Charles Robert Darwin, born in 1809, was an English naturalist who founded the theory of Darwinism, the belief in evolution as determined by natural selection. Although Darwin studied medicine at Edinburgh University, and then studied at Cambridge University to become a minister, he had been interested in natural history all his life. His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was a noted English poet, physician, and botanist who was interested in evolutionary development. Darwin's works have had an incalculable effect on all aspects of the modern thought. Darwin's most famous and influential work, On the Origin of Species, provoked immediate controversy. Darwin's other books include Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle, The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Charles Darwin died in 1882.
Sir Julian Huxley, elder brother of novelist Aldous Huxley, was born in London, the eldest son of Leonard Huxley, biographer and historian; "the nephew of Mrs. Humphrey Ward"; the grand nephew of Matthew Arnold; and the grandson of the great scientist Thomas Henry Huxley. Julian Huxley began gathering honors while at Balliol College, and Oxford University, where he lectured on zoology for two years (1910--1912). One of the leading popularizers of science, he was a gifted master of lucid prose and wrote innumerable articles and books, many on science for the layperson on subjects ranging from "the evolutionary conception of God to the politics of ants." Huxley is credited with coining the term ethology to indicate the science of animal behavior. He advocated a scientific humanism as a substitute for the mysticism of the past. Huxley was interested in politics, as well as science, serving as the first director-general of UNESCO (1946--48). In January 1960, Huxley received the New York University Medal following his lecture entitled "Evolution in Our Time." "My final belief is life," was his stated philosophy. .