The notes from my recent evolution debate have upset a scientist (or "science expert") called Kristoffer Haldrup. Kristoffer is adamant that evolutionary theory is a scientific fact even though the missing link is still missing. But Kristoffer insists that transitional forms have been found and pointed to "Whale Evolution" as irrefutable proof. Kristoffer said:
VERY many examples of transitional forms [are] known. Transitional forms that are not only known from a sometimes spotty fossil record, but transitional forms that are completely in line with what we have nowadays learned from genetics about the evolution of existing species such as horses, humans and whales . . . And if I should pick just one transitional form, then Ambulocetus is kind of a nice one - something like a small whale with legs, legs well adapted for swimming. This very nicely illustrates how even transitional forms are superbly well adapted to the niche they occupy, like penguins are today . . . There is a plethora of transitional forms, all species or subspecies in their own right and all well adapted to their particular ecological niche.
So now Kristoffer demands that I check out the scientifically verifiable fact of "whale evolution". Behold the science of Whale evolution:
Kristoffer tried to put his best construction on the video by pointing out that:
the video actually does manage to underscore why paleontology/evolution is indeed an emprical science. Darwin put forth a theory - bears were the ancestors of whales - with an implicit prediction that intermediate fossils of such a transition should show up. None did, on the contrary, so the theory had to be discarded and was thrown on the midden heap. Later, based on clues from fossil skulls, a theory was proposed that the whale ancestors were more like a now-extinct class of predators called mesonychids, the hyena-like beasties of the video I guess. Alas, new evidence again showed up, this time from genetics, and the theory had to discarded as it was in conflict with the best available evidence. The genetic data predicted (a key feature of empirical science, in addition to falsifiablity like in the two preceding examples) that there should exist an ancestral species with traits similar to the ancestral species of hippos, and now THIS prediction actually held true. Rhodocetus and Pakicetus were found in the Afghan/Pakistani deserts, confirming the general theory of common ancestry with hippos or, more precisely, the artiodactyls. However, as the video shows, there was still room for refinement as early predictions about the anatomy of Rhodocetus were falsified (no flippers) and the theory was corrected to reflect the new evidence. And so it goes, theories are put forth, and as time passes they are either falsified, corrected or confirmed as they are held against evidence old and new. And through this arduous, slow process new knowledge is gradually formed.
Here's some new knowledge I derive from that "arduous, slow process" - maybe the whole theory is wrong! What Kristoffer just said there is long winded scientific code for "we have never found anything that proves our theory so we have to keep trying to find the evidence or invent some". Why won't they even consider the possibility that their theory is wrong? Perhaps zoologist D. M. S. Watson gave the real reason when he said that:
the theory of evolution itself, a theory universally accepted not because it be can proved by logically coherent evidence to be true but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible (D. M. S. Watson, Adaptation, Nature 124 (August 10, 1929), 233)
What we find on earth today is what the Bible has always taught. Life reproducing after its own kind. Cats giving birth to cats. Dogs giving birth to dogs. Humans giving birth to humans. And phony scientific theories giving birth to new phony scientific theories!
A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question (Atheist Astrophysicist - Sir Fred Hoyle).
There are gaps in the fossil graveyard, places where there should be no intermediate forms, but there is nothing whatsoever instead. No paleontologist . . . denies that this is so. It is simply a fact. Darwin's theory and the fossil record are in conflict (David Berlinsky).
Scientists concede that their most cherished theories are based on embarrassingly few fossil fragments and that huge gaps exist in the fossil record (Time Magazine 7 Nov 1977)
The evolutionists seem to know everything about the missing link except the fact that it is missing. (GK Chesterton)