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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > Ashley Montagu Quotes

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Ashley Montagu
(28 Jun 1905 - 26 Nov 1999)

British anthropologist who is noted for his works popularizing anthropology and science, including The Elephant Man.


Science Quotes by Ashley Montagu (15 quotes)

Among both the Northern and Eastern Hamites are to be found some of the most beautiful types of humanity.
— Ashley Montagu
In An Introduction to Physical Anthropology (1960), 456.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Both (493)  |  Eastern (3)  |  Find (998)  |  Humanity (169)  |  Most (1731)  |  Northern (2)  |  Type (167)

Bigotry and science can have no communication with each other, for science begins where bigotry and absolute certainty end.
— Ashley Montagu
Ashley Montagu (ed.), Science and Creationism (1984), Introduction, 8-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (145)  |  Begin (260)  |  Bigotry (4)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Communication (94)  |  End (590)  |  Other (2236)  |  Science (3879)

Eskimos living in a world of ice have no word at all for that substance—and this has been cited as evidence of their primitive mentality. But ice as such is of no interest to an Eskimo; what is of interest, indeed of vital importance, are the different kinds of ice with which he must deal virtually every day of his life.
— Ashley Montagu
As co-author with Floyd W. Matson, in The Human Connection (1979), 174. More often seen without explanatory context, as “The Eskimos live among ice all their lives but have no single word for ice,” for example, in Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America, The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, and In Watermelon Sugar (1989), 111.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Deal (188)  |  Different (577)  |  Eskimo (2)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Ice (54)  |  Importance (286)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Interest (386)  |  Kind (557)  |  Language (293)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Mentality (5)  |  Must (1526)  |  Primitive (75)  |  Substance (248)  |  Vital (85)  |  Word (619)  |  World (1774)

Evolution is a process which favors cooperating rather than disoperating groups and that “fitness” is a function of the group as a whole than of separate individuals. The fitness of the individual is largely derived from his membership on a group.
— Ashley Montagu
In On Being Human (1950), 45.
Science quotes on:  |  Cooperation (32)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Favor (63)  |  Fitness (9)  |  Function (228)  |  Group (78)  |  Individual (404)  |  Membership (5)  |  Process (423)  |  Separate (143)  |  Whole (738)

If on occasion Mr. Casson exhibits an insularity of judgment when it comes to the evaluation of the contribution made by various men to the development of modern anthropology, he may be forgiven upon the ground that, where anthropology is concerned, he is only following an old English custom!
— Ashley Montagu
In 'Review: The Discovery of Man by Stanley Casson', Isis (Jun 1941), 33, No. 2, 302.
Science quotes on:  |  Anthropology (58)  |  Stanley Casson (2)  |  Concern (228)  |  Contribution (89)  |  Custom (42)  |  Development (422)  |  English (35)  |  Evaluation (10)  |  Exhibit (20)  |  Follow (378)  |  Forgive (12)  |  Ground (217)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Modern (385)  |  Occasion (85)  |  Old (481)  |  Various (200)

It was Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., who likened the bigot to the pupil of the human eye: the more light you expose it to the narrower it grows.
— Ashley Montagu
Ashley Montagu (ed.), Science and Creationism (1984), Introduction, 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Bigot (6)  |  Expose (23)  |  Eye (419)  |  Grow (238)  |  Oliver Wendell Holmes (31)  |  Human (1468)  |  Light (607)  |  More (2559)  |  Narrow (84)  |  Pupil (61)

Man continues to be the only 150 pound nonlinear servomechanism that can be wholly mass-produced by unskilled labor.
— Ashley Montagu
In 'Mechanisms in Anxiety', Journal of Neuropsychiatry (Sep-Oct 1963), 5, 416. Also appears as “Man is the only…reproduced…” for the opening sentence by Ashley Montagu in 'Forward: Origin of the Specious' for Robin Fox, The Passionate Mind: Sources of Destruction and Creativity (2000), xxi.
Science quotes on:  |  Continue (165)  |  Labor (107)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mass (157)  |  Nonlinear (4)  |  Produced (187)  |  Reproduction (72)  |  Unskilled (4)  |  Wholly (88)

My many years of work and research as a biological and social anthropologist have made it abundantly clear to me that from an evolutionary and biological standpoint, the female is more advanced and constitutionally more richly endowed than the male.
— Ashley Montagu
In The Natural Superiority of Women (1952, 1999), 91.
Science quotes on:  |  Advanced (11)  |  Anthropologist (6)  |  Biological (137)  |  Biology (216)  |  Constitution (76)  |  Endow (14)  |  Endowed (52)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Female (50)  |  Male (26)  |  More (2559)  |  Research (664)  |  Rich (62)  |  Social (252)  |  Standpoint (28)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)

My reading of Aristotle leads me to believe that in all his work he had always before him the question; What light does this throw on man? But the question was not phrased in his mind—at least, so it appears to me—in the sense of “What light does this throw upon the origin of man,” but rather in the sense “What light does this throw on the way in which man functions and behaves here and now?”
— Ashley Montagu
Considering Aristotle as an anthropologist. In 'Review: The Discovery of Man by Stanley Casson', Isis (Jun 1941), 33, No. 2, 303.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Anthropology (58)  |  Appear (118)  |  Aristotle (163)  |  Behave (17)  |  Belief (578)  |  Function (228)  |  Lead (384)  |  Light (607)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Origin (239)  |  Origin Of Man (9)  |  Phrase (61)  |  Question (621)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Sense (770)  |  Way (1217)  |  Work (1351)

Never forget that tyranny most often springs from a fanatical faith in the absoluteness of one’s beliefs.
— Ashley Montagu
In Ashley Montagu (ed.), Science and Creationism (1984), Introduction, 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Absoluteness (4)  |  Belief (578)  |  Faith (203)  |  Fanatical (3)  |  Forget (115)  |  Most (1731)  |  Never (1087)  |  Spring (133)  |  Tyranny (14)

Scientists do not believe in fundamental and absolute certainties. For the scientist, certainty is never an end, but a search; not the ordering of certainty, but its exploration. For the scientist, certainty represents the highest degree of probability.
— Ashley Montagu
Ashley Montagu (ed.), Science and Creationism (1984), Introduction, 7-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (145)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Degree (276)  |  Do (1908)  |  End (590)  |  Exploration (134)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Never (1087)  |  Order (632)  |  Probability (130)  |  Represent (155)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Search (162)

The ability to play is one of the principal criteria of mental health.
— Ashley Montagu
In 'Childhood’s Promises', Television & Children (1980), 3, No. 3, 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (152)  |  Criteria (6)  |  Health (193)  |  Mental (177)  |  Mental Health (5)  |  Play (112)  |  Principal (63)

The evidence indicates that woman is, on the whole, biologically superior to man.
— Ashley Montagu
In The Natural Superiority of Women (1952, 1999), 91.
Science quotes on:  |  Anthropology (58)  |  Biology (216)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Indicate (61)  |  Man (2251)  |  Superior (81)  |  Whole (738)  |  Woman (151)

The family unit is the institution for the systematic production of mental illness.
— Ashley Montagu
From interview on TV program, The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson. As quoted and cited in David Berg, Run, Brother, Run: A Memoir of a Murder in My Family (2013), 242.
Science quotes on:  |  Family (94)  |  Illness (34)  |  Institution (69)  |  Mental (177)  |  Mental Illness (4)  |  Production (183)  |  Systematic (57)  |  Unit (33)

The scientist believes in proof without certainty, the bigot in certainty without proof.
— Ashley Montagu
Ashley Montagu (ed.), Science and Creationism (1984), Introduction, 9. Commonly seem derivative quotes include: “Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof,” and “Religion gives us certainty without proof; science gives us proof without certainty.”
Science quotes on:  |  Bigot (6)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Creationist (16)  |  Proof (287)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)


See also:
  • 28 Jun - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Montagu's birth.
  • Ashley Montagu - context of quote “The scientist believes in proof” - Large image (800 x 400 px)
  • Ashley Montagu - context of quote “Certainty is never an end, but a search” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
  • Ashley Montagu - context of quote “Certainty is never an end, but a search” - Large image (800 x 400 px)
  • Ashley Montagu - context of quote “Servomechanism … mass-produced by unskilled labor” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
  • Ashley Montagu - context of quote “Servomechanism … mass-produced by unskilled labor” - Large image (800 x 400 px)

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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