Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index A > Category: Absurd

Absurd Quotes (59 quotes)

A scientific invention consists of six (or some number) ideas, five of which are absurd but which, with the addition of the sixth and enough rearrangement of the combinations, results in something no one has thought of before.
As quoted in Robert Coughlan, 'Dr. Edward Teller’s Magnificent Obsession', Life (6 Sep 1954), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  Addition (66)  |  Combination (144)  |  Consist (223)  |  Enough (340)  |  Idea (843)  |  Invention (369)  |  Number (699)  |  Rearrangement (5)  |  Result (677)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Something (719)  |  Thought (953)

All change is relative. The universe is expanding relatively to our common material standards; our material standards are shrinking relatively to the size of the universe. The theory of the “expanding universe” might also be called the theory of the “shrinking atom”. …
:Let us then take the whole universe as our standard of constancy, and adopt the view of a cosmic being whose body is composed of intergalactic spaces and swells as they swell. Or rather we must now say it keeps the same size, for he will not admit that it is he who has changed. Watching us for a few thousand million years, he sees us shrinking; atoms, animals, planets, even the galaxies, all shrink alike; only the intergalactic spaces remain the same. The earth spirals round the sun in an ever-decreasing orbit. It would be absurd to treat its changing revolution as a constant unit of time. The cosmic being will naturally relate his units of length and time so that the velocity of light remains constant. Our years will then decrease in geometrical progression in the cosmic scale of time. On that scale man’s life is becoming briefer; his threescore years and ten are an ever-decreasing allowance. Owing to the property of geometrical progressions an infinite number of our years will add up to a finite cosmic time; so that what we should call the end of eternity is an ordinary finite date in the cosmic calendar. But on that date the universe has expanded to infinity in our reckoning, and we have shrunk to nothing in the reckoning of the cosmic being.
We walk the stage of life, performers of a drama for the benefit of the cosmic spectator. As the scenes proceed he notices that the actors are growing smaller and the action quicker. When the last act opens the curtain rises on midget actors rushing through their parts at frantic speed. Smaller and smaller. Faster and faster. One last microscopic blurr of intense agitation. And then nothing.
In The Expanding Universe (1933) , 90-92.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Act (272)  |  Action (327)  |  Agitation (9)  |  Alike (60)  |  All (4108)  |  Allowance (6)  |  Animal (617)  |  Atom (355)  |  Becoming (96)  |  Being (1278)  |  Benefit (114)  |  Body (537)  |  Calendar (9)  |  Call (769)  |  Change (593)  |  Common (436)  |  Constancy (12)  |  Constant (144)  |  Cosmic (72)  |  Drama (21)  |  Earth (996)  |  End (590)  |  Eternity (63)  |  Expand (53)  |  Faster (50)  |  Finite (59)  |  Galaxies (29)  |  Growing (98)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Last (426)  |  Life (1795)  |  Light (607)  |  Man (2251)  |  Material (353)  |  Microscopic (26)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Notice (77)  |  Number (699)  |  Open (274)  |  Orbit (81)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  Owing (39)  |  Planet (356)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Progression (23)  |  Property (168)  |  Reckoning (19)  |  Remain (349)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Rise (166)  |  Say (984)  |  Scale (121)  |  Scene (36)  |  See (1081)  |  Shrink (23)  |  Space (500)  |  Speed (65)  |  Spiral (18)  |  Stage (143)  |  Sun (385)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Universe (857)  |  Velocity (48)  |  View (488)  |  Walk (124)  |  Whole (738)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)

All the properties that we designate as activity of the soul, are only the functions of the cerebral substance, and to express ourselves in a coarser way, thought is just about to the brain what bile is to the liver and urine to the kidney. It is absurd to admit an independent soul who uses the cerebellum as an instrument with which he would work as he pleases.
Carl Vogt
As quoted in William Vogt, La Vie d'un Homme, Carl Vogt (1896), 48. Translated by Webmaster, from the original French, “Toutes les propriétés que nous designons sous le nom d’activité de l’âme, ne sont que les fonctions de la substance cérébrale, et pour nous exprimer d’ une façon plus grossière, la pensée est à peu près au cerveau ce que la bile est au foie et l’urine au rein. Il est absurde d’ admettre une âme indépendante qui se serve du cervelet comme d’un instrument avec lequelle travaillerait comme il lui plait.”
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (210)  |  Admit (45)  |  All (4108)  |  Bile (5)  |  Brain (270)  |  Cerebellum (4)  |  Cerebral (2)  |  Coarse (4)  |  Express (186)  |  Function (228)  |  Independent (67)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Kidney (18)  |  Liver (19)  |  Name (333)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Please (65)  |  Property (168)  |  Soul (226)  |  Substance (248)  |  Thought (953)  |  Urine (16)  |  Use (766)  |  Way (1217)  |  Work (1351)

An astronomer must be the wisest of men; his mind must be duly disciplined in youth; especially is mathematical study necessary; both an acquaintance with the doctrine of number, and also with that other branch of mathematics, which, closely connected as it is with the science of the heavens, we very absurdly call geometry, the measurement of the earth.
Plato
From the 'Epilogue to the Laws' (Epinomis), 988-990. As quoted in William Whewell, History of the Inductive Sciences from the Earliest to the Present Time (1837), Vol. 1, 161. (Although referenced to Plato’s Laws, the Epinomis is regarded as a later addition, not by Plato himself.)
Science quotes on:  |  Acquaintance (37)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Both (493)  |  Branch (150)  |  Call (769)  |  Connect (125)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Earth (996)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Must (1526)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Nomenclature (146)  |  Number (699)  |  Other (2236)  |  Science (3879)  |  Study (653)  |  Wise (131)  |  Youth (101)

And yet I think that the Full House model does teach us to treasure variety for its own sake–for tough reasons of evolutionary theory and nature’s ontology, and not from a lamentable failure of thought that accepts all beliefs on the absurd rationale that disagreement must imply disrespect. Excellence is a range of differences, not a spot. Each location on the range can be occupied by an excellent or an inadequate representative– and we must struggle for excellence at each of these varied locations. In a society driven, of ten unconsciously, to impose a uniform mediocrity upon a former richness of excellence–where McDonald’s drives out the local diner, and the mega-Stop & Shop eliminates the corner Mom and Pop–an understanding and defense of full ranges as natural reality might help to stem the tide and preserve the rich raw material of any evolving system: variation itself.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accept (191)  |  All (4108)  |  Belief (578)  |  Corner (57)  |  Defense (23)  |  Difference (337)  |  Disagreement (14)  |  Disrespect (3)  |  Drive (55)  |  Eliminate (21)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Evolutionary (23)  |  Excellence (39)  |  Excellent (28)  |  Failure (161)  |  Former (137)  |  Full (66)  |  Help (105)  |  House (140)  |  Imply (17)  |  Impose (22)  |  Inadequate (19)  |  Lamentable (5)  |  Local (19)  |  Location (15)  |  Material (353)  |  Mediocrity (8)  |  Model (102)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Occupied (45)  |  Occupy (26)  |  Pop (2)  |  Preserve (83)  |  Range (99)  |  Rationale (7)  |  Raw (28)  |  Reality (261)  |  Reason (744)  |  Representative (14)  |  Rich (62)  |  Richness (14)  |  Sake (58)  |  Shop (11)  |  Society (326)  |  Spot (17)  |  Stem (31)  |  Struggle (105)  |  System (537)  |  Teach (277)  |  Theory (970)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)  |  Tide (34)  |  Tough (19)  |  Treasure (57)  |  Unconsciously (7)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Uniform (18)  |  Variation (90)  |  Variety (132)  |  Vary (27)

But notwithstanding these Arguments are so convictive and demonstrative, its marvellous to see how some Popish Authors (Jesuites especially) strain their wits to defend their Pagan Master Aristotle his Principles. Bullialdus speaks of a Florentine Physitian, that all the Friends he had could ever perswade him once to view the Heavens through a Telescope, and he gave that reason for his refusal, because he was afraid that then his Eyes would make him stagger concerning the truth of Aristotle’s Principles, which he was resolved he would not call into question. It were well, if these Men had as great veneration for the Scripture as they have, for Aristotles (if indeed they be his) absurd Books de cælo Sed de his satis.
(Indicating a belief that the Roman Catholic church impeded the development of modern science.)
Kometographia, Or a Discourse Concerning Comets (Boston 1684). Quoted in Michael Garibaldi Hall, The Last American Puritan: The Life of Increase Mather, 1639-1723 (1988), 167.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Argument (138)  |  Aristotle (163)  |  Author (167)  |  Belief (578)  |  Book (392)  |  Call (769)  |  Catholic (15)  |  Church (56)  |  Demonstrative (14)  |  Development (422)  |  Eye (419)  |  Friend (168)  |  Great (1574)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Marvellous (25)  |  Master (178)  |  Modern (385)  |  Modern Science (52)  |  Principle (507)  |  Question (621)  |  Reason (744)  |  Refusal (22)  |  Religion (361)  |  Roman (36)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Speak (232)  |  Telescope (98)  |  Through (849)  |  Truth (1057)  |  View (488)  |  Wit (59)

Creative imagination is likely to find corroborating novel evidence even for the most 'absurd' programme, if the search has sufficient drive. This look-out for new confirming evidence is perfectly permissible. Scientists dream up phantasies and then pursue a highly selective hunt for new facts which fit these phantasies. This process may be described as “science creating its own universe” (as long as one remembers that “creating” here is used in a provocative-idiosyncratic sense). A brilliant school of scholars (backed by a rich society to finance a few well-planned tests) might succeed in pushing any fantastic programme ahead, or alternatively, if so inclined, in overthrowing any arbitrarily chosen pillar of “established knowledge”.
In 'Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes', in I. Lakatos and A. Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge: Proceedings of the International Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science, London 1965 (1970), Vol. 4, 187-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Back (390)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Chosen (48)  |  Creative (137)  |  Dream (208)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fantastic (20)  |  Fantasy (14)  |  Find (998)  |  Fit (134)  |  Hunt (30)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Inclined (41)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Long (790)  |  Look (582)  |  Most (1731)  |  New (1216)  |  Novel (32)  |  Permissible (8)  |  Process (423)  |  Program (52)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Remember (179)  |  Research (664)  |  Scholar (48)  |  School (219)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Search (162)  |  Selective (19)  |  Sense (770)  |  Society (326)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Test (211)  |  Universe (857)

Evolution has no long-term goal. There is no long-distance target, no final perfection to serve as a criterion for selection, although human vanity cherishes the absurd notion that our species is the final goal of evolution.
The Blind Watchmaker (1996), 50.
Science quotes on:  |  Criterion (27)  |  Distance (161)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Final (118)  |  Goal (145)  |  Human (1468)  |  Long (790)  |  Notion (113)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Selection (128)  |  Species (401)  |  Target (9)  |  Term (349)

Exercising the right of occasional suppression and slight modification, it is truly absurd to see how plastic a limited number of observations become, in the hands of men with preconceived ideas.
Meteorographica (1863), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (815)  |  Idea (843)  |  Limit (280)  |  Limited (101)  |  Modification (55)  |  Number (699)  |  Observation (555)  |  Occasional (22)  |  Plastic (28)  |  Preconception (13)  |  Right (452)  |  See (1081)  |  Suppression (9)  |  Truly (116)

Fiction is, indeed, an indispensable supplement to logic, or even a part of it; whether we are working inductively or deductively, both ways hang closely together with fiction: and axioms, though they seek to be primary verities, are more akin to fiction. If we had realized the nature of axioms, the doctrine of Einstein, which sweeps away axioms so familiar to us that they seem obvious truths, and substitutes others which seem absurd because they are unfamiliar, might not have been so bewildering.
In The Dance of Life (1923), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Akin (5)  |  Axiom (63)  |  Bewildering (3)  |  Both (493)  |  Deductive (11)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Albert Einstein (605)  |  Familiar (43)  |  Fiction (22)  |  Hang (45)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Indispensable (28)  |  Inductive (20)  |  Logic (287)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Obvious (126)  |  Other (2236)  |  Primary (80)  |  Realize (147)  |  Seek (213)  |  Substitute (46)  |  Supplement (6)  |  Sweep (19)  |  Together (387)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Unfamiliar (16)  |  Verity (5)  |  Way (1217)

First... a new theory is attacked as absurd; then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insignificant; finally it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim that they themselves discovered it.
'Pragmatism's Conception of Truth', in Pragmatism: A New Name for some Old Ways of Thinking, Popular Lectures on Philosophy (1907), 198.
Science quotes on:  |  Adversary (6)  |  Attack (84)  |  Claim (146)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  First (1283)  |  Insignificant (32)  |  New (1216)  |  Obvious (126)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Theory (970)  |  True (212)

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.
Geological Essays (1799), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Antiquity (33)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Being (1278)  |  Complete (204)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Exclusion (16)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Geology (220)  |  Historical (70)  |  History (673)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Medal (4)  |  Merely (316)  |  Monument (45)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Observation (555)  |  Other (2236)  |  Rome (19)  |  Ruin (42)  |  Still (613)  |  Testimony (21)

His motion to the meeting of the Council of the Chemical Society:
That henceforth the absurd game of chemical noughts and crosses be tabu within the Society's precincts and that, following the practice of the Press in ending a correspondence, it be an instruction to the officers to give notice “That no further contributions to the mysteries of Polarity will be received, considered or printed by the Society.” His challenge was not accepted.
From the personal and other items column of Chemistry and Industry (1925), 44, 1050.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accept (191)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Consider (416)  |  Contribution (89)  |  Correspondence (23)  |  Council (8)  |  Game (101)  |  Instruction (91)  |  Motion (310)  |  Notice (77)  |  Officer (12)  |  Polarity (5)  |  Practice (204)  |  Society (326)  |  Will (2355)

However absurd it may seem, I do in all seriousness hereby declare that I am animated mainly by philanthropic motives. I desire to do good to my fellow creatures, even to the Cui bonos.
In Electrical Papers (1882), Vol. I; Preface, vi-vii.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Creature (233)  |  Declaration (10)  |  Declare (45)  |  Desire (204)  |  Do (1908)  |  Fellow (88)  |  Good (889)  |  Motive (59)  |  Philanthropy (2)  |  Seeming (9)  |  Seriousness (10)

I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Beyond (308)  |  Comprehension (66)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Conscious (45)  |  Creature (233)  |  Death (388)  |  Do (1908)  |  Fear (197)  |  Feeble (27)  |  God (757)  |  Individual (404)  |  Notion (113)  |  Otherwise (24)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Physical (508)  |  Punish (9)  |  Reward (68)  |  Soul (226)  |  Survive (79)  |  Type (167)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wish (212)

I can’t recall a single problem in my life, of any sort, that I ever started on that I didn't solve, or prove that I couldn’t solve it. I never let up, until I had done everything that I could think of, no matter how absurd it might seem as a means to the end I was after.
As quoted in French Strother, 'The Modern Profession of Inventing', World's Work and Play (Jul 1905), 6, No. 32, 186.
Science quotes on:  |  End (590)  |  Everything (476)  |  Life (1795)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Never (1087)  |  Problem (676)  |  Prove (250)  |  Recall (10)  |  Seem (145)  |  Single (353)  |  Solve (130)  |  Start (221)  |  Think (1086)

I esteem his understanding and subtlety highly, but I consider that they have been put to ill use in the greater part of his work, where the author studies things of little use or when he builds on the improbable principle of attraction.
Writing about Newton's Principia. Huygens had some time earlier indicated he did not believe the theory of universal gravitation, saying it 'appears to me absurd.'
Quoted in Archana Srinivasan, Great Inventors (2007), 37.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Attraction (56)  |  Author (167)  |  Build (204)  |  Consider (416)  |  Gravitation (70)  |  Greater (288)  |  Little (707)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Principia (13)  |  Principle (507)  |  Subtlety (19)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Universal (189)  |  Use (766)  |  Work (1351)  |  Writing (189)

I remember discussions with Bohr which went through many hours till very late at night and ended almost in despair; and when at the end of the discussion I went alone for a walk in the neighboring park I repeated to myself again and again the question: Can nature possibly be as absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments?
In Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science (1958, 1962), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (311)  |  Atom (355)  |  Niels Bohr (54)  |  Despair (40)  |  Discussion (72)  |  End (590)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Hour (186)  |  Late (118)  |  Myself (212)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Park (6)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Question (621)  |  Remember (179)  |  Seem (145)  |  Through (849)  |  Walk (124)

I should like to draw attention to the inexhaustible variety of the problems and exercises which it [mathematics] furnishes; these may be graduated to precisely the amount of attainment which may be possessed, while yet retaining an interest and value. It seems to me that no other branch of study at all compares with mathematics in this. When we propose a deduction to a beginner we give him an exercise in many cases that would have been admired in the vigorous days of Greek geometry. Although grammatical exercises are well suited to insure the great benefits connected with the study of languages, yet these exercises seem to me stiff and artificial in comparison with the problems of mathematics. It is not absurd to maintain that Euclid and Apollonius would have regarded with interest many of the elegant deductions which are invented for the use of our students in geometry; but it seems scarcely conceivable that the great masters in any other line of study could condescend to give a moment’s attention to the elementary books of the beginner.
In Conflict of Studies (1873), 10-11.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Admire (18)  |  All (4108)  |  Amount (151)  |  Apollonius (6)  |  Artificial (33)  |  Attainment (47)  |  Attention (190)  |  Beginner (11)  |  Benefit (114)  |  Book (392)  |  Branch (150)  |  Case (99)  |  Compare (69)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Conceivable (28)  |  Condescend (2)  |  Connect (125)  |  Deduction (82)  |  Draw (137)  |  Elegant (36)  |  Elementary (96)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Give (202)  |  Graduate (29)  |  Grammatical (2)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greek (107)  |  Inexhaustible (24)  |  Insure (4)  |  Interest (386)  |  Invent (51)  |  Language (293)  |  Line (91)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Master (178)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Moment (253)  |  Other (2236)  |  Possess (156)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Problem (676)  |  Propose (23)  |  Regard (305)  |  Retain (56)  |  Scarcely (74)  |  Seem (145)  |  Stiff (3)  |  Student (300)  |  Study (653)  |  Suit (11)  |  Use (766)  |  Value (365)  |  Variety (132)  |  Vigorous (20)

I therefore took this opportunity and also began to consider the possibility that the Earth moved. Although it seemed an absurd opinion, nevertheless, because I knew that others before me had been granted the liberty of imagining whatever circles they wished to represent the phenomena of the stars, I thought that I likewise would readily be allowed to test whether, by assuming some motion of the Earth's, more dependable representations than theirs could be found for the revolutions of the heavenly spheres.
'To His Holiness Pope Paul III', in Copernicus: On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (1543), trans. A. M. Duncan (1976), 26.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Circle (110)  |  Consider (416)  |  Earth (996)  |  Grant (73)  |  More (2559)  |  Motion (310)  |  Nevertheless (90)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Opportunity (87)  |  Other (2236)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Represent (155)  |  Representation (53)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Solar System (77)  |  Sphere (116)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Test (211)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thought (953)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Wish (212)

Thomas Edison quote “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, recording track background+colorized photo of Edison & a later tinfoil phonograph
derivative art and colorization © todayinsci.com (Terms of Use) (source)

Please respect the colorization artist’s wishes and do not copy this image for ONLINE use anywhere else.

Thank you.

For offline use, click Terms of Use tab on top menu.

I told [Kruesi] I was going to record talking, and then have the machine talk back. He thought it absurd. However, it was finished, the foil was put on; I then shouted “Mary had a little lamb,” etc. I adjusted the reproducer, and the machine reproduced it perfectly.
On first words spoken on a phonograph.
Byron M. Vanderbilt, Thomas Edison, Chemist (1971), 99.
Science quotes on:  |  Back (390)  |  Finish (59)  |  First (1283)  |  Invention (369)  |  Little (707)  |  Machine (257)  |  Phonograph (8)  |  Record (154)  |  Shout (25)  |  Talking (76)  |  Thought (953)  |  Word (619)

I understood that you would take the human race in the concrete, have exploded the absurd notion of Pope’s Essay on Man, [Erasmus] Darwin, and all the countless believers even (strange to say) among Christians of man’s having progressed from an ouran-outang state—so contrary to all History, to all religion, nay, to all possibility—to have affirmed a Fall in some sense as a fact….
Letter to William Wordsworth (30 May 1815). In William Knight, The Life of William Wordsworth (1889), Vol. 2, 259. [Note: “ouran” is as written. Erasmus identified in footnote.]
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Believer (25)  |  Christian (43)  |  Concrete (51)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Countless (36)  |  Erasmus Darwin (40)  |  Essay (27)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Exploded (11)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Fall (230)  |  History (673)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Race (100)  |  Man (2251)  |  Notion (113)  |  Pope (10)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Progress (465)  |  Race (268)  |  Religion (361)  |  Say (984)  |  Sense (770)  |  State (491)  |  Strange (157)  |  Understood (156)

If at first, the idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it.
In Marc J. Madou, Fundamentals of Microfabrication: the Science of Miniaturization (2nd ed., 2002), 535.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (32)  |  First (1283)  |  Hope (299)  |  Idea (843)

In scientific study, or, as I prefer to phrase it, in creative scholarship, the truth is the single end sought; all yields to that. The truth is supreme, not only in the vague mystical sense in which that expression has come to be a platitude, but in a special, definite, concrete sense. Facts and the immediate and necessary inductions from facts displace all pre-conceptions, all deductions from general principles, all favourite theories. Previous mental constructions are bowled over as childish play-structures by facts as they come rolling into the mind. The dearest doctrines, the most fascinating hypotheses, the most cherished creations of the reason and of the imagination perish from a mind thoroughly inspired with the scientific spirit in the presence of incompatible facts. Previous intellectual affections are crushed without hesitation and without remorse. Facts are placed before reasonings and before ideals, even though the reasonings and the ideals be more beautiful, be seemingly more lofty, be seemingly better, be seemingly truer. The seemingly absurd and the seemingly impossible are sometimes true. The scientific disposition is to accept facts upon evidence, however absurd they may appear to our pre-conceptions.
The Ethical Functions of Scientific Study: An Address Delivered at the Annual Commencement of the University of Michigan, 28 June 1888, 7-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (191)  |  Affection (43)  |  All (4108)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Better (486)  |  Cherish (22)  |  Childish (20)  |  Conception (154)  |  Concrete (51)  |  Construction (112)  |  Creation (327)  |  Creative (137)  |  Crush (18)  |  Deduction (82)  |  Definite (110)  |  Displace (8)  |  Disposition (42)  |  End (590)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Expression (175)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fascinating (37)  |  General (511)  |  Hesitation (19)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Immediate (95)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Induction (77)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Mental (177)  |  Mind (1338)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Perish (50)  |  Phrase (61)  |  Presence (63)  |  Principle (507)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Remorse (9)  |  Scholarship (20)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Seemingly (28)  |  Sense (770)  |  Single (353)  |  Special (184)  |  Spirit (265)  |  Structure (344)  |  Study (653)  |  Supreme (71)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thoroughly (67)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Vague (47)  |  Yield (81)

In the history of physics, there have been three great revolutions in thought that first seemed absurd yet proved to be true. The first proposed that the earth, instead of being stationary, was moving around at a great and variable speed in a universe that is much bigger than it appears to our immediate perception. That proposal, I believe, was first made by Aristarchos two millenia ago ... Remarkably enough, the name Aristarchos in Greek means best beginning.
[The next two revolutions occurred ... in the early part of the twentieth century: the theory of relativity and the science of quantum mechanics...]
Edward Teller with Judith L. Shoolery, Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics (2001), 562.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Best (459)  |  Century (310)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Early (185)  |  Earth (996)  |  Enough (340)  |  First (1283)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greek (107)  |  History (673)  |  Immediate (95)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mechanic (119)  |  Mechanics (131)  |  Name (333)  |  Next (236)  |  Perception (97)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Proposal (17)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Mechanics (46)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Relativity (88)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Science (3879)  |  Speed (65)  |  Stationary (10)  |  Theory (970)  |  Theory Of Relativity (33)  |  Thought (953)  |  Two (937)  |  Universe (857)  |  Variable (34)

In the last fifteen years we have witnessed an event that, I believe, is unique in the history of the natural sciences: their subjugation to and incorporation into the whirls and frenzies of disgusting publicity and propaganda. This is no doubt symptomatic of the precarious position assigned by present-day society to any form of intellectual activity. Such intellectual pursuits have at all times been both absurd and fragile; but they become ever more ludicrous when, as is now true of science, they become mass professions and must, as homeless pretentious parasites, justify their right to exist in a period devoted to nothing but the rapid consumption of goods and amusements. These sciences were always a divertissement in the sense in which Pascal used the word; but what is their function in a society living under the motto lunam et circenses? Are they only a band of court jesters in search of courts which, if they ever existed, have long lost their desire to be amused?
Voices in the Labyrinth: Nature, Man, and Science (1979), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (210)  |  All (4108)  |  Amusement (33)  |  Become (815)  |  Both (493)  |  Consumption (14)  |  Court (33)  |  Desire (204)  |  Devoted (59)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Event (216)  |  Exist (443)  |  Form (959)  |  Fragile (21)  |  Function (228)  |  Good (889)  |  History (673)  |  Incorporation (4)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Last (426)  |  Living (491)  |  Long (790)  |  Ludicrous (7)  |  Mass (157)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Science (128)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Parasite (33)  |  Blaise Pascal (80)  |  Period (198)  |  Present (619)  |  Pretentious (4)  |  Profession (99)  |  Propaganda (13)  |  Publicity (5)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Right (452)  |  Science (3879)  |  Search (162)  |  Sense (770)  |  Society (326)  |  Time (1877)  |  Unique (67)  |  Whirl (8)  |  Witness (54)  |  Word (619)  |  Year (933)

Investigating the conditions under which mutations occur … requires studies of mutation frequency under various methods of handling the organisms. As yet, extremely little has been done along this line. That is because, in the past, a mutation was considered a windfall, and the expression “mutation frequency” would have seemed a contradiction in terms. To attempt to study it would have seemed as absurd as to study the conditions affecting the distribution of dollar bills on the sidewalk. You were simply fortunate if you found one. … Of late, however, we may say that certain very exceptional banking houses have been found, in front of which the dollars fall more frequently—in other words, specially mutable genes have been discovered, that are beginning to yield abundant data at the hands of Nilsson-Ehle, Zeleny, Emerson, Anderson and others.
In 'Variation Due to Change in the Individual Gene', The American Naturalist (Jan-Feb 1922), 56, No. 642, 44.
Science quotes on:  |  Abundant (22)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Certain (550)  |  Condition (356)  |  Consider (416)  |  Contradiction (68)  |  Data (156)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Distribution (50)  |  Exceptional (18)  |  Expression (175)  |  Fall (230)  |  Fortunate (26)  |  Frequency (22)  |  Gene (98)  |  House (140)  |  Investigate (103)  |  Late (118)  |  Little (707)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  More (2559)  |  Mutation (37)  |  Occur (150)  |  Organism (220)  |  Other (2236)  |  Past (337)  |  Require (219)  |  Say (984)  |  Sidewalk (2)  |  Study (653)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Various (200)  |  Windfall (2)  |  Word (619)  |  Yield (81)

Is it absurd to imagine that our social behavior, from amoeba to man, is also planned and dictated, from stored Information, by the cells? And that the time has come for men to be entrusted with the task, through heroic efforts, of bringing life to other worlds?
From Nobel Prize Lecture (Dec 1974), 'The Coming Age of the Cell'. Collected in Jan Lindsten (ed.) Nobel Lectures, Physiology or Medicine 1971-1980 (1992).
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (32)  |  Amoeba (20)  |  Behavior (84)  |  Bringing (10)  |  Cell (138)  |  Dictate (11)  |  Effort (227)  |  Hero (42)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Information (166)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Other (2236)  |  Plan (117)  |  Social (252)  |  Store (48)  |  Task (147)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time Has Come (8)  |  World (1774)

It is the reciprocity of these appearances—that each party should think the other has contracted—that is so difficult to realise. Here is a paradox beyond even the imagination of Dean Swift. Gulliver regarded the Lilliputians as a race of dwarfs; and the Lilliputians regarded Gulliver as a giant. That is natural. If the Lilliputians had appeared dwarfs to Gulliver, and Gulliver had appeared a dwarf to the Lilliputians—but no! that is too absurd for fiction, and is an idea only to be found in the sober pages of science. …It is not only in space but in time that these strange variations occur. If we observed the aviator carefully we should infer that he was unusually slow in his movements; and events in the conveyance moving with him would be similarly retarded—as though time had forgotten to go on. His cigar lasts twice as long as one of ours. …But here again reciprocity comes in, because in the aviator’s opinion it is we who are travelling at 161,000 miles a second past him; and when he has made all allowances, he finds that it is we who are sluggish. Our cigar lasts twice as long as his.
In Space, Time and Gravitation: An Outline of the General Relativity Theory (1920, 1921), 23-24.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Allowance (6)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Carefully (65)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Event (216)  |  Find (998)  |  Forgotten (53)  |  Giant (67)  |  Idea (843)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Last (426)  |  Long (790)  |  Movement (155)  |  Natural (796)  |  Observed (149)  |  Occur (150)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Other (2236)  |  Paradox (50)  |  Past (337)  |  Race (268)  |  Regard (305)  |  Science (3879)  |  Slow (101)  |  Space (500)  |  Strange (157)  |  Think (1086)  |  Time (1877)  |  Travelling (17)  |  Variation (90)

It was not just the Church that resisted the heliocentrism of Copernicus. Many prominent figures, in the decades following the 1543 publication of De Revolutionibus, regarded the Copernican model of the universe as a mathematical artifice which, though it yielded astronomical predictions of superior accuracy, could not be considered a true representation of physical reality: 'If Nicolaus Copernicus, the distinguished and incomparable master, in this work had not been deprived of exquisite and faultless instruments, he would have left us this science far more well-established. For he, if anybody, was outstanding and had the most perfect understanding of the geometrical and arithmetical requisites for building up this discipline. Nor was he in any respect inferior to Ptolemy; on the contrary, he surpassed him greatly in certain fields, particularly as far as the device of fitness and compendious harmony in hypotheses is concerned. And his apparently absurd opinion that the Earth revolves does not obstruct this estimate, because a circular motion designed to go on uniformly about another point than the very center of the circle, as actually found in the Ptolemaic hypotheses of all the planets except that of the Sun, offends against the very basic principles of our discipline in a far more absurd and intolerable way than does the attributing to the Earth one motion or another which, being a natural motion, turns out to be imperceptible. There does not at all arise from this assumption so many unsuitable consequences as most people think.'
from Letter to Christopher Rothman, 20 Jan 1587
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (78)  |  Against (332)  |  All (4108)  |  Anybody (42)  |  Arise (158)  |  Assumption (92)  |  Basic (138)  |  Being (1278)  |  Building (156)  |  Certain (550)  |  Church (56)  |  Circle (110)  |  Circular (19)  |  Circular Motion (6)  |  Concern (228)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Consider (416)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (48)  |  Decade (59)  |  Design (195)  |  Device (70)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Distinguished (83)  |  Earth (996)  |  Estimate (57)  |  Exquisite (25)  |  Field (364)  |  Figure (160)  |  Harmony (102)  |  Heliocentric Model (7)  |  Inferior (37)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Master (178)  |  Model (102)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Motion (310)  |  Natural (796)  |  Offend (7)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Outstanding (16)  |  People (1005)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Physical (508)  |  Planet (356)  |  Point (580)  |  Prediction (82)  |  Principle (507)  |  Ptolemy (17)  |  Publication (101)  |  Reality (261)  |  Regard (305)  |  Representation (53)  |  Respect (207)  |  Revolve (25)  |  Science (3879)  |  Solar System (77)  |  Sun (385)  |  Superior (81)  |  Surpass (32)  |  Think (1086)  |  Turn (447)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Universe (857)  |  Way (1217)  |  Well-Established (5)  |  Work (1351)  |  Yield (81)

Like all things of the mind, science is a brittle thing: it becomes absurd when you look at it too closely. It is designed for few at a time, not as a mass profession. But now we have megascience: an immense apparatus discharging in a minute more bursts of knowledge than humanity is able to assimilate in a lifetime. Each of us has two eyes, two ears, and, I hope, one brain. We cannot even listen to two symphonies at the same time. How do we get out of the horrible cacophony that assails our minds day and night? We have to learn, as others did, that if science is a machine to make more science, a machine to grind out so-called facts of nature, not all facts are equally worth knowing. Students, in other words, will have to learn to forget most of what they have learned. This process of forgetting must begin after each exam, but never before. The Ph.D. is essentially a license to start unlearning.
Voices In the Labyrinth: Nature, Man, and Science (1979), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Apparatus (68)  |  Become (815)  |  Begin (260)  |  Brain (270)  |  Burst (39)  |  Call (769)  |  Design (195)  |  Do (1908)  |  Ear (68)  |  Education (378)  |  Equally (130)  |  Eye (419)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Forget (115)  |  Hope (299)  |  Humanity (169)  |  Immense (86)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Learning (274)  |  Listen (73)  |  Look (582)  |  Machine (257)  |  Mass (157)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Minute (125)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  Other (2236)  |  PhD (8)  |  Process (423)  |  Profession (99)  |  Science (3879)  |  So-Called (71)  |  Start (221)  |  Student (300)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Two (937)  |  Will (2355)  |  Word (619)  |  Worth (169)

Many scientists have spent years collecting information about the effect of human actions on the climate. There’s no question that the climate is changing, I’ve seen it all over the world. And the fact that people can deny that humans have influenced this change in climate is quite frankly absurd.
From Facebook video 10155220356117171 (31 Mar 2017) posted by Dr. Jane Goodall.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Action (327)  |  All (4108)  |  Change (593)  |  Climate (97)  |  Climate Change (61)  |  Collect (16)  |  Deny (66)  |  Effect (393)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Human (1468)  |  Influence (222)  |  Information (166)  |  People (1005)  |  Question (621)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Spent (85)  |  World (1774)  |  Year (933)

Nothing can be believed unless it is first understood; and that for any one to preach to others that which either he has not understood nor they have understood is absurd.
From Historia Calamitatum, Chap. 9. As translated in Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, 'The Word Amen' reprinted from The Independent in Friends' Intelligencer (1872), Vol. 28, 575.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (578)  |  First (1283)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Other (2236)  |  Preach (11)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understood (156)

One of the petty ideas of philosophers is to elaborate a classification, a hierarchy of sciences. They all try it, and they are generally so fond of their favorite scheme that they are prone to attach an absurd importance to it. We must not let ourselves be misled by this. Classifications are always artificial; none more than this, however. There is nothing of value to get out of a classification of science; it dissembles more beauty and order than it can possibly reveal.
In 'The Teaching of the History of Science', The Scientific Monthly (Sep 1918), 194.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Artificial (33)  |  Attach (56)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Classification (97)  |  Elaborate (28)  |  Favorite (37)  |  Fondness (7)  |  Hierarchy (17)  |  Idea (843)  |  Importance (286)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Order (632)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Petty (9)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Scheme (57)  |  Science (3879)  |  Try (283)  |  Value (365)

Only one who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible.
From the original Spanish, “Sólo el que ensaya lo absurdo es capaz de conquistar lo imposible,” in Vida de D. Quijote y Sancho: Según Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra: Explicada y Comentada por Miguel de Unamuno (1905), 175-176. Translated by J.E. Crawford Flitch in Miguel de Unamuno: Essays and Soliloquies (1925), 104-105. This predates the quote attributed (without a known primary source) to M.C. Escher: “Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.”
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (66)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Capable (168)  |  Impossible (251)

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.
Carl Jung
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 121
Science quotes on:  |  Avoid (116)  |  Do (1908)  |  Face (212)  |  Matter (798)  |  Order (632)  |  People (1005)  |  Soul (226)  |  Will (2355)

Scientific method is often defined as if it were a set procedure, to be learned, like a recipe, as if anyone could like a recipe, as if anyone could become a scientist simply by learning the method. This is as absurd ... [so I shall not] discuss scientific method, but rather the methods of scientists. We proceed by common sense and ingenuity. There are no rules, only the principles of integrity and objectivity, with a complete rejection of all authority except that of fact.
In Science in the Making (1957), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Anyone (35)  |  Authority (95)  |  Become (815)  |  Common (436)  |  Common Sense (130)  |  Complete (204)  |  Definition (221)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Ingenuity (39)  |  Integrity (17)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Learning (274)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Objectivity (16)  |  Principle (507)  |  Procedure (41)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Recipe (7)  |  Rejection (34)  |  Rule (294)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Sense (770)  |  Set (394)

Scientists have calculated that the chance of anything so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.
Mort, describing the origin myth of the Discworld. Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 45
Science quotes on:  |  Actually (27)  |  Calculate (54)  |  Chance (239)  |  Crop (25)  |  Exist (443)  |  Magician (14)  |  Millions (17)  |  Patently (4)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Time (1877)

Since the world is what it is, it is clear that valid reasoning from sound principles cannot lead to error; but a principle may be so nearly true as to deserve theoretical respect, and yet may lead to practical consequences which we feel to be absurd. There is therefore a justification for common sense in philosophy, but only as showing that our theoretical principles cannot be quite correct so long as their consequences are condemned by an appeal to common sense which we feel to be irresistible.
In A History of Western Philosophy, (1945, 1996), 553.
Science quotes on:  |  Appeal (45)  |  Common (436)  |  Common Sense (130)  |  Condemn (44)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Correct (86)  |  Deserve (65)  |  Error (321)  |  Feel (367)  |  Irresistible (16)  |  Justification (48)  |  Lead (384)  |  Long (790)  |  Nearly (137)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Practical (200)  |  Principle (507)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Respect (207)  |  Sense (770)  |  Sound (183)  |  Theoretical (22)  |  True (212)  |  Valid (11)  |  World (1774)

Some persons have contended that mathematics ought to be taught by making the illustrations obvious to the senses. Nothing can be more absurd or injurious: it ought to be our never-ceasing effort to make people think, not feel.
Seven Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton (1856) 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Contend (6)  |  Effort (227)  |  Feel (367)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Injurious (14)  |  Making (300)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  More (2559)  |  Never (1087)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Obvious (126)  |  People (1005)  |  Person (363)  |  Sense (770)  |  Teach (277)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)

That the great majority of those who leave school should have some idea of the kind of evidence required to substantiate given types of belief does not seem unreasonable. Nor is it absurd to expect that they should go forth with a lively interest in the ways in which knowledge is improved and a marked distaste for all conclusions reached in disharmony with the methods of scientific inquiry.
Address to Section L, Education, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at Boston (1909), 'Science as Subject-Matter and as Method'. Published in Science (28 Jan 1910), N.S. Vol. 31, No. 787, 126.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Belief (578)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Distaste (3)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Expect (200)  |  Great (1574)  |  Idea (843)  |  Improve (58)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Interest (386)  |  Kind (557)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lively (17)  |  Majority (66)  |  Marked (55)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Reach (281)  |  Required (108)  |  School (219)  |  Science Education (15)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Substantiate (4)  |  Type (167)  |  Way (1217)

The conception that antibodies, which should protect against disease, are also responsible for the disease, sounds at first absurd. This has as its basis the fact that we are accustomed to see in disease only the harm done to the organism and to see in the antibodies solely antitoxic [protective] substances. One forgets too easily that the disease represents only a stage in the development of immunity, and that the organism often attains the advantage of immunity only by means of disease. ... Serum sickness represents, so to speak, an unnatural (artificial) form of disease.
C. von Pirquet and B. Schick, Die Serumkrankheit (1906), trans B. Schick, Serum Sickness (1951), 119-20.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (32)  |  Accustom (52)  |  Accustomed (46)  |  Advantage (134)  |  Against (332)  |  Antibody (6)  |  Antitoxin (2)  |  Attain (125)  |  Basis (173)  |  Conception (154)  |  Development (422)  |  Disease (328)  |  Fact (1210)  |  First (1283)  |  Forget (115)  |  Form (959)  |  Harm (39)  |  Immunity (8)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Organism (220)  |  Protect (58)  |  Protection (36)  |  Represent (155)  |  Representation (53)  |  Responsibility (66)  |  See (1081)  |  Serum (11)  |  Sickness (26)  |  Sound (183)  |  Speak (232)  |  Stage (143)  |  Substance (248)  |  Unnatural (15)

The difference between myth and science is the difference between divine inspiration of “unaided reason” (as Bertrand Russell put it) on the one hand and theories developed in observational contact with the real world on the other. It is the difference between the belief in prophets and critical thinking, between Credo quia absurdum (I believe because it is absurd–Tertullian) and De omnibus est dubitandum (Everything should be questioned–Descartes). To try to write a grand cosmical drama leads necessarily to myth. To try to let knowledge substitute ignorance in increasingly large regions of space and time is science.
In 'Cosmology: Myth or Science?' Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy (1984), 5, 79-98.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (578)  |  Contact (65)  |  Cosmology (25)  |  Critical (66)  |  René Descartes (81)  |  Develop (268)  |  Difference (337)  |  Divine (112)  |  Drama (21)  |  Everything (476)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Inspiration (75)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Large (394)  |  Lead (384)  |  Myth (56)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observational (15)  |  Other (2236)  |  Prophet (21)  |  Question (621)  |  Real (149)  |  Reason (744)  |  Bertrand Russell (184)  |  Science (3879)  |  Space (500)  |  Space And Time (36)  |  Substitute (46)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time And Space (39)  |  Try (283)  |  World (1774)  |  Write (230)

The figure of 2.2 children per adult female was felt to be in some respects absurd, and a Royal Commission suggested that the middle classes be paid money to increase the average to a rounder and more convenient number.
Magazine
Quoted from Punch in epigraph, M.J. Moroney, 'On the Average', Facts From Figures (1951), Chap. 4, 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Adult (19)  |  Average (82)  |  Child (307)  |  Children (200)  |  Convenience (50)  |  Female (50)  |  Figure (160)  |  Increase (210)  |  Money (170)  |  More (2559)  |  Number (699)  |  Pay (43)  |  Respect (207)  |  Round (26)  |  Royal (57)  |  Suggest (34)

The great revelation of the quantum theory was that features of discreteness were discovered in the Book of Nature, in a context in which anything other than continuity seemed to be absurd according to the views held until then.
What is Life? (1944), 48.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  Book (392)  |  Book Of Nature (12)  |  Context (29)  |  Continuity (38)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Feature (44)  |  Great (1574)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Other (2236)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Revelation (48)  |  Theory (970)  |  View (488)

The popularisation of scientific doctrines is producing as great an alteration in the mental state of society as the material applications of science are effecting in its outward life. Such indeed is the respect paid to science, that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recals [sic] some well-known scientific phrase.
'Introductory Lecture on Experimental Physics' (1871). In W. D. Niven (ed.), The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890), Vol. 2, 242.
Science quotes on:  |  Alteration (30)  |  Application (242)  |  Become (815)  |  Current (118)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Express (186)  |  Great (1574)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Known (454)  |  Language (293)  |  Life (1795)  |  Material (353)  |  Mental (177)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Most (1731)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Phrase (61)  |  Respect (207)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Society (23)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Society (326)  |  Sound (183)  |  State (491)

There is no absurdity in theology so great that you cannot parallel it by a greater absurdity in Nature.
Letter to Charles Kingsley (5 May 1863). In L. Huxley, The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley (1903), Vol. 1, 347.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (32)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greater (288)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Parallel (43)  |  Theology (52)

They think that differential equations are not reality. Hearing some colleagues speak, it’s as though theoretical physics was just playing house with plastic building blocks. This absurd idea has gained currency, and now people seem to feel that theoretical physicists are little more than dreamers locked away ivory towers. They think our games, our little houses, bear no relation to their everyday worries, their interests, their problems, or their welfare. But I’m going to tell you something, and I want you to take it as a ground rule for this course. From now on I will be filling this board with equations. … And when I'm done, I want you to do the following: look at those numbers, all those little numbers and Greek letters on the board, and repeat to yourselves, “This is reality,” repeat it over and over.
Zig Zag, trans. Lisa Dillman (2008), 63.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Bear (159)  |  Board (12)  |  Building (156)  |  Building Block (8)  |  Colleague (50)  |  Course (409)  |  Differential Equation (18)  |  Do (1908)  |  Dreamer (13)  |  Equation (132)  |  Everyday (32)  |  Feel (367)  |  Gain (145)  |  Game (101)  |  Greek (107)  |  Ground (217)  |  Hearing (49)  |  House (140)  |  Idea (843)  |  Interest (386)  |  Ivory Tower (5)  |  Letter (109)  |  Little (707)  |  Look (582)  |  More (2559)  |  Number (699)  |  People (1005)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Physics (533)  |  Plastic (28)  |  Playing (42)  |  Problem (676)  |  Reality (261)  |  Repeat (42)  |  Rule (294)  |  Something (719)  |  Speak (232)  |  Tell (340)  |  Theoretical Physicist (19)  |  Theoretical Physics (25)  |  Think (1086)  |  Tower (42)  |  Want (497)  |  Welfare (25)  |  Will (2355)  |  Worry (33)

To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real.
On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859, 1882), 143-144.
Science quotes on:  |  Aberration (8)  |  All (4108)  |  Amount (151)  |  Animal (617)  |  Being (1278)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Chromatic (4)  |  Common (436)  |  Common Sense (130)  |  Complex (188)  |  Condition (356)  |  Confess (42)  |  Consider (416)  |  Correction (40)  |  Declared (24)  |  Degree (276)  |  Different (577)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Distance (161)  |  Exist (443)  |  Eye (419)  |  First (1283)  |  Focus (35)  |  Form (959)  |  Gradation (17)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Imperfect (45)  |  Inherit (33)  |  Inherited (21)  |  Inimitable (6)  |  Know (1518)  |  Life (1795)  |  Light (607)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Modification (55)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Numerous (68)  |  Old (481)  |  Organ (115)  |  Origin Of Species (42)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Possible (552)  |  Reason (744)  |  Science (3879)  |  Selection (128)  |  Sense (770)  |  Simple (406)  |  Still (613)  |  Sun (385)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Tell (340)  |  Trust (66)  |  Turn (447)  |  Useful (250)  |  Variation (90)  |  World (1774)

Tolstoi explains somewhere in his writings why, in his opinion, “Science for Science's sake” is an absurd conception. We cannot know all the facts since they are infinite in number. We must make a selection ... guided by utility ... Have we not some better occupation than counting the number of lady-birds in existence on this planet?
In Science and Method (1914, 2003), 15
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Better (486)  |  Bird (149)  |  Conception (154)  |  Count (105)  |  Counting (26)  |  Existence (456)  |  Explain (322)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Know (1518)  |  Must (1526)  |  Number (699)  |  Occupation (48)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Planet (356)  |  Sake (58)  |  Science (3879)  |  Selection (128)  |  Count Leo Tolstoy (16)  |  Utility (49)  |  Why (491)  |  Writing (189)

Two years ago 1 tried to appeal to Rockefeller’s conscience about the absurd method of allocating grants, unfortunately without success. Bohr has now gone to see him, in an attempt to persuade him to take some action on behalf of the exiled German scientists.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Action (327)  |  Appeal (45)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Behalf (4)  |  Niels Bohr (54)  |  Conscience (50)  |  Exile (4)  |  Funding (19)  |  German (36)  |  Grant (73)  |  Method (505)  |  Persuade (11)  |  John D. Rockefeller (2)  |  Scientist (820)  |  See (1081)  |  Success (302)  |  Two (937)  |  Unfortunately (38)  |  Year (933)

We have now got what seems to be definite proof that an X ray which spreads out in a spherical form from a source as a wave through the aether can when it meets an atom collect up all its energy from all round and concentrate it on the atom. It is as if when a circular wave on water met an obstacle, the wave were all suddenly to travel round the circle and disappear all round and concentrate its energy on attacking the obstacle. Mechanically of course this is absurd, but mechanics have in this direction been for some time a broken reed.
Letter to Margery Moseley (2 Feb 1913). In J. L. Heilbron (ed.), H. G. J. Moseley: The Life and Letters of an English Physicist 1887-1915 (1974), 201.
Science quotes on:  |  Aether (13)  |  All (4108)  |  Atom (355)  |  Broken (56)  |  Circle (110)  |  Circular (19)  |  Concentrate (26)  |  Course (409)  |  Definite (110)  |  Direction (175)  |  Disappear (82)  |  Energy (344)  |  Form (959)  |  Mechanic (119)  |  Mechanics (131)  |  Obstacle (42)  |  Proof (287)  |  Ray (114)  |  Spread (83)  |  Suddenly (88)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Travel (114)  |  Water (481)  |  Wave (107)  |  X-ray (37)

We must keep our freedom of mind, … and must believe that in nature what is absurd, according to our theories, is not always impossible.
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  Belief (578)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Theory (970)

When external objects are impressed on the sensory nerves, they excite vibrations in the aether residing in the pores of these nerves... Thus it seems that light affects both the optic nerve and the aether and ... the affections of the aether are communicated to the optic nerve, and vice versa. And the same may be observed of frictions of the skin, taste, smells and sounds... Vibrations in the aether will agitate the small particles of the medullary substance of the sensory nerves with synchronous vibrations... up to the brain... These vibrations are motions backwards and forwards of small particles, of the same kind with the oscillations of pendulums, and the tremblings of the particles of the sounding bodies (but) exceedingly short and small, so as not to have the least efficacy to disturb or move the whole bodies of the nerves... That the nerves themselves should vibrate like musical strings is highly absurd.
Observations on Man, His Frame, His Duty, and His Expectations (1749), part 1, 11-22.
Science quotes on:  |  Aether (13)  |  Affection (43)  |  Backwards (17)  |  Both (493)  |  Brain (270)  |  Disturb (28)  |  Exceedingly (28)  |  Forward (102)  |  Friction (14)  |  Impress (64)  |  Impressed (38)  |  Kind (557)  |  Light (607)  |  Motion (310)  |  Move (216)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Object (422)  |  Observed (149)  |  Oscillation (13)  |  Particle (194)  |  Pendulum (17)  |  Sense (770)  |  Sensory (16)  |  Short (197)  |  Skin (47)  |  Small (477)  |  Smell (27)  |  Sound (183)  |  Substance (248)  |  Taste (90)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Vibrate (7)  |  Vibration (20)  |  Vice (40)  |  Whole (738)  |  Will (2355)

Whenever the essential nature of things is analysed by the intellect, it must seem absurd or paradoxical. This has always been recognized by the mystics, but has become a problem in science only very recently.
In The Tao of Physics (1975), 50.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (32)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Become (815)  |  Essential (199)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Must (1526)  |  Mystic (20)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nature Of Things (29)  |  Paradox (50)  |  Problem (676)  |  Recent (77)  |  Recognition (88)  |  Science (3879)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Whenever (81)

While reading in a textbook of chemistry, … I came across the statement, “nitric acid acts upon copper.” I was getting tired of reading such absurd stuff and I determined to see what this meant. Copper was more or less familiar to me, for copper cents were then in use. I had seen a bottle marked “nitric acid” on a table in the doctor’s office where I was then “doing time.” I did not know its peculiarities, but I was getting on and likely to learn. The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words “act upon” meant … I put one of them [cent] on the table, opened the bottle marked “nitric acid”; poured some of the liquid on the copper; and prepared to make an observation. But what was this wonderful thing which I beheld? The cent was already changed, and it was no small change either. A greenish blue liquid foamed and fumed over the cent and over the table. The air in the neighborhood of the performance became colored dark red. A great colored cloud arose. This was disagreeable and suffocating—how should I stop this? I tried to get rid of the objectionable mess by picking it up and throwing it out of the window, which I had meanwhile opened. I learned another fact—nitric acid not only acts upon copper but it acts upon fingers. The pain led to another unpremeditated experiment. I drew my fingers across my trousers and another fact was discovered. Nitric acid acts upon trousers. Taking everything into consideration, that was the most impressive experiment, and, relatively, probably the most costly experiment I have ever performed.
In F.H. Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1940), 9.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Absurdity (32)  |  Acid (83)  |  Act (272)  |  Adventure (56)  |  Air (347)  |  Already (222)  |  Biography (240)  |  Bottle (15)  |  Cent (5)  |  Change (593)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Cloud (104)  |  Color (137)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Copper (25)  |  Cost (86)  |  Dark (140)  |  Disagreeable (5)  |  Discover (553)  |  Doctor (187)  |  Doing (280)  |  Everything (476)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Finger (44)  |  Foam (3)  |  Fume (7)  |  Great (1574)  |  Impressive (25)  |  Impressiveness (2)  |  Know (1518)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Liquid (50)  |  Marked (55)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Mess (13)  |  More (2559)  |  More Or Less (68)  |  Most (1731)  |  Neighborhood (12)  |  Nitric Acid (2)  |  Observation (555)  |  Office (71)  |  Open (274)  |  Pain (136)  |  Peculiarity (25)  |  Perform (121)  |  Performance (48)  |  Reading (133)  |  See (1081)  |  Small (477)  |  Spirit (265)  |  Statement (142)  |  Suffocation (2)  |  Table (104)  |  Textbook (36)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Throwing (17)  |  Time (1877)  |  Trousers (5)  |  Use (766)  |  Window (58)  |  Wonderful (149)  |  Word (619)

[L]et us not overlook the further great fact, that not only does science underlie sculpture, painting, music, poetry, but that science is itself poetic. The current opinion that science and poetry are opposed is a delusion. ... On the contrary science opens up realms of poetry where to the unscientific all is a blank. Those engaged in scientific researches constantly show us that they realize not less vividly, but more vividly, than others, the poetry of their subjects. Whoever will dip into Hugh Miller's works on geology, or read Mr. Lewes's “Seaside Studies,” will perceive that science excites poetry rather than extinguishes it. And whoever will contemplate the life of Goethe will see that the poet and the man of science can co-exist in equal activity. Is it not, indeed, an absurd and almost a sacrilegious belief that the more a man studies Nature the less he reveres it? Think you that a drop of water, which to the vulgar eye is but a drop of water, loses anything in the eye of the physicist who knows that its elements are held together by a force which, if suddenly liberated, would produce a flash of lightning? Think you that what is carelessly looked upon by the uninitiated as a mere snow-flake, does not suggest higher associations to one who has seen through a microscope the wondrously varied and elegant forms of snow-crystals? Think you that the rounded rock marked with parallel scratches calls up as much poetry in an ignorant mind as in the mind of a geologist, who knows that over this rock a glacier slid a million years ago? The truth is, that those who have never entered upon scientific pursuits know not a tithe of the poetry by which they are surrounded. Whoever has not in youth collected plants and insects, knows not half the halo of interest which lanes and hedge-rows can assume. Whoever has not sought for fossils, has little idea of the poetical associations that surround the places where imbedded treasures were found. Whoever at the seaside has not had a microscope and aquarium, has yet to learn what the highest pleasures of the seaside are. Sad, indeed, is it to see how men occupy themselves with trivialities, and are indifferent to the grandest phenomena—care not to understand the architecture of the Heavens, but are deeply interested in some contemptible controversy about the intrigues of Mary Queen of Scots!—are learnedly critical over a Greek ode, and pass by without a glance that grand epic written by the finger of God upon the strata of the Earth!
Education: Intellectual, Moral, and Physical (1889), 82-83.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Absurdity (32)  |  Activity (210)  |  All (4108)  |  Aquarium (2)  |  Architecture (48)  |  Association (46)  |  Belief (578)  |  Blank (11)  |  Call (769)  |  Care (186)  |  Collection (64)  |  Contemplation (73)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Controversy (29)  |  Critical (66)  |  Crystal (68)  |  Current (118)  |  Delusion (25)  |  Drop (76)  |  Earth (996)  |  Elegant (36)  |  Element (310)  |  Enter (141)  |  Epic (12)  |  Excitation (9)  |  Exist (443)  |  Eye (419)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Flash (49)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Geologist (75)  |  Geology (220)  |  Glacier (17)  |  Glance (34)  |  God (757)  |  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (145)  |  Grandest (10)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greek (107)  |  Halo (7)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Hedgerow (2)  |  Idea (843)  |  Ignorant (90)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Insect (77)  |  Interest (386)  |  Know (1518)  |  Learn (629)  |  George Henry Lewes (19)  |  Life (1795)  |  Lightning (45)  |  Little (707)  |  Look (582)  |  Lose (159)  |  Man (2251)  |  Marked (55)  |  Microscope (80)  |  Hugh Miller (14)  |  Mind (1338)  |  More (2559)  |  Music (129)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  Ode (3)  |  Open (274)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Opposition (48)  |  Other (2236)  |  Overlook (31)  |  Painting (44)  |  Parallel (43)  |  Pass (238)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Plant (294)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Read (287)  |  Realize (147)  |  Realm (85)  |  Research (664)  |  Rock (161)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Art (184)  |  Science And Poetry (14)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Sculpture (12)  |  Seaside (2)  |  See (1081)  |  Show (346)  |  Snow (37)  |  Snowflake (14)  |  Strata (35)  |  Subject (521)  |  Suddenly (88)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Think (1086)  |  Through (849)  |  Together (387)  |  Treasure (57)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Underlie (18)  |  Understand (606)  |  Unscientific (13)  |  Vividly (11)  |  Vulgar (33)  |  Water (481)  |  Whoever (42)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)  |  Youth (101)

~~[Misattributed]~~ Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.
No known primary source exists for this quote in Escher’s works. It is likely misattributed from a quote by Miguel de Unamuno translated as, “Only one who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible.” See the Miguel de Unamuno Quotes page on this site.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (66)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Misattributed (19)  |  Will (2355)

… There can be no doubt about faith and not reason being the ultima ratio. Even Euclid, who has laid himself as little open to the charge of credulity as any writer who ever lived, cannot get beyond this. He has no demonstrable first premise. He requires postulates and axioms which transcend demonstration, and without which he can do nothing. His superstructure indeed is demonstration, but his ground his faith. Nor again can he get further than telling a man he is a fool if he persists in differing from him. He says “which is absurd,” and declines to discuss the matter further. Faith and authority, therefore, prove to be as necessary for him as for anyone else.
In The Way of All Flesh (1917), 319-320.
Science quotes on:  |  Authority (95)  |  Axiom (63)  |  Being (1278)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Charge (59)  |  Credulity (14)  |  Decline (26)  |  Demonstration (113)  |  Discuss (22)  |  Do (1908)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Faith (203)  |  First (1283)  |  Fool (116)  |  Ground (217)  |  Himself (461)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Little (707)  |  Man (2251)  |  Matter (798)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Open (274)  |  Postulate (38)  |  Premise (37)  |  Prove (250)  |  Ratio (39)  |  Reason (744)  |  Require (219)  |  Say (984)  |  Transcend (26)  |  Writer (86)


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 EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (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



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