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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2009 :  13:42:59  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
An interesting, new protosimian fossil.

Scientists say a 47-million-year-old fossil found in Germany may be a key link to explain the evolution of modern human beings.

The fossil, of a young female that probably resembled a modern-day lemur, is described as "the most complete primate fossil ever found." It is small -- with a body about the size of a raccoon -- but it has characteristics that suggest a relationship both to primates and humans.

It has, among other things, opposable thumbs, similar to humans' and unlike those found on other modern mammals. It has fingernails instead of claws. And scientists say they believe there is evidence it was able to walk on its hind legs.
Happy birthday, Charles, you clever old bugger, you!




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2009 :  14:30:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Whoa, AiG is on top of this one, yessiree!
1. 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 Darwinus masillae (no surprise!).

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.
Yeah, right!

Moving down the page -- mostly the usual, apologetic tripe -- we find (you guessed it) Hobbits! They do them some Hobbits over there at Answers in Gobbledygook. The link concerns a study on the skull and at least a tentative conclusion is that the little guy was not human. Good read.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2009 :  01:13:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's really cool. Opposable thumbs way back near the base of the primate lineage is remarkable. Wonder what Darwinius masillae was using those for. Playing pinochle?


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2009 :  02:18:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

That's really cool. Opposable thumbs way back near the base of the primate lineage is remarkable. Wonder what Darwinius masillae was using those for. Playing pinochle?


Hitchiking.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2009 :  02:44:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

Originally posted by HalfMooner

That's really cool. Opposable thumbs way back near the base of the primate lineage is remarkable. Wonder what Darwinius masillae was using those for. Playing pinochle?


Hitchiking.




That actually makes sense to me, which amounts to very little support for your idea.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 05/17/2009 06:41:27
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2009 :  07:49:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

That's really cool. Opposable thumbs way back near the base of the primate lineage is remarkable. Wonder what Darwinius masillae was using those for. Playing pinochle?




Playing PSP?



The original article does not refer two skeleton.
Quite the opposite, the skeleton seemed very complete (98%, really?)

Did AIG make that up?

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2009 :  13:48:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
More on “Ida” from Live Science:


Ancient Human Ancestor 'Ida' Discovered



Darwinius masillae, possible human ancestor
The newly claimed primate genus and species Darwinius masillae, said to be an ancestor of humans. The fossil dates to 47 million years ago. The abdomen contains organic remains of food in the digestive tract. The skeleton was split into two parts before scientists put it all back together, leading to today's announcement.

A discovery of a 47-million-year-old fossil primate that is said to be a human ancestor was announced and unveiled today at a press conference in New York City.

Known as "Ida," the nearly complete transitional fossil is 20 times older than most fossils that provide evidence for human evolution.

It shows characteristics from the very primitive non-human evolutionary line (prosimians, such as lemurs), but is more related to the human evolutionary line (anthropoids, such as monkeys, apes and humans), said Norwegian paleontologist Jørn Hurum of University of Oslo Natural History Museum. However, she is not really an anthropoid either, he said.

The fossil, called Darwinius masillae and said to be a female, provides the most complete understanding of the paleobiology of any primate so far discovered from the Eocene Epoch, Hurum said. An analysis of the fossil mammal is detailed today in the journal PLoS ONE.

"This is the first link to all humans ... truly a fossil that links world heritage," Hurum said…


Is it me or do very important transitionals seem to be almost pouring in lately?

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2009 :  14:19:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

More on “Ida” from Live Science:


Ancient Human Ancestor 'Ida' Discovered



Darwinius masillae, possible human ancestor
The newly claimed primate genus and species Darwinius masillae, said to be an ancestor of humans. The fossil dates to 47 million years ago. The abdomen contains organic remains of food in the digestive tract. The skeleton was split into two parts before scientists put it all back together, leading to today's announcement.

A discovery of a 47-million-year-old fossil primate that is said to be a human ancestor was announced and unveiled today at a press conference in New York City.

Known as "Ida," the nearly complete transitional fossil is 20 times older than most fossils that provide evidence for human evolution.

It shows characteristics from the very primitive non-human evolutionary line (prosimians, such as lemurs), but is more related to the human evolutionary line (anthropoids, such as monkeys, apes and humans), said Norwegian paleontologist Jørn Hurum of University of Oslo Natural History Museum. However, she is not really an anthropoid either, he said.

The fossil, called Darwinius masillae and said to be a female, provides the most complete understanding of the paleobiology of any primate so far discovered from the Eocene Epoch, Hurum said. An analysis of the fossil mammal is detailed today in the journal PLoS ONE.

"This is the first link to all humans ... truly a fossil that links world heritage," Hurum said…


Is it me or do very important transitionals seem to be almost pouring in lately?

T'ain't just you; they certainly are pouring in. The reasons, I think, are our greater understanding of the geologic time frames, supporting evolutionary predictions, and more sophisticated study procedures. I am confident that if museum storage bins were cleaned out and their contents examined with today's methods, the number of transitionals would all but explode.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2009 :  16:04:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am pretty sure Dr. Hurum did not actually say: Monkeys, Apes and humans.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2009 :  16:26:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Simon

I am pretty sure Dr. Hurum did not actually say: Monkeys, Apes and humans.
Well, at this time apes and humans are still classified as a not belonging to the same genus.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2009 :  16:29:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And now, some rather desperate apologetics form the Bedlam of God:

"The Creationist Interpretation

The Real Story of this “Scientific Breakthrough”

While Ida has hit the mainstream media—and will even be featured on Good Morning America Wednesday—what is the real story? Has Ida been exposed to good scientific review? To the contrary, the Guardian reports:

Jørn Hurum, at the University of Oslo, the scientist who assembled the international team of researchers to study Ida is relaxed about using the phrase [“missing link” to describe Ida]. “Why not? I think we could use that phrase for this kind of specimen,” he said. “[People] have a feeling that if something is important it is a missing link.”

[I]n the paper published in PLoS ONE from the Public Library of Science on the fossil [the author] is more circumspect. “Darwinius masillae is important in being exceptionally well-preserved and providing a much more complete understanding of the paleobiology of an Eocene primate than was available in the past,” the authors wrote.

“[The species] could represent a stem group from which later anthropoid primates evolved [the line leading to humans], but we are not advocating this here.”

The paper's scientific reviewers asked that they tone down their original claims that the fossil was on the human evolutionary line.

One of those reviewers, Professor John Fleagle at Stony Brook University in New York state said that would be a judgment for the scientific community. “That will be sorted out or at least debated extensively in the coming years once the paper is published,” he said. [Emphases added]

So despite the treatment most media reports are giving Ida, the research team behind Ida was asked to remove their speculation from their peer-reviewed paper! Even so, the Guardian also reports, “There is even talk of Ida being the first non-living thing to feature on the front cover of People magazine.” Indeed, it seems that the pitch of Ida as the missing link is full-out sensationalism by people who are bypassing the scientific community with a direct-to-the-public appeal on behalf of Darwinism.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has reported:

[D]espite a television teaser campaign with the slogan “This changes everything” and comparisons to the moon landing and the Kennedy assassination, the significance of this discovery may not be known for years. An article to be published on Tuesday in PLoS ONE, a scientific journal, will report more prosaically that the scientists involved said the fossil could be a “stem group” that was a precursor to higher primates, with the caveat, “but we are not advocating this.”

All of this seems a departure from the normal turn of events, where researchers study their subject and publish their findings, and let the media chips fall where they may.
The principles that inform creationists about Ida are some of the same that allow creationists to interpret fossil after fossil hailed as “transitional forms”:

Nothing about this fossil suggests it is anything other than an extinct, lemur-like creature. Its appearance is far from chimpanzee, let alone “apeman” or human.

A fossil can never show evolution. Fossils are unchanging records of dead organisms. Evolution is an alleged process of change in live organisms. Fossils show “evolution” only if one presupposes evolution, then uses that presupposed belief to interpret the fossil.

Similarities can never show evolution. If two organisms have similar structures, the only thing it proves is that the two have similar structures. One must presuppose evolution to say that the similarities are due to evolution rather than design. Furthermore, when it comes to “transitional forms,” the slightest similarities often receive great attention while major differences are ignored.

The remarkable preservation is a hallmark of rapid burial. Team member Jørn H

"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2009 :  17:02:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Originally posted by Simon

I am pretty sure Dr. Hurum did not actually say: Monkeys, Apes and humans.
Well, at this time apes and humans are still classified as a not belonging to the same genus.


Hum?
I believe they are. Apes just mean 'tailess monkeys' and do include human.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2009 :  17:19:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
PZ has an excellent write-up on it.
This is an important new fossil, a 47 million year old primate nicknamed Ida. She's a female juvenile who was probably caught in a toxic gas cloud from a volcanic lake, and her body settled into the soft sediments of the lake, where she was buried undisturbed.
Heh, I scooped PZ again, although his write-up is a lot better than my contributions. As usual.

I agree with him that this fossil, excellent as it is, is getting over-hyped in the media.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2009 :  19:00:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Simon

Originally posted by Kil

Originally posted by Simon

I am pretty sure Dr. Hurum did not actually say: Monkeys, Apes and humans.
Well, at this time apes and humans are still classified as a not belonging to the same genus.


Hum?
I believe they are. Apes just mean 'tailess monkeys' and do include human.


Ape


Homo sapiens belong to the same super family as all of the apes, the same family as the great apes, but a different genus. But there has been some updating since I studied this stuff.


Superfamily Hominoidea
Family Hylobatidae: gibbons
+ Genus Hylobates
# Lar Gibbon or White-handed Gibbon, H. lar
# Agile Gibbon or Black-handed Gibbon, H. agilis
# Müller's Bornean Gibbon, H. muelleri
# Silvery Gibbon, H. moloch
# Pileated Gibbon or Capped Gibbon, H. pileatus
# Kloss's Gibbon or Mentawai Gibbon or Bilou, H. klossii
# Western Hoolock Gibbon, H. hoolock
# Eastern Hoolock Gibbon, H. leuconedys
# Siamang, H. syndactylus
+ Genus Nomascus
# Black Crested Gibbon, N. concolor
# Eastern Black Crested Gibbon, N. nasutus
# Southern White-cheeked Gibbon N. siki
# White-cheeked Crested Gibbon, N. leucogenys
# Yellow-cheeked Gibbon, N. gabriellae
Family Hominidae: great apes
+ Genus Pongo: orangutans
# Bornean Orangutan, P. pygmaeus
# Sumatran Orangutan, P. abelii
+ Genus Gorilla: gorillas
# Western Gorilla, G. gorilla
# Eastern Gorilla, G. beringei
+ Genus Homo: humans
# Human, H. sapiens
+ Genus Pan: chimpanzees
# Common Chimpanzee, P. troglodytes
# Bonobo, P. paniscus
# Bili Ape, newly discovered, no taxonomy





Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9672 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2009 :  07:15:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/classification/Hominidae.html#Hominidae

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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2009 :  07:43:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I went by wikipedia:


The Hominidae (anglicized Hominids, also known as great apes[notes 1]) form a taxonomic family, including four extant genera: chimpanzees, gorillas, humans and orangutans.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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