September 16, 2016

March of Progress

I came across a chapter on Thomas Henry Huxley while reading The Book of Science edited by John Carey. The description about his book Man's Place in Nature piqued my curiosity. The frontispiece of the book showed a queue of skeletons with man at the front followed by skeletons of Gorilla, Chimpanzee, Orangutan and Gibbon. Wait a second, haven't I seen something similar elsewhere? I didn't know the name of the picture and for some reason I thought it was called "The Ascent of Man". Soon after establishing https connection to certain servers (Googling in plain English) there came the answer - the picture I was looking for is called "The March of Progress" and it is from the book Early Man by F. Clark Howell. This explains why I take a long time to finish books on Science. Apparently the popular version we see all over is the folded version of the original.

Carey did add something interesting about Huxley in the note on his debate with a Bishop on theory of evolution. During the debate the Bishop asked certain question about Huxley's ancestors. Huxley gave a befitting answer. However the gem is Huxley's reaction on the death of this Bishop due to the fall from horseback. "For once reality and his brain came into contact, and the result was fatal."

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