Leading embryologists argue that vertebrate embryos develop so differently that the pharyngular stage may not exist.
Personal attacks from PZ Myers are so uncivil that they have earned criticism from mainstream academics and writers who are pro-evolution.
One would have thought the outcry after Icons of Evolution would have been enough to send a message to textbook publishers to stop using these inaccurate drawings as evidence for evolution. But it wasn’t.
Sylvia Mader’s 2010 textbook, Biology, uses colorized versions of Haeckel’s embryo drawings with only a few small modifications. As seen in the side-by-side comparison above, the black and white drawings are Haeckel’s original drawings and the colored drawings are from Mader’s 2010 textbook. Just like Haeckel’s original drawings, Mader’s colorized drawings obscure the differences between the early stages of vertebrate development in order to give students the following misleading caption: “At these comparable developmental stages, vertebrate embryos have many features in common, which suggests they evolved from a common ancestor. (These embryos are not drawn to scale.)” (Sylvia S. Mader, Biology, p. 278 (McGraw Hill, 2010).) Click the graphic for the full picture. Haeckel’s long-discredited recapitulation theory is not necessarily Read More ›
A few years ago, former NCSE-spokesman Nick Matzke called complaints over the use of Haeckel’s embryo drawings in textbooks a “manufactured scandal.” However, a variety of leading scientific authorities — proponents of neo-Darwinian evolution — have also complained about the use of these drawings and the way that embryology is used to support evolution in biology textbooks. Are these authorities in on the big conspiracy to “manufacture” this “scandal” too? Here’s where things stand today: Despite the fact that (in 2010 at least) out-dated concepts like “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” have been almost completely removed from new textbooks and that many (though not all) new textbooks use embryo photographs instead of fudged drawings, an examination of both recent textbooks and complaints Read More ›