the third is downright
> false. .....................
> The story of the embryos is an object lesson
> in seeing what you want to see.
> Sketches of vertebrate embryos were first made in
> the late 19th century by
> Ernst Haeckel, an admirer of Darwin. In the
> intervening years, apparently
> nobody verified the accuracy of Haeckel's
> drawings. Prominent scientists
> declared in textbooks that the theory of
> evolution predicted, explained and was
> supported by the striking similarity of
> vertebrate embryos. And that is what
> generations of American students have learned.
> Recently, however, an international team of
> scientists decided to check the
> drawings' reliability. They found that Haeckel
> had, well, taken liberties: the
> embryos are significantly different from each
> other. In Nature, the head of the
> research team observed that "it looks like it's
> turning out to be one of the
> most famous fakes in biology." What's more, the
> embryonic stages shown in the
> drawings are actually not the earliest ones. The
> earliest stages show much
> greater variation.
I think everyone knows now that Haeckel's theory of embryological
recapitulation was vastly oversimplified, but the above statements of Behe's
are clearly wrong. Sketchs of vertebrate embryos were not "first" made in the
"late 19th century" by Haeckel. See, e.g., Chapter 30 of Stephen F. Mason's
_A History of the Sciences_.
George L. Murphy