Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ida Not a Human Ancestor


“Many lines of evidence indicate that Darwinius has nothing at all to do with human evolution,” said Chris Kirk (U of Texas) in an article on Science Daily. Researchers publishing their analysis in the Journal of Human Evolution accused the presentation of ignoring decades of research and an enormous body of literature on the evolution of strepsirrhines, a primate group that includes lemurs and lorises. Ida’s discoverer claimed it had characteristics suggesting a linkage to haplorhines.

The announcement about Ida included a book, a History Channel documentary, and an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled the specimen at a news conference in New York city. The lead author of the new paper remarked, “Just because it’s a complete and well-preserved fossil doesn’t mean it’s going to overthrow all our ideas.”

The truth may not get you a book or History Channel documentary, but it has one major benefit over the alternative: it’s true.

For more, see also here and here.

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