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I could write an entire website devoted to just Ernst Haeckel. He holds the singular honor of perpetrating the longest lasting fraud in the history of evolution.
In 1866, Haeckel had a great idea about how we could tell for sure what any animals evolutionary history was; all we have to do is follow the development of one as it develops from the first cell to the completely formed creature. He called this theory the ‘biogenetic law’, and summed it up as “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”
Now, he needed evidence. It should be easy; since all land animals share the same evolutionary history through the amphibian ‘stage’, their embryos should be identical up through that stage.
But the problem was, ol’ Ernst was wrong; dead wrong. As an animal develops in the womb (or egg), it does NOT re-trace it’s evolutionary ancestry.
When he studied the developing embryos of these creatures, he found they were quite different from each other, as shown in this actual photograph :
This did not support his theory at all.
Not one to allow facts to stand in the way of a good theory, he simply manufactured the evidence he needed by making drawings which matched the theory rather than the facts, as shown by this copy of some of his drawings:
How did such a radical fraud go undetected among biologists? It didn’t. Haeckel was exposed as a fraud as soon as his work was published. There is some evidence that he was censured by Jenna university upon exposure, but Germany protects their favorite son, and cannot seem to locate any record of this.
His fraudulent drawings, and copies of them, are still being used in biology textbooks today, in spite of it being universally known that they do not represent reality.
Because it is such GOOD evidence for evolution that it continues to be used!
Lets see that again, with real pictures of embryos compared to Haeckels drawings at the same stage of development:
Am I making this up?
Let’s see what that icon of evolution, Stephen J. Gould had to say about Haeckel in an article in Natural History in 2000:
"Haeckel had exaggerated the similarities by idealizations and omissions. He also, in some cases-in a procedure that can only be called fraudulent-simply copied the same figure over and over again"
"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."
A shame and a fraud.
But it does show the bankrupt nature of the evolutionary position.