Science v Intelligent Design: Whales illustrate intelligent design

Just when you think that you have heard it all, an Intelligent Design supporter makes the claim that Whales illustrate intelligent design. I kid you not.

We are surrounded by evidence of intelligent design. Take but one example: the suckling mechanism of the whale. The whale is a mammal which suckles its young underwater. It does so by means of a watertight cap around the mother’s nipple which fits tightly around the baby’s snout so as not to allow the entrance of sea water. Such a mechanism does not allow of a transitional form which adapts slowly to its environment. It does not allow for a gradual evolutionary process. It must exist perfectly formed for the purpose or the baby whale dies. How else could such a mechanism exist if not brought about by an intelligent and purposeful creative force?

Nick Matzke documented a likely origin for this claim

What is even more funny is how people at UcD respond to this news… Check out Born Again’s flawed understanding of vestigial organs:

…. some modern whales have a pair of bones embedded in their tissues, each of which strengthens the pelvic wall and acts as an organ anchor.

Carl Wieland- 1998

Seems like the useless leftover legs actually have purpose in the whale!

With the appendix finding purpose in humans it seems the Evolutionists seem to be running out of vestigial parts to point to as proof for their cherished lie!

Is this the best ID has to offer? Well, it can get worse, just check out Dembski and Denyse O’leary’s comments about eugenics and Darwinism at UcD.

Children you have been warned, this is a ‘brain on ID’…

What does this person expect? That the whale mother evolved independently from it’s off spring?

We learn some more about the nursing behavior of whales at this link

Actually, that’s a great question and it’s not one that we know everything about. The mammary glands of a female whale are located on either side of the genital slit, which is on the underside of the animal back towards the tail. A major difference between whales and land mammals is that the former’s mammary glands contain what are called compressor muscles, which the mother uses to actively pump milk into the mouth of the calf (i.e. it’ isn’t passive, with the kid doing most of the work by suckling). This undoubtedly evolved as a means of getting around the obvious problems you’re thinking of, concerning suckling in an aquatic environment.

As for the posture: there is a gap between the two racks of baleen inthe mouth of large whales (except, of course, the sperm whale, which is a toothed whale), and it is through this gap that the calf suckles. Or rather, has milk pumped into its mouth; whether there is active sucking on the part of the calf we don’t know, but given that this would help matters, there probably is to some extent.

Undoubtedly calves swallow some seawater in the process, and we really dont know how they minimize salt water intake. One hazard of this is that it is probably during nursing sessions that whales take in larval parasites. There may be rather high mortality in young animals or yearlings since the young immune system is “naive” or not fully developed at this time.