Krause, Ernst Ludwig

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Krause, Ernst Ludwig

also known as Carus Sterne (b. Zielenzig, Germany [now Sulęcin, Poland], 22 November 1839; d. Eberswale, Germany, 24 August 1903)

scientific popularization.

After attending the Rcalschule in Meseritz (now Międzyrzecz, Poland, Krause trained to be an apothecary. In 1857 he began to study science at the University of Berlin, where he attended the lectures of Alexander Braun on botany, of Gustav Rose on mineralogy, and of Johannes Müller on comparative anatomy. Krause never worked as an apothecary but educated himself in a variety of fields and wrote popular scientific works. After receiving the doctorate from the University of Rostock in 1874, he lived in Berlin. In 1899, near the end of his life, he moved to Eberswalde.

Krause’s first publications (1862-1863) were directed against spiritualism. He early became an enthusiastic adherent of Darwin’s theory, which he made the basis of his own “natural system” for plants (1866). In this connection he criticized the hypothesis of the inheri. tance of acquired adaptations (Die botanische Syste. matik, p. 154). From 1866 until his death Krause was friendly with Haeckel and defended the latter’s monistic world view in numerous popular essays. The great success of Krause’s Werden und Vergehen (1876) is understandable in the context of the vehement ideological disputes provoked by Darwin’s theory. In this period Krause introduced many readers to the basic ideas of the theory of evolution. Simultane. ously, he showed that the new views had thoroughly shaken the traditional anthropomorphic conception of God and of God’s actions.

Belief in progress, a doctrine founded on the achievements of science, led to the creation of the journal Kosmos, of which Krause was an editor from 1877 to 1883. Among his co-workers on Kosmos, which advocated a unified world view, were Darwin, Haeckel, Arnold Lang, Strasburger, and a group of philosophers. Krause’s essay on Erasmus Darwin was translated into English (1879) at the urging of Charles Darwin, who wrote a biographical introduction for it. This work is still indispensable for studying the history of the theory of evolution.

On the other hand, many of Krause’s other papers, dealing with such subjects as the scientific basis of myths and with topics in prehistory and ethnography, were of little significance.


I. Original Works. The works preceded by (C. S.) were published under Krause’s pseudonym, Carus Sterne: Die Naturgeschichte der Gespenster. Physikalisch-physiolo. gisch-psychologische Studien (Weimar, 1863); Die botani. sche Systematik in ihrem Verhältnis zur Morphologie. Kritische Vergleichung der wichtigsten älteren Pflanzen. systeme nebst Vorschilägen zu einem natürlichem Pflanzen. system nach morphologischen Grundsaätzen (Weimar, 1866);(C. S.) Werden und Vergehen. Eine Entwicklungsgeschichte des Naturganzen in gemeinverständlicher Fassung (Berlin, 1876), 6th ed., rev., 2 vols. (1905-1906); Erasmus Darwin und seine Stellung in der Geschichte der Descendenz. Theorie. Mit seinem Lebens- und Charakterbilde von Charles Darwin (Leipzig, 1880). English trans. by W. S. Dallas as Erasmus Darwin. Willi a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin (London, 1879); (C. S.) Die Krone der Schöpfung. Vierzehn Essays ünd die stelling des Menschen in der Natur (Vienna, 1884); “Charles Darwin und sein Verhältnis zu Deutschland,” in E. Krause, ed., Gesammelte kleinere Schriften von Charles Drawin, I (Leipzig, 1885), 1-236; (C. S.) Die alte and die neue Weltanschauung.Studien über die Rätsel der Welt und des Lebens (Stuttgart, 1887); (C. S.) Die allgemeine Weltanschauung in ihrer historischen Entwickelung. Charakterbilder aus der Ge. schichte der Naturwissenschaften (Stuttgart, 1889); and Die Trojaburgen Nordeuropas. Ihr Zusammenhang mit der indogermanischen Trojasage (Glogau, 1893).

For Krause’s editorial contributions, see Kosmos1 -13 (1877-1883).

II. Secondary Literature. See Wilhelm Bölsche, “Zur Erinnerung an Carus Sterne,” in the 6th ed. of Krause’s Werden und Vergehen, with portrait; and Victor Hantzsch,“Krause, Ernst Ludwig,” in Biographisches Jahrbuch und deutscher Nekrolog, VIII (Berlin, 1905), p. 305-307.

Georg Uschmann