“Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny”

Human embryo 4 weeks after fertalisation: about that tail...This must be something of a milestone: in Scientist Answers His Own Question Brian Thomas writes an entire post on evolutionary development without so much as mentioning Haeckel. Replacing mention of the supposedly fraudulent 19th century biologist we instead get an accusation of “begging the question.”

Usually as a last resort, Thomas does like claiming that the research he is commenting on is relying on this logical fallacy, or the related ‘circular reasoning.’ Because they reject evolution, creationists consider fair game any research that merely assumes that evolution occurs – which is everything, as devoting the introduction to your paper to proving that it occurred from, in effect, first principles would be a massive waste of everybody’s time. Continue reading

Head-Desk Embryological Stupidity

As a High-School Biology student in New Zealand, I am not required to know anything about embryology. And so, for the most part, I don’t. In the circumstances it seems that I am far from the only one.

Brian Thomas’ latest article on the Institute for Creation Research’s Daily (pseudo)Science Updates page is called Evolutionary Paradox: Embryos Resist Tinkering. From my experience over the last few months, Mr Thomas has two main ‘arguments’ on the subject of embryology: The first is that DNA is somehow not enough to explain the processes involved – for example in The Theory of Supernatural Embryology?, More Fruit Fly Larvae and the earlier Amber and Embryos – and that all mutations in the instructions for embryo development are lethal or close to – such as in Genetic Stop Sign Halts Evolutionary Explanations. This latest post belongs with the latter. Snails are related this time, rather than being entirely Drosophila related as is more usual, hence the following picture:

Apple snail eggs Continue reading

The Theory of Supernatural Embryology?

The latest post from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) suggests that they are in the development of such a hypothesis. That, or they’re feeling a bit under the weather right now and are mentally impaired because of it. Or they think everyone who reads their stuff is stupid. I’ve got an open mind at this point…

Haswell's Frog - Paracrinia haswelli tadpole Continue reading