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Darwin’s Proposed Bear-to-Whale Transition Set Off Bull Detectors in 1859

David Klinghoffer


In the first edition of the Origin of Species, Darwin speculated that something like a whale might have evolved from a bear, whose mouth expanded in order to catch insects, followed presumably by other adaptations to render a fully aquatic mammal. This bear-to-whale transition set off bull detectors among Darwin’s readers, who roundly mocked for it, leading the author to delete the speculation from future editions.

Today, scientists and science consumers must be less sensitive to BS, to fake science, than they were in 1859. Modern stories about how whales evolved through a process of blind churning are hardly more credible, as Discovery Institute biologists Jonathan Wells and Ray Bohlin discuss in a new episode of ID the Future. Yet whales continue to be paraded as an icon rather than an embarrassment for evolution.

Download the episode by clicking here:


Starting with the flukes and moving on the apparatuses by which whales breathe through a very special nostril called a blowhole, dive to great depths, preserve themselves from sterility, feed their babies, and more, the conclusion seems inescapable that the only way it could all come together is if there was a plan conceived by a designer who held these systems in mind first before they were actualized in a living creature. It’s not just a matter of complexity but of irreducible complexity.

That’s what ID scientists argue, for which gullible evolutionists never tire of mocking them.

Photo: Humpback whale, breaching, by Whit Welles [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

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