Confessions of Faith
Ernst Haeckel was an industrious German naturalist and advocate of Darwinism; he was so influenced by Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859) that he switched from a career in medicine to focus on a career in zoology. By 1862, Haeckel had become a professor of comparative anatomy.
following a lecture on Monism is an informal address delivered extemporaneously on October 9, 1892, at Alten- burg, on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the “ Naturforschende Gesellschaft des Osterlandes.” The immediate occasion of it was a previous address delivered by Professor Schlesinger of Vienna on u Scientific Articles of Faith.”
This philosophical discourse contained, with reference to the weightiest and most important problems of scientific investigation, much that was indisputable; but it also contained some assertions that challenged immediate re- joinder and a statement of the opposite view. As I had for thirty years been very closely occupied with these problems of. the philosophy of nature, and had set forth my convictions with respect to them in a number of writings, a wish was expressed by several members of the Congress that on this occasion I should give a summary account of these. It was in compliance with this wish that the following “ Scientific Confession of Faith ”. was uttered.
The substance of it, as written from recollection on the day after its delivery, first appeared in the Altenburger Zeitung of 19th October 1892. This was reproduced, with one or two philosophical additions, in the November number of the Freie Biikne fur den EntwicJcelungskampf der Zeit (Berlin). In its present form, the Altenburg address is considerably enlarged, and some parts have been more fully worked out. In the notes (p. 91) several burning questions of the present day have been dealt with from the monistic point of view.