Research Article | Published:

Huxley as Anthropologist

Naturevolume 115pages719723 (1925) | Download Citation



IN the spring of 1857, two and a half years before the “Origin of Species” was published., certain events occurred in London which compelled Huxley to apply himself to the scientific study of the human body. As a student of medicine he had learned the elements of human anatomy, but from the time he left the Medical School of Charing Cross Hospital in 1846 until 1854, when he obtained his first teaching appointment in the School of Mines, his investigations had been confined to the structure of invertebrate animals. At the School of Mines he very quickly saw that if he wished to share in the prevalent movement which was then interpreting the faunas of past geological periods, he had to become a master of vertebrate anatomy. He planned a campaign which would carry him from one end of the vertebrate kingdom to the other, and proceeded to carry it out with all the greater zest because he knew it must bring him into open conflict with the first anatomist of the time-Richard Owen.

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