Whales did (NOT) evolve

(George Brooks) #81

In BioLogos’ mission statement, the group qualifies the use of Evolution to mean Evolution WITH God’s engagement… and it goes further to imply REJECTION of notions of evolution based on seemingly random events.

In a Christian cosmos no other kind of Evolution can exist!

(T J Runyon) #82

I don’t know why you are saying the skulls are similar. The only similarity is they have a triangular shape. And even that isn’t completely similar. That’s where the similarities end. Look at the difference in the parietal. You asked why wouldn’t a a Mosasaur be considered a whale intermediate. Other than not being in the right temporal range? Because it’s a reptile. And their skulls are filled with reptilian characteristics. Especially in the jaw. As far as convergence goes, the position of the nostrils (both mosasaurs and whales need to surface to breathe) and their shape to help them move through the water efficiently. That’s it. You also seem to think Pakicetus’ classification as a cetacean is just based on the ear. That’s false. We look at other characters and other fossils. Chemical analysis of bones and teeth. Shapes of bones. Ridges on bones. We never classify based on a single character. And convergence doesn’t really make perfect copies. So its cumulative. All the evidence we have points to Pakicetus being an early cetacean

(George Brooks) #83


If God made multiple special creations… as you propose… he did so in exactly the way fossil remains would have to be left to:

  1. to disprove the Flood;
  2. to prove common descent;
  3. and to prove that no large mammals ever emerge until dinosaurs and their like have been wiped out by sonething Other than a flood.

(George Brooks) #84


You have to come to terms with the reality that there is more than one way to engage in the creation of life on Earth:

God can use special creation to make a rain cloud… or a wildebeest.

And God can use non-supernatural methods to make a rain cloud … or a whale.

(Ashwin S) #85

George. How does Speciation work?
A population gets isolated… over time change accumulates and slowly the population becomes a distinct species. The original species will continue to exist as long as they don’t become extinct for a unrelated reason (or the small isolated population was all that was left of the original species). I think you will agree with me that speciationneed not lead to the disappearance of the parent species.
This process repeats again and again and you get a diversity of organisms.
So, every species must directly descend from another species.
In reality; there must exist an unbroken chain of direct lineage from the first common ancestor to any modern species, because evolution is inherited change. If evolution is true, these relationships of lineage exist in reality.
There can only be two possible reasons why evolutionary science cannot find these direct relationships with any confidence -

  1. They don’t really exist.
  2. There is no way to know for certain that a species is derived from another.

If its option 2. I would love to know why.
The nodes in the evolutionary tree must represents one or more unknown species that existed historically with intermediate traits. Otherwise, whats the point of claiming a relationship of lineage?

Now if you believe the tree represents something else… can you describe the process as its supposed to happen in realtime?
or is the evolutionary tree an imaginary construct with little to do with reality?

(T J Runyon) #86

It’s 2. We can’t know for sure. It’s statistical inference.

(George Brooks) #87


  1. immunologists use Evolutionary theory to design vaccines… vaccines that work! …and save lives. So your first premise is flat dead incorrect.

  2. You would make a terrible police detective if you kept telling your boss blood analysis is USELESS … we just cant know for certain. In fact, we can sometimes know to a virtually certain degree.

  3. Finally, speciation works (almost inevitably given enough years) when 2 sub-populations virtually stop exchanging genetic information during reproduction of the next generation. Once such isolation is established, God can send one sub-population in one evolutionary direction… and send the other in a different trajectory.

Isolation can be triggered by a new physical barrier, or in song birds it can be triggered by a new song with limited appeal. Or in many animals by the appearance of some new color or ornamental enlargement of some feature!

(Ashwin S) #88

Hi George.you are engaging in circular reasoning. Forget God, not even all human beings (including a small percentage of scientists) agree with you that the fossil evidence supports common descent.
Your argument is like atheists blaming God for creating a world without any evidence of God’s existence! They don’t realise the problem is their perception tainted by sin.

Our Perception of things, or the scientific perception of things is not Gods Problem. Its ours!

Like i have said before. I expect scientific explanations to stand on their own two feet. if physicicts claim rain is caused by purely natural causes, i expect an explanation for it that does no include God. And i will evaluate their explanation according to their claims.
Same with Biologists.

(George Brooks) #89

@Ashwin_s The pot doth call the kettle black?

It is not necessary that “all” agree. It is only necessary that an efficient elite are able to perform molecular interventions, based on evolutionary evidence, that works.

As for fossils, no matter how you slice it, Australia’s genetic legacy and fossil legacy, fits no known Creationist scenario other than: God intentionally made serial special creations in such a way as to convince scientists that God did NOT use special creation.

(Ashwin S) #90

Thanks for the reply. Can you tell me if the below statement by @gbrooks9 is true?

If so, what are the levels of certainty. whats the repeatability with different phenotypes/ biomolecules when comparing the same set of species.

(Ashwin S) #91

“efficient elite”???
I would love to see what exactly God tells this efficient elite when they meet up!

If you want to make any specific point about Australia’s genetic legacy, pls do. I will reply.

(James McKay) #92

Actually, yes it does. That’s how your sat-nav computes the fastest route from A to B for example.

Try reading up about evolutionary algorithms sometime. Evolution is an algorithm. And algorithms have to be designed.

The Appendix/Cave Fish Eyes/Etc. are (NOT) vestigial
(George Brooks) #93


That term ‘efficient elite’ came to mind when I was pondering the genetic work of immunologists… or CSI scientists who can produce virtually certain evidence that a particular man is “the perp”… or certain evidence that another is not the perp!

The usual “Australia premise” explored on this list is the one that presumes all life on Australia was wiped out by a year of global flooding.

But do you even think there was a global flood? When did it happen in your scenario?

(Ashwin S) #94

I am yet to hear any scientific definition of evolution as a designed algorithm. You are deceiving yourself.

Edit: What you are describing is a Design process.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #95

We didn’t, initially. But as the evidence converged over the many decades since Darwin, it became clearer that the most comprehensive and successful explanation for everything we have found in both macro- and microscopic worlds is the common ancestry narrative. You are right that many of its details have been (and no doubt will continue to be) revised. That is because it is compelled to “follow the data”. And that is its strength; not its weakness.

Can you put anything forward that follows the data even better?

It seems to me that this has been sufficiently beaten to death, and that you have received the answer – many times – even if you refuse to accept it. There simply is no such thing as “the perfect continuum”. Even a movie played at 30 frames per second has discreet frames that must jump from one to the other. So the stubborn purist can always find gaps in anything to complain about, but it gets silly after a while. The vast majority of us are quite willing to accept that reality must have carried on between the “frames”, even if we can’t have the infinite numbers of photographs to show us every infinitesimal moment.

(James McKay) #96

Start here:

And I gave you an example of where they’re used. I could give you dozens of others.


(George Brooks) #97

@Ashwin_s… are we even discussing the same apples any more?

Scientists, even Christian ones, would not write articles on evolution being designed. That would be a religious statement.

(Chris Falter) #98

And anyone who can answer that, congratulations! Here’s some far easier, analogous questions for you:

How many intermediate forms are required to move from Latin to Italian?

How many intermediate forms are required to move from Chaucerian English to modern English?


That still doesn’t work. For example, Toyota has hybrid SUVs and hybrid cars. You would have a hybrid RAV4 and a hybrid Camry in the same group, but have a standard Camry with just an internal combusion engine in a separate group from the hybrid Camry. That doesn’t work.

Automobiles don’t form a nested hierarchy, as shown by numerous examples.

Then all other vehicles in that clade should also have that feature, and they don’t. Therefore, they don’t form a nested hierarchy.

No, they are homologs not convergent adaptations.

(Ashwin S) #100

As far as i can see, nothing of the sort happened. People just assumed common ancestry and tried to explain things by that paradigm. When they couldnt fit certain details, they made escape hatchets, such as convergent evolution.
So we have the appendix evolving 30 times in mamals.
Eyes evolving 60+ times…
Animals crossing oceans on rafts… again and again…
This so called explanatory framework is a collection of a huge no: of implausible miracles.

If the only reason scientist are sticking to it is that they dont have a better explanation that does not involve God. Its he biologists problem, not mine. All i can point out is that evolutionary science often sounds like fantasy.
Let me leave you with this wonderful just so story.

If you can accept this kind of similarity as a product of chance and natural selection… you will believe any thing…

I would prefer to dig a little deeper before comming to a conclusion.

Actually they cannot claim evolution is designed because that would be an oxymoron. The point of evolution is that its a random (i.e unpredictable process). A designed process would be predictable. this is a fundamental difference.
If you are describing a process designed by an intelligence with specific end points , then its not evolution.
If you dont believe me, you can ask @T_aquaticus or @T.j_Runyon

The question i asked should be easier than the analog you suggested. There is a clear Quantum to count in the question i posed - species… I am not asking to count the no: of changes, but give an aproximate no: of intermediate species that would be required.

With languages, there is no such quantum to differentiate. So if i define every variation in word and grammar as a new variety, it would be easy to calculate the approximate no: of different varieties required. (Just count the points of divergence).

Why not? In nature the flying squirrel is in one group… while the sugar glider is in a totally different groupc(marsupials) though they look the same, They have significant differences in reproductive organs.
Similarly a camry with an ICE is more different from a camry with hybrid engines… while it is more similar to a hybrid SUV. Similar engines (motors), transmission systems. Similar batteries, wiring etc.
The similarity in external appearance is caused by reasons of operating in the same niche.
Apply the same scale to nature and cars… their heirarchies are similar.
Source : https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/similarity_hs_12

Go through the article. Then replace the sugar glider with a camry with ICE and the flying squirrel with a Hybrid Engine… the explanation would be along the same lines.