Whales and dolphins comprise a group known as marine mammals Just like mammals on land, they give birth to their young, suckle them, use lungs to breathe and warm their own bodies. The origin of marine mammals is one of the most difficult subjects for evolutionists to account for. Most evolutionist sources suggest that their forerunners lived on dry land, evolved as the result of a lengthy evolutionary process, in such a way as to return to a marine environment. According to this claim, marine mammals followed a path which was the exact opposite of the supposed transition from water to land, via a second process of evolution. However, this theory is based upon no paleontological findings, and is also logically inconsistent.
Mammals are regarded as the creatures at the top of the evolutionary ladder. That being so, it is very hard to explain why these animals reverted to a marine environment. The next question is, how did these animals adapt to the marine environment even better than fish? Because creatures such as killer whales, which are mammals and therefore have lungs, exhibit an even more perfect adaptation to their environment than fish, which actually do breathe in water. In recent years, various fossils have been suggested as solution to this dilemma, but in fact benefit the theory of evolution not at all.
The first of these fossils is Pakicetus inachus, extinct mammal first discovered in 1983. The finder of the first specimen, Philip D. Gingerich and his colleagues had no qualms about claiming it to be a primitive whale, even though they had discovered only a skull. However, the fossil had not the slightest connection to whales in any shape or form. The skeleton had a four-footed structure, resembling that of modern wolves. The region where the fossil was discovered contained seams of oxidized iron as well as fossils of such terrestrial animals as snails, tortoises and crocodiles. In other words, its environment had been dry land, not a marine bed.
Subtle clues in combination-the arrangement of cusps on the molar teeth, a folding in a bone of the middle ear, and the positioning of the ear bones within the skull-are absent in other land mammals.153
First, as National Geographic indirectly makes clear by employing the words "subtle clues in combination," some of these features also exist in other land-dwelling mammals.
In addition, none of the characteristics in question constitutes evidence for an evolutionary relationship. Most of the theoretical relationships between species that evolutionists seek to establish on the basis of anatomical similarities are exceedingly flawed- as evolutionists themselves admit. Pakicetus is a unique species with different anatomical features in its body. Robert Carroll, an authority on invertebrate paleontology, states that the family of Mesonychids, in which Pakicetus should be included, displays a combination of peculiar characteristics. Prominent evolutionists such as Gould admit that such mosaic life forms cannot be regarded as intermediate forms.
In an article titled "The Overselling of Whale Evolution," the science writer Ashby L. Camp describes the invalidity of the claim that the Mesonychids,of which land mammals such as Pakicetus are a part, are the ancestors of Archaeocetes, the extinct whales:
The reason evolutionists are confident that mesonychids gave rise to archaeocetes, despite the inability to identify any species in the actual lineage, is that known mesonychids and archaeocetes have some similarities. These similarities, however, are not sufficient to make the case for ancestry, especially in light of the vast differences. The subjective nature of such comparisons is evident from the fact so many groups of mammals and even reptiles have been suggested as ancestral to whales. 154
The name Ambulocetus natans is a combination of the Latin words ambulare (to walk), cetus (whale) and natans (swimming), and thus means "a swimming and walking whale." Obviously, this animal walked, because like all terrestrial mammals, it had four feet, and even wide claws on its feet and paws on its hind legs. Apart from evolutionist preconceptions, however, there is absolutely no foundation, for the idea that the animal swam in water or that it lived both on land and in water, as hippos and alligators do. In fact, there is no evidence that either Pakicetus or Ambulocetus were related to whales in any way. They are merely potential ancestors which evolutionists, obliged to find a terrestrial ancestor for marine mammals as required by their theory, have suggested on the basis of various limited similarities. No evidence shows that these creatures were related to the marine mammals that emerge in the fossil record in a geological period very soon after..
A number of true marine mammals are listed in the fictitious evolutionary tree after Pakicetus and Ambulocetus: Archaeocetes ("ancient whale") species such as Procetus and Rhodcetus. These creatures are extinct mammals that genuinely did live in water, as you shall see in subsequent sections. However, there are considerable anatomical differences between Pakicetus and Ambulocetus and these marine animals:
In conclusion, it is clear that marine mammals appeared with all their unique structures and with no intermediate form between them and terrestrial mammals. Robert Carroll admits this, albeit reluctantly and in evolutionist language, that there is no chain of evolution here:
Some rather more unbiased scientists, on the other hand, openly admit that the animals that evolutionist sources refer to as "walking whales" are actually a completely separate group and have nothing to do with true whales.
This summarizes the invalidity of the evolutionist claim that marine mammals evolved from terrestrial life forms. Scientific findings show no link between marine mammals and the two land mammals (Pakicetus and Ambulocetus natans) that evolutionists place right at the beginning of this scenario.
In the remaining part of the scenario, the theory of evolution is also at an impasse. The theory seeks to establish a family relationship between the extinct, genuine marine mammal known as Archaeocetes ("archaic whale") and living dolphins and whales.
The fact is that experts in the field think differently. The evolutionist paleontologist Barbara J. Stahl writes:
The classic evolutionist scenario hypothesizes that the two major whale groups, in order words toothed whales (Odontoceti) and baleen whales (Mysticeti), evolved from a common ancestor. However, Michel C. Milinkovitch of Brussels University opposed this view with a new theory, emphasizing that that hypothesis, constructed on anatomical similarities, and was invalidated by molecular discoveries:
Evolutionary relationships among the major groups of cetaceans is more problematic since morphological and molecular analyses reach very different conclusions. Indeed, based on the conventional interpretation of the morphological and behavioral data set, the echolocating toothed whales (about 67 species) and the filter-feeding baleen whales (10 species) are considered as two distinct monophyletic groups . . . On the other hand, phylogenetic analysis of DNA... and amino acid. . . sequences contradict this long-accepted taxonomic division. One group of toothed whales, the sperm whales, appears to be more closely related to the morphologically highly divergent baleen whales than to other odontocetes.159
153. "Evolution of Whales," National Geographic, November 2001, pp. 64-77.
154. Ashby L. Camp, "The Overselling of Whale Evolution," Creation Matters, May/June 1998, http://www.trueorigin.org/whales.asp.
155. "Evolution of Whales," National Geographic, pp. 64-77..
156. Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 329.
157. G. A. Mchedlidze, General Features of the Paleobiological Evolution of Cetacea, Translated from the Russian, Rotterdam: A.A. Balkema, 1986, p. 91.
158. B.J. Stahl, Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution, Dover Publications, Inc., 1985, p. 489
159. Michel C. Milinkovitch, "Molecular phylogeny of cetaceans prompts revision of morphological transformations," Trends in Ecology and Evolution 10 (August 1995): pp. 328-334.