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George John Romanes (May 19 1848–May 23 1894) was a Canadian-born English] naturalist and psychologist who laid the foundation of what he called comparative psychology, postulating a similarity of cognitive processes and mechanisms between humans and animals.

Romanes was born in Kingston, Ontario, the third son of George Romanes, a scottish Presbyterian minister. When he was two years old, his parents returned to England, and he spent the rest of his life in England. Like many English naturalists, he nearly studied divinity, but instead opted to study medicine and physiology at Cambridge University. He matriculated from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge with a Bachelor of Arts in 1870. It was at Cambridge that he came first to the attention of Charles Darwin; the two remained friends for life.

Romanes founded a series of free public lectures – still running to the present day – which are named the Romanes Lectures after him. He was a close friend of Thomas Henry Huxley, who gave the second Romanes lecture.

Romanes's support of his claims by anecdotal evidence, rather than empirical tests, prompted C. Lloyd Morgan's warning against Romanes's methods, Morgan's Canon of Interpretation.

PublicationsEdit

  • Candid Examination of Theism (pseudonymously published as Physicus) (1878)
  • Animal Intelligence (1881)
  • The Scientific Evidences of organic evolution (1881)
  • Mental Evolution in Animals (1883)
  • Physiological Selection: An Additional Suggestion on the Origin of Species (1886)
  • Mental Evolution in Man (1888)
  • Aristotle as a Naturalist (1891)
  • Darwin and After Darwin (1892)
  • Notes on Religion (posthumous publication)

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