A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, – a mere heart of stone.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
I was a young man with uninformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them.
No one with an unbiased mind can study any living creature, however humble, without being struck with enthusiasm at its marvellous structure and properties.
The assumed instinctive belief in God has been used by many persons as an argument for His existence. But this is a rash argument, as we should thus be compelled to believe in the existence of cruel and malignant spirits, only a little more powerful than man; for the belief in them is far more general than in a beneficent Diety
No radiant pearl, which crested fortune wears, no gem, that twinkling hangs from beauty’s ears; not the bright stars, which night’s blue arch adorn; nor rising sun, that gilds the vernal morn; shine with such lustre as the tear that flows down virtue’s manly cheek for others’ woes.
The obedient steel with living instinct moves, and veers forever to the pole it loves.
The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery. Happiness is never better exhibited than by young animals, such as puppies, kittens, lambs, &c., when playing together, like our own children. Even insects play together, as has been described by that excellent observer, P. Huber, who saw ants chasing and pretending to bite each other, like so many puppies.
If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would have thus been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
Man is descended from a hairy-tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in his habits.
The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic
On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, we gain no scientific explanation.
Nothing exists for itself alone, but only in relation to other forms of life
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- E. O. Wilson American Zoologist
- Humphry Davy British Chemist
- Thomas Henry Huxley English Biologist
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson British Poet
- John Muir American Naturalist
- James Cook English Explorer, Cartographer
- Samuel Johnson British Essayist
- William Ewart Gladstone English Liberal Statesman
- Arthur C. Clarke English Science-fiction Writer
- Richard Dawkins British Ethologist, Atheist