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March 13, 1909

Wells, Darwin and Haeckel and the Doctrine of Evolution

JAMA. 1909;LII(11):905. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02540370063017

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To the Editor:  —All thinkers are one in admiring Ernst Haeckel, who has retired after giving to the world important, if not indispensable science.A meritorious esteem existed between Darwin and Haeckel. Darwin exalted Haeckel's perception of evolutionary principles, while Haeckel praised Darwin's discovery of the principle of natural selection, the law of organic evolution, which science considers the greatest light to lead to biologic truth.Haeckel exhaustively reviews the history of evolution but omits the name of Wells, and thus commits a great error, for this omission, due to a lack of information, is inexcusable, inasmuch as Haeckel had as good an opportunity as Darwin to learn of Wells' work in biology.William Charles Wells, of Charleston, S. C., solved the problem and turned over to thinkers and doers the key to unlock, in a more or less routinary way, the door leading to the sublimities of life, that

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