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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index G > Philip Henry Gosse Quotes

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Philip Henry Gosse
(6 Apr 1810 - 23 Aug 1888)

English naturalist and science writer.


Science Quotes by Philip Henry Gosse (3 quotes)

Admit for a moment, as a hypothesis, that the Creator had before his mind a projection of the whole life-history of the globe, commencing with any point which the geologist may imagine to have been a fit commencing point, and ending with some unimaginable acme in the indefinitely distant future. He determines to call this idea into actual existence, not at the supposed commencing point, but at some stage or other of its course. It is clear, then, that at the selected stage it appears, exactly as it would have appeared at that moment of its history, if all the preceding eras of its history had been real.
— Philip Henry Gosse
Omphalos: An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot (1857), 351.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (500)

I assume that each organism which the Creator educed was stamped with an indelible specific character, which made it what it was, and distinguished it from everything else, however near or like. I assume that such character has been, and is, indelible and immutable; that the characters which distinguish species now, were as definite at the first instant of their creation as now and are as distinct now as they were then. If any choose to maintain... that species were gradually bought to their present maturity from humbler forms... he is welcome to his hypothesis, but I have nothing to do with it.
— Philip Henry Gosse
Omphalos: An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot (1857), 111.
Science quotes on:  |  Genetics (100)

That alone is worthy to be called Natural History, which investigates and records the condition of living things, of things in a state of nature; if animals, of living animals:— which tells of their 'sayings and doings,' their varied notes and utterances, songs and cries; their actions, in ease and under the pressure of circumstances; their affections and passions, towards their young, towards each other, towards other animals, towards man: their various arts and devices, to protect their progeny, to procure food, to escape from their enemies, to defend themselves from attacks; their ingenious resources for concealment; their stratagems to overcome their victims; their modes of bringing forth, of feeding, and of training, their offspring; the relations of their structure to their wants and habits; the countries in which they dwell; their connexion with the intimate world around them, mountain or plain, forest or field, barren heath or bushy dell, open savanna or wild hidden glen, river, lake, or sea:— this would be indeed zoology, i.e. the science of living creatures.
— Philip Henry Gosse
A Naturalist's Sojourn in Jamaica (1851), vi-vii.
Science quotes on:  |  Investigate (50)  |  Natural History (47)  |  Nomenclature (132)  |  Zoology (28)


See also:
  • 6 Apr - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Gosse's birth.
  • Glimpses of the Wonderful: The Life of Philip Henry Gosse, by Ann Thwaite. - book suggestion.

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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- 90 -
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