Famous Quotes By Thomas Huxley


  1. All truth, in the long run, is only common sense clarified.
  2. Books are the money of Literature, but only the counters of Science.
  3. Ecclesiasticism in science is only unfaithfulness to truth.
  4. Economy does not lie in sparing money, but in spending it wisely.
  5. Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.
  6. Freedom and order are not incompatible... truth is strength... free discussion is the very life of truth.
  7. History warns us that it is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions.
  8. 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.
  9. I do not say think as I think, but think in my way. Fear no shadows, least of all in that great spectre of personal unhappiness which binds half the world to orthodoxy.
  10. 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.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.
  11. If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?
  12. If a man cannot do brain work without stimulants of any kind, he had better turn to hand work it is an indication on Nature's part that she did not mean him to be a head worker.
  13. 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.
  14. In scientific work, those who refuse to go beyond fact rarely get as far as fact.
  15. 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.
  16. It is one of the most saddening things in life that, try as we may, we can never be certain of making people happy, whereas we can almost always be certain of making them unhappy.
  17. My business is to teach my aspirations to confirm themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonize with my aspirations.
  18. My experience of the world is that things left to themselves don't get right.
  19. 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.
  20. No slavery can be abolished without a double emancipation, and the master will benefit by freedom more than the freed-man.
  21. Of moral purpose I see no trace in Nature. That is an article of exclusively human manufacture and very much to our credit.
  22. Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.
  23. Proclaim human equality as loudly as you like, Witless will serve his brother.
  24. Science and literature are not two things, but two sides of one thing.
  25. Science commits suicide when it adopts a creed.
  26. Science has fulfilled her function when she has ascertained and enunciated truth.
  27. Science is nothing, but trained and organized common sense.
  28. Science is organized common sense where many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact.
  29. Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.
  30. Science reckons many prophets, but there is not even a promise of a Messiah.
  31. 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.
  32. Teach a child what is wise, that is morality. Teach him what is wise and beautiful, that is religion!
  33. The best men of the best epochs are simply those who make the fewest blunders and commit the fewest sins.
  34. 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.
  35. The great thing in the world is not so much to seek happiness as to earn peace and self-respect.
  36. The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
  37. 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.
  38. The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.
  39. 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.
  40. The more rapidly truth is spread among mankind the better it will be for them. Only let us be sure that it is the truth.
  41. The only freedom I care about is the freedom to do right the freedom to do wrong I am ready to part with on the cheapest terms to anyone who will take it of me.
  42. 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.
  43. The results of political changes are hardly ever those which their friends hope or their foes fear.
  44. The scientific imagination always restrains itself within the limits of probability.
  45. The struggle for existence holds as much in the intellectual as in the physical world. A theory is a species of thinking, and its right to exist is coextensive with its power of resisting extinction by its rivals.
  46. 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.
  47. Time, whose tooth gnaws away everything else, is powerless against truth.
  48. Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.

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