Whale of a Tale

Or Why Bears Still Swim with Paws

Charles Darwin wrote in the first edition of On the Origin of Species that North American black bears had been seen "swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not already exist in the country, I can 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."1

Critics laughed at this, and Darwin removed it from later editions of his book, but he continued...

 
Jonathan Wells holds Ph.D.s in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, and in Religious Studies from Yale University. A Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, he is the author of Icons of Evolution (2000), The Myth of Junk DNA (2011), and other books..
This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #41, Summer 2017 Copyright © 2020 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo41/whale-of-a-tale

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