Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Missing link...." Ardipithecus Ramidus

As you may be aware, very recently paleontologists uncovered a skeleton of a hominid, now known as 'Ardi'. When I saw the news article titled "Missing Link" I covered my face with my palms. By using the term "missing link" reporters are only feeding the ignorance of people who refuse to accept scientific findings. The reason the term 'missing link' is misleading is because it is to say the least misleading and it shows a severe misunderstanding in how evolution works.
For one thing, it wasn't "missing" to begin with. 'Ardi' is one what we call Ardipithecus Ramidus. The first Ardipithecus Ramidus fossil was discovered in 1992, and was named in 1994. What was spectacular about Ardi and definitely worthy of a news article, was that she was a relatively complete skeleton. Most fossils that are found are fragmentary, and that is because the process of fossilisation is actually a very rare occurrence.
"Missing link" shows a misunderstanding of evolutionary processes, because every fossil that is found is transitional between one species and another, as I explained in my last post about common misconceptions about evolution.

1 comment:

  1. But KJ... didnt you know? Unless there is an example of EVERY single evolutionary change over thousands of years found in fossils, there is still many 'missing links'!

    It's just a case of news sensationalism... can't blame them for drumming up interest, but it is annoying from our perspective when you consider how inaccurate it is. Therefore... proceed with your facepalm moment! ;D