"I'll believe that when pigs fly." — Geico ad
WE have all heard elsewhere the adage of disbelief in the Geico advertisement. Well, in 1994 the following headline appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a newspaper in Ohio, United States, 'Fossil thought to belong to walking
whale — Creature may be missing link'.
The fossil in question was named Ambulocetus natans by the researchers who found it. Concerning the name, Biochemist Dr Duane Gish says "...from ambulare (to walk), cetus (whale), and natans (swimming). They thus believe that this creature both walked on land and swam in the water (see his book Evolution: the Fossils Still Say No, pp 202).
The three scientists who made the discovery, Hans Thewissen, assistant professor of anatomy at Northeastern Ohio Medical School; Tasseer Hussain, professor of anatomy at Harvard University; and M Arif, geologist of the Geological Survey of Pakistan, said in the report in the journal Science (263:312, 1994), "...Ambulocetus represents a critical intermediate between land mammals and marine cetaceans [aquatic mammals like the whale and porpoise]."
It is still a major mystery to me, a non-scientist, how a land-dwelling mammal could progressively — even factoring in mutation and millions of years — develop the incredibly specialised body parts of a whale, especially the cranial and auditory apparatus to survive the pressure of deep dives required to get a good meal of shrimp and octopus.
Gish advises: "The beaked whale can dive to a depth of over 1,600 feet... the sperm whale... dives easily to 3,000 feet and can dive even to a depth of almost 10,000 feet, nearly two miles." (pp 206).
Land mammals evolving as whales?! Just imagine an intermediate misjudging the evolutionary clock and attempting a deep dive too soon.
The 2011 college textbook Campbell Biology, 9th edition says at Fig 22.20, which deals pictorially with the transition to life in the sea: "Multiple lines of evidence support the hypothesis that cetaceans evolved from terrestrial mammals. Fossils document the reduction over time in the pelvis and hind limb bones of extinct cetacean ancestors, including Pakicetus, Rodhocetus and Dorudon..." (pp 466).
This popular college textbook said not a word about how the Herculean problem of internal organ change would be achieved by mutation (genetic mistakes) given the peculiarities of life in the ocean, and especially life for a whale which gives birth and nurses its newborn under water. As Gish points out, none of the alleged whale ancestors could function as a whale because each lacked critical distinguishing features of whales, both external
bodily features and, more crucially, internal organ features including blood chemistry.
Consider this, a sperm whale's "...blood contains 50 per cent more haemoglobin than human blood, and while humans use only 10-20 per cent of their breathed air for energy, this whale can utilise 80-90 per cent. During a dive only 9 per cent of its oxygen is derived from the lungs while 41 per cent comes from blood and 50 per cent from muscles and tissues..." (Gish, pp 206). Could that internal machinery be built over time by an undirected series of genetic mistakes? Where is the supportive evidence in the fossil record?
As Duane Gish aptly puts it in his parody of Hebrews 11:1: "Now, evolution is the substance of fossils hoped for, the evidence of links not seen." (pp 367)