„Barriers of sea, or desert, or mountain, could never have been of the least avail, had the creative force acted independently of material laws, or had it not pleased the Author of Nature that the origin of new species should be governed by some secondary causes analogous to those which we see preside over the appearance of new varieties, which never appear except as the offspring of a parent stock very closely resembling them.“

—  Charles Lyell, Ch.21, p. 423
Charles Lyell photo
Charles Lyell
1797 - 1875

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„In 1834 the Government... did themselves high honour by the new Poor Law Act, which rescued the English peasantry from the total loss of their independence.“

—  William Ewart Gladstone British Liberal politician and prime minister of the United Kingdom 1809 - 1898
'Early Parliamentary Life 1832–52. 1833–4 in the old House of Commons' (3 June 1897), quoted in John Brooke and Mary Sorensen (eds.), The Prime Minister's Papers: W. E. Gladstone. I: Autobiographica (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1971), p. 55.

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„We must never forget that it is principles, not phenomena, — laws not insulated independent facts, — which are the objects of inquiry to the natural philosopher.“

—  John Herschel English mathematician, astronomer, chemist and photographer 1792 - 1871
Context: We must never forget that it is principles, not phenomena, — laws not insulated independent facts, — which are the objects of inquiry to the natural philosopher. As truth is single, and consistent with itself, a principle may be as completely and as plainly elucidated by the most familiar and simple fact, as by the most imposing and uncommon phenomenon. The colours which glitter on a soapbubble are the immediate consequence of a principle the most important, from the variety of phenomena it explains, and the most beautiful, from its simplicity and compendious neatness, in the whole science of optics. If the nature of periodical colours can be made intelligible by the contemplation of such a trivial object, from that moment it becomes a noble instrument in the eye of correct judgment; and to blow a large, regular, and durable soap-bubble may become the serious and praise-worthy endeavour of a sage, while children stand round and scoff, or children of a larger growth hold up their hands in astonishment at such waste of time and trouble. To the natural philosopher there is no natural object unimportant or trifling. From the least of nature's works he may learn the greatest lessons. The fall of an apple to the ground may raise his thoughts to the laws which govern the revolutions of the planets in their orbits; or the situation of a pebble may afford him evidence of the state of the globe he inhabits, myriads of ages ago, before his species became its denizens. And this, is, in fact, one of the great sources of delight which the study of natural science imparts to its votaries. A mind which has once imbibed a taste for scientific inquiry, and has learnt the habit of applying its principles readily to the cases which occur, has within itself an inexhaustible source of pure and exciting contemplations. One would think that Shakspeare had such a mind in view when he describes a contemplative man as finding

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„I ought never to act except in such a way that I could also will that my maxim should become a universal law.“

—  Immanuel Kant German philosopher 1724 - 1804
Kant's supreme moral principle or "categorical imperative"; Variant translations: Act only on that maxim which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a universal law of nature. So act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world. May you live your life as if the maxim of your actions were to become universal law. Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law. Do not feel forced to act, as you're only willing to act according to your own universal laws. And that's good. For only willfull acts are universal. And that's your maxim.

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