Thomas Huxley

English biologist and a leading exponent of Darwin's theory of evolution (1825-1895)

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Agnosticism simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that for which he has no grounds for professing to believe.
It is an error to imagine that evolution signifies a constant tendency to increased perfection. That process undoubtedly involves a constant remodelling of the organism in adaptation to new conditions but it depends on the nature of those conditions whether the directions of the modifications effected shall be upward or downward.
Make up your mind to act decidedly and take the consequences. No good is ever done in this world by hesitation.
A world of facts lies outside and beyond the world of words.
Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.
Fact I know; and Law I know; but what is this Necessity, save an empty shadow of my own mind's throwing?
God give me strength to face a fact though it slay me.
I am too much of a skeptic to deny the possibility of anything.
If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger.
Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.
It is the fate of new truths to begin as heresies and end and superstitions.
Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.
Mathematics may be compared to a mill of exquisite workmanship, which grinds your stuff to any degree of fineness; but, nevertheless, what you get out depends on what you put in; and as the grandest mill in the world will not extract wheat flour from peas cods, so pages of formulae will not get a definite result out of loose data.
Only one absolute certainty is possible to man, namely that at any given moment the feeling which he has exists.
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.
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.
Science ... warns me to be careful how I adopt a view which jumps with my preconceptions, and to require stronger evidence for such belief than for one to which I was previously hostile. My business is to teach my aspirations to conform themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonize with my aspirations.
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.
Science is nothing but trained and organized common sense.
Sit down before fact like a little child, and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion. Follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.
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. We know that his play is always fair, just, and patient. But we also know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance.
The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence.
The great end of life is not knowledge but action.
The great tragedy of science -- the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
The great tragedy of science is the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
The strongest man in the world is the man who stands alone.
There is no greater mistake than the hasty conclusion that opinions are worthless because they are badly argued.
There is the greatest practical benefit in making a few failures early in life.
Thoughtfulness for others, generosity, modesty, and self-respect are the qualities which make a real gentleman or lady.
Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.

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