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- Lectures and Essays - 1/79 -


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Lectures and Essays

by T.H. Huxley

***

THE PEOPLE'S LIBRARY.

LECTURES AND ESSAYS.

THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY.

EDITOR'S NOTE.

Of the great thinkers of the nineteenth century, Thomas Henry Huxley, son of an Ealing schoolmaster, was undoubtedly the most noteworthy. His researches in biology, his contributions to scientific controversy, his pungent criticisms of conventional beliefs and thoughts have probably had greater influence than the work of any other English scientist. And yet he was a "self-made" intellectualist. In spite of the fact that his father was a schoolmaster he passed through no regular course of education. "I had," he said, "two years of a pandemonium of a school (between eight and ten) and after that neither help nor sympathy in any intellectual direction till I reached manhood." When he was twelve a craving for reading found satisfaction in Hutton's "Geology," and when fifteen in Hamilton's "Logic."

At seventeen Huxley entered as a student at Charing Cross Hospital, and three years later he was M.B. and the possessor of the gold medal for anatomy and physiology. An appointment as surgeon in the navy proved to be the entry to Huxley's great scientific career, for he was gazetted to the "Rattlesnake", commissioned for surveying work in Torres Straits. He was attracted by the teeming surface life of tropical seas and his study of it was the commencement of that revolution in scientific knowledge ultimately brought about by his researches.

Thomas Henry Huxley was born at Ealing on May 4, 1825, and died at Eastbourne June 29, 1895.

***

LECTURES

AND

ESSAYS

BY

T.H. HUXLEY.

CASSELL AND COMPANY, LTD. LONDON, PARIS, NEW YORK, TORONTO & MELBOURNE. MCMVIII.

***

CONTENTS.

ON OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE CAUSES OF THE PHENOMENA OF ORGANIC NATURE:

THE PRESENT CONDITION OF ORGANIC NATURE.

THE PAST CONDITION OF ORGANIC NATURE.

THE METHOD BY WHICH THE CAUSES OF THE PRESENT AND PAST CONDITIONS OF ORGANIC NATURE ARE TO BE DISCOVERED.--THE ORIGINATION OF LIVING BEINGS.

THE PERPETUATION OF LIVING BEINGS, HEREDITARY TRANSMISSION AND VARIATION.

THE CONDITIONS OF EXISTENCE AS AFFECTING THE PERPETUATION OF LIVING BEINGS.

A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE POSITION OF MR. DARWIN'S WORK, "ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES," IN RELATION TO THE COMPLETE THEORY OF THE CAUSES OF THE PHENOMENA OF ORGANIC NATURE.

ESSAYS ON DARWIN'S "ORIGIN OF SPECIES":

THE DARWINIAN HYPOTHESIS.

TIME AND LIFE.

THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES.

CRITICISMS ON "THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES".

EVIDENCE AS TO MAN'S PLACE IN NATURE:

ON THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE MAN-LIKE APES.

ON THE RELATIONS OF MAN TO THE LOWER ANIMALS.

ON SOME FOSSIL REMAINS OF MAN.

ON THE ADVISABLENESS OF IMPROVING NATURAL KNOWLEDGE.

ON THE STUDY OF ZOOLOGY.

GEOLOGICAL CONTEMPORANEITY AND PERSISTENT TYPES OF LIFE.

CORAL AND CORAL REEFS.

YEAST.

THE CIRCULATION OF THE BLOOD.

***

ON OUR KNOWLEDGE

OF THE CAUSES OF THE PHENOMENA

OF

ORGANIC NATURE.

NOTICE TO THE FIRST EDITION.

The Publisher of these interesting Lectures, having made an arrangement for their publication with Mr. J.A. Mays, the Reporter, begs to append the following note from Professor Huxley:--

"Mr. J. Aldous Mays, who is taking shorthand notes of my 'Lectures to Working Men,' has asked me to allow him, on his own account, to print those Notes for the use of my audience. I willingly accede to this request, on the understanding that a notice is prefixed to the effect that I have no leisure to revise the Lectures, or to make alterations in them, beyond the correction of any important error in a matter of fact."

***

ON OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE CAUSES OF THE PHENOMENA OF ORGANIC NATURE:

THE PRESENT CONDITION OF ORGANIC NATURE.

When it was my duty to consider what subject I would select for the six lectures* ([Footnote] *To Working Men, at the Museum of Practical Geology, 1863.) which I shall now have the pleasure of delivering to you, it occurred to me that I could not do better than endeavour to put before you in a true light, or in what I might perhaps with more modesty call, that which I conceive myself to be the true light, the position of a book which has been more praised and more abused, perhaps, than any book which has appeared for some years;--I mean Mr. Darwin's work on the "Origin of Species". That work, I doubt not, many of you have read; for I know the inquiring spirit which is rife among you. At any rate, all of you will have heard of it,--some by one kind of report and some by another kind of report; the attention of all and the curiosity of all have been probably more or less excited on the subject of that work. All I can do, and all I shall attempt to do, is to put before you that kind of judgment which has been formed by a man, who, of course, is liable to judge erroneously; but, at any rate, of one whose business and profession it is to form judgments upon questions of this nature.

And here, as it will always happen when dealing with an extensive


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