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Yesterday was an interesting day at the office. In the early afternoon, we started getting phone calls from various media (newspapers, radio, Internet, etc.) asking for interviews about the supposed “missing link” (nicknamed “Ida”) that was announced to the media. Answers in Genesis researchers, who were already familiar with this claim were then able to read the actual scientific paper (which, as you will see, does not claim this fossil is a “missing link”), and then write a detailed article that was up on the AiG website within hours of the media flurry. Thanks to AiG researcher/writer A.P. Galling for his excellent work in putting this article together.
If you haven’t read the article yet, I urge you to do so, as it is one of the best, carefully written responses you will find available about Ida. You can read this article from AiG’s website here.
Surprisingly, the New York Times also published a good article that took to task those that had publicized this as a “missing link”:
But despite a television teaser campaign with the slogan “This changes everything” and comparisons to the moon landing and the Kennedy assassination, the significance of this discovery may not be known for years. An article to be published on Tuesday in PLoS ONE, a scientific journal, will report more prosaically that the scientists involved said the fossil could be a “stem group” that was a precursor to higher primates, with the caveat, “but we are not advocating this.”However, one of the most ridiculous responses came from a blog that was commenting on the WorldNetDaily response and my interview with WND about this item, comparing me in a way to mass murderer Charles Manson! Now that’s a reasoned, logical, scientific approach to things!
All of this seems a departure from the normal turn of events, where researchers study their subject and publish their findings, and let the media chips fall where they may. But this campaign is only the latest example of the scientific media blockbuster, of which the National Geographic Society has become perhaps the most successful practitioner. It often gives grants to researchers, with National Geographic gaining the rights to produce television shows and magazine articles related to any discoveries.
This blog/article states:
The next item, however, has no redeeming features. It comes from WorldNetDaily, which we have previously described as “one of the worst practitioners of journalism that ever existed, or that ever could exist.” We’ve presented our views rather clearly here . . . . Here’s their article on Darwinius masillae: Media blitz: ‘We found missing link’. We’ll give you a few excerpts, with bold added by us. First they breeze through a rundown of what the media are saying. Then:
“There is a lot of media hype right now, and the claim is that this is a missing link, this is it: the evidence of evolution,” said Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis.
Quoting Ken Ham on a question of science is like quoting Charles Manson on family values. Let’s read on:
“The reviewers said we don’t know this is a missing link, and they asked the people who wrote [the newspaper reports] to tone it down,” Ham told WND, “and yet we have this media hype claiming this is it, this is the missing link.”
We find ourselves in superficial agreement with Ken Ham on this small point. We continue:
“It’s obviously a lot of media hype to promote an ideology,” Ham told WND. “In the wake of a lot of controversies in creation vs. evolution, evolutionists want to be able to announce they have the ultimate proof. . . . It’s obviously a ploy to promote a book and a television special and to indoctrinate the public in evolution by making a lot of statements that are way beyond what the scientists themselves wrote.”
Mr. Ham describes tactics of which he himself is a master. But he’s incorrect in this case. The media aren’t promoting something outrageously goofy for ideological purposes, like—for example—Mr. Ham’s creationist museum. Instead, they’re just being their usual silly journalistic selves.Oh, AiG’s Creation Museum is for promoting an ideology (actually, we do promote biblical authority and the true account of the history in Genesis—and the gospel based in that history)—but the secular media (and this person’s blog) doesn’t promote an ideology?! Amazing this person would make such a claim—but then again, not a surprising comment from someone who compares us in this way to Charles Manson!
If you want to send people a quick response to this supposed “missing link” hype—then I suggest the following:
Nothing about this fossil indicates that it was a human ancestor. Rather, it is a remarkably well-preserved lemur-like creature, looking nothing like an “apeman.” Besides, why would a fossil found 25 years ago suddenly become a media sensation? Only because of a major PR push by the financial backers of a new book and television documentary about the fossil. Yet even the peer reviewers of the scientific paper on the fossil asked that the human origins hype be removed. For a full exposé, visit www.answersingenesis.org/go/idaOur staff has informed me that this fossil story is by far the most-forwarded news item that has ever been sent to us by our supporters—even more than the report of supposed life found on a meteorite (shown later to be false). For example, one of our supporters, a pastor, upon hearing about the fossil in the media and sending us a link to a news story, wrote us:
About the 47 million year old fossil that is supposed to be a “missing link”—this “thing” is all over the news today. I would be interested in your “take” on it.
I am just a plain old Baptist preacher who is a creationist (7 twenty-four hour days), but I have a fair number of young people in the church who need answers to this kind of “scientific” folderol. I await your reply on this website with great interest.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor J. N.Well, pastor, we have the response (as I shared earlier in this blog), which was written by our fast-acting staff who posted it within hours of the news conference held in New York that trumpeted the claim:
I hope Pastor N. and many of you will forward this article to church members, family, and friends.
For a good chunk of my day yesterday, I wasn’t the only one conducting many media interviews—so did Dr. David Menton. This included one with the Washington Times, plus many Christian outlets (OneNewsNow.com, SRN, Moody Radio, etc.).
EclipsedThanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
(Genesis 48:3) And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me
At the end of our lives when we look back, all will be eclipsed by when we saw the Lord Jesus Christ dying for us and we heard Him call us to Him and we followed.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.