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The Weakest Link

on May 16, 2009
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The Telegraph: “Sir David Attenborough Documentary ‘Reveals Missing Link in Human Evolution’” Although not yet officially unveiled, a new missing link is the focus of a forthcoming BBC documentary hosted by Sir David Attenborough.

The documentary, which should be screened later this month, is about the fossil remains of a small “monkey-like creature called an adapid,” BBC News reports. The fossil, thought to be at least 37 million years old, is described as “[s]imilar in appearance to modern lemurs [but with] certain key differences which convinced researchers they have found the link to modern apes.” It has been named Darwinius masillae (no surprise!).

The fossil was pieced together from two separate segments found at different times.

Somewhat strange is that the fossil was pieced together from two separate segments found at different times—reminiscent of two fossil hoaxes, Piltdown Man and Archaeoraptor, that were both used to support Darwinism (see the April 4 edition of News to Note), though we are not claiming a hoax with Attenborough’s fossil.

Intriguingly, the fossil is described as “so well preserved that some of its soft tissues such as skin and even its stomach contents can be examined.” That suggests both rapid burial (and fossilization) as well as a fossil age on the order of thousands of years, not millions.

Describing the hush surrounding the fossil revelation and the documentary, paleontologist Philip Gingerich, one of the scientists who examined the fossil, said, “We have kept it under wraps because you can’t blither about something until you understand it. We now understand it. It is going to advance our knowledge of evolution.”

In this case, we’ll have to wait and see. But because the fossil is similar to a modern lemur (a small, tailed, tree-climbing primate), it’s unlikely that creationists need any interpretation of the “missing link” other than that it was a small, tailed, probably tree-climbing, and now extinct primate—from a kind created on Day 6 of Creation Week.


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