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  1. Apr 2018
    1. DURING THE SECOND HALF OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY THE SPOKESMEN for scientific naturalism constituted one of the most vocal and visible groups on the Victorian intellectual landscape. Combining research, polemical wit, and literary eloquence, they defended and propagated a scientific world view based on atomism, conservation of energy, and evolution. They raised the banner of the functional expertise of the sci- entifically educated against the resistance of religious orthodoxy, re- ceived opinion, and intellectual obscurantism. They sought to create a secular climate of opinion that would permit the theories and prac- titioners of modern science to penetrate the institutions of education, industry, and government for the material progress and social ameliora- tion of the nation. Their immense energy and the multiplicity of their interests and contacts permitted them to carry their message of the benefits of scien- tific endeavor to audiences ranging from skilled mechanics to members of the aristocracy.1 Thomas Henry Huxley, whose defense of Darwin made him the most famous of the group, illustrates the multi-faceted activities of these men. In addition to his polemical efforts on

      במחצית השניה של המאה ה-19, הנטורליזם המדעי הפך לאחד הקולות החזקים ביותר בנוף המדעי הויקטוריאני. הם העלו על נס את היתרונות של מומחים מדעיים על פני האורתודוקסיה הדתית וביקשו ליצור אקלים חילוני שיאפשר לתיאוריות ולמדענים להיכנס לכל תחומי החברה.

      תומאס הנרי האקסלי, עם הגנתו על דרווין היה אחד הבולטים ביניהם.

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