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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > William Buckland Quotes

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William Buckland
(12 Mar 1784 - 15 Aug 1856)

English geologist, palaeontologist and clergyman.


Science Quotes by William Buckland (15 quotes)

A ... hypothesis may be suggested, which supposes the word 'beginning' as applied by Moses in the first of the Book of Genesis, to express an undefined period of time which was antecedent to the last great change that affected the surface of the earth, and to the creation of its present animal and vegetable inhabitants; during which period a long series of operations and revolutions may have been going on, which, as they are wholly unconnected with the history of the human race, are passed over in silence by the sacred historian, whose only concern with them was largely to state, that the matter of the universe is not eternal and self-existent but was originally created by the power of the Almighty.
— William Buckland
Vindiciae Geologicae (1820), 31-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Creation (211)  |  Geology (187)

At the voice of comparative anatomy, every bone, and fragment of a bone, resumed its place. I cannot find words to express the pleasure I have in seeing, as I discovered one character, how all the consequences, which I predicted from it, were successively confirmed; the feet were found in accordance with the characters announced by the teeth; the teeth in harmony with those indicated beforehand by the feet; the bones of the legs and thighs, and every connecting portion of the extremities, were found set together precisely as I had arranged them, before my conjectures were verified by the discovery of the parts entire: in short, each species was, as it were, reconstructed from a single one of its component elements.
— William Buckland
Geology and Mineralogy (1836), Vol. I, 83-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Fossil (107)

Geology has shared the fate of other infant sciences, in being for a while considered hostile to revealed religion; so like them, when fully understood, it will be found a potent and consistent auxiliary to it, exalting our conviction of the Power, and Wisdom, and Goodness of the Creator.
— William Buckland
Geology and Mineralogy Considered with Reference to Natural Theology (1836), Vol. 1, 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Geology (187)  |  Religion (210)

Geology holds the keys of one of the kingdoms of nature; and it cannot be said that a science which extends our Knowledge, and by consequence our Power, over a third part of nature, holds a low place among intellectual employments.
— William Buckland
Vindiciae Geologicae (1820),7.
Science quotes on:  |  Geology (187)  |  Knowledge (1128)

It is demonstrable from Geology that there was a period when no organic beings had existence: these organic beings must therefore have had a beginning subsequently to this period; and where is that beginning to be found, but in the will and fiat of an intelligent and all-wise Creator?
— William Buckland
Vindiciae Geologicae (1820), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Geology (187)

No conclusion is more fully established, than the important fact of the total absence of any vestiges of the human species throughout the entire series of geological formations.
— William Buckland
Geology and Mineralogy, Considered with Reference to Natural Theology (1836), Vol. I, 103.
Science quotes on:  |  Fossil (107)  |  Man (345)

Shall it any longer be said that a science [geology], which unfolds such abundant evidence of the Being and Attributes of God, can reasonably be viewed in any other light than as the efficient Auxiliary and Handmaid of Religion?
— William Buckland
Geology and Mineralogy, Considered with Reference to Natural Theology (1836), Vol. I, 593.
Science quotes on:  |  Geology (187)  |  God (454)

The days of the Mosaic creation are not to be strictly construed as implying the same length of time which is at present occupied by a single revolution of our globe, but PERIODS of a much longer extent.
— William Buckland
Vindiciae Geologicae (1820),32.
Science quotes on:  |  Creation (211)

The field of the Geologist's inquiry is the Globe itself, ... [and] it is his study to decipher the monuments of the mighty revolutions and convulsions it has suffered.
— William Buckland
Vindiciae Geologicae (1820), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Geology (187)

The human mind has a natural tendency to explore what has passed in distant ages in scenes with which it is familiar: hence the taste for National and Local Antiquities. Geology gratifies a larger taste of this kind; it inquires into what may appropriately be termed the Antiquities of the Globe itself, and collects and deciphers what may be considered as the monuments and medals of its remoter eras.
— William Buckland
Vindiciae Geologicae (1820), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Archaeology (42)  |  Geology (187)

The successive series of stratified formations are piled on one another, almost like courses of masonry.
— William Buckland
Geology and Mineralogy, Considered with Reference to Natural Theology (1836), Vol. 1, 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Geology (187)  |  Strata (18)

Thus far I have produced a various and, in my judgement, incontrovertible body of facts, to show that the whole earth has been subjected to a recent and universal inundation.
— William Buckland
Reliquire Diluvianae (1824), 224.
Science quotes on:  |  Flood (26)

Thus the great drama of universal life is perpetually sustained; and though the individual actors undergo continual change, the same parts are ever filled by another and another generation; renewing the face of the earth, and the bosom of the deep, with endless successions of life and happiness.
— William Buckland
Geology and Mineralogy, Considered with Reference to Natural Theology (1836), Vol. I, 134.
Science quotes on:  |  Life (917)  |  Nature (1029)

To the mind which looks not to general results in the economy of Nature, the earth may seem to present a scene of perpetual warfare, and incessant carnage: but the more enlarged view, while it regards individuals in their conjoint relations to the general benefit of their own species, and that of other species with which they are associated in the great family of Nature, resolves each apparent case of individual evil, into an example of subserviency to universal good.
— William Buckland
Geology and Mineralogy, Considered with Reference to Natural Theology (1836), Vol. I, 131-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Life (917)  |  Nature (1029)

With respect to those points, on which the declaration of Scripture is positive and decisive, as, for instance, in asserting the low antiquity of the human race; the evidence of all facts that have yet been established in Geology coincides with the records of Sacred History and Profane Tradition to confirm the conclusion that the existence of mankind can on no account be supposed to have taken its beginning before that time which is assigned to it in the Mosaic writings.
— William Buckland
Vindiciae Geologicae (1820), 23.
Science quotes on:  |  Geology (187)


See also:
  • 12 Mar - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Buckland's birth.

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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