Thomas Henry Huxley Quotes

Enjoy the top 67 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Thomas Henry Huxley.

Thomas Henry Huxley Quotes

The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
— Thomas Henry Huxley —

We live in a world which is full of misery and ignorance, and the plain duty of each and all of us is to try to make the little corner he can influence somewhat less miserable and somewhat less ignorant than it was before he entered.

— Thomas Henry Huxley

To a clear eye the smallest fact is a window through which the infinite may be seen.

— Thomas Henry Huxley

For once reality and his brains came into contact and the result was fatal.

— Thomas Henry Huxley

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

— Thomas Henry Huxley

There are some men who are counted great because they represent the actuality of their own age, and mirror it as it is. Such an one was Voltaire, of whom it was epigrammatically said: 'he expressed everybody's thoughts better than anyone.' But there are other men who attain greatness because they embody the potentiality of their own day and magically reflect the future. They express the thoughts which will be everybody's two or three centuries after them. Such as one was Descartes.

— Thomas Henry Huxley

The propounders of what are called the "ethics of evolution," when the 'evolution of ethics' would usually better express the object of their speculations, adduce a number of more or less interesting facts and more or less sound arguments, in favour of the origin of the moral sentiments, in the same way as other natural phenomena, by a process of evolution. I have little doubt, for my own part, that they are on the right track; but as the immoral sentiments have no less been evolved, there is, so far, as much natural sanction for the one as the other. The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before.

— Thomas Henry Huxley

There are savages without God in any proper sense of the word, but none without ghosts.

— Thomas Henry Huxley

The practice of that which is ethically best-what we call goodness or virtue-involves a course of conduct which, in all respects, is opposed to that which leads to success in the cosmic struggle for existence. In place of ruthless self-assertion it demands self-restraint; in place of thrusting aside, or treading down, all competitors, it requires that the individual shall not merely respect, but shall help his fellows ... It repudiates the gladiatorial theory of existence ... Laws and moral precepts are directed to the end of curbing the cosmic process.

— Thomas Henry Huxley

That which struck the present writer most forcibly on his first perusal of the 'Origin of Species' was the conviction that Teleology, as commonly understood, had received its deathblow at Mr. Darwin's hands. For the teleological argument runs thus: an organ or organism (A) is precisely fitted to perform a function or purpose (B); therefore it was specially constructed to perform that function.

— Thomas Henry Huxley

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

— Thomas Henry Huxley

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