Did your science textbook teach that embryo drawings prove evolution?

Haeckel's embryos and scientific fraud
Haeckel’s embryos and scientific fraud

Jonathan Wells, a biologist with Ph.Ds from Yale and UC Berkeley, writes about one example of fake evidence here:

Charles Darwin thought that “by far the strongest” evidence that humans and fish are descended from a common ancestor was the striking similarity of their early embryos. According to Darwin, the fact that “the embryos of the most distinct species belonging to the same class are closely similar, but become, when fully developed, widely dissimilar… reveals community of descent.” 2 To illustrate this, German Darwinist Ernst Haeckel made some drawings in the 1860s to show that the embryos of vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) look almost identical in their earliest stages.

But Haeckel faked his drawings. Not only do they distort vertebrate embryos by making them appear more similar than they really are (in a way that Stephen Jay Gould wrote “can only be called fraudulent” 3), but they also omit classes and stages that do not fit Darwin’s theory. Most significantly, Haeckel omitted the earliest stages, in which vertebrate embryos are strikingly different from each other. The stage he portrayed as the first is actually midway through development. Yet according to Darwin’s logic, early dis-similarities do not provide evidence for common ancestry.

Haeckel used his faked drawings to support not only Darwinian evolution, but also his own “Biogenetic Law,” which stated that embryos pass through the adult stages of their ancestors in the process of development.

…Haeckel’s drawings were exposed as fakes by his own contemporaries, and his Biogenetic Law was thoroughly discredited by 20th century biologists. It is now generally acknowledged that early embryos never resemble the adults of their supposed ancestors. A modern version of recapitulation claims that early embryos resemble the embryos of their ancestors, but since fossil embryos are extremely rare, this claim is little more than speculation based on the assumption that Darwin’s theory is true.

Now the standard response from Darwinists: no textbooks are still using the fraudulent embryo images.

You can see the actual faked pictures from the modern textbooks here. These textbooks were being produced as late as 2004, even though the fraud was detected in the 1800s! Is this the vaunted self-correction of science, or science being twisted to support social and political goals?

And this excerpt from that article is interesting:

Some Darwinists continue to deny that there has been any misuse of Haeckel in recent times. If that is the case, why did Stephen Jay Gould attack how textbooks use Haeckel in 2000? Gould wrote: “We should… not be surprised that Haeckel’s drawings entered nineteenth-century textbooks. But we do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks!” (emphasis added) Similarly, in 1997, the leading embryologist Michael K. Richardson lamented in the journal Anatomy and Embyology that “Another point to emerge from this study is the considerable inaccuracy of Haeckel’s famous figures. These drawings are still widely reproduced in textbooks and review articles, and continue to exert a significant influence on the development of ideas in this field.” (emphases added)

Here is a link to the peer-reviewed journal Science, where there is an article talking about the fraudulent embryo drawings. Yes – the drawings really are fraudulent.

And finally, Casey Luskin has a new post up at Evolution News that lists all the textbooks that contain the fraudulent drawings. One is dated 2013! The drawings just keep getting recycled over and over as a “proof” of evolution.

13 thoughts on “Did your science textbook teach that embryo drawings prove evolution?”

  1. I agree with the obvious view that textbooks and science boards are often filled and made by scientists that didn’t want to do a. Lot of research so they push paper.

    So in many cases ideology and books are far removed from what is current.

    What is more scary is for a teacher to correct or even mention current research could mean the loss of a job becaue it won’t fit nicely into their story.

    Teachers have been in trouble for just saying the Miller urey experiment didn’t really prove much. Other than a couple of the hundred amino acids needed for life. In a mix of over 99 percent tar in a selective experiment that in no way represents any naturally occurring condition

    Liked by 4 people

        1. I don’t see the point of adding God if evolution generates the first living cell, and all the body plans and organ types. Either it works or it doesn’t, no need to bring God into it unless there are features of living systems that appear designed and cannot be explained by chance and material processes alone.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. It isn’t that anyone that goes to a level of ID doesn’t believe in any points of evolution. They will believe things have changed as far as evidence takes it.

            But don’t teach fabricated embryo drawings. Be truthful about how they are still looking for all the intermediate forms and the museum pictures of all these ancestors to types are the imagination of some artist at the request of a scientist to fill in the blanks.

            Why should Christianity be labeled false when we have incredible evidence as a post a day or two back showed about the reliability of the gospel. For example. Yet the myth of fabricated gospel writing continues becaue they hold impossible standards to prove Christianity is true that no writing of antiquity could meet.

            But for evolution claims any fantasy they can imagine to create evidence is told as if they had the fossils in line to support any narrative, which they don’t have.

            I don’t fear evolution from a faith point of view as Christianity doesn’t rest on it being true or not.

            But when a Christian doesn’t need to believe in exclusive naturalism despite all contrary evidence it frees a person to study the evidence. For that reason I find the evidence of evolution far to lacking to be compelling. Perhaps if I was a weak person that cared about what others think of me or if they thought I must be stupid to not buy in I would submit to the theory.

            But I can’t lose my job for not believing evolutions capable of single cell life to man with no interference. So I am free to accept what the evidence says


  2. I completely fell for the embryo scam when I was an atheist. I actually thought that HUMAN embryos went through lower life forms’ embryonic stages in the HUMAN womb.

    Yes, I actually believed that.

    And I was 100% pro-life too, no exceptions.

    Just TRY to unravel what was going through my brain, WK!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like hearing about your thought process. My good friend Eric started out as an atheist but he dumped because evolution didn’t work to do the creating it’s supposed to be able to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not to mention that it would be the miracle of all miracles if true.
        It was a very dark place for me to be, WK.
        But, Carl Sagan said it, so I believed it!


    1. But devolution is proof of upward evolution. From lifeless chemicals to incredibly efficient replicating organisms with amazing ability to store information and repair themselves.

      All while having no need to create life. Becaue to laws of nature it will take the easy path and chemicals would rather stay as basic chemicals that to organize in ever more advanced ways without something predetemining the process

      Liked by 1 person

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