A Darwinius Carnival (Plus Some History of "Missing Links")

It’s now been a bit over a week since Darwinius Day, and the sky, for the moment at least, still remains blue. It’s a good moment to look back and take stock of that hallucinatory ride through the media-science funhouse, and Brian Switek–a remarkable undergraduate who took to the Times of London to help people think straight about this fossil–has assembled a blog carnival just on this topic. In particular, check out the post that looks at a brief but questionable statement in the Darwinius paper: “The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.” I asked PLOS One about whether that was true, and they said they’re getting in touch with the authors. Stay tuned.

I also want to add a couple extra posts to the carnival. Henry Gee, editor at Nature, was inspired by all the claims of Darwinius being a missing link to blog about the history of the phrase “the missing link.” In response to Henry’s twitter for help, I put my lexicographer brother Ben on the case. He did some research of his own, which you can find in his latest “Word Routes” column.