This is a little test of reading comprehension for the Texas State Board of Education.
So if you’re not one of those people, you can click to the next post. Of course, if you’re reading this, it’s unlikely that you are a board member, but a Texas parent can dream, can’t he?
Here’s the point: When you review biology texts for adoption next time, someone will testify that the books you review have errors in them because they carry copies of Ernst Haeckel’s drawings of embryoes, and those drawings are “known to be fakes.”
But that’s not exactly accurate: Not since 1923 has any book carried the Haeckel drawings, except to point out that they are fakes.
P. Z. Myers at Pharyngula has a post today that lays out the details, “Return of the Son of the Bride of Haeckel,” as he Fisks another Chicken-Little-sky-is-falling press release from the Discovery Institute.
So, in short: When that first person testifies to you, saying the Haeckel drawings are in some book, ask that person if they’ve read Dr. Pat Frank’s account of searching for that book, and whether they can explain why they think the Texas State Board of Education would be so stupid as to buy that claim, since it hasn’t been accurate in 84 years, since 1923 (older than all of the members of the SBOE, at least).
Then politely thank the witness for their concern, go to the next witness, and don’t ever, ever, ever claim that you think the current textbook publishers need to “get their act together” or whatever language you want to use, to get rid of the Haeckel drawings.
The drawings are gone, long gone, and you know better.
Back to our regular programming: Did you know that it’s not true that Millard Fillmore put the first bathtub in the White House?