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Much Ado about Ida

on October 1, 2009
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Ida appears to be a remarkably well-preserved lemur, not a human ancestor.

A fossil primate, claimed to be 47 million years old, has been hyped as a new missing link destined to revolutionize our understanding of human evolution. Dubbed “Ida,” the type specimen of Darwinius massilae is a remarkably well-preserved lemur-like creature from the Messel shale pit of Germany.

Since primate fossils are fairly scarce, any major find has a tendency to fill in the gaps of our knowledge. We are still discovering more evidence of the marvelous variety that God placed within the primate families. Representatives of these families survived the Flood on the Ark and soon repopulated the earth. Based on the layer where Ida was found, it appears that the creature died during one of the major catastrophes that rocked the earth in the years after the Flood.

So was Ida the “missing link” between humans and other primates? Hardly. It appears that an excessive media blitz (complete with a book and television documentary) over-hyped Ida’s importance, especially when the original paper specifically denied any ape or human connections.

J. L. Franzen, et al., 2009, “Complete Primate Skeleton from the Middle Eocene of Messel in Germany: Morphology and Paleobiology,” PLoS One 4(5): e5723.

“Ida: The Missing Link at Last?” (www.answersingenesis.org/go/ida).

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