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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index P > Greek Proverb Quotes

Greek Proverb
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Science Quotes by Greek Proverb (1 quote)

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
— Greek Proverb
In recent years, this has been widely quoted and cited as an (ancient?) Greek proverb. Seen, for example in, Violence on Television: Hearings Before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance (1994), 340. Webmaster however has so far found no example of this wording in, say, 19th century quotation collections. Which leaves the authenticity of the citation in question. Variations exist (for example “The beginning of wisdom comes when a person plants trees, the shade under which they know they will never sit.” (1993) or “Thoughtless men might ask why an old man plants a tree when he may never hope to sit in its shade” (1954).) However, the general sentiment has indeed existed for a long time. For example, “He that plants Trees, loves others besides himself,” collected in Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs (1731), 91, No. 2248.
Science quotes on:  |  Greatness (34)  |  Man (345)  |  Never (22)  |  Old (104)  |  Plant (173)  |  Shade (12)  |  Sit (24)  |  Society (188)  |  Tree (143)  |  Wisdom (151)


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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Sophie Germain
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- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
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Euclid
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Andre Ampere
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- 80 -
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- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
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Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
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Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
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Karl Popper
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- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
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Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
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JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
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Archimedes
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- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
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James Hutton
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- 20 -
Carl Sagan
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- 10 -
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