Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Politics is more difficult than physics.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index B > Category: Behaviour

Behaviour Quotes (24 quotes)

Question: Explain why pipes burst in cold weather.
Answer: People who have not studied acoustics think that Thor bursts the pipes, but we know that is nothing of the kind for Professor Tyndall has burst the mythologies and has taught us that it is the natural behaviour of water (and bismuth) without which all fish would die and the earth be held in an iron grip. (1881)
Genuine student answer* to an Acoustics, Light and Heat paper (1881), Science and Art Department, South Kensington, London, collected by Prof. Oliver Lodge. Quoted in Henry B. Wheatley, Literary Blunders (1893), 186-7, Question 10. (*From a collection in which Answers are not given verbatim et literatim, and some instances may combine several students' blunders.) Webmaster notes that “fish would die” may refer to being taught that water's greatest density is at 4°C, and sinks below a frozen surface, so bodies of water can remain liquid underneath, to the benefit of the fish. The student was likely taught that bismuth, like water, expands when it freezes.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Bismuth (6)  |  Blunder (13)  |  Burst (17)  |  Cold (38)  |  Death (270)  |  Earth (487)  |  Examination (60)  |  Fish (85)  |  Freezing (11)  |  Grip (8)  |  Ice (29)  |  Iron (53)  |  Mythology (11)  |  Natural (128)  |  Pipe (6)  |  Question (315)  |  Schoolboy (5)  |  Study (331)  |  Teaching (99)  |  John Tyndall (46)  |  Water (244)  |  Weather (27)

Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. (1930)
Behaviorism (1998), 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Learning (174)

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
Speech, London (16 Dec 1970), 'Israel's International Relations in an Era of Peace', (1979), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Alternative (22)  |  Exhaust (12)  |  History (302)  |  Nation (111)  |  Teaching (99)  |  Wisedom (2)

Human behaviour reveals uniformities which constitute natural laws. If these uniformities did not exist, then there would be neither social science nor political economy, and even the study of history would largely be useless. In effect, if the future actions of men having nothing in common with their past actions, our knowledge of them, although possibly satisfying our curiosity by way of an interesting story, would be entirely useless to us as a guide in life.
Cours d'Economie Politique (1896-7), Vol. 2, 397.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Common (92)  |  Constitution (26)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Economy (46)  |  Effect (133)  |  Existence (254)  |  Future (229)  |  History (302)  |  Human (445)  |  Interest (170)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Law (418)  |  Man (345)  |  Natural (128)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Past (109)  |  Politics (77)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Revelation (29)  |  Social Science (18)  |  Story (58)  |  Study (331)  |  Uniformity (17)  |  Uselessness (21)

If diphtheria is a disease caused by a microorganism, it is essential that three postulates be fulfilled. The fulfilment of these postulates is necessary in order to demonstrate strictly the parasitic nature of a disease:
1) The organism must be shown to be constantly present in characteristic form and arrangement in the diseased tissue.
2) The organism which, from its behaviour appears to be responsible for the disease, must be isolated and grown in pure culture.
3) The pure culture must be shown to induce the disease experimentally.
An early statement of Koch's postulates.
Mittheilungen aus den Kaiserliche Gesundheitsamt (1884) Vol. 2. Trans. T. D. Brock, Robert Koch: A Life in Medicine and Bacteriology (1988), 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Culture (85)  |  Diphtheria (2)  |  Disease (257)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Isolation (26)  |  Microorganism (20)  |  Parasite (28)  |  Postulate (23)  |  Tissue (24)

It is probable that the scheme of physics will be enlarged so as to embrace the behaviour of living organisms under the influence of life and mind. Biology and psychology are not alien sciences; their operations are not solely mechanical, nor can they be formulated by physics as it is today; but they belong to a physical universe, and their mode of action ought to be capable of being formulated in terms of an enlarged physics in the future, in which the ether will take a predominant place. On the other hand it may be thought that those entities cannot be brought to book so easily, and that they will always elude our ken. If so, there will be a dualism in the universe, which posterity will find staggering, but that will not alter the facts.
In Past Years: an Autobiography (1932), 350. Quoted in book review, Waldehar Kaempfert, 'Sir Oliver Lodge Stands by the Old Physics', New York Times (21 Feb 1932), BR5.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Alien (25)  |  Biology (150)  |  Dualism (3)  |  Eluding (2)  |  Enlargement (6)  |  Ether (24)  |  Fact (609)  |  Formulation (20)  |  Future (229)  |  Influence (110)  |  Life (917)  |  Mechanics (44)  |  Mind (544)  |  Mode (29)  |  Operation (96)  |  Organism (126)  |  Physics (301)  |  Posterity (16)  |  Predominance (2)  |  Probability (83)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Science (1699)  |  Staggering (2)  |  Universe (563)

Man’s unconscious… contains all the patterns of life and behaviour inherited from his ancestors, so that every human child, prior to consciousness, is possessed of a potential system of adapted psychic functioning.
Carl Jung
The Basic Postulates of Analytical Psychology (1931), 186.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (189)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Unconscious (13)

On consideration, it is not surprising that Darwin's finches should recognize their own kind primarily by beak characters. The beak is the only prominent specific distinction, and it features conspicuously both in attacking behaviour, when the birds face each other and grip beaks, and also in courtship, when food is passed from the beak of the male to the beak of the female. Hence though the beak differences are primarily correlated with differences in food, secondarily they serve as specific recognition marks, and the birds have evolved behaviour patterns to this end.
Darwin's Finches (1947), 54.
Science quotes on:  |  Beak (4)  |  Bird (96)  |  Charles Darwin (284)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Finch (4)  |  Food (139)

Plasticity is a double-edged sword; the more flexible an organism is the greater the variety of maladaptive, as well as adaptive, behaviors it can develop; the more teachable it is the more fully it can profit from the experiences of its ancestors and associates and the more it risks being exploited by its ancestors and associates.
In Gary William Flake, The Computational Beauty of Nature (2000), 361.
Science quotes on:  |  Adaptation (40)  |  Ancestor (35)  |  Associate (9)  |  Experience (268)  |  Exploit (10)  |  Flexibility (5)  |  Learning (174)  |  Organism (126)  |  Plasticity (4)  |  Profit (28)

Psychologism is, I believe, correct only in so far as it insists upon what may be called 'methodological individualism' as opposed to 'methodological collectivism'; it rightly insists that the 'behaviour' and the 'actions' of collectives, such as states or social groups, must be reduced to the behaviour and to the actions of human individuals. But the belief that the choice of such an individualist method implies the choice of a psychological method is mistaken.
The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945), Vol. 22, 87.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Belief (400)  |  Choice (64)  |  Collective (16)  |  Collectivism (2)  |  Correctness (11)  |  Group (52)  |  Human (445)  |  Implication (14)  |  Individual (177)  |  Individualism (2)  |  Insistence (9)  |  Method (154)  |  Methodology (8)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Opposite (39)  |  Psychological (10)  |  Society (188)  |  State (96)

Psychologists must cease to be content with the sterile and narrow conception of their science as the science of consciousness, and must boldly assert its claim to be the positive science of mind in all its aspects and modes of functining, or, as I would prefer to say, the positive science of conduct or behavior.
An Introduction to Social Psychology (1928), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Consciousness (71)  |  Mind (544)  |  Nomenclature (129)

So I want to admit the assumption which the astronomer—and indeed any scientist—makes about the Universe he investigates. It is this: that the same physical causes give rise to the same physical results anywhere in the Universe, and at any time, past, present, and future. The fuller examination of this basic assumption, and much else besides, belongs to philosophy. The scientist, for his part, makes the assumption I have mentioned as an act of faith; and he feels confirmed in that faith by his increasing ability to build up a consistent and satisfying picture of the universe and its behavior.
From Science and the Nation (1957), 49. Also quoted in Ronald Keast, Dancing in the Dark: The Waltz in Wonder of Quantum Metaphysics (2009), 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Act Of Faith (2)  |  Anywhere (11)  |  Assumption (49)  |  Astronomer (50)  |  Build (80)  |  Cause (231)  |  Confirmation (15)  |  Consistent (10)  |  Investigate (49)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Physical (94)  |  Picture (55)  |  Result (250)  |  Satisfying (5)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Time (439)  |  Universe (563)

The advances of biology during the past 20 years have been breathtaking, particularly in cracking the mystery of heredity. Nevertheless, the greatest and most difficult problems still lie ahead. The discoveries of the 1970‘s about the chemical roots of memory in nerve cells or the basis of learning, about the complex behavior of man and animals, the nature of growth, development, disease and aging will be at least as fundamental and spectacular as those of the recent past.
As quoted in 'H. Bentley Glass', New York Times (12 Jan 1970), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Aging (4)  |  Animal (309)  |  Biology (150)  |  Cell (125)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Decade (19)  |  Development (228)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Disease (257)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Future (229)  |  Growth (111)  |  Heredity (51)  |  Learning (174)  |  Man (345)  |  Memory (81)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Nerve (66)  |  Problem (362)  |  Root (48)  |  Spectacular (8)

The Astonishing Hypothesis is that “You,” your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased it: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.”
In 'Introduction', The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for Soul (1994), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Ambition (25)  |  Assembly (5)  |  Brain (181)  |  Lewis Carroll (21)  |  Fact (609)  |  Free Will (11)  |  Identity (9)  |  Joy (61)  |  Memory (81)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Nerve (66)  |  Neuron (9)  |  Sense (240)  |  Sorrow (8)

The cloning of humans is on most of the lists of things to worry about from Science, along with behaviour control, genetic engineering, transplanted heads, computer poetry and the unrestrained growth of plastic flowers.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Clon (3)  |  Computer (84)  |  Control (93)  |  Flower (65)  |  Genetic Engineering (13)  |  Growth (111)  |  Head (52)  |  Human (445)  |  List (5)  |  Plastic (15)  |  Poetry (96)  |  Science (1699)  |  Transplant (8)  |  Unrestrained (2)  |  Worry (27)

The eminent scientist who once said we all behave like human beings obviously never drove a car.
Anonymous
In E.C. McKenzie, 14,000 Quips and Quotes for Speakers, Writers, Editors, Preachers, and Teachers (1990), 350.
Science quotes on:  |  Car (20)  |  Drive (38)  |  Eminent (6)  |  Human Being (54)  |  Scientist (447)

The experience and behaviour that gets labelled schizophrenic is a special strategy that a person invents in order to live in an unlivable situation.
Politics of Experience (1967), 95.
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (268)  |  Life (917)  |  Strategy (8)

The striving to achieve an end is … the mark of behaviour; and behaviour is the characteristic of living things.
Psychology (1912), 20.

There is nothing distinctively scientific about the hypothetico-deductive process. It is not even distinctively intellectual. It is merely a scientific context for a much more general stratagem that underlies almost all regulative processes or processes of continuous control, namely feedback, the control of performance by the consequences of the act performed. In the hypothetico-deductive scheme the inferences we draw from a hypothesis are, in a sense, its logical output. If they are true, the hypothesis need not be altered, but correction is obligatory if they are false. The continuous feedback from inference to hypothesis is implicit in Whewell’s account of scientific method; he would not have dissented from the view that scientific behaviour can be classified as appropriately under cybernetics as under logic.
Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought (1969), 54-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Alteration (22)  |  Classification (79)  |  Consequence (76)  |  Context (17)  |  Control (93)  |  Correction (28)  |  Cybernetics (3)  |  Deduction (49)  |  Dissent (7)  |  Distinctive (8)  |  False (79)  |  Feedback (8)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Implicit (4)  |  Inference (26)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Logic (187)  |  Output (9)  |  Performance (27)  |  Process (201)  |  Regulation (18)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Stratagem (2)  |  Truth (750)  |  William Whewell (55)

We cannot idealize technology. Technology is only and always the reflection of our own imagination, and its uses must be conditioned by our own values. Technology can help cure diseases, but we can prevent a lot of diseases by old-fashioned changes in behavior.
Remarks at Knoxville Auditorium Coliseum, Knoxville, Tennessee (10 Oct 1996) while seeking re-election. American Presidency Project web page.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (291)  |  Condition (119)  |  Cure (88)  |  Disease (257)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Old-Fashioned (5)  |  Prevent (27)  |  Reflection (50)  |  Technology (199)  |  Value (180)

We think we understand the regular reflection of light and X rays - and we should understand the reflections of electrons as well if electrons were only waves instead of particles ... It is rather as if one were to see a rabbit climbing a tree, and were to say ‘Well, that is rather a strange thing for a rabbit to be doing, but after all there is really nothing to get excited about. Cats climb trees - so that if the rabbit were only a cat, we would understand its behavior perfectly.’ Of course, the explanation might be that what we took to be a rabbit was not a rabbit at all but was actually a cat. Is it possible that we are mistaken all this time in supposing they are particles, and that actually they are waves?
Franklin Institute Journal Vol. 205, 597. Cited in New Scientist (14 Apr 1977), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  Cat (31)  |  Election (6)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Particle (90)  |  Rabbit (6)  |  Reflection (50)  |  Tree (143)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Wave (55)

While our behavior is still significantly controlled by our genetic inheritance, we have, through our brains, a much richer opportunity to blaze new behavioral and cultural pathways on short timescales.
The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence (1977, 1986), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (181)  |  Culture (85)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Genetics (98)

Why does man behave like perfect idiot? This is the problem I wish to deal with.
The Crazy Ape (1970), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Dealing (9)  |  Idiot (14)  |  Man (345)  |  Problem (362)  |  Wish (62)

… and the thousands of fishes moved as a huge beast piercing the water. They appear united, inexorably bound by common fate. How comes this unity?
Anonymous
Seventeenth century. In Gary William Flake, The Computational Beauty of Nature (2000), 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Autonomy (3)  |  Beast (32)  |  Fate (38)  |  Fish (85)  |  Organization (79)  |  Unity (43)


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



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