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Who said: “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
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Edward Jacob
(c. 1710 - 26 Nov 1788)

English naturalist who published Plantæ Favershamienses (1777) on the flora of Faversham, Kent, and wrote about his fossil finds on his estate on the Isle of Sheppey.

Edward Jacob

Jacob, Edward antiquary and naturalist, born about 1710, was son of Edward Jacob, surgeon, alderman, and chamberlain of Canterbury, Kent, by his wife Mary Chalker of Romney in the same county. He practised as a surgeon at Faversham, Kent, and was several times mayor of the borough. He purchased the estate of Sextries in Nackington, near Canterbury. He died at Faversham on 26 Nov. 1788, in his seventy-eighth year (Gent. Mag. vol. lviii, pt. ii. p. 1127). Jacob married, first, on 4 Sept. 1739, Margaret, daughter of John Rigden of Canterbury, by whom he had no surviving issue; and secondly, Mary, only daughter of Stephen Long of Sandwich, Kent, by whom he had eleven children; she died on 7 March 1803, in her eighty-first year (ib. vol. lxiii. pt. i. p.290; Archæologie Cantiana, xiv. 384).

Jacob was author of: 1. 'The History of the Town and Port of Faversham,' 8vo, London, 1774; and 2. ' Plantæ Favershamienses. A Catalogue of ... Plants growing ... about Faversham ... With an Appendix, exhibiting a short view of the Fossil bodies of the adjacent Island of Shepey,' 8vo, London, 1777, to which his portrait, engraved by Charles Hall, is prefixed. In 1754 he communicated to the Royal Society 'An Account of several Bones of an Elephant found at Leysdown, in the Island of Sheppey' (Phil. Trans., vol. xlviii. pt. ii. pp. 626-7). In 1770 he edited, with a preface, the tragedy, ' Arden of Faversham.' Jacob was elected F.S.A. on 5 June 1756, and in 1780 contributed to the 'Archæologia' some 'Observations on the Roman Earthen Ware taken from the Pan-Pudding Rock' at Whitstable, Kent, in which he took occasion to refute the views held by Governor Thomas Pownall, F.S.A. He also assisted William Boys in 'A Collection of the minute ... Shells ... discovered near Sandwich,' 4to [1784]. Some of his letters to A. C. Ducarel are printed in Nichols's 'Illustrations of Literature' (vols. iv. vi.); his correspondence with E. M. da Costa, extending from 1748 to 1776, is in Addit. MS. 28538, ff. 260-77.

From Leslie Stephen (ed.), Dictionary of National Biography (1892), Vol. 24, 114. (source)

See also:
  • Science Quotes by Edward Jacob.
  • 26 Nov - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Jacob's death.
  • Edward Jacob - Obituary from The Gentleman's Magazine (1811).

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: 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) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
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