Darwinism Science

Turning Cars Into Submarines

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For those who haven’t listened to it, I encourage UD readers to check out The Incorrigible Dr. Berlinski. I paraphrase some of his comments below the fold.

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The whale, which is a mammal after all… If its origins were land-based originally, we have some crude way of assessing the scope of the project of transformation. Let’s put it in vividly accessible terms: You’ve got a cow. You want to teach it how to live all of its life in the open ocean, still retaining its air-breathing characteristics. What do you have to do from an engineering point of view to change a cow into a whale? If the same question were raised with respect to a car, and you asked what it would take to turn a car into a submarine, we would understand immediately that it would be a massive project of redesign. Virtually every feature of the cow must be changed and adapted, and many of these features must be altered in simultaneous coordination.
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Darwinists continually complain that objections to the blind-watchmaker thesis are based on religious fundamentalism, but examples like this give the lie to such presumptions. Even given all of Allen MacNeill’s stochastic sources of variation, the transformation of a land-dwelling mammal into a whale by such means should stretch credulity beyond the breaking point for any rational person.

18 Replies to “Turning Cars Into Submarines

  1. 1
    specs says:

    You know, the transition from Ambulocetus to Rhodocetus to Basilosaurus always seemed like a fairy tale. There are two gaps that need to be filled in to even raise this to the level of a just-so story.

  2. 2
    JGuy says:

    If I’m not mistaken, Dr Berlinski stated he had beghan coutning up the number of anatomical changes that would have had to occur. He siad he stopped at 50,000 changes. Assuming this is true, in what period of time were land dwellers suppose to have evolved into whales? Divide that by 50,000 and that is the average time per change. Will it sound even more absurd? Let’s suppose it cna boil down to one change per 1000 years. Then that would be quite fast..and interesting to compare to human remains from the past millenium for example. Anyone interested in doing the math?

  3. 3
    Joseph says:

    I have the video. And DB is correct in that there isn’t any evidence, data or observation which would demonstrate that such a transformation (land mammal to whale) is even possible. (in the video he mentions that some 50,000 tranistions are required for the transformation)

    One alleged biologist who goes by “smokey” tried to sell me that dolphins losing their hind-limbs were such evidence. However there wasn’t any data that demonstrated those lost limbs were anything but fins. And a dolphin that loses its hind fins is not evidence that cetaceans “evolved” from land mammals.

  4. 4
    SCheesman says:

    JGuy. I also read the 50,000 number somewhere, and have to admit to being a little sceptical – there are only 86400 seconds in a day! They must have come in groups of 100s or 1000s somewhere. In any case, I’d be interested in a break-down, just for the purpose of filling out the scope of difficulties involved.

  5. 5
    Mathetes says:

    Wouldn’t this amount to an argument from incredulity, though?

  6. 6
    tribune7 says:

    If the same question were raised with respect to a car, and you asked what it would take to turn a car into a submarine,

    What parts of the car would you keep? The sheet metal? The engine/transmission/gas tank? The seats?

    And even then you’d have to add snorkles for the engine and crew, ballast tanks, and find a way to give it postive buoyancy (use a VW Beetle?)

    And even then you’d have one very crappy submarine with low probabilty of survival in anything rougher than a swimming pool, and for any length of time even in that.

  7. 7
    GilDodgen says:

    Wouldn’t this amount to an argument from incredulity, though?

    I’d say more an argument from skepticism about preposterous claims, sprinkled with a little sense about what it takes to engineer stuff. And by the way, sometimes incredulity is perfectly legitimate and justified.

  8. 8
    bFast says:

    Gil, I love this line “all of Allen MacNeill’s stochastic sources of variation”, I think in future I will write RV*+NS and have a footnote of *Including all of Allen MacNeill’s stochastic sources of variation.

    (Had to look up stochastic, it wasn’t even in my webster’s.

    Stochastic:

    of or pertaining to a process involving a randomly determined sequence of observations each of which is considered as a sample of one element from a probability distribution.

    dictionary.com

    Matheties: “Wouldn’t this amount to an argument from incredulity, though?”

    I propose that the incredulity of the well-informed is a perfectly valid argument.

  9. 9
    Borne says:

    Let’s face it, it is possible to convert a car into a sub if you have the resources to pay for all the engineering required. (007’s Lotus Esprit was a half decent start)

    The real question is why?

    Why would land dwellers head back to the sea in the first place? Do mammals make decisions like this on their own or is it more evo magic?

    Why would well adapted, well surviving animals even begin to move in such a ludicrous direction? Not to mention how!?

    What could possibly trigger such a radical series of profound morphings? Certainly not the environment!

    Seriously, I can never fathom the lame logic behind the postulation of water breathing sea dwellers leaving their natural habitat for the land or vice versa.

    What is it that got humans thinking that such a thing actually happened?

    Certainly not common sense or intelligence. And certainly not evidence.

    Berlinski’s estimates were only the beginning and to suppose that +- 50,000 RMs + NS (they had to occur within a very short period of time and 1000’s of them had to occur simultaneously or goodbye mammal – NS would just eliminate it as being a grotesque deformity) could have transformed any land dwellers into sea dwellers is just ludicrous credulity.

    You may as well adhere to ‘frogs to princesses’, ‘pumpkins to royal carriages’, etc. fairy tales as being factual history.

  10. 10
    JGuy says:

    I still want to know, if evolution is true, where my super killer bacteria? I want answers~!!

    If you are not sure what the super kilelr bacteria are… they are bacteria that will greedily and ruthlessly consumer ALL organic life and matter (except each other of course) and in the absence of any such organisms to consume, it switches to photsythetic mode until any other unfortunate organisms try to enter their population to be selected out of existence.

    The waters would be a death trap..to even the greatest water borne carnivorous dinosaurus..worse than a school of pirranahs…. they are super killer bacteria… and as simple as they would be compared to any complex life forms we know…they should exist.. if evolution were true.

  11. 11
    DonaldM says:

    Wouldn’t this amount to an argument from incredulity, though?

    Yes. I find the Darwinist’s preposterous claim incredulous!

  12. 12
    BenK says:

    Dawkin’s ‘argument from incredulity’ line is pure bluster. He can claim that natural selection creates biological complexity, I can claim that the magic beeble fairy creates biological complexity; in neither case is it an ‘argument from personal incredulity’ to reject these claims without further evidence for them.

    If a plausible RM+NS pathway can be shown to exist between land and sea mammals then we would have to admit that RM+NS was a good explanation for the transition. Otherwise, it isn’t.

  13. 13
    magnan says:

    The example of the evolution of whales took place over approximately the last 50 million years. In about 50 million years a hippopotamus-like animal transformed into creatures incredibly well adapted to life in the sea such as dolphins and sperm whales. The body systems of these creatures have marvellously engineered sonar systems, adaptations for deep diving, fast swimming, underwater birth, etc. etc. These systems would require scores of books to describe the engineering designs in the exhaustive detail required, and more scores of books to describe the growth development schemes for these systems.

    In the dolphin evolution example, the biological sonar system is just one of many different systems that had to be elaborated simultaneously by selection from random variation. These are just some of them, for just the sonar system:
    – Sound signal emitter to produce an optimal very short broadband pulse
    – Hearing mechanism, middle ear, cochlea, adaptations for aquatic life
    – Hearing perception acuity and frequency coverage matching echos received from produced sounds
    – Computation of distance and direction from echo delay and phase characteristics
    – Neural pattern recognition and processing including ability to extract features and classify the extracted features from modulations and amplitude of returned echos
    – Feedback processes to optimize the emitted signal and the return reception process for particular types of targets and distances.
    – Time variable receiver gain to greatly reduce hearing sensitivity during signal emission
    – Emitter power gain control to reduce power as range decreases
    – Emitted “click” rate control to increase rate as range shortens
    – Accompanying behavioral modifications to accommodate this in hunting, reproduction, etc.

    At the same time the same sort of processes had to be going on in a coordinated way to develop the other amazing features like underwater birth, deep diving adaptations, food gathering structures and behavioral strategies, etc. etc.

    The genetic coding for just one of these organic machinelike systems must contain at least the sort of amount of information as a design manual for a Boeing 747. The real problem of the entire animal is orders of magnitude greater, where an analogy would be trying to convert and modify an M1 battle tank into a submarine. The multitude of separate coding elements required by the organism to build and operate each evolving organ system must have changed in a coordinated parallel fashion with the others, where the phenotypical reproductive advantage of any one genetic change is partly a function of vast numbers of other genetic coding elements that are themselves changing at different rates. Any single gene modification would often require another or multiple particular different genetic modifications to happen simultaneously for there to be an adaptive advantage in the right direction, or even to avoid death.

    The numbers just don’t work for this as a RV + NS process.

  14. 14
    GilDodgen says:

    magnan,

    Thanks for your post. It is simply ludicrous beyond description to continue to defend Darwinian orthodoxy as a mechanism sufficient to explain biological engineering.

    The question remains: Why do so many highly educated, intelligent academics continue to defend a clearly indefensible thesis? I think the answer to that question is clear — to admit otherwise would be to admit that they have squandered their professional lives in pursuit of defending a hopelessly outdated 19th century fantasy about the nature of the origin of living systems.

    No one wants to admit that he has wasted his professional life on a lie.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Magnan,
    Excellent post,

    Hope you don’t mind if I quote you when confronted with the evolutionists garbage of whale/dolphin evolution?,

    I watched one of the videos, following this one, on DI, and was shocked that Dr. Berlinski actually got the short end of the stick in the debate. The Darwinist debater pulled out a drawing/chart (imaginative artistic rendition with the mandatory imaginary arrows between animals) showing the hypothetical evolution of the whale,,,Though the Darwinist was clearly in the wrong on the hard evidence, he was able to sell the audience on the lie of evolution of whales, because of that stupid drawing he had…It really was sad to see him be able to pull this scam off…On top of that, Dr. Berlinski, failed to clearly lay out any of the 50,000 plus transformations he had alluded to (as magnan briefly did) in any sort of coherent detail, so he soon lost the initiative he had gained early in the debate with the hard number, for he failed to clearly illustrate the complexity that would be required, while his opponent was able to brush him off with a cartoon drawing.

    Because of the visual impact made on the audience, I think having actual charts, for debaters, that reflect the true fossil record would be great for ID (they may already exist)(If not they need to exist)

    ,,I only know of this one right now:

    http://members.cox.net/wwcw/q-evol4.html

  16. 16
    JGuy says:

    magnan,
    Great post. And it seems to carry answer some of my original comment above. And in a funny way, the math shows that my random guess was about right on… ~1000 years per engineering change in the evolution of whales.

    You wrote:

    The example of the evolution of whales took place over approximately the last 50 million years. In about 50 million years a hippopotamus-like animal transformed into creatures incredibly well adapted to life in the sea such as dolphins and sperm whales.

    50,000,000 years / 50,000 engineering changes = 1 engineering change per 1000 years.

    At that rate, we should see 1/20th of the whale genome change over the last 50 years.

    And Behe’s EoE case seems even stronger.

    JGuy–out

  17. 17
    Eikinkloster says:

    50,000,000 years / 50,000 engineering changes = 1 engineering change per 1000 years.

    At that rate, we should see 1/20th of the whale genome change over the last 50 years.

    Wrong. You are supposing that each of the 50,000 changes is a change of 100% of the whale genome. What you might expect is a 1/20th of *one change*. Considering how well adapted whales already are to water, I wonder what that millennial change would be now.

    It’s funny how the whole “cow into whales is too much” image goes in complete disregard for all functionally intermediate forms we have between land mammals and aquatic mammals.

    First of all, the cow is highly specialized to it’s environment. The common ancestor between the cow and whale was much more like a weasel then like a cow. We have a close relative of the weasel mightily adapted to water: the eurasian otter. Then we have the sea otter, with a much shorter tail, hind paws much bigger then the front paws, no scent glands, and unlike the other otters, *able to live it’s entire life without ever leaving water*.
    then we have the earless seal. It still has front paws, with claws on it. After that, sea lions: interestingly, they have vestigial ears, but the paws are gone, instead we have four flippers.

    And finally, the manatee. The head looks a lot like that of a seal but the hind legs are gone, like in whales.

    Suddenly a dolphin doesn’t look so violently removed from a weasel…

  18. 18
    DaveScot says:

    eikenloster

    The more interesting question is whether or not comparative genomics confirms comparative anatomy in hereditary trees. The answer to that is more or less no. Just like there is a “trade secret” in paleontology (the data don’t confirm gradualism)there is a trade secret in taxonomy in that relationships determined by comparative anatomy disagree with relationships determined by comparative genomics.

    Use this google search to see the articles I’ve written on this particular subject:

    http://www.google.com/search?s.....cent%2ecom

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