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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index D > Charles Dickens Quotes

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Charles Dickens
(7 Feb 1812 - 9 Jun 1870)

English novelist , the most famous of Victorian writers, who wrote many novels that remain popular, including The Pickwick Papers (1837), A Christmas Carol (1843) and A Tale of Two Cities (1859).

Science Quotes by Charles Dickens (10 quotes)

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.
— Charles Dickens
In A Tale of Two Cities, originally serialized in 31 weekly parts in All the Year Round. This quote is from Chapter III, which appeared in Vol. 1. No. 1 (30 Apr 1859).
Science quotes on:  |  Constituted (5)  |  Creature (127)  |  Fact (609)  |  Human (445)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Profound (46)  |  Reflect (17)  |  Secret (98)  |  Wonderful (37)

An idea, like a ghost (according to the common notion of a ghost), must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself
— Charles Dickens
Science quotes on:  |  Explain (61)  |  Ghost (20)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Idea (440)  |  Speak (49)

Houses were knocked down... enormous heaps of earth and clay thrown up; buildings that were undermined and shaking, propped up by great beams of wood... The yet unfinished and unopened Railway was in progress.
— Charles Dickens
In Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son: Wholesale, Retail, and for Exportation (1847), Vol. 1, 78.
Science quotes on:  |  Beam (9)  |  Building (51)  |  Clay (9)  |  Demolition (4)  |  Earth (487)  |  Heap (12)  |  House (36)  |  Progress (317)  |  Prop (6)  |  Railway (13)  |  Shake (19)  |  Unfinished (2)  |  Unopened (2)

Men cannot help feeling a little ashamed of their cousin-german the Ape. His close yet grotesque and clumsy semblance of the human form is accompanied by no gleams of higher instinct. Our humble friend the dog, our patient fellow-labourer the horse, are nearer to us in this respect. The magnanimous and sagacious elephant, doomed though he be to all fours, is godlike compared with this spitefully ferocious creature. Strangely enough, too, the most repulsive and ferocious of all apekind, the recently discovered Gorilla is, the comparative anatomist assures us, nearest to us all: the most closely allied in structure to the human form.
— Charles Dickens
In 'Our Nearest Relation', All Year Round (28 May 1859), 1, No. 5, 112. Charles Dickens was both the editor and publisher of this magazine. The author of the article remains unknown. The articles were by custom printed without crediting the author. Biographers have been able to use extant office records to identify various authors of other articles, but not this specific one. Dickens and Richard Owen were friends; they read each other’s work. Owen is known to have found at least a little time to write a few articles for Dickens’ magazines. Owen had given a talk at the Royal Institution (4 Feb 1859) titled 'On the Gorilla.' This would suggest why Dickens may have had a definite interest in publishing on this subject, regardless of who in fact wrote the article.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomist (14)  |  Ape (39)  |  Assurance (8)  |  Clumsy (4)  |  Comparative (8)  |  Cousin (3)  |  Creature (127)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Dog (39)  |  Elephant (16)  |  Fellow (29)  |  Form (210)  |  Friend (63)  |  Gleam (9)  |  Gorilla (16)  |  Grotesque (3)  |  Horse (40)  |  Human (445)  |  Humble (23)  |  Instinct (50)  |  Nearest (4)  |  Patient (116)  |  Repulsive (7)  |  Sagacious (2)  |  Semblance (3)  |  Shame (12)  |  Structure (191)

My imagination would never have served me as it has, but for the habit of commonplace, humble, patient, daily, toiling, drudging attention
— Charles Dickens
The Homiletic Review, Vol. 83-84 (1922), Vol. 84, 290.
Science quotes on:  |  Imagination (209)  |  Patience (31)

Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else. And root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir! ... In this life, we want nothing but Facts, sir: nothing but Facts!
— Charles Dickens
Spoken by fictional character Thomas Gringrind, first paragraph, chap. 1, Hard Times, published in Household Words (1 Apr 1854), Vol. 36, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Children (20)  |  Education (280)  |  Fact (609)  |  Mind (544)  |  Plant (173)  |  Principle (228)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Root (48)  |  Service (54)  |  Teach (102)  |  Thomas Gradgrind (2)

Science has blown to atoms, as she can rend and rive in the rocks themselves; but in those rocks she has found, and read aloud, the great stone book which is the history of the earth, even when darkness sat upon the face of the deep. Along their craggy sides she has traced the footprints of birds and beasts, whose shapes were never seen by man. From within them she has brought the bones, and pieced together the skeletons, of monsters that would have crushed the noted dragons of the fables at a blow.
— Charles Dickens
Book review of Robert Hunt, Poetry of Science (1848), in the London Examiner (1848). Although uncredited in print, biographers identified his authorship from his original handwritten work. Collected in Charles Dickens and ‎Frederic George Kitton (ed.) Old Lamps for New Ones: And Other Sketches and Essays (1897), 87.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (251)  |  Beast (32)  |  Bird (96)  |  Blow (13)  |  Bone (57)  |  Book (181)  |  Crag (4)  |  Darkness (25)  |  Deep (81)  |  Dragon (5)  |  Earth (487)  |  Fable (5)  |  Face (69)  |  Footprint (12)  |  Great (300)  |  History (302)  |  Monster (21)  |  Piece (32)  |  Reading (51)  |  Rock (107)  |  Science (1699)  |  Shape (52)  |  Skeleton (15)  |  Stone (57)  |  Tracing (3)

Science has gone down into the mines and coal-pits, and before the safety-lamp the Gnomes and Genii of those dark regions have disappeared… Sirens, mermaids, shining cities glittering at the bottom of quiet seas and in deep lakes, exist no longer; but in their place, Science, their destroyer, shows us whole coasts of coral reef constructed by the labours of minute creatures; points to our own chalk cliffs and limestone rocks as made of the dust of myriads of generations of infinitesimal beings that have passed away; reduces the very element of water into its constituent airs, and re-creates it at her pleasure.
— Charles Dickens
Book review of Robert Hunt, Poetry of Science (1848), in the London Examiner (1848). Although uncredited in print, biographers identified his authorship from his original handwritten work. Collected in Charles Dickens and ‎Frederic George Kitton (ed.) Old Lamps for New Ones: And Other Sketches and Essays (1897), 86-87.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Being (39)  |  Bottom (28)  |  Chalk (4)  |  City (37)  |  Cliff (6)  |  Coal (41)  |  Coast (11)  |  Constituent (13)  |  Constructing (3)  |  Coral (9)  |  Creature (127)  |  Dark (49)  |  Deep (81)  |  Destroyer (2)  |  Disappearance (21)  |  Dust (42)  |  Element (129)  |  Generation (111)  |  Genius (186)  |  Glitter (5)  |  Infinitesimal (8)  |  Labour (36)  |  Lake (12)  |  Limestone (6)  |  Mermaid (3)  |  Mine (15)  |  Minute (25)  |  Myriad (18)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Pointing (4)  |  Quiet (12)  |  Reef (6)  |  Region (26)  |  Rock (107)  |  Safety Lamp (3)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sea (143)  |  Shining (8)  |  Siren (3)  |  Water (244)

When found, make a note of.
— Charles Dickens
Science quotes on:  |  Find (248)  |  Note (22)  |  Observation (418)

“Bitzer,” said Thomas Gradgrind. “Your definition of a horse.”
“Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth; namely, twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the Spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth.” Thus (and much more) Bitzer.
“Now girl number twenty,” said Mr. Gradgrind. “You know what a horse is.”
— Charles Dickens
Spoken by fictional character Thomas Gringrind in his schoolroom with pupil Bitzer, Hard Times, published in Household Words (1 Apr 1854), Vol. 36, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Coat (4)  |  Country (121)  |  Definition (152)  |  Hard (70)  |  Horse (40)  |  Iron Age (2)  |  Mark (28)  |  Marsh (5)  |  Mouth (16)  |  Quadruped (4)  |  Shed (5)  |  Spring (47)  |  Thomas Gradgrind (2)  |  Tooth (23)


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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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- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



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