Science has that story. Meanwhile, back at the vote farm:
In 2009, Mayor Bloomberg of New York held a special ceremony to laud the recently discovered fossil Ida (pictured above), said to be the “missing link” between humans and other primates. Bloomberg was
standing beside Ida’s glass box, his arm around the shoulders of a school girl who was wearing a T-shirt with the TV tie-in logo: “The Link. This changes everything.”
The Guardian’s correspondent quipped, “The main thing Bloomberg was presumably hoping this would change was his prospects of winning an unprecedented third term as New York mayor.” Bloomberg did win, but the Ida fossil was not so lucky; claims for it were shortly retracted.
Significantly, Bloomberg thought Ida improved his re-election chances before the fossil experts had spoken. And that she wouldn’t have harmed his career if she failed their tests.
Real and imagined “human evolution” is now so integral to our culture that demand outpaces authenticity. The disappointing history of Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, and Ardi, all hailed in 2001 as human ancestors, attests to the frustrating search for “missing links.” Sediba, another supposed ancestor, fared no better in 2013. A science writer at Wired, not known for intelligent-design sympathies, derides the ceaseless buzz as “ancestor worship.”
If he’s right, we worship what we do not know. Pop culture’s Ascent of Man gives no hint of the disorganization and confusion of current human evolution studies. More.
See also: Does the evidence point to mankind’s fully natural origin?
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