Celebrating 20 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
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.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index L > Georg Christoph Lichtenberg Quotes > Theory

Thumbnail of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (source)
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
(1 Jul 1742 - 24 Feb 1799)

German physicist and writer most widely known for his satire and aphorisms, but as a scientist, Lichtenberg did research in a wide variety of fields, including geophysics, volcanology, meteorology, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, but especially physics. He discovered the basic physical process later used in xerographic copiers.


Georg Christoph Lichtenberg Quotes on Theory (4 quotes)

>> Click for 73 Science Quotes by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

>> Click for Georg Christoph Lichtenberg Quotes on | Belief | Discovery | Genius | Man | Nature | Science | Thinking | Truth | World |

Do not say hypothesis, and even less theory: say way of thinking.
— Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Aphorism 263 in Notebook J (1789-1793), as translated by R. J. Hollingdale in Aphorisms (1990). Reprinted as The Waste Books (2000), 181.
Science quotes on:  |  Do (1908)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Say (984)  |  French Saying (67)  |  Theory (972)  |  Thinking (415)  |  Way (1216)

I know very well the people you mean: they are all mind and theory and haven't the wit to sew on a button. Plenty of head but not hand enough to sew on a button.
— Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Aphorism 75 in Notebook D (1773-1775), as translated by R.J. Hollingdale in Aphorisms (1990). Reprinted as The Waste Books (2000), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Button (4)  |  Enough (341)  |  Hand (143)  |  Head (81)  |  Know (1519)  |  Mean (809)  |  Mind (1339)  |  People (1005)  |  Sewing (3)  |  Theory (972)  |  Wit (59)

It is a good thing Heaven has not given us the power to change as much of our body as we would like to or as our theory would assert is necessary.
— Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Aphorism 34 in Notebook D (1773-1775), as translated by R.J. Hollingdale in Aphorisms (1990). Reprinted as The Waste Books (2000), 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Assert (66)  |  Body (537)  |  Change (595)  |  Good (889)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Liking (4)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Power (747)  |  Theory (972)  |  Thing (1915)

The more experiences and experiments accumulate in the exploration of nature, the more precarious the theories become. But it is not always good to discard them immediately on this account. For every hypothesis which once was sound was useful for thinking of previous phenomena in the proper interrelations and for keeping them in context. We ought to set down contradictory experiences separately, until enough have accumulated to make building a new structure worthwhile.
— Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Lichtenberg: Aphorisms & Letters (1969), 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (192)  |  Accumulation (50)  |  Become (815)  |  Building (156)  |  Context (29)  |  Contradiction (68)  |  Discard (29)  |  Down (455)  |  Enough (341)  |  Experience (470)  |  Experiment (696)  |  Exploration (135)  |  Good (889)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Interrelation (8)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1928)  |  New (1217)  |  Phenomenon (319)  |  Precarious (5)  |  Proper (145)  |  Set (394)  |  Sound (183)  |  Structure (346)  |  Theory (972)  |  Thinking (415)  |  Useful (250)  |  Usefulness (87)  |  Worthwhile (18)


See also:
  • 1 Jul - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Lichtenberg'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
Quotations by: Albert Einstein Isaac Newton Lord Kelvin Charles Darwin Srinivasa Ramanujan Carl Sagan Florence Nightingale Thomas Edison Aristotle Marie Curie Benjamin Franklin Winston Churchill Galileo Galilei Sigmund Freud Robert Bunsen Louis Pasteur Theodore Roosevelt Abraham Lincoln Ronald Reagan Leonardo DaVinci Michio Kaku Karl Popper Johann Goethe Robert Oppenheimer Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: Atomic  Bomb Biology Chemistry Deforestation Engineering Anatomy Astronomy Bacteria Biochemistry Botany Conservation Dinosaur Environment Fractal Genetics Geology History of Science Invention Jupiter Knowledge Love Mathematics Measurement Medicine Natural Resource Organic Chemistry Physics Physician Quantum Theory Research Science and Art Teacher Technology Universe Volcano Virus Wind Power Women Scientists X-Rays Youth Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
- 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


by Ian Ellis
who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.