Man's Place in Nature

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Courier Corporation, Oct 22, 2003 - Science - 184 pages
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Known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his impassioned defense of evolutionary theory, Thomas Huxley published this, his most famous book, just a few years after Darwin's The Origin of the Species. Unlike Origin, this book focuses on human ancestry and offers a concise, nontechnical survey of the state of mid-nineteenth-century knowledge about primate and human paleontology and ethology. Man's Place in Nature concurs with Darwin's assertion of the absence of a physiologic and psychic structural line of demarcation between humans and apes. Huxley ventures further than Darwin, however, by making the first attempt to apply the principles of evolution directly to the human race (an issue that Darwin skirted). Despite Huxley's acknowledgements of the wide gulf represented by the human capacity for rational speech and language, some Victorian readers were scandalized by the application of Darwinian theory to humans and by Huxley's evidence of the fundamental similarities between the human brain and the ape brain. A landmark of scientific progress, this immensely readable book reflects the stylistic gifts that made its author a popular public speaker.
 

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Contents

ON THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE MANLIKE APES
9
ON THE RELATIONS OF MAN TO THE LOWER ANIMALS
71
ON SOME FOSSIL REMAINS OF MAN
139
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About the author (2003)

T. H. (Thomas Henry) Huxley, an English biologist born in London in 1825, was regarded as one of the leading scientists in England by the age of 26. His fame arose primarily from his support of Charles Darwin and Darwin's theory of evolution. Huxley's book Man's Place in Nature, published in 1873, added an anthropological perspective to Darwin's theory; in fact, this book was the first to advocate the idea that anthropoid apes are the closest relatives to humans. Huxley's other scientific interests included comparative anatomy and paleontology. His writings were extensive. On the topic of biology he wrote both from the scientific view and to popularize the subject. Huxley's other books were on education, philosophy, ethics, and theology. His grandson, Aldous Huxley, would later make significant contributions to English literature as well. T.H. Huxley died in 1895.

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