Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by forces impressed.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index C > Category: Clock

Clock Quotes (14 quotes)

A man who has once looked with the archaeological eye will never see quite normally. He will be wounded by what other men call trifles. It is possible to refine the sense of time until an old shoe in the bunch grass or a pile of nineteenth century beer bottles in an abandoned mining town tolls in one’s head like a hall clock.
The Night Country (1971), 81.
Science quotes on:  |  19th Century (8)  |  Archaeology (23)  |  Beer (5)  |  Bottle (6)  |  Eye (67)  |  Grass (10)  |  Hall (2)  |  Head (20)  |  Look (32)  |  Mine (7)  |  See (43)  |  Sense (104)  |  Shoe (5)  |  Time (170)  |  Toll (2)  |  Town (11)  |  Trifle (5)  |  Wound (6)

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, “We've always done it this way.” I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.
As quoted, without citation, by Kurt W. Beyer, 'Grace Murray Hopper', in Joseph J. Thomas, Leadership Embodied: The Secrets to Success of the Most Effective Navy and Marine Corps Leaders (2005), 160.
Science quotes on:  |  Allergy (2)  |  Change (133)  |  Fight (8)  |  Human (168)  |  French Saying (51)

If some great Power would agree to make me always think what is true and do what is right, on condition of being turned into a sort of clock and wound up every morning before I got out of bed, I should instantly close with the offer.
'On Descartes' "Discourse Touching the Method of Using One's Reason Rightly and of Seeking Scientific Truth'" (1870). In Collected Essays (1893), Vol. 1, 192-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (199)

My aim is to say that the machinery of the heavens is not like a divine animal but like a clock (and anyone who believes a clock has a soul gives the work the honour due to its maker) and that in it almost all the variety of motions is from one very simple magnetic force acting on bodies, as in the clock all motions are from a very simple weight.
Letter to J. G. Herwart von Hohenburg (16 Feb 1605). Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 15, letter 325, l. 57-61, p. 146.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (143)  |  Heaven (55)  |  Machine (56)  |  Magnetism (20)  |  Motion (64)

Our clocks do not measure time. ... Time is defined to be what our clocks measure.
Anonymous
Unnamed person at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, U.S.A., quoted by Tim Folger in 'Newsflash: Time May Not Exist', Discover Magazine (Jun 2007).
Science quotes on:  |  Measurement (112)  |  Time (170)

The age of the earth was thus increased from a mere score of millions [of years] to a thousand millions and more, and the geologist who had before been bankrupt in time now found himself suddenly transformed into a capitalist with more millions in the bank than he knew how to dispose of ... More cautious people, like myself, too cautious, perhaps, are anxious first of all to make sure that the new [radioactive] clock is not as much too fast as Lord Kelvin's was too slow.
1921 British Association for the Advancement of Science symposium on 'The Age of the Earth'. In Nature (1921), 108, 282.
Science quotes on:  |  Age Of The Earth (10)  |  Anxiety (7)  |  Bankrupt (2)  |  Capitalist (2)  |  Caution (8)  |  Fast (11)  |  Geologist (26)  |  Increase (36)  |  Baron William Thomson Kelvin (23)  |  Radioactivity (21)  |  Slow (7)  |  Time (170)  |  Transformation (27)

The late Mr. David Hume, in his posthumous works, places the powers of generation much above those of our boasted reason; and adds, that reason can only make a machine, as a clock or a ship, but the power of generation makes the maker of the machine; ... he concludes, that the world itself might have been generated, rather than created ; that is, it might have been gradually produced from very small beginnings, increasing by the activity of its inherent principles, rather than by a sudden evolution of the whole by the Almighty fiat.—What a magnificent idea of the infinite power of THE GREAT ARCHITECT! THE CAUSE OF CAUSES! PARENT OF PARENTS! ENS ENTIUM!
For if we may compare infinities, it would seem to require a greater infinity of power to cause the causes of effects, than to cause the effects themselves.
'Generation', Zoonomia (1794), Vol. 1, 509. Note that this passage was restated in a 1904 translation of a book by August Weismann. That rewording was given in quotation marks and attributed to Erasumus Darwin without reference to David Hume. In the reworded form, it is seen in a number of later works as a direct quote made by Erasmus Darwin. For that restated form see the webpage for August Weismann. Webmaster has checked the quotation on this webpage in the original Zoonomia, and is the only verbatim form found so far.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (48)  |  Almighty (2)  |  Beginning (71)  |  Boast (6)  |  Cause (122)  |  Comparison (33)  |  Creation (129)  |  Effect (72)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Fiat (2)  |  Generation (56)  |  Gradually (2)  |  David Hume (29)  |  Infinity (44)  |  Inherent (17)  |  Machine (56)  |  Maker (4)  |  Power (103)  |  Reason (173)  |  Ship (18)  |  Sudden (6)  |  August Weismann (5)  |  Whole (46)

The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote. Nevertheless, it has been found that there are apparent exceptions to most of these laws, and this is particularly true when the observations are pushed to a limit, i.e., whenever the circumstances of experiment are such that extreme cases can be examined. Such examination almost surely leads, not to the overthrow of the law, but to the discovery of other facts and laws whose action produces the apparent exceptions. As instances of such discoveries, which are in most cases due to the increasing order of accuracy made possible by improvements in measuring instruments, may be mentioned: first, the departure of actual gases from the simple laws of the so-called perfect gas, one of the practical results being the liquefaction of air and all known gases; second, the discovery of the velocity of light by astronomical means, depending on the accuracy of telescopes and of astronomical clocks; third, the determination of distances of stars and the orbits of double stars, which depend on measurements of the order of accuracy of one-tenth of a second-an angle which may be represented as that which a pin's head subtends at a distance of a mile. But perhaps the most striking of such instances are the discovery of a new planet or observations of the small irregularities noticed by Leverrier in the motions of the planet Uranus, and the more recent brilliant discovery by Lord Rayleigh of a new element in the atmosphere through the minute but unexplained anomalies found in weighing a given volume of nitrogen. Many other instances might be cited, but these will suffice to justify the statement that “our future discoveries must be looked for in the sixth place of decimals.”
Light Waves and Their Uses (1903), 23-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (34)  |  Air (84)  |  Angle (8)  |  Anomaly (6)  |  Astronomy (105)  |  Atmosphere (42)  |  Circumstance (25)  |  Decimal (8)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Element (68)  |  Examination (47)  |  Exception (16)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Fact (325)  |  Fundamental (59)  |  Gas (30)  |  Improvement (36)  |  Instrument (40)  |  Irregularity (5)  |  Law (273)  |  Limit (34)  |  Measurement (112)  |  Nitrogen (14)  |  Observation (264)  |  Physical Science (32)  |  Practical (30)  |  Sir John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (8)  |  Result (129)  |  Speed Of Light (10)  |  Star (132)  |  Telescope (44)  |  Uranus (2)  |  Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier (4)  |  Volume (5)

The person who observes a clock, sees in it not only the pendulum swinging to and fro, and the dial-plate, and the hands moving, for a child can see all this; but he sees also the parts of the clock, and in what connexion the suspended weight stands to the wheel-work, and the pendulum to the moving hands.
'The Study of the Natural Sciences: An Introductory Lecture to the Course of Experimental Chemistry in the University of Munich, for the Winter Session of 1852-53,' as translated and republished in The Medical Times and Gazette (22 Jan 1853), N.S. Vol. 6, 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (90)  |  Hand (34)  |  Movement (31)  |  Observation (264)  |  Part (55)  |  Pendulum (10)  |  See (43)  |  Stand (24)  |  Suspend (5)  |  Weight (41)

The picture of scientific method drafted by modern philosophy is very different from traditional conceptions. Gone is the ideal of a universe whose course follows strict rules, a predetermined cosmos that unwinds itself like an unwinding clock. Gone is the ideal of the scientist who knows the absolute truth. The happenings of nature are like rolling dice rather than like revolving stars; they are controlled by probability laws, not by causality, and the scientist resembles a gambler more than a prophet. He can tell you only his best posits—he never knows beforehand whether they will come true. He is a better gambler, though, than the man at the green table, because his statistical methods are superior. And his goal is staked higher—the goal of foretelling the rolling dice of the cosmos. If he is asked why he follows his methods, with what title he makes his predictions, he cannot answer that he has an irrefutable knowledge of the future; he can only lay his best bets. But he can prove that they are best bets, that making them is the best he can do—and if a man does his best, what else can you ask of him?
The Rise of Scientific Philosophy (1951, 1973), 248-9. Collected in James Louis Jarrett and Sterling M. McMurrin (eds.), Contemporary Philosophy: A Book of Readings (1954), 376.
Science quotes on:  |  Absoluteness (3)  |  Asking (18)  |  Best (42)  |  Bet (4)  |  Causality (4)  |  Conception (29)  |  Cosmos (23)  |  Course (25)  |  Dice (8)  |  Difference (135)  |  Draft (3)  |  Foretelling (3)  |  Future (110)  |  Gambler (3)  |  Goal (36)  |  Happening (23)  |  Ideal (26)  |  Irrefutable (3)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Method (73)  |  Modern (44)  |  Nature (534)  |  Philosophy (132)  |  Picture (25)  |  Posit (2)  |  Prediction (48)  |  Probability (56)  |  Proof (136)  |  Prophet (3)  |  Roll (3)  |  Rule (52)  |  Scientific Method (101)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Stake (7)  |  Star (132)  |  Statistics (82)  |  Superiority (6)  |  Tradition (17)  |  Truth (450)  |  Universe (291)

The science of the geologist seems destined to exert a marked influence on that of the natural theologian... Not only—to borrow from Paley's illustration—does it enable him to argue on the old grounds, from the contrivance exhibited in the watch found on the moor, that the watch could not have lain upon the moor for ever; but it establishes further, on different and more direct evidence, that there was a time when absolutely the watch was not there; nay, further, so to speak, that there was a previous time in which no watches existed at all, but only water-clocks; yet further, that there was at time in which there we not even water-clocks, but only sun-dials; and further, an earlier time still in which sun-dials were not, nor an measurers of time of any kind.
Lecture to the Edinburgh Philosophical Institution, 'Geology in its Bearings on the Two Theologies, Part 1', collected in The Testimony of the Rocks: or, Geology in Its Bearings on the Two Theologies, Natural and Revealed (1857), 211.
Science quotes on:  |  Contrivance (6)  |  Destiny (12)  |  Era (6)  |  Evidence (83)  |  Geologist (26)  |  Influence (47)  |  Measurement (112)  |  William Paley (6)  |  Theologian (11)  |  Time (170)  |  Watch (16)

Today even our clocks are not made of clockwork.
Does God Play Dice?: The New Mathematics of Chaos (2002), xi.
Science quotes on:  |  Clockwork (2)  |  Making (18)  |  Today (24)

We never really see time. We see only clocks. If you say this object moves, what you really mean is that this object is here when the hand of your clock is here, and so on. We say we measure time with clocks, but we see only the hands of the clocks, not time itself. And the hands of a clock are a physical variable like any other. So in a sense we cheat because what we really observe are physical variables as a function of other physical variables, but we represent that as if everything is evolving in time.
Quoted by Tim Folger in 'Newsflash: Time May Not Exist', Discover Magazine (Jun 2007).
Science quotes on:  |  Measurement (112)  |  Movement (31)  |  Time (170)  |  Variable (6)

[Animals] do not so much act as be put into action, and that objects make an impression on their senses such that it is necessary for them to follow it just as it is necessary for the wheels of a clock to follow the weights and the spring that pulls them.
[In his philosophy, he regarded animals to be merely automatons.].
'Traitez de la voix', Harmonie Universelle (1637), Vol. 1, prop. lii, 79. In Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1974), Vol. 9, 318.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (22)  |  Action (57)  |  Animal (143)  |  Automaton (4)  |  Following (12)  |  Impression (32)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Object (47)  |  Sense (104)  |  Spring (17)  |  Weight (41)  |  Wheel (8)


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
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Author Icon
who invites your feedback

Today in Science History

Most Popular

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.
- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton