Thomas Huxley Quotes (80 Quotes)


    In science, as in art, and, as I believe, in every other sphere of human activity, there may be wisdom in a multitude of counsellors, but it is only in one or two of them.

    Infidel' is a term of reproach, which Christians and Mohammedans, in their modesty, agree to apply to those who differ from them

    My business is to teach my aspirations to confirm themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonize with my aspirations.

    The doctrine that all men are, in any sense, or have been, at any time, free and equal, is an utterly baseless fiction.

    Science commits suicide when it adopts a creed.


    I believe that history might be, and ought to be, taught in a new fashion so as to make the meaning of it as a process of evolution intelligible to the young.

    All truth, in the long run, is only common sense clarified.

    No delusion is greater than the notion that method and industry can make up for lack of mother-wit, either in science or in practical life.

    The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.

    The results of political changes are hardly ever those which their friends hope or their foes fear.

    It sounds paradoxical to say the attainment of scientific truth has been effected, to a great extent, by the help of scientific errors

    I protest that if some great Power would agree to make me always think what is true and do what is right, on condition of being turned into a sort of clock and would up every morning before I got out of bed, I should instantly close with the offer.

    Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.

    Freedom and order are not incompatible... truth is strength... free discussion is the very life of truth.

    It is not to be forgotten that what we call rational grounds for our beliefs are often extremely irrational attempts to justify our instincts.

    Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.

    Of moral purpose I see no trace in Nature. That is an article of exclusively human manufacture and very much to our credit.

    Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.

    I am content with nothing, restless and ambitious... and I despise myself for the vanity, which formed half the stimulus to my exertions. Oh would that I were one of those plodding wise fools who having once set their hand to the plough go on nothing doubting.

    I take it that the good of mankind means the attainment, by every man, of all the happiness which he can enjoy without diminishing the happiness of his fellow men.

    The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist

    In scientific work, those who refuse to go beyond fact rarely get as far as fact.

    Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every conceived notion, follow humbly wherever and whatever abysses nature leads, or you will learn nothing.

    My experience of the world is that things left to themselves don't get right.

    Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.

    It is because the body is a machine that education is possible. Education is the formation of habits, a superinducing of an artificial organization upon the natural organization of the body.

    Nothing can be more incorrect than the assumption one sometimes meets with, that physics has one method, chemistry another, and biology a third.

    Size is not grandeur, and territory does not make a nation.

    The medieval university looked backwards; it professed to be a storehouse of old knowledge. The modern university looks forward, and is a factory of new knowledge.

    The Bible has been the Magna Carta of the poor and of the oppressed.

    The ultimate court of appeal is observation and experiment... not authority.

    History warns us that it is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions.

    Science reckons many prophets, but there is not even a promise of a Messiah.

    The world is neither wise nor just, but it makes up for all its folly and injustice by being damnably sentimental.

    Books are the money of Literature, but only the counters of Science.

    The only question which any wise man can ask himself, and which any honest man will ask himself, is whether a doctrine is true or false.


    Proclaim human equality as loudly as you like, Witless will serve his brother.

    The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence

    The foundation of morality is to have done, once and for all, with lying

    There is no alleviation for the sufferings of mankind except veracity of thought and of action, and the resolute facing of the world as it is when the garment of make-believe by which pious hands have hidden its uglier features is stripped off.

    The scientific spirit is of more value than its products, and irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.

    Learn what is true in order to do what is right.

    There is no sea more dangerous than the ocean of practical politics none in which there is more need of good pilotage and of a single, unfaltering purpose when the waves rise high.

    Teach a child what is wise, that is morality. Teach him what is wise and beautiful, that is religion!

    Time, whose tooth gnaws away everything else, is powerless against truth.

    The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.

    The child who has been taught to make an accurate elevation, plan, and section of a pint pot has had an admirable training in accuracy of eye and hand.

    Science is organized common sense where many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact.

    Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.


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    Wernher von Braun - Thomas Huxley - Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar - Pierre Curie - Paracelsus - John Dalton - Guglielmo Marconi - Edmund Halley - Claude Levi-Strauss - Charles Francis Richter


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