Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Virchow, Rudolf Ludwig Karl

German physician, statesman, anthropologist, founder of cell pathology; demonstrated that the cell is the location of disease processes, displacing the ancient humoral theory of disease; showed that new cells are generated by cell division, and not spontaneous generation; he was incorrect in his interpretation of the Feldhofer Neandertal as pathological (he suggested giantism and/or rickets); was influential in the founding of German anthropological societies in the 1860s; opposed Darwinism, arguing that the argument itself was not robust; opposed Haeckel, particularly concerning ideas about race.

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