Ernst Haeckel  

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Artforms of Nature (1904) by Ernst Haeckel The 49th plate from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur of 1904, showing various sea anemones classified as Actiniae.
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Artforms of Nature (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
The 49th plate from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur of 1904, showing various sea anemones classified as Actiniae.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (February 16, 1834August 9, 1919), also written von Haeckel, was an eminent German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and "fantastic artist".

Career

Ernst Haeckel named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology, including phylum, phylogeny, ecology and the kingdom Protista (details below). Haeckel promoted Charles Darwin's work in Germany and developed the controversial "recapitulation theory" claiming that an individual organism's biological development, or ontogeny, parallels and summarizes its species' entire evolutionary development, or phylogeny: "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny".

The published artwork of Haeckel includes over 100 detailed, multi-color illustrations of animals and sea creatures (see: Kunstformen der Natur, "Artforms of Nature"). 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" (Welträthsel); and Freedom in Science and Teaching (1877, English 1879, ISBN 1-4102-1175-4) to support teaching evolution.

Publications

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. 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. It was frequently reprinted until 1926.

Haeckel argued that human evolution consisted of precisely 22 phases, the 21st – the "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 entire literary output was extensive, working as a professor at the University of Jena for 47 years, and even at the time of the celebration of his 60th birthday at Jena in 1894, Haeckel had produced 42 works with nearly 13,000 pages, besides numerous scientific memoirs and illustrations.

Haeckel's monographs include:

  • Radiolaria (1862)
  • Siphonophora (1869)
  • Monera (1870)
  • Calcareous Sponges (1872)

As well as several Challenger reports:

  • Deep-Sea Medusae (1881)
  • Siphonophora (1888)
  • Deep-Sea Keratosa (1889)
  • Radiolaria (1887) — illustrated with 140 plates and enumerating over four thousand (4000) new species.

Among his many books, Ernst Haeckel wrote:

  • Generelle Morphologie der Organismen : allgemeine Grundzüge der organischen Formen-Wissenschaft, mechanisch begründet durch die von C. Darwin reformirte Decendenz-Theorie. (1866) Berlin
  • Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte (1868); in English The History of Creation (1876; 6th ed.: New York, D. Appleton and Co., 1914, 2 volumes)
  • Freie Wissenschaft und freie Lehre (1877), in English, Freedom in Science and Teaching, a reply to a speech in which Rudolf Virchow objected to the teaching of evolution in schools, on the grounds that evolution was an unproven hypothesis.
  • Die systematische Phylogenie (1894) — "Systematic Phylogeny", which has been considered as his best book
  • Anthropogenie: oder, Entwickelungsgeschichte des Menschen ("Anthropogeny: Or, the Evolutionary History of Man", 1874, 5th and enlarged edition 1903)
  • Die Welträthsel (1895–1899), also spelled Die Welträtsel ("world-riddle") — in English The Riddle of the Universe, 1901
  • Über unsere gegenwärtige Kenntnis vom Ursprung des Menschen (1898) — translated into English as The Last Link, 1898
  • Der Kampf um den Entwickelungsgedanken (1905) — English version, Last Words on Evolution, 1906
  • Die Lebenswunder (1904) — English The Wonders of Life a supplement to the Riddle of the Universe
  • Kristallseelen : Studien über das anorganische Leben (1917) Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf

Books of travel:


See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ernst Haeckel" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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