Did Whales Evolve from Land Mammals?

High School ScienceLondon’s famous Natural History Museum has a display “proving” the evolution of the whale. In a glass case, one can see three skulls. From left to right, there is a skull of a mesonychid, a skull from an ambulocetus, and one from a modern whale. Labels indicate the position of the nose; nostrils near the end of the mesonychid snout, further up the snout of the ambulocetus, and a single nostril or blowhole on the top of the head of the modern whale.

Closer inspection reveals some problems. The date of the middle fossil is older than the date of the first. The museum gets around this problem by showing a bar of time, during which each creature should have lived, with the mesonychid starting from an earlier era than ambulocetus. But these date ranges can only be compiled by assuming evolution. In other words, the display, as an argument for evolution, is an example of the circular logical fallacy. This is compounded by the display suggestion that the small, rear feet of the ambulocetus must have been seal-like flippers, enabling it to paddle through water. The evidence for this is not there – especially as no feet were actually found with this particular specimen.

NHM Whale Evolution

Display of Whale Evolution at London’s Natural History Museum

The Florida Department of Education has some suggested ideas on how to teach High School students about the evolution of the whale.1 In another place, the FL DoE have, quite correctly, emphasized the importance of students understanding that a hypothesis must be capable of being tested.2 Yet, the activity offered to “prove” whale evolution involves listening to a talk about whales, and placing illustrated flags of the fossils on an evolutionary timeline chart. This is not scientific discovery, nor can it be described as credible observational science. The flags are placed on the chart, simply in response to the audio teaching. Whale evolution has not been tested by this activity. The presenter of the audio narration is assuming evolution to construct his new animal labels.

When we look to answer what evolutionists are saying in this “exercise”, we should realize that the students are not being encouraged to study or research this information. They are being told the “truth” about evolution from someone who already believes in evolution.

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