In Randy Olson's pseudo-documentary Flock of Dodos,
Olson remarks that he has problems with some of John Calvert's sources.
To demonstrate, he asks Calvart about the faked drawings that Jonathan
Wells says appears in several evolutionary textbooks. After a prolonged
ransacking of Calvart's library they finally do find Haeckel's faked
drawings -- in an old 1915 book whose covers are falling off.
dokie, so Wells is a liar. . . or maybe not. A couple of us had taken
evolution classes with those fake drawings in them -- was Cornell
using 1915 textbooks or something more recent? We decided to check out
a few biology textbooks out to check out who was twisting the truth.
In Futuyma's Evolutionary Biology (3rd edition © 1998) Haeckel's
faked drawings are actually reproduced without any note to show they
are fake (see below). Although there is some discussion in the text of
problems with Haeckel's biogenetic law, the drawing is presented as
factually correct. (For all these pictures, you can double click to
make them larger.)
book is probably one of the most common college texboooks on
evolutionary biology -- it's used often in Cornell's classes. However,
we also found Haeckel's faked drawings in Molecular Biology of the Cell (3rd edition © 1994) -- just like Jonathan Wells said we would.
In Icons of Evolution,
Wells gives some further examples of books that don't use Haeckel's
exact pictures, but do repeat other misinformation. After a little
research we came up with even more evidence for Wells' claims. In Biology Raven and Johnson (5th edition © 1999) we
have a subtitle called "Ontogeny Recapitualates Phylogeny". On the
following page we have some cartoonish drawings of embryos with the
caption: "Embryonic deveolopment of vertebrates.
Notice that the early embryonic stages of these vertebrates bear a
striking resemblance to eah other, even though the individuals are from
different classes (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammels). All
vertebrates start out with an enlarged head region, gill slits, and a
tail regardless of whether these characteristics are retained in the
In Biology: the University and Diversity of Life by Starr and Taggart (8th edition © 1998) we find redrawings of Haeckel's embroyos with the false statement, The early embryos of vertebrates strongly resemble one another.