Haeckel, Ernst

Impavidi progrediamur— Courageously let us go forward. With this Latin expression, Ernst Haeckel ended his book The Freedom of Science and the Freedom to Teach (1879), in which he not only defended his belief in the evolutionary theory but also advocated that it should be taught in schools. It is an expression that might be a good description of his life.

Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (1834–1919) was born in Potsdam (then Prussia), spent his first years in Merseburg, and lived his adult life in Jena. His love for natural sciences was determined by his readings of Schiller, Goethe, and Humboldt's and Darwin's travel literature. He studied medicine but never practiced it, instead devoting his life to teaching, researching, and writing. Haeckel had an enormous creative ...

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