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Ida? I dunno. I wish I had bet a whack on the pop science press dumping all over that fossil?


Holy kazoo!

Even Nature isn’t buying the hype about the “missing link”? How soon can we get “evolutionary psychology” be relegated to the tabs and the funny papers?

A hyped-up fossil find highlights the potential dangers of publicity machines.
Last week’s publication of paper describing a 47-million-year-old fossil primate with a remarkable degree of preservation (see http://tinyurl.com/oycvo8) prompted a trickle of news in The Daily Mail that quickly swelled to a flood of media coverage.

In normal circumstances, the interpretation of the specimen given in the paper (J. L. Franzen et al. PLoS ONE 4, e5723; 2009) would have been no more contentious than that of any other fossil primate, and a good deal less so than some.

[ … ]

But the circumstances surrounding the paper’s publication were anything but normal. Before the paper had even been submitted to the journal, Atlantic, a production company based in New York, had commissioned a television documentary and an accompanying book about the find. Just a week after the paper appeared, the book has been published and the documentary has been aired on the History Channel in the United States, as well as Britain’s BBC and Norway’s NRK.

Uh, yeah. They may not have the science, but they sure have the spotlight.

Also, just up at The Post-Darwinist:

Darwinism and popular culture: “Brain glitches, not evidence, cause people to think there is design in life!”

Theistic evolution: New site challenges tenured Christian profs’ homage to atheism

Human evolution: Neanderthals as snacks?

Podcasts in the intelligent design controversy

(Note: If you follow me at Twitter, you will get regular notice of new Post-Darwinist posts, usually when I have posted five or so stories.)

[typo]stop blaming science for the media... Nnoel
And by the way, this fossil was dug up over a decade ago wasn't it? but it's only just been bought from a private collection, so that explains why there was a film proposition before the science had actually been completed. But again, the fact that someone knew how important this fossil may be and wanted to make a documentary is nothing to do with the science. So blaming science for the media ! Nnoel
So basically the MEDIA over-hyped the SCIENCE, but that is not a reflection on the science at all.. is it? I said as much in a comment I posted the first time this fossil appeared on uncommon descent. Anyone drawn in by the media should prob re-access about now, but the science hasn't changed. Nnoel
I just don't think that anyone is really going to get very hyped up about a 47 mln yr old Zooboomafoo. The filled out sketches of what Ida would have looked like with meat on her just makes this look like Lemurs really haven't changed much in a really long time. Has anyone seen any articles exploring Ida as an example of living fossils (ie: Coelecanth?) I realize Ida is not exactly a lemur, but from what I've seen - very, very close at least? On the other hand - maybe a good UD contest might be to "spot the strawman" or "predict the micro evolution" for this contest: http://discovermagazine.com/contests/evolution-in-two-minutes-or-less-terms/ selectedpete

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