Google Honors "Ida" Fossil in Logo

Today Google’s logo is the “Ida” fossil. National Geographic gives us more informaiton about the fossil:

“This is the first link to all humans,” Hurum, of the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway, said in a statement. Ida represents “the closest thing we can get to a direct ancestor.”

Ida, properly known as Darwinius masillae, has a unique anatomy. The lemur-like skeleton features primate-like characteristics, including grasping hands, opposable thumbs, clawless digits with nails, and relatively short limbs.

“This specimen looks like a really early fossil monkey that belongs to the group that includes us,” said Brian Richmond, a biological anthropologist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the study.

But there’s a big gap in the fossil record from this time period, Richmond noted. Researchers are unsure when and where the primate group that includes monkeys, apes, and humans split from the other group of primates that includes lemurs.

“[Ida] is one of the important branching points on the evolutionary tree,” Richmond said, “but it’s not the only branching point.”

At least one aspect of Ida is unquestionably unique: her incredible preservation, unheard of in specimens from the Eocene era, when early primates underwent a period of rapid evolution.

And here is Answers in Genesis’s response for your daily LOLs:

  1. Nothing about this fossil suggests it is anything other than an extinct, lemur-like creature.
  2. A fossil can never show evolution.
  3. Similarities can never show evolution.
  4. The remarkable preservation is a hallmark of rapid burial [and thus evidence for the global flood]
  5. If evolution were true, there would be real transitional forms.
  6. Evolutionists only open up about the lack of fossil missing links once a new one is found.

In other words, nothing can be evidence for evolution, because evolution never happened.

Atomism is Just a Theory
The Great Commoner
How Many Creationists Are There?
What is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me ...
  • Jeremy

    5. If evolution were true, there would be real transitional forms.

    This point reminds me that even when I was a Christian I was amazed / frustrated at how vehemently other Christians would argue against evolution without having any idea what evolution actually means. I pretty much avoid all evolution discussions with Christians because I have to spend hours just educating them on what the theory actually states. You can’t accurately disagree with something unless you understand it, and it’s absolutely the case that millions of Christians have no idea what evolution is about.

    • LRA

      Yes- And when I point out that the detractors have no formal education in the matter and therefore no right to criticize it, the say I’m committing an ad hominem attack and that I should be debating their ideas and not their education level. My answer is that their ideas are so fundamentally flawed that I’d have to spend days just to explain their mistakes, and that it’d be much more practical for all parties involved for them to educate themselves first, since I had to spend precious time and money doing the same for myself.

      Then I point them to talk origins, and they summarily dismiss it because it is, according to them, a biased source. When I point out that all of the information is cited from the actual scientific literature, they say that science is, as a whole, biased. When I ask them to provide actual scholarly/scientific literature supporting their claims, they point to the Discover Institute (no….. not a biased source at all!) They will also quote mine real science and say that evolution must be false because actual scientists have debates over their discoveries (falsely assuming that this somehow reflects on the veracity of evolution).

      Arguing with these people is like arguing with a five year old. If they don’t like what you say, they stuff their fingers in their ears and cry, “LALAALALALAAALALAA!!!”

      They are arrogant enough to presume that they know more about evolution than the people (like me) who spent years in graduate studies of the biological sciences. It is truly infuriating sometimes. Yet, all we can do is to try to educate these people at least a little, and poke holes in their pitiful arguments. But most importantly, make sure that creationist crap doesn’t get taught in public school classrooms.

      • Teleprompter

        As I’ve said before, many religious believers will just believe whatever they want to believe because they think it’s right, and many believers will disbelieve whatever they want to disbelieve because they feel it’s wrong. Of course this applies to all people, and not just religious people — but science and critical thinking are tools that we can use to eliminate our biases.

        One important argument is to show Christian creationists how eagerly Muslim creationists believe in an entirely different narrative for similar reasons. We must demonstrate that the eagerness or sincerity of belief is not equivalent to its truth. The best argument against every religion is every other religion.

        Yes, we have different presuppositions. The creationist believes whatever he or she wants, and I apply critical thinking. Should I jump out the window this morning, or take a shower? That is the level I descend to if I abandon critical thinking. Everyone believes in critical thinking — some people just tend to apply it selectively.

    • Tom W

      Be careful with generalizations Jeremy. It may be the case that there are millions of Christians who don’t know what evolution means. But there are millions of non-Christians who also do not understand the term. And there are also millions of Christians who have been able to reconcile evolution with their faith. Your statement appears as an attempt to bring down Christians to an ignorant level, but to assume so many Christians are so ignorant, that they must be taught for hours to understand a simple concept, is ignorant in itself.

      I was struck by the large amount of confirmation that was required and given on that Rapture Ready forum. They all appeared as if they were just trying to gain self-confidence and rightness by bashing the Ida fossil and propping everyone up. I was also struck by how a similar thing is happening here.

      • LRA

        Excuse me, Tom W? I think you’ve failed to understand the comments here. We advocate CRITICAL THINKING here, not fundamental bullsh*t. Further, yes, I have spent HOURS trying to explain evolution to pig-headed fundie christians who refuse to apply reason when it’s easer for them just to apply “faith”. Yes, thinking is hard work, and work that many people aren’t willing to do. Jeremy isn’t making just any old generalization– he’s talking about people that he– and I — have encountered before. People who are attempting to derail science education, people who want to violate my First Amendment rights by infusing their religious views into politics (like the crumbling rebuplican party), people who truly believe that the rapture is just around the corner and that the fate of billions of people is eternal torture. And yes, these people number in the millions…

        • John C

          Yes, and He says to LRA…but who do YOU say that I am? In the end, that’s what it all hinges on LRA…who do you say that He is? Is He love, is He angry, mad? Is He what you have heard and seen in “fundies”, or is there more to this Christ?

          Who is He…really LRA? The funny thing is…I think you know.

          • LRA

            I don’t “know” in the epistemological sense, but my educated guess is that Jesus was a country preacher who ruffled some feathers in the Sanhedrin in his attempt to be radical and he died as a result. His story got blown out of proportion for some reason (like he might have survived the crucifixion and died a few days later) and this was enough to wow the uneducated/rejected/diseased masses that he hung out with. They stated talking about him, and when it reached the Greek named Paul, he morphed the country preacher story into a suffering savior a la Elusinean Mystery Cult with a healthy dose of Plato…

            but that’s just my educated guess…

            • rodneyAnonymous

              My answer to “who do you say that He is?” would have been much shorter: nobody.

  • RobtozAreAwesome

    I just read the Answers in Genesis article and have subsequently repented for all of my hard thinking.

  • Francesco Orsenigo

    PZ Meyer makes a good point against the sensationalization of Ida.

    Quite a good point is that speaking about “missing links” gives the idea of something occurring in discrete steps rather than a continuous process, and the last thing we need is more confusion about evolution.

    Moving to the creationists, I find particularly interesting point 5.
    What do they exactly want as a real transitional fossil?

    • LRA

      A crocko-duck…

      • Joe B

        I love the

        • Joe B


          I don’t love that the HTML for links is different on this site than the ones I’m use to

          trying a titled link again

          • Joe B

            huh, forget the different HTML comment, I guess I just screwed it up the first time I tried and didn’t understand the HTML tags listed at the bottom on the other tries.

          • Francesc

            Hey! That’s a “real transitional form”! (point 5, lol)
            But on the other hand, similarities can never show evolution (point 3)
            I’m confused now…

    • Cheryl

      Part man, part God?

      • MahouSniper

        I’m pretty sure we’ve already found Chuck Norris.

    • Siveambrai

      All I can imagine is a fossil that suddenly jumps up and begins to morph right in front of their eyes.

      Of course they’d probably just say it was Satan again.

      • Andrew N.P.

        Transformers: Fossils in Disguise!

        • rodneyAnonymous

          I knew the Dino-Bots were evil.

    • rodneyAnonymous

      I think they mean a living transitional form.

      …which assumes that non-extinct life forms are “final”, and implies a fundamental lack of understanding of biological evolution.

      • Korny

        What the hell do they think a platypus is?!?!

        • Francesc


        • Sabrina

          *snork* I love platapi, they’re so ridiculous. But if that’s not a ‘transitional form,’ then I don’t know what the hell is…

  • Dan Gilbert

    Francesco, I agree about point #5. It’s even MORE amusing when you take point #2 into account.

    So on one hand, a fossil can never show evolution, but on the other hand, they want to see a REAL transitional form.


  • Verde

    regarding #4

    oh yes..of course..the Great Flood! what else could possibly have caused this perfectly intact specimen! Poor little Ida missed the boat 47 million years….err..I mean 6,000 years ago.

    • DDM

      Carbon dating…Who needs it!

      • Verde

        Its the work of Satan anyway. ;)

        • DDM

          Yeah, everything but prawyan tou da lawd is nowadays. You just can’t win, I tell ya.

  • Custador

    “4.The remarkable preservation is a hallmark of rapid burial [and thus evidence for the global flood]”

    Er… This fossil was found at the bottom of a lake, I believe. Not sure how a great flood fits in to that one….

    • DDM

      The flood put the lake there. Obviously.

      • Custador

        Aaaah. Couldn’t have just been, you know, land below the local water-table getting… What’s it called…. Oh yeah – Rained on, then? Silly me! ;)

  • Custador

    I must ask: Why is it okay for Creatards to demand more and more evidence for evolution, only to reject it when it appears and demand more again – and yet refuse to provide one single iota of evidence for the existence of God?

    • Teleprompter

      Some people just believe what they want to believe.

      A lot of creationists won’t look at the evidence for or against evolution — it doesn’t matter, it’s wrong to them. They won’t look at the evidence for or against their religious beliefs — it doesn’t matter, it’s right to them.

      Emotional control by others and the manipulation of poor intuitions are two of the most critical mainstays of religious fundamentalism.

      This is why I laugh when certain creationists try to tell me that “we don’t have conflicting ideas, we have conflicting presuppositions about the world”. Yes, more likely than not, your presupposition is to believe whatever you want for whatever reasons make you feel good, and my presupposition is to submit my beliefs to critical thinking, and not just selectively so, no matter how that makes me feel.

    • LRA

      ummmm….. unreasonable faith?

      • Teleprompter

        What an original idea! :D

  • DarkMatter

    “and yet refuse to provide one single iota of evidence for the existence of God?”

    Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    They are not able to because their evidence cannot be seen. Their only evidence that can be seen is the banana.

  • cypressgreen

    On #6: in Atheist Universe David Mills addresses that quite well. Say you have two fossil items that you are pretty sure are all in the same tree. Call them 1 and 2. The creationists say, “Well, there no clear transitional link between 1 & 2! We’ll believe in evoulution when we see that link.” One day, scientists dig up 1.5. So the creationists say, “Well, there no clear transitional link between 1 & 1.5! We’ll believe in evoulution when we see that link.”

    You Morons! There will never be “A LINK!” Arrgh!

    • rodneyAnonymous

      Yes, evolution is a smooth gradient, I’m not sure which single point on the curve is going to convince people who are not already convinced by the mountains of evidence.

  • Japanther

    6 Evolutionists only open up about the lack of fossil missing links once a new one is found.

    Wait doesn’t that mean they accept that new ones are found? Doesn’t this mean they accept that transitional fossils exist? Doesn’t this mean that they admit evolution is true? And macro-evolution at that, if they must insist on the distinction.

  • John C


    Dear Great (ad infinitum) Aunt Ida,

    Its been so long, how you been?
    So good to see you once again

    The years have been kind I gotta say
    With you a million years is like a day
    You’re quite the celeb, all the rage
    The camera’s kind to you, doesn’t show your age

    How’s aunt Lucy, its been a while
    I miss her banana pudding and chimpy smile
    Says you two girls, you got around
    Would chase the boys all over town

    From limb to limb you used to swing
    Would down a few and start to sing
    Before you knew it you two would mate
    not too picky, with any ol’ primate

    But what of Adam, and what of Eve?
    And dare I mention uncle Steve?
    Or am I dreaming, is it true
    A mere myth passed down by you,

    That we’ve evolved from you and her
    My head is spinning, its all a blur
    Was he right this guy named Leakey
    Or is it all just a little…sneaky

    I gotta admit when I go to the zoo
    I’m wondering if they are family too
    But when I stop for a closer peek
    The argument it gets, a little weak

    I’m inclined to believe the other side
    That after sin, they tried to hide
    That we were created true to form
    From the One who loved us, we were born

    So its just a fossil not a missing link
    This story it’s beginning to…really stink
    Can’t quite understand how they buy in
    To such a tale (a tale?) with all the spin

    But science and reason you gotta trust
    If you wanna be respected, they say its a must
    As for me I’ll stick with the garden story
    Man created in His image, likeness and glory

    And hope one day in mirror you do stare
    To see His image reflected there
    Not a chimp or ape like hairy thing
    But a true God-made rendering

    Then the family no more to roam
    In Father’s great heart will have come back home
    And what a grand day that then will be
    His image restored in you and me

    But for now it seems you’re content to swing
    From tree to tree and believe most anything
    Our true origins from just One Tree
    That tree of Life in the garden it be

    How long the dark, how long the night
    When will man wake up and fight
    For a birthright given from long before
    To sons and daughters He would restore

    Like the prodigal we’ve demanded our rights
    Leaving Father’s house, no return in sight
    Thinking we’re the wiser, yes even a sage
    Only to end up in a monkey’s cage

    So today if you would hear that still small voice
    I pray you make a wiser, a wiser choice
    To harken once again to Love’s faint call
    And to leave the illusion for once and for all

    By grace respond to that beautiful sound
    You who once were lost, but now are found

    In love! :)
    John C

  • Jess

    It has always been funny to me why evolution has to automatically discount any form of Christianity. It’s never stated in the Bible one way or the other. Is it so hard to believe if you believe in God that he created this system of evolving and changing? I mean, clearly there is micro-evolution. Is it not a possibility for them to think that these discoveries could lead them to the beginning of the world and in a sense prove their existence and make them feel a part of this whole chain of being?
    Why ignore things that are present in this world?
    But do you think the “hype” is good or bad for good ole Ida?

    • rodneyAnonymous

      It’s never stated in the Bible one way or the other.

      Yes it is. Biological evolution contradicts Genesis. Many Abrahamic religions rely on belief in Biblical inerrancy.

      • Elemenope

        When in doubt, I say, go to the original writers.

        You would be very hard pressed to find a rabbinical authority that anyone takes seriously that does not call the Genesis 1-2 account figurative or the Torah compatible with evolution. Even as far back as the 11th century, the standing rule was that if something in the Torah clashed with either reason or empirical findings, it must be figurative.

        It should also be pointed out that Catholics (who still make up a preponderance of Christians worldwide) find the Biblical and Darwinian accounts compatible.

        • Francesc

          I agree with you, and with Rodney. It’s stated in the bible. It’s not true. So catholical interpretation is “that’s figurative” because, you know, it can’t be merely a book written by an ancient civilization with a creation myth.
          The way for catholics to reconcile the bible and science needs a great amount of twisted logic.

          • John C


            Aren’t you a physicist?

            • Francesc

              Kinda. Why? It is something I’ve said?

            • John C

              I am just wondering…is that what you do, or who you are? Or do you know the difference?

            • Francesc

              It’s only something I studied, I am not even working in something related to physics

            • Aor

              @John C

              Is ‘religious nutjob’ what you do, or who you are? Do you know the difference?

        • rodneyAnonymous

          “Compatible”. Heh. That is similar to saying a book that says “apples are blue” is compatible with the fact that apples are red, because technically apples reflect every color except red.

          • Elemenope

            The distinction is that in the apple example, you are comparing an observational description with another observational description, and so discrepancy is anomalous (and must, as you point out, resort to contortions of technicality and language to be resolved). In the example of Evolution/Bible, you are comparing an observational hypothesis with a metaphorical myth narrative. One should *expect* discrepancies.

    • rodneyAnonymous

      But do you think the “hype” is good or bad for good ole Ida?

      Bad. Evolution is a smooth gradient. There is no single “missing link”. Imagine a dotted line. Now imagine a whole bunch of dotted lines that clearly spell out the Roman alphabet. If someone claims that the dots do not spell out the alphabet, is one more dot going to convince them otherwise?

      Perhaps I am wrong and the moniker will convince people. But I think it is an amazing discovery and building it up with hype will probably just make it disappointing, and it shouldn’t be.

      • Question-I-thority

        You know, when I was a wavering Christian, these public airings had an effect on me. They broke through the psychological barrier somehow. Not sure of the exact value tho or if they were key contributors to my leaving. Us fundamentalists had it drummed into us that these types of fossils didn’t exist–especially fossils which exhibit transition.

      • Aor

        I think the real reason for the hype is because the scientist involved had to dish out 1 million of his own dollars to buy the fossil. In order to get that value back he must keep up the marketing campaign.

    • Baconsbud

      I have to say that you are mistaken. That is unless you say the bible isn’t literal but just stories. Genesis clearly states all was created in 6 days.

  • Len

    Evolution is a scary concept to many people. Especially religious people (and especially Christians, it seems – but maybe they just make the most noise).

    Consider this (paraphrasing from memory because I’m too lazy to look up the real definition, and Navy NCIS is on the TV in 5 minutes): Evolution is the changing of the gene pool over time.

    Say you’re blond – it’s because your parents both have the gene for blond. (If I remember my school biology, both parents must have the blond gene to get blond kinds, because it’s not dominant – or was that blue eyes? Whatever.) Because the partner you chose also happens to be blond (you moved to Scandinavia), your kids are also blond. Your uncle (who moved to southern Europe and married a local) and his wife have kids with dark hair. Their kids also have kids with dark hair because there’s not a blond partner in sight.

    After only a couple of generations, you and your relatives start to look different – blond versus dark hair. That’s fast-track evolution. Imagine 1,000 generations later…

    Gotta go – NCIS…

    • Len

      Must add this: did you ever notice that the people who live in an affluent village are better looking than average? It’s because the kids of that village had the money to attract a better looking partner (male or female). Over time, the better looking partners affected the way new kids in the village looked – there were so many good looking parents. Eventually the kids in that village were (generally) better than average looking. Again – fast-track evolution.

    • Len

      So just imagine if being blond somehow gave you an advantage: better food, better chances of survival, better chances of finding a mate and having kids…

      • Len

        This was to my first post. I should stop arguing with myself and go watch TV.

        • Question-I-thority

          And then your son becomes a football quarterback instead of a center. And your grand kids, all but the runt, become republicans. :)

      • Korny

        Actually, being pretty does do all of those things in this day and age. I have a paper in my file showing it (or at least, showing that pretty girls in highschoool end up with husbands who make more money, on average, that ugly girls – for this highschool at least).

    • Siveambrai

      You are correct about blond but blue eyes is also recessive.

  • Lebron James 23

    That threw me off this morning until I checked the news. For any paleontology buffs, this picture reminds me so much of the famous raptor fossil image seen in so many dinosaur books.

  • Olaf

    I loved the news, about this missing link.
    I also love the fact that Google made this logo.
    But as a atheist and also scientist, we have to dare to ask the question if this is indeed proof of evolution and not some clever crafted fake. We have to dare to ask the question how do we know that this is real?

    Actually we do not need this kind of proof to show that evolution was happening. There is proof everywhere, so much that only the creationisns would ignore it, but this is an additional bonus, something that proves independingly that evolution from Darwin is indeed the right track to go.

    • rodneyAnonymous

      I kind of doubt your claim to be a scientist, no natural scientists I know use the word “proof” frequently or at all, and none would describe a single fossil as potential “proof of evolution”. What is your field?

  • Blue203

    I agree with the comments about Velociraptor…. also note the shadow or bodily remains behind look Wolflike….. now where did Raptors go, and where did Mammals like Wolves come from? There ARE NO transitional evolutionary links ever found….
    Just extinction of Dinosaurs, then emergence of Mammals…… so what do we REALLY have here???
    No transition, but perhaps transformation????

    • Kodie

      You think some dinosaurs just stopped being dinosaurs and turned into wolves? I can’t believe anyone wants to believe in a god that could just turn us into some other beast any time he wants. Witchcraft? This theory has stunned me. Wouldn’t you rather believe evolution?


    • Baconsbud

      Where did you get this idea? I would bet there are a lot more transitional fossil then science actually knows. You have to remember scientist can’t get DNA from fossils so they aren’t always able to say which are transitional to which species. Most times scientist show more caution then the group did with this fossil.

  • claidheamh mor

    “Christians are expending an awful lot of energy on something they don’t believe in, aren’t they?”

  • GL

    Carbon dating is NOT accurate. There is no LONG TERM data to calibrate carbon dating to. Carbon dating is like trying to measure the circumference of the earth with a grade-school ruler. Carbon dating is like trying to guess the speed of a car occurring yesterday with only one or two snapshot photographs from TODAY. People who spout off “millions” of “years” etc. lingo are not scientists, they are addicted gamblers who like to guess.

    • LRA

      Are you a scientist?

      • Jabster

        … erm let me think about that. Before I give an answer exactly what do you define as a scientist?