Constance Sommerey


Enchanted by Haeckel’s art? So enchanted that you want to know more about this intriguing nineteenth century German scientist?


Ernst Haeckel in his study - A 19th century scientist and artist with his Kunstformen der Natur

Well, then you have probably already googled him and were blown away by the many less-enchanting and rather disturbing stories about Haeckel circulating the web.
Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) was a German zoologist who took it upon himself to spread Darwin’s theory of evolution to his German audience.

He believed that evolution would eventually replace religious explanations of the natural world. He became very successful. He sold more books, worldwide, than Darwin did during his lifetime. This success earned him the title ‘The German Darwin’.

The many articles and videos revolving around Haeckel on the Internet, however, paint the picture of a scientist unworthy of the name. He was a racist, a fraud and contributed to the rise of Nazism in Germany. These accusations, so easily reproduced over and over again, paint a black and white picture of Haeckel. A picture that actually comes in many shades of grey.

This blog series, called ‘Haeckel-Files’, takes up these accusations and addresses their grey areas. You will be surprised and appalled. You will learn about nineteenth century science and you will learn how Creationists, almost a century after Haeckel’s death, use him as a scapegoat for demonizing evolution.