Evolution Encyclopedia Vol. 322 Appendix
VESTIGES AND RECAPITULATION
SCIENTISTS SPEAK ABOUT
Among knowledgeable scientists, the whole idea of "useless organs" is ridiculous. It is well-known that functions have been found for nearly every organ, and time will unveil still more information as research continues.
Slusher and Moors point out several decided flaws in the theory.
"There are major weaknesses in the vestigial organ argument. First, as has been pointed out, just because no function is known for an organ does not necessarily mean that it is useless. That its removal causes no apparent damage may be because its function is taken over by other organs. This is known to occur in some cases.
"Second, why would disuse cause deterioration of an organ? This is Lamarckian reasoning and has certainly not been demonstrated. Even if an organ was never used, this would not change the formation of an organ by the genes. Supposed deteriorations occur because of 'loss mutations.' but why would these individuals be selected when they were losing the use of an organ that though not beneficial was certainly not harmful?
"Would any of the 'vestigial organs' mentioned above have a harmful effect on their possessor? It should be remembered that mutants tend to have less chance of survival, not more. If vestigial organs do exist, they cannot be used to support evolution toward increasing complexity because the individual is thereby simplified by having fewer functional organs.
"Rather, existence of vestigial organs would seem to support application of the second law of thermodynamics rather than evolution. The second law of thermodynamics relates to the idea that all natural systems degenerate. Are not all vestigial organs evidence of degeneration rather than progress or evolution toward complexity?." —I. N. Moors and H. E. Slusher, Biology: A Search for Order and Complexity (1970), pp. 425-428.
*Scadding adds more reasons for rejecting the vestigial organ theory.
"An analysis of the difficulties in unambiguously identifying functionless structures and an analysis of the nature of the argument, leads to the conclusion that 'vestigial organs' provide no evidence for evolutionary theory.
"I would suggest that the entire argument that vestigial organs provide evidence for evolution is invalid on two grounds, one practical, the other theoretical.
"The practical problem is that of unambiguously identifying vestigial organs, i.e., those that have no function. The analysis of Wiedersheim's list of vestigial organs points out the difficulties. As our knowledge has increased the list of vestigial structures has decreased. Wiedersheim could list about one hundred in humans; recent authors usually list four or five. Even the current short list of vestigial structures in humans is questionable.
"Similarly, for other 'vestigial organs' there is reasonable ground for supposing that they are functional albeit in a mina way.
"The other major objection to citing vestigial organs as evidence of evolution is a more theoretical one based on the nature of the argument. The 'vestigial organ' argument uses as a premise the assertion that the organ in question has no function. There is no way, however, in which this negative assertion can be arrived at scientifically.
"Since it is not possible to unambiguously identify useless structures, and since the structure of the argument used is not scientifically valid, I conclude that 'vestigial organs' provide no special evidence for the theory of evolution." —*S. Scadding, "Do `Vestigial Organs’ Provide Evidence for Evolution?"; Evolution Theory (1981), pp. 174175,17!
Paradoxically, vestiges are still considered important even though most scientific writers are opposed to it. But that is understandable, for evolutionary theory has little else in it’s favor.
"Its shortcomings have been almost universally pointed out by modem authors, but the idea still has a prominent place in biological mythology" —*R Erlich, and *R. Holm, The Process of Evolution (1983), p. 68.
Enoch cites oddities in who has an appendix:
"Apes possess an appendix, whereas their less immediate relatives, the lower apes, do not; but is appears again among the still lower mammals such as the opossum. Hour can the evolutionist account for this?
"However, the alter absurdity of calling the appendix 'vestigial' in man is apparent above all from this fact: that its function is unknown not only in man but also in every other species of animal that possess it. It kooks as though evolution has produced a totally useless organ all through the animal world.
" . . That such organs are useless, and to offer them as 'proof' of evolution, is not at all scientific. Professor E.S. Goodrich in his Evolution of Living Organisms, (1812), p. 68, declares: 'He would be a rash man indeed who would now assert that any part of the human body is useless.' Quite apart from this, the presence of vestigial organs, even if they should exist, would be more a proof of devolution, than of evolution.
"In order to prove his theory the evolutionist ought to show the existence of `nascent organs', I.e., organs newly acquired by an animal, and which did not exist in its ancestor." —H. Enoch, Evolution or Creation, (1988) pp. 18-19
If the vestigial organ theory is true, then men descended from women, or vice versa.
"A fourth category of vestigial organs would be those than are vestiges of the reproductive structures of the opposite sex, e.g. nipples in men, vestiges (in the female) of the Wolffian duct, and (in the male) of the Mullerian ducts. These structures, however, clearly reflect the embryonic development of a sexually dimorphic organism which begins its development in a sexually indifferent condition with structures characteristic of both sexes. They certainly do not reflect phylogenetic development. No one supposes males evolved from females or vice versa. On the basis of this analysis, I would suggest that Wiedersheim was largely in error in compiling his long list of vestigial organs. Most of them do have at least a mina function at some point in life." —*S Scadding, "Do 'Vestigial Organs' Provide Evidence for Evolution?'; Evolutionary Theory (1981), p. 175.
Evolutionists are quick to mention that whales have vestigial hind legs—but the fact is that only one species of whale has those bones, and they have a special function.
"Evolutionists often point to vestigial hind legs near the pelvis. But these are found only in the Right Whale. and upon closer inspection turn out to be strengthening bones to the genital wall." —John C. Whitcomb, Early Earth (1988), p. 84.
The vestigial argument of functionless organs is merely an argument from ignorance.
"In many cases the functions of minor structures are not well understood. Identification of function is often based on experimental procedures, the results of which require some interpretation. Hence, our knowledge of function can never be as secure as our knowledge of anatomy. . .
"I suspect that this argument; [functionless organs] gained widespread use not because it proves anything about evolution, but because it was thought to have particular force against some varieties of creationism .
"There is no way, however, in which this negative assertion [i.e., the organ has no function) can be arrived at scientifically. That is, one can not prove that something does not exist . . since of course if it does not exist one cannot observe it, and therefore one can say nothing about it scientifically . .
"Such an argument, from ignorance, or from negative results, is not valid scientifically, and has no place in observational science . . Since it is not possible to unambiguously identify useless structures, and since the structure of the argument is not scientifically valid, I conclude that 'vestigial organs' provide no special evidence for the theory of evolution.' " —*S. Scadding, "Evolutionary Theory," quoted in CRSQ. December 1982, p. 190.
2 -SCIENTISTS SPEAK ABOUT RECAPITULATION
Scientists, angry at the Haeckel's hoax, wish to discuss the matter with you:
The theory provides us with only a few stages and some in the wrong order; why are so many stages missing?
"A number of questions have been asked by serious scholars:
"First, if the developing embryo is supposed to reenact the sees in the evolutionary history of the race, why are so few stages inducted? Why should we find some of them appearing in the wrong order? Why should we not find thousands of steps instead of only a few. Why does the embryo go through some steps that could not possibly have been included in the history of the animal? How can such stages as the egg, tea, pupa, and adult of a butterfly be explained? Why do some parts of an embryo show recapitulation and other parts never show it?" —*Core Reno, Fact or Theory (1953), p. 89.
The theory is nothing more than an odd quirk in the history of evolutionary promotion.
"This law has been so seriously questioned and is so obviously inapplicable in many instances that as a law it is now of historical interest only." —*W.R Brenaman, Animal Form and Function (1954). p. 407.
Fetal structures cannot represent adult ones, and mutations are supposed to modify all stages.
"According to it, ontogeny, the development of the individual recapitulates phylogeny, the development of the race . . In this form the theory runs Into so many difficulties it clearly cannot be true. An immediate problem is presented by the fetal membranes, the umbilical cord, and other fetal structures that cannot represent adult structures of any period. Furthermore, mutations have been shown to modify all stages of development, not just the final ones." —*G.B. Moment; General Zoology (1958). P. 201.
Significantly, *Charles Darwin, who well knew all the available evidence for evolution, considered recapitulation to be among the best of it.
"Biogenetic Law or Recapitulation Theory was considered by Darwin to be 'second to none' as an evidence of evolution." —H.M. Morris, W. W. Boardman and R F. Koontz, Science and Creation (1971), p. 45.
Embryonic stages of the human heart reverse the theoretical evolutionary pattern.
"One favorite example was the human heart. Supposedly, the heart passed through a worm, fish, frog, and reptile stage before reaching its final forth. It is true that at one stake or another the heart in the human embryo has one chamber (as in the worm), two chambers (as in the fish), three chambers (as in the frog), and four chambers with the connection of the two sides (as in the reptile). But it should be noted that the heart in human beings starts out with two chambers which fuse into one far a time. This sequence actually reverses the stages of supposed evolution. There are reasons for each steps. The 'reptile stage' is necessary to churn the blood around the lungs until after birth. Since oxygen is received from the placenta before birth there is no use in sending a large supply of blood to the lungs when it is not needed." —J.N. Moors and H.E. Slusher, Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity (197ID), p. 424.
Certainty as to the theory was founded on a broad base of enthusiasm.
"The rapid development of this science [of embryology], was due principally to the enthusiasm created by the spreading of the theories announced by Darwin and by Haeckel, and that the 'almost unanimous abandonment' of the recapitulation theory has left considerably at a loss those investigators who sought in the structure of the organisms the key to their remote origin or to their relationships." —*A. Weber, quoted in E.R. Hooper, Does Science Support Evolution? (1947), p. 75. [*Weber is at the University of Geneva]
It may have been founded on enthusiasm, but not on facts.
". . so that the facts as we know them lend no support to the theory of recapitulation." —*A. Sedgwick Darwinism and Modern Silence, p. 174.
Still without satisfactory proof.
"After fifty years of research and close examination of the facts of embryology, the recapitulation theory is still without satisfactory proof." —*A. Sedgwick, Darwinism and Modern Science, p. 178
A leading Darwinist makes the following admission:
..Now that the appearances of the embryo on all stages are known, the general feeling is one of disappointment; the human embryo at no stage is anthropoid in its appearance." —*Sir Arthur Keith, quoted in ER. Hooper, Does Science Support Evolution? (1847), p. 70.
An empty theory, no longer believed by scientists, but still offered as evidence for evolution
"The biogenetic law was widely accepted by biologists and sensed as the basis for the surge of embryological research that continues unabated to this day. Moreover, the biogenetic law has become so deeply noted in biological thought that it canned be weeded out in spite of its having been demonstrated to be wrong by numerous subsequent scholars. Even today both subtle and overt uses of the biogenetic law are frequently encountered in the general biological literature as wail as in more specialized evolutionary and systematic studies." —*W Bock, "Book Review," Science, May 1969, pp. 684-685.
The problems standing in the way of the theory are just too great.
"Anatomically homologous parts in different related organisms appear to have quite different embryonic origins. This is almost impossible to reconcile with orthodox Darwinian or neo-Darwinian theory, and it is by no means evident at the time of writing how such problems may be overcome." —*D. Oldroyd, "Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution: A Review of Our Present Understanding, " Biology and Philosophy (1988), p. 154.
The kidney argument for recapitulation is worthless also.
"We see the development in the amniote embryo of three successive kidney structures: pronephros, mesonephros, and metonephros. It is often stated a implied to these three are distinct kidneys that have succeeded one another PMT they do embryologically. However, there is little reason to believe this. The differences are readily explainable on functional grounds." —*A Romer and *T. Parsons, The Vertebrate Body (1988), p.407.
Enoch summarizes some of the problems:
"The facts of embryology have left the recapitulation theory without satisfactory proofs. Professor Lucy, an evolutionist, says in his book Biology end its Makers (p. 230), that in development:
"'Many stages have been dropped out, others are unduly prolonged or abbreviated, or appear out of their chronological order. Some of the strictures have amen from adaptation, and are not therefore ancestral at all. The interpretation becomes a difficult task, and requires much balance of judgment and profound analysis.'
"T.H. Morgan, himself an evolutionist, in his Critique of the Theory of Evolution cites several instances of embryonic forms which cannot represent ancestral animals. An obvious one is the embryo chick in its shell. 'Hundreds of such cases are known to embryologists, and are explained as falsification of the ancestral records.'
"This is the kind of proof offered by evolutionists. The reader will remember how in a previous chapter . . mother earth was at 'fault' whenever she did not show the fossils in the order demanded by the evolutionists. And now a 'balanced judgment and profound analysis' apparently leads us to conclude that it is nature, not the evolutionist, who has falsified the facts of history!
"Until the beginning of this century the recapitulation theory had a good following all over the world, but the intensive research carried out of late has considerably lessened its importance, and today it is largely abandoned by evolutionists. Thus Professor E.B. Wilson, Dean of American Embryologists, states: 'There is a strong suspicion that the embryological record has somehow failed, and there are even some embryologists who seem to be almost ready to abandon the recapitulation theory.' Professor. T.S. Westoll called it 'sheer nonsense.' But in spite of the categorical rejection of the theory by men of great scientific status, and distinguished embryologists, there are still a few teachers of biology who obstinately cling to it." —H. Enoch, Evolution or Creation, (1966), pp. 57-58.
The following statement was made as part of the introduction to the 1956 reprint of * Darwin's Origin of the Species.
"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 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 to fit his theory . . The 'biogenetic law' as a proof of evolution is valueless." —*W.R. Thompson, Introduction to Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species (1956 ed.).
*Asimov was fortunate enough to find two 19th century writers who believed the theory of recapitulation:
"Embryology furnishes the best measure of the true affinities between animals." Jean Louis Agassiz (1807-1873). "Embryology will often reveal to us the structure, in some degree obscured, of the prototype of each great class." Charles Darwin(1802-1882)."—*Isaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), p. 74.
Oddly enough, *Stephen Gould, America's most influential evolutionary spokesman in the 1980s, is recommending a restudy of this blatant error.
"During the late 19th century, Haeckel's Biogenetic Law was considered one of the proofs of evolution. As detailed research showed it to be a sweeping and superficial generalization, untenable in most particulars, science abandoned it.
"For 50 years no biologist tackled an overview of the problem until Stephen Jay Gould's Ontogeny and Phylogeny appeared in 1977 and revived interest in the subject. Current attempts to understand relationships between ontogeny and phylogeny are difficult and technical, and the issue remains unresolved. " —*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 44.
Bird summarizes the views of ten scientists on the matter:
"[The] biogenetic law has been ‘demonstrated to be wrong by numerous subsequent scholars,' according to Bock, who was a biology professor at Columbia . .
"Raup and Stanley call the biogenetic law 'largely in error'; Ehrlich and Holm note its 'shortcomings' and its place in 'biological mythology'; Danson says that it is 'intellectually barren'; de Beer refers to the 'evidence against the "biogenetic law" of recapitulation in Haeckel's sense'; Bonner of Princeton calls it 'probably nonsense'; Encyclopedia Britannica calls it 'in error'; and even Mayr of Harvard describes the biogenetic law as 'invalid.' In fact, Haeckel, the formulator of the 'biogenetic law,' supported it with 'faked' drawings." —W.R. Bird, Origin of the Species Revisited, Vol. 1, p. 198-197 (see Bird for sources).
If embryos repeat past ages of history in their development; what about the embryos of the invertebrates? Why do they not "recapitulate"' also? Invertebrate embryos are so varied that it is impossible for recapitulationists to use them to illustrate evolutionary development.
"The invertebrates have been examined for evidences of recapitulation also, but they have not been of much help. Their eggs often hatch into larvae that are so unlike the adult that they may not be recognized as belonging together without breeding experiments. These larval stages are a kind of continuation of the embryo and have been included in the search for clues of taxonomic and phylogenetic relationships." —Henry Morris, et al., Science and Creation (1971), p. 48.
The shortcomings of this crude interpretation have been almost universally pointed out (except in the school textboooks).
"This generalization was originally called the biogenic law by Haeckel and is often stated as 'ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.' This crude interpretation of embryological sequences will not stand close examination, however. Its shortcomings have been almost universally pointed out by modern authors, but the idea still has a prominent place in biological mythology." —*Paul R. Ehrlich and Richard W. Holm, Process of Evolution (1963), p. 66.
Among scientists, its abolition is now established.
"It is now firmly established that ontogeny does not repeat phylogeny." —*George Gaylord Simpson and *William S. Beck, Life: An Introduction to Biology (1965), p. 241. [italics theirs.]
It was an unfortunate exaggeration.
"The enthusiasm of the German zoologist, Ernst Haeckel, however, led to an erroneous and unfortunate exaggeration of the information which embryology could provide. This was known as the `biogenic law' and claimed that embryology was a recapitulation of evolution, or that during its embryonic development an animal recapitulated the evolutionary history of its species." —*Gavin R. de Beer, Atlas of Evolution (1964), p. 38.
The influence of Haeckel's theory retarded the study of embryology.
"The theory of recapitulation has had a great and, while it lasted, regrettable influence on the progress of embryology." —*Gavin R. de Beer, Embryos and Ancestors, (revised ed., 1951), p. 10.
Scientists no longer believe it.
" . . we no longer believe we can simply read in the embryonic development of a species its exact evolutionary history." —*Hubert Fringe and *Marie Frings, Concepts of Zoology (1970), p. 267.
No longer convincing, or even interesting.
"The type of analogical thinking which leads to theories that development is based on the recapitulation of ancestral stages, or the like, no longer seems at all convincing or even interesting to biologists." —*Conrad H. Waddington, Principles of Embryology (J956), p. 10.
It was debunked back in the 1920s.
"Well, the Biogenetic Law—embryologic recapitulation—I think was debunked back in the 1920's by the embryologists." —*Dr. David Raup, as taken from page 18 of an approved and verified transcript of a taped interview conducted by Luther D. Sunderland on 27 July 1979. See also Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin's Enigma (1984), p. 111.
The concept is a dead one.
"Surely the biogenic law is as dead as a doornail." —*Keith Stewart Thomson, "Ontogeny and Phylogeny Recapitulated, "American Scientist, May-June 1988, p. 273.
Instead of facing facts, *Haeckel began with a theory and tried to fit the facts into it.
"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 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, *Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species, p. 12.
*De Beer explains in some detail why the embryonic similarities argument is incorrect.
"Structures as obviously homologous as the alimentary canal in all vertebrates can be formed from the roof of the embryonic gut cavity (sharks), floor (lampreys, newts), roof and floor (frogs), or from the lower layer of the embryonic disc, the blastoderm, that floats on the top of heavily yolked eggs (reptiles, birds). It does not seem to matter where in the egg or the embryo the living substance out of which homologous organs are formed comes from. Therefore, correspondence between homologous structures cannot be pressed back to similarity of position of the cells of the embryo or the parts of the egg out of which these structures are ultimately differentiated." —*Gavin R. de Beer, Homology, An Unsolved Problem (1971), p. 13. [Italics his.]
3 - HAECKEL'S FRAUDULENT CHARTS
*Ernst Haeckel had an overmastering obsession to convince people that evolution was true. Like certain men after his time, he was willing to go to any length in providing supposed substantiation for the theory. Here is additional information on "Haeckel's hoax."
Haeckel's theory, known as the "Law of Recapitulation" and the "Biogenetic Law," was first suggested by Meckel (1781-1883). Karl von Borer (1792-1876) saw the error in Meckel's idea and wrote against it.
But it was *Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) that elevated it to the supposed status of a "law" and proclaimed the theory as widely as he could. He wrote a number of books advocating evolution, and in all of them recapitulation was a dominant theme and a primary evidence.
Both *Darwin and *Huxley were thrilled that someone had, at last, come forward with some actual evidence for evolution:
"He [Haeckel] became convinced he had discovered the most basic law of evolution: 'Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,' or the development of an embryo (ontogeny) is a speeded-up replay of the evolution of the species (phylogeny). It was an enormously influential idea, utilized by both Darwin and Huxley, who were impressed with Haeckel's detailed illustrations comparing embryonic development in various animals and man. In their earlier stages, according to Haeckel's drawings, pigeons, dogs and humans looked identical." —*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 205.
Haeckel developed his charts and used them, not only in lecture halls, but in books as well. They first appeared in his Natural History of Creation (Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte) in 1868. In this book Haeckel stated that the ova and embryos of different animals—and also man—are, at certain period in their development, perfectly identical. In proof of this assertion, he placed on page 242 three woodcuts that were indeed identical! One was purported to be the ova of man, the second a monkey, and the third a dog, each enlarged 100 times. The three woodcuts were totally identical. What a striking evidence this was to anyone who saw it!
Yet it was a fake. Haeckel prepared a woodcut, and then had the printer print it, one above the other, three times in a column!
On page 248, three woodcuts of embryos are to be found. The captions label them the embryos of a dog, a chicken, and a tortoise. All three are identical. In the accompanying text, on page 249, Haeckel explains that close examination of the actual embryos revealed the same total likeness that the woodcuts did. Once again, Haeckel was writing fiction. As for the woodcuts, the same device was used: One woodcut had been prepared, and then printed three times in a row, side by side, with dog, chicken, and tortoise labels underneath.
In this book, Haeckel mentioned the sources from whence he prepared his woodcuts. This greatly added to the credibility of the woodcuts. But, of course, any scientist could check his sources. Rutimeyer and His did just that.
In 1868, L. Rutimeyer wrote an article entitled, "Referate, " which appeared on pages 301-302 of the Archiv fur Anthropologic (Archives of Anthropology). In that article, Rutimeyer, professor of zoology and comparative anatomy at the University of Basel, reviewed two of Haeckel's books, Natural History of Creation (Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte), and his Uberdie Enstehung and den Stammbaum ties Menschengeschlechts, both of which had been newly published the same year that Rutimeyer's review was published: 1868.
"Haeckel claims these works to be both easy for the scientific layman to follow, and scientific and scholarly. No one will quarrel with the first evaluation of the author, but the second quality is not one that he seriously can claim. These are works, clothed in medieval formalistic garb. There is considerable manufacturing of scientific evidence perpetrated. Yet the author has been very careful not to let the reader become aware of this state of affairs." —*L Rutimeyer, "Referate," in Archiv fur Anthropologic (1868).
Rutimeyer then continues on and discusses the fraudulent woodcuts. For example, the dog embryo and human embryo, shown on page 240 of Haeckel's book, are completely identical. Haeckel maintained that he faithfully copied the dog embryo from Bischoff (4th week), and the human embryo from Ecker (4th week). Rutimeyer then reprints the original drawing made by Bischoff of a dog embryo at 4 weeks, and the original of a human embryo at 4 weeks made by Ecker. The originals were very much different!
On the left below, is *Haeckel's drawing of a dog embryo and human embryo, each in the fourth week. For this, he drew a picture of a human embryo, and then drew a very slightly changed one for the dog.
On the right below, is what the original illustrations really look like. On the left is an original drawing of a dog embryo (4th week) taken from Bischoff. On the right is an original drawing of a human embryo 4th week) taken from Ecker.
Then Rutimeyer notes that, elsewhere in Haeckel's book, that same woodcut is used to portray a dog, a chicken, and a tortoise!
Rutimeyer was a well-known German scientist living at that time. He regularly had articles in each yearly volume of Archiv fur Anthropologic, yet his book review was never translated into English nor published in Britain or America!
Wilhelm His, Sr. was another highly-respected contemporary German scientist. The first major scientific book on embryology was prepared by His, Sr., and published in 1880. His not only perfected serial sections technique, so important in embryological studies, but he also pioneered the wax plate method of accurate scale reconstructions from such sections. He was the first to identify the bundle of His in the heart.
His, Sr. wrote a series of letters to Carl Ludwig; these were later published in Leipzig under the title, Unsere Koperform and das Physiologische Problem Ihrer Entstehung. The fourteenth letter in the series deals with Haeckel's fraudulent activities. As the basis for His' analysis, he used the 5th edition of Haeckel's Natural History of Creation.
His explained in details the extent of the fake woodcuts, and the false claims in the accompanying text. He also noted that, in another book by Haeckel, the Anthropogenie, two figures of human embryos in the blastula stage were shown with the allantois clearly visible, yet the allantois never appears in the blastula stage of growth.
He also discussed the 24 figures in the two-page spread on pages 256-257 of Haeckel's book. He angrily declared them to be gross distortions of reality, and not true to life, and said that Haeckel did it in order to show similarity of form, even though such similarity did not actually exist.
His also pointed out that Haeckel was a professor at the University of Jena, which was noted for having excellent optical facilities. Thus, according to His, there was no excuse for these fraudulent productions. His concluded by denouncing Haeckel as a fraud, and henceforth as eliminated from the ranks of scientific research workers.
"When critics brought charges of extensive retouching and outrageous 'fudging' in his famous embryo illustrations, Haeckel replied he was only trying to make them more accurate than the faulty specimens on which they were based." —*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 206.
Another scientist, who at about the same time also protested against Haeckel's fakeries, was Albert Fleischmann (Die Descendztheorie (1901), pp. 202-252.)
But it was all to no avail. Evolutionists gleefully reprinted Haeckel's charts over and over again.
Even after 1960, they were still being printed in reputable science textbooks! Here are several of them: *Edward O. Dodson, Evolution (1960), pp. 46-47; *William Bloom and *Carl Kreketer, General Biology (1962), p. 442; *Tracy Storer and *Robert Usinger, General Zoology (1965), P. 244; *Tracy Storer, *Robert Usinger, and *James Nybakken, Elements of Zoology (1968), p. 216; *Claude Ville, *Warren Walker, Jr., and *Frederick Smith, General Zoology (1968), p. 677; *Richard Leakey, Illustrated Origin (1971).
Disgusted with Haeckel's "cheating tricks," *Rager said this:
"Haeckel was not prudish in the selection of tools for his fight. In order to prove the validity of the law of biogenesis, he published several figures, the originals and legends of which were faked up.
"This fake is now shown in a few examples. For this purpose he used the same printing stock three times and invented a different legend for each copy
"There are a number of other figures the originals of which were changed by Haeckel in order to demonstrate that human ontogeny successively passes through stages of development which repeat phylogeny.
"This is not the first time that Haeckel's fake has been revealed. The well known zoologist Ludwig Rutimeyer (1868) protested against it.
"The law of biogenesis had to use cheating tricks in order to fit data to the theory." —*G. Rager, "Human Embryology and the Law of Biogenesis," in Rivista di Biologic (Biology Forum) 79 (1988), p. 451-452.
*Singer considered *Haeckel's work to be a mass of contradictions, acceptable only to the scientifically uneducated.
"His [Haeckel's] faults are not hard to see. For a generation and more he purveyed to the semi-educated public a system of the crudest philosophy—if a mass of contradictions can be called by that name. He founded something that wore the habiliments of a religion, of which he was at once the high priest and the congregation." —*C. Singer, A History of Biology (1931), p. 487.
He said he was merely filling some missing details.
"To support his case he [Haeckel] began to fake evidence. Charged with fraud by five professors and convicted by a university court at Jena, he agreed that a small percentage of his embryonic drawings were forgeries; he was merely filling in and reconstructing the missing links when the evidence was thin, and he claimed unblushingly that 'hundreds of the best observers and biologists lie under the same charge.’" —*Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), p. 120.
He was a doctorer of science.
" . . ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, meaning that in the course of its development [ontogeny] an embryo recapitulates [repeats] the evolutionary history of its species. This idea was fathered by Ernst Haeckel, a German biologist who was so convinced that he had solved the riddle of life's unfolding that he doctored and faked his drawings of embryonic stages to prove his point." —*William R. Fix, The Bone Peddlers: Settling Evolution (1984), p. 285.
We see in *Haeckel an example of shocking dishonesty.
"[The German scientist, Wilhelm His,] accused Haeckel of shocking dishonesty in repeating the same picture several times to show the similarity among vertebrates at early embryonic stages in several plates of [Haeckel's book]." —*Steven Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (1977), p. 430.
VESTIGES AND RECAPITULATION
STUDY AND REVIEW QUESTIONS
1- Research out one of the
following, and write 1 or 2 paragraphs on the importance of it in the human
body, why you need it, and how it helps you: (1) tonsils; (2) appendix; (3)
coccyx; (4) thymus; (5) Pineal gland; (6) thyroid gland; (7) pituitary; (8)
semilunar fold of the eye.
- Explain this sentence: "If we had useless organs in our bodies, they would
prove degeneration, not evolution."
3 - Explain the size problem: why
all embryos--human or otherwise--tend to look alike at an early age.
- Write a one-paragraph report explaining the importance of one of the
following in the embryo: (1) "yoke sac"; (2) embryonic "tail"; (3) "gill
- Prepare a brief biography on Ernst Haeckel, his frauds, and how they were
- Select two of the following, and briefly explain how they run counter to
the recapitulation theory: (1) development of the human heart; (2)
development of the human brain; (3) timing of fetal heart vs. fetal blood
7 - Explain this sentence: "Why
then does the fish embryo have--not only its own fish gills, -but also the
bird yolk sac, and the monkey tail?"
You have just completed
NEXT Go to the next chapter in this series,
CHAPTER 23- EVOLUTIONARY SHOWCASE