# The New International Encyclopædia/Blumenbach, Johann Friedrich

**BLUMENBACH**, blōō'm*e*n-bȧG, Johann
Friedrich (1752-1840). A German naturalist,
physiologist, and anthropologist, born in Gotha.
He studied in Jena and in Göttingen, where he
graduated with the degree of M.D. in 1776. He
began to teach in Göttingen in 1776, became a
professor in 1778, and exercised the greatest
influence as a teacher for more than fifty years.
He founded the science of anthropology. His
*Collectio Craniorum Diversarum Gentium* (1790-1828)
gave the results of observations upon the
skulls of different races. He advocated the theory
of the unity of the human race, and divided
it into five types — Caucasian, Mongolian, Malay,
American, and Ethiopian. His *Handbuch der*
*Naturgeschichte* (1780) has gone through many
editions. He was the first to place comparative
anatomy on a thoroughly scientific basis, and in
1805 published his *Handbuch der vergleichenden*
*Anatomie*. He speculated on the power of
generation and regeneration, and imagined that a
*nisus formativus*, or formative tendency, was
possessed by all living things. Consult his
*Ueber den Bildungstrieb und das Zeugungsgeschäft*
(Göttingen, 1791).