer? Or should we assume as you have – that the paper wrote the book? Which is the more reasonable faith – to assume an author over matter or that matter alone created the information?

        If you need another problem – why the omission of reversibility in the auto-organization leading up to life. If you doubt this is a serious problem then perhaps one should visit the corpse of Darwin and spark those proteins back into life. Or Anna Nicole Smith – for we just can’t wait around for these proteins to come to life – things in the real world just seem to rot.

        Want one more? What about the fact proteins that make up life come in the left and right hand – yet your body is made up of 100% left handed proteins. The code is 100% right handed proteins. So how do get a non racemic organizations when a stochastic mixture is all chance can produce? Not a lot of faith is needed to assume a creator – just reason.

        • Michael Anderson commented on May 20 2009

          What on earth are you raving about? This has nothing to do with “chance” as I’ve already said: this is the tendency matter has to organize itself in this universe – so simple a child could understand it.

          And as I’ve also already said – children will understand it, whether you do or not. Anna Nicole Smith, give me strength…you are an expert at one thing: redirection through non sequitur. Thought you folks believed in resurrection BTW if you want to go that route. Must be nice to have a worldview based on one website: http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/molecular_biology_04.html. Holy Red Herring, Batman!

    • David Spero commented on May 20 2009

      Mere Christian hysteria trying to sound intelligent.

  • aaron j commented on May 20 2009

    I would much prefer to believe in a book written several thousands of years ago. Then several people decided to get together and refine it to fit their agenda.
    I saw a comment saying that scientist clammed the earth was flat back in the day… True, but new theories and experiments proved it was round by new scientist. Who tried shut these guys up because it was against the word of god? Oh the church…

    What are the main causes of war these days? religion and drugs.

    A person survives a deadly earth quake and is trapped under 50 feet of rubble: miracle
    A person accidently gets shot in the chest while he is in middle of the woods by another person over a mile away who was shooting cans on a log: lucky shot
    Luck and miracles are the same thing, problem is most religious people use the word miracle whenever it benefits their agenda.

    All i am saying is people have their mind made up… nothing will change it.

  • Sarmad Hassan commented on May 20 2009

    I am not a biologist to comment about its authenticity of being so called a “human fossil”;

    1) but I think this image wouldn’t have gained much hype if it was portrayed in landscape.
    2) I will never ever believe darwin’s theory unless some DNA specialist comes up to say that chimpanzee’s DNA can evolve its self and create a human out of it. its as simple as that !