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Author Topic:   Haeckeling, trying to wrap it up....
randman 
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Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 1 of 93 (268344)
12-12-2005 5:36 PM


Often, I am accused of misrepresenting the facts on the use of Haeckel's work. This proposed topic is to help clarify the issue, and hopefully see it resolved.

My point here is that Haeckel's diagrams were relied on by evos in their studies, research, textbooks and peer-reviewed work, at least until 1997. The topic is thus very narrowly defined in order to try to get some resolutions on this one point.

This is taken from a 1997 peer-review study by an evo.

Another point to emerge from this study is the considerable
inaccuracy of Haeckel’s famous figures. These
drawings are still widely reproduced in textbooks and review
articles, and continue to exert a significant influence
on the development of ideas in this field (Wolpert 1991;
Alberts et al. 1994; Duboule 1994).

http://www.mk-richardson.com/PDFs/Anat%20Embryol.pdf

Richardson claims Haeckel's drawings up to 1997 exerted a significant influence "in this field" of scientific research, not just for textbooks, but that evos took the diagrams as accurate in peer-reviewed article as well.

It's not just that the textbooks were out of date, but evos themselves were wrong here. The textbooks were actually in agreement with mainstream idea in that field.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by robinrohan, posted 12-12-2005 6:12 PM randman has responded
 Message 6 by pink sasquatch, posted 12-12-2005 6:34 PM randman has responded

AdminNosy
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Message 2 of 93 (268352)
12-12-2005 5:55 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 93 (268364)
12-12-2005 6:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by randman
12-12-2005 5:36 PM


embryology
Are you suggesting that the study of evolution via embryology is discarded these days? My man Mayr doesn't seem to think so, nor apparently does he have a problem with reproducing some of Haeckel's drawings--with the addendum about the fraud that I quote on the other thread.

Mayr says, "study of the embryonic stages very often shows how a common ancestral stage gradually diverges in different branches of the ancestral tree" (27).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by randman, posted 12-12-2005 5:36 PM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by randman, posted 12-12-2005 6:15 PM robinrohan has responded

randman 
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Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 4 of 93 (268366)
12-12-2005 6:15 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by robinrohan
12-12-2005 6:12 PM


Re: embryology
So robin, you not only agree that Haeckel's claims and drawings were used and widely relied on (the topic of the OP) until the late 90s, but that some evos still do?

Is that your point?

In other words, let's settle the issue once and for all whether evos used Haeckel's diagrams and claims of a single phylotypic stage until at least the late 90s, or not.

OK?

This message has been edited by randman, 12-12-2005 06:15 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by robinrohan, posted 12-12-2005 6:12 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by robinrohan, posted 12-12-2005 6:18 PM randman has responded

robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 93 (268369)
12-12-2005 6:18 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by randman
12-12-2005 6:15 PM


Re: embryology
So robin, you not only agree that Haeckel's claims and drawings were used and widely relied on (the topic of the OP) until the late 90s, but that some evos still do?

Mayr's book was published in 2001. My point is that he doesn't think that Haeckel's drawings (at least the ones he reproduced in his book) are useless. Otherwise he wouldn't have reproduced them.

So maybe Haeckel was not all wrong after all--despite his frauds.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by randman, posted 12-12-2005 6:15 PM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
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pink sasquatch
Member (Idle past 4575 days)
Posts: 1567
Joined: 06-10-2004


Message 6 of 93 (268376)
12-12-2005 6:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by randman
12-12-2005 5:36 PM


So?
In the other thread (off-topic), nwr claimed that you could produce no real evidence against the theory of evolution, which is why you make mountains of mole hills.

You claimed you had Haeckel as evidence against the theory of evolution.

So let's take the fact that Haeckel unethically misrepresented embryos in his drawings, in order to support his own theory (not the theory of evolution, though related). Another fact is that the fraud was uncovered almost immediately by other biologists.

Let's add-on a hypothetical situation, that biology educators intentionally mislead students for the next 150 or so years. A nice big conspiracy to keep all us "evos" happy.

So?

How is this evidence against the theory of evolution?

It may be evidence against the parties involved, scientists or not, but:

The fact that an assortment of human beings lied about some embryonic structures for a century in no way refutes or falsifies any part of the theory of evolution.

Human dishonesty does not change scientific fact and theory. If it turns out that a group of physicists have been lying for a century about a figure tangential to the theory of gravity, we will not all suddenly float off in to space.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by randman, posted 12-12-2005 5:36 PM randman has responded

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nwr
Member
Posts: 5611
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 7 of 93 (268404)
12-12-2005 8:10 PM


What's mything?
Responding to Message 147:

I opened another thread on this, which I think you ought to consider participating on so that you can get your facts straight instead of falsely accusing me of myth-making for merely pointing out verifiable facts.

Taking a minor incident and grossly exaggerating its importance does constitute myth making.

My impression was that Richardson was talking about embryology, and that the "significant influence" was there.

The paper is quite explicit titled something like: "There is no highly conserved stage..." which is an embryonic claim given as evidence for evolution.


It still looks to me as if the "significant influence" had to be on embryology, not on evolution. ToE is not a theory of embryology. Therefore evidence on embryo development could not provide more than minor circumstantial evidence in support of ToE.


What shall it profit a nation if it gain the whole world, yet lose its own soul.
(paraphrasing Mark 8:36)

Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 161 days)
Posts: 3811
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 8 of 93 (268407)
12-12-2005 8:17 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by pink sasquatch
12-12-2005 6:34 PM


A little close reading
Randman, can we settle once and for all that Haeckel's 19th century drawings were spotted as partial fakes almost immediately--by contemporaneous scientists, not by modern creationists--and that the debate over the evolutionary and embryologic developmental principles continues? Because that is what your citation describes.

I thought you were going to show how Haeckel's drawings have been nearly universally used without quibble by evolutionists from the day they first appeared. Your cited journal article says otherwise:

Haeckel’s ideas soon came in for strong criticism. His
drawings are also highly inaccurate, exaggerating the
similarities among embryos, while failing to show the
differences (Sedgwick 1894; Richardson 1995; Raff
1996). Sedgwick (1894) argued that even closely related
species of vertebrates can be told apart at all stages of
development, but that the distinguishing characters are
not necessarily the same as those used to distinguish
among adults. Lillie (1919) argued that embryos show as
much proportional variation as adult stages, but that
adults look more divergent because of differential growth
and an increase in size and complexity of organisation.
The idea that embryonic stages are more resistant than
other stages to evolutionary change was criticised by de
Beer (1951). Summarising more than a century of comparative
embryology studies he concluded:

… there are no grounds for the view that an organism as it develops
passes through systematic categories of differing ‘values’, or
of differing degrees of estrangement from organisms of other
groups. (de Beer 1951).

The idea of a phylogenetically conserved stage has regained
popularity in recent years.

The picture I get is one of a debate that began in 1874, a debate that continues in altered form today. I would be curious to follow citations of this article forward to see if it has as thoroughly settled the debate as its authors believe it has.

Interestingly, the article concludes (emphasis added):

These modifications of embryonic development are difficult
to reconcile with the idea that most or all vertebrate
clades pass through an embryonic stage that is highly resistant
to evolutionary change. This idea is implicit in
Haeckel’s drawings, which have been used to substantiate
two quite distinct claims. First, that differences between
species typically become more apparent at late
stages. Second, that vertebrate embryos are virtually
identical at earlier stages. This first claim is clearly true.
Our survey, however, does not support the second claim,
and instead reveals considerable variability – and evolutionary
lability – of the tailbud stage, the purported phylotypic
stage of vertebrates. We suggest that not all developmental
mechanisms are highly constrained by conserved
developmental mechanisms such as the zootype.
Embryonic stages may be key targets for macroevolutionary
change.

...suggesting that embryologic studies promise to further our understanding of evolution, not falsify it.

Finally, I see two significant mentions of textbooks:

There has been no textbook of descriptive comparative embryology
in English, covering all the major vertebrate groups, for over 70 years (Jenkinson 1913; Kerr 1919).

Clearly this field has not been a hotbed of evolutionary scheming.

and

These drawings are still widely reproduced in textbooks and review
articles, and continue to exert a significant influence
on the development of ideas in this field (Wolpert 1991;
Alberts et al. 1994; Duboule 1994). Sedgwick (1894) and
Richardson (1995) have argued that Haeckel’s drawings
are inaccurate, and we have now provided persuasive evidence
that this is indeed the case.

Please note that the citations include authors highly critical of Haeckel and his drawings, then and now.

Many of the fossil frauds of the 19th and 20th century are discussed and pictured in textbooks as well, but that doesn't mean the frauds are being perpetuated.

So what are we left with?

A fraud unchallenged by evolutionary science and perpetuated uncritically in textbooks that assert Haeckel's ideas as gospel?

Or a fraud almost immediately detected, yet one whose author had tremendous impact on the history of the biological sciences and whose famous theory and drawings properly belong in any treatment of science's history?

Apparently, despite his fraudulent drawings, some of his conceptual framework continues to be debated today.

What you have presented with this article does not bear the weight of your charges against contemporary evolutionary scientists.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by pink sasquatch, posted 12-12-2005 6:34 PM pink sasquatch has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by randman, posted 12-12-2005 9:19 PM Omnivorous has not yet responded

nwr
Member
Posts: 5611
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 9 of 93 (268410)
12-12-2005 8:23 PM


Credible evidence?
Responding to Message 148:

And that is because you have no credible evidence, none whatsoever, against the theory of evolution.

Wrong. You guys are the ones that present embryology and false claims of a phylotypic stage as evidence for evolution.


If correct, that might be evidence of misrepresentation. But it would not constitute evidence against the theory of evolution.

Even if all claims about recapitulation are correct, they would constitute only minor circumstantial evidence in support of evolution. If such claims are all false, then the theory of evolution still stands. So what you are aguing is not evidence against ToE.

You said "that present embryology and false claims ...". That's using the present tense. So where is this currently being presented as evidence for evolution?


What shall it profit a nation if it gain the whole world, yet lose its own soul.
(paraphrasing Mark 8:36)

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by randman, posted 12-12-2005 9:15 PM nwr has responded

randman 
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Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 10 of 93 (268431)
12-12-2005 9:13 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by robinrohan
12-12-2005 6:18 PM


Re: embryology
So just want to make it clear. You do think evos rely and use Haeckel's drawings, right?

That's the topic of the thread. Just want to get something nailed down here. Evos use Haeckel's drawings and claims in their books, peer-review articles, textbooks, classes, research, etc,...

Yes or no?


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Replies to this message:
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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3451 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 11 of 93 (268434)
12-12-2005 9:15 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by nwr
12-12-2005 8:23 PM


Re: Credible evidence?
This thread is about trying to get you guys to admit or deny a basic fact; that evos do use Haeckel's drawings and claims, at least to the late 90s.

Robinrohan has kindly pointed out that Mayr used the drawings in his 2001 book.

The idea here is that we get this settled on whether the drawings were widely used as Richardson stated (see OP).

You think his statement is right or wrong?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by nwr, posted 12-12-2005 8:23 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by nwr, posted 12-12-2005 9:53 PM randman has responded

randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3451 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 12 of 93 (268436)
12-12-2005 9:19 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Omnivorous
12-12-2005 8:17 PM


Re: A little close reading
Do you believe the drawings were used widely by evos until the late 1990s, or not?

I agree that they were denounced as fakes, but that did not stop evos from widely publishing the fakes and the false claims, until the false claims became accepted fact among evos of later generations.

It's called myth-making, and that's what we have here.

But back to the OP: can you make a stand admitting the drawings and claims were widely used, used in nearly every introductory textbook at the college level, used in peer-review articles, etc,....?

We can deal with whether they are really fakes. I am getting tired of you guys claiming first they were not widely used though known to be wrong, or trying to switch and claim they are valid.

Take a stand. Were they widely used as Richardson admitted in 1997, or not?

Yes or no, please.


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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3451 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 13 of 93 (268441)
12-12-2005 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by pink sasquatch
12-12-2005 6:34 PM


Re: So?
You claimed you had Haeckel as evidence against the theory of evolution.

Wrong. I claim and it is true that evos used and still use, it seems, Haeckel's false claims as evidence for evolution.

The purpose of this thread is to discuss whether or not Haeckel's drawings were widely used until the late 1990s.

We can open another thread after this one to discuss the implications of this fact, but for now, let's just see if we can get some concensus on this.

Did evos widely use and rely on Haeckel's drawings until the late 1990s, if not presently, or not?

Yes or no will do, please.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by pink sasquatch, posted 12-12-2005 6:34 PM pink sasquatch has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by pink sasquatch, posted 12-12-2005 9:49 PM randman has responded

pink sasquatch
Member (Idle past 4575 days)
Posts: 1567
Joined: 06-10-2004


Message 14 of 93 (268460)
12-12-2005 9:49 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by randman
12-12-2005 9:22 PM


Re: So?
Wrong. I claim and it is true that evos used and still use, it seems, Haeckel's false claims as evidence for evolution.

Okay. I just wanted to be clear that the Haeckel fraud has no bearing whatsoever on the scientific theory of evolution.

Did evos widely use and rely on Haeckel's drawings until the late 1990s, if not presently, or not?

Yes or no will do, please.

Sure they did, you've given us examples of that - of course it seems that most if not all of the examples you gave are discussing the Haeckel figure in historical context, and/or point out specifically where it is flawed.

Many figures are also not Haeckel's, but are labeled "after Haeckel". Any inter-organism comparative embryology figure is essentially "after Haeckel", even the photographic ones that you produced as correct versions of the comparative embryology.

Mayr's 2001 "What Evolution Is" text mentions Haeckel three times.

1. As a founder of phylogenetic analysis.

2. As a fraudulent embryologist, with the fraud specified.

3. As a misguided evolution biologist, specifying that Haeckel's ideas of "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" were wrong.

I would not continue to use Mayr's text as evidence for you argument if I were you.

Haeckel was the first to diagram embryos with species comparisons. He was also an important, though flawed figure in the history of biology and evolution, and is thus worthy of mention in any historical basis of evolution.

Haeckel essentially inspired the field of phylogenetic analysis. He contributed greatly to the field of biology in non-fraudulent ways.


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 Message 13 by randman, posted 12-12-2005 9:22 PM randman has responded

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nwr
Member
Posts: 5611
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 15 of 93 (268464)
12-12-2005 9:53 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by randman
12-12-2005 9:15 PM


Re: Credible evidence?
This thread is about trying to get you guys to admit or deny a basic fact; that evos do use Haeckel's drawings and claims, at least to the late 90s.

Use them for what?

If I were to use one of Haeckel's drawings as a avatar, would you claim that doing so refutes ToE?

I thought they stopped the Salem witch trials a few hundred years ago. I'm wondering why you are reviving them.

Robinrohan has kindly pointed out that Mayr used the drawings in his 2001 book.

And what does this show?

I haven't seen Mayr's book. If Mayr used them to misrepresent, then shame on Mayr (but that wouldn't refute ToE). If Mayr used them honestly, then shame on randman.

You think his statement is right or wrong?

Whose statement, robinrohan's or Richardson's?

I don't have any reason to doubt either of them. I'm troubled by the way you are using this for an unwarranted witch hunt.


What shall it profit a nation if it gain the whole world, yet lose its own soul.
(paraphrasing Mark 8:36)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by randman, posted 12-12-2005 9:15 PM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
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