Thomas Henry Huxley
No shame in being an ape
The "so you think we came from monkeys?" argument is often based on the supposed shame of being related to a monkey. A classic rebuttal was made reportedly made by Huxley in the 1860 Oxford evolution debate, arguing he was more ashamed of being related to deceptive human apologists:
- "I asserted–and I repeat–that a man has no reason to be ashamed of having an ape for his grandfather. If there were an ancestor whom I should feel shame in recalling it would rather be a man–a man of restless and versatile intellect–who, not content with an equivocal success in his own sphere of activity, plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real acquaintance, only to obscure them by an aimless rhetoric, and distract the attention of his hearers from the real point at issue by eloquent digressions and skilled appeals to religious prejudice."
However, the exact details of the exchange are unknown and accounts of it are inconsistent.