Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JODT 13:39 (August 2009) p. 79
The Link by Colin Tudge and Josh Young. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2009. 262 pp., cloth, $25.99.
The Link was recently released to coincide with the introduction of the Darwinius Massillae fossil (hereafter known as Ida) and the television special of the same name. This book has gained a great deal of exposure in a short amount of time due to its rather extraordinary claims. As the title implies, The Link purports that an ancient connection has been found between apes and man. Because of this fantastic conclusion, those who support this work have made it well known by enlisting their greatest ally: the secular media. Upon reading this book it rapidly becomes apparent that it is largely given to sensationalism and hyperbole. Even the title is an exaggeration as the primary author (Tudge) must have known that those seeing it would assume that the book is about the so called “missing link” finally being found. However, it only says that Ida is “a link,” that is one of many. Even more unexpected, the book admits that Ida may not even be of direct ancestry to man.
The first chapter contains a very unusual account of the events leading up to Ida’s death. The intention here is not to be harsh, but the writing comes off as being written for children. It is certainly not something you would expect from an author who is seeking to expound upon a serious scientific claim. “She now has the freedom to roam, climb, and fend for herself. Moving as though she’s chasing down the wind . . . ” (p. 3). The coincidental yet appropriate wording here makes for an ironic connection to Ecclesiastes 1:14. Next, the account of obtaining the fossil is recorded. To be fair, there is some interesting information contained here. The story of obtaining Ida is one that could be likened to a spy mission. Jorn Hurum was under a great deal of pressure to purchase Ida from a black market fossil dealer. He was concerned that another scientist may seek to snatch the discovery out from under him. After painstaking efforts, Hurum was able to garner the support of The Oslo Museum and purchase the fossil for an undisclosed seven figure sum. Of note is the unbridled passion of Hurum and his colleagues. They express a great deal of love for their find and fossils in general. However, their exuberance may have caused them to make some hasty generalizations.
JODT 13:39 (August 2009) p. 80
Chapter three describes Ida’s Eocene world (the mysterious realm of 47 million year old earth). There is quite a bit of information to be found here regarding the life forms, the hot climate and various beliefs about the Eocene. The problem is that this information is only related to ...
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