Whales

Discussion in 'Science' started by UTEOTW, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    There is a fairly rich history of whale evolution in the fossil record. There are many young earthers who deny the whale series. My goal here is to very briefly describe the whale fossil series and then to add a bit of genetic evidence that supports the fossil record.

    The evolution of the whales started with a land dwelling, hooved animal. For a while, there was dispute over exactly which group the whales came from. Recently, evidence has converged on the artiodactyls, even-toed ungulates. Other artiodactyls include pigs, hippos, camels, llamas, giraffes, deer, goats, sheep, cattle, and antelopes. For now, we will stick with the fossil evidence for this.

    The fossil evidence includes ankle bones in early whales that match those of the artiodactyls. For a good description please see "Origin of Whales from Early Artiodactyls: Hands and Feet of Eocene Protocetidae from Pakistan." http://www-personal.umich.edu/~gingeric/PDFfiles/PDG381.pdf

    From these early land dwelling "whales" we can trace the evolution of the whales through various stages of amphibious behavior and into fully marine life. Some of this involves morphology changes as the legs and body become better adapted for life in the water. In parallel we can measure changes in the ratios of oxygen isotopes that indicate where the creature got their water and therefore how much time they spent on land and in marine water.

    For example see the following.

    Roe, L. J., J. G. M. Thewissen, J. Quade, J. R. O'Neil, S. Bajpai, A. Sahni, and S. T. Hussain. Isotopic approaches to understanding the terrestrial to marine transition of the earliest cetaceans. 1998. In: Thewissen, J. G. M., Editor: The Emergence of Whales, Evolutionary Patterns in the Origin of Cetacea. Pp. 399-421. Plenum Press.

    Thewissen, J.G.M., L. J. Roe, J. R. O'Neil, S. T. Hussain, A. Sahni, and S. Bajpai. 1996. Evolution of cetacean osmoregulation. Nature 381:379-380.

    Some of the fossil whales along these lines include Pakicetus, Ambulocetus, Dalanistes, Rodhocetus, Tackrecetus, Indocetus, Gaviocetus, Durodon, and Basilosaurus. After this point, the whales split into the baleen whales and the toothed whales. The intermediates continue through these groups, but the point is made. For these transitions, see the chart on the following page.

    http://www.archaeocete.org/UhenCetaceanPhylogeny.html

    For an early write up on the early land dwelling whales, see the following paper.

    "Origin of Whales in Epicontinental Remnant Seas: New Evidence from the Early Eocene of Pakistan"

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~gingeric/PDFfiles/PDG133.pdf

    That is a brief overview of the fossil record. We may return to some specifics.
     
  2. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    For for a bit of genetic evidence. Genetic testing of whales, other ungulates, and outside (control) animals has confirmed the common descent of whales with the even toed ungulates. Included in the DNA testing were Hippopotamus, Cow, Sperm Whale, Humpback Whale, Red Kangaroo, Human, Mouse, Cat, Asiatic Elephant, Domestic Horse, Pig, and Bactrian Camel.

    "Molecular evidence from retroposons that whales form a clade within even-toed ungulates," Shimamura M, Yasue H, Ohshima K, Abe H, Kato H, Kishiro T, Goto M, Munechika I, Okada N, Nature. 1997 Aug 14;388(6643):666-70.

     
  3. jcrawford

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    The thread should be titled "Adult fairy tales about whales."
     
  4. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    You can tell the alledged results are merely fairy tales because . . . (insert logical reasoning here) . .

    Oh, there is no logical reasoning to oppose it. Well, then, insert something else. Perhaps you have a religious bias against evolution?
     
  5. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    "You can tell the alledged results are merely fairy tales because . . . (insert logical reasoning here) . ."

    I would not hold my breath waiting for a response based on the last few days. Though there will be an inevitable post to get his name listed last on the thread again, it will not follow your suggested pattern in a logical and factual way.

    And now we continue the story of whales.

    There are two classes of olfactory genes. One class is optimized for detecting odors in water and one is optimized for detecting odors in air. For the most part, fish have the detectors for water only. Land dwelling animals only have the detectors for odors in air. Some animals, such as amphibians, have some of both.

    Let's think about what one should predict for whales.

    If you support recently created kinds, then you should expect one of two things. Either an intelligent designer would give these marine animals olfactory genes for detecting odors in water or, less likely, they would be given no olfactory genes at all.

    If you accept the common descent of whales from land dwelling animals, then you would expect that whales would have initially started with the genes for detecting odors in air. Since these are of no use in water, they should have not been subject to selective forces for keeping them intact and would be expected to have turned into junk.

    Which is it? Well, as it turns out whales have deactivated genes for detecting odors in the air. One more point for the predictive power of biology and one against the predictive power of recently created kinds.

    "Olfactory receptors in aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates," J. Freitag, G. Ludwig, I. Andreini, P. Rössler, H. Breer, Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, Volume 183, Number 5, November 1998, Pages: 635 - 650.

    http://www.springerlink.com/app/home/contribution.asp?wasp=h07c7mrqtp6rvgnhxnby&referrer=parent&backto=issue,8,10;journal,72,94;linkingpublicationresults,1:100424,1
     
  6. jcrawford

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    (some adults enjoy them as historical myths, others believe in them as if they were true and some like them as science fiction stories)
     
  7. jcrawford

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    UTEOTW posted November 24, 2004 05:02 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "And now we continue the story of whales."

    Oh, Goody. More tall tales about whales!

    I love fish stories.
     
  8. The Galatian

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    Karl, as you may have noticed, is remarkably resistant to evidence.
     
  9. jcrawford

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    Who's Karl? Or are you imagining disembodied spirits again, as Darwin once did?
     
  10. The Galatian

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  11. jcrawford

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. Paul of Eugene

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    (some adults enjoy them as historical myths, others believe in them as if they were true and some like them as science fiction stories) </font>[/QUOTE]Uh - where's the part about the logical reasoning for calling them merely fairy tales? For example, whales possess pseudo genes that appear to be designed for air smelling not because they are descended from animals that could use air smelling genes once, but because . . . .

    We await your non-evolutionary explanation.

    JC isn't alone here - hey, he could use some help from anybody with a good explanation!
     
  13. jcrawford

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    As your post seems to indicate;

    "whales possess pseudo genes that appear to be designed ... "
     
  14. The Galatian

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    It's another reason scientists realize that whales evolved from land animals.

    That explains these damaged genes. They are no longer needed, and so mutations damaging them are of no consequence.

    Creationists can only shrug and suggest God was just being (playful?)
     
  15. jcrawford

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    The creation of whales by evolutionary means is still creation, it seems.
     
  16. UTEOTW

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    Finally something I can agree with.

    No matter the means God used to create, this is still His creation. Even though all the evidence in God's own creation points to the common descent of all life over a period of at least a few billion years, this does not detract in any way from God's role as the Creator or from His power.
     
  17. jcrawford

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    This is theistic evolution though.

    Do you think it fair that your version of theistic evolution be taught in tax-payer funded public schools while atheistic evos are screaming that religion should be kept of public schools?

    Obviously, your version of evolution is not the true one.

    Or are their two versions of evo?

    The theo-evo version and the atheistic version?

    Will the real and true evos please stand up?
     
  18. Paul of Eugene

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    The creation of whales by evolutionary means is still creation, it seems. </font>[/QUOTE]Yes, that's what I've been trying to say all along! Glad to see you come around!
     
  19. Paul of Eugene

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    This is theistic evolution though.

    Do you think it fair that your version of theistic evolution be taught in tax-payer funded public schools while atheistic evos are screaming that religion should be kept of public schools?

    Obviously, your version of evolution is not the true one.

    Or are their two versions of evo?

    The theo-evo version and the atheistic version?

    Will the real and true evos please stand up?
    </font>[/QUOTE]I expect the science of evolution to be taught in schools without prejudice against theological views that God was behind it.
     
  20. UTEOTW

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    There is a thread going off topic by bringing up whales. Since we already have a "Whale" thread, I thought I might transfer the relevant bits over here and hope to keep the other thread from straying too far and maybe making this thread more interesting and lively.

    Paul of Eugene said
    Gup20 responded
    To which I (UTEOTW) responded
    and Paul again
     

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