Im not happy with this media hype at all for several reasons.
I always try to imagine how a person without any training in biology or science would interpret the reports about the darwinius fossil. And most news reports Ive seen so far convey this message "Hey we found the missing link! Evolution is proven now!"
And that is a problem because (while I dont want to downplay the significance of this fossil) as far as "proving" evolution is concerned its irrelevant. With all the genetic evidence of today we dont actually require a single fossilized bone to show that we came from hominids, hominids came from great apes, great apes came from monkeys and so on. (Again I dont want to downplay paleontology. Additional data is a great thing.)
But Joe Blow sitting in front of his TV is not aware of that. And when in about 1 week there will be new reports saying that D. masillae
was classified as a monkey and probably is not our direct ancestor he will be like "Oh. So these scientist dont know everything after all. I guess evolution is still just a theory now."
And I guess we will see creationists write stuff like this:
"Remember in 2009 when evilutianist said they found the missing link but they didnt? It was all over the news and then it turned out it was the skeleton of a monkey after all."
well matt pointed out how we got from the sundial to the wristwatch is an example of evolution, but i think they should devote more time to that analogy.
Im afraid technology is a bad example for biological evolution since advancement in technology requires intelligent design.
Genetic algorithms make a much better example because they are an example of information emerging from randomness.
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