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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Environmental extremists ... wouldn’t let you build a house unless it looked like a bird’s nest.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index B > Category: Brilliant

Brilliant Quotes (14 quotes)

Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (21)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Computer (84)  |  Fast (24)  |  Human Beings (19)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Inaccurate (3)  |  Incredibly (3)  |  Powerful (51)  |  Slow (36)  |  Stupid (15)  |  Together (48)

Happily, facts have become so multiplied, that Geology is daily emerging from that state when an hypothesis, provided it were brilliant and ingenious, was sure of advocates and temporary success, when when it sinned against the laws of physics and the facts themselves.
In Geological Manual (1832), Preface, iv.
Science quotes on:  |  Advocate (10)  |  Emergence (21)  |  Fact (609)  |  Geology (187)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Ingenious (18)  |  Law (418)  |  Law Of Nature (52)  |  Physics (301)  |  Success (202)  |  Temporary (13)

I am more of a sponge than an inventor. I absorb ideas from every source. I take half-matured schemes for mechanical development and make them practical. I am a sort of middleman between the long-haired and impractical inventor and the hard-headed businessman who measures all things in terms of dollars and cents. My principal business is giving commercial value to the brilliant but misdirected ideas of others.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (11)  |  Business (71)  |  Businessman (3)  |  Cent (5)  |  Commercial (25)  |  Development (228)  |  Dollar (19)  |  Give (117)  |  Hard-Headed (2)  |  Idea (440)  |  Inventor (49)  |  Measure (70)  |  Mechanical (31)  |  Misdirect (2)  |  Practical (93)  |  Principal (15)  |  Scheme (20)  |  Sort (32)  |  Source (71)  |  Sponge (9)  |  Term (87)  |  Value (180)

I am now convinced that we have recently become possessed of experimental evidence of the discrete or grained nature of matter, which the atomic hypothesis sought in vain for hundreds and thousands of years. The isolation and counting of gaseous ions, on the one hand, which have crowned with success the long and brilliant researches of J.J. Thomson, and, on the other, agreement of the Brownian movement with the requirements of the kinetic hypothesis, established by many investigators and most conclusively by J. Perrin, justify the most cautious scientist in now speaking of the experimental proof of the atomic nature of matter, The atomic hypothesis is thus raised to the position of a scientifically well-founded theory, and can claim a place in a text-book intended for use as an introduction to the present state of our knowledge of General Chemistry.
In Grundriss der allgemeinen Chemie (4th ed., 1909), Preface, as cited by Erwin N. Hiebert and Hans-Gunther Korber in article on Ostwald in Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography Supplement 1, Vol 15-16, 464.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (251)  |  Robert Brown (2)  |  Caution (15)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Claim (52)  |  Conviction (57)  |  Counting (5)  |  Crown (19)  |  Discrete (6)  |  Evidence (157)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Gas (46)  |  Granular (2)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Introduction (31)  |  Ion (8)  |  Isolation (26)  |  Long (95)  |  Matter (270)  |  Jean Perrin (2)  |  Possession (37)  |  Proof (192)  |  Recent (23)  |  Research (517)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Seeking (30)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Success (202)  |  Text-Book (2)  |  Theory (582)  |  Sir J.J. Thomson (17)  |  Vain (26)  |  Year (214)

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.
'Jack London Credo' quoted, without citing a source, in Irving Shepard (ed.), Jack London’s Tales of Adventure (1956), Introduction, vii. (Irving Shepard was London's literary executor.) This sentiment, expressed two months before his death, was quoted by journalist Ernest J. Hopkins in the San Francisco Bulletin (2 Dec 1916), Pt. 2, 1. No direct source in London's writings has been found, though he wrote “I would rather be ashes than dust&rdquo. as an inscription in an autograph book. Biographer Clarice Stasz cautions that although Hopkins had visited the ranch just weeks before London's death, the journalist's quote (as was not uncommon in his time) is not necessarily reliable, or may be his own invention. See this comment in 'Apocrypha' appended to Jack London, The Call Of The Wild (eBookEden.com).
Science quotes on:  |  Ash (16)  |  Atom (251)  |  Burn (29)  |  Day (38)  |  Death (270)  |  Dust (42)  |  Existence (254)  |  Function (90)  |  Glow (7)  |  Life (917)  |  Magnificent (15)  |  Man (345)  |  Meteor (14)  |  Permanence (15)  |  Planet (199)  |  Prolong (8)  |  Sleep (42)  |  Spark (18)  |  Time (439)  |  Use (70)  |  Waste (57)

In the experimental sciences, the epochs of the most brilliant progress are almost always separated by long intervals of almost absolute repose.
In François Arago, trans. by William Henry Smyth, Baden Powell and Robert Grant, 'Fourier', Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men (1859), Vol. 1, 411.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Epoch (12)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Interval (8)  |  Long (95)  |  Progress (317)  |  Repose (5)  |  Science (1699)  |  Separation (32)

It is this ideal of progress through cumulative effort rather than through genius—progress by organised effort, progress which does not wait for some brilliant stroke, some lucky discovery, or the advent of some superman, has been the chief gift of science to social philosophy.
Address to 48th annual summer convention of the American Institute of Electriccal Engineers, Cleveland (21 Jun 1932), abridged in 'The Rôle of the Engineer', The Electrical Journal (1932), 109, 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Advent (4)  |  Chief (25)  |  Cumulative (8)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Effort (94)  |  Genius (186)  |  Gift (47)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Lucky (6)  |  Organization (79)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Progress (317)  |  Science (1699)  |  Social (93)  |  Stroke (5)  |  Superman (3)  |  Wait (38)

Maxwell, like every other pioneer who does not live to explore the country he opened out, had not had time to investigate the most direct means of access to the country, or the most systematic way of exploring it. This has been reserved for Oliver Heaviside to do. Maxwell’s treatise is cumbered with the débris of his brilliant lines of assault, of his entrenched camps, of his battles. Oliver Heaviside has cleared those away, has opened up a direct route, has made a broad road, and has explored a considerable tract of country.
Book Review of Heaviside’s Electrical Papers in The Electrician (11 Aug 1893). Collected in Joseph Larmore (ed.), The Scientific Writings of the Late George Francis FitzGerald (1902), 294.
Science quotes on:  |  Access (12)  |  Assault (9)  |  Battle (30)  |  Country (121)  |  Debris (7)  |  Encumber (3)  |  Exploration (93)  |  Oliver Heaviside (20)  |  Investigate (49)  |  James Clerk Maxwell (75)  |  Pioneer (23)  |  Route (11)  |  Treatise (19)

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
Carl Jung
From The Gifted Child collected in Collected Works (1954, 1971), Vol. 17, 144. Translated from 'Der Begabt', Psychologie und Erziehung (1946).
Science quotes on:  |  Appreciate (17)  |  Child (189)  |  Curriculum (9)  |  Element (129)  |  Feeling (79)  |  Gratitude (10)  |  Growing (15)  |  Human (445)  |  Material (124)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Plant (173)  |  Raw (10)  |  Soul (139)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Vital (32)  |  Warmth (7)

Pierre Curie, a brilliant scientist, happened to marry a still more brilliant one—Marie, the famous Madame Curie—and is the only great scientist in history who is consistently identified as the husband of someone else.
View from a Height (1963), 119.
Science quotes on:  |  Consistency (21)  |  Marie Curie (31)  |  Pierre Curie (3)  |  History (302)  |  Husband (10)  |  Identification (11)  |  Marriage (31)  |  Scientist (447)

Psychology appeared to be a jungle of confusing, conflicting, and arbitrary concepts. These pre-scientific theories doubtless contained insights which still surpass in refinement those depended upon by psychiatrists or psychologists today. But who knows, among the many brilliant ideas offered, which are the true ones? Some will claim that the statements of one theorist are correct, but others will favour the views of another. Then there is no objective way of sorting out the truth except through scientific research.
From The Scientific Analysis of Personality (1965), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Arbitrary (16)  |  Claim (52)  |  Concept (102)  |  Conflicting (3)  |  Confusing (2)  |  Correct (53)  |  Idea (440)  |  Insight (57)  |  Jungle (13)  |  Psychiatrist (13)  |  Psychologist (11)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Refinement (12)  |  Research (517)  |  Statement (56)  |  Surpass (12)  |  Theorist (24)  |  Theory (582)  |  True (120)  |  Truth (750)

The chemist works along his own brilliant line of discovery and exposition; the astronomer has his special field to explore; the geologist has a well-defined sphere to occupy. It is manifest, however, that not one of these men can tell the whole tale, and make a complete story of creation. Another man is wanted. A man who, though not necessarily going into formal science, sees the whole idea, and speaks of it in its unity. This man is the theologian. He is not a chemist, an astronomer, a geologist, a botanist——he is more: he speaks of circles, not of segments; of principles, not of facts; of causes and purposes rather than of effects and appearances. Not that the latter are excluded from his study, but that they are so wisely included in it as to be put in their proper places.
In The People's Bible: Discourses Upon Holy Scripture: Vol. 1. Genesis (1885), 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (77)  |  Astronomer (50)  |  Botanist (16)  |  Cause (231)  |  Chemist (79)  |  Circle (28)  |  Complete (43)  |  Creation (211)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Effect (133)  |  Exclusion (11)  |  Exploration (93)  |  Exposition (5)  |  Fact (609)  |  Field (119)  |  Geologist (42)  |  Idea (440)  |  Inclusion (5)  |  Line (44)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Place (111)  |  Principle (228)  |  Proper (27)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Segment (3)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Special (51)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Story (58)  |  Study (331)  |  Tale (12)  |  Telling (23)  |  Theologian (14)  |  Unity (43)  |  Want (120)  |  Well-Defined (2)  |  Whole (122)  |  Wisedom (2)  |  Work (457)

Theories cannot claim to be indestructible. They are only the plough which the ploughman uses to draw his furrow and which he has every right to discard for another one, of improved design, after the harvest. To be this ploughman, to see my labours result in the furtherance of scientific progress, was the height of my ambition, and now the Swedish Academy of Sciences has come, at this harvest, to add the most brilliant of crowns.
'The Method of Direct Hydrogenation by Catalysis', Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1912). Noble Lectures in Chemistry 1901-1921 (1966), 230-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Academy Of Sciences (2)  |  Ambition (25)  |  Crown (19)  |  Design (92)  |  Discard (14)  |  Furrow (3)  |  Furtherance (2)  |  Height (24)  |  Improvement (67)  |  Labour (36)  |  Plough (8)  |  Ploughman (2)  |  Progress (317)  |  Result (250)  |  Right (144)  |  Scientific Progress (12)  |  Sweden (3)  |  Theory (582)

What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft repeated, than the story of a large research program that impaled itself upon a false central assumption accepted by all practitioners? Do we regard all people who worked within such traditions as dishonorable fools? What of the scientists who assumed that the continents were stable, that the hereditary material was protein, or that all other galaxies lay within the Milky Way? These false and abandoned efforts were pursued with passion by brilliant and honorable scientists. How many current efforts, now commanding millions of research dollars and the full attention of many of our best scientists, will later be exposed as full failures based on false premises?
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (37)  |  Accept (37)  |  Assume (19)  |  Assumption (49)  |  Attention (76)  |  Base (43)  |  Best (129)  |  Central (23)  |  Command (14)  |  Continent (39)  |  Current (43)  |  Dollar (19)  |  Effort (94)  |  Expose (9)  |  Failure (118)  |  False (79)  |  Fool (70)  |  Full (38)  |  Galaxy (38)  |  Hereditary (6)  |  Honorable (5)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Large (82)  |  Late (28)  |  Lie (80)  |  Material (124)  |  Milky Way (19)  |  Millions (13)  |  Old (104)  |  Passion (54)  |  People (269)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Practitioner (12)  |  Premise (14)  |  Program (32)  |  Protein (43)  |  Pursue (10)  |  Regard (58)  |  Repeat (27)  |  Research (517)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Stable (15)  |  Story (58)  |  Tradition (43)  |  Work (457)


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.