The Riddle of the Universe

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Paperback, 391 pages
Prometheus Books, 1992
First Edition
Great Mind Series

Greatly influenced by Charles Darwin, the famed German zoologist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) boldly defended the fact of organic evolution and seriously considered its far-reaching ramifications for science, philosophy, and theology. Advocating the interplay of empirical evidence and rational speculation, The Riddle of the Universe is his most daring, comprehensive, and successful work. Its monistic and naturalistic worldview offers a cosmic perspective and evolutionary framework that supplants traditional theistic beliefs in God, free will, and the personal immortality of the human soul. This classic volume remains a tour de force of critical thought, free inquiry, and intellectual value.

Translated by Joseph McCabe with an Introduction by H. James Birx

About the Author

Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) was a professor of biology at the University of Jena, Germany. He was the first German advocate of Darwin's theory of evolution, and he formulated the often-repeated phrase "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny." He was also the first to create a genealogical tree that related all of the various orders of animals. He published seven books, his last being The Riddle of the Universe.