Why is it that man spends so much energy and uses every resource available to discover the origin of the universe and the origin of his own species? These are two burning enigmas that have puzzled mankind over the centuries and continue to do so today. Modern science has revealed discoveries that could never have come about without the use of computers; the Hubble Telescope 350 miles out in space is one such marvel dependent upon computers. According to empirical knowledge based on the speed of light, images of galaxies, exploding stars and coloured cosmic gas clouds formed 500 million years ago are recorded by the computers that process them.
Last night, on BBC 1, yet again David Attenborough presented a programme supporting the theory of man’s evolution from primitive species, but unlike his programme on the 1st February, he did not make a case for denying the validity of the account of Creation given in the Bible in Genesis. Perhaps he had received flack from Biblical Creationists, or maybe he believed his case was proven so that denial of the Genesis account was no longer necessary?
In last night’s presentation he showed that he was convinced the ‘missing link’ in the fossil chain had been discovered, because of a fossil found at a Hamburg mineral show in 2006. According to the theory of mankind’s evolution there is a split in the evolutionary tree that results in two branches, i.e., the branch of the Prosimians and the branch of the Anthropoids, but where is the common ancestor that shares characteristics of both Prosimians and Anthropoids? Well, according to Mr Attenborough a creature more resembling a lemur than a human is the ‘missing link’. The fossil of this animal, purporting to have been formed 47 million years ago, was made subject to intensive interrogation by eminent scientists in their fields and by the use of computerised 3-D graphics; they concluded that the creature looked almost identical to a lemur which belongs to the Prosimian branch, not the Anthropoidal branch from which monkeys, apes and humans are supposed to have evolved. Nevertheless David Attenborough presented various arguments to support his view that we humans had evolved from this ‘transitonal’ animal and that we had more in common with the fossilized creature than did a lemur. Apparently a lemur has a grooming claw on the second digit of the hind foot, but this creature named Eda for identification purposes does not; also a lemur has ‘combed’ teeth at the front of the lower jaw, whereas Eda does not. In both respects David argues she is more like us, and to press his point home he explains that the shape of her pelvis is similar to that of humans who walk upright - quadrupeds require a different shaped pelvis. Her hands, with inward articulating thumbs, just like humans (and lemurs), has nails similar to ours. She also has a Talus bone in the ankle just as we do, which is necessary for walking upright, but lemurs have a different set of bones. Incidentally, the same science is used to ‘prove’ that lemurs have hardly evolved over the time span of 47 million years required for the evolution of man.
On the basis of the above discoveries David Attenborough believes Eda is the ‘transitional missing link’ and without it there is no conclusive proof that humans have evolved from some lower form of life. The fact that no other such transitional link has been found begs the question, ‘Is his theory proven?’ It is claimed that a unique set of circumstances accounts for the preservation of the fossil, namely the coming about of the Messel pit in Germany 50 million years ago by an underground explosion that forced molten rock upwards thereby creating a deep crater that filled with water. Eda had been drinking from its edge when she was overcome by carbon dioxide bubbling to the surface causing her to fall unconscious into the water so that she sank to the bottom where she was covered with layers of silt; hence she was preserved until this day.