Ernst Haeckel

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Ernst Haeckel bigraphy, stories - German biologist and philosopher

Ernst Haeckel : biography

16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919

Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (February 16, 1834 – August 9, 1919),"Ernst Haeckel — Britannica Concise" (biography) Encyclopædia Britannica Concise, 2006, Concise. Britannica.com webpage: . was a German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology, including anthropogeny, ecology, phylum, phylogeny, stem cell, and the kingdom Protista. Haeckel promoted and popularized Charles Darwin’s work in Germany and developed the controversial recapitulation theory ("ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny") claiming that an individual organism’s biological development, or ontogeny, parallels and summarizes its species’ evolutionary development, or phylogeny.

The published artwork of Haeckel includes over 100 detailed, multi-colour illustrations of animals and sea creatures (see: Kunstformen der Natur, "Art Forms of Nature"). As a philosopher, Ernst Haeckel wrote Die Welträtsel (1895–1899, in English, The Riddle of the Universe, 1901), the genesis for the term "world riddle" (Welträtsel); and Freedom in Science and TeachingFreedom in Science and Teaching. German 1877, English 1879, ISBN 1-4102-1175-4. to support teaching evolution.

Life

Ernst Haeckel was born on February 16, 1834, in Potsdam (then part of Prussia). "Ernst Haeckel" (article),German Wikipedia, October 26, 2006, webpage: DE-Wiki-Ernst-Haeckel: last paragraph of "Leben" (Life) section. In 1852, Haeckel completed studies at the Domgymnasium, the cathedral high school of Merseburg. 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). Together with Hermann Steudner he attended botany lectures in Würzburg. In 1857, Haeckel attained a doctorate in medicine, M.D.), and afterwards he received a license to practice medicine. The occupation of physician appeared less worthwhile to Haeckel, after contact with suffering patients.

Haeckel studied under Karl Gegenbaur at the University of Jena for three years, earning a doctorate in zoology, before becoming a professor of comparative anatomy at the University of Jena, where he remained for 47 years, from 1862 to 1909. Between 1859 and 1866, Haeckel worked on many invertebrate groups, including radiolarians, poriferans (sponges) and annelids (segmented worms). During a trip to the Mediterranean, Haeckel named nearly 150 new species of radiolarians. Haeckel named thousands of new species from 1859 to 1887."Rudolf Steiner and Ernst Haeckel" (colleagues), Daniel Hindes, 2005, DefendingSteiner.com webpage: .

From 1866 to 1867, Haeckel made an extended journey to the Canary Islands with Hermann Fol and during this period, met with Charles Darwin, in 1866 at Down House in Kent, Thomas Huxley and Charles Lyell. 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, in 1871 to Croatia (lived on the island of Hvar in a monastery), Haeckel Again Honored in Spite of Himself on his 80th Birthday], published: February 22, 1914 and in 1873 to Egypt, Turkey, and to Greece. Haeckel retired from teaching in 1909, and in 1910 he withdrew from the Evangelical church.

Haeckel’s wife, Agnes, died in 1915, and Haeckel became substantially frailer, with a broken leg (thigh) and broken arm. He sold his "Villa Medusa" in Jena in 1918 to the Carl Zeiss foundation, and it presently contains a historic library. Haeckel died on August 9, 1919.

Politics

Haeckel’s political beliefs were influenced by his affinity for the German Romantic movement coupled with his acceptance of a form of Lamarckism. Rather than being a strict Darwinian, Haeckel believed that racial characteristics were acquired through interactions with the environment and that ontogeny directly followed phylogeny. He believed the social sciences to be instances of "applied biology". Most of these arguments have been shown to be over-generalizations at best and flatly incorrect at worst in modern biology and social studies."Ernst Haeckel" (biography), UC Berkeley, 2004, webpage: . In 1905, Haeckel founded a group called the "Monist League" to promote his religious and political beliefs. This group lasted until 1933 and included such notable members as Wilhelm Ostwald, Georg von Arco, Helene Stöcker and Walter Arthur Berendsohn.Health, Race and German Politics Between National Unification and Nazism by Paul Weindling, Cambridge University Press, 1993.,pgs. 46, 250