Darwin III

Darwin III - 19th Century Reactions to Darwin Ignoramus, in...

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1 19 th Century Reactions to Darwin l Ignoramus, in hoc signo laboremus z We are ignorant; so let us work (Charles Darwin) l Not one subject in the universe is unworthy of study. z (Karl Pearson) Supporters of Darwin Joseph Dalton Hooker : (1817-1911): London—Botanist, Kew Gardens Alfred Russell Wallace (1823-1913): Co-discoverer of natural selection Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895): London— comparative anatomy Asa Gray (1810-1888): Harvard—proposed reconciling evolution and theology: l Evolutionary Teleology z Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919): Jena—author of the phylogenetic law: ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny August Weismann (1834-1914): Freiburg—rejection of inheritance of acquired characteristics; only germ line cells figure in procreation Huxley: Darwin ` s Bulldog l I finished your book yesterday. .. Since I read von Baer's Essays nine years ago no work on Natural History Science I have met with has made so great an impression on me & I do most heartily thank you for the great store of new views you have given me. .. As for your doctrines I am prepared to go to the Stake if requisite. .. I trust you will not allow yourself to be in any way disgusted or annoyed by the considerable abuse & misrepresentation which unless I greatly mistake is in store for you. .. And as to the curs which will bark and yelp - you must recollect that some of your friends at any rate are endowed with an amount of combativeness which (though you have often & justly rebuked it) may stand you in good stead - I am sharpening up my claws and beak in readiness. z (Thomas H. Huxley to Charles Darwin, November 23, 1859) Huxley, however, did not accept natural selection as the sole or primary mechanism of evolution
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2 Wilberforce vs. Huxley Confrontation at British Association, June 30, 1860 Wilberforce: Bishop of Oxford, VP of British Association and Council Member of the Geological Society Looks more bitter in hindsight Supposedly Wilberforce challenged: l If anyone were willing to trace his descent through an ape as his grandfather would he also be willing to trace his descent similarly on the side of his grandmother? z Huxley responded: If there were to be an ancestor whom I should feel shame in recalling, it would rather be a man -- a man of restless and versatile intellect -- who, not content with success in his own sphere of activity, plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real acquaintance, only to obscure them by an aimless rhetoric, and distract the attention of his hearers from the real point at issue by eloquent digressions and skilled appeals to religious prejudice. z Wilberforce ` s published review Darwin did not have sufficient proof from the fossil record for existence of any transitional forms Practical breeders had never produced a new species by selection Selection could only l fine tune z adaptations, but could not create anything new In addition, he quipped that Darwin l showed our unsuspecting cousinship with the mushrooms. z
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3 Darwin and Church of England Darwin was buried in Westminster Abbey: § l
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Darwin III - 19th Century Reactions to Darwin Ignoramus, in...

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