Monday, May 25, 2009
I just saw "The Link" and, like most such exercises, there was a lot of repetition, trying to stretch the material that can be understood by lay audiences into a show of over an hour and a half. I can forgive breathlessness and "gee whiz" gushing but there were some truly execrable things floated, such as Ida being the "earliest ancestor" of humans (which I think would have to be some protocell, if one could be identified at all).
It got worse, talking about where Ida fell on the "evolutionary ladder" (!) and how prosimians broke off of the "main stem" of primate evolution (i.e. the line that lead to humans). At one point, There was also talk of early primates splitting into "human and non-human groups" and apes "giving rise to humans" (though Richard Leakey later pointed out that humans are apes).
Of course, it is a marvelous find and certainly important. Ida deserves better though.
All and all, it was closer to the worst that television has offered on science than the best.