Monday, 19 July 2010

Some problems with evolution and genetic perspectives (part 3)

Potassium-argon ‘dates’ of recent Mt. Ngauruhoe lava flows.

As you can see from the ‘dates’ in the above table the lava flows that were less than 55 years old were given dates from 267,000 years to 3.5 million plus or minus 20 thousand years.

What About Carbon Dating?

Carbon dating fares a little better but is still not very accurate. In 1984 Hansruedi Stutz found some sandstone with fossilized mussels in it and with fragments of coalified wood. The sandstone described as coming from Magenwil, Switzerland is said to be 20 million years old and thus the coalified wood found in the sandstone along side the mussels could be at the approximate same age. Mr. Stutz sent samples to the Physikalisches Institute of the University of Bern, Switzerland. This is a very prestigious laboratory and could be counted on in processing the samples with utmost care to eliminate any contamination. Given the ‘assumed’ date of the sandstone the 14C reading in the wood, assuming it was the same age, should read as an infinite age as all perceptible 14C would have been converted to 12C in around 100,000 years.

Instead the laboratory gave the date of 36,440 years +/- 330 years. That all the 14C is not gone shows that the sandstone is probably not near the date ‘assumed’ either.

Are Decay Rates Constant?

The decay rate is limited by the light constant c and if c has changed over the years as Barry Setterfield (in physics section above) says then past decay rate could have been much substantially faster.

But some recent experiments in beta decay of ionized atoms have been accelerated up to a billion fold. During experimentation 163Dy, a stable nuclide under normal earth conditions would found to decay to 163Ho in 47 days when the conditions were bare nucleus of the completely ionized state. That is 1400 times the normal half life in the 163Dy - 163Ho decay rate. In the rhenium – osmium dating system, which is an isotopic clock used by evolutionists, the 187Re decays to 187Os with a half life of only 33 years. The experiment involved the fully ionized 187Re in a storage ring which were found to decay at a rate of almost a billion times faster than normal decay. The normal 187Re – 187Ho half life is 42 billion years.

Bosch, F. et al., Observation of bound-state b– decay of fully ionized 187Re, Physical Review Letters 77(26)5190–5193, 1996. For further discussion of this experiment, see: Kienle, P., Beta-decay experiments and astrophysical implications, in: Prantzos, N. and Harissopulus, S., Proceedings, Nuclei in the Cosmos, pp. 181–186, 1999.

We will now leave radiometric dating. I could put much more, but I believe I have shown the problems in the dating game played by the evolutionists and their circular way of thinking.

Reason Number 9

Evolutionists are not Evolution's Friend (Or with a theory this broken, why don't they get a new one?)


Mae-Wan Ho and Peter Saunders

Much of the problem is that neo-Darwinism appears completely invincible to falsification by observations or by experiments, so much so that many doubt if it is a scientific theory at all. Partly, the stochastic nature of evolutionary changes must demand that there should be an unique explanation for each event, so that any difficulty raised by observations could be explained or explained away with ease, and partly, the practitioners of neo-Darwinism exhibit a great power of assimilation, incorporating any opposing viewpoint as yet another “mechanism” in the grand “synthesis”. But a real synthesis should begin by identifying conflicting elements in the theory, rather than in accommodating contradictions as quickly as they arise. “Beyond neo- Darwinism - An Epigenetic Approach to Evolution” Journal of Theoretical Biology Vol. 78, 1979 p.574

It is now approximately half a century since the neo-Darwinian synthesis was formulated. A great deal of research has been carried on within the paradigm it defines. Yet the successes of the theory are limited to the interpretation of the minutiae of evolution, such as the adaptive change in coloration of moths; while it has remarkably little to say on the questions which interest us most, such as how there came to be moths in the first place. Beyond Neo-Darwinism: An Introduction to the New Evolutionary Paradigm (1984) p.ix

George Gaylord Simpson (1902 – 84) Alexander Agassiz Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology at Harvard

A telescope, a telephone, or a typewriter is a complex mechanism serving a particular function. Obviously, its manufacturer had a purpose in mind, and the machine was designed and built in order to serve that purpose. An eye, an ear, or a hand is also a complex mechanism serving a particular function. It, too, looks as if it had been made for a purpose. This appearance of purposefulness is pervading in nature, in the general structure of animals and plants, in the mechanisms of their various organs, and in the give and take of their relationships with each other. Accounting for this apparent purposefulness is a basic problem for any system of philosophy or of science. ''The problem of plan and purpose in Nature" Scientific Monthly June 1947 p. 481

The origin of life was necessarily the beginning of organic evolution and it is among the greatest of all evolutionary problems. The Meaning of Evolution (1949) p.14

Francis Crick (1916–2004) Co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, Nobel laureate 1962, Professor at the Salk Institute

Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case. It is difficult enough to study what is happening now. To figure out exactly what happened in evolution is even more difficult. Thus evolutionary achievements can be used as hints to suggest possible lines of research, but it is highly dangerous to trust them too much. What Mad Pursuit (1988) pp.138-139

An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going. Life Itself (1981) p.88

Every time I write a paper on the origin of life, I determine I will never write another one, because there is too much speculation running after too few facts. Life Itself (1981) p.153

Richard Dawkins (b. 1941) Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University

The account of the origin of life that I shall give is necessarily speculative; by definition, nobody was around to see what happened. The Selfish Gene (1989) p.14

It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that). “Put Your Money on Evolution” The New York Times (April 9, 1989) section VII p.35

Evolution is very possibly not, in actual fact, always gradual. But it must be gradual when it is being used to explain the coming into existence of complicated, apparently designed objects, like eyes. For if it is not gradual in these cases, it ceases to have any explanatory power at all. Without gradualness in these cases, we are back to miracle, which is simply a synonym for the total absence of explanation. River out of Eden (1995) p.83

Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose. The Blind Watchmaker

It is almost as if the human brain were specifically designed to misunderstand Darwinism, and to find it hard to believe. The Blind Watchmaker (1996) p.316

As an academic scientist I am a passionate Darwinian, believing that natural selection is, if not the only driving force in evolution, certainly the only known force capable of producing the illusion of purpose which so strikes all who contemplate nature. The Devil's Chaplain (2003) p.10

It is forever true that DNA is a double helix, true that if you are a chimpanzee (or an octopus or a kangaroo) trace your ancestors back far enough you will eventually hit a shared ancestor. To a pedant, these are still hypotheses which might be falsified tomorrow. But they never will be. The Devil's Chaplain (2003) pp.17-18

The world is divided into things that look designed (like birds and airliners) and things that don't (rocks and mountains). Things that look designed are divided into those that really are designed (submarines and tin openers) and those that aren't (sharks and hedgehogs). The diagnostic of things that look (or are) designed is that their parts are assembled in ways that are statistically improbable in a functional direction. They do something well: for instance, fly.

Darwinian natural selection can produce an uncanny illusion of design. An engineer would be hard put to decide whether a bird or a plane was the more aerodynamically elegant. So powerful is the illusion of design, it took humanity until the mid-19th century to realise that it is an illusion. NewScientist September 17 2005 p.33

I should have been talking about the combined probability of life's originating on a planet and leading, eventually, to the evolution of intelligent beings capable of anthropic reflection. It could be that the chemical origin of a self-replicating molecule (the necessary trigger for the origin of natural selection) was a relatively probable event but later steps in the evolution of intelligent life were highly improbable. Intelligent Thought (2006) p. 95-6

Stephen Jay Gould (1941 – 2002) Professor of Zoology and Geology at Harvard University

I can understand such an attitude directed toward photographs of objects -- through opportunities for subtle manipulation are legion even here. But many of our pictures are incarnations of concepts masquerading as neutral descriptions of nature. These are the most potent sources of conformity, since ideas passing as descriptions lead us to equate the tentative with the unambiguously factual. Suggestions for the organization of thought are transformed to established patterns in nature. Guesses and hunches become things. Wonderful Life (1991) p.28

These shortest-term studies are elegant and important, but they cannot represent the general mode for building patterns in the history of life. The reason strikes most people as deeply paradoxical, even funny-but the argument truly cannot be gainsaid. Evolutionary rates of a moment, as measured for guppies and lizards, are vastly too rapid to represent the general modes of change that build life’s history through geological ages. ... These measured changes over years and decades are too fast by several orders of magnitude to build the history of life by simple cumulation. Reznick’s guppy rates range from 3,700 to 45,000 darwins (a standard metric for evolution, expressed as change in units of standard deviation-a measure of variation around the mean value of a trait in a population-per million years). By contrast, rates for major trends in the fossil record generally range from 0.1 to 1.0 darwins. Reznick himself states that “the estimated rates [for guppies] are...four to seven orders of magnitude greater than those observed in the fossil record” (that is, ten thousand to ten million times faster!). “The Paradox of the Visibly Irrelevant”

Pierre Grasse (1895 - 1985) Editor of the 28-volume "Traite de Zoologie" Chair of Evolution at Sorbonne University

Any living thing possesses an enormous amount of 'intelligence'... Today, this 'intelligence' is called 'information,' but it is still the same thing... This 'intelligence' is the sine qua non of life. If absent, no living being is imaginable. Where does it come from? This is a problem which concerns both biologists and philosophers, and, at present, science seems incapable of solving it. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.2

Zoologists and botanists are nearly unanimous in considering evolution as a fact and not a hypothesis. I agree with this position and base it primarily on documents provided by paleontology, i.e., the history of the living world. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.3

Through use and abuse of hidden postulates, of bold, often ill-founded extrapolations, a pseudoscience has been created. It is taking root in the very heart of biology and is leading astray many biochemists and biologists, who sincerely believe that the accuracy of fundamental concepts has been demonstrated, which is not the case. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.6

Today, our duty is to destroy the myth of evolution, considered as a simple, understood, and explained phenomenon which keeps rapidly unfolding before us. Biologists must be encouraged to think about the weaknesses of the interpretations and extrapolations that theoreticians put forward or lay down as established truths. The deceit is sometimes unconscious, but not always, since some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies and the falsity of their beliefs. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.8

It follows that any explanation of the mechanism in creative evolution of the fundamental structural plans is heavily burdened with hypotheses. This should appear as an epigraph to every book on evolution. The lack of direct evidence leads to the formation of pure conjectures as to the genesis of the phyla; we do not even have a basis to determine the extent to which these opinions are correct. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.31

What is the use of their unceasing mutations, if they do not change? In sum, the mutations of bacteria and viruses are merely hereditary fluctuations around a median position; a swing to the right, a swing to the left, but no final evolutionary effect. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.87

Bacteria, the study of which has formed a great part of the foundation of genetics and molecular biology, are the organisms which, because of their huge numbers, produce the most mutants. This is why they gave rise to an infinite variety of species, called strains, which can be revealed by breeding or tests. Like Erophila verna, bacteria, despite their great production of intraspecific varieties, exhibit a great fidelity to their species. The bacillus Escherichia coli, whose mutants have been studied very carefully, is the best example. The reader will agree that it is surprising, to say the least, to want to prove evolution and to discover its mechanisms and then to choose as a material for this study a being which practically stabilized a billion years ago! Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.87

Some contemporary biologists, as soon as they observe a mutation, talk about evolution. They are implicitly supporting the following syllogism: mutations are the only evolutionary variations, all living beings undergo mutations, therefore all living beings evolve. This logical scheme is, however, unacceptable: first, because its major premise is neither obvious nor general; second, because its conclusion does not agree with the facts. No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.88

Once one has noticed microvariations (on the one hand) and specific stability (on the other), it seems very difficult to conclude that the former (microvariation) comes into play in the evolutionary process. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.88

Although everything is not as it should be, the living world is not at all chaotic and life results from a very well-defined order. As soon as some disorder, even slight, appears in an organized being, sickness, then death follow. There is no possible compromise between the phenomenon of life and anarchy. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.98

The opportune appearance of mutations permitting animals and plants to meet their needs seems hard to believe. Yet the Darwinian theory is even more demanding: a single plant, a single animal would require thousands and thousands of lucky, appropriate events. Thus, miracles would become the rule: events with an infinitesimal probability could not fail to occur. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.103

There is no law against day dreaming, but science must not indulge in it. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.104

The genic differences noted between separate populations of the same species that are so often presented as evidence of ongoing evolution are, above all, a case of the adjustment of a population to its habitat and of the effects of genetic drift. The fruitfly (drosophila melanogaster), the favorite pet insect of the geneticists, whose geographical, biotropical, urban, and rural genotypes are now known inside out, seems not to have changed since the remotest times. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.130

Fred Hoyle (1915 – 2001) Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge University

If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just about where these levels are actually found to be... A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.

To press the matter further, if there were a basic principle of matter which somehow drove organic systems toward life, its existence should easily be demonstrable in the laboratory. One could, for instance, take a swimming bath to represent the primordial soup. Fill it with any chemicals of a non- biological nature you please. Pump any gases over it, or through it, you please, and shine any kind of radiation on it that takes your fancy. Let the experiment proceed for a year and see how many of those 2,000 enzymes have appeared in the bath. I will give the answer, and so save the time and trouble and expense of actually doing the experiment. You would find nothing at all, except possibly for a tarry sludge composed of amino acids and other simple organic chemicals. How can I be so confident of this statement? Well, if it were otherwise, the experiment would long since have been done and would be well known and famous throughout the world. The cost of it would be trivial compared to the cost of landing a man on the Moon... In short there is not a shred of objective evidence to support the hypothesis that life began in an organic soup here on Earth. The Intelligent Universe (1983) pp.20-21, 23

At all events, anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with the Rubik cube will concede the near-impossibility of a solution being obtained by a blind person moving the cube faces at random. Now imagine 1050 blind persons each with a scrambled Rubik cube, and try to conceive of the chance of them all simultaneously arriving at the solved form. You then have the chance of arriving by random shuffling of just one of the many biopolymers on which life depends. The notion that not only the biopolymers but the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order. "The Big Bang in Astronomy" New Scientist November 19, 1981 pp.521-527

The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable with the chance that 'a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein'. "Hoyle on Evolution" Nature November 12, 1981 p.105

Robert Jastrow (b. 1925) PhD Theoretical Physics recipient of NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (Agnostic)

At present, science has no satisfactory answer to the question of the origin of life on the earth. Perhaps the appearance of life on the earth is a miracle. Scientists are reluctant to accept that view, but their choices are limited; either life was created on the earth by the will of a being outside the grasp of scientific understanding, or it evolved on our planet spontaneously, through chemical reactions occurring in nonliving matter lying on the surface of the planet. The first theory places the question of the origin of life beyond the reach of scientific inquiry. It is a statement of faith in the power of a Supreme Being not subject to the laws of science. The second theory is also an act of faith. The act of faith consists in assuming that the scientific view of the origin of life is correct, without having concrete evidence to support that belief. Until the Sun Dies (1977) pp. 62-63

The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy ... For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries. God and the Astronomers (1992) pp.106-107

Roger Lewin PhD Biochemistry News Editor of Science Magazine

The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear No. Science November 21 1980 p. 883

The key issue is the ability correctly to infer a genetic relationship between two species on the basis of a similarity in appearance, at gross and detailed levels of anatomy. Sometimes this approach...can be deceptive, partly because similarity does not necessarily imply an identical genetic heritage: a shark (which is a fish) and a porpoise (which is a mammal) look similar. Bones of Contention (1987) p.123

Richard Lewontin (b. 1929) PhD Zoology Alexander Agassiz Research Professor at Harvard University

Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection in particular is hopelessly metaphysical, according to the rules of etiquette laid down in the Logic of Scientific Inquiry and widely believed in by practicing scientists who bother to think about the problem. The first rule for any scientific hypothesis ought to be that it is at least possible to conceive of an observation that would contradict the theory. For what good is a theory that is guaranteed by its internal logical structure to agree with all conceivable observations, irrespective of the real structure of the world? If scientists are going to use logically unbeatable theories about the world, they might as well give up natural science and take up religion. Yet is that not exactly the situation with regard to Darwinism? The theory of evolution by natural selection states that changes in the inherited characters of species occur, giving rise to differentiation in space and time, because different genetical types leave different numbers of offspring in different environments... Such a theory can never be falsified, for it asserts that some environmental difference created the conditions for natural selection of a new character. It is existentially quantified so that the failure to find the environmental factor proves nothing, except that one has not looked hard enough. Can one really imagine observations about nature that would disprove natural selection as a cause of the difference in bill size? The theory of natural selection is then revealed as metaphysical rather than scientific. Natural selection explains nothing because it explains everything. “Testing the Theory of Natural Selection” Nature March 24, 1972 p.181

It is the great irony of modern evolutionary genetics that the spirit of explanation has moved more and more towards optimal adaptation, while the technical developments of population genetics of the past 30 years have been increasingly to show the efficacy of non adaptive forces in evolution. "A natural selection" Nature May 11,1989 p.107

As to assertions without adequate evidence, the literature of science is filled with them, especially the literature of popular science writing. Carl Sagan's list of the "best contemporary science-popularizers" includes E.O. Wilson, Lewis Thomas, and Richard Dawkins, each of whom has put unsubstantiated assertions or counterfactual claims at the very center of the stories they have retailed in the market. "Billions and Billions of Demons"

It is said that there is no place for an argument from authority from science. The community of science is constantly self-critical ... It is certainly true that within each narrowly defined scientific field there is constant challenge to new technical claims and to old wisdom. ... But when scientists transgress the bounds of their own specialty they have no choice but to accept the claims of authority, even though they do not know how solid the grounds of those claims may be. Who am I to believe that quantum physics if not Steven Weinberg, or about the solar system if not Carl Sagan? What worries me is that they may believe what Dawkins and Wilson tell them about evolution. "Billions and Billions of Demons"

Ernst Mayr (1904 – 2005) Professor of Zoology at Harvard University

The basic framework of the theory is that evolution is a two-stage phenomenon the production of variation and the sorting of the variants by natural selection. Yet agreement on this basic thesis does not mean that the work of the evolutionist is completed. The basic theory is in many instances hardly more than a postulate and its application raises numerous questions in almost every concrete case. Populations, Species and Evolution (1970) p. 6

The occurrence of genetic monstrosities by mutation, for instance the homeotic mutant in Drosophila, is well substantiated, but they are such evident freaks that these monsters can be designated only as 'hopeless.' They are so utterly unbalanced that they would not have the slightest chance of escaping elimination through stabilizing selection. Giving a thrush the wings of a falcon does not make it a better flier. Indeed, having all the other equipment of a thrush, it would probably hardly be able to fly at all. It is a general rule, of which every geneticist and breeder can give numerous examples, that the more drastically a mutation affects the phenotype, the more likely it is to reduce fitness. To believe that such a drastic mutation would produce a viable new type, capable of occupying a new adaptive zone, is equivalent to believing in miracles.

The finding of a suitable mate for the 'hopeless monster' and the establishment of reproductive isolation from the normal members of the parental population seem to me insurmountable difficulties. Populations, Species, and Evolution (1970) p.253

Colin Patterson (1933 – 1998) Senior Palaeontologist at British Museum of Natural History

Just as pre-Darwinian biology was carried out by people whose faith was in the Creator and His plan, post-Darwinian biology is being carried out by people whose faith is in, almost, the deity of Darwin. They've seen their task as to elaborate his theory and to fill the gaps in it, to fill the trunk and twigs of the tree. But it seems to me that the theoretical framework has very little impact on the actual progress of the work in biological research. In a way some aspects of Darwinism and of neo-Darwinism seem to me to have held back the progress of science. The Listener October 8, 1981 p.392

So what about the tree here and the numbers on the branches? As Steve said, it is produced by a program. Those numbers don't pop out of the data in any way, so I suppose those come from massaging the data with evolutionary theory. It is a program that assumes evolution to be true and tells the computer to find a tree. So my question will be: What is the tree telling us about? Is it telling us something about nature or something about evolutionary theory? "Evolutionism and Creationism" November 5, 1981 p.10

One of the reasons I started taking this anti-evolutionary view, or let's call it a non- evolutionary view, was last year I had a sudden realization for over twenty years I had thought I was working on evolution in some way. One morning I woke up and something had happened in the night and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years and there was not one thing I knew about it. That's quite a shock to learn that one can be so misled so long. Either there was something wrong with me or there was something wrong with evolutionary theory. Naturally, I know there is nothing wrong with me, so for the last few weeks I've tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people.

Question is: Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, "I do know one thing - it ought not to be taught in high school." "Evolutionism and Creationism" November 5, 1981 p.1 1 2 3

Michael Ruse (b. 1940) Editor of the Cambridge University Press Series in the Philosophy of Biology

But we did talk much more about the whole question of metaphysics, the whole question of philosophical bases. And what Johnson was arguing was that, at a certain level, the kind of position of a person like myself, an evolutionist, is metaphysically based at some level, just as much as the kind of position of let us say somebody, some creationist, someone like Gish or somebody like that. Speech at 'The New Antievolutionism' symposium February 13,1993

I think that we should recognize, both historically and perhaps philosophically, certainly that the science side has certain metaphysical assumptions built into doing science, which -- it may not be a good thing to admit in a court of law -- but I think that in honesty that we should recognize, and that we should be thinking about some of these sorts of things. Speech at 'The New Antievolutionism' symposium February 13,1993

It's certainly been the case that evolution has functioned, if not as a religion as such, certainly with elements akin to a secular religion. Those of us who teach philosophy of religion always say there's no way of defining religion by a neat, necessary and sufficient condition. The best that you can do is list a number of characteristics, some of which all religions have, and none of which any religion, whatever or however you sort of put it. And certainly, there's no doubt about it, that in the past, and I think also in the present, for many evolutionists, evolution has functioned as something with elements which are, let us say, akin to being a secular religion. Speech at 'The New Antievolutionism' symposium February 13,1993

Certainly, though, as I say, for Thomas Henry Huxley, I don't think there's any question but that evolution functioned, at a level, as a kind of secular religion...If you look both at his printed stuff, and if you go down to Rice University which has got all his private papers, again and again in the letters, it comes through very strongly that for Julian Huxley evolution was functioning as a kind of secular religion...I think that today also, for more than one eminent evolutionist, evolution in a way functions as a kind of secular religion...Certainly, if you look for instance in On Human Nature, Wilson is quite categorical about wanting to see evolution as the new myth, and all sorts of language like this. That for him, at some level, it's functioning as a kind of metaphysical system. Speech at 'The New Antievolutionism' symposium February 13,1993

W.R. Thompson (1887 - ?) Entomologist and Director of the Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control, Ottawa, Canada

Darwin considered that the doctrine of origin of living forms by descent with modification, even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory unless the causes at work were correctly identified, so his theory of modification by natural selection was, for him, of absolutely major importance. Since he had at the time the Origin was published no body of experimental evidence to support his theory, he fell back on speculative arguments. The argumentation used by evolutionists. Said de Quatrefages, makes the discussion of their ideas extremely difficult. Personal convictions, simple possibilities, are presented as if they were proofs, or at least valid arguments in favour of the theory. As an example de Quatrefages cited Darwin’s explanation of the manner in which the titmouse might become transformed into the nutcracker, by the accumulation of small changes in structure and instinct owing to the effect of natural selection; and then proceeded to show that it is just as easy to transform the nutcracker in to the titmouse. The demonstration can be modified without difficulty to fit any conceivable case. It is without scientific value, since it cannot be verified; but since the imagination has free rein, it is easy to convey the impression that a concrete example of real transmutation has been given. This is the more appealing because of the extreme fundamental simplicity of the Darwinian explanation. The reader may be completely ignorant of the biological processes yet he feels that he really understands and in a sense dominates the machinery by which the marvelous variety of living forms has been produced. Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) p. xi

As we know, there is a great divergence of opinion among biologists, not only about the causes of evolution but even about the actual process. This divergence exists because the evidence is unsatisfactory and does not permit any certain conclusion. It is therefore right and proper to draw the attention of the non-scientific public to the disagreements about evolution. But some recent remarks of evolutionists show that they think this unreasonable. This situation, where scientific men rally to the defence of a doctrine they are unable to define scientifically, much less demonstrate with scientific rigour, attempting to maintain its credit with the public by the suppression of criticism and the elimination of difficulties, is abnormal and undesirable in science. Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) p.xxii

George Wald (1906 - 1997) Professor of Biology at Harvard University Nobel Laureate

The reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position. For this reason many scientists a century ago chose to regard the belief in spontaneous generation as a "philosophical necessity." It is a symptom of the philosophical poverty of our time that this necessity is no longer appreciated. Most modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing. "The origin of life" Scientific American August 1954 p.46

One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation. "The origin of life" Scientific American August 1954 p.46


George Gaylord Simpson (1902 – 84) Alexander Agassiz Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology at Harvard

This regular absence of transitional forms is not confined to mammals, but is an almost universal phenomenon, as has long been noted by paleontologists. It is true of almost all orders of all classes of animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate. A fortiori, it is also true of the classes, and of the major animal phyla, and it is apparently also true of analogous categories of plants. Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1944) p. 107

Richard Dawkins (b. 1941) Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University

In the Cambrian strata of rocks, vintage about 600 million years (evolutionists are now dating the beginning of the Cambrian at about 530 million years), are the oldest in which we find most of the major invertebrate groups. And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists. The Blind Watchmaker (1996) p.229

Niles Eldredge (b. 1943) Chief Curator at The American Museum Of Natural History

Darwin's prediction of rampant, albeit gradual, change affecting all lineages through time is refuted. The record is there, and the record speaks for tremendous anatomical conservatism. Change in the manner Darwin expected is just not found in the fossil record. The Myths of Human Evolution (1982) p.45-46

There seems to have been almost no change in any part we can compare between the living organism and its fossilized progenitors of the remote geological past. Living fossils embody the theme of evolutionary stability to an extreme degree...We have not completely solved the riddle of living fossils. Fossils (1991) p.101, 108

As a paleontologist, I readily concede that my long dead fossils, lacking any traces of their soft anatomies or behaviors, are totally mute on the subject of reproduction and transmission of genetic information. And this is, I acknowledge, a major limitation to our data. Reinventing Darwin (1995) p.2

Simple extrapolation does not work. I found that out back in the 1960s as I tried in vain to document examples of the kind of slow, steady directional change we all thought ought to be there, ever since Darwin told us that natural selection should leave precisely such a telltale signal as we collect our fossils up cliff faces. I found instead, that once species appear in the fossil record, they tend not to change much at all . Species remain imperturbably, implacably resistant to chance as a matter of course. Reinventing Darwin (1995) p.3

Stasis is now abundantly well documented as the preeminent paleontological pattern in the evolutionary history of species. Reinventing Darwin (1995) p.77

No wonder paleontologists shied away form evolution for so long. It seems never to happen. Assiduous collecting of cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change -- over millions of years, at a rate too slow to really account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang and often with no firm evidence that the organisms did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on someplace else. Yet that's how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution. Reinventing Darwin (1995) p.95

But we saw -- as did several paleontological contemporaries of Darwin -- that if you do collect a series of fossils up through a sequence of sedimentary rock, and if you don't see much evidence of anatomical change through that series, that is indeed evidence that substantial gradual evolutionary change has not occurred within that species lineage, no matter how gappy the record may be. That's why the evidence for stasis now appears so overwhelming. Reinventing Darwin (1995) p.96

The persistent pattern of nonchange within samples, coupled with the abrupt appearance of new species -- organisms marked with anatomical innovations -- had to be telling us something about the way the evolutionary process works. Reinventing Darwin (1995) p.97

I needed to explain why evolution leaves and entirely different sort of pattern in the rock record than Darwin -- and his long string of successors, including many paleontologists -- had supposed. Reinventing Darwin (1995) p.97

Scientists, being as a rule more or less human beings, passionately stick up for their ideas, their pet theories. It's up to someone else to show you are wrong. Reinventing Darwin (1995) p.221

Stephen Jay Gould (1941 – 2002) Professor of Zoology and Geology at Harvard University

In fact, the catastrophists were much more empirically minded than Lyell. The geologic record does seem to record catastrophes: rocks are fractured and contorted; whole faunas are wiped out (see my column of October, 1974). To circumvent this literal appearance, Lyell imposed his imagination upon the evidence. The geologic record, he argued, is extremely imperfect and we must interpolate into it what we can reasonably infer but cannot see. The catastrophists were the hardnosed empiricists of their day, not the blinded theological apologists. Natural History February 1975 pp.16-17

The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism: 1. Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is usually limited and directionless. 2. Sudden appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed'. “Evolution’s Erratic Pace” Natural History May 1977 p.14

The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. “Evolution’s erratic pace” Natural History May 1977 p.14

All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt. Gradualists usually extract themselves from this dilemma by invoking the extreme imperfection of the fossil record--if only one step in a thousand survives as a fossil, geology will not record continuous change. Although I reject this argument (for reasons discussed in "The Episodic Nature of Evolutionary Change"), let us grant the traditional escape and ask a different question. Even though we have no direct evidence for smooth transitions, can we invent a reasonable sequence of intermediate forms--that is, viable, functioning organisms--between ancestors and descendants in major structural transitions? Of what possible use are the imperfect incipient stages of useful structures? What good is half a jaw or half a wing? The concept of preadaptation provides the conventional answer by permitting us to argue that incipient stages performed different functions. The half jaw worked perfectly well as a series of gill-supporting bones; the half wing may have trapped prey or controlled body temperature. I regard preadaptation as an important, even an indispensable, concept. But a plausible story is not necessarily true. I do not doubt that preadaptation can save gradualism in some cases, but does it permit us to invent a tale of continuity in most or all cases? I submit, although it may only reflect my lack of imagination, that the answer is no. "The Return of Hopeful Monsters" Natural History June 1977 p.24

Gradualism, the idea that all change must be smooth, slow, and steady, was never read from the rocks. It was primarily a prejudice of nineteenth-century liberalism facing a world in revolution. But it continues to color our supposedly objective reading of life’s history. Natural History February 1978 p.24

The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution. “Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?” Paleobiology January 1980 p.127

Sediments between 4 and 10 million years in age are potential guardians of the Holy Grail of human evolution--the period when our lineage began its separate end run to later domination, and a time for which no fossil evidence exists at all. "Empire of the Apes" Natural History May 1987 p.24

Darwin invoked his standard argument to resolve this uncomfortable problem: the fossil record is so imperfect that we do not have evidence for most events of life's history. But even Darwin acknowledged that his favorite ploy was wearing a bit thin in this case. His argument could easily account for a missing stage in a single linage, but could the agencies of imperfection really obliterate absolutely all evidence for positively every creature during most of life's history? Darwin admitted: "The case as present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained." (1859, p.308) Knowledge Science and Relativism (1999) p.187

Darwin has been vindicated by a rich Precambrian record, all discovered in the past thirty years. Yet the peculiar character of this evidence has not matched Darwin's prediction of a continuous rise in complexity toward Cambrian life, and the problem of the Cambrian explosion has remained as stubborn as ever -- if not more so, since our confusion now rests on knowledge, rather than ignorance about the nature of Precambrian life. Wonderful Life (1991) p.57

The opposite truth has been affirmed by innumerable cases of measurable evolution at this minimal scale-but, to be visible at all over so short a span, evolution must be far too rapid (and transient) to serve as the basis for major transformations in geological time. Hence, the “paradox of the visibly irrelevant”-or, if you can see it at all, it’s too fast to matter in the long run. “The Paradox of the Visibly Irrelevant” Natural History December 1997 p.15

Moreover, and with complete generality-the “paradox of the visibly irrelevant” in my title we may say that any change measurable at all over the few years of an ordinary scientific study must be occurring far too rapidly to represent ordinary rates of evolution in the fossil record. The culprit of this paradox, as so often, is the vastness of time (a concept that we can appreciate “in our heads” but seem quite unable to get into the guts of our intuition). The key principle, however ironic, requires such a visceral understanding of earthly time: if evolution is fast enough to be discerned by our instruments in just a few years- that is, substantial enough to stand out as a genuine and directional effect above the random fluctuations of nature’s stable variation and our inevitable errors of measurement-then such evolution is far too fast to serve as an atom of steady incrementation in a paleontological trend. Thus, if we can measure it at all (in a few years), it is too powerful to be the stuff of life’s history. If large-scale evolution proceeded by stacking Trinidad guppy rates end to end, any evolutionary trend would be completed in a geological moment, not over the many million years actually observed. “Our face from fish to man,” to cite the title of a famous old account of evolution for popular audiences, would run its course within a single geological formation, not over more than 400 million years, as our fossil record demonstrates. “The Paradox of the Visibly Irrelevant” Natural History December 1997

Anatomy may fluctuate over time, but the last remnants of a species usually look pretty much like the first representatives. The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (2002) p.749

Pierre Grasse (1895 - 1985) Editor of the 28-volume "Traite de Zoologie" Chair of Evolution at Sorbonne University

Zoologists and botanists are nearly unanimous in considering evolution as a fact and not a hypothesis. I agree with this position and base it primarily on documents provided by paleontology, i.e., the history of the living world. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.3

Naturalists must remember that the process of evolution is revealed only through fossil forms. A knowledge of paleontology is, therefore, a prerequisite; only paleontology can provide them with the evidence of evolution and reveal its course or mechanisms. Neither the examination of present beings, nor imagination, nor theories can serve as a substitute for paleontological documents. If they ignore them, biologists, the philosophers of nature, indulge in numerous commentaries and can only come up with hypotheses. That is why we constantly have recourse to paleontology, the only true science of evolution. From it we learn how to interpret present occurrences cautiously; it reveals that certain hypotheses considered certainties by their authors are in fact questionable or even illegitimate. Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.4

Richard Leakey (b. 1944) High School Drop-Out

Isolated teeth, single bones, fragments of skulls: for the most part, these are the clues from which the story of human prehistory must be reconstructed. The Origin of Humankind (1994) p. ix

The task of inferring an evolutionary link based on extremely fragmentary evidence is more difficult than most people realize, and there are many traps for the unwary. Simons and Pilbeam had been ensnared in one of these traps: anatomical similarity does not unequivocally imply evolutionary relatedness. The Origin of Humankind (1994) p. 8

Ernst Mayr (1904 – 2005) Professor of Zoology at Harvard University

Anything truly novel always seemed to appear quite abruptly in the fossil record. Toward a New Philosophy of Biology (1988) pp.529-530

Colin Patterson (1933 – 1998) Senior Palaeontologist at British Museum of Natural History

These gaps might be due to failure in fossilization, or to mistakes in the genealogy, or to wrongly identified fossils; or they could be (and have been) taken to show that the theory of evolution is wrong. Evolution (1978) p.133

Darwin devoted two chapters of The Origin of Species to fossils, but spent the whole of the first in saying how imperfect the geological record of life is. It seemed obvious to him that, if his theory of evolution is correct, fossils ought to provide incontrovertible proof of it, because each stratum should contain links between the species of earlier and later strata, and if sufficient fossils were collected, it would be possible to arrange them in ancestor descendent sequences and so build up a precise picture of the course of evolution. This was not so in Darwin's time, and today, after more than another hundred years of assiduous fossil collecting, the picture still has extensive gaps. Evolution (1999) p.106

But there are still great gaps in the fossil record. Most of the major groups of animals (phyla) appear fully fledged in the early Cambrian rocks, and we know of no fossil forms linking them. Evolution (1999) p.109

Fossils may tell us many things, but one thing they can never disclose is whether they were ancestors of anything else. Evolution (1999) p.109

W.R. Thompson (1887 - ?) Entomologist and Director of the Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control, Ottawa, Canada

Evolution, if it has occurred, can in a rather loose sense be called a historical process; and therefore to show that it has occurred historical evidence is required. History in the strict sense is dependent on human testimony. Since this is not available with respect to the development of the world of life we must be satisfied with something less satisfactory. The only evidence available is that provided by the fossils. It has been pointed out by both supporters and opponents of the evolutionary doctrine, that even if we can demonstrate the chronological succession of certain organisms, this is not proof of descent. This may seem like a quibble. If we put a pair of house-flies in a cage and let them breed, we do not doubt that the live flies we find there in a month’s time are the descendants of the original pair. Similarly, if in an apparently undisturbed geological formation we find snail shells at an upper level very similar to those at a lower level, we may reasonably conclude that there is some genealogical connection between the two groups, though we cannot trace the descent from individual to individual as is required in a true family tree. Therefore we found in the geological strata a series of fossils showing gradual transition from simple to complex forms, and could be sure that they correspond to a true time-sequence, then we should be inclined to feel that Darwinian evolution has occurred, even though its mechanism remained unknown. This is certainly what Darwin would have like to report but of course he was unable to do so. What the available data indicated was a remarkable absence of the many intermediate types that should have existed in the strata regarded as the most ancient; the absence of the principle taxonomic groups. Against these difficulties he could only suggest that the geological record is imperfect, but that if it had been perfect it would have provided evidence for his views. It is clear therefore that the paleontological evidence at his disposal, since it had not led competent naturalists acquainted with it to a belief in evolution, could only justify a suspense of judgment. The condition of fossil material is, of course unsatisfactory since soft tissues usually disappear, leaving only skeletal structures, frequently much distorted . The fossil insects of the group which I am best acquainted cannot be accurately determined, even to genera. It is evident that any organisms now extinct existed in the past but we can never know them as we know living forms. The chronological succession of the fossils is also open to doubt, for it appears generally speaking, that the age of the rocks is not determined by their intrinsic characteristics but by the fossils they contain while the succession of the fossils is determined by the succession of the strata. It was thought also that the fossils should appear in a certain order, corresponding roughly to the stage in embryological development. In fact the strata, and therefore the fossils they contain, do not always occur in the accepted order. In some areas of the world, for example, the Cambrian strata, which are regarded as the oldest fossiliferous formations, rest on the Crestaceous which are regarded as relatively recent; in other, Crestaceous or Tertiary beds appear instead of the Cambrian, on the granite. Sometimes the character of the deposits would lead to the belief that they were chronologically continuous since they can be separated only by the fossils they contain. Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain these departures from accepted theory, and thought they are often the subject of controversy among geologists I do not suggest that the problems to which they relate are insoluble.

On the other hand, it does appear to me, in the first place, that Darwin in the Origin was not able to produce paleontological evidence sufficient to prove his views but that the evidence he did produce was adverse to them; and I may note that the position is not notably different to-day. The modern Darwinian paleontologists are obliged, just like their predecessors and like Darwin, to water down the facts with subsidiary hypotheses which, however plausible, are in the nature of things unverifiable. Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) pp. xvii-xix

Ernst Haeckel Apostle of Deceit

Ernst Haeckel was known as ‘Darwin’s bulldog on the Continent’ and ‘the Huxley of Germany’ for his now notorious support of evolution. He is today known as a scientist who perpetrated fraud upon fraud to promote evolution.

“He became Darwin’s chief European apostle proclaiming the gospel of evolution with evangelist fervor, not only to the university intelligentsia but to the common man by popular books and to the working classes by lecture in rented halls.” Ian Taylor, In the Minds of Men, TFE Publishing, Toronto, 1984, p. 184, who cites Peter Klemm, Der Ketzer von Jena, Urania Press, Leipzig, 1968

Haeckel’s enthusiasm for the theory of evolution caused him to fraudulently manufacture ‘evidence to bolster his views. He was the first person to draw an evolutionary ‘family tree’ for mankind. To fill in the gap in the tree between inorganic non-living matter and the first living bacteria, he invented a series of minute protoplasmic organisms which he called Monera. Of these he said:

‘not composed of any organs at all, but consist entirely of shapeless simple homogeneous matter . . . nothing more than a shapeless, mobile, little lump of mucus or slime, consisting of albuminous combination of carbon.” Ernst Haeckel, The History of Creation, translated by E. Ray Lankester, Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., London, 1883, 3rd ed., Vol. 1, p. 184.

No Monera existed or ever existed and Haeckel knew that yet persisted in using and even creating species and subspecies of this genus. In 1868, a prestigious German scientific journal published 73 pages of his speculations with more than 30 drawings of these imaginary Monera, as well as scientific names as Protamoeba primitivia, and the process of fission by which they allegedly reproduced. Ernst Haeckel, ‘Monographie der Moneren’ Jenaische Zeitschrift fur Medizin und Naturwissinschaft, Leipzig 4:64, 1868

Haeckel didn’t just stop there, he also created a non-existent speechless Ape-man called Pithecanthropus alalus and even had an artist, Gabriel Max, draw up the imagined creature even though there was not one iota such a creature ever existed. Yet the Dutch scientist, Professor G.H.R. von Koenigswald, described the drawing: ‘Under a woman with long lank hair sits cross-legged suckling a child. Her nose is flat, her lips thick, her feet large, with the big toe set considerable lower that the rest. Beside her stands her husband, fat bellied and low browed, his back thickly covered with hair. He looks at the spectator good-naturedly and unintelligently, with the suspicious expression of the inveterate toper (habitual drinker). It must have been a happy marriage; his wife could not contradict him, for neither of them could speak.” Herbert Wendt, From Ape to Adam, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1971, p.82

But Haeckel’s biggest fraud by far was his totally erroneous theory that the human embryo is initially identical with that of other mammals and then goes through a series of stages where it has gills like a fish or a tail like a monkey, etc. This theory is sometimes called ‘The Law of Recapitulation’ or has Haeckel called it ‘The biogenetic law’. Later this idea as it moved into mainstream evolutionary thought was called: ‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny’ which means the development of the individual embryo repeats it alleged evolutionary history. This fraudulent idea is still in evolutionary thought today in many guises. For instance E. G. Raymond Hawkey’s three dimensional book, Evolution, Michael Joseph Ltd, London, 1986, which states on the front cover that is was ‘produced in collaboration with British Museum (Natural History)’ and on the back cover, ‘Like many other animals, human beings retrace much of their evolutionary past in the womb . . .By the time it (the human embryo) is 28 days old it resembles our earliest vertebrate ancestor, the fish. Like a fish it has . . . what appear to four gill slits.’ Those supposed ‘gill slits’ have nothing to do with breathing but are where the ear and the jaw area are formed.

Haeckel then proceeded to draw pictures of embryos of human and other animals showing the similarities which were not ever there. He completely forged pictures from his imagination to fill in the data he wanted.

Professor Wilhelm His, Sr. (1831 – 1904) a famous comparative embryologist of the day and professor of anatomy at the University of Leipzig, finally uncovered the fraud. He showed that in 1874 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 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. Ian Taylor, In the Minds of Men, TFE Publishing, Toronto, 1984, pp. 276, 475.

Haeckel even had to publicly rescind his fraudulent ideas, but interestingly enough he remained wildly popular in Germany and his ideas were still incorporated into evolutionary thought for around 100 years. His evolutionary ideas are incorporated in abortion where the doctor will tell a young lady that the baby in her womb is just a ‘fish’ and of no matter or consequence.

Haeckel’s evolutionary ideas were also used to create a unique from of social Darwinism and racism that became the German national ethos under Hitler’s National Socialism. Daniel Gasman, The Scientific Origins of National Socialism: Social Darwinism in Ernst Haeckel and the German Monist League, American Elsevier, New Yord, 1971, pp. xvi, xvii. ‘Biological Sciences and the Roots of Nazism, American Scientist 76:56, January – February 1988.

Here is what others say:

Jane Oppenheimer Professor of Biology and History of Science

It was a failing of Haeckel as a would-be scientist that his hand as an artist altered what he saw with what should have been the eye of a more accurate beholder. He was more than once, often justifiably, accused of scientific falsification, by Wilhelm His and by many others. For only two examples, in "Anthropogenie" he drew the developing brain of a fish as curved, because that of reptiles, birds, and mammals is bent. But the vesicles of a fish brain always form in a straight line. He drew the embryonic membranes of man as including a small sac-like allantois, an embryonic organ characteristic of and larger in reptiles, birds, and some nonhuman mammals. The human embryo has no sac-like allantois at all. Only its narrow solid stock remains to conduct the umbilical blood vessels between embryo and placenta. Examples could be multiplied significantly. "Haeckel's Variations on Darwin"

The blind adoption of Haeckel's doctrines by such workers in bordering fields, and their infection with his faith that "Development is now the magic word by means of which we shall solve the riddles by which we are surrounded", is less reprehensible than their uncritical acceptance by the professional embryologists who swallowed them with as much gullibility, and who remained utterly unperturbed by the fact that Haeckel himself was never in any sense a professional embryologist. The seduction of embryology by a fanatic who expresses himself even metaphorically in terms of magic represents a darker chapter in its history. Essays in the history of Embryology and Biology (1967) pp. 153-154

Michael Richardson Embryologist at St. George’s Medical School

This is one of the worst cases of scientific fraud. It's shocking to find that somebody one thought was a great scientist was deliberately misleading. It makes me angry. What Haeckel did was to take a human embryo and copy it, pretending that the salamander and the pig and all the others looked the same at the same stage of development. They don't. These are fakes. "An Embryonic Liar" The London Times August 11, 1997 p.14

Our survey seriously undermines the credibility of Haeckel's drawings.

It looks like it's (Haeckel’s embryos) turning out to be one of he famous fakes in biology.

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