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How textbooks are still lying to students about evolution!

Viewpoint of Mark Cadwallader, Creation Moments Board Chairman

At the beginning of another school year it’s good to voice a question. Shouldn’t we teach students to examine evidence and develop critical thinking skills?

Purely from an educator’s standpoint the answer is clear. Yet modern science textbooks, even advanced textbooks, are still filled with inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and outright frauds when it comes to supporting evolution.

Take, for example, the infamous 1874 embryo drawings of Ernst Haeckel, a contemporary of Charles Darwin and zealous proponent of the theory of evolution. The famous German zoologist proposed that human embryos retraced their evolutionary history as they grew in the womb – a process he called “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” Indeed, Charles Darwin himself was convinced, declaring that  the similarity of vertebrate embryos in their earliest stages – which he thought demonstrated their descent from a common ancestor – was “the strongest single set of facts” supporting his theory.

The drawings have been used by textbooks for over 130 years to  proclaim evolution. Yet they are known frauds. Haeckel faked his drawings. For instance, he drew the mammalian embryos with gill slits in place of wrinkles called pharyngeal pouches. There are no perforations like gills in the mammalian embryos. Haeckel said the embryos were going through a “fish” stage of development.

The late renowned evolutionist Stephen Gould wrote in 2000, “We do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks.”

And let’s think critically. What kind of proof is mere similarity? Is similarity of appearance sufficient evidence in a court of law? Or do we need better evidence to draw a conclusion – like fingerprints and DNA? I suppose if you go back all the way to fertilized eggs, all life would look pretty similar – though hugely different genetically.

Furthermore, why should growth phases over a few months in the womb in the life of a single creature have anything to do with the final forms of millions of creatures over millions of years?  It seems to me that there’s a little wishful thinking and circular reasoning going on here, tied to the initial assumption of evolution.

There are many other misrepresentations of evidence for evolution in today’s textbooks, including:

  • The Evolutionary Tree of Life. This illustration supposedly shows the descent from common ancestors through the fossil record. The truth is, though, that the major animal groups all appear together in the fossil record fully formed by the Cambrian Period (an inconvenient truth for evolutionists known as the Cambrian Explosion).
  • Peppered Moths. Why do textbooks continue to use faked pictures of peppered moths on tree trunks as evidence for natural selection when biologists have known since the 1980s that these moths don’t normally rest on tree trunks?
  • Mutant Fruit Flies. Why do textbooks use fruit flies with an extra pair of wings as evidence that DNA mutations lead to evolution? Decades of irradiated fruit fly experiments have shown that such mutations lead to disability and death! Mutations never result in improved viability or increased information content within the DNA.

There are, of course, many other misrepresentations, inaccuracies, and biased presentations in science textbooks. All the more reason that we need to be discerning and careful, “avoiding the profane and vain babblings of science falsely so-called” (“pseudo-science”), 1 Tim 6:20.

There is a hard core of scientists who are passionately devoted to naturalism, a godless or even God-hating ideology, and they are quite prepared to use dishonest means to advance that ideology. But at Creation Moments we have the resources to help you get the facts about science as it pertains to evolution … and we’ll keep bringing you more resources as the Lord provides.

Won’t you help us get the word out that textbooks are lying to our kids and grandkids about evolution? We need your prayers and financial support to expose evolution as the pseudo-science it really is! Thank you and God bless you!