Re: re-whales from rodents
Fri, 13 Aug 1999 21:46:31 +0000

At 05:40 PM 08/13/1999 -0600, John W. Burgeson wrote:
>That's about the way I read it also. Johnson may be properly chastised,
>it appears, for using as an example of what he sees as silly thinking by
>evolutionists an example 20 years out of date, but that seems to me to be
>a trivial chide. As I understand it, at one time the "rodent to whale"
>line WAs espoused as, at least, a valid hypothesis; the apparent fact
>that it is not now regarded as a valid hypothesis does not change the
>thrust of Johnson's argument; using a more recent example would have been
>better, but then, of course, 20 years from now he'd be out of date again!

Burgy, I obviously haven't read everything on this topic, but I have NEVER
read that rodents were once considered as whale progenitors--NEVER. Can
you provide a reference for this? Stahl, the 20 year out of date book that
Johnson quotes, certainly doesn't say that.

Romer, in 1968, says that creodont carnivores gave rise to the whales (A.
S. Romer, Man and the Vertebrates, (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1968), p.

My book is in storage but I recall this was in the 1948 version of that
book also.

Colbert says that the whales are isolated from other groups (Edwin H. Colbert,
Evolution of the Vertebrates, (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1969), p. 336)

"Paleontologists have long held that whales are most closely called
mesonychians, based on striking dental similairites. A few years ago,
however, molecular biologists weighed in with DNA data suggesting that
whales are actually highly specialized artiodactyls (the group that
includes hippopotamuses, camels, pigs and ruminants) and are closer to one
of those living subgroups than to mesonychians.
"Now key fossils 50-million-year-old whale ankle bones from pakistan have
been unearthed. But instead of shedding light on whale origins as
expected, they have left researchers even more puzzled than before."
. . .
"If whales are artiodactyls, primitive whales (those that had not yet
adapted to life in the sea) should exhibit these ankle features. In the
October 1 issue of Nature, J. G. M. Thewissen, a paleontologist at the
Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, and his colleagues
announcd their discovery of two ancient whale astragali; intriguingly, the
bones do not support either hypothesis." Kate Wong, "Cetacean Creation,"
Scientific American, January, 1999, p 26-28

None of my sources mention rodents. And as far back as I have paleobooks,
they don't mention rodents. Johnson has made this up from thin air. If you
can provide a reference then I will withdraw all my criticism of Johnson on
this issue.


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