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Man's Place in Nature (Modern Library Science) Paperback – October 2, 2001

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Darwin said it first, but Huxley said it best. Known as "Darwin's bulldog" for his tenacious and successful defense of evolution by natural selection, biologist T.H. Huxley wrote Man's Place in Nature to bolster his case with hard facts. This new edition, edited and introduced by eminent paleontologist and evolutionary theorist Stephen Jay Gould, reminds the readers of the power of good writing to influence opinion. Huxley's style is charmingly persuasive, even when he's describing the intimate details of the lemur's skull. The illustrations range from crude to beautifully detailed and generally take a back seat to the prose. Those involved in debates with creationists--150 years after Darwin--will be discouraged to learn that Huxley faced many of the same arguments in his day. Still, armed with Man's Place in Nature, another generation can fight and win. --Rob Lightner

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Thomas H. Huxley was one of the first supporters of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, and he did more than any other writer to advance its acceptance among scientists and nonscientists alike. His most famous book, Man's Place in Nature, published only five years after Darwin's The Origin of Species, offers a compelling review of primate and human paleontology, and is the first attempt to apply Darwin's theory to human beings. As compelling a piece of analysis now as it was 140 years ago, Man's Place in Nature is a must for every science lover's library.
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library Science
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; Reprinted from ed. edition (October 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037575847X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375758478
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,593,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Sergio A. Salazar Lozano on July 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Huxley surely was the best evolution defender of his time, even superior to Darwin and Wallace at this feat. This book is a classic to man's evolution literature and should be read by anyone interested in the early foundations of evolution. This were the kind of lectures and essays that destroy competing arguments from other theories. Something that strikes me is how updated this still is (well considering the time that has passed), and how strong are Huxley's arguments and so well founded. Huxley uses various techniques to make his point, he uses a lot of the new branch of science "comparative anatomy", and does so like an expert. Simply a delightful reading, a time travel to the origins of the evolution theory.
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Format: Paperback
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) was an English biologist, often called "Darwin's Bulldog" because of his spirited advocacy of Darwin's theory of evolution. This 1863 book proposed the extension of evolutionary theory to humans, years before Darwin's The Works of Charles Darwin: The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, Volume 22 Part 2 was written in 1871. The book began as an extension of public lectures that Huxley gave.

His argumentation is by analogy: "There is not much apparent resemblance between a barn-door Fowl and the Dog who protects the farm-yard. Nevertheless the student of development finds, not only that the chick commences its existence as an egg, primarily identical in all essential respects with that of the Dog, but that the yelk of this egg undergoes division---that the primitive groove arises, and that the contiguous parts of the germ are fashioned, by precisely similar methods, into a young chick, which at one stage of its existence, is so like the nascent Dog, that ordinary inspection would hardly distinguish the two."

He admits the gap between man and modern apes (the African hominids had not been discovered when this book was written, of course).
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