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Whale Song: Learning from Our Critics

I think of intelligent design critics as forming a hierarchy, with some of more interest than others. There are really high level ones (Charles Marshall, for example, or Jeremy England), formidable scholars who have put serious thought into their critiques. And those are the best.

From some critics, of course, there’s nothing to be learned. They substitute rude insults for arguments, and there’s little more to it than that.

In between, others at least provide a solid chance for conversation, even if their table manners aren’t the best. Biologist P.Z. Myers falls into this category. He critiqued our recent video about whale evolution, an entry in the brief, accessible, and humorous Long Story Short series. He was joined by another critic I’d never heard of before, Jackson Wheat. Both released videos of their own. This in turn provided an occasion for the filmmaker, whom I’ve called Long Story, to create a response. 

A Lovely Thing

A substantive argument is a lovely thing to behold, to watch or to listen to, even if punctuated (in Myers’s case) by the usual grumpy insults. I think Myers and Wheat, in their way, and Long Story make what turns out to be beautiful music together. Call it whale song. You can watch the first video, the videos from the critics, and finally the reply from Long Story, and learn a lot about an icon of evolution that has been vastly oversold by evolutionists.

What could be even better than that? Here’s what. Follow up on the videos by reading the chapter “Walking Whales” from biologist Jonathan Wells’s book, Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution. It’s a definitive and very solidly referenced treatment of the question. Thanks to the Center for Science & Culture, you can dive deep into the subject right now thanks to a FREE offer of the whole chapter, which you can download here

You’ll also get a free subscription to Nota Bene, our newsletter that collects the best of each week’s offerings from Evolution News. Together with the videos, the chapter from Dr. Wells forms a virtual symphony. Watch the first whale video from Long Story, “Whale Evolution: Good Evidence for Darwin?”, here:

And the second one, “Whale Evolution: Responding to Critics,” here:

In between, watch Myers and Wheat, here and here. If you get a chance, let me know who you think comes out on top.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.



biologyCharles MarshallcriticsEvolution Newsevolutionary iconsfilmmakerintelligent designJackson WheatJeremy EnglandJonathan WellsLong Story ShortmusicNota BeneP.Z. MyerswhalesYouTube videosZombie Science