NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ879808
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Evolution and Education: Lessons from Thomas Huxley
Lyons, Sherrie Lynne
Science & Education, v19 n4-5 p445-459 May 2010
Thomas Huxley more than anyone else was responsible for disseminating Darwin's theory in the western world and maintained that investigating the history of life should be regarded as a purely scientific question free of theological speculation. The content and rhetorical strategy of Huxley's defense of evolution is analyzed. Huxley argued that the classification of humans should be determined independent of any theories of origination of species. Besides providing evidence that demonstrated the close relationship between apes and humans, he also argued that a pithecoid ancestry in no way degraded humankind. In his broader defense of evolution he drew on his agnosticism to define what science could and could not explain. Theology made empirical claims and needed to be subject to the same standards of evidence as scientific claims. He maintained that even most scientific objections to evolution were religiously based. The objections to the theory fundamentally remain the same as in the nineteenth century and much can be learned from Huxley to develop effective strategies for educating the public about evolution. Huxley's own scientific articles as well as his popular writings provide numerous examples that could be harnessed not only for the teaching of evolution, but also for understanding science as a process.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A