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Show Me the BoneReconstructing Prehistoric Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America$
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Gowan Dawson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226332734

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226332871.001.0001

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Correlation under Siege

Correlation under Siege

(p.211) 6 Correlation under Siege
Show Me the Bone

Gowan Dawson

University of Chicago Press

This chapter considers how Thomas Henry Huxley, beginning in the mid-1850s during the Crimean War, impugned the abilities of Cuvier, asserting that the ostensibly infallible law of physiological correlation was in reality based on prosaic empirical observations of customary correspondences. Huxley received support from other young naturalist, as well as from Charles Darwin, who was just then beginning to revealing elements of his evolutionary theory. Huxley’s exactly contemporaneous paleontological dispute with Charles Falconer, in which both employed the military metaphor, and then Owen helped forge a crucial sense of solidarity amongst those who would soon emerge as the advocates of scientific naturalism. It was also successful in persuading most of the scientific community to reject the law of necessary correlation.

Keywords:   Thomas Henry Huxley, empiricism, Charles Darwin, evolution, Charles Falconer, scientific naturalism, military metaphor, Crimean War, necessary correlation, scientific community

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