POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

Ida - Missing Link or Missing Data?

Some of you have probably heard the hype about the new fossil named IDA that is being given press releases and parties in New York and London.  Now, I’m not going to get into a discussion of evolution here at this point as I have friends of all opinions on the matter (theistic evolutionists, Intelligent Design friends and even some creationists - gasp! update: and atheistic evolutionary friends)

What I do want to comment upon is doing good science.  Science is a slow, peer reviewed process that relies upon other people confirming so called “scientific breakthroughs and finds.”  So rather than throwing parties for Ida that include politicians and filmakers declaring this the greatest scientific find ever, one wonders why this is done before others review the paper.  Afterall, the sensationalist claims being made by those who have been studying Ida are not agreed upon by other paleontologists.  Yet maybe they are just haters that don’t want these other paleontologists to be rock stars.  This quote from an entry from the Wall Street Journal is insightful as many may not even find this to be “the missing link>”

Scientists won’t necessarily agree about the details either. “Lemur advocates will be delighted, but tarsier advocates will be underwhelmed” by the new evidence, says Tim White, a paleontologist at the University of California, Berkeley. “The debate will persist.”

It seems religious zeal is at work by declaring this squirel sized extinct monkey the missing link to our long lost uncle. The scientific community can do better…

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