Ernst Haeckel Quotes
“As our mother earth is a mere speck in the sunbeam in the illimitable universe, so man himself is but a tiny grain of protoplasm in the perishable framework of organic nature. [This] clearly indicates the true place of man in nature, but it dissipates the prevalent illusion of man's supreme importance and the arrogance with which he sets himself apart from the illimitable universe and exalts himself to the position of its most valuable element.”
“Where faith commences, science ends. Both these arts of the human mind must be strictly kept apart from each other. Faith has its origin in the poetic imagination; knowledge, on the other hand, originates in the reasoning intelligence of man. Science has to pluck the blessed fruits from the tree of knowledge, unconcerned whether these conquests trench upon the poetical imaginings of faith or not.”
“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.”
“It is, however, a most astonishing but incontestable fact, that the history of the evolution of man as yet constitutes no part of general education. Indeed, our so-called 'educated classes' are to this day in total ignorance of the most important circumstances and the most remarkable phenomena which Anthropogeny has brought to light.”
“Haekel's reasoning is simple: humans are nature, they are part of, and a result of, evolution. Our actions and our thoughts are products of this evolution. Accordingly, when humans come to know something, ultimately it reveals their own nature. Our knowledge -- which has developed in and is subject to the laws of nature -- is in itself nature (and according to Haeckel, nothing more.) The draftsman, his sensory organs, his motor activity, are results of a development with which, in the end, nature merely represents itself.”
“The ancestors of the higher animals must be regarded as one-celled beings, similar to the Amoebae which at the present day occur in our rivers, pools, and lakes. The incontrovertible fact that each human individual develops from an egg, which, in common with those of all animals, is a simple cell, most clearly proves that the most remote ancestors of man were primordial animals of this sort, of a form equivalent to a simple cell. When, therefore, the theory of the animal descent of man is condemned as a 'horrible, shocking, and immoral' doctrine, tho unalterable fact, which can be proved at any moment under the microscope, that the human egg is a simple cell, which is in no way different to those of other mammals, must equally be pronounced 'horrible, shocking, and immoral.”
“[...] After this compromising confession of "forgery" I should be obliged to consider myself condemned and annihilated if I had not the consolation of seeing side by side with me in the prisoner's dock hundreds of fellow-culprits, among them many of the most trusted observers and most esteemed biologists. The great majority of all the diagrams in the best biological textbooks, treatises and journals would incur in the same degree the charge of "forgery," for all of them are inexact, and are more or less doctored, schematised and constructed.
[Berliner Volks-Zeitung - Haeckel's Frauds and Forgeries - Assmuth and Hull:1915]”
- Date of birth: February 16, 1834
- Died: August 09, 1919
- Born: in Potsdam, Germany.
- Description: Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (February 16, 1834 – August 9, 1919), also written von Haeckel, was an eminent 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 Teaching to support teaching evolution.