The Island of Dr. Moreau
by H. G. Wells
The Island of Dr. Moreau Science Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"In our growing science of hypnotism we find the promise of a possibility of replacing old inherent instincts by new suggestions, grafting upon or replacing the inherited fixed ideas." (14.15)
Science's understanding evolves throughout the decades. Take hypnotism. We now use hypnotism to make suggestions. We do this either to help the person in therapy or for our own sick amusement as we watch them cluck like a chicken. But graft new ideas onto the mind? Don't think so.
"Then I am a religious man, Prendick, as every sane man must be. It may be I fancy I have seen more of the ways of this world's Maker than you—for I have sought his laws, in my way, […]." (14.26)
Moreau claims he's a religious man and a scientist. He suggests that religion and science are not in conflict—only the confused notion of religion that people like Prendick have. Once we filter out all the touch-feely pain-is-bad stuff, religion and science can get along swimmingly.
"You cannot imagine the strange colourless delight of these intellectual desires. The thing before you is no longer an animal, a fellow-creature, but a problem." (14.27)
This is maybe the single best line in the whole novel regarding morality in science. When Moreau's worldview renders pain and suffering a problem, or puzzle, he tips the moral scales to the side of the immoral. But Moreau is too high on his "intellectual desires" to notice.