Mr. Darwin's Critics, Vol. 18 by Thomas Henry Huxley

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Author
Thomas Henry Huxley
Publisher
Forgotten Books
Date of release
Pages
40
ISBN
9781330255902
Binding
Paperback
Illustrations
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PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
3
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Book review

Excerpt from Mr. Darwin's Critics, Vol. 18

And the same may be said of an article in the Quarterly Review for July 1871, the comparison of which with an article in the same Review for July, 1860, is perhaps the best evidence which can be brought forward of the change which has taken place in public opinion on "Darwinism."

The Quarterly Reviewer admits "the certainty of the action of natural selection" (p. 49); and further allows that there is an Ă  priori probability in favour of the evolution of man from some lower animal form, if these lower animal forms themselves have arisen by evolution.

Mr. Wallace and Mr. Mivart go much further than this. They are as stout believers in evolution as Mr. Darwin himself; but Mr. Wallace denies that man can have been evolved from a lower animal by that process of natural selection which he, with Mr. Darwin, holds to have been sufficient for the evolution of all animals below man; while Mr. Mivart, admitting that natural selection has been one of the conditions of the evolution of the animals below man, maintains that natural selection must, even in their case, have been supplemented by "some other cause" - of the nature of which, unfortunately, he does not give us any idea. Thus Mr. Mivart is less of a Darwinian than Mr. Wallace, for he has less faith in the power of natural selection. But he is more of an evolutionist than Mr. Wallace, because Mr. Wallace thinks it necessary to call in an intelligent agent - a sort of supernatural Sir John Sebright - to produce even the animal frame of man; while Mr. Mivart requires no Divine assistance till he comes to man's soul.

Thus there is a considerable divergence between Mr. Wallace and Mr. Mivart. On the other hand, there are some curious similarities between Mr. Mivart and the Quarterly Reviewer, and these are sometimes so close, that, if Mr. Mivart thought it worth while, I think he might make out a good case of plagiarism against the Reviewer, who studiou…


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