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

— Thomas Huxley

The most scandalous Thomas Huxley quotes that are free to learn and impress others

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

105

Only one absolute certainty is possible to man, namely that at any given moment the feeling which he has exists.

80

Thoughtfulness for others, generosity, modesty, and self-respect are the qualities which make a real gentleman or lady.

57

God give me strength to face a fact though it slay me.

50

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.

48

Science is nothing but trained and organized common sense differing from the latter only as a veteran may differ from a raw recruit: and its methods differ from those of common sense only as far as the guardsman's cut and thrust differ from the manner in which a savage wields his club.

48

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.

48

Life is too short to occupy oneself with the slaying of the slain more than once.

47

The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of childhood into maturity.

36

The rules of the game are what we call the laws of nature.

32

Science is simply common sense at its best.

29

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

24

About Thomas Huxley

Quotes 244 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Scientist
Birthday October 16

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 however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly.

23

A drop of water is as powerful as a thunder-bolt.

20

Genius, as an explosive power, beats gunpowder hollow.

20

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

18

The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us.

17

There is assuredly no more effectual method of clearing up one's own mind on any subject than by talking it over, so to speak, with men of real power and grasp, who have considered it from a totally different point of view.

13

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

12

If there is anything in the world which I do firmly believe in, it is the universal validity of the law of causation.

12

It is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty.

12

Mathematics may be compared to a mill of exquisite workmanship, which grinds you stuff of any degree of fineness; but, nevertheless, what you get out depends upon what you put in; and as the grandest mill in the world will not extract wheat-flour from peascods, so pages of formulae will not get a definite result out of loose data.

12

The science, the art, the jurisprudence, the chief political and social theories, of the modern world have grown out of Greece and Rome-not by favour of, but in the teeth of, the fundamental teachings of early Christianity, to which science, art, and any serious occupation with the things of this world were alike despicable.

12

A world of facts lies outside and beyond the world of words.

12

Mathematics may be compared to a mill of exquisite workmanship, which grinds your stuff to any degree of fineness.

12

Freedom and order are not incompatible.

.. truth is strength... free discussion is the very life of truth.

10

The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.

10

There is the greatest practical benefit in making a few failures early in life.

10

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

10

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

9

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

9

True science and true religion are twin sisters, and the separation of either from the other is sure to prove the death of both. Science prospers exactly in proportion as it is religious; and religion flourishes in exact proportion to the scientific depth and firmness of its basis.

9

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

9

It is not what we believe, but why we believe it.

Moral responsibility lies in diligently weighing the evidence. We must actively doubt; we have to scrutinize our views, not take them on trust. No virtue attached to blindly accepting orthodoxy, however 'venerable'.

9

Unfortunately, it is much easier to shut one's eyes to good than to evil.

Pain and sorrow knock at our doors more loudly than pleasure and happiness; and the prints of their heavy footsteps are less easily effaced.

9

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

8

Skepticism is the highest duty and blind faith the one unpardonable sin.

8

The scientific imagination always restrains itself within the limits of probability.

7

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.

7

In the world of letters, learning and knowledge are one, and books are the source of both; whereas in science, as in life, learning and knowledge are distinct, and the study of things, and not of books, is the source of the latter.

7

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 posession, however infinitesimal its quantity may be. Indeed, if a little knowledge is dangerous, where is a man who has so much as to be out of danger?

7

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

7

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

6

The question of all questions for humanity, the problem which lies behind all others and is more interesting than any of them, is that of the determination of man's place in nature and his relation to the cosmos.

6

If the perpetual oscillation of nations between anarchy and despotism is to be replaced by the steady march of self-restraining freedom, it will be because men will gradually bring themselves to deal with political, as they now deal with scientific questions.

6

No slavery can be abolished without a double emancipation, and the master will benefit by freedom more than the freed-man.

6

The only medicine for suffering, crime, and all other woes of mankind, is wisdom. Teach a man to read and write, and you have put into his hands the great keys of the wisdom box. But it is quite another thing to open the box.

6

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

5

. . . I fail to find a trace [in Protestantism] of any desire to set reason free. The most that can be discovered is a proposal to change masters. From being a slave of the papacy, the intellect was to become the serf of the Bible.

5
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