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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index A > Lord John Acton Quotes

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Lord John Acton
(10 Jan 1834 - 19 Jun 1902)

English historian and moralist whose university education was in history. He acquired a liberal Catholic journal, the Rambler through which he defended religious and political freedom. He became one of the most learned persons of his age, respected for the breadth, depth and humanity of his knowledge.

Science Quotes by Lord John Acton (4 quotes)

A political law or a scientific truth may be perilous to the morals or the faith of individuals; but it cannot on this ground be resisted by the Church. A discovery may be made in science which will shake the faith of thousands; yet religion cannot regret it or object to it. The difference in this respect between a true and a false religion is, that one judges all things by the standard of their truth, the other by the touchstone of its own interests. A false religion fears the progress of all truth; a true religion seeks and recognises truth wherever it can be found.
— Lord John Acton
From 'Cardinal Wiseman and the Home and Foreign Review' (1862), collected in John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton Baron Acton, John Neville Figgis (ed.) and Reginald Vere Laurence (ed.), The History of Freedom and Other Essays (1907), 449-450. The Darwinian controversy was at its height when this was written.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Church (57)  |  Difference (337)  |  Discovery (785)  |  Faith (203)  |  False (100)  |  Fear (199)  |  Ground (218)  |  Individual (404)  |  Interest (386)  |  Judge (108)  |  Law (895)  |  Moral (195)  |  Object (422)  |  Other (2236)  |  Peril (9)  |  Political (121)  |  Politics (112)  |  Progress (468)  |  Recognition (88)  |  Regret (30)  |  Religion (363)  |  Resistance (40)  |  Respect (207)  |  Science (3880)  |  Science And Religion (310)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Scientific Truth (23)  |  Seek (213)  |  Shake (41)  |  Standard (57)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Touchstone (5)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Wherever (51)  |  Will (2354)

If men of science owe anything to us, we may learn much from them that is essential. For they can show how to test proof, how to secure fulness and soundness in induction, how to restrain and to employ with safety hypothesis and analogy.
— Lord John Acton
Lecture, 'The Study of History' (11 Jun 1895) delivered at Cambridge, published as A Lecture on The Study of History (1895), 54.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (71)  |  Employ (113)  |  Essential (200)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Induction (77)  |  Learn (632)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  Owe (71)  |  Proof (289)  |  Restraint (13)  |  Safety (54)  |  Science (3880)  |  Secure (22)  |  Show (346)  |  Soundness (4)  |  Test (212)

It is they who hold the secret of the mysterious property of the mind by which error ministers to truth, and truth slowly but irrevocably prevails. Theirs is the logic of discovery, the demonstration of the advance of knowledge and the development of ideas, which as the earthly wants and passions of men remain almost unchanged, are the charter of progress, and the vital spark in history.
— Lord John Acton
Lecture, 'The Study of History' (11 Jun 1895) delivered at Cambridge, published as A Lecture on The Study of History (1895), 54-55.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Demonstration (114)  |  Development (424)  |  Discovery (785)  |  Error (321)  |  History (675)  |  Idea (845)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Logic (287)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Mysterious (80)  |  Passion (114)  |  Prevail (46)  |  Progress (468)  |  Property (169)  |  Remain (349)  |  Secret (195)  |  Spark (31)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Vital (85)  |  Want (497)

The great object, in trying to understand history, political, religious, literary, or scientific, is to get behind men, and to grasp ideas.
— Lord John Acton
In Letters of Lord Acton to Mary Gladstone (1904), 99.
Science quotes on:  |  Behind (137)  |  Grasp (63)  |  Great (1575)  |  History (675)  |  Idea (845)  |  Men (20)  |  Object (422)  |  Political (121)  |  Politics (112)  |  Religion (363)  |  Religious (126)  |  Science (3880)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Trying (144)  |  Understand (607)  |  Understanding (514)


See also:

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
Quotations by: Albert Einstein Isaac Newton Lord Kelvin Charles Darwin Srinivasa Ramanujan Carl Sagan Florence Nightingale Thomas Edison Aristotle Marie Curie Benjamin Franklin Winston Churchill Galileo Galilei Sigmund Freud Robert Bunsen Louis Pasteur Theodore Roosevelt Abraham Lincoln Ronald Reagan Leonardo DaVinci Michio Kaku Karl Popper Johann Goethe Robert Oppenheimer Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: Atomic  Bomb Biology Chemistry Deforestation Engineering Anatomy Astronomy Bacteria Biochemistry Botany Conservation Dinosaur Environment Fractal Genetics Geology History of Science Invention Jupiter Knowledge Love Mathematics Measurement Medicine Natural Resource Organic Chemistry Physics Physician Quantum Theory Research Science and Art Teacher Technology Universe Volcano Virus Wind Power Women Scientists X-Rays Youth Zoology  ... (more topics)
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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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Bible
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
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- 50 -
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- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
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- 10 -
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