We have been fed a diet of myths concerning nature and its wonders for so long we have developed a taste for them. We gobble them up and fail to spit them out. Life from non life, humankind from bacteria, over billions of years, I must not miss that caveat, since the premise is that time, if sufficient, can achieve almost anything. Richard Dawkins in his book The Greatest Show on Earth spends chapter after chapter promising to explain evolution in all its glory until finally, you get to the Great Reveal, The answer is TIme! Loads of it ! If you want to add the cautionary note, that time without a plan or an idea or an end in view might get nowhere fast, then prepare yourself for derision. In the Dawkins world time is a creator. A benefactor, whereas to most of us, while being a wondrous thing which generates experiences, and gives space for creative works, to produce children, technologies and all manner of other things, there remains a problem. It has a limited span, a lifetime; which is why scientists talk about the ultimate end of the universe. As a physical object powered by energy it must end. Its size is no protection from this inexorable process. Energy is finite and ultimately its capacity to build systems will fail. The final words of its last coherent gasp will be: breakdown, decay and death.
Thermodynamics concerns heat and energy and how it moves around within any given system: an atom, an engine or our galaxy. The first law of thermodynamics describes how energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed from one kind to another. The second law is about breakdown and degeneration and decay. I once had a healthy body. I am now 75 years old and have cancer. My body is subject to this second law, and I am not an isolated case. This second law tells us all we do is inherently wasteful, unless of course you have a faith life, in which case it may, following death, take part in the most exciting journey imaginable. There are irreversible processes in the universe at work right now which will eventually bring all things to an end. If you are an atheist, our universe along with all purpose and meaning, has just one inescapably bleak and desolate future: memory loss and extinction!
But back to the vision of nature’s diversity; from its finely tuned laws of physics and chemistry to other incomparable wonders: metamorphosis, the leaping gazelle, the humming bird, bioluminescence, sexual reproduction and photosynthesis to name just a few. According to Dawkins and his cohorts all of which just happened, and without a hint of a plan or an idea.
Here is profound remark. Carl Sagan said: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
And he was quite right. A universe, its laws, a planet like earth with its unique atmosphere allowing air and colour and life needed to be all in place before your grandmother could bake her famous apple tart. Sagan was an atheist, I am not. He believed everything he saw and appreciated arose from thoughtless atoms without a Creator’s impulse or signature. I believe the reverse to be true. So here is my pitch; without an idea, a plan capable of almost infinite development and the raw materials out of which each creation can be made already in place, plus an Eco system able to support the entire height, width and breadth of it all, then creation is nothing less than a vast multivarigated miracle. And miracles belong in the realm of an Almighty Creator God, not in the world of chance and lucky breaks. To incorporate an atheistic, so called rational view, science in the West has had to unhinge itself from its well established theistic roots. Virtually all the Father’s of modern scientific disciplines were bible believing Christians, not materialists like Dawkins, Hubble, and Hawking. So the question did creation have an apple pie in mind is the great one which deserves an answer. A scientist not so very far behind Sagan regards fame in the world of cosmology, and who provides a voice and reputation of high repute in the scientific world is George Ellis. He has made it very plain that before the universe ever existed there has to be something he calls a “possibility space”. This must as a matter of necessity, not choice, incorporate mathematics, fractals, the laws with uphold physics and chemistry, thought, and therefore mind, and even ethics: a sense of right and wrong. George Ellis is a South African theoretical physicist who is considered to be a world leader in relativity and cosmology. The book he co-wrote with Stephen Hawking, The Large Scale Structure of Space–Time examined general relativity theory that was first investigated by Einstein. He pioneered a study to classify anisotropic solutions of Einstein’s equations, and formalised the analysis of observables in cosmology. He will not admit a Creator God, even though he does come close on occasions.
Take that Creator God out, and you are stuck with stories like this; whales were not created, they evolved from a land based mammal over a very long period of time. This theory is based on unproveable assumptions and pseudo science. In fact thoroughly deceitful science; that is if the two videos below represent the true facts. As both scientists interviewed admit to camera that their work includes some aspects of make believe and extrapolation, this seems to be verified. Evolutionary apologists have little compunction beginning with statements of fact before delivering these “facts” to the public as breakthroughs in scientific knowledge through the medium of museums, scientific publications and the media. When later falsified nothing is said, no apologies and no rectifications. Consequently false information remains around for decades, maybe centuries in some cases, deceiving the credulous and the unwary. Whale evolution is one of the best examples of a belief system that in my view simply beggars belief, whatever criteria you use as a measuring stick. How a did a dog like creature became a whale?
There are candidates proposed for the changes required; for example fossils that could illustrate a land dwelling mammal evolving into a whale. Search the internet for whale evolution and images and you will see the illusion coming to life. Pakicetus is an early example. A doglike, possibly marsh living mammal found in freshwater deposits.. But it had no specialisations of the inner ear for underwater hearing, proving beyond reasonable doubt that it was far removed from any salt water aquatic transition.
‘Pakicetus looked very different from modern cetaceans, and its body shape more resembled those of land-dwelling hoofed mammals. Unlike all later cetaceans ( a marine mammal of the order Cetacea: a whale, dolphin, or porpoise ) Pakicetus had four fully functional long legs, a long snout; a typical complement of teeth that included incisors, canines, premolars, and molars; a distinct and flexible neck; and a very long and robust tail. As in most land mammals, the nose was at the tip of the snout.’
Further along the supposed evolutionary line from land based mammals to whales there appears another creature, this time, or at least for a time, believed to be a fully qualified sea creature named Rodhocetus. The video below should deflate any expectations or indeed trust in what you will see and read in the evolutionary textbooks or look up online.
Here is a video about the Walking Whale, named Ambulocetus. A whale blowhole is illustrated but its existence is unproved, and its appearance therefore something close to fraudulent. There is nothing to indicate this creature actually had a blowhole beyond the desire to find a fossil that could tick this box. Altogether there is a fine collection of missing parts: flippers, blowholes and flukes. But who cares when an artist or sculptor can fill the voids.
A final word on the subject. Whales are creatures of the open ocean; they feed, mate, give birth, suckle and raise their young at sea. So extreme is their adaptation to life underwater that they are unable to survive on land. Many changes would have been necessary to convert a land-mammal into a whale, including the emergence of a blowhole, with musculature and nerve control, modification of the eye for permanent underwater vision, the ability to drink sea water, forelimbs transformed into flippers, modification of the skeletal structure, the ability to nurse young underwater, the origin of tail flukes and musculature and the blubber for temperature insulation. A truly staggering transformation whatever the timescale. The chances of surviving any of these changes while continuing to successfully locate and mate with an equally adapted partner, reproduce, nurture whatever kind of offspring was possible, hunt, feed and drink is beyond calculation. To conclude a real connection between creatures so far removed from one another by incremental evolutionary steps by cutting and pasting possible fossils intermediates into the story-line is hard to imagine, even after a long day spent on hallucinatory drugs.