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Activity Of Consciousness
Aim And Method Of Naturalism
Autonomy Of Spirit
Consciousness Of The Ego
Constructive Criticism
Contrast Between Darwinian And Post-darwinian Views
Creative Power Of Consciousness
Criticisms Of The Mechanistic Theory Of Life
Crities Of Darwinism
Darwinish In General
Darwinism And Teleology
Darwinism In The Strict Sense
De Vries's Mutation-theory
Differences Of Opinion As To The Factors In Evolution
Eimer's Orthogenesis
Evolution And New Beginnings
Feeling Individuality Genius And Mysticism
Freedom Of Spirit
Fundamental Principles Of Naturalism
Goethe's Attitude To Naturalism
Haeckel's Evolutionist Position
How All This Affects The Religious Outlook
How The Religious And The Naturalistic Outlooks Conflict
Individual Development
Intuitions Of Reality
Is There Ageing Of The Mind?
Lamarckism And Neo-lamarckism
Machnical Theories Criticism
Mind And Spirit The Human And The Animal Soul
Mystery : Dependence : Purpose
Natural Selection
Naturalistic Attacks On The Autonomy Of The Spiritual
No Parallelism
Other Instances Of Dissatisfaction With The Theory Of Descent
Pre-eminence Of Consciousness
Preyer's Position
Religion And The Theory Of Descent
Spontaneous Generation
Teleological And Scientific Interpretations Are Alike Necessary
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Space
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Time
The Antimony Of The Conditioned And The Unconditioned
The Characteristic Features Of Darwinism
The Conservation Of Matter And Energy
The Constructive Work Of Driesch
The Contingency Of The World
The Dependence Of The Order Of Nature
The Development Of Darwinism
The Ego
The Fundamental Answer
The Law Of The Conservation Of Energy
The Mechanics Of Development
The Mystery Of Existence Remains Unexplained
The Organic And The Inorganic
The Position Of Bunge And Other Physiologists
The Problema Continui
The Real World
The Recognition Of Purpose
The Religious Interpretation Of The World
The Spontaneous Activity Of The Organism
The Supremacy Of Mind
The Theory Of Descent
The True Naturalism
The Two Kinds Of Naturalism
The Unconscious
The Unity Of Consciousness
The Views Of Albrecht And Schneider
The Views Of Botanists Illustrated
The World And God
Theory Of Definite Variation
Theory Of Life
Various Forms Of Darwinism
Virchow's Caution
Virchow's Position
Weismann's Evolutionist Position
What Is Distinctive In The Naturalistic Outlook
What Is Distinctive In The Religious Outlook

Haeckel's Evolutionist Position

The average type of the Theory of Descent of the older or orthodox school,
which still lingers in the background with its Darwinism unshaken, is that
set forth by Haeckel, scientifically in his "Generelle Morphologie der
Organismen" (1866), and "Systematische Phylogenie" (1896), and popularly
in his "Natural History of Creation" and "Riddles of the Universe," with
their many editions. We may assume that it is well known, and need only
briefly recall its chief characteristics. The "inestimable value," the
"incomparable significance," the "immeasurable importance" of the Theory
of Descent lies, according to Haeckel, in the fact that by means of it we
can explain the origin of the forms of life "in a mechanical manner." The
theory, especially in regard to the descent of man from the apes, is to
him not a working hypothesis or tentative mode of representation; it is a
result comparable to Newton's law of gravitation or the Kant-Laplace
cosmogony. It is "a certain historical fact." The proofs of it are those
already mentioned.

What is especially Haeckelian is the "fundamental biogenetic law,"
"ontogeny resembles phylogeny," that is to say, in development, especially
in embryonic development, the individual recapitulates the history of the
race. Through "palingenesis," man, for instance, recapitulates his
ancestral stages (protist, gastraead, vermine, piscine, and simian). This
recapitulation is condensed, disarranged, or obscured in detail by
"cenogenesis" or "caenogenesis." The groups and types of organisms exhibit
the closest genetic solidarity. The genealogical tree of man in particular
runs directly through a whole series. From the realm of the protists it
leads to that of the gastraeadae (nowadays represented by the Coelentera),
thence into the domain of the worms, touches the hypothetical "primitive
chordates" (for the necessary existence of which "certain proofs" can be
given), the class of tunicates, ascends through the fishes, amphibians and
reptiles to forms parallel to the modern monotremes, then directly through
the marsupials to the placentals, through lemuroids and baboons to the
anthropoid apes, from them to the "famous Pithecanthropus" discovered in
Java, out of which homo sapiens arose. (The easy transition from one
group of forms to another is to be noted. For it is against this point
that most of the opposition has been directed, whether from "grumbling"
critics, or thoroughgoing opponents of the Theory of Descent.)

Haeckel's facile method of constructing genealogical trees, which ignores
difficulties and discrepant facts, has met with much criticism and
ridicule even among Darwinians. The "orator of Berlin," Du Bois-Reymond,
declared that if he must read romances he would prefer to read them in
some other form than that of genealogical trees. But they have at least
the merit that they give a vivid impression of what is most plausible and
attractive in the idea of descent, and moreover they have helped towards
orientation in the discussion. Nor can we ignore the very marked taxonomic
and architectonic talent which their construction displays.

Next: Weismann's Evolutionist Position

Previous: The Theory Of Descent

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