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Lectures on Evolution
Thomas Henry Huxley

Page 1 of 75


LECTURES ON EVOLUTION
II 

THE HYPOTHESIS OF EVOLUTION.  THE NEUTRAL AND
THE FAVOURABLE EVIDENCE. 

In the preceding lecture I pointed out that there are three
hypotheses which may be entertained, and which have been
entertained, respecting the past history of life upon the globe.
According to the first of these hypotheses, living beings, such
as now exist, have existed from all eternity upon this earth.
We tested that hypothesis by the circumstantial evidence, as I
called it, which is furnished by the fossil remains contained in
the earth's crust, and we found that it was obviously untenable.
I then proceeded to consider the second hypothesis, which I
termed the Miltonic hypothesis, not because it is of any
particular consequence whether John Milton seriously entertained
it or not, but because it is stated in a clear and unmistakable
manner in his great poem.  I pointed out to you that the evidence

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