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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.”
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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > William Beebe Quotes

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William Beebe
(29 Jul 1877 - 4 Jun 1962)

American biologist, explorer and writer who combined careful biological research and a literary skill, with which he also became famous as a popularizer of science. He advised Theodore Roosevelt on conserving species and environment, and a strong influence for Rachel Carson.


Science Quotes by William Beebe (4 quotes)

Earth has few secrets from the birds.
— William Beebe
In The Bird: Its Form and Function (1906), Vol. 1, 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Bird (150)  |  Earth (998)  |  Secret (195)

The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer, but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again.
— William Beebe
In The Bird: Its Form and Function (1906), Vol. 1, 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Beauty (300)  |  Breathe (45)  |  Composer (7)  |  Destroy (180)  |  Destruction (125)  |  Earth (998)  |  Expression (176)  |  Extinction (74)  |  First (1284)  |  Genius (285)  |  Harmony (102)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Individual (404)  |  Inspiration (76)  |  Last (426)  |  Life (1799)  |  Living (491)  |  Material (353)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Pass (238)  |  Race (268)  |  Species (402)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Vanishing (11)  |  Work (1351)

There was no instant when a mist of plankton … was not swirling in the path of the beam [of the bathysphere].
— William Beebe
As quoted by Rachel Carson in The Sea Around Us (1950, 2003), 62. Carson states that in his bathysphere descent, more than a quarter of a mile down, Beebe reported aggregations of living things “as thick as I have ever seen them.” At half a mile—the deepest descent of the bathysphere—Dr. Beebe recalled the mist of plankton.
Science quotes on:  |  Bathysphere (2)  |  Beam (24)  |  Instant (45)  |  Mist (14)  |  Path (145)  |  Plankton (3)  |  Swirl (10)

To be a Naturalist is better than to be King.
— William Beebe
Journal entry (31 Dec 1893) at age 16. As given in Carol Grant Gould in The Remarkable Life of William Beebe: Explorer and Naturalist (2012), 26. It was the concluding remark the third year of his diaries.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (488)  |  King (35)  |  Naturalist (70)



Quotes by others about William Beebe (1)

Ode to The Amoeba
Recall from Time's abysmal chasm
That piece of primal protoplasm
The First Amoeba, strangely splendid,
From whom we're all of us descended.
That First Amoeba, weirdly clever,
Exists today and shall forever,
Because he reproduced by fission;
He split himself, and each division
And subdivision deemed it fitting
To keep on splitting, splitting, splitting;
So, whatsoe'er their billions be,
All, all amoebas still are he.
Zoologists discern his features
In every sort of breathing creatures,
Since all of every living species,
No matter how their breed increases
Or how their ranks have been recruited,
From him alone were evoluted.
King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba
And Hoover sprang from that amoeba;
Columbus, Shakespeare, Darwin, Shelley
Derived from that same bit of jelly.
So famed is he and well-connected,
His statue ought to be erected,
For you and I and William Beebe
Are undeniably amoebae!
(1922). Collected in Gaily the Troubadour (1936), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Abyss (29)  |  All (4107)  |  Alone (312)  |  Amoeba (20)  |  Billion (96)  |  Breathing (23)  |  Breed (24)  |  Chasm (8)  |  Clever (38)  |  Christopher Columbus (16)  |  Connect (125)  |  Creature (233)  |  Charles Darwin (304)  |  Descend (47)  |  Discern (33)  |  Division (65)  |  Evolution (593)  |  Exist (444)  |  First (1284)  |  Fission (10)  |  Forever (103)  |  Himself (461)  |  Herbert Hoover (13)  |  Increase (211)  |  Jelly (6)  |  Life (1799)  |  Living (491)  |  Matter (801)  |  Ode (3)  |  Poem (96)  |  Primal (5)  |  Protoplasm (13)  |  Rank (67)  |  Reproduction (72)  |  William Shakespeare (102)  |  Mary Shelley (9)  |  Species (402)  |  Splendid (23)  |  Split (13)  |  Statue (16)  |  Still (613)  |  Time (1877)  |  Today (314)  |  Zoologist (12)


See also:

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)
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