Scientists Say Whales Descended from a Cow-Like Land Animal. Creationists Say, Udder Nonsense!

Stuckasaurus: Vintage Creationist Dinosaur Art: The Amazing Story of  Creation

I once attended a lecture by American creationist, Duane Gish. During the lecture, Gish made fun of biologists’ theory that whales descended from land animals related to cows. How, he asked, could such a transition occur, since the intermediate form [“missing link”] would have been poorly adapted to both land and water, and thus couldn’t be built by natural selection. To illustrate his point, Gish showed a slide of a mermaidlike cartoon animal whose front half was a spotted cow and whose rear half was a fish. Apparently puzzled over its own evolutionary fate, this clearly maladapted beast was standing at the water’s edge, a large question mark hovering over its head. The cartoon had the intended effect: the audience burst into laughter. How stupid, they thought, could evolutionists be?

“It’s an udder failure!” said Gish.

Let’s forget the jokes and look to nature. Can we find any mammals that live on both land and water, the kind of creature that supposedly could not evolve [according to creationists]?

Q: What could be better than seeing a #hippo underwater? A: Not much! |  Hippo, Aquarium, Adventure

Easily. A good candidate is the hippopotamus, which, although closely related to terrestrial animals, is about as aquatic as a land mammal can get. Hippos spend most of their time submerged in tropical rivers and swamps, surveying their domain with eyes, noses, and ears that sit atop their head, all of which can be tightly closed under water. Hippos mate in the water, and their babies, who can swim before they can walk, are born and suckle underwater.

…Hippos are obviously well adapted to their environment, and its not hard to see that if they could find enough food in the water, they might eventually evolve into totally aquatic, whalelike creatures.

But we don’t just have to imagine how whales evolved by extrapolating from living species. Whales happen to have an excellent fossil record, courtesy of their aquatic habits and robust, easily fossilized bones. And how they evolved has emerged within only the last twenty years. This is one of our best examples of an evolutionary transition [“missing link”], since we have chronologically ordered series of fossils, perhaps a lineage of ancestors and descendants, showing their movement from land to water.

Whale Fossils - Crystalinks

It’s been recognized since the seventeenth century that whales and their relatives, dolphins and porpoises, are mammals. They are warm-blooded, produce live young whom they feed with milk, and have hair around their blowholes. And evidence from whale DNA, as well as vestigial traits like their rudimentary pelvis and hind legs, show that their ancestors lived on land. Whales almost certainly evolved from a species of artiodactyls: the group of mammals that have an even number of toes, such as camels and pigs. Biologists now believe that the closest living relative of whales is—you guessed it—the hippopotamus.

So maybe the hippo-to-whale scenario is not so far-fetched after all!

–biologist Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True, pp. 47-49






End of post.

7 thoughts on “Scientists Say Whales Descended from a Cow-Like Land Animal. Creationists Say, Udder Nonsense!

  1. That there are some creationists who put forth arguments you don’t like, and think you can poke holes through, simply doesn’t negate your total inability to explain anything in the realm of origins. None of your scholars can answer the dilemma of naturalistic origins. The adult fantasy of naturalistic origins is itself a violation of reason, so all you people are left with is ridicule and derision.


    1. Just because science cannot (yet) tell us the origin of the universe does not mean we must throw out all the massive evidence for Darwinian evolution of species. It is always possible that a supernatural being created the “Big Bang” and then let “nature” take its course.

      You have not provided ANY evidence that refutes my evidence that the evolution of all living organisms is a fact. Judeo-Christian Creationism has been completely refuted.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Why do people think that we need to explain the origin of life in order to understand how we got the diversity of life that we do? They’re two very distinct areas of investigation that are only tangentially related. I liken it to somebody wanting to throw all of modern chemistry out the window because we don’t know how matter came into existence. It’s absurd, and only shows how desperate, or ignorant, they are.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. chuckle

    “Just because science cannot (yet) tell us…”

    There it is. The famous “yet” word. “Science doesn’t know… ‘yet’…”. My God, I get so tired of hearing it.

    How about simply “Science doesn’t know”? There’s no “yet” involved. Nobody ever said Science is guaranteed to figure all things out. And, Science can’t. We live in timespace, but, there might be multiple other dimensions which we’ll never have access to. And, we’ll never have access to anything before the Big Bang. It is virtually guaranteed that Science will never know the origin of the universe.

    If anybody on this thread has ever paid attention to anything I’ve ever had to say, then they’d know I’m not a Creationist. Consequently, none of this recent flurry of posts about evolution have even remotely sparked my interest.

    But – this “yet” thing. It really needs to be done away with. It’s nothing but a far-overdone conceit to think that someday, Science is going to have “all the answers to everything”. It’s an utterly absurd, ridiculous, and unsupportable notion.

    Just stick with “Science doesn’t know….”, without sticking the “yet” on it. To do otherwise is pure foolishness.


    1. You are a very sick person, FT Bond/Polycarp’s Scribe/Holy Moly. You have been asked to leave this blog many, many times. Yet you always come back. What is your problem?

      Isn’t there anything better to do there in Austin?


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