Is the missing link a real concept in evolution?

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In summary, the conversation revolves around the concept of a "missing link" in evolution. The debate surrounds whether this is a legitimate scientific concept or simply an oversimplification or creationist attack on evolution. Some argue that there are thousands of missing links, while others believe it is just a useful concept. There is also mention of a thread in the Biology forum and jokingly applying for the position of Missing Link with a humorous salary offer.
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http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/42519/181/ [Broken]

What do you think? Is this what we've been looking for?
 
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  • #2
There is no 'missing link'.
The missing link is either an over-simplification of a children's explanation of evolution or a creationist device to attack it (depending on how charitable you feel)
 
  • #3
You mean that there are thousands of missing links?
 
  • #5
I would like to apply for the position of Missing Link. What's the salary, by the way?
 
  • #6
Leaves and fruit, and the occasional insect and small animal.
 
  • #7
OAQfirst said:
Leaves and fruit, and the occasional insect and small animal.

No cave?
 
  • #8
Huge cave.
 
  • #9
zoobyshoe said:
I would like to apply for the position of Missing Link. What's the salary, by the way?

The salary is two horses, some rope, and a few guys handy with their shovels. The only reason people want a missing link is so they can see who makes the strongest rope.
 
  • #10
kasse said:
You mean that there are thousands of missing links?
Yes, that's a better way of putting it: there's always another missing link.
 
  • #11
There is no missing kink they've been searching for ages!
 
  • #12
mgb_phys said:
There is no 'missing link'.
The missing link is either an over-simplification of a children's explanation of evolution or a creationist device to attack it (depending on how charitable you feel)

Even if there's no missing link, it's a very useful concept!
 

1. Is Ida really the missing link?

The term "missing link" is often used in popular science to refer to a hypothetical species that bridges the evolutionary gap between two major groups of organisms. However, in the scientific community, this term is generally avoided as it can be misleading. Ida, a 47-million-year-old primate fossil, has been suggested by some to be a possible ancestor of humans, but this claim has been debated and is still not widely accepted. Thus, it is not accurate to say that Ida is definitively the "missing link."

2. How was Ida discovered?

Ida was discovered in 1983 by amateur fossil hunter Jens Jacobson in the Messel Pit in Germany. However, it was not until 2009 that scientists were able to study the fossil in detail and publish their findings. Ida was acquired by the University of Oslo in 1991 and has been studied extensively by a team of researchers led by paleontologist Jørn Hurum.

3. What makes Ida significant?

Ida is significant because it is an exceptionally well-preserved fossil of a primate from the Eocene epoch. It is estimated to be 47 million years old and is one of the most complete early primate fossils ever discovered. Its preservation allows scientists to study anatomical details that are typically not preserved in other fossils, providing valuable insights into the evolution of primates.

4. What evidence supports the claim that Ida is an early human ancestor?

The claim that Ida is an early human ancestor is not widely accepted in the scientific community. Some researchers have suggested that Ida could be a possible ancestor of humans based on certain anatomical features, such as the opposable big toe and lack of a grooming claw. However, other scientists argue that these features are not unique to the human lineage and have been found in other primate species as well.

5. How does Ida fit into the evolutionary timeline?

Ida is estimated to be from the Eocene epoch, which occurred between 56 and 33.9 million years ago. This places Ida in the early stages of primate evolution, but it is not yet clear exactly where it fits in the evolutionary timeline. Some scientists have suggested that Ida could be an early branch of the primate family tree, while others believe it may be more closely related to lemurs and lorises. Further research and analysis are needed to determine its exact placement in the evolutionary timeline.

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