Many of us have a favorite aunt or uncle who fill our memories with fond thoughts and feelings. I have very few memories of my own uncles, but I remember my father’s sister, Aunt Jessie, with great fondness and love. One of the last times I saw her, I was picking my mom up after dropping her off to visit Aunt Jessie. They had spent the day together and I picked up my mom early evening. They came out of the house laughing in such a fit they were wiping their eyes. I asked them what they had been drinking, which then extended the laughing fit.
It was quite a sight, two old women, well into their 70’s, laughing hysterically to the point that breathing became difficult and their faces were flushed. I told them to knock it off before they both had a stroke and dropped dead right in front of me. Their laughter subsided for a moment while they considered that morbid thought, then continued even louder than before. Why the thought of their having a stroke and dropping dead in front of me would cause such activity was beyond me. Of course they had not been drinking, but simply enjoying each others’ company as only a life long love and friendship can.
Art work by Rebecca Glazier
The theory of evolution states that if we were able to trace our ancestors back in time, some 4 billion years, we would find that the first life, our first ancestors, were single cell life forms. In 1868, Ernst Haeckel published his book, Natural History of Creation. In this, he proposed that embryos in their early stages show the similarities between the species, and since we are all related, the early stages look nearly identical. The term for this is called ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Repeat that to someone, and if they don’t mistake it for a foreign language, you just might sound highly educated. The picture below 1 is from Haeckel’s early works and lectures, which have since been shown to be quite inaccurate, but these pictures have remained in text books in one form or another for most of the 20th century and beyond.
This shows Haeckel’s illustrations of eight embryos in their various stages. Each stage is labeled as follows.
F – Fish
A – Salamander
T – Turtle
H – Chick
S – Pig
R – Cow
K – Rabbit
M – Human
In his book, Signature In The Cell, Stephen C. Meyer points out that Haeckel was a stanch materialist, (someone who believes the only things that exist are energy and matter), and that life could be explained by natural processes. “For Haeckel, finding a materialistic explanation for the origin of life was not just a scientific possibility; it was a philosophical imperative.”2 Why would some wish to disprove the existence of God? For many it is a freeing experience, thinking that they are not to be held responsible for their behavior and actions in this life. The thought of being self-governing, without restraint, appeals to many today, and did in Haeckel’s generation also.
The term, ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, which some of you may have seen in your biology text books, simply means the embryo stages of different animals are similar because of their evolutionary heritage. This theory which was promoted by Haeckel, is no longer mainstream, but is still considered by some to have merit, and consequently shows up in various text books 3 even today. Their use in text books is often a subtle plug for evolution, along with other evolutionary evidence. I spent some time this week looking for other science text books that display Haeckel’s embryos in one form or another. Below is a picture out of a 7th grade science book that has been used in the local school districts, published by Glencoe McGraw-Hill in 2000.
These kinds of drawings and their discrete efforts to promote evolution should be noted by parents of Jr. high and high school levels. Parents should look at their children’s science or biology books and see what information they teach on evolution, or if you’re taking biology in Jr. High or High School, take a look yourself for this kind of content. Granted the above picture is a watered down version of Haeckel’s embryos, but the implication is obvious. One feature of the above picture which they refer to as gill slits are not gill slits at all. In fact, they are not even slits, but simply folds around what will become the neck of a human embryo. These folds develop into the lower jaw, tongue, and necessary glands. We don’t even have the DNA instructions to form gills, because we have not evolved from a Nemo, a Dory, or a primordial soup hundreds of millions of years ago.
The human embryo receives its needed oxygen through the umbilical cord and never at any point from gills, gill slits, or any other method. Never at any point during the embryos development is ontogeny, (mode of production); recapitulates, (repeating); phylogeny, (evolutionary development and history). Furthermore, what is labeled as a tail is not a tail at all. During the early embryonic stages, the spine develops faster than the legs and arms, giving it the appearance of a tail. What we are, and what we are to become, is more than what we can observe on the surface.
Our DNA code, and a code must come from a language, and language must come from intelligence, is our blueprint of design. If you have a design, you must have a designer; if you have a blueprint you must have an architect. Much like the framing of a house, garage, or a store, which look the same at first, but then the finished product and purpose is quite different, so too is the development of the embryo. At first, the buildings all look box like, with 2×4’s and 2×6’s surrounding the structure, but look at the blue print and you can see that the plan and purpose for each building type is significantly different.
The Christian Answers Network puts it this way. “Notice, this is exactly what we would expect as evidence of good creative design and engineering practice. Suppose you were in the bridge-building business, and you were interviewing a couple of engineers to determine whom you wanted to hire. One fellow says, “Each bridge I build will be entirely different from all others.” Proudly he tells you “Each bridge will be made using different materials and different processes so that no one will ever be able to see any similarity between the bridges I build.” How does that sound? Now the next fellow comes in and says, “Well, out back is your yard and I saw a supply of I-beams and various sized heavy bolts and cables. We can use those to span either a river or the San Francisco Bay. I can adapt the same parts and processes to meet a wide variety of needs. You’ll be able to see a theme and a variation in my bridge building, and others can see the stamp of authorship in our work.” Which fellow would you hire?”4
In 1993, The Northern Star, a regional newspaper published in New South Wales, Australia, ran an article about a boy who had a fragment of cartilage removed from his neck. It was reported to have been fish gill cartilage, but after an investigation it was proved to be false. Nevertheless, in the article the reporter explained how in the early stages of the human fetus, fish gills develop, which as you now know, is utterly false and just continues to spread evolutionary misinformation. And this from a main stream newspaper.
I was chatting with someone last week about public schools and college. My impression was that she wished her boys had not attended college, or that they had attended a ‘Christian’ college instead. I think many of us may feel the same way, but it is important to understand what we may be promoting with that kind of mind set. Insulating our children from the teachings of evolution, humanistic philosophy, and other world religions will only delay the inevitable. Sooner or later with friends, other family members, at school, or in the work place, they will come across something counter to what we have taught them, and if they have just been insulated, they will be anything but prepared to deal with the evidence counter to their belief. Our mind set should be to immunize, or vaccinate them, not to isolate them.
1. Hopwood, Nick. “Pictures of Evolution and Charges of Fraud.” www.hps.com.ac.uk. University of Cambridge, 2006. http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/people/hopwood/haeckel.pdf. Web. 10 May 2013.
2. Meyer, Stephen, C. Signature in the Cell. New York: HarperCollins, 2009. Print.
3. Luskin, Casey. “What Do Modern Textbooks Really Say About Haeckel’s Embryos?” www.discovery.org. Discovery Institute, 27 March 2007. Web. 8 May 2013.
4. Parker, Gary. “Does the human fetus temporarily develop gills, a tail, and a yolk sac?” www.christiananswers.net. Christian Answers Network, 1998. Web. 7 May 2013.