In 1906 Haeckel founded a group called the Monist League (Deutscher Monistenbund) to promote his religious and political beliefs. [71] As an advocate of eugenics, he also believed that about 200,000 mentally and congenitally ill should be killed by a medical control board. 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[20], Haeckel became the most famous proponent of Monism in Germany. When Haeckel was a student in the 1850s he showed great interest in embryology, 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. Before macro photography showed us tiny things in great detail, Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919) drew life seen through his microscope. Over the next few days he met Charles Lyell, and visited Thomas Huxley and family at their home. This - in German - is how evolutionary biologist Ernst Haeckel became the first person to define the term ecology in his work published in 1866, entitled "General Morphology of Organisms". Reynolds, Andrew // History of Science;Jun2008, Vol. Richardson and Keuck, (Biol. Daniel Gasman (1998). Building collections around his own, Haeckel founded both the Phyletic Museum in Jena and the Ernst Haeckel Haus; the latter contains his books and archives, and it preserves many other mementos of his life and work. "Haeckel's Monism and the Birth of Fascist Ideology". In 1857 Haeckel attained a doctorate in medicine, and afterwards he received the license to practice medicine. The evolutionary study of embryos reached a peak in the late 1800s thanks primarily to the efforts of one extraordinarily gifted, though not entirely honest, scientist named Ernst Haeckel (left). Haeckel argued that humans were closely related to the primates of Southeast Asia and rejected Darwin's hypothesis of Africa. See for example, their Fig. He studied at Würzburg and at the University of Berlin, where his professor, the physiologist and anatomist Johannes Müller, took him on a summer expedition to observe small sea creatures off the coast of Heligoland in the North Sea. Human language as such probably developed only after the species of speechless Urmenschen or Affenmenschen (German: ape-men) had split into several species or kinds. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership - Now 30% off. An effective popularizer of science, Haeckel produced numerous tree diagrams, showing evolutionary relationships between different species. [52][53] There were multiple versions of the embryo drawings, and Haeckel rejected the claims of fraud. Together with Hermann Steudner he attended botanylectures in Würzburg. [74] 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's work focused often on the genesis and evolution of life and on the embryology of humans. He became a key figure in social darwinism and leading proponent of scientific racism, stating for instance:[34]. [60], Darwin's 1859 book On the Origin of Species 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. [78] 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. 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. [24], Haeckel was a zoologist, an accomplished artist and illustrator, and later a professor of comparative anatomy. Updates? Moreover, it is worth mentioning that Haeckel had often overtly recognized the great contribution of educated Jews to the German culture. For other uses, see, Assessments of potential influence on Nazism. He proposed the biogenetic law while working at the University of Jena in Jena, Germany, in his 1866 book Generelle Morphologie der Organismen [ General Morphology of the Organisms ]. Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (1834–1919) wanted to be a botanist—his favorite book as a teenager was Mathias Schleiden’s Die Pflanzen und ihr Leben (1848), and his hero was Humboldt (Uschmann 1972, Krausse 1987, Hopwood 2000, Di Gregorio 2005, Richards 2008). For example, Haeckel described and named hypothetical ancestral microorganisms that have never been found. 46 Issue 2, p123 . Though his concepts of recapitulation were in error, Haeckel brought attention to important biological questions. [46]:270–274, 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. [39], 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." They quote Haeckel as saying "If [recapitulation] was always complete, it would be a very easy task to construct whole phylogeny on the basis of ontogeny. One of the first problems with the illustrations in the first row of Haeckel’s comparative embryo plates in his work Anthropogenie is that he drew many embryos, including the human and chick embryos, without either pericardial or heart bulges, where they possess these in reality. In Haeckel’s book The History of Creation (1884) he included migration routes which he thought the first humans had used outside of Lemuria. [79][80] They also point to incompatibilities between evolutionary biology and Nazi ideology. [86], German biologist, philosopher, physician, and artist, "Haeckel" redirects here. One of his more revolutionary claims was that life was created by chance in the deep sea through random combinations of basic elements like carbon, oxygen, and sulfur. Thus they do not inform the debate and may themselves be disingenuous." Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. [13] During a trip to the Mediterranean, Haeckel named nearly 150 new species of radiolarians. He also proposed the kingdom Protista[12] in 1866. On 21 October he visited Charles Darwin at Down House in Kent. [40], Haeckel claimed the origin of humanity was to be found in Asia: he believed that Hindustan (Indian subcontinent) was the actual location where the first humans had evolved. Ernst Haeckel, scientist, philosopher and artist, made a significant contribution to early evolutionary theory, and was profoundly influential on the Fine and Decorative Arts of his time. 1, pp. His gastraea theory, tracing all multicellular animals to a hypothetical two-layered ancestor, stimulated both discussion and investigation. 1, System der Craspedoten: IN Monographie der Medusen. Haeckel was included by name as a forbidden author. 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" (Welträtsel); and Freedom in Science and Teaching[7] to support teaching evolution. [77] He was also a pacifist until the First World War, when he wrote propaganda in favor of the war. In the United States, Mount Haeckel, a 13,418 ft (4,090 m) summit in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, overlooking the Evolution Basin, is named in his honour, as is another Mount Haeckel, a 2,941 m (9,649 ft) summit in New Zealand; and the asteroid 12323 Haeckel. 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. Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel was a prominent comparative anatomist and active lecturer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Caucasian, or Mediterranean man (Homo Mediterraneus), has from time immemorial been placed at the head of all the races of men, as the most highly developed and perfect. Ernst Haeckel – Evolution's controversial artist. As Blackwell (Am Biol Teach 69:135–136, 2007) pointed out, multiple authors have attempted to discredit Haeckel, stating that modern embryological studies have shown that Haeckel’s drawings are stylized or embellished. He was giving successful "popular lectures" on his ideas to students and townspeople in Jena, in an approach pioneered by his teacher Rudolf Virchow. Haeckel divided human beings into ten races, of which the Caucasian was the highest and the primitives were doomed to extinction. [38], In the same line of thought, historian Daniel Gasman states that Haeckel's ideology stimulated the birth of Fascist ideology in Italy and France. and says the Nazis rejected Haeckel, since he opposed antisemitism, while supporting ideas they disliked (for instance atheism, feminism, internationalism, pacifism etc.). Haeckel saw evolution as the basis for a unified explanation of all nature and the rationale of a philosophical approach that denied final causes and the teleology of the church. He even formally named this missing link Pithecanthropus alalus, translated as "ape man without speech". He is regarded as a pioneer of eugenics and Nazi eugenics in Germany. … There is certainly, even now, a number of lower vertebrate animals (e.g. [26] It proposed a link between ontogeny (development of form) and phylogeny (evolutionary descent), summed up by Haeckel in the phrase "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny". [31], The creationist polygenism of Samuel George Morton and Louis Agassiz, which presented human races as separately created species, was rejected by Charles Darwin, who argued for the monogenesis of the human species and the African origin of modern humans. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Omissions? 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. Affiliations ), German zoologist and evolutionist who was a strong proponent of Darwinism and who proposed new notions of the evolutionary descent of human beings. Robert J. Richards, "Myth 19: That Darwin and Haeckel Were Complicit in Nazi Biology", in. Such experiences in marine biology strongly attracted Haeckel toward zoology, but dutifully he took a medical degree, as his family wished, at Berlin in 1857. He was first to postulate a “missing link” between ape and man and was proven correct when Java man was found in 1891. pt. He had long been thinking of “vital molecular movement” when, in 1876, he attempted to place heredity on a molecular basis in a work entitled Die Perigenesis der Plastidule (“The Generation of Waves in the Small Vital Particles”). He is most well known for his descriptions of phylogenetic trees, studies of radiolarians, and illustrations of vertebrate embryos to support his biogenetic law and Darwin’s work with evolution. Ernst Haeckel was a German zoologist, evolutionist, philosopher, professor, naturalist, physician, biologist, and artist. Ernst Haeckel’s Alleged Anti-Semitism and Contributions to Nazi Biology Robert J. Richards1 The University of Chicago Figure 1: Haeckel’s stem-tree of the nine human species, with their varieties; the ape-man at the source. In humans, the cardiovascular system is one of the first entities to develop in the early embryo. Meanwhile, he completed a dissertation in zoology in 1861 at Jena and became privatdozent there. [63][64][65] Others have denied the relationship all together. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. 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. He was also a philosopher and physician, but in those fields he is not regarded as particularly notable. Ernst Haeckel’s art became very popular as it paired colorful lithographs with information about these scientific marvels of nature. [46]:275–276;282–286, 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. Ernst Mayr. It was agreed by all European evolutionists that all vertebrates 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 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'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 but no relation to other types or any transmutation of species. We welcome any additional information. [12], 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 did not support natural selection, rather believing in Lamarckism. Some historians have seen Haeckel's social Darwinism as a forerunner to Nazi ideology. He then studied medicine in Berlin and Würzburg, particularly with Albert von Kölliker, Franz Leydig, Rudolf Virchow (with whom he later worked briefly as assistant), and with the anatomist-physiologist Johannes Peter Müller (1801–1858). [85] Eventually Nazis rejected Haeckel because his evolutionary ideas could not be reconciled with Nazi ideology. If you have additional information or corrections regarding this mathematician, please use the update form.To submit students of this mathematician, please use the new data form, noting this mathematician's MGP ID of 159000 for the advisor ID. Haeckel's publisher turned down a proposal for a "strictly scholarly and objective" second edition. 215 ff. The published artwork of Haeckel includes over 100 detailed, multi-colour illustrations of animals and sea creatures, collected in his Kunstformen der Natur ("Art Forms of Nature"). 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. Ernst Haeckel, in full Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel, (born Feb. 16, 1834, Potsdam, Prussia [Germany]—died Aug. 9, 1919, Jena, Ger. 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