— Julian Huxley
Context: In the actual duration of his life, the individual ranges from the bacterium's hour to the the big tree's five thousand years. Man in this again stands at the pinnacle of individuality — not in mere length of days, but in having found a means to perpetuate a part of himself in spite of death.
By speech first, but far more by writing, man has been able to put something of himself beyond death. In tradition and in books an integral part of the individual persists, for it can influence the minds and actions of other people in different places and at different times: a row of black marks on a page can move a man to tears, though the bones of him that wrote it are long ago crumbled to dust. In truth, the whole progress of civilization is based upon this power. Once more the upward progress of terrestrial life towards individuality has found apparently insurmountable obstacles, gross material difficulties before it, but once more through consciousness it finds wings, and, laughing at matter, flies over lightly where it could not climb.
To such an individuality, one that can thus transcend the limits of its substance, the name Personality is commonly given. Man alone possesses true personality, though there is as it were an aspiration towards it visible among the higher vertebrates, stirring their placid automatism with airs of consciousness.
"The Individual in the Animal Kingdom" (1912); quoted in From Gaia to Selfish Genes: Selected Writings in the Life Sciences (1992) by Connie Barlow, Ch. 6 "Blurred Bounds of Individuality" <!-- Barlow in quoting Huxley also notes that modern science has revealed that clone-propagating blueberries in an Appalachian mountaintop and Aspens of the Rockies may have root-stocks ten or fifteen thousand years old. -->