Darwin published ‘On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life’ in 1859. As evolutionary theory was taking over western main-stream thought, just the right evidence seemed to always show up at just the right time:
– early 1900’s a solid apeman transitional form was needed, enter Piltdown Man; the blatant obvious fraud that was introduced in 1912 ‘Piltdown Man – the greatest hoax in the history of science?‘ per the Natural History Museum in London
– early on despite Darwin not really addressing the origin of life itself, it was obvious that to remove the Creator from the picture and adopt Darwinism, there needed to be some explanation for the origin of life: enter Ernst Haeckel
Known as ‘Darwin’s Bulldog on the Continent’ and ‘the Huxley of Germany’, Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel is notorious as the scientist who perpetrated fraud upon fraud to promote the theory of evolution.
Born at Potsdam, Prussia (now Germany), on February 16, 1834, Haeckel studied medicine and science at Würtzburg and the University of Berlin, and was professor of zoology at Jena from 1865 until his retirement in 1909. The turning point in his thinking was his reading of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, which had been translated into German in 1860.
In a letter to his mistress, written when he was 64 and had acquired the nickname of ‘Der Ketzer von Jena’ (the gadfly of Jena), he explained how he began as a Christian but after studying evolution became a free-thinker and pantheist.
Darwin believed that Haeckel’s enthusiastic propagation of the doctrine of organic evolution was the chief factor in the success of the doctrine in Germany. Ian Taylor writes,
‘He became Darwin’s chief European apostle proclaiming the Gospel of evolution with evangelistic fervor, not only to the university intelligentsia but to the common man by popular books and to the working classes by lectures in rented halls.’In these he used enormous backdrops showing embryos, skeletons, etc., which has led to his presentation being described as a sort of ‘Darwinian passion play’!
The Imaginary Monera
Haeckel’s drawings of the eating habit and reproductive cycle of an alleged Moneron to which he gave the scientific name, Protomyxa aurantiaca, as published in his book The History of Creation. The extent of the detail is the measure of his fraud, as the Monera did not then and do not now exist!
Haeckel’s enthusiasm for the theory of evolution led him to fraudulently manufacture ‘evidence’ to bolster his views. He was the first person to draw an evolutionary ‘family tree’ for mankind. To fill the gap in this between inorganic non-living matter and the first signs of life, he invented a series of minute protoplasmic organisms which he called Monera (plural of Moneron). These, he said, were
‘not composed of any organs at all, but consist entirely of shapeless, simple homogeneous matter … nothing more than a shapeless, mobile, little lump of mucus or slime, consisting of albuminous combination of carbon.’In 1868, a prestigious German scientific journal published 73 pages of his speculations, with more than 30 drawings of these imaginary Monera, as well as scientific names such as Protamoeba primitivia, and the process of fission by which they allegedly reproduced, even though his detailed descriptions and elaborate drawings were totally fictional, as these ‘life particles’ were entirely non-existent.
Later the same year, Thomas Huxley, Darwin’s champion in England, reported finding something that fitted Haeckel’s descriptions in mud samples that had been dredged from the bottom of the north Atlantic and preserved in alcohol. Huxley named them Bathybius haeckelii.
Unfortunately for Huxley, Haeckel, the Monera, and the theory of evolution, in 1875 a chemist aboard the expeditionary ship discovered that these alleged protoplasm specimens were nothing more than amorphous gypsum, precipitated out of sea-water by alcohol! Haeckel refused to be moved by this confuting evidence, and for about 50 years the public continued to be duped by unrevised reprints of his popular The History of Creation (1876), complete with drawings of the Monera, until the final edition in 1923.
The Non-Existent Speechless Apeman
To Haeckel, human reasoning was much more important than facts and evidence. He believed that the only major difference between man and the ape was that men could speak and apes could not. He therefore postulated a missing link which he called Pithecanthropus alalus (speechless apeman) and even had an artist, Gabriel Max, draw the imagined creature, although there was not a scrap of evidence to support a single detail in the drawings.
A contemporary of Haeckel, Professor Rudolf Virchow (famous as the founder of cellular pathology and for many years president of the Berlin Anthropological Society), was scathing in his criticism—for Haeckel to have given a zoological name to a creature that no one had proved to exist was to him a great mockery of science.
This century, the Dutch scientist, Professor G.H.R.von Koenigswald, described the drawing thus,
‘Under a tree a woman with long lank hair sits cross-legged suckling a child. Her nose is flat, her lips thick, her feet large, with the big toe set considerably lower than the rest. Beside her stands her husband, fat-bellied and low-browed, his back thickly covered with hair. He looks at the spectator good-naturedly and unintelligently, with the suspicious expression of an inveterate toper [habitual drinker]. It must have been a happy marriage; his wife could not contradict him, for neither of them could speak.’
No such authenticated ‘missing link’ has ever been found.
** Is that all Haeckel did? Not even close: it was expected that transitional fossils would soon surface, but that did not happen: enter ‘evidence of evolutionary history in embryotic development’ in Haeckel’s famous embryo woodcut prints and his ’embryotic recapitulation’ (aka ‘biogenetic law’, ’embryological parallelism’ theory ‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny’)
Haeckel manufactured fake drawings of embryos of several creatures and claimed that they were very similar. This fraud was exposed back in 1874 but that fact seems to have been conveniently forgotten. Haeckel’s fake drawings are used as evidence for evolution in textbooks to this very day. In 1997 Dr Mickael K. Richardson to actual photos of embryos of the type used by Haeckel and showed that the claimed similarities are simply not real. Richardson’s exposure of the fraud was published in the journal Anatomy and Embryology and reviewed in Science and New Scientist.
You really need to read about this in Fraud rediscovered.
Below are photographs by Richardson shown below the corresponding Haeckel drawing. While the fraud couldn’t be more evident, you can read about one failed attempt to restore Haeckel’s reputation here: Countering revisionism—Ernst Haeckel, fraud is proven.