Ernst Haeckel: biography, scientific work. Haeckel's contribution to biology
After dedicating his life to the study of living nature, Ernst Haeckel made many discoveries and made a great contribution to science. More information about the scientific activities of the scientist find out later in the article.
Ernst Haeckel: Biography
German philosopher and natural scientist E. Haeckel was born in Potsdam in 1834. After graduating from school in Miesburg, he studied medicine and science in Berlin, Würzburg universities. He defended his thesis on zoology at the University of Jena. In 1858 he received a doctor's degree.
Ernst Haeckel showed an unusual interest inmicroscopic anatomy and zoology. In 1859, he went on an expedition to Italy, where he studied plankton, sponges, worms, and discovered new types of radiolarians. Upon his return, the scientist occupies the post of professor, and then assistant professor at the University of Jena and teaches comparative anatomy.
Since 1863, the activesocial and scientific activity. He gives a speech on Darwinism, issues his printed works, and formulates scientific theories. At the end of the XIX century, the researcher went on an expedition to Egypt, Algeria, the islands of Madeira and Ceylon. Later he traveled around Syria, Corsica, Tenerife, Norway, Gibraltar and other places, studying their fauna and making sketches.
In 1867, Ernst Haeckel married Agnes Hushke. They have a son Walter, daughter of Emma and Elizabeth. The death of his wife in 1915 greatly affected the health and well-being of the scientist. He died in Germany on August 9, 1919.
Research and publications
The receipt of the doctor's diploma did not affectprofessional activity of a scientist. In many ways, his research and worldview was influenced by communication with Charles Darwin. Books Ernst Haeckel begins to publish since 1866. His first work is called "General morphology of organisms." After a while, the book "The Natural History of Peacemaking" is published, where he speaks in support of evolutionary theory.
In 1866, he forms an improved versionbiogenetic law, formulated several years earlier. In this regard, Ernst Haeckel is building a theory of gastres, explaining the origin of multicellular organisms from unicellular organisms. This makes Haeckel known in the scientific community.
In 1874 published the publication "Anthropogeny, or the History of Human Development," in which he expounds his next theory about the existence of an intermediate link between the monkey and man.
During the expedition in Africa and Asia he writesworks on jellyfish, deep-sea fish, radiolarians, and then devotes to the research of these organisms the book "Systematic phylogeny". In all, Ernst Haeckel wrote about 26 works, some of them translated into Russian.
General morphology of organisms
Another discipline, in the development of whicha significant contribution Ernst Haeckel, - ecology. In his first book, "The general morphology of organisms," the scientist puts forward the theory of the need to separate it into a separate biological discipline. In his opinion, the complex processes of interaction between living organisms and their connection with the environment should be the subject of a study of science called ecology.
Ernst Haeckel believed that the main task of thisdiscipline is the study of organic and inorganic environmental conditions, to which living organisms are forced to adapt. Under the inorganic nature of the scientist understood climatic factors, such as light, atmospheric electricity, moisture, heat, as well as the composition of soil and water. To organic Haeckel related all types of relationships between organisms.
Inspired by evolutionary theory, Haeckelformulated a law that also bears the name of the Haeckel-Muller law. It is based on the assumption that during development, the individual organism repeats the forms of the main stages of its evolution. That is, by observing the development of the embryo, one can trace how the natural formation of its species took place.
The first such hypothesis was put forward by Charles Darwinin the publication "Origin of Species", but it was not very clear. In 1864, Fritz Muller, in his book For Darwin, says that the historical development of a species is reflected in the development of the individual. Two years later Haeckel, on the basis of his own research, gave a clear formulation of these thoughts under the name of the biogenetic law.
Law is often used as a confirmationDarwinian theory, although at present there are many facts that can disprove its correctness. For example, in the initial stages, the development of vertebrates is not the same. Similarities are noted only at later stages.
The theory of gastres
Based on the biogenetic law, Ernst HeinrichHaeckel creates a theory that explains the origin of multicellular organisms from unicellular organisms. In his opinion, the first multicellular creature had similar features with a gastrula - an embryonic form consisting of a layer of outer and inner cells.
According to theory, the unicellular organism begandivision, in which the daughter cells did not diverge, but formed a cluster. Subsequently, they began to differ in functional and anatomical features - some responsible for movement, others for digestion. Thus, according to Haeckel's theory, a multicellular organism was formed, which was called gastrea. He reminded the first coelenterates animals.
During his life Ernst Heinrich Haeckel publishedmany works, introduced the terms ecology, pithecanthropus, ontogeny and phylogeny into science. Exploring the marine fauna in expeditions, he discovered more than a hundred kinds of radiolarians. Haeckel was one of the first zoologists in Germany to join the theory of Darwin. Supporting the evolutionary theory in his studies, he tried to determine the system of development of the animal kingdom, formulated a biogenetic law and the theory of the origin of multicellular organisms.