Spaghetti worm

KJELL B. SANDVED/Science Photo Library

The gill slits of this spaghetti worm are claimed to be similar to the gill slits in human embryos. This idea is based on Haeckel’s illustrations, whose exaggerations were exposed decades ago.

The February 2007 issue of National Geographic recapitulated Ernest Haeckel’s mistaken belief that human embryos retrace their evolutionary ancestry. In describing a striking photo of a worm, the article “Hawaii’s Unearthly Worms” declared that the worm’s gill slits are just like those of embryonic humans.

Haeckel claimed that the human embryo goes through a fish stage, an amphibian stage, a reptile stage, and so on—leading to the infamous school phrase “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” This idea was based on Haeckel’s illustrations, whose exaggerations scientists exposed decades ago.

It’s sad that a magazine of this stature would propagate such a well-known fraud to promote their strongly held evolutionary belief system.

Visit to read more about this infamous fraud that doesn’t seem to die.

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