Further Development 24.1: Relating Evolution to Development in the 19th Century

Development and Evolution: Developmental Mechanisms of Evolutionary Change

  • Edmund Beecher Wilson and Frank R. Lillie and the relationship between evolution and development
  • Ernst Haeckel and the Biogenetic Law (An informed opinion)
    In the early 1900s, a fusion of evolution and embryology was wrongly interpreted to support a linear (as opposed to a branched) model of evolution. The interpretation of Ernst Haeckel was that every organism evolved by the terminal addition of a new stage to the end of the last "highest" organism. Thus, he saw the entire animal kingdom as representing truncated steps of human development.
  • Haeckel and the Vertebrate Archetype
    In the early 1900s, a fusion of evolution and embryology was wrongly interpreted to support a linear (as opposed to a branched) model of evolution. The interpretation of Ernst Haeckel was that every organism evolved by the terminal addition of a new stage to the end of the last "highest" organism. Thus, he saw the entire animal kingdom as representing truncated steps of human development.



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