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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index C > Richard Cowen Quotes

Richard Cowen
(24 Jan 1940 - )

English-American paleontologist who completed his Ph.D. in Geology in 1966 (with a dissertation on the paleontology of brachiopods), and shortly thereafter began a lifetime of teaching at the University of California, Davis.

Science Quotes by Richard Cowen (9 quotes)

A band of bacterial brothers
Swigging ATP with some others,
In a jocular fit,
They laughed ’til they split
Now they’re all microbial mothers.
— Richard Cowen
In History of Life (1989). As quoted and cited in Jon Fripp, Michael Fripp and Deborah Fripp, Speaking of Science (2000), 20. Note: Cell division consumes energy provided by hydrolysis of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the primary energy carrier in all living organisms on earth.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4103)  |  ATP (2)  |  Bacteria (48)  |  Band (9)  |  Brother (44)  |  Cell (139)  |  Fit (135)  |  Laugh (47)  |  Mitosis (2)  |  Mother (114)  |  Other (2234)  |  Split (13)

Caves are wonderful places for lairs
For sabertooth tigers and bears
But “Try and eject us!”
Said Homo erectus,
“We need this place for our heirs!”
— Richard Cowen
In sidebar to 'Evolving Toward Humans', History of Life (1989, 1991), 361.
Science quotes on:  |  Bear (162)  |  Cave (15)  |  Heir (12)  |  Need (293)  |  Tiger (7)  |  Try (283)  |  Wonderful (149)

Early mammals all suckled their brood
They breathed in and out as they chewed
Their molar tooth facets
Were masticatory assets
But their locomotion was crude.
— Richard Cowen
In History of Life (1989, 5th ed. 2013), 211. As a chapter review question to explain the science indicated.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (604)  |  Mammal (38)  |  Suckling (3)  |  Tooth (30)

No one is allowed to dream up any old explanation for past events. A scientific suggestion (a hypothesis) has to fit the available evidence, and it has to fit with the laws of physics and chemistry, and with the principles of biology, ecology, and engineering that have been pieced together over the past 200 years of scientific investigation.
— Richard Cowen
In 'Preface', History of Life (1989, 5th ed. 2013), vii.
Science quotes on:  |  Evidence (252)  |  Hypothesis (304)

The morning was hardly propitious
When sailors discovered Mauritius
They killed off the lot Stewed them up in a pot
And pronounced them extinct, but delicious.
— Richard Cowen
In History of Life (1989, 5th ed. 2013), 293. As a chapter review question to explain the science indicated.
Science quotes on:  |  Dodo (6)  |  Extinction (77)  |  Food (202)  |  Sailor (17)

The reptilian idea of fun
Is to bask all day in the sun.
A physiological barrier,
Discovered by Carrier,
Says they can't breathe, if they run.
— Richard Cowen
Written about David Carrier’s rule concerning a vertebrate’s breathing when lungs are affected because the rib structure distorts during locomotion. Thus sprawling vertebrates cannot run and breathe at the same time. In sidebar to 'Respiration, Metabolism, and Locomotion', History of Life (1991), 177. Carrier’s constraint idea was published in 'The evolution of locomotor stamina in tetrapods: circumventing a mechanical constraint' Paleobiology (1987), 13, 326-341.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4103)  |  Barrier (32)  |  Breathe (45)  |  Can’t (10)  |  Discover (554)  |  Fun (40)  |  Idea (855)  |  Physiological (62)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Reptile (29)  |  Run (175)  |  Say (984)  |  Sun (389)

They fall from the branches to wait
But they’re 12,000 summers too late
You can smell them for miles
They’re rotting in piles
The fruits that the gomphotheres ate.
— Richard Cowen
In History of Life (1989, 5th ed. 2013), 293. As a chapter review question to explain the science indicated.
Science quotes on:  |  Dispersal (2)  |  Evolution (604)  |  Extinction (77)  |  Fruit (103)  |  Seed (93)

We’re proud of humanity’s powers,
But these potions and medicine of ours,
Coffee, garlic, and spices
Evolved as devices
So that insects would stop bugging flowers.
— Richard Cowen
In History of Life (1989, 5th ed. 2013), 198. As a chapter review question to explain the science indicated.
Science quotes on:  |  Coffee (21)  |  Defense (25)  |  Evolution (604)  |  Flower (107)  |  Garlic (4)  |  Insect (81)  |  Spice (3)

“Complex” is a relative term
That’s rarely applied to a worm
But a worm that’s coelomic
Can be rather comic
It can burrow and wriggle and squirm.
— Richard Cowen
In sidebar from History of Life (1989, 1991). Quoted in review of that book by Mary L. Droser, PALAIOS (Oct 1990), 5, No. 5, 485.
Science quotes on:  |  Burrow (2)  |  Comic (5)  |  Complex (188)  |  Limerick (4)  |  Organism (221)  |  Worm (44)  |  Wriggle (3)


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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