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Even Hæckel cannot adduce any more facts. He calls ontogeny a “short summary" of phylogeny, that is to say, if the different animal forms, which according to the theory of descent form the ancestral line of a higher organism, are called A B C D, etc., we find in the development of the individual only a fragment of this series of forms, perhaps A B D F H, etc., or B D H L, etc. Many evolutionary forms have therefore dropped out. These “ numerous and perceptible gaps ” would be of less importance if at least “ the succession of the forms remained really the same.” But “the historical record” of an order or a family “which is contained in the history of the individual's development” is not only “erased by abridgement,” but is also often “falsified by changes.”? Baer says of these “ falsifyings of development:" “ They pass my comprehension, since I feel convinced the manner of nature's operations is a subject for investigation, falsifying can have no part in it, and if there appears to be such, it is because nature is wrongly understood.” 3 At any rate in what he says about “ erasure” and “ falsification,” Hæckel confesses that the desired analogy, and a similar succession, does not exist everywhere, and therefore he is forced to admit that even this “record of creation,” which is "the most important of all to special phylogeny,” is not “less incomplete” than palæontology, and that it has “great defects, and often leaves us in the lurch.” “ The ontogenesis of the higher animal forms of the present day gives us a very faint and false picture of the original mode in which
1 Anthropogenie, p. 7. 3 Studien, p. viii.
? Ibid. p. 293; Ziele und Wege, etc. p. 76.
their ancestors developed. It is only by proceeding very carefully and critically that we can argue directly from the history of the germ to that of the race. Besides, the history of the germ is as yet known to us only in the case of very few species.”! This admission is certainly not calculated to weaken the charge that Hæckel has sometimes moulded the facts according to his own ideas, and has made up for the deficiency of the first by the number of the last. And it seems at least very doubtful whether Hæckel has really always employed the great care and criticism which he declares to be necessary. As regards this point, the gravest objections are made to a whole series of details by many eminent savants.?
In his History of Creation Hæckel places side by side drawings of the embryos of man, of the dog, the chick, and the tortoise. Rütimeyer says bluntly that Hæckel has evidently taken the discoveries of other investigators and generalized from them for speculative purposes. And of another passage in which Hæckel compares the embryo of the dog, the chick, and the tortoise, Rütimeyer observes that it is simply the same woodcut reprinted three times with three different names. Now, he says, such a proceeding is simply "joking with the public and with science.” He adds, “We pass over such things in second or third hand compilations, but when they occur in a history of creation, written by one well conversant with the microscope, and when, besides this, we find that Hæckel does not call these drawings rough designs, but says, “If
1 Anthropogenie, p. 375. 2 Cf. Huber, Zur Kritik, etc. p. 31 ; Semper, Der Hæckelismus, pp. 30-35. 3 Archiv für Anthr. iii. 301.
these embryos, figs. 9, 10, and 11, are compared, you will not be able to detect any difference between them, it is time to protest. Fortunately the time has gone by when knowledge was prescribed according to the beliefs of a caste; but we do still believe that an earnest inquirer is bound not by a written obligation, but by an internal sense of duty, to consider himself not under the censorship of a congregation, but in the presence of the highest attainable standard of truth, and this under all circumstances and without any reservation, even when employing the microscope." I
His's opinion of the drawings in the Anthropogenie is not more favourable.' He says, “I have no hesitation in asserting that the drawings, in so far as they are original drawings of Häckel's, are partly extremely inaccurate and partly simply invented.” Semper assures us that he could add a great many examples to those given by His. Thus, for instance, the pictures of the embryo of an earthworm copied from Kowalevsky are completely falsified, those of the amphioxus are partly so; and besides this, the first is made use of as completely to reverse Kowalevsky's account of it. On one occasion Hæckel gives a picture of a very early stage in the development of human life as if he had seen it; as a matter of fact no biologist has as yet done so. “Hæckel's mode of proceeding," says His, “is a frivolous trifling with facts, and it is even more
? In the later editions of the Nat. Schöpfungsgeschichte the drawings have been replaced by others, and the text on p. 272 slightly changed. Hæckel has also endeavoured to excuse himself in his pamphlet Ziele und Wege, p. 37.
* Unsere Körperform und das physiologische Problem ihrer Entstehung, Leipzig 1875, p. 170. 3 Der Hackelismus, pp. 35, 32. VOL. II.
dangerous than the trifling with words which was previously condemned. The latter can be criticized by every intelligent thinker, but the former can only be detected by the specialist, and it is the more unpardonable in Hæckel because he is well aware of the widespread influence which he possesses.” 1
Considering the overbearing and positive manner in which Hæckel states his views, it is not superfluous occasionally to remind people how inaccurate and inexact he is in his treatment of facts; and to show that Rütimeyer is quite justified in saying that the “History of Creation,” and the paper, Ueber die Entstehung und den Stammbaum des Menschengeschlechts, are“ a kind of fancy literature which reminds us of times long gone by, when observations were employed only as mortar for the stones given us by fancy, whereas now-a-days we are accustomed to the opposite state of things.” You will find in Michelis? Hæckelogonie a detailed scientific and philosophical criticism of Hæckel's pedigree.
But if men of science object to the reasons adduced by Darwin, Häckel, and others in proof of the theory of descent, it does not follow that they oppose that theory on principle. Even Pfaff does not dispute the assumption of a genealogical connection between
1 His adds these words, and Semper says that he entirely agrees with them. “I myself grew up in the belief that among all the qualifications of the scientific inquirer, trustworthiness and an absolute reverence for truth were the only ones which were indispensable. And I am still of opinion that if these qualifications are wanting, all the others, however brilliant they may be, are useless. I therefore leave others to admire in Herr Hæckel the active and reckless leader, I think that the way in which he has conducted the dispute entirely shuts him out from the ranks of sober and earnest inquirers.” —Cf. Pfaff, Schöpfungsgeschichte, 2nd ed. p. 709.
the earlier and later fauna and flora, that is, the principle of descent as such; he only objects to Darwin's attempt to solve the problem, and he would “rather wait for the correct theory which will correspond to the facts, and seek for it, than be content with a false theory which distorts the facts.”? And although philosophers and theologians oppose Darwin and Hæckel, it does not follow that they are opposed on principle to the theory of descent, or that they assert that it is impossible to harmonize the theory of descent, rightly understood, with the theory of creation. “It would be quite possible to suppose," says Michelis, “that the Creator had purposely chosen the method of developing the organic form genetically as the way of attaining to the perfect organization which in man was united to intellectual development. ... The difference between this ideal conception of the theory of evolution, which does not deny the idea of creation, and Hæckel's pseudo-empirical, pseudophilosophical monistic conception, which is essentially materialistic, would lie primarily in this, that in the one case the idea of the human organism as the end of the whole organization is supposed to be included in the plan of the Creator, in the other the organization perfects itself as if by chance without any guiding thought.”? At any rate the assumption
1 Grundriss, pp. 393, 399.
? Hæckelogonie, p. 42; cf. p. 55 ; cf. Huber, Die Lehre Darwins, p. 204 ; Zöckler, Geschichte der Beziehungen, ii. p. 714; Warington, Week of Creation, p. 109. Even in the Dublin Review, N. S. vol. xvii. (No. 33, July 1871), p. 4, it is not only admitted that the theory of evolution does not contradict the doctrine of the creation, but it is also said that the theory that all plants and animals have been developed from a single primordial form in no way contradicts the Bible (pp. 9, 15).