Problems with Whale Evolution

1. Limited time for transition

Many readers will doubtless be aware; the evolution of the whale has previously raised substantial problems because of the extremely abrupt timescale over which it occurred.

Evolutionary Biologist Richard von Sternberg has previously applied the population genetic equations employed in a 2008 paper to argue against the plausibility of the transition happening in such a short period of time.  Indeed, the evolution of Dorudon and Basilosaurus (38 mya) from Pakicetus (53 mya) has been previously compressed into a period of less than 15 million years.

Such a transition is a fete of genetic rewiring and it is astonishing that it is presumed to have occurred by Darwinian processes in such a short span of time.

This problem is accentuated when one considers that the majority of anatomical novelties unique to aquatic cetaceans (Pelagiceti) appeared during just a few million years – probably within 1-3 million years.

The equations of population genetics predict that – assuming an effective population size of 100,000 individuals per generation, and a generation turnover time of 5 years (according to Richard Sternberg’s calculations and based on equations of population genetics applied in the Durrett and Schmidt paper), that one may reasonably expect two specific co-ordinated mutations to achieve fixation in the timeframe of around 43.3 million years. When one considers the magnitude of the engineering fete, such a scenario is found to be devoid of credibility.

What is required to change in a short period of time?

1. Whales require an intra-abdominal counter current heat exchange system (the testis are inside the body right next to the muscles that generate heat during swimming)

2.  They need to possess a ball vertebra because the tail has to move up and down instead of side-to-side

3. They require a re-organisation of kidney tissue to facilitate the intake of salt water.

4. They require a re-orientation of the fetus for giving birth under water.

5. They require a modification of the mammary glands for the nursing of young under water.

6. the forelimbs have to be transformed into flippers.

7. The hindlimbs need to be substantially reduced.

8. They require a special lung surfactant (the lung has to re-expand very rapidly upon coming up to the surface)...on and on it goes.

2. New whale fossil find further upsets evolutionary timeline

The jawbone of an ancient whale found in Antarctica may be the oldest fully aquatic whale yet discovered, Argentine in October 2011

Argentine paleontologist Marcelo Reguero, who led a joint Argentine-Swedish team, said the fossilized archaeocete jawbone found in February 2011 dates back (according to evolutionary reckoning) 49 million years. In evolutionary terms, that’s not far off from the fossils of even older proto-whales from 53 million years ago that have been found in South Asia and other warmer latitudes.

With this new fossil find, dating to 49 million years ago, this means that the first fully aquatic whales now date to around the time when walking whales (Ambulocetus) first appear.

This substantially reduces the window of time in which the Darwinian mechanism has to accomplish truly radical engineering innovations and genetic rewiring to perhaps just five million years — or perhaps even less. It also suggests that this fully aquatic whale existedbefore its previously-thought-to-be semi-aquatic archaeocetid ancestors.

3. No biological explanation of sequence

No one knows how a hoofed mammal could have returned to the sea.  There exists no biological process—even in theory—that could explain how its hooves, legs, and arms could transition into flippers; none to suggest how the dolphins sophisticated sonar evolved; and none to account for how the whale developed a body structure capable of withstanding the extreme pressures of hour-long, mile deep ocean dives.  Rather, such claims rest on suspect fossil evidence.

4. Pakicetus inachus was a land creature

Pakicetus inachus consists of a small cranial portion, a few teeth, and a small jaw fragment, yet some how it is described as “remains of whales of early Eocene age.”  Upon closer examination of the data, one wonders why this specimen was suggested to be anything other than a fully-adept land animal.

The fossils were found among “land-mammal fauna,” and “in association with land mammals.”  This, the discovery team wrote, “indicates that early Eocene whales may still have spent a significant amount of time on land.”  The article went on to concede that the evidence suggests a “continental rather than marine environment for Pakicetus during at least part of its daily or annual life cycle.”

Whats more, no post-cranial skeleton was found, rendering any suggestion that Pakicetus was a whale purely speculative, and actually contrary to cranial evidence.  The anatomy of Pakicetus was not whale-like, according to the very fossils upon which such claims are based. 

These fossils suggest that “there is no evidence that Pakicetus could hear directionally under water.”  Furthermore, the creature was “probably incapable of diving to any significant depth.  In terms of function, the auditory mechanism of Pakicetus appears more similar to that of land mammals than it is to any group of extant marine mammals.

”Finally, the size of Pakicetus does not impress one as particularly whale-like: the size of its cranium is estimated at no more than 15 cm wide by 35 cm in length, or no more than approximately 6 inches by 12 inches.  

5. Ambulocetus resemble more of seals and seal lions not whales

Interestingly, although the fossils suggest that Ambulocetus might have spent time in water, the species may most closely resemble a type of seal or sea lion.  This possibility rests on constant references to seal and sea lion-like functions and anatomy in J.G.M Thewissen announcement.

The fossil indicates that [they] swam by…forcing their feet up and down in a way similar to modern otters.  The movements on land probably resembled those of sea lions to some degree…Ambulocetus was an archaeocete whale the size of a male of the sea lion…Ambulocetus had a long tail and thus probably lacked a tail fluke…the back muscles primarily powered the hind limbs as in phocid seals…Propulsion of the hindlimbs on land may have been accomplished by extension of the back, reminiscent of the hindlimb motions of arctocephaline fur seals…Unlike modern cetaceans, Ambulocetus certainly was able to walk on land, probably in a way similar to modern sea lions or fur seals.  In water, it combined aspects of the locomotion of modern seals, otters,

6. More dating problems

One additional problem plagues the whale evolutionary sequence—it may not be a sequence, at all. The Nature article announced the date Pakicetus at between 49 and 52.5 mya, Ambulocetus at between 48.5 and 52 mya, and Rodhocetus at between 46.5 and 49.5 mya.  Thus, according to evolutionists‟ own dating results, the three may well have co-existed for more than half a million years; it is therefore impossible, or very improbable, that the three species could have been part of the same evolutionary sequence.  Likewise,  Rodhocetus balochistanensis and  Artiocetus clavis were dated at approximately 47 mya, suggesting that for reasons of contemporary status, Rodhocetus and Artiocetus were not part of a whale.

7. Misleading presentations

In the past The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) publication teaching about evolution promotes whale evolution as fact and illustrates an evolutionary sequence that includes a land-dwelling  Mesonychid, followed by Ambulocetus, Rodhocetus, and Basilosaurus.  Even though the scientific literature estimates.that Ambulocetus and Rodhocetus had respective lengths of about seven and nine feet, versus Basilosaurus‟ 50-to-70-foot length, the NAS booklet shows all four specimens as being the same size, with not even a footnote explaining that they are drawn out of scale.

 Teaching about Evolution also shows a perfectly formed, whale-like tail fluke for Rodhocetus, but fails to mention that the drawing is based on an artists interpretation, now known to contradict the direct fossil evidence.