Darwin’s embryo drawings flawed?

I’m moving this up from comments because it involves a particular interest of mine, embryology as it relates to evolution and the controversies over various embryo illustrations. Here is the comment by “1wmcaw” in full:

Glazius – I may be a lay person. I am not, however, ill-informed.

Darwin disproved: Take a look at his drawings of in utero creatures. He constantly compared the early embryo and fetus’ of human beings to that of pigs and other animals.

I’m here to tell you that medical science has roundly disproved those drawings/pictures/whatever you want to call them. I’ve seen them with my own eyes, as a lay person. Medical professionals, biologists, anthropologists, abortionists, all of them will concede that the embryo and early human fetus looks absolutely nothing like Darwin’s crude drawing and compares nothing to a fetal pig. We were able to distinguish my son’s genitalia at 13 weeks in utero. He did not possess any “tail” as so classically drawn. Many scientists will admit that human beings do not develop a tail at all in the womb, but that it fits the theory of evolution nicely and so it is still promoted in popular scientific literature.

Oh, and plenty of people understand how God’s creation works. Simply because you do not does not make it untrue.

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And the award for most hysterical antievolutionist nonsense of the week goes to…

This bit of wackiness which comes from a site called California Catholic Daily (which is odd since most Catholics don’t have a problem with evolution):

Now that Darwinists rule academia, they will brook no contradiction, and they will happily commit employment assassination even against tenured professors who dare even to mention intelligent design. The Darwinists even have their own Gestapo in the National Center for Science Education led by a modern day Heinrich Himmler named Eugenie Scott.

The NCSE is like the Gestapo and Genie Scott is comparable to Himmler, really?

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More questionable science reporting

I recently picked up the March/April issue of a new magazine, Science Illustrated which is sort of like Discover Magazine-lite. Lots of pretty pictures (as the name suggests) but the actual information content is somewhat limited and in some cases it is more than limited, it is simply wrong.

For example while flipping through this issue I ran across a little two paragraph editorial piece on a small (non-avian) dinosaur fossil known as Sinosauropteryx: “Researchers Pluck “Feathered Dinosaur” Theory”.

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“Tests Confirm T. Rex Kinship With Birds”

Just ran across this on the science section of the NY Times web site:

Tests Confirm T. Rex Kinship With Birds

The article, by science writer John Noble Wilford, reports on results from a Harvard study to be reported in the next edition of the journal Science.

In the first analysis of proteins extracted from dinosaur bones, scientists say they have established more firmly than ever that the closest living relatives of the mighty predator Tyrannosaurus rex are modern birds.

The research, being published Friday in the journal Science, yielded the first molecular data confirming the widely held hypothesis of a close dinosaur-bird ancestry, the American scientific team reported. The link was previously suggested by anatomical similarities.

This, if it bears out, it is further evidence supporting the evolutionary relationship between theropodcomparative anatomy. dinosaurs and birds that has been strongly suggested by the evidence from

The anti-dino/bird faction amongst scientists (Martin, Feduccia etc.) will no doubt claim that this is merely yet another example of the many (supposed) convergences between dinosaurs and birds. Creationists will probably deny, deny, deny.

Remember to stay tuned on this though. This is only the popular level report, the peer reviewed material is yet to be seen; and it is only the first such study. More studies, if possible, will be needed to confirm this finding.

They apparently did some similar tests on mastodon bones:

Similar molecular tests on tissues from the extinct mastodon confirmed its close genetic link to the elephant, as had been suspected from skeletal affinities.

Perhaps not terribly surprising, but still interesting nonetheless.

The more the merrier…

RationalWiki has a point by point critique of the Expelled “Leader’s Guide”. I wasn’t aware of the RationalWiki or their article until after I had written mine, so any similarities are due to great minds thinking alike. :)

Check it out.

Expelled’s intelligent design theory – this IS your daddy’s creationism (Part II)

Part 2 of 2 (click here for part 1)

L.G.Modern high-speed supercomputers have now used large-scale number crunching to calculate the eons of time and probabilities that are required to develop a cell through chance and mutation. The result? The odds are essentially zero, no matter how many millions or billions of years pass. (p.6)

I flat out call bullshit on this one. I want to see references. First I doubt the claim that anyone has wasted the time on a supercomputer. Second I am unaware of anyone arguing that the first cell developed simply through “chance and mutation”. No one knows the process by which the first cell formed, therefore no probabilities can be attached its likelihood.

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Expelled’s intelligent design theory – this IS your daddy’s creationism (Part I)

While doing research for an earlier post I ran across a document called a “Leader’s Guide” on one of the official Expelled web-sites. This little bit of propaganda which was created “to assist you with promoting the issues surrounding the film Expelled“. It is filled to the brim with rhetoric, misinformation, out of context quotations, and half-truths that have been staples in antievolutionist literature, since long before the latest version, “intelligent design” evolved from its parent species “creation science” in the late 1980′s. To demonstrate the evolutionary link between these ideologies I will often follow quotes from the Guide (in blue for clarity) with quotes from pre-ID movement, “creation science” sources making identical, or nearly identical, statements.

The “creation science” material I am referencing is mostly from well known young Earth creationists dated prior to 1991, the year Phillip Johnson published Darwin On Trial, which is often said to have launched the ID movement. The use of pre-1991 material ensures that there was no chance of backwards contamination from ID creationists back to “creation science” advocates. Something common in later YEC literature.

leaders guide

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Sorry for the absence

I have been working on a lengthy two part post on an Expelled related subject and unlike creationists l try and do my homework before I publish something, which takes time. I should have it ready by tonight (April 21). Sorry for the delay, and thank you for your patience.

Comb jellies and sponges and creationists, oh my!

Denyse O’Leary of Post-Darwinist is giddy over some evidence reported in the latest issue of Nature that the lineage leading to living comb jellies may have diverged from common ancestors of later animal life before that of the lineage leading to living sponges. She believes that this is somehow problematic for evolutionary theory since it was previously thought based on their morphology that sponges would have diverged earlier.

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Scientific American reviews Expelled Flunked

Scientific American has put up a special section on it’s web site dealing with Expelled, including two new reviews. One by Michael Shermer of the Skeptics Society, and the other by Scientific American’s editor in chief, John Rennie. They also have a couple pod-casts on Expelled to check out. So go check it out

And via The Austringer we find that even Fox News is panning this flic:

After seeing a new non-fiction film starring Comedy Central’s Ben Stein, you may not only be able to win his money, but also his career.

It goes down hill from there. See: “Ben Stien: Win His Career” for the rest.

Remember the NCSE has set up…

…for all your exposing Expelled needs.