Hoax of Dodos

May 11, 2007
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In Flock of Dodos oceanographer Randy Olson makes a number of false assertions about Discovery Institute and scientists and scholars associated with the Institute. Here we expose some of the most egregious false facts in the film.

The Truth

  • Showtime Falls for Filmmaker's Hoax
  • Olson's Hoax on Haeckel's Embryos
  • Olson's Hoax on Discovery's Budget

    Podcasts and Videos:
  • Video: A Hoax of Dodos
  • Video: Haeckel's Bogus Embryo Drawings
  • Podcast: Textbooks Don’t Lie: Haeckel’s Faked Drawings Have Been Used to Promote Evolution
  • Podcast: Flock of Dodos Filmmaker Admits Film is Wrong

  • The Cracked Haeckel Approach to Evolutionary Reasoning
  • Flock of Dodos Filmmaker Digs the Hole Deeper in His Hoaxing of Viewers
  • What do Modern Textbooks Really Say about Haeckel's Embryos?
  • The Textbooks Don’t Lie: Haeckel’s Faked Drawings Have Been Used to Promote Evolution: Miller & Levine (1994) (Part I)
  • The Textbooks Don’t Lie: Haeckel’s Faked Drawings Have Been Used to Promote Evolution: Raven & Johnson (2002) (Part 2)
  • Haeckel's Embryo Drawings Compared to 2002 Biology textbook
  • Lessons Learned from Haeckel and His Drawings: We Shouldn't Always Believe What the "Leading Experts" Tell Us about Evolution
  • Evolving Embryo Drawings at London’s The Science Museum Website
  • Recent Comments on Flock of Dodos at Telic Thoughts
  • Flock of Dodos, or Pack of Lies?

    Other Materials on Jonathan Wells and Discovery Institute:
  • The “Wedge Document”: How Darwinist Paranoia Fueled an Urban Legend
  • The Truth About Discovery Institute's Role in the Dover School District Case
  • The Truth about Icons of Evolution: Responding to Smears against Dr. Wells
  • The Truth About Discovery Institute

    Haeckel's Bogus Embryo Drawings

    Olson's Hoax on Haeckel's Embryos
    Flock of Dodos Filmmaker Claims Haeckel’s Embryo Drawings Weren’t in Modern Textbooks—But They Really Are
    Were Ernst Haeckel’s bogus embryo diagrams ever used in modern textbooks to prove evolution? Not according to filmmaker Olson, who in the film portrays biologist Jonathan Wells as a fraud for claiming in his book Icons of Evolution (2000) that modern biology textbooks continue to reprint Haeckel-based drawings.

    But it turns out that Olson is the one who is promoting a fraud. The diagrams in question were unquestionably used in modern textbooks.

    Ignorance is no excuse. At a pre-release screening of Olson’s film at the Scripps Institution for Oceanography in San Diego in April, 2006, Discovery Institute’s Casey Luskin confronted Olson with copies of recent textbooks that reused Haeckel’s drawings.
    Click here to download a PDF with all documentation.

    Olson's Hoax Discovery's Budget
    Flock of Dodos Filmmaker Uses Fuzzy Math and Falsehoods
    to Distort the Truth about Discovery Institute

    According to Flock of Dodos, Discovery Institute has a huge budget for its intelligent design program that dwarfs the resources of evolution’s supporters. “The Discovery Institute is truly the big fish in this picture, with an annual budget of around 5 million dollars,” Olson tells the audience. Later, a woman is shown repeating the same figure. The clear impression left with viewers is that the Institute spends $5 million a year to promote intelligent design.

    Not even close.

    The budget for the entire Discovery Institute, including expenditures on non-intelligent design programs such as transportation, technology, foreign policy, bioethics and other topics, has never reached $5 million a year.

    Click here to download a PDF with all documentation.