Ernst Haeckel, full name Ernst Heinrich Phillip August Haeckel

Ernst
Haeckel, full name Ernst Heinrich Phillip August Haeckel
1834
1919

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

Author Quotes

Ontogeny is a short and quick repetition, or recapitulation, of Phylogeny, determined by the laws of Inheritance and Adaptation.

The real cause of personal existence is not the favor of the Almighty, but the sexual love of one's earthly parents.

Our concern is rather with the unparalleled influence that Darwinism, and its application to man, have had during the last forty years on the whole province of science; and at the same time, with its irreconcilable opposition to the dogmas of the Churches.

The science of comparative anatomy. Its task is, by comparing the fully-developed bodily forms in the various groups of animals, to learn the general laws of organisation according to which the body is constructed; at the same time, it has to determine the affinities of the various groups by critical appreciation of the degrees of difference between them.

Our monistic view of the world belongs, therefore, to that group of philosophical systems which from other points of view have been designated also as mechanical or as pantheistic.

The value of the life of these lower savages is like that of the anthropoid apes, or very little higher. All recent travelers who have carefully observed them in their native lands, and studied their bodily structure and psychic life, agree in this opinion.

Our personal life is a hundred times finer, longer, and more valuable than that of the savage, because it is a hundred times richer in interests, experiences, and pleasures.

These two branches of our science--on the one side ontogeny or embryology, and on the other phylogeny, or the science of race-evolution--are most vitally connected. The one cannot be understood without the other.

Phylogenesis is the mechanical cause of ontogenesis.

They throw light first of all on the "natural history of creation," then on psychology, or "the science of the soul," and through this on the whole of philosophy. And as the general results of every branch of inquiry are summed up in philosophy, all the sciences come in turn to be touched and influenced more or less by the study of the evolution of man.

Comparative psychology teaches us to recognize a very long series of successive steps in the development of soul in the animal kingdom. But it is only in the most highly developed vertebrates-birds and mammals--that we discern the first beginnings of reason, the first traces of religious and ethical conduct. In them we find not only the social virtues common to all the higher socially-living animals,--neighborly love, friendship, fidelity, self-sacrifice, etc.,--but also consciousness, sense of duty, and conscience; in relation to man their lord, the same obedience, the same submissiveness, and the same craving for protection, which primitive man in his turn shows towards his "gods."

Phylogeny and ontogeny are, therefore, the two coordinated branches of morphology. Phylogeny is the developmental history [Entwickelungsgeschichte] of the abstract, genealogical individual; ontogeny, on the other hand, is the developmental history of the concrete, morphological individual.

This demand, that the doctrine of descent should be grounded on experiment, is so perverse and shows such ignorance of the very essence of our theory, that though we have never been surprised at hearing it continually repeated by ignorant laymen, from the lips of a Virchow it has positively astounded us. What can in this case be proved by experiment, and what can experiment prove?

Everybody knows that the butterfly emerges from the pupa, and the pupa from a quite different thing called a larva, and the larva from the butterfly's egg.

Politics is applied biology.

Though the great differences in the mental life and the civilisation of the higher and lower races are generally known, they are, as a rule, under-valued, and so the value of life at the different levels is falsely estimated. It is civilisation, and the fuller development of the mind that makes civilisation possible, that raise mans so much above the other animals, even his nearest animal relatives, the mammals. But this is, as a rule, peculiar to the higher races, and is found only in a very imperfect form or not at all among the lower. These lower races (such as the Veddahs or Austrailan 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.

I trust we may be able to arouse the same interest in this delicate field of inquiry as has been excited already in other branches of science; though we shall meet more obstacles here than elsewhere.

The Caucasian, or Mediterranean man (Homo Mediterraneus), has from time immemorial been placed as the head of all races of men, as the most highly developed and perfect.

We may now give the following more precise expression to our chief law of biogeny:— The evolution of the foetus (or ontogenesis) is a condensed and abbreviated recapitulation of the evolution of the stem (orphylogenesis); and this recapitulation is the more complete in proportion as the original development (orpalingenesis) is preserved by a constant heredity; on the other hand, it becomes less complete in proportion as a varying adaptation to new conditions increases the disturbing factors in the development (or cenogenesis).

I will endeavor to be as plain as possible in dealing with this branch of science.

The causal character of the relation which connects embryology with stem-history is due to the action of heredity and adaptation.

We need but mention the mighty influence which irrational dogmas still exercise on the elementary education of our youth, we need but mention that the state yet permits the existence of cloisters and of celibacy, the most immoral and baneful ordinance of the “only-saving” church; we need but mention that the civilized state yet divides the most important parts of the civil year in accordance with church festivals; that in many countries it allows the public order to be disturbed by church processions, and so on.

In consequence of Darwin's reformed Theory of Descent, we are now in a position to establish scientifically the groundwork of a non-miraculous history of the development of the human race... If any person feels the necessity of conceiving the coming into existence of this matter as the work of a supernatural creative power, of the creative force of something outside of matter, we have nothing to say against it. But we must remark, that thereby not even the smallest advantage is gained for a scientific knowledge of nature. Such a conception of an immaterial force, which as the first creates matter, is an article of faith which has nothing whatever to do with human science. Where faith commences, science ends.

The common origin of man and the other mammals from a single ancient stem-form can no longer be questioned; nor can the immediate blood-relationship of man and the ape.

We see that man entirely resembles the higher mammals, and most of all the apes, in embryonic development as well as in anatomic structure. And if we seek to understand this ontogenetic agreement in the light of the biogenetic law, we find that it proves clearly and necessarily the descent of man from a series of other mammals, and proximately from the primates.

Author Picture
First Name
Ernst
Last Name
Haeckel, full name Ernst Heinrich Phillip August Haeckel
Birth Date
1834
Death Date
1919
Bio

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