This will be a departure from my typical novel length dissection of a creationist article and will instead be a short look at a single creationist gaffe. Perhaps I will make this into a series, we’ll see. Anyway, today’s nit will be picked with young Earth creationist Dr Carl Werner (a medical doctor).
I recently acquired a copy, of what I believe is the 1st edition, of his book Evolution: The grand experiment (2007, 2nd printing 2009, coauthored with his wife Debbie Werner) and while skimming through it I noticed a little error on page 57, which is chapter 5 of the book and is apparently meant as a refutation of the evidence for evolution from comparative anatomy. In this particular case he is discussing the homology of various tetrapod forelimbs (yellow highlighting mine):
The “nit” in this case is his illustration of the forelimbs of a whale in the dark blue circle above. When I saw it I immediately recognized that it was not in fact the forelimbs of a whale but rather the hind limbs of one. In this case those of an extinct archaeocete, most likely those of Dorudon (image source).
And these are the hind legs of Dorudon (image source):
For comparison here are a couple modern whale forelimbs:
Clearly what Dr. Werner has pictured are not the forelimbs of a modern whale, rather my money is on them being the hind limbs of Dorudon. Is it a huge deal? No. It is just another example of sloppy creationist research (I mean if a printing press operator recognizes archaeocete legs when he sees them, come on).
- The Origin of Whales and the Power of Independent Evidence by Raymond Sutera
- Understanding Evolution: The evolution of whales