New “human” fossil evidence throws monkey-wrench in missing link theory

by Anonymous on Oct. 01st, 2009

According to this National Geographic article, new evidence gleaned from the fossils of an early hominid species (Ardipithecus ramidus) makes the old 'human-chimp-common-ancestor' theory "irrelevant".

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

firpy's picture
firpy says:

Funny, how the stuff we're fed about where we came from gets to change so frequently... Seems I see articles regularly that "shake the foundations" of what we know. This article, in particular uses the phrase "reverses the common wisdom of human evolution".

If the foundations of my faith-based belief (I know that science can't accept faith) shifted so often, I'd have to wonder about the ground I was standing on.

:) - firpy

posted on Thu, 10/01/2009 - 3:56pm
mdr's picture
mdr says:

That's how science works, firpy. It's empirical. Often, when new evidence comes to light, old ideas are tossed out and hypotheses are updated. That's the basis of the scientific method.

Faith, on the other hand, is just a conviction that something is true because someone or something declares it's so, regardless of lack of any logical proof, and sometimes even despite evidence to the contrary.

posted on Thu, 10/01/2009 - 7:55pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

how do you know your logic is correct? you believed someone else, and had FAITH that there hypothesis was true. Christianity hasn't been altered throughout the Whole of its duration, at least the Base of it. Science on the other hand has totally changed over the last 2000 years, especially during the Renaissance Period in Europe.

posted on Fri, 10/23/2009 - 9:59am
mdr's picture
mdr says:

I think you're confusing "faith" (especially in the religious sense) with the word "trust". I trust the hypothesis is true, and I will continue to do so as long as it remains valid, and until evidence proves otherwise.

But beyond that, since you and I live in the natural world, you undoubtedly put your trust in science, too. For example, you trust the science built into your computer will cause it to operate in a consistent manner each day. If it doesn't, if one morning an electrical surge suddenly fries the motherboard and your screen goes blank, no amount of faith in - or petitions to - a supernatural realm will restore it to working order (believe me I've tried). Eventually, you'll have to put your trust in science and technology to get it repaired. Or if your car runs out of gas, you understand you have to add refined petroleum to the fuel tank so it can flow through the gas-combustion engine where it's converted into energy to get the tires spinning again. Having faith that it will suddenly run on air, isn't going to get you where you're going. I could list thousands of similar examples, and you could probably think of thousands more but I think you get the idea.

Therefore, since we share the same basic trust in science, how can you criticize my position? Faith (in the religious sense) is something else above and beyond the realm of science and has no relevance here.

To further my point, here's a nifty illustration showing the difference between science and faith.

posted on Sun, 10/25/2009 - 12:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Thank you MDR, we love you :)

posted on Fri, 11/27/2009 - 3:40pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

I think discoveries like this are awesome and exciting, but I'm kind of tired of the term "missing link." It doesn't really apply anymore, does it?

It's not like we have points 1 and 3, and we still need to find 2 too prove that they're connected. We have 1 and 3, and also .2, .5, .6, .7, 1.2, 1.4, 1.45, 1.453, 1.8, 2.3, 2.4, 2.7, 2.78, etc etc etc. There are tons of "missing links," and each new discovery makes our image of human evolution a little more complete. They aren't links in a chain, they're twigs on a bush (if I can force one more analogy in here).

I know "missing link" isn't a term you applied, mdr. I was just thinking about it last night. It's an intriguing thing to say, but I think it adds to folks like firpy's confusion about human evolution.

Anyway...

posted on Fri, 10/02/2009 - 12:10pm
mdr's picture
mdr says:

You're right, JGordon. It's an outdated term. "Transitional form" is much more appropriate and descriptive.

posted on Fri, 10/02/2009 - 1:57pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Am I being a pedant? I'm being a pedant, aren't I.

posted on Fri, 10/02/2009 - 3:17pm
mdr's picture
mdr says:

Quite possibly. But while we figure that out, let's read more about our long lost ancestor.

posted on Fri, 10/02/2009 - 4:44pm
Wickedwicked's picture
Wickedwicked says:

I am very happy to see some light shed on the fact the god does not exist. Now maybe the human race can note forward and stop living in the dark ages.

posted on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 12:27am
Shana's picture
Shana says:

Odd, I didn't see any mention of god existing or not in the article...all it did was discuss our ancestors.

posted on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 11:19am

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