This fossil, Puijila, is a mistake.
St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) February 06, 2013
International Darwin Day (February 12, 2013) is supposed to be filled with positive news about the theory of evolution, but this year Darwin's Day is marred with the loss of a missing link.
In 2009, Nature magazine reported a new missing link for seals and sea lions in an article titled "A semi-aquatic Arctic mammalian carnivore from the Miocene epoch and origin of Pinnipedia". Later that year, famed evolution scientist Dr. Richard Dawkins promoted the article's claim in his book, "The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution." Dr. Dawkins wrote, "Puijila neatly straddles the gap between land and water in the ancestry of pinnipeds. It is yet another delightful addition to our growing list of "links" that are no longer missing." Now, all that may change.
This week, Dr. Carl Werner, researcher and writer, released a detailed scientific report showing that the original analysis in Nature was faulty. "First, the authors of the original article misreported the size of the orbits (eye sockets) and the length of the toes of Puijila. Then they failed to measure the classic pinniped characteristics of Puijila and the other animals with which they compared Puijila. Next, they created an entire suite of inconsequential characteristics to measure and based their analysis on these non-pinniped characteristics. Lastly, they failed to adequately compare Puijila to the related evolutionary groups. (For example, the authors did not compare Puijila to any modern pinnipeds or any living bears and only two mustelids.) Using this faulty information, they built charts and a graph showing this new discovery was a missing link. The data analysis is confused." According to Dr. Werner, Dawkins was fed a line not worthy of science. http://thegrandexperiment.com/Analysis%20of%20the%20family%20tree%20published%20for%20Puijila.pdf
The story first began to unravel when Dr. Carl Werner saw the publicized fossil, Puijila darwini. He was shocked by how similar it appeared to the modern river otter. He traveled to Washington D.C. to visit the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History and photographed a modern river otter skeleton. Later, placing his photograph of an otter from the Smithsonian next to the photograph of the "walking seal" skeleton, "Puijila", Dr. Werner concluded there were no distinct differences between them. (See photos in this release.)
Dr. Werner: "Puijila is supposed to be the missing link for seals, but it is a mistake. The authors of the article in Nature misled Dr. Dawkins by overstating their case. Someone should be held accountable for this, either the authors who wrote the article or the reviewers at Nature who did not pick up on all of this. It is really quite embarrassing."
Dr. Werner's side-by-side photographic comparisons of Puijila and the modern river otter is detailed in a Kindle e-book titled "Puijila and Pinniped Evolution." for sale on Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Puijila-darwini-Pinniped-Evolution-ebook/dp/B008CQH66A/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1360119392&sr=8-8&keywords=dr+carl+werner+evolution
Dr. Carl Werner is a film producer for Audio Visual Consultants Inc. in St. Louis, Missouri and is the Executive Producer for two television shows entitled "Evolution: The Grand Experiment" and "Living Fossils", which are also available as DVDs on Amazon. He is the author of the Grand Experiment book series.