1870 Haeckel Racist human illustration

1870 Haeckel Racist human illustration

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 1870 Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte (2nd edition) by Ernst Haeckel - an extended version of a smaller frontis from the 1868 first edition. Haeckel believed that humans comprised 12 species (to the right here) which evolved from an ancestor on the drowned continent of Lemuria (see map this collection). He also believed there was an affinity between the "lowest humans" and "highest apes". The poor art does much to enhance his racist case. The way selective drawing was used is easier here to see than in his famous Haeckel Embryology diagram. The pinnacle of humanity was the 'Mittellander' German ideal, and he looked a lot like Haeckel. Not everyone was impressed, his Darwinian biological contemporary Michael Foster described the plate as "at once absurdly horrible and theatrically grotesque, without any redeeming feature either artistic or scientific.".

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Keywords: 1800s, 19th century, ape, caracature, caricature, colour, drawing, embryology, ernst, eugenics, german, haeckel, human, illustration, lemuria, monkey, nazi, races, racism, racist, scientific, simian

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