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Ernst Heinrich Haeckel Biography

Uploaded by london28 on Dec 11, 2004

Ernst Haeckel was born in Potsdam, Germany on February 16th, 1834. Haeckel began his study at Wurzburg, Berlin and Vienna. He excelled in medicine and science under the instruction of Johannes Muller, R. Virchow and R.A. Kolliker. Haeckel graduated in 1857 with a MD and M Ch at Berlin. Haeckel then began to practice as a doctor in Berlin. Haeckel did not have many patients in his practice, but was much more comfortable with the low amount of patients.

Haeckel then moved on to study under Carl Gegenbauer in Jena for three years before becoming a professor of anatomy in 1862. Between 1859 and 1866 he worked on sponges and segmented worms. Haeckel named about 150 new species of sponges during a trip to the Mediterranean. These new discoverys and his work on development lead to his “law of recapitulation”. Haeckel was a “free-thinker”. He also studied anthropology, psychology, and cosmology. Haeckel’s fudging of data led to his tarnished credentials. On the other hand, the Nazi party justified racism, nationalism and “social darwinism” by Haeckel’s quote “politics is applied biology”. For this reason Haeckel was a hero in the eyes of his German countrymen.

Haeckel was extremely influenced by the works of Darwin. After he read Origin of Species, Haeckel became a supporter of evolution, but did not like the theory of natural selection.

Haeckel believed evolution occurred from the species interaction with their environment. He believed that the environment acted directly on organisms producing new races. This was called the “law of recapitulation” and was later discredited. Haeckel was discredited in the begging of the 20th century when biologists began to show that there is no one-to-one correspondence between phylogeny and ontogeny. Although recapitulation is not correct, many biologists are exploring the connection between races and their environment.

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Uploaded by:   london28

Date:   12/11/2004

Category:   Scientists

Length:   1 pages (299 words)

Views:   6652

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