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Thomas Henry Huxley: The Evolution of a Scientist

Lyons, Sherrie L.

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9781573927062: Thomas Henry Huxley: The Evolution of a Scientist

English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-95) was the foremost advocate of Darwin's theory of evolution, which he was "prepared to go to the stake" to defend. The controversies surrounding Darwin in the Victorian age became a vehicle for Huxley to gain power in intellectual, institutional, and political arenas.

Yet in this investigation of Huxley's motivations in science, Sherrie L. Lyons uncovers Huxley's skepticism of two basic tenets of Darwin's theory - natural selection and gradualism. His criticism of Darwinian science as being too simplistic led to a strengthening of evolutionary theory, rather than a weakening of it. A self-appointed defender of truth, Huxley developed his own research program, examining philosophy prior to Darwin in an effort to fill the holes in evolutionary theory. Lyons also looks at Huxley's conversion from saltation to gradualism, and his views on progression and the fossil record.

As Huxley's interest in developmental morphology continues to be crucial in studying problems in comparative anatomy, embryology, paleontology, and evolution, this book is essential to students of Darwin, Huxley, and the scientific enterprise.

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About the Author:

Sherrie L. Lyons (Amherst, NY) is an assistant professor of science history at Daemen College, a Huxley lecturer, and the author of Spirits, Skulls, Serpents, and Darwin: Approaches to 'Science' in the 19th Century.

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Lyons, Sherrie L.
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ISBN 10: 1573927066 ISBN 13: 9781573927062
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Lyons, Sherrie L.
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Book Description Prometheus Books, 1999. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-95) has long been known as the foremost defender of Darwin's theory of evolution, which he supported on numerous occasions, both public & private. The many controversies swirling around evolution in the Victorian age often found Huxley, as "Darwin Bulldog," in the intellectual, institutional, & political limelight. In this engrossing investigation of Huxley's motivations in science, Sherrie L. Lyons shows him to be, first & foremost, an advocate of scientific reasoning, his commitment to which resulted in Huxley voicing public skepticism regarding two basic tenets of Darwin's theory-natural selection & gradualism. His criticism of Darwin's view as being too simplistic-far from what critics of evolution imagine-led to a strengthening of evolutionary theory, rather than a weakening of it. Huxley's dedication to scientific method & critical assessment of evidence spurred him to aid in confirming the evolutionary hypothesis. Lyons helps readers understand Huxley's evolving scientific recognition of the theory of evolution: whether as a result of his conversion from saltation to gradualism or his views on progression & analyzing fossil records. Because Huxley's contribution to developmental morphology continues to be crucial in studying problems in comparative anatomy, embryology, paleontology, & evolution, this book is essential to students of Darwin, Huxley, & the science enterprise. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_1573927066

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