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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index D > James Dwight Dana Quotes

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James Dwight Dana
(12 Feb 1813 - 14 Apr 1895)

American geologist, mineralogist and zoologist.


Science Quotes by James Dwight Dana (9 quotes)

Are coral reefs growing from the depths of the oceans? ... [The] reply is a simple negative; and a single fact establishes its truth. The reef-forming coral zoophytes, as has been shown, cannot grow at greater depths than 100 or 120 feet; and therefore in seas deeper than this, the formation or growth of reefs over the bottom is impossible.
— James Dwight Dana
On Coral Reefs and Islands (1853), 138.
Science quotes on:  |  Coral Reef (7)  |  Island (17)  |  Zoophyte (4)

A map of the moon... should be in every geological lecture room; for no where can we have a more complete or more magnificent illustration of volcanic operations. Our sublimest volcanoes would rank among the smaller lunar eminences; and our Etnas are but spitting furnaces.
— James Dwight Dana
'On the Volcanoes of the Moon', American Journal of Science, 1846, 2 (2nd Series), 347.
Science quotes on:  |  Moon (132)  |  Volcano (36)

Geology is rapidly taking its place as an introduction to the higher history of man. If the author has sought to exalt a favorite science, it has been with the desire that man—in whom geological history had its consummation, the prophecies of the successive ages their fulfilment—might better comprehend his own nobility and the true purpose of his existence.
— James Dwight Dana
Concluding remark in Preface (1 Nov 1862), in Manual of Geology, Treating of the Principles of the Science (1863), ix.
Science quotes on:  |  Comprehension (51)  |  Consummation (4)  |  Existence (254)  |  Fulfilment (3)  |  Geology (187)  |  History (302)  |  Introduction (31)  |  Man (345)  |  Nobility (3)  |  Prophecy (6)  |  Purpose (138)

In using the present in order to reveal the past, we assume that the forces in the world are essentially the same through all time; for these forces are based on the very nature of matter, and could not have changed. The ocean has always had its waves, and those waves have always acted in the same manner. Running water on the land has ever had the same power of wear and transportation and mathematical value to its force. The laws of chemistry, heat, electricity, and mechanics have been the same through time. The plan of living structures has been fundamentally one, for the whole series belongs to one system, as much almost as the parts of an animal to the one body; and the relations of life to light and heat, and to the atmosphere, have ever been the same as now.
— James Dwight Dana
In Manual of Geology, Treating of the Principles of the Science (1863), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Uniformitarianism (7)

Mr Hall's hypothesis has its cause for subsidence, but none for the lifting of the thickened sunken crust into mountains. It is a theory for the origin of mountains, with the origin of mountains left out.
— James Dwight Dana
In 'Observations on the Origin of Some of the Earth's Features', The American Journal of Science (Sep 1866), Second Series, 42, No. 125, 210.
Science quotes on:  |  Uniformitarianism (7)

Science, while it penetrates deeply the system of things about us, sees everywhere, in the dim limits of vision, the word mystery.
— James Dwight Dana
In Corals and Coral Islands (1879), 17-18.
Science quotes on:  |  Mystery (125)  |  Science (1699)

Some writers, rejecting the idea which science had reached, that reefs of rocks could be due in any way to “animalcules,” have talked of electrical forces, the first and last appeal of ignorance.
— James Dwight Dana
In Corals and Coral Islands (1879), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Animalcule (10)  |  Appeal (30)  |  Electricity (121)  |  First (174)  |  Force (194)  |  Idea (440)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Last (19)  |  Reach (68)  |  Reef (6)  |  Rejection (24)  |  Rock (107)  |  Science (1699)  |  Talk (61)  |  Writer (35)

The profoundest facts in the earth's history prove that the oceans have always been oceans.
— James Dwight Dana
In Corals and Coral Islands (1879), 371.
Science quotes on:  |  Ocean (115)

There can be no real conflict between the two Books of the Great Author. Both are revelations made by Him to man,—the earlier telling of God-made harmonies coming up from the deep past, and rising to their height when man appeared, the later teaching man's relations to his Maker, and speaking of loftier harmonies in the eternal future.
— James Dwight Dana
Conclusion of 'Cosmogony', the last chapter in Manual of Geology, Treating of the Principles of the Science (1863), 746.
Science quotes on:  |  Bible (83)  |  Conflict (49)  |  Future (229)  |  Harmony (55)  |  Man (345)  |  Past (109)  |  Revelation (29)  |  Science And Religion (267)


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)

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