— Adolphe Quetelet Belgian astronomer, mathematician, statistician and sociologist 1796 - 1874
Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Kontext: I have always comprehended with difficulty... how persons pre-occupied doubtless by ideas, have seen any tendency to materialism in exposition of a series of facts deduced from documents. In giving to my work the title of Physics, I have had no other aim than to collect, in uniform order, the phenomena affecting man, nearly as physical science brings together the phenomena appertaining to the material world. If certain facts present themselves with an alarming regularity, to whom is blame to be ascribed? Ought charges of materialism to be brought against him who points out that regularity?