Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index K > Category: Knowledge

Knowledge Quotes (662 quotes)

"I should have more faith," he said; "I ought to know by this time that when a fact appears opposed to a long train of deductions it invariably proves to be capable of bearing some other interpretation."
Spoken by character, Sherlock Holmes, in A Study in Scarlet (1887), in Works of Arthur Conan Doyle (1902), Vol. 11, 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (45)  |  Bearing (5)  |  Capability (25)  |  Deduction (38)  |  Face (22)  |  Faith (73)  |  Interpretation (36)  |  Invariably (2)  |  Opposition (22)  |  Proof (133)  |  Train (8)

'Facts' are the bounds of human knowledge, set for it, not by it.
'On Some Hegelisms' (1882). In The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (1897), 271.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (311)

‘Endow scientific research and we shall know the truth, when and where it is possible to ascertain it;’' but the counterblast is at hand: ‘To endow research is merely to encourage the research for endowment; the true man of science will not be held back by poverty, and if science is of use to us, it will pay for itself.’ Such are but a few samples of the conflict of opinion which we find raging around us.
The Grammar of Science (1892), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Conflict (24)  |  Encouragement (11)  |  Endowment (4)  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  Mere (8)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Payment (3)  |  Possibility (67)  |  Poverty (21)  |  Rage (3)  |  Research (358)  |  Sample (4)  |  Truth (440)  |  Usefulness (52)

... in going over the history of all the inventions for which history could be obtained it became more and more clear that in addition to training and in addition to extensive knowledge, a natural quality of mind was also necessary.
Aphorism listed Frederick Seitz, The Cosmic Inventor: Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (1866-1932) (1999), 54, being Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Held at Philadelphia For Promoting Useful Knowledge, Vol. 86, Pt. 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Addition (12)  |  Clarity (22)  |  Extensive (6)  |  History (151)  |  Invention (167)  |  Mind (266)  |  Natural (47)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Obtain (14)  |  Quality (27)  |  Training (21)

...I believe there exists, & I feel within me, an instinct for the truth, or knowledge or discovery, of something of the same nature as the instinct of virtue, & that our having such an instinct is reason enough for scientific researches without any practical results ever ensuing from them.
The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Vol. 4. (1847-50)
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (198)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Truth (440)

...to many it is not knowledge but the quest for knowledge that gives greater interest to thought—to travel hopefully is better than to arrive.
Last sentences, Physics and Philosophy (1943, 2003), 217
Science quotes on:  |  Quest (7)  |  Thought (168)

Boss: I just heard that light travels faster than sound. I'm wondering if I should shout when I speak, just so my lips appear to sync-up with my words.
Dilbert (thought): A little knowledge can be a ridiculous thing.
Dilbert comic strip (10 Sep 1992).
Science quotes on:  |  Faster (4)  |  Light (112)  |  Lip (2)  |  Ridiculous (5)  |  Shout (3)  |  Sound (20)  |  Travel (13)  |  Wonder (62)  |  Word (96)

Connaître, découvrir, communiquer—telle est la destinée d'un savant.
To get to know, to discover, to publish—this is the destiny of a scientist.
Quoted in Arthur Mangin, Les Savants Illustres de la France (1865), 456. Translation as given in Alan L. MacKay in A Harvest of a Quiet Eye (1977), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Destiny (11)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Publication (75)  |  Scientist (224)

Dilbert: Maybe I'm unlucky in love because I'm so knowledgeable about science that I intimidate people. Their intimidation becomes low self-esteem, then they reject me to protect their egos.
Dogbert: Occam's Razor.
Dilbert: What is "Occam's Razor"?
Dogbert: A guy named Occam had a rule about the world. Basically he said that when there are multiple explanations for something the simplest explanation is usually correct. The simplest explanation for your poor love life is that you're immensely unattractive.
Dilbert: Maybe Occam had another rule that specifically exempted this situation, but his house burned down with all his notes. Then he forgot.
Dogbert: Occam's Razor.
Dilbert: I'm an idiot.
Dogbert: I don't think we can rule it out at this point.
Dilbert comic strip (11 Jul 1993).
Science quotes on:  |  Correct (13)  |  Ego (5)  |  Exemption (2)  |  Explanation (84)  |  Forgetfulness (4)  |  Idiot (10)  |  Intimidation (2)  |  Love (62)  |  Luck (22)  |  Multiple (6)  |  Note (10)  |  Occam's Razor (2)  |  Protection (13)  |  Rejection (16)  |  Rule (50)  |  Science (850)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Situation (21)

Discovery always carries an honorific connotation. It is the stamp of approval on a finding of lasting value. Many laws and theories have come and gone in the history of science, but they are not spoken of as discoveries. Kepler is said to have discovered the laws of planetary motion named after him, but no the many other 'laws' which he formulated. ... Theories are especially precarious, as this century profoundly testifies. World views can and do often change. Despite these difficulties, it is still true that to count as a discovery a finding must be of at least relatively permanent value, as shown by its inclusion in the generally accepted body of scientific knowledge.
Discovery in the Physical Sciences (1969). In Rodney P. Carlisle, Scientific American Inventions and Discoveries (2004), 179.
Science quotes on:  |  Approval (4)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Law (269)  |  Planet (77)  |  Precarious (3)  |  Theory (346)

Error has made man so deep, sensitive, and inventive that he has put forth such blossoms as religions and arts. Pure knowledge could not have been capable of it.
Human, All-To-Human, Vol. 1, 44-45. (1878), 140. In Willard Huntington Wright, What Nietzsche Taught? (1917), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (76)  |  Blossom (5)  |  Capability (25)  |  Deep (17)  |  Error (150)  |  Inventive (3)  |  Pure (12)  |  Religion (116)  |  Sensitive (5)

Ipsa Scientia potestas est.
For also knowledge itself is power.
'Meditationes Sacrae' (1597), in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1887-1901), Vol. 7, 253.

Mathematical Knowledge adds a manly Vigour to the Mind, frees it from Prejudice, Credulity, and Superstition.
On the Usefulness of Mathematical Learning, (3rd Ed., 1745), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (355)

Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half knowledge.
Letter to George and Thomas Keats (21 Dec 1817). In H. E. Rollins (ed.), Letters of John Keats (1958), Vol. 1, 193-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Capability (25)  |  Content (17)  |  Doubt (66)  |  Mystery (71)  |  Mystery (71)  |  Truth (440)  |  Uncertainty (23)

On examinations: Das Wissen ist der Tad der Forschung.
Knowledge is the death of research.
Nernst's motto.
Erwin N. Hiebert, 'Hermann Walther Nemst', in C. C. Gillispie (ed.), The Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1981), Supplement, Vol. 15, 450.
Science quotes on:  |  Death (175)  |  Research (358)

Patience passe science
Patience surpasses knowledge.
Motto
Motto under Coat of Arms of Viscount Falmouth. In The Royal Kalendar (1813), 14.

Question: Show how the hypothenuse face of a right-angled prism may be used as a reflector. What connection is there between the refractive index of a medium and the angle at which an emergent ray is totally reflected?
Answer: Any face of any prism may be used as a reflector. The con nexion between the refractive index of a medium and the angle at which an emergent ray does not emerge but is totally reflected is remarkable and not generally known.
Genuine student answer* to an Acoustics, Light and Heat paper (1880), Science and Art Department, South Kensington, London, collected by Prof. Oliver Lodge. Quoted in Henry B. Wheatley, Literary Blunders (1893), 182-3, Question 29. (*From a collection in which Answers are not given verbatim et literatim, and some instances may combine several students' blunders.)
Science quotes on:  |  Angle (8)  |  Answer (91)  |  Connection (39)  |  Emergent (2)  |  Examination (46)  |  Face (22)  |  Howler (15)  |  Hypotenuse (2)  |  Index (2)  |  Medium (7)  |  Prism (4)  |  Question (152)  |  Ray (19)  |  Reflection (26)  |  Reflector (3)  |  Refraction (5)  |  Remarkable (13)  |  Show (12)  |  Total (13)

Question: Why do the inhabitants of cold climates eat fat? How would you find experimentally the relative quantities of heat given off when equal weights of sulphur, phosphorus, and carbon are thoroughly burned?
Answer: An inhabitant of cold climates (called Frigid Zoans) eats fat principally because he can't get no lean, also because he wants to rise is temperature. But if equal weights of sulphur phosphorus and carbon are burned in his neighbourhood he will give off eating quite so much. The relative quantities of eat given off will depend upon how much sulphur etc. is burnt and how near it is burned to him. If I knew these facts it would be an easy sum to find the answer.
Genuine student answer* to an Acoustics, Light and Heat paper (1880), Science and Art Department, South Kensington, London, collected by Prof. Oliver Lodge. Quoted in Henry B. Wheatley, Literary Blunders (1893), 183, Question 32. (*From a collection in which Answers are not given verbatim et literatim, and some instances may combine several students' blunders.)
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (91)  |  Burning (12)  |  Carbon (26)  |  Climate (24)  |  Cold (22)  |  Eating (12)  |  Emission (8)  |  Equal (21)  |  Examination (46)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Fact (311)  |  Fat (8)  |  Finding (18)  |  Heat (48)  |  Howler (15)  |  Inhabitant (6)  |  Lean (2)  |  Neighborhood (3)  |  Phosphorus (9)  |  Quantity (23)  |  Question (152)  |  Relative (11)  |  Sulphur (9)  |  Sum (17)  |  Temperature (21)  |  Weight (40)  |  Zone (2)

Sapere aude.
Dare to be wise.
[Alternate: Dare to know.]
Horace
Epistles bk. 1, no. 2, 1. 40. In Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica, trans. H. Rushton Fairclough (1926), 264-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Dare (5)  |  Wisdom (87)

Science sans conscience n' est que le ruine de l'âme.
Knowledge without conscience is but the ruine of the soule.
Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532-64), book 2, chap. 8, trans. Thomas Urquhart and Peter Le Motteux (1934), Vol. 1, 204
Science quotes on:  |  Conscience (16)  |  Ruin (13)  |  Soul (51)

Where faith commences, science ends. Both these arts of the human mind must be strictly kept apart from each other. Faith has its origin in the poetic imagination; knowledge, on the other hand, originates in the reasoning intelligence of man. Science has to pluck the blessed fruits from the tree of knowledge, unconcerned whether these conquests trench upon the poetical imaginings of faith or not.
In Ernst Haeckel and E. Ray Lankester (trans.), The History of Creation (1880), Vol. 1, 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Apart (3)  |  Conquest (6)  |  Faith (73)  |  Fruit (31)  |  Human Mind (21)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Imagine (10)  |  Poetry (61)  |  Science And Religion (153)  |  Tree Of knowledge (4)

Wir mussen wissen. Wir werden wissen.
We must know. We will know.
Inscribed on his tomb in Gilttingen.
Lecture at Konigsberg, 1930. Gesammelte Abhandlungen, Vol. 3, 387, trans. Ivor Grattan-Guinness.
Science quotes on:  |  Epitaph (18)

[Question: What do you think was the most important physics idea to emerge this year?]
We won't know for a few years.
Interview with Deborah Solomon, 'The Science of Second-Guessing', in New York Times Magazine (12 Dec 2004), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Emergence (15)  |  Importance (98)  |  Physics (153)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Year (61)

A ... difference between most system-building in the social sciences and systems of thought and classification of the natural sciences is to be seen in their evolution. In the natural sciences both theories and descriptive systems grow by adaptation to the increasing knowledge and experience of the scientists. In the social sciences, systems often issue fully formed from the mind of one man. Then they may be much discussed if they attract attention, but progressive adaptive modification as a result of the concerted efforts of great numbers of men is rare.
The Study of Man (1941), 19-20.
Science quotes on:  |  System (67)  |  Theory (346)

A discovery in science, or a new theory, even when it appears most unitary and most all-embracing, deals with some immediate element of novelty or paradox within the framework of far vaster, unanalysed, unarticulated reserves of knowledge, experience, faith, and presupposition. Our progress is narrow; it takes a vast world unchallenged and for granted. This is one reason why, however great the novelty or scope of new discovery, we neither can, nor need, rebuild the house of the mind very rapidly. This is one reason why science, for all its revolutions, is conservative. This is why we will have to accept the fact that no one of us really will ever know very much. This is why we shall have to find comfort in the fact that, taken together, we know more and more.
Science and the Common Understanding (1954), 53-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (30)  |  Analysis (78)  |  Articulation (2)  |  Challenge (13)  |  Comfort (16)  |  Conservative (3)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Element (68)  |  Experience (128)  |  Fact (311)  |  Fact (311)  |  Faith (73)  |  Framework (8)  |  House (19)  |  Immediate (8)  |  Mind (266)  |  Narrow (9)  |  Need (54)  |  Novelty (9)  |  Paradox (22)  |  Progress (198)  |  Rapidly (3)  |  Reason (172)  |  Reserve (4)  |  Revolution (33)  |  Scope (5)  |  Theory (346)  |  Vastness (4)

A discovery must be, by definition, at variance with existing knowledge. During my lifetime, I made two. Both were rejected offhand by the popes of the field. Had I predicted these discoveries in my applications, and had those authorities been my judges, it is evident what their decisions would have been.
In 'Dionysians and Apollonians', Science (2 Jun 1972), 176, 966. Reprinted in Mary Ritchie Key, The Relationship of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication (1980), 318.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (68)  |  Authority (23)  |  Decision (30)  |  Definition (82)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Evidence (80)  |  Existence (145)  |  Field (68)  |  Judge (14)  |  Lifetime (10)  |  Pope (2)  |  Prediction (45)  |  Rejection (16)  |  Variance (2)

A game is on, at the other end of this infinite distance, and heads or tails will turn up. What will you wager? According to reason you cannot leave either; according to reason you cannot leave either undone... Yes, but wager you must; there is no option, you have embarked on it. So which will you have. Come. Since you must choose, let us see what concerns you least. You have two things to lose: truth and good, and two things to stake: your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness. And your nature has two things to shun: error and misery. Your reason does not suffer by your choosing one more than the other, for you must choose. That is one point cleared. But your happiness? Let us weigh gain and loss in calling heads that God is. Reckon these two chances: if you win, you win all; if you lose, you lose naught. Then do not hesitate, wager that He is.
Pensées (1670), Section I, aphorism 223. In H. F. Stewart (ed.), Pascal's Pensées (1950), 117-119.
Science quotes on:  |  Chance (73)  |  Choice (38)  |  Concern (30)  |  Distance (24)  |  Embarkation (2)  |  Error (150)  |  Gain (23)  |  Game (27)  |  God (229)  |  Good (77)  |  Happiness (56)  |  Head (18)  |  Hesitation (6)  |  Infinity (44)  |  Loss (43)  |  Misery (9)  |  Nature (524)  |  Naught (4)  |  Option (3)  |  Point (29)  |  Reason (172)  |  Reckoning (2)  |  Shun (3)  |  Stake (6)  |  Suffering (18)  |  Tail (4)  |  Truth (440)  |  Win (7)

A Man of Knowledge like a rich Soil, feeds
If not a world of Corn, a world of Weeds.
In Poor Richard's Almanack (1739).
Science quotes on:  |  Corn (4)  |  Feeding (5)  |  Man (258)  |  Rich (16)  |  Soil (24)  |  Weed (7)  |  World (206)

A man who is all theory is like “a rudderless ship on a shoreless sea.” ... Theories and speculations may be indulged in with safety only as long as they are based on facts that we can go back to at all times and know that we are on solid ground.
In Nature's Miracles: Familiar Talks on Science (1899), Vol. 1, Introduction, vii.
Science quotes on:  |  Base (10)  |  Fact (311)  |  Ground (17)  |  Man (258)  |  Rudder (2)  |  Safety (21)  |  Sea (56)  |  Ship (17)  |  Shore (6)  |  Solid (14)  |  Speculation (40)  |  Theory (346)

A science is not mere knowledge, it is knowledge which has undergone a process of intellectual digestion. It is the grasp of many things brought together in one, and hence is its power; for, properly speaking, it is Science that is power, not Knowledge..,
Discourses on the Scope and Nature of University Education. Addressed to the Catholics of Dublin (1852), Discourse 5, 144.
Science quotes on:  |  Digestion (15)  |  Grasp (11)  |  Intellect (95)  |  Power (98)  |  Process (97)  |  Science (850)

A scientist has to be neutral in his search for the truth, but he cannot be neutral as to the use of that truth when found. If you know more than other people, you have more responsibility, rather than less.
As quoted in J. Robert Moskin, Morality in America, 61. Otherwise unconfirmed in this form. Please contact webmaster if you know a primary print source.
Science quotes on:  |  Less (12)  |  More (7)  |  Neutral (4)  |  Responsibility (23)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Search (37)  |  Truth (440)  |  Use (51)

A scientist strives to understand the work of Nature. But with our insufficient talents as scientists, we do not hit upon the truth all at once. We must content ourselves with tracking it down, enveloped in considerable darkness, which leads us to make new mistakes and errors. By diligent examination, we may at length little by little peel off the thickest layers, but we seldom get the core quite free, so that finally we have to be satisfied with a little incomplete knowledge.
Lecture to the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, 23 May 1764. Quoted in J. A. Schufle 'Torbern Bergman, Earth Scientist', Chymia, 1967, 12, 78.
Science quotes on:  |  Enquiry (71)  |  Error (150)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Truth (440)

A smattering of everything is worth little. It is a fallacy to suppose that an encyclopaedic knowledge is desirable. The mind is made strong, not through much learning, but by the thorough possession of something.
Lecture at a teaching laboratory on Penikese Island, Buzzard's Bay. Quoted from the lecture notes by David Starr Jordan, Science Sketches (1911), 145.
Science quotes on:  |  Desire (45)  |  Encyclopaedia (3)  |  Everything (33)  |  Fallacy (9)  |  Learning (123)  |  Little (28)  |  Mind (266)  |  Possession (24)  |  Strong (7)  |  Supposition (25)  |  Thorough (3)  |  Worth (24)

According to Gandhi, the seven sins are wealth without works, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principle. Well, Hubert Humphrey may have sinned in the eyes of God, as we all do, but according to those definitions of Gandhi’s, it was Hubert Humphrey without sin.
Eulogy at funeral of Vice President Hubert Humphrey, St. Paul, Minnesota (16 Jan 1978). In Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter (1978), Vol. 1, 82.
Science quotes on:  |  According (7)  |  Biography (198)  |  Character (36)  |  Commerce (9)  |  Conscience (16)  |  Definition (82)  |  Eulogy (2)  |  Eye (61)  |  God (229)  |  Humanity (45)  |  Morality (19)  |  Pleasure (51)  |  Politics (50)  |  Principle (96)  |  Sacrifice (12)  |  Science (850)  |  Seven (3)  |  Sin (11)  |  Wealth (29)  |  Work (186)  |  Worship (10)

According to my views, aiming at quantitative investigations, that is at establishing relations between measurements of phenomena, should take first place in the experimental practice of physics. By measurement to knowledge [door meten tot weten] I should like to write as a motto above the entrance to every physics laboratory.
'The Significance of Quantitative Research in Physics', Inaugural Address at the University of Leiden (1882). In Hendrik Casimir, Haphazard Reality: Half a Century of Science (1983), 160-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Laboratory (75)  |  Measurement (108)  |  Motto (13)

Activity is the only road to knowledge.
'Maxims for Revolutionists', in Man and Superman (1905), 230.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (48)

After Gibbs, one the most distinguished [American scientists] was Langley, of the Smithsonian. … He had the physicist's heinous fault of professing to know nothing between flashes of intense perception. … Rigidly denying himself the amusement of philosophy, which consists chiefly in suggesting unintelligible answers to insoluble problems, and liked to wander past them in a courteous temper, even bowing to them distantly as though recognizing their existence, while doubting their respectibility.
The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography? (1918), 377.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (91)  |  Fault (13)  |  Gibbs_Willard (3)  |  Insoluble (4)  |  Perception (20)  |  Philosophy (128)  |  Physicist (70)  |  Problem (178)  |  Scientist (224)

All knowledge attains its ethical value and its human significance only by the human sense with which it is employed. Only a good man can be a great physician.
Inaugural address (1882), quoted in Johann Hermann Baas, Henry Ebenezer Handerson (trans.), Outlines of the History of Medicine and the Medical Profession (1889), 966.
Science quotes on:  |  Physician (171)

All knowledge degenerates into probability.
A Treatise on Human Nature (1739-40), ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge (1888), book 1, part 4, section 1, 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Probability (54)

All knowledge has an ultimate goal. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is, say what you will, nothing but a dismal begging of the question.
Tragic Sense of Life (1913), translated by John Ernest Crawford Flitch (1954), 90.

All knowledge is good. It is impossible to say any fragment of knowledge, however insignificant or remote from one’s ordinary pursuits, may not some day be turned to account.
'Address on University Education' (12 Sep 1876) delivered at the formal opening of the Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore. Collected in Science and Education: Essays (1897), 248.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (13)  |  Fragment (13)  |  Good (77)  |  Impossibility (31)  |  Insignificance (7)  |  Ordinary (18)  |  Pursuit (33)  |  Remoteness (4)  |  Turn (21)

All knowledge resolves itself into probability. ... In every judgment, which we can form concerning probability, as well as concerning knowledge, we ought always to correct the first judgment deriv'd from the nature of the object, by another judgment, deriv'd from the nature of the understanding.
In A treatise of Human Nature (1888), 181-182.
Science quotes on:  |  Concern (30)  |  Correction (20)  |  Derivation (8)  |  Form (65)  |  Judgment (38)  |  Nature (524)  |  Object (44)  |  Ought (3)  |  Probability (54)  |  Resolution (9)  |  Understanding (222)

All men by nature desire to know.
Aristotle
Metaphysics, 980a, 21. In Jonathan Barnes (ed.), The Complete Works of Aristotle (1984), Vol. 2, 1552.

All of my knowledge, of both science and religion, I incorporate into the classical tradition of my painting.
In G. Barry Golson (ed.), The Playboy Interview II (1983), 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Classical (7)  |  Incorporation (2)  |  Painting (16)  |  Science And Religion (153)  |  Tradition (16)

All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than the animals that know nothing. A day will come when science will turn upon its error and no longer hesitate to shorten our woes. A day will come when it will dare and act with certainty; when life, grown wiser, will depart silently at its hour, knowing that it has reached its term.
Our Eternity, translated by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos (1913), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (138)  |  Death (175)  |  Pain (48)

All schools, all colleges have two great functions: to confer, and to conceal valuable knowledge.
(5 Nov 1908). 'More Maxims of Mark,' Mark Twain Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essays, 1891-1910 (1992), 941. In Mark Twain and Brian Collins (ed.), When in Doubt, Tell the Truth: and Other Quotations from Mark Twain (1996), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  College (15)  |  Conceal (2)  |  Confer (4)  |  Education (173)  |  Function (41)  |  School (35)  |  Value (63)

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 (38)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Science (850)

All that Anatomie can doe is only to shew us the gross and sensible parts of the body, or the vapid and dead juices all which, after the most diligent search, will be noe more able to direct a physician how to cure a disease than how to make a man; for to remedy the defects of a part whose organicall constitution and that texture whereby it operates, he cannot possibly know, is alike hard, as to make a part which he knows not how is made. Now it is certaine and beyond controversy that nature performs all her operations on the body by parts so minute and insensible that I thinke noe body will ever hope or pretend, even by the assistance of glasses or any other intervention, to come to a sight of them, and to tell us what organicall texture or what kinde offerment (for whether it be done by one or both of these ways is yet a question and like to be soe always notwithstanding all the endeavours of the most accurate dissections) separate any part of the juices in any of the viscera, or tell us of what liquors the particles of these juices are, or if this could be donne (which it is never like to be) would it at all contribute to the cure of the diseases of those very parts which we so perfectly knew.
'Anatomie' (1668). Quoted in Kenneth Dewhurst (ed.), Dr. Thomas Sydenham (1624-1689): His Life and Original Writings (1966), 85-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (31)  |  Cure (48)  |  Defect (8)  |  Diligence (7)  |  Disease (169)  |  Dissection (13)  |  Endeavour (23)  |  Liquor (3)  |  Physician (171)  |  Remedy (23)  |  Search (37)

All that can be said upon the number and nature of elements is, in my opinion, confined to discussions entirely of a metaphysical nature. The subject only furnishes us with indefinite problems, which may be solved in a thousand different ways, not one of which, in all probability, is consistent with nature. I shall therefore only add upon this subject, that if, by the term elements, we mean to express those simple and indivisible atoms of which matter is composed, it is extremely probable we know nothing at all about them; but, if we apply the term elements, or principles of bodies, to express our idea of the last point which analysis is capable of reaching, we must admit, as elements, all the substances into which we are capable, by any means, to reduce bodies by decomposition.
Elements of Chemistry (1790), trans. R. Kerr, Preface, xxiv.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (78)  |  Atom (164)  |  Composition (29)  |  Decomposition (11)  |  Element (68)  |  Idea (220)  |  Indivisible (5)  |  Matter (131)  |  Metaphysics (24)  |  Principle (96)  |  Problem (178)  |  Reduction (21)  |  Solution (109)  |  Substance (37)

All the human culture, all the results of art, science and technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan. This very fact admits of the not unfounded inference that he alone was the founder of all higher humanity, therefore representing the prototype of all that we understand by the word 'man.' He is the Prometheus of mankind from whose shining brow the divine spark of genius has sprung at all times, forever kindling anew that fire of knowledge which illuminated the night of silent mysteries and thus caused man to climb the path to mastery over the other beings of the earth ... It was he who laid the foundations and erected the walls of every great structure in human culture.
Mein Kampf (1925-26), American Edition (1943), 290. In William Lawrence Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1990), 86-87.
Science quotes on:  |  Culture (42)  |  Genius (86)  |  Mankind (105)  |  Mystery (71)

All things are made of atoms—little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. In that one sentence ... there is an enormous amount of information about the world.
His suggestion that the most valuable information on scientific knowledge in a single sentence using the fewest words is to state the atomic hypothesis.
Six Easy Pieces (1995), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (164)

Almost all the greatest discoveries in astronomy have resulted from what we have elsewhere termed Residual Phenomena, of a qualitative or numerical kind, of such portions of the numerical or quantitative results of observation as remain outstanding and unaccounted for, after subducting and allowing for all that would result from the strict application of known principles.
Outlines of Astronomy (1876), 626.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (68)  |  Astronomy (103)  |  Greatest (23)  |  Numerical (3)  |  Observation (256)  |  Outstanding (3)  |  Phenomena (4)  |  Principle (96)  |  Qualitative (3)  |  Quantitative (8)  |  Result (127)

An egg is a chemical process, but it is not a mere chemical process. It is one that is going places—even when, in our world of chance and contingency, it ends up in an omelet and not in a chicken. Though it surely be a chemical process, we cannot understand it adequately without knowing the kind of chicken it has the power to become.
'The Changing Impact of Darwin on Philosophy', Journal of the History of Ideas (1961), 22, 457.
Science quotes on:  |  Becoming (7)  |  Chance (73)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Chicken (2)  |  Contingency (2)  |  Egg (27)  |  Process (97)  |  Understanding (222)

Anatomists have ever been engaged in contention. And indeed, if a man has not such a degree of enthusiasm, and love of the art, as will make him impatient of unreasonable opposition and of encroachments upon his discoveries and his reputation, he will hardly become considerable in Anatomy or in any branch of natural knowledge.
Medical Commentaries (1764), Introduction, iii. In Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1972), Vol. 6, 569.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (31)  |  Contention (7)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Enthusiasm (20)  |  Reputation (6)

And I do not take my medicines from the apothecaries; their shops are but foul sculleries, from which comes nothing but foul broths. As for you, you defend your kingdom with belly-crawling and flattery. How long do you think this will last? ... let me tell you this: every little hair on my neck knows more than you and all your scribes, and my shoebuckles are more learned than your Galen and Avicenna, and my beard has more experience than all your high colleges.
'Credo', in J. Jacobi (ed.), Paracelsus: Selected Writings (1951), 80.
Science quotes on:  |  Apothecary (5)  |  Avicenna (19)  |  Beard (3)  |  College (15)  |  Defense (7)  |  Experience (128)  |  Flattery (2)  |  Foul (2)  |  Galen (7)  |  Hair (7)  |  Kingdom (17)  |  Learning (123)  |  Medicine (187)  |  Neck (3)  |  Nothing (85)  |  Shop (4)

And men ought to know that from nothing else but thence [from the brain] come joys, delights, laughter and sports, and sorrows, griefs, despondency, and lamentations. And by this, in an especial manner, we acquire wisdom and knowledge, and see and hear, and know what are foul and hat are fair, what are bad and what are good, what are sweet, and what unsavory... And by the same organ we become mad and delirious, and fears and terrors assail us... All these things we endure from the brain, when it is not healthy... In these ways I am of the opinion that the brain exercises the greatest power in the man. This is the interpreter to us of those things which emanate from the air, when it [the brain] happens to be in a sound state.
The Genuine Works of Hippocrates, trans. Francis Adams (1886), Vol. 2, 344-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (105)  |  Joy (25)  |  Neuroscience (2)  |  Wisdom (87)

And so many think incorrectly that everything was created by the Creator in the beginning as it is seen, that not only the mountains, valleys, and waters, but also various types of minerals occurred together with the rest of the world, and therefore it is said that it is unnecessary to investigate the reasons why they differ in their internal properties and their locations. Such considerations are very dangerous for the growth of all the sciences, and hence for natural knowledge of the Earth, particularly the art of mining, though it is very easy for those clever people to be philosophers, having learnt by heart the three words 'God so created' and to give them in reply in place of all reasons.
About the Layers of the Earth and other Works on Geology (1757), trans. A. P. Lapov (1949), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Creation (124)  |  Geology (144)  |  Mineral (24)  |  Mining (7)  |  Mountain (62)  |  Reason (172)  |  Valley (10)

And still they gazed and still the wonder grew,
That one small head could carry all he knew.
The Deserted Village: A Poem (1809), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (105)  |  Gaze (4)  |  Head (18)  |  Wonder (62)

And this is the ultimate lesson that our knowledge of the mode of transmission of typhus has taught us: Man carries on his skin a parasite, the louse. Civilization rids him of it. Should man regress, should he allow himself to resemble a primitive beast, the louse begins to multiply again and treats man as he deserves, as a brute beast. This conclusion would have endeared itself to the warm heart of Alfred Nobel. My contribution to it makes me feel less unworthy of the honour which you have conferred upon me in his name.
'Investigations on Typhus', Nobel Lecture, 1928. In Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1922-1941 (1965), 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Beast (14)  |  Brute (5)  |  Civilization (84)  |  Conclusion (73)  |  Contribution (23)  |  Honour (19)  |  Lesson (14)  |  Louse (3)  |  Man (258)  |  Mode (8)  |  Alfred Bernhard Nobel (8)  |  Parasite (16)  |  Primitive (13)  |  Resemblance (15)  |  Skin (8)  |  Teaching (60)  |  Transmission (16)  |  Typhus (2)  |  Ultimate (27)  |  Unworthy (4)

And yet surely to alchemy this right is due, that it may be compared to the husbandman whereof Æsop makes the fable, that when he died he told his sons that he had left unto them gold buried under the ground in his vineyard: and they digged over the ground, gold they found none, but by reason of their stirring and digging the mould about the roots of their vines, they had a great vintage the year following: so assuredly the search and stir to make gold hath brought to light a great number of good and fruitful inventions and experiments, as well for the disclosing of nature as for the use of man's life.
The Advancement of Learning (1605, 1712), Vol. 1, 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (17)

Another diversity of Methods is according to the subject or matter which is handled; for there is a great difference in delivery of the Mathematics, which are the most abstracted of knowledges, and Policy, which is the most immersed ... , yet we see how that opinion, besides the weakness of it, hath been of ill desert towards learning, as that which taketh the way to reduce learning to certain empty and barren generalities; being but the very husks and shells of sciences, all the kernel being forced out and expulsed with the torture and press of the method.
Advancement of Learning, Book 2. In James Spedding, The Works of Francis Bacon (1863), Vol. 6, 292-293 . Peter Pešić, explains that 'By Mathematics, he had in mind a sterile and rigid scheme of logical classifications, called dichotomies in his time,' inLabyrinth: A Search for the Hidden Meaning of Science (2001), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (18)  |  Barrenness (2)  |  Delivery (2)  |  Difference (129)  |  Diversity (32)  |  Empty (6)  |  Generality (13)  |  Husk (3)  |  Learning (123)  |  Mathematics (355)  |  Method (73)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Policy (10)  |  Shell (17)  |  Subject (48)  |  Torture (4)

Any one who has studied the history of science knows that almost every great step therein has been made by the “anticipation of Nature,” that is, by the invention of hypotheses, which, though verifiable, often had very little foundation to start with; and, not unfrequently, in spite of a long career of usefulness, turned out to be wholly erroneous in the long run.
In 'The Progress of Science 1837-1887' (1887), Collected Essays (1901), Vol. 1, 62.
Science quotes on:  |  Anticipation (6)  |  Error (150)  |  Foundation (30)  |  History Of Science (30)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Nature (524)  |  Progress (198)  |  Study (149)  |  Usefulness (52)  |  Verification (13)

Art includes everything that stimulates the desire to live; science, everything that sharpens the desire to know. Art, even the most disinterested, the most disembodied, is the auxiliary of life.
Rémy de Gourmont and Glenn Stephen Burne (ed.), Selected Writings (1966), 170.
Science quotes on:  |  Art And Science (17)  |  Auxiliary (2)  |  Desire (45)  |  Disembodied (2)  |  Life (439)  |  Sharpen (5)

As followers of natural science we know nothing of any relation between thoughts and the brain, except as a gross correlation in time and space.
Man on his Nature (1942), 290.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (105)  |  Natural Science (29)  |  Relation (33)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Time And Space (3)

As I strayed into the study of an eminent physicist, I observed hanging against the wall, framed like a choice engraving, several dingy, ribbon-like strips of, I knew not what... My curiosity was at once aroused. What were they? ... They might be shreds of mummy-wraps or bits of friable bark-cloth from the Pacific, ... [or] remnants from a grandmother's wedding dress... They were none of these... He explained that they were carefully-prepared photographs of portions of the Solar Spectrum. I stood and mused, absorbed in the varying yet significant intensities of light and shade, bordered by mystic letters and symbolic numbers. As I mused, the pale legend began to glow with life. Every line became luminous with meaning. Every shadow was suffused with light shining from behind, suggesting some mighty achievement of knowledge; of knowledge growing more daring in proportion to the remoteness of the object known; of knowledge becoming more positive in its answers, as the questions which were asked seemed unanswerable. No Runic legend, no Babylonish arrowhead, no Egyptian hieroglyph, no Moabite stone, could present a history like this, or suggest thoughts of such weighty import or so stimulate and exalt the imagination.
The Sciences of Nature Versus the Science of Man: A Plea for the Science of Man (1871), 7-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Imagination (125)  |  Solar Spectrum (3)

As pilgrimages to the shrines of saints draw thousands of English Catholics to the Continent, there may be some persons in the British Islands sufficiently in love with science, not only to revere the memory of its founders, but to wish for a description of the locality and birth-place of a great master of knowledge—John Dalton—who did more for the world's civilisation than all the reputed saints in Christendom.
The Worthies of Cumberland (1874), 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Britain (7)  |  Civilisation (6)  |  John Dalton (20)  |  Founder (8)  |  Master (19)  |  Saint (6)  |  Shrine (5)

As was the case for Nobel's own invention of dynamite, the uses that are made of increased knowledge can serve both beneficial and potentially harmful ends. Increased knowledge clearly implies increased responsibility. We reject the notion advocated in some quarters that man should stop eating from the tree of knowledge, as if that were humanly possible.
From Nobel Banquet Speech (10 Dec 1981), in Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.), Les Prix Nobel 1981 (1981), 44.
Science quotes on:  |  Advocate (4)  |  Beneficial (6)  |  Clearly (3)  |  Dynamite (2)  |  Humanly (2)  |  Invention (167)  |  Alfred Bernhard Nobel (8)  |  Notion (14)  |  Possible (19)  |  Potential (13)  |  Reject (7)  |  Responsibility (23)  |  Serve (13)  |  Tree Of knowledge (4)

At a given instant everything the surgeon knows suddenly becomes important to the solution of the problem. You can't do it an hour later, or tomorrow. Nor can you go to the library and look it up.
Quoted in 'The Best Hope of All', Time (3 May 1963)
Science quotes on:  |  Physician (171)  |  Problem (178)  |  Solution (109)  |  Surgeon (28)

At first he who invented any art that went beyond the common perceptions of man was naturally admired by men, not only because there was something useful in the inventions, but because he was thought wise and superior to the rest. But as more arts were invented, and some were directed to the necessities of life, others to its recreation, the inventors of the latter were always regarded as wiser than the inventors of the former, because their branches of knowledge did not aim at utility.
Aristotle
Metaphysics, 981b, 13-20. In Jonathan Barnes (ed.), The Complete Works of Aristotle (1984), Vol. 2, 1553.
Science quotes on:  |  Recreation (6)

Basic research at universities comes in two varieties: research that requires big bucks and research that requires small bucks. Big bucks research is much like government research and in fact usually is government research but done for the government under contract. Like other government research, big bucks academic research is done to understand the nature and structure of the universe or to understand life, which really means that it is either for blowing up the world or extending life, whichever comes first. Again, that's the government's motivation. The universities' motivation for conducting big bucks research is to bring money in to support professors and graduate students and to wax the floors of ivy-covered buildings. While we think they are busy teaching and learning, these folks are mainly doing big bucks basic research for a living, all the while priding themselves on their terrific summer vacations and lack of a dress code.
Smalls bucks research is the sort of thing that requires paper and pencil, and maybe a blackboard, and is aimed primarily at increasing knowledge in areas of study that don't usually attract big bucks - that is, areas that don't extend life or end it, or both. History, political science, and romance languages are typically small bucks areas of basic research. The real purpose of small bucks research to the universities is to provide a means of deciding, by the quality of their small bucks research, which professors in these areas should get tenure.
Accidental Empires (1992), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  Academic (2)  |  Government (48)  |  History (151)  |  Life (439)  |  Money (87)  |  Political Science (2)  |  Professor (21)  |  Professor (21)  |  Research (358)  |  Tenure (2)  |  Universe (274)  |  University (28)

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.
From 'Mending Wall', in North of Boston (1914). Collected in Robert Frost and Thomas Fasano (ed.), Selected Early Poems of Robert Frost (2008), 52. Note: This passage may be the source which John F. Kennedy had in mind when he wrote in his personal notebook, "Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up." (see John F. Kennedy quotes on this site). The words in that terse paraphrase are those of Kennedy, and are neither those of Frost, or, as often attributed, G.K. Chesterton (q.v).
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (20)  |  Build (22)  |  Down (11)  |  Love (62)  |  Offence (2)  |  Reason (172)  |  Wall (10)

Bohr's standpoint, that a space-time description is impossible, I reject a limine. Physics does not consist only of atomic research, science does not consist only of physics, and life does not consist only of science. The aim of atomic research is to fit our empirical knowledge concerning it into our other thinking. All of this other thinking, so far as it concerns the outer world, is active in space and time. If it cannot be fitted into space and time, then it fails in its whole aim and one does not know what purpose it really serves.
Letter to Willy Wien (25 Aug 1926). Quoted in Walter Moore, Schrödinger: Life and Thought (1989), 226.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (20)  |  Atom (164)  |  Niels Bohr (35)  |  Empiricism (13)  |  Failure (55)  |  Life (439)  |  Physics (153)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Research (358)  |  Space And Time (4)  |  Thinking (163)

Books have always a secret influence on the understanding; we cannot at pleasure obliterate ideas; he that reads books of science, thogh without any fixed desire of improvement, will grow more knowing…
In Samuel Johnson and W. Jackson Bate (Ed.), ',The Adventurer, No. 137, Tuesday, 26 Febraury 1754.' The Selected Essays from the Rambler, Adventurer, and Idler (1968), 273.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (94)  |  Understanding (222)

Botany,—the science of the vegetable kingdom, is one of the most attractive, most useful, and most extensive departments of human knowledge. It is, above every other, the science of beauty.
In Joseph Paxton (using pseudonym Peter Parley), Peter Parley's Cyclopedia of Botany (1838), ix.
Science quotes on:  |  Above (3)  |  Attractive (2)  |  Beauty (83)  |  Botany (30)  |  Department (11)  |  Extensive (6)  |  Human (155)  |  Kingdom (17)  |  Other (16)  |  Science (850)  |  Usefulness (52)  |  Vegetable (12)

Both the physicist and the mystic want to communicate their knowledge, and when they do so with words their statements are paradoxical and full of logical contradictions.
In The Tao of Physics (1975), 46.
Science quotes on:  |  Communication (37)  |  Contradiction (22)  |  Logic (131)  |  Mystic (3)  |  Paradoxical (2)  |  Physicist (70)  |  Statement (26)  |  Word (96)

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 (103)  |  Death (175)  |  René Descartes (32)  |  Eclipse (11)  |  Experience (128)  |  Genius (86)  |  Hippocrates (37)  |  Idiot (10)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Imbecile (3)  |  Mind (266)  |  Nature (524)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (174)  |  Patient (52)  |  Prejudice (29)  |  Recovery (8)

But I do not feel obliged to believe that that same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.
Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany: (1615). In Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, trans. Stillman Drake (1957), 183.
Science quotes on:  |  God (229)

But I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe within any purpose, which is the way it really is, so far as I can tell. It doesn't frighten me.
In Richard Feynman and Jeffrey Robbins (ed.), The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard Feynman (1999), 25, last sentence of Chap. 1. The chapter, with the same title as the book, is an edited transcript of an interview with Feynman made for the BBC television program Horizon (1981).
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (91)  |  Loss (43)  |  Mystery (71)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Universe (274)

But it must not be forgotten that ... glass and porcelain were manufactured, stuffs dyed and metals separated from their ores by mere empirical processes of art, and without the guidance of correct scientific principles.
Familiar Letters on Chemistry (1851), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Dye (3)  |  Empirical Science (4)  |  Glass (19)  |  Metal (19)  |  Ore (4)  |  Porcelain (2)

But science is the great instrument of social change, all the greater because its object is not change but knowledge, and its silent appropriation of this dominant function, amid the din of political and religious strife, is the most vital of all the revolutions which have marked the development of modern civilisation.
Decadence: Henry Sidgwick Memorial Lecture (1908), 55-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (129)  |  Civilization (84)  |  Science (850)

But the greatest error of all the rest is the mistaking or misplacing of the last or farthest end of knowledge: for men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge, sometimes upon a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite; sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; and most times for lucre and profession; and seldom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of reason, to the benefit and use of men...
The First Book of Francis Bacon of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning (1605). In Francis Bacon and Basil Montagu, The Works of Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor of England (1852), 174
Science quotes on:  |  Curiosity (49)

But why, it has been asked, did you go there [the Antarctic]? Of what use to civilization can this lifeless continent be? ... [Earlier] expeditions contributed something to the accumulating knowledge of the Antarctic ... that helps us thrust back further the physical and spiritual shadows enfolding our terrestrial existence. Is it not true that one of the strongest and most continuously sustained impulses working in civilization is that which leads to discovery? As long as any part of the world remains obscure, the curiosity of man must draw him there, as the lodestone draws the mariner's needle, until he comprehends its secret.
In 'Hoover Presents Special Medal to Byrd...', New York Times (21 Jun 1930), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (14)  |  Antarctic (4)  |  Asking (17)  |  Civilization (84)  |  Comprehension (29)  |  Continent (22)  |  Contribution (23)  |  Curiosity (49)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Existence (145)  |  Expedition (4)  |  Going (5)  |  Impulse (12)  |  Lifeless (3)  |  Lodestone (4)  |  Mariner (3)  |  Obscurity (9)  |  Secret (40)  |  Shadow (16)  |  Terrestrial (7)  |  Use (51)  |  World (206)

By profession a biologist, [Thomas Henry Huxley] covered in fact the whole field of the exact sciences, and then bulged through its four fences. Absolutely nothing was uninteresting to him. His curiosity ranged from music to theology and from philosophy to history. He didn't simply know something about everything; he knew a great deal about everything.
'Thomas Henry Huxley.' In the Baltimore Evening Sun (4 May 1925). Reprinted in A Second Mencken Chrestomathy: A New Selection from the Writings of America's Legendary Editor, Critic, and Wit (2006), 157.
Science quotes on:  |  Curiosity (49)  |  Fence (6)  |  Field (68)  |  Thomas Henry Huxley (77)

By this we may understand, there be two sorts of knowledge, whereof the one is nothing else but sense, or knowledge original (as I have said at the beginning of the second chapter), and remembrance of the same; the other is called science or knowledge of the truth of propositions, and how things are called, and is derived from understanding.
The Elements of Law: Natural and Politic (1640), Ferdinand Tonnies edn. (1928), Part 1, Chapter 6, 18-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Truth (440)  |  Understanding (222)

Can a physicist visualize an electron? The electron is materially inconceivable and yet, it is so perfectly known through its effects that we use it to illuminate our cities, guide our airlines through the night skies and take the most accurate measurements. What strange rationale makes some physicists accept the inconceivable electrons as real while refusing to accept the reality of a Designer on the ground that they cannot conceive Him?
In letter to California State board of Education (14 Sep 1972).
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (33)  |  Airplane (16)  |  Designer (6)  |  Effect (70)  |  Electron (43)  |  God (229)  |  Illumination (9)  |  Inconceivable (2)  |  Material (54)  |  Measurement (108)  |  Physicist (70)  |  Reality (62)  |  Refusal (10)  |  Science And Religion (153)

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 (66)  |  Ignorance (110)

Chemical research conducts to the knowledge of philosophical truth, and forms the mind to philosophical enlargement and accuracy of thought, more happily than almost any other species of investigation in which the human intellect can be employed.
Quote following title page of Samuel Parkes, A Chemical Catechism With Notes, Illustrations and Experiments (8th ed. 1818).
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (33)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Employment (16)  |  Enlargement (5)  |  Form (65)  |  Happiness (56)  |  Human (155)  |  Intellect (95)  |  Investigation (81)  |  Mind (266)  |  Philosophy (128)  |  Research (358)  |  Species (91)  |  Thought (168)  |  Truth (440)

Chemistry is an art that has furnished the world with a great number of useful facts, and has thereby contributed to the improvement of many arts; but these facts lie scattered in many different books, involved in obscure terms, mixed with many falsehoods, and joined to a great deal of false philosophy; so that it is not great wonder that chemistry has not been so much studied as might have been expected with regard to so useful a branch of knowledge, and that many professors are themselves but very superficially acquainted with it. But it was particularly to be expected, that, since it has been taught in universities, the difficulties in this study should have been in some measure removed, that the art should have been put into form, and a system of it attempted—the scattered facts collected and arranged in a proper order. But this has not yet been done; chemistry has not yet been taught but upon a very narrow plan. The teachers of it have still confined themselves to the purposes of pharmacy and medicine, and that comprehends a small branch of chemistry; and even that, by being a single branch, could not by itself be tolerably explained.
John Thomson, An Account of the Life, Lectures and Writings of William Cullen, M.D. (1832), Vol. 1, 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Fact (311)

Chemistry is one of those branches of human knowledge which has built itself upon methods and instruments by which truth can presumably be determined. It has survived and grown because all its precepts and principles can be re-tested at any time and anywhere. So long as it remained the mysterious alchemy by which a few devotees, by devious and dubious means, presumed to change baser metals into gold, it did not flourish, but when it dealt with the fact that 56 g. of fine iron, when heated with 32 g. of flowers of sulfur, generated extra heat and gave exactly 88 g. of an entirely new substance, then additional steps could be taken by anyone. Scientific research in chemistry, since the birth of the balance and the thermometer, has been a steady growth of test and observation. It has disclosed a finite number of elementary reagents composing an infinite universe, and it is devoted to their inter-reaction for the benefit of mankind.
Address upon receiving the Perkin Medal Award, 'The Big Things in Chemistry', The Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (Feb 1921), 13, No. 2, 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (17)  |  Balance (23)  |  Base (10)  |  Branch (23)  |  Building (32)  |  Change (129)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Determination (32)  |  Devotee (2)  |  Element (68)  |  Fact (311)  |  Flourishing (3)  |  Gold (20)  |  Heat (48)  |  Human (155)  |  Instrument (37)  |  Iron (32)  |  Means (25)  |  Metal (19)  |  Method (73)  |  Mystery (71)  |  Observation (256)  |  Precept (3)  |  Presumption (5)  |  Principle (96)  |  Research (358)  |  Stoichiometry (2)  |  Sulphur (9)  |  Survival (30)  |  Test (44)  |  Thermometer (2)  |  Truth (440)

Coastal sailing as long as it is perfectly safe and easy commands no magic. Overseas expeditions are invariably bound up with ceremonies and ritual. Man resorts to magic only where chance and circumstances are not fully controlled by knowledge.
Culture (1931), 636.
Science quotes on:  |  Ceremony (2)  |  Chance (73)  |  Circumstance (25)  |  Coast (5)  |  Control (42)  |  Expedition (4)  |  Magic (21)  |  Ritual (4)  |  Safety (21)  |  Sailing (3)

Computers and rocket ships are examples of invention, not of understanding. ... All that is needed to build machines is the knowledge that when one thing happens, another thing happens as a result. It's an accumulation of simple patterns. A dog can learn patterns. There is no “why&rdqo; in those examples. We don't understand why electricity travels. We don't know why light travels at a constant speed forever. All we can do is observe and record patterns.
In God's Debris: A Thought Experiment (2004), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (14)  |  Building (32)  |  Computer (51)  |  Constant (14)  |  Dog (24)  |  Electricity (81)  |  Example (21)  |  Forever (13)  |  Happening (20)  |  Invention (167)  |  Learning (123)  |  Light (112)  |  Need (54)  |  Observation (256)  |  Record (22)  |  Rocket (17)  |  Ship (17)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Speed (10)  |  Travel (13)  |  Understanding (222)  |  Why (6)

Concerning the gods, I have no means of knowing either that they exist or that they do not exist, nor what sort of form they may have; there are many reasons why knowledge on this subject is not possible, owing to the lack of evidence and the shortness of human life.
Protagoras, fr. 1, quoted in E. Hussey, The Pre-Socratics (1972), 109.
Science quotes on:  |  Evidence (80)  |  Existence (145)  |  God (229)  |  Human Life (5)  |  Lack (14)  |  Possibility (67)  |  Reason (172)  |  Shortness (2)  |  Subject (48)

Creative imagination is likely to find corroborating novel evidence even for the most 'absurd' programme, if the search has sufficient drive. This look-out for new confirming evidence is perfectly permissible. Scientists dream up phantasies and then pursue a highly selective hunt for new facts which fit these phantasies. This process may be described as 'science creating its own universe' (as long as one remembers that 'creating' here is used in a provocative-idiosyncratic sense). A brilliant school of scholars (backed by a rich society to finance a few well-planned tests) might succeed in pushing any fantastic programme ahead, or alternatively, if so inclined, in overthrowing any arbitrarily chosen pillar of 'established knowledge'.
'Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes', in I. Lakatos and A. Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge: Proceedings of the International Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science, London 1965 (1970), Vol. 4, 187-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurd (8)  |  Evidence (80)  |  Fantasy (2)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Programme (3)  |  Research (358)  |  Scholar (19)

Criticism, though dignified from the earliest ages by the labours of men eminent for knowledge and sagacity, has not yet attained the certainty and stability of science.
In Samuel Austin Allibone, Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay (1880), 151.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (59)  |  Criticism (33)  |  Sagacity (2)  |  Stability (6)

Data is not information, Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not understanding, Understanding is not wisdom.
Attributed to Cliff Stoll and Gary Schubert, in Mark R Keeler, Nothing to Hide: Privacy in the 21st Century (2006), 112. A similar quote, 'Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom,' is in the lyrics of Frank Zappa's album, Joe's Garage, track 'Packard Goose.' The sentiment of the above quote is presented in Clifford Stoll, Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway (1996), 193-194. The elements of the above quote are fragmented and distributed within three paragraphs. “Data isn't information ... information is not knowledge ... doesn't mean you understand ... There's a relationship between data, information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. ... perhaps knowledge becomes wisdom.” [If you know a primary print source and date for Stoll and Schubert's quote, in the exact words of the summary form as above, please contact webmaster.]
Science quotes on:  |  Data (53)  |  Information (51)  |  Understanding (222)  |  Wisdom (87)

Data isn't information. ... Information, unlike data, is useful. While there’s a gulf between data and information, there’s a wide ocean between information and knowledge. What turns the gears in our brains isn't information, but ideas, inventions, and inspiration. Knowledge—not information—implies understanding. And beyond knowledge lies what we should be seeking: wisdom.
In High-Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer Contrarian (2000), 185-186.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (105)  |  Data (53)  |  Gear (3)  |  Gulf (3)  |  Idea (220)  |  Information (51)  |  Inspiration (28)  |  Invention (167)  |  Ocean (54)  |  Seeking (17)  |  Understanding (222)  |  Useful (15)  |  Wide (3)  |  Wisdom (87)

Despite the vision and the far-seeing wisdom of our wartime heads of state, the physicists felt a peculiarly intimate responsibility for suggesting, for supporting, and in the end, in large measure, for achieving the realization of atomic weapons. Nor can we forget that these weapons, as they were in fact used, dramatized so mercilessly the inhumanity and evil of modern war. In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.
The Open Mind (1955), 88.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (62)  |  Crude (5)  |  Evil (30)  |  Humour (96)  |  Inhumanity (3)  |  Lose (6)  |  Modern (42)  |  Physicist (70)  |  Realization (21)  |  Responsibility (23)  |  Sense (100)  |  Suggestion (13)  |  Support (24)  |  Vision (20)  |  Vulgarity (2)  |  War (74)  |  Weapon (33)  |  Wisdom (87)

Disease is largely a removable evil. It continues to afflict humanity, not only because of incomplete knowledge of its causes and lack of individual and public hygiene, but also because it is extensively fostered by harsh economic and industrial conditions and by wretched housing in congested communities. ... The reduction of the death rate is the principal statistical expression and index of human social progress. It means the saving and lengthening of lives of thousands of citizens, the extension of the vigorous working period well into old age, and the prevention of inefficiency, misery, and suffering. These advances can be made by organized social effort. Public health is purchasable. (1911)
Quoted in Evelynn Maxine Hammonds, Childhood's Deadly Scourge: The Campaign to Control Diphtheria in New York City, 1880-1930(1999), 221.
Science quotes on:  |  Affliction (4)  |  Cause (116)  |  Community (26)  |  Congestion (2)  |  Death (175)  |  Disease (169)  |  Economy (25)  |  Evil (30)  |  Health (92)  |  Hygiene (6)  |  Incompleteness (2)  |  Progress (198)  |  Suffering (18)

Do you realize we’ve got 250 million years of coal? But coal has got environmental hazards to it, but there’s—I’m convinced, and I know that we—technology can be developed so we can have zero-emissions coal-fired electricity plants.
Remarks at the Associated Builders and Contractors National Legislative Conference (8 Jun 2005). The White house corrected “250 million years” to “250 years” in a footnote to the printed record, 41 WCPD 956 in 'Administration of George W. Bush', 959.
Science quotes on:  |  Clean (6)  |  Coal (20)  |  Convince (7)  |  Development (117)  |  Electricity (81)  |  Hazard (6)  |  Million (27)  |  Money (87)  |  Plant (93)  |  Realize (5)  |  Technology (95)  |  Year (61)

Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing. (1760)
In Robert Allan Weinberg, The Biology of Cancer (2006), 726. (Note: Webmaster has not yet found this quote, in this wording, in a major quotation reference book. If you know a primary print source, or correction, please contact Webmaster.)
Science quotes on:  |  Cure (48)  |  Disease (169)  |  Doctor (54)  |  Human Being (15)  |  Medicine (187)  |  Nothing (85)  |  Physician (171)

During the century after Newton, it was still possible for a man of unusual attainments to master all fields of scientific knowledge. But by 1800, this had become entirely impracticable.
The Intelligent Man's Guide to Science (1960), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Isaac Newton (174)

During the last two centuries and a half, physical knowledge has been gradually made to rest upon a basis which it had not before. It has become mathematical. The question now is, not whether this or that hypothesis is better or worse to the pure thought, but whether it accords with observed phenomena in those consequences which can be shown necessarily to follow from it, if it be true
In Augustus De Morgan and Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan (ed.), A Budget of Paradoxes (1872), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Accord (7)  |  Basis (21)  |  Better (37)  |  Century (37)  |  Consequence (42)  |  Follow (20)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Mathematics (355)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Observation (256)  |  Phenomenon (113)  |  Physical Science (31)  |  Pure (12)  |  Question (152)  |  Thought (168)  |  Truth (440)  |  Worse (9)

Each time one of the medicine men dies, it's as if a library has burned down.
{Referring to potential knowledge from indiginous peoples of the medicinal value of tropical plants, speaking as director of the plant program of the World Wildlife Fund and having spent many months living with the Tirio tribe on the Suriname-Brazil border.]
Quoted in Jamie Murphy and Andrea Dorfman, 'The Quiet Apocalypse,' Time (13 Oct 1986).
Science quotes on:  |  Extinction (37)  |  Library (22)  |  Medicine (187)  |  Plant (93)

Education aims to give you a boost up the ladder of knowledge. Too often, it just gives you a cramp on one of its rungs.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (173)

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
In his dialogue 'The Critic As Artist', collected in Intentions (1904), 101.
Science quotes on:  |  Admirable (5)  |  Education (173)  |  Nothing (85)  |  Remember (18)  |  Teaching (60)  |  Time (160)  |  Worth (24)

Either one or the other [analysis or synthesis] may be direct or indirect. The direct procedure is when the point of departure is known-direct synthesis in the elements of geometry. By combining at random simple truths with each other, more complicated ones are deduced from them. This is the method of discovery, the special method of inventions, contrary to popular opinion.
Ampère gives this example drawn from geometry to illustrate his meaning for “direct synthesis” when deductions following from more simple, already-known theorems leads to a new discovery. In James R. Hofmann, André-Marie Ampère (1996), 159. Cites Académie des Sciences Ampère Archives, box 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (78)  |  Combination (36)  |  Complication (15)  |  Contrary (6)  |  Deduction (38)  |  Departure (3)  |  Direct (9)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Element (68)  |  Geometry (64)  |  Indirect (3)  |  Invention (167)  |  Method (73)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Point (29)  |  Popular (10)  |  Procedure (11)  |  Random (11)  |  Simple (24)  |  Special (24)  |  Synthesis (23)  |  Truth (440)

Engineering is not merely knowing and being knowledgeable, like a walking encyclopedia; engineering is not merely analysis; engineering is not merely the possession of the capacity to get elegant solutions to non-existent engineering problems; engineering is practicing the art of the organizing forces of technological change ... Engineers operate at the interface between science and society.
In Bert Scalzo, et al., Database Benchmarking: Practical Methods for Oracle & SQL Server (2007), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (78)  |  Engineering (59)  |  Progress (198)  |  Society (81)  |  Solution (109)  |  Technology (95)

Engineers use knowledge primarily to design, produce, and operate artifacts. … Scientists, by contrast, use knowledge primarily to generate more knowledge.
What Engineers Know and How They Know It (1990), 226. In Camilla Stivers, Democracy, Bureaucracy, and the Study of Administration (2001), 144.
Science quotes on:  |  Engineering (59)  |  Science (850)  |  Science And Engineering (9)

Equations seem like treasures, spotted in the rough by some discerning individual, plucked and examined, placed in the grand storehouse of knowledge, passed on from generation to generation. This is so convenient a way to present scientific discovery, and so useful for textbooks, that it can be called the treasure-hunt picture of knowledge.
The Great Equations: Breakthroughs in Science: from Pythagoras to Heisenberg (2009), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (354)  |  Equation (45)  |  Generation (50)  |  Textbook (11)  |  Treasure (15)

Ere long intelligence—transmitted without wires—will throb through the earth like a pulse through a living organism. The wonder is that, with the present state of knowledge and the experiences gained, no attempt is being made to disturb the electrostatic or magnetic condition of the earth, and transmit, if nothing else, intelligence.
Electrical Engineer (24 Jun 1892), 11‎, 609.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (39)  |  Electrostatic (2)  |  Experience (128)  |  Intelligence (72)  |  Magnetic (2)  |  Pulse (2)  |  Radio (14)  |  Transmission (16)  |  Wire (10)  |  Wonder (62)

Even the facts of science may dust the mind by their dryness, unless they are ... rendered fertile by the dews of fresh and living truth. Knowledge does not come to us by details, but in flashes of light from heaven.
Yankee in Canada, Etc., 167. Excerpt in H.G.O. Blake (ed.), Thoreau's Thoughts: Selections From the Writings of Henry David Thoreau (1890,2005), 102.
Science quotes on:  |  Detail (32)  |  Dew (2)  |  Dust (18)  |  Fact (311)  |  Fertile (5)  |  Flash (8)  |  Fresh (8)  |  Heaven (53)  |  Light (112)  |  Living (23)  |  Mind (266)  |  Render (9)  |  Truth (440)

Even those to whom Providence has allotted greater strength of understanding, can expect only to improve a single science. In every other part of learning, they must be content to follow opinions, which they are not able to examine; and, even in that which they claim as peculiarly their own, can seldom add more than some small particle of knowledge, to the hereditary stock devolved to them from ancient times, the collective labour of a thousand intellects.
In Samuel Johnson and W. Jackson Bate (Ed.), ',The Rambler, No. 121, Tuesday, 14 May 1751.' The Selected Essays from the Rambler, Adventurer, and Idler (1968), 172.
Science quotes on:  |  Men Of Science (90)

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.
'On the Advisableness of Improving Natural Knowledge', a lay sermon at St. Martin's Hall (Sunday 7 Jan 1866), The Fortnightly Review. In The Journal of Mental Science (1867), Vol. 12, No. 58, (Jul 1866), 279.
Science quotes on:  |  Authority (23)

Every student who enters upon a scientific pursuit, especially if at a somewhat advanced period of life, will find not only that he has much to learn, but much also to unlearn.
Outlines of Astronomy (1871), 11th edn., 1.

Everywhere science is enriched by unscientific methods and unscientific results, ... the separation of science and non-science is not only artificial but also detrimental to the advancement of knowledge. If we want to understand nature, if we want to master our physical surroundings, then we must use all ideas, all methods, and not just a small selection of them.
Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (1975), 305-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Idea (220)  |  Nature (524)  |  Understanding (222)

Exact knowledge is the enemy of vitalism.
In Of Molecules and Men (1966, 2004), prefatory statement.
Science quotes on:  |  Enemy (24)  |  Exactness (13)  |  Vitalism (4)

Experiment adds to knowledge, Credulity leads to error.
Anonymous
Arabic Proverb.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (150)  |  Experiment (367)  |  French Saying (51)  |  Scientific Method (98)

Experimentation is the least arrogant method of gaining knowledge. The experimenter humbly asks a question of nature.
[Unverified. Please contact Webmaster if you can identify the primary source.]
Science quotes on:  |  Arrogance (6)  |  Ask (20)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Experimenter (9)  |  Gain (23)  |  Humble (3)  |  Least (6)  |  Nature (524)  |  Question (152)

Facts, and facts alone, are the foundation of science... When one devotes oneself to experimental research it is in order to augment the sum of known facts, or to discover their mutual relations.
Precis elementaire de Physiologie (1816), ii. Trans. J. M. D. Olmsted, François Magendie: Pioneer in Experimental Physiology and Scientific Medicine in XIX Century France (1944), 62.
Science quotes on:  |  Augment (3)  |  Devotion (11)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Fact (311)  |  Foundation (30)  |  Relationship (35)  |  Research (358)

Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.
In The Kahlil Gibran Reader: Inspirational Writings (2006), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Beyond (17)  |  Faith (73)  |  Heart (45)  |  Proof (133)  |  Reach (30)

Finally, I aim at giving denominations to things, as agreeable to truth as possible. I am not ignorant that words, like money, possess an ideal value, and that great danger of confusion may be apprehended from a change of names; in the mean time it cannot be denied that chemistry, like the other sciences, was formerly filled with improper names. In different branches of knowledge, we see those matters long since reformed: why then should chemistry, which examines the real nature of things, still adopt vague names, which suggest false ideas, and favour strongly of ignorance and imposition? Besides, there is little doubt but that many corrections may be made without any inconvenience.
Physical and Chemical Essays (1784), Vol. I, xxxvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Error (150)  |  Name (58)  |  Truth (440)  |  Word (96)

First, In showing in how to avoid attempting impossibilities. Second, In securing us from important mistakes in attempting what is, in itself possible, by means either inadequate or actually opposed to the end in view. Thirdly, In enabling us to accomplish our ends in the easiest, shortest, most economical, and most effectual manner. Fourth, In inducing us to attempt, and enabling us to accomplish, object which, but for such knowledge, we should never have thought of understanding.
On the ways that a knowledge of the order of nature can be of use.
Quoted in Robert Routledge, Discoveries and Inventions of the 19th Century (1890), 665.

For all knowledge and wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an impression of pleasure in itself.
The First Book of Francis Bacon of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning (1605). In Francis Bacon and Basil Montagu, The Works of Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor of England (1852), 163

For example, there are numbers of chemists who occupy themselves exclusively with the study of dyestuffs. They discover facts that are useful to scientific chemistry; but they do not rank as genuine scientific men. The genuine scientific chemist cares just as much to learn about erbium—the extreme rarity of which renders it commercially unimportant—as he does about iron. He is more eager to learn about erbium if the knowledge of it would do more to complete his conception of the Periodic Law, which expresses the mutual relations of the elements.
From 'Lessons from the History of Science: The Scientific Attitude' (c.1896), in Collected Papers (1931), Vol. 1, 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemist (47)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Commercially (2)  |  Complete (13)  |  Conception (28)  |  Discover (16)  |  Dye (3)  |  Eager (4)  |  Element (68)  |  Erbium (2)  |  Express (8)  |  Extreme (17)  |  Facts (2)  |  Genuine (8)  |  Iron (32)  |  Law (269)  |  Learn (23)  |  Mutual (9)  |  Occupy (6)  |  Periodic Table (10)  |  Rank (13)  |  Rarity (6)  |  Relation (33)  |  Render (9)  |  Scientific (54)  |  Study (149)  |  Unimportant (2)  |  Useful (15)

For FRICTION is inevitable because the Universe is FULL of God's works.
For the PERPETUAL MOTION is in all works of Almighty GOD.
For it is not so in the engines of man, which are made of dead materials, neither indeed can be.
For the Moment of bodies, as it is used, is a false term—bless God ye Speakers on the Fifth of November.
For Time and Weight are by their several estimates.
For I bless GOD in the discovery of the LONGITUDE direct by the means of GLADWICK.
For the motion of the PENDULUM is the longest in that it parries resistance.
For the WEDDING GARMENTS of all men are prepared in the SUN against the day of acceptation.
For the wedding Garments of all women are prepared in the MOON against the day of their purification.
For CHASTITY is the key of knowledge as in Esdras, Sir Isaac Newton & now, God be praised, in me.
For Newton nevertheless is more of error than of the truth, but I am of the WORD of GOD.
From 'Jubilate Agno' (c.1758-1763), in N. Callan (ed.), The Collected Poems of Christopher Smart (1949), Vol. 1, 276.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (30)  |  Dead (14)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Engine (10)  |  Error (150)  |  Estimate (8)  |  Friction (2)  |  Garment (4)  |  God (229)  |  Inevitability (6)  |  Key (17)  |  Longitude (3)  |  Man (258)  |  Material (54)  |  Moon (78)  |  Motion (64)  |  Nevertheless (2)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (174)  |  Pendulum (10)  |  Perpetual Motion (6)  |  Praise (10)  |  Purification (3)  |  Resistance (14)  |  Sun (109)  |  Time (160)  |  Truth (440)  |  Universe (274)  |  Wedding (3)  |  Weight (40)  |  Woman (33)  |  Word (96)  |  Work (186)

For geologists ... the word 'plate' is in somewhat the same position as 'skyscraper'. It is a dead (or almost dead) metaphor. Geologists know (or they think they know) what plates are, almost as well as the commuter knows what a skyscraper is.
Thinking About the Earth (1996), 307.
Science quotes on:  |  Dead (14)  |  Geologist (26)  |  Metaphor (8)  |  Plate (2)  |  Skyscraper (3)

For it is owing to their wonder that men now both begin and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant (whence even the lover of myth is in a sense a lover of wisdom, for myth is composed of wonders); therefore since they philosophized in order to escape from ignorance, evidently they were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end. And this is confirmed by the facts; for it was when almost all the necessities of life and the things that make for comfort and recreation were present, that such knowledge began to be sought. Evidently then we do not seek it for the sake of any advantage; but as the man is free, we say, who exists for himself and not for another, so we pursue this as the only free science, for it alone exists for itself.
Aristotle
Metaphysics, 982b, 12-27. In Jonathan Baines (ed.), The Complete Works of Aristotle (1984), Vol. 2, 1554.
Science quotes on:  |  Universe (274)

For most diagnoses all that is needed is an ounce of knowledge, an ounce of intelligence, and a pound of thoroughness.
Anonymous
Arabic Proverb. In Lancet (1951). In John Murtagh, General Practice (1998), 125.
Science quotes on:  |  Diagnosis (48)  |  Intelligence (72)  |  Proverb (17)

For myself, I like a universe that, includes much that is unknown and, at the same time, much that is knowable. A universe in which everything is known would be static and dull, as boring as the heaven of some weak-minded theologians. A universe that is unknowable is no fit place for a thinking being. The ideal universe for us is one very much like the universe we inhabit. And I would guess that this is not really much of a coincidence.
'Can We know the Universe?' in M. Gardner (ed.), The Sacred Beetle and Other Great Essays in Science (1985), 109.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (34)  |  Boredom (4)  |  Coincidence (6)  |  Dullness (4)  |  Heaven (53)  |  Ideal (26)  |  Mind (266)  |  Theologian (11)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Universe (274)  |  Unknown (39)  |  Weak (10)

For the little that one has reflected on the origin of our knowledge, it is easy to perceive that we can acquire it only by means of comparison. That which is absolutely incomparable is wholly incomprehensible. God is the only example that we could give here. He cannot be comprehended, because he cannot be compared. But all which is susceptible of comparison, everything that we can perceive by different aspects, all that we can consider relatively, can always be judged according to our knowledge.
'Histoire naturelle de l'Homme', Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particulière, Avec la Description du Cabinet du Roi (1749), Vol. 2, 431. Trans. Phillip R. Sloan.
Science quotes on:  |  God (229)  |  Observation (256)

For there are two modes of acquiring knowledge, namely, by reasoning and experience. Reasoning draws a conclusion and makes us grant the conclusion, but does not make the conclusion certain, nor does it remove doubt so that the mind may rest on the intuition of truth, unless the mind discovers it by the path of experience; since many have the arguments relating to what can be known, but because they lack experience they neglect the arguments, and neither avoid what is harmful nor follow what is good. For if a man who has never seen fire should prove by adequate reasoning that fire burns and injures things and destroys them, his mind would not be satisfied thereby, nor would he avoid fire, until he placed his hand or some combustible substance in the fire, so that he might prove by experience that which reasoning taught. But when he has had actual experience of combustion his mind is made certain and rests in the full light of truth. Therefore reasoning does not suffice, but experience does.
Opus Majus [1266-1268], Part VI, chapter I, trans. R. B. Burke, The Opus Majus of Roger Bacon (1928), Vol. 2, 583.
Science quotes on:  |  Fire (58)  |  Observation (256)

For this knowledge of right living, we have sought a new name... . As theology is the science of religious life, and biology the science of [physical] life ... so let Oekology be henceforth the science of [our] normal lives ... the worthiest of all the applied sciences which teaches the principles on which to found... healthy... and happy life.
Quoted in Robert Clarke (ed.), Ellen Swallow: The Woman Who Founded Ecology (1973), 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (82)  |  Ecology (20)  |  Life (439)  |  Name (58)  |  New (99)  |  Nomenclature (99)  |  Religion (116)  |  Theology (19)

For [Richard] Feynman, the essence of the scientific imagination was a powerful and almost painful rule. What scientists create must match reality. It must match what is already known. Scientific creativity is imagination in a straitjacket.
In Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman (1992), 324.
Science quotes on:  |  Creativity (43)  |  Essence (18)  |  Richard P. Feynman (37)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Painful (3)  |  Powerful (12)  |  Reality (62)  |  Rule (50)

Frequently, I have been asked if an experiment I have planned is pure or applied science; to me it is more important to know if the experiment will yield new and probably enduring knowledge about nature. If it is likely to yield such knowledge, it is, in my opinion, good fundamental research; and this is more important than whether the motivation is purely aesthetic satisfaction on the part of the experimenter on the one hand or the improvement of the stability of a high-power transistor on the other.
Quoted in Richard R. Nelson, 'The Link Between Science and Invention: The Case of the Transistor,' The Rate and Direction of the Inventive Activity (1962). In Daniel S. Greenberg, The Politics of Pure Science (1999), 32, footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Aesthetic (10)  |  Applied Science (16)  |  Asking (17)  |  Enduring (4)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Experimenter (9)  |  Frequently (7)  |  Fundamental (56)  |  Importance (98)  |  Improvement (35)  |  Likelihood (3)  |  Motivation (15)  |  Nature (524)  |  New (99)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Plan (39)  |  Pure Science (7)  |  Research (358)  |  Satisfaction (29)  |  Stability (6)  |  Yield (6)

From the freedom to explore comes the joy of learning. From knowledge acquired by personal initiative arises the desire for more knowledge. And from mastery of the novel and beautiful world awaiting every child comes self-confidence.
In The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth (2010), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  Arise (5)  |  Beautiful (15)  |  Child (80)  |  Desire (45)  |  Exploration (44)  |  Freedom (41)  |  Initiative (10)  |  Joy (25)  |  Learning (123)  |  Mastery (8)  |  Novel (6)  |  Personal (14)  |  Self-Confidence (3)  |  World (206)

From the physician, as emphatically the student of Nature, is expected not only an inquiry into cause, but an investigation of the whole empire of Nature and a determination of the applicability of every species of knowledge to the improvement of his art.
In 'An Inquiry, Analogical and Experimental, into the Different Electrical conditions of Arterial and Venous Blood', New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal (1853-4), 10, 584-602 & 738-757. As cited in George B. Roth, 'Dr. John Gorrie—Inventor of Artificial Ice and Mechanical Refrigeration', The Scientific Monthly (May 1936) 42 No. 5, 464-469.
Science quotes on:  |  Applicability (2)  |  Art (76)  |  Cause (116)  |  Determination (32)  |  Empire (6)  |  Improvement (35)  |  Inquiry (12)  |  Investigation (81)  |  Nature (524)  |  Physician (171)  |  Species (91)  |  Student (50)

From whence it is obvious to conclude that, since our Faculties are not fitted to penetrate into the internal Fabrick and real Essences of Bodies; but yet plainly discover to us the Being of a GOD, and the Knowledge of our selves, enough to lead us into a full and clear discovery of our Duty, and great Concernment, it will become us, as rational Creatures, to imploy those Faculties we have about what they are most adapted to, and follow the direction of Nature, where it seems to point us out the way.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 4, Chapter 12, Section 11, 646.
Science quotes on:  |  Creature (45)  |  Duty (23)  |  Essence (18)  |  Faculty (19)  |  God (229)  |  Rational (17)

Genetics as a whole is the great over-hyped science, and geneticists know that even if they don't say it. All that genetics really is is anatomy plus an enormous research group grant. It's what anatomists did in the fifteenth century-looking at the heart and seeing how it worked. Now, we are doing the same with DNA
Quoted by Sean O'Hagan, in 'End of sperm report', The Observer (14 Sep 2002).
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomist (8)  |  Anatomy (31)  |  DNA (48)  |  Enormous (16)  |  Geneticist (8)  |  Genetics (78)  |  Grant (8)  |  Group (24)  |  Heart (45)  |  Looking (14)  |  Now (4)  |  Research (358)  |  French Saying (51)  |  Science (850)  |  Working (11)

Geological facts being of an historical nature, all attempts to deduce a complete knowledge of them merely from their still, subsisting consequences, to the exclusion of unexceptionable testimony, must be deemed as absurd as that of deducing the history of ancient Rome solely from the medals or other monuments of antiquity it still exhibits, or the scattered ruins of its empire, to the exclusion of a Livy, a Sallust, or a Tacitus.
Geological Essays (1799), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Antiquity (5)  |  Fact (311)  |  Geology (144)  |  History (151)  |  Medal (2)  |  Observation (256)  |  Rome (4)  |  Ruin (13)

Geology holds the keys of one of the kingdoms of nature; and it cannot be said that a science which extends our Knowledge, and by consequence our Power, over a third part of nature, holds a low place among intellectual employments.
Vindiciae Geologicae (1820),7.
Science quotes on:  |  Geology (144)

Geology is intimately related to almost all the physical sciences, as is history to the moral. An historian should, if possible, be at once profoundly acquainted with ethics, politics, jurisprudence, the military art, theology; in a word, with all branches of knowledge, whereby any insight into human affairs, or into the moral and intellectual nature of man, can be obtained. It would be no less desirable that a geologist should be well versed in chemistry, natural philosophy, mineralogy, zoology, comparative anatomy, botany; in short, in every science relating to organic and inorganic nature. With these accomplishments the historian and geologist would rarely fail to draw correct and philosophical conclusions from the various monuments transmitted to them of former occurrences.
Principles of Geology (1830-3), Vol. 1, 2-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (31)  |  Botany (30)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Geology (144)  |  Historian (18)  |  Mineralogy (3)  |  Natural Philosophy (9)  |  Zoology (12)

Gradually, … the aspect of science as knowledge is being thrust into the background by the aspect of science as the power of manipulating nature. It is because science gives us the power of manipulating nature that it has more social importance than art. Science as the pursuit of truth is the equal, but not the superior, of art. Science as a technique, though it may have little intrinsic value, has a practical importance to which art cannot aspire.
In The Scientific Outlook (1931, 2009), xxiv.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (76)  |  Aspect (15)  |  Background (10)  |  Equal (21)  |  Importance (98)  |  Intrinsic (6)  |  Nature (524)  |  Power (98)  |  Practical (30)  |  Pursuit (33)  |  Science (850)  |  Science And Art (54)  |  Social (14)  |  Superior (12)  |  Technique (12)  |  Technology (95)  |  Truth (440)  |  Value (63)

Great healers, people of divine realization, do not cure by chance but by exact knowledge.
In Richard Alan Krieger, Civilization's Quotations (2002), 313.
Science quotes on:  |  Chance (73)  |  Cure (48)  |  Divine (16)  |  Exactness (13)  |  Great (58)  |  People (72)  |  Realization (21)

Great is the faith of the flush of knowledge and of the investigation of the depths of qualities and things.
In Walt Whitman and William Michael Rossetti (ed.), 'Preface to the First Edition of Leaves of Grass', Poems By Walt Whitman (1868), 46.
Science quotes on:  |  Depth (9)  |  Faith (73)  |  Great (58)  |  Investigation (81)  |  Quality (27)

Groups do not have experiences except insofar as all their members do. And there are no experiences... that all the members of a scientific community must share in the course of a [scientific] revolution. Revolutions should be described not in terms of group experience but in terms of the varied experiences of individual group members. Indeed, that variety itself turns out to play an essential role in the evolution of scientific knowledge.
Thomas S. Kuhn's Foreword to Paul Hoyningen-Huene, Reconstructing Scientific Revolutions: Thomas S Kuhn's Philosophy of Science (1993), xiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (128)  |  Group (24)  |  Scientific Revolution (8)

He that in ye mine of knowledge deepest diggeth, hath, like every other miner, ye least breathing time, and must sometimes at least come to terr. alt. for air.
[Explaining how he writes a letter as break from his study.]
Letter to Dr. Law (15 Dec 1716) as quoted in Norman Lockyer, (ed.), Nature (25 May 1881), 24, 39. The source refers to it as an unpublished letter.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (84)  |  Break (18)  |  Breathing (4)  |  Deepest (2)  |  Hath (2)  |  Least (6)  |  Letter (15)  |  Miner (2)  |  Sometimes (7)  |  Study (149)  |  Time (160)

He who has imagination without learning has wings and no feet.
In Tryon Edwards, A Dictionary of Thoughts (1908), 245.
Science quotes on:  |  Foot (7)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Learning (123)  |  Wing (15)

He who knows not, and knows not he knows not, he is a fool—shun him;
He who knows not, and knows he knows not, he is simple—teach him;
He who knows, and knows not he knows, he is asleep—wake him;
He who knows, and knows he knows, he is wise—follow him.
Anonymous
Hesiod, 'Works and Days,' 293-7. In William White, Notes and Queries (1904), Series 10, Vol. 1, 235, the correspondent H.A. Strong says that the origin of these lines is to be found in Hesiod [Greek, 8th Century B.C.], Works and Days, 293-7; that the passage was very celebrated in antiquity, and is quoted by Aristotle, Nic. Eth., i. 4; and that both Livy (xxii. 29) and Cicero (Pro Cluent., 31) refer to it. Another correspondent (J.H.K.) said it was stated to be an Arab proverb in Lady [Isabel] Burton, Life of [Captain] Sir Richard [F.] Burton [(1894, Vol. 1, 548, footnote, wherein the quote begins 'Men are four.'].
Science quotes on:  |  Follow (20)  |  Fool (32)  |  Shun (3)  |  Simple (24)  |  Sleep (25)  |  Teaching (60)  |  Wisdom (87)

He who knows what best to omit is the best teacher.
In Otto Neurath, Empiricism and Sociology (1973), 220.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (40)  |  Teacher (52)

He who knows what sweets and virtues are in the ground, the waters, the plants, the heavens, and how to come at these enchantments, is the rich and royal man.
Essays, Second Series (1844).
Science quotes on:  |  Enchantment (5)  |  Ground (17)  |  Heaven (53)  |  Man (258)  |  Plant (93)  |  Rich (16)  |  Royal (2)  |  Sweet (2)  |  Virtue (27)  |  Water (116)

He's the best physician that knows the worthlessness of the most medicines.
In Poor Richard's Almanack (1733).
Science quotes on:  |  Best (40)  |  Medicine (187)  |  Physician (171)  |  Worthlessness (2)

Her [Nightingale's] statistics were more than a study, they were indeed her religion. For her, Quetelet was the hero as scientist, and the presentation copy of his Physique Sociale is annotated by her on every page. Florence Nightingale believed—and in all the actions of her life acted upon that belief—that the administrator could only be successful if he were guided by statistical knowledge. The legislator—to say nothing of the politician—too often failed for want of this knowledge. Nay, she went further: she held that the universe—including human communities—was evolving in accordance with a divine plan; that it was man's business to endeavour to understand this plan and guide his actions in sympathy with it. But to understand God's thoughts, she held we must study statistics, for these are the measure of his purpose. Thus the study of statistics was for her a religious duty.
In Karl Pearson, The Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton (1924), Vol. 2, 414-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Administrator (2)  |  Belief (135)  |  Duty (23)  |  Endeavour (23)  |  Florence Nightingale (23)  |  Plan (39)  |  Statistics (74)  |  Understand (11)

Here I shall present, without using Analysis [mathematics], the principles and general results of the Théorie, applying them to the most important questions of life, which are indeed, for the most part, only problems in probability. One may even say, strictly speaking, that almost all our knowledge is only probable; and in the small number of things that we are able to know with certainty, in the mathematical sciences themselves, the principal means of arriving at the truth—induction and analogy—are based on probabilities, so that the whole system of human knowledge is tied up with the theory set out in this essay.
Philosophical Essay on Probabilities (1814), 5th edition (1825), trans. Andrew I. Dale (1995), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (26)  |  Analysis (78)  |  Certainty (59)  |  Importance (98)  |  Induction (22)  |  Life (439)  |  Mathematics (355)  |  Principle (96)  |  Probability (54)  |  Problem (178)  |  Question (152)  |  Result (127)  |  Theory (346)  |  Truth (440)

Here I shall present, without using Analysis [mathematics], the principles and general results of the Théorie, applying them to the most important questions of life, which are indeed, for the most part, only problems in probability. One may even say, strictly speaking, that almost all our knowledge is only probable; and in the small number of things that we are able to know with certainty, in the mathematical sciences themselves, the principal means of arriving at the truth—induction and analogy—are based on probabilities, so that the whole system of human knowledge is tied up with the theory set out in this essay.
Philosophical Essay on Probabilities (1814), 5th edition (1825), trans. Andrew I. Dale (1995), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (26)  |  Analysis (78)  |  Certainty (59)  |  Importance (98)  |  Induction (22)  |  Life (439)  |  Mathematics (355)  |  Principle (96)  |  Probability (54)  |  Problem (178)  |  Question (152)  |  Result (127)  |  Theory (346)  |  Truth (440)

His [Thomas Edison] method was inefficient in the extreme, for an immense ground had to be covered to get anything at all unless blind chance intervened and, at first, I was almost a sorry witness of his doings, knowing that just a little theory and calculation would have saved him 90 per cent of the labor. But he had a veritable contempt for book learning and mathematical knowledge, trusting himself entirely to his inventor's instinct and practical American sense. In view of this, the truly prodigious amount of his actual accomplishments is little short of a miracle.
As quoted in 'Tesla Says Edison Was an Empiricist', The New York Times (19 Oct 1931), 25. In 1884, Tesla had moved to America to assist Edison in the designing of motors and generators.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (23)  |  American (11)  |  Book (94)  |  Calculation (38)  |  Contempt (5)  |  Thomas Edison (26)  |  Extreme (17)  |  Instinct (25)  |  Inventor (24)  |  Labor (17)  |  Learning (123)  |  Mathematical (9)  |  Method (73)  |  Miracle (24)  |  Practical (30)  |  Prodigious (4)  |  Saving (11)  |  Theory (346)  |  Trust (13)  |  Witness (9)

Hitherto the principle of causality was universally accepted as an indispensable postulate of scientific research, but now we are told by some physicists that it must be thrown overboard. The fact that such an extraordinary opinion should be expressed in responsible scientific quarters is widely taken to be significant of the all-round unreliability of human knowledge. This indeed is a very serious situation.
In Where is Science Going? (1932), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (30)  |  Causality (4)  |  Expression (43)  |  Extraordinary (18)  |  Indispensability (2)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Overboard (2)  |  Physicist (70)  |  Postulate (20)  |  Principle (96)  |  Research (358)  |  Responsibility (23)  |  Seriousness (6)  |  Significance (30)  |  Situation (21)  |  Telling (16)  |  Throw (11)

How to start on my adventure—how to become a forester—was not so simple. There were no schools of Forestry in America. ... Whoever turned his mind toward Forestry in those days thought little about the forest itself and more about its influences, and about its influence on rainfall first of all. So I took a course in meteorology, which has to do with weather and climate. and another in botany, which has to do with the vegetable kingdom—trees are unquestionably vegetable. And another in geology, for forests grow out of the earth. Also I took a course in astronomy, for it is the sun which makes trees grow. All of which is as it should be, because science underlies the forester's knowledge of the woods. So far I was headed right. But as for Forestry itself, there wasn't even a suspicion of it at Yale. The time for teaching Forestry as a profession was years away.
In Breaking New Ground (1947, 1998), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (103)  |  Biography (198)  |  Botany (30)  |  Climate (24)  |  Earth (238)  |  Forester (2)  |  Forestry (5)  |  Geology (144)  |  Growth (65)  |  Influence (46)  |  Kingdom (17)  |  Meteorology (15)  |  Profession (23)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Sun (109)  |  Suspicion (14)  |  Teaching (60)  |  Tree (81)  |  Underlie (2)  |  Vegetable (12)  |  Weather (9)  |  Wood (16)

However high we climb in the pursuit of knowledge we shall still see heights above us, and the more we extend our view, the more conscious we shall be of the immensity which lies beyond.
Address to the British Association (1863), in Report of the Thirty-Third Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1864), li

Human behaviour reveals uniformities which constitute natural laws. If these uniformities did not exist, then there would be neither social science nor political economy, and even the study of history would largely be useless. In effect, if the future actions of men having nothing in common with their past actions, our knowledge of them, although possibly satisfying our curiosity by way of an interesting story, would be entirely useless to us as a guide in life.
Cours d'Economie Politique (1896-7), Vol. 2, 397.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (52)  |  Behaviour (22)  |  Common (42)  |  Constitution (12)  |  Curiosity (49)  |  Economy (25)  |  Effect (70)  |  Existence (145)  |  Future (101)  |  History (151)  |  Human (155)  |  Interest (75)  |  Law (269)  |  Man (258)  |  Natural (47)  |  Nothing (85)  |  Past (40)  |  Politics (50)  |  Possibility (67)  |  Revelation (24)  |  Social Science (17)  |  Story (16)  |  Study (149)  |  Uniformity (12)  |  Uselessness (17)

Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule.
Aphorism 3,' Novum Organum, Book I (1620)
Science quotes on:  |  Nature (524)

I also maintain that clear knowledge of natural science must be acquired, in the first instance, through mastery of medicine alone.
In Fielding Hudson Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine (1929), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Medicine (187)

I am almost thanking God that I was never educated, for it seems to me that 999 of those who are so, expensively and laboriously, have lost all before they arrive at my age—& remain like Swift's Stulbruggs—cut and dry for life, making no use of their earlier-gained treasures:—whereas, I seem to be on the threshold of knowledge.
In Vivien Noakes, Edward Lear: the Life of a Wanderer (1969), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (56)  |  Biography (198)  |  Cut (13)  |  Dry (8)  |  Education (173)  |  Expense (5)  |  Gain (23)  |  Labour (26)  |  Life (439)  |  Jonathan Swift (15)  |  Thank (3)  |  Threshold (3)  |  Treasure (15)

I am convinced that it is impossible to expound the methods of induction in a sound manner, without resting them upon the theory of probability. Perfect knowledge alone can give certainty, and in nature perfect knowledge would be infinite knowledge, which is clearly beyond our capacities. We have, therefore, to content ourselves with partial knowledge—knowledge mingled with ignorance, producing doubt.
The Principles of Science: A Treatise on Logic and Scientific Method, 2nd edition (1877), 197.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (38)  |  Induction (22)  |  Nature (524)  |  Probability (54)

I am entitled to say, if I like, that awareness exists in all the individual creatures on the planet—worms, sea urchins, gnats, whales, subhuman primates, superprimate humans, the lot. I can say this because we do not know what we are talking about: consciousness is so much a total mystery for our own species that we cannot begin to guess about its existence in others.
In Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony(1984), 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Awareness (11)  |  Beginning (66)  |  Cannot (7)  |  Consciousness (35)  |  Creature (45)  |  Existence (145)  |  Gnat (4)  |  Guess (13)  |  Human (155)  |  Individual (54)  |  Lot (2)  |  Mystery (71)  |  Other (16)  |  Planet (77)  |  Primate (4)  |  French Saying (51)  |  Species (91)  |  Talk (20)  |  Total (13)  |  Whale (10)  |  Worm (11)

I am sorry that the distinguished leader of the Republican Party in the House states that he is not versed in botany and publicly admits that he does not know anything of these terms or what it is all about; but, Mr. Chairman, it is indeed a sad day for the people of this country when we must close the doors of the laboratories doing research work for the people of the United States.
Speaking (28 Dec 1932) as a member of the 72nd Congress, early in the Great Depression, in opposition to an attempt to eliminate a small amount from the agricultural appropriation bill. As quoted in 'Mayor-Elect La Guardia on Research', Science (1933), New Series, 78, No. 2031, 511.
Science quotes on:  |  Botany (30)  |  Close (11)  |  Congress (6)  |  Laboratory (75)  |  Leader (8)  |  Research (358)

I await your sentence with less fear than you pass it. The time will come when all will see what I see.
In Robert L. Weber, More Random Walks in Science (1982), 50.
Science quotes on:  |  Fear (52)  |  See (41)  |  Sentence (10)

I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.
Cosmic Religion: With Other Opinions and Aphorisms (1931), 97.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (135)  |  Birth (45)  |  Embrace (12)  |  Evolution (332)  |  Factor (15)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Inspiration (28)  |  Intuition (25)  |  Limited (6)  |  Progress (198)  |  Research (358)  |  Stimulation (7)

I believe that we do not know anything for certain, but everything probably.
Letter to Pierre Perrault, 'Sur la préface de M. Perrault de son traité de l'Origine des fontaines' [1763], Oeuvres Complètes de Christiaan Huygens (1897), Vol. 7, 298. Quoted in Jacques Roger, The Life Sciences in Eighteenth-Century French Thought, ed. Keith R. Benson and trans. Robert Ellrich (1997), 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (59)  |  Probable (6)

I called it ignose, not knowing which carbohydrate it was. This name was turned down by my editor. 'God-nose' was not more successful, so in the end 'hexuronic acid' was agreed upon. To-day the substance is called 'ascorbic acid' and I will use this name.
Studies on Biological Oxidation and Some of its Catalysts (C4 Dicarboxylic Acids, Vitamin C and P Etc.) (1937), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Agreement (17)  |  Carbohydrate (2)  |  Editor (3)  |  Name (58)  |  Nomenclature (99)  |  Rejection (16)  |  Success (110)

I can assure you, reader, that in a very few hours, even during the first day, you will learn more natural philosophy about things contained in this book, than you could learn in fifty years by reading the theories and opinions of the ancient philosophers. Enemies of science will scoff at the astrologers: saying, where is the ladder on which they have climbed to heaven, to know the foundation of the stars? But in this respect I am exempt from such scoffing; for in proving my written reason, I satisfy sight, hearing, and touch: for this reason, defamers will have no power over me: as you will see when you come to see me in my little Academy.
The Admirable Discourses (1580), trans. Aurele La Rocque (1957), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  Academy (7)  |  Ancient (27)  |  Assurance (5)  |  Astrologer (4)  |  Book (94)  |  Climb (6)  |  Contain (5)  |  Day (19)  |  Enemy (24)  |  Exemption (2)  |  Fifty (4)  |  First (39)  |  Foundation (30)  |  Hearing (18)  |  Heaven (53)  |  Hour (13)  |  Ladder (3)  |  Learning (123)  |  Natural Philosophy (9)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Philosopher (65)  |  Power (98)  |  Proof (133)  |  Reader (9)  |  Reading (23)  |  Reason (172)  |  Reason (172)  |  Respect (24)  |  Satisfaction (29)  |  Science (850)  |  Sight (11)  |  Star (124)  |  Theory (346)  |  Touch (19)  |  Writing (45)  |  Year (61)

I can live with doubt and uncertainty. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.
From transcript of a BBC television program, 'The Pleasure of Finding Things Out' (1981). In Richard Phillips Feynman and Jeffrey Robbins (ed.), The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: the Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman (2000), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (91)  |  Doubt (66)  |  Interesting (19)  |  Life (439)  |  Uncertainty (23)  |  Wrong (47)

I conclude that, while it is true that science cannot decide questions of value, that is because they cannot be intellectually decided at all, and lie outside the realm of truth and falsehood. Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.
Religion and Science (1935), 243.
Science quotes on:  |  Attainment (21)  |  Conclusion (73)  |  Decision (30)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Falsehood (11)  |  Intellect (95)  |  Mankind (105)  |  Method (73)  |  Question (152)  |  Realm (16)  |  Truth (440)  |  Value (63)

I confess that I have as vast contemplative ends, as I have moderate civil ends: for I have taken all knowledge to be my province.
Letter (age 31) to his uncle Lord Burleigh. In Francis Bacon, James Spedding (ed.) et al., Works of Francis Bacon (1862) Vol. 6, 109.

I devoted myself to studying the texts—the original and commentaries—in the natural sciences and metaphysics, and the gates of knowledge began opening for me. Next I sought to know medicine, and so read the books written on it. Medicine is not one of the difficult sciences, and therefore, I excelled in it in a very short time, to the point that distinguished physicians began to read the science of medicine under me. I cared for the sick and there opened to me some of the doors of medical treatment that are indescribable and can be learned only from practice. In addition I devoted myself to jurisprudence and used to engage in legal disputations, at that time being sixteen years old.
Avicenna
W. E. Gohhnan, The Life of Ibn Sina: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation (1974), 25-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Medicine (187)

I do not believe there is anything useful which men can know with exactitude that they cannot know by arithmetic and algebra.
Oeuvres, Vol. 2, 292g. Trans. J. L. Heilbron, Electricity in the 17th and 18th Centuries: A Study of Early Modern Physics (1979), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (21)  |  Arithmetic (33)  |  Exactitude (3)  |  Usefulness (52)

I do not understand modern physics at all, but my colleagues who know a lot about the physics of very small things, like the particles in atoms, or very large things, like the universe, seem to be running into one queerness after another, from puzzle to puzzle.
In 'On Science and Certainty', Discover Magazine (Oct 1980).
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (164)  |  Colleague (11)  |  Large (22)  |  Modern Physics (5)  |  Particle (45)  |  Physics (153)  |  Puzzle (14)  |  Running (4)  |  Seeming (5)  |  Small (31)  |  Thing (27)  |  Understanding (222)  |  Universe (274)

I feel that, in a sense, the writer knows nothing any longer. He has no moral stance. He offers the reader the contents of his own head, a set of options and imaginative alternatives. His role is that of a scientist, whether on safari or in his laboratory, faced with an unknown terrain or subject. All he can do is to devise various hypotheses and test them against the facts.
Crash (1973, 1995), Introduction. In Barry Atkins, More Than A Game: the Computer Game as a Fictional Form (2003), 144.
Science quotes on:  |  Alternative (10)  |  Devise (4)  |  Fact (311)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Laboratory (75)  |  Mind (266)  |  Option (3)  |  Reader (9)  |  Science And Art (54)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Test (44)  |  Writer (14)

I had this experience at the age of eight. My parents gave me a microscope. I don’t recall why, but no matter. I then found my own little world, completely wild and unconstrained, no plastic, no teacher, no books, no anything predictable. At first I did not know the names of the water-drop denizens or what they were doing. But neither did the pioneer microscopists. Like them, I graduated to looking at butterfly scales and other miscellaneous objects. I never thought of what I was doing in such a way, but it was pure science. As true as could be of any child so engaged, I was kin to Leeuwenhoek, who said that his work “was not pursued in order to gain the praise I now enjoy, but chiefly from a craving after knowledge, which I notice resides in me more that most other men.”
In The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth (2010), 143-144.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (56)  |  Book (94)  |  Butterfly (8)  |  Child (80)  |  Complete (13)  |  Craving (5)  |  Drop (7)  |  Enjoyment (12)  |  Experience (128)  |  Find (46)  |  Graduation (3)  |  Kin (5)  |  Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (15)  |  Little (28)  |  Microscope (46)  |  Name (58)  |  Parent (23)  |  Pioneer (8)  |  Plastic (10)  |  Praise (10)  |  Predictability (5)  |  Pure Science (7)  |  Pursuit (33)  |  Reside (4)  |  Scale (20)  |  Teacher (52)  |  Water (116)  |  Wild (11)  |  Work (186)  |  World (206)

I have accumulated a wealth of knowledge in innumerable spheres and enjoyed it as an always ready instrument for exercising the mind and penetrating further and further. Best of all, mine has been a life of loving and being loved. What a tragedy that all this will disappear with the used-up body!
In and Out of the Ivory Tower (1960), 311.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (198)

I have been asked whether I would agree that the tragedy of the scientist is that he is able to bring about great advances in our knowledge, which mankind may then proceed to use for purposes of destruction. My answer is that this is not the tragedy of the scientist; it is the tragedy of mankind.
S. R. Weart and G. W. Sallard (eds.), Leo Szilard: His Version of the Facts (1978), 229.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (49)  |  Answer (91)  |  Asking (17)  |  Destruction (46)  |  Mankind (105)  |  Proceeding (10)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Question (152)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Tragedy (9)

I have flown twice over Mount St. Helens out on our West Coast. I'm not a scientist and I don't know the figures, but I have a suspicion that that one little mountain has probably released more sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere of the world than has been released in the last ten years of automobile driving or things of that kind that people are so concerned about.
Address in Steubenville, Ohio (7 Oct 1980). As quoted in Douglas E. Kneeland, 'Teamsters Back Republican', New York Times (10 Oct 1980), D14. The article also stated that according to an E.P.A. spokesman, “all American manmade emissions of sulfur dioxide amounted to 81,000 tons a day, and the emissions from the volcano ranged from 500 to 2,000 tons a day.”
Science quotes on:  |   (23)  |  Atmosphere (41)  |  Automobile (9)  |  Fly (28)  |  Mountain (62)  |  Pollution (16)  |  Probably (2)  |  Release (8)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Suspicion (14)  |  World (206)

I have long held an opinion, almost amounting to conviction, in common I believe with many other lovers of natural knowledge, that the various forms under which the forces of matter are made manifest have one common origin; or, in other words, are so directly related and mutually dependent, that they are convertible, as it were, one into another, and possess equivalents of power in their action.
Paper read to the Royal Institution (20 Nov 1845). 'On the Magnetization of Light and the Illumination of Magnetic Lines of Force', Series 19. In Experimental Researches in Electricity (1855), Vol. 3, 1. Reprinted from Philosophical Transactions (1846), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (135)  |  Common (42)  |  Conservation Of Energy (16)  |  Conviction (22)  |  Dependence (18)  |  Electromagnetism (14)  |  Equivalent (7)  |  Force (72)  |  Form (65)  |  Manifestation (21)  |  Matter (131)  |  Mutual (9)  |  Natural Science (29)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Origin (33)  |  Possession (24)  |  Power (98)  |  Relationship (35)

I have never seen the Philosopher's Stone that turns lead into Gold, but I have known the pursuit of it turn a Man's Gold into Lead.
In Poor Richard's Almanack (1738).
Science quotes on:  |  Gold (20)  |  Lead (33)  |  Never (19)  |  Philosopher's Stone (2)  |  Pursuit (33)  |  Seeing (28)  |  Turning (5)

I have tried to read philosophers of all ages and have found many illuminating ideas but no steady progress toward deeper knowledge and understanding. Science, however, gives me the feeling of steady progress: I am convinced that theoretical physics is actual philosophy. It has revolutionized fundamental concepts, e.g., about space and time (relativity), about causality (quantum theory), and about substance and matter (atomistics), and it has taught us new methods of thinking (complementarity) which are applicable far beyond physics.
Max Born
My Life & My Views (1968), 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Matter (131)  |  Philosophy (128)  |  Progress (198)  |  Quantum Physics (15)  |  Science (850)  |  Space-Time (8)  |  Theoretical Physics (11)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Understanding (222)

I know a good many men of great learning—that is, men born with an extraordinary eagerness and capacity to acquire knowledge. One and all, they tell me that they can't recall learning anything of any value in school. All that schoolmasters managed to accomplish with them was to test and determine the amount of knowledge that they had already acquired independently—and not infrequently the determination was made clumsily and inaccurately.
In Prejudices: third series (1922), 261.
For a longer excerpt, see H. L. Mencken's Recollections of School Algebra.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (23)  |  Acquisition (21)  |  Already (5)  |  Birth (45)  |  Capacity (14)  |  Clumsiness (2)  |  Determination (32)  |  Eagerness (3)  |  Extraordinary (18)  |  Inaccuracy (3)  |  Independence (19)  |  Infrequently (2)  |  Learning (123)  |  School (35)  |  Schoolmaster (2)  |  Teacher (52)  |  Test (44)  |  Value (63)

I must not pass by Dr. Young called Phaenomenon Young at Cambridge. A man of universal erudition, & almost universal accomplishments. Had he limited himself to anyone department of knowledge, he must have been first in that department. But as a mathematician, a scholar, a hieroglyphist, he was eminent; & he knew so much that it is difficult to say what he did not know. He was a most amiable & good-tempered man; too fond, perhaps, of the society of persons of rank for a true philosopher.
J. Z. Fullmer, 'Davy's Sketches of his Contemporaries', Chymia (1967), 12, 135.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (23)  |  Cambridge (6)  |  Department (11)  |  Erudition (2)  |  Fond (3)  |  Limit (33)  |  Mathematician (105)  |  Person (32)  |  Phenomenon (113)  |  Philosopher (65)  |  Rank (13)  |  Scholar (19)  |  Society (81)  |  Universal (25)  |  Thomas Young (12)

I owe all my knowledge to the German inventor, Johannes Gutenberg!
From the play Galileo Galilei (2001) .

I really see no harm which can come of giving our children a little knowledge of physiology. ... The instruction must be real, based upon observation, eked out by good explanatory diagrams and models, and conveyed by a teacher whose own knowledge has been acquired by a study of the facts; and not the mere catechismal parrot-work which too often usurps the place of elementary teaching.
Science and Culture (1882), 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Catechism (2)  |  Child (80)  |  Education (173)  |  Instruction (12)  |  Model (31)  |  Observation (256)  |  Physiology (40)  |  Teacher (52)

I think chemistry is being frittered away by the hairsplitting of the organic chemists; we have new compounds discovered, which scarcely differ from the known ones and when discovered are valueless—very illustrations perhaps of their refinements in analysis, but very little aiding the progress of true science.
Letter to William Grove (5 Jan 1845), The Letters of Faraday and Schoenbein, 1836-1862 (1899), Footnote, 209.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (78)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Compound (35)  |  Difference (129)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Illustration (16)  |  Organic Chemistry (27)  |  Progress (198)  |  Refinement (5)  |  Science (850)

I think I may fairly make two postulata. First, That food is necessary to the existence of man. Secondly, That the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state. These two laws ever since we have had any knowledge of mankind, appear to have been fixed laws of our nature; and, as we have not hitherto seen any alteration in them, we have no right to conclude that they will ever cease to be what they are now, without an immediate act of power in that Being who first arranged the system of the universe; and for the advantage of his creatures, still executes, according to fixed laws, all its various operations.‎
First 'Essay on the Principle of Population' (1798), reprinted in Parallel Chapters from the First and Second editions of An Essay on the Principle of Population (1895), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (20)  |  Advantage (23)  |  Alteration (16)  |  Being (34)  |  Cease (5)  |  Conclude (3)  |  Creature (45)  |  Existence (145)  |  Fixed (6)  |  Food (73)  |  God (229)  |  Immediate (8)  |  Law (269)  |  Man (258)  |  Mankind (105)  |  Nature (524)  |  Necessary (19)  |  Passion (23)  |  Postulate (20)  |  Power (98)  |  Present (32)  |  Remain (18)  |  Right (48)  |  Sex (31)  |  State (42)  |  System (67)  |  Universe (274)

I think I may fairly make two postulata. First, that food is necessary to the existence of man.
Secondly, that the passion between the sexes is necessary, and will remain nearly in its present state.
These two laws ever since we have had any knowledge of mankind, appear to have been fixed laws of our nature; and, as we have not hitherto seen any alteration in them, we have no right to conclude that they will ever cease to be what they now are, without an immediate act of power in that Being who first arranged the system of the universe, and for the advantage of his creatures, still executes, according to fixed laws, all its various operations.
An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798). In E. A. Wrigley and David Souden (eds.), The Works of Thomas Malthus (1986), Vol. 1, 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (20)  |  Advantage (23)  |  Alteration (16)  |  Appearance (45)  |  Arrangement (26)  |  Cessation (11)  |  Conclusion (73)  |  Creator (15)  |  Creature (45)  |  Execution (7)  |  Existence (145)  |  Food (73)  |  Immediacy (3)  |  Law (269)  |  Law Of Nature (29)  |  Man (258)  |  Mankind (105)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Operation (54)  |  Passion (23)  |  Postulate (20)  |  Sex (31)  |  System (67)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Universe (274)

I think that the event which, more than anything else, led me to the search for ways of making more powerful radio telescopes, was the recognition, in 1952, that the intense source in the constellation of Cygnus was a distant galaxy—1000 million light years away. This discovery showed that some galaxies were capable of producing radio emission about a million times more intense than that from our own Galaxy or the Andromeda nebula, and the mechanisms responsible were quite unknown. ... [T]he possibilities were so exciting even in 1952 that my colleagues and I set about the task of designing instruments capable of extending the observations to weaker and weaker sources, and of exploring their internal structure.
From Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1974). In Stig Lundqvist (ed.), Nobel Lectures, Physics 1971-1980 (1992), 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Capability (25)  |  Colleague (11)  |  constellation (2)  |  Design (36)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Distance (24)  |  Emission (8)  |  Event (45)  |  Excitement (20)  |  Exploration (44)  |  Extending (2)  |  Galaxy (17)  |  Instrument (37)  |  Intensity (14)  |  Internal (6)  |  Mechanism (25)  |  Motivation (15)  |  Nebula (12)  |  Observation (256)  |  Possibility (67)  |  Radio (14)  |  Radio Telescope (4)  |  Recognition (35)  |  Search (37)  |  Source (32)  |  Structure (101)  |  Task (31)  |  Weakness (14)

I think that we shall have to get accustomed to the idea that we must not look upon science as a 'body of knowledge,' but rather as a system of hypotheses; that is to say, as a system of guesses or anticipations which in principle cannot be justified, but with which we work as long as they stand up to tests, and of which we are never justified in saying that we know they are 'true' or 'more or less certain' or even 'probable.'
The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959), 317.
Science quotes on:  |  Accustom (4)  |  Anticipation (6)  |  Certainty (59)  |  Guess (13)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Idea (220)  |  Justification (18)  |  Principle (96)  |  Probability (54)  |  Test (44)  |  Truth (440)

I think the next [21st] century will be the century of complexity. We have already discovered the basic laws that govern matter and understand all the normal situations. We don’t know how the laws fit together, and what happens under extreme conditions. But I expect we will find a complete unified theory sometime this century. The is no limit to the complexity that we can build using those basic laws.
[Answer to question: Some say that while the twentieth century was the century of physics, we are now entering the century of biology. What do you think of this?]
'"Unified Theory" Is Getting Closer, Hawking Predicts', interview in San Jose Mercury News (23 Jan 2000), 29A. Answer quoted in Ashok Sengupta, Chaos, Nonlinearity, Complexity: The Dynamical Paradigm of Nature (2006), vii. Question included in Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, Nicholas Stern and Mario Molina , Global Sustainability: a Nobel Cause (2010), 13. Cite from Brent Davis and Dennis J. Sumara, Complexity and Education: Inquiries Into Learning, Teaching, and Research (2006), 171.
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (9)  |  21st Century (3)  |  Basic (18)  |  Biology (82)  |  Build (22)  |  Complete (13)  |  Complexity (49)  |  Condition (66)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Expectation (24)  |  Fit (11)  |  Governing (3)  |  Happening (20)  |  Law (269)  |  Limit (33)  |  Matter (131)  |  Normal (10)  |  Physics (153)  |  Situation (21)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Together (15)  |  Understanding (222)  |  Unified Theory (3)

I thought that the wisdom of our City had certainly designed the laudable practice of taking and distributing these accompts [parish records of christenings and deaths] for other and greater uses than [merely casual comments], or, at least, that some other uses might be made of them; and thereupon I ... could, and (to be short) to furnish myself with as much matter of that kind ... the which when I had reduced into tables ... so as to have a view of the whole together, in order to the more ready comparing of one Year, Season, Parish, or other Division of the City, with another, in respect of all Burials and Christnings, and of all the Diseases and Casualties happening in each of them respectively...
Moreover, finding some Truths and not-commonly-believed opinions to arise from my meditations upon these neglected Papers, I proceeded further to consider what benefit the knowledge of the same would bring to the world, ... with some real fruit from those ayrie blossoms.
From Natural and Political Observations Mentioned in a Following Index and Made upon Bills of Mortality (1662), Preface. Reproduced in Cornelius Walford, The Insurance Cyclopaedia (1871), Vol. 1, 286-287.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (78)  |  Benefit (21)  |  Burial (5)  |  Casualty (2)  |  Comparison (33)  |  Data (53)  |  Disease (169)  |  Meditation (4)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Season (7)  |  Statistics (74)  |  Table (8)  |  Together (15)  |  Truth (440)  |  Use (51)  |  Whole (46)  |  Wisdom (87)  |  Year (61)

I trust and believe that the time spent in this voyage … will produce its full worth in Natural History; and it appears to me the doing what little one can to increase the general stock of knowledge is as respectable an object of life, as one can in any likelihood pursue.
The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (1899), 218.

I venture to maintain, that, if the general culture obtained in the Faculty of Arts were what it ought to be, the student would have quite as much knowledge of the fundamental principles of Physics, of Chemistry, and of Biology, as he needs, before he commenced his special medical studies. Moreover, I would urge, that a thorough study of Human Physiology is, in itself, an education broader and more comprehensive than much that passes under that name. There is no side of the intellect which it does not call into play, no region of human knowledge into which either its roots, or its branches, do not extend; like the Atlantic between the Old and the New Worlds, its waves wash the shores of the two worlds of matter and of mind; its tributary streams flow from both; through its waters, as yet unfurrowed by the keel of any Columbus, lies the road, if such there be, from the one to the other; far away from that Northwest Passage of mere speculation, in which so many brave souls have been hopelessly frozen up.
'Universities: Actual and Ideal' (1874). In Collected Essays (1893), Vol. 3, 220.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (82)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Culture (42)  |  Education (173)  |  Physics (153)  |  Physiology (40)  |  Principle (96)  |  Speculation (40)  |  Student (50)  |  Study (149)

I will frankly tell you that my experience in prolonged scientific investigations convinces me that a belief in God—a God who is behind and within the chaos of vanishing points of human knowledge—adds a wonderful stimulus to the man who attempts to penetrate into the regions of the unknown.
As quoted in E.P. Whipple, 'Recollections of Agassiz', in Henry Mills Alden (ed.), Harper's New Monthly Magazine (June 1879), 59, 103.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (198)  |  God (229)  |  Research (358)

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
The Advancement of Learning (1605) in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1887-1901), Vol. 3, 293.

If I go out into nature, into the unknown, to the fringes of knowledge, everything seems mixed up and contradictory, illogical, and incoherent. This is what research does; it smooths out contradictions and makes things simple, logical, and coherent.
In 'Dionysians and Apollonians', Science (2 Jun 1972), 176, 966. Reprinted in Mary Ritchie Key, The Relationship of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication (1980), 318.
Science quotes on:  |  Coherence (4)  |  Contradiction (22)  |  Fringe (3)  |  Logic (131)  |  Mix (5)  |  Nature (524)  |  Research (358)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Smoothness (2)  |  Unknown (39)

If I have put the case of science at all correctly, the reader will have recognised that modern science does much more than demand that it shall be left in undisturbed possession of what the theologian and metaphysician please to term its 'legitimate field'. It claims that the whole range of phenomena, mental as well as physical-the entire universe-is its field. It asserts that the scientific method is the sole gateway to the whole region of knowledge.
The Grammar of Science (1892), 29-30.
Science quotes on:  |  Assertion (16)  |  Case (15)  |  Claim (22)  |  Correction (20)  |  Demand (17)  |  Field (68)  |  Gateway (3)  |  Left (4)  |  Legitimate (2)  |  Metaphysician (4)  |  Mind (266)  |  Modern Science (4)  |  Phenomenon (113)  |  Possession (24)  |  Range (12)  |  Reader (9)  |  Recognition (35)  |  Region (9)  |  Science (850)  |  Scientific Method (98)  |  Sole (4)  |  Term (34)  |  Theologian (11)  |  Universe (274)  |  Whole (46)

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:  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Nature (524)

If knowledge is my God, doubt would be my religion.
Quotations: Superultramodern Science and Philosophy (2005), 3
Science quotes on:  |  Doubt (66)  |  God (229)  |  Religion (116)

If Louis Pasteur were to come out of his grave because he heard that the cure for cancer still had not been found, NIH would tell him, “Of course we'll give you assistance. Now write up exactly what you will be doing during the three years of your grant.” Pasteur would say, “Thank you very much,” and would go back to his grave. Why? Because research means going into the unknown. If you know what you are going to do in science, then you are stupid! This is like telling Michelangelo or Renoir that he must tell you in advance how many reds and how many blues he will buy, and exactly how he will put those colors together.
Interview for Saturday Evening Post (Jan/Feb 1981), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (49)  |  Assistance (3)  |  Blue (9)  |  Buonarroti_Michelangelo (2)  |  Cancer (25)  |  Color (7)  |  Cure (48)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Doing (25)  |  Exactness (13)  |  Finding (18)  |  Giving (4)  |  Grant (8)  |  Grave (7)  |  Hearing (18)  |  Meaning (53)  |  Paint (6)  |  Louis Pasteur (37)  |  Red (13)  |  Research (358)  |  Science And Art (54)  |  Stupidity (14)  |  Telling (16)  |  Unknown (39)  |  Writing (45)  |  Years (3)

If physicists could not quote in the text, they would not feel that much was lost with respect to advancement of knowledge of the natural world. If historians could not quote, they would deem it a disastrous impediment to the communication of knowledge about the past. A luxury for physicists, quotation is a necessity for historians, indispensable to historiography.
Historiography (1968), 385.
Science quotes on:  |  History (151)  |  Physicist (70)

If popular medicine gave the people wisdom as well as knowledge, it would be the best protection for scientific and well-trained physicians.
In Fielding Hudson Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine (1966), 577.
Science quotes on:  |  Medicine (187)  |  Physician (171)  |  Wisdom (87)

If Russia is to be a great power, it will be, not because of its nuclear potential, faith in God or the president, or Western investment, but thanks to the labor of the nation, faith in knowledge and science and the maintenance and development of scientific potential and education.
Quoted in Darryl J. Leiter, Sharon Leiter, A to Z of physicists (2003), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (62)  |  Development (117)  |  Education (173)  |  Faith (73)  |  God (229)  |  Great (58)  |  Investment (2)  |  Labor (17)  |  Maintenance (7)  |  Nation (43)  |  Power (98)  |  President (4)  |  Russia (4)  |  Science (850)  |  West (4)

If the God of revelation is most appropriately worshipped in the temple of religion, the God of nature may be equally honored in the temple of science. Even from its lofty minarets the philosopher may summon the faithful to prayer, and the priest and sage exchange altars without the compromise of faith or knowledge.
In Tryon Edwards (ed.), A Dictionary of Thoughts: Being a Cyclopedia of Laconic Quotations from the Best Authors of the World, Both Ancient and Modern (1891), 507.
Science quotes on:  |  Altar (3)  |  Appropriate (7)  |  Faith (73)  |  God (229)  |  Nature (524)  |  Philosopher (65)  |  Prayer (7)  |  Priest (8)  |  Religion (116)  |  Revelation (24)  |  Sage (3)  |  Science (850)  |  Science And Religion (153)  |  Summon (3)  |  Temple (12)  |  Worship (10)

If the human race ever stops acting on the basis of what it thinks it knows, paralyzed by fear that its knowledge may be wrong, then Homo sapiens will be making its application for membership in the dinosaur club.
To Plant a Seed (1972). In Gary Westfahl, Science Fiction Quotations: From the Inner Mind to the Outer Limits (2006), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (52)  |  Enquiry (71)

If the question were, “What ought to be the next objective in science?” my answer would be the teaching of science to the young, so that when the whole population grew up there would be a far more general background of common sense, based on a knowledge of the real meaning of the scientific method of discovering truth.
Marion Savin Selections from the Scientific Correspondence of Elihu Thomson (1971), v.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (91)  |  Background (10)  |  Base (10)  |  Common Sense (34)  |  Discovery (354)  |  General (23)  |  Growth (65)  |  Meaning (53)  |  Next (4)  |  Objective (18)  |  Population (41)  |  Question (152)  |  Real (27)  |  Science (850)  |  Scientific Method (98)  |  Teaching (60)  |  Truth (440)  |  Whole (46)  |  Young (19)

If the term education may be understood in so large a sense as to include all that belongs to the improvement of the mind, either by the acquisition of the knowledge of others or by increase of it through its own exertions, we learn by them what is the kind of education science offers to man. It teaches us to be neglectful of nothing — not to despise the small beginnings, for they precede of necessity all great things in the knowledge of science, either pure or applied.
'Science as a Branch of Education', lecture to the Royal Institution, 11 Jun 1858. Reprinted in The Mechanics Magazine (1858), 49, 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (173)  |  Science (850)

If there be an order in which the human race has mastered its various kinds of knowledge, there will arise in every child an aptitude to acquire these kinds of knowledge in the same order. So that even were the order intrinsically indifferent, it would facilitate education to lead the individual mind through the steps traversed by the general mind. But the order is not intrinsically indifferent; and hence the fundamental reason why education should be a repetition of civilization in little.
Education: Intellectual, Moral and Physical (1861), 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Aptitude (6)  |  Child (80)  |  Education (173)  |  Facilitation (2)  |  Fundamental (56)  |  Human Race (27)  |  Indifference (8)  |  Indifference (8)  |  Individual (54)  |  Intrinsic (6)  |  Mastery (8)  |  Mind (266)  |  Order (59)  |  Reason (172)  |  Repetition (18)  |  Step (25)  |  Traverse (3)  |  Variety (28)

If we are to define science, ... it does not consist so much in knowing, nor even in “organized knowledge,” as it does in diligent inquiry into truth for truth’s sake, without any sort of axe to grind, nor for the sake of the delight of contemplating it, but from an impulse to penetrate into the reason of things.
From 'Lessons from the History of Science: The Scientific Attitude' (c.1896), in Collected Papers (1931), Vol. 1, 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Axe (3)  |  Consist (8)  |  Contemplate (3)  |  Define (3)  |  Delight (21)  |  Diligent (3)  |  Grind (3)  |  Impulse (12)  |  Inquiry (12)  |  Organized (2)  |  Penetrate (4)  |  Reason (172)  |  Sake (8)  |  Science (850)  |  Truth (440)

If we can combine our knowledge of science with the wisdom of wildness, if we can nurture civilization through roots in the primitive, man's potentialities appear to be unbounded, Through this evolving awareness, and his awareness of that awareness, he can emerge with the miraculous—to which we can attach what better name than 'God'? And in this merging, as long sensed by intuition but still only vaguely perceived by rationality, experience may travel without need for accompanying life.
A Letter From Lindbergh', Life (4 Jul 1969), 61. In Eugene C. Gerhart, Quote it Completely! (1998), 409.
Science quotes on:  |  Awareness (11)  |  Civilization (84)  |  God (229)  |  Miracle (24)  |  Nurture (6)  |  Potential (13)  |  Primitive (13)  |  Science (850)  |  Wildness (4)  |  Wisdom (87)

If we consider that part of the theory of relativity which may nowadays in a sense be regarded as bone fide scientific knowledge, we note two aspects which have a major bearing on this theory. The whole development of the theory turns on the question of whether there are physically preferred states of motion in Nature (physical relativity problem). Also, concepts and distinctions are only admissible to the extent that observable facts can be assigned to them without ambiguity (stipulation that concepts and distinctions should have meaning). This postulate, pertaining to epistemology, proves to be of fundamental importance.
'Fundamental ideas and problems of the theory of relativity', Lecture delivered to the Nordic Assembly of Naturalists at Gothenburg, 11 Jul 1923. In Nobel Physics 1901-1921 (1998), 482.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (311)  |  Motion (64)  |  Relativity (31)

If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be research.
Anonymous
Although seen in various publications attributed but without citation to Albert Einstein, Webmaster is doubtful, and is placing it under Anonymous. But, if you know the primary print source, perhaps in different wording, please contact the Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Quip (68)  |  Research (358)

If we range through the whole territory of nature, and endeavour to extract from each department the rich stores of knowledge and pleasure they respectively contain, we shall not find a more refined or purer source of amusement, or a more interesting and unfailing subject for recreation, than that which the observation and examination of the structure, affinities, and habits of plants and vegetables, afford.
In A Practical Treatise on the Cultivation of the Dahlia (1838), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Affinity (6)  |  Amusement (14)  |  Botany (30)  |  Department (11)  |  Endeavour (23)  |  Examination (46)  |  Extraction (5)  |  Find (46)  |  Habit (41)  |  Interesting (19)  |  Nature (524)  |  Observation (256)  |  Plant (93)  |  Pleasure (51)  |  Purity (8)  |  Range (12)  |  Recreation (6)  |  Rich (16)  |  Source (32)  |  Store (5)  |  Structure (101)  |  Subject (48)  |  Territory (6)  |  Vegetable (12)  |  Whole (46)

If we would serve science, we must extend her limits, not only as far as our own knowledge is concerned, but in the estimation of others.
Cellular Pathology, translated by Frank Chance (1860), x.
Science quotes on:  |  Limit (33)  |  Science (850)

If [science] tends to thicken the crust of ice on which, as it were, we are skating, it is all right. If it tries to find, or professes to have found, the solid ground at the bottom of the water it is all wrong. Our business is with the thickening of this crust by extending our knowledge downward from above, as ice gets thicker while the frost lasts; we should not try to freeze upwards from the bottom.
Samuel Bulter, Henry Festing Jones (ed.), The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1917), 329.
Science quotes on:  |  Bottom (8)  |  Business (26)  |  Crust (9)  |  Extend (6)  |  Freezing (7)  |  Frost (6)  |  Ground (17)  |  Ice (15)  |  Profess (2)  |  Right (48)  |  Solid (14)  |  Tendency (18)  |  Thickness (4)  |  Try (32)  |  Upward (2)  |  Water (116)  |  Wrong (47)

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, 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Problem (178)

In all speculations on the origin, or agents that have produced the changes on this globe, it is probable that we ought to keep within the boundaries of the probable effects resulting from the regular operations of the great laws of nature which our experience and observation have brought within the sphere of our knowledge. When we overleap those limits, and suppose a total change in nature's laws, we embark on the sea of uncertainty, where one conjecture is perhaps as probable as another; for none of them can have any support, or derive any authority from the practical facts wherewith our experience has brought us acquainted.
Observations on the Geology of the United States of America (1817), iv-v.
Science quotes on:  |  Authority (23)  |  Change (129)  |  Conjecture (15)  |  Experience (128)  |  Fact (311)  |  Geology (144)  |  Law Of Nature (29)  |  Limit (33)  |  Observation (256)  |  Origin (33)  |  Practical (30)  |  Probability (54)  |  Speculation (40)  |  Uncertainty (23)

In an examination those who do not wish to know ask questions of those who cannot tell.
'Some Thoughts on Examinations', inLaughter from a Cloud (1923), 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Asking (17)  |  Cannot (7)  |  Examination (46)  |  Telling (16)  |  Wish (18)

In completing one discovery we never fail to get an imperfect knowledge of others.
Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air (1774), vii.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (354)  |  Imperfection (11)  |  Other (16)

In formal logic a contradiction is the signal of a defeat, but in the evolution of real knowledge it marks the first step in progress toward a victory.
In 'Religion and Science', The Atlantic (Aug 1925).
Science quotes on:  |  Logic (131)  |  Progress (198)

In fulfilling the wants of the public, a manufacturer should keep as far ahead as his imagination and his knowledge of his buying public will let him. One should never wait to see what it is a customer is going to want. Give him, rather, what he needs, before he has sensed that need himself.
As quoted by H.M. Davidson, in System: The Magazine of Business (Apr 1922), 41, 413.
Science quotes on:  |  Ahead (7)  |  Customer (4)  |  Fulfill (3)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Manufacturer (4)  |  Need (54)  |  Public (32)  |  Sense (100)  |  Wait (14)  |  Want (28)

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 (33)  |  Aesthetic (10)  |  Beauty (83)  |  Boundless (6)  |  Cause (116)  |  Cause And Effect (4)  |  Completeness (9)  |  Continuity (17)  |  Curiosity (49)  |  Determination (32)  |  Development (117)  |  Evolution (332)  |  Finding (18)  |  Forefather (2)  |  Gratification (7)  |  Happiness (56)  |  Human Mind (21)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Impression (29)  |  Indolence (5)  |  Inquiry (12)  |  Instinct (25)  |  Intellect (95)  |  Interest (75)  |  Investigation (81)  |  Joy (25)  |  Labour (26)  |  Limitation (8)  |  Mind (266)  |  Natural History (23)  |  Nature (524)  |  Pain (48)  |  Phenomenon (113)  |  Philosophy (128)  |  Physical Science (31)  |  Pleasure (51)  |  Ratiocination (2)  |  Reason (172)  |  Sense (100)  |  Series (18)  |  Term (34)  |  Tracing (2)  |  Will (21)

In less than eight years “The Origin of Species” has produced conviction in the minds of a majority of the most eminent living men of science. New facts, new problems, new difficulties as they arise are accepted, solved, or removed by this theory; and its principles are illustrated by the progress and conclusions of every well established branch of human knowledge.
From a review of four books on the subject 'Mimicry, and Other Protective Resemblances Among Animals', in The Westminster Review (Jul 1867), 88, 1. Wallace is identified as the author in the article as reprinted in William Beebe, The Book of Naturalists: An Anthology of the Best Natural History (1988), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (30)  |  Branch (23)  |  Conclusion (73)  |  Conviction (22)  |  Difficulty (70)  |  Eminence (8)  |  Establishment (18)  |  Fact (311)  |  Illustration (16)  |  Majority (15)  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  Mind (266)  |  New (99)  |  Origin Of Species (35)  |  Principle (96)  |  Problem (178)  |  Production (70)  |  Progress (198)  |  Removal (7)  |  Solution (109)  |  Theory (346)

In my own view, some advice about what should be known, about what technical education should be acquired, about the intense motivation needed to succeed, and about the carelessness and inclination toward bias that must be avoided is far more useful than all the rules and warnings of theoretical logic.
In Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Neely Swanson (trans.) and Larry W. Swanson (trans.), Advice for a Young Investigator (2004), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquisition (21)  |  Advice (22)  |  Avoidance (4)  |  Bias (8)  |  Carelessness (3)  |  Education (173)  |  Inclination (10)  |  Intensity (14)  |  Logic (131)  |  Motivation (15)  |  Rule (50)  |  Technology (95)  |  Theory (346)  |  Usefulness (52)  |  View (48)  |  Warning (4)

In no subject is there a rule, compliance with which will lead to new knowledge or better understanding. Skilful observations, ingenious ideas, cunning tricks, daring suggestions, laborious calculations, all these may be required to advance a subject. Occasionally the conventional approach in a subject has to be studiously followed; on other occasions it has to be ruthlessly disregarded. Which of these methods, or in what order they should be employed is generally unpredictable. Analogies drawn from the history of science are frequently claimed to be a guide; but, as with forecasting the next game of roulette, the existence of the best analogy to the present is no guide whatever to the future. The most valuable lesson to be learnt from the history of scientific progress is how misleading and strangling such analogies have been, and how success has come to those who ignored them.
'Cosmology', in Arthur Beer (ed.), Vistas in Astronomy (1956), Vol. 2, 1722.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (367)  |  History Of Science (30)  |  Progress (198)  |  Scientific Method (98)  |  Scientific Progress (12)  |  Understanding (222)

In order that the facts obtained by observation and experiment may be capable of being used in furtherance of our exact and solid knowledge, they must be apprehended and analysed according to some Conceptions which, applied for this purpose, give distinct and definite results, such as can be steadily taken hold of and reasoned from.
Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1840), Vol. 2, 205.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (78)  |  Capability (25)  |  Conception (28)  |  Definite (5)  |  Distinct (12)  |  Exact (14)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Fact (311)  |  Furtherance (2)  |  Observation (256)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Reason (172)  |  Result (127)

In order to survive, an animal must be born into a favoring or at least tolerant environment. Similarly, in order to achieve preservation and recognition, a specimen of fossil man must be discovered in intelligence, attested by scientific knowledge, and interpreted by evolutionary experience. These rigorous prerequisites have undoubtedly caused many still-births in human palaeontology and are partly responsible for the high infant mortality of discoveries of geologically ancient man.
Apes, Men and Morons (1938), 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Anthropology (31)  |  Excavation (4)  |  Fossil (71)  |  Interpretation (36)  |  Paleontologist (9)

In our search after the Knowledge of Substances, our want of Ideas, that are suitable to such a way of proceeding, obliges us to a quite different method. We advance not here, as in the other (where our abstract Ideas are real as well as nominal Essences) by contemplating our Ideas, and considering their Relations and Correspondencies; that helps us very little, for the Reasons, and in another place we have at large set down. By which, I think it is evident, that Substances afford Matter of very little general Knowledge; and the bare Contemplation of their abstract Ideas, will carry us but a very little way in the search of Truth and Certainty. What then are we to do for the improvement of our Knowledge in Substantial beings? Here we are to take a quite contrary Course, the want of Ideas of their real essences sends us from our own Thoughts, to the Things themselves, as they exist.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 4, Chapter 12, Section 9, 644.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (18)  |  Being (34)  |  Contemplation (17)  |  Correspondence (5)  |  Essence (18)  |  Existence (145)  |  Idea (220)  |  Matter (131)  |  Method (73)  |  Reason (172)  |  Relation (33)  |  Substance (37)  |  Thought (168)

In our search after the Knowledge of Substances, our want of Ideas, that are suitable to such a way of proceeding, obliges us to a quite different method. We advance not here, as in the other (where our abstract Ideas are real as well as nominal Essences) by contemplating our Ideas, and considering their Relations and Correspondencies; that helps us very little, for the Reasons, and in another place we have at large set down. By which, I think it is evident, that Substances afford Matter of very little general Knowledge; and the bare Contemplation of their abstract Ideas, will carry us but a very little way in the search of Truth and Certainty. What then are we to do for the improvement of our Knowledge in Substantial beings? Here we are to take a quite contrary Course, the want of Ideas of their real essences sends us from our own Thoughts, to the Things themselves, as they exist.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 4, Chapter 12, Section 9, 644.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (18)  |  Being (34)  |  Contemplation (17)  |  Correspondence (5)  |  Essence (18)  |  Existence (145)  |  Idea (220)  |  Matter (131)  |  Method (73)  |  Reason (172)  |  Relation (33)  |  Substance (37)  |  Thought (168)

In physics we deal with states of affairs much simpler than those of psychology and yet we again and again learn that our task is not to investigate the essence of things—we do not at all know what this would mean&mash;but to develop those concepts that allow us to speak with each other about the events of nature in a fruitful manner.
Letter to H.P.E. Hansen (20 Jul 1935), Niels Bohr Archive. In Jan Faye, Henry J. Folse, Niels Bohr and Contemporary Philosophy (1994), 83.
Science quotes on:  |  Affair (10)  |  Again (3)  |  Allow (5)  |  Concept (36)  |  Dealing (4)  |  Development (117)  |  Essence (18)  |  Event (45)  |  Fruitful (9)  |  Investigation (81)  |  Learning (123)  |  Manner (10)  |  Meaning (53)  |  Nature (524)  |  Physics (153)  |  Psychology (67)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Speaking (29)  |  State (42)  |  Task (31)  |  Thing (27)

In physiology, as in all other sciences, no discovery is useless, no curiosity misplaced or too ambitious, and we may be certain that every advance achieved in the quest of pure knowledge will sooner or later play its part in the service of man.
The Linacre Lecture on the Law of the Heart (1918), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (70)  |  Advance (49)  |  Ambition (17)  |  Curiosity (49)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Man (258)  |  Physiology (40)  |  Play (20)  |  Quest (7)  |  Science (850)  |  Service (26)  |  Uselessness (17)

In science, attempts at formulating hierarchies are always doomed to eventual failure. A Newton will always be followed by an Einstein, a Stahl by a Lavoisier; and who can say who will come after us? What the human mind has fabricated must be subject to all the changes—which are not progress—that the human mind must undergo. The 'last words' of the sciences are often replaced, more often forgotten. Science is a relentlessly dialectical process, though it suffers continuously under the necessary relativation of equally indispensable absolutes. It is, however, possible that the ever-growing intellectual and moral pollution of our scientific atmosphere will bring this process to a standstill. The immense library of ancient Alexandria was both symptom and cause of the ossification of the Greek intellect. Even now I know of some who feel that we know too much about the wrong things.
Voices in the Labyrinth: Nature, Man, and Science (1979), 46.
Science quotes on:  |  Albert Einstein (155)  |  Intellect (95)  |  Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (26)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (174)  |  Science (850)  |  Georg Ernst Stahl (7)

In science, probably ninety-nine percent of the knowable has to be discovered. We know only a few streaks about astronomy. We are only beginning to imagine the force and composition of the atom. Physics has not yet found any indivisible matter, or psychology a sensible soul.
'This World Depression of Ours is Chock-full of Good News', Hearst's International Combined with Cosmopolitan, (Oct 1932), 26. Reprinted in Ella Winter and Herbert Shapiro The World of Lincoln Steffens (1962), 216.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (103)  |  Atom (164)

In scientific matters ... the greatest discoverer differs from the most arduous imitator and apprentice only in degree, whereas he differs in kind from someone whom nature has endowed for fine art. But saying this does not disparage those great men to whom the human race owes so much in contrast to those whom nature has endowed for fine art. For the scientists' talent lies in continuing to increase the perfection of our cognitions and on all the dependent benefits, as well as in imparting that same knowledge to others; and in these respects they are far superior to those who merit the honour of being called geniuses. For the latter's art stops at some point, because a boundary is set for it beyond which it cannot go and which has probably long since been reached and cannot be extended further.
The Critique of Judgement (1790), trans. J. C. Meredith (1991), 72.
Science quotes on:  |  Apprentice (3)  |  Benefit (21)  |  Boundary (10)  |  Cognition (2)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Genius (86)  |  Honour (19)  |  Imitator (2)  |  Perfection (41)  |  Science And Art (54)

In the final, the positive, state, the mind has given over the vain search after absolute notions, the origin and destination of the universe, and the causes of phenomena, and applies itself to the study of their laws—that is, their invariable relations of succession and resemblance. Reasoning and observation, duly combined, are the means of this knowledge. What is now understood when we speak of an explanation of facts is simply the establishment of a connection between single phenomena and some general facts.
The Positive Philosophy, trans. Harriet Martineau (1853), Vol. 1, 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (311)  |  Law (269)

In the natural sciences, and particularly in chemistry, generalities must come after the detailed knowledge of each fact and not before it.
Maurice Crosland, Gay-Lussac, Scientist and Bourgeois (1978), 69.

In this age of space flight, when we use the modern tools of science to advance into new regions of human activity, the Bible ... this grandiose, stirring history of the gradual revelation and unfolding of the moral law ... remains in every way an up-to-date book. Our knowledge and use of the laws of nature that enable us to fly to the Moon also enable us to destroy our home planet with the atom bomb. Science itself does not address the question whether we should use the power at our disposal for good or for evil. The guidelines of what we ought to do are furnished in the moral law of God. It is no longer enough that we pray that God may be with us on our side. We must learn again that we may be on God's side.
Quoted in Bob Phillips, Phillips' Book of Great Thoughts & Funny Sayings (1993), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (62)  |  Bible (42)  |  God (229)  |  Space Flight (10)

In vertebrate paleontology, increasing knowledge leads to triumphant loss of clarity.
Synapsid Evolution and Dentition, International Colloquium on the Evolution of Mammals, Brussels (1962.)
Science quotes on:  |  Clarity (22)  |  Increase (34)  |  Loss (43)  |  Paleontology (16)  |  Triumph (19)  |  Vertebrate (11)

Increased knowledge of heredity means increased power of control over the living thing, and as we come to understand more and more the architecture of the plant or animal we realize what can and what cannot be done towards modification or improvement.
Reginald C. Punnett, in article 'Mendelism', from Hugh Chisholm (ed.) The Encyclopædia Britannica (1911), Vol. 18, 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (138)  |  Architecture (21)  |  Control (42)  |  Do (19)  |  Heredity (44)  |  Improvement (35)  |  Increase (34)  |  Life (439)  |  Modification (21)  |  Plant (93)  |  Power (98)  |  Understanding (222)

Increasing knowledge lessens the sphere of the supernatural.
In The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas (1908), Vol. 2, 746.
Science quotes on:  |  Increase (34)  |  Lessen (2)  |  Sphere (12)  |  Supernatural (8)

Inductive inference is the only process known to us by which essentially new knowledge comes into the world.
The Design of Experiments (1935), 8-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Inference (16)

Industrial Society is not merely one containing 'industry,' large-scale productive units capable of supplying man's material needs in a way which can eliminate poverty: it is also a society in which knowledge plays a part wholly different from that which it played in earlier social forms, and which indeed possesses a quite different type of knowledge. Modern science is inconceivable outside an industrial society: but modern industrial society is equally inconceivable without modern science. Roughly, science is the mode of cognition of industrial society, and industry is the ecology of science.
Thought and Change (1965), 179.
Science quotes on:  |  Industry (47)  |  Science (850)

Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.
Speech in Sri Lanka (1993). Quoted in Marshall B. Rosenberg and Riane Eisler, Life-Enriching Education (2003), xix. [If you know a primary print source reference, please contact Webmaster.]
Science quotes on:  |  Information (51)  |  Wisdom (87)

Is any knowledge worthless? Try to think of an example.
From chapter 'Jottings from a Note-Book', in Canadian Stories (1918), 169.
Science quotes on:  |  Example (21)  |  Think (16)  |  Try (32)  |  Worthless (8)

Isolated facts and experiments have in themselves no value, however great their number may be. They only become valuable in a theoretical or practical point of view when they make us acquainted with the law of a series of uniformly recurring phenomena, or, it may be, only give a negative result showing an incompleteness in our knowledge of such a law, till then held to be perfect.
'The Aim and Progress of Physical Science' (1869). Trans. E. Atkinson, Popular Lectures on Scientific Subjects (1873), 369.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (367)  |  Fact (311)  |  Law (269)

It appears unlikely that the role of the genes in development is to be understood so long as the genes are considered as dictatorial elements in the cellular economy. It is not enough to know what a gene does when it manifests itself. One must also know the mechanisms determining which of the many gene-controlled potentialities will be realized.
'The Role of the Cytoplasm in Heredity', in William D. McElroy and Bentley Glass (eds.), A Symposium on the Chemical Basis of Heredity (1957), 162.
Science quotes on:  |  Cell (83)  |  Determination (32)  |  Development (117)  |  Economy (25)  |  Gene (48)  |  Manifestation (21)  |  Mechanism (25)  |  Potentiality (2)  |  Realization (21)  |  Role (17)  |  Understanding (222)

It follows from the supreme perfection of God, that in creating the universe has chosen the best possible plan, in which there is the greatest variety together with the greatest order; the best arranged ground, place, time; the most results produced in the most simple ways; the most of power, knowledge, happiness and goodness the creatures that the universe could permit. For since all the possibles in I understanding of God laid claim to existence in proportion to their perfections, the actual world, as the resultant of all these claims, must be the most perfect possible. And without this it would not be possible to give a reason why things have turned out so rather than otherwise.
The Principles of Nature and Grace (1714), The Philosophical Works of Leibnitz (1890), ed. G. M. Duncan, 213-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Creature (45)  |  Existence (145)  |  Existence (145)  |  God (229)  |  Happiness (56)  |  Perfection (41)  |  Plan (39)  |  Universe (274)  |  Variety (28)  |  World (206)

It has hitherto been a serious impediment to the progress of knowledge, that is in investigating the origin or causes of natural productions, recourse has generally been had to the examination, both by experiment and reasoning, of what might be rather than what is. The laws or processes of nature we have every reason to believe invariable. Their results from time to time vary, according to the combinations of influential circumstances; but the process remains the same. Like the poet or the painter, the chemist may, and no doubt often' does, create combinations which nature never produced; and the possibility of such and such processes giving rise to such and such results, is no proof whatever that they were ever in natural operation.
Considerations on Volcanoes (1825), 243.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (135)  |  Cause (116)  |  Chemist (47)  |  Circumstance (25)  |  Combination (36)  |  Examination (46)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Impediment (3)  |  Influence (46)  |  Invariability (3)  |  Investigation (81)  |  Law (269)  |  Natural (47)  |  Nature (524)  |  Operation (54)  |  Origin (33)  |  Painter (3)  |  Poet (25)  |  Process (97)  |  Production (70)  |  Progress (198)  |  Proof (133)  |  Reason (172)  |  Reasoning (54)  |  Recourse (3)  |  Result (127)  |  Variation (32)

It is a right, yes a duty, to search in cautious manner for the numbers, sizes, and weights, the norms for everything [God] has created. For He himself has let man take part in the knowledge of these things ... For these secrets are not of the kind whose research should be forbidden; rather they are set before our eyes like a mirror so that by examining them we observe to some extent the goodness and wisdom of the Creator.
Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. In Michael B. Foster, Mystery and Philosophy, 61. Cited by Max Casper and Doris Hellman, trans., ed. Kepler (1954), 381. Cited by Gerald J. Galgan, Interpreting the Present: Six Philosophical Essays (1993), 105. Gerald J. Galgan
Science quotes on:  |  Caution (8)  |  Creation (124)  |  Duty (23)  |  Examination (46)  |  Forbidden (6)  |  Mirror (10)  |  Number (88)  |  Research (358)  |  Search (37)  |  Size (18)  |  Weight (40)

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 (150)  |  Ignorance (110)

It is better to have a few forms well known than to teach a little about many hundred species. Better a dozen specimens thoroughly studied as the result of the first year’s work, than to have two thousand dollars’ worth of shells and corals bought from a curiosity-shop. The dozen animals would be your own.
Lecture at a teaching laboratory on Penikese Island, Buzzard's Bay. Quoted from the lecture notes by David Starr Jordan, Science Sketches (1911), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (138)  |  Better (37)  |  Buy (8)  |  Coral (5)  |  Curiosity (49)  |  Dollar (11)  |  Dozen (3)  |  Form (65)  |  Hundred (11)  |  Little (28)  |  Result (127)  |  Shell (17)  |  Shop (4)  |  Species (91)  |  Specimen (8)  |  Study (149)  |  Teaching (60)  |  Thorough (3)  |  Thousand (29)  |  Worth (24)

It is hard to hide our genes completely. However devoted someone may be to the privacy of his genotype, others with enough curiosity and knowledge can draw conclusions from the phenotype he presents and from the traits of his relatives.
In The Lives to Come: the Genetic Revolution and Human Possibilities (1997), 127.
Science quotes on:  |  Conclusion (73)  |  Curiosity (49)  |  Gene (48)  |  Genotype (3)  |  Hide (12)  |  Privacy (4)  |  Relative (11)  |  Trait (9)

It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.
The Ascent of Man (1973), 360.
Science quotes on:  |  Importance (98)  |  Question (152)  |  Student (50)  |  Study (149)  |  Worship (10)

It is in moments of illness that we are compelled to recognize that we live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom, whole worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us, and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body.
'Le Côté de Guermantes', À la recherche du temps perdu (1913-27).
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (11)  |  Body (88)  |  Creature (45)  |  Disease (169)  |  Illness (9)  |  Live (14)  |  Recognize (11)  |  Understanding (222)

It is my belief that the basic knowledge that we're providing to the world will have a profound impact on the human condition and the treatments for disease and our view of our place on the biological continuum.
From Text of Remarks on the Completion of the First Survey of the First Survey of the Entire Human Genome Project (26 Jun 2000).
Science quotes on:  |  Basic (18)  |  Belief (135)  |  Biology (82)  |  Disease (169)  |  Human Condition (3)  |  Impact (9)  |  Profound (23)  |  Provide (13)  |  Treatment (59)

It is not enough to say that we cannot know or judge because all the information is not in. The process of gathering knowledge does not lead to knowing. A child's world spreads only a little beyond his understanding while that of a great scientist thrusts outward immeasurably. An answer is invariably the parent of a great family of new questions. So we draw worlds and fit them like tracings against the world about us, and crumple them when we find they do not fit and draw new ones.
In John Steinbeck and Edward Flanders Ricketts, Sea of Cortez: a Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research (1941), 165-66.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (91)  |  Child (80)  |  Drawing (15)  |  Great (58)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Information (51)  |  Judgment (38)  |  New (99)  |  Process (97)  |  Question (152)  |  Scientific Method (98)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Spread (7)  |  Tracing (2)  |  Understanding (222)  |  World (206)

It is not his possession of knowledge, of irrefutable truth, that makes the man of science, but his persistent and recklessly critical quest for truth.
In The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959, 1972), 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Critical (10)  |  Irrefutable (3)  |  Persistent (2)  |  Possession (24)  |  Quest (7)  |  Recklessly (2)  |  Truth (440)

It is not knowing, but the love of learning, that characterizes the scientific man.
From 'Lessons from the History of Science: The Scientific Attitude' (c.1896), in Collected Papers (1931), Vol. 1, 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Characterize (4)  |  Learning (123)  |  Love (62)  |  Scientist (224)

It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment. When I have clarified and exhausted a subject, then I turn away from it, in order to go into darkness again; the never-satisfied man is so strange if he has completed a structure, then it is not in order to dwell in it peacefully,but in order to begin another. I imagine the world conqueror must feel thus, who, after one kingdom is scarcely conquered, stretches out his arms for others.
Letter to Farkas Wolfgang Bolyai (2 Sep 1808). Quoted in G. Waldo Dunnington, Carl Friedrich Gauss: Titan of Science (2004), 416.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (198)  |  Learning (123)

It is not only by the questions we have answered that progress may be measured, but also by those we are still asking. The passionate controversies of one era are viewed as sterile preoccupations by another, for knowledge alters what we seek as well as what we find.
In Freda Adler and Herbert Marcus Adler, Sisters in Crime (1975), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (91)  |  Controversy (13)  |  Find (46)  |  Preoccupation (2)  |  Progress (198)  |  Question (152)  |  Seek (15)

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 (20)  |  Detail (32)  |  Hard (16)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Reality (62)  |  Thing (27)  |  Total (13)

It is not therefore the business of philosophy, in our present situation in the universe, to attempt to take in at once, in one view, the whole scheme of nature; but to extend, with great care and circumspection, our knowledge, by just steps, from sensible things, as far as our observations or reasonings from them will carry us, in our enquiries concerning either the greater motions and operations of nature, or her more subtile and hidden works. In this way Sir Isaac Newton proceeded in his discoveries.
An Account of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophical Discoveries, in Four Books (1748), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (39)  |  Business (26)  |  Care (32)  |  Circumspection (2)  |  Concern (30)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Enquiry (71)  |  Extend (6)  |  Hidden (13)  |  Motion (64)  |  Nature (524)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (174)  |  Observation (256)  |  Operation (54)  |  Philosophy (128)  |  Reasoning (54)  |  Scheme (8)  |  Sensible (11)  |  Situation (21)  |  Step (25)  |  Subtle (6)  |  Universe (274)  |  View (48)

It is not what we know that is important, it is what we do not know.

It is not, indeed, strange that the Greeks and Romans should not have carried ... any ... experimental science, so far as it has been carried in our time; for the experimental sciences are generally in a state of progression. They were better understood in the seventeenth century than in the sixteenth, and in the eighteenth century than in the seventeenth. But this constant improvement, this natural growth of knowledge, will not altogether account for the immense superiority of the modern writers. The difference is a difference not in degree, but of kind. It is not merely that new principles have been discovered, but that new faculties seem to be exerted. It is not that at one time the human intellect should have made but small progress, and at another time have advanced far; but that at one time it should have been stationary, and at another time constantly proceeding. In taste and imagination, in the graces of style, in the arts of persuasion, in the magnificence of public works, the ancients were at least our equals. They reasoned as justly as ourselves on subjects which required pure demonstration.
History (May 1828). In Samuel Austin Allibone, Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay (1880), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (354)  |  Faculty (19)  |  Greek (15)  |  History (151)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Improvement (35)  |  Intellect (95)  |  Progress (198)  |  Roman (4)  |  Science And Art (54)

It is often claimed that knowledge multiplies so rapidly that nobody can follow it. I believe this is incorrect. At least in science it is not true. The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things, everything is becoming simpler. This, of course, goes contrary to what everyone accepts.
Edward Teller, Wendy Teller, Wilson Talley, Conversations on the Dark Secrets of Physics (1991, 2002), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (30)  |  Becoming (7)  |  Belief (135)  |  Claim (22)  |  Contrary (6)  |  Everyone (6)  |  Everything (33)  |  Following (12)  |  Incorrect (4)  |  Main (6)  |  Multiplication (11)  |  Nobody (13)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Rapidity (14)  |  Science (850)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Thing (27)  |  Truth (440)  |  Understanding (222)

It is only those who know a little of nature, who fancy they know much. I have heard a young man say, after hearing a few popular chemical lectures, and seeing a few bottle and squirt experiments: Oh, water—water is only oxygen and hydrogen!—as if he knew all about it. While the true chemist would smile sadly enough at the the youth's hasty conceit, and say in his heart: 'Well, he is a lucky fellow.'
'Thoughts in a Gravel Pit', a lecture delivered at the Mechanics' Institute, Odiham (1857). The Works of Charles Kingsley (1880), 284.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Water (116)

It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge & skill.
From his first letter (13 May 1900) to Octave Chanute. In Marvin W. McFarland (ed.) The Papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright: 1899-1905 (1953), Vol. 1, 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Fly (28)  |  Motor (7)  |  Possibility (67)  |  Skill (25)

It is sometimes important for science to know how to forget the things she is surest of.
Pensées d’un Biologiste (1939). Translated in The Substance of Man (1962), Chap. 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Forgetting (8)  |  Importance (98)  |  Science (850)  |  Sometimes (7)  |  Surest (4)  |  Thing (27)

It is the desire for explanations that are at once systematic and controllable by factual evidence that generates science; and it is the organization and classification of knowledge on the basis of explanatory principles that is the distinctive goal of the sciences.
The Structure of Science (1961), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Basis (21)  |  Classification (57)  |  Control (42)  |  Desire (45)  |  Evidence (80)  |  Explanation (84)  |  Fact (311)  |  Goal (32)  |  Organization (49)  |  Science (850)  |  Systematic (7)

It is the responsibility of scientists never to suppress knowledge, no matter how awkward that knowledge is, no matter how it may bother those in power; we are not smart enough to decide which pieces of knowledge are permissible, and which are not. …
Quoted in Lily Splane, Quantum Consciousness (2004), 80.

It is they [men of science] who hold the secret of the mysterious property of the mind by which error ministers to truth, and truth slowly but irrevocably prevails. Theirs is the logic of discovery, the demonstration of the advance of knowledge and the development of ideas, which as the earthly wants and passions of men remain almost unchanged, are the charter of progress, and the vital spark in history.
Inaugural Lecture on the Study of History, Cambridge, 11 June 1895. Lectures on Modern History (1906), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Men Of Science (90)

It is to geometry that we owe in some sort the source of this discovery [of beryllium]; it is that [science] that furnished the first idea of it, and we may say that without it the knowledge of this new earth would not have been acquired for a long time, since according to the analysis of the emerald by M. Klaproth and that of the beryl by M. Bindheim one would not have thought it possible to recommence this work without the strong analogies or even almost perfect identity that Citizen Haüy found for the geometrical properties between these two stony fossils.
Haüy used the geometry of cleavage to reveal the underlying crystal structure, and thus found the emeral and beryl were geometrically identical. In May Elvira Weeks, The Discovery of the Elements (1934), 153, citing Mellor, Comprehensive Treatise on Inorganic and Theoretical Chemistry (1923), 204-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (26)  |  Analysis (78)  |  Beryllium (2)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Furnishing (3)  |  Geometry (64)  |  Idea (220)  |  Identity (7)  |  Martin Heinrich Klaproth (3)  |  Mineral (24)  |  Owing (2)  |  Possibility (67)  |  Property (46)  |  Source (32)  |  Stone (19)  |  Work (186)

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 (23)  |  Certain (12)  |  Choose (6)  |  Confirm (2)  |  Conjecture (15)  |  Court (5)  |  Declare (5)  |  Detest (3)  |  Doubt (66)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Indulge (5)  |  Invincible (2)  |  Judgment (38)  |  Mathematician (105)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (2)  |  Passion (23)  |  Persuade (3)  |  Probable (6)  |  Profess (2)  |  Publish (4)  |  Rashly (2)  |  Reason (172)  |  Reject (7)  |  Rigour (9)  |  Seneca (2)  |  Sentiment (4)  |  Silent (3)  |  Submit (3)  |  Theorem (33)  |  Truth (440)  |  Unknown (39)  |  Word (96)

It may be said “In research, if you know what you are doing, then you shouldn't be doing it.” In a sense, if the answer turns out to be exactly what you expected, then you have learned nothing new, although you may have had your confidence increased somewhat.
In Numerical Methods for Scientists and Engineers (1973), 704.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (91)  |  Confidence (16)  |  Doing (25)  |  Exactness (13)  |  Expectation (24)  |  Increase (34)  |  Learning (123)  |  New (99)  |  Nothing (85)  |  Research (358)  |  French Saying (51)  |  Somewhat (2)

It might be said that all knowledge is linked to the essential forms of cruelty.
Mental Illness and Psychology (1976), trans. Alan Sheridan, 73.

It must be conceded that a theory has an important advantage if its basic concepts and fundamental hypotheses are 'close to experience,' and greater confidence in such a theory is certainly justified. There is less danger of going completely astray, particularly since it takes so much less time and effort to disprove such theories by experience. Yet more and more, as the depth of our knowledge increases, we must give up this advantage in our quest for logical simplicity in the foundations of physical theory...
'On the Generalized Theory of Gravitation', Scientific American (Apr 1950), 13. In David H. Levy (Ed.), The Scientific American Book of the Cosmos (2000), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (128)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Proof (133)  |  Theory (346)

It seems to me, that the only Objects of the abstract Sciences or of Demonstration is Quantity and Number, and that all Attempts to extend this more perfect Species of Knowledge beyond these Bounds are mere Sophistry and Illusion.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), 252.
Science quotes on:  |  Demonstration (27)  |  Illusion (14)  |  Number (88)  |  Quantity (23)  |  Science (850)  |  Sophistry (2)

It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn.
Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus (1897), 31.

It will be contributing to bring forward the moment in which, seeing clearer into the nature of things, and having learnt to distinguish real knowledge from what has only the appearance of it, we shall be led to seek for exactness in every thing.
'An Essay on Pyrometry and Areometry, and on Physical Measures in General', Philosophical Transactions, 1778, 68, 493.
Science quotes on:  |  Research (358)

It will be! the mass is working clearer!
Conviction gathers, truer, nearer!
The mystery which for Man in Nature lies
We dare to test, by knowledge led;
And that which she was wont to organize
We crystallize, instead.
As spoken by character Wagner, in Johann Goethe and Bayard Taylr (trans.), Faust: A tragedy by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated, in the original metres: The Second Part (1871), Act 2, Scene 2, Laboratory, 119.
Science quotes on:  |  Clearer (3)  |  Conviction (22)  |  Crystallize (3)  |  Dare (5)  |  Gather (7)  |  Mass (23)  |  Mystery (71)  |  Nature (524)  |  Nearer (5)  |  Organize (4)  |  Test (44)  |  Truth (440)  |  Work (186)

It's funny how worms can turn leaves into silk.
But funnier far is the cow:
She changes a field of green grass into milk
And not a professor knows how.
In Dorothy Caruso, Enrico Caruso: His Life and Death (1963), 42. Written for Michael Pupin, who made a similar statement in prose: “Look at those animals and remember the greatest scientists in the world have never discovered how to make grass into milk.”
Science quotes on:  |  Change (129)  |  Cow (17)  |  Field (68)  |  Funny (4)  |  Grass (8)  |  Green (9)  |  Leaf (18)  |  Milk (7)  |  Professor (21)  |  Silk (4)  |  Turn (21)  |  Worm (11)

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 (2)  |  Admiration (22)  |  Ape (26)  |  Beast (14)  |  Being (34)  |  Birth (45)  |  Body (88)  |  Chaos (33)  |  Confusion (17)  |  Creation (124)  |  Death (175)  |  Error (150)  |  Fall (30)  |  Glory (17)  |  God (229)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Isthmus (2)  |  Jest (3)  |  Judge (14)  |  Law (269)  |  Lord (4)  |  Man (258)  |  Mankind (105)  |  Mind (266)  |  Mortal (6)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (174)  |  Passion (23)  |  Preference (13)  |  Prey (6)  |  Pride (17)  |  Reason (172)  |  Riddle (8)  |  Rise (12)  |  Sceptic (3)  |  Shape (19)  |  Show (12)  |  Study (149)  |  Superiority (6)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Thought (168)  |  Truth (440)  |  Weakness (14)  |  Wisdom (87)  |  Wisdom (87)  |  World (206)

Knowing is not understanding. There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.
Science quotes on:  |  Understanding (222)

Knowing the plumbing of the universe, intricate and awe-inspiring though that plumbing might be, is a far cry from discovering its purpose.
The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom (1997, 2009), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Cry (4)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Far (9)  |  Intricacy (4)  |  Plumbing (2)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Universe (274)

Knowledge and ability must be combined with ambition as well as with a sense of honesty and a severe conscience. Every analyst occasionally has doubts about the accuracy of his results, and also there are times when he knows his results to be incorrect. Sometimes a few drops of the solution were spilt, or some other slight mistake made. In these cases it requires a strong conscience to repeat the analysis and to make a rough estimate of the loss or apply a correction. Anyone not having sufficient will-power to do this is unsuited to analysis no matter how great his technical ability or knowledge. A chemist who would not take an oath guaranteeing the authenticity, as well as the accuracy of his work, should never publish his results, for if he were to do so, then the result would be detrimental not only to himself, but to the whole of science.
Anleitung zur Quantitativen Analyse (1847), preface. F. Szabadvary, History of Analytical Chemistry (1966), trans. Gyula Svehla, 176.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (78)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Publication (75)

Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one,
Have ofttimes no connection. Knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men,
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.
Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much,
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
The Task, Book 6, 'The Winter Walk at Noon' (published 1785). In William Cowper and Humphrey Sumner Milford (ed.), The Complete Poetical Works of William Cowper (1905), 221.
Science quotes on:  |  Wisdom (87)

Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers.
'Locksley Hall' (1842), collected in Alfred Tennyson and William James Rolfe (ed.) The Poetic and Dramatic Works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1898), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Wisdom (87)

Knowledge comes by taking things apart, analysis. But wisdom comes by putting things together.
From The Role of Religion in Education. As cited in Braude's Handbook of Stories for Toastmasters and Speakers (1975), 194.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (78)  |  Together (15)  |  Wisdom (87)

Knowledge falters when imagination clips its wings or fears to use them.
'The Copernican Revolution', in The Quest for Certainty: A Study of the Relation of Knowledge and Action (1929), 294. Collected in John Dewey. Volume 4: The Later Works, 1925-1953: 1929 The Quest for Certainty (1984), 247.
Science quotes on:  |  Fear (52)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Wing (15)

Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (311)  |  Simplification (6)  |  Wisdom (87)

Knowledge is indivisible. When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise–even in their own field.
In The Roving Mind (1983), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Direction (25)  |  Indivisible (5)  |  People (72)  |  Wisdom (87)

Knowledge is like a knife. In the hands of a well-balanced adult it is an instrument for good of inestimable value; but in the hands of a child, an idiot, a criminal, a drunkard or an insane man, it may cause havoc, misery, suffering and crime. Science and religion have this in common, that their noble aims, their power for good, have often, with wrong men, deteriorated into a boomerang to the human race.
In 'Applied Chemistry', Science (22 Oct 1915), New Series, 42, No. 1086, 548.
Science quotes on:  |  Adult (3)  |  Aim (20)  |  Child (80)  |  Common (42)  |  Crime (10)  |  Criminal (7)  |  Deterioration (3)  |  Drunkard (4)  |  Good (77)  |  Havoc (3)  |  Human Race (27)  |  Idiot (10)  |  Insanity (3)  |  Instrument (37)  |  Knife (6)  |  Misery (9)  |  Noble (14)  |  Sanity (5)  |  Science And Religion (153)  |  Suffering (18)  |  Value (63)

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:  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Science (850)

Knowledge is power.
[Editors' summary of Bacon's idea, not Bacon's wording.]
Bacon's original text is in Latin, so any quote seen in English is an interpretation by the translator. The dictum, expressed in three words as 'Knowledge is Power,' is only seen in notes to the texts made by translators or editors, and is not a direct translation of Bacon's written words. See, for example, the commentary by F. G. Selby (ed.) in The Advancement of Learning, Book 1, by Francis Bacon (1905), 140; or, the introductory notes by E. A. Abbott (ed.) in Bacon's Essays (1876), cxxxvii. For the best match in Bacon's original words, see Novum Organum Aphorism 3: Scientia et potentia humana in idem coincidunt,... or 'Human knowledge and human power meet in one;...'. The Latin form is in Thomas Fowler (ed.), Bacon's Novum Organum (2nd Ed., 1878), 188; and this translated form is in Francis Bacon and James Spedding (trans.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1864), Vol. 8, 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Power (98)

Knowledge leads us from the simple to the complex; wisdom leads us from the complex to the simple.
Anonymous
In Dianna Daniels Booher, Your Signature Life: Pursuing God's Best Every Day (2203), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Complex (20)  |  Simple (24)  |  Wisdom (87)

Knowledge must be gained by ourselves. Mankind may supply us with facts; but the results, even if they agree with previous ones, must be the work of our own minds.
The Young Duke (1831), 163-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (311)

Knowledge of Nature is an account at bank, where each dividend is added to the principal and the interest is ever compounded; and hence it is that human progress, founded on natural knowledge, advances with ever increasing speed.
'The Origin of Hypotheses, illustrated by the Discussion of a Topographical Problem', Science, 1896, 3, 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Nature (524)

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)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Morality (19)  |  Physical Science (31)  |  Time (160)

Knowledge once gained casts a faint light beyond its own immediate boundaries. There is no discovery so limited as not to illuminate something beyond itself.
In 'On the Methods and Tendencies of Physical Investigation', Scientific Addresses (1870), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Beyond (17)  |  Boundary (10)  |  Cast (9)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Faint (2)  |  Gain (23)  |  Illumination (9)  |  Immediate (8)  |  Itself (6)  |  Light (112)  |  Limited (6)

Knowledge—it excites prejudices to call it science—is advancing as irresistibly, as majestically, as remorselessly as the ocean moves in upon the shore.
'The Poet at the Breakfast-Table', Chapter 10. The Atlantic Monthly (Oct 1872), 30, 428.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (850)

Knox was engaged in a theological discussion with scientist John Scott Haldane. 'In a universe containing millions of planets,' reasoned Haldane, 'is it not inevitable that life should appear on at least one of them?'
'Sir,' replied Knox, 'if Scotland Yard found a body in your cabin trunk, would you tell them: 'There are millions of trunks in the world; surely one of them must contain a body? I think the would still want to know who put it there.'
Quoted in Clifton Fadiman (ed.) and André Bernard (ed.), Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes (2000), 324. See also Richard Hazelett and Dean Turner, Benevolent Living (1990), 49, citing John J. McAleer
Science quotes on:  |  Body (88)  |  Life (439)  |  Planet (77)  |  Turn (21)  |  Universe (274)

Learn the leading precognita of all things—no need to turn over leaf by leaf, but grasp the trunk hard and you will shake all the branches.
Advice cherished by Samuel Johnson that that, if one is to master any subject, one must first discover its general principles.
Advice from Rev. Cornelius Ford, a distant cousin, quoted in John P. Hardy, Samuel Johnson: A Critical Study (1979), 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (173)

Let us see how high we can fly before the sun melts the wax in our wings.
About the ambitious pursuit of knowledge, alluding to Icarus of the Greek myth.
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1999), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Ambition (17)

Let us suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas; how comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store which the busy and boundless fancy of man has painted on it with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from experience.
Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), book 2, ch. 2, sec. 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (128)

Let us then suppose the Mind to be, as we say, white Paper, void of all Characters, without any Ideas; How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store, which the busy and boundless Fancy of Man has painted on it, with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of Reason and Knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from Experience: In that, all our Knowledge is founded; and from that it ultimately derives it self. Our Observation employ'd either about external, sensible Objects; or about the internal Operations of our Minds, perceived and reflected on by our selves, is that, which supplies our Understandings with all the materials of thinking.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 2, Chapter 1, Section 2, 104.
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (128)  |  Idea (220)  |  Mind (266)  |  Object (44)  |  Observation (256)  |  Paper (25)  |  Reason (172)  |  Thinking (163)

Like buried treasures, the outposts of the universe have beckoned to the adventurous from immemorial times. Princes and potentates, political or industrial, equally with men of science, have felt the lure of the uncharted seas of space, and through their provision of instrumental means the sphere of exploration has made new discoveries and brought back permanent additions to our knowledge of the heavens.
From article by Hale in Harper's Magazine, 156, (1928), 639-646, in which he urged building a 200-inch optical telescope. Cited in Kenneth R. Lang, Parting the Cosmic Veil (2006), 82 and 210. Also in George Ellery Hale, Signals From the Stars (1931), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Addition (12)  |  Adventure (20)  |  Beckoning (2)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Exploration (44)  |  Feel (10)  |  Industry (47)  |  Instrument (37)  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  Permanent (4)  |  Politics (50)  |  Price (9)  |  Provision (10)  |  Sea (56)  |  Space (64)  |  Sphere (12)  |  Telescope (39)  |  Time (160)  |  Treasure (15)  |  Uncharted (2)  |  Universe (274)

Like the crest of a peacock, like the gem on the head of a snake, so is mathematics at the head of all knowledge.
Anonymous
From the oldest extant Indian astronomical text, Vedanga Jyotisa (c. 500 B.C.). Quoted, as cited by George Gheverghese Joseph, in Dick Teresi, Lost Discoveries (2003), 28. G. G. Joseph has written a book by the title Crest of the Peacock (1991).
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (355)  |  Snake (6)

Lord Kelvin was so satisfied with this triumph of science that he declared himself to be as certain of the existence of the ether as a man can be about anything.... “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it....” Thus did Lord Kelvin lay down the law. And though quite wrong, this time he has the support of official modern Science. It is NOT true that when you can measure what you are speaking about, you know something about it. The fact that you can measure something doesn't even prove that that something exists.... Take the ether, for example: didn't they measure the ratio of its elasticity to its density?
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 69-70; 85.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (59)  |  Density (8)  |  Ether (15)  |  Existence (145)  |  Baron William Thomson Kelvin (23)  |  Law (269)  |  Measurement (108)  |  Number (88)  |  Proof (133)  |  Triumph (19)  |  Truth (440)

Man cannot have an effect on nature, cannot adopt any of her forces, if he does not know the natural laws in terms of measurement and numerical relations. Here also lies the strength of the national intelligence, which increases and decreases according to such knowledge. Knowledge and comprehension are the joy and justification of humanity; they are parts of the national wealth, often a replacement for the materials that nature has too sparcely dispensed. Those very people who are behind us in general industrial activity, in application and technical chemistry, in careful selection and processing of natural materials, such that regard for such enterprise does not permeate all classes, will inevitably decline in prosperity; all the more so were neighbouring states, in which science and the industrial arts have an active interrelationship, progress with youthful vigour.
Kosmos (1845), vol.1, 35. Quoted in C. C. Gillispie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1970), vol. 6, 552.
Science quotes on:  |  Environment (70)  |  Man (258)  |  Measurement (108)  |  Nature (524)

Man has an intense desire for assured knowledge.
Quoted in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell (1971), Vol. 1, 285.

Man, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or thought of the course of nature; beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything.
The New Organon (1620) in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1887-1901), Vol. 4, 47.
Science quotes on:  |  Observation (256)

Man, by reason of his greater intellect, can more reasonably hope to equal birds in knowledge than to equal nature in the perfection of her machinery.
Man, by reason of his greater intellect, can more reasonably hope to equal birds in knowledge than to equal nature in the perfection of her machinery.
Science quotes on:  |  Bird (54)  |  Equal (21)  |  Hope (50)  |  Intellect (95)  |  Machinery (10)  |  Nature (524)  |  Perfection (41)

Man, whose organization is regarded as the highest, departs from the vertebrate archetype; and it is because the study of anatomy is usually commenced from, and often confined to, his structure, that a knowledge of the archetype has been so long hidden from anatomists.
'The Lexington Papers', The Quarterly Review (1851), 89, 450-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (31)  |  Archetype (3)  |  Vertebrate (11)

Many Species of Animals have been lost out of the World, which Philosophers and Divines are unwilling to admit, esteeming the Destruction of anyone Species a Dismembring of the Universe, and rendring the World imperfect; whereas they think the Divine Providence is especially concerned, and solicitous to secure and preserve the Works of the Creation. And truly so it is, as appears, in that it was so careful to lodge all Land Animals in the Ark at the Time of the general Deluge; and in that, of all Animals recorded in Natural Histories, we cannot say that there hath been anyone Species lost, no not of the most infirm, and most exposed to Injury and Ravine. Moreover, it is likely, that as there neither is nor can be any new Species of Animals produced, all proceeding from Seeds at first created; so Providence, without which one individual Sparrow falls not to the ground, doth in that manner watch over all that are created, that an entire Species shall not be lost or destroyed by any Accident. Now, I say, if these Bodies were sometimes the Shells and Bones of Fish, it will thence follow, that many Species have been lost out of the World... To which I have nothing to reply, but that there may be some of them remaining some where or other in the Seas, though as yet they have not come to my Knowledge. Far though they may have perished, or by some Accident been destroyed out of our Seas, yet the Race of them may be preserved and continued still in others.
John Ray
Three Physico-Theological Discourses (1713), Discourse II, 'Of the General Deluge, in the Days of Noah; its Causes and Effects', 172-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (26)  |  Admission (7)  |  Animal (138)  |  Bone (25)  |  Continuation (13)  |  Creation (124)  |  Deluge (5)  |  Destruction (46)  |  Divine (16)  |  Esteem (3)  |  Fall (30)  |  Fish (31)  |  Fossil (71)  |  Ground (17)  |  Imperfection (11)  |  Infirmity (2)  |  Injury (8)  |  Loss (43)  |  Natural History (23)  |  New (99)  |  Philosopher (65)  |  Preservation (13)  |  Production (70)  |  Providence (2)  |  Race (35)  |  Ravine (3)  |  Remains (3)  |  Rendering (4)  |  Reply (7)  |  Sea (56)  |  Shell (17)  |  Sparrow (2)  |  Species (91)  |  Unwillingness (3)  |  World (206)

Measurement has too often been the leitmotif of many investigations rather than the experimental examination of hypotheses. Mounds of data are collected, which are statistically decorous and methodologically unimpeachable, but conclusions are often trivial and rarely useful in decision making. This results from an overly rigorous control of an insignificant variable and a widespread deficiency in the framing of pertinent questions. Investigators seem to have settled for what is measurable instead of measuring what they would really like to know.
'Patient Care—Mystical Research or Researchable Mystique/', Clinical Research (1964), 12, no. 4, 422.
Science quotes on:  |  Collection (24)  |  Conclusion (73)  |  Control (42)  |  Data (53)  |  Decision (30)  |  Deficiency (4)  |  Examination (46)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Insignificance (7)  |  Investigation (81)  |  Investigator (13)  |  Like (12)  |  Measurement (108)  |  Methodology (6)  |  Question (152)  |  Rare (13)  |  Result (127)  |  Rigor (6)  |  Settle (4)  |  Statistics (74)  |  Trivial (13)  |  Usefulness (52)  |  Variable (5)  |  Widespread (3)

Medicine rests upon four pillars—philosophy, astronomy, alchemy, and ethics. The first pillar is the philosophical knowledge of earth and water; the second, astronomy, supplies its full understanding of that which is of fiery and airy nature; the third is an adequate explanation of the properties of all the four elements—that is to say, of the whole cosmos—and an introduction into the art of their transformations; and finally, the fourth shows the physician those virtues which must stay with him up until his death, and it should support and complete the three other pillars.
Vas Buch Paragranum (c.1529-30), in J. Jacobi (ed.), Paracelsus: Selected Writings (1951), 133-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Adequacy (4)  |  Air (84)  |  Alchemy (17)  |  Art (76)  |  Astronomy (103)  |  Astronomy (103)  |  Completion (13)  |  Cosmos (21)  |  Death (175)  |  Earth (238)  |  Element (68)  |  Ethic (7)  |  Explanation (84)  |  Fire (58)  |  Four (3)  |  Introduction (15)  |  Medicine (187)  |  Philosophy (128)  |  Physician (171)  |  Pillar (2)  |  Property (46)  |  Stay (2)  |  Supply (14)  |  Transformation (27)  |  Understanding (222)  |  Virtue (27)  |  Water (116)

Men will gather knowledge no matter what the consequences. Science will go on whether we are pessimistic or optimistic, as I am. More interesting discoveries than we can imagine will be made, and I am awaiting them, full of curiosity and enthusiasm.
'Dr Linus Pauling, Atomic Architect', Science Illustrated (1948), 3, 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Consequence (42)  |  Curiosity (49)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Enthusiasm (20)  |  Gathering (5)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Interest (75)  |  Optimist (2)  |  Science (850)

Modern civilization depends on science … James Smithson was well aware that knowledge should not be viewed as existing in isolated parts, but as a whole, each portion of which throws light on all the other, and that the tendency of all is to improve the human mind, and give it new sources of power and enjoyment … narrow minds think nothing of importance but their own favorite pursuit, but liberal views exclude no branch of science or literature, for they all contribute to sweeten, to adorn, and to embellish life … science is the pursuit above all which impresses us with the capacity of man for intellectual and moral progress and awakens the human intellect to aspiration for a higher condition of humanity.
[Joseph Henry was the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, named after its benefactor, James Smithson.]
The first phrase is inscribed on the National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C. In Library of Congress, Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989), 313. From 'On the Smithsonian Institution', (Aug 1853), Proceedings of the Third Session of the American Association for the Advancement of Education (1854), 101.
Science quotes on:  |  Civilization (84)  |  Intellect (95)  |  Progress (198)  |  Science (850)

Modern physics has changed nothing in the great classical disciplines of, for instance, mechanics, optics, and heat. Only the conception of hitherto unexplored regions, formed prematurely from a knowledge of only certain parts of the world, has undergone a decisive transformation. This conception, however, is always decisive for the future course of research.
In Philosophical Problems of Nuclear Science: Eight Lectures (1952), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (129)  |  Classical (7)  |  Conception (28)  |  Future (101)  |  Heat (48)  |  Mechanics (25)  |  Modern Physics (5)  |  Optics (7)  |  Research (358)  |  Transformation (27)  |  Unexplored (4)

More about the selection theory: Jerne meant that the Socratic idea of learning was a fitting analogy for 'the logical basis of the selective theories of antibody formation': Can the truth (the capability to synthesize an antibody) be learned? If so, it must be assumed not to pre-exist; to be learned, it must be acquired. We are thus confronted with the difficulty to which Socrates calls attention in Meno [ ... ] namely, that it makes as little sense to search for what one does not know as to search for what one knows; what one knows, one cannot search for, since one knows it already, and what one does not know, one cannot search for, since one does not even know what to search for. Socrates resolves this difficulty by postulating that learning is nothing but recollection. The truth (the capability to synthesize an antibody) cannot be brought in, but was already inherent.
'The Natural Selection Theory', in John Cairns, Gunther S. Stent, and James D. Watson (eds.) Phage and the Origins of Molecular Biology (1966), 301.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (26)  |  Antibody (5)  |  Inherent (15)  |  Learning (123)  |  Recollection (3)  |  Search (37)  |  Selection (18)  |  Socrates (8)  |  Synthesis (23)  |  Truth (440)

More than any other product of human scientific culture scientific knowledge is the collective property of all mankind.
In On Aggression (2002), 279.
Science quotes on:  |  Collective (4)  |  Culture (42)  |  Human (155)  |  Mankind (105)  |  Product (31)  |  Property (46)

Much is said about the progress of science in these centuries. I should say that the useful results of science had accumulated, but that there had been no accumulation of knowledge, strictly speaking, for posteriry; for knowledge is to be aquired only by corresponding experience. How can be know what we are told merely? Each man can interpret another's experience only by his own.
A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1921), 270.
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (128)  |  Progress (198)

My task was to show the psychologists that it is possible to apply physiological knowledge to the phenomena of psychical life.
'Reflexes of the Brain', Selected Works (1935), 335-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Apply (4)  |  Life (439)  |  Phenomenon (113)  |  Possibility (67)  |  Psychologist (8)  |  Task (31)

Natural knowledge has not forgone emotion. It has simply taken for itself new ground of emotion, under impulsion from and in sacrifice to that one of its 'values', Truth.
Man on His Nature (1940), 404.
Science quotes on:  |  Emotion (27)  |  Impulse (12)  |  Natural (47)  |  Sacrifice (12)  |  Truth (440)  |  Value (63)

Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. ... Everything science has taught me—and continues to teach me—strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death. Nothing disappears without a trace.
Wehner von Braun article in This Week Magazine (24 Jan 1960), 2. Excerpted in Viola Walden, Sword Scrapbook (1980), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (135)  |  Continuity (17)  |  Death (175)  |  Evolution (332)  |  Existence (145)  |  Extinction (37)  |  Nature (524)  |  Science And Religion (153)  |  Spiritual (11)  |  Transformation (27)

Nature's economy shall be the base for our own, for it is immutable, but ours is secondary. An economist without knowledge of nature is therefore like a physicist without knowledge of mathematics.
'Tankar om grunden til oeconomien', 1740, 406. Trans. Lisbet Koerner, Linnaeus: Nature and Nation (1999), 103.
Science quotes on:  |  Economy (25)  |  Economy (25)  |  Immutable (4)  |  Mathematics (355)  |  Nature (524)  |  Physicist (70)

Necessity is not the mother of invention. Knowledge and experiment are its parents. It sometimes happens that successful search is made for unknown materials to fill well-recognized and predetermined requirements. It more often happens that the acquirement of knowledge of the previously unknown properties of a material suggests its trial for some new use. These facts strongly indicate the value of knowledge of properties of materials and indicate a way for research.
Quoted in Guy Suits, 'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 357.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquisition (21)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Fact (311)  |  Indication (15)  |  Invention (167)  |  Material (54)  |  Mother (24)  |  Necessity (78)  |  Parent (23)  |  Predetermine (2)  |  Property (46)  |  Requirement (26)  |  Research (358)  |  Search (37)  |  Success (110)  |  Suggestion (13)  |  Trial (14)  |  Unknown (39)  |  Use (51)  |  Value (63)

Never any knowledge was delivered in the same order it was invented.
'Of the Interpretation of Nature' (c.1603) in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1887-1901), Vol. 3, 248.

No engineer can go upon a new work and not find something peculiar, that will demand his careful reflection, and the deliberate consideration of any advice that he may receive; and nothing so fully reveals his incapacity as a pretentious assumption of knowledge, claiming to understand everything.
In Railway Property: A Treatise on the Construction and Management of Railways (1866), 247.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (22)  |  Assumption (26)  |  Care (32)  |  Claim (22)  |  Consideration (37)  |  Deliberate (2)  |  Demand (17)  |  Engineer (32)  |  Everything (33)  |  New (99)  |  Nothing (85)  |  Peculiar (10)  |  Receive (5)  |  Reflection (26)  |  Revelation (24)  |  Understanding (222)  |  Work (186)

No history of civilization can be tolerably complete which does not give considerable space to the explanation of scientific progress. If we had any doubts about this, it would suffice to ask ourselves what constitutes the essential difference between our and earlier civilizations. Throughout the course of history, in every period, and in almost every country, we find a small number of saints, of great artists, of men of science. The saints of to-day are not necessarily more saintly than those of a thousand years ago; our artists are not necessarily greater than those of early Greece; they are more likely to be inferior; and of course, our men of science are not necessarily more intelligent than those of old; yet one thing is certain, their knowledge is at once more extensive and more accurate. The acquisition and systematization of positive knowledge is the only human activity which is truly cumulative and progressive. Our civilization is essentially different from earlier ones, because our knowledge of the world and of ourselves is deeper, more precise, and more certain, because we have gradually learned to disentangle the forces of nature, and because we have contrived, by strict obedience to their laws, to capture them and to divert them to the gratification of our own needs.
Introduction to the History of Science (1927), Vol. 1, 3-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (4)  |  Acquisition (21)  |  Activity (48)  |  Capture (2)  |  Certainty (59)  |  Civilization (84)  |  Completion (13)  |  Country (42)  |  Cumulative (2)  |  Difference (129)  |  Disentangle (2)  |  Doubt (66)  |  Essential (41)  |  Explanation (84)  |  Extensive (6)  |  Gratification (7)  |  Greece (4)  |  History (151)  |  Human (155)  |  Intelligence (72)  |  Law (269)  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  Nature (524)  |  Need (54)  |  Obedience (9)  |  Precision (19)  |  Progress (198)  |  Progress (198)  |  Saint (6)  |  Scientific Progress (12)

No man of science wants merely to know. He acquires knowledge to appease his passion for discovery. He does not discover in order to know, he knows in order to discover.
The Aims of Education and Other Essays (1967), 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (354)  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  Quip (68)

No Man's Knowledge here, can go beyond his Experience.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 2, Chapter 1, Section 19, 115.
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (128)

No one has yet been found so firm of mind and purpose as resolutely to compel himself to sweep away all theories and common notions, and to apply the understanding, thus made fair and even, to a fresh examination of particulars. Thus it happens that human knowledge, as we have it, is a mere medley and ill-digested mass, made up of much credulity and much accident, and also of the childish notions which we at first imbibed.
Aphorism 20,' Novum Organum, Book II (1620)
Science quotes on:  |  Theory (346)  |  Understanding (222)

No part of the world can be truly understood without a knowledge of its garment of vegetation, for this determines not only the nature of the animal inhabitants but also the occupations of the majority of human beings.
The Red Man's Continent: A Chronicle of Aboriginal America (1919), 88.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (138)  |  Environment (70)  |  Occupation (27)  |  Plant (93)  |  Understanding (222)  |  Vegetation (11)

Nobody knows how the stand of our knowledge about the atom would be without him. Personally, [Niels] Bohr is one of the amiable colleagues I have met. He utters his opinions like one perpetually groping and never like one who believes himself to be in possession of the truth.
Quoted in Bill Becker, 'Pioneer of the Atom', New York Times Sunday Magazine (20 Oct 1957), 52.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (164)  |  Belief (135)  |  Niels Bohr (35)  |  Colleague (11)  |  Groping (2)  |  Nobody (13)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Possession (24)  |  Stand (24)  |  Truth (440)  |  Utterance (3)  |  Without (11)

Nobody knows more than a tiny fragment of science well enough to judge its validity and value at first hand. For the rest he has to rely on views accepted at second hand on the authority of a community of people accredited as scientists. But this accrediting depends in its turn on a complex organization. For each member of the community can judge at first hand only a small number of his fellow members, and yet eventually each is accredited by all. What happens is that each recognizes as scientists a number of others by whom he is recognized as such in return, and these relations form chains which transmit these mutual recognitions at second hand through the whole community. This is how each member becomes directly or indirectly accredited by all. The system extends into the past. Its members recognize the same set of persons as their masters and derive from this allegiance a common tradition, of which each carries on a particular strand.
Personal Knowledge (1958), 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (30)  |  All (5)  |  Allegiance (2)  |  Authority (23)  |  Chain (20)  |  Common (42)  |  Community (26)  |  Complexity (49)  |  Dependance (3)  |  Derivation (8)  |  Directly (5)  |  Extension (11)  |  Fragment (13)  |  Happening (20)  |  Judgment (38)  |  Master (19)  |  Member (10)  |  Mutual (9)  |  Nobody (13)  |  Organization (49)  |  Particular (22)  |  Past (40)  |  People (72)  |  Person (32)  |  Recognition (35)  |  Relationship (35)  |  Science (850)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Second Hand (2)  |  Set (12)  |  Strand (2)  |  System (67)  |  Tradition (16)  |  Transmission (16)  |  Validity (11)  |  Value (63)  |  View (48)  |  Whole (46)

Nomenclature, the other foundation of botany, should provide the names as soon as the classification is made... If the names are unknown knowledge of the things also perishes... For a single genus, a single name.
Philosophia Botanica (1751), aphorism 210. Trans. Frans A. Stafleu, Linnaeus and the Linnaeans: The Spreading of their Ideas in Systematic Botany, 1735-1789 (1971), 80.
Science quotes on:  |  Botany (30)  |  Classification (57)  |  Foundation (30)  |  Name (58)  |  Nomenclature (99)  |  Perish (11)  |  Species (91)  |  Unknown (39)

Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. If no use is made of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge.
In Samuel Johnson and Arthur Murphy, The works of Samuel Johnson (1837), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (80)  |  History (151)  |  Infancy (4)  |  Labour (26)  |  Remain (18)  |  World (206)

Nothing in Nature is random. … A thing appears random only through the incompleteness of our knowledge.
Ethics I. Quoted in Robert M. Gray and Lee D. Davisson, introduction to statistical signal processing (2004), x.
Science quotes on:  |  Chaos (33)  |  Incomplete (6)  |  Nature (524)  |  Random (11)

Nothing is known in our profession by guess; and I do not believe, that from the first dawn of medical science to the present moment, a single correct idea has ever emanated from conjecture: it is right therefore, that those who are studying their profession should be aware that there is no short road to knowledge; and that observation on the diseased living, examination of the dead, and experiments upon living animals, are the only sources of true knowledge; and that inductions from these are the sole bases of legitimate theory.
Astley Paston Cooper, Astley Cooper, Bransby Blake Cooper, A Treatise on Dislocations and Fractures of the Joints (1851), 155.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (367)  |  Guess (13)  |  Medicine (187)  |  Observation (256)

Nothing is really small; whoever is open to the deep penetration of nature knows this.
Victor Hugo and Charles E. Wilbour (trans.), Les Misérables (1862), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Nature (524)  |  Nothing (85)  |  Penetration (10)  |  Small (31)

Nothing tends so much to the advancement of knowledge as the application of a new instrument.
Elements of Chemical Philosophy (1812), in J. Davy (ed.), The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy(1839-40), Vol. 4, 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (367)

Now, in the development of our knowledge of the workings of Nature out of the tremendously complex assemblage of phenomena presented to the scientific inquirer, mathematics plays in some respects a very limited, in others a very important part. As regards the limitations, it is merely necessary to refer to the sciences connected with living matter, and to the ologies generally, to see that the facts and their connections are too indistinctly known to render mathematical analysis practicable, to say nothing of the complexity. Facts are of not much use, considered as facts. They bewilder by their number and their apparent incoherency. Let them be digested into theory, however, and brought into mutual harmony, and it is another matter. Theory is the essence of facts. Without theory scientific knowledge would be only worthy of the madhouse.
Electromagnetic Theory (1893), Vol. 1, 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (311)  |  Mathematics (355)  |  Nature (524)  |  Phenomenon (113)  |  Theory (346)

O telescope, instrument of knowledge, more precious than any sceptre.
Letter to Galileo (1610). Quoted in Timothy Ferris, Coming of Age in the Milky Way (2003), 95.
Science quotes on:  |  Precious (8)  |  Telescope (39)

Occurrences that other men would have noted only with the most casual interest became for Whitney exciting opportunities to experiment. Once he became disturbed by a scientist's seemingly endless pursuit of irrelevant details in the course of an experiment, and criticized this as being as pointless as grabbing beans out of a pot, recording the numbers, and then analyzing the results. Later that day, after he had gone home, his simile began to intrigue him, and he asked himself whether it would really be pointless to count beans gathered in such a random manner. Another man might well have dismissed this as an idle fancy, but to Whitney an opportunity to conduct an experiment was not to be overlooked. Accordingly, he set a pot of beans beside his bed, and for several days each night before retiring he would take as many beans as he could grasp in one hand and make a note of how many were in the handful. After several days had passed he was intrigued to find that the results were not as unrewarding as he had expected. He found that each handful contained more beans than the one before, indicating that with practice he was learning to grasp more and more beans. "This might be called research in morphology, the science of animal structure," he mused. "My hand was becoming webbed ... so I said to myself: never label a real experiment useless, it may reveal something unthought of but worth knowing."
'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 358-359.
Science quotes on:  |  Bean (3)  |  Count (16)  |  Criticism (33)  |  Detail (32)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Fancy (11)  |  Hand (30)  |  Idleness (4)  |  Irrelevance (2)  |  Label (4)  |  Morphology (11)  |  Pot (2)  |  Practice (26)  |  Revelation (24)  |  Simile (3)  |  Uselessness (17)

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 (37)  |  Evil (30)  |  Human (155)  |  Humanity (45)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Movement (32)  |  Reduction (21)  |  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:  |  Ignorance (110)

On the question of the world as a whole, science founders. For scientific knowledge the world lies in fragments, the more so the more precise our scientific knowledge becomes.
Kleine Schule des philosophischen Denkens (1965), trans. R. F. C. Hull and G. Wels, Philosophy is for Everyman: A Short Course in Philosophical Thinking (1969), 8.

Once early in the morning, at two or three in the morning, when the master was asleep, the books in the library began to quarrel with each other as to which was the king of the library. The dictionary contended quite angrily that he was the master of the library because without words there would be no communication at all. The book of science argued stridently that he was the master of the library for without science there would have been no printing press or any of the other wonders of the world. The book of poetry claimed that he was the king, the master of the library, because he gave surcease and calm to his master when he was troubled. The books of philosophy, the economic books, all put in their claims, and the clamor was great and the noise at its height when a small low voice was heard from an old brown book lying in the center of the table and the voice said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” And all of the noise and the clamor in the library ceased, and there was a hush in the library, for all of the books knew who the real master of the library was.
'Ministers of Justice', address delivered to the Eighty-Second Annual Convention of the Tennessee Bar Association at Gatlinburg (5 Jun 1963). In Tennessee Law Review (Fall 1963), 31, No. 1, 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Anger (9)  |  Bible (42)  |  Book (94)  |  Calm (6)  |  Cease (5)  |  Claim (22)  |  Clamor (2)  |  Communication (37)  |  Dictionary (7)  |  Economics (18)  |  King (11)  |  Library (22)  |  Lord (4)  |  Master (19)  |  Noise (12)  |  Philosophy (128)  |  Poetry (61)  |  Quarrel (6)  |  Science (850)  |  Shepherd (2)  |  Voice (15)  |  Wonder (62)  |  Word (96)  |  World (206)

One and all
We lend an ear—nay, Science takes thereto—
Encourages the meanest who has racked
Nature until he gains from her some fact,
To state what truth is from his point of view,
Mere pin-point though it be: since many such
Conduce to make a whole, she bids our friend
Come forward unabashed and haply lend
His little life-experience to our much
Of modern knowledge.
'With Francis Furini', The Complete Poetic and Dramatic Works of Robert Browning (1895), 967.
Science quotes on:  |  Research (358)

One hardly knows where, in the history of science, to look for an important movement that had its effective start in so pure and simple an accident as that which led to the building of the great Washington telescope, and went on to the discovery of the satellites of Mars.
In The Reminiscences of an Astronomer (1903), Vol. 3, 128.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (26)  |  Building (32)  |  Discovery (354)  |  History Of Science (30)  |  Importance (98)  |  Mars (14)  |  Moon (78)  |  Movement (32)  |  Satellite (12)  |  Start (24)  |  Telescope (39)

One never finds fossil bones bearing no resemblance to human bones. Egyptian mummies, which are at least three thousand years old, show that men were the same then. The same applies to other mummified animals such as cats, dogs, crocodiles, falcons, vultures, oxen, ibises, etc. Species, therefore, do not change by degrees, but emerged after the new world was formed. Nor do we find intermediate species between those of the earlier world and those of today's. For example, there is no intermediate bear between our bear and the very different cave bear. To our knowledge, no spontaneous generation occurs in the present-day world. All organized beings owe their life to their fathers. Thus all records corroborate the globe's modernity. Negative proof: the barbaritY of the human species four thousand years ago. Positive proof: the great revolutions and the floods preserved in the traditions of all peoples.
'Note prese al Corso di Cuvier. Corso di Geologia all'Ateneo nel 1805', quoted in Pietro Corsi, The Age of Lamarck, trans. J. Mandelbaum (1988), 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (138)  |  Bear (5)  |  Bone (25)  |  Cat (16)  |  Change (129)  |  Crocodile (3)  |  Degree (18)  |  Dog (24)  |  Egypt (9)  |  Emergence (15)  |  Falcon (2)  |  Find (46)  |  Flood (16)  |  Fossil (71)  |  Generation (50)  |  Human (155)  |  Human Species (2)  |  Intermediate (10)  |  Men (12)  |  Mummy (2)  |  Never (19)  |  New (99)  |  People (72)  |  Positive (8)  |  Preservation (13)  |  Proof (133)  |  Resemblance (15)  |  Revolution (33)  |  Same (15)  |  Species (91)  |  Spontaneity (4)  |  Thousand (29)  |  Tradition (16)  |  Vulture (3)  |  World (206)  |  Year (61)

One of my friends, reading the title of these lectures [The Whence and Whither of Man] said: “Of man's origin you know nothing, of his future you know less.”
From the Introduction to The Whence and Whither of Man; a Brief History of his Origin and Development through Conformity to Environment; being the Morse Lectures of 1895. (1896), ix. The Morse lectureship was founded by Prof. Samuel F.B. Morse in 1865 at Union Theological Seminary, the lectures to deal with “the relation of the Bible to any of the sciences.”
Science quotes on:  |  Friend (21)  |  Future (101)  |  Lecture (30)  |  Less (12)  |  Nothing (85)  |  Origin (33)  |  Reading (23)  |  Title (4)

One of the great problems of philosophy, is the relationship between the realm of knowledge and the realm of values. Knowledge is what is; values are what ought to be. I would say that all traditional philosophies up to and including Marxism have tried to derive the “ought” from the “is.” My point of view is that this is impossible, this is a farce.
Quoted in John C. Hess, 'French Nobel Biologist Says World Based On Chance', New York Times (15 Mar 1971), 6. Cited in Barbara Bennett, Linda Amster, Who Said what (and When, and Where, and How) in 1971 (1972, 168.
Science quotes on:  |  Value (63)

One should guard against preaching to the young man success in the customary sense as the aim in life. ... The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community.
'On Education', address at the State University of New York, Albany (15 Oct 1936) in celebration of the Tercentenary of Higher Education in America, translation prepared by Lina Arronet. In Albert Einstein, The Einstein Reader (2006), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (20)  |  Community (26)  |  Guard (3)  |  Important (20)  |  Life (439)  |  Motive (8)  |  Pleasure (51)  |  Preach (2)  |  Result (127)  |  School (35)  |  Sense (100)  |  Work (186)  |  Youth (31)

Only those works which are well-written will pass to posterity: the amount of knowledge, the uniqueness of the facts, even the novelty of the discoveries are no guarantees of immortality ... These things are exterior to a man but style is the man himself.
'Discours prononcé dans l'Académie française, Le Samedi 25 Aout 1753', Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particulière, Avec la Description du Cabinet du Roi (1753), Vol. 7, xvi-xvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (94)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Fact (311)

Only to often on meeting scientific men, even those of genuine distiction, one finds that they are dull fellows and very stupid. They know one thing to excess; they know nothing else. Pursuing facts too doggedly and unimaginatively, they miss all the charming things that are not facts. ... Too much learning, like too little learning, is an unpleasant and dangerous thing.
A Second Mencken Chrestomathy: A New Selection from the Writings of America's Legendary Editor, Critic, and Wit (2006), 157.
Science quotes on:  |  Dangerous (11)  |  Distinction (19)  |  Dull (12)  |  Excess (5)  |  Fact (311)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Learning (123)  |  Pursuit (33)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Stupid (7)

Our confused wish finds expression in the confused question as to the nature of force and electricity. But the answer which we want is not really an answer to this question. It is not by finding out more and fresh relations and connections that it can be answered; but by removing the contradictions existing between those already known, and thus perhaps by reducing their number. When these painful contradictions are removed, the question as to the nature of force will not have been answered; but our minds, no longer vexed, will cease to ask illegitimate questions.
Principles of Mechanics (1899), 7-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (91)  |  Confusion (17)  |  Connection (39)  |  Contradiction (22)  |  Electricity (81)  |  Expression (43)  |  Force (72)  |  Fresh (8)  |  Mind (266)  |  Nature (524)  |  Question (152)  |  Reduction (21)  |  Relation (33)  |  Removal (7)  |  Vexation (2)

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 (124)  |  Deity (6)  |  Doctrine (32)  |  Force (72)  |  God (229)  |  Government (48)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Infinite (37)  |  Interpreter (2)  |  Law (269)  |  Matter (131)  |  Nature (524)  |  Pretence (2)  |  Priest (8)  |  Real (27)  |  Science (850)

Our immediate interests are after all of but small moment. It is what we do for the future, what we add to the sum of man's knowledge, that counts most. As someone has said, 'The individual withers and the world is more and more.' Man dies at 70, 80, or 90, or at some earlier age, but through his power of physical reproduction, and with the means that he has to transmit the results of effort to those who come after him, he may be said to be immortal.
'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 360.
Science quotes on:  |  Death (175)  |  Effort (37)  |  Future (101)  |  Immortality (2)  |  Interest (75)  |  Means (25)  |  Reproduction (33)  |  Result (127)  |  Successor (3)  |  Transmission (16)

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)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Infinite (37)  |  Necessarily (2)

Our knowledge of stars and interstellar matter must be based primarily on the electromagnetic radiation which reaches us. Nature has thoughtfully provided us with a universe in which radiant energy of almost all wave lengths travels in straight lines over enormous distances with usually rather negligible absorption.
In 'Flying Telescopes', Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (May 1961), Vol. 17, No. 5, 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorption (5)  |  Astronomy (103)  |  Distance (24)  |  Electromagnetic Radiation (2)  |  Enormous (16)  |  Interstellar (2)  |  Matter (131)  |  Nature (524)  |  Star (124)  |  Straight Line (4)  |  Thoughtful (3)  |  Travel (13)  |  Universe (274)  |  Wavelength (5)

Our knowledge springs from two fundamental sources of the mind; the first is the capacity of receiving representations (receptivity for impressions), the second is the power of knowing an object through these representations (spontaneity [in the production] of concepts).
Critique of Pure Reason (1781), trans. Norman Kemp Smith (1929), 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Impression (29)  |  Mind (266)  |  Representation (16)

Our model of Nature should not be like a building—a handsome structure for the populace to admire, until in the course of time some one takes away a corner stone and the edifice comes toppling down. It should be like an engine with movable parts. We need not fix the position of any one lever; that is to be adjusted from time to time as the latest observations indicate. The aim of the theorist is to know the train of wheels which the lever sets in motion—that binding of the parts which is the soul of the engine.
In 'The Internal Constitution of the Stars', The Scientific Monthly (Oct 1920), 11, No. 4, 302.
Science quotes on:  |  Adjustment (3)  |  Admiration (22)  |  Aim (20)  |  Binding (6)  |  Building (32)  |  Edifice (8)  |  Engine (10)  |  Indication (15)  |  Lever (6)  |  Model (31)  |  Motion (64)  |  Moving (4)  |  Nature (524)  |  Observation (256)  |  Part (55)  |  Populace (2)  |  Position (18)  |  Soul (51)  |  Structure (101)  |  Theorist (6)  |  Train (8)

Our treasure lies in the beehives of our knowledge. We are perpetually on our way thither, being by nature winged insects and honey gatherers of the mind. The only thing that lies close to our heart is the desire to bring something home to the hive.
The Genealogy of Morals (1887), as translated by Francis Golffing (1956), 149. In another translation, by Maudemarie Clark and Alan J. Swensen, it appears as: 'It has rightly been said: "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also"; our treasure is where the beehives of our knowledge stand. We are forever underway towards them, as born winged animals and honey-gathers of the spirit, concerned will all our heart about only one thing—"bringing home" something.'
Science quotes on:  |  Honey (4)  |  Insect (38)  |  Mind (266)  |  Treasure (15)

Owing to his lack of knowledge, the ordinary man cannot attempt to resolve conflicting theories of conflicting advice into a single organized structure. He is likely to assume the information available to him is on the order of what we might think of as a few pieces of an enormous jigsaw puzzle. If a given piece fails to fit, it is not because it is fraudulent; more likely the contradictions and inconsistencies within his information are due to his lack of understanding and to the fact that he possesses only a few pieces of the puzzle. Differing statements about the nature of things, differing medical philosophies, different diagnoses and treatments—all of these are to be collected eagerly and be made a part of the individual's collection of puzzle pieces. Ultimately, after many lifetimes, the pieces will fit together and the individual will attain clear and certain knowledge.
'Strategies of Resort to Curers in South India', contributed in Charles M. Leslie (ed.), Asian Medical Systems: A Comparative Study (1976), 185.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (22)  |  Assumption (26)  |  Attempt (39)  |  Availability (9)  |  Certainty (59)  |  Clarity (22)  |  Collection (24)  |  Conflict (24)  |  Contradiction (22)  |  Difference (129)  |  Eagerness (3)  |  Fact (311)  |  Failure (55)  |  Few (7)  |  Fit (11)  |  Inconsistency (3)  |  Individual (54)  |  Information (51)  |  Lack (14)  |  Lifetime (10)  |  Man (258)  |  Medicine (187)  |  Nature Of Things (4)  |  Ordinary (18)  |  Organization (49)  |  Philosophy (128)  |  Piece (12)  |  Possession (24)  |  Puzzle (14)  |  Resolution (9)  |  Single (25)  |  Statement (26)  |  Structure (101)  |  Theory (346)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Treatment (59)  |  Ultimate (27)

Part of the strength of science is that it has tended to attract individuals who love knowledge and the creation of it. ... Thus, it is the communication process which is at the core of the vitality and integrity of science.
Editorial, 'The Roots of Scientific Integrity', Science (1963), 3561. In Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (May 1965), 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Attract (5)  |  Creation (124)  |  Individual (54)  |  Love (62)  |  Science (850)  |  Strength (25)  |  Tendency (18)

Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic, because in arithmetic there is knowledge, but in theology there is only opinion. So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard, you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.?
In An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish (1943), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Anger (9)  |  Arithmetic (33)  |  Belief (135)  |  Difference (129)  |  Evidence (80)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Persecution (5)  |  Theology (19)

Philosophy is that part of science which at present people chose to have opinions about, but which they have no knowledge about. Therefore every advance in knowledge robs philosophy of some problems which formerly it had …and will belong to science.
'The Philosophy of Logical Atomism' (1918). In Betrand Russell and Robert Charles Marsh (Ed.), Logic and Knowledge: Essays, 1901-1950 (1988), 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Philosophy (128)  |  Problem (178)  |  Science (850)

Philosophy stands in need of a science which shall determine the possibility, principles, and extent of human knowledge à priori.
Critique of Pure Reason, translated by John Miller Dow Meiklejohn (1899), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  A Priori (6)  |  Extent (11)  |  Philosophy (128)  |  Possibility (67)  |  Principle (96)

Physical science enjoys the distinction of being the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, and its laws are obeyed universally, so far as is known, not merely by inanimate things, but also by living organisms, in their minutest parts, as single individuals, and also as whole communities. It results from this that, however complicated a series of phenomena may be and however many other sciences may enter into its complete presentation, the purely physical aspect, or the application of the known laws of matter and energy, can always be legitimately separated from the other aspects.
In Matter and Energy (1912), 9-10.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (68)  |  Aspect (15)  |  Community (26)  |  Complete (13)  |  Complication (15)  |  Distinction (19)  |  Energy (101)  |  Enjoyment (12)  |  Inanimate (8)  |  Individual (54)  |  Law (269)  |  Legitimacy (2)  |  Life (439)  |  Matter (131)  |  Organism (66)  |  Phenomenon (113)  |  Physical (26)  |  Physical Science (31)  |  Presentation (9)  |  Result (127)  |  Science (850)  |  Separation (23)

Physicists speak of the particle representation or the wave representation. Bohr's principle of complementarity asserts that there exist complementary properties of the same object of knowledge, one of which if known will exclude knowledge of the other. We may therefore describe an object like an electron in ways which are mutually exclusive—e.g., as wave or particle—without logical contradiction provided we also realize that the experimental arrangements that determine these descriptions are similarly mutually exclusive. Which experiment—and hence which description one chooses—is purely a matter of human choice.
The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature (1982), 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrangement (26)  |  Assertion (16)  |  Niels Bohr (35)  |  Choice (38)  |  Contradiction (22)  |  Description (40)  |  Description (40)  |  Determination (32)  |  Electron (43)  |  Exclusion (6)  |  Existence (145)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Mutual (9)  |  Object (44)  |  Particle (45)  |  Physicist (70)  |  Property (46)  |  Realization (21)  |  Representation (16)  |  Speaking (29)  |  Wave (32)

Positive, objective knowledge is public property. It can be transmitted directly from one person to another, it can be pooled, and it can be passed on from one generation to the next. Consequently, knowledge accumulates through the ages, each generation adding its contribution. Values are quite different. By values, I mean the standards by which we judge the significance of life. The meaning of good and evil, of joy and sorrow, of beauty, justice, success-all these are purely private convictions, and they constitute our store of wisdom. They are peculiar to the individual, and no methods exist by which universal agreement can be obtained. Therefore, wisdom cannot be readily transmitted from person to person, and there is no great accumulation through the ages. Each man starts from scratch and acquires his own wisdom from his own experience. About all that can be done in the way of communication is to expose others to vicarious experience in the hope of a favorable response.
The Nature of Science and other Lectures (1954), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Value (63)

Positivism stands or falls with the principle of scientism, that is that the meaning of knowledge is defined by what the sciences do and can thus be adequately explicated through the methodological analysis of scientific procedures.
Knowledge and Human Interests (1968), 67.

Professor [Max] Planck, of Berlin, the famous originator of the Quantum Theory, once remarked to me that in early life he had thought of studying economics, but had found it too difficult! Professor Planck could easily master the whole corpus of mathematical economics in a few days. He did not mean that! But the amalgam of logic and intuition and the wide knowledge of facts, most of which are not precise, which is required for economic interpretation in its highest form is, quite truly, overwhelmingly difficult for those whose gift mainly consists in the power to imagine and pursue to their furthest points the implications and prior conditions of comparatively simple facts which are known with a high degree of precision.
'Alfred Marshall: 1842-1924' (1924). In Geoffrey Keynes (ed.), Essays in Biography (1933), 191-2
Science quotes on:  |  Economics (18)  |  Fact (311)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Interpretation (36)  |  Intution (2)  |  Logic (131)  |  Mathematics (355)  |  Max Planck (53)  |  Precision (19)  |  Quantum Theory (35)

Put glibly:
In science if you know what you are doing you should not be doing it.
In engineering if you do not know what you are doing you should not be doing it.
Of course, you seldom, if ever, see either pure state.
In The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn (1975, 2005), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Do (19)  |  Engineering (59)  |  Pure (12)  |  Science (850)  |  Science And Engineering (9)  |  Seeing (28)  |  Seldom (10)  |  State (42)

Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge, it is thinking makes what we read ours.
On the Conduct Of Understanding (written 1697, published posthumously 1706), collected in Works (5th Ed. 1751), Vol. 3, 387.
Science quotes on:  |  Material (54)  |  Mind (266)  |  Reading (23)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Understanding (222)

Rejoice when other scientists do not believe what you know to be true. It will give you extra time to work on it in peace. When they start claiming that they have discovered it before you, look for a new project.
'Resolution and Reconstitution of Biological Pathways from 1919 to 1984', Federation Proceedings (1983), 12, 2902.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (135)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Extra (4)  |  Looking (14)  |  New (99)  |  Peace (21)  |  Project (5)  |  Rejoicing (2)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Start (24)  |  Time (160)  |  Truth (440)  |  Work (186)

Remember that accumulated knowledge, like accumulated capital, increases at compound interest: but it differs from the accumulation of capital in this; that the increase of knowledge produces a more rapid rate of progress, whilst the accumulation of capital leads to a lower rate of interest. Capital thus checks its own accumulation: knowledge thus accelerates its own advance. Each generation, therefore, to deserve comparison with its predecessor, is bound to add much more largely to the common stock than that which it immediately succeeds.
The Exposition of 1851: Or the Views of Industry, Science and Government of England (1851), 192-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Progress (198)

Research is industrial prospecting. The oil prospectors use every scientific means to find new paying wells. Oil is found by each one of a number of methods. My own group of men are prospecting in a different field, using every possible scientific means. We believe there are still things left to be discovered. We have only stumbled upon a few barrels of physical laws from the great pool of knowledge. Some day we are going to hit a gusher.
'Industrial Prospecting', an address to the Founder Societies of Engineers (20 May 1935). In National Research Council, Reprint and Circular Series of the National Research Council (1933), No. 107, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Barrel (2)  |  Belief (135)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Industry (47)  |  Law (269)  |  Oil (19)  |  Pool (3)  |  Research (358)  |  Stumble (3)

Rules of Thumb
Thumb's First Postulate: It is better to use a crude approximation and know the truth, plus or minus 10 percent, than demand an exact solution and know nothing at all.
Thumb's Second Postulate: An easily understood, workable falsehood is more useful than a complex incomprehensible truth.
Anonymous
In Arthur Bloch, The Complete Murphy's Law: A Definitive Collection (1991), 126. books.google.com - 1991
Science quotes on:  |  Approximation (9)  |  Complexity (49)  |  Crude (5)  |  Demand (17)  |  Ease (20)  |  Exactness (13)  |  Falsehood (11)  |  Incomprehensibility (2)  |  Nothing (85)  |  Postulate (20)  |  Solution (109)  |  Truth (440)  |  Understanding (222)  |  Usefulness (52)

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:  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Science And Religion (153)

Science begets knowledge; opinion, ignorance.
In Fielding Hudson Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine (1929), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Science (850)

Science does not mean an idle resting upon a body of certain knowledge; it means unresting endeavor and continually progressing development toward an end which the poetic intuition may apprehend, but which the intellect can never fully grasp.
In The Philosophy of Physics (1936). Collected in The New Science: 3 Complete Works (1959), 290.
Science quotes on:  |  Continual (5)  |  Development (117)  |  Endeavour (23)  |  Grasp (11)  |  Intellect (95)  |  Intuition (25)  |  Progress (198)  |  Rest (28)  |  Science (850)

Science enhances the moral value of life, because it furthers a love of truth and reverence—love of truth displaying itself in the constant endeavor to arrive at a more exact knowledge of the world of mind and matter around us, and reverence, because every advance in knowledge brings us face to face with the mystery of our own being.
In Where is Science Going? (1932), 169.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (26)  |  Arrival (7)  |  Being (34)  |  Display (8)  |  Endeavor (3)  |  Exact (14)  |  Further (2)  |  Life (439)  |  Love (62)  |  Matter (131)  |  Mind (266)  |  Moral (38)  |  Mystery (71)  |  Reverence (13)  |  Science (850)  |  Truth (440)  |  Value (63)

Science has a simple faith, which transcends utility. Nearly all men of science, all men of learning for that matter, and men of simple ways too, have it in some form and in some degree. It is the faith that it is the privilege of man to learn to understand, and that this is his mission. If we abandon that mission under stress we shall abandon it forever, for stress will not cease. Knowledge for the sake of understanding, not merely to prevail, that is the essence of our being. None can define its limits, or set its ultimate boundaries.
Science is Not Enough (1967), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (13)  |  Being (34)  |  Boundary (10)  |  Cease (5)  |  Definition (82)  |  Essence (18)  |  Faith (73)  |  Forever (13)  |  Learning (123)  |  Limit (33)  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  Mission (2)  |  Prevail (4)  |  Privilege (5)  |  Science (850)  |  Simple (24)  |  Stress (3)  |  Ultimate (27)  |  Understanding (222)  |  Utility (9)

Science has to be understood in its broadest sense, as a method for apprehending all observable reality, and not merely as an instrument for acquiring specialized knowledge.
In Alfred Armand Montapert, Words of Wisdom to Live By: An Encyclopedia of Wisdom in Condensed Form (1986), 217, without citation. If you know the primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Instrument (37)  |  Method (73)  |  Observation (256)  |  Reality (62)  |  Science (850)  |  Sense (100)  |  Understanding (222)

Science has “explained” nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness.
Along the Road: Notes and Essays of a Tourist (1928), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Darkness (9)  |  Explanation (84)  |  Fantastic (4)  |  More (7)  |  Nothing (85)  |  Profound (23)  |  Science (850)  |  Surrounding (5)  |  World (206)

Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power; region gives man wisdom which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary.
'A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart', Strength To Love (1963, 1981), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (311)  |  Morality (19)  |  Science And Religion (153)  |  Wisdom (87)

Science is a mechanism, a way of trying to improve your knowledge of nature. It's a system for testing your thoughts against the universe, and seeing whether they match.
'Isaac Asimov Speaks' with Bill Moyers in The Humanist (Jan/Feb 1989), 49. Reprinted in Carl Howard Freedman (ed.), Conversations with Isaac Asimov (2005), 143.
Science quotes on:  |  Improve (9)  |  Match (7)  |  Mechanism (25)  |  Nature (524)  |  Science (850)  |  Test (44)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Try (32)  |  Universe (274)

Science is a progressive activity. The outstanding peculiarity of man is that he stumbled onto the possibility of progressive activities. Such progress, the accumulation of experience from generation to generation, depended first on the development of language, then of writing and finally of printing. These allowed the accumulation of tradition and of knowledge, of the whole aura of cultural inheritance that surrounds us. This has so conditioned our existence that it is almost impossible for us to stop and examine the nature of our culture. We accept it as we accept the air we breathe; we are as unconscious of our culture as a fish, presumably, is of water.
The Nature of Natural History 1950)
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (128)  |  Language (67)  |  Printing (7)  |  Science (850)

Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.
Broca's Brain (1986), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (850)  |  Thinking (163)

Science is best defined as a careful, disciplined, logical search for knowledge about any and all aspects of the universe, obtained by examination of the best available evidence and always subject to correction and improvement upon discovery of better evidence. What's left is magic. And it doesn't work.
The Mask of Nostradamus: The Prophecies of the World's Most Famous Seer (1993), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  Correction (20)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Evidence (80)  |  Improvement (35)  |  Magic (21)  |  Research (358)  |  Scientific Method (98)

Science is for those who learn, poetry for those who know.
Meditations of a Parish Priest: Thoughts, translated from the third French edition by Isabel Florence Hapgood (1886), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Learn (23)  |  Poetry (61)  |  Science (850)

Science is for those who learn; poetry, for those who know.
In translation by Isabel F. Hapgood,Meditations of a Parish Priest (1886), Part 1 no. 71, 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Poetry (61)  |  Science (850)

Science is not the enemy of humanity but one of the deepest expressions of the human desire to realize that vision of infinite knowledge. Science shows us that the visible world is neither matter nor spirit; the visible world is the invisible organization of energy.
The Cosmic Code (1982), 348.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoid (8)  |  Desire (45)  |  Enemy (24)  |  Energy (101)  |  Expression (43)  |  Humanity (45)  |  Invisible (8)  |  Matter (131)  |  Organization (49)  |  Realize (5)  |  Respect (24)  |  Science (850)  |  Spirit (52)  |  Visible (3)  |  Vision (20)  |  World (206)

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.
In Joey Green, Philosophy on the Go (2007), 128
Science quotes on:  |  Science (850)  |  Wisdom (87)

Science is public, not private, knowledge.
Science, Technology and Society in Seventeenth-century England (1988), 219.
Science quotes on:  |  Private (6)  |  Public (32)  |  Science (850)

Science is simply the classification of the common knowledge of the common people. It is bringing together the things we all know and putting them together so we can use them. This is creation and finds its analogy in Nature, where the elements are combined in certain ways to give us fruits or flowers or grain.
In Elbert Hubbard (ed. and publ.), The Philistine (Dec 1907), 26, 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (26)  |  Bringing (6)  |  Classification (57)  |  Combination (36)  |  Common (42)  |  Creation (124)  |  Element (68)  |  Flower (22)  |  Fruit (31)  |  Grain (10)  |  Nature (524)  |  People (72)  |  Science (850)  |  Together (15)  |  Usefulness (52)

Science is teaching man to know and reverence truth, and to believe that only so far as he knows and loves it can he live worthily on earth, and vindicate the dignity of his spirit.
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 382.
Science quotes on:  |  Believe (14)  |  Dignity (7)  |  Live (14)  |  Love (62)  |  Man (258)  |  Reverence (13)  |  Science (850)  |  Spirit (52)  |  Teach (19)  |  Truth (440)  |  Worth (24)

Science is the knowledge of constant things, not merely of passing events, and is properly less the knowledge of general laws than of existing facts.
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 382:40.
Science quotes on:  |  Law (269)

Science is the one human activity that is truly progressive. The body of positive knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation.
The Realm of the Nebulae (1936), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Progression (8)  |  Science (850)

Science is what we know, and philosophy is what we don't know.
In Bertrand Russell Speaks his Mind (1960), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Philosophy (128)  |  Science (850)

Science itself is badly in need of integration and unification. The tendency is more and more the other way ... Only the graduate student, poor beast of burden that he is, can be expected to know a little of each. As the number of physicists increases, each specialty becomes more self-sustaining and self-contained. Such Balkanization carries physics, and indeed, every science further away, from natural philosophy, which, intellectually, is the meaning and goal of science.
Science, The Center of Culture (1970), 92. Quoted by Victor F. Weisskopf, 'One Hundred Years of the Physical Review', in H. Henry Stroke, Physical Review: The First Hundred Years: a Selection of Seminal Papers and Commentaries, Vol. 1, 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Beast (14)  |  Burden (9)  |  Expectation (24)  |  Goal (32)  |  Integration (10)  |  Intellect (95)  |  Meaning (53)  |  Natural Philosophy (9)  |  Need (54)  |  Physicist (70)  |  Science (850)  |  Self-Sustaining (2)  |  Specialty (6)  |  Tendency (18)  |  Unification (5)

Science knows no country because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence.
Toast at banquet of the International Congress of Sericulture, Milan, 1876. Quoted in Maurice B. Strauss, Familiar Medical Quotations (1968), 519.
Science quotes on:  |  Country (42)  |  First (39)  |  Humanity (45)  |  Illumination (9)  |  Intelligence (72)  |  Nation (43)  |  Personification (3)  |  Science (850)  |  Thought (168)  |  Torch (2)  |  Work (186)

Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.
In History of Western Philosophy (2004), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Imagination (125)  |  Limit (33)  |  Science (850)

Science moves, but slowly, slowly, creeping on from point to point. ...
Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs,
And the thoughts of men are widened with the process of the suns. ...
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
'Locksley Hall' (1842), collected in The Poetical Works of Alfred Tennyson (1861), Vol. 1, 193.
Science quotes on:  |  Creeping (2)  |  Movement (32)  |  Point (29)  |  Process (97)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Science (850)  |  Slowness (4)  |  Sun (109)  |  Thought (168)  |  Wisdom (87)

Science only means knowledge; and for [Greek] ancients it did only mean knowledge. Thus the favorite science of the Greeks was Astronomy, because it was as abstract as Algebra. ... We may say that the great Greek ideal was to have no use for useful things. The Slave was he who learned useful things; the Freeman was he who learned useless things. This still remains the ideal of many noble men of science, in the sense they do desire truth as the great Greeks desired it; and their attitude is an external protest against vulgarity of utilitarianism.
'About Beliefs', in As I was Saying: A Book of Essays (1936), 65-66. Collected in G. K. Chesterton and Dale Ahlquist (ed.), In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton (2011), 318.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (18)  |  Ancient (27)  |  Astronomy (103)  |  Attitude (16)  |  Desire (45)  |  External (18)  |  Favorite (7)  |  Great (58)  |  Greece (4)  |  Ideal (26)  |  Learning (123)  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  Noble (14)  |  Protest (3)  |  Remains (3)  |  Science (850)  |  Sense (100)  |  Slave (9)  |  Thing (27)  |  Truth (440)  |  Usefulness (52)  |  Vulgarity (2)

Science should leave off making pronouncements: the river of knowledge has too often turned back on itself.
The Mysterious Universe (1930, 1976), 188.
Science quotes on:  |  River (32)  |  Science (850)  |  Turn (21)

Science would have us believe that such accuracy, leading to certainty, is the only criterion of knowledge, would make the trial of Galileo the paradigm of the two points of view which aspire to truth, would suggest, that is, that the cardinals represent only superstition and repression, while Galileo represents freedom. But there is another criterion which is systematically neglected in this elevation of science. Man does not now—and will not ever—live by the bread of scientific method alone. He must deal with life and death, with love and cruelty and despair, and so must make conjectures of great importance which may or may not be true and which do not lend themselves to experimentation: It is better to give than to receive; Love thy neighbor as thyself; Better to risk slavery through non-violence than to defend freedom with murder. We must deal with such propositions, must decide whether they are true, whether to believe them, whether to act on them—and scientific method is no help for by their nature these matters lie forever beyond the realm of science.
In The End of the Modern Age (1973), 89.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (33)  |  Act (20)  |  Belief (135)  |  Cardinal (3)  |  Certainty (59)  |  Criterion (3)  |  Cruelty (6)  |  Deal (4)  |  Death (175)  |  Decide (4)  |  Despair (12)  |  Elevation (4)  |  Experimentation (2)  |  Freedom (41)  |  Life (439)  |  Love (62)  |  Neglect (9)  |  Proposition (28)  |  Realm (16)  |  Repression (2)  |  Science (850)  |  Scientific Method (98)  |  Superstition (33)  |  Trial (14)  |  Truth (440)

Science, then, is the attentive consideration of common experience; it is common knowledge extended and refined. Its validity is of the same order as that of ordinary perception; memory, and understanding. Its test is found, like theirs, in actual intuition, which sometimes consists in perception and sometimes in intent. The flight of science is merely longer from perception to perception, and its deduction more accurate of meaning from meaning and purpose from purpose. It generates in the mind, for each vulgar observation, a whole brood of suggestions, hypotheses, and inferences. The sciences bestow, as is right and fitting, infinite pains upon that experience which in their absence would drift by unchallenged or misunderstood. They take note, infer, and prophesy. They compare prophesy with event, and altogether they supply—so intent are they on reality—every imaginable background and extension for the present dream.
The Life of Reason, or the Phases of Human Progress (1954), 393.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (35)  |  Challenge (13)  |  Common (42)  |  Consideration (37)  |  Dream (39)  |  Event (45)  |  Experience (128)  |  Extension (11)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Inference (16)  |  Intent (5)  |  Intuition (25)  |  Memory (41)  |  Mind (266)  |  Observation (256)  |  Perception (20)  |  Prophesy (5)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Reality (62)  |  Refinement (5)  |  Suggestion (13)  |  Understanding (222)  |  Validity (11)

Sciences usually advances by a succession of small steps, through a fog in which even the most keen-sighted explorer can seldom see more than a few paces ahead. Occasionally the fog lifts, an eminence is gained, and a wider stretch of territory can be surveyed—sometimes with startling results. A whole science may then seem to undergo a kaleidoscopic rearrangement, fragments of knowledge sometimes being found to fit together in a hitherto unsuspected manner. Sometimes the shock of readjustment may spread to other sciences; sometimes it may divert the whole current of human thought.
Opening paragraph, Physics and Philosophy (1943), 217, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Explorer (8)  |  Fog (5)  |  Kaleidoscope (2)  |  Progress (198)

Scientia potentia est, sed parva; quia scientia egregia rara est, nec proinde apparens nisi paucissimis, et in paucis rebus. Scientiae enim ea natura est, ut esse intelligi non possit, nisi ab illis qui sunt scientia praediti.
De Homine, cap. x. In Thomas Hobbes and William Molesworth, Thomæ Hobbes Malmesburiensis Opera Philosophica (1841), Vol. 3, 69.
Science quotes on:  |  Power (98)

Scientific apparatus offers a window to knowledge, but as they grow more elaborate, scientists spend ever more time washing the windows.
[Unverified. Please contact Webmaster if you can identify the primary source.]
Science quotes on:  |  Apparatus (18)  |  Elaborate (5)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Time (160)  |  Washing (3)  |  Window (11)

Scientific discovery and scientific knowledge have been achieved only by those who have gone in pursuit of them without any practical purpose whatsoever in view.
The New Science (1959), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (354)  |  Purpose (62)

Scientific knowledge advances haltingly and is stimulated by contention and doubt.
The Raw and the Cooked: Mythologiques (1990), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Contention (7)  |  Doubt (66)

Scientific method is not just a method which it has been found profitable to pursue in this or that abstruse subject for purely technical reasons. It represents the only method of thinking that has proved fruitful in any subject—that is what we mean when we call it scientific. It is not a peculiar development of thinking for highly specialized ends; it is thinking, so far as thought has become conscious of its proper ends and of the equipment indispensable for success in their pursuit ... When our schools truly become laboratories of knowledge-making, not mills fitted out with information-hoppers, there will no longer be need to discuss the place of science in education.
Address to Section L, Education, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at Boston (1909), 'Science as Subject-Matter and as Method'. Published in Science (28 Jan 1910), N.S. Vol. 31, No. 787, 127.
Science quotes on:  |  Development (117)  |  Fruitful (9)  |  Information (51)  |  Mill (3)  |  Science Education (9)  |  Scientific Method (98)  |  Success (110)  |  Thinking (163)

Scientific modes of thought cannot be developed and become generally accepted unless people renounce their primary, unreflecting, and spontaneous attempt to understand all their experience in terms of its purpose and meaning for themselves. The development that led to more adequate knowledge and increasing control of nature was therefore, considered from one aspect, also a development toward greater self-control by men.
The Civilizing Process: The Development of Manners—Changes in the Code of Conduct and Feeling in Early Modern Times (1939), trans. Edmund Jephcott (1978), 225. Originally published as Über den Prozess der Zivilisation.
Science quotes on:  |  Scientific Thought (4)

Scientific practice is above all a story-telling practice. ... Biology is inherently historical, and its form of discourse is inherently narrative. ... Biology as a way of knowing the world is kin to Romantic literature, with its discourse about organic form and function. Biology is the fiction appropriate to objects called organisms; biology fashions the facts “discovered” about organic beings.
Primate Visions: Gender, Race and Nature in the World of Modern Science(1989), 4-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Appropriateness (5)  |  Biology (82)  |  Discourse (7)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Fact (311)  |  Fashion (9)  |  Fiction (8)  |  Form (65)  |  Function (41)  |  History (151)  |  Inherently (2)  |  Kin (5)  |  Literature (32)  |  Narrative (3)  |  Object (44)  |  Organic (18)  |  Organism (66)  |  Practice (26)  |  Romantic (2)  |  Science (850)  |  World (206)

Scientists come in two varieties, hedgehogs and foxes. I borrow this terminology from Isaiah Berlin (1953), who borrowed it from the ancient Greek poet Archilochus. Archilochus told us that foxes know many tricks, hedgehogs only one. Foxes are broad, hedgehogs are deep. Foxes are interested in everything and move easily from one problem to another. Hedgehogs are only interested in a few problems that they consider fundamental, and stick with the same problems for years or decades. Most of the great discoveries are made by hedgehogs, most of the little discoveries by foxes. Science needs both hedgehogs and foxes for its healthy growth, hedgehogs to dig deep into the nature of things, foxes to explore the complicated details of our marvelous universe. Albert Einstein and Edwin Hubble were hedgehogs. Charley Townes, who invented the laser, and Enrico Fermi, who built the first nuclear reactor in Chicago, were foxes.
In 'The Future of Biotechnology', A Many-Colored Glass: Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe (2007), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Archilochus (3)  |  Broad (6)  |  Complication (15)  |  Deep (17)  |  Detail (32)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Albert Einstein (155)  |  Enrico Fermi (11)  |  Fox (2)  |  Fundamental (56)  |  Hedgehog (2)  |  Edwin Powell Hubble (8)  |  Invention (167)  |  Laser (2)  |  Marvel (16)  |  Problem (178)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Charles Townes (3)  |  Trick (11)  |  Universe (274)  |  Variety (28)

Seldom, if ever, was any knowledge given to keep but to impart; the grace of this rich jewel is lost in concealment.
'The Rapture of Elijah', The Works of Joseph Hall, Vol 2, Contemplations (1808), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  Concealment (7)  |  Gift (26)  |  Grace (6)  |  Jewel (3)  |  Loss (43)  |  Rich (16)

Several of my young acquaintances are in their graves who gave promise of making happy and useful citizens and there is no question whatever that cigarettes alone were the cause of their destruction. No boy living would commence the use of cigarettes if he knew what a useless, soulless, worthless thing they would make of him.
Quoted in Henry Ford, The Case Against the Little White Slaver (1914), Vol. 1, 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquaintance (6)  |  Boy (15)  |  Cause (116)  |  Cigarette (16)  |  Citizen (10)  |  Commencement (3)  |  Destruction (46)  |  Grave (7)  |  Happy (4)  |  Life (439)  |  Promise (13)  |  Question (152)  |  Soul (51)  |  Usefulness (52)  |  Uselessness (17)  |  Worthless (8)  |  Youth (31)

Should a young scientist working with me come to me after two years of such work and ask me what to do next, I would advise him to get out of science. After two years of work, if a man does not know what to do next, he will never make a real scientist.
Quoted in R. Desper, The Human Side of Scientists (1975), 165.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (22)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Work (186)  |  Young (19)

Simplification of modes of proof is not merely an indication of advance in our knowledge of a subject, but is also the surest guarantee of readiness for farther progress.
In Lord Kelvin and Peter Guthrie Tait Elements of Natural Philosophy (1879, 1902), Preface.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (49)  |  Father (16)  |  Guarantee (7)  |  Indication (15)  |  Merely (13)  |  Mode (8)  |  Progress (198)  |  Proof (133)  |  Readiness (4)  |  Simplification (6)  |  Subject (48)  |  Surest (4)

Sir, the reason is very plain; knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
In James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1820), Vol. 1, 418.
Science quotes on:  |  Find (46)  |  Information (51)  |  Kind (26)  |  Plain (11)  |  Reason (172)

So-called extraordinary events always split into two extremes naturalists who have not witnessed them: those who believe blindly and those who do not believe at all. The latter have always in mind the story of the golden goose; if the facts lie slightly beyond the limits of their knowledge, they relegate them immediately to fables. The former have a secret taste for marvels because they seem to expand Nature; they use their imagination with pleasure to find explanations. To remain doubtful is given to naturalists who keep a middle path between the two extremes. They calmly examine facts; they refer to logic for help; they discuss probabilities; they do not scoff at anything, not even errors, because they serve at least the history of the human mind; finally, they report rather than judge; they rarely decide unless they have good evidence.
Quoted in Albert V. Carozzi, Histoire des sciences de la terre entre 1790 et 1815 vue à travers les documents inédités de la Societé de Physique et d'Histoire Naturelle de Genève, trans. Albert V. and Marguerite Carozzi. (1990), 175.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (135)  |  Blindness (5)  |  Decision (30)  |  Discussion (17)  |  Doubtful (2)  |  Error (150)  |  Event (45)  |  Evidence (80)  |  Expansion (16)  |  Explanation (84)  |  Extraordinary (18)  |  Extreme (17)  |  Fable (3)  |  Fact (311)  |  Final (11)  |  Find (46)  |  Gold (20)  |  Goose (4)  |  History (151)  |  Human (155)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Immediately (3)  |  Judgment (38)  |  Limit (33)  |  Marvel (16)  |  Mind (266)  |  Naturalist (27)  |  Nature (524)  |  Pleasure (51)  |  Probability (54)  |  Rare (13)  |  Remain (18)  |  Report (13)  |  Secret (40)  |  Service (26)  |  So-Called (5)  |  Split (3)  |  Story (16)  |  Taste (16)  |  Witness (9)

Socrates said, our only knowledge was
“To know that nothing could be known;” a pleasant
Science enough, which levels to an ass
Each Man of Wisdom, future, past, or present.
Newton, (that Proverb of the Mind,) alas!
Declared, with all his grand discoveries recent,
That he himself felt only “like a youth
Picking up shells by the great Ocean—Truth.”
From poem, 'Don Juan,' (1822), canto 7, verse V. In Lord Byron, Don Juan: Cantos VI, VII and VIII (1823), 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Ass (3)  |  Declaration (3)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Future (101)  |  Grand (5)  |  Great (58)  |  Man Of Science (8)  |  Mind (266)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (174)  |  Nothing (85)  |  Ocean (54)  |  Past (40)  |  Pick (6)  |  Pleasant (6)  |  Present (32)  |  Proverb (17)  |  Recent (13)  |  Shell (17)  |  Socrates (8)  |  Truth (440)  |  Wisdom (87)  |  Youth (31)

Some men grow mad by studying much to know,
But who grows mad by studying good to grow.
In Poor Richard's Almanack (1734).
Science quotes on:  |  Good (77)  |  Growth (65)  |  Madness (13)  |  Study (149)

Something unknown is doing we don't know what—that is what our theory amounts to.
[Expressing the quantum theory description of an electron has no familiar conception of a real form.]
The Nature Of The Physical World (1928), 291.
Science quotes on:  |  Quantum Theory (35)  |  Something (9)  |  Theory (346)  |  Unknown (39)

Specialist—A man who knows more and more about less and less.
Modern Hospital (Sep 1939). [Also attributed to Nicholas Butler.]
Science quotes on:  |  Specialist (9)

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:  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Statistics (74)

Stay in college, get the knowledge. And stay there until you're through. If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.
Advice to a young person to continue his education.
In Clifton Fadiman, Andre Bernard, Bartlett's Book Of Anecdotes (2000), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (22)  |  Bread (7)  |  College (15)  |  Education (173)  |  Mould (7)  |  Penicillin (10)

Students using astrophysical textbooks remain essentially ignorant of even the existence of plasma concepts, despite the fact that some of them have been known for half a century. The conclusion is that astrophysics is too important to be left in the hands of astrophysicists who have gotten their main knowledge from these textbooks. Earthbound and space telescope data must be treated by scientists who are familiar with laboratory and magnetospheric physics and circuit theory, and of course with modern plasma theory.
[Lamenting the traditional neglect of plasma physics]
Quoted in Anthony L. Peratt, 'Dean of the Plasma Dissidents', Washington Times, supplement: The World and I (May 1988),197.
Science quotes on:  |  Astrophysicist (5)  |  Astrophysics (9)  |  Circuit (10)  |  Concept (36)  |  Data (53)  |  Existence (145)  |  Fact (311)  |  Ignorant (7)  |  Laboratory (75)  |  Neglect (9)  |  Plasma (6)  |  Student (50)  |  Telescope (39)  |  Textbook (11)  |  Theory (346)

Such instances of the almost infinite unpredictability of man are known to social scientists, but they are no more affected by them than the asylum inmate is by being told that he is not Napoleon.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 156.
Science quotes on:  |  Instance (7)  |  Social Science (17)  |  Unpredictability (4)

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 (15)  |  Delight (21)  |  Dependence (18)  |  Difficulty (70)  |  Father (16)  |  Fortune (15)  |  Game (27)  |  Generosity (3)  |  Happiness (56)  |  Haste (3)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Ill (7)  |  Infinity (44)  |  Knight (2)  |  Law (269)  |  Learning (123)  |  Life (439)  |  Loss (43)  |  Mankind (105)  |  Member (10)  |  Mistake (36)  |  Move (10)  |  Name (58)  |  Nature (524)  |  Notion (14)  |  Payment (3)  |  Phenomenon (113)  |  Player (3)  |  Rule (50)  |  Scorn (2)  |  Son (6)  |  Stake (6)  |  State (42)  |  Strength (25)  |  Truth (440)  |  Universe (274)  |  Win (7)  |  World (206)

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 (38)  |  Comprehension (29)  |  Control (42)  |  Destroy (15)  |  Destruction (46)  |  Dull (12)  |  Endure (5)  |  Eternal (13)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Learn (23)  |  Learning (123)  |  Life (439)  |  Universe (274)  |  Unseen (4)  |  Wisdom (87)  |  Wonder (62)

Surgical knowledge depends on long practice, not from speculations.
'Letter to Borghese' (27 Jul 1689), in H. B. Adelmann (ed.), The Correspondence of Marcello Malpighi (1975), Vol. 4, 1486.
Science quotes on:  |  Dependence (18)  |  Long (17)  |  Practice (26)  |  Speculation (40)  |  Surgery (28)

Technology is so much fun but we can drown in our technology. The fog of information can drive out knowledge.
[On the computerization of libraries.]
Quoted by Barbara Gamarekian in 'Working Profile: Daniel J. Boorstin. Helping the Library of Congress Fulfill Its Mission', New York Times (8 Jul 1983), B6.
Science quotes on:  |  Drive (14)  |  Fog (5)  |  Fun (12)  |  Information (51)  |  Technology (95)

That ability to impart knowledge ... what does it consist of? ... a deep belief in the interest and importance of the thing taught, a concern about it amounting to a sort of passion. A man who knows a subject thoroughly, a man so soaked in it that he eats it, sleeps it and dreams it—this man can always teach it with success, no matter how little he knows of technical pedagogy. That is because there is enthusiasm in him, and because enthusiasm is almost as contagious as fear or the barber's itch. An enthusiast is willing to go to any trouble to impart the glad news bubbling within him. He thinks that it is important and valuable for to know; given the slightest glow of interest in a pupil to start with, he will fan that glow to a flame. No hollow formalism cripples him and slows him down. He drags his best pupils along as fast as they can go, and he is so full of the thing that he never tires of expounding its elements to the dullest.
This passion, so unordered and yet so potent, explains the capacity for teaching that one frequently observes in scientific men of high attainments in their specialties—for example, Huxley, Ostwald, Karl Ludwig, Virchow, Billroth, Jowett, William G. Sumner, Halsted and Osler—men who knew nothing whatever about the so-called science of pedagogy, and would have derided its alleged principles if they had heard them stated.
In Prejudices: third series (1922), 241-2.
For a longer excerpt, see H. L. Mencken on Teaching, Enthusiasm and Pedagogy.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (38)  |  Attainment (21)  |  Barber (3)  |  Belief (135)  |  Theodor Billroth (2)  |  Concern (30)  |  Contagion (4)  |  Derision (2)  |  Dream (39)  |  Enthusiasm (20)  |  Fear (52)  |  Flame (13)  |  Formalism (4)  |  Glow (4)  |  William Stewart Halsted (2)  |  Thomas Henry Huxley (77)  |  Importance (98)  |  Interest (75)  |  Itch (4)  |  Benjamin Jowett (2)  |  Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig (3)  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  News (6)  |  Sir William Osler (16)  |  Ostwald_Carl (2)  |  Passion (23)  |  Pupil (10)  |  Sleep (25)  |  Specialty (6)  |  Subject (48)  |  Teaching (60)  |  Value (63)  |  Rudolf Virchow (27)

That hemisphere of the moon which faces us is better known than the earth itself; its vast desert plains have been surveyed to within a few acres; its mountains and craters have been measured to within a few yards; while on the earth's surface there are 30,000,000 square kilometres (sixty times the extent of France), upon which the foot of man has never trod, which the eye of man has never seen.
In 'Mars, by the Latest Observations', Popular Science (Dec 1873), 4, 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Acre (3)  |  Crater (6)  |  Desert (10)  |  Earth (238)  |  Eye (61)  |  Man (258)  |  Measurement (108)  |  Moon (78)  |  Mountain (62)  |  Plain (11)  |  Surface (35)  |  Survey (4)  |  Tread (3)

That our knowledge only illuminates a small corner of the Universe, that it is incomplete, approximate, tentative and merely probable need not concert us. It is genuine nevertheless. Physical science stands as one of the great achievements of the human spirit.
Scientific Method: An Inquiry into the Character and Validy of Natural Law (1923), 201-202.
Science quotes on:  |  Physical Science (31)  |  Theory (346)  |  Universe (274)

That the great majority of those who leave school should have some idea of the kind of evidence required to substantiate given types of belief does not seem unreasonable. Nor is it absurd to expect that they should go forth with a lively interest in the ways in which knowledge is improved and a marked distaste for all conclusions reached in disharmony with the methods of scientific inquiry.
Address to Section L, Education, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at Boston (1909), 'Science as Subject-Matter and as Method'. Published in Science (28 Jan 1910), N.S. Vol. 31, No. 787, 126.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (135)  |  Conclusion (73)  |  Evidence (80)  |  Improve (9)  |  Inquiry (12)  |  Interest (75)  |  Majority (15)  |  School (35)  |  Science Education (9)  |  Scientific Method (98)  |  Substantiate (2)

The advance of scientific knowledge does not seem to make either our universe or our inner life in it any less mysterious.
The Sciences and Philosophy: Gifford Lectures, University of Glasgow, 1927 & 1925 (1929), 165.
Science quotes on:  |  Mystery (71)  |  Universe (274)

The amount of knowledge which we can justify from evidence directly available to us can never be large. The overwhelming proportion of our factual beliefs continue therefore to be held at second hand through trusting others, and in the great majority of cases our trust is placed in the authority of comparatively few people of widely acknowledged standing.
Personal Knowledge (1958), 208.
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledgement (4)  |  Amount (10)  |  Authority (23)  |  Availability (9)  |  Belief (135)  |  Case (15)  |  Comparison (33)  |  Continuation (13)  |  Directly (5)  |  Evidence (80)  |  Fact (311)  |  Few (7)  |  Great (58)  |  Hold (20)  |  Justification (18)  |  Large (22)  |  Majority (15)  |  Never (19)  |  Other (16)  |  Overwhelming (9)  |  People (72)  |  Place (30)  |  Proportion (23)  |  Second Hand (2)  |  Standing (4)  |  Trust (13)  |  Widely (2)

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
In The Principles of Psychology (1918), Vol. 2, 369.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (76)  |  Overlook (6)  |  Wisdom (87)

The basis of the discovery is imagination, careful reasoning and experimentation where the use of knowledge created by those who came before is an important component.
Nobel Banquet speech (10 Dec 1982). In Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.), Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1982 (1983)
Science quotes on:  |  Basis (21)  |  Care (32)  |  Component (6)  |  Create (15)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Importance (98)  |  Reasoning (54)  |  Use (51)

The bent of our time is towards science, towards knowing things as they are …
On the Study of Celtic Literature (1867), in R.H. Super (ed.) The Complete Prose Works of Matthew Arnold: Lectures and Essays in Criticism (1962), Vol. 3, 298.

The books of the great scientists are gathering dust on the shelves of learned libraries. ... While the artist's communication is linked forever with its original form, that of the scientist is modified, amplified, fused with the ideas and results of others and melts into the stream of knowledge and ideas which forms our culture. The scientist has in common with the artist only this: that he can find no better retreat from the world than his work and also no stronger link with the world than his work.
From Nobel Lecture (10 Dec 1969), 'A Physicist's Renewed Look at Biology – Twenty Years Later.' in Nobel Lectures, Physiology or Medicine 1963-1970 (1972), 409.
Science quotes on:  |  Artist (18)  |  Book (94)  |  Communication (37)  |  Culture (42)  |  Dust (18)  |  Forever (13)  |  Form (65)  |  Great (58)  |  Idea (220)  |  Library (22)  |  Link (11)  |  Melt (5)  |  Modify (3)  |  Original (13)  |  Other (16)  |  Result (127)  |  Retreat (2)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Shelf (3)  |  Stream (10)  |  Work (186)  |  World (206)

The Commissioner of Patents may be likened to a wine merchant. He has in his office the wine of human progress of every kind and quality—wine, one may say, produced from the fermentation of the facts of the world through the yeast of human effort. Sometimes the yeast is “wild” and sometimes the “must” is poor, and while it all lies there shining with its due measure of the sparkle of divine effort, it is but occasionally that one finds a wine whose bouquet is the result of a pure culture on the true fruit of knowledge. But it is this true, pure wine of discovery that is alone of lasting significance.
In Some Chemical Problems of Today (1911), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Bouquet (2)  |  Culture (42)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Effort (37)  |  Fact (311)  |  Fermentation (10)  |  Invention (167)  |  Lasting (3)  |  Patent (19)  |  Progress (198)  |  Significance (30)  |  True (27)  |  Wine (11)  |  Yeast (4)

The Commonwealth of Learning is not at this time without Master-Builders, whose mighty Designs, in advancing the Sciences, will leave lasting Monuments to the Admiration of Posterity; But every one must not hope to be a Boyle, or a Sydenham; and in an Age that produces such Masters, as the Great-Huygenius, and the incomparable Mr. Newton, with some other of that Strain; 'tis Ambition enough to be employed as an Under-Labourer in clearing Ground a little, and removing some of the Rubbish, that lies in the way to Knowledge.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), The Epistle to the Reader, 9-10.
Science quotes on:  |  Ambition (17)  |  Robert Boyle (23)  |  Christiaan Huygens (6)  |  Learning (123)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (174)  |  Posterity (11)  |  Rubbish (5)  |  Thomas Sydenham (5)

The conception of objective reality ... has thus evaporated ... into the transparent clarity of mathematics that represents no longer the behavior of particles but rather our knowledge of this behavior.
In 'The Representation of Nature in Contemporary Physics', Daedalus (1958), 87, 95-108. As cited in Karl Popper, Quantum Theory and the Schism in Physics (1992), 85.
Science quotes on:  |  Behavior (10)  |  Clarity (22)  |  Conception (28)  |  Evaporation (3)  |  Mathematics (355)  |  Objective (18)  |  Particle (45)  |  Reality (62)  |  Representation (16)  |  Transparency (3)

The Designe of the Royall Society being the Improvement of Naturall knowledge all ways and meanes that tend thereunto ought to be made use of in the prosecution thereof. Naturall knowledge then being the thing sought for, we are to consider by what meanes it may soonest easiest and most certainly attaind. These meanes we shall the sooner find if we consider where tis to be had to wit in three places. first in bookes, 2dly in men. 3ly in the things themselves. and these three point us out the search of books. the converse & correspondence with men the Experimenting and Examining the things themselves under each of these there is a multitude of businesse to be done but the first hath the Least [and is] the most easily attained, the 2d hath a great Deal and requires much en[deavour] and Industry; and the 3d is infinite and the difficultest of all.
'Proposals for advancement of the R[oyal] S[ociety]' (c.1700), quoted in Michael Hunter, Establishing the New Science: The Experience of the Early Royal Society (1989), 232.
Science quotes on:  |  Royal Society (6)

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 (135)  |  Contact (12)  |  Cosmology (8)  |  René Descartes (32)  |  Difference (129)  |  Divine (16)  |  Drama (4)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Inspiration (28)  |  Myth (24)  |  Observation (256)  |  Prophet (3)  |  Question (152)  |  Real (27)  |  Reason (172)  |  Bertrand Russell (78)  |  Science (850)  |  Space And Time (4)  |  Substitute (10)  |  Theory (346)  |  Thinking (163)  |  World (206)  |  Write (21)

The end of knowledge is power ... the scope of all speculation is the performing of some action or thing to be done.
De Corp, EW, i, I, 1, 6, 7. In Jean Hampton, Hobbes and the social contract tradition (1988), 46. Hampton indicates that this quote is 'after Bacon' and in a footnote, that 'Hobbes was Bacon's secretary as a young man and had philosophical discussions with him (Aubrey 1898, 331).'
Science quotes on:  |  Action (52)  |  Do (19)  |  Perform (7)  |  Power (98)  |  Scope (5)  |  Speculation (40)

The End of our Foundation is the knowledge of Causes; and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of Human Empire, to the effecting of all things possible.
'New Atlantis' (1626) in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1887-1901), Vol. 3, 156.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (850)

The end of our foundation [Salomon's House in the New Atlantis] is the knowledge of Causes and the secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of Human Empire, to the effecting of all things possible.
In Francis Bacon and William Rawle (ed.), The Works of Francis Bacon: Philosophical Works (1887), 156.
Science quotes on:  |  Bound (8)  |  Cause (116)  |  Effect (70)  |  Empire (6)  |  Enlargement (5)  |  Human (155)  |  Motion (64)  |  Possibility (67)  |  Secret (40)  |  Thing (27)

The engineer is the key figure in the material progress of the world. It is his engineering that makes a reality of the potential value of science by translating scientific knowledge into tools, resources, energy and labor to bring them to the service of man ... To make contribution of this kind the engineer requires the imagination to visualize the needs of society and to appreciate what is possible as well as the technological and broad social age understanding to bring his vision to reality.
In Philip Sporn, Foundations of Engineering: Cornell College of Engineering Lectures, Spring 1963 (1964), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Engineer (32)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Progress (198)  |  Society (81)  |  Tool (30)  |  Understanding (222)

The equations of dynamics completely express the laws of the historical method as applied to matter, but the application of these equations implies a perfect knowledge of all the data. But the smallest portion of matter which we can subject to experiment consists of millions of molecules, not one of which ever becomes individually sensible to us. We cannot, therefore, ascertain the actual motion of anyone of these molecules; so that we are obliged to abandon the strict historical method, and to adopt the statistical method of dealing with large groups of molecules … Thus molecular science teaches us that our experiments can never give us anything more than statistical information, and that no law derived from them can pretend to absolute precision. But when we pass from the contemplation of our experiments to that of the molecules themselves, we leave a world of chance and change, and enter a region where everything is certain and immutable.
'Molecules' (1873). In W. D. Niven (ed.), The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890), Vol. 2, 374.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (59)  |  Chance (73)  |  Change (129)  |  Contemplation (17)  |  Derivation (8)  |  Dynamics (3)  |  Equation (45)  |  Experiment (367)  |  History (151)  |  Information (51)  |  Law (269)  |  Matter (131)  |  Molecule (80)  |  Motion (64)  |  Precision (19)  |  Statistics (74)

The essence of knowledge is generalization. That fire can be produced by rubbing wood in a certain way is a knowledge derived by generalization from individual experiences; the statement means that rubbing wood in this way will always produce fire. The art of discovery is therefore the art of correct generalization. ... The separation of relevant from irrelevant factors is the beginning of knowledge.
The Rise of Scientific Philosophy (1951), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (76)  |  Correctness (9)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Essence (18)  |  Fire (58)  |  Generalization (16)  |  Production (70)  |  Wood (16)

The examination system, and the fact that instruction is treated mainly as a training for a livelihood, leads the young to regard knowledge from a purely utilitarian point of view as the road to money, not as the gateway to wisdom.
Principles of Social Reconstruction
Science quotes on:  |  Examination (46)  |  Money (87)  |  Useful (15)

The fact is, a biologist to-day [1928] is pretty much where an engineer would be if he knew even in detail the cycle of chemical changes which took place within an internal combustion engine but was wholly ignorant of the disposition of tho moving parts.
As guest of honour, closing day address (Jun 1928), Sixth Colloid Symposium, Toronto, Canada, 'Living Matter', printed in Harry Boyer Weiser (ed.), Colloid Symposium Monograph (1928), Vol. 6, 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Biologist (15)  |  Change (129)  |  Chemical (36)  |  Cycle (12)  |  Detail (32)  |  Disposition (7)  |  Engineer (32)  |  Ignorant (7)  |  Internal Combustion Engine (2)

The field of scientific abstraction encompasses independent kingdoms of ideas and of experiments and within these, rulers whose fame outlasts the centuries. But they are not the only kings in science. He also is a king who guides the spirit of his contemporaries by knowledge and creative work, by teaching and research in the field of applied science, and who conquers for science provinces which have only been raided by craftsmen.
While president of the German Chemical Society, making memorial remarks dedicated to the deceased Professor Lunge (Jan 1923). As quoted in Richard Willstätter, Arthur Stoll (ed. of the original German) and Lilli S. Hornig (trans.), From My Life: The Memoirs of Richard Willstätter (1958), 174-175.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (10)  |  Applied Science (16)  |  Century (37)  |  Conquer (5)  |  Contemporary (9)  |  Craftsman (2)  |  Creativity (43)  |  Experiment (367)  |  Fame (20)  |  Field (68)  |  Guide (17)  |  Idea (220)  |  Independent (15)  |  King (11)  |  Kingdom (17)  |  Province (5)  |  Raid (2)  |  Research (358)  |  Ruler (5)  |  Scientific (54)  |  Spirit (52)  |  Teaching (60)

The final discovery is the discovery of knowledge.
Quotations: Superultramodern Science and Philosophy (2005).
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (354)

The first business of a man of science is to proclaim the truth as he finds it, and let the world adjust itself as best it can to the new knowledge.
Letter to R. M. Hunter, 23 October 1919. In Maila L. Walter, Science and Cultural Crisis: An Intellectual Biography of Percy Williams Bridgman (1990), 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  Truth (440)

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:  |  Ignorance (110)

The Fox knows many things—the hedgehog one big one.
E. Diehl (ed.), Anthologia Lyrica Graeca (1925), 241, no.103.

The fundamental hypothesis of genetic epistemology is that there is a parallelism between the progress made in the logical and rational organization of knowledge and the corresponding formative psychological processes. With that hypothesis, the most fruitful, most obvious field of study would be the reconstituting of human history—the history of human thinking in prehistoric man. Unfortunately, we are not very well informed in the psychology of primitive man, but there are children all around us, and it is in studying children that we have the best chance of studying the development of logical knowledge, physical knowledge, and so forth.
'Genetic Epistemology', Columbia Forum (1969), 12, 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Chance (73)  |  Child (80)  |  Correspondence (5)  |  Development (117)  |  Epistemology (4)  |  Field (68)  |  Formation (32)  |  Fruitful (9)  |  Fundamental (56)  |  Genetics (78)  |  History (151)  |  Human (155)  |  Human (155)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Information (51)  |  Logic (131)  |  Obvious (24)  |  Organization (49)  |  Parallelism (2)  |  Prehistoric (2)  |  Process (97)  |  Progress (198)  |  Psychology (67)  |  Rational (17)  |  Study (149)  |  Study (149)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Unfortunately (5)

The fundamental hypothesis of genetic epistemology is that there is a parallelism between the progress made in the logical and rational organization of knowledge and the corresponding formative psychological processes. With that hypothesis, the most fruitful, most obvious field of study would be the reconstituting of human history—the history of human thinking in prehistoric man. Unfortunately, we are not very well informed in the psychology of primitive man, but there are children all around us, and it is in studying children that we have the best chance of studying the development of logical knowledge, physical knowledge, and so forth.
'Genetic Epistemology', Columbia Forum (1969), 12, 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Chance (73)  |  Child (80)  |  Correspondence (5)  |  Development (117)  |  Epistemology (4)  |  Field (68)  |  Formation (32)  |  Fruitful (9)  |  Fundamental (56)  |  Genetics (78)  |  History (151)  |  Human (155)  |  Human (155)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Information (51)  |  Logic (131)  |  Obvious (24)  |  Organization (49)  |  Parallelism (2)  |  Prehistoric (2)  |  Process (97)  |  Progress (198)  |  Psychology (67)  |  Rational (17)  |  Study (149)  |  Study (149)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Unfortunately (5)

The fundamental hypothesis of genetic epistemology is that there is a parallelism between the progress made in the logical and rational organization of knowledge and the corresponding formative psychological processes. With that hypothesis, the most fruitful, most obvious field of study would be the reconstituting of human history—the history of human thinking in prehistoric man. Unfortunately, we are not very well informed in the psychology of primitive man, but there are children all around us, and it is in studying children that we have the best chance of studying the development of logical knowledge, physical knowledge, and so forth.
'Genetic Epistemology', Columbia Forum (1969), 12, 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Chance (73)  |  Child (80)  |  Correspondence (5)  |  Development (117)  |  Epistemology (4)  |  Field (68)  |  Formation (32)  |  Fruitful (9)  |  Fundamental (56)  |  Genetics (78)  |  History (151)  |  Human (155)  |  Human (155)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Information (51)  |  Logic (131)  |  Obvious (24)  |  Organization (49)  |  Parallelism (2)  |  Prehistoric (2)  |  Process (97)  |  Progress (198)  |  Psychology (67)  |  Rational (17)  |  Study (149)  |  Study (149)  |  Thinking (163)  |  Unfortunately (5)

The great end of life is not knowledge but action.
[In the same time period, Karl Marx made a similar statement.]
'Technical Education' (1877). In Collected Essays (1893), Vol. 3, 422.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (52)  |  Life (439)

The great object I desire to accomplish by this institution [the Cooper Institute], is to open the avenues of scientific knowledge to the youth of our country, so unfolding the volume of Nature, that the young may see the beauties of creation.
Speech (17 Sep 1853), laying the foundation stone of the Cooper Institute, in New York Times (19 Sep 1853), 3. The article clarifies that although the ceremony was spoken of as the laying of the corner-stone, the basement stories were already completed at that time.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (23)  |  Avenue (2)  |  Beauty (83)  |  Creation (124)  |  Desire (45)  |  Nature (524)  |  Object (44)  |  Unfolding (4)  |  Volume (5)  |  Youth (31)

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 (354)  |  Earth (238)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Illusion (14)  |  Obstacle (9)  |  Ocean (54)  |  Shape (19)

The growth of our knowledge is the result of a process closely resembling what Darwin called 'natural selection'; that is, the natural selection of hypotheses: our knowledge consists, at every moment, of those hypotheses which have shown their (comparative) fitness by surviving so far in their struggle for existence, a competitive struggle which eliminates those hypotheses which are unfit.
Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach (1971), 261. In Dean Keith Simonton, Origins of Genius: Darwinian Perspectives on Creativity (1999), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Hypothesis (147)

The institutional goal of science is the extension of certified knowledge. The technical methods employed toward this end provide the relevant definition of knowledge: empirically confirmed and logically consistent predictions. The institutional imperatives (mores) derive from the goal and the methods. The entire structure of technical and moral norms implements the final objective. The technical norm of empirical evidence, adequate, valid and reliable, is a prerequisite for sustained true prediction; the technical norm of logical consistency, a prerequisite for systematic and valid prediction. The mores of science possess a methodologic rationale but they are binding, not only because they are procedurally efficient, but because they are believed right and good. They are moral as well as technical prescriptions. Four sets of institutional imperatives–universalism, communism, disinterestedness, organized scepticism–comprise the ethos of modern science.
Social Theory and Social Structure (1957), 552-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (135)  |  Binding (6)  |  Communism (3)  |  Consistency (13)  |  Definition (82)  |  Efficiency (15)  |  Empiricism (13)  |  Extension (11)  |  Goal (32)  |  Good (77)  |  Imperative (3)  |  Institution (14)  |  Method (73)  |  Methodology (6)  |  Modern (42)  |  Moral (38)  |  Organisation (3)  |  Prediction (45)  |  Prescription (10)  |  Procedure (11)  |  Rationale (2)  |  Relevance (9)  |  Reliability (9)  |  Right (48)  |  Skepticism (9)  |  Technical (6)  |  Validity (11)

The Johns Hopkins University certifies that John Wentworth Doe does not know anything but Biochemistry. Please pay no attention to any pronouncements he may make on any other subject, particularly when he joins with others of his kind to save the world from something or other. However, he worked hard for this degree and is potentially a most valuable citizen. Please treat him kindly.
[An imaginary academic diploma reworded to give a more realistic view of the value of the training of scientists.]
'Our Splintered Learning and the Nature of Scientists', Science (15 Apr 1955), 121, 516.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (35)  |  Biochemistry (32)  |  Citizen (10)  |  Degree (18)  |  Diploma (2)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Kindness (5)  |  Potential (13)  |  Save (12)  |  Subject (48)  |  Training (21)  |  University (28)  |  Valuable (4)  |  Value (63)  |  Work (186)  |  World (206)

The knowledge of Natural-History, being Observation of Matters of Fact, is more certain than most others, and in my slender Opinion, less subject to Mistakes than Reasonings, Hypotheses, and Deductions are; ... These are things we are sure of, so far as our Senses are not fallible; and which, in probability, have been ever since the Creation, and will remain to the End of the World, in the same Condition we now find them.
A Voyage to the Islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers and Jamaica: With the Natural History of the Herbs and Trees, Four-footed Beasts, Fishes, Birds, Insects, Reptiles, &c. of the Last of those Islands (1707), Vol. 1, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (59)  |  Condition (66)  |  Creation (124)  |  Deduction (38)  |  Fact (311)  |  Fallability (3)  |  Find (46)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Matter (131)  |  Mistake (36)  |  Natural History (23)  |  Observation (256)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Probability (54)  |  Reasoning (54)  |  Same (15)  |  Sense (100)  |  Sure (11)

The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions. And even a cursory glance at the history of the biological sciences during the last quarter of a century is sufficient to justify the assertion, that the most potent instrument for the extension of the realm of natural knowledge which has come into men's hands, since the publication of Newton's ‘Principia’, is Darwin's ‘Origin of Species.’
From concluding remarks to a chapter by Thomas Huxley, 'On the Reception of the ‘Origin of Species’', the last chapter in Charles Darwin and Francis Darwin (ed.), The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (1887), Vol. 1, 557.
Science quotes on:  |  Intellect (95)  |  Understanding (222)

The law is this: that each of our leading conceptions—each branch of our knowledge—passes successively through three different theoretical conditions: the Theological, or fictitious: the Metaphysical, or abstract; and the Scientific, or positive.
The Positive Philosophy, trans. Harriet Martineau (1853), Vol. 1, 1-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Law (269)

The law of the conservation of energy is already known, viz. that the sum of the actual and potential energies in the universe is unchangeable.
'On the General Law of the Transformation of Energy', Philosophical Magazine (1853), 5, 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (6)  |  Conservation Of Energy (16)  |  Law (269)  |  Potential (13)  |  Sum (17)  |  Universe (274)

The life and soul of science is its practical application, and just as the great advances in mathematics have been made through the desire of discovering the solution of problems which were of a highly practical kind in mathematical science, so in physical science many of the greatest advances that have been made from the beginning of the world to the present time have been made in the earnest desire to turn the knowledge of the properties of matter to some purpose useful to mankind.
From 'Electrical Units of Measurement', a lecture delivered at the Institution of Civil Engineers, London (3 May 1883), Popular Lectures and Addresses Vol. 1 (1891), 86-87.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (49)  |  Advance (49)  |  Application (68)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Life (439)  |  Mankind (105)  |  Mathematics (355)  |  Physical Science (31)  |  Practical (30)  |  Problem (178)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Solution (109)  |  Soul (51)

The man of perfect knowledge should not unsettle the foolish whose knowledge is imperfect.
Anonymous
In Bhagavad-gîtâ, third discourse, v.29, translation by Annie Wood Besant (1904), 49.

The mechanist is intimately convinced that a precise knowledge of the chemical constitution, structure, and properties of the various organelles of a cell will solve biological problems. This will come in a few centuries. For the time being, the biologist has to face such concepts as orienting forces or morphogenetic fields. Owing to the scarcity of chemical data and to the complexity of life, and despite the progresses of biochemistry, the biologist is still threatened with vertigo.
Problems of Morphogenesis in Ciliates: The Kinetosomes in Development, Reproduction and Evolution (1950), 92-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Biochemistry (32)  |  Cell (83)

The mere man of pleasure is miserable in old age, and the mere drudge in business is but little better, whereas, natural philosophy, mathematical and mechanical science, are a continual source of tranquil pleasure, and in spite of the gloomy dogmas of priests and of superstition, the study of these things is the true theology; it teaches man to know and admire the Creator, for the principles of science are in the creation, and are unchangeable and of divine origin.
Age of Reason (1818), 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Admiration (22)  |  Business (26)  |  Continual (5)  |  Creator (15)  |  Divine (16)  |  Dogma (13)  |  Gloom (5)  |  Mathematics (355)  |  Misery (9)  |  Natural Philosophy (9)  |  Origin (33)  |  Pleasure (51)  |  Pleasure (51)  |  Priest (8)  |  Principle (96)  |  Science (850)  |  Source (32)  |  Study (149)  |  Superstition (33)  |  Theology (19)

The mind can proceed only so far upon what it knows and can prove. There comes a point where the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge, but can never prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap
Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times (1984), 755.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (354)  |  Mind (266)  |  Proof (133)

The most disgraceful cause of the scarcity [of remedies] is that even those who know them do not want to point them out, as if they were going to lose what they pass on to others.
Natural History, 25, 16. Trans. R. W. Sharples.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (116)  |  Disgrace (2)  |  Loss (43)  |  Point (29)  |  Remedy (23)  |  Selfishness (3)

The most important discoveries will provide answers to questions that we do not yet know how to ask and will concern objects we have not yet imagined.
In Hubble Space Telescope flaw: hearing before the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred First Congress, second session, July 13, 1990 (1990), 105.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (91)  |  Concern (30)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Imagination (125)  |  Object (44)  |  Question (152)

The next care to be taken, in respect of the Senses, is a supplying of their infirmities with Instruments, and, as it were, the adding of artificial Organs to the natural; this in one of them has been of late years accomplisht with prodigious benefit to all sorts of useful knowledge, by the invention of Optical Glasses. By the means of Telescopes, there is nothing so far distant but may be represented to our view; and by the help of Microscopes, there is nothing so small, as to escape our inquiry; hence there is a new visible World discovered to the understanding. By this means the Heavens are open'd, and a vast number of new Stars, and new Motions, and new Productions appear in them, to which all the ancient Astronomers were utterly Strangers. By this the Earth it self, which lyes so neer us, under our feet, shews quite a new thing to us, and in every little particle of its matter, we now behold almost as great a variety of creatures as we were able before to reckon up on the whole Universe it self.
Micrographia, or some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Inquiries thereupon (1665), preface, sig. A2V.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomer (27)  |  Instrument (37)  |  Microscope (46)  |  Organ (39)  |  Sense (100)  |  Star (124)  |  Telescope (39)

The object of science is knowledge; the objects of art are works. In art, truth is the means to an end; in science, it is the only end. Hence the practical arts are not to be classed among the sciences
In Samuel Austin Allibone, Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay (1880), 45.
Science quotes on:  |  Science And Art (54)  |  Truth (440)

The one thing that scientists ought to be is humble because they, more than anyone, know how little they can explain.
Quoted by Sean O'Hagan, in 'End of sperm report', The Observer (14 Sep 2002).
Science quotes on:  |  Anyone (6)  |  Explanation (84)  |  Humble (3)  |  Little (28)  |  More (7)  |  Ought (3)  |  Scientist (224)

The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.
Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693).
Science quotes on:  |  Education (173)

The open society, the unrestricted access to knowledge, the unplanned and uninhibited association of men for its furtherance—these are what may make a vast, complex, ever growing, ever changing, ever more specialized and expert technological world, nevertheless a world of human community.
'Science and the Common Understanding' (1954), 95. Reprinted in John Dewey and Julius A. Sigler, Classical Selections On Great Issues, Vol. 8, Science, Technology, and Society (1997), 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Access (2)  |  Society (81)

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 (116)  |  Desire (45)  |  False (29)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Imposture (2)  |  Origin (33)  |  Science (850)  |  Unwillingness (3)

The overwhelming astonishment, the queerest structure we know about so far in the whole universe, the greatest of all cosmological scientific puzzles, confounding all our efforts to comprehend it, is the earth.
In Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony(1984), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Astonishment (14)  |  Comprehension (29)  |  Confounding (3)  |  Cosmos (21)  |  Earth (238)  |  Effort (37)  |  Greatest (23)  |  Overwhelming (9)  |  Puzzle (14)  |  Science (850)  |  Structure (101)  |  Universe (274)  |  Whole (46)

The partitions of knowledge are not like several lines that meet in one angle, and so touch not in a point; but are like branches of a tree, that meet in a stem, which hath a dimension and quantity of entireness and continuance, before it come to discontinue and break itself into arms and boughs.
Francis Bacon, Basil Montagu (Ed.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1852), Vol. 1, 193.

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 (17)  |  Best (40)  |  Bet (4)  |  Causality (4)  |  Clock (13)  |  Conception (28)  |  Cosmos (21)  |  Course (25)  |  Dice (7)  |  Difference (129)  |  Draft (2)  |  Foretelling (3)  |  Future (101)  |  Gambler (3)  |  Goal (32)  |  Happening (20)  |  Ideal (26)  |  Irrefutable (3)  |  Method (73)  |  Modern (42)  |  Nature (524)  |  Philosophy (128)  |  Picture (19)  |  Posit (2)  |  Prediction (45)  |  Probability (54)  |  Proof (133)  |  Prophet (3)  |  Roll (3)  |  Rule (50)  |  Scientific Method (98)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Stake (6)  |  Star (124)  |  Statistics (74)  |  Superiority (6)  |  Tradition (16)  |  Truth (440)  |  Universe (274)

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 (78)  |  Astronomy (103)  |  Calculation (38)  |  Celestial (4)  |  Certainty (59)  |  Chance (73)  |  Complexity (49)  |  Difference (129)  |  Distance (24)  |  Event (45)  |  Honour (19)  |  Human Mind (21)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Impossibility (31)  |  Instrument (37)  |  Intelligence (72)  |  Law (269)  |  Likelihood (3)  |  Mass (23)  |  Mathematician (105)  |  Motion (64)  |  Nature (524)  |  Observation (256)  |  Phenomenon (113)  |  Position (18)  |  Prediction (45)  |  Probability (54)  |  Relation (33)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Theory (346)  |  Time (160)  |  Uncertainty (23)  |  Universe (274)  |  Velocity (5)  |  Weakness (14)

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.
Nobody Knows My Name (1961). In The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948-1985 (1985), 302.
Science quotes on:  |  Calling (2)  |  Career (29)  |  Intimate (4)  |  Pay (8)  |  Price (9)  |  Profession (23)  |  Pursue (5)  |  Ugly (3)

The Principle of Uncertainty is a bad name. In science or outside of it we are not uncertain; our knowledge is merely confined, within a certain tolerance. We should call it the Principle of Tolerance. And I propose that name in two senses: First, in the engineering sense, science has progressed, step by step, the most successful enterprise in the ascent of man, because it has understood that the exchange of information between man and nature, and man and man, can only take place with a certain tolerance. But second, I also use the word, passionately, about the real world. All knowledge, all information between human beings, can only be exchanged within a play of tolerance. And that is true whether the exchange is in science, or in literature, or in religion, or in politics, or in any form of thought that aspires to dogma. It's a major tragedy of my lifetime and yours that scientists were refining, to the most exquisite precision, the Principle of Tolerance, and turning their backs on the fact that all around them, tolerance was crashing to the ground beyond repair. The Principle of Uncertainty or, in my phrase, the Principle of Tolerance, fixed once for all the realization that all knowledge is limited. It is an irony of history that at the very time when this was being worked out there should rise, under Hitler in Germany and other tyrants elsewhere, a counter-conception: a principle of monstrous certainty. When the future looks back on the 1930s it will think of them as a crucial confrontation of culture as I have been expounding it, the ascent of man, against the throwback to the despots' belief that they have absolute certainty. It is said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That is false: tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in realitythis is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods. Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error, and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: 'I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken.' We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people. [Referring to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle.]
'Knowledge or Certainty,' episode 11, The Ascent of Man (1972), BBC TV series.
Science quotes on:  |  Ascent Of Man (6)  |  Engineering (59)  |  Step By Step (7)  |  Uncertainty Principle (7)

The process of discovery is very simple. An unwearied and systematic application of known laws to nature, causes the unknown to reveal themselves. Almost any mode of observation will be successful at last, for what is most wanted is method.
A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1873), 384.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (68)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Law (269)  |  Method (73)  |  Mode (8)  |  Nature (524)  |  Observation (256)  |  Process (97)  |  Revelation (24)  |  Simplicity (92)  |  Success (110)  |  System (67)  |  Unknown (39)  |  Want (28)  |  Weariness (2)

The purpose of science is to develop, without prejudice or preconception of any kind, a knowledge of the facts, the laws, and the processes of nature. The even more important task of religion, on the other hand, is to develop the consciences, the ideals, and the aspirations of mankind.
A statement formulated by Millikan (1923) signed by forty-five leaders of religion, science and human affairs. Reproduced in Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors (May 1923), 9, No. 5, 47. (Note the context in time: the contemporary social climate by 1925 led to the Butler Act banning the teaching of evolution in Tennessee schools and the resulting trial of John Scopes.)
Science quotes on:  |  Aspiration (8)  |  Conscience (16)  |  Development (117)  |  Fact (311)  |  Ideal (26)  |  Importance (98)  |  Kind (26)  |  Law (269)  |  Mankind (105)  |  Nature (524)  |  Preconception (6)  |  Prejudice (29)  |  Process (97)  |  Purpose (62)  |  Religion (116)  |  Science (850)  |  Science And Religion (153)  |  Task (31)

The question whether atoms exist or not... belongs rather to metaphysics. In chemistry we have only to decide whether the assumption of atoms is an hypothesis adapted to the explanation of chemical phenomena... whether a further development of the atomic hypothesis promises to advance our knowledge of the mechanism of chemical phenomena... I rather expect that we shall some day find, for what we now call atoms, a mathematico-mechanical explanation, which will render an account of atomic weight, of atomicity, and of numerous other properties of the so-called atoms.
Laboratory (1867), 1, 303.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (164)  |  Atomic Weight (5)  |  Hypothesis (147)  |  Mechanism (25)  |  Property (46)  |  Question (152)  |  Reaction (47)

The Reader may here observe the Force of Numbers, which can be successfully applied, even to those things, which one would imagine are subject to no Rules. There are very few things which we know, which are not capable of being reduc'd to a Mathematical Reasoning, and when they cannot, it's a sign our Knowledge of them is very small and confus'd; and where a mathematical reasoning can be had, it's as great folly to make use of any other, as to grope for a thing in the dark when you have a Candle standing by you.
Of the Laws of Chance, or, a Method of the Hazards of Game (1692), Preface.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (355)

The real value of science is in the getting, and those who have tasted the pleasure of discovery alone know what science is. A problem solved is dead. A world without problems to be solved would be devoid of science.
In Matter and Energy (1912), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (11)  |  Devoid (3)  |  Discovery (354)  |  Pleasure (51)  |  Problem (178)  |  Reality (62)  |  Science (850)  |  Solution (109)  |  Taste (16)  |  Without (11)  |  World (206)

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:  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Opinion (81)

The regularity with which we conclude that further advances in a particular field are impossible seems equaled only by the regularity with which events prove that we are of too limited vision. And it always seems to be those who have the fullest opportunity to know who are the most limited in view. What, then, is the trouble? I think that one answer should be: we do not realize sufficiently that the unknown is absolutely infinite, and that new knowledge is always being produced.
Quoted in Guy Suits, 'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 357.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (32)  |  Advance (49)  |  Answer (91)  |  Conclusion (73)  |  Event (45)  |  Field (68)  |  Further (2)  |  Impossibility (31)  |  Infinity (44)  |  Limit (33)  |  Opportunity (19)  |  Particular (22)  |  Production (70)  |  Proof (133)  |  Realization (21)  |  Regularity (11)  |  Sufficiency (13)  |  Trouble (22)  |  Unknown (39)  |  Vision (20)

The resolution of revolutions is selection by conflict within the scientific community of the fittest way to practice future science. The net result of a sequence of such revolutionary selections, separated by periods of normal research, is the wonderfully adapted set of instruments we call modern scientific knowledge.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), 171.
Science quotes on:  |  Community (26)  |  Conflict (24)  |  Research (358)  |  Result (127)  |  Revolution (33)  |  Selection (18)  |  Sequence (15)

The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.
Quoted in Richard Saul Wurman, Information Anxiety 2‎ (2001), 240.
Science quotes on:  |  Condition (66)  |  Invention (167)  |  Teacher (52)

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
IIsaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Aspect (15)  |  Faster (4)  |  Gather (7)  |  Life (439)  |  Sadness (6)  |  Science (850)  |  Society (81)  |  Wisdom (87)

The saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing is, to my mind, a very dangerous adage. If knowledge is real and genuine, I do not believe that it is other than a very valuable posession, however infinitesimal its quantity may be. Indeed, if a little knowledge is dangerous, where is a man who has so much as to be out of danger?
'Instruction in Physiology', in Science and Culture and Other Essays (1882), 91.
Science quotes on:  |  Danger (30)  |  Genuine (8)  |  Possession (24)  |  Real (27)  |  French Saying (51)  |  Valuable (4)

The science and technology which have advanced man safely into space have brought about startling medical advances for man on earth. Out of space research have come new knowledge, techniques and instruments which have enabled some bedridden invalids to walk, the totally deaf to hear, the voiceless to talk, and, in the foreseeable future, may even make it possible for the blind to "see."
'From Outer Space—Advances For Medicine on Earth', contributed in Lillian Levy, Space, Its Impact on Man and Society (1965, reprinted 1973), 117.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (49)  |  Blind (8)  |  Deaf (3)  |  Future (101)  |  Hearing (18)  |  Instrument (37)  |  Invalid (2)  |  Mankind (105)  |  Medicine (187)  |  Possibility (67)  |  Research (358)  |  Science (850)  |  See (41)  |  Space (64)  |  Talk (20)  |  Technique (12)  |  Technology (95)  |  Voice (15)  |  Walk (23)

The science [geometry] is pursued for the sake of the knowledge of what eternally exists, and not of what comes for a moment into existence, and then perishes.
[Also seen condensed as: ``Geometry is knowledge of the eternally existent” or “The knowledge at which geometry aims is the knowledge of the eternal.”]
Plato
The Republic of Plato Book VII, trans. by John Llewelyn Favies and David James Vaughan (1908), 251.
Science quotes on:  |  Existence (145)  |  External (18)  |  Geometry (64)  |  Perish (11)  |  Pursue (5)

The scientific attitude of mind involves a sweeping away of all other desires in the interest of the desire to know.
Mysticism and Logic: And Other Essays (1919), 44.
Science quotes on:  |  Attitude (16)  |  Desire (45)  |  Mind (266)

The scientist knows very well that he is approaching ultimate truth only in an asymptotic curve and is barred from ever reaching it; but at the same time he is proudly aware of being indeed able to determine whether a statement is a nearer or a less near approach to the truth.
In On Aggression (1966, 2002), 279.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (38)  |  Approach (16)  |  Awareness (11)  |  Curve (9)  |  Determination (32)  |  Nearness (3)  |  Pride (17)  |  Reach (30)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Statement (26)  |  Truth (440)  |  Ultimate (27)

The significance of a fact is relative to [the general body of scientific] knowledge. To say that a fact is significant in science, is to say that it helps to establish or refute some general law; for science, though it starts from observation of the particular, is not concerned essentially with the particular, but with the general. A fact, in science, is not a mere fact, but an instance. In this the scientist differs from the artist, who, if he deigns to notice facts at all, is likely to notice them in all their particularity.
In The Scientific Outlook (1931, 2009), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Artist (18)  |  Difference (129)  |  Establish (10)  |  Fact (311)  |  General (23)  |  Instance (7)  |  Law (269)  |  Notice (12)  |  Observation (256)  |  Particular (22)  |  Relative (11)  |  Science And Art (54)  |  Scientific Method (98)  |  Scientist (224)  |  Significance (30)  |  Significant (7)

The specific character of the greater part of the toxins which are known to us (I need only instance such toxins as those of tetanus and diphtheria) would suggest that the substances produced for effecting the correlation of organs within the body, through the intermediation of the blood stream, might also belong to this class, since here also specificity of action must be a distinguishing characteristic. These chemical messengers, however, or 'hormones' (from όρμάω, I excite or arouse), as we might call them, have to be carried from the organ where they are produced to the organ which they affect by means of the blood stream and the continually recurring physiological needs of the organism must determine their repeated production and circulation through the body.
'The Chemical Correlation of the Functions of the Body', The Lancet (1905), ii, 340.
Science quotes on:  |  Arouse (4)  |