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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index A > John Adams Quotes

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John Adams
(30 Oct 1735 - 4 Jul 1826)

American president who was the first vice-president and the second president of the U.S. As a prominent leader in the adoption of Declaration of Independence, he was one of the most influential of the founding fathers of the United States.

Science Quotes by John Adams (8 quotes)

Painting of John Adams, seated behind table foreground hand on table holding papers, upper body, facing forward
John Adams painted by Mather Brown (1785) (source)
If Spirit is an abstraction, a conjecture, a Chimera: Matter is an abstraction, a conjecture, a Chimera; for We know as much, or rather as little of one as of the other.
— John Adams
In Letter (26 May 1817) to Thomas Jefferson.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (48)  |  Chimera (10)  |  Conjecture (51)  |  Know (1538)  |  Little (717)  |  Matter (821)  |  Other (2233)  |  Spirit (278)

In such researches as these, let us all in our several departments cheerfully engage…
— John Adams
Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law (as it was later known), originally published untitled and with no author credited in the Boston Gazette (Aug 1765). Collected in John Adams and Charles Francis Adams (ed.), The Works of John Adams (1851), Vol. 3, 462.
Science quotes on:  |  Cheerful (10)  |  Department (93)  |  Engage (41)  |  Research (753)

It has been a Maxim with me for Sixty years at least, Never to be afraid of a Book.
— John Adams
In Letter (26 May 1817) to Thomas Jefferson.
Science quotes on:  |  Afraid (24)  |  Book (413)  |  Maxim (19)  |  Never (1089)  |  Year (963)

Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.
— John Adams
Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law (as it was later known), originally published untitled and with no author credited in the Boston Gazette (Aug 1765). Collected in John Adams and Charles Francis Adams (ed.), The Works of John Adams (1851), Vol. 3, 462.
Science quotes on:  |  Cherish (25)  |  Dare (55)  |  Kind (564)  |  Knowledge (1647)  |  Mean (810)  |  Means (587)  |  Read (308)  |  Speak (240)  |  Tender (6)  |  Think (1122)  |  Write (250)

My child you may search forever the depths of this science [metaphysics] and you will never find a bottom. The secrets of eternal wisdom are not to be fathomed by our narrow understandings.
— John Adams
Letter to George Washington Adams (grandson) (10 Feb 1822). Quoted in James H. Hutson (ed.), The Founders on Religion: A Book of Quotations (2009), 49; citing Adams Papers (microfilm), reel 454, Library of Congress. Hutson provided "metaphysics" as the meaning of "science" in this context.
Science quotes on:  |  Bottom (36)  |  Depth (97)  |  Eternal (113)  |  Find (1014)  |  Forever (111)  |  Metaphysics (53)  |  Search (175)  |  Secret (216)  |  Understanding (527)  |  Wisdom (235)

The reasoning of mathematicians is founded on certain and infallible principles. Every word they use conveys a determinate idea, and by accurate definitions they excite the same ideas in the mind of the reader that were in the mind of the writer. When they have defined the terms they intend to make use of, they premise a few axioms, or self-evident principles, that every one must assent to as soon as proposed. They then take for granted certain postulates, that no one can deny them, such as, that a right line may be drawn from any given point to another, and from these plain, simple principles they have raised most astonishing speculations, and proved the extent of the human mind to be more spacious and capacious than any other science.
— John Adams
In Diary, Works (1850), Vol. 2, 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (88)  |  Assent (12)  |  Astonishing (29)  |  Axiom (65)  |  Capacious (2)  |  Certain (557)  |  Convey (17)  |  Define (53)  |  Definition (238)  |  Deny (71)  |  Determinate (7)  |  Draw (140)  |  Evident (92)  |  Excite (17)  |  Extent (142)  |  Founded (22)  |  Give (208)  |  Grant (76)  |  Human (1512)  |  Human Mind (133)  |  Idea (881)  |  Infallible (18)  |  Intend (18)  |  Line (100)  |  Mathematician (407)  |  Mind (1377)  |  More (2558)  |  Most (1728)  |  Must (1525)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Other (2233)  |  Plain (34)  |  Point (584)  |  Postulate (42)  |  Premise (40)  |  Principle (530)  |  Propose (24)  |  Prove (261)  |  Raise (38)  |  Reader (42)  |  Reasoning (212)  |  Right (473)  |  Same (166)  |  Self (268)  |  Self-Evident (22)  |  Simple (426)  |  Soon (187)  |  Spacious (2)  |  Speculation (137)  |  Term (357)  |  Terms (184)  |  Use (771)  |  Word (650)  |  Writer (90)

The science of government is my duty. … I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
— John Adams
Letter to Abigail Adams, (1780). In John Adams and Charles Francis Adams, Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife (1841), 68.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (78)  |  Architecture (50)  |  Children (201)  |  Commerce (23)  |  Duty (71)  |  Geography (39)  |  Government (116)  |  History (716)  |  Liberty (29)  |  Mathematics (1395)  |  Music (133)  |  Must (1525)  |  Natural (810)  |  Natural History (77)  |  Navigation (26)  |  Order (638)  |  Philosophy (409)  |  Poetry (150)  |  Politics (122)  |  Porcelain (4)  |  Right (473)  |  Sculpture (12)  |  Son (25)  |  Study (701)  |  Tapestry (5)  |  War (233)

The science of Theology is indeed the first Philosophy—the only Philosophy—it comprehends all Philosophy—and all science, it is the Science of the Universe and its Ruler—and what other object of knowledge can there be.
— John Adams
Letter to Andrew Norton (24 Nov 1819). Quoted in James H. Hutson (ed.), The Founders on Religion: A Book of Quotations (2009), xiii; citing Adams Papers (microfilm), reel 124, Library of Congress.
Science quotes on:  |  Comprehend (44)  |  Knowledge (1647)  |  Philosophy (409)  |  Ruler (21)  |  Science And Religion (337)  |  Theology (54)  |  Universe (900)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

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


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