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Haeckel Fest Awaits

Good news Haeckel lovers and everyone else who is fascinated by morbid 19th century charlatans. We all know Ernst Haeckel’s ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny/ embryonic recapitulation/doctored drawings. But one of his lesser known contributions to literature is a book called The History of Creation (this is the short title; the long title is set forth below), in which he divides people up into different species. The book was on most Nazis’ “must read” list. Dr. David C. Bossard has graciously scanned in both volumes of the massive work. It is very interesting reading. Here’s the full title of the book Dr. Bossard has scanned in:

Ernst Haeckel, The History of Creation: Or The Development of the Earth and its Inhabitants by the Action of Natural Causes. A Popular Exposition of the Doctrine of Evolution in General, and of that of Darwin, Goethe, and Lamarck in Particular, Vol. I and II, 6th English ed., First German Publication 1868 (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1914).

Here are a couple of the most famous (infamous?) passages:

“In order to be convinced of this important result, it is above all things necessary to study and compare the mental life of wild savages and of children. At the lowest stage of human mental development are the Australians, some tribes of the Polynesians, and the Bushmen, Hottentots, and some of the Negro tribes.” Vol. II, 362-3.

“The Caucasian, or Mediterranean man (Homo Mediterraneus) has from time immemorial been placed at the head of all races of men, as the most highly developed and perfect . . . This species alone [i.e. Caucasians] (with the exception of the Mongolian) has had an actual history; it alone has attained to that degree of civilization which seems to raise man above the rest of nature.” Vol. II, 321.

Here’s the cite. Enjoy.

http://www.geology.19thcenturyscience.org/books/1876-Haeckel-HistCrea/README.htm.

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19 Responses to Haeckel Fest Awaits

  1. Haeckel sounds to have been a lovely chap.

    But isn’t this the site that, only yesterday, was recanting the use of ad hominems and was expressing the hope that the Kevin Padian palaver “will help persuade both sides in this debate to stay on topic and focus on the issues”? What have Haeckel’s repellent views (depressingly common among intellectuals of the late 19th/early 20th centuries) have to do with the issues at stake in the debate on origins?

    Plus, Godwin’s Law means you just lost this discussion before it even got going. ;-)

    It’s time for you move along to another blog, John. You’ve been doing entirely too much regurgitating of trite evolutionist arguments we’ve all heard a million times and don’t care to waste our time refuting yet again. Yesterday I challenged you to provide evidence in support of how the notion that the digitally programmed self-replicating protein factory represented by DNA and ribosomes could self-assemble from inanimate chemical precursers was so strong that it should enjoy exclusivity in the classroom as the only possible way for life on earth to have originated. You declined by saying you were not enough of an expert in evolutionary biology. Well, I’m an expert in digitally programmed machinery and so I know you have no expertise there either so you really have nothing to contribute and are just wasting time and bandwidth by regurgitating things you don’t even understand. So kindly find somewhere else to inexpertly pontificate. -ds

  2. Barry, the first way I’d divide up people into different species is by gender. Women being the true species of humans and men some kind of viral species that managed to become a dependent part of the reproductive process which otherwise exists solely to produce daughters. ;-)

    Nice to see you posting again, by the way. I hope it wasn’t anything bad that kept you too busy for us.

  3. Thanks Dave. Your comment reminds me of a line from a conversation I heard or read somewhere:

    Woman 1 commenting at wedding: “He’s marrying way above his head.”

    Woman 2 responding: “All men do, honey.”

    I’m happy to be back among the posters. It is in part of the nature of the beast (i.e., the practice of law) that sometimes one must drop off the edge of the earth for extended periods of time.

    Actually Barry, there was a serious full length article in Scientific American some years ago arguing that male and female actually are different species in a symbiotic relationship. Maybe someone here can recall the title of it. It must have been somewhere around 7-10 years ago. -ds

  4. Responding to John H.

    “What have Haeckel’s repellent views (depressingly common among intellectuals of the late 19th/early 20th centuries) have to do with the issues at stake in the debate on origins?”

    A hard copy of Haeckel’s book is hard to find and expensive if one finds it (I saw one set for sale on an antique book site for $135). The point of my post is that the book is now available online for anyone who has an interest in reading it for whatever purpose (including, but not limited to, historical interest). I wasn’t making any particular point in the debate.

    Second, I did not make any ad hominem argument, or any argument for that matter.

    Third, your reference to Godwin’s Law is misplaced. I did not compare Haeckel to the Nazis (or anyone else for that matter). I merely mentioned the historical fact that much of Nazi racism was based upon his work.

    Finally, though I did not make the point in the post, Haeckel is not merely a relic of history as you suggest.

    “Despite the fact that Haeckel faked his drawings, they or some form of them still appear in many biology textbooks (Figure C, from Starr & Taggart). As Harvard evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould wrote in 2000, we ‘have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks.’” Jonathan Wells

    Also, as Wells pointed out as late as 2003 to the Texas State Board of Education, Darwinists continue to play embryology games even when they are not as blatent as Haeckel. See: http://www.iconsofevolution.co.....p3?id=1562.

  5. Hello Barry, wb, thanks for pointing out the relevancy of Haeckel even as late as 2000,2003. One can even look at Wikipedia to see this still garners attention.

    re: GeneticID topic below….
    I’m curious, did you see the discussion about GeneticID and possible patents, law, future issues below in the post by Salvador in regards to ID?

    I was hoping a lawyer could chime in with some possible future scenario with others here on science and patent law.

    It appears to me upon first glance to be a big future debate and potential for litigation between large corporate entitities and small labs or individuals.

    They will have to prove a genetic product is Designed. I’d like this to be discussed more if possible in a new post if moderators agree.

    I was one of a dozen engineers at Dell assigned to the patent committee. Once a week we met together with Dell’s patent attorneys and reviewed an average of a dozen patent abstracts submitted by employees around the world. We’d evaluate them for value to the company and patentability then vote on whether or not to pursue filing with the US PTO and a few foreign governments. The employees who submitted the patent abstracts were invited to present their patent in person and answer any questions we might have. I did this my last two years at the company and reviewed close to 1000 patent abstracts. About 30% of those we reviewed were approved for filing and almost all of those we approved were eventually granted patents. I’m particularly expert in two things only recently approved by the PTO for patenting – software algorithms and business methods. I personally hold patents in each of those areas. What particular question did you have? -ds

    ds knows more about patent law than I do; what I know could fit comfortably in a thimble. BA

  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haeckel

    “Haeckel also stated that “politics is applied biology”, a quote used by Nazi propagandists. The Nazi party, rather unfortunately, used not only Haeckel’s quotes, but also Haeckel’s justifications for racism, nationalism and social Darwinism”

    I am sure we have all made the mistake of trying to base our world-view on a single theory. There is an old SNL skit in which Mike Brady (Brady Bunch) is out of work, but lands a new contract to architect a factory. At the unvieling, it turns out to be just an immense version of the only thing he ever designed: his house.

    Now, who still thinks that neo-darwinism is scientific theory?
    This little lamb maintains it is political doctrine in shepard’s clothing.

  7. Haeckel’s thinking and writings are relevant to the ID/Darwinism debate for a very important reason. They reflect the mindset and philosophical penchants of the people with whom, and the age in which, Darwinism took root.

    Darwin provided the 19th-century “death of God” movement with its long-awaited creation story, without which there was still room for the transcendent – something beyond purely purposeless, materialistic processes. This creation story also provided the soil in which the notion of the superiority of white Europeans could be nurtured. Man was no longer made in the image of God, and therefore imbued with intrinsic worth, he had evolved through a totally naturalistic process, and some races were more highly evolved than others.

    It was and still is because of the philosophical appeal of the theory that it has been so entrenched in intellectual circles and so resistant to disconfirming evidence. God was dead, and therefore Darwinism (or something very much like it) simply had to be true, regardless of the evidence. It is this point that Phillip Johnson has made so powerfully and persuasively.

    Precisely. BA

  8. Dave, thanks. I’d like to explore several topics. Possible legal law precedents set on biological life forms being patented by corporations. But in relation to future education for students and how it effects the ID/Evo debates.

    If companies move from GMO to fully modified organisms(or lets say more that 50%), how will it be discussed in education – even at high school levels? They will eventually have to talk about identifying artificial design in living organisms. Since artificial design is not evolution, is this not a quandry for evolutionist?

    And how does future applications which grow from detection services impact the conversation?

    Does this lend strength to ID arguments in the future?

    Also, will transgenic design experiments count as part of future GeneticID database? An example being the case of flourescent green pigs?

    Sorry, not able to narrow down the questions. It seems to bring up many. Es58 originally brought up the legal aspect in Salvador’s post.

    I’m sure that there are already many granted patents covering both GMOs and everything associated with them from DNA sequences to tools to methods. Go to http://www.uspto.gov and use the patent search feature to see what’s been done in areas of interest. -ds

  9. John H.

    Heackel is still well loved over at TO. They are happy to defend him. Here is what John Wilkins wrote at TO in what was selected as the post of the month.

    “Haeckel did his level best at classifying organisms; he defined and predicted a lot of techniques for phylogenetic construction, he observed and reported as well as he could the similarities in development and structure between organisms, and overall he inspired a generation of biologists. …. Am I ashamed of Haeckel? No, I am not”

    The fact that Haeckel influenced a generation of biologist with fraud and that he encouraged them to nazism as well as Darwinism is apparently no important to the folks at TO.

    You can read the defense of Haeckel here: http://www.talkorigins.org/ori.....dec03.html You can also see how immediately defensive and ugly it gets when someone tries to point at the truth about Haeckel.

  10. I guess it’s safe to say that, if Haeckel’s drawings hadn’t been posted TO THIS DAY in biological textbooks (revised/modified or however you might call it), we wouldn’t care anything about those. In many branches of science there have been “evidence” given to suport a given theory that time and more research showed to be wrong. No harm done. That’s one of the great appeals of science: verification, experimentation and more research confirm or refute a given theory.

    However, when a theory gives as evidence drawings that people have known to be fake for over 100 years, one has to wonder “What’s going on?”. I don’t think that anyone rejoices beating a “dead horse”. The reason why people still talk about Heackel’s drawings is that they are still used today to teach Darwinism.

    If Darwinists are going to use frauds as evidence for their theory, why not use Piltdown man as evidence aswell? At least be consistent.

    If they say “Well, we have found out that Piltdown Man was a fake”, we might ask “And haven’t we discovered that Heackel’s drawings are a fake?” Not only we discovered that those are fake, but Heackel himself admited that those were fakes! What more do we need to kick those drawings away from textbooks?

    Like Kent Hovind says in one of his videos “If everything you have to suport your theory are facts that have been prooven wrong and/or fraudlent, then I guess you should find a new theory”

    I couldn’t agree more.

  11. To be fair, it is not only Darwinism or materialism which ranks peoples on earth according to value. The ancient Jews were the “chosen people”, and many a missionary in former centuries was motivated to lift people up from out of their primitive condition(s) and into the enlightenment of Christianity. it is only that the materialist uses as his measuring stick the attributes of the physical body, which cannot be changed at will (racism) and that makes his philosophy particularly detestable.

  12. “Haeckel’s thinking and writings are relevant to the ID/Darwinism debate for a very important reason. They reflect the mindset and philosophical penchants of the people with whom, and the age in which, Darwinism took root.”

    And rightly so, since he did much pioneering and foundational work in evolutionary biology, and rightly deserves credit. Where he deviates from objective study, and becomes an author of biologic mechanisms, rather than an impartial observer, is where we must draw the line. Much of his work is credible, but much of it has been shown to be not only flawed, but fraudulent. My take is that he was so convinced of the efficacy of his recapitulation theory, that he felt justified in modifying the embryo drawings to conform with what he nonetheless believed to be an accurate representation.

    It’s probable, however, that years of preparatory work had backed him into a corner, whereby tweaking of the evidence was necessary to confirm long held hypotheses. Rather than say, “Well, guess I was wrong regarding the exact correlation of ontogeny and phylogeny”, he tweaked the evidence (embryonic charts), in the likely belief that further research would nonetheless confirm his hypotheses.

    As a parallel, present day biologists may be similarly inclined to attempt, through their life work, to confirm nurtured beliefs and hypotheses, rather than be objective, and possibly to refute, or modify these concepts. However much that desire exists, and especially given what we know today, the dissemination of Haeckel’s charts in textbooks, and the adherence to flawed ontological concepts based on the work of Haeckel and Darwin, is unconscionable.

    Some may not agree, but I see the evolutionary march in much the same way as I see the current march to war.

  13. Don’t forget that Darwin considered embryonic similarity to be “by far the strongest single class of facts in favor of my theory.” So what he considered to be the best available evidence turned out to be bogus.

  14. Materialism seeks to rank people by status, or demographic profile. Christianity rather ranks doctrine by its fruits (outcomes). Haeckel’s erroneous materialist doctrine bore Monism as its fruit, which resulted in the death of millions.

    The cornerstone of Haeckel’s work was Lamarckism, as was Darwin’s work. “Inheritance of acquired characters” became the cornerstone of the Nazi Monism religion. Neo-darwinism rejects Lamarckism replacing it rather with Natural Selection (survival-of the fittest).

    Making neo-darwinism “the cornerstone of modern science” raises this doctrine to the level of a religion which rejects creationism. It could easily be coined “Neo-monism”, but rather is called “New Age”. What fruit will it bear?

    ID seeks to replace Neo-darwinism as the cornerstone of modern science, but is currently being rejected by the shapers of our world.

    The word “corner-stone” here is key (pun intended). There is but one such stone that bears the fruit of life. Can I say “Jesus” on this blog? While ID at least recognizes the possiblity of a creator, it is still not a confession of faith, no matter who advocates it.

    Act 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (Also Eph 2:20 Mat 21:42 Mar 12:10 Luk 20:17 1Pe 2:7)

    Eph 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].”

  15. “I’m sure that there are already many granted patents covering both GMOs and everything associated with them from DNA sequences to tools to methods. Go to http://www.uspto.gov and use the patent search feature to see what’s been done in areas of interest.” -ds

    I’m familiar with the site. Are you asking me to narrow down the topic to a particular patent for discussion related to education and law?

  16. “Haeckel did his level best at classifying organisms; he defined and predicted a lot of techniques for phylogenetic construction, he observed and reported as well as he could the similarities in development and structure between organisms, and overall he inspired a generation of biologists. …. Am I ashamed of Haeckel? No, I am not.”

    That can only be because he has the same urge to merge into the womb of Mother Nature as Haeckel did and probably the same type of imagery in his head that causes his mind exist only in his imagination. It’s probably because the developmental pattern of the Darwinists’ brain events are revisiting their common ancestry in fish brains. It’s a little known fact that Darwinists have “fish brains” at one end of development and “gill slits” at the other. I could even draw you a little image of it and note of the brain imagery: “Say, doesn’t this look a little like that or somethin’?” Apparently that’s the standard of evidence typical to biologists and their textbooks, so it ought to suffice for them. I just debated some and they still cling to the intellectually degenerate standards of their imagination and even argue for the same old imagery. So it is not as if this is purely a matter of history.

    Interesting to note how Haeckel drew the Herd around him when he felt that running with the Herd was threatened:

    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 many of the most trusted observers and esteemed biologists. The great majority of all of the diagrams in the best biological text books, 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, schematized and constructed.

    –Haeckel cf. Haeckel’s Frauds and Forgeries
    by J. Assmuth (Emphasis added)

    The herd instinct is typical to the little fellows who cannot seem to recognize a conceptual type to save their lives. That’s Life.

    You can also see how immediately defensive and ugly it gets when someone tries to point at the truth about Haeckel.

    That fellow Wells probably knows a bit about that given that he tried to shatter their imagery. He’ll come across the proto-Nazi* tendency of those trying to engage in “biological thinking” these days. I hope he doesn’t expect them to begin thinking through their own biology conceptually in order to study Life. Most would rather engage in the perceptual, perhaps imagining a little historical narrative about things and then counting their own imagination as evidence, then perhaps trying to merge the past into the present, etc. It is quite an urge, to merge!

    There is one of the Herd now. Observe, apparently he found his way back to the womb of Mother Nature, but misses his gill slits!

    As I knelt there, fish beside me, dolphin overhead, an appreciation of my place in evolution hit me. This was the first time I had dived in the open ocean, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how I didn’t belong underwater. I needed a steel tank to carry my air, a mask to see, a wetsuit to trap my heat, weights to sink, an inflatable vest to rise, fins to swim.

    (At the Water’s Edge, Fish With Fingers Whales with Legs and How Life Came Ashore but Then Went Back to Sea
    by Carl Zimmer :2)

    I guess his ears didn’t revisit the “gill slit” stage at that point in his development, although his brain events seem to be revisiting something.

    *Some may be offended at me defining half-witted “Darwinian reasoning” and “biological thinking” as proto-Nazi given that much of the Darwinian imagination is the same now as it was a century ago. Yet look to the Darwinists who have projected onto ID that ID is like Holocaust denial. Perhaps you can be offended at that first, before settling once again into templates, talking points and Godwin’s Law. Why do I think that those trying to support Darwinian imagery these days have never debated a Holocaust denier? Anyone with even a minimal knowledge of history can trace patterns of ideas or the anti-idea of trying to pervert thought into “biological thinking” would know the irony of bringing up such topics. Apparently some biologists think that they know the history of organisms millions of years ago based for the most part on their ability to imagine historical accidents, yet they cannot be bothered with some of the results of “biological thinking” only a short time ago. Their thinking is indeed excreted from them just as their excrement is, yet they keep gathering in the “community” to tell each other that it does not stink.

  17. TinaBrewer wrote:
    “The ancient Jews were the “chosen people”, and many a missionary in former centuries was motivated to lift people up from out of their primitive condition(s) and into the enlightenment of Christianity.”

    Tina, at the risk of some serious thread drift, and “talking religion”, I think you have some misunderstanding about what it means that the Jews are “chosen”. Regardless of how individual Jews may have behave at any given time, their sacred texts are jam-packed with documentation of their disobedience and rebellion against the God who chose them. Their chosen-ness is evidence of God’s mercy, not their own worthiness. I think the Old Testament makes this pretty clear.

    And it is true that Christian proselytizers have often behaved in a condescending manner toward those they would persuade. This behavior contradicts the extreme humility that their scripture demands. In fact, one of the reasons that Christianity is less appealling than it would otherwise be is that it requires self-abasement and humility before God and other men. Repentance is not fun, and every Christian has to make it a lifelong pursuit!

    And possessing better knowledge or ideas is not the same as being better. Bringing knowledge of modern medicine to cultures that rely on Shamaans and superstition for healing does not have to denigrate the people in those cultures. The same holds true if the knowledge is not about the physical person, but the spiritual person.

    I think the difference with Haeckel, is that there doesn’t seem to be anything in Darwinism that would contradict his attitudes about race. There was no clear disconnect between his Darwinism and his attitudes. I humbly implore you to correct me if I’m wrong. ;)

  18. russ wrote :”I think the difference with Haeckel, is that there doesn’t seem to be anything in Darwinism that would contradict his attitudes about race.”

    Absolutely correct, russ.

    NeoDarwinists cannot have it both ways. For NeoDarwinism to distance itself from Haeckel’s views about racial “fitness” is to be disingenuous to it’s central tenet “survival of the fittest”. The hypocrisy of NeoDarwinists is that when pressed on the issue they will publicly assume the righteous stance that “all men are ‘created’ equal”, but in confidence they give a wink and sneer “created by who, the flying spaghetti monster?”

    A morality that is a product of some cost/benefit calculation for survival is an open door to racism, and NeoDarwinism is it’s key.

  19. …And for the record, the actual, full title of Darwin’s 1859 book is “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”

    I recently borrowed the book (for the second time) from my local Public Library and was amused, but not really surprised, to find they had cut out the inner title-page that previously carried the “Preservation of Favoured Races” tag. Perhaps y’all out there should check out your local library to see whether the “Clean Up Darwin” conspiracy is nationwide.

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