vBlog Post #014
Answer To the Video: What is the Evidence for Evolution?
Welcome to another edition of the Science Pastor, my name is Steve and I'm in my big easy chair today, because today we are going to watch a video.
VIDEO: “What is the evidence for evolution?”
I've been saying that evolution is impossible. And I've been primarily talking about the evidence from microbiology and genetics. For example, we now know that most mutations, essentially all mutations, either are neutral or detrimental, meaning they reduce the information in the organism causing it actually to degrade. We've also seen how these damaging mutations can result in a benefit.... and that benefit will be selected by natural selection... and then, as a result, that actually drives the organism... instead of evolution driving it upward, it's driving it downward so it's less complex and has less information.
One example would be antibiotics. There are many ways, by-the-way, that bacterial develop resistance to antibiotics. Here is a link across the bottom of the screen (https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j8_1/j8_1_5-6.pdf) that goes to a paper that discusses some of those ways. One example is that the Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it is the one that causes tuberculosis, it has an enzyme which interacts with certain antibiotics and changes the antibiotic into a poison that kills the bacteria. When that bacteria mutates, and it no longer has the proteins to make that enzyme, then when the antibiotic comes in, the enzyme is not there, and so the bacteria lives. The bacteria has lost a function, it is no longer able to convert the antibiotic into a poison, but that's a benefit. So the bacteria then survives the antibiotic.
So it was a loss of information that resulted in a benefit. The bacterial became less complex... but it could better survive.
The paper I referenced points out something interesting...
Many patients are discharged from hospital carrying such 'supergerms' on their skin, which resist all attempts to get rid of them in hospital. However, when the patient gets home into a 'dirtier' environment, they usually rap-idly disappear, because they are now forced to compete with ordinary microbes, which are 'stronger'. These other microbes could not survive in the artificial environment of the hospital with its arsenal of antibiotics.
So let's talk about evolution and the video...
VIDEO: “The theory of biological evolution makes two, very bold claims about living creatures. First, all living things on earth are related. They evolved from a common ancestor. Second, the evolution of living things is powered by natural processes. Things which could be studied and understood. But is there really any evidence these two claims are true?”
There are a lot of videos on YouTube supposedly showing proof that evolution is true. But the problem with all of them is that... they don't tell you the complete story... and what they leave out destroys their supposed proof.
Today we'll look at a video called, “What Is The Evidence For Evolution?” The YouTube URL is on the screen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIEoO5KdPvg), as well as in the description below the video. This is a short, 11 minute video that focuses on the supposed evidence for whale evolution as overall proof evolution happened.
It used to be that a series of horse fossils were used to prove evolution happened... but that has been totally debunked now. So now whales have become the icons of evolution... unless you know the complete story.
After a two minute introduction, the video begins its proof by stating that whales are mammals...
VIDEO: “We'll focus most of our attention on one fairly small but fascinating branch of the evolutionary tree, cetaceans. This branch includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. Biologists tell us that all these creatures are closely related and that the entire group evolved from an ancient four-legged land animal.”
I'd like to begin by pointing out that categories such as mammal, fish, amphibian, bird, etc. are human created categories, based on how humans want things to be organized. It is not how God categorizes the various types of life. For example, we categorize feathered creatures and bats as two different things. Our categories are birds and mammals... a bat is a mammal. But we see that in Leviticus 11:13-19, for example – that God includes bats and birds in one category... flying things.
God groups flying things together... that's the characteristic God uses... not feathers.
However, you have to keep in mind the Bible was not given to us to provide a classification system for living things. The Bible deals with more important things... mainly the problem of sin, the consequences of sin, and what God has done about it.
The point is, just because two types of living creatures have similar characteristics, or categorized in the same way by humans... that does not mean they are related...
The video begins by pointing out that whales are mammals, they have...
VIDEO: “placentas, and give live birth. They feed milk to their young. They are warm blooded, which is extremely rare for a fish.”
At this point the video compares whales with fish on that point... pointing out it is rare for fish to be warm blooded. My reaction to that is, so what? Fish and whales are different. They are both designed to do what they do... live where they live... and designed very well to do what they do and live where they live.
In any case, continuing with the comparison from the video...
VIDEO: “...and whales do not have gills. Instead, just like us, they breath air with two fully developed lungs.”
Yes, they have all of these characteristics of mammals... and they are design characteristics of mammals... and they are designed characteristics of whales. And whales are designed very well to do what whales do. Then the video starts talking about blow holes.
VIDEO: “Whales don't seem to have noses like mammals do. Instead they breath through blow holes coming out the tops of their head. Some whales have two blow holes which almost look like nostrils.”
...implying that mammal nostrils became whale blow holes. They don't mention that only baleen whales have two blow holes... here's the rest of the story... quoting from the web site shown below...
Whales that have two blowholes -- baleen whales -- do so because of their immense size. As some of the largest creatures on Earth, and ones that spend a significant amount of time underwater, they must be able to efficiently inhale and exhale at the surface before diving. Using two blowholes to breathe in and out allows them to more efficiently access the oxygen they need to support their massive bodies while underwater."
That they need two blow holes for more efficient breathing is an assumption, but a very reasonable assumption. They have been designed, and well designed, to do what Baleen whales do.
The fossil the video shows next is interesting. It is identified as a Dorudon atrox skull, which is a type of Basilosaurid. It is supposedly showing the blow hole in transition... as it moves from the front of the snout to the top of the head.
VIDEO: “Notice that the nasal opening is not on the top of the head like those of modern whales. And not at the end of the snout like those of land mammals. Instead it's right in the middle.”
I had a lot of trouble researching this one... there is pretty much no information available.
The only supposed “proof” seems to be displays in museums that show a Dorudon with a blow hole in the middle of his snout... but keep in mind that the fossils in museums are rarely the original fossils... and as we'll see when we look at the next supposed transitional fossil... the replicas in museums are not always scientifically accurate.
By the way... does this look like the opening for a blow hole?
Notice the sharp angles and straight lines of the hole. That doesn't look natural. If this were a blow hole, it seems that it should be rounder. To me it looks like something hit the skull... maybe as the skull, was being carried along in a massive flow of water. Slamming against a rock might cause a hole just like this.
But, putting that aside... the story does not make sense. If we take an animal breathing with nostrils on the front of their snout. Move those nostrils back to a blow hole in the middle of their snout. Now their mouth has to come out of the water so they can breath... that makes them more visible to predictors... as well as to their pray. This is not beneficial... and natural selection would quickly eliminate those with a relocated blow hole.
However, Dr. Gingerich, who is credited with the photo used in the video... did claim to have found a better transitional fossil with a blow hole half the way up the snout. The fossil is called Pakicetus, and Dr Gingerich thought that it was a whale-like creature. An artist's drawing even made the cover of the journal, Science, in 1983.
However, a more complete Pakicetus fossil was found in the late 1990's, and it turned out to be nothing like a whale. And there was no blow hole on the snout, it breathed through nostrils on the tip of it's snout. However, this has not prevented museums and books... and videos... to continue to present Pakicetus as evidence for evolution. Including reproductions in museums with a blow hole half way up their snout.
And in the video, Pakicetus is shown in the list of transitional fossils, although it has been proven to not be related to cetaceans at all.
And while we're looking at the video's list of so called transitional fossils... what about Ambulocetus? This is the supposed walking whale.
Dr Hans Thewissen, a former student of Dr Gingerich, said that there were eight characteristics that showed that Ambulocetus was a whale ancestor. The main claims are that it has a whale's ear, walking legs, and a blow hole.
Yet in an interview, and you can watch the video... here's the link... (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4gmeI9TFKA) Dr. Thewissen admits that the fossil evidence that it has a whale's ear is questionable. In another video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uccden3r98A) he admits there is no fossil evidence for a blow hole... although fossil reconstructions of the skull, supplied by Dr Thewissen’s lab to museums, do show a blow hole. There is NO evidence other than wishful thinking... yet Dr. Thewissen has put a blow hole on his reconstructions.
Ambulocetus appears to have been a land animal... it is not a whale ancestor.
Another fossil that is mentioned in the video is Maiacetus Inuus... and it is identified as being a whale because its skeletons have all been found among fossils of sea creatures. So that tells us it lived in the ocean? Right? No. This is a common fallacy... that the fossils found with a skeleton indicate the environment it lived in. They don't. They show the fossils the skeleton was buried with. That's all they show.
Animals must be quickly buried in sediment for them to fossilize. That means water is involved... and water can transport things, including dead animals, far from where they died. And when we consider a catastrophic world-wide flood, we would expect to find land animals and marine fossils mixed together. And that is what is commonly found... fossils of land animals mixed with fossils of marine fossils.
So finding a Maiacetus Inuus fossil among fossils of sea creatures, is not proof it was a whale. It says nothing about the environment where it lived.
Now lets look at what the video says about DNA.
They say that the land animal with DNA closest to whales is a hippo. And then the video compares the ankle of a Rodhocetus kasrani fossil, known as the walking whale, with present-day hippos.
VIDEO: “Whale DNA has been compared to all kinds of other animals. Fish. Sea lions. You name it. And so far, the closest genetic match is to the pudgy, water-loving, hippopotamus. This does not mean whales evolved from hippos, but if this genetic finding is correct, whales and hippos both evolved from a common ancestor that lived roughly 54 million years ago. Ancient walking whales have specially shaped ankle bones that are found only in hippos, and the close relatives of hippos.”
This video brings us back to Dr Gingerich once again, he discovered Rodhocetucs, and he is the one who said it was a whale because it had a tail fluke and flippers. But, as he admits in a video interview (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N--Xtcr8h), there is no fossil evidence for a tail fluke or flippers. Dr. Gingerich stated:
“I speculated that it might have had a fluke … I now doubt that Rodhocetus would have had a fluked tail.”
He also stated:
“Since then we have found the forelimbs, the hands, and the front arms of Rodhocetus, and we understand that it doesn’t have the kind of arms that can spread out like flippers on a whale.”
Rodhocetus, which is portrayed as the first creature with legs changing into flippers turns out not to be... instead it is simply a land creature.
At the end of the video it quickly runs through what is supposedly a lot of evidence for evolution... just listing off things... and then asserting that there are thousands of observable facts proving evolution. It's an assertion that simply is not true.
One of the facts they mention is that supposedly humans and chimpanzees have a common ancestor.
VIDEO: “We found that humans share a fairly recent common ancestor with chimpanzees.”
They don't provide any evidence, but a common myth is that the DNA of humans and chimps is 98.5% similar... so obviously we have a common ancestor.
By the way, based on evolutionary science, in the time available there should only be abut a 1% difference between human and chimp DNA. Mutations that become fixed in a population can only happen so fast... and for chimps and humans to come from a common ancestor, there should only be about a 1% difference in DNA. It's impossible, there's not enough time, for there to be a significantly greater difference.
So a 98.5% similarity is a pretty good number... it's close to 1%.
But... it's a fake number. They did not sequence all of the DNA. They cherry-picked DNA sequences that they already knew were highly similar, and they discarded the data that not similar.
When you intentionally select parts that are similar, what type of result do you expect to get? That they are similar. When the omitted data was included, the similarity drops to a range of 66% to 85% … both secular and creation based scientists have come to the same result... which says it is impossible, based on DNA, for humans and chimps to have a common ancestor.
Of course, something being impossible does not mean creation-deniers stop using that as evidence. Just as Ambulocetus fossils with blow holes are still on display in museums... creation-deniers will continue saying humans and chimps have 98.5% similar DNA... even though that number has been solidly proven to be wrong... and they will continue to say... as this video does... that humans and chimps have a common ancestor... even though that has been proven to be impossible.
We're out of time for today. It takes much longer to provide evidence that an assertion is not true, then it does to make the assertion... so I've only answered some of the claims in the video. But, the answer is the same for all of them. When you actually look at all of the evidence... and tell the complete story... there is little evidence that evolution actually happened. The evidence supports the fact that God created everything and there was a global flood that produced most of the fossils we see today.
What we learned today... starting at the beginning of the video, was that...
Evolution means a loss of function as a result of natural selection selecting degeneration mutations that provide a short term benefit.
Then... we noticed how life is categorized: mammals, birds, amphibians, etc. is a human system. It is not how God categorizes his creation. The point was, just because humans place certain creatures in the same category, that does not mean they are related.
The video points out that whales are warm-blooded and fish are not. Yes, that's true, and each was designed to do what they do, and do it very well.
Then we talked about whale blow holes, and that for nostrils on the tip of a nose to move to the top of the head, would have no benefit while in the intermediate stage. Meaning, natural selection would not, and could not do this.
We also saw that fossils first proclaimed as having intermediate blow holes, in fact did not. And that fossils of supposedly early whales were actually land animals. And that finding fossils of land animals mixed with fossils of marine animals is exactly what we've expect to find as the result of a global flood.
We noticed that the fossil a hippo was compared with was a land animals... not related to whales at all.
And then to conclude we saw that chimpanzees and humans do not have similar DNA and, based on DNA they could not have had a common ancestor.
Thank you for joining us today. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the science pastor. Remember, if you have any questions or comments, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. My name's Steve, I'm the science pastor, and I'm looking forward to seeing you again next week.