Discovery Institute Exposed

You don’t appear to have read Dr. Schaffner’s post above, or if you did, you failed to comprehend it.

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What you’ve described is evidence that evolution has occurred, which I don’t dispute, but which has nothing to do with the point I made. My contention is that science doesn’t know how the macro-evolutionary changes evident in the fossil record occurred … in fact, science seems quite clueless.

For example, let’s start at the beginning with a very basic and primitive macroevolution …
If you know how evolution works, please explain the steps involved in the evolution of a eurkayote from a prokaryote, replete with a description of how and what natural selections and environmental pressures produced each of those steps.

Finally, please demonstrate that your description is factual, and not just a figment of your imagination.

You mean the "blowhole” (the exterior opening to the bony nostrils). Can you not see how the blowhole on the top of the head would be a HUGE advantage for an aquatic creature? We can even see it move from the snout to the top of the head in successive species of whales!!!
see this link

If you are going to poo-poo everything I’d like to hear your alternative explanation.

Hm, you can actually see multiple mechanisms in nature currently–not just natural selection, but founder effect, all kinds of things.

Does this make sense? We can demonstrate that all my ancestors (from the Netherlands, Ireland, and German) got together by marriage records and even 23 and Me–but how they exactly met each other, while a known mechanism, isn’t recorded for each individual relationship. It’s not how, that is a question; nor whether.

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If you have any clue what minimal criteria are sufficient to demonstrate an adequate understanding of evolution please explain exactly why those are indeed the best choice. Otherwise why should anyone be the least bit interested in what you think it means to “know how evolution works”?

A silly conclusion. I don’t recall saying I don’t understand the mechanisms of evolution

Of course … I was taught the mechanisms of evolution in Gr.8. It ain’t rocket science.

It seems like you’re not really interested in changing your mind or considering evidence given how this thread’s been going. Maybe we could try to narrow this down even further for you, because there’s a lot of great evidence already for the evolution of whales and several fossil finds that were discovered because of the fact of common ancestry. There are also a lot of genetic markers in modern whales that indicate their ancestors used to live on the land. And some other fine pieces of evidence already shared in this thread.

As @beaglelady shared, if you just simply plot out the characteristics that we find in fossils in a chronological timeline, you see the gradual addition of various features that lead to modern cetaceans. A figure of such is reproduced below for you:

I’m not really sure how to best help you, as there seems to be a lot of evidence you are not familiar with or have some built-in default responses for rejecting. It’s pretty tough, but if we can play any role in your journey I am happy for this thread to continue. Otherwise I feel that further conversation with you on this topic is a waste of everyone’s time.


I wasn’t, not until college–there’s a ton of nuance. I think you might find it interesting. I took evolutionary biology as my capstone, led by a guy who discovered a mosquito species in the Himalayas. There’s been a lot of new info in the last few decades, too, that I would have to learn. There are texts out here on how prokaryotes became eukaryotes, for example


It seems you simply don’t want to learn anything and are making us waste our time. What is your alternative explanation to evolution?

Your first sentence answers your second question.

We know that random mutations, natural selection, neutral drift, speciation, and a host of other evolutionary mechanisms are responsible for the genomes we see today because we have the evidence for those mechanisms acting on those genomes. Cetacean nares are on the top of their head because of the sequence of their genomes, and as you stated, you have no doubt that we have evidence of evolutionary mechanisms producing those sequences. There’s your answer.


Yeah my evolution journey was a little bouncy.

I was fascinated by evolution in high school, reading some popular-level books as I was taking biology. Some of the kids in class were really nasty to my biology teacher in class, and even worse behind his back. I had the impression they hated him so much because he taught evolution and that was contrary to the truth that God created species. I also remember sitting in church one time and coming to the point where I’d roll my eyes when the speaker would mention God creating the flowers or something like that. To my teenage mind, the complexities and intricacies of the evolutionary process was far more fascinating that the idea that a God just snapped his fingers and it was so.

I continued along without giving evolution much though as I got my various degrees in Physics. I did have to take the intro Biology class since my AP credits capped out and I think I stopped liking Biology as much because the math was so easy compared to my Physics classes. Little did I know what lies beneath the simple Biology I was learning, I might have become a population geneticist instead!

Finally, I become a Christian and was perfectly fine with God using evolution and the big bang to make his creation. I read my short reflection on this and Genesis 1 to a small Bible study group I was a part of as a young Christian and the leader said after hearing my reflection, “you have to believe exactly what the Bible says” and that single phrase led me into several years of YECism.

It’s hard to say what happened next, but part of my shift back to evolution was related to learning the topic well enough to actually explain it to some of my students. I inherited an Origins class to teach and found it shocking that our graduating seniors couldn’t even communicate why evolutionary biologists affirmed the theory. In other words, somehow after four years of being bio majors at a Christian university, they had no idea what evidence a biologist would actually point to. It wasn’t even a matter of whether or not they chose to reject it, they simply had no idea somehow. But then my problem was I didn’t even know what went into the theory myself. I certainly didn’t want to just repeat some textbook slides about the theory and then move on, but I had to really understand. This meant I had to stop reading sources that rejected it, but actually learn from pro-evolution sources. I found myself reading this series on BioLogos a lot during those days,

And it made a lot of sense. And then I began to realize that there was all this evidence for common ancestry that organizations like Answers in Genesis, the Discovery Institute, Reasons to Believe, etc. never tell you. I trusted these places to present the truth, but they only ever tried to downplay the theory and pretend like it’s full of holes and fairy tales. Yet the opposite is actually true. There are very specific expectations of what sorts of things we should find, in both the fossil record and in genomes, if common ancestry is true and the evidence actually does effectively “prove” common ancestry as a fact. Sure, the details are getting worked out all the time and some parts of the process we will never have all the steps, but the evidence we do have, which I was never taught by my anti-evolution Christian sources, is quite overwhelming.


Simply knowing the steps doesn’t mean you know how evolution produced those steps. How and what natural selections and environmental pressures produced each evolutionary step?

Transitional fossils tell us nothing about how those transitions happened. It’s impossible to know what caused macro-evolutionary transitions that happened hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Furthermore, you don’t know all the steps involved in any of those transitions, much less know what caused them.

Fine … now please explain how those mechanisms produced a eukaryote from a prokaryote, for example.

There are mountains of evidence demonstrating evolution has shaped life over Earth’s history, but no one will ever know how evolution did the shaping.

No one can ever know how random mutations filtered through natural selection produced any macro-evolutionary transitional evident in the fossil record.

The people looked high and low, but a better example of a strawman argument could not be found.

You can keep repeating this lie to yourself - but here’s the thing about falsehoods - they stay false no matter how much you keep rehearsing them to yourself.

You’ve already made it abundantly clear that you won’t accept that a vast multitude of knowledgeable people understand evolution and its mechanisms quite well enough to have quite a good grasp of how it works. You’ve also made it abundantly clear that you will always keep the bar raised so high for how many details you want them to fill in, so that your objections are reflexively meaningless.

So unless you’ve got any actual real and honest questions to help build your own understanding, we’re not going to let you keep just repeating falsehoods as fact. T has already very patiently answered all your questions even though you refuse to recognize any of his answers as such. It has become clear to all readers that the shortcoming of understanding here is yours, not his. So please refrain from telling others here what you think they do and don’t understand.


I can see how the blowhole would be a huge advantage.

Irrelevant to my argument. And there’s nothing in the link you provided that suggests the author knows what caused the evolutionary transitions described.

Thank you for that information.

Yes, that makes sense.

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How about this part?:

For a Christian, that’s exactly where God’s sovereignty comes in. (My marriage was arranged. :slightly_smiling_face: And this Christian says evolution too. But not robotically nor through puppetry, as some are quick to whine about our free will and God’s providential interventions. We actually have objective evidence for the latter, as well.)


Gonna let Dale have the last word here. I think this thread has run its course.