Recapitulation Theory Gets Recap
The long-discounted “recapitulation theory” of Ernst Haeckel, the idea that the development of an embryo replays its evolutionary history, pops up every once in awhile in evolutionary explanations. Evolutionary biologists (most notably the late Stephen Jay Gould) have long since disparaged the idea that evolutionary history would be preserved in embryos. In addition, photos of real embryos have put the lie to Haeckel’s fudged drawings he made to support his idea. According to Darwinian theory, only those mutations that survive should be preserved in an organism. What need would an organism have for embryonic replays of its ancestors? If something is non-functional in the present, neo-Darwinian theory requires, natural selection will weed it out.
Not all evolutionists seem to have gotten the news. The most recent example was presented without question by PhysOrg, which published a press release from Live Science did it, too: “Baby Brain Growth Reflects Human Evolution.” They continued, “Watching human baby brains grow is a little like watching evolution in action.”
If watching anything grow is like watching evolution in action, then evolution has ceased to be a scientific theory and has become a cult of divination and equivocation. The only way they can claim that “nothing makes sense except in the light of evolution” is to define evolution as sense and sense as evolution. Then it becomes a truism, a tautology, regardless of the evidence.
Why resurrect the corpse of Haeckel from the dustbin of discarded ideas? Under the modern suit and face mask, it stinks. This is another sad tale of divination. Evolutionists read the folds of the brain like ancient Chaldeans read the liver, looking for the smiling Darwin face that gives them goose bumps – only this time they got goose bumps from his worshipper, Ernst Haeckel. Either one works, as long as it produces the euphoria, the vision, the flashback, the hallucinations, the story to sell to the public.
The Darwinian spin strategy includes ample use of Fairfax’s Law and Thumb’s Second Postulate. That’s why discarded stories like Haeckel’s can be dusted off and sent back into service temporarily when needed. “Any facts which, when included in the argument, give the desired result, are fair facts for the argument” (Fairfax’s Law). “An easily-understood, workable falsehood is more useful than a complex, incomprehensible truth” (Thumb’s Second Postulate).