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Who said: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index A > Category: Armchair

Armchair Quotes (7 quotes)

A physicist will tell me that this armchair is made of vibrations and that it’s not really here at all. But when Samuel Johnson was asked to prove the material existence of reality, he just went up to a big stone and kicked it. I'm with him.
Commenting on string theory. From 'Interview: Of Mind and Matter: David Attenborough Meets Richard Dawkins', The Guardian (11 Sep 2010).
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My courses in physics and chemistry showed me that science could and indeed should have precise theories, but at that time geology lacked them and all right-minded geologists scoffed at the search for any. They said that this was armchair geology and that more maps were both the aim and the method of geology. So sterile a concept baffled me, but I was too stupid to accept, until I was fifty, the explanation which Frank Taylor and Alfred Wegener had advanced in the year I was born.
In 'Early Days in University Geophysics', Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences (1982), 10, 6.
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Seeing and thinking have done much for human progress; in the sphere of mind and morals everything, and could the world have been saved by armchair philosophy, the Greeks would have done it; but only a novum organon could do this, the powerful possibilities of which were only revealed when man began to search our the secrets of nature by way of experiment, to use the words of Harvey.
Address at the opening of the new Pathological Institute of the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow (4 Oct 1911). Printed in 'The Pathological Institute of a General Hospital', Glasgow Medical Journal (1911), 76, 326.
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The Catholic Church excommunicated Copernicans, the Communist Party persecuted Mendelians on the ground that their doctrines were pseudoscientific. The demarcation between science and pseudoscience is not merely a problem of armchair philosophy: it is of vital social and political relevance.
In Radio Lecture (30 Jun 1973) broadcast by the Open University, collected in Imre Lakatos, John Worrall (ed.) and Gregory Currie (ed.), 'Introduction: Science and Pseudoscience', The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes (1978, 1980), Vol. 1, 1.
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The public image of the scientist tends to be that of a magician, occasionally benevolent, though more often giving rise to disastrous inventions, or perhaps that of a man shutting himself into a laboratory and, in his lonely way, playing with retorts and test tubes, or perhaps leaning back in a comfortable armchair in a darkened room and thinking.
In 'Why Scientists Talk', collected in John Wolfenden, Hermann Bondi, et al., The Languages of Science: A Survey of Techniques of Communication (1963), 35.
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True, no one can absolutely control the direction of his life; but each person can certainly influence it. The armchair explorers who complain that they never got their “one lucky shot” were never really infected by the incurable drive to explore. Those who have the bug—go.
In Jacques Cousteau and Susan Schiefelbein, The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World (2007), 32.
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You must simply show the thing so truthfully that it lends strength to people’s awareness of what you might call the politics of the environment. … People do not want to sit in their armchairs and be made to feel that everything is awful and it's all their fault.
Attenborough felt—in the reporter’s narrative words—it would be a misuse of his position to waggle his finger at people and put across film-laden messages. In Justine de Lacy, 'Around the World With Attenborough', New York Times (27 Jan 1985), Sec. 2, 25.
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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
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
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Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
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Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
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Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
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Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
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- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
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Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
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- 20 -
Carl Sagan
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Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
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Francis Bacon
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- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
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Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
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