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Томас Гексли

Дата рождения: 4. Май 1825
Дата смерти: 29. Июнь 1895
Другие имена: Thomas Huxley

То́мас Ге́нри Ге́ксли — английский зоолог, популяризатор науки и защитник эволюционной теории Чарлза Дарвина . Член Лондонского королевского общества. В 1890 году награждён почётной Медалью Карла Линнея за продолжение линнеевских традиций в современной биологии. Иностранный член-корреспондент Петербургской академии наук .

„Каждое из наших самых прочных убеждений может быть опрокинуто или, во всяком случае, изменено дальнейшими успехами знания.“

„Если недостаток знаний опасен, то где тот человек, у которого знаний так много, что он в полной безопасности?“

„Всякая истина рождается как ересь и умирает как предрассудок.“

„Я слишком большой скептик, чтобы отрицать возможность чего бы то ни было.“

„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.“ Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley - Volume 1

„The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.“ Collected Essays of Thomas Henry Huxley

„I am too much of a skeptic to deny the possibility of anything.“ Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley - Volume 1

„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's ‘Principia’, is's ‘Origin of Species.“

„It was badly received by the generation to which it was first addressed, and the outpouring of angry nonsense to which it gave rise is sad to think upon. But the present generation will probably behave just as badly if anothershould arise, and inflict upon them that which the generality of mankind most hate—the necessity of revising their convictions. Let them, then, be charitable to us ancients; and if they behave no better than the men of my day to some new benefactor, let them recollect that, after all, our wrath did not come to much, and vented itself chiefly in the bad language of sanctimonious scolds. Let them as speedily perform a strategic right-about-face, and follow the truth wherever it leads.“

„What we call rational grounds for our beliefs are often extremely irrational attempts to justify our instincts.“


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—a man of restless and versatile intellect—who … plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real acquaintance, only to obscure them by an aimless rhetoric, and distract the attention of his hearers from the real point at issue by eloquent digressions and skilled appeals to religious prejudice.“

„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.“

„We live in a world which is full of misery and ignorance, and the plain duty of each and all of us is to try to make the little corner he can influence somewhat less miserable and somewhat less ignorant than it was before he entered.“

„It is far better for a man to go wrong in freedom than to go right in chains.“

„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.“

„Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.“

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