It’s a particularly crude example of how confirmation bias works — how else would you explain this story? — not only among lay people but among top researchers.
Whales are held up as a model of what unguided evolution can do in a short time: in this case, just 8 million years, or perhaps even half that.
Lutheran theologian Ted Peters concludes that “a culture war is raging, to be sure. But, this is not a war between science and faith.”
The second paper is an in-depth look at genetic changes associated with the evolution of whales and dolphins. They found a lot of devolution.
Philosophical questions like who we are and where we came from are surely worth considering. But nothing in these documents will bring students closer to being able to do so in an informed manner.