Saturday, June 23, 2007

Embryos Have Similar Characteristics?

The following is from on a continuing discussion about evolution arising from a post dated July 1, 2006.

The comment providing evidence for evolution is: "Comparative Embryology: In the developing embryos of very different species of organisms, we see the same structures developing. For example, the embryo of a human is almost identical to that of a chicken or a pig. Developing “arm” buds of each species are indistinguishable, but could develop into an arm, wing, or flipper depending on the certain genetic sequence. Evolution explains why a developing human embryo would possess a tail or gill pouches."

Are you talking about the theory of ontology recapitulates philology? This theory states that embryos go through a genetic sequence that was preserved from their evolutionary heritage. Thus embryos show features from earlier parts of their evolutionary genealogy.

This theory was created 1866 by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel. To support his theory he published a set of embryo drawings that showed the similarities among embryos. When I checked my son's high school biology book in the year 2000, these drawings were in that book. The problem is that Haeckel faked the drawings. His evidence was completely made up. A few years after he published his drawings he was charged with fraud and convicted by a university court. For over 125 years this fraudulent "evidence" for evolution has continued to be included in textbooks.

We now very accurately know what embyos look like, and it is nothing like what is shown in Haeckel's drawings. Why do they continue to be included in textbooks? Because, I've heard debaters say, these drawings provide strong "evidence" for evolution, even though they are not true. In other words, if it looks good, even it it is not true, use it anyway. That's not science. These are people who are desperate for evidence they can not find.

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