Johnson says: Whales and bats from rodents!

Glenn R. Morton (
Fri, 21 May 1999 22:37:59 -0500

Of Phil Johnson's claim that rodents gave rise to whales John W.
Burgeson wrote:

> Glenn -- where is that claim in Phil's book?

Hi Burgy,
At the end of the vertebrate chapter when he is discussing whales,

"By what Darwinian process did useful hind limbs wither away to
vestigial proportions, and at what stage in the transformation from
rodent to seamonster did this occur?" Phillip Johnson, Darwin On Trial,
2nd ed p. 87

Another example of this absolutely laughable (but very sad) view is:

"Whatever the molecular comparisons may or may not prove, they tell us
nothing about how one kind of creature (e.g. a rodent) can change into
another (e.g. a whale). The theory is based on the premise that
molecular changes are mainly neutral, menaing that they have no
substantial effect upon features important for adaptation." ~ Phillip E.
Johnson, "A Reply to My Critics: The Evolution Debate Continued," First
Things, November, 1990, p. 52

Johnson really thinks rodents gave rise to whales. But then he learned
his paleontology in law school and only read one 20 year old (at the
time Darwin on trial was written) paleontology book. The 1985 date in
DOT is because it is a Dover reprint reprinted in 1985. ONly the
appendix was updated in 1984. The original was something like 1973 or
1974 and was very out of date by the late 1980s. But that doesn't matter
to a really good Christian apologist. They simply ignore the fact that
their sources are outdated and pretend that modern science never
changes. Why? Because this apologist isn't a scientist at all.

Here is the part about the bat coming from the rodent.

"A Darwinist can imagine that a mutant rodent might appear with a web
between its toes, and thereby gain some advantage in the
struggle for survival, with the result that the new characteristic could
spread through the population to await the arrival of further mutations
leading eventually to winged flight." ~ Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on
Trial, 2nd ed. (Downer's Grove: Intervarsity Press, 1993), p. 104

I don't know how you feel, Burgy, but as a christian who prefers for
apologists to get the darn facts straight, this is terribly
embarrassing. It makes all Christians look stupid and ill informed.

An example from another apologist, John C. Whitcomb who learned his
paleontology at divinity school. He wrote:

"The theory of evolution is deeply embarrassed by the existence of
aquatic mammals such as whales, for it must assume that these monsters
of the deep evolved from four-legged pig-like land mammals which in turn
had evolved from reptiles and fishes. This assumption is not only
completely lacking in genetic and paleontologic evidence but is
logically absurd. Not only so, but the failure of evolutionary theory
to account for even the first speck of life has become increasingly
evident with the passing years." ~ John C. Whitcomb, The Early Earth,
(Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1986), p. 83

The Mesonychids were more like mean wolves than pigs but in reality they
were neither. They were an extinct order of mammals called condylarths.
They had hooves but apparently were carnivores. And it is the
mesonychids that gave rise to the whales. Here we have another silly
claim by a Christian apologist who really doesn't know diddly about the
fossil record but acts like they do.

My criticism may seem harsh, but I have tried to get Johnson to change
these ridiculous claims for years. All these claims do is show his
ignorance. Like young-earth creationists, he won't change either. This
is why I told James that the ID group needs to cease behaving like YECs
who think they can't ever be wrong on anything and certainly never have
to change any of the divinely inspired words they commit to paper.


Foundation, Fall and Flood Adam, Apes and Anthropology