RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley OM PRS (22 November 1917 – 30 May 2012) was a Nobel Prize-winning English physiologist and biophysicist and the grandson of Thomas H. Huxley and half-brother of Julian and Aldous Huxley, “Richenda (his late wife) was an agnostic as I am, a word invented by my grandfather (Thomas H. Huxley)”

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif AhmedHaroon Ahmed,  Jim Al-Khalili, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BateSir Patrick BatesonSimon Blackburn, Colin Blakemore, Ned BlockPascal BoyerPatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky, Brian CoxPartha Dasgupta,  Alan Dershowitz, Frank DrakeHubert Dreyfus, John DunnBart Ehrman, Mark ElvinRichard Ernst, Stephan Feuchtwang, Robert FoleyDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Stephen HawkingHermann Hauser, Robert HindeRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodGerard ‘t HooftCaroline HumphreyNicholas Humphrey,  Herbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart KauffmanMasatoshi Koshiba,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George Lakoff,  Rodolfo LlinasElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlaneDan McKenzie,  Mahzarin BanajiPeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  P.Z.Myers,   Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff, David Parkin,  Jonathan Parry, Roger Penrose,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceVS RamachandranLisa RandallLord Martin ReesColin RenfrewAlison Richard,  C.J. van Rijsbergen,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerJohn SulstonBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisMax TegmarkNeil deGrasse Tyson,  Martinus J. G. Veltman, Craig Venter.Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John Walker, James D. WatsonFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

Andrew Huxley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the physicist, see Andrew D. Huxley.
Sir Andrew Huxley
Andrew Fielding Huxley nobel.jpg

Huxley in 1963
Born Andrew Fielding Huxley
22 November 1917
Hampstead, London, England
Died 30 May 2012 (aged 94)
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Residence Grantchester, Cambridge, England
Citizenship British
Nationality English
Fields Physiology and biophysics
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
Known for Nerve action potentials, muscle contraction
Notable awards
Spouse J. Richenda G. Pease
Children 1 son and 5 daughters

Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley OM PRS (22 November 1917 – 30 May 2012) was a Nobel Prize-winning English physiologist and biophysicist.[1][2] He was born into the prominent Huxley family. After graduating from Westminster School in Central London, from where he won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, he joined Alan Lloyd Hodgkin to study nerve impulses. Their eventual discovery of the basis for propagation of nerve impulses (called an action potential) earned them the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1963. They made their discovery from the giant axon of the Atlantic squid. Soon after the outbreak of the Second World War, Huxley was recruited by the British Anti-Aircraft Command and later transferred to the Admiralty. After the war he resumed research at The University of Cambridge, where he developed interference microscopy that would be suitable for studying muscle fibres. In 1952 he was joined by a German physiologist Rolf Niedergerke. Together they discovered in 1954 the mechanism of muscle contraction, popularly called the “sliding filament theory“, which is the foundation of our modern understanding of muscle mechanics. In 1960 he became head of the Department of Physiology at University College London. He was elected a Fellow of theRoyal Society in 1955, and President in 1980. The Royal Society awarded him the Copley Medal in 1973 for his collective contributions to the understanding of nerve impulses and muscle contraction. He was conferred a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974, and was appointed to the Order of Merit in 1983. He was a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, until his death.

Early life and education[edit]

See also: Huxley family

Huxley was born in Hampstead, London, England, on 22 November 1917. He was the youngest son of the writer and editor Leonard Huxley by Leonard Huxley’s second wife Rosalind Bruce, and hence half-brother of the writer Aldous Huxley and fellow biologist Julian Huxley, and grandson of the biologist T. H. Huxley.

When he was about 12, Andrew and his brother David were given a lathe by their parents. Andrew soon became proficient at designing, making and assembling mechanical objects of all kinds, from wooden candle sticks to a working internal combustion engine. He used these practical skills throughout his career, building much of the specialized equipment he needed for his research. It was also in his early teens that he formed his lifelong interest in microscopy.[3]

He was educated at University College School and Westminster School in Central London, where he was a King’s Scholar.[4] He graduated and won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, to read natural sciences. He had intended to become an engineer but switched to physiology after taking the subject to fulfill an elective.[5]


Having entered Cambridge in 1935, Huxley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1938. In 1939, Alan Lloyd Hodgkin returned from the USA to take up a fellowship at Trinity College, and Huxley became one of his postgraduate students. Hodgkin was interested in the transmission of electrical signals along nerve fibres. Beginning in 1935 in Cambridge, he had made preliminary measurements on frog sciatic nerves suggesting that the accepted view of the nerve as a simple, elongated battery was flawed. Hodgkin invited Huxley to join him researching the problem. The work was experimentally challenging. One major problem was that the small size of most neurons made it extremely difficult to study them using the techniques of the time. They overcame this by working at the Marine Biological Association laboratory in Plymouth using the giant axon of the Atlantic squid (Loligo pealei), which have the largest neurons known. The experiments were still extremely challenging as the nerve impulses only last a fraction of a millisecond, during which time they needed to measure the changing electrical potential at different points along the nerve. Using equipment largely of their own construction and design, including one of the earliest applications of a technique of electrophysiology known as the voltage clamp, they were able to record ionic currents. In 1939, they jointly published a short paper in Nature reporting on the work done in Plymouth and announcing their achievement of recording action potentials from inside a nerve fibre.[6]

Then World War II broke out, and their research was abandoned. Huxley was recruited by the British Anti-Aircraft Command, where he worked on radar control of anti-aircraft guns. Later he was transferred to the Admiralty to do work on naval gunnery, and worked in a team led by Patrick Blackett. Hodgkin, meanwhile, was working on the development of radar at the Air Ministry. When he had a problem concerning a new type of gun sight, he contacted Huxley for advice. Huxley did a few sketches, borrowed a lathe and produced the necessary parts.

Huxley was elected to a research fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1941. In 1946, with the war ended, he was able to take this up and to resume his collaboration with Hodgkin on understanding how nerves transmit signals. Continuing their work in Plymouth, they were, within six years, able to solve the problem using equipment they built themselves. The solution was that nerve impulses, or action potentials, do not travel down the core of the fiber, but rather along the outer membrane of the fiber as cascading waves of sodium ions diffusing inward on a rising pulse and potassium ions diffusing out on a falling edge of a pulse. In 1952, they published their theory of how action potentials are transmitted in a joint paper, in which they also describe one of the earliest computational models[7] in biochemistry. This model forms the basis of most of the models used in neurobiology during the following four decades.[8]

In 1952, having completed work on action potentials, Huxley was teaching physiology at Cambridge and became interested in another difficult, unsolved problem: how does muscle contract? To make progress on understanding the function of muscle, new ways of observing how the network of filaments behave during contraction were needed. Prior to the war, he had been working on a preliminary design for interference microscopy, which at the time he believed to be original, though it turned out to have been tried 50 years before and abandoned. He, however, was able to make interference microscopy work and to apply it to the problem of muscle contraction with great effect. He was able to view muscle contraction with greater precision than conventional microscopes, and to distinguish types of fiber more easily. By 1953, with the assistance of Rolf Niedergerke, he began to find the features of muscle movement. Around that time, Hugh Huxley and Jean Hanson came to a similar observation. Authored in pairs, their papers were simultaneously published in the 22 May 1954 issue of Nature.[9][10] Thus the four people introduced what is called the sliding filament theory of muscle contractions.[11] Huxley synthesized his findings, and the work of colleagues, into a detailed description of muscle structure and how muscle contraction occurs and generates force that he published in 1957.[12] In 1966 his team provided the proof of the theory, and has remained the basis of modern understanding of muscle physiology.[13]

In 1953, Huxley worked at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, as a Lalor Scholar. He gave the Herter Lectures at Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1959 and the Jesup Lectures at Columbia University in 1964. In 1961 he lectured onneurophysiology at Kiev University as part of an exchange scheme between British and Russian professors.

He was an editor of the Journal of Physiology from 1950 to 1957 and also of the Journal of Molecular Biology. In 1955, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and served on the Council of the Royal Society from 1960 to 1962.

Huxley held college and university posts in Cambridge until 1960, when he became head of the Department of Physiology at University College London. In 1963, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his part in discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms of the nerve cell.[14] In 1969 he was appointed to a Royal Society Research Professorship, which he holds in the Department of Physiology at University College London.

In 1980, Huxley was elected as President of the Royal Society, a post he held until 1985. In his Presidential Address in 1981, he chose to defend the Darwinian explanation of evolution, as his ancestor, T. H. Huxley had in 1860. Whereas T. H. Huxley was defying the bishops of his day, Sir Andrew was countering new theories of periods of accelerated change. In 1983, he defended the Society’s decision to elect Margaret Thatcher as a fellow on the ground of her support for science even after 44 fellows had signed a letter of protest.

In 1984, he was elected Master of Trinity, succeeding his longtime collaborator, Sir Alan Hodgkin. His appointment broke the tradition that the office of Master of Trinity alternates between a scientist and an arts man. He was Master until 1990 and was fond of reminding interviewers that Trinity College had more Nobel Prize winners than did the whole of France. He maintained up to his death his position as a fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, teaching inphysiology, natural sciences and medicine.[15] He was also a fellow of Imperial College London in 1980.[16]

From his experimental work with Hodgkin, Huxley developed a set of differential equations that provided a mathematical explanation for nerve impulses—the “action potential”. This work provided the foundation for all of the current work on voltage-sensitive membrane channels, which are responsible for the functioning of animal nervous systems. Quite separately, he developed the mathematical equations for the operation of myosin “cross-bridges” that generate the sliding forces between actin and myosin filaments, which cause the contraction of skeletal muscles. These equations presented an entirely new paradigm for understanding muscle contraction, which has been extended to provide understanding of almost all of the movements produced by cells above the level of bacteria. Together with the Swiss physiologist Robert Stämpfli, he evidenced the existence of saltatory conduction in myelinated nerve fibres.


Huxley, Alan Hodgkin and John Eccles jointly won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane”. Huxley and Hodgkin won the prize for experimental and mathematical work on the process of nerve action potentials, the electrical impulses that enable the activity of an organism to be coordinated by a central nervous system.[17] Eccles had made important discoveries on synaptic transmission.

Huxley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1955, and was awarded its Copley Medal in 1973 “in recognition of his outstanding studies on the mechanisms of the nerve impulse and of activation of muscular contraction.”[18] He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on 12 November 1974. He was appointed to the Order of Merit on 11 November 1983. In 1976–77, he was President of the British Science Association and from 1980 to 1985 he served as President of the Royal Society.

Huxley’s portrait by David Poole hangs in Trinity College’s collection.[19]

Personal life[edit]

In 1947, Huxley married Jocelyn “Richenda” Gammell (née Pease), the daughter of the geneticist Michael Pease (a son of Edward R. Pease) and his wife Helen Bowen Wedgwood, eldest daughter of the first Lord Wedgwood (see alsoDarwin-Wedgwood family). They had one son and five daughters – Janet Rachel Huxley (born 20 April 1948), Stewart Leonard Huxley (born 19 December 1949), Camilla Rosalind Huxley (born 12 March 1952), Eleanor Bruce Huxley (born 21 February 1959), Henrietta Catherine Huxley (born 25 December 1960), and Clare Marjory Pease Huxley (born 4 November 1962).


Huxley died on 30 May 2012. He was survived by his six children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. His wife Richenda, Lady Huxley died in 2003, aged 78. A funeral service was held in Trinity College Chapel on 13 June 2012, followed by a private cremation.[20]

Interview with Sir Andrew Huxley – part one

Interview with Sir Andrew Huxley, second part

Uploaded on Jan 2, 2012

An interview on the life and work of Sir Andrew Huxley, grand-son of T.H. Huxley, sometime Master of Trinity and Nobel Prize Winner.
Filmed on 7 November 2007 in his home.

All revenues to World Oral Literature Project

In  the third video below in the 100th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

Andrew Huxley Quote:

Richenda (his late wife) was an agnostic as I am, a word invented by my grandfather (Thomas H. Huxley). 


One of my favorite messages by Adrian Rogers is called  “WHO IS JESUS?”and he goes through the Old Testament and looks at the scriptures that describe the Messiah.  I want to encourage you to listen to this audio message which I will send to anyone anywhere anytime. I have given thousands of these CD’s away over the years that contain this message and they all contain the following story from Adrian Rogers.  Here is how the story goes:

Years ago Adrian Rogers counseled with a NASA scientist and his severely depressed wife. The wife pointed to her husband and said, “My problem is him.” She went on to explain that her husband was a drinker, a liar, and an adulterer. Dr. Rogers asked the man if he were a Christian. “No!” the man laughed. “I’m an atheist.”

“Really?” Dr. Rogers replied. “That means you’re someone who knows that God does not exist.”

“That’s right,” said the man.

“Would it be fair to say that you don’t know all there is to know in the universe?”

“Of course.”

“Would it be generous to say you know half of all there is to know?”


“Wouldn’t it be possible that God’s existence might be in the half you don’t know?”

“Okay, but I don’t think He exists.”

“Well then, you’re not an atheist; you’re an agnostic. You’re a doubter.”

“Yes, and I’m a big one.”

“It doesn’t matter what size you are. I want to know what kind you are.”

“What kinds are there?”

“There are honest doubters and dishonest doubters. An honest doubter is willing to search out the truth and live by the results; a dishonest doubter doesn’t want to know the truth. He can’t find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman.”

“I want to know the truth.”

“Would you like to prove that God exists?”

“It can’t be done.”

“It can be done. You’ve just been in the wrong laboratory. Jesus said, ‘If any man’s will is to do His will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority’ (John 7:17). I suggest you read one chapter of the book of John each day, but before you do, pray something like this, ‘God, I don’t know if You’re there, I don’t know if the Bible is true, I don’t know if Jesus is Your Son. But if You show me that You are there, that the Bible is true, and that Jesus is Your Son, then I will follow You. My will is to do your will.”

The man agreed. About three weeks later he returned to Dr. Rogers’s office and invited Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord.

Adrian Rogers is pictured below and Francis Schaeffer above.

Watching the film HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? in 1979 impacted my life greatly

Francis Schaeffer in the film WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

Francis and Edith Schaeffer



On May 15, 1994 on the 10th anniversary of the passing of Francis Schaeffer I attempted to send a letter to almost every living Nobel Prize winner and I believe  Dr. Andrew Huxley was probably among that group and here is a portion of that letter below:

I have enclosed a cassette tape by Adrian Rogers and it includes  a story about  Charles Darwin‘s journey from  the position of theistic evolution to agnosticism. Here are the four bridges that Adrian Rogers says evolutionists can’t cross in the CD  “Four Bridges that the Evolutionist Cannot Cross.” 1. The Origin of Life and the law of biogenesis. 2. The Fixity of the Species. 3.The Second Law of Thermodynamics. 4. The Non-Physical Properties Found in Creation.  

In the first 3 minutes of the cassette tape is the hit song “Dust in the Wind.” Below I have given you some key points  Francis Schaeffer makes about the experiment that Solomon undertakes in the book of Ecclesiastes to find satisfaction by  looking into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Here the first 7 verses of Ecclesiastes followed by Schaeffer’s commentary on it:

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.  

Solomon is showing a high degree of comprehension of evaporation and the results of it.  Seeing also in reality nothing changes. There is change but always in a set framework and that is cycle. You can relate this to the concepts of modern man. Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life under the sun between birth and death and the answers this would give.

Solomon doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is in the cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age.

There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man (at the age of 18 in 1930). I remember standing by the sea and the moon arose and it was copper and beauty. Then the moon did not look like a flat dish but a globe or a sphere since it was close to the horizon. One could feel the global shape of the earth too. Then it occurred to me that I could contemplate the interplay of the spheres and I was exalted because I thought I can look upon them with all their power, might, and size, but they could contempt nothing. Then came upon me a horror of great darkness because it suddenly occurred to me that although I could contemplate them and they could contemplate nothing yet they would continue to turn in ongoing cycles when I saw no more forever and I was crushed.

Let me show you some inescapable conclusions if you choose to live without God in the picture. Schaeffer noted that Solomon came to these same conclusions when he looked at life “under the sun.”

  1. Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)
  2. Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13 “I have seen something else under the sun:  The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant  or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.  Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times  that fall unexpectedly upon them.”)
  3. Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1; “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed—
    and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—  and they have no comforter.” 7:15 “In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness,  and the wicked living long in their wickedness. ).
  4. Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20).
  5. There is no ultimate lasting meaning in life. (1:2)

By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture in the final chapter of the book in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “ Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had and that “all was meaningless UNDER THE SUN,” and looking ABOVE THE SUN was the only option.  I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that.

Livgren wrote, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Both Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981.  Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. Hope is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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