Whale evolution: The blowhole

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The evolution of the blowhole in whales, which according to the fossil evidence moved from the tip to the vertex of the head, has caused some concerns amongst our creationist readers who wonder how such a feat could have taken place.

From Milan Klima, Development of the Cetacean Nasal Skull 1999 Springer

The fact that the cetacean nose moved, in the course of evolution, from the tip of the rostrum up to the vertex of the head, is among the most perfect of adaptations to aquatic life. In this and many other special adaptations of their morphology and physiology, cetaceans surpass most primarily aquatic animals even though they themselves have developed from land mammals that breathe with lungs, and have only secondarily conquered the aquatic environment. To a certain extent, cetaceans can be considered to be the most successful group of aquatic animals of all time.

Conclusive paleontological evidence shows the way in which the nasal openings were moved in the course of phylogeny (see Kellogg 1928; Slijper 1962; Gaskin 1976; Oelschlager 1978, 1987, 1990; Moore 1981). That this evolutionary process is repeated in a way during ontogeny became obvious through external observations on embryos and fetuses (Kukenthal 1893). At the earliest embryonic stages the nasal openings are still situated at the rostra tip like those of land mammals; they are gradually shifted more and more towards the vertex of the head at the older stages. At the same time, a long rost rum with narrow jaws develops. Until recently, practically nothing was known about the morphogenetic processes concealed in this metamorphosis, about what cranial structures take part in it, and about the exact way in which the cetacean skull becomes transformed during embryogeny.

From Digital Library of Dolphin Development coordinated and spearheaded by the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine we find the following images:

94594llat3.jpg 94670vent.jpg 94607llt.jpg
Embryo LACM 94594 Fetus LACM 94670 Fetus LACM 94607

In most mammals, the nose opening is located near the tip of the snout. In modern dolphins, on the other hand, it is located on the top of the head, above the eyes. It is called the blowhole.

In development, the nose opening shifts from the tip of the snout (arrow in left embryo) to its position on top of the head.

Ancestral whales also have their nose opening near the tip of the snout, and the shift to the forehead is documented evolutionarily by fossils.

Edward Babinski has some good pages

nasal_drift.gif

Nasal Drift in Early Whales Whales breathed with more ease when they no longer had to lift a snout above water. The nostrils migrated upward toward the top of their head, as ancient whales spent more time immersed in the water. Blowholes help to distinguish modern forms of whales. While toothed whales generally have one hole, baleens are split into two. Fig 1. Pakicetus Fig 2. Rodhocetus nostrils were higher on the skull, intermediate between its ancestors and modern whales. Fig 3. A modern gray whale can emerge from the water, inhale and resubmerge without stopping or tilting its snout to breathe.

as does Talkorigins

HT: Jacob


Creationists have moved the goal posts to other questions which I will attempt to address as an addition to my original posting since they require graphics and comments do not allow for pictures to be included.

Countercurrent heat exchange

The fins of dolphins and whales have a circulatory system which works as a heat exchanger. When blood moves to the outer extremities, the blood is cooled due to heat exchange with the cold environment, however, when the blood returns, it flows close to the warm incoming blood flow and exchanges heat, causing the return blood to be warmed up. Counter current heat exchange evidence is also found for the tongue and the testes of dolphins. In the latter case, the heat exchange is used to reduce the temperature of the testes.

countercurrent_fin.png

Rete Mirabile on Wikipedia

A rete mirabile (Latin for ‘wonderful net’; plural retia mirabilia) is a complex of arteries and veins lying very close to each other, found in some vertebrates. The rete mirabile depends on countercurrent blood flow within the net (blood flowing in opposite directions.) It exchanges heat, ions, or gases between vessel walls so that the two bloodstreams within the rete maintain a gradient with respect to temperature, or concentration of gases or solutes.

204 Comments

but, but… it’s not proper evolution, it’s just micro-evolution so we can ignore it. It’s not like it PROVES anything for evolution. Those fossils are probably just mutated fish or something anyway, not PROPER whales.

Wikipedia has a brief article “Evolution of cetaceans”. I just glanced at it, so I don’t know whether it’s worthwhile. If it is, it should be referred to. If it isn’t, someone should put some work into it.

Ah, anyone can find stuff from reality that happens to match their preconceptions. Repeatedly. And testably. To within astonishing levels of accuracy.

Richard:

but, but… it’s not proper evolution, it’s just micro-evolution so we can ignore it. It’s not like it PROVES anything for evolution. Those fossils are probably just mutated fish or something anyway, not PROPER whales.

yea, those fossils just had microcephaly, or sumthin

Venus Mousetrap:

Ah, anyone can find stuff from reality that happens to match their preconceptions. Repeatedly. And testably. To within astonishing levels of accuracy.

I’d be curious to know how the whale fossils and DNA evidence match the preconceptions of YECers. Repetedly and testably, to within astonishing levels of accuracy, of course.

Ron Okimoto

Walking whales and evolutionary tales:

Whales have one or two blowholes on top of their heads from which they breathe. The blowhole connects to the trachea and then to the lungs, with no connection to throat and mouth. (Whales CANNOT breathe through their mouth.)

At some point during the ‘transition,’ the throat and the trachea MUST be separated, which would obviously present a problem for the ‘transitional whale.’

What would cause random mutations to begin and completely separate the nostrils and trachea from the mouth and throat and how could they be separated without harm to the creature? Why don’t you guys give it a shot: 1. Present a step-by-step hypothetical genetic change and mechanism(s) used that created all the changes 2. If you consider this “simple mutation”, estimate many base pairs in the DNA had to change 3. Explain how the precise timing of the separation of the nostrils and trachea would work so the ‘transitional whale’ doesn’t die first

Here are some interesting ‘claims’ to earlier challenges in regard to blowholes:

“Who knows. But since whales are alive and do have blowholes it obviously happened. The mutation therefore is more probable then an alternative answer of someone creating it.” http://pub17.bravenet.com/forum/142[…]fetch/709679 WIYC response: So, a creation explanation is supernatural, but “But since whales are alive and do have blowholes it obviously happened” is considereda ‘scientific’ or ‘naturalistic’ explanation?

“You ask how the nostrils could be separated from the mouth. Developing embryos start off with the nasal passage separate from the mouth. In whale embryos, the nostrils start at the front of the head, migrate back, and never connect to the mouth.” http://pub17.bravenet.com/forum/142[…]fetch/710090 WIYC response: If you state that, “Developing embryos start off with the nasal passage separate from the mouth” openly admit to using supernatural explanations for change. Embryos don’t miraculously begin change without a preliminary genetic mechanism causing it - and it must occur WITHIN a germ cell.

“A particularly dramatic example of allometry in evolution comes from skull development. In the very young (4- to 5-mm) whale embryo, the nose is in the usual mammalian position. However, the enormous growth of the maxilla and premaxilla (upper jaw) pushes over the frontal bone and forces the nose to the top of the skull. This new position of the nose (blowhole) allows the whale to have a large and highly specialized jaw apparatus and to breathe while parallel to the water’s surface (Slijper 1962). WIYC asked for the genes involved in blowhole evolution. The homeobox gene L3/Lhx8 is expressed in the maxilla during development and seems to be controlled by fibroblast growth factor FgF-8b and transforming growth factor TGF-beta3. Mutations affecting the regulators of these genes clearly could cause the maxilla to grow faster, forcing the nose backward as seen in embryos.” http://pub17.bravenet.com/forum/142[…]fetch/710163 WIYC response: 1. Present a hypothetical step-by-step process of how mutation in L3/Lhx8 regulators caused the location change 2. What mechanism(s) cause the breathing/swallowing apparatus to completely change?

And, while you’re working on that, why don’t you get ready to add these following changes that are required to get your ‘walking whale’ into the water:

A powerful tail with large horizontal flukes enabling very strong swimming.

Eyes designed to see properly in water with its far higher refractive index, and withstand high pressure.

Ears designed differently from those of land mammals that pick up airborne sound waves and with the eardrum protected from high pressure.

Skin lacking hair and sweat glands but incorporating fibrous, fatty blubber.

Whale fins and tongues have counter-current heat exchangers to minimize heat loss.

Specially fitting mouth and nipples so the baby can be breast-fed underwater.

Baleen whales have sheets of baleen (whalebone) that hang from the roof of the mouth

Hey, What Is Your Problem, guess what?

Real scientists are working on those questions. Seems a lot more worthwhile activity to me than just crossing your arms and saying “Nuh-uh, God did it.”

Grow up.

who is your creator:Specially fitting mouth and nipples so the baby can be breast-fed underwater.

Wasn’t this showed to be utter bunk a few months ago, when whales were the big topic du jour?

fnxtr:

Hey, What Is Your Problem, guess what?

Real scientists are working on those questions. Seems a lot more worthwhile activity to me than just crossing your arms and saying “Nuh-uh, God did it.”

Grow up.

I think growing up would be facing the problems and find solutions and not just say ‘time’ did it.

Am I correct that the theory state that whales evolved from land animals in 10 million years?

Relevant to the thread. Whales are found occasionally with atavistic legs. What you would expect for a land animal that was modified by evolution to an aquatic existence.

The creos deal with this fact, the way they deal with most reality. Lie and Make Up Stuff.

Rarely humans are born with atavistic tails or covered with fur. That really makes the creos flip out.

talkorigins D. Theobald macrocevolution

Probably the most well known case of atavism is found in the whales. According to the standard phylogenetic tree, whales are known to be the descendants of terrestrial mammals that had hindlimbs. Thus, we expect the possibility that rare mutant whales might occasionally develop atavistic hindlimbs. In fact, there are many cases where whales have been found with rudimentary atavistic hindlimbs in the wild (see Figure 2.2.1; for reviews see Berzin 1972, pp. 65-67 and Hall 1984, pp. 90-93). Hindlimbs have been found in baleen whales (Sleptsov 1939), humpback whales (Andrews 1921) and in many specimens of sperm whales (Abel 1908; Berzin 1972, p. 66; Nemoto 1963; Ogawa and Kamiya 1957; Zembskii and Berzin 1961). Most of these examples are of whales with femurs, tibia, and fibulae; however, some even include feet with complete digits.

WTF said : “1. Present a hypothetical step-by-step process of how mutation in L3/Lhx8 regulators caused the location change”

To which I reply : Please present a hypothetical, step by step process of how your favourite explanation (the intervention of some supernatural being) caused the progressive migration of the blowhole from the tip of the snout to the top of the head, as documented by the fossil record. Please explain if the miraculous intervention happened once or several times, and if so, what areas were affected and in which order. If you don’t have an answer, please detail how it would be theoretically possible to reach one, through which method, with the help of which new data.

Of course, any reference to a 4,000 years old book will be forbidden. Since said book lists whales as fish, anyway, I don’t see how it could bring us any nearer to a solution.

WIYC - We’re not talking about Creationst Blowhards… we’re talking about Whale Blowholes. There is a difference - one has evolved, and one has not. Can you tell which is which? Please try to stay on target.

Whales’ nostrils migrated from the front of the snout (in early whales) to the top of the head (in modern whales). The evidence that this happened is so clear-cut that it cannot reasonably be denied. The fossils and the ontogeny speak with one voice.

Asking for exact details of the precise biological mechanisms concerned is reasonable, in one sense. Geneticists, molecular biologists and others are working to provide the answers, because the scientists would like to know them, too. Some of the answer is known, and there’s no doubt that it’s very, very complex.

But whatever the precise mechanism might be, it is irrelevant to the question of whether evolution explains the migration of the nostrils of the whale. The process demonstrably happened. Natural selection explains why. Separate creation doesn’t. “God did it that way” does not explain the observation, because that’s exactly the same as saying, “and then a miracle happened”. “In the environment, individuals were advantaged by having nostrils higher up and further back, and were therefore naturally selected”, does explain the observation.

It’s as simple as that. Any attempt to obfuscate is nothing more than a rhetorical trick, and fraudulent.

PT had a thread on whale nipples a few months ago. As usual the creos were Making Stuff Up.

Joe Pieri claims (Letters, October 17) that a watertight cap around the nipples of whales that fits tightly around the baby’s snout to prevent sea water entering is a perfect illustration of intelligent design (ID) as any gradual transitional form would result in the baby whale’s death. If this is the best example a supporter of ID can muster, it only helps to illustrate how flawed this non-scientific idea is and why it has absolutely no place in the science classroom. First, as a whale biologist, I can say with some certainty that no such structure exists.

Baby whales use “fringes” around the edge of their tongue to help channel milk from the nipple to their thoats. This does not to prevent the entrance of sea water into the baby whale’s mouth, nor is it intended to, but only serves to reduce the mixing of sea water and milk. This leaves plenty of possibilities for functional transitional forms where the tongue is only slightly more fringed and, therefore, only slightly better at keeping the milk and sea water separate, making the milk less dilute and, therefore, beneficial to the calf as it gets more concentrated milk faster.

Secondly, there is no need for baby whales to prevent sea water entering their mouths as it will not kill them. Presumably, Mr Pieri thinks that the reason the baby whale would die if sea water entered the mouth is because it might get into the airway causing the animal to drown.

However, unlike humans, the windpipe of a whale sticks right through its oesophagous, completely separating the airway and the digestive tract (a requirement for all whales, whether adult or baby, as they need to be able to open their mouths underwater to feed) so there is no risk of drowning while nursing in baby whales. A similar, but not as complete, separation of the digestive tract and the airway is found in all young terrestrial mammals, including humans, to allow them to breath while nursing, and while adaptation is lost in older humans through a descent of the larynx, this basic mammalian separation has been enhanced by natural selection in whales because it is beneficial to their life in the sea. Incidentally, this positioning of the larynx through the digestive tract limits the size of fish whales can swallow because if the fish is too big it may displace the larynx and allow water into the airway, resulting in death.

In fact, whales are not uncommonly found washed up on the shore having died due to suffocation with large fish wedged in their throat, demonstrating that while this design works most of the time, it is far from perfect and certainly not evidence of any ID. Therefore, Mr Pieri’s “perfect” example for ID is a figment of his imagination based a poor understanding of biology and no facts.

Whales’ nostrils migrated from the front of the snout (in early whales) to the top of the head (in modern whales). The evidence that this happened is so clear-cut that it cannot reasonably be denied. The fossils and the ontogeny speak with one voice.

Show me the evidence and this happened in 10 million years?

Jacob,

NO! Not only are you completely wrong, but you demonstrate your complete ignorance of all of the evidence. Here is a list of some of the intermediates between Cetaceans and their terrestrial ancestors and their time of appearance in the fossil record:

1. Pakicetus 50 M 2. Ambulocetus 48 M 3. Procetus 45 M 4. Rodhocetus 46 M 5. Kutchicetus 43 M 6. Basilosaurus 36 M 7. Dorudon 37 M 8. Aetiocetus 26 M

National Geographic 200(5):64-76

Now, what is yur explanation for this evidence? How do you explain the fact that this evidence corresponds precisely with the embrylogical evidence? What is your alternative explanation?

Once you are done with that, please explain all of the genetic evidence. I’ll give you a hint, it corresponds exactly with the embrylogical and palentological evidence as well. Please explain why modern cetaceans share the same retroviral transpositions with terrestrial artiodactyls. Please explain why all of the other genetic data gives exactly the same answer. Remember, this evidence was discovered prior to the palentological data that confirmed it.

In regard to the posting:

“GSLamb said:

who is your creator: Specially fitting mouth and nipples so the baby can be breast-fed underwater.

Wasn’t this showed to be utter bunk a few months ago, when whales were the big topic du jour? Comment #146864 on March 19, 2008 9:17 AM | Quote

WIYC response Since you believe that the creation of the ‘fringes’ are “utter bunk,” why don’t you explain to us how and why they randomly evolved for no special purpose.

Here’s an excerpt from the ‘rebuttal’ and NOTE that I never claimed that the ‘fringes’ were “to prevent sea water entering.” “Joe Pieri claims (Letters, October 17) that a watertight cap around the nipples of whales that fits tightly around the baby’s snout to prevent sea water entering is a perfect illustration of intelligent design (ID) as any gradual transitional form would result in the baby whale’s death. If this is the best example a supporter of ID can muster, it only helps to illustrate how flawed this non-scientific idea is and why it has absolutely no place in the science classroom. First, as a whale biologist, I can say with some certainty that no such structure exists. Baby whales use “fringes” around the edge of their tongue to help channel milk from the nipple to their thoats. This does not to prevent the entrance of sea water into the baby whale’s mouth, nor is it intended to, but only serves to reduce the mixing of sea water and milk. This leaves plenty of possibilities for functional transitional forms where the tongue is only slightly more fringed and, therefore, only slightly better at keeping the milk and sea water separate, making the milk less dilute and, therefore, beneficial to the calf as it gets more concentrated milk faster.”

The cowardly creationism apologist currently hiding behind the anonymous username who is your creator asked: “And, while you’re working on that, why don’t you get ready to add these following changes that are required to get your ‘walking whale’ into the water:”

Obviously, none of these adaptations can possibly have happened within the past 6,000 years, so they’re impossible - right?

Have you considered natural selection over tens or hundreds of millions of years? I didn’t think so.

Jacob the creo troll being lazy and stupid:

Show me the evidence and this happened in 10 million years?

Google Whale Evolution Results 1 - 10 of about 347,000 for whale evolution.

Jacob there is a large body of fossil, embryological, and DNA evidence that whales evolved from hoofed land animals.

In 10 seconds I put “whale evolution” into the Google search engine and got 347,000 hits. Instead of hiding in the dark, you could just use Google and other internet resources and cure your ignorance in an hour or two. But you won’t.

Not seeing what the attraction is to Voluntary Ignorance, Stupidity, and Lying, but it is a routine fundie characteristic.

David Stanton:

Jacob,

NO! Not only are you completely wrong, but you demonstrate your complete ignorance of all of the evidence. Here is a list of some of the intermediates between Cetaceans and their terrestrial ancestors and their time of appearance in the fossil record:

1. Pakicetus 50 M 2. Ambulocetus 48 M 3. Procetus 45 M 4. Rodhocetus 46 M 5. Kutchicetus 43 M 6. Basilosaurus 36 M 7. Dorudon 37 M 8. Aetiocetus 26 M

National Geographic 200(5):64-76

Now, what is yur explanation for this evidence? How do you explain the fact that this evidence corresponds precisely with the embrylogical evidence? What is your alternative explanation?

Once you are done with that, please explain all of the genetic evidence. I’ll give you a hint, it corresponds exactly with the embrylogical and palentological evidence as well. Please explain why modern cetaceans share the same retroviral transpositions with terrestrial artiodactyls. Please explain why all of the other genetic data gives exactly the same answer. Remember, this evidence was discovered prior to the palentological data that confirmed it.

Well you are showing complete ignorance of the scientific method and statistical analysis specifically. Again this is like a mathematical proof. Do you have the patience to walk through the logic here?

How long did it take land animals to evolve into whales?

WIYC isn’t too bright.

His lists are just the centuries old fallacies Arguments from Ignorance and Incredulity. “I can’t see how my foot evolved, so god exists.”

These fallacies have a worth of zero. 0 times 1 million or X still equals 0.

You won’t get anything intelligent out of him except bouncing a troll for light exercise.

Jacob the creo troll being lazy and stupid:

Show me the evidence and this happened in 10 million years?

Google Whale Evolution Results 1 - 10 of about 347,000 for whale evolution.

Jacob there is a large body of fossil, embryological, and DNA evidence that whales evolved from hoofed land animals.

In 10 seconds I put “whale evolution” into the Google search engine and got 347,000 hits. Instead of hiding in the dark, you could just use Google and other internet resources and cure your ignorance in an hour or two. But you won’t.

Not seeing what the attraction is to Voluntary Ignorance, Stupidity, and Lying, but it is a routine fundie characteristic.

How ignorant you are! First of all I am not a ‘fundie’ I am not even a theist. I really do not think you have the intellectual capacity to walk through the logic on this so I will not waste my time with you. I was trying to establish what we can agree to further the conversation but you have some kind of problem so I do not think you can engage in civil discussion.

Since none of you want engage in my original challenge, nor do any of you provide proof for your ridiculous claims, I’ll leave you with this:

Walking Whales’

“Pakecetids were terrestrial mammals, no more amphilbious than a tapir.” ‘Skeletons of terrestrial cetaceans and the relationship of whales to artiodactyles’ J.G.M. Thewissen, E.M. Williams, L.J. Roe, S.T. Hussain Nature/Vol 413 / 20 September 2001 / www.nature.com”

Ambulocetus

LOCOMOTION

LAND:Ambulocetus moved on land with no hindrances. “In Ambulocetus, the radius, ulna, wrist, and much of the hand are preserved. They show that Ambulocetus had mobile joints at elbow, wrist, and fingers, and that the fingers were not embedded in a flipper. All of these features are similar to land mammals and unlike modern cetaceans … The pelvis (or hip girdle) is dramatically different in modern whales and land mammals … In Ambulocetus and Kutchicetus, the pelvis is much like that of a land mammal.” J.G. M Thewissen and Sunil Bajpai, Whale Origins as a Poster Child for Macroevolution, December 2oo1 / Vol. 51 No. 12, BioScience (1043)

SWIMMING: Ambulocetus could possibly swim like an otter. “We use mustelids and other amphibious mammals to analyze the morphology of the Eocene cetacean Ambulocetus natans, and we conclude that Ambulocetus may have locomoted by a combination of pelvic paddling and dorsoventral undulations of the tail, and that its locomotor mode in water resembled that of the modern otter Lutra most closely. We also suggest that cetacean locomotion may have resembled that of the freshwater otter Pteronura at a stage beyond Ambulocetus.” J. G. M. Thewissen, Department of Anatomy, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, Ohio 44242 F. E. Fish. Department of Biology, West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19380

EVOLUTIONARY BIASED THINKING:

Instead of assuming that Ambulocetus is an extinct creature similar to an otter or a crocodile (Thewissen imagined Ambulocetus as a ‘furry crocodile’ – page 199 of ‘At the Water’s Edge’), evolutionists are certain that the ‘pre-whale’ type of locomotion is proof that Ambulocetus was, without a doubt, slowly transitioning into a whale.

Since evolutionists claim that evolution is not directional, it’s an interesting assessment:

“Contrary to a widespread public impression, biological evolution is not random, even though the biological changes that provide the raw material for evolution are not directed toward predetermined, specific goals.” “Science, Evolution, and Creationism,” 2008, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), The National Academies Press, 3rd edition, page 50.

TEETH

Due primarily to dental characteristics, evolutionists previously linked whales to mesonychids. Now that the whale family tree has been turned upside down by artiodactyls being the new predecessor, citing teeth for proof of evolution is quite questionable at the very least.

“Although there is a general resemblance of the teeth of archaeocetes [ancient whales] to those of mesonychids, such resemblance is sometimes overstated and evidently represents evolutionary convergence. “ Gingerich, et al., Science, Vol. 293, 21 September 2001, “Origin of Whales from Early Artiodactyls: Hands and Feet of Eocene Protodetidae from Pakistan”, page 224 (Ev)

“Teeth are the best preserved and most numerous fossils, and analysis of teeth is very important in paleontology, but they are subject to lots of environmental processes and can quickly adapt to the outside world. So, most characteristics are not dependable indications of relationships between major groups of mammals. Teeth are not as reliable as people thought.” http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/[…]_hippo.shtml

SALT OR FRESH WATER?

“Ambulocetus, a crocodile-like predator with short legs that lived 2 million years later, has been found in shallow marine deposits. But its teeth also show freshwater isotope ratios, suggesting that it would have had to return to rivers to drink.” http://www.newscientist.com/article[…]p;print=true

“Although Ambulocetids are found only in marine deposits, their isotope values indicate a range of water ingestion behaviors. These include specimens that show no evidence of seawater consumption. However, the data reflect the drinking behavior at the time that the animal was mineralized it teeth (before they erupt). …Some specimens of Ambulocetus show marine values, demonstrating that these individuals did not ingest fresh water at the time their teeth mineralized. Although several explanations are possible, it is clear that Ambulocetus tolerated a wide range of salt concentrations.” J.G. M Thewissen and Sunil Bajpai, Whale Origins as a Poster Child for Macroevolution, December 2oo1 / Vol. 51 No. 12, BioScience (1043)

EARS

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHALE AND LAND MAMMAL EARS The obvious difference between how land mammals hear and how whales hear is where the sound is received into the middle ear. Land mammals receive sound through the external auditory meatus (ear hole) and it is converted into vibrations in the eardrum. Whales receive vibrations transmitted through bones and tissues of their heads into the middle ear.

The following is what evolutionists cite as proof that Ambulocetus has evolved new hearing capabilities:

“In pakicetids, the mandibular foramen is small, similar in size that of modern land mammals. It did not house a fat pad and probably had no role in sound transmission. The mandibular foramen of Ambulocetus is larger than in pakicetids, and it is larger yet in remingtoncetids and protocetids. the mandibular foramen of basilosaurids and dorudontids cover the entire depth of the mandible, as it does in modern odontocetes.” Whale Origins as a Poster Child for Macroevolution J. G. M. Thewissen and Sunil Bajpai, Bioscience Vol. 51 No. 12 (1040)

Without any connection to hearing, the mandibular forament (an opening) is present in all mammals so that nerves and vessels can go through the bone. It has no connection to hearing underwater without fat pads.

Where is the proof that: 1. Adjusted for skull size, the mandibular foramen was larger than expected for terrestrial hearing 2. Fat pads were in place for channeling sound

As a side note:

Do any of your ‘theories’ as to how evolution occurs qualify as being ‘naturalistic’?

“In science, explanations must be based on naturally occurring phenomena. Natural causes are, in principle, reproducible and therefore can be checked independently by others.” “Science, Evolution, and Creationism,” 2008, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), The National Academies Press, third edition, page 10.

7.5, maybe an 8. The projection, doubled with full twist, was textbook, and the flounce was executed in classic style, but the exit into the huff was just a little over-rotated, possibly because the lower lip was too far extended, resulting in loss of balance.

Jacob,

You hypocrite. You come here completely ignorant of all of the evidence, refuse to answer our questions, refuse to provide any alternatives, then accuse us of not being civil.

I did answer your question. It took at least 50 million years for whales to evolve. Read the article I cited. If you disagree state why.

Now you answer my question. Explain the shared retrotransposition events. You are familiar with that evidence aren’t you?

What Is Your Problem may soon be awarded the Noble Prize in physics, for discovering the slowest and densest of all particles, the moron.

WIYP, go read the 347,000 Google hits on whale evolution, then come back with some interesting questions.

Bye, now.

jacob:

David Stanton:

Jacob,

1. Pakicetus 50 M 2. Ambulocetus 48 M 3. Procetus 45 M 4. Rodhocetus 46 M 5. Kutchicetus 43 M 6. Basilosaurus 36 M 7. Dorudon 37 M 8. Aetiocetus 26 M

National Geographic 200(5):64-76

Now, what is your explanation for this evidence?

How long did it take land animals to evolve into whales?

Jacob,

I believe Stanton did answer your question. 10-15 million years is about right.

Are you going to answer his question?

David Stanton:

Jacob,

You hypocrite. You come here completely ignorant of all of the evidence, refuse to answer our questions, refuse to provide any alternatives, then accuse us of not being civil.

I did answer your question. It took at least 50 million years for whales to evolve. Read the article I cited. If you disagree state why.

Now you answer my question. Explain the shared retrotransposition events. You are familiar with that evidence aren’t you?

why are you calling me a hypocrite? Is that because you feel your position is so weak you have to resort to name calling? I did not insult you at all. And now you expect me to converse with you. I need an apology.

WIYC,

You want to take a shot at my question?

PvM:

Holey smoke batman, this thread is on fire, over 200 comments.

When I was in Corporate factory technical support, one of my French contacts had this odd habit of contacting us with a problem – and then, when we tried to zero in on the problem, he’d change it on us.

This would go on until we went full loop and got back to the original problem. I called it “setting fires in a circle”. In the present case, however, I don’t think the fires are going going in any particular direction.

I wondered for a while if my contact was demonstrating some sort of French cultural peculiarity, but I eventually concluded he was just a nut.

What are you referring to here …

jacob:

Again sometimes a small gene change can make a large body plan change.

… and BTW - this is the Stanton that I was referring to earlier. I also think that you have been quite rude to him.

I was really interested in learning about the blow holes …oh well. :-(

Science Avenger:

Jacob: Well it seems like we are having a troll attack so I better go.

That’s akin to Ann Coulter complaining about other people making shit up, or Genghis Khan complaining about violence.

The thing about Temüjin is that he made an effort to be diplomatic. On the one hand, yes, he did slaughter, pillage, ransacked and burnt settlements into the ground before trampling what was leftover into the dust like it was going out of style, but, he always did so to make a point, like to avenge the kidnappings of his wife, sister and mother, or to avenge the murder of his emissaries, as, according to ancient Mongol tradition, violence against any emissary was forbidden. On the other hand, he also made it a point to spare craftsmen and artisans so that they could be taken back to Ulan Batar to make his capital pretty, as well as spare those cities and countries that surrendered to him.

Whereas Ann Coulter takes pride in being an unpleasant person, and has been taking pride in being as thoroughly unwholesome as possible, even as a little boy.

raven, I’m glad you are back … was it you that referred to the HIPPOS earlier?

Nitpicking about whale blowholes and how far or fast they could move up the whale’s snout is pointless anyway. The fossils already show the process well enough.

Dale Husband:

Nitpicking about whale blowholes and how far or fast they could move up the whale’s snout is pointless anyway. The fossils already show the process well enough.

Actually, no it doesn’t.

That we can’t put a stopwatch to see how fast the nostrils are moving up means that evolution doesn’t actually occur, apparently.

Stanton:

Dale Husband:

Nitpicking about whale blowholes and how far or fast they could move up the whale’s snout is pointless anyway. The fossils already show the process well enough.

Actually, no it doesn’t.

That we can’t put a stopwatch to see how fast the nostrils are moving up means that evolution doesn’t actually occur, apparently.

Yeah, I saw that. It’s a dishonest rhetorical technique known as “moving the goalposts”. Anyone who pulls such a stunt has already lost the debate, whatever the subject matter, and is merely trying to play the sore loser.

raven, I’m glad you are back … was it you that referred to the HIPPOS earlier?

Wasn’t me. I posted about people finding whales with atavistic legs and how whale embryos have hind leg buds that form and then regress.

We even know some of the molecular events:

“Our data indicate that the cetacean hind-limb bud forms an AER and that this structure expresses Fgf8 initially, but that neither the AER nor Fgf8 expression is maintained. Moreover, Sonic hedgehog (Shh), which mediates the signaling activity of the ZPA, is absent from the dolphin hind-limb bud. We find that failure to establish a ZPA is associated with the absence of Hand2, an upstream regulator of Shh. Interpreting our results in the context of both the cetacean fossil record and the known functions of Shh suggests that reduction of Shh expression may have occurred {approx}41 million years ago and led to the loss of distal limb elements.

hand2, sonic hedgehog, and fgf8 (fibroblast growth factor 8) are involved.

BTW for the troll feeders. Jacob doesn’t actually read or understand your posts. That is why he seems clueless no matter what you dig out of the scientific literature.

Whale evolution is one of the better documented transitional series. The fossils, embryology, and DNA data (sine insertions etc., not discussed in detail) all combine to present a complete picture of land dwellers becoming mammalian fish analogues.

raven, thanks for responding anyway - I guess I’ll have to re read the thread. UGH!!

Mike Elzinga:

I think jacob’s posts were simply passive-aggressive behavior that comes from a deep hatred of evolution.

It reminds me of an incident I witnessed many years ago while standing in one of several long lines at a fast-food place during the noon hour. The lines were moving fairly quickly since people figured out what they wanted as they waited.

However, a woman, two or three persons ahead of me, got up to the clerk and started staring at the menu for a long time. She then stated her order, and as the clerk rang it up and gave her the cost, she decided to change her order. She took several minutes to decide on the new order. Again the clerk rang it up, quoted the cost, and she changed her order again.

She repeated this at least four times. It took over 15 minutes; and then she decided she wasn’t hungry, cancelled the order, glared at the people behind her, and walked out.

That’s called passive-aggression.

And in that case, I would have given a directive to my employees to bar that woman from ever eating in my restaurant again!

Sometime ‘experts’ have tunnel vision and are myopic.

Perhaps but more often creationist have shown to suffer from said afflictions. In this case, I wonder who is more myopic here. You asked some good questions and we answered now you are moving the goal posts.

prof weird wrote:

The scientific explanation of why embryos are quite similar to each other during development is EVOLUTION and COMMON DESCENT.

I think you misunderstood the question. It was “Please explain how embryology is a mimic of evolution?”

To state it a different way, why do you (or some) believe a modern Dolphin’s fetal development is somehow a facsimile of blow hole evolution?

PvM wrote

Science also realized that embryos do pass through stages reminiscent of our evolutionary past.

Cumulonimbus clouds are reminiscent of cotton candy. This is pattern recognition, not science.

If that is where it stops (hey, we see certain similarities) fine. But if you think you can learn something about evolution by studying embryo development, something certainly seems wrong without further explanation.

If that is where it stops (hey, we see certain similarities) fine. But if you think you can learn something about evolution by studying embryo development, something certainly seems wrong without further explanation.

Of course not. How familiar are you with evolutionary theory, von Baer, Richardson?

The explanation is actually quite simple. But it will take some effort on your part.

Are you interested in learning? What is different this time?

To state it a different way, why do you (or some) believe a modern Dolphin’s fetal development is somehow a facsimile of blow hole evolution?

That slightly misrepresents or misunderstands the argument. But I get your drift. What is shows is that the genetic data, and the fossil data are further supported by the embryological data.

Remember that it is the embryos which often go through stages reminiscent of their evolutionary past. Pharyngeal pouches aka gill slits for instance, or the teeth buds that appear and disappear, or the legs that appear and disappear.

PvM:

Sometime ‘experts’ have tunnel vision and are myopic.

Perhaps but more often creationist have shown to suffer from said afflictions. In this case, I wonder who is more myopic here. You asked some good questions and we answered now you are moving the goal posts.

Charles Darwin said:

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

Science Avenger:

Thank you Stanton for that most enlightening education on Genghis Khan. Isn’t it amazing how the knowledge flows when the trolls are gone.

The ancient Mongols had very little tolerance of trolls: trolls were punished by being rolled up in a rug, and then be literally stomped flat by specially trained horses. Ogodei Khan’s manipulative, scheming wife, Toregene, executed this way.

I think you misunderstood the question. It was “Please explain how embryology is a mimic of evolution?” To state it a different way, why do you (or some) believe a modern Dolphin’s fetal development is somehow a facsimile of blow hole evolution?

Wallace is just setting you up for the “Haeckel fallacy”.

before he does so, I would instead suggest he make his “complaints” here:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/[…]_embryos.php

that way, he would at least be familiar with the actual arguments involved before he attempts to spout further.

jacob said: Darwinian theory says we must go by small steps.

Actually it doesn’t. But small steps are the norm in evolution.

I think your 0.0001 inches every 1000 years would qualify as small steps.

Oh, I understand what Wallace is attempting to do, it’s quite obvious. However, it does help to explore the depth of ignorance of creationists when it comes to evolutionary theory (and global warming and the age of the universe for that matter)

Ichthyic:

I think you misunderstood the question. It was “Please explain how embryology is a mimic of evolution?” To state it a different way, why do you (or some) believe a modern Dolphin’s fetal development is somehow a facsimile of blow hole evolution?

Wallace is just setting you up for the “Haeckel fallacy”.

before he does so, I would instead suggest he make his “complaints” here:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/[…]_embryos.php

that way, he would at least be familiar with the actual arguments involved before he attempts to spout further.

Man spring cleaning is early

Jacob is concerned that his ill informed comments about whale hole evolution have allowed science to score a touch-down.

Keep your eyes on PT, Jacob provides us with another gem, namely how could a heart have evolved from a single to multi-chambered hearts with 2, 3 and 4 chambers. Surely evolution could not explain this…

You’ll be surprised with the answer.

HT: Jacob

Kids, grow up, whining and impolite posting will be moved to the bathroom wall.

Class dismissed

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on March 18, 2008 10:48 PM.

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