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Thomas Henry Huxley

Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825–95, English biologist and educator, grad. Charing Cross Hospital, 1845. Huxley gave up his own biological research to become an influential scientific publicist and was the principal exponent of Darwinism in England. An agnostic (see agnosticism), he doubted all things not immediately open to logical analysis and scientific verification. He held up truth as an ideal and spoke and wrote frequently on its tool, the scientific method, and its yield, the evolutionary theory. He placed human ethics outside the scope of the materialistic processes of evolution; he believed that civilization is man's protest against nature and that progress is achieved by the human control of evolution. Huxley held numerous public offices, serving on 10 royal commissions (1862–84). His many works include Evolution and Ethics (1893), Collected Essays (9 vol., 1893–94), Scientific Memoirs (4 vol., 1898–1902), and an autobiography (1903).

See selected writings, ed. by C. Bibby (1967); biographies by Huxley's son Leonard (1920, repr. 1969) and C. Bibby (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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