The Basilosaurus – A Whale With Hind Limbs?

Author: Dr. David L. Tyler
Subject: Biology

Origins: Journal of the Biblical Creation Society, 4(12), 6-7.

Question: Is a whale with hind limbs evidence for evolutionary transformation?

Dr. Tyler says in part: (p. 7)

  1. Although the feet are very small, they are not degenerate….This situation implies that functionality and design considerations should be given due weight and, instead of viewing the pelvic limbs as a relic of the past, they should be regarded as an integral part of the organism’s structure.
  2. The feet show specialized features….The authors [Gingerichet al., 1990] conclude that the limbs….were suited for positioning and holding. ‘Abduction of the femur and plantar flexion of the foot, with the knee locked in extension, probably enabled hind limbs to be used as guides during copulation, which may otherwise have been difficult in a serpentine aquatic mammal’ (p. 156)
  3. Basilosaurusis not a transitional animal, but highly specialized. The 16 metre long serpent-like body can hardly be regarded as a good transition between land animals and toothed or baleen whales….Indeed, many authorities deny that the archeocetes as a group are the precursors of modern cetaceans. Harrison and King (1980)…

….Creationists have consistently argued for the principle of optimum design: organisms possess a morphology and features which are suited for life in specific ecological niches. Creationists also argue that homology can be understood as variations on a design theme….Basilosaurus can be viewed as a specialized form of whale, needing hind limbs on its serpent- like body in order to fulfil the Designer’s intention that it should reproduce ‘after its kind.’