In this review essay, Ernst Haeckel is presented as the "archetypal German Romantic" who somehow managed to combine his artistic and philosophical interests with his work as Professor of Zoology. His espousal of Darwinism was accompanied by "a search for order, systematization and hierarchy that would reveal far more logic and purpose in life than a mere struggle for survival." His Biogenic Law ("organisms retrace their evolutionary history as they develop from an egg") "was an attempt to extract such a unifying scheme from the natural world." The reviewer finds tensions with science here, for Haeckel had a strong vision of what the world ought to be like. "Haeckel supplies a case study in the collision between Romanticism and science."
The subject of the notorious doctored embryo images is raised. The reviewer says "to my eye the evidence [of doctoring] looks pretty strong". However, the author of the book being reviewed suggests that the illustrations "instructed the reader how to interpret the shapes of nature properly."
Many of us think that generations of students have been cheated by being fed a diet of biogenic law, which is rooted in Haeckel's vision rather than in empirical data. The seriousness of the situation is shown by the way these errors have repeatedly surfaced, even in recent years. It really is time for Haeckel to be reinterpreted as a subversive influence in science. He was a gifted man, but he misused his gifts. He is an example of an ideologically motivated scholar who failed to subject his own ideas to proper critical scrutiny.
Painting the whole picture?
Philip Ball reviews Visions of Nature: The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel by Olaf Breidbach
Nature 445, 486-487 (1 February 2007) | doi:10.1038/445486a
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Evolution has become a favorite topic of the news media recently, but for some reason, they never seem to get the story straight. The staff at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture started this Blog to set the record straight and make sure you knew "the rest of the story".
A blogger from New England offers his intelligent reasoning.
We are a group of individuals, coming from diverse backgrounds and not speaking for any organization, who have found common ground around teleological concepts, including intelligent design. We think these concepts have real potential to generate insights about our reality that are being drowned out by political advocacy from both sides. We hope this blog will provide a small voice that helps rectify this situation.
Website dedicated to comparing scenes from the "Inherit the Wind" movie with factual information from actual Scopes Trial. View 37 clips from the movie and decide for yourself if this movie is more fact or fiction.
Don Cicchetti blogs on: Culture, Music, Faith, Intelligent Design, Guitar, Audio
Australian biologist Stephen E. Jones maintains one of the best origins "quote" databases around. He is meticulous about accuracy and working from original sources.
Most guys going through midlife crisis buy a convertible. Austrialian Stephen E. Jones went back to college to get a biology degree and is now a proponent of ID and common ancestry.
Complete zipped downloadable pdf copy of David Stove's devastating, and yet hard-to-find, critique of neo-Darwinism entitled "Darwinian Fairytales"
Intelligent Design The Future is a multiple contributor weblog whose participants include the nation's leading design scientists and theorists: biochemist Michael Behe, mathematician William Dembski, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, philosophers of science Stephen Meyer, and Jay Richards, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson, molecular biologist Jonathan Wells, and science writer Jonathan Witt. Posts will focus primarily on the intellectual issues at stake in the debate over intelligent design, rather than its implications for education or public policy.
A Philosopher's Journey: Political and cultural reflections of John Mark N. Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds is Director of the Torrey Honors Institute at