Punch,  56 (1869), 100.

What Science Says of Us





Human Development, Evolution, Cell Biology, Scientific Practitioners, Scientific Naturalism, Materialism

    Begins by rhetorically asking: 'Where [...] is the man who does not slightly feel disgusted when informed that he, in fact, is nothing more than a mere protoplasm', a claim made in Thomas H Huxley's 'recent paper' ('On the Physical Basis of Life', a version of which was published in Huxley 1869). Imagines how this claim will affect dinner-table conversation, suggesting that one might hear somebody observing that 'he had lately met a protoplasm' who told him that income tax was going to be doubled. Concludes by emphasising that Punch 'envies the great minds that, by the aid of science' can illuminate the 'momentous question' of the nature of man, but does not envy a society where 'men are only mentioned by the name of protoplasms'.

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