Top Thomas Henry Huxley's inspiring image quotes

Top Thomas Henry Huxley's inspiring Quotes


Thomas Henry Huxley was an English biologist and anthropologist specialising in comparative anatomy. In nineteenth-century Great Britain, Thomas Henry Huxley was born of good but poor parents at Ealing, a village not far from London, on May 4, 1825. He told Charles Kingsley that he was "kicked into the world a boy without guide or training, or with worse than none."



Carlyle had the most lasting influence on him during these formative years. It was interesting in Carlyle that led him to study German, just as at the age of fifty-three he learned Greek so that he might read Aristotle in the original.

He was a great scientist and writer, some people called him Darwin's Bulldog because he was an exponent of the evolution theory and he was offensive towards Abrahamic religions. I used "Selections from Huxley (1912) by C. Alphonso Smith" book to get most of his sayings here.

Thomas Henry Huxley's inspiring quote
Nor can I find that any other fate has awaited the germ of Religion. Arising, like all other kinds of knowledge, out of the action and interaction of man's mind, with that which is not man's mind, it has taken the intellectual coverings of Fetishism or Polytheism; of Theism or Atheism; of Superstition or Rationalism.

When men first took to the sea, they speedily learned to look out for shoals and rocks; and the more the burthen of their ships increased, the more imperatively necessary it became for sailors to ascertain with precision the depth of the waters they traversed.


I must call your attention further to this fact, that all the subjects of our thoughts all feelings and propositions (leaving aside our sensations as the mere materials and occasions of thinking and feeling), all our mental furniture may be classified under one of two heads as either within the province of the intellect, something that can be put into propositions and affirmed or denied; or as within the province of feeling, or that which, before the name was defiled, was called the aesthetic side of our nature, and which can neither be proved nor disproved, but only felt and known.

Thomas Henry Huxley's inspiring

“The most considerable difference I note among men is not in their readiness to fall into error, but in their readiness to acknowledge these inevitable lapses.”

“The only medicine for suffering, crime, and all the other woes of mankind is wisdom.”

However, there are blind leaders of the blind, and not a few of them, who take this view of natural knowledge, and can see nothing in the bountiful mother of humanity but a sort of comfort-grinding machine. According to them, the improvement of natural knowledge always has been, and always must be, synonymous with no more than the improvement of the material resources and the increase of the gratifications of men.


Thomas Henry Huxley's inspiring

“The chess-board is the world; the pieces are the phenomena of the universe; the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance.”


A man has no reason to be ashamed of having an ape for his grandfather. If there were an ancestor whom I should feel shame in recalling it would rather be a man—a man of restless and versatile intellect—who … plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real acquaintance, only to obscure them by aimless rhetoric, and distract the attention of his hearers from the real point at issue by eloquent digressions and skilled appeals to religious prejudice.”


“Sit down before fact like a little child, and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads or you shall learn nothing.”


“The science, the art, the jurisprudence, the chief political and social theories, of the modern world have grown out of Greece and Rome—not by favour of, but in the teeth of, the fundamental teachings of early Christianity, to which science, art, and any serious occupation with the things of this world were alike despicable.”


Thomas Henry Huxley's inspiring


“The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.”


It is important to remember that, in strictness, there is no such thing as an uneducated man. Take an extreme case. Suppose that an adult man, in the full vigour of his faculties, could be suddenly placed in the world, as Adam is said to have been, and then left to do as he best might. How long would he be left uneducated? Not five minutes. Nature would begin to teach him, through the eye, the ear, the touch, the properties of objects.

“The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions. And even a cursory glance at the history of the biological sciences during the last quarter of a century is sufficient to justify the assertion, that the most potent instrument for the extension of the realm of natural knowledge which has come into men's hands, since the publication of Newton's ‘Principia’, is Darwin's ‘Origin of Species.”


Thomas Henry Huxley's inspiring

“The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”


“The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.”


“Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe. Consequently, Agnosticism puts aside not only the greater part of popular theology but also the greater part of anti-theology. On the whole, the "bosh" of heterodoxy is more offensive to me than that of orthodoxy, because heterodoxy professes to be guided by reason and science, and orthodoxy does not.”


Thomas Henry Huxley's inspiring

“For once reality and his brains came into contact and the result was fatal.”

“If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?”

“Do what you can to do what you ought, and leave hoping and fearing alone.”


“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.”


“Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I have resolved at all risks to do this.”


Thomas Henry Huxley's inspiring





The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.

Up to this moment I have stated, so far as I know nothing but well-authenticated facts, and the immediate conclusions which they force upon the mind.

If I am a knave or a fool, teaching me to read and write won't make me less of either one or the other unless somebody shows me how to put my reading and writing to wise and good purposes.


A quantity of dogmatic theology, of which the child, nine times out of ten, understands next to nothing.

“Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, whether you like it or not.”

“There are some people who see a great deal and some who see very little in the same things.”

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