In 1912 in Sussex, England, amateur paleontologist Charles Dawson discovered what appeared to be a skull with a human-like cranium and an ape-like jawbone. The “missing link,” a transitional organism fossil, had apparently been found.
But in 1953 radiocarbon dating revealed that it was a fake. Dawson had attached a modern orangutan jaw modern to a 1000 year old human skull. In fact, the jaw was stained with potassium bichromate and the teeth where filed down to make them look more human.
In 2000, this half-bird, half-dinosaur found in China and smuggled to the U.S. was also proven a hoax. A fake tail had been glued on another fossil to try and increase its value when sold on a black market.
The Peppered Moths
I remember being taught this example in school. It was supposed to be a real life demonstration of natural selection at work. According to this story, black moths evolved from white moths. It was theorized that that the white moths were easily seen on industrial revolution-blackened trees and thus were easily seen and eaten by predators. The black moths, however, blended in and avoided predators. Thus the environment naturally selected darker moths. In the 1950s, Oxford biologist E. B. Ford actually set up an experiment to test this theory. It was a fraud though.
Ford and his assistant placed lightly-colored moths on black tree trunks in broad daylight. But lepidopterist (moth specialist) Ted Sargent and others pointed out that peppered moths do not rest on tree trunks but on the underside of high branches and are nocturnal! Thus the experiment was rigged; placing moths where they would not normally be at a time that they would not even be active.
Yet evolutionary fundamentalists won’t let go of this one that is still taught in schools.
I remember seeing embryo drawings in my biology textbook. German biologist, eugenicist, racist, and proto-Nazi Ernst Haeckel first drew the embryos of various vertebrate animals. They all looked the same and thus were evidence that they all had a common ancestor in the evolutionary chain. Darwin himself claimed the “facts” of embryology to be “second to none in importance” and “by far the single strongest class of facts” supporting his theory.
But in the 1990s, British embryologist Michael Richardson and his team of researchers actually looked at vertebrate embryos through a microscope. Photos were published in the August 1997 issue of the journal Anatomy & Embryology. The photos look nothing like Haeckel’s drawings! In fact, Haeckel had used the same woodcuts for some embryos and doctored others to make sure they looked alike. Even his contemporaries charged him with fraud.
Computer Simulations of Eye Evolution
Richard Dawkins, well-known evolutionist, claimed in his book River Out of Eden that computer models exist that can simulate or recreate the evolution of the eye.
However, the senior author of the study on which Dawkins based his claim, Dan E. Nilsson, has explicitly rejected the idea that his laboratory has ever produced a computer simulation of the eye’s development.