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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index H > Thomas Henry Huxley Quotes > Darwin_Charles

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Thomas Henry Huxley
(4 May 1825 - 29 Jun 1895)

English biologist known as the main advocate for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.


Thomas Henry Huxley Quotes on Darwin_Charles (5 quotes)

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For these two years I have been gravitating towards your doctrines, and since the publication of your primula paper with accelerated velocity. By about this time next year I expect to have shot past you, and to find you pitching into me for being more Darwinian than yourself. However, you have set me going, and must just take the consequences, for I warn you I will stop at no point so long as clear reasoning will take me further.
— Thomas Henry Huxley
Thomas Henry Huxley, Leonard Huxley, Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley (1901), 211.
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It was badly received by the generation to which it was first addressed, and the outpouring of angry nonsense to which it gave rise is sad to think upon. But the present generation will probably behave just as badly if another Darwin should arise, and inflict upon them that which the generality of mankind most hate—the necessity of revising their convictions. Let them, then, be charitable to us ancients; and if they behave no better than the men of my day to some new benefactor, let them recollect that, after all, our wrath did not come to much, and vented itself chiefly in the bad language of sanctimonious scolds. Let them as speedily perform a strategic right-about-face, and follow the truth wherever it leads.
— Thomas Henry Huxley
'On the Reception of the Origin of Species'. In F. Darwin (ed.), The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Including an Autobiographical Chapter (1888), Vol. 2, 204.
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The publication of the Darwin and Wallace papers in 1858, and still more that of the 'Origin' in 1859, had the effect upon them of the flash of light, which to a man who has lost himself in a dark night, suddenly reveals a road which, whether it takes him straight home or not, certainly goes his way. That which we were looking for, and could not find, was a hypothesis respecting the origin of known organic forms, which assumed the operation of no causes but such as could be proved to be actually at work. We wanted, not to pin our faith to that or any other speculation, but to get hold of clear and definite conceptions which could be brought face to face with facts and have their validity tested. The 'Origin' provided us with the working hypothesis we sought.
— Thomas Henry Huxley
'On the Reception of the Origin of Species'. In F. Darwin (ed.), The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Including an Autobiographical Chapter (1888), Vol 2, 197.
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There is no field of biological inquiry in which the influence of the Origin of Species is not traceable; the foremost men of science in every country are either avowed champions of its leading doctrines, or at any rate abstain from opposing them; a host of young and ardent investigators seek for and find inspiration and guidance in Mr. Darwin’s great work; and the general doctrine of Evolution, to one side of which it gives expression, finds in the phenomena of biology a firm base of operations whence it may conduct its conquest of the whole realm of nature.
— Thomas Henry Huxley
From Lecture (19 Mar 1880) delivered at the Royal Institute 'The Coming of Age of The Origin of Species', printed in John Michels (ed.), Science (3 Jul 1880), 1, 15.
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Very few, even among those who have taken the keenest interest in the progress of the revolution in natural knowledge set afoot by the publication of the “Origin of Species”; and who have watched, not without astonishment, the rapid and complete change which has been effected both inside and outside the boundaries of the scientific world in the attitude of men’s minds towards the doctrines which are expounded in that great work, can have been prepared for the extraordinary manifestation of affectionate regard for the man, and of profound reverence for the philosopher, which followed the announcement, on Thursday last, of the death of Mr Darwin.
— Thomas Henry Huxley
'Obituary [of Charles Darwin]' (1882). In Collected Essays (1893), Vol. 2, 244.
Science quotes on:  |  Announcement (15)  |  Astonishment (30)  |  Attitude (82)  |  Both (494)  |  Change (595)  |  Complete (204)  |  Charles Darwin (304)  |  Death (391)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Effect (394)  |  Extraordinary (79)  |  Follow (379)  |  Great (1575)  |  Interest (386)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Last (426)  |  Man (2249)  |  Manifestation (58)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Natural (796)  |  Obituary (10)  |  Origin (241)  |  Origin Of Species (42)  |  Outside (141)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Profound (104)  |  Progress (468)  |  Publication (102)  |  Regard (304)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Set (394)  |  Species (402)  |  Watch (109)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1778)


See also:
  • 4 May - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Huxley's birth.
  • Thomas Henry Huxley - Autobiography
  • Thomas Henry Huxley - context of quote “Investigation of nature is an infinite pasture-ground ” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
  • Thomas Henry Huxley - context of quote “Investigation of nature is an infinite pasture-ground ” - Large image (800 x 400 px)
  • Thomas Henry Huxley: The Evolution of a Scientist, by Sherrie L. Lyons. - book suggestion.
  • Booklist for Thomas Huxley.

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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