Evolution: whales defy explanation (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, August 16, 2018, 11:48 (276 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: A neat view parallel to my feelings:

Just a couple of quotes to get the general gist:

"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. […] researchers know that it would take millions of internal changes for dinosaurs to evolve into birds, flat plants into trees, fish into amphibians.”
“A few fossilized bones from their putative predecessors have been found. But the story is still mysterious, because of the changes required.”

DAVID’s comment: Exactly! And yet dhw tries to claim the animals entered the water and adapted, just to follow a food supply!

Yes, I consider the theory that the animals had a good reason for entering the water, and then underwent different stages of adaptation, to be more convincing than your theory that your God either preprogrammed each stage 3.8 billion years ago, or fiddled with the pre-whales’ anatomy before sending them into the water, and then went on fiddling with their anatomy at the different stages you yourself have agreed took place. (Or are you now rejecting this example of common descent?) Perhaps you would just confirm that these are your two possible theories, and while you’re at it give us your own explanation as to WHY your God did it all in stages.

The article concludes:

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.

If all living organisms are likely exceptions, the author is rejecting common descent altogether. And yet there is sufficient evidence to have convinced you that common descent is true, so in what way is his "neat view" parallel to your feelings? He certainly hasn’t specified that he believes in your 3.8 billion-year-old computer programmes or even your dabbling. He merely falls back on the generalisation that speciation requires design – and both of us agree. NOBODY knows how speciation took place, and that’s why there are different theories. All three of us reject random mutations. You propose divine preprogramming and/or dabbling. I propose cellular intelligence (possibly designed by your God). The author doesn’t offer us any theory at all. So where does that leave us? Since there is no consensus, “the story is still mysterious”, and if there weren’t gaps in all the theories, one of them would be fact and not theory.

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