Current Textbooks Misuse Embryology to Argue for Evolution

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 ›

Revisiting Those Pesky Embryo Drawings

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 ›

A Newly Discovered Textbook Example Refuting NYT and NCSE’s False Claims About Haeckel’s Bogus Embryo Drawings

Recently I documented ten examples of textbooks refuting the NCSE-scripted misinformation printed in the New York Times claiming that Ernst Haeckel’s faked embryo drawings haven’t been used in textbooks since “20 years ago.” In fact, just last week while browsing through some science textbooks at a local thrift store, I discovered another textbook that includes Ernst Haeckel’s bogus embryo drawings. In 1998, Judith Goodenough, Robert A. Wallace, and Betty McGuire published Human Biology: Personal, Environmental, and Social Concerns with Harcourt College Publishers. Some Darwinists (like Randy Olson) have claimed that if Haeckel’s drawings are used, it’s only to provide historical background on the history of evolutionary thought. Not so with this textbook: Chapter 20, “Evolution: Basic Principles and Our Heritage” Read More ›