I bet "Discovery Science" institute can't debunk this - A Whale of a Tale.


Recently we had a Drive-by challenge us with:

"Can you please debunk these 2 videos about Evolution?"

https //www youtube com/watch v=wq_oYftA2ow

What he kept from us was the titles, first video “A Whale of an Evolution Tale (Long Story Short, Ep. 2)” and its creator “Discovery Science”.

Problem with “Discovery Science” and the videos they pump out, is that they are such self-certain advocates for their Creationist/ID perspective - that they have complete disregard for the principle of honesty representing serious science.

They feel no responsibility toward upholding the standards of a Good Faith Honest Debate.

They never explain why they have assumed the right tactically strategically and maliciously misrepresent their opponents.

Why don’t serious people challenge them with demands to justify uttering so many lies about what scientists have discovered and reported?

Why have we allowed such deliberate deception to be some normalized?

Why don’t people demands to hear why they allow themselves to omit huge amounts of well know and explainable evidence?

Or challenge them to explain, what place childish slander and ridicule has when trying to learn about critically important down to Earth facts and dynamics?

Questions that I can’t stop grappling with and I’ve been trying to work towards a blog post on it, but it’s slow going, specially when there’s so many other demands on my time. Then this morning I see that Jackson Wheat has done a video dedicated to that exact video - in fact if you look at the description, Jackson has another video dedicated to “loves…” other “Debunk This” challenge.

I’ve come to like and trust Jackson having watched many of his videos, even if I still grimace at his loud title intro, but once past that, it’s always been smooth sailing. Here he does a wonderful job calmly, intelligently, debunking Discovery Science’s deceptive message - while doing a good job of constructively educating the curious.

Misunderstanding Transitional (Whale) Fossils Jackson Wheat • May 30, 2020

This is a response to this video: “A Whale of an Evolution Tale (Long Story Short, Ep. 2)”





Incidentally, I myself believe the NOTION of Intelligent Design has a lot going for it, BUT ONLY AS A NOTION, philosophy, psychological, spiritual! Intelligent Design belongs within that realm. Don’t forget, even the Bible warns that God is beyond all human understanding.

Science on the other hand must restrict itself to Physical Reality independent of our EGOs and desires.

I imagine that’s why it’s so challenging and why so many fear and reject it. It demands utmost self-awareness and honesty and willingness to go through the intellectual emotional ‘sturm und drang’ of grappling with the distinction between what we want to see and what physical reality is showing us,

when people by nature are self-serving, that why we need each other to keep ourselves honest, and that’s way sciences fundamental rules were created.

Rules that the Discover Science YouTube channel absolutely rejects.

So here’s the problem with the science loving crowd, they have no engaged grassroots.

. We have scientists doing the hard work.

. We have quite a few excellent science communicators who can collect and digest that information and share with any curious person out there.

… We are missing the curious, the masses of science loving lay people (especially including serious students). …

When an agent of deliberate deception shows up with their “debunk evolution/climate science/etc stuff” rather than ignoring it, it should get jumped on - exposed and rejected, rather than normalize through silence and acquiesce (no mumbling isn’t enough - gotta be clear and why not in the face now and then - look at all it’s achieved for the juvenile delinquent Me First crowd - yeah Koch, Gingrich, Trump and a host of hundreds of über-wealthy sociopaths.)


But I digress, getting back to a serious gentleman explaining serious science, not only does he have his story to share, but then he can list sources where anyone can look and learn independently for themselves. Something the contrarian side never does simply because they have nothing but flim-flam.

Jackson Wheat
5.25K subscribers

…{From the description - links have been deleted cfi.}

This is a response to this video: “A Whale of an Evolution Tale (Long Story Short, Ep. 2)”:

PZ Myers’ response video “A whopper of a creationist tale”:

Previous Video: “Misunderstanding Homology”:

“Do Dog’s Produce Non-Dogs?”:

“The Origin(s) of Whales”:

“Transforming Our Thinking about Transitional Forms”

“Quality of the fossil record through time”

“A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale”:

“Molecular evolution tracks macro evolutionary transitions in Cetacea”

“Earliest Mysticete from the Late Eocene of Peru Sheds New Light on the Origin of Baleen Whales”

“The Ecological Rise of Whales Chronicled by the Fossil Record”

“The Origin of Filter Feeding in Whales”:

“An Amphibious Whale from the Middle Eocene of Peru Reveals Early South Pacific Dispersal of Quadrupedal Cetacean”:

“Rates of dinosaur limb evolution provide evidence for exceptional radiation in Mesozoic birds”:

“Pre-Archaeopteryx coelurosaurian dinosaurs and their implications for understanding avian origins”:

“A juvenile specimen of a new coelurosaur (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Middle–Late Jurassic Shishugou Formation of Xinjiang, People’s Republic of China”

“A Devonian tetrapod-like fish and the evolution of the tetrapod body plan”

“Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland”

“Transition of Eocene Whales from Land to Sea: Evidence from Bone Microstructure”:

“Review of the Cetacean Nose: Form, Function, and Evolution”:

“Hind Limbs of Eocene Basilosaurus: Evidence of Feet in Whales”:

“Tooth Loss Precedes the Origin of Baleen in Whales”:

“Berkeley University - Understanding Evolution: Transitional Forms”:

“From Teeth to Baleen and Raptorial to Bulk Filter Feeding in Mysticete Cetaceans: The Role of Paleontological, Genetic, and Geochemical Data in Feeding Evolution and Ecology”:

“Waiting for Two Mutations: With Applications to Regulatory Sequence Evolution and the Limits of Darwinian Evolution”:

“Giraffe genome sequence reveals clues to its unique morphology and physiology”:

“Eocene Basilosaurid Whales from the La Meseta Formation, Marambio (Seymour) Island, Antarctica”:

Why don’t serious people challenge them with demands to justify uttering so many lies about what scientists have discovered and reported?
Who are the serious people? Are there any here? Below are two classes of serious people. Which kind are we?

Science worshipper

  1.  Has broad spectrum familiarity with all fields of expertise.
  2.  Able to surf internet for information in science journals to support preconceived ideas.
  3.  Trust the experts.



  1.  Has authority in one specialized field of knowledge.
  2.  Able to perform independent research, analyze data and form conclusions.
  3.  Has accreditation recognized by the scientific community.


Got a mouse in your pocket Sree?

sree, by serious people I mean people who appreciate Physical Reality. People who appreciate that religion is a personal thing between you and your god and that your faith is expressed in how you live and interact with others. They also appreciate that faith and feelings are something other than this material world of evolutionary processes we were born out of and that we will die back into.

Part of being a serious “sciencie” person (not just scientist) is possessing a gut level driven curiosity to understand what we see around us and the striving to be able to put it into a greater context.

I’ve always had a passion for learning more about this planet and it’s Evolution and my place in it - I’m no scientists, but I certainly can lead my life abiding by science’s fundamental principles and expectations of truthfulness and full spectrum skepticism.

From sree’s words it’s like you can not conceive what it’s like to love gobbling up information and new lessons and then digesting and trying to process it into one’s own coherent appreciation for the world. All you know is repeating nifty looking headlines, so of course you can’t relative to the digesting and formulating your own defensible understanding.

What do you have? For instance, your joke of a “Throw Down” where you imply I’m a phony about skills I mention I’ve acquired? Then when I can produce a substantial list of learning and experiences, you drop it like a hot potato, not even being man enough to throw down your cards, I suggest it’s because you never held any. Now you’re trying to dis me again, rather than watching Jackson Wheat’s video and offering something intelligent or provocative about that, the point of this thread. Come on, why not talk evolution?


Do you ever doubt your self? I imagine not. When you have a grand idea do you feel a need to put it to the acid test?

I’ve even read where you though it normal for a person to defend their own pet theories regardless of whether they are truthful or not - that’s utter bullshit outside the political arena. Within the scientific arena brutal self-critic and truthfulness is one of the most fundamental requirements if you’re ever going to accomplish anything great.

But all that is foreign, money and the making of it, seems as far as your imagination goes, the rest is political power games.

Thus I can see why nothing I write makes much sense to you and why you have this need to pee on all of it.


Whatever, once in a while you inspire me into something worth doing - though the pointlessness, the emptiness of the exercise gets more poignant every day.

Since I would prefer keeping this on track, and as it happens @LoveScience2020 second featured video was also reviewed by Jackson Wheat earlier this year, so I think I need to also share that one.

Misunderstanding Homologies
Jackson Wheat  • •  Jan 22, 2020

A discussion of homology with reference to a video from the Discovery Institute. All pictures are from Google.
<blockquote>Is Homology Evidence for Evolution? | Long Story Short | Discovery of Creationist's Science

https   //youtu  be/lk1gDk1wGhQ</blockquote>


Lausten, bet you’d like to tell me Jackson is an example of how to do it.

I agree, however there’s the missing grassroots, informed, engaged, and passionate.

It’s why our society’s Anthropogenic Global Warming was allow to get so derailed -

… While scientists were pumping out the evidence,

… And science communicators were sharing that information,

… There never seems to have been any ground swell of informed aroused citizens.

Then the cancer of “Manufacturing Doubt” was left unconfronted -

and the tactics were refined into AI driven algorithms and strategies that have spread like a virus, while a distracted public acquiesced and allowed utter fraud to be normalized and accepted. Now here we are . . .

Trust the experts.
I would suggest that's a heck of a lot better than trusting posers and flimflam artists. ;-)


Oh and incidentally, if you actually take the time to listen to those experts, you’ll discover that they are not offering absolute answers.

The experts offer their learned critical opinions, based on the evidence at hand, while acknowledging that further evidence may change their position.

It’s the faith-shackled posers who contort and misrepresent the evidence to fit their dogmas - as these two video do an excellent job of highlighting. If one takes the time to actually listen to them

Science worshipper
Why your need to put such a distasteful spin on it. Is truth and honesty a thing of worship? They seem like principles worth upholding, if that's "worshipping" in your book, okay I "worship" truth and honesty along with frank honest constructive discussions.

Sree, do you see a problem with that?


The basic understanding that when a new species evolves, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the species it evolved from, goes away. Chronic dumasses don’t seem to get that. They use their ignorant misunderstanding to press forward their LIES.

I knew that species don’t have to go away if another species evolves from common ancestors, because I can reason. Wheat explained that point for the benefit of people who can’t think as well as I can. And he had a chart to go along with it.

Sree: Science worshipper CC: Why your need to put such a distasteful spin on it. Is truth and honesty a thing of worship? They seem like principles worth upholding, if that’s “worshipping” in your book, okay I “worship” truth and honesty along with frank honest constructive discussions.
Agreed. It's illogical claim someone worships science.

–Science is “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.”
Google dictionary

–Worship is a religious term where one has “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.
Google dictionary

Science is: an activity, a way of thinking, a method of investigating reality. None of those are worshippable [that might not be in the dictionary, but you know what I mean].
Religious people can’t wrap their head around the fact that worshipping something isn’t a requirement.

Thank you, nicely put.

Lausten, bet you’d like to tell me Jackson is an example of how to do it. -- CC
Well, you put up the video. Cool.
I agree, however there’s the missing grassroots, informed, engaged, and passionate.
Not sure why every half hour presentation would need to contain that.
There never seems to have been any ground swell of informed aroused citizens.
They got to me. I was riding my bike around the nice clean suburbs and I don’t remember any wildly liberal teachers handing out copies of “Silent Spring”, but I picked it up somewhere.
Then the cancer of “Manufacturing Doubt” was left unconfronted
“Manufacturing Consent” is a term created by Noam Chomsky, a guy who confronted the system.
and the tactics were refined into AI
Yes, and they work. They wouldn’t be needed if everyone but you agreed with the idea of destroying the world and not caring about our grandchildren. The answer to your questions are in the points you are making. Capitalism was designed to accumulate power in the hands of a few. It started out looking like it was distributing that power, but powerful people don't do that easily.


I hadn’t heard of the book, “Silent Spring” that I recall. Though I see that JFK read it in 1962. (Maybe you got his copy, Lausten.):

...a true story using a composite of examples drawn from many real communities where the use of DDT had caused damage to wildlife, birds, bees, agricultural animals, domestic pets, and even humans. (Rachel) Carson used it as an introduction to a very scientifically complicated and already controversial subject...

…Silent Spring suggested a needed change in how democracies and liberal societies operated so that individuals and groups could question what their governments allowed others to put into the environment.

Far from calling for sweeping changes in government policy, Carson believed the federal government was part of the problem. She admonished her readers and audiences to ask “Who Speaks, And Why?” and therein to set the seeds of social revolution.

She identified human hubris and financial self-interest as the crux of the problem and asked if we could master ourselves and our appetites to live as though we humans are an equal part of the earth’s systems and not the master of them…

It is recognized as the environmental text that “changed the world.” She aimed at igniting a democratic activist movement that would not only question the direction of science and technology but would also demand answers and accountability. Rachel Carson was a prophetic voice and her “witness for nature” is even more relevant and needed if our planet is to survive into a 22nd century.

I wonder whether Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg has read it. Man! I think she is great!


Wow, guess you must be younger than I thought.

So, she’s forgotten. When she is exhibit one for the rabid over-reaction and viciousness and base dishonestly of monied interests to fact based warning. She was attacked and ruthlessly vilified even more than that young one up there.

Still, she woke up many, unfortunately many fell right back to sleep and happily forgot all her lessons and warning since the times were so good - why spoil the party. Next thing you know and a half century has based and the future our young one’s will live through is totally fucked. I’d love to get into her story, but alas no time today, so just a few teasers.

Incidentally she sadly died in 1964 at 57, meaning she was silenced just when she was needed most. Now we can only look back and cry in shame, or willfully ignore, the growing tragedy we’ve brought to fruition:

Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature' - Damian Carrington - Feb 10, 2019

https: //www theguardian - com/environment/2019/feb/10/plummeting-insect-numbers-threaten-collapse-of-nature

The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, with huge losses already reported in larger animals that are easier to study. But insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals, outweighing humanity by 17 times. They are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.

Insect population collapses have recently been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico, but the review strongly indicates the crisis is global. The researchers set out their conclusions in unusually forceful terms for a peer-reviewed scientific paper: “The [insect] trends confirm that the sixth major extinction event is profoundly impacting [on] life forms on our planet.

“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” they write. “The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least.” …


A surprisingly decent review:

Legacy of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring National Historic Chemical Landmark Designated October 26, 2012, at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

https: //www.acs - org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/rachel-carson-silent-spring - html

Here’s a great resource for more article about Rachel Carson work and life.

https :// guides.library.duq - edu/c.php?g=848760&p=6071047

Rachel Carson: Silent Spring and its Aftermath

Wow, guess you must be younger than I thought.
I think I am older than you. What? I can't admire a teenager who is more impressive than myself? And I don't think she is done yet.
What? I can’t admire a teenager who is more impressive than myself?
I think he was referring to not knowing of Rachel Carson. I can't imagine my life without knowing of that book. It was the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Although I said I don't remember wildly liberal teachers in pre-college years, I'm pretty sure I heard of the book as early as elementary school. The movement had started before 1900 with the cutting down of some massive trees in the West, but it took on new life with the rise in cancer rates and the backlash of the WWII era.

Oh. Thanks for helping me when I missed the obvious.

I was concerned about the environment early in my life. But I was not an activist by any means about anything until I was much older. I was not one to seek out books about public issues and I did not live in a State that would promote such a book as part of a public school curriculum.

I completely accept that it must be a remarkable book. But I didn’t need a book when I was young to know that our environment was at risk. L.A., and maybe NYC, and even Cleveland was smoggier than places in China, today. There was acid rain and ozone holes. A major city had a river that was on fire. Later major chemical producers had accidents that killed thousands of people. Then came major oil spills. That kind of stuff tipped me off.

I tend to rely on figuring out the obvious for myself, than to seek out books to confirm it for me. I would be even smarter I suppose if I read the books by “experts”. But alas, I suppose I have been more of a rugged individualist in figuring out what is true, during my life. Plus I tend to be lazy, in that if I can reach an obvious truth with less effort, then that’s the way I tend to go. It has most often worked for me. But I never know for sure, that my hubris will not bite my sweet butt, sometimes.

Fair enough, {I was just surprised :wink: }, so we know the same world, for me, from the late 50s to 68 we’d regularly drive through Gary, Indiana, heyday of steel producing, before the EPA and exporting jobs, “screwed” it all up.

“roll up the windows” . . . The billowing smoke stacks and the stink. Chicago River, I played along it, admiring the oil sheen rainbows flowing by, etc.


To your bigger point, yeah, it doesn’t really take much to appreciate we were destroying too much and it couldn’t last.

Just gotta pay attention and think about it, ponder on a little. But, for those with greed blinded hate in their hearts, it never connects, they turn their backs on the reality of the planet, our lives, and the cascading consequences of events, how time changes and how act impact all future acts, Evolution by another name.

Yet, collectively we skirted the issue, you know what I’m, seriously fundamentally every thinking person is aware of the Limits of growth, and simple math of compounding numbers, or the physical reality that our children are dependent on the Earth’s healthy biosphere, and all that.

When you were young, did you thinking we’d learn, that we’d learn to temper some of our worst tendencies and thereby extending the awesome good window of time we were living in. Follow what I’m saying there, Earth’s climate does constantly change and we existed within a short period that was nothing less than humanity’s goldilocks zone, it was not going last, but if had we eased off the consumption peddle, slowed down our population explosions (appreciating compounding numbers and all that) - that wonderful climate optimum could have been extended centuries longer, but no.

and so on and so forth.

{still trying to process all it. And now this COVID and the sociopaths in charge, lordie, lordie, horrific is not overstating it. It used to matter to try to connection or encourage, but at this point, it gets more meaningless and emptier all the time.

Fortunately Maddy is impatiently waiting for her last walk, and with the moon near full and it’ll be wonderful and I’ll trying to drink it in. Thankful to have planted myself offsides. I think of Chicago or the Bay Area and other big cities I’ve known, can’t imagine what it would be like trapped in the middle of one. Oh well, I’m rambling, see ya. wish you the best . . . >< }


I tend to rely on figuring out the obvious for myself, than to seek out books to confirm it for me. -- TimB
I actually never read Silent Spring, it just permeated my culture, so, that's the "can't imagine my life without it part". I have a couple major reasons for reading; 1 is, if there is a book that is said to be the groundwork for a topic, let's say "The Selfish Gene", I've found you have to read it to to see what it says, or you'll get all the opinions, many of them wrong. 2, sometimes I want to see what all the fuss is about, like "Atlas Shrugged", it's long and horrible, it should be that we are talking about the characters who aren't happy with the wealth they inherited and are bent on make life worse for everyone else to get more as caricatures, as hyperbolic statements on what no one would want, but instead, some people, including the author, call the the heroes.

In the sci-fi book I’m writing, an alien race builds two space ports on earth and starts offering trips to planets that are under populated. Billions of people go. I had to think about if that is plausible, and I realized I never really thought about what happened in my lifetime. Charts and websites like this one, tend to look at the big picture, and then there’s just his line going straight up in the last few decades. But I linked to 1973, when we were just under 4 billion. I read somewhere that there is enough nitrogen in the atmosphere to support 4 billion. It goes into food naturally and we get it that way, but now we get it by extracting it from fossils and putting it in as fertilizer, so we broke that limitation, and continued on with this myth that technology will save us from the problems we created.

Slide the bar forward and we’ve doubled since then. I’ve watched farm fields turn into malls throughout my lifetime, each one made me think, “that’s enough”, and “they won’t build more of those”, but they keep doing it. I’ve watched people nearly in tears asking me for money to feed the starving, and thought, “well, we’ll fix that”, but we don’t. In fact, very few people understand why there is this world of abundance, yet children die by the millions each year. This is one of the few books I’ve found that explains it.

And yes, Thurow has a TED talk.