Ida Out of the Blue

Ida came to us out of the blue — Ida is not of the sky, but of the earth — and she erupted into us from bedrock to reveal the mystery of her fossilized core.


Ida, if you don’t know by now, is our 47 million year old ancestor.

There’s something strikingly familiar about Ida’s skeleton. That’s because, like us, Ida is a primate. She lived around the time that primates split into two major groups. The prosimians are the non-human branch who have survived mainly as modern lemurs. The anthropoids are the other branch – from which humans evolved.

Ida’s skeleton has some early anthropoid traits. These foreshadow physical features which later appear in monkeys, apes, and of course, humans. So although Ida was a primitive primate who lived 47 million years ago, her anatomy has remarkable similarities to our own.

Some who biblically believe the earth is only a few thousand years old will try to brush Ida away as an insignificant outlier — but the rest of us will relish how the news of us peels back into history at a new, evolutionary, rip rate of 47 million years.

Ida leaves no doubt that science and logic and the fossil record are undeniable facts that frame us in history with the same earthly pressure and divine elegance that crushes carbon into diamonds while simultaneously releasing the secreted jewels of our common past like our adorable Ida.

6 comments

  • Gordon Davidescu

    Ida is a lovely specimen. I will have to go and see Ida if / when she goes on display!

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  • Gordon! Yes! Ida is the reflection of us and it would certainly be a delight to view her in person to feel the sting of recognition.

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  • Kimberley Fields

    I watched a documentary on Ida not too long ago. It was fascinating!
    My two children are still completely captivated and intrigued by anything dinosaur related. We have an endless library of books concerning dinosaurs.
    I haven’t heard that some use the bible as a ruler to measure our planets existence to just a few thousand years old. I wonder if they have considered the fact that there are a lot of occurrences that happened in the history of our planet that were never recorded in the bible. No one actually knows how long our planet existed before the creation of Adam and Eve. I know the bible records that the Earth was created and details what was created on what day and on the seventh day He rested. However, it also states that “A day unto the Lord is as a thousand years.” I think until these people can actually talk with the Lord and determine how He measures time … they are just unsubstantiated theories.
    In the meantime, my household enjoys the whole idea of dinosaurs.

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  • Kimberley –
    Sarah Palin believes dinosaurs and humans walked the earth together 4,000 years ago:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/28/palin-claimed-dinosaurs-a_n_130012.html
    The “fossil record” confounds the “Intelligent Design” crowed because they are forced — by the Bible — to claim all life ended 4,000 years ago in the big flood:
    http://www.creationism.org/topbar/fossils.htm
    Some religious niches do try to claim “we don’t know how long a day is to God” and that a single day in God’s mind could last “millions of years.”

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  • Kimberley Fields

    Wow! I didn’t know that Sarah Palin was so naive. Perhaps she should have extended her research back by several hundred thousand years or so.
    Carbon dating identifies the dinosaur era with undeniable, substantiated proof. The bible doesn’t even mention dinosaurs. Therefore, the bible doesn’t refute nor confirm the dinosaur era. If they existed before the creation of the first man and women then there would have been no humans available to record or document their existence. I don’t think all the fossils that are being excavated are lying! There is irrefutable proof that dinosaurs existed. I guess the time line could pose some issues as you stated that many people attach a different time line to their existence. I wonder why carbon dating isn’t proof enough for them?

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  • Hi Kimberley –
    No, carbon dating is a fraud according to those who believe in Intelligent Design. There’s no proof to their claim. They just say it’s fakery and that’s enough for them.
    Before Pope John Paul II died, he made an incredible statement that Catholics could believe in Evolution as long as they also believed it was God who “put the soul into man.” I find that a genius compromise between the scientific record and the purity of belief. John Paul II was an intellectual and a scientist and he knew it was impossible to run away from the fossil record — so he embraced it without conditionalizing its core.

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