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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index R > Winwood Reade Quotes

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Winwood Reade
(26 Dec 1838 - 24 Apr 1875)

Scottish philosopher, anthropologist and historian who in early life was fired by literature and scientific studies. He went hunting for for live gorillas in Gaboon, W. Africa and turned instead to research and exploration, after which he published Savage Africa (1864). His best-known book is The Martyrdom of Man (1872).

Science Quotes by Winwood Reade (9 quotes)

All the events which occur upon the earth result from Law: even those actions which are entirely dependent on the caprices of the memory, or the impulse of the passions, are shown by statistics to be, when taken in the gross, entirely independent of the human will. As a single atom, man is an enigma; as a whole, he is a mathematical problem. As an individual, he is a free agent; as a species, the offspring of necessity.
— Winwood Reade
In The Martyrdom of Man (1876), 185-186.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Agent (27)  |  Atom (251)  |  Caprice (2)  |  Dependent (14)  |  Enigma (5)  |  Entirely (23)  |  Event (97)  |  Free (59)  |  Gross (5)  |  Human (445)  |  Impulse (24)  |  Independent (41)  |  Individual (177)  |  Law (418)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Memory (81)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Offspring (15)  |  Passion (54)  |  Problem (362)  |  Single (72)  |  Species (181)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Whole (122)

Doubt is the offspring of knowledge: the savage never doubts at all.
— Winwood Reade
In The Martyrdom of Man (1876), 242.
Science quotes on:  |  Doubt (121)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Offspring (15)  |  Savage (23)

If we look into ourselves we discover propensities which declare that our intellects have arisen from a lower form; could our minds be made visible we should find them tailed.
— Winwood Reade
In The Martyrdom of Man (1876), 242.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (482)  |  Find (248)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Mind (544)  |  Visible (20)

It is a sure criterion of the civilisation of ancient Egypt that the soldiers did not carry arms except on duty, and that the private citizens did not carry them at all.
— Winwood Reade
In The Martyrdom of Man (1876), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient Egypt (3)  |  Carry (35)  |  Citizen (23)  |  Civilisation (18)  |  Criterion (10)  |  Duty (51)  |  Soldier (9)  |  Weapon (57)

Man … begins life as an ambiguous speck of matter which can in no way be distinguished from the original form of the lowest animal or plant. He next becomes a cell; his life is precisely that of the animalcule. Cells cluster round this primordial cell, and the man is so far advanced that he might be mistaken for an undeveloped oyster; he grows still more, and it is clear that he might even be a fish; he then passes into a stage which is common to all quadrupeds, and next assumes a form which can only belong to quadrupeds of the higher type. At last the hour of birth approaches; coiled within the dark womb he sits, the image of an ape; a caricature of the man that is to be. He is born, and for some time he walks only on all fours; he utters only inarticulate sounds; and even in his boyhood his fondness for climbing trees would seem to be a relic of the old arboreal life.
— Winwood Reade
In The Martyrdom of Man (1876), 393.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Animalcule (10)  |  Ape (39)  |  Birth (81)  |  Boy (33)  |  Caricature (6)  |  Cell (125)  |  Climbing (4)  |  Cluster (10)  |  Development (228)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fondness (7)  |  Inarticulate (2)  |  Life (917)  |  Man (345)  |  Oyster (7)  |  Plant (173)  |  Primordial (7)  |  Quadruped (4)  |  Relic (4)  |  Sit (24)  |  Sound (59)  |  Tree (143)  |  Walk (56)  |  Womb (13)

Men prefer to believe that they are degenerated angels, rather than elevated apes.
— Winwood Reade
In The Martyrdom of Man (14th ed., 1892), 392.
Science quotes on:  |  Angel (25)  |  Ape (39)  |  Belief (400)  |  Elevated (3)  |  Prefer (18)

The essence of religion is inertia; the essence of science is change. It is the function of the one to preserve, it is the function of the other to improve. If, as in Egypt, they are firmly chained together, either science will advance, in which case the religion will be altered, or the religion will preserve its purity, and science will congeal.
— Winwood Reade
In The Martyrdom of Man (1876), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Alter (19)  |  Chained (2)  |  Change (291)  |  Egypt (18)  |  Essence (42)  |  Improve (39)  |  Inertia (10)  |  Preserve (38)  |  Purity (13)  |  Religion (210)  |  Science (1699)  |  Science And Religion (267)

The philosophic spirit of inquiry may be traced to brute curiosity, and that to the habit of examining all things in search of food. Artistic genius is an expansion of monkey imitativeness.
— Winwood Reade
In The Martyrdom of Man (14th ed., 1892), 392.
Science quotes on:  |  Artistic (10)  |  Brute (12)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Examine (24)  |  Expansion (25)  |  Food (139)  |  Genius (186)  |  Habit (78)  |  Imitation (17)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Monkey (37)  |  Philosophic (3)  |  Search (85)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Trace (39)

The spirit of science arises from the habit of seeking food; the spirit of art arises from the habit of imitation, by which the young animal first learns to feed; the spirit of music arises from primeval speech, by means of which males and females are attracted to each other.
— Winwood Reade
In The Martyrdom of Man (1876), 443.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (205)  |  Attract (15)  |  Female (20)  |  Food (139)  |  Habit (78)  |  Imitation (17)  |  Male (24)  |  Music (66)  |  Primeval (8)  |  Science (1699)  |  Science And Art (157)  |  Seek (57)  |  Speech (40)  |  Spirit (113)



Quotes by others about Winwood Reade (1)

Winwood Reade … remarks that while a man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will do, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant. So says the statistician.
Character Sherlock Holmes recommends Winwood Reade’s book The Martyrdom of Man to Dr. Watson in The Sign of the Four (1890), 196. Earlier in the novel, Holmes calls Reade’s book “one of the most remarkable ever penned.” Reade is a real person and his book was published in 1872. The actual statement in it reads: “As a single atom man is an enigma: as a whole he is a mathematical problem.”
Science quotes on:  |  Aggregate (8)  |  Average (31)  |  Certain (84)  |  Constant (40)  |  Foretell (5)  |  Individual (177)  |  Insoluble (13)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Percentage (6)  |  Precision (38)  |  Puzzle (30)  |  Remain (77)  |  Statistician (16)  |  Vary (14)


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
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

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- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
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William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
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Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
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Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
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Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
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- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



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