Man's Place in Nature and Other Essays by Thomas Henry Huxley

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Thomas Henry Huxley
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About Man's Place in Nature and Other Essays by Thomas Henry Huxley

Man's Place in Nature and Other Essays is an 1863 book by Thomas Henry Huxley, in which he gives evidence for the evolution of man and apes from a common ancestor. It was the first book devoted to the topic of human evolution, and discussed much of the anatomical and other evidence. Backed by this evidence, the book proposed to a wide readership that evolution applied as fully to man as to all other life. In the 18th century Linnaeus and others had classified man as a primate, but without drawing evolutionary conclusions. It was Lamarck, the first to develop a coherent theory of evolution, who discussed human evolution in this context.Robert Chambers in his anonymous Vestiges also clearly made the point. The book came five years after Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace announced their theory of evolution by means of natural selection, and four years after the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species. In the Origin Darwin had deliberately avoided tackling human evolution, but left a gnomic trailer: "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history". Darwin's sequel came eight years later, with The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871).


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