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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index F > Edward Forbes Quotes

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Edward Forbes
(12 Feb 1815 - 18 Nov 1854)

English naturalist.


Science Quotes by Edward Forbes (10 quotes)

All that concerns the Mediterranean is of the deepest interest to civilized man, for the history of its progress is the history of the development of the world; the memory of the great men who have lived and died around its banks; the recollection of the undying works that have come thence to delight us for ever; the story of patient research and brilliant discoveries connected with every physical phenomenon presented by its waves and currents, and with every order of creatures dwelling in and around its waters.
— Edward Forbes
From Literary Papers (1855), 106. As quoted in On Early Explorations in the Mediterranean.In George Wilson and Archibald Geikie, Memoir of Edward Forbes F.R.S. (1861), 279. Geike introduces the Forbes quote as “the recollection of these, his earliest explorations in the Mediterranean,” as written down years later.
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As to giving credit to whom credit is due, rest assured the best way to do good to one’s-self is to do justice to others. There is plenty for everybody in science, and more than can be consumed in our time. One may get a fair name by suppressing references, but the Jewish maxim is true, “He who seeks a name loses fame.”
— Edward Forbes
Postscript to a note to George Wilson (1844). As quoted in George Wilson and Archibald Geikie, Memoir of Edward Forbes F.R.S. (1861), 366.
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As we descend deeper and deeper into this region, the inhabitants become more and more modified, and fewer and fewer, indicating our approach to an abyss where life is either extinguished, or exhibits but a few sparks to mark its lingering presence.
— Edward Forbes
In The Natural History of the European Seas (1859), 26-27. (In the 19th century, knowledge was gained from deep sea life hauled in with nets.)
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How many and how curious problems concern the commonest of the sea-snails creeping over the wet sea-weed! In how many points of view may its history be considered! There are its origin and development, the mystery of its generation, the phenomena of its growth, all concerning each apparently insignificant individual; there is the history of the species, the value of its distinctive marks, the features which link it with the higher and lower creatures, the reason why it takes its stand where we place it in the scale of creation, the course of its distribution, the causes of its diffusion, its antiquity or novelty, the mystery (deepest of mysteries) of its first appearance, the changes of the outline of continents and of oceans which have taken place since its advent, and their influence on its own wanderings.
— Edward Forbes
On the Natural History of European Seas. In George Wilson and Archibald Geikie, Memoir of Edward Forbes F.R.S. (1861), 547-8.
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In truth, ideas and principles are independent of men; the application of them and their illustration is man's duty and merit. The time will come when the author of a view shall be set aside, and the view only taken cognizance of. This will be the millennium of Science.
— Edward Forbes
Notes of hints to Mr Ramsey, Professor of Geology, University College London, 1847. In George Wilson and Archibald Geikie, Memoir of Edward Forbes F.R.S. (1861), 429.
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It is in the exploration of this vast deep-sea region that the finest field for submarine discovery yet remains.
— Edward Forbes
In The Natural History of the European Seas (1859), 27.
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People without independence have no business to meddle with science. It should never be linked with lucre.
— Edward Forbes
In George Wilson and Archibald Geikie, Memoir of Edward Forbes F.R.S. (1861), 392.
Science quotes on:  |  Business (149)  |  Money (173)  |  Never (1087)  |  People (1005)  |  Science (3880)

The science of the Mediterranean is the epitome of the science of the world. The very name of that inland sea is the text from which the sermon on all other seas must be preached”
— Edward Forbes
From Literary Papers (1855), 106. As quoted in On Early Explorations in the Mediterranean.In George Wilson and Archibald Geikie, Memoir of Edward Forbes F.R.S. (1861), 279.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Epitome (3)  |  Inland (3)  |  Mediterranean (9)  |  Mediterranean Sea (6)  |  Must (1526)  |  Name (333)  |  Other (2236)  |  Preach (11)  |  Science (3880)  |  Sea (309)  |  Sermon (9)  |  Text (14)  |  World (1778)

Who that has ever visited the borders of this classic sea, has not felt at the first sight of its waters a glow of reverent rapture akin to devotion, and an instinctive sensation of thanksgiving at being permitted to stand before these hallowed waves?
— Edward Forbes
From Literary Papers (1855), 106. As quoted in On Early Explorations in the Mediterranean.In George Wilson and Archibald Geikie, Memoir of Edward Forbes F.R.S. (1861), 279. Geike introduces the Forbes quote as “the recollection of these, his earliest explorations in the Mediterranean,” as written down years later.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Devotion (35)  |  First (1284)  |  Mediterranean Sea (6)  |  Ocean (203)  |  Rapture (7)  |  Sea (309)  |  Sensation (57)  |  Sight (132)  |  Stand (274)  |  Thanks (26)  |  Water (482)  |  Wave (107)

[Geology] may be looked upon as the history of the earth’s changes during preparation for the reception of organized beings, a history, which has all the character of a great epic.
— Edward Forbes
Paper read to the Linnean Society, 7 Feb 1843. In George Wilson and Archibald Geikie, Memoir of Edward Forbes F.R.S. (1861), 343.
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See also:
  • 12 Feb - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Forbes's birth.

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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