by Terri Kammerzell
Truth of Genesis Ministry Partner
I chose to feature this week’s Fun Fact in memory of this Sunday’s (August 8th) 101st anniversary of the death of Ernst Haeckel, German zoologist, philosopher, naturalist, and more. Some of you might not be familiar with Dr. Haeckel. After all, his name is not nearly as widely used as that of Charles Darwin. In fact, you might even wonder how to pronounce it. Here’s an easy way to remember: it is a homonym for the action of a person (heckler) who harasses a public speaker or performer with distracting and often abusive or insulting remarks. It’s actually quite fitting that the two are homonyms because Ernst Haeckel essentially heckled the Creator of the universe, providing distractions away from God and His message to us contained in the Bible.
In past blog posts I’ve discussed that many times throughout history we have seen eager evolutionists in pursuit of evolutionary theories with an intent to disprove a Creator God to Whom we are accountable. It might encourage you to know that countless people who have followed similar pursuits have actually come to the realization that the scientific data, when analyzed objectively, points to the validity and accuracy of the Genesis account of origins. Remember that I mentioned in my “Big Bang vs. the Bible” post that science—real science—is actually the friend of the believer. But also you may recall that last week we talked about Romans 1:20, which reminds us that everyone knows God exists. (In reality, the Bible tells us there are no atheists.) However, when we back up just a bit, we read in verses 18-19: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them” (NKJV).
While studying the topic of Creation apologetics (reading numerous articles and books, and watching and listening to numerous presentations), I have often heard leading apologists point out that many people promoting evolutionary theories—theories that posit alternatives to a Creator God—are “compromised” in their beliefs. They have intentionally suppressed the truth in unrighteousness. On the other hand, I’ve also heard a number of Creation scientists demonstrate compassion for some of their evolutionary colleagues, assuming that these people honestly believe what they say they believe and are not intentionally trying to mislead anyone.
What does Romans 1 tell us? Whether consciously or not, everyone--everyone—knows God exists because He has revealed it to them. And those who deny it are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. When it comes to suppressing the truth consciously, there is no better example than Ernst Haeckel.
Who was Ernst Haeckel?
Ernst Haeckel was a German zoologist who promoted evolution by creating fraudulent pictures of human embryos that—although proven to be erroneous—still appear in modern textbooks.
And before you start to thinking that 101 years ago was a very long time, so surely his impact couldn’t still be relative, let me tell you about another comparable number of years: 99. It was 99 years between Ernst Haeckel publishing his fraudulent pictures and the infamous Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed the murder of unborn children.
If you have ever visited a Creation learning center or museum, you may have passed through a hall displaying the deadly effects of evolutionary ideas. None was more deadly than the evolutionary idea of Ernst Haeckel. His ideas about embryonic development were used to so highly convince the U.S. Supreme Court that babies in utero were not actually human beings until a certain point, that they voted to allow the killing of these developing “animals.” This was on the basis of Ernst Haeckel’s infamous “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” theory. Let’s break that down.
Essentially, “ontogeny” is a subdivision of biology that deals with the study of the origin of an organism. To “recapitulate” means to restate or summarize. And “phylogeny” is a subdivision of biology that focuses on evolutionary relationships between groups of organisms. So what Haeckel was saying is that in the womb we literally go through our supposed evolutionary stages, starting out as goo, then becoming fish, and then progressing to human beings.
Can you appreciate the implications of such a theory? How about if it is accompanied by drawings (yes, I said “drawings,” not “photographs”) to support these hypotheses? That’s exactly what Haeckel did. Even though he had a contemporary in the UK, Thomas Henry Huxley, who was doing similar research and discovered this idea to be untrue, Haeckel wanted so badly for it to be true and to support his theory that he created fraudulent pictures, which not only still appear in some modern textbooks, but have influenced our nation’s moral climate for decades and have justified the murder of innocent lives.
Since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, there have been such leaps in scientific and technological advancement that were the case brought back before the U.S. Supreme Court, on scientific merits alone, the judges would have to acknowledge that a human embryo is a human baby from the moment of conception. The sad truth, however, is that because the fraudulent “science” gave socially moral permission for tens of millions of murders, politics and agendas of unrighteous suppression of the truth could still interfere with a decision that honors the Lord.
Indeed, Ernst Haeckel, the most conniving heckler of all time, has on his hands the blood of over 1.5 billion innocent lives worldwide . . . and counting.
Don’t just take my word for it! Visit YouFormedMe.com/people/haeckel.html to read, watch, and listen to supporting research and commentary from scientists, doctors, theologians, and more!
This blog is from a special series of “Creation Fun Facts” by Terri Kammerzell, starting from June 10, 2020. Read the introduction at TruthOfGenesis.com/blogs/building-a-biblical-defense-of-creation.