Whales did (NOT) evolve

(T J Runyon) #61

This is my last comment. You insulted me so I’m done. You really think those two skulls are alike? Once again I would love to hear you explain to me in detail how we do comparative anatomy. Peace.

(Ashwin S) #62

The latest basilosaurid fossil we discussed about earlier could be dated 49mya (though the scientists finally settles on 40-46 mya). So its entirely possible that they were contemproraries. I dont think any scientist actually claims the ambulocetid is an ancestor of the Basilosaurid.

Well, we don’t have any evidence of ancestors being found along with their descendants among extant species (unlike between grandkids and grandparents).On the contrary, its very clear that no living species is a direct ancestor of any other living species. We have the most information about extant species…Why should it have been any different 50 or 40mya?

Do you think something that looks like a Pakicetus would be called a whale if it was extant? Do the rules of how species are classified change when they become fossils?

In what way did i insult you?

(Ashwin S) #63

I have only two observations to make regarding the drawing presented.
1.we see similar blow holes in masosaurids which are reptiles… Are they also valid intermediate forms for whales? (They obviously cannot be).morphological similarity can arise in organisms that do not share the same lineage.
2. The nasal positions of the pakicetus and remingtonocetidae are different from that of whales. I assume the ears are too. So that part of the link is quite weak.
I dont have any problem with claiming that the Basilosaurids/ Protocetids etc are related.

In fact i expect that scientists will find Epigenetic reasons for why the Blow hole shifts/ echolocation happens etc.And i expect the same mechanism at the genetic level to have happened for Bats and whales with regard to echolocation and whales and Masosaurids with regard to Blow hole position.

I haven’t claimed any flood theory. Like i have said before, i am not a young earth creationist. The biggest challenge for a young earth idea is not the fossil record. Its the laws of physics based on which a lot of the dating is done. Until there is clear evidence that half lifes change over time, i am not going to consider a young earth as a scientific option. (At most, it can be argued that God created the earth with an appearance of Age).
So i am gonna repeat my question -
is there a rule that all intermediate species have to become extinct?

(Ashwin S) #64

Well … aren’t marsupials all classified in the same group, in-spite of being a mix and match of parts? By your definition, living organisms also dont fall in to nested hierarchies.
Aren’t mice and elephants both mammals?

Similarities between an electric scooter and IC engine driven one would be a convergence…
And in case of identical things like Brakes, parts would be homologs, and parts would be convergent.

Pls read what i wrote… never mentioned engines (Those are homologs. Thats why All IC engine driven vehicles are in one clade while Electric driven vehicles are in another). I metioned things like LED lights,Sterio systems etc…

(George Brooks) #65


You love to take one factor and analyze it in isolation. This is not a scientific approach. The entire spectrum of possible connections are used to justify or defend conclusions… or to reach better ones.

(George Brooks) #66

Show me the pictures… or drop the matter. You are too frequently inaccurate with your words.

Convergence is a matter of the context of the evidence. I don’t see you coming to a conclusion even if you could make your point.

Compared to What? The 2014 article is the latest and best comparison of these factors.

You fixate on the minutia because you have nothing left to discuss.

(George Brooks) #67


Nested hierarchies in the natural world that should concern you are those that show a conceivable flow of traits from older populations to newer ones.

Hierarchies built around autos can grind to a complete halt as soon as you reveal a trait that a designer takes from an unrelated engineering line. You can’t claim converhence because natural selection is not the primary agent in change… the designer is.

If God puts a trait in a population by design, not by natural selection, it’s not convergence. But you would have to show natural selection is not at work.

(George Brooks) #68


My apologies for the delay in answering these particular questions:

  1. So, you oppose YEC premises. That’s a fine start. So do we presume to think you are Old Earth? You accept that the Earth is millions (if not billions) of years old? So, the right thing to do is to compare Evolutionary scenarios to the “superior position”, right ? Which is what? Do you reject a global flood? If you adhere to a Global Flood, approximately when did it happen? Depending on when you time it, it could facilitate species diversification, or it can get in the way.

The only reason nobody has asked you up to now is because of the general assumption that you must be a YEC to be using so many “old dog” YEC refutations. But if you aren’t a YEC, and you so vehemently oppose “common descent”, I am inclined to think that YOU think God made millions of separate special creations - - and did it in a way that would convince any average scientist that Evolution was affirmed.

  1. Why should there be a rule that intermediate species be extinct before it can be intermediate? Well designed cladograms not only indicate the intermediate nested hierarchies, but they also go to the trouble of showing which phylogenetic branch extends to the present time - - sometimes with a more or less unchanged phenotype, and sometimes with phenotype changes. Evolution never really stops, even if you can’t see the molecular changes!

(Mervin Bitikofer) #69

Ashwin, I don’t pretend to have read the entirety of all the numerous exchanges you have with others here; but I have read enough of them that I think I’m detecting a theme in your responses.

You seem to be immune to even just the perception (much less the acknowledgement of, or best yet: incorporation of) the idea of common ancestry as a “bush” instead of a “lineage”. I’ve seen multiple people repeatedly explain to you that no current understanding of evolutionary development is surprised by the fact that an “ancestral” species may still be coexisting alongside another species that branched off from them somewhere back in that “bush”. Maybe you have acknowledged this, and I just missed it; but given how you write above it makes it appear that you still haven’t grasped this simple, yet very fundamental evolutionary concept.

Now in your narrative of the world, perhaps the “bush of life” common ancestry concept is bereft of any real evidence and on your reading is hogwash. Fine. But others are happy to look beyond such provincial narrative and to appreciate the breadth and explanatory power that they can see in that conception of life development; and until you can at least show an understanding of that wider conception that you disagree with, all that others are going to see in your arguments is somebody who has made themselves very busy knocking down a non-existent view of evolutionary theory. In other words, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by refusing to at least hypothetically take on board (for evaluative and argumentative purposes only, of course!) the very thing you want so badly to knock down. Just trying to help.

It is quite possible I misread you on this since, as I admit again here, I haven’t read everything you’ve contributed. If so I apologize.

There is one other related concept about which you also (it seems to me) may be suffering from a failure to take a fundamental understanding on board: that all the many disparate “twigs” on the present day end of that bush of evolutionary development are going to be continuously connected, as if in some lateral sense to each other. The fossil record is impressive (much more so that you typically allow), but even its most ardent enthusiasts will admit that it is necessarily and forever incomplete. So you are trying to create a bar that would be impossible to cross to your satisfaction (that all species through all time got adequately recorded in the record, and that we found and cataloged all those fossils), and furthermore it is a dubiously conceptualized bar of your own making in that it seems to rest in your erroneous conception of evolution as a linear progression rather than a branching bush. That too has seemed to persist in your argumentation despite others here informing you that you are failing to connect with evolutionary understandings where they are actually at. [and yes … that is a moving target. While the core theory still stands, virtually everything else about it has progressed in many significant ways since Darwin’s time.]

[with edits]


Their mix and match of parts falls into a nested hierarchy with the rest of the mammals. Automobiles don’t fall into a nested hierarchy.

There are cars and trucks with the same identical engine while two cars of the same model have two different engines. You can find a Ford and Chevy car that have the same tires, but two Ford cars from the same model that have two different tires. These aren’t convergences. These are homologous features, and they do not form a nested hierarchy.

You said that motorcycles, cars, and trucks were in separate clades, but now you are grouping electric motorcycles, cars, and trucks in the same clade. See the problem?

(T J Runyon) #71

It’s MOSasaur. I tend to know a lot about them. Here is me with mine:

(T J Runyon) #72

(T J Runyon) #73

When all is said and done it’s likely going to be the second largest ever discovered. The largest is also in ALMNH collections

(George Brooks) #74


One of my ancestors lost a ring long ago… you know how these things happen… he was walking his Mosasaur when the darn thing snapped at a bug, and took his hand right off - - along with the ring!

So if you find a ring and a human digit in that gaping mouth (the one you drew), once you get it to “gape” again, please let me know immediately!

(T J Runyon) #75

Sorry. No ring! Just some shark teeth! And oddly a human hair… I guess the YECS were right. We lived along side Mosasaurs.


You are cheating! You’ve examined the evidence!

(Ashwin S) #77

I am just asking a very fundamental question.

  1. How do you know Similarity is caused by Common descent in two so called related organisms?
    We know for a fact, that simlarities also arise convergently. And i have been trying to demonstrate here that those similarities are not as easy to distinguish as between the wings of a bat and a bird.
    What we have are (ever changing) hypothetical stories based on an assumption of some particular similarities being caused by common descent.
    Before somebody claims Homologs are identical or something of that sort, pls look into the similarities between the Pakicetus/ambulocetus and the whale… The are just similarities… A

i have asked a question here that everyone has ignored. How many intermediate forms are required to move from a CA of the Pakicetus/Whale to a whale?(If the whale evolved, then it must have a direct sequence of sncestors moving from either the Pakicetus or the common ancestor of the Pakicetus and the whale) Through a step by step process of gradual change, the no: would be 100’s or 1000’s… How many interim forms do we actually have? I think its fair to say the fossil record does not show what it should if evolution happened.

As to me thinking in terms of a linear progression… We can draw evolutionary trees or bushes all we want. However, it must have happened in history in a linear progression. In fact, evolution requires actual linear progressions to exist.
The fact that we cant find any and have to resort to unknown CA’s at the nodes of the tree all the time is a strike mark against common descent. It means that either there was no linear progression… or that its impossible to identify whether a creature is a direct ancestor of another.Like you yourself said, there is no reason that an intermediate form cannot survive alongside its ancestor… so why aren’t there any real intermediates in an evolutionary tree?
No extant or even extinct creature can be connected by direct lineage… they all need unknown and perhaps unknowable common ancestors in between.
This is why i have said from the beginning that CA is unfalsifiable.

If you are talking about “inherited change in alleles”… is that explanatory enough to be a theory?
The equivalent in theory of gravity would be “masses attract”.

I think you are confusing what i said. Pls read my first comment. I classified cars by Drive.
That would be - Animal drawn, Internal combustion engine, Hybrid and electric motor.
Then we can go into smaller subdivisions in those…

Cars/Trucks in the ICE clade with same engine points to relatedness. You are right. They are Homologs.
Same tires in most cases point to a common ancestor. Though the Fords look similar, the similarities are only convergent/parallel… (I will point to small differences between models to make my point).
Besides, there could also be a few cases of horizontal transfer, Ervs etc… So some of the similarities happened that way.

Awesome and congratulations!

Can you help me out and list out the convergences between whales and MOSasaurs? (If any)

I already pasted the pictures before… Will repaste… This si definitely more similar than either the Pakicetus or the ambulocetus. If this can happen covergently, why not the siilarities between Pakicetus and teh whale ear?

Agreed… Only thing is , i would replace “context” with “convenience”… there is no actual reason/principle that says so and so similarity points to common descent… its all a matter of how the evidence can be fitted into the narrative.

That really doesnt answer my question. If you look at an evolutionary tree, all extant and extinct organisms are dead-ends. The only places where we see a linear/direct link is in the nodes which denote unknown common ancestors. This tells us clearly that scientists cannot really determine whether there is a direct linear descent between organisms…
either that, or its worse… They can detect direct descent but they just dont find it among extant organisms.
The first is a problem for falsifiability (you cant falsify linkage to an imaginary CA).
The second is itself a falsification or atleast strong evience against CA.
In your opinion. Which is it?

I think there is some ammount of room for modification in Organisms. i think this is mainly driven by programmed adaptability (Phenotypic plasticity, Epignetics, genetic drift etc) and not by chance events/natural selection.
As to when God intervened.I believe he intervened at various stages of life emerging… There are several instances in the development of life where we see sudden bursts of change usually accompanied by the emergence of many de-novo genes. i see life as more of an information system. The first life had some ammount of information programmed into it and certain mechanisms to generate various permutations and combinations of genetic material to create new information…
In short, phenotypes are determined by genotypes which are determined by regulatory mechanisms designed by God.
The changes are sudden and programmed.(Because of how i interpret Genesis, i view this programming to have happened in stages)
Such a scenario would create the diversity we see. Common descent with inherited modifications driven by chance will not.It will just lead to a confused ridiculous picture that we see today.

(George Brooks) #78

@Ashwin_s (@Mervin_Bitikofer)

There’s really not much point in discussing it then, right? You’ve already made up your mind? So, there’s not much point in having you read the analysis by highly trained professionals, who know a bone from a rock[from the Wiki article]:

Possible semi-aquatic nature
Somewhat more complete skeletal remains were discovered in 2001, prompting the view that Pakicetus was primarily a land animal about the size of a wolf, and very similar in form to the related mesonychids. Thewissen et al. 2001 wrote that “Pakicetids were terrestrial mammals, no more amphibious than a tapir.”[6]

However, Thewissen et al. 2009 argued that “the orbits … of these cetaceans were located close together on top of the skull, as is common in aquatic animals that live in water but look at emerged objects. Just like Indohyus, limb bones of pakicetids are osteosclerotic, also suggestive of aquatic habitat”[7] (since heavy bones provide ballast). “This peculiarity could indicate that Pakicetus could stand in water, almost totally immersed, without losing visual contact with the air.”[8]

Sensory capabilities
The Pakicetus skeleton reveals several details regarding the creature’s unique senses, and provides a newfound ancestral link between terrestrial and aquatic animals. As previously mentioned, the Pakicetus’ upward-facing eye placement was a significant indication of its habitat. Even more so, however, was its auditory abilities. Like all other cetaceans, Pakicetus had a thickened skull bone known as the auditory bulla, which was specialized for underwater hearing.[9] Cetaceans also all categorically exhibit a large mandibular foramen within the lower jaw, which holds a fat pack and extends towards the ear, both of which are also associated with underwater hearing.

“Pakicetus is the only cetacean in which the mandibular foramen is small, as is the case in all terrestrial animals. It thus lacked the fat pad, and sounds reached its eardrum following the external auditory meatus as in terrestrial mammals. Thus the hearing mechanism of Pakicetus is the only known intermediate between that of land mammals and aquatic cetaceans.”[10] With both the auditory and visual senses in mind, as well as the typical diet of Pakicetus, one might assume that the creature was able to attack both aquatic and terrestrial prey from a low vantage point.

Fossil distribution
The first fossils were uncovered in Pakistan, hence their name. They were found within the Kuldana Formation located in northern Pakistan and were dated as early to early-middle Eocene in age.[11][12] The fossils came out of red terrigenous sediments bounded largely by shallow marine deposits typical of coastal environments caused by the Tethys Sea.[13] Speculation is that many major marine banks flourished with the presence of this prehistoric whale. According to the location of fossil findings, they preferred a shallow habitat that neighbored decent-sized land. Assortments of limestone, dolomite, stonemud and other varieties of different colored sands has been predicted to be a favorable habitat for such.

@Ashwin_s, nobody has the answer to that question… because the best definition for a species is the definition that uses reproductive compatibility - - and fossils are not able to tell us how reproductive compatibility changes over time.

This complaint has no traction. No matter how many intermediate (not interim) forms we produce, you would say that is not enough. What’s more, the alternative to the evolutionary theory is that these whales all drowned while proto-horses and proto-rhinos were happily swimming around during the Great Flood.

So YOU tell us what your theory is? Are all the species of the world special creations of God? When was the Great Flood according to YOUR timeline? I notice that you have ducked these questions once already. Will this be the second time you avoid answer the questions that show you have an even less sensible theory than Evolutionists do…

Thank you for re-posting the pictures… because now all I can do is wonder what your problem exactly is? I’ve already replaced this exhibit (which is decades old and probably not the best illustrations) with a 2014 illustration and link of up-to-date analysis.

So drop this one… really… I insist. Or shall I start pointing out how wrong Isaac Newton was about
Christianity? Relevant? No. But parallel to your continued use of obsolete imagery.

(George Brooks) #79

I wanted to treat your last 2 sections separately, @Ashwin_s:

In my opinion, the problem is in your analysis. Instead of trying to answer all your questions about common descent from a schematic diagram … try READING the articles… and learn why the schematics are the way they are.

Here is an article on the LOGIC of “intermediate forms” - - which has nothing to do with proving a particular fossil is directly descended from another fossil… because by most anyone’s admission, there is no way of knowing which fossils are part of an offshoot or not. The point is to show that natural processes generated forms that demonstrate plausible transitions from one time frame to another.

Here - - - read this …

[[ Really, I’m not kidding. The thread discusses the very questions you have raised about the point
of these schematic diagrams, and the use of intermediate fossils. Read it, and it will be less
chaotic to you. ]]


Thank you … you do attempt to answer my earlier question about your own personal scenario. What surprised me was to find out how we only differ on one point: Can God use Evolutionary principles or not!

You write:
“I think there is some amount of room for modification in Organisms. i think this is mainly driven by programmed adaptability (Phenotypic plasticity, Epignetics, genetic drift etc) and not by chance events/natural selection.”

So all this disputation of yours is because you think God guided evolution? Well, no kidding! Lots of us supporters of BioLogos say the same thing! So where do we differ?

You write:
“As to when God intervened.I believe he intervened at various stages of life emerging… There are several instances in the development of life where we see sudden bursts of change usually accompanied by the emergence of many de-novo genes… . . . In short, phenotypes are determined by genotypes which are determined by regulatory mechanisms designed by God.”

So, @Ashwin_s, how often do you think god made “special creation” templates? Every 10 or 20 million years? Or every 100 million years? Why do you suppose God spent so much time making brand new “special creations” of species - - and doing it in such a way as to convince the modern scientist that it was by Evolutionary processes? That’s pretty odd, right?

You conclude:
“The changes are sudden and programmed.(Because of how i interpret Genesis, i view this programming to have happened in stages) Such a scenario would create the diversity we see. Common descent with inherited modifications driven by chance will not.It will just lead to a confused ridiculous picture that we see today.”

But isn’t that denying God the power to trigger the necessary mutations? If he didn’t trigger the mutations, then he wouldn’t have had to make each Special Creation of Earth’s life forms so genetically gradated from one group to another, right?

What may be the hardest thing for you to explain is why you accept modern physics and geology enough to reject Young Earth scenarios… but then reject the very same physics and geology that also says creatures evolved. And since you and I agree that God is behind all of these life forms… your insistence that God couldn’t do it through Evolutionary science sounds, well, practically superstitious !

(Ashwin S) #80

Evolutionary principles?
what are those? Random mutations and natural selection?
This does not describe an intelligent agency using a designed process to arrive at a desired result.

No, i dont think God guided evolution… because evolution is a random/unguided process.
I believe God designed the Genome in ways that led to the various organisms that we see.

What exactly do you mean by " special creation templates"? Think of it as new programmes into a system which converts information into phenotypes.
As to the modern scientist; God did not convince him that life evolved. The scientist convinced himself … often when the evidence says otherwise.

Can you clarify what you are saying?

I never said that geology is a problem for YEC. Geology poses challenges for evolution in many circumstances forcing organisms to traverse seas and oceans on “natural rafts” to populate various areas.
I dont see Physics “saying” that creatures evolved. Rather Physics/chemistry tells us how difficult and improbable it is for complexity to emerge by unguided, unintelligent processes.

The picture places a MOSasaurus Skull next to that of a Dorudon… The MOSasaurs are reptiles… How is this picture obsolete? Can you clarify yourself?

I will get back to you on your link on the missing links once i finish reading it.