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Huxley and Evolutionist

Naturevolume 115pages717718 (1925) | Download Citation



WHEN Darwin published his “Origin of Species” Huxley sprang at once to his side, and he never wavered in his loyalty to the general idea of evolution, towards which he had been previously not more than critical. On paheontological grounds alone, he tells us, he was quite convinced; and in the “flash of light” that Darwin gave him, he saw the evolution doctrine as “a statement of historical fact.” This was partly because Darwin had a workable causal hypothesis behind the modal formula. As a champion of the evolutionist position Huxley did grea service, in his American addresses for example, in showing how the formula fitted the facts, and in rebutting such criticisms as were begotten of ignorance and misunder standing. He was a fearless protagonist, “a braw fighter.” He certainly quickened the not unnaturally slow acceptance of the evolution idea.

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