Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dinosaurs, Flagella, Jews, and Haeckel (No, Really!)

How wonderful! Somebody actually noticed my little blog, and thought it worthy of commenting, with links and everything, to a whole lot of wishful thinking! For those of you who don’t read comments, just look at the sort of things you might miss! (You might want to fasten your seatbelts--there are some sharp turns ahead.)

Ojalanpoika has left a new comment on your post "Friday Limericks: Expelled!":
Though this comment, of course, is sublime,
It’s not written in meter, nor rhyme
On these threads, it’s the norm
To use limerick form—
But I’ll let you get off, just this time
I wish an analogous documentary film was made concerning the DINOGLYFS or dinolits:

It seems that the ancient man not only saw but also documented the last megafauna (gigafauna, I should say).
”Do you see that cloud, that’s almost in shape like a camel?” HAM, III ii 393

Though it’s common, it nonetheless shocks
When a cloud can look just like a fox
Or a man, in euphoria
Digs up sea-zoria
Dragons where others see rocks

(Among your pictures was an Indian lithograph of a buffalo, labeled as a picture of a triceratops. In the words of Roy Zimmerman, “you can call a toad a cocker spaniel; that won’t warm your heart when he licks your nose.”)

It is absolutely true that if you look for dinosaur pictures, you will find them. What is equally true is that if you look for alternate, non-dinosaur explanations for these pictures, in the artistic traditions of the artists, you will also find those. The moral of the story is, don't stop looking for evidence just because you found something that agrees with your preconception. Gather all the available evidence, and then draw conclusions.
Bruce Alberts it was who first accepted from his post as the president of the National Academy of Sciences USA that the biological machinery can be called as such, machinery, without asserting to metaphora. He gave the students that license in 1998. Other animations on the tiny cellular machineries apart from the Expelled movie can be seen in here:
Wow--you ought to give a little warning before shifting topics so abruptly!

You’d think you’d be sitting in clover
Watching videos over and over
But to see there what we see
Find transcripts of Behe
Under oath in Kitzmiller V. Dover

(You gotta love a flagellum. Take out just one part and… well, you have something that functions perfectly well. But Behe did not feel the need to actually look at what it might be. Once he had concluded goddiddit, there was no more reason to investigate. But it’s all there in the transcripts. Very much worth reading.)
It is interesting that it is the People of the Book who once more are the initiative spectators who have the balls to question the ambient amen and go against the loudy majority. Not the first time. Here's some statistics and charts regarding the success of the Jews in science and technological innovations when the others were too stubborn to change their minds:
Again with the topic shift!

So the Jews, in heroic defiance
Of the mainstream, have put their reliance
In books and in learning
Fulfilling their yearning
For knowledge by leading in science!

(your links there certainly seem to show that the Jews are the superior race—no way that anyone could ever suggest that the holocaust was Darwinian if they saw what you report there! No way… and yet…)
This conference poster of mine shows how profoundly the continental, Haeckelian type of evolutionism drived not only the racial World War II but also the nationalistic World War I:
And yet another shift. Your grandfather sounds remarkable—I don’t quite get his connection to everything else, but you are right to be proud. As for the rest, I see one glaring omission—your opening statement claims that Haeckel’s drawings are still used in textbooks, but you do not cite any! Are you tilting at windmills?

The embryos Haeckel did draw
Which seem so to stick in your craw
Are a mere bit of history
Now, a new mystery:
Why battle men made of straw?
Biochemist, drop-out (Master of Sciing)

Digital Cuttlefish, Ph. D. anonymous blog verse-writer.


Blake Stacey said...

There once was a drop-out named Pauli,
Who saw a potsherd and said "Golly,
This'll make those white-coats sore,
As this lizard's backed like a stegosaur!"
'Tis a very learned kind of folly.

Blake Stacey said...

In addition, I should probably pass along the admonition which was admonished upon me: "some respect please, you are talking to a Finnish internet legend! :D"

Anonymous said...

*whipcrack!* Scuttled by Cuttle!

Darn, all I get are TOTALLY BORING spam - from some gormless twat with a site and a book for sale! - they tried to get posted:

"If you know anything about the placebo effect, magicians and illusions, delusions and wars you will know that you have to create a diversionary illusion to hide another one.... Whether it was logical or illogical is was still very real and their intensity in creating it and knowing it was simply pumped it into the great information and energy field (Read Albert Einstein)"

...uh, hallucinogenics? :/

Oh, and they also said (this'll make you roll-over in your tank...) that my profile indicated that I was clearly 'lacking love'. :D :D

Tch. At least yours inspires verse, mine just inspires deletions! Do you suggest limericks as a good antidote regularly or can other verse forms suit?

Ojalanpoika said...

Thanks for the attention. 'Any publicity...'

Regarding the dinoglyfs, I have few references for them behind the link mentioned in the page:
'Text essay & references'

Regarding the text books recycling the fraudulent embryo drawings, I have scanned some of them in here:

They are, really, the MOST recycled figures in the Finnish text books of biology in the 20th century, I'm afraid.

I try to bake the issue by few quotes from this article published in the 5th Asian conference for bioethics:

Gould described how the predecessor in his chair (Louis Agassiz, 1807-1873) disliked
Haeckel for "his haughty dismissal of earlier work which he often shamelessly 'borrowed' without
attribution" (2000). Richardson and Keuck wrote in one of the above mentioned prestigious
"We can make a persuasive case with Haeckel because we have identified some of his sources… he removed the limbs.
The cut was selective, applying only to the young stage. It was also systematic because he did it to other species in the
picture… The altered drawings support theories which the originals did not. Therefore, these are not legitimate
schematic figures." (Nature 410, 2001, p. 144.)
Haeckel never listed the sources of his simplified pictures. Filling the gaps in the embryonic
series by speculation is one thing, but concealing a mere hypothesis from observations is
something else.

The consensus seems to be, that the recapitulationary concept of Haeckel is dead thanks to
developmental physiology and genetics. It is hastily added, however, that it has its value as a
descriptive statement. Haeckel himself used puzzling phrase "labyrinth of ontogenesis" in his
most popular Weltraethsel or Riddle (1899 p. 79).
University-level textbooks elaborate a new concept of "evolvability" and after the
"unipolar Haeckel" –model, students still face concepts such as by "bipolar Haeckel", "twodimensional
Haeckel", and "three-dimensional Haeckel" -models. Sound criticism of the
deductive Haeckelian reductionism has been rare in the narrative thread of Ariadne.
In a sense the situation resembles the paradigm change from the "tree of life" to the "bush
of life" or "agnostic tree of life" at the emergence of the genome projects and popularization of the
lateral gene transfer. Likewise, the Biogenetic Law is still supported by several recent studies – if
applied to single characters only (like in Richardson & Keuck, 2002). Popperian habits would
wellcome not only verification, but also falsification in order to earn the epithet "scientific" for a
theory. Biogenetic Law was a straitjacket for a paradigm, and there must be a place for criticism
before adopting it as a heuristic principle.

"It is to be recalled that Haeckel had written: 'Among the Spartans all newly born children were subject to a
careful examination and selection. All those that were weak, sickly, or affected with any bodily infirmity, were killed.
Only the perfectly healthy and strong children were allowed to live, and they alone afterwards propagated the race.'
[The History of Creation, 1883, I, p. 170.]
In the light of the following comments, is Haeckel “guilt by association” to Hitler only?
'Sparta must be regarded as the first folkish state. The exposure of the sick, weak, deformed children, in short their
destruction, was more decent and in truth a thousand times more humane than the wretched insanity of our day which
preserves the most pathological subject.'[Hitler's Secret Book, p. 18] (1971 p. 164)?
Let us remember that premature infants have been even operated without local anesthesia or
analgesic drugs almost until our times. Western countries, generally, have broadly embraced the
fact that a new-born child can feel pain only at the late 1980'ies.
Haeckel ascended from infanticide also to genocide: "…the morphological differences
between two generally recognized species - for example sheep and goats - are much less
important than those… between a Hottentot and a man of the Teutonic race" (The History of
Creation 1876, p. 434). He categorized human beings into "Woolly-haired" and "Straight-haired"
classes. The Woolly-haired people were "incapable of a true inner culture or of a higher mental
development" (The History of Creation, 1876, p. 310).
Only among the Aryans was there that
"symmetry of all parts, and that equal development, which we call the type of perfect human beauty" (The
History of Creation, 1876, p. 321). "The mental life of savages rises little above that of the higher mammals,
especially the apes, with which they are genealogically connected. Their whole interest is restricteed to the
physiological functions of nutrition and reproduction, or the satisfaction of hunger and thirst in the crudest animal
fashion… one can no more (or no less) speak of their reason than of that of the more intelligent animals." (The
wonders of life, 1905, p. 56-7).
Finally, since: "the lower races - such as the Veddahs or Australian Negroes - are psychologically nearer to the
mammals - apes and dogs - than to the civilized European, we must, therefore, assign a totally different value to their
lives… Their only interest are food and reproduction… many of the higher animals, especially monogamous mammals
and birds, have reached a higher stage than the lower savages" (The wonders of life, 1905, p. 390, 393).

In his autobiography, Darwin stated: "Hardly any point gave me so much satisfaction when
I was at work on the Origin, as the explanation of the wide difference in many classes between the
embryo and the adult animal, and of the close resemblance of the embryos within the same class.
No notice of this point was taken, as far as I remember, in the early reviews of the Origin".

Prior to Haeckel's mystified doctrines, Charles Darwin (1809-1882) himself acknowledged
in his letter to his intimate Asa Gray (1810-1888) and Joseph Hooker (1817–1911), that "by far
the strongest single class of facts in favor of" his theory was the similarity of vertebrate embryos
in their earliest stages (Churchill 1991 pp. 1-29). Darwin complained that his reviewers and his
friends had not paid attention to his embryological arguments despite of this. In the Origin,
namey, Darwin had listed five set of facts in embryology, that could not be explained satisfactorily
without the idea of descent with modification. "The leading facts in embryology" were "second in
importance to none in natural history" (Origin, p. 450; Mayr 1982 p. 470).

Later on, this subject was siezed, indeed. Subsequent editions of the Origin
stated:“[Haeckel]…brought his great knowledge and abilities to bear on what he calls phylogeny,
or the lines of descent of all organic beings. In drawing up the several series he trusts chiefly to
embryological characters.”

Darwin did not apply his revolutionary theory to the human beings until his Descent of Man,
and Selection in Relation to Sex in 1871. This was after the ambitious Haeckel had firmly stepped
in the print, and the old Darwin paid hommage in his introduction:
"The conclusion that man is the co-descendant with other species… is not in any degree new… maintained by several
eminent naturalists and philosophers… and especially by Häckel. This last naturalist, besides his great work
'Generelle Morphologie' (1866), has recently (1868, with a second edit. in 1870), published his 'Natürliche
Schöpfungsgeschichte,' in which he fully discusses the genealogy of man. If this work had appeared before my essay
had been written, I should probably never have completed it. Almost all the conclusions at which I have arrived I find
confirmed by this naturalist, whose knowledge on many points is much fuller than mine."
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The evolutionary ideology is one of lobbying and popularization of stuff the Zeitgeist wants to hear. Malthusian model was very important idea and model for Darwin, whose cousin was Sir Francis Galton, inventor of the whole concept of 'eugenics' in his book Inheritary genious.

Anonymous said...


Nup, I'm just here for the poetry.

Metro said...

You know, DC, if you fry up that comment with eggs you'd have a Monty Python sketch.

Marcus said...