Academy,  1 (1869–70), 13–14.

[Review of The Natural History of Creation, by Ernst H P A Haeckel]  [1/2]

T H Huxley


Review, Serial

Publications reviewed:

Haeckel 1868


Biology, Evolution, Comparative Anatomy, Science Communication, Spontaneous Generation, Descent, Metaphysics, Agnosticism, Morphology, Philosophy

People mentioned:

Charles R Darwin , Carl Gegenbaur , Immanuel Kant

Publications cited:

Haeckel 1866 , Darwin 1859

    Demonstrating his 'sense of the value' of Ernst H P A Haeckel's book (which is intended for 'an educated public') by noting 'down some of the more important criticisms which have been suggested to me by its perusal' (13), Huxley examines the concepts of phylogeny and dysteleology, as well as Haeckel's views on the influence of external and internal conditions on the tendency to vary in a given organism. He also suggests that neither the teleological nor the mechanical view of nature can afford an adequate explanation of the final causes of things, and instead advises an agnostic position: 'why trouble oneself about matters which are out of reach when the working of the mechanism itself, which is of infinite practical importance, affords scope for all our energies?' (14).

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