- Category : Science-Biology
- Type : GE
- Profile : 3/6 - Martyr / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (59)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 3
German experimental embryologist and philosopher who was the last great spokesman for vitalism, the theory that life cannot be explained as physical or chemical phenomena. He is also credited with performing the first cloning of an animal in the 1880s.
In 1887 he did his doctoral work at Jena under Ernst Heinrich Haeckel. For the next 10 years Driesch traveled extensively; he also experimented during this period with marine eggs, often at the international Zoological Station in Naples. In 1891 he separated the first two cells formed by a dividing sea urchin egg and discovered that each would form a whole larva.
Driesch’s work was of immediate importance in stimulating the progress of experimental embryology. His studies on embryonic induction, enzyme action, and nuclear and cytoplasmic interaction led to work that continues today, but in a less vitalistic framework.
In 1933 he was removed from his Leipzig chair and prematurely placed in emeritus status by the Nazi administration, the first non-Jewish academic to be thus expelled, because of his pacifism and open hostility to Nazism.
He became interested in parapsychology and published on such phenomena as telepathy, clairvoyance, and telekinesis.
He died 16 April 1941, Leipzig.