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So, Here’s the Source of Karl Giberson’s Tailed-Baby Photo

Shortly after I wrote about this earlier today, thoughtful reader Ryan got in touch. He did some online sleuthing and appears to have found the original source of Karl Giberson’s photo of a baby with a tail, which Dr. Giberson has been using in presentations of the case for Darwinian evolution. The source is Science Photo Library and yes, it’s been "digitally manipulated."

The creator of the image is Larry Dunstan, and according to the caption it represents: "Human baby with a tail, digitally manipulated image."

Using a photo that was not manipulated — try Googling "human tail" if you don’t mind wincing at the results — would have made it a lot harder to claim, as Dr. Giberson does, that sometimes "babies are born with perfectly formed, even functional tails."

I’m sure Giberson selected the image in all innocence, but surely he should stop using it to make this particular point. And once more, I’m not posting the photo since that would entail a license fee. But you can see it here.

Meanwhile, Nick Matzke tweets to me and to Giberson:

Indicating again that Nick has joined a discussion, not for the first time, without having adequately reviewed the material — in this case, Casey Luskin’s series debunking human tails as evidence of Darwinism — that’s under consideration.

I’m on Twitter. Find me @d_klinghoffer.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.



Continuing SeriesThe Myth of Human Tails