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Books, Journals, New Media
December 23/30, 1998

Thomas Huxley: Huxley: From Devil's Disciple to Evolution's High Priest

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 1998;280(24):2129-2130. doi:10.1001/jama.280.24.2129-JBK1223-4-1

I love a good biography, and for various reasons I have become increasingly interested in the social history of Victorian England. Thus, I was delighted to have been offered the opportunity to review a book on Thomas Henry Huxley, "Darwin's Rotweiler," who led the charge against the established Anglican Church and was the leader in the crusade to put science above all other beliefs.

As outlined in the introduction, "Ultimately, this is a story of how scientists, with their agnostic evolutionary beliefs, came to hold such a position of authority in the twentieth century. . . . With [Huxley] the scientist was born. . . . His conversion of knowledge into a paying commodity was a major step in the making of a salaried scientist. In Darwin we see an older ideal, the wealthy, self-financed gent whose home was his laboratory—and in Huxley twentieth-century corporate science in the making."