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To: GenXFreedomFighter; balrog666; PatrickHenry; Junior
Since I discovered that the evolutionists have been lying to me in biology textbooks since I was 10 years old,

Thank you for posting your fantasies.

and fossil records have failed to prove species change, their credibility is virtually zero.

Now you're just posting falsehoods. See the previous posts for material which refutes this nonsense. Where did you "learn" this misinformation?

Your choice of a ham-fisted cartoon to insult the intellect of those of us who do not swallow this unsubstantiated theory does little to change my mind.

It's not expected to change your closed mind. It's expected to demonstrate the ludicrousness of allowing creationists to dictate science standards, to those whose minds are open enough to understand its relevance. I think it does that rather well.

All right, you want an example? How about this?

I remember this drawing, or one similar to it, which was supposed to convince my young skull full of mush that since embryos of humans, amphibians, dogs, birds, and reptiles kinda sorta looked alike, then they must all be related.

No it wasn't. You misunderstood it when you were ten, and you're misunderstanding it now.

This was published in textbooks long after it was proven to be a fake.

Not in the way you falsely claim it was, no, it wasn't. Feel free to actually quote your textbook -- or *any* textbook -- actually doing what you claim. Many creationists have made the claim (see below), but all their claims have evaporated when they were asked to actually produce these mythical textbooks. Either they slunk away into the night, never to be heard from again, or they gave the names and editions of textbooks which, when actually examined, proved to *NOT* be using the Haeckel drawings in the manner which the creationists claimed.

So go for it, maybe you can be the very first to actually document these frequent but spurious allegations of "known fakery" by the writers of biology textbooks in nefariously dishonest support of the crumbling shell of evolution, blah blah blah.

I know that that's now a popular creationist mantra, but it's a remarkably dishonest distortion of the actual situation. The details of the allegation are actually a much better example of *CREATIONIST* dishonesty and propaganda than the attempted attack on *evolutionist* honesty.

The flap started with Jonathan Wells, the author of the error-ridden anti-evolution book, "Icons of Evolution". His chapter on Haeckel's embryo drawings suffers from the same problem as all his other chapters -- it's just so jaw-droppingly wrong on so many points, and manages to twists the facts so badly (but always "concidentally" in the same direction -- in support of the author's agenda), that one is constantly wondering whether the book could be so misleading out of a) complete incompetence on the part of the author, b) complete dishonesty, or c) a combination of both.

Suffice to say, though, that Wells's presentation on the Haeckel issue is a hollow (and grossly incorrect) cartoon version of the real situation. In this respect, it is unfortunately par for the course when it comes to creationist "critiques" of evolutionary biology.

But as usual, there's a large audience for material bashing evolution, no matter how childishly flawed and transparently false, so this distortion by Wells has become vastly popular among creationists in the few short years since it was published in 2000. I see that you've uncritically swallowed it as well.

Wells's dishonest/incompetent fairy tale version of the Haeckel issue boils down to, "Haeckel faked his drawings, evolutionists (including Darwin) knew this and have used them anyway for decades in order to lie to the public, and this shows how thin/dishonest/nonexistent the evidence for evolution is, blah blah blah".

That is, in short a lie.

It's a creationist lie.

As is almost always the case whenever I look into a creationist allegation of dishonesty by evolutionists, what I found was that the truth is far more complex, interesting, and mundane than the creationists try to paint it (which again raises the usual question -- are the creationists knowingly lying, or just unable to understand anything beyond a cartoon version?), and far, *far* less a crushing blow against evolution or evolutionary biologists than the creationists would like to believe.

At the risk of oversimplifying it myself, or giving the wrong impression, the highlights of the "Cliff Notes" short version of the actual story are:

1. Contrary to Wells's misleading implication, Darwin did *not* rely in any way on Haeckel's work -- Haeckel published his work many years *after* Darwin.

2. Haeckel was a gifted artist, prolific biological researcher, and tireless popularizer of science in his time (in the last 1800's). He added much of value to the field.

3. Like many popularizers of science (or any field), he sometimes simplified his material, skipped over details, or prettied up illustrations for public presentation, striving for clarity over complete accuracy.

4. Through laziness, sloppiness, presumption, or any of a number of other possible reasons, his plates of embyronic development took this "prettying-up" process too far, and gave the impression of much more similarity at an early stage of development than is actually present. Embryos at that stage *are* more similar to each other than are embryos at a later stage of development, but not nearly as much as Haeckel's drawings indicated. A few even look as if they were just copied from each other instead of drawn from real specimens.

5. This is often taken as evidence of conscious fraud, but more prosaic explanations are possibilities as well. Haeckel may not have had actual specimens of those species at that stage of development, and drew what he actually believed they would look like, for example. Science was more casual back in those days, especially when done for public education instead of research for publication in journals. In any case, Haeckel's reasons are irrelevant to the more recent accusations being made by creationists.

6. Haeckel also had a hypothesis about evolution and embryology, usually summed up as "ontology recapitulates phylogeny" -- in short, that an animal literally retraces its past evolutionary tree as it develops from a single fertilized egg cell to a fully-developed creature ready to be born. This also probably influenced (consciously or unconsciously) what he thought he saw through his microscope and drew on paper.

7. Nonetheless, this hypothesis was examined and already discarded as incorrect by biologists by around 1900.

8. Some biologists with experience in the field of embryology also noted that Haeckel's embryo drawings were, at best, over-idealized to the point of being wrong, even in Haeckel's own time.

9. Fast-forward several decades. At some point, no one's been able to pin down exactly when, Haeckel's drawings started showing up in a few textbooks. The drawings were good-looking, textbook writers don't usually have the funds to commission all the illustrations for their textbooks (so tend to borrow heavily from existing illustrations), aren't usually top-rate experts in all the aspects of the subject they're covering, and any pre-1900 dispute in the scientific community about the accuracy of Haeckel's drawings had long since been forgotten, at least in the circles that textbook writers travel in. While experts are sometimes employed to write college-level textbooks, textbooks for gradeschool and high schools usually aren't. Haeckel's drawings of embryos are hardly the only inaccurate information to make its way into textbooks for the lower grades, but as the old saying goes, never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidty (or carelessness, ignorance, etc.) There's no evidence that Haeckel's drawings were incorporated into textbooks with a purposeful intent to mislead students.

9. FURTHERMORE, even from the start they weren't presented in the way that Wells and other creationists falsely assert that they were -- they were not presented with the argument that "because real embryos are like the ones shown in this drawing, evolution must be true" or any such variation. Most often, they were presented in correct historical context, in order to illustrate the early -- but subsequently discarded -- notion by Haeckel that embryo development repeats evolutionary progression. The science textbook I used in school in the 1960's did exactly that. Even those textbooks which just lazily copy-and-pasted the drawings in as examples of different stages of embryos didn't make the case that evolution rested on the notion that embryos are actually as similar to each other in early development as Haeckel's drawings would indicate. Because it doesn't. It rests on the *actual* findings of embryological research (as well as findings in countless other fields) in the past 100+ years.

10. After a few decades of being a staple in various textbooks (due to some textbook writers carrying over material from earlier textbooks, etc.), and although some biologists had noticed from time to time that the illustrations weren't really accurate but hadn't made a big stink about it because textbooks generally have a *lot* of sloppy or oversimplified material in them (and doing them perfectly right would cost far more than most school districts could afford -- the classic "close enough for government work"), finally in 1997 a biologist raised the issue of Haeckel's drawings in a paper (again, as historical background) in a way that reminded a wider audience that Haeckel's drawings had some serious flaws. And that's when the creationists went nuts.

Note, however, that it was an *evolutionary biologist* who actually raised a big flag about the drawings. It wasn't a creationist "blowing the lid off" a longstanding conspiracy of evolutionist "fraud". The creationists were just the ones who decided they could misrepresent a case of inaccurate work by an early biologist and subsequent laziness by some textbook authors into some kind of Smoking Gun(tm) which allegedly demonstrated that those evil evolutionists have been knowingly lying to everyone all these years. It's horse manure, but that hasn't stopped the creationists in the past, and it wasn't going to stop them this time.

What's really funny about the creationist accusations that evolutionists have "knowingly" used Haeckel's inaccurate drawings in order to "fraudulently" make a "better" case for evolution than "actually" exists is this following observation, by the same biologist who raised the issue:

"Ironically, had Haeckel drawn the embryos accurately, his first two valid points in favor of evolution would have been better demonstrated."
-- Michael K. Richardson, et al., "Haeckel, Embryos, and Evolution," Science (Letters), Vol. 280 ( May 15, 1998), pp. 983-985 [emphasis mine]
For more details, see:
Iconoclasts of Evolution: Haeckel, Behe, Wells, & the Ontogeny of a Fraud

Icon of Obfuscation: Jonathan Wells' book 'Icons of Evolution' and why most of what it teaches about evolution is wrong

Wells and Haeckel's Embryos: A Review of Chapter 5 of 'Icons of Evolution'

ICONS OF EVOLUTION? Why much of what Jonathan Wells writes about evolution is wrong (HAECKEL'S EMBRYOS)

PZ Meyers finds a textbook from 1960, and looks to see what it says about Haeckel

Wells and Haeckel's Embryos

Paying the Price (Professor Kenneth Miller notes how Wells misrepresents Miller's textbook editions)

Abscheulich! - Atrocious! - the precursor to the theory of natural selection

If it's such ironclad, settled science,

It is.

then why all the fakery?

All *what* fakery? Your current example has fallen flat. Even if Haeckel's drawings were "fakery" at all (and they could instead be the result of laziness, etc.), they were fakes in support of a *failed* hypothesis about evolution which was discreded over a 100 years ago. They weren't fakery produced in support of Darwinian evolution or any descendant of it.

Do you -- does anyone -- have any *real* examples of actual "fakery" done in an actual attempt to falsely bolster evolutionary biology itself in the view of those who might be "on the fence"? I'm familiar with a lot more of the history of science than most people on this forum, and *I'm* not aware of any such attempts. So drop the goofy conspiracy theories, please.

Instead, Wells's accusations are examples of *creationist* fakery -- he twists the facts to give a false appearance of scientific conspiracy, where none exists.

And such lies are *incredibly* common from creationists. How about a few hundred for starters? Here's a *small* sampling of creationist dishonesty

Summary of the ability of two creationists (Hovind and Havoc) to present information they *know* is false, and to *fail* to retract when reminded of their falsehoods, is presented here, along with links to all appropriate documentation.

This sort of behavior, unfortunately, is *typical* of creationists. Here, want dozens of more examples of their distortions? A few more for the road? Another? Still more, perhaps? How about even more? Ooh, here are some good examples. And there's lots more where that came from, like this< /A> and this and this and lots more here and *tons* here and countle ss more here and yet more here, a goodie... Wait, there's more over here, etc., etc., e tc., etc., etc., *ETC.* , etc., etc., etc ., . How about 300 more creationist misrepresentations? Not enough, you say? Well then visit Creationist Lies and Blunders.

And I'm not talking about random anonymous statements on fly-by-night websites. I'm talking about dishonest statements from leading "lights" of the creationist movement such as Henry Morris, Duane Gish, Kent Hovind, Ken Ham, Steven Austin, Carl Baugh, Jonathan Sarfati, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, William Dembski, Don Patton, Steve Rudd, Phillip Johnson... the list is endless.

Tell me, GenXFreedomFighter -- do you approve of such shameless and non-stop dishonesty from creationists?

That cartoon also tells me a lot about people who want me to believe in evolution based on the evidence to date.

You saw "lies" in your fifth-grade textbook that weren't there -- what are you "seeing" in this cartoon?

62 posted on 07/06/2005 4:46:20 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon; GenXFreedomFighter
Looks like GenXFreedomFighter is using textbooks from 1874. Maybe we do need to spend more money on education.

I wonder how GXFF found out about the internet.

67 posted on 07/06/2005 5:39:31 AM PDT by Gumlegs
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To: Ichneumon
It's a creationist lie.

That sums it up very well. I am shocked that creationsists, who claim to be Christian, defend their faith by sinning. After all, we are call upon not to bear false witness. Biologists know the limits of their knowledge regarding evolution and do not misrepresent their knowledge. Creationsist must use lies and deceit, right up to corrupting basic science, to make their flawed points. They are very poor Ambassadors for Christ and should be ashamed of themselves.

74 posted on 07/06/2005 6:27:20 AM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: Ichneumon

I'd love to reproduce some of your posts on the "Darwin Central" section of my website (which is currently under construction."


81 posted on 07/06/2005 7:24:15 AM PDT by Junior (“Even if you are one-in-a-million, there are still 6,000 others just like you.”)
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To: Ichneumon
Your post 62 is excellent. I've added a link to it in The List-O-Links, in the section on alleged Evolutionist frauds. It appears thusly:

NEW Ichneumon's Discussion of Haeckel's embryo drawings. A FreeRepublic post.

87 posted on 07/06/2005 7:41:11 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas. The List-O-Links is at my homepage.)
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To: Ichneumon
5. This is often taken as evidence of conscious fraud, but more prosaic explanations are possibilities as well. Haeckel may not have had actual specimens of those species at that stage of development, and drew what he actually believed they would look like, for example.

That's because it was a conscious FRAUD....a fraud that seemed to live on and on and on, for some strange reason, in virtually every textbook. Take it from the folks who actually publish textbooks for a living:

===========================

British embryologist Michael Richardson and his colleages published an important paper in the August 1997 issue of Anatomy & Embryology showing that Haeckel had fudged his drawings to make the early stages of embryos appear more alike than they actually are! As it turns out, Haeckel's contemporaries had spotted the fraud during his lifetime, and got him to admit it. However, his drawings nonetheless became the source material for diagrams of comparative embryology in nearly every biology textbook, including ours!

From:

Haeckel and his Embryos

For more information, see:

Biology Textbook Fraud

Quote referenced from the above:

Thompson: Haeckel, who in 1868 advanced this "biogenetic law" that was quickly adopted in textbooks and encyclopedias throughout the world, distorted his data. Thompson explains: "A natural law can only be established as an induction from facts. Haeckel was of course unable to do this. What he did was to arrange existing forms of animal life in a series proceeding from the simple to the complex, intercalating [inserting] imaginary entities where discontinuity existed and then giving the embryonic phases names corresponding to the stages in his so-called evolutionary series. Cases in which this parallelism did not exist were dealt with by the simple expedient of saying that the embryological development had been falsified. When the `convergence' of embryos was not entirely satisfactory, Haeckel altered the illustrations of them to fit his theory. The alterations were slight but significant. The `biogenetic law' as a proof of evolution is valueless." W. R. Thompson, "Introduction to The Origin of Species," p. 12.

96 posted on 07/06/2005 8:16:19 AM PDT by Michael_Michaelangelo (The best theory is not ipso facto a good theory. Lots of links on my homepage...)
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