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Blind Guides

Biology textbook authors George Johnson and Jonathan Losos are leaders in the life sciences. They are accomplished researchers and professors from leading universities—they are also blind guides. In their otherwise well written and highly produced textbook The Living World ((Fifth Edition, McGraw Hill, 2008), Johnson and Losos badly misrepresent science and make fallacious arguments when they present evolution to the student. It is yet another example of smart people spreading lies and foolishness.  Read more

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189 Responses to Blind Guides

  1. Cornelius: I have for some time looked foward to reading your posts, but am concerned that your tone seems to be becoming more strident. It is a serious thing to accuse someone of spreading lies. I would have been more charitable and simply pointed out, as you have done many times previously, the underlying assumptions that the authors are using in constructing such diagrams. Unfortunately, you seem to have tired of doing so any more, and instead are now (for instance) inviting readers to fill in the blanks on their own, or engaging in simple put-downs. Sometimes the blanks need to be filled in every time. Your critics (and don’t count me as one, because I see and nearly always agree with the points you make), have noticed this, and are starting to sound more calm, rationale and reasonable than you.

  2. 2
    Cornelius Hunter

    Thank you SCheesman for your comment. I agree there is a difference between, say, evolution affecting science in negative ways that we see so often, and prominent evolutionists making blatantly false claims.

    And even in the latter case, I’d like to think these are merely innocent mistakes. But at some point that explanation runs dry. Indeed, when these “mistakes” are pointed out, evolutionists never seem to own them, but instead push back with more obfuscation. It seems to me that at some point you need to call a spade a spade.

  3. I see our old friend Nick Matzke weighed in on over on Dr. Hunter’s blog on this one. Nick writes:

    Nick M writes: “Macroevolution” means something much different to creationists than what it means in real life science, the distinction in usage goes back to at least the 1970s in the creation science literature. For creos it means “evolution between created kinds, which is impossible” or “whatever parts of evolution we don’t believe in/which the Bible precludes.”

    Ah, yes, the old “creationists simply don’t understand evolution” retort! And here we see Nick at his best, beginning his response right off with an ad hominem – (ie using the tried and true “creationist” label) Well, sorry to disappoint you Nick ol’ buddy, but very few of us silly “creationists” (whatever the definition du jour of that term is supposed to be – among Darwnists its pretty elastic) have any confusion whatsoever about what “macroevolution” means. It means exactly what the Darwinist say it means…oh, wait, they aren’t all in agreement on that one…oops, my bad. Let’s see is that evolutionary change above the species level, or is it below that level, above..no below…well, depends on which glossary in which textbook you read. Hmmm…I guess its the Darwinists that are confused on the term. I guess whichever definition suits the circumstance will do.

    Its amazing that even though the definitions of some of the most basic of their terms is elusive to them, somehow the Darwinists all “know” (wink wink) that evolution is a “fact, fact, fact”. Nick misses that little point entirely. But then, Nick is notorious for missing inconvenient facts staring him the face.

    So, Nick, if you read this, maybe you could provide a precise definition of “macroevolution” and tell us why that definition is the definition accepted amongst all Darwinists. Then, when you’ve picked one, I’d also like to see a detailed explanation as to why [I'll fill in the blank here with a well known, much revered name in evolution once I know what definition you come up with] who gives a much different definition is wrong and yours correct. Its easy to pull out a word for its pejorative and emotive content (ie ‘creationist’); much harder to lay out a logical and rational (read: non-fallacious) argument to support your own position.

    Sorry, SChessman if I, too, come across a bit strident, but the constant repetition of ad hominems coupled with the complete ignoring of actual facts coming from the likes of Matzke et.al, has just gotten old and threadbare. I agree with Dr. Hunter: its time to just tell it like it is.

  4. Dr. Hunter. Thanks for all your good work. If you’re interested in examining other modern textbooks for similar blatant fallacies and misrepresentations of the scientific method I’d be willing to assist with funding.

  5. DonaldM,

    You criticize Nick’s style and then use something very similar yourself. “Evolutionist” is as much an ad hominem put down as “Creationist”. Posts from pro ID people are often full of condescension, virtual eye rolling and sarcasm, which all gets a bit tiresome.

    And why should “Darwinists” be completely homogenous? Why should they agree word for word on definitions and the significance of various experimental results? No other scientists are in other branches of science. Physicists have a range of opinions and interpretations of experimental results in quantum mechanics, likewise with gravitational theories, likewise with why particular drugs produce particular effects in the body etc etc.

    The real world (and here I am going to get condescending) is not like it is depicted by biblical literalists. It is full of confounding discoveries, changing perceptions, dynamically changing models, and unanswered (and unanswerable) questions.

    Besides which, despite your scoffing, there are many of your friends here who do accept that evolution is fact.

  6. Off topic but I ran across this article and don’t see a good place to post it:

    http://www.infowars.com/left-w.....%E2%80%99/

    Could it be that UD is helping to embolden scientists to speak their minds? Maybe so. In the article Rancourt takes a flamethrower to the brave new (well, not really new) academia:

    “But it is his fellow University professors that Rancourt has the least amount of patience with.

    “They are all virtually all service intellectuals. They will not truly critique, in a way that could threaten the power interests that keep them in their jobs. The tenure track is just a process to make docile and obedient intellectuals that will then train other intellectuals,” Rancourt said.

    “You have this army of university scientists and they have to pretend like they are doing important research without ever criticizing the powerful interests in a real way. So what do they look for, they look for elusive sanitized things like acid rain, global warming,” he added. This entire process “helps to neutralize any kind of dissent,” according to Rancourt.

    “When you do find something bad, you quickly learn and are told you better toe the line on this — your career depends on it,” Rancourt said.

  7. The relationship between macroevolution and microevolution is actually quite easy to explicate via analogy:

    macroevolution is to microevolution

    as a

    flat earth is to a level parking lot

    The extrapolations are equally sound.

  8. Absolutely.

    Place enough level parking lots side-by-side and you can’t help but get a flat earth.

  9. Oh, I get it. Glue enough level parking lots together and you get magicoevolution.

    Anyone who has written software knows that you cannot build intelligent systems in that manner. Very soon, everything get so complex that you end up with Microsoft’s transition from XP to Vista.

  10. Dr. Hunter has presented no evidence whatsoever that Drs. Johnson and Losos have deliberately perpetrated what they knew to be a falsehood. He also has not asserted that their conclusions about the fossil record are the result of different assumptions about the interpretation of such evidence or metaphysical assumptions about the applicability of indirect empirical evidence. No, he has clearly and unambiguously asserted that they are lying.

    From this, what can one conclude? That Dr. Hunter is the one who is lying, both about Johnson and Losos’ interpretations of the fossil record and their motivations for such interpretations. Indeed, Dr. Hunter’s statements in this case (for which he has presented no evidence whatsoever and about which he has asserted complete confidence) verge very close to the legal definition of libel.

    Par for the course, though, for the cadré of intellectual charlatans who fancy themselves to be “Christians”…

  11. Mr MacNeil:

    You were fairly convincing up to your last paragraph:

    Par for the course, though, for the cadré of intellectual charlatans who fancy themselves to be “Christians”…

    Care to elaborate about how you this statement is of a different nature?

  12. Of course drop the “you” between “how” and “this” from the last sentence!

  13. … and my apologies for dropping the last “l” in MacNeill… my last name gets frequently misspelled (even above).

  14. Once we start to ascribe base motives and cast apspersions on peoples characters and qualifications, we might as well give up on any serious discussion of the facts. I think that applies equally to everyone in this debate.

  15. Seems to me that you’ve gotten awfully full of yourself Allen. All the attention has gone to your head perhaps.

    CH’s observations were not made in a vacuum.

    There are years of observation and discussion to back up his claim. Anyone with an once of time watching these battle knows that.

    So what’s with the playing dumb?

    Need he write a history of the ID Evo debate that most of us are familliar with in order to make his case?

    I take it that CH is speaking primarily to those engaged, not those new or ignorant of the history of philosphy and science.

    YOU seem to me to be assuming the ignorance of a new audience who may or may not be shocked at this one post. And by your derision, you reinforce or create the illusion that his comments exist in isolation.

    If you’ll permit a terribly long complex question for sake of illustration; do you like playing a man’s life work off as a soundbite in isolation so as to make yourself appear astute and reasonable to any ignorant newcomer in the audience?

    In this dying culture, we already have one Bill O’Reilly. We don’t need two.

    Certainly there were many involved in getting such a publication to print who are very familliar with the counter-arguments and therefore know there are other ways of interpreting the evidence.

    Its worse than lying. The most deadly lies are half truths. Propaganda is intricately woven and justified by clouds of truths mixed with a fog of falsehood.

    Keep it up CH ;)

  16. There’s kind of a funny disconnect between the cultural elite and reality, between theory and experience. The best schools, the toniest publishers, the most highly credentialed reviewers all seem wedded to a worldview that not only inhibits them from approaching science with an open mind but is also increasingly at odds with the zeitgeist. The average guy on the street believes in intelligent design for the simple reason that it’s self-evident and makes sense. Meanwhile basic science has been quietly demonstrating that Darwin’s tale about origins is highly unlikely or even impossible. It reminds me of the quotation attributed to Einstein—“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” Are the theorists really willing to fall on this sword?

  17. zeroseven

    You criticize Nick’s style and then use something very similar yourself. “Evolutionist” is as much an ad hominem put down as “Creationist”. Posts from pro ID people are often full of condescension, virtual eye rolling and sarcasm, which all gets a bit tiresome.

    “Evolutionist” is not a pejorative or ad hominem put down. It is the term many Darwinists use themselves. Perhaps you’re familiar with Richard Morris’s book The Evolutionists. When I use the term ‘evolutionist’ I only mean it to refer to people who accept the theory of evolution as being true. When ID critics use the term “creationist”, they do so for its pejorative and emotive content, meaning to imply people who believe the earth was created in 7 literal days about 10,000 years ago, on the level with flat earthers. In other words, people whose beliefs and ideas can be dismissed and laughed off. From long experience I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that that is exactly why Matzke chose to use that word with reference to Hunter. He loves to conflate ID with “creationism”, makes it easier to just hand wave all the arguments away as coming from IDiots. He does it all the time.

    The term ‘evolutionist’ does not and has not, to my knowledge, ever carried that kind of pejorative or emotive content. So, contrary to what you wrote, I am not using the same method. I will admit to being somewhat sarcastic…but that was intentional (or should I say ‘by design’).

    zero continues

    And why should “Darwinists” be completely homogenous? Why should they agree word for word on definitions and the significance of various experimental results? No other scientists are in other branches of science. Physicists have a range of opinions and interpretations of experimental results in quantum mechanics, likewise with gravitational theories, likewise with why particular drugs produce particular effects in the body etc etc.

    You miss the point. Nick’s whole approach (and indeed the approach I’ve seen taken quite often among ID critics) is to claim that “creationists” just don’t get it. He focuses entirely on the term “macroevolution”. The implication is that all evolutionists completely understand what the term means. Only they don’t. It is perfectly legit to point out double standard here. On the one hand he wants to take “creationists” to task for their supposed ignorance of what the term actually means, while completely ignoring the fact that apparently evolutionists aren’t in agreement as to what it means either. And, since “macroevolution” is such a foundational concept (supposedly) to evolution, yes, I think there ought to be agreement as to what the term actually means.

  18. As the history of the Darwinist movement reveals [with no serious counterclaims from the other side], evolutionary theory has put forth a number of famous “hoaxes,” which require, I trust, no elaboration. It is not necessary to read the minds of the hucksters who propogated the hoaxes, because everyone knows in retrospect that the intent to deceive was present.

    We also know that the word “hoax” is a euphemism for the word “lie.” So, the only real ethical question this is is: When Darwinists perpetrate a new hoax, and they are always coming up with new ones, should we use the euphemism or should we use the right word. Apparently, Dr. Hunter has decided to use the right word. Sounds good to me.

  19. As the history of the Darwinist movement reveals [with no serious counterclaims from the other side], evolutionary theory has put forth a number of famous “hoaxes,” which require, I trust, no elaboration.

    I don’t trust. I think it would be interesting to compare the number of well known hoaxes in science with the number perpetrated in the name of religion.

    You really want to judge religion or science by the worst of its practitioners?

    I have no great problem with asking textbook writers to be careful with their wording, but this particular charge is almost as weird as the recent claims made by Ken Ham about Bill Dembski.

    Apparently it is too much trouble to refute a person’s arguments, so you just jump straight to character assassination.

    And if you can’t think of anything nasty to say about the current person of interest, you associate him with some lapse of ethics from the distant past.

  20. Petrushka:

    Pardon, but on long observation of what is going on on the subject at issue int he wider context, you and some others of your ilk need to pause and do some mirror-looking on this one.

    I am not happy with Mr Hunter’s tone in this case, but it is very plain tha the routine practice of evolutionary materialist advicates — sometines inclusing in text books asnd presentaitons of popular science to a naive public, is replete with distractions, distortions, demonisation and denigration.

    In your case, over in the Meyer thread, we have had a major challenge to draw your attention to distraction and distortion after another, many of them loaded with unjustifiable personal inferences.

    So, I call on your side to take time to deal with the issues addressed in the Weak argument Correctives.

    As to the fossil reconstructions and allegedly independent timeline that underlie the assertion that Macroevolution [however defined] is an observed fact:

    1 –> No-one observed the actual animals on the ground at any given times, so the “observations” are riddled with all sorts of inferences and assumptions.

    2 –> As is pointed out here, the dating scheme is riddled with circularities, so this too is inference not observation.

    3 –> The mechanism of transformation and the relevant FSCI to drive it have not been accounted for on observations in the present, at least on chance + necessity a la CV + NS.

    4 –> The book overstates its case and suppressed weaknesses in it, also reasonable alternatives — absent a priori materialism. This, by people at the top drawer.

    That is willfully misleading, thus plainly deceptive by at minimum failure to do patent duties of care.

    No ifs, ands or buts about it.

    They can and should do a lot better.

    Something is very wrong with current science and sci education.

    GEM of TKI

  21. I will grant that popular science writing (and some technical writing) uses the word ancestor to mean cousin, many times removed. Some of the “ancestors” are probably not of the same species as the actual ancestors.

    I have no idea what you mean by time lines riddled with circularities. The estimated age of the universe has been adjusted maybe 20 percent since I was in college. Hardly something that would affect geology or biology.

    If the information analogy means anything at all, it means that information about an individual’s place on a fitness gradient is transferred from the environment (the oracle) to the population. Work is not a violation of any physical laws.

    Haven’t read the book. The charge was lying. I don’t see that justified in the case presented here.

    In writing this I have found myself going back and inserting qualifiers. Maybe not enough, but it calls my attention to the fact that I (and you for that matter) have to write differently to an adversarial audience.

    For 99 percent of the people who do biology, common descent is settled science. There are ID proponents in good standing on this forum who do not seriously question either the mainstream timeline or common descent.

    But this brings up something I don’t see discussed very often. Do you really want to see science textbooks and science teachers spending a lot of time on “the controversy.”

    I know you’d like to see books list objections to evolution, but there’s a problem with that. If they cite the objections, they are going to cite the refutations to the objections.

    Taken to its logical conclusion, science books will cite the whole panoply of objections, including those based on religion.

    So if a kid comes from a home where evolution is doubted or denied, right now he is taught something he has to memorize, but not necessarily believe.

    If the “controversy” is really taught, he will get ten times as much exposure to the evidence for evolution. He will get the history of the concept, including the history of early doubters and the history of how those doubts were answered.

    Just interested if that’s what you want.

  22. 22

    Petrushka,

    Your post at 19 is rich with irony. Not only is it rich with irony, its hard to imagine that the same person wrote all the sentences.

  23. its hard to imagine that the same person wrote all the sentences.

    Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself,
    (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

    WW

  24. —Petrushka: “I don’t trust. I think it would be interesting to compare the number of well known hoaxes in science with the number perpetrated in the name of religion.”

    I, for one, am only concerned about hoaxes that make their way into the public school classrooms. Can you think of any such religious hoaxes?

    Meanwhile, do you think that evolutionary biologists are being honest [not lying] when then include Haeckel’s Embryo Drawings in their textbooks as evidence for evolution.

    Haeckel’s Bogus Embryo Drawings

  25. 25

    Petrushka,

    It was you who brought up religion. You brought up religion to make a point about its past, then you asked Stephen (who never mentioned it) if he really wanted to bring it up.

    You then state how terrible it is to attack someones charactor and not their argument…all the while you steadfastly refuse to address the observable evidence of Design, and at the same time you ask for a tabulation of the past sins of those who might epouse it.

    Then seemingly having forgotten all this, you cap off your post with “And if you can’t think of anything nasty to say about the current person of interest, you associate him with some lapse of ethics from the distant past.”

    Very consistent application of ideals…really.

  26. Haeckel’s Bogus Embryo Drawings

    Haeckel’s drawings are not defrauding any children. If anything, more accurate images, along with an explanation of developmental pathways, are better evidence of evolution. Photographs are even better.

    I took high school biology about 1970. I went to a private school, so we had the most expensive and latest book available. I have a copy of this book. The word evolution appears nowhere in the book. The concept of evolution appears nowhere in the book.

    But our teacher did discuss Haeckel and did show us his drawings and did explain why Haeckel was wrong.

  27. When I did chemistry at school they presented the solar system model of the atom to us. Even though thinking had well moved on by then. But they still felt it was a useful way to get kids thinking about atoms and there are ways in which the model works very well. The next year they presented a model with a fuzzy cloud around it.

    I guess its the same with evolution. You are not going to go straight to the really complex diagrams and sometimes the outdated models are useful learning tools.

    What are the scientific hoaxes you are talking about StephenB?

    With regard to religion. Would you endorse teaching children the controversy about Jesus? That there are many eminent scholars who debate the historicity and many who say there is no reliable evidence for the resurrection, or even that Jesus existed?

  28. —Petrushka: “Haeckel’s drawings are not defrauding any children.”

    Thank you for your honest answer. In your judgment, the Darwinists who knowingly publish Haeckel’s bogus drawings are not lying, they are telling the truth.

  29. It was you who brought up religion.

    Fair enough, but I did not start the mud slinging. Perhaps I should have been a perfect gentleman and turned the other cheek.

    A very broad claim was made about hoaxes, implying that hoaxes are the prevailing mode of action in science. It’s fair to ask if anyone really wants to go there.

    As for Haeckel’s drawings, they have long been superceded by better illustrations of developmental pathways. The thing that creationists object to most — the implications for common descent — become increasingly evident the closer you look at embryos.

    But I don’t know why ID proponents would object to illustrations of embryonic development. I thought ID accepted common elements of design.

  30. Petrushka:

    Pardon, first you need to do a little more learning about misleading and ill-founded icons of evolution too often used in science edu at both popular and schools [or even College level], in addition to basic logic and epistemology etc.

    In particular, in leading textbooks up until far closer than is comfortable, Haeckel’s fakes were in use to persuade the naive.

    Piltdown man fooled the scientific world for was it nigh on 1/2 century, complete with people doing PhDs on a fake that had they simply had access to the actual skull would have been a patent fake [filed teeth and obvious chemical staining] — trade secret: most paleontologists work with casts, at least one stage removed from the actual facts.

    A lot of other icons are closer to that than we want to talk about.

    And this latest claim about a string of reconstructed artistic impressions from a span of a dozen or more MY on a timeline, is so deeply embedded with assumptions and inferences that to call it evidence of a “fact” of macroevolution is a travesty.

    An out and out deception.

    Next, some basics as from the previous thread this is needed:

    1 –> Observation: Scientifically, this is about what we actually detect with our senses or instruments that credibly serve as extensions thereof, in the here and now world. We let a heavy object go, and it falls.

    2 –> This produces facts, which are in effect credible reports of direct observations and measurements etc. Again, here and now world. It falls at 9.81 m/s^2.

    3 –> Once we move to project5ions from the present to the deep past, we are inferring what we did not and cannot observe from what we see in the present.

    4 –> Interpretation, deeply affected by worldview level controlling assumptions that as Lakatos pointed out, will be protected by an armour belt of auxiliary hypotheses.

    5 –> Assumptions such as Lewontinian a priori materialism. (And you have not taken back your insinuation that I was quote mining; which I showed is utterly ill founded.)

    6 –> When it comes to dating schemes and timelines, we have to understand that these are reconstructions, not facts. Even stellar dynamics, galaxy formation dating of clusters and models of solar system formation are riddled with all sorts of what ifs and controlling assumptions, which one should be straight about, regardless of whether the despised — notice the pointer to the atmosphere of hostility — young earth Creationists will point them out.

    7 –> That is what humility and integrity about what we do or can know, to what degree of confidence, demands. Whether or not you label it science.

    8 –> You were very dismissive when I pointed to the problem of circularity in dates and timelines, and obviously did not follow the link I gave already, or — worse — if you did you decided to play at strawman games.

    9 –> Here is a summary of points of concern, from Milton (who is not a young earth creationist):

    [[1 Untestability/ Circularity:] . . . the overwhelming majority of [[radioactive] dates could never be challenged or found to be flawed since there is no genuinely independent evidence that can contradict those dates . . . .

    [[2 Ballpark thinking:] Any dating scientist who suggested looking outside of [[the standard] ballpark . . . would be looked on as a crackpot by his colleagues. More significantly, he would not be able to get any funding for his research . . . .

    [[3 Intellectual phase-locking:] . . . all scientists make experimental errors that they have to correct. They naturally prefer to correct them in the direction of the currently accepted value thus giving an unconscious trend to measured values . . . . [[Emphasis original]

    [[4 Conformity to consensus:] Take for example a rock sample from the late Cretaceous, a period which is universally believed to date from some 65 million years ago. Any dating scientist who obtained a date from the sample of, say, 10 million years or 150 million years, would not publish such a result because he or she will, quite sincerely, assume it was in error. On the other hand, any dating scientist who did obtain a date of 65 million years would hasten to publish it . . . [[Shattering the Myths of Darwinism (Park Street Press, 1997), pp. 50 – 51.]

    10 –> For instance, any number of otherwise good-seeming dates on rocks beyond 4.6 BY for earth’s age have been tossed as obvious errors. When it came to the brouhaha on dating KNM ER 1470, which happened whole I was in High school and was covered up in the pop sci press and major news mags etc, that was a sad case. The lab coats are a little threadbare on this one.

    11 –> Writing on the star method, isochrons, Davidson, Charlier, Hora, and Perlroth recently observed:

    The determination of accurate and precise isochron ages for igneous rocks requires that the initial isotope ratios of the analyzed minerals are identical at the time of eruption or emplacement [[i.e. they must come from a common initial “molten rock point,” as shown]. Studies of young volcanic rocks at the mineral scale have shown this assumption to be invalid in many instances. Variations in initial isotope ratios can result in erroneous or imprecise ages. Nevertheless, it is possible for initial isotope ratio variation to be obscured in a statistically acceptable isochron. Independent age determinations [[but Milton's four “reasoning in a circle” challenges undercut such “independence”] and critical appraisal of petrography are needed to evaluate isotope data. If initial isotope ratio variability can be demonstrated, however, it can be used to constrain petrogenetic pathways [[i.e. It is used to argue for models of rock origin]. [[Abstract, “Mineral isochrons and isotopic fingerprinting: Pitfalls and promises,” Geology, Vol. 33, No. 1, Jan. 2005, pp. 29–32.]

    12 –> In short, a little epistemological humility is called for. We would be wise to heed the warning in Job 38:

    2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel
    with words without knowledge?
    3 Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.
    4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
    5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
    6 On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone-
    7 while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels shouted for joy? . . .

    ______________

    There are some things we do not know for sure, and we cannot know beyond reasonable doubt.

    If our ideologies are so fragile that they lead us to pretend to a greater knowledge than we have, and lend it the august presence of the holy lab coat, then that is telling us something not so good about the current state of science and science education.

    GEM of TKI

  31. with people doing PhDs on a fake that had they simply had access to the actual skull would have been a patent fake

    Really? Name someone who did a PhD thesis on Piltdown without seeing it.

  32. Regarding KNM ER 1470, do you think it is an ape or a human?

  33. I am dismissive of your article on dates because it presumes that mainstream scientist are unaware of problems dating things, do not take reasonable precautions, and do not argue about possible errors.

    In short, your essay is a slur on people who do field work, implying they are dishonest or generally incompetent. I have no idea what points you are trying to score with this line of argument.

  34. Regarding Piltdown, you are aware, aren’t you that:

    William Gregory, a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History wrote in Natural History in May of 1914:

    “It has been suspected by some that geologically [the bones] are not that old at all; that they may even represent a deliberate hoax, a negro or Australian skull and a broken ape jaw, artificially fossilized and planted in the grave bed, to fool scientists.”

  35. 35

    Petrushka,

    “It has been suspected by some that geologically [the bones] are not that old at all; that they may even represent a deliberate hoax, a negro or Australian skull and a broken ape jaw, artificially fossilized and planted in the grave bed, to fool scientists.”

    I see, a conspiracy against scientists that scientists didn’t catch and were the victims of a hoax. That’s interesting. ;)

  36. —Petrushka: “A very broad claim was made about hoaxes, implying that hoaxes are the prevailing mode of action in science. It’s fair to ask if anyone really wants to go there.”

    You didn’t deny the broad claim but rather changed the subject by insinuating that religious partisans were guilty of the same crime.

    In terms of the facts in evidence, I made a very specific claim, pointing out that large sections of the Darwinist establishment lie about Haeckel’s drawings by including them in textbooks as if they were the truth.

    —”As for Haeckel’s drawings, they have long been superceded by better illustrations of developmental pathways.”

    I know, that is why I raised the issue. To use outdated drawings knowing that they have been superseded by “better illustrations” is to lie.

    I realize from past correspondences that you think a thing can be both true and false at the same time. However, I will ask you to humor me in this case and agree with me that if someone is telling the truth he is not lying, and if he is lying he is not telling the truth. Are those Darwinists who knowingly publish pictures of Haeckel’s bogus drawings in public school textbooks lying are they telling the truth?

  37. I see, a conspiracy against scientists that scientists didn’t catch and were the victims of a hoax. That’s interesting.

    It wasn’t one of the greatest moments in science. It caused a lot of people to waste a good part of their careers, even if they didn’t write PhD theses.

    It wasn’t good evidence for evolution. In fact all the early opposition was based on it’s incompatibility with mainstream theories.

    The best theory on why it happened is that it started as a prank, and the perpetrator feared it would destroy his career. So he fabricated a second specimen. It was the second find, in the presence of trusted folks, that cemented belief in authenticity.

    Who knows? Why did people trust Bernard Madoff? Certainly there were a few who didn’t.

  38. large sections of the Darwinist establishment lie about Haeckel’s drawings by including them in textbooks as if they were the truth.

    What part of the truth are you most interested in?

    The accuracy of the drawings, or the implications?

  39. Petrushka:

    You are now resorting to turnabout accusations. This is sad.

    Last thread, you were having problems understanding that a necessary causal factor is a causal factor, that once such is present events are not acausal, and were playing tag-team with Gaz who plainly could not bring himself to accept the principle of non-contradiction as a foundation stone of sound reasoning.

    So, pardon a few direct words: you do not have a credible basis for being seen as a sound and balanced thinker. As already pointed out, you have some basic remedial work to do. I wish there were a softer way to say it and get the point through, but on the track record of recent days in the Meyer thread, that is not the case.

    And I don’t really have as much time to go in futile circles with you again. Spirals make progress but what I saw was circles of undigested unexamined assumptions that kept on reducing to absurdity.

    When it comes to models of the remote past, these days they are all sadly tainted by a pattern of a priori commitment to evolutionary materialism that dominates science.

    As has been abundantly documented.

    And, in that context, schools of scientific thought often deteriorate into the worst forms of party-line orthodoxy. Individuals may well be sincerely working but they are working in a flawed paradigm. I have no problem with that, given the major gaps in education today [cf below on a simple logical demonstration on the limits of scientific methods] and the war on common sense reasoning all across our civilisation.

    We need correction and remediation not condemnation for working stiffs in lab coats who worry about paying their next st of bills.

    When it comes to those who stand up as leading public voice spokesmen for Science or as major scientific educators, the level of duty of care shoots up far higher.

    Such are duty bound to seriously reflect on their presuppositions, and on the limitations of methods and knowledge claims. In particular, when you try to reconstruct a remote past that you did not observe and cannot observe, you MUST tell your students that you are building a tower of inferences and that on a foundation of assumptions and in the context of schools of thought that too often implicitly or explicitly set “right” or at least “acceptable” answers.

    To present this sort of thing as though the timeline models of a deep and unobserved past are as certain as the observation of the earth’s roundness or gravity in action, is a categorical confusion beyond excuse. Especially in one acting as spokesman or as educator, especially a textbook writer or reviewer for a major publisher.

    And to do such, or to roundly declare that a rower of inferences, artistic reconstructions and interpretations rooted in a dominant a priori commitment to evolutionary materialism is more than a mistake. It is an outrageous breach of duties of care as an educator to the point of outright willful deception.

    Similar to how the Marxists were playing with social sciences phenomena back in the 70′s and 80′s, or how those who want to tell us that computer simulations and post hoc fallacies ground enormously economically destructive interventions are guilty of massive malpractice today.

    I have seen it all before, and I have heard that one about how dare you challenge the consensus and imply or assert a want of integrity, too.

    So, I am not at all surprised.

    Yes, there is a generally accepted system of dates and timelines, and theories on how one thing led to another, by chance plus mechanical necessity, with attached “standard” dates to three or four significant figures. But, on inference to best, empirically anchored explanation, too much of the process is driven by a priori materialistic ideology, and too much of it is locked into ballpark thinking in light of the tradition and the dominant factions and schools of thought. Too much of what is “seen” is coloured and constrained by the ideological shades and blinkers we are wearing.

    I notice, too, on your subject switching red herring on KNM ER 1470 and the dates on the KBS tuff etc. I pointed to the confident dates given to me and others when I was an eager young science student. But when I learned about the behind he scenes ideological battles, that set off a light in my head, bigtime. Sorry, I have no confidence in the system.

    [I have a lot more respect for the cosmological arguments, and inferences on distance and age, not least because my favourite intro astrophysics text from way back was so patently honest about limitations, even moreso than when I first looked at astro as an interested High Schooler. That is a big part of why I begin my little session with the Hertzprung Russell diagram and go from there to an outline of what would happen to a big ball of Hydrogen gas undergoing slow gravitational collapse. From that we can look at cosmological models and solar system formation models, again acknowledging limitations. Then, we can have a reasonable baseline, with all the due cautions on the whole reconstruction. But, the result is clean, or as clean as we are going to get in this overly ideologised age. Against that backdrop, we cna look at proposed earth history timelines, and recognise strengths and weaknesses; including those of radio-dating. And yet your ideological glasses and blinkers were blocking you from seeing that I was setting out a straight, clean model for cosmological and earth timelines. Actually, making the cleanest introductory layman level case I can see for a reasonable, scientifically informed model of the deep past. But, you see, for an ideologue, one has to toe the party line down the whole list, and must not ask too many embarrassing questions. That was so 30 years back and it is so today. For shame!]

    Worse, you failed to see the charitable assumption in my remark that the best explanation for the people who did studies on Piltdown Man is that hey were — as is standard praxis in paleontology — were working from casts. If people were working with the original skull and jawbone and failed to spot the filing marks they have no excuse for their conformity with the orthodoxy.

    We need to face some hard facts on the limitations on our reconstruction of the remote, unobserved, beyond records past.

    And we need to face the hard punch of the pessimistic induction: across time, scientific theories tend to be superseded as eventually facts come in that undercut them. We have no good reason to infer that he current crop of theories are the exceptions to that process.

    So, let us have the courage and humility to distinguish real observations and credible records of same, from explanatory reconstructions and models. Starting with the point that we cannot validly infer from empirical reliability of a model to its truth:

    Theory (T) EXPLAINS initial observations O1:

    T => O1

    T also predicts further observations O2:

    T => (O1 AND O2)

    O2, so far, is confirmed, and O1 was there from the outset.

    ___________

    But, (O1 AND O2) =/=> T

    (That would be to affirm the consequent.)

    We therefore only can properly infer that O1 and O2 provide empirical support for T, which may thus be seen as empirically reliable so far. But, it has not been proved true; it is always a provisional explanation subject to correction in light of future findings.

    On various other grounds [here I usually revert to the comparative difficulties cluster: factual adequacy, coherence and elegant simplicity and explanatory power), T may win out in a contest of competing possible theories, but again all that his would mean is that on the criteria we used to assess the possible theories, T is the best current explanation.

    However, if there is a controlling a priori — as with Lewontinian a priori materialism — this process has been compromised, and we are not even warranted to infer that T is the best current explanation.

    _______________

    Such constraints on science may not be palatable to those caught up in scientism, a common enough ideology, but the logic and history of science abundantly warrants the above.

    But then, in the past 500 years, Physics has undergone two truly major scientific revolutions, with all the pattern of fighting and worse that I see going on now with reconstructions of the deep past.

    He who marries the reigning paradigm of today is likely to be a widower on the morrow.

    GEM of TKI

  40. —Petrushka: “What part of the truth are you most interested in?

    —The accuracy of the drawings, or the implications?”

    I am interested in the truth of the drawing and the truth of the implications.

    Now back to my question. Are those Darwinists who knowingly publish pictures of Haeckel’s bogus drawings in public school textbooks lying are they telling the truth?

  41. 41

    “What part of the truth are you most interested in?”

    An interesting comment coming from someone who evades evidence.

  42. You are now resorting to turnabout accusations. This is sad.

    Just illustrating absurdity with absurdity.

    You seem to have promoted some untrue stuff about Piltdown. The PhD theses, the allegation that no one questioned the find or speculated that it might be fake.

    Does making untrue claims make you a liar?

  43. 43

    …and is still evading.

  44. An interesting comment coming from someone who evades evidence.

    Really. Evidence for what? That early 20th century biology textbooks published drawings that were incorrect?

    OK. Textbooks have errors.

    Doesn’t change the fact that better drawings would have been even better evidence of common descent.

  45. …and is still evading.

    You are lying. There’s nothing of substance on this thread that I haven’t responded to.

  46. If you want to see evasion, take a look at what happened to the claims about Piltdown.

  47. I notice, too, on your subject switching red herring on KNM ER 1470 and the dates on the KBS tuff etc. I pointed to the confident dates given to me and others when I was an eager young science student. But when I learned about the behind he scenes ideological battles, that set off a light in my head, bigtime.

    So scientists argue with each other?

    What happened to the claim that scientists always accept the prevailing wisdom without question?

  48. 48

    Petrushka,

    I said nothing about this thread. You have willfully evaded any serious conversation regarding observable evidence within the genome. You may remember my last attempt:

    Cornell Biology Prof Allan McNeil was recently on this forum to deride IDist with his usual pleasantries.

    He agreed that the specific sequencing of nucleotides in DNA which are transcribed by the cell’s machinery contain “meaningful information”.

    He also agreed that “meaningful information” is necessarily the product of perception. By this it was meant that there are no particles of information contained among the orbits of matter, instead, information is an abstraction that requires perception in order to exist.

    May I ask, how do you agree/disagree with any of these observations?

    …and your evasion was the standard ploy – shrug your shoulders and move along. In your case you moved into absurdity – asking if we took a Shakespeare and scambled it beyond recognition, then asking if it still contains Shakespeare.

    This is not a serious response.

  49. I said nothing about this thread.

    OK, so you are allowed to stir up animosity against a poster, not by responding to current arguments, by by dropping cryptic references to unmentioned other discussions.

    For the record, I did respond. I said I agreed (or found nothing wrong) with McNeil’s posts.

    I responded at some length.

    It’s really wearing me down to be the subject of personal abuse, and I’m beginning to respond in kind.

    For which I am ashamed.

    I’m going to take a break and cool off.

  50. 50

    Okay Petrushka, you do that. But let’s not pretend that the previous conversation didn’t take place.

    - – - – - –

    Take any text, Shakespeare for example.

    Encrypt it by XORing each character with a character generated from the output of a geiger counter (the most nearly random source we know of).

    The resulting string is indistinguishable from a random string. No test can tell it is not random. No known method exists for decrypting it.

    Does it contain information?

  51. —Petrushka:”There’s nothing of substance on this thread that I haven’t responded to.”

    On the contrary. You have been evading my question all afternoon and evening. Here it is again: Are those Darwinists who knowingly publish pictures of Haeckel’s bogus drawings in public school textbooks lying or are they telling the truth?

  52. StephenB,

    I might step in here while Petrushka is cooling off.

    I have not seen the textbooks in question but of course the publishers won’t be “lying”. The drawings could be used to illustrate a history of ideas about evolution. They could be used because although not accurate now they nevertheless have educational benefits (as with the different models of the atom used when I was at school). Maybe the publishers are just misguided.

    The word “lying” is being thrown around far to much in my opinion.

    I believe taking a kid to a creation museum and leading them to believe what they are seeing is true is extremely misguided. I wouldn’t call it lying though because no doubt the parents think its true.

  53. 53

    As a biblical creationist these authors actually make a point of mine.
    They are right to segregate that observing horse evolution in fossils is not the theory but a observation of evolution.
    I would say rather they are admitting that claimed biological evolution evidence is in fact primarily geological evidence.
    Its only an observation of evolution if the geology was accurate.
    Therefore its not actually a biological observation but mostly geological.
    Without the geological presumptions evolution is finished.
    indeed Darwin said that everyone should not read his boks unless they first accepted the geological presumptions behind it all.
    AMEN.
    A excellent line of attack against evolution thumpers and to persuade open minded people is to demonstrate evolutionism data is largely geology.
    Strange but true.
    So a flaw is in the claim that evolution is a biological conclusion on biological evidences and processes to those evidences.
    Got’im.

  54. Onlookers:

    It is time to draw some conclusions and make some fairly strong suggestions on what has to be done.

    For, what has happened in this thread and in the previous one (not to mention the thought police blog raids patrols over at Youtube and in Dr Hunter’s blog) underscores the problem of radical polarisation of our civilisation driven by ideology and party-line corruption of both science and science education (in schools and at popular levels).

    In short, our civilisation is increasingly being preyed on by dominant elites flying the colours of “science,” but in fact demonstrably pushing ideological, a priori assumption driven evolutionary materialism.

    In the case of the recent textbook, we are seeing Orwellian corruption of language to students: the very words “observation” and “fact” are being stolen from us, in service to — let us not mince words — a deceptive agenda. The most direct proof of that is the willful confusion of key words like that.

    If I cannot trust you with the dictionary [right here in front of me], I cannot trust you with the science or with science education, especially on a remote and unobserved past.

    Period.

    Punto final.

    End of story.

    (BTW, observe carefully how Petushka dodged out just as s/he needed to face the point that a theoretical explanatory construct is provably incapable of being proved based on observations. And, when claimed “observations” or “facts” are in actuality towers of theory-laden a priori commitment driven inference, we face the prospect of falsehoods being used as criteria for assessing theories, which will actually make it all but impossible to find the truth. For, a true antecedent will only logically imply [and thus, explain] true consequences. So, if we are led to swallow falsities as “observations” and “facts,” we will reject the truth because it does not conform with our believed “facts.” That is why we need to make a clear distinction between theories and facts, and it is why we must guard the work of observation with all diligence, or we can embed falsehood in our body of believed “facts,” leading us to reject the truth, which will not conform to falsehoods.)

    So, let us again hear Lewontin’s all too revealing remarks in 1997:

    the problem is to get them to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [[“Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997. (And, Petrushka, you have yet to apologise for directly implying that I am indulging in dishonest quote mining, nor have you addressed the fuller cite, link to the original and point by point rebuttals here. In short, you are in serious neglect of duties of care to the truth and to fairness.)]

    The a priorism and resulting arrogant and artificially ignorant,ideology-driven closed-mindedness are evident to all who will but look, as is the resulting reductio ad absurdum discusseed here. Philip Johnson’s rebuke was apt:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    I think we need to heed the warning of Plato in The Laws, Bk X, on what happened the last time that a major community in our civilisation was inundated with avant garde a priori evolutionary materialism at the hands of Alcibiades and co:

    Ath. . . . [[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only. [[In short, evolutionary materialism premised on chance plus necessity acting without intelligent guidance on primordial matter is hardly a new or a primarily "scientific" view!] . . . .

    [[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Relativism, too, is not new.] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might, and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions, these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others, and not in legal subjection to them.

    In short, it is not just a matter of science but of the fate of society and even our civilisation.

    Do we really want to hand our future and especially our children over to arrogantly closed-minded amoral ideologues?

    That is why, as a start, I think we need to build an alternative for education in origins science.

    (Hence, the IOSE beta.)

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Petrushka, I am not going to indulge you in your hoped for side track on KNM ER 1470. The whole process from the late 1960′s on has been so flawed and so plainly untrustworthy and driven by ideological agendas, that I have no confidence whatsoever in the credibility of any claimed results. I remember all too well being challenged by classmates holding up weekly newsmagazines with wonderful photopaintings of the human tree of ancestry in light of the wonderful work in the E Africa Rift valley. I did not have the facts of the dating game in hand then — they were locked away behind closed doors and inaccessible Journals and Conference Proceedings — but even then I knew that the whole evo of man scene was plainly riddled with basic errors of epistemology and marked by and aura of gross overconfidence. Yup, latest trend is to say it is Australopithecus, but the very scheme of assigning fossil skulls is itself utterly unreliable. This is a cloud cuckoo-land fantasy castle of a priori materialism based, ideologically loaded inferences and theory-driven reconstructions masquerading as fact, not sound observations. And, as someone who was there studying science as a student when this cloud cuckoo-land castle in the air was doing its fell work, I refuse to dismiss it from my memory.

    PS: RB, it is far more than mere geology, it is the whole project of reconstructing an imagined past timeline from hydrogen to humans and presenting it as though it were an independent and indisputable scientifically observed fact, across several disciplines. Instead, we have plain duties of care to be honest and humble about how we are building a tower of inferences, with some strengths but many, many limitations; starting with the basic and undeniable fact that we were not there so we cannot claim to have observed the past. Thus my introductory summary here.

  55. PS: On Piltdown and research in Anthropology, let us just connect some dots and read between the lines from this inadvertently telling admission by Richard Harter:

    On the whole the British paleontologists were enthusiastic; the French and American paleontologists tended to be skeptical, some objected quite vociferously. The objectors held that the jawbone and the skull were obviously from two different animals and that their discovery together was simply an accident of placement. In the period 1912-1917 there was a great deal of skepticism. The report in 1917 of the discovery of Piltdown II converted many of the skeptics; one accident of placement was plausible — two were not.

    It should be remembered that, at the time of Piltdown finds, there were very few early hominid fossils; Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens were clearly fairly late. It was expected that there was a “missing link” between ape and man. It was an open question as to what that missing link would look like. Piltdown man had the expected mix of features, which lent it plausibility as a human precursor . . . .

    Not only were the bones gathered from a variety of sources, they were given a thorough going treatment to make them appear to be genuinely ancient. A solution containing iron was used to stain the bones; fossil bones deposited in gravel pick up iron and manganese. [It is unclear whether the solution also contained manganese: Millar mentions that manganese was present; Hall, who did the tests for manganese, says that it was not.] Before staining the bones (except for the jawbone) were treated with Chromic acid to convert the bone apatite (mineral component) to gypsum to facilitate the intake of the iron and manganese (?) solution used to stain the bones. The skull may have also been boiled in an iron sulphate solution. The canine tooth was painted after staining, probably with Van Dyke brown. The jaw bone molars were filed to fit. The connection where the jawbone would meet the rest of the skull was carefully broken so that there would be no evidence of lack of fit. The canine tooth was filed to show wear (and was patched with chewing gum). It was filled with sand as it might have been if it had been in the Ouse river bed . . . .

    The hoax had a charmed life. Features that might have exposed the hoax didn’t get caught because of small errors in procedure. For example, the hoax would have been exposed immediately had a test of the jaw for organic matter been made. Tests were made on the cranial fragments, but these were sufficiently well mineralized to pass.

    The X-rays taken were of poor quality, even for the time. The dentist Lyne pointed out the incongruity between the heavy wear on the canine and its large pulp cavity, a sign of youth. This was interpreted as secondary dentine formation, an explanation that “worked” because of the poor quality of the X-rays.

    The erroneous wear pattern on the molars, which was obvious when Weiner looked at the casts, was never noticed. Nor were they carefully examined under a microscope — the abrasion marks would have been seen . . .

    Now, of course, so crude a hoax would not succeed today, but the key point is that researchers saw here what they expected to see, and at as time when this would have been a pivotal piece of evidence. So, despite strained attempts to marginalise the case [read the page (note how TalkOrigins is viewed . . . )], it is clear that if something was evident even from a careful inspection of casts, much less the original skulls, something was embedded as a “fact” in the stream of research that was not a fact. Which would have naturally played a part in the work of graduate students and full researchers. (As in, look at the literature review sections of theses, dissertations, monographs and papers. Somebody was not doing enough fact checking and was taking the authority of the big guns too much on their word. Somebody who was most likely working from plaster casts not the originals; the usual praxis in anthropology.)

    I trust my point on false facts driven by seeing what one expects and what the field expects [even where outright hoaxes are not being carried out] is plain.

  56. PPS: Add to this, how the Haeckel embryo drawings, despite early objections and errors obvious to the technically informed, persisted in textbooks for about a century (in various guises), and how the question of gluing/posing moths etc where they do not naturally rest came up on the Peppered Moth studies.

  57. Stephen B:

    Meanwhile, do you think that evolutionary biologists are being honest [not lying] when then include Haeckel’s Embryo Drawings in their textbooks as evidence for evolution.

    I am unaware of any textbook published in the last 20 (maybe 50) years that does so. I have seen several that publish them (or renditions thereof) as historical references, accompanied by text that explains that his claims premised on what he made his drawings for were wrong.
    I also so note that a recent study of the matter of his drawings concluded that the hyperbole surrounding the claims of fraud is just that – hyperbole, for he apparently retracted his drawings for more accurate ones in later editions of his book. But I do not recall the details, not that it matters. The point is his drawings are not used as eviodence for evolution, despite what creationists of various stripes wnat everyone to believe.

  58. Kairo:
    Add to this, how the Haeckel embryo drawings, despite early objections and errors obvious to the technically informed, persisted in textbooks for about a century (in various guises),

    Would it not matter HOW those drawings were used? You people seem to think that the mere fact that they appear means 1. that they are being used as evidence for evolution and 2. that this means we are being lied to.


    and how the question of gluing/posing moths etc where they do not naturally rest came up on the Peppered Moth studies.

    Have you ever performed an experiment? Ever tried to document a phenomenon in pictures?

    I’ve read the experiments that Jon Wells took part in in grad school – the removal of the nucleus from xenopus eggs – how often does that occur in nature, do you think? Are you in favor of having anyu mention of Wells’ work expunged from all records as fraud? If not, why not?

  59. not to mention the thought police blog raids patrols over at Youtube and in Dr Hunter’s blog”

    So, attempts to correct disinformation are now considered raids by thought police.

    So, shall readers conclude that the deleting of posts and the banning of posters on this forum is a form of Thought Police action?

  60. Derwood:

    I wish I could just ignore, but I know a little too much about rhetorical framing and Darwinist strawman tactics.

    FYI, my own HS bio text [by a mainstream UK/Caribbean publisher] used the infamous embryo drawings inappropriately, 30 yrs back or so. And, you should have a read here on the wider question of misleading icons of evo, including far more recent cases of the embryo fakes. And IIRC, a more recent case popped up only several years ago.

    On the ad hominem that I have not done experiments. Diagnosis at a distance in ignorance of relevant facts, reflective of hostility. About par for thought police tactics.

    And of course you have not addressed the fundamental issue at stake in this thread: theories are not to be conflated with observed facts that they seek to explain, on pain of potentially embedding in the body of a discipline falsities that are then used improperly as assessing criteria.

    GEM of TKI

  61. 61
    San Antonio Rose

    The biology book I studied from didn’t have Haeckels drawings in them. It had actual photographs of the various stages of embryos for several different species. I don’t remember the authors name, but I seem to recall it had a picture of a dragonfly on the cover.

    It was still a Darwinist text, but at least it was correct on that one point. LOL.

  62. —derwood: “I am unaware of any textbook published in the last 20 (maybe 50) years that does so.”

    So, if you are unaware of those texbooks does that mean that the textbooks do not exist. Didn’t you know that Stephen J. Gould himself commented on the problem in the year 2000. Since he died he would not been in a position to complain about later editions.

    —”I have seen several that publish them (or renditions thereof) as historical references, accompanied by text that explains that his claims premised on what he made his drawings for were wrong.”

    So, should be base our conclusions on what you “have seen” or should be base our conclusions on the facts.

    In the last decade, Darwinists have used remaked versions of Haeckels’s drawing, colorized to appear original, and yes, they were being used to sell the Darwinist agenda.

    However, my question still stands: Are Darwinists who use [and used]Haeckel’s drawings lying or were they [are they] telling the truth. Please answer the question. Or, are those who use remakes of Haeckel’s drawing promoting a double lie–i.e. the lie itself and the shameless plagiarism, lying or are they telling the truth.

    You have not yet answered the question on the table. Please address it.

    —”The point is his drawings are not used as eviodence for evolution, despite what creationists of various stripes wnat everyone to believe.”

    Oh but they are, regardless of what Darwinist apologists have suggested. I know of textbooks dated as late as 2004 that use colorized versions of Haeckel-like drawings and they are not there to provide “historical context.” On the contrary, they are used to argue on behalf of evolution.

    So, will you now address the question on the table.

  63. 63
    San Antonio Rose

    I know of textbooks dated as late as 2004 that use colorized versions of Haeckel-like drawings and they are not there to provide “historical context.”

    Which books? I was thinking my text had photographs comparing embryos. But now I wonder if they were color drawings. I may have been brainwashed without even knowing it. LMHO.

  64. All:

    I think Derwood needs to read here and here. And, of course here.

    Excerpting the first, by PN of UD:

    _________________

    >> Haeckel’s Embryos Are Alive
    Paul Nelson

    Sounds like the title of a bad horror movie, but it’s true. Run.

    All right, you can walk. The link above takes you to a pdf of page 110 of Donald Prothero’s new book, Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007). Prothero argues that “all vertebrate embryos start out with a long tail, well-developed gill slits, and many other fish-like features” (p. 108). Thus, he continues, “to the limited extent that von Baer had shown 40 years earlier,” Haeckel’s biogenetic law — ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny — “is true.”

    Except sometimes it’s not:

    But embryos also have many unique features (yolk sac, allantois, amniotic membranes, umbilical cords) that have nothing to do with the evolutionary past and are adaptations to their developmental environment. Thus it is dangerous to overextend the evolutionary implications of the stages in the embryo, but they are useful guides nonetheless. (p. 108)

    Useful guides to what? “Well-developed gill slits” and a long tail are features of adult organisms. Prothero has confused von Baer’s laws (which concern embryonic features) with Haeckel’s biogenetic law, which asserts that the adult features of ancestors are recapitulated during the embryogenesis of their descendants. >>
    ___________________

    Columbia U Press, 2007.

    And let us not forget Gould’s stricture in 2000:

    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! [Stephen Jay Gould, "Abscheulich! (Atrocious!)," Natural History, March 2000, emphasis added]

    So, The turnabout attempt fails, and Stephen’s question needs to be answered.

    GEM of TKI

  65. —San Antonio Rose: “Which books? I was thinking my text had photographs comparing embryos. But now I wonder if they were color drawings. I may have been brainwashed without even knowing it. LMHO.”

    Here are a few of the more recent ones of which I am aware. There may be more.

    I. Peter H Raven & George B Johnson, Biology (5th ed, McGraw Hill, 1999)*

    II. Peter H Raven & George B Johnson, Biology (6th ed, McGraw Hill, 2002)*

    III. Textbook III. Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology (3rd ed, Sinauer, 1998)

    IV. Cecie Starr and Ralph Taggart, Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life (8th ed, Wadsworth, 1998)

    V. Joseph Raver, Biology: Patterns and Processes of Life (J.M.Lebel, 2004, draft version presented to the Texas State Board of Education for approval in 2003)

    VI. Cecie Starr and Ralph Taggart, Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life (Wadsworth, 2004, draft version presented to the Texas State Board of Education in 2003)

    VII. William D. Schraer and Herbert J. Stoltze, Biology: The Study of Life (7th ed, Prentice Hall, 1999)

    VIII. Michael Padilla et al., Focus on Life Science: California Edition (Prentice Hall, 2001)

    IX. Kenneth R Miller & Joseph Levine, Biology: The Living Science (Prentice Hall, 1998)

    X. Kenneth R Miller & Joseph Levine, Biology (4th ed., Prentice Hall, 1998)

  66. By the way, the above list [@64] was taken from Casey Luskin’s article, “What do Modern Textbooks Really Say about Haeckel’s Embryos.” It’s well worth reading.

    I left in the asterisks since I don’t want to tamper with the evidence.

  67. Steve: Link. G

  68. 68
    San Antonio Rose

    Miller and Levine! That sounds familar. I’ll bet that was my biology book. TY! Although my book was in almost new condition so I doubt it was the same edition since 1998 is kinda old. Plus, like I said, it had actual photographs of embryos.

    Do you think that those photos might have been doctored?

  69. In the last decade, Darwinists have used remaked versions of Haeckels’s drawing, colorized to appear original, and yes, they were being used to sell the Darwinist agenda.

    What parts of the “remaked” drawings are incorrect? It’s a serious question.

    I mean, I’ve seen schematic drawings of the solar system in which the planets are not drawn to scale, and they are being used to sell the Copernican agenda. Some of them seem to display the orbits as circles rather than ellipses.

    I know a website that displays an idealized image of a flagellum. Looks very little like a photograph of same.

  70. I’m actually curious about what’s wrong with promoting settled science.

    I know you don’t think common descent is settled, but working biologists, including most credentialed ID proponents accept it.

    And most of the Darwin skeptics still act the undeniable facts of embryology. Embryos resemble each other because their genones resemble each other, whether the resemblance is the result of actual common descent, or the result of a designer with a sense of humor.

  71. —Petrushka: “What parts of the “remaked” drawings are incorrect? It’s a serious question.”

    Is it serious enough to prompt you to follow through on the reference kf and I provided [which provides all the pretty pictures and the uses to which they were put].

    Meanwhile, my quesion for you persists. Are Darwinists who knowingly use [used] Haeckel’s drawings lying or are they [were they] telling the truth.

    If you are not up to answering this question, I can do it for you. First, though, I want to make sure that you are going to avoid it indefinitely. If that is the case, just tell me plainly so I can respond appropriately.

  72. “Are Darwinists who knowingly use Haeckel’s drawings lying or are they telling the truth?”

    Are people who knowingly use line drawings of air planes lying or are they telling the truth?

    If they are using those line drawings to illustrate that real air planes don’t have engines, because the line drawing shows no engines, then they are lying. If they are using the illustrations to give the reader an idea of the general body design of an air plane, are they lying? No.

    The purpose of illustrations is to represent certain key features of the real object. And artistic license is a part of making illustrations of any kind (like the leaving out of many key features of real planes, e.g. engines). Did Haeckel use that artistic license, emphasizing similarity between early embryonic stages of different vertebrate families, to unduly further his hypothesis by pretending that there were only similarities, but no differences? Yes.

    The fact that Haeckel exaggerated certain features in his illustrations and then used these illustrations to draw conclusions that were mostly based upon the claimed absence of other features is indeed a good reason not to use these illustrations any longer.
    However, the inference that these drawings are supposed to illustrate in modern textbooks – that vertebrate families share common ancestry – is NOT based upon a claim that features not depicted in these illustrations are truly absent, but they are based upon true similarities between the real embryos, for which Haeckel’s drawings are an illustrative, if somewhat exaggerated example.

    Do modern textbooks claim that there are no features of early embryonic stages of different vertebrate families BEYOND what’s evident from Haeckel’s drawings, including a number of differences AND a number of other similarities? No.
    So what are biology textbooks using these drawings for? To illustrate the fact that embryos of different vertebrate families show lots of similarities – a lot more similarities than they show to embryos of non-vertebrate organisms. Is that a lie? No.

  73. This reference

    1) They show embryo drawings that are essentially recapitulations of Haeckel’s fraudulent drawings — drawings that downplay and misrepresent the actual differences between early stages of vertebrate embryos;

    (2) They have used these drawings as evidence for evolution — in the present day — and not simply to provide some kind of historical context for evolutionary thought;

    (3) Even if the textbooks do not completely endorse Haeckel’s false “recapitulation” theory, they have used their Haeckel-based drawings to overstate the actual similarities between early embryos, which is the key misrepresentation made by Haeckel. They then cite these overstated similarities as still-valid evidence for common ancestry.

    1. Embryos resemble each other to the degree that the species are related by descent. That’s a simple fact accepted by anyone who looks. Photographs are even more convincing.

    Even more important are the fine structures not shown by drawings and photographs.

    Even more important are the sequences of development.

    2. Well, duh. Embryology and development is slam dunk proof that species are related, even if you choose to believe that a designer deliberately made them to look like they are cousins.

    3.The similarities are not overstated. As in number one, the more closely you look at the fine structure and the sequence of development, the more obvious it is that you are looking at organisms having the same development systems.

    The whole enterprise of ID is to compartmentalize evidence as if forensic cases are made of unrelated elements.

    “Your honor, it’s true that the defendant’s fingerprints are all over the crime scene, but that merely indicates he was there at some time during his lifetime.”

    “Your honor, it’s true that the defendant has powder burns on his wrist, but lots of people fire guns without committing a crime.”

    Etc, etc.

    Embryology by itself doesn’t prove evolution, but it proves that the similarities and differences in the sequence of development fit the same nested hierarchy as all other observations of species.

    It also proves beyond doubt that structures in the embryo diverge in from commonality in the early stages to divergences in later stages.

    The divergences occur at exactly the stages entailed by common descent.

  74. —Petrushka: “I’m actually curious about what’s wrong with promoting settled science.

    —I know you don’t think common descent is settled, but working biologists, including most credentialed ID proponents accept it.”

    Inasmuch as ID advocates differ on the matter, it might be prudent to address a specific individual rather than appeal to an indeterminate “you.” Pronouns are hard to follow.

  75. Inasmuch as ID advocates differ on the matter, it might be prudent to address a specific individual rather than appeal to an indeterminate “you.” Pronouns are hard to follow

    Reasonable request. I think it applies to several people posting on this thread, but anyone who accepts common descent is free to disassociate himself from my comment.

    I perceive varying degrees of acceptance for common descent. Some folks seem to accept divergence at thge biological family level, some reject speciation.

    What embryology does is confirm what fossils and DNA also confirm. the underlying biochemistry of all living things is similar.

    And the embryonic similarities and differences are proportional to the degree of relatedness assumed by common descent.

    It’s one strand in a large web of evidence.

  76. —Petrushka: “Embryos resemble each other to the degree that the species are related by descent. That’s a simple fact accepted by anyone who looks. Photographs are even more convincing.”

    Of course photographs are more convincing. That is why Darwinists often use them to create a false impression. In any case, your personal [and long winded] opinions about evolution @73 are not relevant to the question on the table.

    As the references plainly show, the Haeckel drawings, which represent later stages, de-empasize the fact that earlier stages show greater differences. In other words, the authors plainly meant to mislead their readers by making it appear that the similarities shown in the fraudulant pictures are present earlier in the process, which they are not.

    Oviously, you missed the whole point of the complaint.

    —”So what are biology textbooks using these drawings for? To illustrate the fact that embryos of different vertebrate families show lots of similarities – a lot more similarities than they show to embryos of non-vertebrate organisms. Is that a lie? No.

    As is clear from your comment, you either don’t understand what the authors were trying to do or else you choose not to face the facts of the matter. Clearly, the authors’ intent was to use fraudulant pictures in order to mislead readers into believing that the same similarities that occur later in the process are also present earlier in the process. They obviously felt that providing a more accurate account would have weakened their case. Thus, they are were lying.

    This is so comical. On the one hand, our adversaries argue that Darwinists no longer commit this dishonest act and haven’t done so for almost 50 years. Then, when called on it, they suddenly claim that it is not really dishonest. You’ve gotta love it.

  77. 77

    Petrushka,

    I’m actually curious about what’s wrong with promoting settled science.

    I know you don’t think common descent is settled, but working biologists, including most credentialed ID proponents accept it.

    This bit may help you:

    “It is not, as some seem to fancy, that we think there is anything particularly Christian about electrons, any more than there is anything essentially atheistic about atoms. It is not that we propose to base our philosophy on their physics; any more than to base our ancient theology on their most recent biology. We are not “going to the country” with a set of slogans or party-cries, like Electrons for the Elect, or For Priest and Proton. The catastrophic importance for Catholics, of this collapse of materialism, is simply the fact that the most confident cosmic statements of science can collapse. If fifty years hence the electron is as entirely exploded as the atom, it will not affect us; for we have never founded our philosophy on the electron any more than on the atom. But the materialists did found their philosophy on the atom. And it is quite likely that some spiritual fad or other is at this moment being founded on the electron. To a man of my generation, the importance of the change does not consist in its destroying the dogma (which was after all a detail, though a very dogmatic dogma), “Matter consists of indivisible atoms.” But it does consist in its destroying the accepted, universal and proclaimed and popularised dogma: “You must accept the conclusions of science.” Scores and hundreds of times I have heard, through my youth and early manhood, the repetition of that ultimatum: “You must accept the conclusions of science.” And it is that notion or experience that has now been concluded; or rather excluded. Whatever else is questionable, there is henceforth no question of anybody “accepting” the conclusions of science. The new scientists themselves do not ask us to accept the conclusions of science. The new scientists themselves do not accept the conclusions of the new science. To do them justice, they deny vigorously that science has concluded; or that it has, in that sense, any conclusion. The finest intellects among them repeat, again and again, that science is inconclusive.” (emphasis mine).

    G. K. Chesterton, The Well and the Shallows

    http://www.gkc.org.uk/gkc/book.....allows.txt

  78. Clearly, the authors’ intent was to use fraudulant pictures in order to mislead readers into believing that the same similarities that occur later in the process are also present earlier in the process.

    I don’t see any reference to that at the DI link.

    http://www.discovery.org/a/3935

  79. I don’t see it in any of four links I’ve followed.

  80. Clearly, the authors’ intent was to use fraudulant pictures in order to mislead readers into believing that the same similarities that occur later in the process are also present earlier in the process.

    —Petrushka: “I don’t see any reference to that at the DI link.”

    Did you overlook this:

    “(1) They show embryo drawings that are essentially recapitulations of Haeckel’s fraudulent drawings — drawings that downplay and misrepresent the actual differences between early stages of vertebrate embryos.”

  81. Clive Hayden @77. That was an incredible quote.

  82. Nevermind. I found several articles on the “hourglass pattern of development,” something I’ve never seen depicted or discussed in a textbook.

  83. 83

    StephenB,

    Meanwhile, my quesion for you persists. Are Darwinists who knowingly use [used] Haeckel’s drawings lying or are they [were they] telling the truth.

    Even Eugenie Scott admitted that the pictures were fraudulent and misleading, and she claimed that was perfectly okay, because the fraudulent pictures represented a larger truth of evolution and common descent. This is, of course, arguing in a circle, for it was the fraud that evidenced the conclusion of evolution and common descent, and the conclusion cannot then be settled, and the fraud used because we “know” the conclusion to be true. I know that you know all of this already, just thought I would mention Eugenie Scott’s take on it. Even known frauds will be used by evolutionists because it “evidences” the larger and true picture of evolution, so they say. The problem is that the evidence does no such thing, and they have no other grounds, other than metaphysical assumptions, to claim evolution as true to begin with. Since, to them, ID or anything like it, is off the table to begin with, something like evolution has to be the truth; and the explanation, and whatever evidence that can retro-fit into that preconception will be used and stuffed into it, made to fit; and if it doesn’t fit, well, that’s okay, because they know it to be true regardless. It is, of course, circular.

  84. Haeckel’s recapitulation theory was wrong, but the discussion here is about whether his drawings were actually fraudulent.

    Here’s a good discussion of the accuracy of his drawings.

    http://home.uchicago.edu/~rjr6.....proven.pdf

  85. Clive @83: Your comment reminds me of a comment made a while back by communication scholar, Fred Casmir. He has called it the “fit, damn you, fit” syndrome. He likens it to the famous piece in Greek Mythology known as the PROCRUSTEAN BED.

    As the same named website describes it,

    “NEAR ELEUSIS, in Attica, there lurked a bandit named Damastes, called Procrustes, or “The Stretcher.” He had an iron bed on which travelers who fell into his hands were compelled to spend the night. His humor was to stretch the ones who were too short until they died, or, if they were too tall, to cut off as much of their limbs as would make them short enough. None could resist him, and the surrounding countryside became a desert.”

    Thus, the Darwinist attitude about evidence is much the same as Procrustes attitude about the unfortunate travelers–”fit, damn you, fit.”

  86. 86

    (note to self)

    Must remember Procrustes

  87. —Petrushka: “Haeckel’s recapitulation theory was wrong, but the discussion here is about whether his drawings were actually fraudulent>”

    NO, IT IS NOT. The discussion is about whether or not it is honest to use them to create the wrong impression, knowing that they are inacurrate and misleading.

    The argument about whether they were really fraudulant is an entirely different discussion, though I don’t hesitate to call them that. I certainly do not want to increase the number of variables in this discussion with those who branch out in a hundred different irrelevant directions even with one variable. There are enough willful disctractions as it is.

  88. Stephen B
    So, you seriously believe that this statement:

    “(1) They show embryo drawings that are essentially recapitulations of Haeckel’s fraudulent drawings — drawings that downplay and misrepresent the actual differences between early stages of vertebrate embryos.”

    establishes the truth of this statement:

    “Clearly, the authors’ intent was to use fraudulant pictures in order to mislead readers into believing that the same similarities that occur later in the process are also present earlier in the process.”

    ???

  89. 89
    San Antonio Rose

    The discussion is about whether or not it is honest to use them to create the wrong impression, knowing that they are inacurrate and misleading.

    I’m confused and I’m not even a blond. LOL

    I get that Heackel fudged his drawings to prove his point, which is now pretty much discredited. So, I can see where using those drawings is bad even if they are being used to illustrate a concept totally differnt than Heackels.

    But the book I used in bio had photographs of embroyos to show the similarities of development in different species. What are you objecting to? The photos being misleading? Or the idea that the embryos of different species are very similar? TYIA!

  90. Folks:

    Simply compare the already linked with the onward discussion, lest the factual reference gets simply buried in a blizzard of tangential discussion and specious objections.

    First, on recent textbooks continuing to use known misleading drawings until a few years ago in misleading ways, then also on a wider range of misleading icons including the embryos.

    Observe, refusal to acknowledge where something went wrong, just as previously there was no willingness to accept that attempted rejection of non-contradiction reduced to absurdity, and no willingness to recognise that a necessary cause is a cause. Not to mention refusal to acknowledge the known source of codes, algorithms, digital complex functionally specific information etc etc

    Fallacy of the ideologised, closed mind in action.

    Sad.

    G

  91. 91

    SA,

    Haeckel published the drawings in 1874 if I remember correctly. Recent textbooks, as recent as 1998 for Ken Miller for instance, were still using the drawings, yet they were known to be faked all the way back in Haeckel’s day. It appears that the willful distortion was allowed to persist for something of 120 years – give or take – while the theory that it was used to promote became the most merchadised scientific idea of all time.

    It’s a little like slipping a wee bit of booze in the punch for a hundred or so years – then asking if anyone wants anything else.

    Now in context: ID proponents cannot, despite all attempts, even embarrass materialists into doing the simplest of things, things like 1) don’t conflate (a) with (b), or 2) allow me to define my argument then you may attack it, or 3) don’t misrepresent what was said, or 4) don’t attack something I didn’t say as placemat for answering what I did say, or 5) if I do not introduce a subject in my argument, then it is not a part of my argument, or …well, you get the picture.

    What ID often objects to is that the argument from design is not granted even a moment of respect with regard to the evidence or the argument behind it – yet in their own camp, the evidence is a loose as a two-dollar hooker, and if someone should willfully misrepresent the argument from design, then the crowd holds up the cups and grunts for some more of that tasty punch.

    This is not a characature of events, it is a fact within academia.

  92. —San Antonio Rose: “But the book I used in bio had photographs of embroyos to show the similarities of development in different species. What are you objecting to?”

    Inasmuch as I am not objecting to your book, I can’t imagine what you are talking about.

  93. Molch @88. –”So, you seriously believe”….

    Yes.

    On the other hand,
    if you don’t like the way I characterized the dishonest activity, feel free to describe the lie in your own words. I am very open minded about these things.

    Or, if you want to argue that the Darwinists in question were really being honest, then by all means, make your case. Perhaps you can persuade me that it was all just an unfortunate misunderstanding.

  94. Upright Biped, has anyone ever told you that your word pictures, metaphors, and analogies are delicious?

  95. 95
    San Antonio Rose

    Inasmuch as I am not objecting to your book, I can’t imagine what you are talking about.

    Well, my book was by Miller and Levine (I googled it) and they were also on your list of dishonest books. It took me a while to realize that I was looking at the 2004 version and you listed a version from 1998. Sorry, I can be a ditz sometimes.

    I’m glad the 2004 pictures are truthful. I’d hate to think my teacher was lying.

  96. 96

    Ha! SB, thanks.

    Personally, I think my mesquite-grilled MahiMahi with a pinch of Herbs de Providence is much better.

  97. 97

    SA,

    What should give pause; a set of 1870′s faked pictures contrived when horses pulled buggies required Miller in Levine to post a page on the world wide web as a means to explain that they intended on changing their textbook.

  98. 98

    StephenB,

    Your comment reminds me of a comment made a while back by communication scholar, Fred Casmir. He has called it the “fit, damn you, fit” syndrome. He likens it to the famous piece in Greek Mythology known as the PROCRUSTEAN BED.

    Thanks for that story, very appropriate.

  99. StephenB @ 93

    “if you want to argue that the Darwinists in question were really being honest, then by all means, make your case. Perhaps you can persuade me that it was all just an unfortunate misunderstanding.”

    I made my case in 72. You attempted to rebut it with this statement:

    “Clearly, the authors’ intent was to use fraudulant pictures in order to mislead readers into believing that the same similarities that occur later in the process are also present earlier in the process.”

    Which is an INTERPRETATION on your part in regards to the intent of the authors to mislead somebody. So what exactly is it you think they are misleading their readers into believing? What do you mean by “the same similarities that are present later in the process are also present earlier in the process”? Do you mean that the authors imply that vertebrate embryos start out with a tail and gill slits? That’s obviously NOT what any of the authors imply, because every biology text book that includes anything about embryology will inform the reader about zygotes, blastulas, gastrulas, etc.; Or are you claiming that earlier embryos are more dissimilar than the embryo stages depicted in the illustration, and that that’s why the choice of illustration is misleading?

    Oh, and a kind-of-crucial side note: All 10 books listed in 65 use illustrative drawings of embryos – not a SINGLE one uses Haeckel’s drawings. Do they look similar to Haeckel’s drawings? Sure they do – they are drawings of embryos of the same or similar vertebrate species!!! Are you gonna accuse every illustrator of every book of fraud now, because they might have made a drawing of something that looks similar to something that someone else used for fraudulent purposes?

  100. Or are you claiming that earlier embryos are more dissimilar than the embryo stages depicted in the illustration, and that that’s why the choice of illustration is misleading?

    That seems to be the latest goalpost position. So in order not to lie, you have to include a graduate course in embryology within the high school curriculum.

  101. 101

    Molch,

    I am moved by your passion.

    This injustice!

    I plan to be just as indignant as you next time someone tells me a moustrap can be used for a tie clip, and the clasp makes a fine toothpick …so Behe is lying for Jesus.

  102. 102

    I have to laugh at the struggles of the darwinists to get around the plain fact that haekel’s drawings are fraudulant, and everything in those textbooks is at the very least misleading (a type of dihonesty). It’s clear that modern bilogy text books are hazaedous to the minds of our kid’s.

  103. 103

    Ernie,

    The modern biology textbook is the result of untold hours of work by hundreds of thousadns of working biologists. It is a marvel of human determination.

    It is also, very unfortunately, a tool crafted to support a worldview that is neither scientific by most descriptions, nor supportable by the underlying (and observable) evidence.

  104. 104

    Molch ad Petrushka could you explain to me why Haeckels drawings being used in modern day textbooks evoked this comment by Gould? I am assuming you know who he is ( was).

    “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!” [Stephen Jay Gould, "Abscheulich! (Atrocious!)," Natural History, March 2000, emphasis added]

    Vivid

  105. Onlookers:

    Observe the attempted excuses for the inexcusable and/or distractions from what was done that was wrong:

    P: So in order not to lie, you have to include a graduate course in embryology within the high school curriculum.

    M: Are you gonna accuse every illustrator of every book of fraud now, because they might have made a drawing of something that looks similar to something that someone else used for fraudulent purposes?

    All that is being asked is that in the first decade of C21, students looking to teachers and textbooks to inform them accurately and fairly not be misled by a patently untrue claim, backed up by misleading drawings that were first exposed as misleading 100+ years ago, or slightly updated but equally misleading versions.

    Let us remember Gould, in 2000 (in light of the again linked):

    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! [Stephen Jay Gould, "Abscheulich! (Atrocious!)," Natural History, March 2000, emphasis added]

    Now, what was it that tracing back to the late C19 and coming up to the turn of C21 was sufficiently bad that Gould spoke in terms of SHAME?

    ANS: The use of willfully misleading drawings, to claim that embryos recapitulate the history of life, to one extent or another, thus showing their ancestry. So, diverse animals show similar embryos at key stages. Of course, stages where this is NOT so are being suppressed, and evidently superficial similarities are being played up while known strong divergences in embryological development [such as formation of similar structures in quite diverse ways from quite different parts of the embryo as it develops] are being suppressed.

    So let us hear that review of the recent books abusing the drawings again (and remember the article has the actual pages and notes on the problems).

    To avoid confusion, let me point out that we are not claiming that Haeckel’s embryo drawings and recapitulation theory are the bedrock of evolutionary biology in 2007. Nor are we arguing that every textbook that has used Haeckel’s fraudulent drawings (or some near-identical colorized version) therefore promoted the idea that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” As Jonathan Wells points out in his recent article, The Cracked Haeckel Approach to Evolutionary Reasoning, “Many modern biology textbooks inform students that Haeckel’s dictum, ‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,’ has been discredited, but the same textbooks often use Haeckel’s drawings (or modern versions of them) to persuade students that human embryos provide clues to our evolutionary history and evidence for Darwin’s theory.” Therefore, what we are claiming is that various modern textbooks have used Haeckel’s embryo drawings in precisely the manner that Darwinists now deny:

    # (1) They show embryo drawings that are essentially recapitulations of Haeckel’s fraudulent drawings — drawings that downplay and misrepresent the actual differences between early stages of vertebrate embryos;

    # (2) They have used these drawings as evidence for evolution — in the present day — and not simply to provide some kind of historical context for evolutionary thought;

    # (3) Even if the textbooks do not completely endorse Haeckel’s false “recapitulation” theory, they have used their Haeckel-based drawings to overstate the actual similarities between early embryos, which is the key misrepresentation made by Haeckel. They then cite these overstated similarities as still-valid evidence for common ancestry.

    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?

    Taking just the first example:

    Textbook I. Peter H Raven & George B Johnson, Biology (5th ed, McGraw Hill, 1999), pgs. 416, 1181 . . . .

    (1) As seen here, the textbook uses a colorized and slightly edited version of Haeckel’s original fraudulent drawings. This version obscures the differences between the EARLIEST stages of embryos as egregiously as Haeckel’s original drawings did.

    (2) The drawings are presented as valid evidence for the modern theory of evolution, and are not merely used to provide historical context. They come from a section entitled “Embryonic Development and Vertebrate Evolution.” The caption reads: “Embryonic development of vertebrates. Notice that the EARLY embryonic stages of these vertebrates bear a striking resemblance to each other, even though the individuals are from different classes (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals). All vertebrates start out with an enlarged head region, gill slits [grossly false, e.g. a human embryo never has GILL slits . . . one of the Haeckel points], and a tail [really now!] regardless of whether these characteristics are retained in the adult.” (pg. 1181) The text states: “The patterns of development in the vertebrate groups that evolved most recently reflect in many ways the simpler patterns occurring among earlier forms. Thus, mammalian development and bird development are elaborations of reptile development, which is an elaboration of amphibian development, and so forth (figure 58.16).” (pg. 1180) Although Haeckel is mentioned, it is clear that the textbook authors regard these drawing as evidence apart from Haeckel’s interpretation.

    (3) The text not only discusses “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” but also affirms it, albeit in a slightly different form. This entire discussion comes from a subsection entitled “Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny,” in which the authors repudiate Haeckel’s claim but then defend a reformulated version of it: “The developmental instructions for each new form seem to have been layered on top of the previous instructions, contributing additional steps in the developmental journey. This hypothesis, promoted in the nineteenth century by Ernst Haeckel, is referred to as the ‘biogenetic law.’ It is usually stated as an aphorism: ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny; that is, embryological development (ontogeny) involves the same progression of changes that have occurred during evolution (phylogeny). However, the biogenetic law is not literally true when stated in this way because embryonic stages are not reflections of adult ancestors. Instead, the embryonic stages of a particular vertebrate often reflect the embryonic stages of that vertebrate’s ancestors.” (pg. 1180, emphases in original) Earlier the text stated: “In many cases, the evolutionary history of an organism can be seen to unfold during its development, with the embryo exhibiting characteristics of the embryos of its ancestors.” (pg. 416) The basis for the text’s claims that the law holds is the fraudulent Haeckel-derived drawings, which obscure the differences between the embryos.

    There is no excuse for such behaviour, and it draws our attention soberingly to the issues Plato raised in The Laws Bk X, as was already cited above, earlier today at no 54.

    GEM of TKI

  106. —molch:……. “Or are you claiming that earlier embryos are more dissimilar than the embryo stages depicted in the illustration, and that that’s why the choice of illustration is misleading.”

    You are starting to show signs of life. Typically, these writers promote the idea that vertebrate embryos are extremely similar therefore share a common ancestor, using Heackel-like drawings as valid evidence to make their case for common ancestry.

    Miller’s book, for example, reads, “However, as you can see in Figure 13-16, [Heackel-like drawings] all of these embryos are similar in appearance during EARLY STAGES [my emphasis] of development.” (pg. 283) The caption reads: “During certain embryological stages, vastly different organisms show similarities. During later stages of development, profound changes occur. Thus the adults bear little resemblance to one-another.”

    He exaggerates the similarities in much the same way that Haeckel exaggerated them. He knows that he is not telling the truth, and he is using Heackel’s drawings as evidence to support his lie. Case closed.

  107. —Upright Biped: “Personally, I think my mesquite-grilled MahiMahi with a pinch of Herbs de Providence is much better.”

    Be careful, a Darwinist will interpret that to mean, “the designer is God.”

  108. 108

    SB,

    “Be careful, a Darwinist will interpret that to mean, “the designer is God.”

    In this one instance, they’d be right.

    :)

  109. Allen MacNeill:

    Dr. Hunter has presented no evidence whatsoever that Drs. Johnson and Losos have deliberately perpetrated what they knew to be a falsehood.

    What would be EVEN WORSE is if they DID NOT KNOW they were perpetrating a falsehood.

  110. Allen MacNeill:

    From this, what can one conclude?

    Absolutely nothing?

    That Dr. Hunter is the one who is lying, both about Johnson and Losos’ interpretations of the fossil record and their motivations for such interpretations. Indeed, Dr. Hunter’s statements in this case (for which he has presented no evidence whatsoever and about which he has asserted complete confidence) verge very close to the legal definition of libel.

    I guess your own lack of evidence and display of complete confidence must appear at least vaguely familiar.

    Par for the course, though, for the cadré of intellectual charlatans who fancy themselves to be “Christians”…

    You disgust me. You really do. I’m all in favor of free speech. Hopefully I won’t be banned for mine, and I don’t want you banned for yours.

    Go ahead. Yell fire in a crowded theater. The more people present the more likely your inflammatory statement will be seen for what it is.

    You are supposed to be an EDUCATOR.

    What sort of standard does that set for you?

  111. Petrushka@#19

    I don’t trust.

    Surely you don’t trust in your lack of trust?

    You really want to judge religion or science by the worst of its practitioners?

    EVERYONE practices “science” and EVERYONE practices “religion. So where does your challenge get us?

    The charge was lying. I don’t see that justified in the case presented here.

    What, in YOUR PERSONAL OPINION would justify a charge of lying?

    Can you see how your own personal opinion about what might justify a charge of lying might differ from what in another person’s opinion might justify such a charge?

    How do you explain all this as a result of the blind impersonal forces in which some stuff that happened or did not happen was favored over some other stuff that happened or did not happen which resulted in differential survival?

  112. What, in YOUR PERSONAL OPINION would justify a charge of lying?

    Asserting that PhD theses were written using the Piltdown find as evidence, without viewing the original.

    Asserting that no one questioned the find or thought it to represent bones from two different things.

    These myths have been debunked so many times that anyone who promulgates them is obviously lying.

    Apparenty, based on arguments made here, any idealized image is a lie.

    Images of atoms, for example, or the solar system. Or flagella.

    Taking things to their logical conclusion, any simplification of science for an introductory course is a lie.

  113. 113

    Petrshka,

    “Asserting that no one questioned the find or thought it to represent bones from two different things.

    These myths have been debunked so many times that anyone who promulgates them is obviously lying.

    The issue is that these were seen as fudged data back in the 1870′s and yet appeared in textbooks into the 1990s and beyond. And when was the popular press book written by Denton which unambiguously demolished these “conclusions” based upon independent peer-reviewed data…was it 1980 what?

    Do you have any savory comments about these undenialble facts? Or, are you just in it for the glitter?

    No?

    And while we are at it – are you calmed down enough to address the evidence that you’ve skillfully ignored up to this point?

    You’ve made it clear that you think I am an asshole, but still I must press on.

    You can shut me up with observable facts at any time. By all means, tell me of a verifiable unguided source for the type of specificity and semiotic information processing we find inside the cell. Or heck, just give me a non-agent source of information. Any at all.

    I await at your pleasure.

  114. 114
    San Antonio Rose

    He exaggerates the similarities in much the same way that Haeckel exaggerated them.

    Wow, I didn’t know that. The photographs in the book I used did make them seem very similar. Were those photos doctored to emphasize the similarity and hide the differences?

  115. Petrushka:

    I think, on fair comment [even though I take your correction on a fairly minor point], you are crossing a serious line there.

    Sadly, AGAIN.

    (A reminder: You already are over the line on your earlier insinuation that I quote mined Lewontin and failed to give adequate information on source. At all times, you were just a link away from evidence to the contrary, and were careless at best. So, your onward attempt comes across as a turnabout rhetorical tactic in the teeth of having had to be corrected on earlier topics and points, which you have never acknowledged. Kindly, stop it.)

    Now, as a baseline for the further remarks to follow, let me cite and correct myself at 30 above, on the specific matter of PhD dissertations:

    Piltdown man fooled the scientific world for was it nigh on 1/2 century [NB: notice my primary remark], complete with people doing PhDs on [NB: this is where I went too far, cf below] a fake that had they simply had access to the actual skull would have been a patent fake [filed teeth and obvious chemical staining] — trade secret: most paleontologists work with casts, at least one stage removed from the actual facts.

    Now, I plainly should have been more generic in my remarks, i.e. it is true that few or no people would have done PhD’s ON Piltdown as the focal or pivotal topic as such. Also, had I known that there is apparently an Internet rumour that “500 PhD’s” were done ON Piltdown man, I would not have written as I did.

    I must also bring the focus back to the substantial issue, as my first cited clause said: Piltdown man fooled the scientific world for was it nigh on 1/2 century. This is plainly true, and it is the main matter that needs to be addressed seriously.

    On this, I observe that CMI makes the interesting cite that in an article in Nature, The Piltdown Bones and ‘Implements’ (Nature 174(4419):61–62, 10 July 1954; p. 61) we find this significant admission:

    “More than five hundred articles and memoirs are said to have been written about Piltdown man.”

    For that time, that is a heavily cited and discussed “fact” indeed.

    One that, per Nature, was plainly the/a focal topic of 500 professional grade research articles.

    Now, I was in error to simply make a toss-off from memory that I did not fact check first, but the plainly substantial fact is that as Nature documented in 1954, over 500 research grade articles were focussed on Piltdown man across a run of about 40 years; presumably the vast majority of which were premised on its presumed factual accuracy. Also, the said 500 articles also plainly meant that research students and others who had access to the same casts and knowledge base that indeed revealed the fraud to several workers by 1923, were following the herd, instead of checking the facts. (And those few who had access to the actual skulls etc should have been even more quick to spot the problems. Especially the file marks, the painting of darkening agents, and the chewing gum patch question.)

    So, first, let us all resolve to do more fact checking.

    But, the substantial issue must not be overlooked or buried under distractions. Namely, on inadequate fact-checking using accessible casts and in a more restricted circle, the actual fossils, a hoax was embedded into the mainstream science that studied human ancestry; to the tune of 500 articles with it as a main point, and countless others where it was simply passed on as an accepted fact.

    For 40 years or so.

    Since, in addition, I have been in effect accused of saying that no-one objected [which I plainly did not; as the cite I made in 55 above will show, as well as the actual excerpt from 30 . . . ], let me be clear: the primary objection I have is to the embedding of theory-burdened over-interpreted and ill-founded or biased evidence into the category of generally acknowledged, assumed or asserted “fact.”

    I must also note and underscore how this distraction has been used to divert attention from a cluster of serious issues and well-warranted comments in 30 above. (The proverb on straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel comes to mind.)

    Also, I must draw attention to a climate where serious questions and critiques of weak points in such generally accepted claims are too easily brushed aside or discarded.

    Obviously it is a fact of life in science that you will be more or less able to find a objector with due credentials on just about any topic.

    But, very often, such objections are on the fringes and the objectors are routinely disregarded and sometimes even dismissed with contempt as the discipline as a whole advances on its generally accepted facts and theories. (To then go back and dig up such fringe objectors when they turn out to be right, as though that were the main storyline, is therefore highly misleading damage control tactics. And, on fair comment, that is what I am seeing in too many Darwinism-based reports on Piltdown.)

    Let us cite Wiki as a further hostile witness on the point [on top of Harter in 55 above], noting how it does not elaborate on why the fossil — despite the objections noted — was generally accepted by “the Scientific Community” after the sort of serious objection by a qualified anatomist that Wiki is highlighting.

    So, what does that mean, but that the fossil was routinely treated as an established fact of human ancestry suitable for building further research on and citing in educational contexts?

    As early as 1915, French paleontologist Marcellin Boule concluded the jaw was from an ape. Similarly, American zoologist Gerrit Smith Miller concluded Piltdown’s jaw came from a fossil ape. In 1923, Franz Weidenreich examined the remains and correctly reported that they consisted of a modern human cranium and an orangutan jaw with filed-down teeth. Weidenreich, being an anatomist, had easily exposed the hoax for what it was. However, it took thirty years for the scientific community to concede that Weidenreich was correct.

    In 1915, Dawson claimed to have found fragments of a second skull (Piltdown II) at a site about two miles away from the original finds.[1] So far as is known the site has never been identified and the finds appear to be entirely undocumented. Woodward does not appear ever to have visited the site.

    Let me again cite the relevant page as I did yesterday [cf. 55 above, as cited from Richard Harter]:

    On the whole the British paleontologists were enthusiastic; the French and American paleontologists tended to be skeptical, some objected quite vociferously. The objectors held that the jawbone and the skull were obviously from two different animals and that their discovery together was simply an accident of placement. [My note: I think this hints that the human jaw is of more or less parabolic geometry, not the more boxy U-shape or vee-shape of other relevant mammals. Also, did tooth count patterns, sizes and shapes properly match?] In the period 1912-1917 there was a great deal of skepticism. The report in 1917 of the discovery of Piltdown II converted many of the skeptics; one accident of placement was plausible — two were not. [My Note: And obviously the possibility of a willful hoax was not being seen at that time.]

    It should be remembered that, at the time of Piltdown finds, there were very few early hominid fossils; Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens were clearly fairly late. It was expected that there was a “missing link” between ape and man. It was an open question as to what that missing link would look like. Piltdown man had the expected mix of features, which lent it plausibility as a human precursor . . . . [And BTW, the other major "early" finding at that time, Java Man, was equally questionable as to how the evidence was gathered and interpreted, as well as the suppression of a much more modern appearing fossil found in the general area, for decades. I need not underscore how Neandertals were given an exaggerated ape-like mien and posture at that time. People were seeing what they "needed" in the evidence they had.]

    Some fairly pointed questions are in order:

    1 –> Petrushka, are you willing to claim in the teeth of the above cites, that Piltdown was not accepted as one of the early ape-men, and was not duly embedded into the matrix of credible “facts,” for the discipline as a whole, circa 1920?

    2 –> Are you further willing to assert that it was not used or cited as such, not only in the 500 articles where it was a main topic, but in research-paper literature surveys by fully-fledged professionals, in academic discussion including literature surveys by relevant students [inclusive of Graduate Students] etc?

    3 –> Are you willing to claim that the plaster casts that in the end helped point to the hoax were not available to students and to fully fledged academics, for decades prior to the 1950′s exposure?

    4 –> Are you willing to claim that Piltdown was not a museum, textbook, magazine and newspaper article figure of note for decades until it was exposed?

    5 –> Do you not see how by diverting to accusations of lying etc, you have overlooked many serious issues and points raised in 30 above?

    6 –> Do you not see the strawman caricature you are setting up and knocking over, and the pattern of straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel, a la True Origins?

    [To make it plain: The substantial issue at stake is not primarily PhDs that specifically studied Piltdown as their main topic [which you obviously want to focus on as though it were the main point], but not only PhDs and other serious studies by students in training and articles by fully fledged professionals that should have properly fact checked the plaster casts and even the original skulls — e.g. the chewing gum patch question; but even educational works that had a similar duty of fact checking. And, as my observation on Java Man noted, it was not just Piltdown. Even Neandertal was being over-read through the eye of evolutionary faith.]

    So, it is plain from what has already been cited that despite current attempts to deflect inference from the ease with which a hoax was embedded in the claimed fact-base of the relevant disciplines, it should have been clear that something was wrong, and any number of not only professionals but serious level students should have detected and been in an environment where they could have freely reported it without fear or favour. And, when serious figures pointed out what should have been fairly obvious facts that pointed to the fraud, it is clear that their work should have been followed up promptly and on the merits, instead of having to wait 30 years — a generation — for final vindication.

    Now, I am not accusing the professionals and students taken in by the Piltdown hoax, of lying.

    I am saying that this is a capital example of what happens when the procedures, methodologies, traditions, institutional authority and assumptions of a discipline fail to be duly cautious and restrained in how they handle and report on evidence from the remote, unobserved past.

    I am saying that this is what happens when false “facts” are embedded in a discipline.

    And, I am saying that over 50 years later, authors of textbooks by major publishers, who are professors in leading universities, and who were doubtless fact checked and reviewed by others of like ilk, should not be making the sort of gross exaggerations and confusions of theory and fact that Mr Hunter complained of in respect of the original post.

    Indeed, when they assert that dating techniques that are riddled with theoretical inferences and circularities are independent facts, and when they assert that reconstructed animals claimed to be in a descent sequence from over a dozen million years, claiming that this is an observation of macroevolution, this is gross — and outright willfully deceptive — neglect of duties of care for educators and spokesmen of science who should know better on the inherent limitations of reconstructions of the unobserved, unobservable past.

    [Onlookers, scroll up to 30 above to see what I actually had to say in the main, which has been ducked and diverted from in haste to "prove" me a liar . . . ]

    That holds regardless of the fact that I am not happy with Mr Hunter’s tone.

    Please, do better than that, Petrushka.

    G’day,

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Onlookers, take a look at AiG’s summary report and cautionary tale here.

  116. Petrushka:

    Pardon, but I must be quite direct.

    In 112 above, you go totally beyond the pale of reasonable discussion:

    Taking things to their logical conclusion, any simplification of science [willfully material misrepresentation of the degree of warrant for claimed facts or theories explaining those accepted facts] for an introductory course is a lie.

    I trust you can see the difference between what you wrote and I struck out, and how I corrected.

    If you cannot, your conscience and intellect are being eaten out by the radical relativism that has been the fatal error of evolutionary materialistic worldviews since Plato warned against it in his The Laws Bk X, 2,300 years ago.

    In the primary case in view in the original post, let me cite what I wrote in 30 above:

    this latest claim about a string of reconstructed artistic impressions from a span of a dozen or more MY on a timeline, is so deeply embedded with assumptions and inferences that to call it evidence of a “fact” of macroevolution is a travesty.

    An out and out deception . . . .

    [A discussion of issues on dating, the pivotal claim about the figure in the original post, follows; and in direct response to dismissive objections from you.]

    There are some things we do not know for sure, and we cannot know beyond reasonable doubt.

    If our ideologies are so fragile that they lead us to pretend to a greater knowledge than we have, and lend it the august presence of the holy lab coat, then that is telling us something not so good about the current state of science and science education.

    To ignore or suppress the difference between what we know as fact and what we infer as theory or as conclusion, is a gross breach of duties of care. So is a misleading summary built on such breach. Especially in an educational context.

    And that has happened with the Haeckel fraud, and it is happening with the claimed “observation” of Macroevolution in the textbook Dr Hunter correctly critiques; though I do not like the tone he used.

    GEM of TKI

  117. F/N: Onlookers might find the discussion of haeckel and his embryological frauds (and corrective photos) here and here interesting. The photos in particular will help to put modern textbook presentations in context.

  118. StephenB @ 106

    “—molch:……. “Or are you claiming that earlier embryos are more dissimilar than the embryo stages depicted in the illustration, and that that’s why the choice of illustration is misleading.”
    You are starting to show signs of life.”

    So, you ARE indeed claiming that “earlier embryos are more DISSIMILAR than the [LATER] embryo stages depicted by the illustration”, and then you use this caption from Miller’s book “…all of these embryos are similar in appearance during EARLY STAGES of development….During certain embryological stages, vastly different organisms show similarities. During LATER stages of development, profound changes occur. Thus the adults bear little resemblance to one-another.” as proof for this assertion, although it states the exact opposite of what you just claimed?
    Congratulations Stephen! I wish I had your power of logic!

    “He exaggerates the similarities in much the same way that Haeckel exaggerated them.”

    Could you kindly point out where exactly those drawings misrepresent the photographic evidence to support this new blunt assertion.

  119. StephenB @ 106 continued

    “He exaggerates the similarities in much the same way that Haeckel exaggerated them. He knows that he is not telling the truth, and he is using Heackel’s drawings as evidence to support his lie.”

    You are claiming that he uses Haeckel’s drawings AND that he draws like Haeckel. There is only one set of drawings in the book. So, it can only be one or the other. Which one are you claiming? Or is this your superior power of logic striking again?

    The answer to the first claim would be: No. The drawings in his book are not Haeckel’s drawings.

    For the answer to the second claim see my last question in 118.

    And if you still insist that earlier embryos are more dissimilar than the later embryo stages depicted in the illustrations, I’d like to see some evidence for that?

  120. Molch:

    Have a look at the photos in the linked at 117.

    G

  121. 121

    As a premed student, I took a course in embryology. As objects of study, we used embryos of the chicken and the mouse. We also reviewed the frog. It was possible to dissect these model organisms and study slides of the various stages in their embryological development because of the extensive similarity between them and human embryos.

    Why should this be so? All four organisms are vertebrates. All vertebrates have the same basic body plan. So it’s no surprise that their early developmental programs should be similar. A basic biology course that doesn’t present such information would be deficient, in my view.

    As to Haeckel’s gilding of the lilies, that’s a historical point not relevant to any pedagogical goal.

  122. I operate on the premise that it is always a mistake to provide a Darwinist with too many variables to discuss since even one variable is typically more than they can handle. The more complicated the discussion, the more permutations and combinations there are that will be available for them to muddle the discussion and escape rational scrutiny. As we know from past experience, they cannot respond to rational scrutiny because they don’t even accept rationality as principle, a point they have confirmed many times. In that context, please remember that clarity is the Darwinist’s greatest enemy and confusion is the Darwinist’s greatest friend.

    Thus, one can make a strong case for keeping things as simple as possible, knowing that even the obvious points for which there can be no dispute will, nevertheless, be disputed. We have mountains of evidence to make that point. Ask a Darwinist a rational question, and you will most certainly get an irrational answer. Do effects need causes? Not necessarily. Can wind, water, and sand build a perfect model of a Corvetter Sting Ray? Sure. Do reason’s principles inform evidence? Nope. Is it a lie to use discredited fake drawings to mislead students about the true nature of evidence supporting evolutionary theory? Not at all. And so it goes. Why would one expect a rational answer about deviations from the truth from partisan ideologues who believe neither in truth nor rationality?

    It is not our business to convince irrational people about anything. Rather it is our task to expose their irrationality to onlookers in order to save the latter from that very same descent into intellectual quicksand–one from which they, like our adversaries, will likely never be able to extricate themselves.

  123. StephenB @ 121

    was any of this supposed to be an answer to 118, 119 or 72?

  124. @allen macneill #10

    -”Par for the course, though, for the cadré of intellectual charlatans”

    If it’s charlatan you’re looking for then look no further than your fellow materialists/darwinists such as dawkins, dennett, pinker et al.

    They seem to have made an art out of being charlatans in fact.

  125. —molch: “And if you still insist that earlier embryos are more dissimilar than the later embryo stages depicted in the illustrations, I’d like to see some evidence for that?”

    So would I inasmuch as I am not saying that or anything close to it. Since you disapprove of my second hand report, let’s just go with Luskin’s quote:

    …”They [the textbooks] have used their Haeckel-based drawings to overstate the actual similarities between early embryos, which is the key misrepresentation made by Haeckel. They then cite these overstated similarities as still-valid evidence for common ancestry.”

    Do you have an answer or don’t you? Why not simply go to the website, look at the drawings, analyze the way they were used, and then come back and comment on the matter after you have immersed yourself in the evidence? That way you don’t have to do all this guessing.

    —”You are claiming that he uses Haeckel’s drawings AND that he draws like Haeckel. There is only one set of drawings in the book.”

    You are getting worked up over your own creation. Only your last sentence makes any sense.

    —”Or is this your superior power of logic striking again?”

    How sour can grapes get?

  126. —molch: “StephenB @ 121

    was any of this supposed to be an answer to 118, 119 or 72?”

    No. Try to be patient. Consult @124. Also, look up the word,”eisegesis” in the dictionary.

  127. 127
    San Antonio Rose

    They [the textbooks] have used their Haeckel-based drawings to overstate the actual similarities between early embryos, which is the key misrepresentation made by Haeckel. They then cite these overstated similarities as still-valid evidence for common ancestry

    Interesting. I looked again at the Discovery Institute article and it doesn’t really say what the differences are that the Darwinists aer trying so hard to gloss over. I didn’t see any links there either that would point to what these differences are. Can anyone help me with what they are?

  128. 128

    Maybe we could make some progress in the discussion if Mr Kairosfoscus could provide images of embryos he finds accurate. I looked at his links and these photos were faaaar to small for me – I am as nearsighted as a mole ;-)
    Moreover, the photos in the link were compared to Haeckel’s original drawings. I’d love to see them compared to images currently used. Then together we could decide if the textbooks are fraudulent.

  129. –molch: “Congratulations Stephen! I wish I had your power of logic!”

    Modesty forbids acknowledgement.

  130. 130
    San Antonio Rose

    LOL. Your funny.

  131. Maybe we could make some progress in the discussion if Mr Kairosfoscus could provide images of embryos he finds accurate.

    That is something I tried asking for earlier in the thread.

    What are the errors that are so important. How about some side by side comparisons with accurate drawings, with a discussion of how 9th graders are having their minds ruined by the errors.

    That would make a good article for the current ID journal.

  132. K:

    1 –> Get thee a free copy of Irfanview, and install it. (Simplest, and free. Even has filters for interesting effects. Beyond, you could get Inkscape, or Gimp or Gimphoto or Gimpshop.) [When I needed to figure out Haiti pics, that is what I did.]

    2 –> Copy relevant images to your desktop, then use I-v to expand to heart’s content.

    3 –> PDFs can be easily expanded to view at blown up scale, so this would work for the DI pages.

    4 –> You have Haeckel’s drawings, you have he page views, and you have the photos, so a 3- way comparison is easy enough to arrange.

    5 –> You will see soon enough that the Haeckel images deeply influence the relevant textbook ones, and that the excerpts from the researcher who actually did follow up on resemblances of embryos are significantly different and diverse.

    6 –> But, my complaint is a bit deeper, as the claim that say the human embryo has gills or the like is utterly specious, and only serves to bring forward into C21 a fraud exposed in 1874, or its derivatives [ladder embryology with embryological similarities and additional rungs as one climbs the figurative evolutionary materialistic tree of life].

    6 –> In fact, even among very similar animals diverse structures come from very different parts of the embryo and/or develop in very diverse ways.

    7 –> Meanwhile the real root challenge, to get from any credible prebiotic “soup” du jour to a digital code based, self-replicating AND metabolising organism requiring 100 – 1000 bits of DNA code, on blind chemistry, thermodynamics and chance circumstances is lost in the fog.

    8 –> That is the root question of origin of life on evolutionary materialist premises is being begged bigtime.

    9 –> Going further, the origin of novel body plans to get say the 3 dozen main body plans appearing in Cambrian layers without clear antecedents and requiring 10+ Mbits of integrated, embryologically feasible innovations in bio-information is ALSO being begged, big time. (Especially as we do have a known source for such dFSCI — the only observed source: intelligence.)

    10 –> Instead we see from the original post a timeline produced by circular argument in a circle of a priori materialism so that a claimed observed fact is a chain of inferences predicated on assumptions, and artistic reconstructions of animals never actually observed, much less observed to be in ancestral relationships, are being presented to the naive as proof positive that macroevolutin — however defined — is an observed fact. (And only fools dispute facts.)

    11 –> Worse, all of this is in a context where there are several questionable cases and outright hoaxes across 100+ years that are being presented as though to question what is going on today and ask for epistemological humility in light of the limits of what science can do, given the 100 + year history is verboten.

    12 –> Lest we forget [it was a few dozen posts upthread at no 39 . . . ], let us look again at that demonstration on the limits of scientific theorising again:

    we cannot validly infer from empirical reliability of [an explanatory] model to its truth:

    Theory (T) EXPLAINS initial observations O1:

    T => O1

    T also predicts further observations O2:

    T => (O1 AND O2)

    O2, so far, is confirmed, and O1 was there from the outset.

    ___________

    But, (O1 AND O2) =/=> T

    (That would be to affirm the consequent.)

    We therefore only can properly infer that O1 and O2 provide empirical support for T, which may thus be seen as empirically reliable so far. But, it has not been proved true; it is always a provisional explanation subject to correction in light of future findings.

    13 –> And that is when you have actual observations by Eyeball mark I, ear bag Mark I, and associated instruments.

    14 –> When all you got is a ladder of theory-laden inferences going into the deep and unobserved past, so that “observations” as just as much deeply interpreted as the “theories” that are to “explain” them . . .

    ______________

    GEM of TKI

  133. Petrushka:

    You have moved beyond the pale of reasonable discussion. You know what you need to do to get back on reasonable and civil terms.

    G

  134. 134
    San Antonio Rose

    I am not quite sure what Petruska did, but it must of been bad!

    Srsly, though, could you help me understand how the pictures of embryos I saw in my text book were misleading. TIA!

  135. StephenB @ 124

    “molch: “And if you still insist that earlier embryos are more dissimilar than the later embryo stages depicted in the illustrations, I’d like to see some evidence for that?”

    So would I inasmuch as I am not saying that or anything close to it.”

    So what then were you trying to say with “….the authors’ intent was [...] to mislead readers into believing that the same similarities that occur later in the process are also present earlier in the process.” in 80, which was your argument in trying to rebut 72?

    “Do you have an answer or don’t you? Why not simply go to the website, look at the drawings, analyze the way they were used, and then come back and comment on the matter after you have immersed yourself in the evidence? That way you don’t have to do all this guessing.”

    That’s exactly what I did when I wrote 72 – no guesswork involved – and for the problem with your only rebuttal to 72 thus far – see above.

    “Only your last sentence makes any sense.”

    Good – you get the picture! Of course only the last sentence makes sense, because the first sentence paraphrases the contradictory statement you made.

  136. 136

    Mr Kairosfoscus,
    thank you for the advice re Irfanview. I assume that it can’t perform better than Photoshop which I used to enhance the pictures. The problem is, pictures of 12 kb do not get any better when they are blown up, and they were not sharp to begin with – perhaps they are a bit old – there must be better ones around by now?
    And as for Haeckel’s influence: We should remember that it is true that Haeckel tampered with the evidence, but to some extent you would expect similarities – after all it is still about embryos.
    So I do not want to draw a premature conclusion and sincerely hope you can point me to pictures you can agree with.

  137. —molch: “That’s exactly what I did when I wrote 72 – no guesswork involved – and for the problem with your only rebuttal to 72 thus far – see above.”

    You talked around the issues, but you did not address them. Here they are again [from the website]

    “(1) They show embryo drawings that are essentially recapitulations of Haeckel’s fraudulent drawings — drawings that downplay and misrepresent the actual differences between early stages of vertebrate embryos;

    (2) They have used these drawings as evidence for evolution — in the present day — and not simply to provide some kind of historical context for evolutionary thought;

    (3) Even if the textbooks do not completely endorse Haeckel’s false “recapitulation” theory, they have used their Haeckel-based drawings to overstate the actual similarities between early embryos, which is the key misrepresentation made by Haeckel. They then cite these overstated similarities as still-valid evidence for common ancestry.”

    —”Good – you get the picture! Of course only the last sentence makes sense, because the first sentence paraphrases the contradictory statement you made.”

    No, I am afraid that you don’t get the picture. Your paraphrase created a contradiction that wasn’t there, which is why I asked you to look up the word, “eisegesis.” You are straining at gnats and swallowing camels. The real action is in the preceding paragraphs, the substance of the debate which you seem reluctant to confront.

  138. Gee, Petrushka, you are making perfect sense again in 130! How incivil of you!

  139. StephenB @ 136

    “You talked around the issues, but you did not address them.”

    The issue I expressedly adressed was your question:

    “Are Darwinists who knowingly use Haeckel’s drawings lying or are they telling the truth?”

    “(1) They show embryo drawings that are essentially recapitulations of Haeckel’s fraudulent drawings — drawings that downplay and misrepresent the actual differences between early stages of vertebrate embryos;”

    That was obviously NOT part of the original question you asked. But if you want that claim adressed, you need to provide some proof for it. Do you know what the actual sources are that the illustrators of any of the books used to base their illustrations upon?

    “(2) They have used these drawings as evidence for evolution — in the present day — and not simply to provide some kind of historical context for evolutionary thought;

    (3) Even if the textbooks do not completely endorse Haeckel’s false “recapitulation” theory, they have used their Haeckel-based drawings to overstate the actual similarities between early embryos, which is the key misrepresentation made by Haeckel. They then cite these overstated similarities as still-valid evidence for common ancestry.”

    I adressed all these points in completeness in 72. I discuss in particular detail why the conclusion of (3) is wrong. Please point out where you disagree with 72.

    “Your paraphrase created a contradiction that wasn’t there”

    Ok, so if there was no contradiction, then obviously you are still serious about the statement that “he is using Heackel’s drawings as evidence to support his lie”, and you are are still wrong. The drawings in his book are not Haeckel’s drawings.

    And I am still waiting for your answer on what you were trying to say with “….the authors’ intent was [...] to mislead readers into believing that the same similarities that occur later in the process are also present earlier in the process.”

  140. —molch: “I adressed all these points in completeness in 72. I discuss in particular detail why the conclusion of (3) is wrong. Please point out where you disagree with 72.”

    You wrote, “So what are biology textbooks using these drawings for? To illustrate the fact that embryos of different vertebrate families show lots of similarities – a lot more similarities than they show to embryos of non-vertebrate organisms.”

    Well, no, not even close. Clearly, the reason for including these drawings was not to clarify, as you naively suggest, but to mislead.

    Even PZ Myers, rabid Darwinist extraordinaire, gets it. Commenting on the subject under discussion, he writes, “Wells is also correct in criticizing textbook authors for perpetuating Haeckel’s infamous diagram without commenting on its inaccuracies or the way it was misused to support a falsified theory.”

    Eugenie Scott, also admits that they are fraudulent and misleading, differing from Myers only to the extent that she thinks the lie is laudable, that is, she thinks that the end [promoting evolution] jusifies the means [the misrepresentation].

    It would likely not have occurred to either of them to employ your futile strategy of denial.

  141. 141
    San Antonio Rose

    “Wells is also correct in criticizing textbook authors for perpetuating Haeckel’s infamous diagram without commenting on its inaccuracies or the way it was misused to support a falsified theory

    I realize I am just a dumb girl and you boys would rather tussle with each other. But, I would like for someone to answer my questions.

    Since my text book had photographs that are used to show why emboroyo development supports evolution, just like the “Heackel like” drawings in the list way up above, I want to know if those photos are doctored and what are the actual differences in embryos that the Darwinists are trying to hid?

  142. 142
    San Antonio Rose

    trying to hide. LOL

  143. K:

    I dunno, Irfanview I have found very useful ever since an Archaeologist recommended it to me. (My old workhorse for images is Corel PhotoPaint, ver 8, believe it or not.)

    In looking at the pics, I had no problem with my basic screen resolution. (And since you have Photoshop — which Gimp is comparable to — I assume your screen res is good.)

    I think you are looking for fine details that are not going to be in the pics; the general shape is enough to show:

    (a) the modern textbook pics [JPGs it seems from colour photocopies or scans) clearly are influenced by Haeckel or actually use his drawings

    (b) the pictures from Michael Richardson as reproduced are not high resolution, but show enough to tell us that Haeckel artificially converged his drawings.

    The last should be no surprise, as that was the complaint in 1874. Russell Grigg summarises:

    In his book Natürliche Schöpfungs-geschichte (The Natural History of Creation), published in German in 1868 (and in English in 1876 with the title The History of Creation), Haeckel used the drawing of a 25-day-old dog embryo which had been published by T.L.W. Bischoff in 1845, and that of a 4-week-old human embryo published by A. Ecker in 1851–59.14 Wilhelm His, Sr (1831–1904), a famous comparative embryologist of the day and professor of anatomy at the University of Leipzig, uncovered the fraud.

    Prof. His showed in 1874 that Haeckel had added 3.5 mm to the head of Bischoff’s dog embryo, taken 2 mm off the head of Ecker’s human embryo, doubled the length of the human posterior, and substantially altered the details of the human eye. He sarcastically pointed out that Haeckel taught in Jena, home of the then finest optical equipment available, and so had no excuse for inaccuracy. He concluded that anyone who engaged in such blatant fraud had forfeited all respect and that Haeckel had eliminated himself from the ranks of scientific research workers of any stature.15,16

    _____________

    14 Ref. 1, pp. 276, 469, 472, which reference T.L.W. Bischoff, Entwicklungsgeschichte des Hunde Eies, F. Vieweg, Braunschweig, Germany, 1845; and A. Ecker, Icones Physiologicæ, L. Voss, Leipzig, 1851–59. Return to Text.
    15 Adapted from ref. 1, pp. 276, 475, which references Wilhelm His, Unsere Körperform, C.W. Voegel, Leipzig, 1874. Return to Text.
    16 It is noteworthy that the latest (15th) edition of Encyclopædia Britannica, committed as it is to evolution, makes no mention of Haeckel’s many fabrications. The 1992 printing says merely, ‘Haeckel tended to speculate’, ‘his concepts of recapitulation were in error’, and he ‘was often involved in controversy’, Encyclopædia Britannica, 5:610, 1992.

    Haeckel’s behaviour is indefensible.

    136 years later, we should not have to be discussing how his misleadingly convergent drawings influence biology textbooks in their presentations of evidence for evolution, books published within the past 10 – 20 years.

    And, when we see books basing the pictures more or less on Haeckel, when we could do photographs of what is happening to relevant embryos at the actual ages, is incredible. It is a failure of duties of care that is indefensible in the educator.

    Worse, that remark from the first text in Luskin’s list, on human embryos with gill slits just takes the cake. No way, Jose!

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Over years I have seen reports that he recapitulation theory is used to assuage guilty consciences of women: “it is a lizard at that point,” essentially. I hope that such reports are wrong, for if they are not, that lends a much more sinister aura to the whole exchange. 50 million ghosts worth of more sinister aura.

  144. SAR:

    You are no dumb girl, but a fairly hot exchange is ongoing; which will draw attention.

    If your pictures looked a lot like the Haeckel pictures, they were probably not photographs, but airbrush rendered, masked images; or the digital equivalent.

    G

  145. –molch: “And I am still waiting for your answer on what you were trying to say with “….the authors’ intent was [...] to mislead readers into believing that the same similarities that occur later in the process are also present earlier in the process.”

    Well, here I think you have a point. That sentence, too hurriedly written, begs to be misunderstood. It would have been better to say something like this: “The authors wanted to minimize the differences between early embryo stages to create the impression that they are strikingly similar and, for that reason, appear to share a common ancestor.”

  146. —molch: “The drawings in his book are not Haeckel’s drawings.”

    You are quibbling again. If they are pure Haeckel, Haeckel-like or Haeckel-based, they are being used for the same purpose. Do I really need to use the hyphen every time?

  147. 147

    Hi San Antonio Rose,
    actually, I’d like to see the photos in your textbook. Do you happen to know if I can find them online?
    As Mr Kairosfoscus still seems to be looking for acceptable ones we could discuss yours in the meantime.

  148. K:

    You have enough evidence to draw a reasonable conclusion; as the key issues do not pivot on fine details, given photos, photo-paintings, drawings and remarks about Mr Haeckel’s behaviour over the past 130+ years.

    Mr Haeckel’s misbehaviour is not in doubt.

    And so, just the use of drawings or photo-paintings close to the relevant Haeckel drawings — except to expose and learn from them — is inexcusable. Especially as the actual photos (even in the file sizes as linked) are enough to show sharp dissimilarities between the Haeckel drawings, the Haeckel-like illustrations and the actual credible reality.

    I repeat: the first charge of the educator is not to mislead. And thatis evident form the textbooks cited, from only a few years ago.

    So, the real issue at this point is not to prove to someone’s idiosyncratic demands, but to address the pattern over the past 130 years that has led to fr instance not only the Haeckel case but to the current actual one above in the original post.

    For, in that post, one tower of circularity-loaded inferences projected into the remote unobservable past, on dating, was used to then try to transform another set of such towered inferences and imaginative reconstructions [the photo-paintings of a claimed line of descent] into a claimed factual observation of Macroevolution.

    But, plainly, and inferred explanatory construct (even if well supported by explanations) is simply not in our remit to prove beyond reasonable doubt, and it is not to be conflated with a “fact” or an “observation.”

    Thus, we see the triumph of ideology over sound epistemology, where the business of grounding and resulting degree of warrant for claimed knowledge is a key issue for responsible educators. So, we are back to the implications of Lewontin’s a priori materialism as an ideological construct distorting the content of origins science education:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads we must first get an incorrect view out . . . the problem is to get them to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [[“Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997.]

    This has sobering import for the state of origins science education, even at the hands of professors in major universities and their reviewers and publishers. For, it is plain that the duty of care for educators to be conservative and cautious in claims, pointing out when there are limitations, has been violated. And in particular, there is a difference between a theory and a fact of observation, especially in contexts where our facts are in the here and now, and our theories relate to a projected past dozens to hundreds or more of millions of years into the inferred past.

    Mr Hunter has a definite point, even though I do not like how he has phrased it on tone.

    GEM of TKI

  149. PS: Philip Johnson’s rebuke was well-warranted:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing [They most definitely are not]. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

  150. 150
    San Antonio Rose

    If your pictures looked a lot like the Haeckel pictures, they were probably not photographs, but airbrush rendered, masked images; or the digital equivalent.

    They were definitely photographs of embryos that showed that there are alot of similarities between different species. And they did look very similar.

  151. 151
    San Antonio Rose

    <i.“The authors wanted to minimize the differences between early embryo stages to create the impression that they are strikingly similar and, for that reason, appear to share a common ancestor.”

    Is this the time that someone could tell me what those differences are? I’ve asked like 4 times now and I have been ignored all along. The photos in my text beek make the embroyos look very similar. What are the differences that the Darwinists are hiding?

  152. 152
    San Antonio Rose

    actually, I’d like to see the photos in your textbook. Do you happen to know if I can find them online?

    I don’t know. Obviously, I don’t have teh book anymore. I did look it up based on the discussion here and it was by Miller and Levine. Their dragonfly book, which it seems is more recent than the much older book you boys are arguing about.

  153. Anyone:

    Could you please look up SAR’s book and scan, then upload a graphical file of the relevant page?

    (Maybe even you, SAR?)

    SAR,

    As already noted, even when anatomically similar structures exist in an organism, very often they form in very different ways from different parts of the embryo as it develops; e.g. as I recall, among frogs, or between different animals with guts etc.

    Similarly, the claim that a human embryo has a gill or the equivalent — a fish stage — at any time is simply ridiculous. The folds [pharyngeal pouches] being called gills or gill-like are the start-points for various body structures. Cf wiki here.

    Worse, even if there are striking parallels in the embryological development process, strictly, such can easily be explained on a well-known design praxis: multiple use of a library of parts and processes, with adaptations to specific applications. In short, absent a priori ruling out of common design, embryological development similarities are not going to point to common descent. (This is a general problem with arguments from homology.)

    And, educators know or should know that.

    The exaggeration of similarities — whether done visually or verbally — to fallaciously persuade those who by definition do not know enough to spot such problems, is abuse of the privilege of being an educator.

    So, the whole project of using apparent (or even real) embryological resemblances as a claimed evidence of evolutionary descent is immediately and fatally flawed. Thus, while the faked drawings issue is important as evidence that points to something very wrong, even that does not go far enough.

    Where there is indeed a potentially decisive issue, it is precisely the one that darwinists who come to UD are as a rule ever so eager to distract from, strawmannise and generally evade or distort. [Cf the weak argument correctives above right this and every UD page.]

    Namely, all of these systems are based on cells, cells that have in them digitally coded, functionally specific, algorithmic complex information, with tightly co-ordinated, organised implementing molecular nanomachines.

    There is one routinely observed source of dFSCI, namely intelligence. And, we have excellent reason to see that chance on the gamut of our observed cosmos [the other source of highly contingent outcomes] is utterly implausible as a source of such information and associated coupled machinery. The number of possible but non-functional configurations of molecules and atoms in whatever still warm pond you wish so utterly overwhelms the number that will work, that chance is not a viable engine of origin. (Just 1,000 bits of functionally specific digital information has 10^301 possible configs, about 10 times the SQUARE of the 10^150 states the atom,s of our observed universe would access at the rate of a state every Planck time, across the lifetime of the observed universe. DNA runs from 100′s of thousands to billions of bits.)

    But, if Lewontinian a priori materialism is allowed to censor our thinking on what the obs3erved patterns of cause and the associated signs of their presence are, then we will beg the questions that make homologies seem to be evidence for macroevolution.

    But, what is really going on is what Philip Johnson pointed out , as already cited today:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    Thinking in circles has always been prone to ill-founded triumphalism; as one thinks s/he has “proved” what one already has implicitly assumed.

    Unfortunately, that is precisely what evolutionary materialism so often does.

    GEM of TKI

  154. PS: Another embryologically relevant issue is that to get to new body plans [the main branches of a tree of life model], something like 10+ mn bits of genetic information have to be created dozens of times over. And, the changes in structure have to be embryologically feasible, i.e integrated into a tightly co-ordinated delicately balanced functional system. This too, becomes a challenge for the chance-sourced informaiton model. (Do not let the tendency to focus on the natural selection through differential reproductive success fool you. NS is a culler out of the less fit, not an engine of variation and contingency in DNA. It is chance that has to be the creator of bio-information on evolutionary materialistic models, almost by definition. And if there is an argument that somehow the mechanical necessity of nature will do the job, that is equivalent to saying that life forms were programmed into the basic physics and chemistry of the cosmos. Of this, we find nowhere the faintest observational evidence, and it would point directly from program to programmer.)

  155. 155

    Mr Kairofoscus,
    you say “the key issues do not pivot on fine details”.
    Please allow me to disagree. Embryos are tiny, and details may make all the difference. You should realise that you have studied the matter before coming to your verdict that the images in textbooks are doctored. As an educator you should be eager to allow us the same process.
    And if I have not been clear: I do not defend Haeckel’s tampering.

    @ San Antonio Rose,
    one little error in you comments:
    “the much older book you boys are arguing about.” I’m a girl. :-D

    Unfortunately, I live in Europe, so no chance to find your textbook.

  156. —Kontinental: “And if I have not been clear: “I do not defend Haeckel’s tampering.”

    To achieve maximum clarity you would need to say that you condemn authors and educators who use them and their likeness to mislead students. As it is, your acknowledgement means little.

  157. K:

    The only really relevant visible details in pictures at this level are the pharyngeal pouches. (And if you want full details as published, I suspect you will have to go to a research library and pull a copy of the journal article, or go through one of those $30+ — these days — paywalls. But, I do not think that you will get enough bang for the buck to make that an advisable step, as the decisive informaiton is already here.)

    I have already linked on Wiki’s brief discussion, and the above on library plus adaptation for particular application draws out the root problem with all arguments by homology, as also discussed.

    On the secondary issue in this thread, someone above aptly pointed out that exaggeration of resemblance (which Haeckel and others who followed him plainly did) is not a good indication, relative to the duties of care of the educator.

    To further draw out, scroll up above to Gould’s remarks, and ask yourself why an advocate of evolution is speaking about shame deriving from teh continued use of Haeckel and Haeckel-derived drawings over a century.

    G

  158. 158

    Mr Kairosfoscus,
    you say: “Worse, even if there are striking parallels in the embryological development process, strictly, such can easily be explained on a well-known design praxis: multiple use of a library of parts and processes, with adaptations to specific applications. In short, absent a priori ruling out of common design, embryological development similarities are not going to point to common descent.”

    But that would mean no matter how accurate photos in contemporary textbooks are you still dismiss them as an argument for common descent. Why then go to all the trouble to accuse their authors of fraud?

    Given the gravity of the accusation, I would still prefer to wait for proof.

  159. 159
    San Antonio Rose

    (Maybe even you, SAR?)

    Umm, it’s like summer time and the school keeps the books.

    I am a little disappointed. I going to be gone to camp next week, and this conversation is just getting interesting. I guess I’ll have to wait to see if anyone mentions the differences. I read your post Mr. Kairos and until next weekend.

    I’m sorry, Mr. Karios, I don’t mean to be rude but I am not a doctor and your post is hard to understand without a dictionary. I am pretty sure it is about Darwinists misleading students and something about big numbers making Darwinism false. But, I don’t have alot of time before I leave to look up all those words. Hopefully, someone will get some good pictures of embryos and you can point out all the differences when I get back next weekend.

  160. 160
    San Antonio Rose

    one little error in you comments:
    “the much older book you boys are arguing about.” I’m a girl. :-D

    Oops! LOL. You go!

  161. K:

    The matters at stake are already evident in the pics we have.

    Haeckel manipulated features and proportions to create an exaggerated similarity, suppressing significant variations in the development that were visible. Visible at gross level, and visible in Carl Zeiss optics from Jena circa 1874.

    When it comes to less visible parts [cell level developments], he is even more off track.

    Following Haeckel’s pics and strategies (even with the “modern” mod that it is similarities of embryological development, not adult features like gills) is unjustifiable. And, the implicit circular argument based on ignoring or suppressing the possibility that we are looking at a library of parts and processes, adapted to particular cases, is fallacious. The second order suppression by distraction from the decisive, unanswered question on origin of digitally coded, functionally specific algorithmic information in cell-based life forms is in some ways worse.

    And, the attempt in the book being critiqued in the original post [well, linked from it] to assert that inferred timelines and artistically reconstructed in the perceived remote past are observations of macroevolution in action are an outright violation of basic principles of science and even of language.

    There should be no question that Haeckel did something that was outright fraudulent, as has been exposed since 1874. There is no justification for the various extensions that have built on that wrongdoing over the past 100 years; as Gould acknowledged.

    G

  162. K: You need also to ask yourself why Gould — an advocate for evolution — saw the continued use of Haeckel’s work (and derivatives) over the past 100 years as an occasion for shame. He used “mindless,” but that is plainly a euphemism for indefensible, and immoral. Haeckel is not on trial — for 136 years he has plainly been guilty. The issue is what is driving a textbook establishment to be still using something that was exposed that long ago, even with mods and slight shifts in emphasis. G

  163. PS: You also need to know that Haeckel made a bit of a career out of distorted drawings; e.g. his racist drawings of the different “races,” making out a misleading appearance that guess who was the most advanced, and guess who else was but one step from the monkeys. Again, the radical differences between Haeckel’s drawings and the originals he used in some cases [cf the original drawing discussed in one of the linked articles], as well as photographs in the relevant stages of embryos is quite clear right on the gross shape level. There is no excuse for textbooks in recent decades using Haeckel’s drawings, or adaptations of them, even where there is a shift to suggesting that so-called more advanced creatures add new stages to the embryological development. Ask yourself: why use or adapt drawings that are known — have been known for over 100 years — to be willfully misleading? When Gould asked it, he was ashamed. That is telling. And, kindly compare teh Weak Argument correctives, i.e. you will see that this is by no means an isolated case of seeing Darwinists routinely use verbal or iconic or mythological [just-so story] caricatures designed to serve an agenda, rather than a commitment to the accurate truth and to acknowledging the limitations of the case being made. At least Darwin acknowledged some of the difficulties he faced, and so far as I know did not make silly arguments like the claims that evolution is as sure as gravity [not gravitation . . . ] or that he earth is round. Those who say such things simply show that hey do not understand the difference between observed fact and inferences to the inherently unobservable deep past.

  164. StephenB

    I wrote: “So what are biology textbooks using these drawings for? To illustrate the fact that embryos of different vertebrate families show lots of similarities – a lot more similarities than they show to embryos of non-vertebrate organisms.”

    You answered: “Well, no, not even close. Clearly, the reason for including these drawings was not to clarify, as you naively suggest, but to mislead.”

    You conveniently left out that I also wrote: the inference that these drawings are supposed to illustrate in modern textbooks – that vertebrate families share common ancestry – is NOT based upon a claim that features not depicted in these illustrations are truly absent, but they are based upon true similarities between the real embryos.

    You have so far not provided any proof that the intention of the authors was to mislead. You simply claim that “The authors wanted to minimize the differences between early embryo stages to create the impression that they are strikingly similar and, for that reason, appear to share a common ancestor.”

    So let’s look at the evidence and see what the authors actually SAY in their comments on the drawings. From the texts of the same books you listed, here is a list of the features, illustrated in the drawings, that the authors name as examples for shared features among embryos upon which similarity/relatedness/common ancestry is judged:

    Gill slits/gill pouches, enlarged head region, tail, two-chambered heart, aortic arches (the latter two are illustrated by a different set of schematic drawings)

    So, in order to finally settle the question if the authors are lying, I’d like you to point out which ones of these features, although present in the illustrations, are really NOT present in the embryo. Or if there are any other features that were named, which I might have missed, for which this would be true.

    And by the way, I never said that I don’t agree with PZ Meyer and Eugenie Scott that Haeckel’s drawings should no longer be used in biology books. In 72 I clearly stated “The fact that Haeckel exaggerated certain features in his illustrations and then used these illustrations to draw conclusions that were mostly based upon the claimed absence of other features is indeed a good reason not to use these illustrations any longer.”

    But what we are discussing here is NOT if it is a good idea to use the illustrations, but your charge that the authors who are using these are lying about their content or implication.

    “molch: “And I am still waiting for your answer on what you were trying to say with “….the authors’ intent was [...] to mislead readers into believing that the same similarities that occur later in the process are also present earlier in the process.”
    Well, here I think you have a point. “

    I am glad we agree upon something.

  165. What would be EVEN WORSE is if they (Drs. Johnson and Losos) DID NOT KNOW they were perpetrating a falsehood.

  166. Dear Dr. Hunter,

    Shouldn’t you be commenting on the 6th Edition?

    http://www.amazon.com/Living-W.....0077280083

  167. And if you don’t want to pay the 150 bucks for that, you can fork over only 85 bucks and get:

    http://www.amazon.com/Essentia.....038;sr=1-1

  168. Onlookers:

    I am of course not SB, but could not help noticing Molch’s latest attempt to rehabilitate what Gould acknowledged a decade ago is the inexcusable (now that it has been plainly documented that books from over the past 10 – 20 years do in fact still used Haeckel and Haeckel-like drawings, which had earlier been denied by Darwinist objectors above):

    [M, 164:] From the texts of the same books you listed, here is a list of the features, illustrated in the drawings, that the authors name as examples for shared features among embryos upon which similarity/relatedness/common ancestry is judged:

    Gill slits/gill pouches, enlarged head region, tail, two-chambered heart, aortic arches (the latter two are illustrated by a different set of schematic drawings)

    So, in order to finally settle the question if the authors are lying, I’d like you to point out which ones of these features, although present in the illustrations, are really NOT present in the embryo.

    1 –> The highlighted shows the first and foremost misleading point raised by Haeckel and perpetuated ever since: gills as an embryological repetition of a fish stage of macroevolutionary descent; based on mere location and largely imagined or superficial resemblance.

    2 –> As was already pointed out [using Wiki as a hostile witness], pharyngeal pouches are NOT gills or gill slits,though they may superficially resemble them and in the case of fish do develop in that direction:

    In the [embryological] development of vertebrate animals, pharyngeal or branchial pouches form on the endodermal side between the branchial arches, and pharyngeal grooves (or clefts) form the lateral ectodermal surface of the neck region to separate the arches.

    The pouches line up with the clefts,[1] and these thin segments become gills in fish . . . .

    First pouch

    The endoderm lines the future auditory tube (Pharyngotympanic ” Eustachian ” tube) , middle ear, mastoid antrum, and inner layer of the tympanic membrane.

    [edit] Second pouch

    * Contributes to the middle ear, palatine tonsils, supplied by the facial nerve.

    [edit] Third pouch

    * The third pouch possesses Dorsal and Ventral wings. Derivatives of the dorsal wings include the inferior parathyroid glands, while the ventral wings fuse to form the cytoreticular cells of the thymus. The main nerve supply to the derivatives of this pouch is Cranial Nerve IX, glossopharyngeal nerve.

    [edit] Fourth pouch

    * Derivatives include the superior parathyroid glands and ultimobranchial body which forms the parafollicular C-Cells of the thyroid gland.

    [edit] Fifth pouch

    * Rudimentary structure, becomes part of the fourth pouch contributing to thyroid C-cells.[2]

    3 –> In short, this is an intermediate structure that is associated with the development of various features commonly found in the head-neck-thorax region.

    4 –> So, absent a priori evolutionary materialistic question-begging, and absent a superficial inference from simplistic resemblance [aided and abetted by Haeckel's distortions of proportions and sizes, as well as features that are there in photos but would not suggest the degree of resemblance he improperly conveyed by tracing and adapting one sketch to multiple cases that are in fact quite diverse], the obvious conclusion is the use of a common library of parts and processes, with applications to particular cases.

    5 –> More fundamentally, there has been a consistent failure to account for the source, quantity and integrated functionality of the increments in bio-information to create novel successful body plans [BTW, notice, too, how all of Haeckel's sketches come from one phylum, chordata, i.e. one basic body plan from dozens]. As Meyer pointed out in his 2004 PBSW paper on the information explosion revealed by the Cambrian fossils [and which, contrary to damage control spin evidently did pass "proper peer review" by "renowned scientists"]:

    The Cambrian explosion represents a remarkable jump in the specified complexity or “complex specified information” (CSI) of the biological world . . . the more complex animals that appeared in the Cambrian (e.g., arthropods) would have required fifty or more cell types . . . New cell types require many new and specialized proteins. New proteins, in turn, require new genetic information. Thus an increase in the number of cell types implies (at a minimum) a considerable increase in the amount of specified genetic information. Molecular biologists have recently estimated that a minimally complex single-celled organism would require between 318 and 562 kilobase pairs of DNA to produce the proteins necessary to maintain life (Koonin 2000). More complex single cells might require upward of a million base pairs. Yet to build the proteins necessary to sustain a complex arthropod such as a trilobite would require orders of magnitude more coding instructions. The genome size of a modern arthropod, the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, is approximately 180 million base pairs (Gerhart & Kirschner 1997:121, Adams et al. 2000) . . . .

    In order to explain the origin of the Cambrian animals, one must account not only for new proteins and cell types, but also for the origin of new body plans [thus for regulated embryological development] . . . Mutations in genes that are expressed late in the [embryological] development of an organism will not affect the body plan. Mutations expressed early in development, however, could conceivably produce significant morphological change (Arthur 1997:21) . . . [but] processes of development are tightly integrated spatially and temporally such that changes early in development will require a host of other coordinated changes in separate but functionally interrelated developmental processes downstream. For this reason, mutations will be much more likely to be deadly if they disrupt a functionally deeply-embedded structure such as a spinal column than if they affect more isolated anatomical features such as fingers (Kauffman 1995:2000)

    6 –> In short, you are looking at needing to account for up to dozens of cases of easily 10+ million bits worth of novel integratedly functional bio-information to produce protein-bricks etc and to coordinate their embryological development into a viable organism; requiring co-ordinated mutations that express early in the process.

    7 –> Just 1,000 bits of information would specify a config space of 1.07 * 10^301 possibilites, which already swamps the 10^150 Plack-time states of the 10^80 or so atoms of our observed cosmos, across its thermodynamically credible lifespan [50 mn times the 13.7 bn yrs said to have elapsed since the big bang]. In short, the config spaces to get to the islands of embryologically viable function are utterly too large to have forces of undirected chance plus mechanical necessity search enough to make a difference.

    8 –> And note, this is not a probability calculation, it is a search space calculation, that shows the problem to be insuperable, unless there is front loading of the information required, i.e. unless nature itself is programmed, whether ahead of time or incrementally makes no difference.

    9 –> Coming back, it is evident that it is only because inference to intelligent direction of the emergence of life and of its various forms has been suppressed through a priori materialism and associated question-begging that the [too often exaggerated and even inexcusably distorted] embryological similarities across chordates have been seen as evidence of common descent on chance variation and natural selection etc.

    10 –> Put in plain words, the big questions have been begged, and the evidence has been fudged to make things seem even more like what is desired by those committed to indoctrination in evolutionary materialism than is warranted by the facts that we may observe.

    (Note, too, that the original issue in the thread has to do with claiming to “observe” macroevolution in the remote past, and to do that glossing over the towers of inferences and circularities required to assign dates and reconstruct fossils, placing hem on a claimed timeline of descent; in the teeth of the simple fact that an observation implies the presence of an observer. The remote past is inherently unobservable to us, and in the absence of reliable records accepted by all, we have no generally accepted historical testimony that would allow us to evaluate the claims of credible observers. So, this is gross and indefensible distortion of origins science capabilities and limitations.)

    11 –> Such is inexcusable educational malpractice, and in the case of Haeckel’s sketches and derivatives, it is the reason why Gould expressed shame in 2000:

    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! [Stephen Jay Gould, "Abscheulich! (Atrocious!)," Natural History, March 2000, emphasis added]

    12 –> Gould of course tried to soften the blow, using “mindless” as a euphemism. He plainly meant that the action is intellectually and educationally unjustifiable, and is sufficiently wrong that one ought to be ashamed of it.

    ________________

    Too much of what goes on above on the part of Darwinist commenters, underscores just why.

    GEM of TKI

  169. —molch:” “And by the way, I never said that I don’t agree with PZ Meyer and Eugenie Scott that Haeckel’s drawings should no longer be used in biology books.”

    You are underplaying what they said, ignoring the point that they all agree that it was, and is, a dishonest enterprise. You really have no case here, you really don’t.

    —”I clearly stated “The fact that Haeckel exaggerated certain features in his illustrations and then used these illustrations to draw conclusions that were mostly based upon the claimed absence of other features is indeed a good reason not to use these illustrations any longer.”

    Irrelevant. With respect to this issue, there are only two classes of people: Those who condemn the lie and those who celebrate it. Gould and Myers condemn it, Scott celebrates it. You rationalize it.

    —”But what we are discussing here is NOT if it is a good idea to use the illustrations, but your charge that the authors who are using these are lying about their content or implication.”

    Clearly, I am right. To knowingly mislead is to lie.

    lie [the nonverbal definition]

    Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

    To present false information with the intention of deceiving.

    To convey a false image or impression: Appearances often lie.

    You have no case.

  170. Stephen

    Sobering.

    I have always found revivalist Charles Grandison Finney’s definition of what a lie is clear, clean and crisply challenging: any species of calculated deception.

    Am H Dict backs that up, and backs you up:

    ________________

    >> lie 2 (l)
    n.
    1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
    2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.
    v. lied, ly·ing (lng), lies
    v.intr.
    1. To present false information with the intention of deceiving.
    2. To convey a false image or impression: Appearances often lie.
    v.tr.
    To cause to be in a specific condition or affect in a specific way by telling falsehoods: You have lied yourself into trouble.
    Idiom:
    lie through one’s teeth
    To lie outrageously or brazenly.
    [Middle English, from Old English lyge; see leugh- in Indo-European roots.]
    Synonyms: lie2, equivocate, fib, palter, prevaricate
    These verbs mean to evade or depart from the truth: a witness who lied under oath; didn’t equivocate about her real purpose; fibbed to escape being scolded; paltering with an irate customer; didn’t prevaricate but answered honestly.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. >>

    ________________

    Not much wiggle room there, once we see what has been done since the 1860′s by Haeckel and those who have followed him, sadly, down to our time.

    GEM of TKI

  171. Dr Hunter:

    Where has Fig 17.3 gone, why?

    Especially as you were making plainly fair use?

    GEM of TKI

  172. StephenB

    So, looks like you are reduced to running in circles now, repeating your empty claim that the authors are lying. Obviously you feel that if you repeat that often enough, people will just buy it.

    Yup, Stephen, I know the definition of lying. We all do: “To present false information with the intention of deceiving.”
    But repeating it a dozen MORE times still doesn’t help your case, because it does absolutely nothing to prove that that’s what the authors did.

    And you obviously haven’t done any proving. The one time you tiptoed anywhere close to engaging the actual evidence, you got it devastatingly wrong (remember: “…the authors’ intent was [...] to mislead readers into believing that the same similarities that occur later in the process are also present earlier in the process.” ?)
    Heck, I even did half the work for you and compiled and quoted the actual evidence. But since you failed to engage the evidence every step of the way, I conclude, for once in agreement with you: case closed!

  173. kairofocus

    you can drop that “human embryos don’t have gills” shtick. Your little edifice around the false claim that biologists say or imply that human embryos have gills is called a strawman. And you’ve burned it down plenty of times now.
    Gill slit or gill pouch is a commonly used synonym for pharyngeal slit/pouch/arch. Just like ear drum is a commonly used synonym for tympanic membrane. A gill pouch is not a gill, just like an ear drum is not a drum. No biologist, and none of the books that were discussed claim that a gill pouch is a gill or that human embryos have gills. So you can stop burning that strawman.

  174. Nice try, molch, but it won’t work. Aguing against you is the tesmimony from a number of heavy hitters on your own side, incliuding Stephen J. Gould, PZ Myers, Eugenie Scott, and others that you apparently do not know about. All agree about the dishonest nature of the enterprise.

    Arguing against you is the evidence from the website that we provided for you. Included were the offending pictures and quotes from authors who characterized those pictures as evidence for the similairities in question. You did not engage the evidence at all, choosing to say not one word about Lustin’s numerous examples.

    Arguing against you is the fact that modern textbooks are beginning to stop this dishonest practice as the publishers and authors are being exposed to the public. To counter with the claim that the authors and publishers in question were merely trying to clarify the subject matter, or that we must read a liar’s mind in order to know that he is lying is, excuse me, ridiculous.

  175. Molch:

    There is more than enough evidence presented above in the primary case, just, the further evidence is that above you and others have refused to face it.

    Indeed, there is sufficient demonstration from your behaviour above to raise the question of the fallacy of the ideologised willfully closed mind.

    To draw upon just one aspect, let us cite Johnson and Losos, courtesy CH:

    It is important not to miss the key point of the result you see illustrated in figure 17.3 [a picute of a line of artistically reconstructed fossils starting with a horse-like animal and going on to Rhino-like animals on a timeline of about 50 MN - 35 Mn YA]: evolution is an observation, not a conclusion. Because the dating of the samples is independent of what the samples are like, successive change through time is a data statement. While the statement that evolution is the result of natural selection is a theory advanced by Darwin, the statement that macroevolution has occurred is a factual observation.

    In response, Hunter aptly remarked:

    A sequence of [artistically reconstructed]fossils [on an equally reconstructed timeline] is an observation of macroevolution? It would be difficult to imagine a more misleading statement than this. And it is not as though this was an unintended mistake that just happened to elude the 100+ reviewers. Johnson and Losos went out of their way to make and elaborate this message, and the army of evolutionist reviewers all nodded their heads.

    1 –> As a glance above at 30 will show, it has already been pointed out that there is no way that we can have OBSERVED events 50 – 35 MYA. (NB: I have already addressed the minor problem on PhDs and Piltdown man, that Petrushka tried to make overmuch of, in a turnabout tactic.)

    2 –> We were not there [if there was a past on earth 35 - 50 mn years ago . . . as opposed to the model timeline that is commonly presented on that subject], none of our instruments were there, we have no known generally credible records from those who were there, and we have not as yet mastered time travel — not to mention the problems of travel into the past.

    3 –> So, to claim OBSERVATION is obviously and blatantly immediately false, and this exaggeration from inferences to claimed fact is equally plainly intended to sustain an argument that requires that sort of falsehood to support its persuasiveness.

    4 –> Moreover, the reconstructed animals are artistic reconstructions on fossils not observations of a real observed line of descent of animals that were seen to look like the pictures in question.

    5 –> Worse, such reconstructions and dating games linked thereto have a very very bad history, as this sad example familiar from my experience as a High School science student, will tell. What was done there was indefensible and yet it was trumpeted to the public as though this was indisputable fact. (I need not go through the long history of such artistic reconstructions, all the way back to how Neandertal was originally presented as an ape-man; regardless of Virchow’s objections.)

    6 –> As this discussion here will show, the timeline of cosmological and earth history often presented to us as indisputable fact is in fact a model of the past as conventionally accepted, based on a tower of inferences and assumptions that interlock in multiple circles of argument. For instance, observe –in a context of various problems with dating systems and schemes including isochrons — Milton’s four concerns on the circularities of dating in a context where science normally operates on paradigms that set frameworks of what is acceptable and what is not, as already were presented above at 30:

    [[1 Untestability/ Circularity:] . . . the overwhelming majority of [[radioactive] dates could never be challenged or found to be flawed since there is no genuinely independent evidence that can contradict those dates . . . .

    [[2 Ballpark thinking:] Any dating scientist who suggested looking outside of [[the standard] ballpark . . . would be looked on as a crackpot by his colleagues. More significantly, he would not be able to get any funding for his research . . . .

    [[3 Intellectual phase-locking:] . . . all scientists make experimental errors that they have to correct. They naturally prefer to correct them in the direction of the currently accepted value thus giving an unconscious trend to measured values . . . . [[Emphasis original]

    [[4 Conformity to consensus:] Take for example a rock sample from the late Cretaceous, a period which is universally believed to date from some 65 million years ago. Any dating scientist who obtained a date from the sample of, say, 10 million years or 150 million years, would not publish such a result because he or she will, quite sincerely, assume it was in error. On the other hand, any dating scientist who did obtain a date of 65 million years would hasten to publish it . . . [[Shattering the Myths of Darwinism (Park Street Press, 1997), pp. 50 – 51.]

    7 –> In that context, when we see scientists standing up not as working stiffs who work in a paradigm in their time, but as authoritative teachers to tell us about “observations” on the deep past, they have a heavy series of duties of care to meet.

    8 –> For instance, there is a duty to inform not only on theories and evidence brought up in support, and models and reconstructions, but also the strengths and weaknesses, assumptions and general capacity and limits of scientific knowledge claims, especially when we project from the present to the deep — inherently unobservable — past of origins.

    9 –> Johnson, Losos and their reviewers and publishers as a body signally failed in that duty of care of the educator. And, willfully so — they cannot collectively be THAT ignorant about what an observation is and what it is not.

    10 –> But, they dodged that duty of care, in order to doll up a theory they favour, claiming for it the unwarranted aura of observed fact; knowing that most students and teachers would likely be overawed, and that only fools dispute facts.

    11 –> So, this is willful and misleading indoctrination in that which is questionable, based on what they knew or should have known is a plainly false declaration of something as an observed fact.

    _____________

    GEM of TKI

  176. Yup, still, nothing new, no engagement of the evidence…

    …and the vague allusion that I alledgedly did not address “Lustin’s numerous examples” does not get you anywhere. examples of what? you have a piece of evidence to bring to the table? Bring it!

  177. Molch:

    You are crossing a line there, a serious line.

    Haeckel is the one who precisely made claims about fish-stage development with gills: ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.

    And, gills as they superficially seem to be — in reality a cluster of 5 pharyngeal pouches that become various head-neck region structures in different animals — have been not only a but often the major point emphasised in the claims about recapitulation. Precisely, because the “gill slits” seem ever so obvious [and are so characteristic of fish and the like], especially in Haeckel’s faked drawings or those derived from them.

    And as the excerpt I took from you highlighted, this still obtains:

    [M, 164:] From the texts of the same books you listed, here is a list of the features, illustrated in the drawings, that the authors name as examples for shared features among embryos upon which similarity/relatedness/common ancestry is judged:

    Gill slits/gill pouches, enlarged head region, tail, two-chambered heart, aortic arches (the latter two are illustrated by a different set of schematic drawings)

    So, in order to finally settle the question if the authors are lying, I’d like you to point out which ones of these features, although present in the illustrations, are really NOT present in the embryo.

    Onlookers, cf, my point by point rebuttal in 168, which Molch wishes to evade by the dismissive term schtick.

    GEM of TKI

  178. PS: Molch is obviously counting on the passage of many posts to obscure the evidence put forth in links and citations already, thus improperly shifting the burden of proof; while overwhelmingly the evidence is that Haeckel, ever since 1874, was publicly exposed, and those who followed him down to within the past 10 years have no excuse. Here is Luskin’s article yet again, as cited by title in 66 and linked in 67 above, and repeatedly pointed to since. Let us see if Molch can satisfactorily explain the facts in evidence.

    Luskin’s remarks as excerpted are a good summary on the weight of the evidence:

    Many Darwinists are scurrying around on their blogs and at movie screenings, trying to rewrite history by claiming that Haeckel’s embryo drawings were never used in modern textbooks. In a contradictory claim, some then concede that modern textbooks have used the drawings but argue that Haeckel’s work was only cited to provide some historical context to evolutionary theory—they assert that Haeckel’s fraudulent drawings have not been used to promote evolution in modern textbooks. They are wrong on both counts.

    To avoid confusion, let me point out that we are not claiming that Haeckel’s embryo drawings and recapitulation theory are the bedrock of evolutionary biology in 2007. Nor are we arguing that every textbook that has used Haeckel’s fraudulent drawings (or some near-identical colorized version) therefore promoted the idea that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” As Jonathan Wells points out in his recent article, The Cracked Haeckel Approach to Evolutionary Reasoning, “Many modern biology textbooks inform students that Haeckel’s dictum, ‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,’ has been discredited, but the same textbooks often use Haeckel’s drawings (or modern versions of them) to persuade students that human embryos provide clues to our evolutionary history and evidence for Darwin’s theory.” Therefore, what we are claiming is that various modern textbooks have used Haeckel’s embryo drawings in precisely the manner that Darwinists now deny:

    # (1) They show embryo drawings that are essentially recapitulations of Haeckel’s fraudulent drawings — drawings that downplay and misrepresent the actual differences between early stages of vertebrate embryos;

    # (2) They have used these drawings as evidence for evolution — in the present day — and not simply to provide some kind of historical context for evolutionary thought;

    # (3) Even if the textbooks do not completely endorse Haeckel’s false “recapitulation” theory, they have used their Haeckel-based drawings to overstate the actual similarities between early embryos, which is the key misrepresentation made by Haeckel. They then cite these overstated similarities as still-valid evidence for common ancestry.

    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.”

    PPS: Observe Wells’ remark in the second linked article in the excerpt:

    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.

  179. F/N: Here (courtesy NWE and Wiki) is a higher resolution comparison of Haeckel’s drawings and photos of embryos at the relevant time of development where there is supposed to have been maximum resemblance, per Haeckel. (Cf, video expose here.)

    –> Cf NWE article on Haeckel here.

    –> On Haeckel’s racism-promoting drawings cf p. 103 and p. 108 here. (As a man of predominantly African ancestry, I must take strong exceptions to ANY use of work by such a fraud and any attempt to rehabilitate or construct such work as though it were not what it is, inexcusable fraud in service to an agenda that in the end cost dozens of millions their lives through its impact.)

  180. F/N; Collins English Dictionary 2003, on Observe:

    observe [?b?z??v]
    vb
    1. (tr; may take a clause as object) to see; perceive; notice we have observed that you steal
    2. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to watch (something) carefully; pay attention to (something)
    3. to make observations of (something), esp scientific ones

  181. 181

    Mr Kairosfoscus,
    first of all I’d like to thank you for your detailed explanations. I might not agree with everything, but I appreciate your taking the time.

    You mentioned “… the possibility that we are looking at a library of parts and processes, adapted to particular cases …”. So your position seems to be that we are observing the same facts and arrive at different conclusions – correct me if I’m wrong.

    For my part, I found a thread at BioLogos that seemed pretty convincing:
    http://biologos.org/blog/evide.....n-part-3a/
    which deals with embryiologic development (no images of them :-D)
    and I guess I’ll go on from there.

  182. K:

    A very brief note.

    We are here looking at an algorithm, of step by step stages of development. Algorithms are instances of FSCI, to be explained.

    The only directly observed causal source of such FSCI is, as already highlighted, intelligence. And, we have good configuration space reasons to doubt that chance plus necessity can credibly cause such, on the gamut of our observed cosmos.

    So, while one may make a homology claim as Biologos — theistic evolutionists — wish, it does not evade the general problem of the source of FSCI. A novel body plan, including for a 4-chamber heart, requires integrated development process, programmed into the zygote; not just in DNA codes but in regulatory structures and implementing machines.

    This is not answer to the issue of the failure of homology as a claimed evidence of Darwinian evolution. Again, we know that one way to implement FSCI in a given case is to use and adapt a library of parts and processes, as the whole OO paradigm in programming shows, and as Java libraries show.

    GEM of TKI

  183. 177:

    thanks for letting me know that I “crossed a serious line” by pointing at the strawman you were burning. I’ll keep that in mind next time you accuse others of the same
    :)
    … and thanks for admitting to your strawman by your writhing around the issue with expressions like “gills as they superficially seem to be”. Which part of “Gill slit or gill pouch is a commonly used synonym for pharyngeal slit/pouch/arch. [...] A gill pouch is not a gill.[...] None of the books that were discussed claim that a gill pouch is a gill or that human embryos have gills.” do you not understand or have contrary evidence for?

    179:
    thanks for finally providing a somewhat more high-res photo of the embryos in question – which, lo and behold, show EXACTLY the features that the textbook auhtors used for comparison (with exception of the fish embryo, which is too fuzzy a picture and half covered up by the egg mass to make out much of anything): gill slits/pouches / pharyngeal slits/arches/pouches, enlarged head region, tail – all there! And wow – they DO look remarkably similar compared to later stages of the same embryos and compared to embryos of non-vertebrates!

  184. Molch:

    Sadly, it is you who are setting up and knocking over strawmen, and resorting to turnabout accusations to distract attention from the fact.

    I shake my heard as I have to lay out a hostile witness on the point, Wiki, to show the popular level understanding as promulgated in the biogenetic law, first of all:

    Haeckel formulated his theory as “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”. The notion later became simply known as the recapitulation (OED: ‘a summing up or brief repetition’) theory. Ontogeny is the growth (size change) and development (shape change) of an individual organism; phylogeny is the evolutionary history of a species. Haeckel’s recapitulation theory claims that the development of advanced species passes through stages represented by adult organisms of more primitive species . . . .

    For example, Haeckel proposed that the gill slits (pharyngeal arches) in the neck of the human embryo represented an adult “fishlike” developmental stage as well as signifying a fishlike ancestor. Embryonic pharyngeal arches, the invaginations between the gill pouches or pharyngeal pouches, open the pharynx to the outside. Such gill pouches appear in all tetrapod animal embryos: in mammals, the first gill bar (in the first gill pouch) develops into the lower jaw (Meckel’s cartilage), the malleus and the stapes. At a later stage, all gill slits close, only the ear remaining open.[8] But these embryonic pharyngeal arches could not at any stage carry out the same function as the gills of an adult fish.

    Haeckel produced several embryo drawings that often overemphasized similarities between embryos of related species. These found their ways into many biology textbooks, and into popular knowledge.

    You will observe the obvious tension between the repeated “synonym[ous]” term “gill” and the actual functions and development being described.

    In short, the term is highly misleading, is inviting of making the precise error Haeckel made, and plainly is linked to the history and influence of Haeckel’s deception and fraud.

    Finally, at no point hacve you or anyone else provided a credible empirical basis for the implication that embryological development algorithms and the programs by which they are outworked originate on chance plus necessity. Apart form the impact of a priori materialism.

    Instead, the evidence of the complex integrated organisation and information involved points strongly to design that uses a library of parts and procedures, with adaptations to particular cases. For instance, we have vertebrates so the head and backbone are central in embryological development, and pharyngeal pouches are associated with development of particular throat-region structures.

    Not to forget, Haeckel plainly did wish for his readers to see the “gills” as evidence of descent, and exaggerated resemblances in that cause; to the point of fraud. Similar to how he manipulated drawings of people by race, associated with apes and monkeys.

    GEM of TKI

  185. Beautiful, kairofocus!!! I could not have found a better witness for my position that “Gill slit or gill pouch is a commonly used synonym for pharyngeal slit/pouch/arch. [...] A gill pouch is not a gill.[...]” than you just did!

    And of course then you joined Stephen in his brilliant logical tactic of claiming that the cited reference proves the exact opposite of what it states. And to top it all off you vaguely accuse me of setting up a strawman, of course without getting specific, to detract from your brightly burning pile of ashes!

    Congratulations – I’ll leave it to the onlookers to follow Stephen’s recommendation from 121:
    “It is not our business to convince irrational people about anything. Rather it is our task to expose their irrationality to onlookers in order to save the latter from that very same descent into intellectual quicksand–one from which they, like our adversaries, will likely never be able to extricate themselves.”

  186. Molch:

    You are playing at ad hominem laced strawman again, specifically ducking the historical context of the cite, and the loaded impact of the term “gill slits” in light of Haeckel’s fraud and the continued use of that fraud down to textbooks within the past few years and decades.

    Observe my onward remarks, which you have artfully omitted:

    You will observe the obvious tension between the repeated “synonym[ous]” term “gill” and the actual functions and development being described.

    In short, the term is highly misleading, is inviting of making the precise error Haeckel made, and plainly is linked to the history and influence of Haeckel’s deception and fraud . . . .

    the evidence of the complex integrated organisation and information involved points strongly to design that uses a library of parts and procedures, with adaptations to particular cases. For instance, we have vertebrates so the head and backbone are central in embryological development, and pharyngeal pouches are associated with development of particular throat-region structures.

    Not to forget, Haeckel plainly did wish for his readers to see the “gills” as evidence of descent, and exaggerated resemblances in that cause; to the point of fraud. Similar to how he manipulated drawings of people by race, associated with apes and monkeys.

    Given that context, there is little excuse for the continued use of a highly misleading term, and that term certainly carries the connotations I have pointed out.

    Given that context, your onward remarks are again completely out of order.

    Good day, sir.

    GEM of TKI

  187. PS: Onlookers, you may find the remarks here and here on embryology and its abuses in the cause of creating an icon of evolution over the past century, interesting.

  188. 188

    Hi! I’m back. Miss me?

    I see there is a better picture in comment 179. The embroyos look very similar, as did the ones in bmy bio book. Can someone point out the differences for me? KTHXBAI.

  189. SAR:

    Kindly read onward remarks from 177 on in the thread above. (Sorry that the remarks have to be in the context of correcting M.)

    Also, cf here, noting the summary of embryological development. Also, go to the section of Icons of Evo from pp. 92 – 100, try the sample at Google Books for a start, for far more details and revealing pictures.

    GEM of TKI

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