Vernon Kellogg

Vernon Myman Lyman Kellogg (1867 - 1937) was an American entomologist and professor of entomology at Stanford University from 1894 to 1920. One of his students was Herbert Hoover. Kellogg spent 1915 to 1916 in Brussels as director of Hoover's humanitarian American Commission for Relief in Belgium. Kellogg was a pacifist but while in Europe he dined with the officers of the German Supreme Command and became shocked by how the German military leaders used Darwin's theory of evolution, including the survival of the fittest, to just military aggression. Kellogg came to believe that such ideas could only be defeated by force and he began to support American intervention in World War I.

Kellogg recounted his meetings with the German military leaders in his book "Headquarters Nights: A Record of Conversations and Experiences at the Headquarters of the German Army in France and Belgium." William Jennings Bryan, who was horrified by the mass slaughter of World War I, was deeply influenced by Kellogg's book which led him to believe that German militarism was based on the "survival of the fittest" doctrine from the theory of evolution. Kellogg was also one of the founding organizers of the National Research Council.