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Thomas Henry Huxley was an English biologist, educator, and proponent of agnosticism.




Thomas Henry Huxley was an English biologist, educator, and proponent of agnosticism (he coined the term) who was born on May 4, 1825, in Ealing, Middlesex, and passed away on June 29, 1895, in Eastbourne, Sussex. Huxley was dubbed "Darwin's bulldog" for his outspoken public support of Charles Darwin's evolutionary naturalism. Additionally, his organizational efforts, public lectures, and writing contributed to elevating the status of science in contemporary society.

Thomas Henry Huxley was born: Ealing, England died on May 4, 1825: Awards and Honors: June 29, 1895 (aged 70) Eastbourne, England Subjects of Study for the Copley Medal (1888): Religion Student life Thomas Henry Huxley was the youngest of the six surviving children of schoolmaster George Huxley and his wife, Rachel. He was born above a butcher's shop. Although Huxley attended his father's failing Ealing School for only two years (1833–1855), its evangelicalism later influenced his scientific rhetoric. From 1835 his dad had a go at dealing with a bank in his local Coventry, which left Huxley free in the strip winding around city. Huxley's folks were Anglicans (individuals from the Congregation of Britain), however the kid identified with the town's Free thinker (or Contradicting) weavers, who needed strict balance and a finish to the Anglicans' control of public establishments.


He studied Unitarian works because he was fascinated by science and religion. These works challenged the socially conservative views that are prevalent in natural history and natural theology with their cause-and-effect explanations and denial of the duality of spirit and matter. Huxley was taught by the works of Thomas Carlyle that religious feelings of awe were different from theology, which was about gods and miraculous events. As did radical Dissenters, the teen hypothesized that morality was a cultural product, opening the door to a scientific explanation. Huxley's agnosticism, enthusiasm for science, and comprehension of sectarian power plays all stemmed from these.

Between the years 1838 and 1841, the student with the long hair worked as an apprentice for John Charles Cooke, a medical materialist and beer-drinking husband of Ellen. Huxley was shaken by the miserable lives of his patients when he was transferred to a London dockside physician early in 1841. There was no escape from sectarian politics and science, even at Sydenham College, off Gower Street in London, the backstreet anatomy school where Huxley won the botany prize in 1842; Marshall Hall, the owner of Sydenham, was studying mechanistic reflex arcs and suing the Royal College of Physicians for not accepting Dissenters into its fellowship.


Huxley attended Charing Cross Hospital in London on a free scholarship from 1842 to 1945, where he won medals in physiology and organic chemistry. His pursuit of physicochemical laws as a means of explaining living processes revealed his own mechanistic bent. In 1845, he discovered a brand-new membrane in the human hair sheath, which is now known as Huxley's layer.


The Rattlesnake voyage He joined the navy to pay off his debts. From 1846 to 1850, he worked as an assistant surgeon on the HMS Rattlesnake, which surveyed New Guinea and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. He studied the structure and growth of sea anemones, hydras, jellyfish, and sea nettles like the Portuguese man-of-war, which decomposed too quickly to be studied anywhere but on the high seas, with his microscope attached to a table in the chart room. Although they were later classified as the phylum Cnidaria (or Coelenterata), he grouped them together as Nematophora, which is named after the stinging cells on their bodies. He even suggested that these membranes were related to the two initial cell layers in the vertebrate embryo, demonstrating that they were all made up of two "foundation membranes" (shortened to endoderm and ectoderm). Huxley's papers were sent to his father, the bishop of Norwich, by the aristocratic Captain Owen Stanley, commander of the Rattlesnake, for London publication; However, Huxley was enthralled by such traditional patronage, and he insisted that science no longer required aristocratic approval.


The sailor got engaged to Henrietta ("Nettie") Anne Heathorn, the daughter of a brewer, after a whirlwind romance in Sydney in 1847. Nettie was concerned by Huxley's skepticism because he believed it was a moral obligation to weigh the evidence before accepting church dogmas. As he worried about the value of his scientific work, he sailed to the Great Barrier Reef and the southern coast of New Guinea, sketched Papuans, and suffered terrible mental breakdowns in the sweltering Coral Sea heat. However, he carried on with his startling observations, noting that the larval sea squirt has tail muscles similar to those of a tadpole. In later years, this would be evidence that sea squirts, or ascidians, are vertebrates' ancestors.


In the hope of earning enough money to bring Nettie to England, Huxley went back home in 1850. His success at the Royal Society of London demonstrates how quickly his scientific reputation has grown: He was made a fellow in 1851, won the Royal Medal in 1852, and served as a councillor in 1853. However, it was all recognition and no pudding, he seethed. Huxley was paid half his salary to finish his research, which was published in 1859 as The Oceanic Hydrozoa, but he was unable to find a position as a scientist at a university. When Britain's leaders studied classics at Oxbridge and private (public) schools considered science to be dehumanizing, such jobs were uncommon. Because of this, Huxley went through additional severe depressions and wanted to make science a job that paid well. Huxley took sides in the day's contentious issues. He insisted that sea nettles did not exist in colonies but as distinct organisms. Contrary to his rival, the comparative anatomist Richard Owen, he denied that vertebrae made up the skull. Huxley disproved a Christian-based geology that held that humans were the culmination of Creation, following in the footsteps of the geologist Sir Charles Lyell. He also challenged the idea that fossils showed a progression through the rocks. Writing alongside Huxley on the rationalist Westminster Review, an influential magazine at the cutting edge of 19th-century literary Britain, the novelist George Eliot, Marian Evans saw his brilliance as counterbalanced by a love of provocation.




In 1854, Huxley's professional circumstances improved after four increasingly difficult years. At the Government School of Mines in Piccadilly, central London, he began teaching natural history and paleontology. Huxley promoted a meritocratic, exam-based approach to education and professional advancement while a new professional ethos was sweeping the nation. He also trained schoolmasters in science. He also gave public lectures to workers who were themselves looking for a new, liberating science while simultaneously holding chairs at the Royal Institution and the Royal College of Surgeons. His circumstances improved, he brought Nettie to England, and they wed in 1855 after being engaged for eight years.


Charles Darwin, known as "Darwin's bulldog," was about to begin writing On the Origin of Species (1859) when he noticed Huxley's star rising. A visit to Darwin's Down House in 1856 set the stage for a long-lasting relationship between the two men and their families (Nettie recuperated at Down after losing her first child, Noel, in 1860; She and Emma Darwin shared concerns regarding the theological implications of their husbands' scientific theories; and the Darwins were godparents to two of the eight children of the Huxleys). Huxley and Charles Darwin, on the other hand, were perfect partners. Darwin, a reclusive individual, required a public advocate and defender.


Huxley chose an internal source of variation that could quickly produce new species because he initially struggled with natural selection. However, he saw Darwin's naturalistic (i.e., nonmiraculous) approach as a useful tool in his effort to establish an independent scientific elite devoid of the old order's constraints. Therefore, Huxley played up the controversial aspects of evolutionary theory by utilizing Darwin's Origin of Species as a "Whitworth gun in the armoury of liberalism" rather than shying away from them. He framed the debate over Creation and evolution in terms of black-and-white, either/or terms and was unforgiving of colleagues who straddled the fence, in contrast to some of his contemporaries (such as Saint George Jackson Mivart), who sought a reconciliation between science and theology.




An early exchange with the conservative Oxford bishop Samuel Wilberforce at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1860 marked a turning point in this professional campaign. Huxley, exuding Puritan virtue, responded that he would rather have an ape as an ancestor than a wealthy bishop who prostituted his gifts. Wilberforce apparently asked whether the apes were on his grandfather's or grandmother's line (a tasteless joke by Victorian standards). Albeit Darwinian disseminators, in ceaselessly describing this episode, assisted with putting the men of science on a scholarly standard with the strong church, the truth was more confounded. Wilberforce himself later collaborated with Huxley at the Zoological Society. At Oxford, some liberal Anglican clergy who detested the hard-line bishop provided Huxley with support. Huxley was also not afraid to use religious authority for his own purposes; He planned for Darwin to be buried at Westminster Abbey and talked about creating a "church scientific."


On numerous battlefields, Huxley carried the standard of scientific naturalism and evolution. He challenged the idea of a supernatural creator by telling his democratic artisans that humans had come from animals—a lowly-ancestor-bright-future image that appealed to the poor—and that Darwin's Nature was a book that anyone could read, not just priests. He jumped headfirst into the contentious topic of human ancestry; Huxley made it his specialty, while Darwin shied away from it. He denied that human and ape brains were significantly different in 1861, which led to a heated argument with Richard Owen and brought attention to human evolution. In Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature (1863), he talked about how humans came from apes and the new fossil of a Neanderthal man. The crocodile-shaped amphibians disinterred in Britain's coal pits and the crossopterygians (Devonian lobe-fin fishes, the ancestors of amphibians) were Huxley's first works on fossils. After reclassifying birds based on their palate bones, he then proceeded to demonstrate that all birds were descended from small carnivorous dinosaurs, his coup came in 1867–1868, when he achieved a better understanding of phylogeny, or the fossil pathway of life.




Power and "Pope Huxley" Huxley's research established him as one of the leading scientists of his time, and his controversial positions in the 1860s and 1970s gained the support of a growing number of his contemporaries. He was unparalleled in his role as a scientific popularizer, energetic organizer, and political infighter. Huxley helped to establish a social order in which science and professionalism replaced classics and patronage by possessing these qualities, which provided him with the levers necessary to elevate the status of science in British society.

He didn't fight on his own. Huxley founded the X-Club in 1864 with Kew Gardens botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker, philosopher Herbert Spencer, physicist John Tyndall, and other former outsiders to advance science. Within ten years, they were distributing Royal Society positions. The Reader, where Huxley famously stated that science would achieve "domination over the whole realm of the intellect" in response to Conservative leader Benjamin Disraeli's criticism of Darwinism, and Nature, which was founded by Huxley's team in 1869, served as their mouthpiece. In addition, Huxley presided over the Royal Society (1883–85), the Marine Biological Association (1884–90), the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1870), and the Ethnological Society (1868–71). He had clearly entered the murky corridors of power, holding seats on ten Royal Commissions that deliberated on topics ranging from vivisection to diseases to fisheries.


Germany's and the United States' growing strength as rival industrial powers shaken those corridors. Huxley and his circle argued that more funding for scientific research and education would produce the workers and innovations required to maintain British supremacy. Huxley devoted a significant portion of the 1860s and 1970s to educational reform and institution building. He served on the Eton College governing board and the London School Board from 1870 to 1872, where he developed a modern curriculum for the capital's "street arabs" and the sons of privilege. In addition, he held the positions of principal of the brand-new Working Men's College in south London from 1868 to 1980 and rector of the old University of Aberdeen from 1872 to 1974. He supported the merger of his Government School of Mines and the Royal College of Chemistry as a member of the Royal Commission on Scientific Instruction (1870–75); They were relocated to South Kensington and given the new name "Normal School of Science," which eventually became "Imperial College of Science and Technology," which is now part of the University of London. He was made a freeman of the City of London in 1883 for his advice on the establishment of the vocational Central Institution for Technical Education, which opened in London in 1884. He set the public exams for the Department of Science and Art and taught courses at South Kensington for schoolmasters and mistresses to meet the demand for science teachers, which was partly fueled by the Education Act of 1870. His success with mistresses inspired him to fight for women's admission to universities. His exam invigilators were Royal Engineers—South Kensington construction workers—giving his "warfare" image of science and theology a more militaristic air. The students gave him the nickname "the General" for good reason.




His political influence led to an increase in his popularity. The talks Huxley gave grabbed attention. Huge crowds were drawn by the provocative behavior and attractive appearance; The evangelist of science once witnessed 2,000 people leaving the packed hall while he was speaking about blind faith as the ultimate sin. Huxley's 1876 American tour was funded by a £1,000 bequest from a Quaker supporter. On the tour, he talked about how birds came from dinosaurs, called the succession of fossil horses in America "Demonstrative Evidence of Evolution," and was called "Huxley Eikonoklastes" by a New York City newspaper. As a result of his whistle-stop tours, Huxley's children referred to him as "the lodger" at home.) No less well known were his works. He took perusers through time passages to encounter outlandish past universes. In 1869, seven editions of the Fortnightly Review were published as a result of an essay on protoplasm as the substrate of life. His many books for beginners were well received. Such tremendous movement on such countless fronts prompted nonstop breakdowns and recoveries in Egypt, Germany, Italy, and France. In addition, he paid for the children of his alcoholic sister Ellen and broken-down brother James with his pay. In addition, the more he upheld family values and denied that evolutionism and skepticism led to excess, the more concerned he became about scandals involving his not-so-well relatives.


He came up with the term "agnostic" in 1869, which means that one could not know anything about the ultimate, spiritual or material reality. He believed that morality consisted of weighing the evidence for events rather than reciting creeds; His new professionals were given the power that the priests had previously held through a consecration of doubt. He was dubbed "Pope Huxley" for making such prophetic pronouncements.) Evolution, on the other hand, became increasingly influential on his research. He investigated the crayfish evolution, demonstrated that Mesozoic crocodiles gradually developed a secondary palate, which enabled them to drown newly evolved mammalian prey, and wrote the biology section of the article titled "Evolution" for the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which was published in 1878. He also used the fish-like lancelet known as the amphioxus to investigate the origin of all vertebrates. Finally, Huxley established the field of biology by creating a package that teachers could take back to their own communities. Biology is based on structural (rather than evolutionary) anatomy and is narrowed down to a few representative animal and plant "types."



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