Huxley , Thomas Henry
(1825–1895) British biologist
Huxley, the seventh child of a school teacher, was born in Ealing and received only two years' schooling. From the age of 10 he educated himself, doing sufficiently well to be admitted to Charing Cross Hospital to study medicine. He graduated in 1845 and the following year was employed as surgeon on HMSRattlesnake, which was due to survey the Torres Strait between Australia and Papua. During the voyage Huxley studied the marine life of tropical waters and wrote an important paper on the medusae (jellyfish) and related species, naming a new phylum, the Coelenterata, into which these were placed. Recognizing the value of this work, the Royal Society elected Huxley a member in 1851. In 1854 he became lecturer in natural history at the Royal School of Mines (later the Royal College of Science) and while there gave a lecture entitled “The Theory of the Vertebrate Skull,” which disproved the idea that the skull originates from the vertebrae.
Huxley is best remembered as the main advocate of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, and in 1860 – the year following the publication of The Origin of Species – he took part in the famous debate with the bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce, at the Oxford meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. During the discussion Wilberforce asked whether Huxley traced his ancestry to the apes on his mother's or father's side of the family. Huxley answered witheringly that given the choice of a miserable ape and a man who could make such a remark at a serious scientific gathering, he would select the ape. The meeting resulted in a triumph for science, and after it Huxley continued to gain the better of many other distinguished theologians in long academic wrangles. He introduced the termagnosticism to describe his own view that since knowledge rested on scientific evidence and reasoning (and not blind faith) knowledge of the nature and certainty about the very existence of God was impossible.
Huxley worked hard to better educational standards for the working classes and spoke out against the traditional method of learning by rote. He opened Josiah Mason College (later Birmingham University), Owens College Medical School (later part of Manchester University), and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Huxley was the grandfather of the author Aldous Huxley, the Nobel Prize winner Andrew Huxley, and the biologist Sir Julian Huxley.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Huxley,Thomas Henry — Huxley, Thomas Henry. 1825 1895. British biologist who championed Darwin s theory of evolution. His works include Zoological Evidence as to Man s Place in Nature (1863) and Science and Culture (1881). * * * …   Universalium

  • Huxley, Thomas Henry — (1825–95)    Scientist and Educator.    Huxley was born in Ealing, West London, and trained as a physician. As a naval doctor, he pursued his biological studies in the South Seas and, at the early age of twenty six, he was elected a fellow of the …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Huxley, Thomas Henry — ► (1825 95) Naturalista británico. Fue partidario del evolucionismo. Obras: Ensayos y Memorias científicas, entre otras …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • HUXLEY, THOMAS HENRY —    eminent scientist in the department of natural history, born at Ealing, Middlesex; was professor of Natural History in the Royal School of Mines; distinguished by his studies and discoveries in different sections of the animal kingdom, in… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • HUXLEY, Thomas Henry — (1825 1895)    English biologist and AGNOSTIC who was an advocate of scientific training to remedy the intellectual, social, and moral needs of humanity. At Oxford he had a memorable debate with BISHOP William WILBERFORCE on EVOLUTION in 1860. A… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Huxley, Thomas Henry — (1825 1895)    Scientific writer, s. of an assistant master in a public school, was b. at Ealing. From childhood he was an insatiable reader. In his 13th year he became a medical apprentice, and in 1842 entered Charing Cross Hospital. Thereafter… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Thomas Henry Huxley — Woodburytype print of Huxley (1880 or earlier) Born 4 May 1825(1825 05 04) …   Wikipedia

  • Thomas Henry Huxley — (* 4. Mai 1825 in Ealing, Middlesex; † 29. Juni 1895 in Eastbourne) war ein britischer Biologe, Bildungsorganisator und Hauptvertreter des Agnostizismus, dessen Begriff er prägte und durchsetzte. Als einflussreicher Unterstützer des Empirismus… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thomas Henry Huxley — Huxley en una impresa de Lock Whitfield, Londres 1880 o antes. Nacimiento 4 de mayo, 1825 Ealing (Middle …   Wikipedia Español

  • Thomas Henry Huxley — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Huxley. Thomas Henry Huxley Thomas Henry Huxley (4 mai 1825, Ealing 29 juin …   Wikipédia en Français

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