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Jul 27 2012

What strange beast is this?

The Institute for Creation Research is going on and on again about Haeckel and gill slits. It gets tiresome; I’ve explained so many times that Haeckel’s theory was wrong and he skewed his drawings to fit his model, but that it really is true that human embryos have pharyngeal arches that are modified in a peculiar way to build the face and neck, and this really is evidence for our evolutionary history. Fortunately, this time, I don’t have to go into it because Troy Britain has covered all the details. Yay!

But I do want to mention one really strange thing. The ICR is going on and on about Haeckel faking his embryo drawings, but this is what they used to illustrate their own article.

CHRIST JESUS, WHAT IS THAT THING? That is creepy — no human embryo ever looked like that. They’ve neatly painted out any kind of branchial structures, and it has no post-anal tail — yet it’s supposed to be a 7-8 week embryo. I guess reality was too uncomfortable for them, so they dug up some uninformed stock art that leaves out those vestiges of our ancestry, tails and gill slits, that refute their claims.

Either that or they performed an abortion on a Grey. Good for them, those UFO pilots are always sticking probes up our butts, it’s only fair that someone grabbed one and did a D&C on them.

62 comments

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  1. 1
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Haeckel was a naughty boy? Thank FSM we didn’t use this banner: Linky.

  2. 2
    G Pierce (Was ~G~)

    Ugh. Prometheus flashbacks.
    (I had to cover my laughter during that scene.)

  3. 3
    The Mellow Monkey

    I’m trying to picture how that poor little pink blob would develop. I guess a fully formed jaw is just another one of those evolutionist lies to them.

  4. 4
    azportsider

    I thought Troy performed a regulation NHL smackdown on the ICR, and decided to become a regular reader at pigeonchess because of it. Unfortunately, all he had to bring to the table were facts, evidence and, you know, logic, and everyone knows that to cretinists facts, evidence and logic are as alien to cretinists as that picture is to us evilutionists.

  5. 5
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Jesus Christ, PZ! Warn a lady before you post horrific shit like that!

  6. 6
    Ing

    …It’s a muppet embryo

  7. 7
    dianne

    If that’s a mammalian embryo, shouldn’t it be connected to something? Or at least have some evidence of an umbilical cord?

  8. 8
    pipenta

    Haeckel’s work has always both attracted and repelled me. His marine invertebrates, especially the jelly beasts, are often very fanciful. Finally, I figured he did a good bit of invention because his specimens were delicate and not in the best of shape because they were either pickled or washed up on the beach.

  9. 9
    Glen Davidson

    It’s a pre-Fall embryo, of course.

    That’s what they (would have) looked like before sin put a bunch of evolutionary traits into a previously pristine created form.

    Glen Davidson

  10. 10
    feedmybrain

    But if one biologist lied about part of his work 100 years ago how can I be expected to believe anything any biologist tells me???

  11. 11
    Roberto Aguirre Maturana

    According to TinEye, the source of the stock photo seems to be this:

    http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-11823866-human-embryo.php

  12. 12
    PZ Myers

    #11: Ugh. So many fake photos of fake cells by artists who never looked in a microscope at real cells. I browsed the cell biology section of the stock photo site — hideous. Like that embryo.

  13. 13
    Gregory Greenwood

    Either that or they performed an abortion on a Grey. Good for them, those UFO pilots are always sticking probes up our butts, it’s only fair that someone grabbed one and did a D&C on them.

    When the Greys find out, and come down here with their death rays, heat beams and weird looking attack craft with a score to settle, I’m telling them that Ken Ham did it…

  14. 14
    kevinalexander

    Nah, they just bought a bag of them at the candy store and photographed the pink one.

  15. 15
    No One

    Roberto Aguirre Maturana says:

    According to TinEye, the source of the stock photo seems to be this:

    http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-11823866-human-embryo.php

    Checked out the rest of his work, piss poor 3D modeling. Some proper texture maps might have helped. Along with some RESEARCH into the subject matter. Lazy power point shit.

  16. 16
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    If you drew tusks on it, it would kind of look like a pink walrus.

    A pink walrus with freakishly perfect human hands.

  17. 17
    Sastra

    We must count our blessings. At least the ICR didn’t photoshop a sweet little smile onto the “baby”‘s face. Or, worse, a single little tear trickling down its cheek.

  18. 18
    raven

    Either that or they performed an abortion on a Grey. Good for them, those UFO pilots are always sticking probes up our butts, it’s only fair that someone grabbed one and did a D&C on them.

    Hard to do a D&C on a Grey.

    AFAIK, the Space Reptiles lay eggs.

    Given the ICR’s general biological competence, I doubt if they know that either.

  19. 19
    ButchKitties

    @14 It really does look like delicious a strawberry jelly candy. *insert Homer Simpson hunger noise*

  20. 20
    Form&Function

    Before I read the post I thought it must be an illustration of a marsupial embryo–old enough to be in the pouch. Now that I know what it is…. no, I take that back. I still don’t know what it is.

  21. 21
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    It’s a creationist embryo. The tail is tucked into its anus since its head can’t reach yet.

  22. 22
    Matrim

    @raven> Jeez, get it right. The greys AREN’T space reptiles. The -reptilians- are the reptiles, and they’re mortal enemies with the greys. Honestly, if you can’t be bothered to do even the most rudimentary research, how can anyone take your comment seriously.

    I don’t know if it’s necessary to spell out that I’m being snarky, but I’ll err on the side of caution and just do it. I’m being snarky.

  23. 23
    adamk

    Everybody knows Greys don’t use their vestigial wombs any more–they come out of tanks.

    That has to be an embryonic schmoo.

  24. 24
    dianne

    Honestly, if you can’t be bothered to do even the most rudimentary research, how can anyone take your comment seriously.

    Matrim, you win the internet.

  25. 25
    hyperdeath

    @Matrim

    PZ’s knowledge of alien abductions would make a first year ufology student wince. Has he read Icke on reptilian conspiracies, Leider on the Zeta Reticuli star system, or Hoagland on Martian pyramids? Has he even heard of them?

  26. 26
    Anthony K

    Slightly OT, but the conversation’s gone there anyway:

    Either that or they performed an abortion on a Grey. Good for them, those UFO pilots are always sticking probes up our butts, it’s only fair that someone grabbed one and did a D&C on them.

    If you’ve* ever played the super excellent turn-based strategy game UFO: Enemy Unknown/X-COM: UFO Defense in which you can do exactly that, you might be interested to know that a remake is scheduled for release** in the fall!

    *I know Teh Poopyhead didn’t, given his preference for lobotomising critters over video games
    **Whenever I think of it, I release just a little bit. Need to change. BRB.

  27. 27
    AlanMac

    Of course it’s an abstract embryo, you can’t show a real human NAKED!! What are you, a bunch of pornographers!! *faints/clutching pearls*

  28. 28
    philtorres

    Maybe that’s a picture of someone from the ICR in the womb. Eh?

  29. 29
    Sastra

    hyperdeath #25 wins an internet.

    And I know from experience that people who believe in alien visitations often do sound like religious apologists.

  30. 30
    Gregory Greenwood

    Brownian @ 26;

    I have heard much about the original X-COM game from the nineties, but I never actually played it. I have been following the development of the turn-based remake with interest as a result.

    Thus far, it is looking rather good.

    As for the other game based upon the X-COM franchise that is currently in evelopment – I will have to withold judgement on that for now.

  31. 31
    PZ Myers

    PZ’s knowledge of alien abductions would make a first year ufology student wince. Has he read Icke on reptilian conspiracies, Leider on the Zeta Reticuli star system, or Hoagland on Martian pyramids? Has he even heard of them?

    Yes. Once got into a face-to-face argument with Carlotto over his ridiculous abuses of image processing, too.

    Also, I’m going to be on a BBC program this year as the skeptic arguing with a team of UFOlogists, one of whom is convinced that the Jews are alien hybrids.

  32. 32
    Worldtraveller

    hyperdeath@25:
    Are we getting into sophistimicated ufology? This is gonna be fun!

  33. 33
    Bronze Dog

    …a team of UFOlogists, one of whom is convinced that the Jews are alien hybrids.

    The Prime Directive of the Elders of Zion?

  34. 34
    hyperdeath

    I get the Gumby background. Awesome!

  35. 35
    hyperdeath

    AlanMac

    Of course it’s an abstract embryo, you can’t show a real human NAKED!!

    That reminds me of Conservapedia’s articles on “sex” and “human reproduction”. Neither use the word “penis” or “vagina”.

  36. 36
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    PZ:

    … one of whom is convinced that the Jews are alien hybrids.

    Funny, Mr Darkheart never mentioned that.

  37. 37
    RFW

    @ #36 hyperdeath says:

    That reminds me of Conservapedia’s articles on “sex” and “human reproduction”. Neither use the word “penis” or “vagina”.

    Conservatives think sex is dirty, ditto nudity to any degree. Also the use of proper terms for anatomical features. This is a symptom of their obsession with other people’s sex lives.

    Like the anti-gay haters, who are obsessed with thoughts of anal intercourse. Project much?

  38. 38
    Arkady

    Pfft, I have embryo beads handcrafted from FIMO that look far more realistic, and they glow in the dark! Human, mouse and (I think) chicken, really ought to finish turning them into a necklace…

    (Related note: crafty friends in developmental biology are awesome!)

  39. 39
    grendelsfather

    That reminds me of Conservapedia’s articles on “sex” and “human reproduction”. Neither use the word “penis” or “vagina”.

    Conservatives think sex is dirty, ditto nudity to any degree.

    Agreed. And that brings to mind my favorite quote from that great Texan songwriter/singer Butch Hancock . . .

    “Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love.”

  40. 40
    Rip Steakface

    PZ, I think hyperdeath was being facetious.

  41. 41
    Amphiox

    The original X-COM game has to rank as one of the finest computer games ever made (and, pertaining to an earlier comment thread, it has NO SEX! Plenty of violence, of course, but no sex.)

    It also, IIRC, fits onto a single floppy disc.

  42. 42
    cactuswren

    Is it a seal? I’m no biologist, but something about the angle of the second set of limbs says “seal” to me.

  43. 43
    Randomfactor

    Having clicked through to the stockphoto site, I’m now getting targeted ads from them, FEATURING THIS PHOTO. A bit unnerving…

  44. 44
    Kagehi

    Ugh. So many fake photos of fake cells by artists who never looked in a microscope at real cells. I browsed the cell biology section of the stock photo site — hideous. Like that embryo.

    Well, apparently these things can be rated. Though the page suggests “reviews” too, of which there are none. Maybe a few biologists should, I don’t know.. down rate the things, and post some reviews on just what is wrong with them, possibly with links to real frakking photos?

  45. 45
    Anthony K

    I have heard much about the original X-COM game from the nineties, but I never actually played it.

    So good. So so so so sosososossoogogooooooooooooooooodddd!!

    And the other one looks terrible. I dunno. Maybe not. FPS aren’t my favourite (though I did like Borderlands, and Borderlands 2/i> is coming out in September.)

  46. 46
    CT Chimako.27

    the Jews are alien hybrids.

    O_o

  47. 47
    Bronze Dog

    The original X-COM game has to rank as one of the finest computer games ever made (and, pertaining to an earlier comment thread, it has NO SEX! Plenty of violence, of course, but no sex.)

    It also, IIRC, fits onto a single floppy disc.

    Could Chrysalid implantation potentially count? It is a reproductive act that leaves the player up to his armpits in Chrysalids.

    Remember kids, when fighting Chrysalids in a terror mission, every civilian is a new Chrysalid waiting to happen. Same goes for your own men if they’re potentially in the buggers’ movement range.

  48. 48
    triskelethecat

    It certainly doesn’t look like any of the pictures in my (long gone now) Human embryology book.

    @cactuswren: I thought baby seal, too, though maybe Audley is right with baby walrus.

    @Audley: now I wanna know, since pregnant women tend to have vivid dreams, if you’ll dream about this tonight and blame PZ…

  49. 49
    Anthony K

    Remember kids, when fighting Chrysalids in a terror mission, every civilian is a new Chrysalid waiting to happen. Same goes for your own men if they’re potentially in the buggers’ movement range.

    In my final playthrough, I went for the interceptor as soon as I could. Once I had the air superiority, not a single UFO managed to land, meaning every ground mission was a recovery one.

  50. 50
    Kevin

    Obviously, it’s the fetal Aquaman.

  51. 51
    Amphiox

    I was actually introduced to X-COM late, when the original game was already graphically many years out of date. (IIRC, it wasn’t hyped much when it was first released).

    It was still one of the best games I have ever played. Even with that bug that set all the difficulty levels to the easiest one.

  52. 52
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    You think that’s bad, you should see the last scene in “Screamers: The Hunting”. A screamer/human hybrid fetus with a switchblade growing in it’s hand.

  53. 53
    madscientist

    I thought it was a little pink version of the Slovenes from Dr. Who. Whatever it is, there’s nothing like it on this planet.

  54. 54
    Sili

    Also, I’m going to be on a BBC program this year as the skeptic arguing with a team of UFOlogists, one of whom is convinced that the Jews are alien hybrids.

    Shows what he knows. Hybrids are usually sterile.

    Jews are of course fully alien.

    –o–

    I thought it was a little pink version of the Slovenes from Dr. Who.

    “Slovenes”? Really?!!

  55. 55
    Jadehawk

    so they dug up some uninformed stock art

    that made me look up which of my “co-workers” needed to be slapped silly for making that. results: http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-11823866-human-embryo.php
    over 30 downloads, and most of them probably from anti-choice sites. *sigh*

  56. 56
    Jadehawk

    oh, looky. someone else already found the source waaaay before me, hehe

    Well, apparently these things can be rated. Though the page suggests “reviews” too, of which there are none. Maybe a few biologists should, I don’t know.. down rate the things, and post some reviews on just what is wrong with them, possibly with links to real frakking photos?

    *is having very impolite but tempting visions of having the Horde pharyngulate her competition with negative reviews*

    :-p

  57. 57
    Nathaniel Frein

    @53

    Did you mean Slitheen?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slitheen

  58. 58
    David Marjanović

    The Prime Directive of the Elders of Zion?

    X-D

    PZ, I think hyperdeath was being facetious.

    Specifically, I think hyperdeath was performing a parody of the Courtier’s Reply.

    :-p

    :-)

  59. 59
    Atticus Dogsbody

    That’s a Spacing Guild Navigator. Definately human, with some spice added.

  60. 60
    Troy Britain

    Please don’t go after the author of the embryo picture. He made no representations that this was intended as a biologically accurate image. He did not use it to illustrate a scientifically worthless, dishonest, pile of antievolution propaganda (that was ICR).

    However, he was very nice and cooperative in answering my questions about his picture and I really don’t want to return the favor by making his life miserable.

  61. 61
    hypatiasdaughter

    #37 RFW
    Such slander! (no, wait, I guess that’s libel)
    Every xtian knows that the five three minutes it takes to have sex is a sublime pleasure granted to xtian men by god.
    Unfortunately, it involves icky things like women and vaginas and pregnancy and poopy crying babies. But that is a burden placed on men for original sin which totally wasn’t their fault!

  62. 62
    zb24601

    Either that or they performed an abortion on a Grey. Good for them, those UFO pilots are always sticking probes up our butts, it’s only fair that someone grabbed one and did a D&C on them.

    It’s not the UFO pilots who insert the anal probes, they have technicians do that. The pilots just fly the craft and brag about being a pilot in an attempt to improve their sex lives. Whereas the technicians don’t go into details, they just say they work in the xenobiology field and leave it at that.

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