ICR on Dogs, AIG on Whales

Neither of these creationist articles alone is worth a post. The two of them together aren’t much better, but there’s nothing else going on at the moment so let’s take a look at what the creationists are saying to their drooling followers.

First we’ll visit the creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their latest gem is Man-Made Sniffer Versus Dog , written by Brian Thomas. He’s described at the end of his articles as “Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

In June, 2017, thousands of scientists from around the world attended the 65th Annual Conference of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry in Indianapolis. One of the thousands of research projects on display at this year’s conference compared portable man-made sniffers to dog noses. Whose design won?

The conference concerned mass spectrometers. Since these devices measure the masses of specific chemicals, some call the devices “sniffers.” One can find these amazing machines in research labs, airport security checkpoints, and even space probes.

We’ll skip most of it. Brian finally gets around to quoting someone who says:

From the field trials, canines are 17 to 20 times more sensitive in detecting the examined compounds compared to our portable analytical instrumentation.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Brian finishes with this:

The skilled technicians who generated this state-of-the-art man-made technology deserve credit for long hours of training and experimentation, and for inventing a portable device that can detect such small amounts of a compound. Now how much more credit does God deserve, who made the dog’s smaller and more sensitive nose and scent-sensing system in a flash — with just a word?

Dog beats machine, therefore Oogity Boogity!

Now we turn to the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. AIG’s article is titled Blue Whale: The Mammoth of the Sea, written by Karin Viet. The last time we wrote about one of her brilliant essays was Behold the Platypus. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

What is the largest animal of all time — even larger than the most massive dinosaurs? The answer is the blue whale. These giants average about 70 feet in length, although some were reportedly more than 100 feet long during the whaling era. That’s about the length of three school buses!

Karin babbles on for a while, and eventually gets to the creationist stuff. She tells us:

If you consult many science textbooks, you’ll read a whale of a tale about how whales supposedly evolved. Evolutionists believe some land animals — perhaps in search of a better source of food — returned to the sea as air-breathing marine mammals like blue whales. Despite claims that the fossil record shows the missing links between land mammals and marine mammals, the transitional forms are far from convincing or complete.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Not enough transitional fossils! She continues:

Transitional forms provide no evidence for how the whale “evolved” complex systems like the ear designed for underwater hearing and pressure, tail that moves vertically, blubber and countercurrent heat exchangers to keep warm, respiratory system able to withstand high pressure and long periods underwater, and the ability to birth and nurse underwater.

She’s right, of course. There’s no transitional form with two sets of mammary glands — one for nursing on land, and the other for nursing in the water. Let’s read on:

Complex structures like baleen cannot form by random mutation. Natural selection is also inadequate because adaptation involves a change of traits that already exist. Therefore, change happens only within a kind — not a change from one kind to another, like a land animal to a whale.

So true! And now we come to the end:

In contrast to the evolutionary assumption of land mammals evolving into marine mammals, the biblical account says sea creatures like whales were created on Day Five of Creation Week (Genesis 1:20–23), a whole day before the land animals were created. Whales display divine design.

Very persuasive! Don’t you agree, dear reader?

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “ICR on Dogs, AIG on Whales

  1. I’m convinced! I’m going whale watching!!

  2. “the transitional forms are far from convincing or complete”
    Neither is Karin’s family tree, say 1000 years ago. May I conclude that she’s an alien?

  3. Were tadpoles created on day 5 and toads created on day 6?
    Were catepillars created on day 6 and butterflies created on day 5?
    Plants were created on day 3, while animals (including humans) were created on days 5 and 6. What about other living things?
    On what day were water and wind created?

  4. Ross Cameron

    Notice, Tom, that the creo guide makes no mention of the greatest living group either on land, under it and in the oceans, the bacteria biomass, as Gould puts it, gets no mention whatsoever.

  5. Indeed. By any measure, the majority of life on Earth is microbes. Number of individuals, total mass, number of species, diversity (in all three domains – and then there are the viruses).

  6. Michael Fugate

    So sea otters were created on day 5 and river otters on day 6?

  7. TomS. Right on. The creator seems to have loved microbes, more then beetles. And, since many (most?) microbes have multiple viruses, the creator may have loved viruses even more. But, maybe there were just a few “kinds”, and the diversity we see is evolution within the kind, say, after the fall of Adam and Eve who now were cursed with disease. Curious, though, how one group of microbes, the Archaea, has no human pathogen.

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    Why the F would the Creator make mammal fish … Or a thousand animal oddities? It doesn’t make any sense.

  9. Complex structures like baleen cannot form by random mutation. Natural selection is also inadequate because adaptation involves a change of traits that already exist. Therefore, change happens only within a kind — not a change from one kind to another, like a land animal to a whale.

    Notice the bait-and-switch here? From natural selection to “adaptation”?

    And of course, here’s our old friend the “kind” again, serving its usual purpose of acknowledging evolution while erecting an imaginary barrier beyond which it supposedly can’t go. “Kind” has got to be one of the handiest rhetorical tools creationists have: it can be made a broad or as narrow as they need in any given instance, so that if an evolutionary change is supported by such overwhelming evidence that even they have to acknowledge it, they can say it doesn’t matter because it represents only change “within a kind.”

  10. As is typical in ALL creationist writings, when you start with the conclusion, any excuse will do.

    “Transitional forms provide no evidence for how the whale “evolved” complex systems like the ear designed for underwater hearing and pressure, tail that moves vertically …”

    The verticality of tail movement is well know for ALL seagoing mammals. That is one of the things that distinguishes mammals from reptiles and fish.
    Also, whale ears are not “designed” for underwater use; wax completely plugs the ear canal of toothed whales to prevent the pressure from reaching the eardrum which would otherwise rupture. The whale inner ear has also evolved to no longer be connected to the skull like land mammals, and since water conducts sound so much better than air, much of what a whale hears is actually conducted through the jaw bones. Of course whale evolution is so well understood that some intermediate species were predicted before the fossils were discovered. Karin Viet is demonstrating an astonishing level of ignorance; a solid requirement for being a creationist. They cannot even be bothered to read any scientific literature on the topics that they pretend to know about.

  11. The Orchardist

    I suppose the presence of vestigial legs bones in a whale is a complete red herring?

  12. Michael Fugate

    Karin’s articles are perfect examples of the Creationist Scientific Method – pick one thing (living in the ocean) and ignore all the gazillions of similarities between whales and land mammals – especially compared to other marine animals.

    One wonders about the creationist views on swallows, penguins and ostriches – to name three.

  13. This new focus on whales makes me wonder — could Ham be planning his next biblical attraction? Jonah and the Whale Encounter!

  14. Christine Janis

    @ Zetopan
    “The verticality of tail movement is well know for ALL seagoing mammals.”

    Dorso-ventral flexion of the vertebral column is all true for all mammals, an this is where the tail movement comes from. It seems that the only tail movement creationists have ever seen is a dog wagging its tail from side to side.
    And, of course, gradual changes in the ear —- changes in the semi-circular canals, changes in the middle ear bones, isolating the inner ear from the skull, and loss of the external ear canal (going along with the loss of the external ear, which does not preserve) are spectacularly demonstrated in that transitional series of whale fossils.

    For creationist followers, there is no such thing as the scientific literature — either popular or behind a journal paywall — there is only what they are told about what scientists say on creationist sources.

  15. “it can be made a broad or as narrow as they need in any given instance”
    A game we can play too – I make it so broad it encompasses all animals, plants and bacteria.

  16. All we need in the breadth of “kind” is to include H. sapiens within the same “kind” as Pan & Gorilla, the subfamily of African apes. The Bible gives no help in this, because it never uses the Hebrew word “min” when speaking about humans. And it never speaks of chimps or gorillas at all. (The King James Bible’s English word “ape” referred to African monkeys, the only non-human primates known to Europeans before the 18th century.)

  17. It was really smart of Oogity Boogity to give toothed whales a full compliment of non-functional land mammal olfactory receptor genes.