Thomas Huxley

Thomas Huxley

Overview
Thomas Henry Huxley PC FRS
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895) was an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 biologist
Biologist
A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of life. Typically biologists study organisms and their relationship to their environment. Biologists involved in basic research attempt to discover underlying mechanisms that govern how organisms work...

, known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

's theory of evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

.

Huxley's famous 1860 debate
1860 Oxford evolution debate
The 1860 Oxford evolution debate took place at the Oxford University Museum on 30 June 1860, seven months after the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Several prominent British scientists and philosophers participated, including Thomas Henry Huxley, Bishop Samuel...

 with Samuel Wilberforce
Samuel Wilberforce
Samuel Wilberforce was an English bishop in the Church of England, third son of William Wilberforce. Known as "Soapy Sam", Wilberforce was one of the greatest public speakers of his time and place...

 was a key moment in the wider acceptance of evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

, and in his own career. Huxley had been planning to leave Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 on the previous day, but, after an encounter with Robert Chambers, the author of Vestiges
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation is a unique work of speculative natural history published anonymously in England in 1844. It brought together various ideas of stellar evolution with the progressive transmutation of species in an accessible narrative which tied together numerous...

, he changed his mind and decided to join the debate.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Thomas Huxley'
Start a new discussion about 'Thomas Huxley'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Quotations

To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall.

"On the Educational Value of the Natural History Sciences" (1854)

Life is too short to occupy oneself with the slaying of the slain more than once.

One of a series of exchanges when Richard Owen|Richard Owen repeated generally repudiated claims about the Gorilla brain in a Royal Institution lecture. Athenaeum (13 April 1861) p.498; Browne Vol 2, p.159

I have never had the least sympathy with the a priori reasons against orthodoxy, and I have by nature and disposition the greatest possible antipathy to all the atheistic and infidel school. Nevertheless I know that I am, in spite of myself, exactly what the Christian would call, and, so far as I can see, is justified in calling, atheist and infidel.

Letter to Charles Kingsley|Charles Kingsley (6 May 1863)
Encyclopedia
Thomas Henry Huxley PC FRS
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895) was an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 biologist
Biologist
A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of life. Typically biologists study organisms and their relationship to their environment. Biologists involved in basic research attempt to discover underlying mechanisms that govern how organisms work...

, known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

's theory of evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

.

Huxley's famous 1860 debate
1860 Oxford evolution debate
The 1860 Oxford evolution debate took place at the Oxford University Museum on 30 June 1860, seven months after the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Several prominent British scientists and philosophers participated, including Thomas Henry Huxley, Bishop Samuel...

 with Samuel Wilberforce
Samuel Wilberforce
Samuel Wilberforce was an English bishop in the Church of England, third son of William Wilberforce. Known as "Soapy Sam", Wilberforce was one of the greatest public speakers of his time and place...

 was a key moment in the wider acceptance of evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

, and in his own career. Huxley had been planning to leave Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 on the previous day, but, after an encounter with Robert Chambers, the author of Vestiges
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation is a unique work of speculative natural history published anonymously in England in 1844. It brought together various ideas of stellar evolution with the progressive transmutation of species in an accessible narrative which tied together numerous...

, he changed his mind and decided to join the debate. Wilberforce was coached by Richard Owen
Richard Owen
Sir Richard Owen, FRS KCB was an English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist.Owen is probably best remembered today for coining the word Dinosauria and for his outspoken opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection...

, against whom Huxley also debated whether humans were closely related to apes.

Huxley was slow to accept some of Darwin's ideas, such as gradualism
Gradualism
Gradualism is the belief in or the policy of advancing toward a goal by gradual, often slow stages.-Politics and society:In politics, the concept of gradualism is used to describe the belief that change ought to be brought about in small, discrete increments rather than in abrupt strokes such as...

, and was undecided about natural selection
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

, but despite this he was wholehearted in his public support of Darwin. He was instrumental in developing scientific education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 in Britain, and fought against the more extreme versions of religious tradition.

Huxley coined the term 'agnostic' to describe his own views on theology, a term whose use has continued to the present day (see Thomas Henry Huxley and agnosticism).

Huxley had little formal schooling and taught himself almost everything he knew. Remarkably, he became perhaps the finest comparative anatomist
Comparative anatomy
Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of organisms. It is closely related to evolutionary biology and phylogeny .-Description:...

 of the latter 19th century. He worked on invertebrates, clarifying relationships between groups previously little understood. Later, he worked on vertebrates, especially on the relationship between apes and humans. After comparing Archaeopteryx
Archaeopteryx
Archaeopteryx , sometimes referred to by its German name Urvogel , is a genus of theropod dinosaur that is closely related to birds. The name derives from the Ancient Greek meaning "ancient", and , meaning "feather" or "wing"...

 with Compsognathus
Compsognathus
Compsognathus was a small, bipedal, carnivorous theropod dinosaur. The animal was the size of a turkey and lived around 150 million years ago, the early Tithonian stage of the late Jurassic Period, in what is now Europe. Paleontologists have found two well-preserved fossils, one in Germany...

, he concluded that birds evolved from small carnivorous dinosaurs
Theropoda
Theropoda is both a suborder of bipedal saurischian dinosaurs, and a clade consisting of that suborder and its descendants . Dinosaurs belonging to the suborder theropoda were primarily carnivorous, although a number of theropod groups evolved herbivory, omnivory, and insectivory...

, a theory widely accepted today.

The tendency has been for this fine anatomical work to be overshadowed by his energetic and controversial activity in favour of evolution, and by his extensive public work on scientific education, both of which had significant effects on society in Britain and elsewhere.

Early life


Thomas Henry Huxley was born in Ealing
Ealing
Ealing is a suburban area of west London, England and the administrative centre of the London Borough of Ealing. It is located west of Charing Cross and around from the City of London. It is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan. It was historically a rural village...

, then a village in Middlesex
Middlesex
Middlesex is one of the historic counties of England and the second smallest by area. The low-lying county contained the wealthy and politically independent City of London on its southern boundary and was dominated by it from a very early time...

. He was the second youngest of eight children of George Huxley and Rachel Withers. Like some other British scientists of the nineteenth century such as Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace, OM, FRS was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist...

, Huxley was brought up in a literate middle-class family which had fallen on hard times. His father was a mathematics teacher at Ealing School until it closed, putting the family into financial difficulties. As a result, Thomas left school at age 10, after only two years of formal schooling.

Despite this unenviable start, Huxley was determined to educate himself. He became one of the great autodidact
Autodidacticism
Autodidacticism is self-education or self-directed learning. In a sense, autodidacticism is "learning on your own" or "by yourself", and an autodidact is a person who teaches him or herself something. The term has its roots in the Ancient Greek words αὐτός and διδακτικός...

s of the nineteenth century. At first he read Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era.He called economics "the dismal science", wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, and became a controversial social commentator.Coming from a strict Calvinist family, Carlyle was...

, James Hutton
James Hutton
James Hutton was a Scottish physician, geologist, naturalist, chemical manufacturer and experimental agriculturalist. He is considered the father of modern geology...

's Geology, Hamilton
Sir William Hamilton, 9th Baronet
Sir William Hamilton, 9th Baronet was a Scottish metaphysician.-Early life:He was born in Glasgow. He was from an academic family, including Robert Hamilton, the economist...

's Logic. In his teens he taught himself German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, eventually becoming fluent and used by Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

 as a translator of scientific material in German. He learned Latin and enough Greek to read Aristotle in the original.

Later on, as a young adult, he made himself an expert first on invertebrates, and later on vertebrates, all self-taught. He was skilled in drawing and did many of the illustrations for his publications on marine invertebrates. In his later debates and writing on science and religion his grasp of theology was better than most of his clerical opponents. So, a boy who left school at ten became one of the most knowledgeable men in Britain.

He was apprenticed for short periods to several medical practitioners: at 13 to his brother-in-law John Cooke in Coventry, who passed him on to Thomas Chandler, notable for his experiments using mesmerism
Animal magnetism
Animal magnetism , in modern usage, refers to a person's sexual attractiveness or raw charisma. As postulated by Franz Mesmer in the 18th century, the term referred to a supposed magnetic fluid or ethereal medium believed to reside in the bodies of animate beings...

 for medical purposes. Chandler's practice was in London's Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe is a residential district in inner southeast London, England and part of the London Borough of Southwark. It is located on a peninsula on the south bank of the Thames, facing Wapping and the Isle of Dogs on the north bank, and is a part of the Docklands area...

 amidst the squalor endured by the Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

ian poor. Here Thomas would have seen poverty, crime and rampant disease at its worst. Next, another brother-in-law took him on: John Salt, his eldest sister's husband. Now 16, Huxley entered Sydenham College (behind University College Hospital
University College Hospital
University College Hospital is a teaching hospital located in London, United Kingdom. It is part of the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is closely associated with University College London ....

), a cut-price anatomy school whose founder Marshall Hall
Marshall Hall (physiologist)
Marshall Hall FRS was an English physician and physiologist. His name is attached to the theory of reflex arc mediated by the spinal cord, to a method of resuscitation of drowned people, and to the elucidation of function of capillary vessels....

 discovered the reflex arc
Reflex arc
A reflex arc is a neural pathway that controls an action reflex. In higher animals, most sensory neurons do not pass directly into the brain, but synapse in the spinal cord...

. All this time Huxley continued his program of reading, which more than made up for his lack of formal schooling.

A year later, buoyed by excellent results and a silver medal prize in the Apothecaries' yearly competition, Huxley was admitted to study at Charing Cross Hospital
Charing Cross Hospital
Charing Cross Hospital is a general, acute hospital located in London, United Kingdom and established in 1818. It is located several miles to the west of the city centre in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham....

, where he obtained a small scholarship. At Charing Cross, he was taught by the Scot, Thomas Wharton Jones, Professor of Ophthalmic Medicine and Surgery at University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

. Jones had been Robert Knox
Robert Knox
Robert Knox was a Scottish surgeon, anatomist and zoologist. He was the most popular lecturer in anatomy in Edinburgh before his involvement in the Burke and Hare body-snatching case. This ruined his career, and a later move to London did not improve matters...

's assistant when Knox bought cadavers from Burke and Hare. The young Wharton Jones, who acted as go-between, was exonerated of crime, but thought it best to leave Scotland. He was a fine teacher, up-to-date in physiology and also an ophthalmic surgeon. In 1845, under Wharton Jones' guidance, Huxley published his first scientific paper demonstrating the existence of a hitherto unrecognized layer in the inner sheath of hairs, a layer that has been known since as Huxley's layer
Huxley's layer
The second layer of the inner root sheath of the hair consists of one or two layers of horny, flattened, nucleated cells, known as Huxley's layer....

. No doubt remembering this, and of course knowing his merit, later in life Huxley organised a pension for his old tutor.

At twenty he passed his First M.B. examination at the University of London
University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

, winning the gold medal for anatomy
Anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

 and physiology
Physiology
Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or...

. However, he did not present himself for the final (2nd M.B.) exams and consequently did not qualify with a university degree. His apprenticeships and exam results formed a sufficient basis for his application to the Royal Navy.

Voyage of the Rattlesnake


Aged 20, Huxley was too young to apply to the Royal College of Surgeons
Royal College of Surgeons of England
The Royal College of Surgeons of England is an independent professional body and registered charity committed to promoting and advancing the highest standards of surgical care for patients, regulating surgery, including dentistry, in England and Wales...

 for a licence to practice, yet he was 'deep in debt'. So, at a friend's suggestion, he applied for an appointment in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. He had references on character and certificates showing the time spent on his apprenticeship and on requirements such as dissection and pharmacy. Sir William Burnett, the Physician General of the Navy, interviewed him and arranged for the College of Surgeons to test his competence (by means of a viva voce
Viva voce
Viva voce is a Latin phrase literally meaning "with living voice," but most often translated as "by word of mouth."It may also refer to:*Italian for "live voice."*Voice vote in a deliberative assembly...

).

Finally Huxley was made Assistant Surgeon
Surgery
Surgery is an ancient medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, or to help improve bodily function or appearance.An act of performing surgery may be called a surgical...

 ('surgeon's mate') to HMS Rattlesnake
HMS Rattlesnake (1822)
HMS Rattlesnake was an Atholl-class 28-gun sixth-rate corvette of the Royal Navy launched in 1822. She made a historic voyage of discovery to the Cape York and Torres Strait areas of northern Australia.-Construction:...

, about to start for a voyage of discovery and surveying to New Guinea and Australia. The Rattlesnake left England on 3 December 1846 and, once they had arrived in the southern hemisphere, Huxley devoted his time to the study of marine invertebrates. He began to send details of his discoveries back to England, where publication was arranged by Edward Forbes
Edward Forbes
Professor Edward Forbes FRS, FGS was a Manx naturalist.-Early years:Forbes was born at Douglas, in the Isle of Man. While still a child, when not engaged in reading, or in the writing of verses and drawing of caricatures, he occupied himself with the collecting of insects, shells, minerals,...

 FRS (who had also been a pupil of Knox). Both before and after the voyage Forbes was something of a mentor to Huxley.

Huxley's paper "On the anatomy and the affinities of the family of Medusae" was published in 1849 by the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 in its Philosophical Transactions. Huxley united the Hydroid and Sertularian polyps with the Medusae to form a class to which he subsequently gave the name of Hydrozoa
Hydrozoa
Hydrozoa are a taxonomic class of very small, predatory animals which can be solitary or colonial and which mostly live in saltwater. A few genera within this class live in freshwater...

. The connection he made was that all the members of the class consisted of two cell layers, enclosing a central cavity or stomach. This is characteristic of the phylum
Phylum
In biology, a phylum The term was coined by Georges Cuvier from Greek φῦλον phylon, "race, stock," related to φυλή phyle, "tribe, clan." is a taxonomic rank below kingdom and above class. "Phylum" is equivalent to the botanical term division....

 now called the Cnidaria
Cnidaria
Cnidaria is a phylum containing over 9,000 species of animals found exclusively in aquatic and mostly marine environments. Their distinguishing feature is cnidocytes, specialized cells that they use mainly for capturing prey. Their bodies consist of mesoglea, a non-living jelly-like substance,...

. He compared this feature to the serous and mucous structures of embryos of higher animals. When at last he got a grant from the Royal Society for the printing of plates, Huxley was able to summarise this work in The Oceanic Hydrozoa, published by the Ray Society
Ray Society
The Ray Society was instituted in 1844 and named after John Ray, the 17th century naturalist, as a scientific publishing organization whose activities are devoted mainly to the British flora and fauna. So far the Ray Society has published 169 volumes...

 in 1859.

The value of Huxley's work was recognized and, on returning to England in 1850, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In the following year, at the age of twenty-six, he not only received the Royal Society Medal but was also elected to the Council. He met Joseph Dalton Hooker
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker OM, GCSI, CB, MD, FRS was one of the greatest British botanists and explorers of the 19th century. Hooker was a founder of geographical botany, and Charles Darwin's closest friend...

 and John Tyndall
John Tyndall
John Tyndall FRS was a prominent Irish 19th century physicist. His initial scientific fame arose in the 1850s from his study of diamagnetism. Later he studied thermal radiation, and produced a number of discoveries about processes in the atmosphere...

, who remained his lifelong friends. The Admiralty retained him as a nominal assistant-surgeon, so he might work on the specimens he collected and the observations he made during the voyage of the Rattlesnake. He solved the problem of Appendicularia, whose place in the animal kingdom Johannes Peter Müller
Johannes Peter Müller
Johannes Peter Müller , was a German physiologist, comparative anatomist, and ichthyologist not only known for his discoveries but also for his ability to synthesize knowledge.-Early years and education:...

 had found himself wholly unable to assign. It and the Ascidians
Ascidiacea
Ascidiacea is a class in the Tunicata subphylum of sac-like marine invertebrate filter feeders. Ascidians are characterized by a tough outer "tunic" made of the polysaccharide tunicin, as compared to other tunicates which are less rigid.Ascidians are found all over the world, usually in shallow...

 are both, as Huxley showed, tunicates, today regarded as a sister group to the vertebrates in the phylum Chordata. Other papers on the morphology
Morphology (biology)
In biology, morphology is a branch of bioscience dealing with the study of the form and structure of organisms and their specific structural features....

 of the cephalopod
Cephalopod
A cephalopod is any member of the molluscan class Cephalopoda . These exclusively marine animals are characterized by bilateral body symmetry, a prominent head, and a set of arms or tentacles modified from the primitive molluscan foot...

s and on brachiopod
Brachiopod
Brachiopods are a phylum of marine animals that have hard "valves" on the upper and lower surfaces, unlike the left and right arrangement in bivalve molluscs. Brachiopod valves are hinged at the rear end, while the front can be opened for feeding or closed for protection...

s and rotifer
Rotifer
The rotifers make up a phylum of microscopic and near-microscopic pseudocoelomate animals. They were first described by Rev. John Harris in 1696, and other forms were described by Anton van Leeuwenhoek in 1703...

s are also noteworthy. The Rattlesnakes official naturalist, John MacGillivray
John MacGillivray
John MacGillivray was a Scottish-naturalist, active in Australia between 1842 and 1867.MacGillivray was born in Aberdeen, the son of ornithologist William MacGillivray. He took part in three of the Royal Navy's surveying voyages in the Pacific...

, did some work on botany, and proved surprisingly good at notating Australian aboriginal languages. He wrote up the voyage in the standard Victorian two volume format.

Later life


Huxley effectively resigned from the navy (by refusing to return to active service) and, in July 1854, he became Professor of Natural History at the Royal School of Mines
Royal School of Mines
Royal School of Mines comprises the departments of Earth Science and Engineering, and Materials at Imperial College London.- History :The Royal School of Mines was established in 1851, as the Government School of Mines and Science Applied to the Arts...

 and naturalist to the British Geological Survey
British Geological Survey
The British Geological Survey is a partly publicly funded body which aims to advance geoscientific knowledge of the United Kingdom landmass and its continental shelf by means of systematic surveying, monitoring and research. The BGS headquarters are in Keyworth, Nottinghamshire, but other centres...

 in the following year. In addition, he was Fullerian Professor at the Royal Institution
Royal Institution
The Royal Institution of Great Britain is an organization devoted to scientific education and research, based in London.-Overview:...

 1855–58 and 1865–67; Hunterian Professor at the Royal College of Surgeons
Royal College of Surgeons of England
The Royal College of Surgeons of England is an independent professional body and registered charity committed to promoting and advancing the highest standards of surgical care for patients, regulating surgery, including dentistry, in England and Wales...

 1863–69; President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science
British Association for the Advancement of Science
frame|right|"The BA" logoThe British Association for the Advancement of Science or the British Science Association, formerly known as the BA, is a learned society with the object of promoting science, directing general attention to scientific matters, and facilitating interaction between...

 1869–1870; and, later, President of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 1883–85; and Inspector of Fisheries 1881–85.

The thirty-one years during which Huxley occupied the chair of natural history at the Royal School of Mines included work on vertebrate palaeontology and on many projects to advance the place of science in British life. Huxley retired in 1885, after a bout of depressive illness which started in 1884. He resigned the Presidency of the Royal Society in mid-term, the Inspectorship of Fisheries, and his chair (as soon as he decently could) and took six month's leave. His pension was a fairly handsome £1500 a year.

In 1890, he moved from London to Eastbourne
Eastbourne
Eastbourne is a large town and borough in East Sussex, on the south coast of England between Brighton and Hastings. The town is situated at the eastern end of the chalk South Downs alongside the high cliff at Beachy Head...

 where he edited the nine volumes of his Collected Essays. In 1894 he heard of Eugene Dubois
Eugène Dubois
Marie Eugène François Thomas Dubois was a Dutch paleoanthropologist. He earned worldwide fame for his discovery of Pithecanthropus erectus , or 'Java Man'...

' discovery in Java of the remains of Pithecanthropus erectus (now known as Homo erectus
Homo erectus
Homo erectus is an extinct species of hominid that lived from the end of the Pliocene epoch to the later Pleistocene, about . The species originated in Africa and spread as far as India, China and Java. There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H...

). Finally, in 1895, he died of a heart attack (after contracting influenza and pneumonia), and was buried in North London at St Marylebone
East Finchley Cemetery
East Finchley Cemetery is a cemetery and crematorium in East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet. The facilities are owned and managed by the City of Westminster....

. This small family plot had been purchased upon the death of his beloved youngest son Noel, who died of scarlet fever in 1860; Huxley's wife is also buried there. No invitations were sent out, but two hundred people turned up for the ceremony; they included Hooker
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker OM, GCSI, CB, MD, FRS was one of the greatest British botanists and explorers of the 19th century. Hooker was a founder of geographical botany, and Charles Darwin's closest friend...

, Flower
William Henry Flower
Sir William Henry Flower KCB FRCS FRS was an English comparative anatomist and surgeon. Flower became a leading authority on mammals, and especially on the primate brain...

, Foster
Mulford B. Foster
Mulford Bateman Foster was a man known by many as the "Father of the Bromeliad" as he was instrumental in the discovery and introduction of many new species of Bromeliad to the United States. He also devoted his life to hybridizing and contributed widely to the knowledge of the plant species...

, Lankester
Edwin Lankester
Edwin Lankester MRCS, FRS was an English surgeon and naturalist who made a major contribution to the control of cholera in London: he was the first public analyst in England.- Life :...

, Joseph Lister
Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister
Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister OM, FRS, PC , known as Sir Joseph Lister, Bt., between 1883 and 1897, was a British surgeon and a pioneer of antiseptic surgery, who promoted the idea of sterile surgery while working at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary...

 and, apparently, Henry James
Henry James
Henry James, OM was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr., a clergyman, and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James....

.

Public duties and awards


From 1870 onwards, Huxley was to some extent drawn away from scientific research by the claims of public duty. He served on eight Royal Commission
Royal Commission
In Commonwealth realms and other monarchies a Royal Commission is a major ad-hoc formal public inquiry into a defined issue. They have been held in various countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Saudi Arabia...

s, from 1862 to 1884. From 1871–80 he was a Secretary of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 and from 1883–85 he was President. He was President of the Geological Society from 1868–70. In 1870, he was President of the British Association at Liverpool and, in the same year was elected a member of the newly constituted London School Board
London School Board
The School Board for London was an institution of local government and the first directly elected body covering the whole of London....

. He was the leading person amongst those who reformed the Royal Society, persuaded government about science, and established scientific education in British schools and universities. Before him, science was mostly a gentleman's occupation; after him, science was a profession.

He was awarded the highest honours then open to British men of science. The Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

, who had elected him as Fellow when he was 25 (1851), awarded him the Royal Medal
Royal Medal
The Royal Medal, also known as The Queen's Medal, is a silver-gilt medal awarded each year by the Royal Society, two for "the most important contributions to the advancement of natural knowledge" and one for "distinguished contributions in the applied sciences" made within the Commonwealth of...

 the next year (1852), a year before Charles Darwin got the same award. He was the youngest biologist to receive such recognition. Then later in life came the Copley Medal
Copley Medal
The Copley Medal is an award given by the Royal Society of London for "outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science, and alternates between the physical sciences and the biological sciences"...

 in 1888 and the Darwin Medal
Darwin Medal
The Darwin Medal is awarded by the Royal Society every alternate year for "work of acknowledged distinction in the broad area of biology in which Charles Darwin worked, notably in evolution, population biology, organismal biology and biological diversity". First awarded in 1890, it was created in...

 in 1894; the Geological Society awarded him the Wollaston Medal
Wollaston Medal
The Wollaston Medal is a scientific award for geology, the highest award granted by the Geological Society of London.The medal is named after William Hyde Wollaston, and was first awarded in 1831...

 in 1876; the Linnean Society awarded him the Linnean Medal
Linnean Medal
The Linnean Medal of the Linnean Society of London was established in 1888, and is awarded annually to alternately a botanist or a zoologist or to one of each in the same year...

 in 1890. There were many other elections and appointments to eminent scientific bodies; these and his many academic awards are listed in the Life and Letters. He turned down many other appointments, notably the Linacre chair in zoology at Oxford and the Mastership of University College, Oxford
University College, Oxford
.University College , is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. As of 2009 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £110m...

.

In 1873 the King of Sweden made Huxley, Hooker and Tyndall Knights of the Order of the North Star
Order of the Polar Star
The Order of the Polar Star is a Swedish order of chivalry created by King Frederick I of Sweden on 23 February 1748, together with the Order of the Sword and the Order of the Seraphim....

: they could wear the insignia but not use the title in Britain. Huxley collected many honorary memberships of foreign societies, academic awards and honorary doctorates from Britain and Germany.

As recognition of his many public services he was given a pension by the state, and was appointed Privy Councillor in 1892.

There was so much achievement in his life that it seems extraordinary that he was given no award by the British state until late in life. In this he did better than Darwin, who got no award of any kind from the state. (Darwin's proposed knighthood was vetoed by ecclesiastical advisors, including Wilberforce) Perhaps Huxley had commented too often on his dislike of honours, or perhaps his many assaults on the traditional beliefs of organised religion made enemies in the establishment—he had vigorous debates in print with Prime Ministers Disraeli, Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times , more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time...

 and Arthur Balfour
Arthur Balfour
Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC, DL was a British Conservative politician and statesman...

, and his relationship with Lord Salisbury was less than tranquil.

Huxley was for about thirty years evolution's most effective advocate, and for some Huxley was "the premier advocate of science in the nineteenth century [for] the whole English-speaking world".

Though he had many admirers and disciples, his retirement and later death left British zoology somewhat bereft of leadership. He had, directly or indirectly, guided the careers and appointments of the next generation, but none were of his stature. The loss of Francis Balfour in 1882, climbing the Alps just after he was appointed to a chair at Cambridge, was a tragedy. Huxley thought he was "the only man who can carry out my work": the deaths of Balfour and W.K. Clifford
William Kingdon Clifford
William Kingdon Clifford FRS was an English mathematician and philosopher. Building on the work of Hermann Grassmann, he introduced what is now termed geometric algebra, a special case of the Clifford algebra named in his honour, with interesting applications in contemporary mathematical physics...

 were "the greatest losses to science in our time".

Vertebrate palaeontology


The first half of Huxley's career as a palaeontologist is marked by a rather strange predilection for 'persistent types', in which he seemed to argue that evolutionary advancement (in the sense of major new groups of animals and plants) was rare or absent in the Phanerozoic
Phanerozoic
The Phanerozoic Eon is the current eon in the geologic timescale, and the one during which abundant animal life has existed. It covers roughly 542 million years and goes back to the time when diverse hard-shelled animals first appeared...

. In the same vein, he tended to push the origin of major groups such as birds and mammals back into the Palaeozoic era, and to claim that no order of plants had ever gone extinct.

Much paper has been consumed by historians of science ruminating on this strange and somewhat unclear idea. Huxley was wrong to pitch the loss of orders
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 in the Phanerozoic as low as 7%, and he did not estimate the number of new orders which evolved. Persistent types sat rather uncomfortably next to Darwin's more fluid ideas; despite his intelligence, it took Huxley a surprisingly long time to appreciate some of the implications of evolution. However, gradually Huxley moved away from this conservative style of thinking as his understanding of palaeontology, and the discipline itself, developed.

Huxley's detailed anatomical work was, as always, first-rate and productive. His work on fossil fish shows his distinctive approach: whereas pre-Darwinian naturalists collected, identified and classified, Huxley worked mainly to reveal the evolutionary relationships between groups.

The lobed-finned fish (such as coelacanths and lung fish) have paired appendages whose internal skeleton is attached to the shoulder or pelvis by a single bone, the humerus or femur. His interest in these fish brought him close to the origin of tetrapods, one of the most important areas of vertebrate palaeontology.

The study of fossil reptiles led to his demonstrating the fundamental affinity of birds and reptiles, which he united under the title of Sauropsida
Sauropsida
Sauropsida is a group of amniotes that includes all existing reptiles and birds and their fossil ancestors, including the dinosaurs, the immediate ancestors of birds...

. His papers on Archaeopteryx
Archaeopteryx
Archaeopteryx , sometimes referred to by its German name Urvogel , is a genus of theropod dinosaur that is closely related to birds. The name derives from the Ancient Greek meaning "ancient", and , meaning "feather" or "wing"...

 and the origin of birds were of great interest then and still are.

Apart from his interest in persuading the world that man was a primate, and had descended from the same stock as the apes, Huxley did little work on mammals, with one exception. On his tour of America Huxley was shown the remarkable series of fossil horses, discovered by O.C. Marsh, in Yale
YALE
RapidMiner, formerly YALE , is an environment for machine learning, data mining, text mining, predictive analytics, and business analytics. It is used for research, education, training, rapid prototyping, application development, and industrial applications...

's Peabody Museum. Marsh was part palaeontologist, part robber baron, a man who had hunted buffalo and met Red Cloud
Red Cloud
Red Cloud , was a war leader and the head Chief of the Oglala Lakota . His reign was from 1868 to 1909...

 (in 1874). Funded by his uncle George Peabody
George Peabody
George Peabody was an American-British entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded the Peabody Trust in Britain and the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, and was responsible for many other charitable initiatives.-Biography:...

, Marsh had made some remarkable discoveries:
the huge Cretaceous
Cretaceous
The Cretaceous , derived from the Latin "creta" , usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide , is a geologic period and system from circa to million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the...

 aquatic bird Hesperornis
Hesperornis
Hesperornis is a genus of flightless aquatic birds that spanned the first half of the Campanian age of the Late Cretaceous period . One of the lesser-known discoveries of the paleontologist O. C. Marsh in the late 19th century Bone Wars, it was an important early find in the history of avian...

, and the dinosaur footprints along the Connecticut River
Connecticut River
The Connecticut River is the largest and longest river in New England, and also an American Heritage River. It flows roughly south, starting from the Fourth Connecticut Lake in New Hampshire. After flowing through the remaining Connecticut Lakes and Lake Francis, it defines the border between the...

 were worth the trip by themselves, but the horse fossils were really special.

The collection at that time went from the small four-toed forest-dwelling Orohippus
Orohippus
Orohippus is an extinct ancestor of the modern horse that lived in the Eocene .thumb|left|Restoration...

 from the Eocene through three-toed species such as Miohippus
Miohippus
Miohippus was a genus of prehistoric horse existing longer than most Equidae. Miohippus lived in what is now North America during the Oligocene approximately 32-25 million years ago. While descending genera of this species lived during the Miocene period, the Miohippus was a horse of the Oligocene...

 to species more like the modern horse. By looking at their teeth he could see that, as the size grew larger and the toes reduced, the teeth changed from those of a browser to those of a grazer. All such changes could be explained by a general alteration in habitat from forest to grassland. And, we now know, that is what did happen over large areas of North America from the Eocene
Eocene
The Eocene Epoch, lasting from about 56 to 34 million years ago , is a major division of the geologic timescale and the second epoch of the Paleogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Eocene spans the time from the end of the Palaeocene Epoch to the beginning of the Oligocene Epoch. The start of the...

 to the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

: the ultimate causative agent was global temperature reduction (see Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum
Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
The most extreme change in Earth surface conditions during the Cenozoic Era began at the temporal boundary between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs . This event, the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum , was associated with rapid global...

). The modern account of the evolution of the horse
Evolution of the horse
The evolution of the horse pertains to the phylogenetic ancestry of the modern horse from the small dog-sized, forest-dwelling Hyracotherium over geologic time scales...

 has many other members, and the overall appearance of the tree of descent is more like a bush than a straight line.

The horse series also strongly suggested that the process was gradual, and that the origin of the modern horse lay in North America, not in Eurasia. If so, then something must have happened to horses in North America, since none were there when Europeans arrived. The experience was enough for Huxley to give credence to Darwin's gradualism, and to introduce the story of the horse into his lecture series.

Darwin's bulldog



Huxley was originally not persuaded of 'development theory' as evolution was once called. We can see that in his savage review of Robert Chambers' Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation is a unique work of speculative natural history published anonymously in England in 1844. It brought together various ideas of stellar evolution with the progressive transmutation of species in an accessible narrative which tied together numerous...

, a book which contained some quite pertinent arguments in favour of evolution. Huxley had also rejected Lamarck's theory of transmutation, on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to support it. All this scepticism was brought together in a lecture to the Royal Institution, which made Darwin anxious enough to set about an effort to change young Huxley's mind. It was the kind of thing Darwin did with his closest scientific friends, but he must have had some particular intuition about Huxley, who was from all accounts a most impressive person even as a young man.

Huxley was therefore one of the small group who knew about Darwin's ideas before they were published (the group included Joseph Dalton Hooker
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker OM, GCSI, CB, MD, FRS was one of the greatest British botanists and explorers of the 19th century. Hooker was a founder of geographical botany, and Charles Darwin's closest friend...

 and Charles Lyell
Charles Lyell
Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Kt FRS was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces still in operation...

). The first publication by Darwin of his ideas came when Wallace sent Darwin his famous paper on natural selection, which was presented by Lyell and Hooker to the Linnean Society in 1858 alongside excerpts from Darwin's notebook and a Darwin letter to Asa Gray
Asa Gray
-References:*Asa Gray. Dictionary of American Biography. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928–1936.*Asa Gray. Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. 17 Vols. Gale Research, 1998.*Asa Gray. Plant Sciences. 4 vols. Macmillan Reference USA, 2001....

. Huxley's famous response to the idea of natural selection was "How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!" However, the correctness of natural selection as the main mechanism for evolution was to lie permanently in Huxley's mental pending tray. He never conclusively made up his mind about it, though he did admit it was a hypothesis which was a good working basis.

Logically speaking, the prior question was whether evolution had taken place at all. It is to this question that much of Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

's The Origin of Species
The Origin of Species
Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, published on 24 November 1859, is a work of scientific literature which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the...

 was devoted. Its publication in 1859 completely convinced Huxley of evolution and it was this and no doubt his admiration of Darwin's way of amassing and using evidence that formed the basis of his support for Darwin in the debates that followed the book's publication.

Huxley's support started with his anonymous favourable review of the Origin in the Times for 26 December 1859, and continued with articles in several periodicals, and in a lecture at the Royal Institution
Royal Institution
The Royal Institution of Great Britain is an organization devoted to scientific education and research, based in London.-Overview:...

 in February 1860. At the same time, Richard Owen
Richard Owen
Sir Richard Owen, FRS KCB was an English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist.Owen is probably best remembered today for coining the word Dinosauria and for his outspoken opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection...

, whilst writing an extremely hostile anonymous review of the Origin in the Edinburgh Review
Edinburgh Review
The Edinburgh Review, founded in 1802, was one of the most influential British magazines of the 19th century. It ceased publication in 1929. The magazine took its Latin motto judex damnatur ubi nocens absolvitur from Publilius Syrus.In 1984, the Scottish cultural magazine New Edinburgh Review,...

, also primed Samuel Wilberforce
Samuel Wilberforce
Samuel Wilberforce was an English bishop in the Church of England, third son of William Wilberforce. Known as "Soapy Sam", Wilberforce was one of the greatest public speakers of his time and place...

 who wrote one in the Quarterly Review
Quarterly Review
The Quarterly Review was a literary and political periodical founded in March 1809 by the well known London publishing house John Murray. It ceased publication in 1967.-Early years:...

, running to 17,000 words. The authorship of this latter review was not known for sure until Wilberforce's son wrote his biography. So it can be said that, just as Darwin groomed Huxley, so Owen groomed Wilberforce; and both the proxies fought public battles on behalf of their principals as much as themselves. Though we do not know the exact words of the Oxford debate, we do know what Huxley thought of the review in the Quarterly:


"Since Lord Brougham assailed Dr Young
Thomas Young (scientist)
Thomas Young was an English polymath. He is famous for having partly deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics before Jean-François Champollion eventually expanded on his work...

, the world has seen no such specimen of the insolence of a shallow pretender to a Master in Science as this remarkable production, in which one of the most exact of observers, most cautious of reasoners, and most candid of expositors, of this or any other age, is held up to scorn as a "flighty" person, who endeavours "to prop up his utterly rotten fabric of guess and speculation," and whose "mode of dealing with nature" is reprobated as "utterly dishonourable to Natural Science."

If I confine my retrospect of the reception of the 'Origin of Species' to a twelvemonth, or thereabouts, from the time of its publication, I do not recollect anything quite so foolish and unmannerly as the Quarterly Review article...


"I am Darwin's bulldog" said Huxley, and it is apt; the second half of Darwin's life was lived mainly within his family, and the younger, combative Huxley operated mainly out in the world at large. A letter from THH to Ernst Haeckel (2 November 1871) goes "The dogs have been snapping at [Darwin's] heels too much of late."

Debate with Wilberforce


Famously, Huxley responded to Wilberforce in the debate at the British Association meeting, on Saturday 30 June 1860 at the Oxford University Museum. His presence there had been encouraged by Robert Chambers, the Scottish publisher and author of "Vestiges" who had met Huxley walking the streets of Oxford in a dispirited state on the previous evening. Huxley was joined at the debate by his and Darwin's friends Hooker and Lubbock, and they were opposed by the Lord Bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce
Samuel Wilberforce
Samuel Wilberforce was an English bishop in the Church of England, third son of William Wilberforce. Known as "Soapy Sam", Wilberforce was one of the greatest public speakers of his time and place...

, and Robert FitzRoy
Robert FitzRoy
Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy RN achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin's famous voyage, and as a pioneering meteorologist who made accurate weather forecasting a reality...

, the captain of HMS Beagle. The chair for this debate was Darwins's former botany tutor John Stevens Henslow
John Stevens Henslow
John Stevens Henslow was an English clergyman, botanist and geologist. He is best remembered as friend and mentor to his pupil Charles Darwin.- Early life :...

, and flanking him on the platform were Dr John William Draper from New York, Rev Dingle, Hooker
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker OM, GCSI, CB, MD, FRS was one of the greatest British botanists and explorers of the 19th century. Hooker was a founder of geographical botany, and Charles Darwin's closest friend...

, Lubbock
John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury
John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury PC , FRS , known as Sir John Lubbock, 4th Baronet from 1865 until 1900, was a polymath and Liberal Member of Parliament....

, Brodie, Professor Beale and Huxley.

Wilberforce had a track record against evolution as far back as the previous Oxford B.A. meeting in 1847 when he attacked Chambers' Vestiges. For the more challenging task of opposing the Origin, and the implication that man descended from apes, he had been assiduously coached by Richard Owen
Richard Owen
Sir Richard Owen, FRS KCB was an English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist.Owen is probably best remembered today for coining the word Dinosauria and for his outspoken opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection...

 – Owen stayed with him the night before the debate. On the day Wilberforce repeated some of the arguments from his Quarterly Review article (written but not yet published), then ventured onto slippery ground. His famous jibe at Huxley (as to whether Huxley was descended from an ape on his mother's side or his father's side) was probably unplanned, and certainly unwise. Huxley's reply to the effect that he would rather be descended from an ape than a man who misused his great talents to suppress debate—the exact wording is not certain—was widely recounted in pamphlets and a spoof play.

The letters of Alfred Newton
Alfred Newton
Alfred Newton FRS was an English zoologist and ornithologist.Newton was Professor of Comparative Anatomy at Cambridge University from 1866 to 1907...

 include one to his brother giving an eye-witness account of the debate, and written less than a month afterwards. Other eyewitnesses, with one or two exceptions (Hooker especially thought he had made the best points), give similar accounts, at varying dates after the event. The general view was and still is that Huxley got much the better of the exchange though Wilberforce himself thought he had done quite well. In the absence of a verbatim report differing perceptions are difficult to judge fairly; Huxley wrote a detailed account for Darwin, a letter which does not survive; however, a letter to his friend Frederick Daniel Dyster does survive with an account just three months after the event.

One effect of the debate was to increase hugely Huxley's visibility amongst educated people, through the accounts in newspapers and periodicals. Another consequence was to alert him to the importance of public debate: a lesson he never forgot. A third effect was to serve notice that Darwinian ideas could not be easily dismissed: on the contrary, they would be vigorously defended against orthodox authority. A fourth effect was to promote professionalism in science, with its implied need for scientific education. A fifth consequence was indirect: as Wilberforce had feared, a defence of evolution did undermine literal belief in the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

, especially the Book of Genesis. Many of the liberal clergy at the meeting were quite pleased with the outcome of the debate; they were supporters, perhaps, of the controversial Essays and Reviews
Essays and Reviews
Essays and Reviews, published in March 1860, is a broad-church volume of seven essays on Christianity. The topics covered the biblical research of the German critics, the evidence for Christianity, religious thought in England, and the cosmology of Genesis....

. Thus both on the side of science, and on the side of religion, the debate was important, and its outcome significant. (see also below)

That Huxley and Wilberforce remained on courteous terms after the debate (and able to work together on projects such as the Metropolitan Board of Education) says something about both men, whereas Huxley and Owen were never reconciled.

Man's place in nature


For nearly a decade his work was directed mainly to the relationship of man to the apes. This led him directly into a clash with Richard Owen
Richard Owen
Sir Richard Owen, FRS KCB was an English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist.Owen is probably best remembered today for coining the word Dinosauria and for his outspoken opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection...

, a man widely disliked for his behaviour whilst also being admired for his capability. The struggle was to culminate in some severe defeats for Owen. Huxley's Croonian Lecture
Croonian Lecture
The Croonian Lectures are prestigious lectureships given at the invitation of the Royal Society and the Royal College of Physicians.Among the papers of William Croone at his death in 1684, was a plan to endow one lectureship at both the Royal Society and the Royal College of Physicians...

, delivered before the Royal Society in 1858 on The Theory of the Vertebrate Skull was the start. In this, he rejected Owen's theory that the bones of the skull and the spine were homologous
Homology (biology)
Homology forms the basis of organization for comparative biology. In 1843, Richard Owen defined homology as "the same organ in different animals under every variety of form and function". Organs as different as a bat's wing, a seal's flipper, a cat's paw and a human hand have a common underlying...

, an opinion previously held by Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...

 and Lorenz Oken
Lorenz Oken
Lorenz Oken was a German naturalist.Oken was born Lorenz Okenfuss in Bohlsbach in Baden and studied natural history and medicine at the universities of Freiburg and Würzburg. He went on to the University of Göttingen, where he became a Privatdozent , and shortened his name to Oken...

.

From 1860–63 Huxley developed his ideas, presenting them in lectures to working men, students and the general public, followed by publication. Also in 1862 a series of talks to working men was printed lecture by lecture as pamphlets, later bound up as a little green book; the first copies went on sale in December. Other lectures grew into Huxley's most famous work Evidence as to Man's place in Nature (1863) where he addressed the key issues long before Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

 published his Descent of Man in 1871.

Although Darwin did not publish his Descent of Man until 1871, the general debate on this topic had started years before (there was even a precursor debate in the 18th century between Monboddo and Buffon
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon was a French naturalist, mathematician, cosmologist, and encyclopedic author.His works influenced the next two generations of naturalists, including Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Georges Cuvier...

). Darwin had dropped a hint when, in the conclusion to the Origin, he wrote: "In the distant future... light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history". Not so distant, as it turned out. A key event had already occurred in 1857 when Richard Owen
Richard Owen
Sir Richard Owen, FRS KCB was an English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist.Owen is probably best remembered today for coining the word Dinosauria and for his outspoken opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection...

 presented (to the Linnean Society) his theory that man was marked off from all other mammals by possessing features of the brain peculiar to the genus Homo. Having reached this opinion, Owen separated man from all other mammals in a subclass of its own. No other biologist held such an extreme view. Darwin reacted "Man...as distinct from a chimpanzee [as] an ape from a platypus... I cannot swallow that!" Neither could Huxley, who was able to demonstrate that Owen's idea was completely wrong.
The subject was raised at the 1860 BA Oxford meeting, when Huxley flatly contradicted Owen, and promised a later demonstration of the facts. In fact, a number of demonstrations were held in London and the provinces. In 1862 at the Cambridge meeting of the B.A. Huxley's friend William Flower
William Henry Flower
Sir William Henry Flower KCB FRCS FRS was an English comparative anatomist and surgeon. Flower became a leading authority on mammals, and especially on the primate brain...

 gave a public dissection to show that the same structures (the posterior horn of the lateral ventricle and hippocampus minor) were indeed present in apes. The debate was widely publicised, and parodied as the Great Hippocampus Question
Great Hippocampus Question
The Great Hippocampus Question was a 19th century scientific controversy about the anatomy of apes and human uniqueness. The dispute between Thomas Henry Huxley and Richard Owen became central to the scientific debate on human evolution that followed Charles Darwin's publication of On the Origin of...

. It was seen as one of Owen's greatest blunders, revealing Huxley as not only dangerous in debate, but also a better anatomist.

Owen conceded that there was something that could be called a hippocampus minor in the apes, but stated that it was much less developed and that such a presence did not detract from the overall distinction of simple brain size.

Huxley's ideas on this topic were summed up in January 1861 in the first issue (new series) of his own journal, the Natural History Review: "the most violent scientific paper he had ever composed". This paper was reprinted in 1863 as chapter 2 of Man's Place in Nature, with an addendum giving his account of the Owen/Huxley controversy about the ape brain. In his Collected Essays this addendum was edited out.

The extended argument on the ape brain, partly in debate and partly in print, backed by dissections and demonstrations, was a landmark in Huxley's career. It was highly important in asserting his dominance of comparative anatomy, and in the long run more influential in establishing evolution amongst biologists than was the debate with Wilberforce. It also marked the start of Owen's decline in the esteem of his fellow biologists.

The following was written by Huxley to Rolleston
George Rolleston
George Rolleston MA MD FRCP FRS was an English physician and zoologist. He was the first Linacre Professor of Anatomy and Physiology to be appointed at the University of Oxford, a post he held from 1860 until his death in 1881...

 before the 1861 BA meeting:
"My dear Rolleston... The obstinate reiteration of erroneous assertions can only be nullified by as persistent an appeal to facts; and I greatly regret that my engagements do not permit me to be present at the British Association in order to assist personally at what, I believe, will be the seventh public demonstration during the past twelve months of the untruth of the three assertions, that the posterior lobe of the cerebrum, the posterior cornu of the lateral ventricle, and the hippocampus minor, are peculiar to man and do not exist in the apes. I shall be obliged if you will read this letter to the Section" Yours faithfully, Thos. H. Huxley.


During those years there was also work on human fossil anatomy and anthropology. In 1862 he examined the Neanderthal
Neanderthal
The Neanderthal is an extinct member of the Homo genus known from Pleistocene specimens found in Europe and parts of western and central Asia...

 skull-cap, which had been discovered in 1857. It was the first pre-sapiens discovery of a fossil man, and it was immediately clear to him that the brain case was surprisingly large.

Perhaps less productive was his work on physical anthropology
Physical anthropology
Biological anthropology is that branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species. It plays an important part in paleoanthropology and in forensic anthropology...

, a topic which fascinated the Victorians. Huxley classified the human races into nine categories, and discussed them under four headings as: Australoid, Negroid, Xanthocroic and Mongoloid types. Such classifications depended mainly on appearance and anatomical characteristics. Modern molecular and genome
Genome
In modern molecular biology and genetics, the genome is the entirety of an organism's hereditary information. It is encoded either in DNA or, for many types of virus, in RNA. The genome includes both the genes and the non-coding sequences of the DNA/RNA....

 analysis has shown that the genetic diversity
Genetic diversity
Genetic diversity, the level of biodiversity, refers to the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. It is distinguished from genetic variability, which describes the tendency of genetic characteristics to vary....

 of man in sub-Saharan Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 is greater than exists in the entire rest of the human race.

Natural selection


Huxley was certainly not slavish in his dealings with Darwin. As shown in every biography, they had quite different and rather complementary characters. Important also, Darwin was a field naturalist, but Huxley was an anatomist, so there was a difference in their experience of nature. Lastly, Darwin's views on science were different from Huxley's views. For Darwin, natural selection was the best way to explain evolution because it explained a huge range of natural history facts and observations: it solved problems. Huxley, on the other hand, was an empiricist who trusted what he could see, and some things are not easily seen. With this in mind, one can appreciate the debate between them, Darwin writing his letters, Huxley never going quite so far as to say he thought Darwin was right.

Huxley's reservations on natural selection were of the type "until selection and breeding can be seen to give rise to varieties which are infertile with each other, natural selection cannot be proved". Huxley's position on selection was agnostic; yet he gave no credence to any other theory.

Darwin's part in the discussion came mostly in letters, as was his wont, along the lines: "The empirical evidence you call for is both impossible in practical terms, and in any event unnecessary. It's the same as asking to see every step in the transformation (or the splitting) of one species into another. My way so many issues are clarified and problems solved; no other theory does nearly so well".

Huxley's reservation, as Helena Cronin has so aptly remarked, was contagious: "it spread itself for years among all kinds of doubters of Darwinism". One reason for this doubt was that comparative anatomy could address the question of descent, but not the question of mechanism.

The X Club


In November 1864 Huxley succeeded in launching a dining club, the X Club
X Club
The X Club was a dining club of nine men who supported the theories of natural selection and academic liberalism in late 19th-century England. Thomas Henry Huxley was the initiator: he called the first meeting for November 3, 1864...

, like-minded people working to advance the cause of science; not surprisingly, the club consisted of most of his closest friends. There were nine members, who decided at their first meeting that there should be no more. The members were: Huxley, John Tyndall
John Tyndall
John Tyndall FRS was a prominent Irish 19th century physicist. His initial scientific fame arose in the 1850s from his study of diamagnetism. Later he studied thermal radiation, and produced a number of discoveries about processes in the atmosphere...

, J.D. Hooker
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker OM, GCSI, CB, MD, FRS was one of the greatest British botanists and explorers of the 19th century. Hooker was a founder of geographical botany, and Charles Darwin's closest friend...

, John Lubbock
John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury
John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury PC , FRS , known as Sir John Lubbock, 4th Baronet from 1865 until 1900, was a polymath and Liberal Member of Parliament....

 (banker, biologist and neighbour of Darwin), Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era....

 (social philosopher and sub-editor of the Economist), William Spottiswoode
William Spottiswoode
William Spottiswoode FRS was an English mathematician and physicist. He was President of the Royal Society from 1878 to 1883.-Early life:...

 (mathematician and the Queen's Printer), Thomas Hirst
Thomas Archer Hirst
Thomas Archer Hirst FRS was a 19th century mathematician, specialising in geometry. He was awarded the Royal Society's Royal Medal in 1883.-Life:...

 (Professor of Physics at University College London), Edward Frankland
Edward Frankland
Sir Edward Frankland, KCB, FRS was a chemist, one of the foremost of his day. He was an expert in water quality and analysis, and originated the concept of combining power, or valence, in chemistry. He was also one of the originators of organometallic chemistry.-Biography:Edward Frankland was born...

 (the new Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution) and George Busk
George Busk
George Busk RN FRS was a British Naval surgeon, zoologist and palaeontologist.-Biography:Busk was born in St Petersburg, the son of the merchant Robert Busk and grandson of Sir Wadsworth Busk...

, zoologist and palaeontologist (formerly surgeon for HMS Dreadnought
HMS Dreadnought (1801)
HMS Dreadnought was a Royal Navy 98-gun second rate. This ship of the line was launched at Portsmouth at midday on Saturday, 13 June 1801, after she had spent 13 years on the stocks...

). All except Spencer were Fellows of the Royal Society. Tyndall was a particularly close friend; for many years they met regularly and discussed issues of the day. On more than one occasion Huxley joined Tyndall in the latter's trips into the Alps and helped with his investigations in glaciology
Glaciology
Glaciology Glaciology Glaciology (from Middle French dialect (Franco-Provençal): glace, "ice"; or Latin: glacies, "frost, ice"; and Greek: λόγος, logos, "speech" lit...

.

There were also some quite significant X-Club satellites such as William Flower
William Henry Flower
Sir William Henry Flower KCB FRCS FRS was an English comparative anatomist and surgeon. Flower became a leading authority on mammals, and especially on the primate brain...

 and George Rolleston
George Rolleston
George Rolleston MA MD FRCP FRS was an English physician and zoologist. He was the first Linacre Professor of Anatomy and Physiology to be appointed at the University of Oxford, a post he held from 1860 until his death in 1881...

, (Huxley protegés), and liberal clergyman Arthur Stanley
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley was an English churchman, Dean of Westminster, known as Dean Stanley. His position was that of a Broad Churchman and he was the author of works on Church History.-Life and times:...

, the Dean of Westminster. Guests such as Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

 and Hermann von Helmholtz
Hermann von Helmholtz
Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz was a German physician and physicist who made significant contributions to several widely varied areas of modern science...

 were entertained from time to time.

They would dine early on first Thursdays at a hotel, planning what to do; high on the agenda was to change the way the Royal Society Council did business. It was no coincidence that the Council met later that same evening. First item for the Xs was to get the Copley Medal
Copley Medal
The Copley Medal is an award given by the Royal Society of London for "outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science, and alternates between the physical sciences and the biological sciences"...

 for Darwin, which they managed after quite a struggle.

The next step was to acquire a journal to spread their ideas. This was the weekly Reader, which they bought, revamped and redirected. Huxley had already become part-owner of the Natural History Review bolstered by the support of Lubbock, Rolleston, Busk and Carpenter (X-clubbers and satellites). The journal was switched to pro-Darwinian lines and relaunched in January 1861. After a stream of good articles the NHR failed after four years; but it had helped at a critical time for the establishment of evolution. The Reader also failed, despite its broader appeal which included art and literature as well as science. The periodical market was quite crowded at the time, but most probably the critical factor was Huxley's time; he was simply over-committed, and could not afford to hire full-time editors. This occurred often in his life: Huxley took on too many ventures, and was not so astute as Darwin at getting others to do work for him.

However, the experience gained with the Reader was put to good use when the X Club put their weight behind the founding of Nature
Nature (journal)
Nature, first published on 4 November 1869, is ranked the world's most cited interdisciplinary scientific journal by the Science Edition of the 2010 Journal Citation Reports...

 in 1869. This time no mistakes were made: above all there was a permanent editor (though not full-time), Norman Lockyer
Joseph Norman Lockyer
Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer, FRS , known simply as Norman Lockyer, was an English scientist and astronomer. Along with the French scientist Pierre Janssen he is credited with discovering the gas helium...

, who served until 1919, a year before his death. In 1925, to celebrate his centenary, Nature issued a supplement devoted to Huxley.

The peak of the X Club's influence was from 1873–85 as Hooker, Spottiswoode and Huxley were Presidents of the Royal Society in succession. Spencer resigned in 1889 after a dispute with Huxley over state support for science. After 1892 it was just an excuse for the surviving members to meet. Hooker died in 1911, and Lubbock (now Lord Avebury
Baron Avebury
Baron Avebury, of Avebury in the County of Wiltshire, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1900 for the banker, politician and archaeologist Sir John Lubbock, 4th Baronet. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Baron. On his death the titles passed to his...

) was the last surviving member.

Huxley was also an active member of the Metaphysical Society
Metaphysical Society
The Metaphysical Society was a British society, founded in 1869 by James Knowles. Many of its members were prominent clergymen.Papers were read and discussed at meetings on such subjects as the ultimate grounds of belief in the objective and moral sciences, the immortality of the soul, etc...

, which ran from 1869–80. It was formed around a nucleus of clergy and expanded to include all kinds of opinions. Tyndall and Huxley later joined The Club (founded by Dr. Johnson
Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson , often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer...

) when they could be sure that Owen would not turn up.

Educational influence


When Huxley himself was young there were virtually no degrees in British universities in the biological sciences and few courses. Most biologists of his day were either self-taught, or took medical degrees. When he retired there were established chairs in biological disciplines in most universities, and a broad consensus on the curricula to be followed. Huxley was the single most influential person in this transformation.

School of Mines and Zoology


In the early 1870s the Royal School of Mines moved to new quarters in South Kensington; ultimately it would become one of the constituent parts of Imperial College London. The move gave Huxley the chance to give more prominence to laboratory work in biology teaching, an idea suggested by practice in German universities. In the main, the method was based on the use of carefully chosen types, and depended on the dissection of anatomy, supplemented by microscopy, museum specimens and some elementary physiology at the hands of Foster.

The typical day would start with Huxley lecturing at 9am, followed by a program of laboratory work supervised by his demonstrators. Huxley's demonstrators were picked men—all became leaders of biology in Britain in later life, spreading Huxley's ideas as well as their own. Michael Foster
Michael Foster (physiologist)
Sir Michael Foster was an English physiologist.He was born in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire and educated at University College School, London....

 became Professor of Physiology at Cambridge; E. Ray Lankester
Ray Lankester
Sir E. Ray Lankester KCB, FRS was a British zoologist, born in London.An invertebrate zoologist and evolutionary biologist, he held chairs at University College London and Oxford University. He was the third Director of the Natural History Museum, and was awarded the Copley Medal of the Royal...

 became Jodrell Professor of Zoology at University College London (1875–91), Professor of Comparative Anatomy at Oxford (1891–98) and Director of the Natural History Museum (1898–1907); S.H. Vines became Professor of Botany at Cambridge; W.T. Thiselton-Dyer
William Turner Thiselton-Dyer
Sir William Turner Thiselton-Dyer KCMG FRS FLS was a leading British botanist, and the third director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.- Life and career :Thiselton-Dyer was born in Westminster, London...

 became Hooker's successor at Kew (he was already Hooker's son-in-law!); T. Jeffery Parker became Professor of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy at University College, Cardiff; and William Rutherford became the Professor of Physiology at Edinburgh. William Flower, Conservator to the Hunterian Museum, and THH's assistant in many dissections, became Sir William Flower
William Henry Flower
Sir William Henry Flower KCB FRCS FRS was an English comparative anatomist and surgeon. Flower became a leading authority on mammals, and especially on the primate brain...

, Hunterian Professor of Comparative Anatomy and, later, Director of the Natural History Museum. It's a remarkable list of disciples, especially when contrasted with Owen who, in a longer professional life than Huxley, left no disciples at all. "No one fact tells so strongly against Owen... as that he has never reared one pupil or follower".

Huxley's courses for students were so much narrower than the man himself that many were bewildered by the contrast: "The teaching of zoology by use of selected animal types has come in for much criticism"; Looking back in 1914 to his time as a student, Sir Arthur Shipley
Arthur Shipley
Sir Arthur Everett Shipley GBE FRS was an English zoologist and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge....

 said "[Although] Darwin's later works all dealt with living organisms, yet our obsession was with the dead, with bodies preserved, and cut into the most refined slices". E.W MacBride said "Huxley... would persist in looking at animals as material structures and not as living, active beings; in a word... he was a necrologist. To put it simply, Huxley preferred to teach what he had actually seen with his own eyes.

This largely morphological
Morphology (biology)
In biology, morphology is a branch of bioscience dealing with the study of the form and structure of organisms and their specific structural features....

 program of comparative anatomy
Comparative anatomy
Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of organisms. It is closely related to evolutionary biology and phylogeny .-Description:...

 remained at the core of most biological education for a hundred years until the advent of cell and molecular biology and interest in evolutionary ecology forced a fundamental rethink. It is an interesting fact that the methods of the field naturalists who led the way in developing the theory of evolution (Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

, Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace, OM, FRS was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist...

, Fritz Müller
Fritz Müller
Johann Friedrich Theodor Müller , better known as Fritz Müller, and also as Müller-Desterro, was a German biologist and physician who emigrated to southern Brazil, where he lived in and near the German community of Blumenau, Santa Catarina...

, Henry Bates) were scarcely represented at all in Huxley's program. Ecological investigation of life in its environment was virtually non-existent, and theory, evolutionary or otherwise, was at a discount. Michael Ruse
Michael Ruse
Michael Ruse is a philosopher of biology at Florida State University, and is well known for his work on the creationism/evolution controversy and the demarcation problem in science...

 finds no mention of evolution or Darwinism in any of the exams set by Huxley, and confirms the lecture content based on two complete sets of lecture notes.

Since Darwin, Wallace and Bates did not hold teaching posts at any stage of their adult careers (and Műller never returned from Brazil) the imbalance in Huxley's program went uncorrected. It is surely strange that Huxley's courses did not contain an account of the evidence collected by those naturalists of life in the tropics; evidence which they had found so convincing, and which caused their views on evolution by natural selection to be so similar. Desmond suggests that "[biology] had to be simple, synthetic and assimilable [because] it was to train teachers and had no other heuristic function". That must be part of the reason; indeed it does help to explain the stultifying nature of much school biology. But zoology as taught at all levels became far too much the product of one man.

Huxley was comfortable with comparative anatomy, at which he was the greatest master of the day. He was not an all-round naturalist like Darwin, who had shown clearly enough how to weave together detailed factual information and subtle arguments across the vast web of life. Huxley chose, in his teaching (and to some extent in his research) to take a more straightforward course, concentrating on his personal strengths.

Schools and the Bible


Huxley was also a major influence in the direction taken by British schools: in November 1870 he was voted onto the London School Board
London School Board
The School Board for London was an institution of local government and the first directly elected body covering the whole of London....

. In primary schooling, he advocated a wide range of disciplines, similar to what is taught today: reading, writing, arithmetic, art, science, music, etc. In secondary education he recommended two years of basic liberal studies followed by two years of some upper-division work, focusing on a more specific area of study. A practical example is his famous essay On a piece of chalk first published in Macmillan's Magazine in London, 1868. The piece reconstructs the geological history of Britain, from a simple piece of chalk and demonstrates science as "organized common sense".

Huxley supported the reading of the Bible in schools. This may seem out of step with his agnostic convictions, but he believed that the Bible's significant moral teachings and superb use of language were relevant to English life. "I do not advocate burning your ship to get rid of the cockroaches".
However, what Huxley proposed was to create an edited version of the Bible, shorn of "shortcomings and errors... statements to which men of science absolutely and entirely demur... These tender children [should] not be taught that which you do not yourselves believe". The Board voted against his idea, but it also voted against the idea that public money should be used to support students attending church schools. Vigorous debate took place on such points, and the debates were minuted in detail. Huxley said "I will never be a party to enabling the State to sweep the children of this country into denominational schools". The Act of Parliament which founded board schools permitted the reading of the Bible, but did not permit any denominational doctrine to be taught.

It may be right to see Huxley's life and work as contributing to the secularisation of British society which gradually occurred over the following century. Ernst Mayr said "It can hardly be doubted that [biology] has helped to undermine traditional beliefs and value systems"  — and Huxley more than anyone else was responsible for this trend in Britain. Some modern Christian apologists consider Huxley the father of atheistic evangelism, though he himself maintained that he was an agnostic, not an atheist. He was, however, a lifelong and determined opponent of almost all organized religion throughout his life, especially the "Roman Church... carefully calculated for the destruction of all that is highest in the moral nature, in the intellectual freedom, and in the political freedom of mankind". Lenin remarked (in Materialism and empirio-criticism) "In Huxley's case... agnosticism serves as a fig-leaf for materialism" (see also the Debate with Wilberforce above).

Adult education


Huxley's interest in education went still further than school and university classrooms; he made a great effort to reach interested adults of all kinds: after all, he himself was largely self-educated. There were his lecture courses for working men, many of which were published afterwards, and there was the use he made of journalism, partly to earn money but mostly to reach out to the literate public. For most of his adult life he wrote for periodicals—the Westminster Review
Westminster Review
The Westminster Review was a quarterly British publication. Established in 1823 as the official organ of the Philosophical Radicals, it was published from 1824 to 1914. James Mill was one of the driving forces behind the liberal journal until 1828....

, the Saturday Review, the Reader, the Pall Mall Gazette
Pall Mall Gazette
The Pall Mall Gazette was an evening newspaper founded in London on 7 February 1865 by George Murray Smith; its first editor was Frederick Greenwood...

, Macmillan's Magazine, the Contemporary Review. Germany was still ahead in formal science education, but interested people in Victorian Britain could use their initiative and find out what was going on by reading periodicals and using the lending libraries.

In 1868 Huxley became Principal of the South London Working Men's College in Blackfriars Road
Blackfriars Road
Blackfriars Road is a road in Southwark, SE1. It runs between St George's Circus at the southern end and Blackfriars Bridge over the River Thames at the northern end, leading to the City of London. Halfway up on the west side is Southwark tube station, on the corner with The Cut...

. The moving spirit was a portmanteau worker, Wm. Rossiter, who did most of the work; the funds were put up mainly by F.D. Maurice's Christian Socialists. At sixpence for a course and a penny for a lecture by Huxley, this was some bargain; and so was the free library organised by the college, an idea which was widely copied. Huxley thought, and said, that the men who attended were as good as any country squire.

The technique of printing his more popular lectures in periodicals which were sold to the general public was extremely effective. A good example was The physical basis of life, a lecture given in Edinburgh on 8 November 1868. Its theme — that vital action is nothing more than "the result of the molecular forces of the protoplasm which displays it" — shocked the audience, though that was nothing compared to the uproar when it was published in the Fortnightly Review for February 1869. John Morley, the editor, said "No article that had appeared in any periodical for a generation had caused such a sensation". The issue was reprinted seven times and protoplasm
Protoplasm
Protoplasm is the living contents of a cell that is surrounded by a plasma membrane. It is a general term of the Cytoplasm . Protoplasm is composed of a mixture of small molecules such as ions, amino acids, monosaccharides and water, and macromolecules such as nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and...

 became a household word; Punch
Punch (magazine)
Punch, or the London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landells. Historically, it was most influential in the 1840s and 50s, when it helped to coin the term "cartoon" in its modern sense as a humorous illustration...

 added 'Professor Protoplasm' to his other soubriquets.

The topic had been stimulated by Huxley seeing the cytoplasmic streaming
Cytoplasmic streaming
Cytoplasmic streaming is the directed flow of cytosol and organelles around large fungal and plant cells. This movement aids in the delivery of nutrients, metabolites, genetic information, and other materials to all parts of the cell...

 in plant cells, which is indeed a sensational sight. For these audiences Huxley's claim that this activity should not be explained by words such as vitality, but by the working of its constituent chemicals, was surprising and shocking. Today we would perhaps emphasise the extraordinary structural arrangement of those chemicals as the key to understanding what cells do, but little of that was known in the nineteenth century.

When the Archbishop of York thought this 'new philosophy' was based on Auguste Comte
Auguste Comte
Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte , better known as Auguste Comte , was a French philosopher, a founder of the discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism...

's positivism
Positivism
Positivism is a a view of scientific methods and a philosophical approach, theory, or system based on the view that, in the social as well as natural sciences, sensory experiences and their logical and mathematical treatment are together the exclusive source of all worthwhile information....

, Huxley corrected him: "Comte's philosophy [is just] Catholicism minus Christianity" (Huxley 1893 vol 1 of Collected Essays Methods & Results 156). A later version was "[positivism is] sheer Popery with M. Comte in the chair of St Peter, and with the names of the saints changed". (lecture on The scientific aspects of positivism Huxley 1870 Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews p149). Huxley's dismissal of positivism damaged it so severely that Comte's ideas withered in Britain.

Huxley and the humanities


During his life, and especially in the last ten years after retirement, Huxley wrote on many issues relating to the humanities.

Perhaps the best known of these topics is Evolution and Ethics, which deals with the question of whether biology has anything particular to say about moral philosophy. Both Huxley and his grandson Julian Huxley
Julian Huxley
Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS was an English evolutionary biologist, humanist and internationalist. He was a proponent of natural selection, and a leading figure in the mid-twentieth century evolutionary synthesis...

 gave Romanes Lecture
Romanes Lecture
The Romanes Lecture is a prestigious free public lecture given annually at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, England.The lecture series was founded by, and named after, the biologist George Romanes, and has been running since 1892. Over the years, many notable figures from the Arts and Sciences have...

s on this theme. For a start, Huxley dismisses religion as a source of moral authority. Next, he believes the mental characteristics of man are as much a product of evolution as the physical aspects. Thus, our emotions, our intellect, our tendency to prefer living in groups and spend resources on raising our young are part and parcel of our evolution, and therefore inherit
Heredity
Heredity is the passing of traits to offspring . This is the process by which an offspring cell or organism acquires or becomes predisposed to the characteristics of its parent cell or organism. Through heredity, variations exhibited by individuals can accumulate and cause some species to evolve...

ed.

Despite this, the details of our values and ethics are not inherited: they are partly determined by our culture, and partly chosen by ourselves. Morality and duty are often at war with natural instincts; ethics cannot be derived from the struggle for existence. It is therefore our responsibility to make ethical choices (see Ethics
Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

 and Evolutionary ethics
Evolutionary ethics
Evolutionary ethics could be either a form of descriptive ethics or normative ethics.Descriptive evolutionary ethics consists of biological approaches to ethics based on the role of evolution in shaping human psychology and behavior...

). This seems to put Huxley as a compatibilist in the Free Will
Free will
"To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

 vs Determinism
Determinism
Determinism is the general philosophical thesis that states that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given them, nothing else could happen. There are many versions of this thesis. Each of them rests upon various alleged connections, and interdependencies of things and...

 debate. In this argument Huxley is diametrically opposed to his old friend Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era....

.
"Of moral purpose I see not a trace in nature. That is an article of exclusively human manufacture." letter THH to W. Platt Ball.


Huxley's dissection of Rousseau's views on man and society is another example of his later work. The essay undermines Rousseau's ideas on man as a preliminary to undermining his ideas on the ownership of property. Characteristic is:
"The doctrine that all men are, in any sense, or have been, at any time, free and equal, is an utterly baseless fiction."


Huxley's method of argumentation (his strategy and tactics of persuasion in speech and print) is itself much studied. His career included controversial debates with scientists, clerics and politicians; persuasive discussions with Royal Commissions and other public bodies; lectures and articles for the general public, and a mass of detailed letter-writing to friends and other correspondents. A large number of textbooks have excerpted his prose for anthologies.

Royal and other commissions


Huxley worked on ten Royal and other commissions (titles somewhat shortened here). The Royal Commission
Royal Commission
In Commonwealth realms and other monarchies a Royal Commission is a major ad-hoc formal public inquiry into a defined issue. They have been held in various countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Saudi Arabia...

 is the senior investigative forum in the British constitution. A rough analysis shows that five commissions involved science and scientific education; three involved medicine and three involved fisheries. Several involve difficult ethical and legal issues. All deal with possible changes to law and/or administrative practice.

Royal Commissions

  • 1862 Trawling for herrings on the coast of Scotland.
  • 1863–65 Sea fisheries of the United Kingdom.
  • 1870–71 The Contagious Diseases Acts
    Contagious Diseases Acts
    The Contagious Diseases Acts were originally passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1864, with further alterations and editions made to it in 1866 and 1869. In 1862, a committee was established to inquire into venereal disease in the armed forces; on its recommendation the first...

    .
  • 1870–75 Scientific instruction and the advancement of science.
  • 1876 The practice of subjugating live animals to scientific experiments (vivisection
    Vivisection
    Vivisection is defined as surgery conducted for experimental purposes on a living organism, typically animals with a central nervous system, to view living internal structure...

    ).
  • 1876–78 The universities of Scotland.
  • 1881–82 The Medical Acts. [i.e. the legal framework for medicine]
  • 1884 Trawl, net and beam trawl fishing.

Other commissions

  • 1866 On the Royal College of Science for Ireland.
  • 1868 On science and art instruction in Ireland.

Family


In 1855, he married Henrietta Anne Heathorn (1825–1915), an English émigrée whom he had met in Sydney. They kept correspondence until he was able to send for her. They had five daughters and three sons:
  • Noel Huxley (1856–60), died aged 4.
  • Jessie Oriana Huxley (1856–1927), married architect Fred Waller in 1877.
  • Marian Huxley (1859–87), married artist John Collier
    John Collier (artist)
    The Honourable John Maler Collier OBE RP ROI , called 'Jack' by his family and friends, was a leading English artist, and an author. He painted in the Pre-Raphaelite style, and was one of the most prominent portrait painters of his generation. Both his marriages were to daughters of Thomas Henry...

     in 1879.
  • Leonard Huxley
    Leonard Huxley (writer)
    Leonard Huxley was an English schoolteacher, writer and editor.- Family :His father was the zoologist Thomas Henry Huxley, 'Darwin's bulldog'. Leonard was educated at University College School, London, St. Andrews University, and Balliol College, Oxford. He first married Julia Arnold, daughter of...

    , (1860–1933) author.
  • Rachel Huxley (1862–1934) married civil engineer Alfred Eckersley in 1884; he died 1895.
  • Henrietta (Nettie) Huxley (1863–1940), married Harold Roller, travelled Europe as a singer.
  • Henry Huxley (1865–1946), became a fashionable general practitioner in London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

    .
  • Ethel Huxley (1866–1941), married artist John Collier
    John Collier (artist)
    The Honourable John Maler Collier OBE RP ROI , called 'Jack' by his family and friends, was a leading English artist, and an author. He painted in the Pre-Raphaelite style, and was one of the most prominent portrait painters of his generation. Both his marriages were to daughters of Thomas Henry...

     (widower of sister) in 1889.


Huxley's relationship with his relatives and children were genial by the standards of the day—so long as they lived their lives in an honourable manner, which some did not. After his mother, his eldest sister Lizzie was the most important person in his life until his own marriage. He remained on good terms with his children, more than can be said of many Victorian fathers. This excerpt from a letter to Jessie, his eldest daughter is full of affection:
  • "Dearest Jess, You are a badly used young person—you are; and nothing short of that conviction would get a letter out of your still worse used Pater, the bête noir of whose existence is letter-writing. Catch me discussing the Afghan question with you, you little pepper-pot! No, not if I know it..." [goes on nevertheless to give strong opinions of the Afghans, at that time causing plenty of trouble to the Indian Empire—see Second Anglo-Afghan War
    Second Anglo-Afghan War
    The Second Anglo-Afghan War was fought between the United Kingdom and Afghanistan from 1878 to 1880, when the nation was ruled by Sher Ali Khan of the Barakzai dynasty, the son of former Emir Dost Mohammad Khan. This was the second time British India invaded Afghanistan. The war ended in a manner...

    ] "There, you plague—ever your affec. Daddy, THH." (letter Dec 7th 1878, Huxley L 1900)


Huxley's descendents include children of Leonard Huxley:
  • Sir Julian Huxley
    Julian Huxley
    Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS was an English evolutionary biologist, humanist and internationalist. He was a proponent of natural selection, and a leading figure in the mid-twentieth century evolutionary synthesis...

     FRS was the first Director of UNESCO
    UNESCO
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

     and a notable evolutionary biologist and humanist.
  • Aldous Huxley
    Aldous Huxley
    Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

     was a famous author (Brave New World
    Brave New World
    Brave New World is Aldous Huxley's fifth novel, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 , the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of...

     1932, Eyeless in Gaza
    Eyeless in Gaza
    Eyeless in Gaza is a bestselling novel by Aldous Huxley, first published in 1936. The title originates from a phrase in John Milton's Samson Agonistes:The chapters of the book are not ordered chronologically...

     1936, The Doors of Perception
    The Doors of Perception
    The Doors of Perception is a 1954 book by Aldous Huxley detailing his experiences when taking mescaline. The book takes the form of Huxley’s recollection of a mescaline trip which took place over the course of an afternoon, and takes its title from William Blake's poem The Marriage of Heaven and Hell...

     1954).
  • Sir Andrew Huxley
    Andrew Huxley
    Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley, OM, FRS is an English physiologist and biophysicist, who won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his experimental and mathematical work with Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin on the basis of nerve action potentials, the electrical impulses that enable the activity...

     OM FRS won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
    Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine administered by the Nobel Foundation, is awarded once a year for outstanding discoveries in the field of life science and medicine. It is one of five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, in his will...

     in 1963. Andrew is the second Huxley to become President of the Royal Society.


Other significant descendents of Huxley, such as Sir Crispin Tickell
Crispin Tickell
Sir Crispin Tickell, GCMG, KCVO, MA , DSc , FRSGS , FRIBA , FZS, FRI , FCIWEM is a British diplomat, environmentalist, and academic.-Background:...

, are treated in the Huxley family
Huxley family
The Huxley family is a British family of which several members have excelled in scientific, medical, artistic, and literary fields. The family also includes members who occupied senior public positions in the service of the United Kingdom....

.

Mental problems in the family


Biographers have sometimes noted the occurrence of mental illness in the Huxley family. His father became "sunk in worse than childish imbecility of mind", and later died in Barming Asylum; brother George suffered from "extreme mental anxiety" and died in 1863 leaving serious debts. Brother James, a well known psychiatrist and Superintendent of Kent County Asylum, was at 55 "as near mad as any sane man can be"; and there is more. His favourite daughter, the artistically talented Mady (Marian), who became the first wife of artist John Collier
John Collier (artist)
The Honourable John Maler Collier OBE RP ROI , called 'Jack' by his family and friends, was a leading English artist, and an author. He painted in the Pre-Raphaelite style, and was one of the most prominent portrait painters of his generation. Both his marriages were to daughters of Thomas Henry...

, was troubled by mental illness for years. She died of pneumonia in her mid-twenties.

About Huxley himself we have a more complete record. As a young apprentice to a medical practitioner, aged thirteen or fourteen, Huxley was taken to watch a post-mortem dissection. Afterwards he sank into a 'deep lethargy' and though Huxley ascribed this to dissection poisoning, Bibby and others may be right to suspect that emotional shock precipitated the depression
Clinical depression
Major depressive disorder is a mental disorder characterized by an all-encompassing low mood accompanied by low self-esteem, and by loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities...

. Huxley recuperated on a farm, looking thin and ill.

The next episode we know of in Huxley's life when he suffered a debilitating depression was on the third voyage of HMS Rattlesnake in 1848. Huxley had further periods of depression at the end of 1871, and again in 1873. Finally, in 1884 he sank into another depression, and this time it precipitated his decision to retire in 1885, at the age of only 60. This is enough to indicate the way depression (or perhaps a moderate bi-polar disorder) interfered with his life, yet unlike some of the other family members, he was able to function extremely well at other times.

The problems continued sporadically into the third generation. Two of Leonard's sons suffered serious depression: Trevennen committed suicide in 1914 and Julian suffered a breakdown in 1913, and five more later in life.

Satires


Darwin's ideas and Huxley's controversies gave rise to many cartoons and satires. It was the debate about man's place in nature that roused such widespread comment: cartoons are so numerous as to be almost impossible to count; Darwin's head on a monkey's body is one of the visual clichés of the age. The "Great Hippocampus Question
Great Hippocampus Question
The Great Hippocampus Question was a 19th century scientific controversy about the anatomy of apes and human uniqueness. The dispute between Thomas Henry Huxley and Richard Owen became central to the scientific debate on human evolution that followed Charles Darwin's publication of On the Origin of...

 attracted particular attention:
  • Monkeyana (Punch vol 40, 18 May 1861). Signed 'Gorilla', this turned out to be by Sir Philip Egerton MP, amateur naturalist, fossil fish collector and — Richard Owen's patron! Last two stanzas:
    Next HUXLEY replies
    That OWEN he lies
    And garbles his Latin quotation;
    That his facts are not new,
    His mistakes not a few,
    Detrimental to his reputation.

    To twice slay the slain
    By dint of the Brain
    (Thus HUXLEY concludes his review)
    Is but labour in vain,
    unproductive of gain,
    And so I shall bid you "Adieu"!
  • The Gorilla's Dilemma (Punch 1862, vol 43 p164). First two lines:
    Say am I a man or a brother,
    Or only an anthropoid ape?
  • Report of a sad case recently tried before the Lord Mayor, Owen versus Huxley. Lord Mayor asks whether either side is known to the police:
    Policeman X — Huxley, your Worship, I take to be a young hand, but very vicious; but Owen I have seen before. He got into trouble with an old bone man, called Mantell, who never could be off complaining as Owen prigged his bones. People did say that the old man never got over it, and Owen worritted him to death; but I don't think it was so bad as that. Hears as Owen takes the chair at a crib in Bloomsbury. I don't think it will be a harmonic meeting altogether. And Huxley hangs out in Jermyn Street.
    (Tom Huxley's 'low set' included Hooker 'in the green and vegetable line' and 'Charlie Darwin, the pigeon-fancier'; Owen's 'crib in Bloomsbury' was the British Museum, of which Natural History was but one department.)
  • The Water Babies, a fairy tale for a land baby
    The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby
    The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby is a children's novel by the Reverend Charles Kingsley. Written in 1862–1863 as a serial for Macmillan's Magazine, it was first published in its entirety in 1863...

     by Charles Kingsley
    Charles Kingsley
    Charles Kingsley was an English priest of the Church of England, university professor, historian and novelist, particularly associated with the West Country and northeast Hampshire.-Life and character:...

     (serialised in Macmillan's Magazine 1862–63, published in book form, with additions, in 1863). Kingsley had been among first to give a favourable review to Darwin's On the Origin of Species
    The Origin of Species
    Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, published on 24 November 1859, is a work of scientific literature which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the...

    , having "long since... learnt to disbelieve the dogma of the permanence of species", and the story includes a satire
    Satire
    Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

     on the reaction to Darwin's theory
    Reaction to Darwin's theory
    The immediate reaction to Darwin's theory followed closely on his publication of On the Origin of Species, and Charles Darwin's book sparked off international debate, though the heat of controversy was less than that over earlier works such as Vestiges of Creation...

    , with the main scientific participants appearing, including Richard Owen
    Richard Owen
    Sir Richard Owen, FRS KCB was an English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist.Owen is probably best remembered today for coining the word Dinosauria and for his outspoken opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection...

     and Huxley. In 1892 Thomas Henry Huxley's five-year-old grandson Julian
    Julian Huxley
    Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS was an English evolutionary biologist, humanist and internationalist. He was a proponent of natural selection, and a leading figure in the mid-twentieth century evolutionary synthesis...

     saw the illustration by Edward Linley Sambourne
    Edward Linley Sambourne
    Edward Linley Sambourne was a cartoonist for Punch. He was born in Pentonville, London, the son of Edward Moot Sambourne....

     (right) and wrote his grandfather a letter asking:
    Dear Grandpater – Have you seen a Waterbaby? Did you put it in a bottle? Did it wonder if it could get out? Could I see it some day? – Your loving Julian.
    Huxley wrote back:
    My dear Julian – I could never make sure about that Water Baby... My friend who wrote the story of the Water Baby was a very kind man and very clever. Perhaps he thought I could see as much in the water as he did – There are some people who see a great deal and some who see very little in the same things.

    When you grow up I dare say you will be one of the great-deal seers, and see things more wonderful than the Water Babies where other folks can see nothing.

Portrayals


Huxley appears alongside Charles Darwin and Samuel Wilberforce in the play Darwin in Malibu
Darwin in Malibu
Darwin in Malibu is a play by British playwright and director, Crispin Whittell.Darwin in Malibu imagines a meeting between Charles Darwin , Thomas Huxley and the Bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce on the deck of a beach house overlooking the Pacific over a hundred years after their deaths.It...

 by British playwright Crispin Whittell
Crispin Whittell
Crispin Whittell is a British director and playwright.He spent much of his early life in Africa. He was a member of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, and studied English at Cambridge University.-Career:...

 and is portrayed by British actor Toby Jones
Toby Jones
Toby Edward Heslewood Jones is an English actor.-Early life:Jones was born in Hammersmith, London, the son of actors Jennifer and Freddie Jones...

 in the 2009 film Creation
Creation (2009 film)
Creation is a 2009 British biographical drama film. Produced by Jeremy Thomas, the film was directed by Jon Amiel, and stars Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as Charles and Emma Darwin...

.

Other biographies of Huxley


  • Ashforth, Albert. Thomas Henry Huxley. Twayne, New York 1969.
  • Ayres, Clarence. Huxley. Norton, New York 1932.
  • Clodd, Edward. Thomas Henry Huxley. Blackwood, Edinburgh 1902.
  • Huxley, Leonard. Thomas Henry Huxley: a character sketch. Watts, London 1920.
  • Irvine, William. Apes, Angels and Victorians. New York 1955.
  • Irvine, William. Thomas Henry Huxley. Longmans, London 1960.
  • Mitchell, P. Chalmers. Thomas Henry Huxley: a sketch of his life and work London 1901. Available at Project Gutenberg.
  • Voorhees, Irving Wilson. The teachings of Thomas Henry Huxley. Broadway, New York 1907.

External links


  • Huxley, Thomas Henry (1825-1895) National Library of Australia, Trove, People and Organisation record for Thomas Huxley
  • The Huxley File at Clark University - Lists his publications, contains much of his writing.
  • Works by Thomas H. Huxley in audio format from LibriVox
    LibriVox
    LibriVox is an online digital library of free public domain audiobooks, read by volunteers and is probably, since 2007, the world's most prolific audiobook publisher...

  • Huxley review: Darwin on the origin of species The Times
    The Times
    The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

    , 26 December 1859 p8–9.
  • Huxley review: Time and life: Mr Darwin's "Origin of species." Macmillan's Magazine 1: 1859 p142–148.
  • Huxley review: Darwin on the origin of Species, Westminster Review
    Westminster Review
    The Westminster Review was a quarterly British publication. Established in 1823 as the official organ of the Philosophical Radicals, it was published from 1824 to 1914. James Mill was one of the driving forces behind the liberal journal until 1828....

    , 17 (n.s.) April 1860 p541–570.