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 I > Category: Ignorance

Ignorance Quotes (110 quotes)

Dieu, c'est le voile mystérieux sous lequel nous cachons notre ignorance de la cause première.
God is the mysterious veil under which we hide our ignorance of the cause.
In Recueil d'Œuvres de Léo Errera: Botanique Générale (1908), 193. Google translation by Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (122)  |  God (234)  |  Hide (13)  |  Mystery (74)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Veil (6)

A few drops of science will often disinfect an entire barrel full of ignorance and prejudice.
In The Story of America (1921, 1934)
Science quotes on:  |  Barrel (2)  |  Drop (7)  |  Entire (7)  |  Full (10)  |  Prejudice (31)  |  Science (875)

A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.
In Poor Richard's Almanack (1734).
Science quotes on:  |  Greater (16)  |  Learning (130)

A person must have a certain amount of intelligent ignorance to get anywhere.

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.
Editorial comment Peter added under a quotation in his Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Times (1993), 308.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (5)  |  Armor (2)  |  Logic (132)

All science is full of statements where you put your best face on your ignorance, where you say: ... we know awfully little about this, but more or less irrespective of the stuff we don't know about, we can make certain useful deductions.
In Michael Dudley Sturge , Statistical and Thermal Physics (2003), 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Deduction (39)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Science (875)

Any frontal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession: their ignorance.
Quote appears in Henry Wysham Lanier, The Golden Book Magazine (Feb 1933), 17, 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Attack (13)  |  Bound (8)  |  Defend (6)  |  Fail (8)  |  Mass (23)  |  Possession (24)  |  Precious (8)  |  Ready (2)

At Gabriel College there was a very holy object on the high altar of the Oratory, covered with a black velvet cloth... At the height of the invocation the Intercessor lifted the cloth to reveal in the dimness a glass dome inside which there was something too distant to see, until he pulled a string attached to a shutter above, letting a ray of sunlight through to strike the dome exactly. Then it became clear: a little thing like a weathervane, with four sails black on one side and white on the other, began to whirl around as the light struck it. It illustrated a moral lesson, the Intercessor explained, for the black of ignorance fled from the light, whereas the wisdom of white rushed to embrace it.
[Alluding to Crookes's radiometer.]
Northern Lights (2001), 149.
Science quotes on:  |  Black (6)  |  Sir William Crookes (6)  |  Embrace (13)  |  Lesson (14)  |  Light (117)  |  Moral (38)  |  Sail (4)  |  Sunlight (9)  |  White (12)

Attainment is a poor measure of capacity, and ignorance no proof of defect.
From 'The Binet-Simon Scale: Practical Use of the Method', Mental and Scholastic Tests (1921), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Attainment (23)  |  Capacity (15)  |  Defect (8)  |  Measure (12)  |  Poor (18)  |  Proof (136)

Believing, as I do, in the continuity of nature, I cannot stop abruptly where our microscopes cease to be of use. Here the vision of the mind authoritatively supplements the vision of the eye. By a necessity engendered and justified by science I cross the boundary of the experimental evidence, and discern in that Matter which we, in our ignorance of its latent powers, and notwithstanding our professed reverence for its Creator, have hitherto covered with opprobrium, the promise and potency of all terrestrial Life.
'Address Delivered Before The British Association Assembled at Belfast', (19 Aug 1874). Fragments of Science for Unscientific People: A Series of Detached Essays, Lectures, and Reviews (1892), Vol. 2, 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (139)  |  Boundary (10)  |  Cessation (10)  |  Continuity (17)  |  Cover (10)  |  Creator (15)  |  Discerning (3)  |  Engendering (3)  |  Evidence (83)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Eye (67)  |  Hitherto (2)  |  Justification (20)  |  Life (460)  |  Matter (135)  |  Microscope (47)  |  Nature (534)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Notwithstanding (2)  |  Potency (3)  |  Power (103)  |  Promise (13)  |  Reverence (14)  |  Science (875)  |  Stop (25)  |  Supplement (2)  |  Terrestrial (7)  |  Vision (21)

Break the chains of your prejudices and take up the torch of experience, and you will honour nature in the way she deserves, instead of drawing derogatory conclusions from the ignorance in which she has left you. Simply open your eyes and ignore what you cannot understand, and you will see that a labourer whose mind and knowledge extend no further than the edges of his furrow is no different essentially from the greatest genius, as would have been proved by dissecting the brains of Descartes and Newton; you will be convinced that the imbecile or the idiot are animals in human form, in the same way as the clever ape is a little man in another form; and that, since everything depends absolutely on differences in organisation, a well-constructed animal who has learnt astronomy can predict an eclipse, as he can predict recovery or death when his genius and good eyesight have benefited from some time at the school of Hippocrates and at patients' bedsides.
Machine Man (1747), in Ann Thomson (ed.), Machine Man and Other Writings (1996), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Ape (26)  |  Astronomy (105)  |  Death (183)  |  René Descartes (32)  |  Eclipse (11)  |  Experience (132)  |  Genius (92)  |  Hippocrates (37)  |  Idiot (10)  |  Imbecile (3)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Mind (272)  |  Nature (534)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (176)  |  Patient (54)  |  Prejudice (31)  |  Recovery (8)

Certainty is the most vivid condition of ignorance and the most necessay condition for knowledge.
Quotations: Superultramodern Science and Philosophy (2005), 2
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (59)  |  Condition (68)  |  Knowledge (679)

Chance ... must be something more than the name we give to our ignorance.
In Science and Method (1908) translated by Francis Maitland (1914, 2007), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  Chance (77)  |  Definition (86)

Each of us has read somewhere that in New Guinea pidgin the word for 'piano' is (I use English spelling) 'this fellow you hit teeth belonging to him he squeal all same pig'. I am inclined to doubt whether this expression is authentic; it looks just like the kind of thing a visitor to the Islands would facetiously invent. But I accept 'cut grass belong head belong me' for 'haircut' as genuine... Such phrases seem very funny to us, and make us feel very superior to the ignorant foreigners who use long winded expressions for simple matters. And then it is our turn to name quite a simple thing, a small uncomplicated molecule consisting of nothing more than a measly 11 carbons, seven hydrogens, one nitrogen and six oxygens. We sharpen our pencils, consult our rule books and at last come up with 3-[(1, 3- dihydro-1, 3-dioxo-2H-isoindol-2-yl) oxy]-3-oxopropanoic acid. A name like that could drive any self-respecting Papuan to piano-playing.
The Chemist's English (1990), 3rd Edition, 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (100)  |  Carbon (28)  |  Complication (16)  |  Expression (44)  |  Funny (4)  |  Hydrogen (25)  |  Invention (174)  |  Matter (135)  |  Molecule (82)  |  Name (58)  |  Oxygen (34)  |  Piano (6)  |  Rule (52)  |  Simple (25)

For between true Science, and erroneous Doctrines, Ignorance is in the middle. Naturall sense and imagination, are not subject to absurdity. Nature it selfe cannot erre: and as men abound in copiousnesses of language; so they become more wise, or more mad than ordinary. Nor is it possible without Letters for any man to become either excellently wise, or (unless his memory be hurt by disease, or ill constitution of organs) excellently foolish. For words are wise men's counters, they do but reckon by them; but they are the money of fools that value them by the authority of an Aristotle, a Cicero, or a Thomas, or any other Doctor whatsoever, if but a man.
Leviathan (1651), ed. C. B. Macpherson (1968), Part 1, Chapter 4, 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Saint Thomas Aquinas (10)  |  Aristotle (101)  |  Marcus Tullius Cicero (24)  |  Science (875)  |  Wisdom (91)

Godless science reads nature only as Milton's daughters did Hebrew, rightly syllabling the sentences, but utterly ignorant of the meaning.
Lecture, 'The Blessed Life', collected in Lectures Delivered Before the Young Men's Christian Association (1861), Vol. 16, 347.
Science quotes on:  |  Daughter (7)  |  Meaning (52)  |  John Milton (10)  |  Nature (534)  |  Sentence (10)

I admitted, that the world had existed millions of years. I am astonished at the ignorance of the masses on these subjects. Hugh Miller has it right when he says that 'the battle of evidences must now be fought on the field of the natural sciences.'
Letter to Burke A. Hinsdale, president of Hiram College (10 Jan 1859), commenting on the audience at Garfield's debate with William Denton. Quoted in John Clark Ridpath, The Life and Work of James A. Garfield (1881), 80.
Science quotes on:  |  Age Of The Earth (10)  |  Evidence (83)  |  Geology (145)  |  Hugh Miller (14)  |  Natural Science (29)

I am told that the wall paintings which we had the happiness of admiring in all their beauty and freshness [in the chapel she discovered at Abu Simbel] are already much injured. Such is the fate of every Egyptian monument, great or small. The tourist carves it over with names and dates, and in some instances with caricatures. The student of Egyptology, by taking wet paper “squeezes” sponges away every vestige of the original colour. The “Collector” buys and carries off everything of value that he can, and the Arab steals it for him. The work of destruction, meanwhile goes on apace. The Museums of Berlin, of Turin, of Florence are rich in spoils which tell their lamentable tale. When science leads the way, is it wonderful that ignorance should follow?
Quoted in Margaret S. Drower, The Early Years, in T.G.H. James, (ed.), Excavating in Egypt: The Egypt Exploration Society, 1882-1982 (1982), 10. As cited in Wendy M.K. Shaw, Possessors and Possessed: Museums, Archaeology, and the Visualization of History in the Late Ottoman Empire (2003), 37. Also quoted in Margaret S. Drower, Flinders Petrie: A Life in Archaeology (1995), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (88)  |  Berlin (3)  |  Buy (8)  |  Caricature (3)  |  Carry (7)  |  Colour (32)  |  Date (4)  |  Destruction (52)  |  Egypt (12)  |  Egyptology (2)  |  Fate (16)  |  Follow (20)  |  Freshness (4)  |  Instance (7)  |  Lamentable (2)  |  Lead (33)  |  Monument (13)  |  Museum (15)  |  Name (58)  |  Original (13)  |  Painting (17)  |  Science (875)  |  Sponge (2)  |  Student (54)  |  Tale (6)  |  Value (63)  |  Wonderful (9)

I had a dislike for [mathematics], and ... was hopelessly short in algebra. ... [One extraordinary teacher of mathematics] got the whole year's course into me in exactly six [after-school] lessons of half an hour each. And how? More accurately, why? Simply because he was an algebra fanatic—because he believed that algebra was not only a science of the utmost importance, but also one of the greatest fascination. ... [H]e convinced me in twenty minutes that ignorance of algebra was as calamitous, socially and intellectually, as ignorance of table manners—That acquiring its elements was as necessary as washing behind the ears. So I fell upon the book and gulped it voraciously. ... To this day I comprehend the binomial theorem.
In Prejudices: third series (1922), 261-262.
For a longer excerpt, see H. L. Mencken's Recollections of School Algebra.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquisition (21)  |  Algebra (21)  |  Binomial (2)  |  Book (100)  |  Calamity (4)  |  Comprehension (30)  |  Convincing (6)  |  Course (25)  |  Ear (9)  |  Extraordinary (18)  |  Fanatic (2)  |  Fascination (15)  |  Greatest (23)  |  Half (9)  |  Hopelessness (3)  |  Hour (13)  |  How (3)  |  Importance (106)  |  Intellect (99)  |  Lesson (14)  |  Manners (3)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Minute (6)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Society (84)  |  Table (8)  |  Teacher (54)  |  Theorem (34)  |  Utmost (5)  |  Washing (3)  |  Whole (46)  |  Why (6)  |  Year (69)

I have a sense of humor; but over the years that sense has developed one blind spot. I can no longer laugh at ignorance or stupidity. Those are our chief enemies, and it is dangerous to make fun of them.
Draft (22 May 1970) of speech he hoped to give upon his retirement. In Susan Hough, Richter's Scale: Measure of an Earthquake, Measure of a Man (2007), 309.
Science quotes on:  |  Chief (9)  |  Dangerous (11)  |  Develop (11)  |  Enemy (26)  |  Fun (15)  |  Laugh (8)  |  Sense (104)  |  Stupidity (14)

If I had my life to live over again I would not devote it to develop new industrial processes: I would try to add my humble efforts to use Science to the betterment of the human race.
I despair of the helter-skelter methods of our vaulted homo sapiens, misguided by his ignorance and his politicians. If we continue our ways, there is every possibility that the human race may follow the road of former living races of animals whose fossils proclaim that they were not fit to continue. Religion, laws and morals is not enough. We need more. Science can help us.
Letter to a friend (14 Jan 1934). In Savage Grace (1985, 2007), 62.
Science quotes on:  |  Betterment (3)  |  Despair (13)  |  Devotion (12)  |  Effort (40)  |  Extinction (38)  |  Fossil (73)  |  Help (18)  |  Homo Sapiens (11)  |  Human Race (29)  |  Humility (12)  |  Industry (49)  |  Law (273)  |  Life (460)  |  Method (73)  |  Misguiding (2)  |  Need (57)  |  Politician (12)  |  Process (97)  |  Religion (120)  |  Science (875)

If ignorance of nature gave birth to the Gods, knowledge of nature is destined to destroy them.
Systéme de la Nature (1770), Part 2, Chapter 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Nature (534)

Ignorance and credulous hope make the market for most proprietary remedies.
'The Subtle Poisons,' Collier’s Weekly (2 Dec 1905). Reprinted in The Great American Fraud (1907), 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Medicine (185)

Ignorance may find a truth on its doorstep that erudition vainly seeks in the stars.
From chapter 'Jottings from a Note-book', in Canadian Stories (1918), 168.
Science quotes on:  |  Erudition (2)  |  Find (50)  |  Seek (15)  |  Star (132)  |  Truth (450)  |  Vainly (2)

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
The Descent of Man (1871), Vol. 1, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Problem (180)

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
In The Roving Mind (1983), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (139)  |  Bible (43)  |  Bitter (6)  |  Childish (3)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Feeble (2)  |  Guide (17)  |  Home (19)  |  Leader (8)  |  Library (22)  |  Resent (2)  |  School (36)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Uneducated (2)

In its earliest development knowledge is self-sown. Impressions force themselves upon men’s senses whether they will or not, and often against their will. The amount of interest in which these impressions awaken is determined by the coarser pains and pleasures which they carry in their train or by mere curiosity; and reason deals with the materials supplied to it as far as that interest carries it, and no further. Such common knowledge is rather brought than sought; and such ratiocination is little more than the working of a blind intellectual instinct. It is only when the mind passes beyond this condition that it begins to evolve science. When simple curiosity passes into the love of knowledge as such, and the gratification of the æsthetic sense of the beauty of completeness and accuracy seems more desirable that the easy indolence of ignorance; when the finding out of the causes of things becomes a source of joy, and he is accounted happy who is successful in the search, common knowledge passes into what our forefathers called natural history, whence there is but a step to that which used to be termed natural philosophy, and now passes by the name of physical science.
In this final state of knowledge the phenomena of nature are regarded as one continuous series of causes and effects; and the ultimate object of science is to trace out that series, from the term which is nearest to us, to that which is at the farthest limit accessible to our means of investigation.
The course of nature as it is, as it has been, and as it will be, is the object of scientific inquiry; whatever lies beyond, above, or below this is outside science. But the philosopher need not despair at the limitation on his field of labor; in relation to the human mind Nature is boundless; and, though nowhere inaccessible, she is everywhere unfathomable.
The Crayfish: an Introduction to the Study of Zoölogy (1880), 2-3. Excerpted in Popular Science (Apr 1880), 16, 789-790.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (34)  |  Aesthetic (10)  |  Beauty (88)  |  Boundless (6)  |  Cause (122)  |  Cause And Effect (4)  |  Completeness (9)  |  Continuity (17)  |  Curiosity (52)  |  Determination (37)  |  Development (122)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Finding (19)  |  Forefather (2)  |  Gratification (8)  |  Happiness (58)  |  Human Mind (21)  |  Impression (32)  |  Indolence (5)  |  Inquiry (14)  |  Instinct (24)  |  Intellect (99)  |  Interest (82)  |  Investigation (83)  |  Joy (25)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Labour (27)  |  Limitation (10)  |  Mind (272)  |  Natural History (23)  |  Nature (534)  |  Pain (49)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Philosophy (132)  |  Physical Science (32)  |  Pleasure (52)  |  Ratiocination (2)  |  Reason (173)  |  Sense (104)  |  Series (18)  |  Term (34)  |  Tracing (2)  |  Unfathomable (2)  |  Will (22)

In those parts of the world where learning and science has prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue.
In Reason, the Only Oracle of Man (1836), 46.
Science quotes on:  |  Barbarous (2)  |  Learning (130)  |  Miracle (25)  |  Prevail (4)  |  Science (875)  |  World (231)

Innovations, free thinking is blowing like a storm; those that stand in front of it, ignorant scholars like you, false scientists, perverse conservatives, obstinate goats, resisting mules are being crushed under the weight of these innovations. You are nothing but ants standing in front of the giants; nothing but chicks trying to challenge roaring volcanoes!
From the play Galileo Galilei (2001) .
Science quotes on:  |  Ant (10)  |  Chicken (2)  |  Conservative (3)  |  False (29)  |  Giant (15)  |  Goat (2)  |  Innovation (28)  |  Obstinate (2)  |  Scholar (19)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Storm (13)  |  Thinking (166)  |  Volcano (24)

It is almost as difficult to make a man unlearn his errors, as his knowledge. Mal-information is more hopeless than non-information: for error is always more busy than ignorance. Ignorance is a blank sheet on which we may write; but error is a scribbled one on which we first erase. Ignorance is contented to stand still with her back to the truth; but error is more presumptuous, and proceeds, in the same direction. Ignorance has no light, but error follows a false one. The consequence is, that error, when she retraces her footsteps, has farther to go, before we can arrive at the truth, than ignorance.
Reflection 1, in Lacon: or Many things in Few Words; Addressed to Those Who Think (1820), Vol. 1, 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (152)  |  Knowledge (679)

It is imperative in the design process to have a full and complete understanding of how failure is being obviated in order to achieve success. Without fully appreciating how close to failing a new design is, its own designer may not fully understand how and why a design works. A new design may prove to be successful because it has a sufficiently large factor of safety (which, of course, has often rightly been called a “factor of ignorance”), but a design's true factor of safety can never be known if the ultimate failure mode is unknown. Thus the design that succeeds (ie, does not fail) can actually provide less reliable information about how or how not to extrapolate from that design than one that fails. It is this observation that has long motivated reflective designers to study failures even more assiduously than successes.
In Design Paradigms: Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering (1994), 31. books.google.comHenry Petroski - 1994
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (73)  |  Appreciation (12)  |  Complete (13)  |  Design (37)  |  Extrapolation (3)  |  Factor (15)  |  Failure (58)  |  Imperative (3)  |  Information (56)  |  Large (22)  |  Mode (8)  |  Motivation (16)  |  Observation (264)  |  Process (97)  |  Reflection (26)  |  Reliability (9)  |  Safety (22)  |  Study (157)  |  Success (114)  |  Sufficiency (13)  |  Ultimate (27)  |  Understanding (231)  |  Unknown (40)

It is not so bad being ignorant if you are totally ignorant; the hard thing is knowing in some detail the reality of ignorance...
In The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher (1974, 1979), 74.
Science quotes on:  |  Bad (21)  |  Detail (33)  |  Hard (18)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Reality (67)  |  Thing (27)  |  Total (13)

It is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in and settleth in it, that doth the hurt.
'Essays or Counsels: Civil and Moral. I. Of Truth'. In Francis Bacon, James Spedding, The Works of Francis Bacon (1864), Vol. 6, 378.
Science quotes on:  |  Hurt (6)  |  Lie (23)  |  Mind (272)  |  Pass (20)  |  Settle (4)  |  Sink (6)

It is the inefficiency and sham of ... our schools ... that save us from being dashed on the rocks of false doctrine instead of drifting down the midstream of mere ignorance.
Back to Methuselah: A Metabiological Pentateuch‎ (1921), xiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Doctrine (33)  |  School (36)

It is, however, a most astonishing but incontestable fact, that the history of the evolution of man as yet constitutes no part of general education. Indeed, our so-called “educated classes" are to this day in total ignorance of the most important circumstances and the most remarkable phenomena which Anthropogeny has brought to light.
From Oliver Joseph Thatcher, The Library Of Original Sources (1907), 345.
Science quotes on:  |  Astonishment (14)  |  Circumstance (25)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Fact (325)  |  History (156)  |  Importance (106)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Remarkable (14)

It may be observed of mathematicians that they only meddle with such things as are certain, passing by those that are doubtful and unknown. They profess not to know all things, neither do they affect to speak of all things. What they know to be true, and can make good by invincible arguments, that they publish and insert among their theorems. Of other things they are silent and pass no judgment at all, chusing [choosing] rather to acknowledge their ignorance, than affirm anything rashly. They affirm nothing among their arguments or assertions which is not most manifestly known and examined with utmost rigour, rejecting all probable conjectures and little witticisms. They submit nothing to authority, indulge no affection, detest subterfuges of words, and declare their sentiments, as in a Court of Judicature [Justice], without passion, without apology; knowing that their reasons, as Seneca testifies of them, are not brought to persuade, but to compel.
Mathematical Lectures (1734), 64.
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledge (5)  |  Affection (8)  |  Apology (2)  |  Argument (26)  |  Authority (24)  |  Certain (14)  |  Choose (6)  |  Confirm (2)  |  Conjecture (15)  |  Court (6)  |  Declare (5)  |  Detest (3)  |  Doubt (67)  |  Indulge (5)  |  Invincible (2)  |  Judgment (39)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (2)  |  Passion (24)  |  Persuade (3)  |  Probable (6)  |  Profess (2)  |  Publish (4)  |  Rashly (2)  |  Reason (173)  |  Reject (7)  |  Rigour (9)  |  Seneca (2)  |  Sentiment (4)  |  Silent (3)  |  Submit (3)  |  Theorem (34)  |  Truth (450)  |  Unknown (40)  |  Word (97)

It was a reaction from the old idea of “protoplasm”, a name which was a mere repository of ignorance.
Perspectives in Biochemistry (1938). As cited in Max Perutz, I Wish I'd Made You Angry Earlier: Essays on Science, Scientists, and Humanity (1998).
Science quotes on:  |  Idea (226)  |  Name (58)  |  Nomenclature (102)  |  Protoplasm (7)  |  Reaction (48)

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
In doubt his Mind or Body to prefer,
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
... Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal Man unfold all Nature's law,
Admir'd such wisdom in an earthly shape,
And shew'd a NEWTON as we shew an Ape.
'An Essay on Man' (1733-4), Epistle II. In John Butt (ed.), The Poems of Alexander Pope (1965), 516-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Abuse (3)  |  Admiration (23)  |  Ape (26)  |  Beast (14)  |  Being (34)  |  Birth (47)  |  Body (88)  |  Chaos (33)  |  Confusion (22)  |  Creation (129)  |  Death (183)  |  Error (152)  |  Fall (30)  |  Glory (20)  |  God (234)  |  Isthmus (2)  |  Jest (3)  |  Judge (14)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Law (273)  |  Lord (4)  |  Man (258)  |  Mankind (111)  |  Mind (272)  |  Mortal (6)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (176)  |  Passion (24)  |  Preference (15)  |  Prey (6)  |  Pride (21)  |  Reason (173)  |  Riddle (8)  |  Rise (14)  |  Sceptic (3)  |  Shape (20)  |  Show (13)  |  Study (157)  |  Superiority (6)  |  Thinking (166)  |  Thought (170)  |  Truth (450)  |  Weakness (14)  |  Wisdom (91)  |  World (231)

Knowledge is not happiness, and science
But an exchange of ignorance for that
Which is another kind of ignorance.
Manfred (1816), Act 2, Scene 4. In George Gordon Byron and Thomas Moore, The Works of Lord Byron (1837), 333.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Science (875)

Knowledge of physical science will not console me for ignorance of morality in time of affliction, but knowledge of morality will always console me for ignorance of physical science.
Pensées (1670), No. 23, translated by A. J. Krailsheimer (1995), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Affliction (4)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Morality (19)  |  Physical Science (32)  |  Time (170)

Let no-one ignorant of geometry enter. Said to have been inscribed above the door of Plato's Academy.
Plato
A. S. Riginos, Platonica: the Anecdotes concerning the Life and Writings of Plato (1976), 38-40.
Science quotes on:  |  Academy (7)  |  Entrance (4)  |  Geometry (68)  |  Inscription (7)

Mankind have been slow to believe that order reigns in the universe—that the world is a cosmos and a chaos.
… The divinities of heathen superstition still linger in one form or another in the faith of the ignorant, and even intelligent men shrink from the contemplation of one supreme will acting regularly, not fortuitously, through laws beautiful and simple rather than through a fitful and capricious system of intervention.
... The scientific spirit has cast out the demons, and presented us with nature clothed in her right mind and living under the reign of law. It has given us, for the sorceries of the alchemist, the beautiful laws of chemistry; for the dreams of the astrologer, the sublime truths of astronomy; for the wild visions of cosmogony, the monumental records of geology; for the anarchy of diabolism, the laws of God.
Speech (16 Dec 1867) given while a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, introducing resolution for the appointment of a committee to examine the necessities for legislation upon the subject of the ninth census to be taken the following year. Quoted in John Clark Ridpath, The Life and Work of James A. Garfield (1881), 216.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (17)  |  Astrology (19)  |  Astronomy (105)  |  Chaos (33)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Cosmogony (3)  |  Cosmos (23)  |  Faith (73)  |  Geology (145)  |  God (234)  |  Intelligence (76)  |  Law (273)  |  Mankind (111)  |  Order (60)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Superstition (33)  |  Universe (291)

Not to destroy but to construct,
I hold the unconquerable belief
that science and peace will triumph over ignorance and war
that nations will come together
not to destroy but to construct
and that the future belongs to those
who accomplish most for humanity.
[His 1956 Christmas card.]
In Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1980), 366-367. The card used a variant of Louis Pasteur's earlier remark in 1892 (q.v.)
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (25)  |  Belief (139)  |  Belonging (8)  |  Construction (36)  |  Destruction (52)  |  Future (110)  |  Humanity (46)  |  Peace (23)  |  Science (875)  |  Triumph (21)  |  War (79)

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.
The Education of Henry Adams (1907, 1918), 379.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (16)  |  Astonishment (14)  |  Education (177)  |  Fact (325)  |  Inert (2)  |  Nothing (89)

Of all the frictional resistances, the one that most retards human movement is ignorance, what Buddha called 'the greatest evil in the world.' The friction which results from ignorance ... can be reduced only by the spread of knowledge and the unification of the heterogeneous elements of humanity. No effort could be better spent.
'The Problem of Increasing Human Energy', The Century (Jun 1900), 211. Collected in The Century (1900), Vol. 60, 211
Science quotes on:  |  Buddha_Gautama (2)  |  Effort (40)  |  Evil (31)  |  Human (168)  |  Humanity (46)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Movement (31)  |  Reduction (22)  |  Resistance (14)  |  Retardation (4)  |  Spread (7)  |  Unification (5)

Of power does Man possess no particle:
Of knowledge—just so much as show that still
It ends in ignorance on every side…
'With Francis Furini', The Complete Poetic and Dramatic Works of Robert Browning (1895), 967.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)

One of the largest promises of science is, that the sum of human happiness will be increased, ignorance destroyed, and, with ignorance, prejudice and superstition, and that great truth taught to all, that this world and all it contains were meant for our use and service; and that where nature by her own laws has defined the limits of original unfitness, science may by extract so modify those limits as to render wholesome that which by natural wildness was hurtful, and nutritious that which by natural poverty was unnourishing. We do not yet know half that chemistry may do by way of increasing our food.
Anonymous
'Common Cookery'. Household Words (26 Jan 1856), 13, 45. An English weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Food (77)  |  Happiness (58)  |  Poverty (21)  |  Prejudice (31)  |  Promise (13)  |  Science (875)  |  Superstition (33)  |  Truth (450)  |  Wholesome (4)

One only passes from the darkness of ignorance to the enlightenment of science if one re-reads with ever-increasing love the works of the ancients. Let the dogs bark, let the pigs grunt! I will nonetheless be a disciple of the ancients. All my care will be for them and the dawn will see me studying them.
In Le Goff, Les Intellectuels ou moyen age (1957), 14
Science quotes on:  |  Science (875)

Our ignorance is God; what we know is science. When we abandon the doctrine that some infinite being created matter and force, and enacted a code of laws for their government ... the real priest will then be, not the mouth-piece of some pretended deity, but the interpreter of nature.
In The Gods, and Other Lectures, (1874), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (13)  |  Being (34)  |  Code (8)  |  Creation (129)  |  Deity (6)  |  Doctrine (33)  |  Force (75)  |  God (234)  |  Government (50)  |  Infinite (39)  |  Interpreter (2)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Law (273)  |  Matter (135)  |  Nature (534)  |  Pretence (2)  |  Priest (8)  |  Real (28)  |  Science (875)

Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.
Essy, 'On the Sources of Knowledge and of Ignorance', in Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (1962), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Finite (13)  |  Infinite (39)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Necessarily (2)

People are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.
In Dr. N Sreedharan, Quotations of Wit and Wisdom (2007), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (177)

Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence—by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantry, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the heartless strife of commercial existence. ... So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combatted, suppressed—only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.
'The Transmission of Electrical Energy Without Wires As a Means for Furthering Peace', Electrical World and Engineer (7 Jan 1905), 24. Reproduced in John T. Ratzlaff, editor, Tesla Said (1984), 86. Also reprinted in Nikola Tesla, Miscellaneous Writings (2007), 58.
Science quotes on:  |  Attack (13)  |  Bitter (6)  |  Commercial (10)  |  Condemnation (8)  |  Emerge (4)  |  Existence (150)  |  Help (18)  |  Idea (226)  |  Invention (174)  |  Pedantry (2)  |  Revolutionary (6)  |  Ridicule (9)  |  Selfishness (3)  |  Strife (5)  |  Struggle (18)  |  Stupidity (14)  |  Trial (14)  |  Triumph (21)

Scholars are frequently to be met with who are ignorant of nothing saving their own ignorance.
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 382:11.
Science quotes on:  |  Scholar (19)

Science ... in other words, knowledge—is not the enemy of religion; for, if so, then religion would mean ignorance. But it is often the antagonist of school-divinity.
'The Professor at the Breakfast Table', The Writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes (1859, 1891), Vol. 2, 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Science And Religion (159)

Science begets knowledge; opinion, ignorance.
In Fielding Hudson Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine (1929), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Science (875)

Science is being daily more and more personified and anthromorphized into a god. By and by they will say that science took our nature upon him, and sent down his only begotten son, Charles Darwin, or Huxley, into the world so that those who believe in him, &c.; and they will burn people for saying that science, after all, is only an expression for our ignorance of our own ignorance.
Samuel Butler, Henry Festing Jones (ed.), The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1917), 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Charles Darwin (216)  |  Thomas Henry Huxley (77)  |  Nature (534)  |  Science (875)

Science is the topography of ignorance. From a few elevated points we triangulate vast spaces, inclosing infinite unknown details. We cast the lead, and draw up a little sand from abysses we may never reach with our dredges.
'Border Lines of Knowledge in Some Provinces of Medical Science', an introductory lecture to the Medical Class of Harvard University (6 Nov 1861). In Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes (1892), 211.
Science quotes on:  |  Research (360)  |  Science (875)

Scientific training gives its votaries freedom from the impositions of modern quackery. Those who know nothing of the laws and processes of Nature fall an easy prey to quacks and impostors. Perfectionism in the realm of religion; a score of frauds in the realm of medicine, as electric shoe soles, hair brushes and belts, electropises, oxydonors, insulating bed casters, and the like; Christian science. In the presence of whose unspeakable stillness and self-stultifying idealism a wise man knows not whether to laugh or cry; Prof. Weltmer's magnetic treatment of disease; divine healing and miracle working by long-haired peripatetics—these and a score of other contagious fads and rank impostures find their followers among those who have no scientific training. Among their deluded victims are thousands of men and women of high character, undoubted piety, good intentions, charitable impulses and literary culture, but none trained to scientific research. Vaccinate the general public with scientific training and these epidemics will become a thing of the past.
As quoted by S.D. Van Meter, Chairman, closing remarks for 'Report of Committee on Public Policy and Legislation', to the Colorado State Medical Society in Denver, printed in Colorado Medicine (Oct 1904), 1, No. 12, 363. Van Meter used the quote following his statement, “In conclusion, allow me to urge once more the necessity of education of the public as well as the profession if we ever expect to correct the evils we are striving to reach by State and Society legislation. Much can be accomplished toward this end by the publication of well edited articles in the secular press upon medical subjects the public is eager to know about.” Prof. Weitmer is presumably Sidney A. Weltmer, founder of The Weltmer Institute of Suggestive Therapeutics, who offered a Course in Magnetic Healing by mail order correspondance (1899).
Science quotes on:  |  Bed (8)  |  Belt (2)  |  Brush (3)  |  Character (39)  |  Charity (6)  |  Christian (5)  |  Contagious (3)  |  Cry (4)  |  Culture (44)  |  Disease (170)  |  Divine (17)  |  Eager (4)  |  Education (177)  |  Electricity (82)  |  Epidemic (5)  |  Fad (3)  |  Follower (4)  |  Fraud (6)  |  Freedom (41)  |  Hair (9)  |  Healing (12)  |  Idealism (2)  |  Imposition (2)  |  Impulse (12)  |  Intelligent Design (4)  |  Laugh (8)  |  Law (273)  |  Literary (3)  |  Magnetic (2)  |  Medicine (185)  |  Miracle (25)  |  Modern (44)  |  Nature (534)  |  Past (42)  |  Perfectionism (2)  |  Piety (2)  |  Presence (10)  |  Prey (6)  |  Process (97)  |  Quack (9)  |  Realm (16)  |  Religion (120)  |  Research (360)  |  Science (875)  |  Scientific (55)  |  Scientific Method (101)  |  Shoe (5)  |  Sole (4)  |  Stillness (3)  |  Thousand (32)  |  Training (21)  |  Treatment (61)  |  Victim (2)  |  Wise (11)  |  Woman (36)  |  Work (198)

Some writers, rejecting the idea which science had reached, that reefs of rocks could be due in any way to “animalcules,” have talked of electrical forces, the first and last appeal of ignorance.
In Corals and Coral Islands (1879), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Animalcule (8)  |  Appeal (8)  |  Electricity (82)  |  First (42)  |  Force (75)  |  Idea (226)  |  Last (13)  |  Reach (30)  |  Reef (3)  |  Rejection (16)  |  Rock (54)  |  Science (875)  |  Talk (21)  |  Writer (14)

Statistics has been the handmaid of science, and has poured a flood of light upon the dark questions of famine and pestilence, ignorance and crime, disease and death.
Speech (16 Dec 1867) given while a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, introducing resolution for the appointment of a committee to examine the necessities for legislation upon the subject of the ninth census to be taken the following year. Quoted in John Clark Ridpath, The Life and Work of James A. Garfield (1881), 216.
Science quotes on:  |  Crime (11)  |  Death (183)  |  Disease (170)  |  Famine (5)  |  Pestilence (6)  |  Statistics (82)

Statistics, one may hope, will improve gradually, and become good for something. Meanwhile, it is to be feared the crabbed satirist was partly right, as things go: “A judicious man,” says he, “looks at Statistics, not to get knowledge, but to save himself from having ignorance foisted on him.”
Chartism (1839, 1847), 311.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Statistics (82)

Suppose it were perfectly certain that the life and fortune of every one of us would, one day or other, depend upon his winning or losing a game of chess. Don't you think that we should all consider it to be a primary duty to learn at least the names and the moves of the pieces; to have a notion of a gambit, and a keen eye for all the means of giving and getting out of check? Do you not think that we should look with a disapprobation amounting to scorn upon the father who allowed his son, or the state which allowed its members, to grow up without knowing a pawn from a knight?
Yet, it is a very plain and elementary truth that the life, the fortune, and the happiness of every one of us, and, more or less, of those who are connected with us, do depend upon our knowing something of the rules of a game infinitely more difficult and complicated than chess. It is a game which has been played for untold ages, every man and woman of us being one of the two players in a game of his or her own. The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, just, and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance. To the man who plays well the highest stakes are paid with that sort of overflowing generosity with which the strong shows delight in strength. And one who plays ill is checkmated—without haste, but without remorse.
Address to the South London Working Men's College. 'A Liberal Education; and Where to Find It', in David Masson, (ed.), Macmillan's Magazine (Mar 1868), 17, 369.
Science quotes on:  |  Allowance (2)  |  Certainty (59)  |  Check (7)  |  Checkmate (2)  |  Chess (13)  |  Complication (16)  |  Delight (22)  |  Dependence (21)  |  Difficulty (76)  |  Father (17)  |  Fortune (15)  |  Game (28)  |  Generosity (3)  |  Happiness (58)  |  Haste (3)  |  Ill (7)  |  Infinity (44)  |  Knight (2)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Law (273)  |  Learning (130)  |  Life (460)  |  Loss (44)  |  Mankind (111)  |  Member (9)  |  Mistake (40)  |  Move (10)  |  Name (58)  |  Nature (534)  |  Notion (15)  |  Payment (4)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Player (3)  |  Rule (52)  |  Scorn (3)  |  Son (6)  |  Stake (7)  |  State (43)  |  Strength (25)  |  Truth (450)  |  Universe (291)  |  Win (8)  |  World (231)

Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know—and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know—even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction—than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too.
Widely seen on the Web, but always without citation, so regard attribution as uncertain. Webmaster has not yet found reliable verification. Contact Webmaster if you know a primary print source.
Science quotes on:  |  Achilles (2)  |  Choice (40)  |  Comprehension (30)  |  Control (41)  |  Destroy (15)  |  Destruction (52)  |  Dull (12)  |  Endure (6)  |  Eternal (14)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Learn (23)  |  Learning (130)  |  Life (460)  |  Universe (291)  |  Unseen (4)  |  Wisdom (91)  |  Wonder (64)

That the fundamental aspects of heredity should have turned out to be so extraordinarily simple supports us in the hope that nature may, after all, be entirely approachable. Her much-advertised inscrutability has once more been found to be an illusion due to our ignorance. This is encouraging, for, if the world in which we live were as complicated as some of our friends would have us believe we might well despair that biology could ever become an exact science.
The Physical Basis of Heredity (1919), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (83)  |  Complication (16)  |  Despair (13)  |  Exact (16)  |  Heredity (43)  |  Illusion (14)  |  Inscrutability (2)  |  Simplicity (92)

The Archetypal idea was manifested in the flesh, under divers such modifications, upon this planet, long prior to the existence of those animal species that actually exemplify it. To what natural laws or secondary causes the orderly succession and progression of such organic phaenomena may have been committed we as yet are ignorant. But if, without derogation of the Divine power, we may conceive the existence of such ministers, and personify them by the term 'Nature,' we learn from the past history of our globe that she has advanced with slow and stately steps, guided by the archetypal light, amidst the wreck of worlds, from the first embodiment of the Vertebrate idea under its old Ichthyic vestment, until it became arrayed in the glorious garb of the Human form.
On the Nature of Limbs (1849), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (26)  |  Animal (143)  |  Archetype (3)  |  Array (3)  |  Cause (122)  |  Commitment (8)  |  Conception (29)  |  Divine (17)  |  Embodiment (2)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Example (21)  |  Existence (150)  |  Globe (20)  |  Glory (20)  |  History (156)  |  Human (168)  |  Idea (226)  |  Learning (130)  |  Manifestation (21)  |  Minister (4)  |  Natural Law (7)  |  Nature (534)  |  Orderly (2)  |  Organic (19)  |  Past (42)  |  Personification (3)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Progression (8)  |  Secondary (6)  |  Slow (7)  |  Species (96)  |  Stately (4)  |  Step (26)  |  Succession (30)  |  Term (34)  |  Vertebrate (11)  |  Wreck (3)

The difference between myth and science is the difference between divine inspiration of 'unaided reason' (as Bertrand Russell put it) on the one hand and theories developed in observational contact with the real world on the other. It is the difference between the belief in prophets and critical thinking, between Credo quia absurdum (I believe because it is absurd–Tertullian) and De omnibus est dubitandum (Everything should be questioned–Descartes). To try to write a grand cosmical drama leads necessarily to myth. To try to let knowledge substitute ignorance in increasingly large regions of space and time is science.
In 'Cosmology: Myth or Science?'. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy (1984), 5, 79-98.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (139)  |  Contact (12)  |  Cosmology (11)  |  René Descartes (32)  |  Difference (135)  |  Divine (17)  |  Drama (4)  |  Inspiration (30)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Myth (24)  |  Observation (264)  |  Prophet (3)  |  Question (159)  |  Real (28)  |  Reason (173)  |  Bertrand Russell (84)  |  Science (875)  |  Space And Time (4)  |  Substitute (10)  |  Theory (353)  |  Thinking (166)  |  World (231)  |  Write (21)

The fear of meeting the opposition of envy, or the illiberality of ignorance is, no doubt, the frequent cause of preventing many ingenious men from ushering opinions into the world which deviate from common practice. Hence for want of energy, the young idea is shackled with timidity and a useful thought is buried in the impenetrable gloom of eternal oblivion.
A Treatise on the Improvement of Canal Navigation (1796), preface, ix.
Science quotes on:  |  Bury (2)  |  Cause (122)  |  Common (44)  |  Deviation (8)  |  Energy (103)  |  Envy (7)  |  Fear (53)  |  Gloom (5)  |  Idea (226)  |  Impenetrable (4)  |  Ingenuity (16)  |  Meeting (11)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Opposition (22)  |  Practice (26)  |  Prevention (26)  |  Shackle (2)  |  Thought (170)  |  Timidity (3)  |  Usefulness (54)

The first thing the reasonable man must do is to be content with a very little knowledge and a very great deal of ignorance. The second thing he must do is to make the utmost possible use of the knowledge he has and not waste his energy crying for the moon. The third thing he must do is try and see clearly where his knowledge ends and his ignorance begins.
Scientific Method: An Inquiry into the Character and Validy of Natural Law (1923), 177.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)

The great obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge.
The Discoverers (1985), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Continent (22)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Earth (250)  |  Illusion (14)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Obstacle (9)  |  Ocean (56)  |  Shape (20)

The greatest achievements in the science of this [twentieth] century are themselves the sources of more puzzlement than human beings have ever experienced. Indeed, it is likely that the twentieth century will be looked back at as the time when science provided the first close glimpse of the profundity of human ignorance. We have not reached solutions; we have only begun to discover how to ask questions.
In 'On Science and Certainty', Discover Magazine (Oct 1980).
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (11)  |  Achievement (73)  |  Asking (18)  |  Beginning (71)  |  Discover (16)  |  Experience (132)  |  Glimpse (3)  |  Greatest (23)  |  Human Being (16)  |  Profundity (2)  |  Question (159)  |  Science (875)  |  Solution (109)  |  Source (33)

The greatest Inventions were produced in Times of Ignorance; as the Use of the Compass, Gunpowder, and Printing; and by the dullest Nation, as the Germans.
In 'Thoughts On Various Subjects' (1727), collected in The Works of Jonathan Swift (1746), Vol. 1, 309.
Science quotes on:  |  Compass (13)  |  Dullness (4)  |  Germany (7)  |  Gunpowder (8)  |  Invention (174)  |  Nation (47)  |  Printing (7)  |  Time (170)

The highest reach of human science is the recognition of human ignorance.
Hialmer Day Gould and Edward Louis Hessenmueller, Best Thoughts of Best Thinkers (1904), 330.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (875)

The intensity and quantity of polemical literature on scientific problems frequently varies inversely as the number of direct observations on which the discussions are based: the number and variety of theories concerning a subject thus often form a coefficient of our ignorance. Beyond the superficial observations, direct and indirect, made by geologists, not extending below about one two-hundredth of the Earth's radius, we have to trust to the deductions of mathematicians for our ideas regarding the interior of the Earth; and they have provided us successively with every permutation and combination possible of the three physical states of matter—solid, liquid, and gaseous.
'Address delivered by the President of Section [Geology] at Sydney (Friday, Aug 21), Report of the Eighty-Fourth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science: Australia 1914, 1915, 345.
Science quotes on:  |  Deduction (39)  |  Discussion (17)  |  Earth (250)  |  Geology (145)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Observation (264)  |  Publication (75)  |  Theory (353)

The origin of all science is in the desire to know causes; and the origin of all false science and imposture is in the desire to accept false causes rather than none; or, which is the same thing, in the unwillingness to acknowledge our own ignorance.
'Burke and the Edinburgh Phrenologists', The Atlas, 15 Feb 1829.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (122)  |  Science (875)

The origin of all science is the desire to know causes, and the origin of all false science and imposture is the desire to accept false causes rather than none; or, which is the same thing, in the unwillingness to acknowledge our own ignorance.
William Hazlitt and Percival Presland Howe (ed.), New Writings by William Hazlitt (2nd Ed., 1925), 117.
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledge (5)  |  Cause (122)  |  Desire (46)  |  False (29)  |  Imposture (2)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Origin (36)  |  Science (875)  |  Unwillingness (3)

The present state of the system of nature is evidently a consequence of what it was in the preceding moment, and if we conceive of an intelligence that at a given instant comprehends all the relations of the entities of this universe, it could state the respective position, motions, and general affects of all these entities at any time in the past or future. Physical astronomy, the branch of knowledge that does the greatest honor to the human mind, gives us an idea, albeit imperfect, of what such an intelligence would be. The simplicity of the law by which the celestial bodies move, and the relations of their masses and distances, permit analysis to follow their motions up to a certain point; and in order to determine the state of the system of these great bodies in past or future centuries, it suffices for the mathematician that their position and their velocity be given by observation for any moment in time. Man owes that advantage to the power of the instrument he employs, and to the small number of relations that it embraces in its calculations. But ignorance of the different causes involved in the production of events, as well as their complexity, taken together with the imperfection of analysis, prevents our reaching the same certainty about the vast majority of phenomena. Thus there are things that are uncertain for us, things more or less probable, and we seek to compensate for the impossibility of knowing them by determining their different degrees of likelihood. So it was that we owe to the weakness of the human mind one of the most delicate and ingenious of mathematical theories, the science of chance or probability.
'Recherches, 1º, sur l'Intégration des Équations Différentielles aux Différences Finies, et sur leur Usage dans la Théorie des Hasards' (1773, published 1776). In Oeuvres complètes de Laplace, 14 Vols. (1843-1912), Vol. 8, 144-5, trans. Charles Coulston Gillispie, Pierre-Simon Laplace 1749-1827: A Life in Exact Science (1997), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (82)  |  Astronomy (105)  |  Calculation (41)  |  Celestial (5)  |  Certainty (59)  |  Chance (77)  |  Complexity (51)  |  Difference (135)  |  Distance (26)  |  Event (49)  |  Honour (20)  |  Human Mind (21)  |  Impossibility (32)  |  Instrument (40)  |  Intelligence (76)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Law (273)  |  Likelihood (3)  |  Mass (23)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Motion (64)  |  Nature (534)  |  Observation (264)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Position (18)  |  Prediction (48)  |  Probability (56)  |  Relation (35)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Theory (353)  |  Time (170)  |  Uncertainty (25)  |  Universe (291)  |  Velocity (5)  |  Weakness (14)

The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.
Philistine: A Periodical of Protest (Sep 1902), 15, No. 4, 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Opinion (81)

The scientist who yields anything to theology, however slight, is yielding to ignorance and false pretenses, and as certainly as if he granted that a horse-hair put into a bottle of water will turn into a snake.
Minority Report (1956), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Science And Religion (159)

The valuable attributes of research men are conscious ignorance and active curiosity.
In 'The Stimulation of Research in Pure Science Which Has Resulted from the Needs of Engineers and of Industry', Science, (March 1927).
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (48)  |  Attribute (12)  |  Consciousness (36)  |  Curiosity (52)  |  Researcher (9)  |  Value (63)

The word 'chance' then expresses only our ignorance of the causes of the phenomena that we observe to occur and to succeed one another in no apparent order. Probability is relative in part to this ignorance, and in part to our knowledge.
'Mémoire sur les Approximations des Formules qui sont Fonctions de Très Grands Nombres' (1783, published 1786). In Oeuvres complète de Laplace, 14 Vols. (1843-1912), Vol. 10, 296, trans. Charles Coulston Gillispie, Pierre-Simon Laplace 1749-1827: A Life in Exact Science (1997), 91.
Science quotes on:  |  Chance (77)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Observation (264)  |  Order (60)  |  Probability (56)

Theory helps us to bear our ignorance of fact.
In The Sense of Beauty: Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory (1896), 125.
Science quotes on:  |  Bear (6)  |  Fact (325)  |  Help (18)  |  Theory (353)

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.
Law sect. 4, in Hippocrates, trans. W. H. S. Jones (1923), Vol. 2, 265.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (325)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Opinion (81)

There is no supernatural, there is only nature. Nature alone exists and contains all. All is. There is the part of nature that we perceive, and the part of nature that we do not perceive. … If you abandon these facts, beware; charlatans will light upon them, also the imbecile. There is no mean: science, or ignorance. If science does not want these facts, ignorance will take them up. You have refused to enlarge human intelligence, you augment human stupidity. When Laplace withdraws Cagliostro appears.
In Victor Hugo and Lorenzo O'Rourke (trans.) Victor Hugo's Intellectual Autobiography: (Postscriptum de ma vie) (1907), 320.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (13)  |  All (5)  |  Alone (13)  |  Augmentation (4)  |  Beware (5)  |  Charlatan (3)  |  Contain (5)  |  Enlargement (5)  |  Existence (150)  |  Fact (325)  |  Human (168)  |  Imbecile (3)  |  Intelligence (76)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (45)  |  Mean (7)  |  Nature (534)  |  Perception (21)  |  Refusal (11)  |  Science (875)  |  Stupidity (14)  |  Supernatural (8)

This therefore is Mathematics:
She reminds you of the invisible forms of the soul;
She gives life to her own discoveries;
She awakens the mind and purifies the intellect;
She brings light to our intrinsic ideas;
She abolishes oblivion and ignorance which are ours by birth...
Proclus
Quoted in Benjamin Franklin Finkel, Mathematical Association of America, The American Mathematical Monthly (1947), Vol. 54, 425.
Science quotes on:  |  Abolish (3)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Idea (226)  |  Intellect (99)  |  Intrinsic (7)  |  Invisible (10)  |  Life (460)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Mind (272)  |  Oblivion (3)  |  Purify (2)  |  Soul (54)

Tho' there be no such Thing as Chance in the World; our Ignorance of the real Ccause of any Event has the same Influence on the Understanding, and begets a like Species of Belief or Opinion.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (139)  |  Cause (122)  |  Chance (77)  |  Event (49)  |  Influence (47)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Understanding (231)

To inquisitive minds like yours and mine the reflection that the quantity of human knowledge bears no proportion to the quantity of human ignorance must be in one view rather pleasing, viz., that though we are to live forever we may be continually amused and delighted with learning something new.
In letter to Dr. Ingenhouz. Quoted in Theodore Diller, Franklin's Contribution to Medicine (1912), 65. The source gives no specific cite for the letter, and Webmaster has found the quote in no other book checked, so authenticity is in question.
Science quotes on:  |  Amusement (14)  |  Continually (2)  |  Forever (14)  |  Human (168)  |  Inquisitiveness (3)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Learning (130)  |  Life (460)  |  Mind (272)  |  New (107)  |  Quantity (23)  |  View (48)

To introduce something altogether new would mean to begin all over, to become ignorant again, and to run the old, old risk of failing to learn.
Isaac Asimov, Patricia S. Warrick, Martin Harry Greenberg, Machines That Think: The Best Science Fiction Stories About Robots and Computers? (1984), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Begin (5)  |  Fail (8)  |  Introduce (3)  |  Learn (23)  |  New (107)

To solve a problem is to create new problems, new knowledge immediately reveals new areas of ignorance, and the need for new experiments. At least, in the field of fast reactions, the experiments do not take very long to perform.
'Flash Photolysis and Some of its Applications', Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1967). In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1963-1970 (1972), 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (369)  |  Fast (11)  |  Field (69)  |  Immediately (3)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  New (107)  |  Performance (16)  |  Problem (180)  |  Reaction (48)  |  Solution (109)

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.
In The Roving Mind (1983), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  God (234)  |  Premature (11)  |  Remain (18)  |  Surrender (4)

Ultimately there can be no disagreement between history, science, philosophy, and theology. Where there is disagreement, there is either ignorance or error.
As quoted on title page of Max Weisman (ed.), Center for the Study of The Great Ideas, Philosphy is Everybody's Business, (Spring/Summer 2001), 8, No. 1, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Disagreement (7)  |  Error (152)  |  History (156)  |  Philosophy (132)  |  Science (875)  |  Theology (21)

Until I became a published writer, I remained completely ignorant of books on how to write and courses on the subject ... they would have spoiled my natural style; made me observe caution; would have hedged me with rules.
In Isaac Asimov and Janet Asimov (ed.), It's Been a Good Life (2002), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (100)  |  Caution (8)  |  Publication (75)  |  Rule (52)  |  Style (5)  |  Writer (14)

Untruth naturally afflicts historical information. There are various reasons that make this unavoidable. One of them is partisanship for opinions and schools... Another reason making untruth unavoidable in historical information is reliance upon transmitters... Another reason is unawareness of the purpose of an event ... Another reason is unfounded assumption as to the truth of a thing. ... Another reason is ignorance of how conditions conform with reality... Another reason is the fact that people as a rule approach great and high-ranking persons with praise and encomiums... Another reason making untruth unavoidable—and this one is more powerful than all the reasons previously mentioned—is ignorance of the nature of the various conditions arising in civilization. Every event (or phenomenon), whether (it comes into being in connection with some) essence or (as the result of an) action, must inevitably possess a nature peculiar to its essence as well as to the accidental conditions that may attach themselves to it.
The Muqaddimah. An Introduction to History, trans. Franz Rosenthal, 2nd edition (1967), Vol. 1, 71-2.
Science quotes on:  |  History (156)  |  Reality (67)  |  Truth (450)

Very different would be the position of the profession toward homeopathy if it had aimed, like other doctrines advanced by physicians, to gain a foothold among medical men alone or chiefly, instead of making its appeal to the popular favour and against the profession. … And as its adherents do not aim simply at the establishment of a system of doctrines, but wage a war of radicalism against the profession, and seek to throw down the barricades and guard it from the intrusion of ignorance and quackery … our duty is to expel them.
Anonymous
Proceedings of the Connecticut Medical Society (1847), 24. Quoted by Harris L. Coulter in Divided Legacy: the Conflict Between Homeopathy and the American Medical Association (1982), 204.
Science quotes on:  |  Physician (172)  |  Quack (9)

We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.
In Scientific American (1992), Vol. 267. Quoted in Clifford A. Pickover, Wonders of Numbers (), 195.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)

What attracted me to immunology was that the whole thing seemed to revolve around a very simple experiment: take two different antibody molecules and compare their primary sequences. The secret of antibody diversity would emerge from that. Fortunately at the time I was sufficiently ignorant of the subject not to realise how naive I was being.
From Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1984), collected in Tore Frängsmyr and ‎Jan Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures in Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 248.
Science quotes on:  |  Antibody (5)  |  Attraction (19)  |  Autobiography (48)  |  Comparison (33)  |  Diversity (32)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Fortunately (3)  |  Immunology (12)  |  Molecule (82)  |  Naive (3)  |  Primary (9)  |  Realisation (2)  |  Secret (44)  |  Sequence (15)  |  Simplicity (92)

What has been done is little—scarcely a beginning; yet it is much in comparison with the total blank of a century past. And our knowledge will, we are easily persuaded, appear in turn the merest ignorance to those who come after us. Yet it is not to be despised, since by it we reach up groping to touch the hem of the garment of the Most High.
A Popular History of Astronomy (1893). In Carl Sagan, Broca's Brain (1986), 240.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (105)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Progress (200)

Whatever Nature has in store for mankind, unpleasant as it may be, men must accept, for ignorance is never better than knowledge.
Quoted in Laura Fermi, Atoms in the Family: My Life with Enrico Fermi (1954), 244.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)

Where there is no knowledge ignorance calls itself science.
'Maxims for Revolutionists', in Man and Superman (1905), 243.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)

While knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.
In Asimov's New Guide to Science (1984), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Problem (180)  |  Solution (109)

With moth cytochrome C there are 30 differences and 74 identities. With bread yeast and humans, there are about 45 amino acids that are different and about 59 that are identical. Think how close together man and this other organism, bread yeast, are. What is the probability that in 59 positions the same choice out of 20 possibilities would have been made by accident? It is impossibly small. There is, there must be, a developmental explanation of this. The developmental explanation is that bread yeast and man have a common ancestor, perhaps two billion years ago. And so we see that not only are all men brothers, but men and yeast cells, too, are at least close cousins, to say nothing about men and gorillas or rhesus monkeys. It is the duty of scientists to dispel ignorance of such relationships.
'The Social Responsibilities of Scientists and Science', The Science Teacher (1933), 33, 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancestor (17)  |  Brother (7)  |  Cell (90)  |  Choice (40)  |  Closeness (3)  |  Common (44)  |  Development (122)  |  Difference (135)  |  Duty (26)  |  Explanation (88)  |  Gorilla (13)  |  Human (168)  |  Identity (7)  |  Monkey (26)  |  Moth (3)  |  Organism (70)  |  Position (18)  |  Possibility (70)  |  Probability (56)  |  Relationship (37)  |  Yeast (4)

Without any doubt, the regularity which astronomy shows us in the movements of the comets takes place in all phenomena. The trajectory of a simple molecule of air or vapour is regulated in a manner as certain as that of the planetary orbits; the only difference between them is that which is contributed by our ignorance. Probability is relative in part to this ignorance, and in part to our knowledge.
Philosophical Essay on Probabilities (1814), 5th edition (1825), trans. Andrew I. Dale (1995), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (84)  |  Astronomy (105)  |  Comet (20)  |  Difference (135)  |  Doubt (67)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Molecule (82)  |  Movement (31)  |  Orbit (36)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Plant (96)  |  Probability (56)  |  Regularity (11)  |  Regulation (13)  |  Trajectory (3)  |  Vapour (6)

Wonder [admiratio astonishment, marvel] is a kind of desire for knowledge. The situation arises when one sees an effect and does not know its cause, or when the cause of the particular effect is one that exceeds his power of understanding. Hence, wonder is a cause of pleasure insofar as there is annexed the hope of attaining understanding of that which one wants to know. ... For desire is especially aroused by the awareness of ignorance, and consequently a man takes the greatest pleasure in those things which he discovers for himself or learns from the ground up.
From Summa Theologiae Question 32, 'The Causes of Pleasure,' Article 8, 'Is Pleasure Caused by Wondering.'(1a2ae 32.8). As translated in James Vincent Cunningham, Tragic Effect and Tragic Process in Some Plays of Shakespeare (1945). Also in The Collected Essays of J.V. Cunningham (1976), 72-73.
Science quotes on:  |  Arouse (4)  |  Astonishment (14)  |  Attainment (23)  |  Awareness (14)  |  Cause (122)  |  Desire (46)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Effect (72)  |  Greatest (23)  |  Hope (50)  |  Kind (27)  |  Know (25)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Learn (23)  |  Marvel (16)  |  Pleasure (52)  |  Understanding (231)  |  Want (32)  |  Wonder (64)

Yet it is a very plain and elementary truth, that the life, the fortune, and the happiness of every one of us, and, more or less, of those who are connected with us, do depend upon our knowing something of the rules of a game infinitely more difficult and complicated than chess. It is a game which has been played for untold ages, every man and woman of us being one of the two players in a game of his or her own. The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, just and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance. To the man who plays well, the highest stakes are paid, with that sort of overflowing generosity with which the strong shows delight in strength. And one who plays ill is checkmated—without haste, but without remorse.
'A Liberal Education and Where to Find it' (1868). In Collected Essays (1893), Vol. 3, 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Chess (13)  |  Game (28)  |  Happiness (58)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Law (273)  |  Life (460)  |  Nature (534)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Truth (450)  |  Universe (291)  |  World (231)

You bring me the deepest joy that can be felt by a man whose invincible belief is that Science and Peace will triumph over Ignorance and War, that nations will unite, not to destroy, but to build, and that the future will belong to those who will have done most for suffering humanity.
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, France (27 Dec 1892) where his 70th birth was recognized. His son presented the speech due to the weakness of Pastuer's voice. In René Vallery-Radot, The Life of Pasteur, R. L. Devonshire (trans.) (1902), Vol. 2, 297.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (139)  |  Belonging (8)  |  Bring (7)  |  Building (34)  |  Deepest (2)  |  Destruction (52)  |  Feeling (47)  |  Future (110)  |  Humanity (46)  |  Invincible (2)  |  Joy (25)  |  Man (258)  |  Nation (47)  |  Peace (23)  |  Science (875)  |  Suffering (20)  |  Triumph (21)  |  Unity (16)  |  War (79)

You must not know too much, or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and water-craft; a certain free margin, and even vagueless—perhaps ignorance, credulity—helps your enjoyment of these things.
Specimen Days in America (1887), 282.
Science quotes on:  |  Bird (57)  |  Credulity (5)  |  Enjoyment (14)  |  Flower (24)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Margin (4)  |  Precision (19)  |  Scientific (55)  |  Tree (88)  |  Vagueness (8)

[A]s you know, scientific education is fabulously neglected … This is an evil that is inherited, passed on from generation to generation. The majority of educated persons are not interested in science, and are not aware that scientific knowledge forms part of the idealistic background of human life. Many believe—in their complete ignorance of what science really is—that it has mainly the ancillary task of inventing new machinery, or helping to invent it, for improving our conditions of life. They are prepared to leave this task to the specialists, as they leave the repairing of their pipes to the plumber. If persons with this outlook decide upon the curriculum of our children, the result is necessarily such as I have just described it.
Opening remarks of the second of four public lectures for the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies at University College, Dublin (Feb 1950), The Practical Achievements of Science Tending to Obliterate its True Import', collected in Science and Humanism: Physics in Our Time (1951). Reprinted in 'Nature and the Greeks' and 'Science and Humanism' (1996), 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Awareness (14)  |  Background (13)  |  Belief (139)  |  Child (90)  |  Condition (68)  |  Curriculum (6)  |  Evil (31)  |  Generation (56)  |  Improvement (36)  |  Inheritance (8)  |  Interest (82)  |  Invention (174)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Life (460)  |  Machinery (11)  |  Neglect (10)  |  Outlook (8)  |  Pass (20)  |  Pipe (4)  |  Plumber (5)  |  Repair (5)  |  Result (129)  |  Science (875)  |  Science Education (10)  |  Specialist (10)

[Ignorance] of the principle of conservation of energy ... does not prevent inventors without background from continually putting forward perpetual motion machines... Also, such persons undoubtedly have their exact counterparts in the fields of art, finance, education, and all other departments of human activity... persons who are unwilling to take the time and to make the effort required to find what the known facts are before they become the champions of unsupported opinions—people who take sides first and look up facts afterward when the tendency to distort the facts to conform to the opinions has become well-nigh irresistible.
In Christian Education (Apr 1927), 10, No. 7, 394-395.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (48)  |  Art (80)  |  Background (13)  |  Conservation Of Energy (17)  |  Continual (5)  |  Counterpart (3)  |  Department (11)  |  Distort (2)  |  Education (177)  |  Effort (40)  |  Fact (325)  |  Human (168)  |  Inventor (25)  |  Machine (56)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Perpetual Motion (6)  |  Person (38)  |  Prevention (26)  |  Principle (97)  |  Tendency (18)  |  Time (170)  |  Unwilling (2)

[Science] "intensifies religious truth by cleansing it of ignorance and superstition.
Quoted in 'Antiseptic Christianity', book review of Lindbergh, Of Flight and Life in Time magazine, (6 Sep 1948).
Science quotes on:  |  Cleanse (2)  |  Intensity (15)  |  Religion (120)  |  Superstition (33)  |  Truth (450)

[Science] dissipates errors born of ignorance about our true relations with nature, errors the more damaging in that the social order should rest only on those relations. TRUTH! JUSTICE! Those are the immutable laws. Let us banish the dangerous maxim that it is sometimes useful to depart from them and to deceive or enslave mankind to assure its happiness.
Exposition du Système du Monde (1796), 2, 312, trans. Charles Coulston Gillispie, Pierre-Simon Laplace 1749-1827: A Life in Exact Science (1997), 175.
Science quotes on:  |  Damage (9)  |  Dangerous (11)  |  Deceive (2)  |  Error (152)  |  Immutable (4)  |  Justice (11)  |  Law (273)  |  Mankind (111)  |  Maxim (7)  |  Nature (534)  |  Relationship (37)  |  Science (875)  |  Social Order (3)  |  Truth (450)  |  Usefulness (54)

[T]he idea of protoplasm, which was really a name for our ignorance, [is] only a little less misleading than the expression “Vital force”.
Adventures of a Biologist (1940), 118.
Science quotes on:  |  Expression (44)  |  Misleading (5)  |  Name (58)  |  Protoplasm (7)


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 EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (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