Does Whale Evolution Hold Water?


Evolutionary Just-So Stories Are Udderly Ridiculous!

At one point in the Origins debate, evolutionists were fond of using the so-called Horse series as evidence for microbes-to-man evolution. The emerging Creationist classification science of baraminology has displaced the Horse series as largely irrelevant to the debate. Creationist scientists now affirm that all horses [including extinct three-toed varieties] all belong to the same created kind [baramin], with the exception of Hyracotherium [which belongs in a separate baramin]. Now, proposed whale evolution has become the favored evidence for microbes-to-man evolution.

Evolutionists reading this should stop for a moment to comprehend the significance of a Biblical created kind or baramin to the Origins argument. Too often, evolutionists already disagree with non-evolutionary paradigms long before they’ve bothered to comprehend their opponent’s arguments. It’s like they suppose that evolution is true, therefore why should they bother to think, right?

The Biblical created kind is not analogous to a species. It is only generally analogous to the family level of taxonomy. Like the term ‘species,’ there is some difficulty in nailing down an exact definition of a baramin, but we can say that in general baramins will be able to interbreed. For example, we know that all dog breeds came from the wolf. It is generally accepted amongst Creationists that all canines represent a distinct baramin. Cats on the other hand… Most Creationists see two separate baramins for felines [big cats and little cats, basically]. All people groups [generally refered to be the erroneous term ‘races’] belong to a single baramin, including Cromagnon and Neadertals. We’ve mention the horse series. The concept of a baramin [which literally means “created kind”] come from the Bible. God commanded all living creatures and man to be fruitful and multiply after their kind. So Creationists affirm what evolutionists term ‘microevolution’ [eg. speciation] because it’s observable and consistent with Biblical revelation. We affirm that horizontal changes within a baramin occur, but a dog is still a dog, be it a wolf, dachsund or an English bulldog and was nor will be anything else. We dispute unobservable vertical [phyletic] microbes-to-man macroevolution where one baramin becomes another [viz. dinobird evolution]. Thus we have a presuppositional objection to the idea of whale evolution, just as the evolutionist has a presuppositional bias for the same idea.

Now evolution enforcement organizations won’t bother making a distinction between micro and macro evolution. They’ll simply cliam that observable horizontal variation within created kinds is evidence for never-yet-observed, unobservable verticle microbes-to-man evolution. Worse, they’ll try to claim that evolution is only “change over time” [a term void for vagueness and PURPOSELY misleading], which could also be used to describe aging, decay and all sorts of other things that are most definitely NOT fish-to-philosopher evolution.

In the 1998 pro-evolution publication from the National Academy of Sciences [NAS] called Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, pages 18-19 describe a proposed series of transitional whale fossils that educators are encouraged to give to students as evidence of verical goo-to-you-by-way-of-the-zoo evolution. Most evolutionists are brave enough to be this specific because their claims tend to fall apart under close scrutiny, but here it is:

The NAS' proposed Whale Evolution series

The proposed whale ancestor here is a mesonychid, a group of hoofed mammals from which evolutionists believe we  because of the similarities in teeth. Mesonychids are a group of carnivorous ungulates. Ungulates are hoofed animals, such as equines [horse, zebra, donkey], cattle/bison, rhinoceros, camel, hippopotamus, tapir, goat, pig, sheep, giraffe, okapi, moose, elk, deer, antelope, and gazelle. The NAS is trying to give educators the [erroneous] idea that scientists agree that the mesonychids  are the ancestors of whales; however, as we will see, mesonychids have all but been deposed as probable ancestors.

One evolutionists commentator laments:

“When I was very young, Basilosaurus was the fossil whale representative, but being that it was already a whale it didn’t solve the problem of whale origins. Newer discoveries of older cetaceans in Asia like Pakicetus, Ambulocetus, Kutchicetus, and Rodhocetus provided a group of transitional types that stunned vertebrate paleontologists, but a major debate loomed over these fossils. While it first appeared that these”walking whales” were closely related to the carnivorous ungulates called mesonychids, genetic analysis, the presence of a “double-pulley” ankle bone, and the distribution of weight across the toes suggested that whales evolved from artiodactyl ancestors, their closest living relatives being hippos.”

So now the mesonychids are out and another group of ungulates [artiodactyls] are in, partly because Pakicetus is now considered one of the first proto-whales. Mesonychids were mainly on the plate because of semi-homologous teeth; Pakicetus’ bid for whale ancestry is based largely upon the inner ear, which displays characteristics only found elsewhere in cetaceans. It should be noted up front that homologous structures have proven to be an inconsistent indicator of evolutionary ancestry. For example, even animals with nearly identical body plans [e.g. – the placental and marsupial mole] are often not considered to have a common ancestor [viz. convergent evolution]. As a point of irony, the humpback whale [which is placental] is said to be more closely related to the placental mole than the homologous marsupial mole! [My thanks to Dr Carl Werner’s wonderful resource, Evolution: The Grand Experiment Vol. 1 (pg 71) for pointing out this telling factoid!]

Before we continue with Pakicetus, a word on the hippo connection. The Tokyo Institute of Technology claims that DNA evidence conclusively proves the hippopotamus as the whale’s closest living relative. The “Whippo” is a problem for evolutionists on at least two counts: [1] hippos are plant eaters, not meat eaters; all cetaceans are carnivores, and [2], as Dr Daryl Domning of Howard University [who specializes in aquatic mammal evolution], notes:

“To a paleontologist, this is nonsense because whales have been around in the fossil record about five times as long as hippos have.”

By evolutionary interpretations of the fossil record, this would be like claiming one’s great-great-great-great-…etc…-great grandchild was one’s ancestor!

Pakicetus - Then and Now

Pakicetus is not listed in the NAS propaganda packet, but has been prominently featured in the news and on the PBS “Evolution” series. Dr Phil Gingerich, its discoverer, originally claimed, “In time and in its morphology, Pakicetus is perfectly intermediate, a missing link between earlier land animals and later, full-fledged whales” [as quoted in Refuting Evolution 2 by Dr Jonathan Sarfati, 136]. And they came up with a lovely drawing of a seal-like animal frolicking about [at left]; unfortunately, as is so often the case with evo imagineering, the entire thing was based on a partial skull and nothing more. When a somewhat more complete skeleton was found in 2001, rather than being a perfect transition between full-fledged whales and land animals Pakicetus was revealed to be, well, simply land mammals. Worse still, rather than being semi-aquatic, “all post-cranial bones indicate that pakicetids were land animals, and… indicate that the animals were runners, with only their feet touching the ground” [Thewissen, et al, as quoted in Sarfati, Refuting Evolution 2, 137].

A mock cladogram of wheeled vehicles, showing ‘transitional’ changes leading to the ‘evolutionary’ emergence of 18-wheeled trucks. Using this as an analogy, but adhering to evolutionistic reasoning, the pakicetids are walking whales in the same way that unicycles are primitive trucks. src: http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i1/chimeras.asp

I should also include a word about nested heirarchies. As noted before, evolutionists aren’t consistent in using homologous structures as proof of ancestry [eg. convergent evolution]. Furthermore, as Dr John Woodmorappe succinctly points out, such “evolutionary” transitional series can be made of things which were never ancestral to one another, so that “pakicetids are walking whales in the same way that unicycles are primitive trucks.” These proposed evolutionary cladograms reveal one’s presuppositional fealty to evolution but nothing more. 

So mesonychids are out, hippos are anachronostically impossible and pakicetids are full-fledged land animals. Next up is Ambulocetus aka the “walking whale.”

 Textbooks are misleading, typically showing the web-footed fellow promoted by National Geographic and the NAS’s propaganda packet. Unfortunately, there is no evidence for webbed feet. Furthermore, while some programs have shown Ambulocetus sprawling like a crocodile, it would’ve actually had erect limbs. The NAS article states, “[Mesonychids] gave rise to a species with front forelimbs and powerful hind legs with large feet that were adapted for paddling. This animal, known as Ambulocetus , could have moved between sea and land. Its fossilized vertebrae also show that this animal could move its back in a strong up and down motion, which is the method modern cetaceans use to swim and dive.” So it could swim and walk on land and it has whale-like teeth, but the only reason one could call it a “walking whale” is if you presuppositionally believed it [or such a creature] eventually evolved into a whale.

Ambulocetus also has a slight eye problem, unless one believes it evolved froma  creature with eyes on the sides of its head, then changed into Ambulocetus with eyes atop its head and then evolved into something else with eyes back on the sides of its head again.

Note Rodhocetus' Imaginnered Whale's Tail and Flippers

Next in line is Rodhocetus. Dr. Phil Gingerich [Director of the Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan], one of the leading experts on whale evolution and Rodhocetus‘ discoverer, promoted the idea that Rodhocetus had a whale’s tail and flippers. Unfortunately, if you visit the University of Michigan, you’ll find that the portion of the tail that would allow us to determine whether Rodhocetus had a whale’s fluke [or not] is missing! ”Since then,” Gingerich admits, “we have found the forelimbs, the hands, and the front arms of Rodhocetus, and we understand that it doesn’t have the kind of arms that can be spread out like flippers are on a whale.” [As quoted in Evolution: The Grand Experiment – Volume 1  by Dr Carl Werner, pg 143]. In other words, in the name of Darwin “scientists have added a whale’s tail to an animal when none has been found, and they have added flippers to this same land animal when none have been found.” [Werner, pg. 219]

Last in line is Basilosaurus. Basilosaurus is drawn the same size as the other critters of the proposed whale sequence in the NAS packet, but he’s whopping huge compared to any of them. Much ado has been made of Basilosaurus’ small rear limbs. Some evolutionists have alleged that these legs are vestigial; for example, the NAS packets states, “this animal still has hind limbs (thought to have been nonfunctional), which have become further reduced in modern whales.”  Most scientists admit that they were likely used copulation guides. Vestigial arguments either presume nonfunctionality from current ignorance or [when a function is later discovered] presume reduced functionality from presumed ancestral forms, thus begging the question of both vestigiality and microbes-to-man evolution.

In any case, Basilosaurus has been displaced as an ancestral form, mostly because by evolutionary estimates of time they were contemporaries of modern whales. Thus, they’ve been relegated to a lesser status of not being in the direct line of ancestry to modern whales, both of which allegedly evolved from some common [but ultimately unknown] ancestral form.

As you can see, the evidence simply isn’t on the side of whale evolution. It takes a good dose of credulity to buy into the NAS’ proposed series once their claims are scrutinized. So mesonychids are out, hippos are anachronostically impossible, pakicetids are full-fledged land animals, ambulocetids are only walking whales if you presume they were ancestral to whales in the first place [begging the question], rodhocetids are land animals without imagineered flukes and flippers and basilosaurus is a contemporary of modern whales. This is why I always ask evos to give me specifics. Once you get beyond the generalities of their Just-So Stories, they simply don’t hold water!

-Rev Tony Breeden

DefendingGenesis.org

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. Lance Ponder says:

    Well, I guess I’ll wait patiently for the trolls to come wondering in to snarl and make noise. **sigh** Far be it from me to offer critical thought on this topic since I agree with you. 😉

  2. A good roundup here, Tony. As you know, the hippo/cetacean connection is the one most supported by evidence, but you dismissed that one based on what you considered to be an anachronism. Surely you realize that sharing a common ancestor does not mean that whales evolved from modern hippos. It’s no anachronism at all to say they share a common ancestor. Evolutionists haven’t nailed down the perfect fossil evidence, but the imperfect evidence corroborates the DNA testimony and the best work of comparative anatomy – which has gone against lesser supported claims of descent made in the past. Mixing every suggesting ever made all together and hitting a few with one challenge or another doesn’t damage the larger body of evidence in favor of the bold claim that marine mammals descended from land mammals. Sure, the Designer could have borrowed designs from ungulates rather than sharks, but why? We can’t begin to know the answer to that, but we do know the evolutionary claim that mammals developed on land requires that cetaceans would have some characteristics of land mammals , as indeed they do. Maybe the design hypothesis doesn’t lose a point because a whale has a pelvis, but I think evolution scores one for making a consistent prediction. The fossil record doesn’t show every step, but cetaceans do not show up in the record until long after land mammals which again is consistent with evolutionary theory and difficult to explain from a young-earth viewpoint.

    1. modsynth,

      I’m aware that the whippo connection is their [your] most viable part of their just-so story. I’m just a little bit annoyed at the phrasing of your objection [ie. – “what you considered to be an anachronism”], because that’s not just what I consider to be an anachronism; it’s what EVERYbody considers an anachronism. To say they shared a common ancestor is, well… what ancestor? What is the identity of this whippo node? Is it a superhero? Is that why we can’t know the secret identity of this amazingly elusive whippo node? Evos haven’t nailed down the perfect fossil evidence… That’s gotta be the understatement of the year. I mean, the whale is, well, the BEST fossil evidence you evos have and it’s a pathetic string of fragmentary speculatiion swallowed whole by the credulous faithful.

      Seriously, what other transitional fossil series do you guys have? We made the horse series moot. The whale series is pretty much it… and it’s got more holes than a prairie dog farm! It’s a great time to be a Biblical Creationist!

      Now, you accuse me of tossing in every suggestion ever made… so what? They’re all bunk. You claim that I’ve simply took a few pot shots at them, but I don’t see you refuting my critique, now do I? And what larger body of evidence in favor of the extraordinary claim that marine mammals came from land animals? More speculation? More credulous claims of flukes, flippers and webbed feet for fossil finds that display neither? More “walking whales” that are only “whales” by virtue of the fact that evos believe in their hearts of vestigial hearts that real and actual whales must’ve evolved from land animals? Good luck with that, bub.

      Now when you ask, “Sure, the Designer could have borrowed designs from ungulates rather than sharks, but why?” you, um… gosh, how do I say this without making you seem like a total idiot? Um, ungulates and whales are mammals. Both of ’em. You’uns kin look thet up at tha lib’ary, certain sure. So [ignoring the weasel term “borrow” and all it implies] why should I not expect similar design elements for animals sharing the mammal template? [Should I bring up the fact that dolphins and sharks help destroy any claims that homology is proof of common ancestry? Just saying.]

      Your faith in this whale of a whopper may be unshaken, but I feel the need to point out [again] that the whale series is pretty much your best horse you got in this race, buddy. Consistent prediction? Where’s the rest of ’em? Instead of the innumerable transitional forms Darwin’s theory predicts, we only have a handful of disputable candidates… and I just demonstrated how much faith and duct tape holds your best disputable candidates in place.

      As to your last point, you’re begging the question when you say that cetaceans don’t show up in the record until long after…. yada yada yada. The question is whether the strata should be interpreted according to uniformitarian presuppositions or according to the catastrophist interpretations of flood geologists. In other words, do the strata show long geological ages or successive ecological zones buried beneath flood sediments? Flood geology is a relatively new endeavor, so we don’t have all the answers [yet], but it’s not that difficult to explain from a young earth viewpoint [especially if you don’t use an old earth filter to try to comprehend it as you just did; think outside the box, bub].

      In general, fossil succession can be explain thus:

      “The Flood geology paradigm ascribes the general pattern of the fossil succession and fossil separation to the following physical causes (not necessarily in rank of importance):

      1. Hydrodynamic sorting through water velocity and specific density of the fossil.
      2. Ecological zonation, habitat, etc., e.g., deep sea, shallow sea, shoreline area, coastal plain, swamp, highland, forest, etc.
      3. Biogeographical separation, e.g., organisms separated by mountain ranges, lakes, oceans, etc.
      4. Mobility, intelligence, and differential escape factors.
      5. Chance.
      6. Preservation bias, e.g., small or large population, hard or soft parts, aerial forms such as birds, etc.
      7. Tectonically Associated Biological Provinces (TABS). This is a new and exciting possibility opened up by John Woodmorappe.(14)

      The concept of TABS is based on the fact that sedimentation in the Phanerozoic record is heavily influenced by tectonic activity plus the fact that the fossils are zoned both ecologically and biogeogrphically. Taken in combination as illustrated by Woodmorappe, and linked tectonically, then biogeographic provinces will be superposed consistently resulting in biostratigraphic separation of the fossils. Woodmorappe also points out that the so-called index fossils tend to shun each other geographically, and his works have opened up a whole new vista for Flood geologists.”

      Source: Difficulties with the Geologic Column, A W Mehiert, Creation Moments

      There are explanations for those who care to consider them. You prefer to doubt God’s Word from the very first Word.

      -Sirius Knott

  3. modsynth says:

    So you got kind of worked up and called me an idiot, but what I really take issue with is your last two statements. You first suggested that I do not consider creationists’ explanations, but I’ve studied the issue intensely for a long time, starting at church and Christian school until today as I read many of the creationist books and websites you quote, including works by Woodmorappe. I do care to consider creationist arguments, and if I found them convincing I would love to embrace them and find myself on the same page with many of my family members. Secondly, I care deeply about the Bible. I’ve studied the Bible my whole life because I take it so seriously. I do not “prefer to doubt”, but I have reluctantly accepted that I do not have all the answers and that the Bible as we know it today has some human fingerprints on it. I’ve come to some conclusions which have gone against what I was told all of my life, which was not easy, but my faith has endured while many of my closest friends have abandoned Christianity. By the Grace of God, I’ve found my faith strengthened and I have finally found peace in dealing with all the problems I had found within parts of the Bible and in the world outside the Bible. I suppose my walk is more complicated than the faith presented at my charismatic church. I’m just thankful for the grace I’ve been given, and I’m no longer discouraged if I’m misunderstood by some other brothers, as I am sure I misunderstood people, too.

    1. [Note to the reader: I had not originally approved this comment, supposing at the time that I’d like to explore his comments in a separate post; however, much time has passed and having reflected on the comment at length and re-read several of the commenter’s posts on his own site, I see nor reason to make a separate post on the subject any longer. Since the comment is referenced in our debate, I have approved it with this short reply…]

      Modsynth,

      Of course, I never called you an idiot, though you may have felt such an accusation was implied.

      Even a cursory reading of your website, especially where it concerns Flood geology or Biblical kinds suffice to confirm that, far from having considered the evidence for Biblical Creationism critically and thoughtfully before rejecting it, you appear to suffer from a bad case of confirmation bias. To be fair, this evidenced willful ignorance on the subject you disagree with [Biblical Creationism] is symptomatic of evolutionists in general. Did you know that I once rejected Biblical Creationism for evolutionism, supposing science had proven the latter and displaced the former? My wife recalls that a decae ago she asked me what I thought of evolution, and I replied, “I suppose God could have used evolution.” But as the Holy Spirit began guiding me into progressively into truth, I began to see that the Biblical account [in Genesis and elsewhere in Scripture] of special Creation and the current scientific majority view of evolution and millions of years were dichotomous. Like you, I was faced with a choice. Like Martin Luther, I decided:

      “When Moses writes that God created Heaven and Earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.”

      You determined that the Bible has some “human fingerprints on it,” meaning you believe it is not entirely correct, even though the Bible testifies of itself as being true from the beginning, [Psalm 119:160) which is exactly what we would expect of the revealed Word of an omniscient, omnipotent God. An omnipotent God who cannot manage to make his Word perfectly plain on account of the imperfections and biases of His chief creation is not omnipotent in the slightest!

      I have asked you in times past how you are able to hold that the Genesis account is invalid because science says otherwise, but are somehow able to reject science when it comes to the Virgin Birth, miracles or the resurrection [cognitive dissonance!]. Your reply was puzzling. You stated that God would not do something supernaturally and then deceive us into thinking otherwise. True enough! And precisely why He reveals in His Word that the world we see is not millions of years old as it might appear. Because God cannot lie, He would have to reveal to us in special revelation what we might not ascertain from interpreting natural revelation, especially if our method of interpretation [i.e., naturalism] precluded us from seeing the supernatural [the supernatural being an exception to natural law]. It sounded like you hadn’t thought this out very well and were simply making excuses. Might I suggest you take a fresh look at it.

      Think about it: If God’s Word is imperfect, on what basis do you accept its testimony where it concerns the Gospel, doctrine or other points of history. If your ultimate authority is the word of men [who largely reject God], your acceptance of other miraculous Biblical claims against the word of naturalistic science is arbitrary.

      Here’s an easy example. The Bible claims that Jesus turned water [H2O] into wine. How is that possible [except via miracle]? Wine contains about 81% water… so far, so good. But it also contains about 12% alcohol – where does THAT come from? Oh, wait! It gets worse: roughly 7% of wine’s make-up consists of other things, like Sugar, Sulfites, Grape Thumatin-like proteins, Amino Acids, Citric Acid, Gallic Acid, Tartic Acid, Mallic Acid, Succinic Acid, Acetic Acid, and Lactic Acid (and that’s the short list). Whence came the extra chemicals? The consensus of naturalism would be that such a feat is impossible. Perhaps God deceived us; perhaps it wasn’t water, perhaps it wasn’t wine, perhaps it was made up. Or perhaps it’s true and Jesus accomplished what should be impossible as his very first miracle, proving He was God incarnate!

      Let God be true and every man a liar, modsynth.

      -revTony

  4. modsynth says:

    I guess I should also answer some of your challenges.

    Whales from modern hippos is an anachronism, but whales sharing a common ancestor is not, and that’s what I said. The American colonies were once under the British crown, but America did not declare independence from Queen Elizabeth. That would be an anachronism and a false statement, but that doesn’t mean America was never a part of the British Empire. The hippo misrepresentation is a straw man.

    Not all even-toed ungulates are herbivores, so it’s not unreasonable to expect that the common ancestor could and would be omnivorous. Hippos have canines and other features that do not rule out the possibility of some past meat-eating, so the difference in diet is not a huge problem.

    What shark/dolphin homology? Analogous is different than homologous. Sometimes superficial similarities can suggest homology, but closer scrutiny is necessary to make such a claim, and scientists have agreed that certain similarities in sharks and dolphins are merely analogous, having been acted upon by the same survival forces but coming about through different processes and structured in a way that does not suggest a recent relation. The blowholes of cetaceans, such as dolphins, appear to be homologous to nostrils by objective standards of homology, not an ad hoc speculation based on an assumption of relationship. The apparent co-opting of certain structures strongly suggests homology, not convergent evolution as is the case with fins on sharks and dolphins (note the internal difference that stand out when captive cetaceans experience a flopping fin). What’s the point in arguing since if you somehow did become convinced whales are related you could turn and say they are part of the same baramin since the limits of a baramin are not clearly set. Evolution does not have that luxurious flexibility, which is why I find the twin-nested hierarchy so convincing.

    Your scenario of God using a mammalian template is of course speculative, but why not go back to the phylum level and say that God used a chordate template for fish and mammals? Again, there are no clear lines, and no falsifiable predictions. That’s all I have time to answer for right now, but since you didn’t understand my previous objection I hope you now understand that I had offered a critique of a key point you made, noting that it was a straw man. Sorry if I didn’t go through all of it.

    Well, one last thing, the 7 points about flood geology are pretty lame. Hydrodynamic sorting should be easy to test, but you will find it lacking and that fossils are not sorted by density, anyway. Like point 1, points 2, 3, 5, and 6 are demonstrably inconstant with what the fossil sequence actually looks like. Number 4 must be a joke, the vestiges of the Hovind theory and has innumerable problems. 7 is also quite humorous and clearly false. The record does not look like it was shuffled by tectonic activities, it is remarkably consistent. These are among the many reasons that geologists abandoned their once favored flood geology (which you described as “relatively new”) hundreds of years ago. Cosmology and many other disciplines also have much to say against the young earth hypothesis, so it’s a steep hill to climb.

    1. modsynth,

      If you read nothing else of this comment, I urge you to consider the last three paragraphs.

      To your specific objections:

      If whales and hippos share a common ancestor, what is the identitity of this whippo node? And how long ago did it exist? My questions are, of course, rhetorical. I realize that you have no idea as to the identity of the proposed whippo node. All we know is that by an evolutionary reckoning of the fossil record hippos are a Johnny-come-lately compared to whales. Furthermore, the whippo node must needs have preceded both the hippo and the whale. Why then are hippos the most similar to whales, which are by evolutionary reckonings of the fossil record far more ancient than hippos? Other evolutionary steps must needs have proceeded between the whippo node and true whales and many of these further transitional forms must have been land animals. Why should whales and dolphins, according to the Tokyo Institute study I refered to, be more closely related to cows, camels and pigs than horses, elephants and [hold the phone!] sea cows?

      I note that you opine that “it’s not unreasonable to expect that the common ancestor could and would be omnivorous.” There would almost have to be an omnivorous ancestor in the whale’s ancestry if evolution were true, but whether evolution is true is the question and, once again, no such transitional form has been identified. It is not unreasonable to expect that a non-whale whale ancestor does not exist. You further opine that “Hippos have canines and other features that do not rule out the possibility of some past meat-eating, so the difference in diet is not a huge problem,” but I have to point out that you’ve given us purest speculation; other than your belief in the whippo node there is no reason to ever suggest such a thing as a carnivorous hippo!

      Though you appear to be aware of the distinction between analogy and homology, you fail to see the significance of said distinction: namely, that the difference in homologous and analogous structures is simply whether one considers said structures ancestral or not. There is no consistent basis for determining analogous creatures that came about by so-called convergent evolution [eg placental and marsupial moles; sharks and dolphins] from homologous other than whether one creature is presumed BEFOREHAND to be ancestral or not.

      Your dodge [yes, dodge] that if we somehow became convinced that hippos and whales belonged in the same baramin [or perhaps you meant the whale series; your meaning was unclear] that we could beg off that they are part of the same baramin since the limits of a baramin are not clearly set displays an overall ignorance of baraminology. There are limits to a baramin class. For example, no Creationist suggests that a cat will ever be considered part of the dog baramin. If baramins are as hard to pin down as the definition of a species, well, you’ll forgive me for pointing out that you’re holding Creationists and evos to different standards of exactness where taxonomy is concerned. Furthermore, baraminology is a relatively new discipline, so some things are still being hammered out. I suggest http://creationbiology.org if you’re truly interested in learning more about this new discipline.

      Now you wheedle a bit that “Evolution does not have that luxurious flexibility, which is why I find the twin-nested hierarchy so convincing,” but I already mentioned that the term species is a bit nebulous [having several proposed definitions]. Furthermore, it is so plastic that it claims to explain polar opposite conditions [eg. common ancestry and convergent evolution; gradulaism and punk eek].

      You also said that “Your scenario of God using a mammalian template is of course speculative, but why not go back to the phylum level and say that God used a chordate template for fish and mammals? Again, there are no clear lines, and no falsifiable predictions.” BUT THIS IS DEMONSTRABLY FALSE. We do affirm Scripture when we insist on created kinds, for God created all things “after their kind,” which necessarily excludes the common ancestry of all living things. This is a clear line and the ultimate [and obvious] difference between creation biology and evolutionary biology: a creation orchard versus the evolutionary tree [or shrub] of life. Now, we could say that God used a common design element for all chordates, but does that make them the same kind any more than the wheels of a unicycle and the wheels of a jumbo jet [common design elements] make them both airplanes.

      Lastly, you dismiss each element of the flood sorting mechanism as if each were a separate answer. We’re not so reductionist as the evolutionist. We recognize that sometimes the simplest solution is also wrong. Perhaps you misunderstood. Perhaps willfully so.

      Here’s my biggest beef with you, modsynth: You give evolutionist opinions , which are forever being refined and tossed out and changed, which are largely the product of a naturalistic worldview that by definition cannot allow for God, the benefit of the doubt. They may not have it all together yet, but they will if we just give them time. You have faith in them, depite the obvious antagonism many of them display toward Christianity in general. You ignore the fact that pure naturalism also voids the idea that a man can rise from the dead, control the weather at a word or spontaneously turn water into fermented wine if allowances aren’t made for both supernatural agency [a miracle, or act of God] and supernatural revelation [eg the Bible as the revealed Word of God]. You do NOT extend that same benefit of the doubt to God’s revealed Word in Genesis. You do not say, “Well, even if the world seems dead set against what God has revealed, I’ll give His Word the benefit of the doubt. Eventually we’ll discover answers to those questions.” Nor do you take into account the naturalistic worldview of the scientific interpretations you hold superior to Scripture; science conducted by a naturalistic worldview will exclude the supernatural and explain it away when it does find it for it cannot ever consider the supernatural, yet if God exists, supernatural agency must needs be the correct explanation for some events, meaning the scientists who have willfully blinded themselves to the supernatural by their worlview will necessarily be wrong… and never know it!

      Think about it. If God exists, what would the same scientists that exclude His agency in Creation and exclude the possibility that He revealed the events and timeframe of Creation in His Word due to their commitment to naturalism say about His existence? of the resurrection of Christ? Of the existence of the soul? Of the virgin birth? You have married yourself to a worldview that refuses to allow a Divine foot in the door… little wonder you consider the Bible to contain errors.

      I urge you to have faith in God rather than men. let God be true and every man a liar.

      -revTony

      PS. I have read your further comment. While I have partially addressed your statements in the last three paragraphs, I would like to address the topic you raise in a later post sometime later this week.

  5. modsynth says:

    It’s a shame you didn’t allow my other comment to go through. I guess your insults and accusations stand. Your blog, your call.

    When you raised these same questions about naturalism on my blog, I answered them: http://modsynthesis.com/2010/07/31/dueling-revelations/

    (I do not post this link to draw attention to my blog, but to make sure you read my response and to see if you would like to answer some of the questions I raised in the post.)

    I had also mentioned writing a post on the subject, which I haven’t done yet. I’ll look for yours and possibly attempt to spell out my views after hearing your entire critique. I also had questions for you and Dr. Mohler which I would like to have answered. These two general misunderstandings we have of each other’s methodology are really at the base of our divergent interpretations of the natural evidence and the Bible.

    I believe you mean well, in spite of your mischaracterizations of me. It would be great if we came to understand each other better one day on this side of heaven, but we’re brothers nevertheless.

    1. modsynth,

      If you read my other comment, you should be aware that I intend to respond, but I feel the matter deserves its own post because it represents such a shift in subject matter really.

      I shall also take time to look at the post you’ve linked, but I should tell you in advance that God didn’t give us a 67th book, sir.

      More later

  6. modsynth says:

    I did read your other comment, and specifically mentioned it when I said I’ll look for your post-not a response comment. I’ll be sure to check it out. Have a good week.

    1. Sorry. Didn’t catch that. ;]

  7. Mufasa says:

    hahaha. this was great. I haven’t laughed this hard in a while. My favorite part was ” unfortunately, as is so often the case with evo imagineering, the entire thing was based on a partial skull and nothing more.” great use of irony considering how your entire belief system is based on a BOOK and nothing more. One that was written long ago by an unknown author and has had pieces removed, added, and rewritten over the course of thousands of years.

    1. Tony Breeden says:

      The Bible stands as God’s ONLY revealed Word as authenticated by fulfilled prophecy. Compare that to flawed wanna-be texts such as the Koran or the Book of Mormon. While folks have claimed things have been added, removed or rewritten in the Bible, this is wishful thinking, as the bibliographical evidence irrefutably attests. For example, when the Old Testament is compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the text is unchanged except for minor word variances that do not change either the meaning or any Christian doctrine. Do your homework next time, Mufasa.

  8. Mufasa says:

    “flawed wanna-be texts?” That’s pretty harsh. I was under the impression that you christians were respectful and kind. I guess I was wrong on that point. See that’s the thing about following an ancient book from a time where hatred and bigotry were all too abundant. You have to follow such doctrines as Exodus 22:20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed. And you worship a god who kills countless people for not following his rules when he knew they would do exactly that since before their “creation” because he is omniscient. See I on the other hand like to look at the world around me and really think about it. I notice how beautiful and fragile life is so i do my best to help my fellow living beings be happy and enjoy their time on this planet just as I would ask of them. My morals are derived from my love for this world and its inhabitants, not an outdated book. But you wouldn’t know anything about that would you? After all: 1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

    1. Tony Breeden says:

      The problem with truth is that it necessarily excludes its opposite. This is the law of noncontradiction: two mutually exclusive truth claims cannot both be true. If teh Bible is true, the Koran, the Vedas, the Book of Mormon and any other competing text are necessarily bunk. Truth also has consequences. If I am content to let other wallow in ignorance, especially if the truth has eternal consequences [you know, heaven and hell], I’m not tolerant, or kind, or loving – I’m apathetic. Apathy [not hate] is the truest opposite of love. A man who loves tell the truth even when it hurts because he cares more about the betterment of the person than sparing their feelings. Or as the Bible puts it, The wounds of a friend are faithful. What non-arbitrary, non-contradictory basis can you claim for your morality? If you are simply the result of specious chemical processes, why should you love this world at all? For that matter, by what non-arbitrary, logically consistent basis do you condemn me and other Christians [based on a straw man view of the Bible, btw]?
      You’ve conflated omniscience [being all-knowing] with causation, by the way. God may know our choices, but we make them. He will not force us to choose life when you so readily prefer death instead.

  9. Mufasa says:

    Oh, I see you chose not to post my last comment. Fair enough. Like modsynth said, “I guess your insults and accusations stand. Your blog, your call.”

    1. Tony Breeden says:

      Mufasa,

      Your comments made it apparent that you have no interest in hearing what I have to say and that your are quite smug in your self-righteousness. If you read what you’ve written, you do think your morality is better, but you can not offer a non-arbitrary, noncontradictory basis for the moral standard you’ve offered. I do pray that you will have ears to hear at some future time.

      As for modsynth, he knows full well that comments are moderated on this site. He’s familiar with my Rules of Engagement, despite the sour grapes he offers in that quote.

      According to your comment, you weren’t bothering with me or this site again [obviously not true], so I saw no reason to post it.

  10. gil says:

    my name is guy and i study biology.

    first- i think have a very strong evidence for design in nature

    a) we know that a self replicate robot that made from dna need a designer

    b) from a material prespective the ape is a self replicate robot

    a+b= the ape need a designer

    or even a self replicat watch.the evolution side always say that a watch need a designer because it cant self rplicat. so if we will find a self replicat watch we need to say that is made by itself

    plus: if a self replicate car cant evolve into an airplan, how can a bacteria can evolve into human ?

    the evolution say that small steps for milions years become a big steps. but according to this a lots of small steps in self replicat car (with dna) will evolve into a airplan.

    but there is no step wise from car to airplan

    evolution say that common similarity is evidence for common descent. but according to this 2 similar self replicat car are evolve from each other

    according to evolution a car can evolve in a close room, beacuse a human can evolve in a close room and make a car

    check this interesting site

    http://creation.com/are-look-alikes-related

    what you think? yours sincerely

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