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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index K > Richard Kirwan Quotes

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Richard Kirwan
(1 Aug 1733 - 1 Jun 1812)

Irish chemist, geologist and geologist.


Science Quotes by Richard Kirwan (2 quotes)

Geological facts being of an historical nature, all attempts to deduce a complete knowledge of them merely from their still, subsisting consequences, to the exclusion of unexceptionable testimony, must be deemed as absurd as that of deducing the history of ancient Rome solely from the medals or other monuments of antiquity it still exhibits, or the scattered ruins of its empire, to the exclusion of a Livy, a Sallust, or a Tacitus.
— Richard Kirwan
Geological Essays (1799), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Antiquity (12)  |  Fact (609)  |  Geology (187)  |  History (302)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Medal (3)  |  Observation (418)  |  Rome (11)  |  Ruin (23)

We have seven or eight geological facts, related by Moses on the one part, and on the other, deduced solely from the most exact and best verified geological observations, and yet agreeing perfectly with each other, not only in substance, but in the order of their succession... That two accounts derived from sources totally distinct from and independent on each other should agree not only in the substance but in the order of succession of two events only, is already highly improbable, if these facts be not true, both substantially and as to the order of their succession. Let this improbability, as to the substance of the facts, be represented only by 1/10. Then the improbability of their agreement as to seven events is 1.7/10.7 that is, as one to ten million, and would be much higher if the order also had entered into the computation.
— Richard Kirwan
Geological Essays (1799), 52-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Agreement (29)  |  Deduction (49)  |  Fact (609)  |  Geology (187)  |  Moses (6)  |  Observation (418)  |  Probability (83)  |  Verification (20)



Quotes by others about Richard Kirwan (1)

[Concerning] mr Kirwan’s charming treatise on manures. Science never appears so beautiful as when applied to the uses of human life, nor any use of it so engaging as agriculture & domestic economy.
Letter (23 Mar 1798) from Jefferson in Philadelphia to William Strickland. In The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: 1 January 1798 to 31 January 1799 (2003), 211. Jefferson was thanking Strickland, who had sent him a copy of Kirwan’s treatise.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (62)  |  Appear (55)  |  Applied (15)  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Charming (2)  |  Concern (76)  |  Domestic (12)  |  Economy (46)  |  Human (445)  |  Life (917)  |  Manure (6)  |  Science (1699)  |  Treatise (19)  |  Use (70)


See also:
  • 1 Aug - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Kirwan'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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