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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > Matthew Fontaine Maury Quotes

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Matthew Fontaine Maury
(14 Jan 1806 - 1 Feb 1873)

American naval officer, oceanographer and hydrographer.


Science Quotes by Matthew Fontaine Maury (4 quotes)

Every physical fact, every expression of nature, every feature of the earth, the work of any and all of those agents which make the face of the world what it is, and as we see it, is interesting and instructive. Until we get hold of a group of physical facts, we do not know what practical bearings they may have, though right-minded men know that they contain many precious jewels, which science, or the expert hand of philosophy will not fail top bring out, polished, and bright, and beautifully adapted to man's purposes.
— Matthew Fontaine Maury
In The Physical Geography of the Sea (1855), 209-210. Maury was in particular referring to the potential use of deep-sea soundings.
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It is a custom often practiced by seafaring people to throw a bottle overboard, with a paper, stating the time and place at which it is done. In the absence of other information as to currents, that afforded by these mute little navigators is of great value.
— Matthew Fontaine Maury
In The Physical Geography of the Sea (1855), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Bottle (6)  |  Current (16)  |  Custom (6)  |  Information (56)  |  Mute (4)  |  Navigator (2)  |  Overboard (2)  |  Paper (25)  |  Place (32)  |  Time (170)  |  Value (63)

The rules of scientific investigation always require us, when we enter the domains of conjecture, to adopt that hypothesis by which the greatest number of known facts and phenomena may be reconciled.
— Matthew Fontaine Maury
In The Physical Geography of the Sea (1855), 123.
Science quotes on:  |  Conjecture (15)  |  Domain (6)  |  Fact (325)  |  Hypothesis (150)  |  Investigation (83)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Reconciliation (5)  |  Requirement (27)  |  Rule (52)

There is a river in the ocean. In the severest droughts it never fails, and in the mightiest floods it never overflows. Its banks and its bottom are of cold water, while its current is of warm. The Gulf of Mexico is its fountain, and its mouth is in the Arctic Sea. It is the Gulf Stream.
— Matthew Fontaine Maury
Opening paragraph of The Physical Geography of the Sea (1855), 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Bank (2)  |  Bottom (8)  |  Cold (24)  |  Drought (6)  |  Failure (58)  |  Flood (16)  |  Gulf Of Mexico (2)  |  Ocean (56)  |  River (34)  |  Warm (4)  |  Water (122)


See also:
  • todayinsci icon 14 Jan - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Maury's birth.
  • book icon Matthew Fontaine Maury: Scientist of the Sea, by Frances Leigh Williams. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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