Thomas Henry Huxley (4th May 1825 – 29th June 1895)
The Oxford Debate of 1860
Huxley was initially sceptical about the concept of evolution, but was eventually persuaded by the arguments of Charles Darwin, and famously responded to an explanation of the theory of natural selection "How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!". Huxley went on to argue strongly that humans were Primates and thus shared a common ancestor with other apes.
The fallout from this exchange helped to announce the arrival of Darwinian ideas to a broader public, and to weaken the hold of the Anglican Church on British society.