James Taranto and his side-kicks at the Wall Street Journal turn up some amazing stuff on the web. In “Best of the Web Today” for November 22, 2006, Taranto links to a Daily Mail photo feature extolling the technological advances that allow us now to see inside the wombs of animals, to observe miniature elephants, dogs, and dolphins. Directing our attention to these things, Taranto exposes another welcome lie, this time concerning the nature of the human baby in utero.
The feature begins with these words: “An unborn elephant, tiny but perfect in every way. A dolphin swimming in the womb, just as it will have to swim in the ocean the moment it is born. An unborn dog panting. Each one amazing and now, thanks to these remarkable pictures, they can be seen for the first time.”
The photos truly are amazing. Consider, for example, the tiny elephant shown below.
We are told at the Daily Mail that this baby elephant is six months along its 24 month gestation. No problem at all understanding that this is an elephant in the making, not an eggplant or a centipede. Moving along some further months,we see the next photo of a baby elephent.
Here, the Daily Mail does not tell us this baby elephant is in the 24 month cycle. But in the following photograph, we’re told that this baby elephant is at 12 months, that it weighs 26 pounds, and that It can use its trunk, and can curl it right up into its mouth and over its head.
In the photo below, we see a dog in utero at 52 days with a full coat of light cream hair. Its whiskers are forming.
At day 63 (see below) we’re told that the pup is armed with the tools necessary to survive, including a highly acute sense of smell and the ability to hear sounds far beyond our human range of hearing.
Finally, below see the open-eyed dolphin baby, swimming in its mother’s womb. These and many more photos are slated to be shown on the National Geographic Channel December 10, 2006. See further photos from this upcoming presentation by clicking here.
One commenter at the Daily Mail says this: “It’s amazing to see that technology has developed so far and graces us with a gift such as these pictures. I am amazed at how alike human and animal embyos are! What a beautiful discovery.”
But, as Taranto notes, this point of view must certainly be false! By way of pointing to the Welcome Lie concerning humans in the womb, Taranto says, “”By contrast, as we all know from reading the newspapers, there is no such thing as an unborn human being. We develop by a little-understood process in which a clump of cells, similar to a tumor or a fingernail, miraculously becomes a baby at the moment the entire clump is exposed to air. That humans and animals come into the world in such radically different ways pretty much demolishes the notion that we are the product of Darwinian evolution, doesn’t it?”