Sherri Winans
Whatcom Community College
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Daniel Ludeman
English 201
Essay 4
November 2002

World-Wide Information

The net’s all the rage, these days. And quite understandably—in the realm of the socially elite (teenage girls), online chatting and e-mail are overshadowing the orthodox face-to-face. I say, "are," because I’m really not sure if these booming venues overtook non-electronic communication long ago (and are now working on the telephone), or if they still need a few more months. I’m sure I could find some stats somewhere—like, guess. This brings us—or at least me—to the real greatness of the web, information. Today’s teenage guys are all about this. Some are into cars, some are into sound systems, and some are into burly computers. I’m sure plenty are still reliant on magazines for getting the latest on their preferred topic—for me, the web is the machine of choice.

I’ve always been more into academic subjects than stereotypical "guy stuff." Oh, I thought I was addicted to video games back when Sega first came out. I would have been, too, if I could have convinced Mom and Dad to think about getting one. A little later, I thought I was a genuine computer nut until I found out no one cared that I could record macros and lock documents on Microsoft Word (maybe that’s what being a nut is all about—if so, I have since lost my nuttiness, having forgotten those useless secrets). These days I sometimes wish my VW 4-cylinder was a…a bigger engine. Maybe I could spout the knarly specs on that ultimate hunk of metal if I cared a little more than to occasionally wish for it. I listen to the radio on a stereo my brother Jon installed in the Jetta when he drove it, and I sometimes hook up my little sister’s discman for some CD action. Right now I’m listening to Jazz on the 100 watt Aiwa and subwoofer Jon left when he headed for college (it was a little too big for out-of-state transportation).

In case you still don’t get the picture, guy things just aren’t quite my things. I’ve been pumped over botany before (about when I was ten), and I was into studying the flaws and falsities of evolutionism for a couple years. Last year I researched a promising alternate model of the atom as well as the theoretical decay of "C" (or, slowing of the speed of light), both on the internet. This year, I’ve delved into matters of ancient history—here, as in matters of physics, the internet has been especially helpful. For example, I dug up an ancient manuscript entitled Chronicles of the Early Britons (viewed almost comfortably on Adobe Acrobat), which records, among other things, the founding of England by people of Trojan stock after the destruction of their ancient city. While the transcriber of this work lays out its basis for legitimacy, the ancient British manuscript isn’t to be found in textbooks because most historians dismiss it as "mythical"—meaning, ultimately, it doesn’t fit their worldview.

While some may bemoan the ease with which so-called "pseudo-science" (non-science masquerading as science) is proliferated via-web, I rejoice. Why? Because I believe that while the public school system may have a near-monopoly on information distribution, it does not have a monopoly on truth. Specifically, I think the internet, as a free-market distributor of information, could go (and is going) a long ways towards revealing and flushing some of the pseudo-science presented in today’s public-school textbooks. The following narrative is a perfect example of this.

In the late 1800s, Ernst Haeckel, an ardent supporter of Darwin’s then-recent theory of Evolution, developed what he called "embryonic recapitulation," and coined the phrase "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny." This statement, in more common English, might read, "the development of an embryo retraces the species’ evolutionary lineage." Many may recall examples of this touted in biology class (high school as well as college) as proof of Evolution, such as the "gill slits" and "tail bones" evident on young human embryos, showing that humans share common ancestry with fish and monkeys. Indeed, Darwin himself considered Haeckel’s work as the most important evidence for his theory. The problem is that Haeckel’s sketches of embryos, showing almost perfect similarity between several common species (the cornerstone of the theory), were known to be fraudulent from the time of publication! Haeckel fudged in most of his illustrations, and used the exact same drawing for his human, dog, and rabbit embryos. The great irony is that, although the knowledgeable elite always knew of the fraud, and have since abandoned the theory of recapitulation altogether, most modern public-school textbooks still espouse it, presenting Haeckel’s 136-year old sketches—now in color—as hard evidence of Evolution.

I don’t know who’s responsible for the continued mass-distribution of recapitulation theory, but for the most part, evolutionary scientists have taken no pains to dispel the myth. Carl Sagan even used the theory to defend abortion by arguing that a "human" fetus doesn’t show distinct human characteristics until the third trimester—for the first two, it is recapitulating our more primitive ancestral species. This is not to say that all evolutionists continue to promulgate the theory—most don’t. I first learned of the issue from a rare article in Natural Science by Stephen Jay Gould, today’s most prominent evolutionist. In the article, Gould admits a reluctance to give up embryonic recapitulation, but clearly states the elusive facts on the matter and calls for a halt to the distribution of the fraud (Gould 42-49).

The good news is that thanks to the internet, one need not subscribe to Natural Science (I myself was given the article by a friend) to get the truth out of reluctant Evolutionists. Punching in "embryonic recapitulation" on Google gave the facts in every one of the first 19 entrees (out of the 20 I viewed). Interestingly, all 19 were sponsored by distinctly Creationist-minded organizations or individuals (Creationism being the foe of Evolutionism). I think this is particularly revealing, considering that Creationists are kept out of public schools by the 1981 Arkansas court ruling.

Students are being fed a 136-year-old lie and those who would reveal it aren’t permitted a voice in schools. When it comes down to this, the particulars of classification debated in court (is creationism science or religion?) are insignificant. Is education that much different from the economy? When there is no competition (even "religious" competition), businesses aren’t forced to produce good products; likewise, monopolistic educators don’t have to tell the truth. Incidentally, this is how communist governments brainwash their citizens. With education socialized, we’re getting a proportional bit of that. However, just as the internet is the enemy of communism, it challenges socialism. This country built the world’s biggest economy on capitalism. When it comes to free-market information—the world-wide-web—I’m an optimist.


Work Cited

Gould, Stephen Jay.  "Abscheulich! (Atrocious!)."  Natural History March 2000: 42-50.  Academic Search Elite.  EBSCO-Host.   Whatcom Community College.  17 January 2003.

 

Copyright 2003
Daniel Ludeman

 

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Sherri Winans, Whatcom Community College, Bellingham, WA
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