Whale of a Tale
"Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progression of science. It is useless." *Louis Bounoure, Le Monde et Vie (October 1983); quoted in the Adovate , March 8, 1984. Former director of the Strasbourg Zoological Museum, later director at the French National Center for Scientific Research.
"As one creationist pamplet put, "'A frog turning instananeous into a prince is called a fary tale, but if you add a few million years, it's called evolutionary science.' " *Milner, Encylopedia of Evolution, p. 399.
"Particularly difficult to accept as chance processes are those prolonged changes which lead to a new lifstyle, such as the evolution of birds from reptiles or --perhaps odder--the return of mammals to a life in the sea, as in the case of dolphins and whales." *G.R. Taulor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 160.
"What good is half a jaw or half a wing? .. These tales, in the 'Just-So Stories' tradition of evolutionary natural history, do not prove anything..concepts salvage only by facile speculation do not appeal much to me." *Steven Jay Gould, "The Return of the Hopeful Monsters", Nateral History, June/July, 1977.
"Extremes of adaption--such as the whale provoke wonder about how such a creature could have evolved. Sometimes larger than a herd of elephants, this intellgent mammal loads on tons of tiny plants and animals (plankton) it extracts from seawater. Since it is air breathing, warm-blooded and milk giving, it must have developed from land animals in ancient times, then gone back to the sea. But 150 years ago , who could imagine [faith] how such a transformation could come about?
Charles Darwin saw a black bear 'swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water.' , Origins of Species (first edition, 1859.# " 'Preposterous!' snorted zoologists. Such an example, they thought, sounded so wild and far-fetched it would brand Darwin as a teller of tall tales. Professor Richard Owen of the British Muesum prevailed on Darwin to leave out the 'whale-bear story' or at least tone it down. Darwin cut it from later editions, but privately regretted giving in to his critics, as he saw 'no special difficulty in a bear's mouth being enlarged to any degree useful to its changing habits.' Years later he still thought the example 'quite reasonable.' " *R.Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 463.
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