01.13.2015

How Stupid Not to Have Thought of That!

Huxley in a dunce capIn his essay “On the Reception of the ‘Origin of Species,’” which was published in The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (1887), Thomas Henry Huxley famously commented on how he himself received it: “My reflection, when I first made myself master of the central idea of the ‘Origin,’ was, ‘How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!’”

Just for the fun of it, we asked a handful of contemporary biologists if they had any Huxley moments of their own to relate: ideas they wish they had had or discoveries they wish they had made. (They didn’t have to accuse themselves of stupidity!) Over the course of the month their answers will appear here.

Part 1: Rudolf Raff

Part 2: David P. Mindell

Part 3: David W. Deamer

Part 4: Randolph M. Nesse

Part 5: Douglas J. Futuyma