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Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (; 16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919) was a German
zoologist Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology that studies the Animal, animal kingdom, including the anatomy, structure, embryology, evolution, Biological class ...
,
naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are classif ...

naturalist
,
eugenicist Eugenics ( ; from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist, and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
, mapped a
genealogical Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "the making of a pedigree") is the study of families, family history, and the tracing of their lineages. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to ob ...
tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Development ...

biology
, including ''
ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
'', ''
phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatical number, grammatical category of number. The plural of a noun typically denotes a q ...
'', ''
phylogeny A phylogenetic tree (also phylogeny or evolutionary tree Felsenstein J. (2004). ''Inferring Phylogenies'' Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.) is a branching diagram or a tree (graph theory), tree showing the evolutionary relationships among va ...

phylogeny
'', and ''
Protista A protist () is any eukaryotic organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies the Life#Biology, properties of life. It is a synonym f ...
.'' Haeckel promoted and popularised
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English natural history#Before 1900, naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all sp ...

Charles Darwin
's work in Germany and developed the influential but no longer widely held
recapitulation theory The theory of recapitulation, also called the biogenetic law or embryological parallelism—often expressed using Ernst Haeckel Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (; 16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919) was a German zoologist Zoology ()T ...
("ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny") claiming that an individual organism's biological development, or
ontogeny Ontogeny (also ontogenesis) is the origination and development of an organism (both physical and psychological, e.g., moral development), usually from the time of fertilization of the ovum, egg to adult. The term can also be used to refer to th ...
, parallels and summarises its species' evolutionary development, or
phylogeny A phylogenetic tree (also phylogeny or evolutionary tree Felsenstein J. (2004). ''Inferring Phylogenies'' Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.) is a branching diagram or a tree (graph theory), tree showing the evolutionary relationships among va ...

phylogeny
. The published artwork of Haeckel includes over 100 detailed, multi-colour illustrations of animals and sea creatures, collected in his ''
Kunstformen der Natur Image:Haeckel Discomedusae 8.jpg, The 8th print, Discomedusae. The center and bottom-center images are ''Desmonema annasethe''; the tentacles reminded Haeckel of his late wife's long flowing hair. (known in English as ''Art Forms in Nature'') is a ...
'' ("Art Forms of Nature"), a book which would go on to influence the
Art Nouveau Art Nouveau (; ) is an international style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style, the features that make a building or structure historically identifiable * Design, the process of creating som ...
artistic movement. As a philosopher, Ernst Haeckel wrote ''Die Welträthsel'' (1895–1899; in English: ''The Riddle of the Universe'', 1901), the genesis for the term "
world riddle wrote about the ''World Riddle'' in 1895 The term "world riddle" or "world-riddle" has been associated, for over 100 years, with Friedrich Nietzsche (who mentioned ''Welträthsel'' in several of his writings) and with the biologist-philosopher Ern ...
" (''Welträtsel''); and ''Freedom in Science and Teaching'' to support teaching evolution. Haeckel was also a promoter of
scientific racism Scientific racism, sometimes termed biological racism, is the pseudoscientific Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseu ...
and embraced the idea of
Social Darwinism Social Darwinism refers to various societal practices around the world and defined by scholars in Western Europe and North America in the 1870s that applied biological concepts of natural selection Natural selection is the differential ...
.


Life

Ernst Haeckel was born on 16 February 1834, in
Potsdam Potsdam () is the capital and largest city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Brandenburg. It directly borders the German capital, Berlin, and is part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. It is situated on the Havel, Ri ...

Potsdam
(then part of the
Kingdom of Prussia The Kingdom of Prussia (german: Königreich Preußen) was a German kingdom Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female ...
). In 1852 Haeckel completed studies at the ''Domgymnasium'', the cathedral high-school of
Merseburg Merseburg () is a town in central Germany located in the southern part of Saxony-Anhalt on the river Saale, approx. 14 km south of Halle (Saale) and 30 km west of Leipzig. It is the capital of the Saalekreis district. It had a diocese f ...
."Ernst Haeckel" (article),''German Wikipedia'', 26 October 2006, webpage: DE-Wiki-Ernst-Haeckel: last paragraph of "Leben" (Life) section. He then studied medicine in
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the List of cities in the European Union by ...

Berlin
and
Würzburg Würzburg (; Main-Franconian Main-Franconian (german: Mainfränkisch) is group of Upper German dialects being part of the East Franconian German, East Franconian group. The name is derived from the river Main (river), Main which meets the rive ...

Würzburg
, particularly with
Albert von Kölliker Albert von Kölliker (born Rudolf Albert Kölliker'';'' 6 July 18172 November 1905) was a Switzerland, Swiss anatomist, physiologist, and Histology, histologist. Biography Albert Kölliker was born in Zurich, Switzerland. His early education wa ...
,
Franz Leydig Franz von Leydig, also Franz Leydig (; 21 May 1821 – 13 April 1908), was a Germans, German zoologist and comparative anatomist."Franz von Leydig" (biography), Ole Daniel Enerson, 2006, WhoNamedIt.coWNI-675-Leydig Life Franz Leydig was born on ...

Franz Leydig
,
Rudolf Virchow Rudolf Ludwig Carl Virchow (; or ; 13 October 18215 September 1902) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizen ...

Rudolf Virchow
(with whom he later worked briefly as assistant), and with the anatomist-physiologist
Johannes Peter Müller Johannes Peter Müller (14 July 1801 – 28 April 1858) was a German physiologist, comparative anatomy, comparative anatomist, ichthyology, ichthyologist, and herpetology, herpetologist, known not only for his discoveries but also for his ability t ...

Johannes Peter Müller
(1801–1858). Together with
Hermann Steudner Carl Theodor Hermann Steudner (1 September 1832 – 10 April 1863) was a botanist and an explorer of Africa. Education and early work Steudner was born in Gryfów Śląski, Greiffenberg, located in Silesia, but grew up in Görlitz. He studied bot ...
he attended
botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek wo ...

botany
lectures in Würzburg. In 1857 Haeckel attained a doctorate in medicine, and afterwards he received the license to practice medicine. The occupation of physician appeared less worthwhile to Haeckel after contact with suffering patients. Ernst Haeckel studied under
Karl Gegenbaur Karl Gegenbaur (21 August 1826 – 14 June 1903)"Karl Gegenbaur – Encyclopædia Britannica" (biography), ''Encyclopædia Britannica'', 2006, Britannica.coBritannica-KarlG was a Germany, German anatomist and professor who demonstrated that the fi ...

Karl Gegenbaur
at the
University of Jena The University of Jena, officially the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (german: Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, abbreviated FSU, shortened form ''Uni Jena''), is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the prac ...
for three years, earning a
habilitation Habilitation is the procedure to achieve the highest university degree in many European countries in which the candidate fulfills certain criteria set by the university which require excellence in research, teaching, and further education. Its qu ...
in
comparative anatomy Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their ...
in 1861, before becoming a professor of
zoology Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology that studies the Animal, animal kingdom, including the anatomy, structure, embryology, evolution, Biological class ...
at the University at Jena, where he remained for 47 years, from 1862 to 1909. Between 1859 and 1866 Haeckel worked on many phyla, such as
radiolarian The Radiolaria, also called Radiozoa, are protozoa Protozoa (singular protozoon or protozoan, plural protozoa or protozoans) is an informal term for a group of Unicellular organism, single-celled eukaryotes, either free-living or Parasitism, ...

radiolarian
s, poriferans (
sponge Sponges, the members of the phylum Porifera (; meaning 'pore bearer'), are a basal animal clade as a sister of the Diploblasts. They are Multicellular organism, multicellular organisms that have bodies full of pores and channels allowing water ...

sponge
s) and
annelid The annelids (Annelida , from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share ...
s (segmented worms). During a trip to the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
, Haeckel named nearly 150 new species of radiolarians. In 1864, his beloved first wife, Anna Sethe, died. Haeckel dedicated some species of jellyfish of particular beauty (such as ''Desmonema annasethe'') to his unforgettable wife. From 1866 to 1867 Haeckel made an extended journey to the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Islas Canarias, ), also known informally as ''the Canaries'', is a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island ...
with . On 17 October 1866 he arrived in London. Over the next few days he met
Charles Lyell Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, (14 November 1797 – 22 February 1875) was a Scottish geologist who demonstrated the power of known natural causes in explaining the earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astro ...

Charles Lyell
, and visited
Thomas Huxley Thomas Henry Huxley (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895) was an English biologist and anthropologist specialising in comparative anatomy. He has become known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. The stori ...
and family at their home. On 21 October he visited
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English natural history#Before 1900, naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all sp ...

Charles Darwin
at
Down House Down House is the former home of the English Natural history, naturalist Charles Darwin and his family. It was in this house and garden that Darwin worked on his theory of evolution by natural selection, which he had conceived in London befor ...

Down House
in Kent. In 1867 he married Agnes Huschke. Their son Walter was born in 1868, their daughters Elizabeth in 1871 and Emma in 1873. In 1869 he traveled as a researcher to
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
, in 1871 to
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
(where he lived on the island of
Hvar Hvar (; Chakavian Chakavian or Čakavian (, , , sh-Latn, čakavski proper name: or own name: ''čokovski, čakavski, čekavski'') is a South Slavic regiolect or language A language is a structured system of communication used by h ...

Hvar
in a monastery), and in 1873 to
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
, and
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
. In 1907 he had a museum built in
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
to teach the public about
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
. Haeckel retired from teaching in 1909, and in 1910 he withdrew from the Evangelical Church of Prussia. On the occasion of his 80th birthday celebration he was presented with a two-volume work entitled ''Was wir Ernst Haeckel verdanken (What We Owe to Ernst Haeckel)'', edited at the request of the German Monistenbund by Heinrich Schmidt of Jena. Haeckel's wife, Agnes, died in 1915, and he became substantially frailer, breaking his leg and arm. He sold his "Villa Medusa" in
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
in 1918 to the
Carl Zeiss foundation The Carl-Zeiss-Foundation (non-profit)#Germany, Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation), located in Heidenheim an der Brenz and Jena, Germany, is the sole shareholder of the two companies Carl Zeiss AG and Schott AG. It was founded by Ernst Abbe in 1889 an ...
, which preserved his library. Haeckel died on 9 August 1919. Haeckel became the most famous proponent of
Monism Monism attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: μόνος) to a concept e.g., existence. Various kinds of monism can be distinguished: * Priority monism states that all existing things go back to a source that is distinct from them; e.g., ...
in Germany.


Politics

Haeckel's affinity for the German
Romantic movement Romanticism (also known as the Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mas ...
, coupled with his acceptance of a form of
Lamarckism Lamarckism, also known as Lamarckian inheritance or neo-Lamarckism, is the notion that an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies ...

Lamarckism
, influenced his political beliefs. Rather than being a strict
Darwinian Darwinism is a theory A theory is a reason, rational type of abstraction, abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The process of contemplative and rational thinking is often associated with such processes as obser ...
, Haeckel believed that the characteristics of an organism were acquired through interactions with the environment and that
ontogeny Ontogeny (also ontogenesis) is the origination and development of an organism (both physical and psychological, e.g., moral development), usually from the time of fertilization of the ovum, egg to adult. The term can also be used to refer to th ...
reflected
phylogeny A phylogenetic tree (also phylogeny or evolutionary tree Felsenstein J. (2004). ''Inferring Phylogenies'' Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.) is a branching diagram or a tree (graph theory), tree showing the evolutionary relationships among va ...

phylogeny
. He saw the
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
s as instances of "applied biology", and that phrase was picked up and used for Nazi propaganda."Ernst Haeckel" (biography),
UC Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal, or California) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization ...

UC Berkeley
, 2004, webpage
BerkeleyEdu-Haeckel
In 1906 Haeckel belonged to the founders of the Monist League ( Deutscher Monistenbund), which took a stance against philosophical materialism and promote a "natural Weltanschaung". This organization lasted until 1933 and included such notable members as
Wilhelm Ostwald Friedrich Wilhelm Ostwald (; 4 April 1932) was a Baltic German The Baltic Germans (german: Deutsch-Balten or , later ; and остзейцы ''ostzeitsy'' 'Balters' in Russian) are ethnic German inhabitants of the eastern shores of the B ...

Wilhelm Ostwald
,
Georg von Arco Georg Wilhelm Alexander Hans Graf von Arco (30 August 1869 in Großgorschütz – 5 May 1940 in Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and popul ...
(1869–1940), Helene Stöcker and Walter Arthur Berendsohn. He was the first person to use the term "first world war". However, Haeckel's books were banned by the Nazi Party, which refused Monism and Haeckel's freedom of thought. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that Haeckel had often overtly recognized the great contribution of educated Jews to the German culture.


Research

Haeckel was a
zoologist Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology that studies the Animal, animal kingdom, including the anatomy, structure, embryology, evolution, Biological class ...
, an accomplished artist and illustrator, and later a professor of
comparative anatomy Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their ...
. Although Haeckel's ideas are important to the history of
evolutionary theory Evolution is change in the Heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the Gene expression, expressions of genes that are passed on from parent to offs ...
, and although he was a competent
invertebrate Invertebrates are animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column (commonly known as a ''backbone'' or ''spine''), derived from the notochord. This includes all animals apart from the chordata, chordate subphylum vertebrate, Vertebra ...
anatomist Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, ...
most famous for his work on
radiolaria The Radiolaria, also called Radiozoa, are protozoa Protozoa (singular protozoon or protozoan, plural protozoa or protozoans) is an informal term for a group of Unicellular organism, single-celled eukaryotes, either free-living or Parasitism, ...

radiolaria
, many speculative concepts that he championed are now considered incorrect. For example, Haeckel described and named hypothetical ancestral
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
s that have never been found. He was one of the first to consider
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

psychology
as a branch of
physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...
. He also proposed the kingdom ''
Protista A protist () is any eukaryotic organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies the Life#Biology, properties of life. It is a synonym f ...
'' in 1866. His chief interests lay in
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
and life development processes in general, including development of nonrandom form, which culminated in the beautifully illustrated ''
Kunstformen der Natur Image:Haeckel Discomedusae 8.jpg, The 8th print, Discomedusae. The center and bottom-center images are ''Desmonema annasethe''; the tentacles reminded Haeckel of his late wife's long flowing hair. (known in English as ''Art Forms in Nature'') is a ...
'' (''Art forms of nature''). Haeckel did not support
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
, rather believing in
Lamarckism Lamarckism, also known as Lamarckian inheritance or neo-Lamarckism, is the notion that an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies ...

Lamarckism
. Haeckel advanced a version of the earlier
recapitulation theory The theory of recapitulation, also called the biogenetic law or embryological parallelism—often expressed using Ernst Haeckel Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (; 16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919) was a German zoologist Zoology ()T ...
previously set out by
Étienne Serres Antoine Étienne Renaud Augustin Serres (12 September 1786, Clairac – 22 January 1868, Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an est ...
in the 1820s and supported by followers of
Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (15 April 177219 June 1844) was a France, French natural history, naturalist who established the principle of "unity of composition". He was a colleague of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and expanded and defended Lamarck' ...
including
Robert Edmond Grant Robert Edmond Grant Doctor of Medicine, MD Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, FRCPEd Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS FRSE Zoological Society of London, FZS Geological Society of London, FGS (11 November 1793 – 23 August 1874) was a Brit ...

Robert Edmond Grant
. It proposed a link between
ontogeny Ontogeny (also ontogenesis) is the origination and development of an organism (both physical and psychological, e.g., moral development), usually from the time of fertilization of the ovum, egg to adult. The term can also be used to refer to th ...
(development of form) and
phylogeny A phylogenetic tree (also phylogeny or evolutionary tree Felsenstein J. (2004). ''Inferring Phylogenies'' Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.) is a branching diagram or a tree (graph theory), tree showing the evolutionary relationships among va ...

phylogeny
(evolutionary descent), summed up by Haeckel in the phrase "
ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny The theory of recapitulation, also called the biogenetic law or embryological parallelism—often expressed using Ernst Haeckel Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (; 16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919) was a German zoologist, natural history ...
". His concept of recapitulation has been refuted in the form he gave it (now called "strong recapitulation"), in favour of the ideas first advanced by Karl Ernst von Baer. The strong recapitulation hypothesis views ontogeny as repeating forms of adult ancestors, while weak recapitulation means that what is repeated (and built upon) is the ancestral embryonic development process. Haeckel supported the theory with embryo drawings that have since been shown to be oversimplified and in part inaccurate, and the theory is now considered an oversimplification of quite complicated relationships, however comparison of embryos remains a powerful way to demonstrate that all animals are related. Haeckel introduced the concept of
heterochrony In evolutionary developmental biology Evolutionary developmental biology (informally, evo-devo) is a field of biological research that compares the developmental processes of different organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient G ...

heterochrony
, the change in timing of
embryonic development An embryo is the early stage of development of a multicellular organism A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms ar ...
over the course of evolution. Haeckel was a flamboyant figure, who sometimes took great, non-scientific leaps from available evidence. For example, at the time when Darwin published '' On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection'' (1859), Haeckel postulated that evidence of human evolution would be found in the
Dutch East Indies The Dutch East Indies (or Netherlands East-Indies; nl, Nederlands(ch)-Indië; ) was a Dutch colony The Dutch colonial empire ( nl, Nederlandse koloniale rijk) comprised the overseas territories and trading posts controlled and administer ...
(now
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
). At that time, no remains of human ancestors had yet been identified. He described these theoretical remains in great detail and even named the as-yet unfound species, ''Pithecanthropus alalus'', and instructed his students such as
Richard The first or given name Richard originates, via Old French Old French (, , ; French language, Modern French: ) was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. Rather than a unified Dialect#Dialect or lan ...
and to go and find it. One student did find some remains: a Dutchman named
Eugène Dubois Marie Eugène François Thomas Dubois (; 28 January 1858 – 16 December 1940) was a Netherlands, Dutch paleoanthropology, paleoanthropologist and geologist. He earned worldwide fame for his discovery of ''Pithecanthropus erectus'' (later redesign ...
searched the
East Indies The East Indies (or simply the Indies), is a term used in historical narratives of the Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, Age of Contact or Contact Period), is an inf ...
from 1887 to 1895, discovering the remains of
Java Man Java Man (''Homo erectus erectus'', formerly also ''Anthropopithecus erectus'', ''Pithecanthropus erectus'') is an early human fossil discovered in 1891 and 1892 on the island of Java (Dutch East Indies, now part of Indonesia). Estimated to be b ...

Java Man
in 1891, consisting of a skullcap, thighbone, and a few teeth. These remains are among the oldest hominid remains ever found. Dubois classified Java Man with Haeckel's ''Pithecanthropus'' label, though they were later reclassified as ''
Homo erectus ''Homo erectus'' (meaning "upright Body relative directions (also known as egocentric coordinates) are geometrical orientations relative to a body such as a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread s ...

Homo erectus
''. Some scientists of the day suggested Dubois' Java Man as a potential intermediate form between modern humans and the common ancestor we share with the other
great apes The Hominidae (), whose members are known as great apes or hominids (), are a taxonomic family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose ...
. The current consensus of anthropologists is that the direct ancestors of modern humans were African populations of ''
Homo erectus ''Homo erectus'' (meaning "upright Body relative directions (also known as egocentric coordinates) are geometrical orientations relative to a body such as a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread s ...

Homo erectus
'' (possibly ''
Homo ergaster ''Homo ergaster'' is an extinct species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the larges ...

Homo ergaster
''), rather than the Asian populations exemplified by Java Man and
Peking Man Peking Man (''Homo erectus pekinensis'') is a subspecies In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemis ...
. (Ironically, a new human species,
Homo floresiensis ''Homo floresiensis'' ("Flores Man"; nicknamed "Hobbit") is a species of small archaic human A number of varieties of ''Homo ''Homo'' () is the that emerged in the (otherwise extinct) genus ' that encompasses the extant species ' (), p ...

Homo floresiensis
, a dwarf human type, has recently been discovered in the island of Flores).


Polygenism and racial theory

The
creationist Creationism is the religious belief that nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, ...

creationist
polygenism Polygenism is a theory of human origins which posits the view that the human races are of different origins (''polygenesis''). This view is opposite to the idea of monogenism Monogenism or sometimes monogenesis is the theory of human origins ...
of
Samuel George Morton Samuel George Morton (January 26, 1799 – May 15, 1851) was an American physician, natural scientist Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise tha ...
and
Louis Agassiz Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz ( ; ) FRS (For) FRSE (May 28, 1807 – December 14, 1873) was a Swiss-born American biologist and geologist who is recognized as a scholar of Earth's natural history. Spending his early life in Switzerland, he rece ...

Louis Agassiz
, which presented human races as separately created
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
, was rejected by
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English natural history#Before 1900, naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all sp ...

Charles Darwin
, who argued for the monogenesis of the
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A speci ...

human
species and the African origin of modern humans. In contrast to most of Darwin's supporters, Haeckel put forward a doctrine of evolutionary polygenism based on the ideas of the linguist
August Schleicher August Schleicher (; 19 February 1821 – 6 December 1868) was a German linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), ...

August Schleicher
, in which several different language groups had arisen separately from speechless prehuman ''Urmenschen'' (german: proto-humans), which themselves had evolved from simian ancestors. These separate languages had completed the transition from animals to man, and under the influence of each main branch of languages, humans had evolved – in a kind of use-inheritance – as separate species, which could be subdivided into races. From this, Haeckel drew the implication that languages with the most potential yield the human races with the most potential, led by the Semitic and Indo-Germanic groups, with Berber, Jewish, Greco-Roman and Germanic varieties to the fore. As Haeckel stated: ) had split into several species or kinds. With each of these human species, language developed on its own and independently of the others. At least this is the view of Schleicher, one of the foremost authorities on this subject. ... If one views the origin of the branches of language as the special and principal act of becoming human, and the species of humankind as distinguished according to their language stem, then one can say that the different species of men arose independently of one another. Haeckel's view can be seen as a forerunner of the views of Carleton Coon, who also believed that human races evolved independently and in parallel with each other. These ideas eventually fell from favour. Haeckel also applied the hypothesis of polygenism to the modern diversity of human groups. He became a key figure in
social darwinism Social Darwinism refers to various societal practices around the world and defined by scholars in Western Europe and North America in the 1870s that applied biological concepts of natural selection Natural selection is the differential ...
and leading proponent of
scientific racism Scientific racism, sometimes termed biological racism, is the pseudoscientific Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseu ...
, stating for instance: Haeckel divided human beings into ten races, of which the
Caucasian Caucasian may refer to: Anthropology *Anything from the Caucasus region **Peoples of the Caucasus, humans from the Caucasus region **Languages of the Caucasus, languages spoken in the Caucasus region ** ''Caucasian Exarchate'' (1917–1920), an ...
was the highest and the primitives were doomed to extinction. In his view, 'Negroes' were savages and Whites were the most civilised: for instance, he claimed that ' e Negro' had stronger and more freely movable toes than any other race, which, he argued, was evidence of their being less evolved, and which led him to compare them to four-handed" Apes'.
Gustav Jahoda Gustav Jahoda (11 October 1920 - 12 December 2016) was an Austrian psychologist A psychologist is a person who studies normal and abnormal mental states, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by experimenting with, ...
, ''Images of Savages: Ancient Roots of Modern Prejudice in Western Culture'', 1999, p. 83
In his ''
Ontogeny and Phylogeny ''Ontogeny and Phylogeny'' is a 1977 book on evolution by Stephen Jay Gould Stephen Jay Gould (; September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologist Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the sc ...
'' Harvard paleontologist
Stephen Jay Gould Stephen Jay Gould (; September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologist Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start ...
wrote: " aeckel'sevolutionary racism; his call to the German people for racial purity and unflinching devotion to a 'just' state; his belief that harsh, inexorable laws of evolution ruled human civilization and nature alike, conferring upon favored races the right to dominate others ... all contributed to the rise of Nazism." In his introduction to the
Nazi party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), was a far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, ...
ideologue
Alfred Rosenberg Alfred Ernst Rosenberg ( – 16 October 1946) was a Baltic German The Baltic Germans (german: Deutsch-Balten or , later ; and остзейцы ''ostzeitsy'' 'Balters' in Russian) are ethnic German inhabitants of the eastern shores o ...
's 1930 book, '' he Myth of the Twentieth Century', Peter Peel affirms that Rosenberg had indeed read Haeckel. In the same line of thought, historian Daniel Gasman states that Haeckel's ideology stimulated the birth of
Fascist Fascism () is a form of far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, are politics further on the right of the left–right political spectrum than the standard political right, particular ...

Fascist
ideology in Italy and France. However, Robert J. Richards notes: "Haeckel, on his travels to Ceylon and Indonesia, often formed closer and more intimate relations with natives, even members of the untouchable classes, than with the European colonials." and says the Nazis rejected Haeckel, since he opposed antisemitism, while supporting ideas they disliked (for instance atheism, feminism, internationalism, pacifism etc.).


Asia hypothesis

Haeckel claimed the origin of humanity was to be found in Asia: he believed that
Hindustan Hindustan (Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Pers ...

Hindustan
(Indian subcontinent) was the actual location where the first humans had evolved. Haeckel argued that humans were closely related to the
primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic order (biology), order Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago first from small Terrestrial animal, ...

primate
s of Southeast Asia and rejected Darwin's hypothesis of Africa. Haeckel later claimed that the missing link was to be found on the lost continent of located in the Indian Ocean. He believed that Lemuria was the home of the first humans and that Asia was the home of many of the earliest
primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic order (biology), order Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago first from small Terrestrial animal, ...

primate
s; he thus supported that Asia was the cradle of hominid evolution. Haeckel also claimed that Lemuria connected Asia and Africa, which allowed the to the rest of the world. In Haeckel's book ''The History of Creation'' (1884) he included
migration Migration, migratory, or migrate may refer to: Human migration * Human migration, physical movement by humans from one region to another ** International migration, when peoples cross state boundaries and stay in the host state for some minimum le ...

migration
routes which he thought the first humans had used outside of Lemuria.


Embryology and recapitulation theory

When Haeckel was a student in the 1850s he showed great interest in
embryology Embryology (from Ancient Greek, Greek ἔμβρυον, ''embryon'', "the unborn, embryo"; and -λογία, ''-logy, -logia'') is the branch of biology that studies the Prenatal development (biology), prenatal development of gametes (sex cells), ...
, attending the rather unpopular lectures twice and in his notes sketched the visual aids: textbooks had few illustrations, and large format plates were used to show students how to see the tiny forms under a reflecting microscope, with the translucent tissues seen against a black background. Developmental series were used to show stages within a species, but inconsistent views and stages made it even more difficult to compare different species. It was agreed by all European evolutionists that all
vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an indiv ...
s looked very similar at an early stage, in what was thought of as a common ideal type, but there was a continuing debate from the 1820s between the Romantic
recapitulation theory The theory of recapitulation, also called the biogenetic law or embryological parallelism—often expressed using Ernst Haeckel Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (; 16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919) was a German zoologist Zoology ()T ...
that human embryos developed through stages of the forms of all the major groups of adult animals, literally manifesting a sequence of organisms on a linear chain of being, and
Karl Ernst von Baer Karl Ernst Ritter von Baer Edler von Huthorn ( – ) was a Baltic German scientist and explorer. Baer is also known in Russia as Karl Maksímovich Ber (russian: Карл Макси́мович Бэр). Baer was a naturalist Natural history ...

Karl Ernst von Baer
's opposing view, stated in von Baer's laws of embryology, that the early general forms diverged into four major groups of specialised forms without ever resembling the adult of another species, showing affinity to an
archetype The concept of an archetype (; from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popu ...
but no relation to other types or any
transmutation of species Transmutation of species and transformism are 18th and 19th-century evolutionary ideas about the change of one species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism ...
. By the time Haeckel was teaching he was able to use a textbook with woodcut illustrations written by his own teacher
Albert von Kölliker Albert von Kölliker (born Rudolf Albert Kölliker'';'' 6 July 18172 November 1905) was a Switzerland, Swiss anatomist, physiologist, and Histology, histologist. Biography Albert Kölliker was born in Zurich, Switzerland. His early education wa ...
, which purported to explain human development while also using other mammalian embryos to claim a coherent sequence. Despite the significance to ideas of transformism, this was not really polite enough for the new popular science writing, and was a matter for medical institutions and for experts who could make their own comparisons.


Darwin, Naturphilosophie and Lamarck

Darwin's ''
On the Origin of Species ''On the Origin of Species'' (or, more completely, ''On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life''),The book's full original title was ''On the Origin of Species by Me ...
'', which made a powerful impression on Haeckel when he read it in 1864, was very cautious about the possibility of ever reconstructing the history of life, but did include a section reinterpreting von Baer's embryology and revolutionising the field of study, concluding that "Embryology rises greatly in interest, when we thus look at the embryo as a picture, more or less obscured, of the common parent-form of each great class of animals." It mentioned von Baer's 1828 anecdote (misattributing it to
Louis Agassiz Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz ( ; ) FRS (For) FRSE (May 28, 1807 – December 14, 1873) was a Swiss-born American biologist and geologist who is recognized as a scholar of Earth's natural history. Spending his early life in Switzerland, he rece ...

Louis Agassiz
) that at an early stage embryos were so similar that it could be impossible to tell whether an unlabelled specimen was of a mammal, a bird, or of a reptile, and Darwin's own research using embryonic stages of
barnacle A barnacle is a type of arthropod An arthropod (, (gen. ποδός)) is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton, a Segmentation (biology), segmented body, and paired jointed appendages. Arthropods form the phylum Euarthropoda,Reference ...

barnacle
s to show that they are
crustacean Crustaceans (Crustacea ) form a large, diverse arthropod taxon which includes such animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, Caridea, shrimp, krill, Dendrobranchiata, prawns, woodlice, barnacles, copepods, amphipoda, amphipods and mantis shrimp. The ...
s, while cautioning against the idea that one organism or embryonic stage is "higher" or "lower", or more or less evolved. Haeckel disregarded such caution, and in a year wrote his massive and ambitious ''Generelle Morphologie'', published in 1866, presenting a revolutionary new synthesis of Darwin's ideas with the German tradition of ''
Naturphilosophie ''Naturphilosophie'' (German for "nature-philosophy") is a term used in English-language philosophy to identify a current in the philosophy, philosophical tradition of German idealism, as applied to the study of nature in the earlier 19th century ...
'' going back to
Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of G ...

Goethe
and with the progressive evolutionism of
Lamarck Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, chevalier de Lamarck (1 August 1744 – 18 December 1829), often known simply as Lamarck (; ), was a French naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fu ...

Lamarck
in what he called ''Darwinismus''. He used
morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines *Morphology (archaeology) In archaeology, morphology is the study of the shape of Artifact (archaeology), artefacts and ecofacts. Morphology is a major consid ...
to reconstruct the
evolutionary history of life The history of life on Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water ...
, in the absence of fossil evidence using embryology as evidence of ancestral relationships. He invented new terms, including
ontogeny Ontogeny (also ontogenesis) is the origination and development of an organism (both physical and psychological, e.g., moral development), usually from the time of fertilization of the ovum, egg to adult. The term can also be used to refer to th ...
and
phylogeny A phylogenetic tree (also phylogeny or evolutionary tree Felsenstein J. (2004). ''Inferring Phylogenies'' Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.) is a branching diagram or a tree (graph theory), tree showing the evolutionary relationships among va ...

phylogeny
, to present his evolutionised recapitulation theory that "ontogeny recapitulated phylogeny". The two massive volumes sold poorly, and were heavy going: with his limited understanding of German, Darwin found them impossible to read. Haeckel's publisher turned down a proposal for a "strictly scholarly and objective" second edition.


Embryological drawings

Haeckel's aim was a reformed morphology with evolution as the organising principle of a cosmic synthesis unifying science, religion, and art. He was giving successful "popular lectures" on his ideas to students and townspeople in
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
, in an approach pioneered by his teacher
Rudolf Virchow Rudolf Ludwig Carl Virchow (; or ; 13 October 18215 September 1902) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizen ...

Rudolf Virchow
. To meet his publisher's need for a popular work he used a student's transcript of his lectures as the basis of his ''Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte'' of 1868, presenting a comprehensive presentation of evolution. In the Spring of that year he drew figures for the book, synthesising his views of specimens in Jena and published pictures to represent types. After publication he told a colleague that the images "are completely exact, partly copied from nature, partly assembled from all illustrations of these early stages that have hitherto become known". There were various styles of embryological drawings at that time, ranging from more schematic representations to "naturalistic" illustrations of specific specimens. Haeckel believed privately that his figures were both exact and synthetic, and in public asserted that they were schematic like most figures used in teaching. The images were reworked to match in size and orientation, and though displaying Haeckel's own views of essential features, they support von Baer's concept that vertebrate embryos begin similarly and then diverge. Relating different images on a grid conveyed a powerful evolutionary message. As a book for the general public, it followed the common practice of not citing sources. The book sold very well, and while some anatomical experts hostile to Haeckel's evolutionary views expressed some private concerns that certain figures had been drawn rather freely, the figures showed what they already knew about similarities in embryos. The first published concerns came from Ludwig Rütimeyer, a professor of zoology and comparative anatomy at the University of Basel who had placed fossil mammals in an evolutionary lineage early in the 1860s and had been sent a complimentary copy. At the end of 1868 his review in the ''Archiv für Anthropologie'' wondered about the claim that the work was "popular and scholarly", doubting whether the second was true, and expressed horror about such public discussion of man's place in nature with illustrations such as the evolutionary trees being shown to non-experts. Though he made no suggestion that embryo illustrations should be directly based on specimens, to him the subject demanded the utmost "scrupulosity and conscientiousness" and an artist must "not arbitrarily model or generalise his originals for speculative purposes" which he considered proved by comparison with works by other authors. In particular, "one and the same, moreover incorrectly interpreted woodcut, is presented to the reader three times in a row and with three different captions as [the] embryo of the dog, the chick, [and] the turtle". He accused Haeckel of "playing fast and loose with the public and with science", and failing to live up to the obligation to the truth of every serious researcher. Haeckel responded with angry accusations of bowing to religious prejudice, but in the second (1870) edition changed the duplicated embryo images to a single image captioned "embryo of a mammal or bird". Duplication using galvanoplastic stereotypes (Stereotype (printing), clichés) was a common technique in textbooks, but not on the same page to represent different eggs or embryos. In 1891 Haeckel made the excuse that this "extremely rash foolishness" had occurred in undue haste but was "bona fide", and since repetition of incidental details was obvious on close inspection, it is unlikely to have been intentional deception. The revised 1870 second edition of 1,500 copies attracted more attention, being quickly followed by further revised editions with larger print runs as the book became a prominent part of the optimistic, nationalist, anticlerical "culture of progress" in Otto von Bismarck's new German Empire. The similarity of early vertebrate embryos became common knowledge, and the illustrations were praised by experts such as Michael Foster (physiologist), Michael Foster of the University of Cambridge. In the introduction to his 1871 ''The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex'', Darwin gave particular praise to Haeckel, writing that if ''Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte'' "had appeared before my essay had been written, I should probably never have completed it". The first chapter included an illustration: "As some of my readers may never have seen a drawing of an embryo, I have given one of man and another of a dog, at about the same early stage of development, carefully copied from two works of undoubted accuracy" with a footnote citing the sources and noting that "Häckel has also given analogous drawings in his ''Schöpfungsgeschichte.''" The fifth edition of Haeckel's book appeared in 1874, with its frontispiece a heroic portrait of Haeckel himself, replacing the previous controversial image of the heads of apes and humans.


Controversy

Later in 1874, Haeckel's simplified embryology textbook ''Anthropogenie'' made the subject into a battleground over Darwinism aligned with Bismarck's ''Kulturkampf'' ("culture struggle") against the Catholic Church. Haeckel took particular care over the illustrations, changing to the leading zoological publisher Wilhelm Engelmann of Leipzig and obtaining from them use of illustrations from their other textbooks as well as preparing his own drawings including a dramatic double page illustration showing "early", "somewhat later" and "still later" stages of 8 different vertebrates. Though Haeckel's views had attracted continuing controversy, there had been little dispute about the embryos and he had many expert supporters, but Wilhelm His Sr., Wilhelm His revived the earlier criticisms and introduced new attacks on the 1874 illustrations. Others joined in: both expert anatomists and Catholic priests and supporters were politically opposed to Haeckel's views. While it has been widely claimed that Haeckel was charged with fraud by five professors and convicted by a university court at Jena, there does not appear to be an independently verifiable source for this claim. Recent analyses (Richardson 1998, Richardson and Keuck 2002) have found that some of the criticisms of Haeckel's embryo drawings were legitimate, but others were unfounded. There were multiple versions of the embryo drawings, and Haeckel rejected the claims of fraud. It was later said that "there is evidence of sleight of hand" on both sides of the feud between Haeckel and Wilhelm His Sr., Wilhelm His. Robert J. Richards, in a paper published in 2008, defends the case for Haeckel, shedding doubt against the fraud accusations based on the material used for comparison with what Haeckel could access at the time.


Awards and honors

Haeckel was elected as a member to the American Philosophical Society in 1885. He was awarded the title of Excellency by Kaiser Wilhelm II, German Emperor, Wilhelm II in 1907 and the Linnean Society of London's prestigious Darwin-Wallace Medal in 1908. In the United States, ''Mount Haeckel'', a summit in the Eastern Sierra Nevada (U.S.), Sierra Nevada, overlooking the Evolution Basin, is named in his honour, as is another ''Mount Haeckel'', a summit in List of mountains of New Zealand by height, New Zealand; and the asteroid 12323 Haeckel. In Jena he is remembered with a monument at Herrenberg (erected in 1969), an exhibition at Ernst-Haeckel-Haus, and at the Jena Phyletic Museum, which continues to teach about evolution and share his work to this day. The ratfish, ''Harriotta haeckeli'' is named in his honor. The research vessel ''Ernst Haeckel'' is named in his honor. In 1981, a botanical journal called ''Ernstia'' was started being published in the city of Maracay, Venezuela. In 2013, ''Ernstia'', a genus of calcareous sponges in the family Clathrinidae. The genus was erected to contain five species previously assigned to ''Clathrina''. The genus name honors Ernst Haeckel for his contributions towards sponge taxonomy and phylogeny.


Publications

Darwin's 1859 book ''
On the Origin of Species ''On the Origin of Species'' (or, more completely, ''On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life''),The book's full original title was ''On the Origin of Species by Me ...
'' had immense popular influence, but although its sales exceeded its publisher's hopes it was a technical book rather than a work of popular science: long, difficult and with few illustrations. One of Haeckel's books did a great deal to explain his version of "Darwinism" to the world. It was a bestselling, provocatively illustrated book in German, titled ''Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte'', published in Berlin in 1868, and translated into English as ''The History of Creation'' in 1876. Until 1909, eleven editions had appeared, as well as 25 translations into other languages. The ''Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte'' cemented Haeckel's reputation as one of Germany's most forceful popularizers of science. His ''Welträthsel'' were reprinted ten times after the book's first publication in 1899; ultimately, over 400,000 copies were sold. Haeckel argued that human evolution consisted of precisely 22 phases, the 21st – the "Transitional fossil, missing link" – being a halfway step between apes and humans. He even formally named this missing link ''Pithecanthropus alalus'', translated as "ape man without speech". Haeckel's literary output was extensive, including many books, scientific papers, and illustrations.


Monographs

* ''Radiolaria'' (1862) * ''Siphonophora'' (1869) * ''Monera'' (1870) * ''Calcareous Sponges'' (1872)


''Challenger'' reports

* ''Deep-Sea Medusae'' (1881) * ''Siphonophora'' (1888) * ''Deep-Sea Keratosa'' (1889) * ''Radiolaria'' (1887)


Books on biology and its philosophy

* ''Generelle Morphologie der Organismen: allgemeine Grundzüge der organischen Formen-Wissenschaft, mechanisch begründet durch die von Charles Darwin reformirte Descendenz-Theorie.'' (1866) Berlin (''General morphology of organisms: general foundations of form-science, mechanically grounded by the descendance theory reformed by Charles Darwin'')
''Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte''
(1868); in Englis

(1876; 6th ed.: New York, D. Appleton and Co., 1914, 2 volumes) * ''Freie Wissenschaft und freie Lehre'' (1877), in English, ''Free Science and Free Teaching'' * ''Die systematische Phylogenie'' (1894) – ''Systematic Phylogeny'' * * ''Die Welträthsel'' (1895–1899), also spelled ''Die Welträtsel'' – in English ''Riddle of the Universe, The Riddle of the Universe'', 1901 * ''Über unsere gegenwärtige Kenntnis vom Ursprung des Menschen'' (1898) (''On our current understanding of the origin of man'') – in English ''The Last Link'', 1898 * ''Der Kampf um den Entwickelungsgedanken'' (1905) (''The struggle over thought on evolution'') – in English ''Last Words on Evolution'', 1906 * ''Die Lebenswunder'' (1904) – in English
The Wonders of Life
' *
Kristallseelen : Studien über das anorganische Leben
' (1917) (''Crystal souls: studies on inorganic life'')


Travel books

* ''Indische Reisebriefe'' (1882) – ''Travel notes of India'' * ''Aus Insulinde: Malayische Reisebriefe'' (1901) – ''Travel notes of Malaysia'' * ''
Kunstformen der Natur Image:Haeckel Discomedusae 8.jpg, The 8th print, Discomedusae. The center and bottom-center images are ''Desmonema annasethe''; the tentacles reminded Haeckel of his late wife's long flowing hair. (known in English as ''Art Forms in Nature'') is a ...
'' (1904) – ''Art forms of Nature''
Digital Edition (1924)
* ''Wanderbilder'' (1905) – "Travel Images" *
A visit to Ceylon
' For a fuller list of works of and about Haeckel, see his entry in the s:de:Ernst Haeckel, German Wikisource.


Assessments of potential influence on Nazism

Some historians have seen Haeckel's social Darwinism as a forerunner to Nazism, Nazi ideology. Others have denied the relationship altogether. The evidence is in some respects ambiguous. On one hand, Haeckel was an advocate of
scientific racism Scientific racism, sometimes termed biological racism, is the pseudoscientific Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseu ...
. He held that evolutionary biology had definitively proven that races were unequal in intelligence and ability, and that their lives were also of unequal value, e.g., "These lower races (such as the Veddahs or Australian negroes) are psychologically nearer to the mammals (apes or dogs) than to civilised Europeans; we must therefore, assign a totally different value to their lives." As a result of the "struggle for existence", it followed that the "lower" races would eventually be exterminated. He was also a social Darwinist who believed that "survival of the fittest" was a natural law, and that struggle led to improvement of the race. As an advocate of eugenics, he also believed that about 200,000 Mental illness, mentally and Genetic disorder, congenitally ill should be killed by a medical control board. This idea was later put into practice by the Third Reich, as part of the Aktion T4 program. Alfred Ploetz, founder of the German Society for Racial Hygiene, praised Haeckel repeatedly, and invited him to become an honorary member. Haeckel accepted the invitation. Haeckel also believed that Germany should be governed by an authoritarian political system, and that inequalities both within and between societies were an inevitable product of evolutionary law. Haeckel was also an extreme German nationalist who believed strongly in the superiority of German culture. On the other hand, Haeckel was not an anti-Semite. In the racial hierarchies he constructed Jews tended to appear closer to the top, rather than closer to the bottom as in Nazism and race, Nazi racial thought. He was also a pacifist until the First World War, when he wrote propaganda in favor of the war. The principal arguments of historians who deny a meaningful connection between Haeckel and Nazism are that Haeckel's ideas were very common at the time, that Nazis were much more strongly influenced by other thinkers, and that Haeckel is properly classified as a 19th-century German liberal, rather than a forerunner to Nazism. They also point to incompatibilities between evolutionary biology and Nazi ideology. Nazis themselves divided on the question of whether Haeckel should be counted as a pioneer of their ideology. Schutzstaffel, SS captain and biologist Heinz Brücher wrote a biography of Haeckel in 1936, in which he praised Haeckel as a "pioneer in biological state thinking". This opinion was also shared by the scholarly journal, ''Der Biologie'', which celebrated Haeckel's 100th birthday, in 1934, with several essays acclaiming him as a pioneering thinker of Nazism. Other Nazis kept their distance from Haeckel. Nazi propaganda guidelines issued in 1935 listed books which popularized Darwin and evolution on an "expunged list". Haeckel was included by name as a forbidden author. Gunther Hecht, a member of the Nazi Department of Race Politics, also issued a memorandum rejecting Haeckel as a forerunner of Nazism. Kurt Hildebrandt, a Nazi political philosopher, also rejected Haeckel. Eventually Haeckel was rejected by Nazi bureaucrats.


See also

* Dysteleology * Embryology * Haeckelites * ''Haeckel's Tale'' * Heinrich Schmidt (philosopher) * Karl Blossfeldt * List of wildlife artists * Proteus (2004 film), ''Proteus'' (2004 film)


Footnotes


Sources

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External links


E. Haeckel: Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte 1868 (front page of 1st edition, German)

E. Haeckel: Die Welträthsel 1899 (front page of 1st edition, German)


– biography
Ernst Haeckel – Evolution's controversial artist.
A slide-show essay

(fro
biolib.de
*
Kunstformen der Natur
' (Digitization from Phaidra)
PNG alpha-transparencies of Haeckel's "Kustformen der natur"


– Animated documentary film on Haeckel's life and work

and Museum in
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
* View works b
Haeckel
at the Biodiversity Heritage Library
aDiatomea: artificial life experiment with 3d generated diatoms, influenced by Haeckel

Images from ''Anthropogenie, oder, Entwickelungsgeschichte des menschen''
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Ernst Haeckel’s Radiolarians and Medusa
– article on Haeckel in Villefranche-sur-Mer {{DEFAULTSORT:Haeckel, Ernst 1834 births 1919 deaths Alldeutscher Verband members Evolutionary biologists German atheists 19th-century German biologists German ecologists German humanists German male writers 19th-century German philosophers 19th-century German zoologists Lemuria (continent) Natural history illustrators Scientists from Potsdam People from the Province of Brandenburg Protistologists Scientific racism University of Jena faculty Spinozists Members of the American Philosophical Society People involved in scientific misconduct incidents