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Who said: “Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.”
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Thumbnail of Marston Bates (source)
Marston Bates
(23 Jul 1906 - 3 Apr 1974)

American zoologist and writer who studied mosquitoes and tropical diseases. He was also an environmental activist.

Marston Bates
“The commonest forms of amateur natural history”

Illustrated Quote - Medium (500 x 250 px)

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Lionfish (source)
“The commonest forms of amateur natural history in the United States are probably gardening, bird watching, the maintenance of aquarium fish, and nature photography.”
— Marston Bates
In The Nature of Natural History (1950).

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After this quote introducing gardening, bird watching, aquarium maintenance and nature photography as activities of nature-lovers, Marston Bates wrote in his book, The Nature of Natural History commenting on how bird watchers are the best organized of these groups. They were able to contribute to scientific knowledge with data from annual censuses. He also identified how photography was an invaluable illustrative aid in all fields of science.

Bates pointed out how the other groups had great potential for scientific investigation, because, he explained:

“Of all of these, the people with gardens and the people with aquaria are overlooking the most golden opportunities, because they have perfect setups for using the experimental method. The gardener can investigate plant nutrition, environmental effects, competition, strain behavior, fertilization mechanisms—he has a whole biology laboratory with his seeds and his soil. The man with an aquarium (or better, with several aquaria) has an even better biological laboratory, because the whole environment is under his control.”

In Marston Bates, The Nature of Natural History (1950, 1990), 265-266. (source)

See also:
  • Science Quotes by Marston Bates.
  • 23 Jul - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Bates's birth.
  • Marston Bates - context of quote “Research is the process of going up alleys” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
  • Marston Bates - context of quote “Research is the process of going up alleys” - Large image (800 x 400 px)
  • Marston Bates - context of quote “The commonest forms of amateur natural history” - Large image (800 x 400 px)
  • Marston Bates - context of quote “if…curiosity were less easily satisfied by dogma” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
  • Marston Bates - context of quote “if…curiosity were less easily satisfied by dogma” - Large image (800 x 400 px)
  • The Nature of Natural History, by Marston Bates. - book suggestion.
  • Booklist for author Marston Bates.

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: 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) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
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