Pharyngula

How are the creationists reacting to the discovery of Darwinius masillae? With denial and outrage, of course, but one thing that is an interesting datum is that they are all responding to the extravagant hype surrounding it. The fossil is important and has a significant place in the evolutionary record, but the way its purchasers and the media have described it with overblown rhetoric has actually damaged public perception. It’s an interesting transitional form from an early point in the history of primates, and the sloppy media coverage had people expecting a revivified Fred Flintstone carrying a video camera that had been left running for 47 million years.

Rapture Ready is hilarious. They are deeply offended that Google used a doodle of Darwinius as their logo yesterday. It’s a sign of the End Times (but then, everything is a sign of the coming rapture to those loons), it’s actually the bones of the Nephilim, and besides, they never use Google anyway, because it’s a liberal search engine. Rapture Ready is always a guaranteed source of insanity.

Ray Comfort focuses only on the hype. The news is reporting Darwinius masillae as the missing link that finally confirms evolution (a claim that all the scientists I know have laughed over), so therefore the evil Darwinists have been lying all this time when they say evolution has been long confirmed. Then he gets to have it both ways by finding a news report that advocates more caution in interpreting the fossil, so — a-HA! — the evilutionists don’t have proof after all! It’s typical Comfort-logic, that is, lunacy.

Answers in Genesis belittles the whole find. It’s only an “extinct, lemur-like creature” that doesn’t even look like a chimpanzee. They also focus on the hype that has annoyed so many of us, citing that horrible Sky News report that claimed “proof of this transitional species finally confirms Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution” (how anyone could have written that phrase and still claim to be a science journalist is a bit of a mystery — it’s so bad, it’s not even wrong.) Oh, and its preservation is evidence of a global, catastrophic flood.

It’s really too bad. The media provided a distorted image of the find, aided and abetted by a grandstanding scientist, and now we’re going to hear creationists claiming for years that there wasn’t any evidence for evolution before, and when we did come up with something, it was “just” a dead lemur.

Bad science reporting, even by journalists who seem to be sympathetic to evolution, is destructive to good science. There are about a dozen writers I can find with minimal effort and the assistance of that liberal search engine who need to be taken out to the woodshed. And a certain Dr Hurum has caused a self-inflicted wound to his own reputation, as well.