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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index L > Sir Edwin Ray Lankester Quotes

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Sir Edwin Ray Lankester
(15 May 1847 - 15 Aug 1929)

English zoologist.


Science Quotes by Sir Edwin Ray Lankester (4 quotes)

Even a wise experiment when made by a fool generally leads to a false conclusion, but that fools’ experiments conducted by a genius often prove to be leaps through the dark into great discoveries.
— Sir Edwin Ray Lankester
Commenting on Charles Darwin’s “fool’s experiments”, in 'Charles Robert Darwin', collected in C.D. Warner (ed.), Library of the World’s Best Literature Ancient and Modern (1896), Vol. 2, 4391-4392.
Science quotes on:  |  Conclusion (255)  |  Conduct (69)  |  Dark (140)  |  Discovery (785)  |  Experiment (696)  |  False (100)  |  Fool (116)  |  Genius (285)  |  Great (1575)  |  Lead (385)  |  Leap (53)  |  Prove (252)  |  Through (849)  |  Wise (132)

It appears, nevertheless, that all such simple solutions of the problem of vertebrate ancestry are without warrant. They arise from a very common tendency of the mind, against which the naturalist has to guard himself,—a tendency which finds expression in the very widespread notion that the existing anthropoid apes, and more especially the gorilla, must be looked upon as the ancestors of mankind, if once the doctrine of the descent of man from ape-like forefathers is admitted. A little reflexion suffices to show that any given living form, such as the gorilla, cannot possibly be the ancestral form from which man was derived, since ex-hypothesi that ancestral form underwent modification and development, and in so doing, ceased to exist.
— Sir Edwin Ray Lankester
'Vertebrata', entry in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th edition (1899), Vol. 24, 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  All (4107)  |  Ancestor (61)  |  Ancestry (12)  |  Anthropoid (9)  |  Ape (53)  |  Arise (158)  |  Common (436)  |  Descent (28)  |  Descent Of Man (6)  |  Development (424)  |  Doing (280)  |  Exist (444)  |  Expression (176)  |  Find (999)  |  Form (960)  |  Gorilla (18)  |  Himself (461)  |  Little (708)  |  Living (491)  |  Look (582)  |  Man (2249)  |  Mankind (340)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Modification (55)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Naturalist (70)  |  Nevertheless (90)  |  Notion (113)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Problem (679)  |  Show (346)  |  Simple (406)  |  Solution (269)  |  Solution. (53)  |  Tendency (99)  |  Vertebrate (20)  |  Warrant (8)  |  Widespread (22)

The chemical differences among various species and genera of animals and plants are certainly as significant for the history of their origins as the differences in form. If we could define clearly the differences in molecular constitution and functions of different kinds of organisms, there would be possible a more illuminating and deeper understanding of question of the evolutionary reactions of organisms than could ever be expected from morphological considerations.
— Sir Edwin Ray Lankester
'Uber das Vorkommen von Haemoglobin in den Muskeln der Mollusken und die Verbreitung desselben in den lebenden Organismen', Pflόgers Archiv fόr die gesamte Physiologie des Menschen und der Tiere, 1871, 4, 318-9. Trans. Joseph S. Fruton, Proteins, Enzymes, Genes: The Interplay of Chemistry and Biology (1999), 270.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (617)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Constitution (76)  |  Define (49)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Evolution (593)  |  Expect (201)  |  Form (960)  |  Function (229)  |  Genus (25)  |  History (675)  |  Illuminating (12)  |  Kind (557)  |  Molecule (174)  |  More (2559)  |  Morphology (22)  |  Organism (220)  |  Origin (241)  |  Plant (295)  |  Possible (554)  |  Question (622)  |  Reaction (104)  |  Significance (113)  |  Significant (74)  |  Species (402)  |  Understanding (514)  |  Various (200)

Through it [Science] we believe that man will be saved from misery and degradation, not merely acquiring new material powers, but learning to use and to guide his life with understanding. Through Science he will be freed from the fetters of superstition; through faith in Science he will acquire a new and enduring delight in the exercise of his capacities; he will gain a zest and interest in life such as the present phase of culture fails to supply.
— Sir Edwin Ray Lankester
'Biology and the State', The Advancement of Science: Occasional Essays & Addresses (1890), 108-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Culture (143)  |  Degradation (17)  |  Delight (109)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Fail (185)  |  Faith (203)  |  Fetters (7)  |  Gain (145)  |  Guide (98)  |  Interest (386)  |  Learning (274)  |  Life (1799)  |  Man (2249)  |  Material (353)  |  Merely (316)  |  Misery (30)  |  New (1217)  |  Phase (36)  |  Power (747)  |  Present (620)  |  Science (3880)  |  Superstition (66)  |  Supply (93)  |  Through (849)  |  Understanding (514)  |  Use (766)  |  Will (2354)


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
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- 90 -
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- 40 -
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- 30 -
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