National Geographic has an Intelligent Design vs. Evolution feature that gives some time to Casey Luskin. One has to wonder why. To their credit National Geographic counters Luskin with Don Prothero. An example, in talking about the evolution of whales we get this nonsensical argument from Luskin:
Whales “have a long generation time, and they don’t have huge populations. They’re like the worst-case scenario for trying to evolve structures rapidly,” Luskin said. “To fix all the mutations needed to convert a little land mammal into a fully functional whale [in ten million years]–mathematically that’s totally not
Leaving aside the fact that whale populations where much larger in the past, prior to whale hunting depleted whale populations, casey doesn’t give us any reliable figures on how many mutations it would take to accomplish the change. Anyway, Prothero replies in the only appropriate fashion:
“We have the fossils showing how it happened,” Prothero said. “Anyone who makes that argument is flat out lying about the fossil record.”
We also get Luskin on the eye, flagella, cambrian explosion, CSI of DNA, the afforementioned whales, and fine tuning of the universe. In other words we get the DI’s standard laundry list of misconceptions and misunderstandings. Here is another example in discussing the evolution of the eye Luskin says:
“If you look at these [evolutionary] schemes, they often very abruptly add a lens or a cornea,” said Casey Luskin, a spokesperson for the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based organization that advocates intelligent design. But things don’t just appear suddenly in evolution, Luskin said. “You need to evolve things in a step-by-step fashion.”
Who says evolution only adds things in a step by step fashion?
It’s all very balanced and quite useless. One wonders why National Geographic wasted their time on this deck.