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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index A > Francis Ellingwood Abbot Quotes

Francis Ellingwood Abbot
(6 Nov 1836 - 23 Oct 1903)

American philosopher and minister who was a Unitarian minister until his radical views caused him to leave that denomination. He founded the Independent Association, and established the periodical, Free Religious Index (1870), to apply the scientific method to ethics, as a way to Truth.

Science Quotes by Francis Ellingwood Abbot (1 quote)

Truth can only be found by the human intellect, exercised in perfect freedom, and trained to submit itself to the facts of nature. This is the essence of the Scientific Method, which is the exact opposite of the Theological Method. Science teaches men to think with absolute independence of all arbitrary authority, but to submit all their thoughts to the test of actual experiences of Nature. Christianity teaches them to think only according to its own foregone dogmatic conclusions, and to stick to these dogmatic conclusion in defiance of all possible experience.
— Francis Ellingwood Abbot
Leading article in Francis Ellingwood Abbot (ed.), The Index (1 Jan 1880), Volume 11, No. 523, 1.
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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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