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 S > Category: Seeing

Seeing Quotes (29 quotes)

...what is man in the midst of nature? A nothing in comparison with the infinite, an all in comparison with nothingness: a mean between nothing and all. Infinitely far from comprehending the extremes, the end of things and their principle are for him inevitably concealed in an impenetrable secret; equally incapable of seeing the nothingness whence he is derived, and the infinity in which he is swallowed up.
Pensιes. Collected in Blaise Pascal and O.W. Wright (trans.), The Thoughts, Letters and Opuscules of Blaise Pascal (1859), 160. There are versions by other translators. For example, an alternate translation for the last sentence is: [Man is] “equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.”
Science quotes on:  |  All (5)  |  Comparison (33)  |  Comprehension (30)  |  Concealment (7)  |  Emergence (17)  |  Equal (22)  |  Extreme (17)  |  Impenetrable (4)  |  Incapability (2)  |  Inevitability (7)  |  Infinite (39)  |  Man (258)  |  Mean (7)  |  Nature (534)  |  Nothingness (2)  |  Principle (97)  |  Secret (44)  |  Thing (27)

Question: Account for the delicate shades of colour sometimes seen on the inside of an oyster shell. State and explain the appearance presented when a beam of light falls upon a sheet of glass on which very fine equi-distant parallel lines have been scratched very close to one another.
Answer: The delicate shades are due to putrefaction; the colours always show best when the oyster has been a bad one. Hence they are considered a defect and are called chromatic aberration.
The scratches on the glass will arrange themselves in rings round the light, as any one may see at night in a tram car.
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, Question 27. (*From a collection in which Answers are not given verbatim et literatim, and some instances may combine several students' blunders.)
Science quotes on:  |  Account (15)  |  Answer (96)  |  Appearance (47)  |  Bad (21)  |  Beam (6)  |  Closeness (3)  |  Colour (32)  |  Consideration (38)  |  Defect (8)  |  Delicate (6)  |  Diffraction (3)  |  Examination (47)  |  Explanation (88)  |  Fine (10)  |  Glass (19)  |  Howler (15)  |  Inside (4)  |  Light (117)  |  Line (18)  |  Night (26)  |  Oyster (4)  |  Parallel (11)  |  Putrefaction (3)  |  Question (159)  |  Ring (6)  |  Scratch (4)  |  Shade (7)  |  Sheet (3)  |  Shell (17)  |  State (43)  |  Tram (2)

All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see;
All Discord, Harmony, not understood;
All partial Evil, universal Good:
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
One truth is clear, 'Whatever IS, is RIGHT.'
'An Essay on Man' (1733-4), Epistle I. In John Butt (ed.), The Poems of Alexander Pope (1965), 515.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (80)  |  Chance (77)  |  Clarity (24)  |  Direction (27)  |  Discord (3)  |  Evil (31)  |  Existence (150)  |  Good (81)  |  Harmony (27)  |  Nature (534)  |  Pride (21)  |  Reason (173)  |  Right (49)  |  Spite (2)  |  Truth (450)  |  Understanding (231)  |  Universal (26)  |  Unknown (40)  |  Whatever (4)

Einstein was wrong when he said, 'God does not play dice'. Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen.
In The Nature Of Space And Time (1996, 2010), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Black Hole (8)  |  Confusion (22)  |  Dice (8)  |  Albert Einstein (174)  |  God (234)  |  Play (22)  |  Suggestion (13)  |  Throw (11)

Gentlemen, now you will see that now you see nothing. And why you see nothing you will see presently.
Quoted in R. Oesper, The Human Side of Scientists (1975), 164.
Science quotes on:  |  Gentlemen (4)  |  Nothing (89)

I am the most travelled of all my contemporaries; I have extended my field of enquiry wider than anybody else, I have seen more countries and climes, and have heard more speeches of learned men. No one has surpassed me in the composition of lines, according to demonstration, not even the Egyptian knotters of ropes, or geometers.
In Alan L. Mackay, A Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (1992, 1994), 71.
Science quotes on:  |  Contemporary (10)  |  Country (43)  |  Demonstration (29)  |  Egypt (12)  |  Enquiry (72)  |  Extension (12)  |  Field (69)  |  Geometer (4)  |  Hearing (19)  |  Learning (130)  |  Line (18)  |  Speech (19)  |  Surpassing (3)  |  Traveler (8)

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 (19)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Lead (33)  |  Never (19)  |  Philosopher's Stone (2)  |  Pursuit (34)  |  Turning (5)

I suggest that the best geologist is he who has seen most rocks.
The Granite Controversy: Geological Addresses Illustrating the Evolution of a Disputant (1957), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (42)  |  Geologist (26)  |  Most (2)  |  Rock (54)  |  Suggestion (13)

In our day grand generalizations have been reached. The theory of the origin of species is but one of them. Another, of still wider grasp and more radical significance, is the doctrine of the Conservation of Energy, the ultimate philosophical issues of which are as yet but dimly seem-that doctrine which 'binds nature fast in fate' to an extent not hitherto recognized, exacting from every antecedent its equivalent consequent, and bringing vital as well as physical phenomena under the dominion of that law of causal connexion which, so far as the human understanding has yet pierced, asserts itself everywhere in nature.
'Address Delivered Before The British Association Assembled at Belfast', (19 Aug 1874). Fragments of Science for Unscientific People: A Series of Detached Essays, Lectures, and Reviews (1892), Vol. 2, 1801.
Science quotes on:  |  Antecedent (2)  |  Assertion (16)  |  Binding (6)  |  Bringing (8)  |  Cause (122)  |  Connection (39)  |  Consequence (44)  |  Conservation Of Energy (17)  |  Doctrine (33)  |  Dominion (2)  |  Equivalent (7)  |  Everywhere (4)  |  Extent (11)  |  Fate (16)  |  Generalization (16)  |  Grandness (2)  |  Grasp (11)  |  Human (168)  |  Issue (14)  |  Law (273)  |  Nature (534)  |  Origin Of Species (36)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Philosophy (132)  |  Physics (156)  |  Radical (9)  |  Reach (30)  |  Recognition (38)  |  Significance (30)  |  Theory (353)  |  Ultimate (27)  |  Understanding (231)  |  Vitality (7)

In such sad circumstances I but see myself exalted by my own enemies, for in order to defeat some small works of mine they try to make the whole rational medicine and anatomy fall, as if I were myself these noble disciplines.
'Letter to Marescotti about the dispute with Sbaraglia and others, 1689(?)', in H. B. Adelmann (ed.), The Correspondence of Marcello Malpighi (1975), Vol. 4, 1561.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (32)  |  Circumstance (25)  |  Defeat (5)  |  Discipline (15)  |  Enemy (26)  |  Fall (30)  |  Medicine (185)  |  Nobility (3)  |  Rationality (4)  |  Sadness (7)  |  Work (198)

It is in man's heart that the life of nature's spectacle exists; to see it, one must feel it.
Emile (1762).
Science quotes on:  |  Existence (150)  |  Feeling (47)  |  Heart (46)  |  Life (460)  |  Man (258)  |  Nature (534)  |  Spectacle (4)

It is unlikely that we will ever see a star being born. Stars are like animals in the wild. We may see the very young, but never their actual birth, which is a veiled and secret event. Stars are born inside thick clouds of dust and gas in the spiral arms of the galaxy, so thick that visible light cannot penetrate them.
Perfect Symmetry: The Search for the Beginning of Time (1985), 44.
Science quotes on:  |  Birth (47)  |  Cloud (22)  |  Dust (20)  |  Event (49)  |  Galaxy (19)  |  Gas (30)  |  Penetration (10)  |  Secret (44)  |  Spiral (5)  |  Star (132)  |  Thick (2)  |  Veil (6)

It [imagination] is a form of seeing.
In His Dark Materials, Book 3: The Amber Spyglass (1995, 2003), 494.
Science quotes on:  |  Form (70)  |  Imagination (130)

Kant, discussing the various modes of perception by which the human mind apprehends nature, concluded that it is specially prone to see nature through mathematical spectacles. Just as a man wearing blue spectacles would see only a blue world, so Kant thought that, with our mental bias, we tend to see only a mathematical world.
In The Mysterious Universe (1930), 115.
Science quotes on:  |  Apprehension (8)  |  Bias (8)  |  Blue (9)  |  Comprehension (30)  |  Conclusion (74)  |  Discussion (17)  |  Human (168)  |  Immanuel Kant (27)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Mental (16)  |  Mode (8)  |  Nature (534)  |  Perception (21)  |  Prone (4)  |  Spectacles (3)  |  World (231)

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 (60)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Pure (14)  |  Science (875)  |  Science And Engineering (9)  |  Seldom (10)  |  State (43)

Research is to see what everybody has seen and think what nobody has thought.
Bioenergetics (1957), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Everybody (4)  |  Nobody (14)  |  Research (360)  |  Thinking (166)  |  Thought (170)

Select such subjects that your pupils cannot walk out without seeing them. Train your pupils to be observers, and have them provided with the specimens about which you speak. If you can find nothing better, take a house-fly or a cricket, and let each one hold a specimen and examine it as you talk.
Lecture at a teaching laboratory on Penikese Island, Buzzard's Bay. Quoted from the lecture notes by David Starr Jordan, Science Sketches (1911), 146.
Science quotes on:  |  Cricket (5)  |  Examination (47)  |  Hold (21)  |  Observer (10)  |  Provide (13)  |  Pupil (10)  |  Selection (20)  |  Speak (13)  |  Specimen (8)  |  Subject (51)  |  Talk (21)  |  Teaching (64)  |  Training (21)  |  Walk (24)

Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven.
Life Thoughts (1858), 178.
Science quotes on:  |  Far (9)  |  Heaven (55)  |  Tear (11)  |  Telescope (44)

The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope, then he sees worlds beyond; but, if he looks at his telescope, then he does not see anything but that.
In Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Bible (43)  |  Telescope (44)  |  World (231)

The elegance of a mathematical theorem is directly proportional to the number of independent ideas one can see in the theorem and inversely proportional to the effort it takes to see them.
In Mathematical Discovery: On Understanding, Learning, and Teaching Problem Solving (1981). As cited, with no more details, in Yi Ma, An Invitation to 3-D Vision (2004), 228.
Science quotes on:  |  Effort (40)  |  Elegance (13)  |  Idea (226)  |  Independence (19)  |  Inversely Proportional (2)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Proportion (24)  |  Taking (8)  |  Theorem (34)

The empiricist ... thinks he believes only what he sees, but he is much better at believing than at seeing.
Scepticism and Animal Faith: An Introduction to a System of Philosophy (1923), 201.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (139)  |  Empiricist (2)

The more I think of it, I find this conclusion more impressed upon me—that the greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way.
Modern Painters: pt. 4. Of Many Things (1850), 268. books.google.com John Ruskin - 1850
Science quotes on:  |  Conclusion (74)  |  Doing (26)  |  Greatest (23)  |  Human (168)  |  Impression (32)  |  Plain (11)  |  Something (9)  |  Soul (54)  |  Telling (16)  |  Thing (27)  |  Thinking (166)  |  Way (31)  |  World (231)

There rolls the deep where grew the tree.
O earth, what changes hast thou seen!
There where the long street roars, hath been
The stillness of the central sea.
The hills are shadows, and they flow
From form to form, and nothing stands;
They melt like mist, the solid lands,
Like clouds they shape themselves and go.
In Memoriam A. H. H. (1850), canto 123. Collected in Alfred Tennyson and William James Rolfe (ed.) The Poetic and Dramatic works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1898), 194.
Science quotes on:  |  Central (8)  |  Change (133)  |  Cloud (22)  |  Deep (17)  |  Earth (250)  |  Flow (14)  |  Form (70)  |  Hill (14)  |  Land (27)  |  Melting (5)  |  Mist (2)  |  Nothing (89)  |  Roll (3)  |  Sea (57)  |  Shadow (16)  |  Shape (20)  |  Solid (14)  |  Stand (24)  |  Stillness (3)  |  Street (5)  |  Tree (88)

There was wildlife, untouched, a jungle at the border of the sea, never seen by those who floated on the opaque roof.
Describing his early experience, in 1936, when a fellow naval officer, Philippe Tailliez, gave him goggles to see below the Mediterranean Sea surface.
Quoted in 'Sport: Poet of the Depths', Time (28 Mar 1960)
Science quotes on:  |  Border (3)  |  Floating (2)  |  Jungle (5)  |  Marine Biology (11)  |  Mediterranean Sea (2)  |  Roof (5)  |  Sea (57)  |  Wildlife (5)

We see past time in a telescope and present time in a microscope. Hence the apparent enormities of the present.
In Victor Hugo and Lorenzo O'Rourke (trans.) Victor Hugo's Intellectual Autobiography: (Postscriptum de ma vie) (1907), 380.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparent (9)  |  Enormity (3)  |  Microscope (47)  |  Past (42)  |  Present (36)  |  Telescope (44)  |  Time (170)

What scientist would not long to go on living, if only to see how the little truths he has brought to light will grow up?
Pensιes d'un Biologiste (1939). Translated in The Substance of Man (1962), 254.
Science quotes on:  |  Bringing (8)  |  Growth (70)  |  Life (460)  |  Light (117)  |  Little (29)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Truth (450)

When I dipt into the future far as human eye could see;
Saw the Vision of the World, and all the wonders that would be.
'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:  |  Dip (2)  |  Eye (67)  |  Future (110)  |  Vision (21)  |  Wonder (64)  |  World (231)

Where there is an observatory and a telescope, we expect that any eyes will see new worlds at once.
A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1873), 384.
Science quotes on:  |  Expectation (26)  |  Eye (67)  |  New (107)  |  Observatory (7)  |  Telescope (44)  |  World (231)

Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
'An Essay on Man' (1733-4), Epistle I. In John Butt (ed.), The Poems of Alexander Pope (1965), 507.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (164)  |  Bubble (5)  |  Burst (12)  |  Equality (7)  |  Eye (67)  |  Fall (30)  |  God (234)  |  Hero (10)  |  Ruin (12)  |  Sparrow (2)  |  System (66)  |  World (231)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

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

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

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

Today in Science History

Most Popular

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