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Engraving of biologist Thomas Huxley, in 1881

Engraving of biologist Thomas Huxley, in 1881

H408/0174

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Thomas Huxley. Engraving of English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), in 1881. He studied medicine and surgery, and joined the Royal Navy where he did important work on plankton. Huxley's name, however, was made as a popularizer of science, notably Darwin's theory of evolution. In 1860 Huxley presented Darwin's theory at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Oxford, where he faced his opponent Bishop Samuel Wilberforce. Huxley won the day. His study of primates established man as one of them, and turned evolution into a debate of science rather than emotion. Huxley invented the word 'agnostic' to describe his religious beliefs.

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