October 3, 2019 | David F. Coppedge

Recapitulation Theory Zombie Needs Permanent Burial

Haeckel’s myth that embryos relive their evolutionary past keeps reviving. Evolutionists need to give it up.

 

So entrenched has evolutionary theory become, Darwinists keep looking for ghosts of vanished human ancestry in the human body. It was false when Ernst Haeckel falsified embryo drawings; it is false now. In chapter 10 of Dr Jerry Bergman’s book Evolution’s Blunders, Frauds and Forgeries, Bergman shows how this so-called “Biogenetic Law” that ontogeny (the development of the embryo) recapitulates phylogeny (the evolutionary history of the animal) has been used to justify racism and abortion. He quotes W. J. Bock in  who wrote in Science as far back as 1969,

The biogenetic law has become so deeply rooted in biological thought that it cannot be weeded out in spite of its having been demonstrated to be wrong by numerous subsequent scholars. Even today both subtle and overt uses of the biogenetic law are frequently encountered in the general biological literature as well as in more specialized evolutionary and systematic studies. (Cited by Bergman, p. 158)

Bock’s complaint was written long before Michael Richardson proved, using comparative embryo photographs, that Haeckel’s embryo drawings looked nothing like true embryos. If Bock was rightly upset 50 years ago, there is no excuse now for Darwinians to let the myth go on. But even in 1868 (9 years after Darwin’s Origin), Haeckel’s drawings were known to be fraudulent by embryologists of the day. In his books Icons of Evolution (2000) and Zombie Science (2017), Dr Jonathan Wells further exposed the phony science that undergirded Haeckel’s Recapitulation Theory, and complained that some textbooks continue to use Haeckel’s drawings to mislead students into thinking it supports Darwinism. He cites textbooks from 2014 and 2016. Now it is 2019, and the Biogenetic Law is still undead, walking around in science news.

Babies in the womb have lizard-like hand muscles (BBC News). Echoes of our lizard past are reflected in developing babies, Michelle Johnson asserts, with support from scientists at the American Museum of Natural History. This article does not refer to Haeckel directly, or mention the Biogenetic Law, but repeats the same fallacy that evolution has somehow retained parts from our ancient animal ancestors only to get rid of them before birth, in this case “lizard-like” muscles in the hands.

They are probably one of the oldest, albeit fleeting, remnants of evolution seen in humans yet, biologists say, in the journal Development.

They date them as 250 million years old – a relic from when reptiles transitioned to mammals.

It is unclear why the human body makes and then deletes them before birth.

The dead walk again, teaching students myths.

What is unclear is why evolutionists cling to this zombie myth. The lead myth-maintainer, of Howard University, shows how Darwinians believe evolution keeps things around except when it remodels things completely. This allows divination of embryos, like oracles at Delphi, to give ambiguous oracles that could be interpreted either way.

“Why are they there? Probably, we cannot just say in evolution, ‘Look, I will delete from scratch, from day zero, the muscle going to digits two, three, four, five and I will just keep the one going to the thumb.’

Probably it is not so easy. Probably you have to form this layer of this muscle and then it disappears on the other digits but persists on the thumbs.”

Notice that he uses “probably” three times. Probably? Where are his data calculating real probabilities mathematically from actual data? There are no facts to back it up. He is speculating off the top of his head, resurrecting myths out of his cranium from wrong ideas he was taught in school.

The coverage in Science Daily of this story is worse. It resurrects two more zombie ideas to the recapitulation myth: the idea of atavisms as evolutionary throwbacks, and the argument of vestigial organs. The article from The Company of Biologists claims, “It provides a fascinating, powerful example of evolution at play.” Bergman buries those two myths in the book mentioned above, and also in his new book Useless Organs.

Egghead or Humpty Dumpty

Evolutionary storytellers at UC Davis ask in their “Egghead” column, “Why Not Three Legs?” They try to address, using evolutionary thinking (see Sophoxymoronia in the Darwin Dictionary) why evolution didn’t produce any three-legged animals. They consider some bipeds and quadrupeds that use their tails for support like a tripod, notably kangaroos and woodpeckers, but find it odd that Darwinian evolution never tried three legs. While not referring to Haeckel or his myth, they explain this by a similar evolutionary story: sometimes, the mystical tinkerer of natural selection gets stuck in a rut. (Except when it doesn’t.) This trick allows evolutionists to explain everything—even opposites—so that they cannot lose (listen to ID the Future podcast from 9/09/19).

Chief storyteller Tracy Thomson elaborates in her Darwin trance,

Given that three-limbed movement does seems to work for some animals, why are there no animals with three legs? That might go back a long, long way, Thomson said.

“Almost all animals are bilateral,” he said. The code for having two sides to everything seems to have got embedded in our DNA very early in the evolution of life – perhaps before appendages like legs, fins or flippers even evolved. Once that trait for bilateral symmetry was baked in, it was hard to change.

With our built-in bias to two-handedness, it can be hard to figure out how a truly three-legged animal would work – although that has not stopped science fiction writers from imagining them. Perhaps trilateral life has evolved on Enceladus or Alpha Centauri (or Mars!) and has as much difficulty thinking about two-limbed locomotion as we do thinking about three.

This kind of thought experiment is useful for developing our ideas about evolution, Thomson said.

“If we’re trying to understand evolution as a process we need to understand what it can and can’t do,” he said.

Credit: J.B. Greene

And thus she morphs into a science fiction writer herself, imagining three-legged life on Enceladus. We know it exists on Mars, she thinks with a bang (!); perhaps she was just reading War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. But it’s ridiculous to think of life evolving on Alpha Centauri, a hot star.

The common error to Haeckel’s myth in this article is Thomson’s backward look into some ancient, unobservable past to appear to make evolution explain observations in the present. Evolution is omnipotent to create wings, eyes and brains – exceptwhen it is impotent to get out of a bilateral rut.

Some have called “thought experiment” an oxymoron. Let her show some data, OK? When someone says a thought experiment is “useful for developing our ideas about evolution,” always ask, “Useful to whom?” and “Useful for what?” Thomson finds it useful for loafing on the job, speculating out of thin air instead of doing the hard work of science. She finds it useful for understanding the Stuff Happens Law as a process that can produce opposite outcomes. She finds it useful for brainwashing students into evolutionary mythmaking. She ought to read about the other Thomson, William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, who had no tolerance for Darwinist storytellers.

Haeckel’s recapitulation myth is one of those passing ideas that has intuitive appeal but is flat wrong. It even misled Darwin, who considered it one of the strongest arguments for his theory. I remember when a high school English teacher found out I was a creationist, and asked me some questions after class. One of them was, “How do you explain that a human embryo goes through a worm stage, a fish stage with gill slits, and a lizard stage?” She was echoing one of the popular “proofs” of evolution to try to stump me. I didn’t know much about this argument at the time, but looking back, I see it as another example of how people can be brainwashed by simplistic arguments. It’s sad. We must continue to undo the damage wrought by evolutionary propagandists. Learning the scientific arguments is important, but studying our Baloney Detector can provide helpful insurance against getting snookered.

 

 

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