Shortly after Van Leeuwenhoek invented microscopes and microscopy, I signed up for Dr. Charles Rutherford’s developmental biology course at Virginia Tech. I was immediately out of my depth, having bloated my curriculum with field ecology courses at the expense of classroom and lab time devoted to more fundamental biology topics like physiology or embryology. And my grade in his course was the lowest I ever earned in college, though it is the grade I am most proud of, because I know how hard I worked just to narrowly pass.
The laboratory requirements were brutal, with hours spent in a dimly lit basement room staring through the microscope at fixed slides of frog embryos, or cracking fertilized chicken eggs for live mounts, all which had to be meticulously drawn and their parts exhaustively labeled. For a week I reported to the lab at least twice daily to observe and document the development of live fish embryos. The image above is my illustration from those days of a medaka, or Japanese killifish (Oryzias latipes), drawn shortly after the fish hatched and started swimming free in its petri dish. At this stage the medaka fry are less than 5 mm long. In testament to the drawing’s age, please note that the labels were drawn with a fountain pen!
Imagine my dismay on learning today, thanks to this video, that Dr. Rutherford lied to me. My
professorsheroes, Dr. Robin Andrews and Dr. Fred Benfield and Dr. Duncan Potter lied to me about evolution in their zoology and plant systematics classes, and they were not tame, innocent lies but lies from the pit of hell.
The linked video shows Republican Representative Paul Broun of Georgia addressing a meeting at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Incredibly, Congressman Broun serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. I’m confident that the people of Georgia are proud to be so tirelessly
pandered torepresented by a man devoted (in Mark Kleiman’s brilliant phrase) to “repealing the enlightenment.” I only wish he had succeeded in using his high position to stifle the liars before I was so egregiously deceived by science.
(love the drawing and the rant)