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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index C > Charles Caleb Colton Quotes

Charles Caleb Colton
(c. 1780 - 28 Apr 1832)

British clergyman and writer who was eccentric, and unsuited to the life of a cleric, which he abandoned. To avoid debt collectors from his gambling habits, he fled abroad. His writing remain of no interest, except Lacon, his book of aphorisms, mostly collected from other authors.

Science Quotes by Charles Caleb Colton (11 quotes)

Gardner Quincy Colton
Gardner Quincy Colton (source)
A harmless and a buoyant cheerfulness are not infrequent concomitants of genius; and we are never more deceived than when we mistake gravity for greatness, solemnity for science, and pomposity for erudition.
— Charles Caleb Colton
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words (1865), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Genius (186)  |  Happiness (82)

Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.
— Charles Caleb Colton
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words (1865), 97.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Examination (60)  |  Fool (70)  |  Wisdom (151)

In science, reason is the guide; in poetry, taste. The object of the one is truth, which is uniform and indivisible; the object of the other is beauty, which is multiform and varied.
— Charles Caleb Colton
Lacon: Many Things in Few Words (1820-22, 1866), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (171)  |  Poetry (96)  |  Reason (330)  |  Science (1699)  |  Truth (750)

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.
— Charles Caleb Colton
Reflection 1, in Lacon: or Many things in Few Words; Addressed to Those Who Think (1820), Vol. 1, 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (230)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Knowledge (1128)

It is not so difficult a task as to plant new truths, as to root out old errors
— Charles Caleb Colton
Lacon: Many Things in Few Words (1820-22, 1866), 276.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (230)  |  Truth (750)

No disorders have employed so many quacks, as those that have no cure; and no sciences have exercised so many quills, as those that have no certainty.
— Charles Caleb Colton
Lacon: Many Things in Few Words (1820-22, 1866), 314.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (97)  |  Cure (88)  |  Quack (12)  |  Science (1699)

Professors in every branch of the sciences, prefer their own theories to truth: the reason is that their theories are private property, but truth is common stock.
— Charles Caleb Colton
Reflection 378, in Lacon: or Many things in Few Words; Addressed to Those Who Think (1820), Vol. 1, 169.
Science quotes on:  |  Theory (582)  |  Truth (750)

The acquirements of science may be termed the armour of the mind; but that armour would be worse than useless, that cost us all we had, and left us nothing to defend.
— Charles Caleb Colton
In Lacon, Or, Many Things in a Few Words: Addressed to Those who Think (1820), Vol. 1, 121.
Science quotes on:  |  Cost (31)  |  Defence (5)  |  Mind (544)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Science (1699)  |  Term (87)  |  Uselessness (21)

The Chinese, who aspire to be thought an enlightened nation, to this day are ignorant of the circulation of the blood; and even in England the man who made that noble discovery lost all his practice in the consequence of his ingenuity; and Hume informs us that no physician in the United Kingdom who had attained the age of forty ever submitted to become a convert to Harvey’s theory, but went on preferring numpsimus to sumpsimus to the day of his death.
— Charles Caleb Colton
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (59)  |  Blood (95)  |  Britain (14)  |  China (17)  |  Circulation (17)  |  Consequence (76)  |  Discovery (591)  |  William Harvey (27)  |  David Hume (33)  |  Ignorant (27)  |  Ingenuity (27)  |  Physician (232)  |  Theory (582)

The science of mathematics performs more than it promises, but the science of metaphysics promises more than it performs.
— Charles Caleb Colton
Reflection 342, Lacon: Many Things in Few Words (1820), 161-162.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Metaphysics (30)

The study of the mathematics, like the Nile, begins in minuteness, but ends in magnificence.
— Charles Caleb Colton
Reflection 342, in Lacon: or Many things in Few Words; Addressed to Those Who Think (1820), Vol. 1, 162.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (587)


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
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