Quotes by Thomas H. Huxley
History warns us, however, that 'it is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions'; and, as matters now stand, it is hardly rash to anticipate that, in another twenty years, the new
Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do‚ when it ought to be done‚ whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and‚
The only good that I can see in the demonstration of the truth of "Spiritualism" is to furnish an additional argument against suicide. Better live a crossing-sweeper than die and be made to talk twaddle by a "medium"
'The foundation of morality is to have done, once and for all, with lying'; to give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibilities
The doctrine that all men are, in any sense, or have been, at any time, free and equal, is an utterly baseless fiction.
Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules.
To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall.
I do not advocate burning your ship to get rid of the cockroaches.
The saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing is‚ to my mind‚ a very dangerous adage.' If knowledge is real and genuine‚ I do not believe that it is other than a very valuable possession‚ however infinitesimal
All truth, in the long run, is only common sense clarified.
M. Comte's philosophy, in practice, might be compendiously described as Catholicism ''minus'' Christianity.
The great end of life is not knowledge but action.
The fact is he made a prodigious blunder in commencing the attack, and now his only chance is to be silent and let people forget the exposure. I do not believe that in the whole history of science there is a case of
The Bishop rose, and in a light scoffing tone, florid and he assured us there was nothing in the idea of evolution; rock-pigeons were what rock-pigeons had always been. Then, turning to his antagonist with a smiling
Let us have "sweet girl graduates" by all means. They will be none the less sweet for a little wisdom; and the "golden hair" will not curl less gracefully outside the head by reason of there being brains within.
Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.
'I am too much of a sceptic to deny the possibility of anything — especially as I am now so much occupied with theology — but I don't see my way to your conclusion.'
Becky Sharp's acute remark that it is not difficult to be virtuous on ten thousand a year, has its application to nations; and it is futile to expect a hungry and squalid population to be anything but violent and gross.
Life is too short to occupy oneself with the slaying of the slain more than once.
It may be quite true that some negroes are better than some white men; but no rational man, cognisant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the average white man. And,
'Science ... commits suicide when it adopts a creed.'
The man who is all morality and intellect‚ although he may be good and even great‚ is‚ after all‚ only half a man.
The method of scientific investigation is nothing but the expression of the necessary mode of working of the human mind.
In an ideal University‚ as I conceive it‚ a man should be able to obtain instruction in all forms of knowledge‚ and discipline in the use of all the methods by which knowledge is obtained.' In such a University‚ the force
I have never had the least sympathy with the a priori reasons against orthodoxy‚ and I have by nature and disposition the greatest possible antipathy to all the atheistic and infidel school. Nevertheless I know that I
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 wound up every morning before I got out of bed, I should instantly close
I do not mean to suggest that scientific differences should be settled by universal suffrage‚ but I do conceive that solid proofs must be met by something more than empty and unsupported assertions.' Yet during the
Missionaries, whether of philosophy or of religion, rarely make rapid way, unless their preachings fall in with the prepossessions of the multitude of shallow thinkers, or can be made to serve as a stalking-horse for the
Size is not grandeur, and territory does not make a nation.
If the question is put to me would I rather have a miserable ape for a grandfather or a man highly endowed by nature and possessed of great means of influence and yet who employs these faculties and that influence
I can assure you that there is the greatest practical benefit in making a few failures early in life. You learn that which is of inestimable importance — that there are a great many people in the world who are just as
The antagonism between science and religion‚ about which we hear so much‚ appears to me to be purely factitious' — fabricated‚ on the one hand‚ by short-sighted religious people who confound a certain branch of
That mysterious independent variable of political calculation, Public Opinion.
The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority‚ as such. For him‚ scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.' And it cannot be otherwise‚ for every great
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