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Inexplicable Species and the Theory of Evolution
Evolution News ^ | August 8, 2018 | Geoffrey Simmons

Posted on 08/09/2018 11:40:34 AM PDT by Heartlander

Inexplicable Species and the Theory of Evolution

Editor’s note: We were delighted recently to introduce a new series, “Modernizing Darwin,” cross-posted at Shabbat.com, by Geoffrey Simmons, MD. The first post is here. Dr. Simmons is the author of What Darwin Didn’t Know and Billions of Missing Links. He is a Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.

Man has been searching for fossils, or stumbling upon them, for millennia. The ancient Greeks and Romans saw the fossilized bones of giant creatures as proof that horrible monsters once walked the land or swam in the seas. Darwin utilized fossils to bolster his theory of evolution. He spent an enormous amount of time hunting down fossils and is rightfully known for a number of interesting finds, including the giant ground sloth Mylodon darwinii.

A Striking Absence of Transitions

Many modern authorities continue to use fossils as proof of evolution, chronologically lining up those which appear similar, yet the gaps have only grown more glaring with time. We now delve into the cellular level comparing chemical processes, electrical charges, and genetic differences. It seems to be a secret, but researchers know that it would take millions of internal changes for dinosaurs to evolve into birds, flat plants into trees, fish into amphibians. Note there are no half-fish/half-salamanders or one-third monkey/two-thirds humans, ever.

Upon close inspection, the absence of transitions (smaller steps) is striking. We should be up to our collective elbows with transitional species that once came about by trial and error, and failed to survive. Not so. Even for whales, the largest animal alive. We’ve been told repeatedly that transitional forms will eventually be found, but that hasn’t happened and the problems are steadily increasing in our awareness. Saying that two fossils with similar appearances, yet found thousands of miles apart, are related, begs the question.

Some whales can grow up to 100 feet long and weigh 200 tons. The rib cage of a blue whale is large enough to accommodate a minivan or small truck. Their hearts are the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. Every aspect is so massive. A few fossilized bones from their putative predecessors have been found. But the story is still mysterious, because of the changes required.

Darwin wrote that whales came about as a result of bears going to sea. He had to retract that statement after the first edition of On the Origin of Species was published. Some modern paleontologists say the whale’s ancestor must be the hippopotamus. Maybe because they are mammals and linger in the water most of their lives? But, otherwise they are strikingly (impossibly) different. Other coastal animals, that are now extinct, are also cited, but none of them could survive a day or two at sea. Of interest, the whale’s tail moves up and down, not sideways like fish. And, whales never had scales.

No one knows how blow holes came about, certainly not by small successive steps, or how the internal lungs became connected up to these holes in a way that prevents drowning. Or, how a massive communication center, found in their heads, came about. Or, how the ability to depressurize body segments during deep dives evolved. Calves are born tail first (they cannot go head first in case the process is too slow) and these newborns must rise to the surface immediately for air or else they will drown. The ability to swim must be present from the beginning. Trial and error would never have worked.

Not the Only Misfit

Whales are not the only misfit to smooth transitions, just the largest. The number of exceptions may actually be equal to the number of species on this planet. Standouts are kangaroos, woodpeckers, platypuses, giraffes, butterflies, octopuses, skunks, bombardier beetles, the red tide, dolphins, fireflies, tardigrades, sloths, and all micro-organisms. Maybe viruses, too.

Something besides unguided evolution is going on. In actuality, all living organisms are likely exceptions. Just breeding a horse into a faster horse doesn’t eventually change it into something fast like a cheetah. It’s simply a faster horse. The same goes for pet dogs to guard dogs. It’s true, natural selection does happen in a variety of situations, but it doesn’t change a species into another.

An incomprehensibly intelligent engineer and designer must be responsible.


TOPICS: Education; Reference; Religion; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: intelligentdesign; lucy; piltdownman; storkzilla
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Berlinski’s paradox

In his interview, Dr. Berlinski puts forward the argument that generates a paradox for a Darwinian account of whale evolution, as follows:

If you were to take a Chevrolet Corvette built in 1954 and decide you want to make a Nautilus Class submarine out of the thing, [and] give it to a lot of engineers – “Fellas, go do this. Do it for me” – I think it could be done, but we all have a sense of the engineering complexities. To do it would be a big, big, big project. The question I’d like to ask in all of this is: give me a quantitative estimate of how many steps would be required to change that Chevrolet Corvette built in 1954 to a Nautilus Class submarine? I don’t want you to give me a quantitatively precise answer, but I want you to give me a ballpark estimate – say, it’s off by an order of magnitude from what I’m told. And I think if we were talking about Chevrolet Corvettes and Nautilus class submarines, the answer would ballpark be: 50,000 changes, 60,000 changes, maybe 100,000 changes, if it’s feasible at all. I kind of suspect it could be done.

Now, I want the same answer for the transition from a land-dwelling creature to a sea-dwelling creature. How many changes would we need? Now why would I be interested in that number? Let’s call that number the “X” number. And this is the point that the Darwinian community never finds curious. If we knew that number, which is an accessible number – we know enough biology to grasp that number – we could compare it to the fossil record. The fossil record has about ten intermediate fossils between a land-dwelling creature and an ocean-going whale. If there are ten, let’s say the tides of time have buried another hundred – perfectly plausible. But if there are 50,000 required changes, there should also be 50,000 intermediates, according to standard Darwinian doctrine. If there is an inequality, a strong inequality between those numbersthe number of fossils that we observe, padded with the number of fossils we might have observed were it not for the injuries of time, and the number of changes – morphological, cellular, biological, physiological, anatomical – that are required to make that transition, then we could assess the plausibility of what is one of the most interesting Darwinian sequences in the record. That’s never done. That’s just never done. No Darwinian paleontologist has ever said: “We expect there to be 50,000 sequences in the whale transition sequence, because we’ve computed the number of changes that are required. But wouldn’t you think, Darwinian fellow-seekers, that that’s an obvious first step to take in making your scientific claims quantitative – not rigorously quantitative, but ballpark quantitative? It’s not done.

To make matters worse in the Corvette to submarine analogy, each resulting vehicle must be operable and useful.

The many complex adaptations that would need to arise to convert a land mammal to a fully aquatic whale include:

All of this from a series of happy mistakes?

1 posted on 08/09/2018 11:40:34 AM PDT by Heartlander
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To: Heartlander

Whales were created for shark food and to carry nutrients back did to the seabed.


2 posted on 08/09/2018 11:50:35 AM PDT by TexasGator (Z1)
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To: Heartlander

The problem with intermediates is that they have to have lived, reproduced and survived in the environment extant at the time, which as we know kills mutatants in the present.... Of course, we can kinda sorta interpolate what the environment may have been like some time in the distant past (if we initially accept the “old earth” theology), but that begs the point- when did a mommy “whale” give birth to a baby “whale” with a top-oriented blowhole when mommy breathed through her mouth? Or did baby decide he was better suited to life at sea whereas mommy , a mouth breather, was not and Junior ventured in to the sea never to return? Wow, radical change (birth defect huh?)

Yet we as humans decide to “terminate” babies in utero with diagnosed “birth defect”, is not the same as limiting human evolution, who knows when junior with a defect is really the next step up in the evolution chain? Maybe he will be able to live in a high CO2 environment where mommy and daddy would not? ( you get the sarcasm in this right?)


3 posted on 08/09/2018 11:54:24 AM PDT by Manly Warrior (US ARMY (Ret), "No Free Lunches for the Dogs of War")
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To: TexasGator

Sharks were created for orca food. Orcas were created to do whatever they want to do.


4 posted on 08/09/2018 11:55:05 AM PDT by lurk
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To: Heartlander

For those who don’t mind watching a short video at a theistic evolutionist site:

https://biologos.org/resources/audio-visual/where-are-the-transitional-fossils


5 posted on 08/09/2018 11:57:15 AM PDT by Moonman62 (Give a man a fish and he'll be a Democrat. Teach a man to fish and he'll be a responsible citizen.)
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To: Heartlander

Anyone see the holes in the practice of using fossils as proof of transitions?

How do you prove from a set of bones that a critter gave birth to a critter genetically different from its parent? You don’t even have dna to sample. You didn’t see it happen. You can’t sample large groups. You don’t even have precedent in current species.


6 posted on 08/09/2018 11:58:30 AM PDT by lurk
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To: Heartlander

Article about what evolution by a theistic evolutionist:

https://biologos.org/blogs/dennis-venema-letters-to-the-duchess/understanding-evolution-theory-prediction-and-evidence-1


7 posted on 08/09/2018 12:00:15 PM PDT by Moonman62 (Give a man a fish and he'll be a Democrat. Teach a man to fish and he'll be a responsible citizen.)
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To: Moonman62

Correction: Whale evolution


8 posted on 08/09/2018 12:01:01 PM PDT by Moonman62 (Give a man a fish and he'll be a Democrat. Teach a man to fish and he'll be a responsible citizen.)
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To: lurk

Seems like a eat or be eaten world!


9 posted on 08/09/2018 12:01:19 PM PDT by TexasGator (Z1)
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To: Moonman62
For those of us who don’t mind reading - Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique
10 posted on 08/09/2018 12:07:40 PM PDT by Heartlander (Prediction: Increasingly, logic will be seen as a covert form of theism. - Denyse O'Leary)
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To: Moonman62

Had to stop just after the crocduck and bull-frog. The woman mistaken belief that the person she was critical of used the croc duck and bull-frog as being serious for argument when illustrating absurd with absurd.


11 posted on 08/09/2018 12:12:02 PM PDT by the_daug
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To: Moonman62
The premise of theistic evolution is incoherent. The “theistic” part connotes a creator God who knows what he wants to do and does it. The “evolution” part connotes a process that is random and in no need of supervision by any conscious agent because it is sufficient unto itself. So theistic evolution might be rephrased as “a system whereby God creates using a process that he cannot influence in any way and which has no need of him.” Huh?

If the theistic evolutionist responds, “Oh I don’t mean that kind of evolution. I mean the kind of evolution which is guided by God to fulfill his purposes,” then the true evolutionist will reply, “Well, that’s no kind of evolution. That’s some sort of creation scenario and you have no right to use the evolution word.”

“But!,” protests the theistic evolutionist, “I want you to know that I have nothing to do with those Intelligent Design idiots. I’m one of you! I’m one of the smart guys who is up on science, not some primitive religious fanatic. I truly do believe that Darwin got it right and random mutation coupled with natural selection is all there is. All I’m saying is that God uses that process to create all the living things on Earth.”

“Oh brother,” says the true evolutionist, “You just don’t get it do you? As soon as you toss God into the equation you blow evolution to smithereens and reveal yourself as exactly what you say you aren’t—a religious nut case. Evolution doesn’t need god, or goals, or interference by any intelligent agent. All evolution needs is a steady supply of random mistakes and the process of elimination called natural selection. That will get you to any form of life no matter how complex. It’s beautiful and you’re just too stupid to understand that its self sufficiency IS its beauty. Now get lost. You bore me.”

As I’ve played out this imaginary dialogue, I hope I’ve made clear that the last thing a theistic evolutionist wants is to be invited into the ID camp. The whole point of being a theistic evolutionist is to be good buddies with the smart guys of the world, the evolutionists; yet, to keep a toe in the belief system they grew up with and towards which they retain warm and fuzzy feelings. In any showdown, whether it be abortion, euthanasia, or school textbooks, staying in harmony with evolution will trump warm and fuzzy feelings about religious heritage.
-Laszlo Bencze


12 posted on 08/09/2018 12:12:27 PM PDT by Heartlander (Prediction: Increasingly, logic will be seen as a covert form of theism. - Denyse O'Leary)
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To: Heartlander

Alvin Plantinga, one of the smartest philosophers around has made a case for evolution favoring theism over naturalism. He also believes in what he calls guided evolution.


13 posted on 08/09/2018 12:16:56 PM PDT by Moonman62 (Give a man a fish and he'll be a Democrat. Teach a man to fish and he'll be a responsible citizen.)
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To: Heartlander; Moonman62

Theistic evolution

If the “evolution” part is true, then it makes God a trickster.

If the “theistic” part is true, then it makes God impotent.


14 posted on 08/09/2018 12:17:09 PM PDT by Yashcheritsiy (I'd rather have one king 3000 miles away that 3000 kings one mile away)
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To: Manly Warrior
Solid point. None of the thousands of incremental changes required could debilitate the individual "mutant" and prevent them being passed them along. The whole theory is more fragile when closely examined than a house of cards.

Oh, and the sarcasm tag related to the CO2 example? ... "(you get the sarcasm in this right?)" ... Very wise, Sir. Very wise.

15 posted on 08/09/2018 12:19:13 PM PDT by katana (We're all part of a long episode of "The Terrific Mr. Trump")
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To: Heartlander

If evolution were a fact, every animal higher than the chameleon would have screwball eyes.


16 posted on 08/09/2018 12:22:10 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic, Anthropogenic Climate Alterations: The acronym explains the science.)
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To: Heartlander

I am comfortable with the FACT that Mankind will never know as much as it doesn’t know.

The word “theory” was invented to cover any bases, but the newest incarnation being touted to get around the lack of factual information is “consensus”.


17 posted on 08/09/2018 12:28:52 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (THEY LIVE, and we're the only ones wearing the Sunglasses.)
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To: Heartlander

I am comfortable with the FACT that Mankind will never know as much as it doesn’t know.

The word “theory” was invented to cover any bases, but the newest incarnation being touted to get around the lack of factual information is “consensus”.


18 posted on 08/09/2018 12:28:52 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (THEY LIVE, and we're the only ones wearing the Sunglasses.)
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To: Heartlander
...or one-third monkey/two-thirds humans, ever.

Monkeys are primates with tails. Apes are primates without tails. There are some fossil species that appear to fit the description of one-third ape, two-thirds human. And others two-thirds ape, one-third human.

Whatever they were, God created them. Whether He remodeled them into modern humans over countless generations, or let them die out and started over, they did exist.

19 posted on 08/09/2018 12:29:31 PM PDT by JimRed ( TERM LIMITS, NOW! Build the Wall Faster! TRUTH is the new HATE SPEECH.)
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To: Cletus.D.Yokel

>>>If evolution were a fact, every animal higher than the chameleon would have screwball eyes<<<

Marty Feldman was a chameleon.


20 posted on 08/09/2018 12:30:32 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (THEY LIVE, and we're the only ones wearing the Sunglasses.)
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