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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index L > Jacques Loeb Quotes

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Jacques Loeb
(7 Apr 1859 - 11 Feb 1924)

German-American physiologist and biologist.

Science Quotes by Jacques Loeb (7 quotes)

For the metaphysical term 'will' we may in these instances safely substitute the chemical term 'photochemical action of light.'
— Jacques Loeb
The Mechanistic Conception of Life (1912), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Metaphysics (36)

I cannot answer your question, because I have not yet read that chapter in the textbook myself, but if you will come to me tomorrow I shall then have read it, and may be able to answer you.
— Jacques Loeb
In reply to a student’s question after a lecture. As given in quotation marks in T. Brailsford Robertson, The Spirit of Research (1931), Vol. 1, 161. Note: Robertson worked in Loeb’s lab, and may be giving a recollection in his own words, rather than a verbatim quote.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (249)  |  Question (404)  |  Read (145)  |  Science And Education (15)  |  Textbook (27)  |  Tomorrow (39)

Man is a megalomaniac among animals—if he sees mountains he will try to imitate them by pyramids, and if he sees some grand process like evolution, and thinks it would be at all possible for him to be in on that game, he would irreverently have to have his whack at that too. That daring megalomania of his—has it not brought him to his present place?
— Jacques Loeb
'Application and Prospects', unpublished lecture, 1916. In Philip J. Pauly, Controlling Life: Jacques Loeb and the Engineering idea in Biology (1987), 179.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (535)  |  Man (373)  |  Mountain (145)  |  Pyramid (9)

Since Pawlow [Pavlov] and his pupils have succeeded in causing the secretion of saliva in the dog by means of optic and acoustic signals, it no longer seems strange to us that what the philosopher terms an 'idea' is a process which can cause chemical changes in the body.
— Jacques Loeb
The Mechanistic Conception of Life (1912), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Biochemistry (46)  |  Dog (44)  |  Idea (580)  |  Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (18)  |  Salivation (2)  |  Stimulus (20)

Through the discovery of Buchner, Biology was relieved of another fragment of mysticism. The splitting up of sugar into CO2 and alcohol is no more the effect of a 'vital principle' than the splitting up of cane sugar by invertase. The history of this problem is instructive, as it warns us against considering problems as beyond our reach because they have not yet found their solution.
— Jacques Loeb
The Dynamics of Living Matter (1906), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Alcohol (18)  |  Biology (168)  |  Eduard Buchner (3)  |  Carbon Dioxide (20)  |  Insoluble (15)  |  Mystery (153)  |  Problem (497)  |  Solution (216)  |  Sugar (14)

When... the biologist is confronted with the fact that in the organism the parts are so adapted to each other as to give rise to a harmonious whole; and that the organisms are endowed with structures and instincts calculated to prolong their life and perpetuate their race, doubts as to the adequacy of a purely physiochemical viewpoint in biology may arise. The difficulties besetting the biologist in this problem have been rather increased than diminished by the discovery of Mendelian heredity, according to which each character is transmitted independently of any other character. Since the number of Mendelian characters in each organism is large, the possibility must be faced that the organism is merely a mosaic of independent hereditary characters. If this be the case the question arises: What moulds these independent characters into a harmonious whole? The vitalist settles this question by assuming the existence of a pre-established design for each organism and of a guiding 'force' or 'principle' which directs the working out of this design. Such assumptions remove the problem of accounting for the harmonious character of the organism from the field of physics or chemistry. The theory of natural selection invokes neither design nor purpose, but it is incomplete since it disregards the physiochemical constitution of living matter about which little was known until recently.
— Jacques Loeb
The Organism as a Whole: From a Physiochemical Viewpoint (1916), v-vi.
Science quotes on:  |  Design (115)  |  Heredity (53)  |  Gregor Mendel (21)  |  Natural Selection (90)  |  Organism (150)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Structure (225)

Will it be possible to solve these problems? It is certain that nobody has thus far observed the transformation of dead into living matter, and for this reason we cannot form a definite plan for the solution of this problem of transformation. But we see that plants and animals during their growth continually transform dead into living matter, and that the chemical processes in living matter do not differ in principle from those in dead matter. There is, therefore, no reason to predict that abiogenesis is impossible, and I believe that it can only help science if the younger investigators realize that experimental abiogenesis is the goal of biology.
— Jacques Loeb
The Dynamics of Living Matter (1906), 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (359)  |  Biochemistry (46)  |  Death (302)  |  Decay (33)  |  Experiment (602)  |  Growth (124)  |  Life (1131)  |  Plant (200)  |  Problem (497)  |  Solution (216)

Quotes by others about Jacques Loeb (1)

The Startling Discovery of Prof. Loeb.
Lower Animals Produced by Chemical Means.
Process May Apply to the Human Species.
Immaculate Conception is Explained.
Wonderful Experiments Conducted at Woods Hole.
The Boston Herald (26 Nov 1899), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Biochemistry (46)  |  Life (1131)

See also:
  • 7 Apr - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Loeb'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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