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Ancient Fossil Offers Clues To Primate Evolution

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the unless-you're-from-kansas dept.

Earth 311

langelgjm sends in an update to a story we discussed over the weekend about an extremely well-preserved fossil of an ancient primate, Darwinius masillae, that sheds light on an important area of evolution. The 47 million-year-old specimen has now been officially unveiled, and while many media outlets are stumbling over themselves with phrases like "missing link" and "holy grail," it's clearly a very impressive find. "Discovered two years ago, the exquisitely preserved specimen is not a direct ancestor of monkeys and humans, but hints at what such an ancestor might have looked like. According to researchers, 'The specimen has an unusual history: it was privately collected and sold in two parts, with only the lesser part previously known. The second part, which has just come to light, shows the skeleton to be the most complete primate known in the fossil record.' The scientific article describing the find was published yesterday in the peer-reviewed, open-access journal PLoS ONE. Google's home page is also celebrating the find with a unique image." Science blogger Brian Switek offers some criticism of the academic paper and the media swarm, saying, "I would have hoped that this fossil would receive the care and attention it deserves, but for now it looks like a cash cow for the History Channel. Indeed, this association may not have only presented overblown claims to the public, but hindered good science, as well."

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I got 10 bucks here ... (4, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024569)

... says it's a hoax. Any takers?

Actually, even if not, the circumstances are now rather dubious. Hopefully it hasn't been damaged in the course of it being sold in two parts and shipped around in private hands.

Re:I got 10 bucks here ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28024665)

... says it's a hoax.

Of course its a hoax. everyone knows the earth is only 6000 years old.

Re:I got 10 bucks here ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28024707)

Would you stop this Christianity bashing already? We admit it, it was a mistake, the earth is older than 6000 years. It's just that very few of us are capable of counting any higher. :(

Re:I got 10 bucks here ... (4, Funny)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024681)

... says it's a hoax. Any takers?

It's a pseudo-hoax. I'm sure the citizens of Magrathea are quite pleased that we're stumbling upon the little details they left.

Re:I got 10 bucks here ... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28024739)

It was found over 25 years ago - why is it just now getting attention. Sound like a play for grant money to me

Re:I got 10 bucks here ... (1)

Tripledub (951046) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025677)

It just seems like its been 25 years since we had a prez that paid attention to small details such as science. And I agree a play for grant money.

Re:I got 10 bucks here ... (5, Informative)

Alt_Cognito (462081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024765)

This was studied for two years before it was released, so it seems that they've done some due diligence to make sure this was NOT a hoax.

X-rays were taken taken of the internal structures (which are allegedly impossible to fake) and they proved out to be authentic.

Re:I got 10 bucks here ... (2, Funny)

binpajama (1213342) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025295)

10 PRINT The power of Christ compels you !

20 GOTO 10

Re:I got 10 bucks here ... (2, Insightful)

quanminoan (812306) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025329)

The correct answer is "Yes. I will take that bet."

Ex. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28024823)

... says it's a hoax.

Of course it's not a hoax...it's my Ex. I just forgot where I buried her.

Re:Ex. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28024897)

Is that you, Hans?

Re:I got 10 bucks here ... (-1, Troll)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024885)

By "hoax" do you mean "God planted it there to test our faith"?

Because thats what about 60% of the population of the United States will believe.

Evolution is real -- even for modern man. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28024941)

Evolution is real and did not simply stop at the appearance of homo sapiens.

Consider the case of Ashkenazim Jews [nationalgeographic.com] . Centuries of discrimination forced this ethnic Jewish group to evolve to adapt. In this case, adaption meant increasing intelligence. Albert Einstein is an Ashkenazim Jew.

By extrapolation, we can say that different races (and ethnic groups) have different levels of intelligence. For example, there are clearly differences in intelligence between Africans and, say, Japanese. The Africans turned a bounty of natural resources into abject poverty. By contrast, the Japanese turned a barren rock (that was devastated by 2 atomic bombs) into the 2nd wealthiest nation on earth.

Note that Japan is not in Europe. Note that the quality of life in Thailand (of all places) is better than the whole of Africa. There are substantial differences in intelligence between the Africans and both the Japanese and the Thai. Note that both Thailand and Japan have inhospitable geographies afflicted with things like earthquakes and the occasional tsunami.

Re:Evolution is real -- even for modern man. (4, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025505)

Correlation is not causation. Just because different "racial" groups statistically have different levels of "intelligence" (a culturally defined and therefore biased concept) doesn't mean that race has anything to do with it. The assumption that this difference is caused by "racial"/genetic factors, without offering any evidence to support that assumption, is invalid and may be considered racist.

The history of humanity suggests that culture is the overriding causal factor. Asians and Europeans are just as capable as Africans (or any other "race") of having a primitive, oppressive and destructive culture, as has been well established through the ages. For example, we saw the same abject poverty in Europe during the Middle Ages, for cultural reasons that are well known. Also, contrary to popular prejudice, there are African countries that are doing pretty well.

Re:I got 10 bucks here ... (4, Funny)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024969)

No way, Google [gmodules.com] changed their logo for this! It *has* to be real!

Re:I got 10 bucks here ... (0, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025047)

You mean go ooo ooo ooo gle?

This is the missing link... (-1, Redundant)

wirelessjb (806759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024577)

... to the second post!

Nigger Bones (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28024579)

I find niger bones laying on the street in Houston all the time.

Silly niggers. Always killing eachother and hoopin and hollarin.

Gand*N+1 Aunt? (1)

tech_fixer (1541657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024615)

I saw in the news today someone saying this might not be your Great*(N+1) Grandmother, but more like your Great*(N+1) Aunt.

WTF???!!!

Re:Gand*N+1 Aunt? (2, Informative)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025137)

They mean that it is a relative of modern humans, but not a direct ancestor. You inherited DNA from your grandmother, but not your aunt.

Re:Gand*N+1 Aunt? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28025723)

Unless you're from Alabama....

Give it a rest (2, Interesting)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024631)

Oh noes! People made money off it!! Science was "hindered"!

Please. Any hindrance is temporary (47 million years old and it's been a couple more years! Avast!!) and the fossil getting this much attention can only help the cause - money pouring into the area isn't a bad thing either unless you really like staying a poor researcher.

Re:Give it a rest (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024753)

Except they fucking cut it in half. 47 million years and it was never, not even once, severed, until ink stained cotton sheets were in control.

Re:Give it a rest (1)

anonymous cowshed (1503301) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024831)

Any idea why they cut it in half? I'm not a fossil collector, but would have thought that a whole specimen would be worth considerably more than two halves.

Re:Give it a rest (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024965)

True. Except for the fact that until it is cut in half, all you have is a rock. You have to cut the rock to see whats inside..

Re:Give it a rest (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28026167)

That reminds me of the museum guide who, when asked how old the T-Rex fossil was, replied: "6.5 million and three years, and 6 months old".

"That's amazing", said the tourist, "How do you know the age so exactly?"
"Well, that's easy", replied the guide. "It was 6.5 million years old when I started working here, and that was three and a half years ago."

Re:Give it a rest (1)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 5 years ago | (#28026309)

If he told you it was 6.5 million years old you have a problem either you hav a hearing problem or you went to a lousy museum or you went to a museum with a lousy guide....

6.5 million years a go T-Rex was already extinct for quite a while.... Place the decimal point a bit to the right and you get in actuall dinosour territory....

Meanwhile over in Congress (5, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024657)

Isn't it rather scary that while scientists are getting excited over this 47 million year old fossil that there are fossils in Congress who will swear on a stack of Bibles that the earth is only 6000 years old and that evolution is bunk.

That people can get elected without having basic modern ape like intelligence is the scary bit, this primate was probably more self-aware than many of those elected officials.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (5, Insightful)

TheHerk (1521205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024725)

Yes, but while that is pretty scary, what is more scary are the millions of people that vote for them.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (5, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024847)

And scariest of all? The world still turns, and objective reality refuses to accept that proper science is vital to hold the fabric of space-time together.

Honestly, the only reason anyone ought to care what a politician thinks about creationism is if they decide what's taught in public schools. This is almost always a state matter. Your U.S. Congressman has bunk to do with it.

And if it really, REALLY troubles you that some congressmen are anti-science, I suggest you give equal time to folks like Dennis Kucinich; after all, is seeing UFO's somehow more scientifically acceptable that an ID-proponent?

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (2, Interesting)

TheHerk (1521205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024921)

I'd say so. Saying you saw one, if you didn't would be just as asinine as saying god spoke to you. This is likely the case.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (2, Interesting)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025691)

Really? It's likely that Dennis is lying about seeing a flying object he couldn't identify? Because that is all he said. Didn't say aliens, didn't say anything except that it was flying, it was an object, and he couldn't identify it. Only people looking for an excuse to dismiss Kucinich give that story any credence.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (4, Interesting)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025447)

Honestly, the only reason anyone ought to care what a politician thinks about creationism is if they decide what's taught in public schools. This is almost always a state matter. Your U.S. Congressman has bunk to do with it.

Ah, yes, thanks for reminding us about the theory of federalism [wikipedia.org] , on which our governing system is ostensibly based.

Now I'm going to explain to you how it works in the real world.

In the real world, the national government has become intimately involved in decisions at the state and local level, well beyond its enumerated powers. If nothing else, federal funding of local education has enabled it to threaten states with, "Don't want to do what we tell you? Then kiss your funding goodbye."

Yes, the federal government does have significant control over what can be taught in public schools. Why do you think the Supreme Court ever rules on cirriculum issues? Why don't federal judges respond to all such lawsuits that make it to their level by saying, "Meh, state matter, go away"?

So please don't act like Congressmen are powerless over what's taught in public schools.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025529)

Personally, I wish they taught spalling.

The current level of achievement is apelling.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (2, Insightful)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025607)

IIRC what Kucinich did is say that he believes in UFO's. I do to, I also happen to understand that UFO != Alien intelligence flying around and snatching people up. Though apparently many are not able to make that distinction. Should Kucinich pander to the ignorance of the masses by further explaining what he meant? Probably as a congressman he should, but on the other hand I would most likely have handled it in the same way. I saw a UFO the other night, and it was not until the next day that I learned what it was, and re-labled it appropriately: weather balloon.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (3, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025653)

Seeing a flying object that you can't identify is scientifically acceptable. That is all he said. Tim Russert asked him about it, he said that all he has seen was an object he couldn't identify.

Dennis Kucinich is one of the only true liberals left in the Democratic party, and I would vote for him for president in a heartbeat. This UFO story gets blown all out of proportion by right wing loons in order to discredit him. Stop listening to loons.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (0, Troll)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025989)

"the only reason anyone ought to care what a politician thinks about creationism is if they decide what's taught in public schools..."

Except that some bible-thumping politicians are trying to engineer the "end times"...

WTF? (5, Insightful)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28026209)

Let's just think for a moment about which branches of science contradict creationism:
biology
biochemistry
genetics
physics
astronomy
astrophysics

I'm sure there are other _genres_ of science too. Are you really saying that it doesn't matter if a leader of society believes that all the scientists working in these fields are wrong?

Believing in creationism is like believing the earth is flat, and would have huge consequences in many many public policy areas.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (2, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024903)

That people can get elected without having basic modern ape like intelligence is the scary bit, this primate was probably more self-aware than many of those elected officials.

C'mon. They're self-aware alright, and they know all too well who's paying them. And it's not the voters.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024907)

Isn't it rather scary that while scientists are getting excited over this 47 million year old fossil that there are fossils in Congress who will swear on a stack of Bibles that the earth is only 6000 years old and that evolution is bunk.

C'mon now, slashdot always has these remarks, but you know what? NBC nightly news reported this find last night - the epitome of mainstream - and there was no mention of the Bible or controversy over the validity of evolution, none at all. Just excitement over a great find that may fill in the picture of evolution a bit more. At some point, decrying all this supposed scientific opposition which is really just a small fringe, becomes self-pity, or a persecution complex.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (1, Insightful)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024915)

Isn't it rather scary that while scientists are getting excited over this 47 million year old fossil that there are fossils in Congress who will swear on a stack of Bibles that the earth is only 6000 years old and that evolution is bunk.

Frankly, I find it more frightening that most of our leaders and most of the population in general have all bought into the idea that morality is just convention and that there is no higher power to answer to. I suppose they think we're more "evolved" now.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (5, Insightful)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024991)

I would rather more people take responsibility for their own morality than depend upon some transcendental source like a god.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025871)

Sure, in general, but some people I know, I'm glad they don't.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (5, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025051)

I find it more frightening that most of our leaders and most of the population in general have all bought into the idea that morality is just convention

And here we uncover the fossil known as Straw Man.

and that there is no higher power to answer to.

So? There is no evidence that there is. And if there is, there is no way we could know what "morality" he expects us to behave by. There is no reason that his standard of morality should match up with what we consider to be ethical.

And above all, I find it worrying that people only behave ethically out of fear of having to answer to some "higher power".

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (3, Interesting)

someSnarkyBastard (1521235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025183)

Which would you consider more noble, ethics that I follow because I have decided that it is genuinely the right and proper thing to do by my own reasoning, or ethics that I follow because I am afraid of being punished for my transgressions in either this or the next life? I'd argue the former; an ethical system that derives its power from fear of the whip is not an ethical system at all, its slavish servitude.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (2, Insightful)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025199)

Frankly, I find it more frightening that most of our leaders and most of the population in general have all bought into the idea that morality is just convention and that there is no higher power to answer to.

You find arbitrary morality more comforting than convention?

It's weird (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025253)

It's weird that people think following the supposed arbitrary whims of a giant invisible daddy figure in the sky is a decent basis for morality.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (1, Troll)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025305)

You're not living on the same planet I live it seems, because many many many people think that morality comes from some holy book.

Oh, and I find it frightening that this book advocates slavery, genocide, human sacrifice, rape amongst other genuinely terrible things.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28026085)

Where the Hell is my -1 misinformed Christianity bashing mod? Seriously grow up already. (No I will not mod you down, I have better things to do with my mod points)

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025445)

You receive your morality from a higher power. Is that really the only reason why you act morally? Is the only reason why you don't rape murder and steal just so that you don't get burned in fiery brimstone for all eternity?

If somehow it was proved that there was no higher powers at all would you really think "Well, theres no point in being all goody good now, that 13y/o girl looks like a nice first victim..."

I find the thought that the only thing keeping everyone from murdering each other is a supreme being waving his finger at us from 2000 years ago saying "Do it and I'll spank you!" quite scary.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025595)

Isn't it rather scary that while scientists are getting excited over this 47 million year old fossil that there are fossils in Congress who will swear on a stack of Bibles that the earth is only 6000 years old and that evolution is bunk.

Frankly, I find it more frightening that most of our leaders and most of the population in general have all bought into the idea that morality is just convention and that there is no higher power to answer to. I suppose they think we're more "evolved" now.

Yes! Lets go back to a time of morality such as the Salem witch hunts, or the inquisition!

God fearing folk sure know how to be moral! Oh boy! We'll burn books, brand people with red hot iron warmed over those bonfires, it'll be swell!

Fool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28025701)

With this statement you're admitting that the only thing keeping you in check is the fear of being caught and punished. Morality is an alien concept to you.

AC because I don't want scum like you knowing anything about me.

The pimp hand has been shown (1)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025801)

I was going to slap you down with mah pimp hand, but it looks like you done been slapped already. It is impossible to get real morality from an imaginary sky daddy. Real morality comes from examining the world: right and wrong are pretty obvious when you actually look. You stopped looking as soon as you heard that a sky daddy will spank the evildoers for all eternity. That's not morality, that's pathology.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025851)

The last leader of the US had a religious driven morality and talked of "faith" and "belief" when he made his "moral" decisions. Osama Bin Laden has a belief in a higher power and talks of faith and belief when he talks about what he is doing.

And you find it scary that some people think they should be accountable to themselves and humanity?

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 5 years ago | (#28026263)

Frankly, I find it more frightening that most of our leaders and most of the population in general have all bought into the idea that morality is just convention and that there is no higher power to answer to.

The problem with a higher being responsible for morality is that now you have to wonder why he's right. Is it specifically because he's a higher being? If so, is that because he simply knows better than the rest of us as a parent knows better than his child? How can you be sure that, even though He knows better, his goals don't involve screwing you? You're not even taking His word for it, you're taking the word of quite a bunch of people that came before you and weren't quite entirely consistent about what His wishes were.

On the other hand, it could be a case of following his plans for you regardless of whether or not they are beneficial to you. But then, why are you doing that? Might makes right? Do what I say or you'll burn for eternity? That isn't consistent with our moral values (or the ones in the Bible...meek will inherit the Earth and whatnot)

Which really brings us to the crux of the issue. The Christian morality of today isn't the Christian morality of yesterday, and as we as a society continue to reinterpret the Bible (or outright find excuses to ignore certain sections), even the people who claim they "answer to a higher power" when it comes to their morality really have no way of knowing if that's true. They assume it is because that's what their church currently teaches, but how do you know? For that matter, how do you know you chose the right religion? Even if you take just Christians there are enough differences between the denominations that they like to attack one another. I've heard people claim Catholics weren't Christians. I've heard people claim Mormons weren't Christians. The protestant denominations are plenty and have some very quantifiable differences (for example, are you predetermined to go to heaven, or do you have a choice in the matter?)

In the end it all comes down to faith. You have it, I don't. I have no right to tell you that you're wrong, I have no proof that you are indeed wrong. You have no right to tell me that I'm wrong, you have no proof to offer me. Government needs to stay the hell out, take the stance that doesn't rely on religion to make their decisions (after all, you'd have to choose one first, which is akin to a State religion, which is forbidden in the constitution).

Your own personal, additional morals are up to you (or in case you believe in that, up to your personal deity. You were still the one to decided to have faith, so it was up to you).

I suppose they think we're more "evolved" now.

If you take the view that God knows best and we are like children to him, that's actually more true than you'd care to admit. There's only so much children can be taught. Eventually they all reach a rebelling stage and have to make their own mistakes and learn from that. It's part of how they grow into adults and, depending on what you believe God wants for us, it could be quite pleasing to him to see us try to decide for ourselves what's right and wrong. We're growing up and becoming something more. On the other hand, if you believe his plans for us involves complete dependence on him for eternity, that's not much like a parent-child relationship. You want your children to move out of the house sometime right?

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025189)

That people can get elected without having basic modern ape like intelligence

Principles, not intelligence. Remember the definition of "demagogue": A man who promotes principles he knows to be false to people he knows to be fools.

rj

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (1)

Alt_Cognito (462081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025417)

We watch the Matrix and say, WOW! This could all be a dream, that our entire perception is constructed through an external mechanism...

It is still very possible to hold the belief that the world is 6000 years old, and that all of the evidence and proof of evolution etc... is manufactured so to speak. (by this rule though, the age of the universe could be any arbitrary age, including just now*

* - que spaceballs "just missed it" bit

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025601)

Popsicle sticks are also an excellent source of philosophy.

Not to mention, they come with a delicious treat.

Re:Meanwhile over in Congress (1)

kandela (835710) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025661)

But if they don't believe in God, then what does swearing on a stack of Bibles prove?

Answers in Genesis (1)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 5 years ago | (#28026139)

They seem to think that the preservation provides good evidence for the Noachic flood - http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/05/19/ida-missing-link

Scientists really do need to discover a crocoduck, but I doubt that would even cause these idiots to shut up. They have so much foot in mouth they resemble a hoop.

Great, 2 more gaps created in out fossil records;) (1, Funny)

DeafDumbBlind (264205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024697)

nt

HEARD IT ON THE TEEVEE BEFORE SLASHDOT? OH NOES (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28024703)

too slow slashdot, too slow

Re:HEARD IT ON THE TEEVEE BEFORE SLASHDOT? OH NOES (1)

Eddy Luten (1166889) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024747)

This story is actually a couple of days old [slashdot.org] and was previously covered by Slashdot.

Also, Slashdot is usually a bit behind on the breaking news, such was the case with the Sun/Oracle story and several others.

Media event (4, Insightful)

olclops (591840) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024751)

This is more of a media event than a true major discovery. All orchestrated by the History Channel.

See this article. [discovermagazine.com]

Re:Media event (2)

mbrod (19122) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025771)

Naming it Darwinius should be a clue as to how they are trying to sensationalize this.

Paleontologists really need to work on their language usage. An Engineer, Computer Scientist or Lawyer when describing these findings would say, "Attribute X on the skeleton shows a greater likelihood of this specimen being part of the following descendant groups, a, b, c. Further studies are warranted on other specimens for confirmation."

Instead you get "Woo hoo, call it Darwinius, this is my great grandfather to the sixth power. Suck it, beotches!".

Six day old and questionable (2, Funny)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024791)

Why is this 'news', it is an old report IF you look at archeology reports.
Why is everyone so behind the times?

Awesome! (1, Troll)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024813)

You mean, the theory of evolution has at last been confirmed? Now what happens to the evidence-free faith in Darwin that biologists have long had? The many thousands of faith-based journal articles discussing evolution will now have a basis, by god!

Tard-boy Robert Crowther is jeering at the hyperbole at evolutionnews.org, too stupid to recognize that it isn't scientists saying such nonsense, but science-ignorant journalists (no, journalists, I didn't say they all are).

Anyway, it is a beautiful fossil, complete with fur impressions, and I'll assume for now that it's basically transitional, although I think that remains to be demonstrated.

Journalistic overkill is the least of the reasons why IDiocy exists, of course, but it does deserve some jeering from people more competent than the egregious Crowther.

Evolution is real -- even for modern man. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28024839)

Evolution is real and did not simply stop at the appearance of homo sapiens.

Consider the case of Ashkenazim Jews [nationalgeographic.com] . Centuries of discrimination forced this ethnic Jewish group to evolve to adapt. In this case, adaption meant increasing intelligence. Albert Einstein is an Ashkenazim Jew.

By extrapolation, we can say that different races (and ethnic groups) have different levels of intelligence. For example, there are clearly differences in intelligence between Africans and, say, Japanese. The Africans turned a bounty of natural resources into abject poverty. By contrast, the Japanese turned a barren rock (that was devastated by 2 atomic bombs) into the 2nd wealthiest nation on earth.

Note that Japan is not in Europe. Note that the quality of life in Thailand (of all places) is better than the whole of Africa. There are substantial differences in intelligence between the Africans and both the Japanese and the Thai. Note that both Thailand and Japan have inhospitable geographies afflicted with things like earthquakes and the occasional tsunami.

Re:Evolution is real -- even for modern man. (1, Offtopic)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025003)

You're an idiot.

Re:Evolution is real -- even for modern man. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28025891)

You're a dick, idiot.

Re:Evolution is real -- even for modern man. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28026041)

Oh... not only are you a dick, but you're utterly moronic as well. Look at you, all high-and-mighty with your slick and witty comments. Did it take you long to think that one up or were you just waiting for the right time to use it?

"You're an idiot." Granted that you spelled it all correctly, but that's hardly becoming of someone who can't even form a response as to WHY they think that way.

Of course... YOU'RE sitting at YOUR computer, on YOUR internet connection using YOUR Firefox installation to learn things yourself. By that logic, YOU'RE smarter than everyone else. Hey, you play WoW don't you? Call it a hunch.

More missing links? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28024865)

Surely this just means there are now two missing links? One between us and this creature, and one between this discovery and dinosaurs ?

Igniting a non-existant debate? (5, Interesting)

Poobar (1558627) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024875)

Interesting New Scientist blog: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2009/05/is-ida-a-pop-star-fossil-or-po.html [newscientist.com] They seem to make two main points- firstly that the whole thing is degenerating into hype, but more interestingly that there wasn't a big debate here anyway. Yes, it's a missing link, but it's one that all rational people knew must have existed somewhere. It hasn't ignited debate between creationists and evolutionists, for the reason that they don't really debate each other anymore- at least not in scientific circles.

Human tails? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28024943)

Question: Are long tails in primates based on an expressed gene? I mean, has there ever been a documented case of a human being with a long tail?

Silly yes, but I've always wanted to know. Also curious if it would help with balance (improved martial art skills)

Re:Human tails? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025201)

I mean, has there ever been a documented case of a human being with a long tail?

John Holmes.

Re:Human tails? (1)

someSnarkyBastard (1521235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025323)

Yes, there has, a la google, http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=humans+with+tails [google.com]

As to martial arts skills, no, they are vestigial and superfluous at best and a liability at worse (imagine getting tangled in it or having your opponent get a good pull in on it while grappling)

Creationists have responded (0, Flamebait)

ColonelPanic (138077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025095)

Christians [answersingenesis.org] know that "it was a small, tailed, probably tree-climbing, and now extinct primateâ"from a kind created on Day 6 of Creation Week."

You know, I'd hate evolution too, if it had done to me what it has done to the godtards.

Read the whole article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28025407)

Is that all you can respond to?

The Missing Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28025103)

So the missing link, huh?

Quoted from the article:

...while many media outlets are stumbling over themselves with phrases like "missing link" and "holy grail," it's clearly a very impressive find.

so, seriously? This missing link... I must be missing something [uconn.edu]

No way (4, Funny)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025157)

but for now it looks like a cash cow for the History Channel

Not a chance. They'd have to reduce the Hitler coverage to do that.

rj

Re:No way (4, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025859)

Don't be dissing on the Hitler Channel. Those who are ignorant of Hitler are doomed to use him in Internet arguments.

Creationism (1, Flamebait)

Pirate Balloon (1342155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025165)

I'm sure this'll settle the debate.

Re:Creationism (2)

someSnarkyBastard (1521235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025261)

No it won't,the science behind evolution has been there for years and that doesn't stop them. They'll just argue that there's still a gap between this fossil and the rest of the great apes clade so it doesn't count.

Re:Creationism (2, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025389)

You must have faith to believe that God designed evolution.

Re:Creationism (1)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025893)

God doesn't exist yet because we haven't evolved into Him yet. We got it all backwards.

ancient fossils (2, Funny)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025187)

I hardly believe anything Congress or the House says anymore. Calling them ancient fossils isn't going to help matters either.

Check out Google (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025283)

http://www.google.com/ [google.com] - check out today's logo.

Re:Check out Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28025521)

Will that link work tomorrow? TFS did a better job, if you can bother to read it.

Re:Check out Google (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025885)

Will that link work tomorrow? TFS did a better job, if you can bother to read it.

Maybe the link won't work tomorrow - the point of my post is that it is there TODAY.

If you had bothered to RTFA(s), which I in fact had, you'd notice that this was yesterday's news - oh - sorry - that was in TFS, too.

Thanks a lot for your highly cogent criticism.

Because we say so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28025287)

Just because a science says something does not equal truth. After all science once said blood letting was a good way to get healthy. Or that the chain of evolution is a tree where now science indicates it is more of a bush. Everyone has an opinion it just depends on which is more popular. So be weary of science... everyone wants the Nobel Peace Prize. As far as I am concerned, science and religion push ideas down to the blind faithful.

Couple of things: (2, Informative)

16Chapel (998683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025683)

1) Wary, not weary.

2) Nobel Prize for X, not the Peace Prize.

Looks like a monkey to me. (3, Insightful)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025365)

But its foot bone look similar to a humans so it got to be a missing link. Seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

Interesting Subtext (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28025455)

The various articles I've read and quotations from the people involved imply "Now that we've found this fossil the creationists don't have a leg to stand on." This implies that before they discovered this fossil they believed that the creationists DID have some legitemate arguments given the known fossil record up to that point. I wonder how many other legitimate arguments there are out there that the power brokers in the scientific community are trying to suppress simply because they don't correspond to their assumptions.

Uh, she wasn't found two years ago (4, Informative)

macsuibhne (307779) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025493)

She was found in 1983 by an anonymous collector. She was sold to the University of Oslo two years ago.

Tony.

Its Parentage (2, Funny)

Crock23A (1124275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025545)

The only question is whether or not it indeed had a Human father and a Cylon mother.

Google (1)

Falkentyne (760418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28025669)

Is it just me or does today's Google logo look more like somebody smeared shit on my google homepage and tossed in some chunks?

Oh, the logo is on the top left? Uh oh..

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28026225)

What exactly is Google celebrating? I mean seriously WTF?

47 Millions years OLD? Really? (2, Informative)

hackus (159037) | more than 5 years ago | (#28026311)

Are you positively ABSOLUTELY sure it is 47 Million years OLD?

Really?

http://www.astroengine.com/?p=1382 [astroengine.com]

-Hack

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