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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index D > Sir Gavin de Beer Quotes

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Sir Gavin de Beer
(1 Nov 1899 - 21 Jun 1972)

English zoologist and morphologist who contributed to experimental embryology, anatomy, and evolution. He developed the concept of the retention of juvenile characteristics of ancestors in mature adults.


Science Quotes by Sir Gavin de Beer (3 quotes)


A living organism must be studied from two distinct aspects. One of these is the causal-analytic aspect which is so fruitfully applicable to ontogeny. The other is the historical descriptive aspect which is unravelling lines of phylogeny with ever-increasing precision. Each of these aspects may make suggestions concerning the possible significance of events seen under the other, but does not explain or translate them into simpler terms.
— Sir Gavin de Beer
'Embryology and Evolution', in G. R. de Beer (ed.), Evolution: Essays on Aspects of Evolutionary Biology presented to Professor E. S. Goodrich on his Seventieth Birthday (1938), 76-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Aspect (43)  |  Embryology (16)  |  Event (102)  |  Evolution (500)  |  Explain (71)  |  Fruitful (31)  |  Ontogeny (6)  |  Organism (144)  |  Phylogeny (6)  |  Precision (39)  |  Significance (64)  |  Suggestion (24)  |  Translate (6)  |  Unraveling (3)

But science is the collection of nature's answers; the humanities the collection of men's thoughts.
— Sir Gavin de Beer
In Science and the Humanities: The Rickman Godlee Lecture Delivered At University College London 25 October 1956 (1956), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (210)  |  Collection (40)  |  Humanities (15)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Science (1741)  |  Thought (400)

The scientific method is nothing but the exclusion of subjective opinions as far as possible, by the devising of experiments where observation can give objective answers, yes or no, to questions whether events are causally connected.
— Sir Gavin de Beer
In Science and the Humanities: The Rickman Godlee Lecture Delivered At University College London 25 October 1956 (1956), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (210)  |  Cause (242)  |  Connected (8)  |  Devising (7)  |  Event (102)  |  Exclusion (11)  |  Experiment (548)  |  Objective (51)  |  Observation (421)  |  Opinion (150)  |  Question (327)  |  Scientific Method (156)  |  Subjective (9)


See also:
  • 1 Nov - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of de Beer's birth.
  • Charles Darwin : Evolution by Natural Selection (British Men of Science), by Gavin Rylands De Beer. - book suggestion.

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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