In The Origin of Species, Darwin speculated that bears might well evolve into whales: “I see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered by Natural Selection*, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale.” In stark contrast, contemporary Darwinists hold that hippo-like animals evolved into whales. Is this a hip potentiality, or a whale of a tale?
First, to believe that hippo-like animals evolved into whales takes an enormous leap of faith. Simply put, extant fossil transitions* are scant. As such, belief in the evolutionary development of physiological wonders such as blowholes, sonar, and diving mechanisms takes a commendable amount of Darwinian devotion.
Furthermore, molecular evidence appears to be at odds with fossil evidence. Fossil similarities point to hippos as first cousins of pigs, while molecular similarities position hippos as first cousins to whales. In either case, it takes substantial faith to suppose such similarities provide an adequate basis for neo-Darwinism*.
Finally, the notion that unguided, purposeless processes could transform the ears of a land-dwelling, freshwater, hippo-like animal into the echolocation system* of a sea-dwelling, saltwater whale—and that in a mere matter of 10 million years—I freely confess takes more faith than I can muster.
Darwin had an excuse. In his day fossil transitions were relatively scarce. Moreover, the science of genetics had not yet evolved. As such, the hip neo-Darwinian notion that a three-thousand-pound hippo could evolve into a three-hundred-thousand-pound whale through a series of genetic missteps is no less a stretch than a Darwinian bear evolving into a whale with a tail.
For further study, see William A. Dembski and Jonathan Wells, The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems (Dallas: Foundation for Thought and Ethics, 2008); and Michael J. Behe, The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism (New York: Free Press, 2009).