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von Baer's Law

More primitive and inclusive characters tend to appear earlier in
embryology (and ontogeny).  

This is truth.

"Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny."

This is false.  

There is a difference.  Human beings never have gills--we
have branchial clefts, but never gills.  Birds never have fins, they have
a fleshy lobate underived limb-bud, but never dermal scales or
lepidotrichia.  Etc., etc.