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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I was going to record talking... the foil was put on; I then shouted 'Mary had a little lamb',... and the machine reproduced it perfectly.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index C > Category: Central

Central Quotes (80 quotes)

A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable.
Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millenium (1998), 190.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (138)  |  Authority (95)  |  Complex (188)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Contradict (40)  |  Dogma (48)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Free (232)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Guarantee (30)  |  Lesson (57)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Must (1526)  |  Problem (676)  |  Publication (101)  |  Science (3879)  |  Simple (406)  |  Try (283)  |  Unacceptable (3)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)

According to the Boshongo people of central Africa, in the beginning, there was only darkness, water, and the great god Bumba. One day Bumba, in pain from a stomach ache, vomited up the sun. The sun dried up some of the water, leaving land. Still in pain, Bumba vomited up the moon, the stars, and then some animals. The leopard, the crocodile, the turtle, and finally, man. This creation myth, like many others, tries to answer the questions we all ask. Why are we here? Where did we come from?
Lecture (1987), 'The Origin of the Universe', collected in Black Holes And Baby Universes And Other Essays (1993), 99.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  Africa (35)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Answer (366)  |  Ask (411)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Creation (327)  |  Crocodile (14)  |  Darkness (68)  |  God (757)  |  Great (1574)  |  Land (115)  |  Leopard (2)  |  Man (2251)  |  Moon (237)  |  Myth (56)  |  Origin Of Earth (9)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pain (136)  |  People (1005)  |  Question (621)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Still (613)  |  Stomach (39)  |  Stomachache (3)  |  Sun (385)  |  Turtle (8)  |  Vomit (3)  |  Water (481)  |  Why (491)

Analogy is a wonderful, useful and most important form of thinking, and biology is saturated with it. Nothing is worse than a horrible mass of undigested facts, and facts are indigestible unless there is some rhyme or reason to them. The physicist, with his facts, seeks reason; the biologist seeks something very much like rhyme, and rhyme is a kind of analogy.... This analogizing, this fine sweeping ability to see likenesses in the midst of differences is the great glory of biology, but biologists don't know it.... They have always been so fascinated and overawed by the superior prestige of exact physical science that they feel they have to imitate it.... In its central content, biology is not accurate thinking, but accurate observation and imaginative thinking, with great sweeping generalizations.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 98-100.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (152)  |  Accuracy (78)  |  Accurate (86)  |  Analogy (71)  |  Awe (43)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Biology (216)  |  Content (69)  |  Difference (337)  |  Exact (68)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fascination (32)  |  Feel (367)  |  Form (959)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Glory (58)  |  Great (1574)  |  Horrible (10)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Imitate (17)  |  Imitation (24)  |  Importance (286)  |  Kind (557)  |  Know (1518)  |  Likeness (18)  |  Mass (157)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Observation (555)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical Science (101)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Prestige (14)  |  Reason (744)  |  Rhyme (6)  |  Saturation (9)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Seek (213)  |  Something (719)  |  Superior (81)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Undigested (2)  |  Useful (250)  |  Usefulness (86)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Wonderful (149)

Biology occupies a position among the sciences both marginal and central. Marginal because, the living world, constituting only a tiny and very “special” part of the universe, it does not seem likely that the study of living beings will ever uncover general laws applicable outside the biosphere. But if the ultimate aim of the whole of science is indeed, as I believe, to clarify man's relationship to the universe, then biology must be accorded a central position, since of all the disciplines it is the one that endeavours to go most directly to the heart of the problems that must be resolved before that of “human nature” can even be framed in other than metaphysical terms.
In Jacques Monod and Austryn Wainhouse (trans.), Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology (1971), xi.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Aim (165)  |  All (4108)  |  Applicable (31)  |  Being (1278)  |  Biology (216)  |  Biosphere (13)  |  Both (493)  |  Clarify (3)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Endeavour (63)  |  General (511)  |  Heart (229)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Nature (64)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Law (894)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Man (2251)  |  Marginal (3)  |  Metaphysical (38)  |  Metaphysics (50)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outside (141)  |  Problem (676)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Science (3879)  |  Special (184)  |  Study (653)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Tiny (72)  |  Ultimate (144)  |  Uncover (20)  |  Universe (857)  |  Whole (738)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

Despite the high long-term probability of extinction, every organism alive today, including every person reading this paper, is a link in an unbroken chain of parent-offspring relationships that extends back unbroken to the beginning of life on earth. Every living organism is a part of an enormously long success story—each of its direct ancestors has been sufficiently well adapted to its physical and biological environments to allow it to mature and reproduce successfully. Viewed thus, adaptation is not a trivial facet of natural history, but a biological attribute so central as to be inseparable from life itself.
In 'Integrative Biology: An Organismic Biologist’s Point of View', Integrative and Comparative Biology (2005), 45, 330.
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (66)  |  Adaptation (58)  |  Alive (90)  |  Allow (45)  |  Ancestor (60)  |  Attribute (61)  |  Back (390)  |  Begin (260)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Biological (137)  |  Chain (50)  |  Despite (7)  |  Direct (225)  |  Earth (996)  |  Enormously (4)  |  Environment (216)  |  Extend (128)  |  Extinction (74)  |  Facet (8)  |  High (362)  |  History (673)  |  Include (90)  |  Inseparable (16)  |  Life (1795)  |  Life On Earth (9)  |  Link (43)  |  Live (628)  |  Living (491)  |  Long (790)  |  Long-Term (9)  |  Mature (16)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural History (70)  |  Offspring (27)  |  Organism (220)  |  Paper (182)  |  Parent (76)  |  Part (222)  |  Person (363)  |  Physical (508)  |  Probability (130)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Reproduce (11)  |  Story (118)  |  Success (302)  |  Successfully (5)  |  Sufficiently (9)  |  Term (349)  |  Today (314)  |  Trivial (57)  |  Unbroken (10)  |  View (488)

Differences between individuals are the raw materials for evolutionary change and for the evolution of adaptations, yet of course most physiologists treat these differences as noise that is to be filtered out. From the standpoint of physiological ecology, the traditional emphasis of physiologists on central tendencies rather than on variance has some unhappy consequences. Variation is not just noise; it is also the stuff of evolution and a central attribute of living systems. The physiological differences between individuals in the same species or population, and also the patterns of variation in different groups, must not be ignored.
From 'Interspecific comparison as a tool for ecological physiologists', collected in M.E. Feder, A.F. Bennett, W.W. Burggren, and R.B. Huey, (eds.), New Directions in Ecological Physiology (1987), 32-33,
Science quotes on:  |  Adaptation (58)  |  Attribute (61)  |  Change (593)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Course (409)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Ecology (74)  |  Emphasis (17)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Evolutionary (23)  |  Filter (9)  |  Group (78)  |  Ignore (45)  |  Individual (404)  |  Live (628)  |  Living (491)  |  Material (353)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Noise (37)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Physiological (62)  |  Physiologist (29)  |  Population (110)  |  Raw (28)  |  Same (157)  |  Species (401)  |  Standpoint (28)  |  Stuff (21)  |  System (537)  |  Tendency (99)  |  Traditional (15)  |  Treat (35)  |  Unhappy (16)  |  Variance (12)  |  Variation (90)

Environmentalism opposes reckless innovation and makes conservation the central order of business.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Business (149)  |  Conservation (168)  |  Environmentalism (3)  |  Innovation (42)  |  Oppose (24)  |  Order (632)  |  Reckless (4)

Every thoughtful man who hopes for the creation of a contemporary culture knows that this hinges on one central problem: to find a coherent relation between science and the humanities.
With co-author Bruce Mazlish, in The Western Intellectual Tradition (1960).
Science quotes on:  |  Creation (327)  |  Culture (143)  |  Find (998)  |  Hinge (4)  |  Hope (299)  |  Humanities (20)  |  Know (1518)  |  Man (2251)  |  Problem (676)  |  Science (3879)  |  Thoughtful (15)

Forests and trees make significant direct contributions to the nutrition of poor households ... [as] rural communities in Central Africa obtained a critical portion of protein and fat in their diets through hunting wildlife from in and around forests. The five to six million tonnes of bushmeat eaten yearly in the Congo Basin is roughly equal to the total amount of beef produced annually in Brazil – without the accompanying need to clear huge swathes of forest for cattle.
In 'Forests and food security: What we know and need to know', Forest News online blog by the Center for International Forestry Research (20 Apr 2011).
Science quotes on:  |  Accompany (22)  |  Africa (35)  |  Amount (151)  |  Annual (5)  |  Beef (4)  |  Brazil (3)  |  Cattle (18)  |  Community (104)  |  Contribution (89)  |  Critical (66)  |  Deforestation (45)  |  Diet (54)  |  Direct (225)  |  Fat (11)  |  Forest (150)  |  Household (8)  |  Hunting (23)  |  Nutrition (23)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Poor (136)  |  Portion (84)  |  Produced (187)  |  Production (183)  |  Protein (54)  |  Rural (6)  |  Significant (74)  |  Through (849)  |  Total (94)  |  Tree (246)  |  Wildlife (14)

Geologists are rapidly becoming convinced that the mammals spread from their central Asian point of origin largely because of great variations in climate.
The Red Man's Continent: A Chronicle of Aboriginal America (1919), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Becoming (96)  |  Climate (97)  |  Geologist (75)  |  Great (1574)  |  Mammal (37)  |  Origin (239)  |  Point (580)  |  Point Of Origin (2)  |  Rapidly (66)  |  Spread (83)  |  Variation (90)

Heart and Brain are the two lords of life. In the metaphors of ordinary speech and in the stricter language of science, we use these terms to indicate two central powers, from which all motives radiate, to which all influences converge.
From 'The Principles of Success in Literature', The Fortnightly (1865), 1, 66.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Brain (270)  |  Converge (8)  |  Convergence (4)  |  Heart (229)  |  Indicate (61)  |  Indication (33)  |  Influence (222)  |  Language (293)  |  Life (1795)  |  Lord (93)  |  Metaphor (33)  |  Motive (59)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  Power (746)  |  Radiation (44)  |  Science (3879)  |  Speech (61)  |  Strictness (2)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Two (937)  |  Use (766)

Edwin Grant Conklin quote: Heredity is to-day the central problem of biology. This problem may be approached from many sides—tha
Heredity is to-day the central problem of biology. This problem may be approached from many sides—that of the breeder, the experimenter, the statistician, the physiologist, the embryologist, the cytologist—but the mechanism of heredity can be studied best by the investigation of the germ cells and their development.
From Address of the vice-president and chairman of Section F, Zoology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Chicago Meeting (1907-8). Published in 'The Mechanism of Heredity', Science (17 Jan 1908), 27, No. 691, 89-90.
Science quotes on:  |  Approach (108)  |  Best (459)  |  Biology (216)  |  Cell (138)  |  Development (422)  |  Embryologist (3)  |  Experimenter (40)  |  Germ (53)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  Physiologist (29)  |  Problem (676)  |  Side (233)  |  Statistician (27)

I am happy to report to you that the assignment of the Central Committee of the Communist party of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Government has been carried out. The world's first space flight has been accomplished in the Soviet space ship Vostok. All systems and equipment worked impeccably, I feel very well and am prepared to carry out any assignment of the party and the government.
Speech beside Khrushchev, at the tomb of Lenin and Stalin, Red Square, Moscow (14 Apr 1961). As quoted in Osgood Caruthers, 'Krushchev Leads Russian Tribute to Astronaut', New York Times (15 Apr 1961), 2.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Assignment (12)  |  Carry (127)  |  Communist (8)  |  Cosmonaut (5)  |  Equipment (43)  |  Feel (367)  |  First (1283)  |  Flight (98)  |  Government (110)  |  Happy (105)  |  Ship (62)  |  Soviet (9)  |  Soviet Union (4)  |  Space (500)  |  Space Flight (25)  |  System (537)  |  Union (51)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)

I can say, if I like, that social insects behave like the working parts of an immense central nervous system: the termite colony is an enormous brain on millions of legs; the individual termite is a mobile neurone.
In Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony(1984), 224. Note: Spelling “neurone&rdwuo; [sic].
Science quotes on:  |  Behavior (84)  |  Brain (270)  |  Colony (8)  |  Enormous (41)  |  Immense (86)  |  Individual (404)  |  Insect (77)  |  Leg (34)  |  Million (114)  |  Mobility (11)  |  Nervous System (34)  |  Neuron (9)  |  Part (222)  |  Say (984)  |  Social (252)  |  System (537)  |  Termite (7)  |  Work (1351)

I regard sex as the central problem of life. And now that the problem of religion has practically been settled, and that the problem of labor has at least been placed on a practical foundation, the question of sex—with the racial questions that rest on it—stands before the coming generations as the chief problem for solution. Sex lies at the root of life, and we can never learn to reverence life until we know how to understand sex.
Studies in the Psychology of Sex (1897), Vol. 1, xxx.
Science quotes on:  |  Chief (97)  |  Coming (114)  |  Foundation (171)  |  Generation (242)  |  Know (1518)  |  Labor (107)  |  Learn (629)  |  Lie (364)  |  Life (1795)  |  Never (1087)  |  Practical (200)  |  Problem (676)  |  Question (621)  |  Regard (305)  |  Religion (361)  |  Rest (280)  |  Root (120)  |  Settled (34)  |  Sex (69)  |  Solution (267)  |  Stand (274)  |  Understand (606)

I took this view of the subject. The medulla spinalis has a central division, and also a distinction into anterior and posterior fasciculi, corresponding with the anterior and posterior portions of the brain. Further we can trace down the crura of the cerebrum into the anterior fasciculus of the spinal marrow, and the crura of the cerebellum into the posterior fasciculus. I thought that here I might have an opportunity of touching the cerebellum, as it were, through the posterior portion of the spinal marrow, and the cerebrum by the anterior portion. To this end I made experiments which, though they were not conclusive, encouraged me in the view I had taken. I found that injury done to the anterior portion of the spinal marrow, convulsed the animal more certainly than injury done to the posterior portion; but I found it difficult to make the experiment without injuring both portions.
Idea of a New Anatomy of the Brain (1811), 21-22.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (617)  |  Both (493)  |  Brain (270)  |  Cerebellum (4)  |  Cerebrum (10)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Conclusive (11)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Distinction (72)  |  Division (65)  |  Down (456)  |  End (590)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Injury (36)  |  More (2559)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Opportunity (87)  |  Portion (84)  |  Posterior (7)  |  Subject (521)  |  Thought (953)  |  Through (849)  |  Touching (16)  |  Trace (103)  |  View (488)

If a scientist uncovers a publishable fact, it will become central to his theory.
'Mann’s Law,' in 'Advanced Researchmanship,' Murphy’s Law Book Two (1980).
Science quotes on:  |  Become (815)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Theory (970)  |  Uncover (20)  |  Will (2355)

If entomologists have things backward, their errors have spawned a host of others central to modern evolutionary science. … E.O. Wilson is … the founder of a rich and fruitful discipline—sociobiology. And sociobiology has … helped lay the groundwork for the dogma of the “selfish gene.”
In 'The Embryonic Meme', Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century (2000), 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Discipline (77)  |  Dogma (48)  |  Entomologist (6)  |  Error (321)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Founder (26)  |  Fruitful (58)  |  Gene (98)  |  Groundwork (4)  |  Modern (385)  |  Other (2236)  |  Rich (62)  |  Science (3879)  |  Selfish (11)  |  Sociobiology (5)  |  Spawn (2)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Edward O. Wilson (65)

If texts are unified by a central logic of argument, then their pictorial illustrations are integral to the ensemble, not pretty little trifles included only for aesthetic or commercial value. Primates are visual animals, and (particularly in science) illustration has a language and set of conventions all its own.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Aesthetic (46)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Argument (138)  |  Commercial (26)  |  Convention (14)  |  Ensemble (7)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Include (90)  |  Integral (26)  |  Language (293)  |  Little (707)  |  Logic (287)  |  Particularly (21)  |  Pictorial (2)  |  Pretty (20)  |  Primate (11)  |  Science (3879)  |  Set (394)  |  Text (14)  |  Trifle (15)  |  Unified (10)  |  Value (365)  |  Visual (15)

In light of new knowledge ... an eventual world state is not just desirable in the name of brotherhood, it is necessary for survival ... Today we must abandon competition and secure cooperation. This must be the central fact in all our considerations of international affairs; otherwise we face certain disaster. Past thinking and methods did not prevent world wars. Future thinking must prevent wars.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Affair (29)  |  All (4108)  |  Brotherhood (6)  |  Certain (550)  |  Competition (39)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Cooperation (32)  |  Desirable (33)  |  Disaster (51)  |  Eventual (9)  |  Face (212)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Future (429)  |  International (37)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Light (607)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Must (1526)  |  Name (333)  |  Necessary (363)  |  New (1216)  |  Otherwise (24)  |  Past (337)  |  Prevent (94)  |  Secure (22)  |  State (491)  |  Survival (94)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Today (314)  |  War (225)  |  World (1774)

In the human body the central point is naturally the navel. For if a man be placed flat on his back, with his hands and feet extended, and a pair of compasses centered at his navel, the fingers and toes of his two hands and feet will touch the circumference of a circle described therefrom.
Vitruvius
Leonardo da Vinci’s depiction of a man with outstretched limbs inscribed in a circle is thus called the Vitruvian Man (c. 1490). In De Architectura, Book 3, Chap 1, Sec. 3. As translated in Morris Hicky Morgan (trans.), Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture (1914), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Back (390)  |  Body (537)  |  Center (33)  |  Circle (110)  |  Circumference (23)  |  Compass (34)  |  Extend (128)  |  Finger (44)  |  Flat (33)  |  Foot (60)  |  Hand (143)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Body (34)  |  Man (2251)  |  Navel (2)  |  Point (580)  |  Toe (7)  |  Touch (141)  |  Two (937)  |  Will (2355)

It is my thesis that the physical functioning of the living individual and the operation of some of the newer communication machines are precisely parallel in their analogous attempts to control entropy through feedback. Both of them have sensory receptors as one stage in their cycle of operation: that is, in both of them there exists a special apparatus for collecting information from the outer world at low energy levels, and for making it available in the operation of the individual or of the machine. In both cases these external messages are not taken neat, but through the internal transforming powers of the apparatus, whether it be alive or dead. The information is then turned into a new form available for the further stages of performance. In both the animal and the machine this performance is made to be effective on the outer world. In both of them, their performed action on the outer world, and not merely their intended aetion, is reported back to the central regulatory apparatus.
In The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society (1954), 26-27.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Alive (90)  |  Analogy (71)  |  Animal (617)  |  Apparatus (68)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Available (78)  |  Back (390)  |  Both (493)  |  Communication (94)  |  Control (167)  |  Cycle (40)  |  Effective (59)  |  Energy (344)  |  Entropy (44)  |  Exist (443)  |  Feedback (8)  |  Form (959)  |  Function (228)  |  Individual (404)  |  Information (166)  |  Internal (66)  |  Life (1795)  |  Living (491)  |  Low (80)  |  Machine (257)  |  Making (300)  |  Merely (316)  |  Message (49)  |  New (1216)  |  Operation (213)  |  Parallel (43)  |  Perform (121)  |  Performance (48)  |  Physical (508)  |  Power (746)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Sense (770)  |  Sensory (16)  |  Special (184)  |  Stage (143)  |  Thesis (15)  |  Through (849)  |  Turn (447)  |  World (1774)

It is not surprising, in view of the polydynamic constitution of the genuinely mathematical mind, that many of the major heros of the science, men like Desargues and Pascal, Descartes and Leibnitz, Newton, Gauss and Bolzano, Helmholtz and Clifford, Riemann and Salmon and Plücker and Poincaré, have attained to high distinction in other fields not only of science but of philosophy and letters too. And when we reflect that the very greatest mathematical achievements have been due, not alone to the peering, microscopic, histologic vision of men like Weierstrass, illuminating the hidden recesses, the minute and intimate structure of logical reality, but to the larger vision also of men like Klein who survey the kingdoms of geometry and analysis for the endless variety of things that flourish there, as the eye of Darwin ranged over the flora and fauna of the world, or as a commercial monarch contemplates its industry, or as a statesman beholds an empire; when we reflect not only that the Calculus of Probability is a creation of mathematics but that the master mathematician is constantly required to exercise judgment—judgment, that is, in matters not admitting of certainty—balancing probabilities not yet reduced nor even reducible perhaps to calculation; when we reflect that he is called upon to exercise a function analogous to that of the comparative anatomist like Cuvier, comparing theories and doctrines of every degree of similarity and dissimilarity of structure; when, finally, we reflect that he seldom deals with a single idea at a tune, but is for the most part engaged in wielding organized hosts of them, as a general wields at once the division of an army or as a great civil administrator directs from his central office diverse and scattered but related groups of interests and operations; then, I say, the current opinion that devotion to mathematics unfits the devotee for practical affairs should be known for false on a priori grounds. And one should be thus prepared to find that as a fact Gaspard Monge, creator of descriptive geometry, author of the classic Applications de l’analyse à la géométrie; Lazare Carnot, author of the celebrated works, Géométrie de position, and Réflections sur la Métaphysique du Calcul infinitesimal; Fourier, immortal creator of the Théorie analytique de la chaleur; Arago, rightful inheritor of Monge’s chair of geometry; Poncelet, creator of pure projective geometry; one should not be surprised, I say, to find that these and other mathematicians in a land sagacious enough to invoke their aid, rendered, alike in peace and in war, eminent public service.
In Lectures on Science, Philosophy and Art (1908), 32-33.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  A Priori (26)  |  Achievement (179)  |  Administrator (11)  |  Admit (45)  |  Affair (29)  |  Aid (97)  |  Alike (60)  |  Alone (311)  |  Analogous (5)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Anatomist (23)  |  Application (242)  |  François Arago (14)  |  Army (33)  |  Attain (125)  |  Author (167)  |  Balance (77)  |  Behold (18)  |  Bernhard Bolzano (2)  |  Calculation (127)  |  Calculus (65)  |  Call (769)  |  Lazare-Nicolas-Marguerite Carnot (4)  |  Celebrated (2)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Chair (24)  |  Civil (26)  |  Classic (11)  |  William Kingdon Clifford (21)  |  Commercial (26)  |  Comparative (13)  |  Compare (69)  |  Constantly (27)  |  Constitution (76)  |  Contemplate (18)  |  Creation (327)  |  Creator (91)  |  Current (118)  |  Baron Georges Cuvier (30)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Deal (188)  |  Degree (276)  |  René Descartes (81)  |  Descriptive (17)  |  Descriptive Geometry (3)  |  Devotee (5)  |  Devotion (34)  |  Direct (225)  |  Dissimilar (6)  |  Distinction (72)  |  Diverse (17)  |  Division (65)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Due (141)  |  Eminent (17)  |  Empire (14)  |  Endless (56)  |  Engage (39)  |  Enough (340)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Eye (419)  |  Fact (1210)  |  False (100)  |  Fauna (13)  |  Field (364)  |  Finally (26)  |  Find (998)  |  Flora (9)  |  Flourish (34)  |  Baron Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier (17)  |  Function (228)  |  Carl Friedrich Gauss (77)  |  General (511)  |  Genuinely (4)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Ground (217)  |  Group (78)  |  Hero (42)  |  Hide (69)  |  High (362)  |  Histology (3)  |  Host (16)  |  Idea (843)  |  Illuminate (24)  |  Illuminating (12)  |  Immortal (35)  |  Industry (137)  |  Infinitesimal (29)  |  Inheritor (2)  |  Interest (386)  |  Intimate (15)  |  Invoke (6)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Kingdom (78)  |  Felix Klein (15)  |  Know (1518)  |  Known (454)  |  Land (115)  |  Large (394)  |  Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (49)  |  Letter (109)  |  Logical (55)  |  Major (84)  |  Master (178)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Matter (798)  |  Microscopic (26)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Minute (125)  |  Monarch (4)  |  Gaspard Monge (2)  |  Most (1731)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Office (71)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Organize (29)  |  Other (2236)  |  Part (222)  |  Blaise Pascal (80)  |  Peace (108)  |  Peer (12)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Henri Poincaré (96)  |  Jean-Victor Poncelet (2)  |  Position (77)  |  Practical (200)  |  Prepare (37)  |  Probability (130)  |  Projective Geometry (3)  |  Public Service (5)  |  Pure (291)  |  Range (99)  |  Reality (261)  |  Recess (8)  |  Reduce (94)  |  Reducible (2)  |  Reflect (32)  |  Relate (21)  |  Render (93)  |  Require (219)  |  Required (108)  |  Bernhard Riemann (7)  |  Rightful (3)  |  Sagacious (7)  |  Salmon (7)  |  Say (984)  |  Scatter (6)  |  Science (3879)  |  Seldom (65)  |  Service (110)  |  Similarity (31)  |  Single (353)  |  Statesman (19)  |  Structure (344)  |  Surprise (86)  |  Survey (33)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Tune (19)  |  Unfit (12)  |  Variety (132)  |  View (488)  |  Vision (123)  |  War (225)  |  Karl Weierstrass (9)  |  Wield (10)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)

It is the intact and functioning organism on which natural selection operates. Organisms are therefore the central element of concern to the biologist who aspires to a broad and integrated understanding of biology.
From 'Interspecific comparison as a tool for ecological physiologists', collected in M.E. Feder, A.F. Bennett, W.W. Burggren, and R.B. Huey, (eds.), New Directions in Ecological Physiology (1987), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Aspire (13)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Biology (216)  |  Broad (27)  |  Concern (228)  |  Element (310)  |  Function (228)  |  Intact (8)  |  Integrate (7)  |  Integrated (10)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Operate (17)  |  Organism (220)  |  Selection (128)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)

Life is inseparable from water. For all terrestrial animals, including birds, the inescapable need for maintaining an adequate state of hydration in a hostile, desiccating environment is a central persistent constraint which exerts a sustained selective pressure on every aspect of the life cycle. It has been said, with some justification, that the struggle for existence is a struggle for free energy for doing physiological work. It can be said with equal justification for terrestrial organisms that the struggle for existence is a struggle to maintain an aqueous internal environment in which energy transformations for doing work can take place.
In 'The water economy of seed-eating birds that survive without drinking', Proceedings of the International Ornithological Congress (1972), 15, 237-238.
Science quotes on:  |  Adequate (46)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Aqueous (8)  |  Aspect (124)  |  Bird (149)  |  Constraint (13)  |  Cycle (40)  |  Doing (280)  |  Energy (344)  |  Environment (216)  |  Equal (83)  |  Exert (39)  |  Existence (456)  |  Free (232)  |  Hostile (8)  |  Include (90)  |  Inescapable (7)  |  Inseparable (16)  |  Internal (66)  |  Justification (48)  |  Life (1795)  |  Life Cycle (4)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Need (290)  |  Organism (220)  |  Persistent (18)  |  Physiological (62)  |  Place (177)  |  Pressure (63)  |  Say (984)  |  Selective (19)  |  State (491)  |  Struggle (105)  |  Sustain (46)  |  Terrestrial (61)  |  Transformation (69)  |  Water (481)  |  Work (1351)

Man is slightly nearer to the atom than to the star. … From his central position man can survey the grandest works of Nature with the astronomer, or the minutest works with the physicist. … [K]nowledge of the stars leads through the atom; and important knowledge of the atom has been reached through the stars.
Lecture 1. Stars and Atoms (1928, 2007), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Atom (355)  |  Grandest (10)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lead (384)  |  Man (2251)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nearer (45)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Physics (533)  |  Reach (281)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Survey (33)  |  Through (849)  |  Work (1351)

My mother, my dad and I left Cuba when I was two [January, 1959]. Castro had taken control by then, and life for many ordinary people had become very difficult. My dad had worked [as a personal bodyguard for the wife of Cuban president Batista], so he was a marked man. We moved to Miami, which is about as close to Cuba as you can get without being there. It’s a Cuba-centric society. I think a lot of Cubans moved to the US thinking everything would be perfect. Personally, I have to say that those early years were not particularly happy. A lot of people didn’t want us around, and I can remember seeing signs that said: “No children. No pets. No Cubans.” Things were not made easier by the fact that Dad had begun working for the US government. At the time he couldn’t really tell us what he was doing, because it was some sort of top-secret operation. He just said he wanted to fight against what was happening back at home. [Estefan’s father was one of the many Cuban exiles taking part in the ill-fated, anti-Castro Bay of Pigs invasion to overthrow dictator Fidel Castro.] One night, Dad disappered. I think he was so worried about telling my mother he was going that he just left her a note. There were rumours something was happening back home, but we didn’t really know where Dad had gone. It was a scary time for many Cubans. A lot of men were involved—lots of families were left without sons and fathers. By the time we found out what my dad had been doing, the attempted coup had taken place, on April 17, 1961. Intitially he’d been training in Central America, but after the coup attempt he was captured and spent the next wo years as a political prisoner in Cuba. That was probably the worst time for my mother and me. Not knowing what was going to happen to Dad. I was only a kid, but I had worked out where my dad was. My mother was trying to keep it a secret, so she used to tell me Dad was on a farm. Of course, I thought that she didn’t know what had really happened to him, so I used to keep up the pretence that Dad really was working on a farm. We used to do this whole pretending thing every day, trying to protect each other. Those two years had a terrible effect on my mother. She was very nervous, just going from church to church. Always carrying her rosary beads, praying her little heart out. She had her religion, and I had my music. Music was in our family. My mother was a singer, and on my father’s side there was a violinist and a pianist. My grandmother was a poet.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Against (332)  |  America (127)  |  April (9)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Back (390)  |  Bad (180)  |  Bay Of Pigs (2)  |  Become (815)  |  Begin (260)  |  Being (1278)  |  Capture (10)  |  Carry (127)  |  Fidel Castro (3)  |  Child (307)  |  Children (200)  |  Church (56)  |  Close (69)  |  Control (167)  |  Course (409)  |  Cuba (2)  |  Dad (4)  |  Dictator (4)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Do (1908)  |  Doing (280)  |  Early (185)  |  Easier (53)  |  Easy (204)  |  Effect (393)  |  Everything (476)  |  Exile (4)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Family (94)  |  Farm (26)  |  Father (110)  |  Fight (44)  |  Find (998)  |  Government (110)  |  Grandmother (4)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happened (88)  |  Happening (58)  |  Happy (105)  |  Heart (229)  |  Home (170)  |  Invasion (8)  |  Involve (90)  |  Involved (90)  |  Keep (101)  |  Kid (15)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Leave (130)  |  Life (1795)  |  Little (707)  |  Lot (151)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mark (43)  |  Marked (55)  |  Mother (114)  |  Move (216)  |  Music (129)  |  Nervous (7)  |  Next (236)  |  Night (120)  |  Note (34)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Operation (213)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  Other (2236)  |  Overthrow (4)  |  Part (222)  |  Particularly (21)  |  People (1005)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Personal (67)  |  Personally (7)  |  Pet (8)  |  Pianist (2)  |  Place (177)  |  Poet (83)  |  Political (121)  |  Pray (16)  |  President (31)  |  Pretence (6)  |  Pretend (17)  |  Prisoner (7)  |  Probably (49)  |  Protect (58)  |  Really (78)  |  Religion (361)  |  Remember (179)  |  Rumour (2)  |  Say (984)  |  Scary (3)  |  Secret (194)  |  See (1081)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Side (233)  |  Sign (58)  |  Society (326)  |  Something (719)  |  Son (24)  |  Sort (49)  |  Spend (95)  |  Spent (85)  |  Tell (340)  |  Terrible (38)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Thought (953)  |  Time (1877)  |  Top (96)  |  Training (80)  |  Try (283)  |  Trying (144)  |  Two (937)  |  Want (497)  |  Whole (738)  |  Wife (41)  |  Work (1351)  |  Worry (33)  |  Worst (57)  |  Year (933)

My own thinking (and that of many of my colleagues) is based on two general principles, which I shall call the Sequence Hypothesis and the Central Dogma. The direct evidence for both of them is negligible, but I have found them to be of great help in getting to grips with these very complex problems. I present them here in the hope that others can make similar use of them. Their speculative nature is emphasized by their names. It is an instructive exercise to attempt to build a useful theory without using them. One generally ends in the wilderness.
The Sequence Hypothesis
This has already been referred to a number of times. In its simplest form it assumes that the specificity of a piece of nucleic acid is expressed solely by the sequence of its bases, and that this sequence is a (simple) code for the amino acid sequence of a particular protein...
The Central Dogma
This states that once 'information' has passed into protein it cannot get out again. In more detail, the transfer of information from nucleic acid to nucleic acid, or from nucleic acid to protein may be possible, but transfer from protein to protein, or from protein to nucleic acid is impossible. Information means here the precise determination of sequence, either of bases in the nucleic acid or of amino acid residues in the protein. This is by no means universally held—Sir Macfarlane Burnet, for example, does not subscribe to it—but many workers now think along these lines. As far as I know it has not been explicitly stated before.
'On Protein Synthesis', Symposia of the Society for Experimental Biology: The Biological Replication of Macromolecules, 1958, 12, 152-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (83)  |  Already (222)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Base (117)  |  Both (493)  |  Build (204)  |  Call (769)  |  Code (31)  |  Colleague (50)  |  Complex (188)  |  Detail (146)  |  Determination (78)  |  Direct (225)  |  DNA (77)  |  Dogma (48)  |  End (590)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Express (186)  |  Form (959)  |  General (511)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hope (299)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Information (166)  |  Know (1518)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Molecular Biology (27)  |  More (2559)  |  Name (333)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Negligible (5)  |  Nucleic Acid (23)  |  Number (699)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pass (238)  |  Possible (552)  |  Precise (68)  |  Present (619)  |  Principle (507)  |  Problem (676)  |  Protein (54)  |  Residue (9)  |  Sequence (68)  |  Simple (406)  |  State (491)  |  Theory (970)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Time (1877)  |  Transfer (20)  |  Two (937)  |  Use (766)  |  Useful (250)  |  Wilderness (45)

My profession often gets bad press for a variety of sins, both actual and imagined: arrogance, venality, insensitivity to moral issues about the use of knowledge, pandering to sources of funding with insufficient worry about attendant degradation of values. As an advocate for science, I plead ‘mildly guilty now and then’ to all these charges. Scientists are human beings subject to all the foibles and temptations of ordinary life. Some of us are moral rocks; others are reeds. I like to think (though I have no proof) that we are better, on average, than members of many other callings on a variety of issues central to the practice of good science: willingness to alter received opinion in the face of uncomfortable data, dedication to discovering and publicizing our best and most honest account of nature’s factuality, judgment of colleagues on the might of their ideas rather than the power of their positions.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Account (192)  |  Actual (117)  |  Advocate (18)  |  All (4108)  |  Alter (62)  |  Arrogance (20)  |  Attendant (3)  |  Average (82)  |  Bad (180)  |  Being (1278)  |  Best (459)  |  Better (486)  |  Both (493)  |  Charge (59)  |  Colleague (50)  |  Data (156)  |  Dedication (11)  |  Degradation (17)  |  Discover (553)  |  Face (212)  |  Factuality (2)  |  Foible (2)  |  Fund (18)  |  Funding (19)  |  Good (889)  |  Guilty (9)  |  Honest (50)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Being (175)  |  Human Beings (117)  |  Idea (843)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Insufficient (9)  |  Issue (42)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Life (1795)  |  Member (41)  |  Mildly (2)  |  Moral (195)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Often (106)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pander (3)  |  Plead (3)  |  Position (77)  |  Power (746)  |  Practice (204)  |  Press (21)  |  Profession (99)  |  Proof (287)  |  Receive (114)  |  Reed (8)  |  Rock (161)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Sin (42)  |  Source (93)  |  Subject (521)  |  Temptation (11)  |  Think (1086)  |  Uncomfortable (6)  |  Use (766)  |  Value (365)  |  Variety (132)  |  Willingness (10)  |  Worry (33)

My reflection, when I first made myself master of the central idea of the 'Origin', was, 'How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!'
'On the Reception of the Origin of Species'. In F. Darwin (ed.), The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Including an Autobiographical Chapter (1888), Vol. 2, 197.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (240)  |  First (1283)  |  Idea (843)  |  Master (178)  |  Myself (212)  |  Origin (239)  |  Origin Of Species (42)  |  Reflection (90)  |  Stupid (35)  |  Thought (953)

No substantial part of the universe is so simple that it can be grasped and controlled without abstraction. Abstraction consists in replacing the part of the universe under consideration by a model of similar but simpler structure. Models, formal and intellectual on the one hand, or material on the other, are thus a central necessity of scientific procedure.
As coauthor with Norbert Wiener in 'The Role of Models in Science', Philosophy of Science (Oct 1945), 12, No. 4, 316.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (47)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Consist (223)  |  Control (167)  |  Formal (33)  |  Grasp (61)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Material (353)  |  Model (102)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Other (2236)  |  Part (222)  |  Procedure (41)  |  Replace (31)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Similar (36)  |  Simple (406)  |  Structure (344)  |  Substantial (24)  |  Universe (857)

Now it is a well-known principle of zoological evolution that an isolated region, if large and sufficiently varied in its topography, soil, climate and vegetation, will give rise to a diversified fauna according to the law of adaptive radiation from primitive and central types. Branches will spring off in all directions to take advantage of every possible opportunity of securing food. The modifications which animals undergo in this adaptive radiation are largely of mechanical nature, they are limited in number and kind by hereditary, stirp or germinal influences, and thus result in the independent evolution of similar types in widely-separated regions under the law of parallelism or homoplasy. This law causes the independent origin not only of similar genera but of similar families and even of our similar orders. Nature thus repeats herself upon a vast scale, but the similarity is never complete and exact.
'The Geological and Faunal Relations of Europe and America during the Tertiary Period and the Theory of the Successive Invasions of an African Fauna', Science (1900), 11, 563-64.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  Adaptation (58)  |  Advantage (134)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Branch (150)  |  Cause (541)  |  Climate (97)  |  Complete (204)  |  Completeness (19)  |  Direction (175)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Exactness (29)  |  Family (94)  |  Fauna (13)  |  Food (199)  |  Genus (25)  |  Heredity (60)  |  Independence (34)  |  Influence (222)  |  Isolation (31)  |  Kind (557)  |  Known (454)  |  Large (394)  |  Law (894)  |  Limit (280)  |  Limited (101)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Modification (55)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  Number (699)  |  Opportunity (87)  |  Order (632)  |  Origin (239)  |  Parallelism (2)  |  Possible (552)  |  Primitive (75)  |  Principle (507)  |  Radiation (44)  |  Region (36)  |  Repetition (28)  |  Result (677)  |  Rise (166)  |  Scale (121)  |  Similarity (31)  |  Soil (86)  |  Spring (133)  |  Type (167)  |  Variation (90)  |  Vast (177)  |  Vegetation (23)  |  Will (2355)  |  Zoology (36)

Now this establishment of correspondence between two aggregates and investigation of the propositions that are carried over by the correspondence may be called the central idea of modern mathematics.
In 'Philosophy of the Pure Sciences', Lectures and Essays (1901), Vol. 1, 402.
Science quotes on:  |  Aggregate (23)  |  Call (769)  |  Carry (127)  |  Correspondence (23)  |  Establishment (47)  |  Idea (843)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Modern (385)  |  Modern Mathematics (50)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Two (937)

Of all regions of the earth none invites speculation more than that which lies beneath our feet, and in none is speculation more dangerous; yet, apart from speculation, it is little that we can say regarding the constitution of the interior of the earth. We know, with sufficient accuracy for most purposes, its size and shape: we know that its mean density is about 5½ times that of water, that the density must increase towards the centre, and that the temperature must be high, but beyond these facts little can be said to be known. Many theories of the earth have been propounded at different times: the central substance of the earth has been supposed to be fiery, fluid, solid, and gaseous in turn, till geologists have turned in despair from the subject, and become inclined to confine their attention to the outermost crust of the earth, leaving its centre as a playground for mathematicians.
'The Constitution of the Interior of the Earth, as Revealed by Earthquakes', Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (1906), 62, 456.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (78)  |  All (4108)  |  Attention (190)  |  Become (815)  |  Beneath (64)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Constitution (76)  |  Crust (38)  |  Dangerous (105)  |  Density (25)  |  Despair (40)  |  Different (577)  |  Earth (996)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fluid (51)  |  Geologist (75)  |  High (362)  |  Inclined (41)  |  Increase (210)  |  Interior (32)  |  Know (1518)  |  Known (454)  |  Lie (364)  |  Little (707)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mean (809)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Playground (6)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Say (984)  |  Solid (116)  |  Speculation (126)  |  Subject (521)  |  Substance (248)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Turn (447)  |  Water (481)

Of the nucleosides from deoxyribonucleic acids, all that was known with any certainty [in the 1940s] was that they were 2-deoxy-­D-ribosides of the bases adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine and it was assumed that they were structurally analogous to the ribonucleosides. The chemistry of the nucleotides—the phosphates of the nucleosides—was in a correspondingly primitive state. It may well be asked why the chemistry of these groups of compounds was not further advanced, particularly since we recognize today that they occupy a central place in the history of the living cell. True, their full significance was for a long time unrecognized and emerged only slowly as biochemical research got into its stride but I think a more important reason is to be found in the physical properties of compounds of the nucleotide group. As water-soluble polar compounds with no proper melting points they were extremely difficult to handle by the classic techniques of organic chemistry, and were accordingly very discouraging substances to early workers. It is surely no accident that the major advances in the field have coincided with the appearance of new experimental techniques such as paper and ion-exchange chromatography, paper electrophoresis, and countercurrent distribution, peculiarly appropriate to the compounds of this group.
In 'Synthesis in the Study of Nucleotides', Nobel Lecture, 11 December 1957. In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1942-1962 (1964), 524.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (88)  |  Acid (83)  |  Adenine (5)  |  Advance (280)  |  All (4108)  |  Analogous (5)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Appropriate (61)  |  Ask (411)  |  Base (117)  |  Biochemistry (49)  |  Cell (138)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Compound (113)  |  Cytosine (5)  |  Deoxyribonucleic Acid (3)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Distribution (50)  |  Early (185)  |  Electrophoresis (2)  |  Exchange (37)  |  Experimental (192)  |  Field (364)  |  Guanine (4)  |  Handle (28)  |  History (673)  |  Ion (21)  |  Known (454)  |  Living (491)  |  Long (790)  |  Major (84)  |  Melting Point (3)  |  More (2559)  |  New (1216)  |  Nucleotide (6)  |  Organic (158)  |  Organic Chemistry (40)  |  Paper (182)  |  Phosphate (5)  |  Physical (508)  |  Point (580)  |  Polar (12)  |  Primitive (75)  |  Proper (144)  |  Reason (744)  |  Recognize (125)  |  Research (664)  |  Significance (113)  |  Soluble (5)  |  State (491)  |  Stride (15)  |  Structure (344)  |  Substance (248)  |  Surely (101)  |  Technique (80)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thymine (5)  |  Time (1877)  |  Today (314)  |  Water (481)  |  Why (491)

Our abiding belief is that just as the workmen in the tunnel of St. Gothard, working from either end, met at last to shake hands in the very central root of the mountain, so students of nature and students of Christianity will yet join hands in the unity of reason and faith, in the heart of their deepest mysteries.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abide (12)  |  Belief (578)  |  Christianity (11)  |  Deep (233)  |  End (590)  |  Faith (203)  |  Hand (143)  |  Heart (229)  |  Join (26)  |  Last (426)  |  Meet (31)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Mystery (177)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Reason (744)  |  Root (120)  |  Shake (41)  |  St (2)  |  Student (300)  |  Tunnel (13)  |  Unity (78)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)  |  Workman (13)

Perhaps the central problem we face in all of computer science is how we are to get to the situation where we build on top of the work of others rather than redoing so much of it in a trivially different way.
From Turing Award lecture (1968), 'One Man's View of Computer Science', collected in ACM Turing Award Lectures: The First Twenty Years, 1966 to 1985 (1987), 216. ACM is the Association for Computing Machinery. The lecture is also published in Journal of the ACM (Jan 1969), 16, No. 1, 10.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Build (204)  |  Building (156)  |  Center (33)  |  Computer (127)  |  Computer Science (11)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Face (212)  |  Other (2236)  |  Problem (676)  |  Science (3879)  |  Situation (113)  |  Top (96)  |  Trivial (57)  |  Way (1217)  |  Work (1351)

Preferring a search for objective reality over revelation is another way of satisfying religious hunger. It is an endeavor almost as old as civilization and intertwined with traditional religion, but it follows a very different course—a stoic’s creed, an acquired taste, a guidebook to adventure plotted across rough terrain. It aims to save the spirit, not by surrender but by liberation of the human mind. Its central tenet, as Einstein knew, is the unification of knowledge. When we have unified enough certain knowledge, we will understand who we are and why we are here. If those committed to the quest fail, they will be forgiven. When lost, they will find another way.
In Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998), 5.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Acquired (78)  |  Adventure (56)  |  Aim (165)  |  Certain (550)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Course (409)  |  Creed (27)  |  Different (577)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Albert Einstein (605)  |  Endeavor (67)  |  Enough (340)  |  Fail (185)  |  Failure (161)  |  Find (998)  |  Follow (378)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Hunger (21)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Liberation (12)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Objective (91)  |  Old (481)  |  Quest (39)  |  Reality (261)  |  Religion (361)  |  Religious (126)  |  Revelation (48)  |  Save (118)  |  Search (162)  |  Spirit (265)  |  Surrender (20)  |  Taste (90)  |  Terrain (5)  |  Understand (606)  |  Unification (11)  |  Way (1217)  |  Why (491)  |  Will (2355)

Protein synthesis is a central problem for the whole of biology, and that it is in all probability closely related to gene action.
'On Protein Synthesis', Symposia of the Society for Experimental Biology: The Biological Replication of Macromolecules, 1958, 12, 160.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  All (4108)  |  Biology (216)  |  Gene (98)  |  Molecular Biology (27)  |  Probability (130)  |  Problem (676)  |  Protein (54)  |  Synthesis (57)  |  Whole (738)

Religion closes off the central questions of existence by attempting to dissuade us from further enquiry by asserting that we cannot ever hope to comprehend. We are, religion asserts, simply too puny.
Essay collected in John Cornwell (ed.), 'The Limitless Power of Science', Nature's Imagination: The Frontiers of Scientific Vision (1995), 125.
Science quotes on:  |  Assert (66)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Close (69)  |  Comprehend (40)  |  Enquiry (87)  |  Existence (456)  |  Hope (299)  |  Puny (8)  |  Question (621)  |  Religion (361)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Simply (53)

Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it’s the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself; Science fiction is central to everything we’ve ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don’t know what they’’re talking about
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Birth (147)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Everything (476)  |  Fun (38)  |  History (673)  |  Idea (843)  |  Important (209)  |  Know (1518)  |  Literature (103)  |  Most (1731)  |  People (1005)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science Fiction (31)  |  Talk (100)  |  Talking (76)  |  World (1774)  |  Writer (86)

Some ideas are better than others. The machinery for distinguishing them is an essential tool in dealing with the world and especially in dealing with the future. And it is precisely the mix of these two modes of thought [skeptical scrutiny and openness to new ideas] that is central to the success of science.
In 'The Burden of Skepticism', Skeptical Inquirer (Fall 1987), 12, No. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (486)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Essential (199)  |  Future (429)  |  Idea (843)  |  Machinery (56)  |  Mix (19)  |  New (1216)  |  Openness (7)  |  Other (2236)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scrutiny (15)  |  Skeptical (20)  |  Skepticism (28)  |  Success (302)  |  Thought (953)  |  Tool (117)  |  Two (937)  |  World (1774)

Some say that everything that is called a psychical law is nothing but the psychological reflex of physical combinations, which is made up of sensations joined to certain central cerebral processes... It is contradicted by the fact of consciousness itself, which cannot possibly be derived from any physical qualities of material molecules or atoms.
An Introduction to Psychology (1912)
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Call (769)  |  Certain (550)  |  Combination (144)  |  Consciousness (123)  |  Contradict (40)  |  Everything (476)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Law (894)  |  Material (353)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Physical (508)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Psychological (42)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Reflex (14)  |  Say (984)  |  Sensation (57)

The belief that mathematics, because it is abstract, because it is static and cold and gray, is detached from life, is a mistaken belief. Mathematics, even in its purest and most abstract estate, is not detached from life. It is just the ideal handling of the problems of life, as sculpture may idealize a human figure or as poetry or painting may idealize a figure or a scene. Mathematics is precisely the ideal handling of the problems of life, and the central ideas of the science, the great concepts about which its stately doctrines have been built up, are precisely the chief ideas with which life must always deal and which, as it tumbles and rolls about them through time and space, give it its interests and problems, and its order and rationality. That such is the case a few indications will suffice to show. The mathematical concepts of constant and variable are represented familiarly in life by the notions of fixedness and change. The concept of equation or that of an equational system, imposing restriction upon variability, is matched in life by the concept of natural and spiritual law, giving order to what were else chaotic change and providing partial freedom in lieu of none at all. What is known in mathematics under the name of limit is everywhere present in life in the guise of some ideal, some excellence high-dwelling among the rocks, an “ever flying perfect” as Emerson calls it, unto which we may approximate nearer and nearer, but which we can never quite attain, save in aspiration. The supreme concept of functionality finds its correlate in life in the all-pervasive sense of interdependence and mutual determination among the elements of the world. What is known in mathematics as transformation—that is, lawful transfer of attention, serving to match in orderly fashion the things of one system with those of another—is conceived in life as a process of transmutation by which, in the flux of the world, the content of the present has come out of the past and in its turn, in ceasing to be, gives birth to its successor, as the boy is father to the man and as things, in general, become what they are not. The mathematical concept of invariance and that of infinitude, especially the imposing doctrines that explain their meanings and bear their names—What are they but mathematicizations of that which has ever been the chief of life’s hopes and dreams, of that which has ever been the object of its deepest passion and of its dominant enterprise, I mean the finding of the worth that abides, the finding of permanence in the midst of change, and the discovery of a presence, in what has seemed to be a finite world, of being that is infinite? It is needless further to multiply examples of a correlation that is so abounding and complete as indeed to suggest a doubt whether it be juster to view mathematics as the abstract idealization of life than to regard life as the concrete realization of mathematics.
In 'The Humanization of Teaching of Mathematics', Science, New Series, 35, 645-46.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Abide (12)  |  Abound (17)  |  Abstract (124)  |  All (4108)  |  Approximate (25)  |  Aspiration (32)  |  Attain (125)  |  Attention (190)  |  Bear (159)  |  Become (815)  |  Being (1278)  |  Belief (578)  |  Birth (147)  |  Boy (94)  |  Build (204)  |  Call (769)  |  Case (99)  |  Cease (79)  |  Change (593)  |  Chaotic (2)  |  Chief (97)  |  Cold (112)  |  Complete (204)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Concept (221)  |  Concrete (51)  |  Constant (144)  |  Content (69)  |  Correlate (6)  |  Correlation (18)  |  Deal (188)  |  Deep (233)  |  Detach (5)  |  Determination (78)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Doctrine (75)  |  Dominant (26)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Dream (208)  |  Element (310)  |  Ralph Waldo Emerson (150)  |  Enterprise (54)  |  Equation (132)  |  Especially (31)  |  Estate (5)  |  Everywhere (94)  |  Example (94)  |  Excellence (39)  |  Explain (322)  |  Far (154)  |  Fashion (30)  |  Father (110)  |  Figure (160)  |  Find (998)  |  Finite (59)  |  Fixed (17)  |  Flux (21)  |  Fly (146)  |  Flying (72)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Functionality (2)  |  General (511)  |  Give (202)  |  Gray (8)  |  Great (1574)  |  Guise (5)  |  Handle (28)  |  High (362)  |  Hope (299)  |  Human (1468)  |  Idea (843)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Idealization (3)  |  Impose (22)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Indication (33)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Infinitude (3)  |  Interdependence (4)  |  Interest (386)  |  Invariance (4)  |  Know (1518)  |  Known (454)  |  Law (894)  |  Lawful (7)  |  Life (1795)  |  Limit (280)  |  Man (2251)  |  Match (29)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mean (809)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Meanings (5)  |  Midst (7)  |  Mistake (169)  |  Most (1731)  |  Multiply (37)  |  Must (1526)  |  Mutual (52)  |  Name (333)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Nearer (45)  |  Needless (4)  |  Never (1087)  |  Notion (113)  |  Object (422)  |  Order (632)  |  Orderly (38)  |  Painting (44)  |  Partial (10)  |  Passion (114)  |  Past (337)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Permanence (24)  |  Pervasive (5)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Presence (63)  |  Present (619)  |  Problem (676)  |  Process (423)  |  Provide (69)  |  Pure (291)  |  Rationality (24)  |  Realization (43)  |  Regard (305)  |  Represent (155)  |  Restriction (11)  |  Rock (161)  |  Roll (40)  |  Save (118)  |  Scene (36)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sculpture (12)  |  Seem (145)  |  Sense (770)  |  Serve (59)  |  Serving (15)  |  Show (346)  |  Space (500)  |  Spiritual (91)  |  Stately (12)  |  Static (8)  |  Successor (14)  |  Suffice (7)  |  Suggest (34)  |  Supreme (71)  |  System (537)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time And Space (39)  |  Transfer (20)  |  Transformation (69)  |  Transmutation (22)  |  Tumble (2)  |  Turn (447)  |  Unto (8)  |  Variability (5)  |  Variable (34)  |  View (488)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)  |  Worth (169)

The central dogma, enunciated by Crick in 1958 and the keystone of molecular biology ever since, is likely to prove a considerable over-simplification. That is the heretical but inescapable conclusion stemming from experiments done in the past few months in two laboratories in the United States.
Anonymous
'News and Views', Nature, 1970, 226, 1198.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (216)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Considerable (75)  |  Francis Crick (62)  |  Dogma (48)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Inescapable (7)  |  Molecular Biology (27)  |  Month (88)  |  Past (337)  |  Prove (250)  |  Simplification (20)  |  State (491)  |  Two (937)

The central nerve chain of an invertebrate such as the lobster runs beneath its alimentary canal, whereas the main portion of its rudimentary brain is placed above it, in its forehead. In other words, the lobster’s gullet, from mouth to stomach, has to pass through the midst of its brain ganglia. If its brain were to expand—and expand it must if the lobster is to grow in wisdom—its gullet would be squeezed and it would starve.
In Epilogue, The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man’s Changing Vision of the Universe (1959), 516.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Beneath (64)  |  Brain (270)  |  Canal (17)  |  Expand (53)  |  Grow (238)  |  Invertebrate (4)  |  Lobster (5)  |  Mouth (53)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Nervous System (34)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pass (238)  |  Portion (84)  |  Rudimentary (4)  |  Run (174)  |  Squeeze (6)  |  Starvation (13)  |  Stomach (39)  |  Through (849)  |  Wisdom (221)  |  Word (619)

The central problem of biological evolution is the nature of mutation, but hitherto the occurrence of this has been wholly refractory and impossible to influence by artificial means, although a control of it might obviously place the process of evolution in our hands.
'The Recent Findings in Heredity' (unpublished lecture, 1916, Lilly Library), 3. Quoted in Elof Axel Carlson, Genes, Radiation, and Society: The Life and Work of H. J. Muller (1981), 104.
Science quotes on:  |  Biological (137)  |  Biology (216)  |  Control (167)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Influence (222)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mutation (37)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Problem (676)  |  Process (423)  |  Refractory (3)  |  Wholly (88)

The central task of education is to implant a will and facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents, and children are students together.
In Reflections on the Human Condition (1973), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (307)  |  Children (200)  |  Education (378)  |  Facility (11)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Society (13)  |  Implant (4)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Learning (274)  |  Parent (76)  |  People (1005)  |  Produce (104)  |  Society (326)  |  Student (300)  |  Task (147)  |  Together (387)  |  Truly (116)  |  Will (2355)

The central task of science is to arrive, stage by stage, at a clearer comprehension of nature, but this does not mean, as it is sometimes claimed to mean, a search for mastery over nature.
In Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony(1984), 153.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrival (15)  |  Centre (28)  |  Claim (146)  |  Clearer (4)  |  Comprehension (66)  |  Mastery (34)  |  Mean (809)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Science (3879)  |  Search (162)  |  Stage (143)  |  Task (147)

The determination of the average man is not merely a matter of speculative curiosity; it may be of the most important service to the science of man and the social system. It ought necessarily to precede every other inquiry into social physics, since it is, as it were, the basis. The average man, indeed, is in a nation what the centre of gravity is in a body; it is by having that central point in view that we arrive at the apprehension of all the phenomena of equilibrium and motion.
A Treatise on Man and the Development of his Faculties (1842). Reprinted with an introduction by Solomon Diamond (1969), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Apprehension (26)  |  Average (82)  |  Basis (173)  |  Body (537)  |  Centre Of Gravity (4)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Determination (78)  |  Equilibrium (33)  |  Gravity (132)  |  Importance (286)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Inquiry (78)  |  Man (2251)  |  Matter (798)  |  Merely (316)  |  Most (1731)  |  Motion (310)  |  Nation (193)  |  Necessarily (135)  |  Other (2236)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Point (580)  |  Point Of View (80)  |  Science (3879)  |  Service (110)  |  Social (252)  |  Society (326)  |  Speculation (126)  |  System (537)  |  View (488)

The development of an organism … may be considered as the execution of a 'developmental program' present in the fertilized egg. … A central task of developmental biology is to discover the underlying algorithm from the course of development.
Aristid Lindenmayer and Grzegorz Rozenberg, Automata, Languages, Development (1976), v.
Science quotes on:  |  Algorithm (5)  |  Biology (216)  |  Consider (416)  |  Course (409)  |  Development (422)  |  Discover (553)  |  Egg (69)  |  Execution (25)  |  Organism (220)  |  Present (619)  |  Task (147)  |  Underlying (30)

The distributed architecture and its technique of packet switching were built around the problem of getting messages delivered despite blockages, holes and malfunctions. Imagine the poor censor faced with such a system. There is no central exchange to seize and hold; messages actively “seek out” alternative routes so that even if one path is blocked another may open up. Here is the civil libertarian’s dream.
As quoted in Richard Rogers, 'The Internet Treats Censorship as a Malfunction and Routes Around It? : A New Media Approach to the Study of State Internet Censorship', collected in Jussi Parikka and Tony D. Sampson (eds.), The Spam Book: On Viruses, Porn, and Other Anomalies from the Dark Side of Digital Culture (2009), 243.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Actively (3)  |  Alternative (29)  |  Architecture (48)  |  Block (12)  |  Censor (2)  |  Civil (26)  |  Deliver (29)  |  Delivery (6)  |  Distribute (15)  |  Dream (208)  |  Exchange (37)  |  Hold (95)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Malfunction (4)  |  Message (49)  |  Open (274)  |  Path (144)  |  Poor (136)  |  Problem (676)  |  Route (15)  |  Seek (213)  |  Seize (15)  |  System (537)  |  Technique (80)

The electric age ... established a global network that has much the character of our central nervous system.
Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man? (2nd Ed.,1964), 302.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Character (243)  |  Electric (76)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Global (35)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Nervous System (34)  |  Network (21)  |  System (537)

The great mathematician, like the great poet or naturalist or great administrator, is born. My contention shall be that where the mathematic endowment is found, there will usually be found associated with it, as essential implications in it, other endowments in generous measure, and that the appeal of the science is to the whole mind, direct no doubt to the central powers of thought, but indirectly through sympathy of all, rousing, enlarging, developing, emancipating all, so that the faculties of will, of intellect and feeling learn to respond, each in its appropriate order and degree, like the parts of an orchestra to the “urge and ardor” of its leader and lord.
In Lectures on Science, Philosophy and Art (1908), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Administrator (11)  |  All (4108)  |  Appeal (45)  |  Appropriate (61)  |  Ardor (5)  |  Associate (25)  |  Bear (159)  |  Contention (14)  |  Degree (276)  |  Develop (268)  |  Direct (225)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Emancipate (2)  |  Endowment (16)  |  Enlarge (35)  |  Essential (199)  |  Faculty (72)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Find (998)  |  Generous (17)  |  Great (1574)  |  Implication (23)  |  Indirectly (7)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Leader (43)  |  Learn (629)  |  Lord (93)  |  Mathematic (3)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Measure (232)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Naturalist (70)  |  Orchestra (2)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Part (222)  |  Poet (83)  |  Power (746)  |  Respond (12)  |  Rouse (3)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sympathy (30)  |  Thought (953)  |  Through (849)  |  Urge (17)  |  Usually (176)  |  Whole (738)  |  Will (2355)

The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this. The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man’s image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Age (499)  |  Aim (165)  |  Akin (5)  |  All (4108)  |  Already (222)  |  Appear (118)  |  Atheist (15)  |  Base (117)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Beginnings (5)  |  Both (493)  |  Case (99)  |  Church (56)  |  Closely (12)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Contain (68)  |  Contemporary (30)  |  Cosmic (72)  |  David (6)  |  Democritus of Abdera (17)  |  Desire (204)  |  Development (422)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Distinguished (83)  |  Dogma (48)  |  Early (185)  |  Element (310)  |  Especially (31)  |  Existence (456)  |  Experience (467)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Fill (61)  |  Find (998)  |  Francis (2)  |  Futility (7)  |  Genius (284)  |  God (757)  |  Heretic (8)  |  High (362)  |  Human (1468)  |  Image (96)  |  Impress (64)  |  Individual (404)  |  Kind (557)  |  Know (1518)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Light (607)  |  Look (582)  |  Man (2251)  |  Marvelous (29)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Order (632)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Prison (13)  |  Prophet (21)  |  Psalm (3)  |  Regard (305)  |  Religious (126)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Saint (17)  |  Schopenhauer (6)  |  Significant (74)  |  Single (353)  |  Sometimes (45)  |  Sort (49)  |  Spinoza (11)  |  Stage (143)  |  Strong (174)  |  Stronger (36)  |  Sublimity (5)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Teachings (11)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thought (953)  |  Universe (857)  |  Want (497)  |  Whole (738)  |  Wonderful (149)  |  World (1774)  |  Writing (189)  |  Writings (6)

The major credit I think Jim and I deserve … is for selecting the right problem and sticking to it. It’s true that by blundering about we stumbled on gold, but the fact remains that we were looking for gold. Both of us had decided, quite independently of each other, that the central problem in molecular biology was the chemical structure of the gene. … We could not see what the answer was, but we considered it so important that we were determined to think about it long and hard, from any relevant point of view.
In What Mad Pursuit (1990), 74-75.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Answer (366)  |  Autobiography (56)  |  Biology (216)  |  Both (493)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Consider (416)  |  Credit (20)  |  Deserve (65)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Gene (98)  |  Gold (97)  |  Hard (243)  |  Importance (286)  |  Independently (24)  |  Long (790)  |  Looking (189)  |  Major (84)  |  Molecular Biology (27)  |  Other (2236)  |  Point (580)  |  Point Of View (80)  |  Problem (676)  |  Remain (349)  |  Right (452)  |  See (1081)  |  Structure (344)  |  Structure Of DNA (5)  |  Stumble (19)  |  Think (1086)  |  View (488)  |  James Watson (33)

The name chronic alcoholism applies to the collective symptoms of a disordered condition of the mental, motor, and sensory functions of the nervous system, these symptoms assuming a chronic form, and without their being immediately connected with any of those (organic) modifications of the central or peripheric portions of the nervous system which may be detected during life, or discovered after death by ocular inspection; such symptoms, moreover, affecting individuals who have persisted for a considerable length of time in the abuse of alcoholic liquors.
Published in Swedish in 1849. Translation quoted in William Marcet On Chronic Alcoholic Intoxication (1868), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Abuse (22)  |  Alcoholism (6)  |  Being (1278)  |  Condition (356)  |  Connect (125)  |  Considerable (75)  |  Death (388)  |  Detect (44)  |  Discover (553)  |  Disease (328)  |  Disorder (41)  |  Form (959)  |  Function (228)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Individual (404)  |  Life (1795)  |  Mental (177)  |  Modification (55)  |  Motor (23)  |  Name (333)  |  Nervous System (34)  |  Organic (158)  |  Portion (84)  |  Sensory (16)  |  Symptom (34)  |  System (537)  |  Time (1877)

The role of inhibition in the working of the central nervous system has proved to be more and more extensive and more and more fundamental as experiment has advanced in examining it. Reflex inhibition can no longer be regarded merely as a factor specially developed for dealing with the antagonism of opponent muscles acting at various hinge-joints. Its role as a coordinative factor comprises that, and goes beyond that. In the working of the central nervous machinery inhibition seems as ubiquitous and as frequent as is excitation itself. The whole quantitative grading of the operations of the spinal cord and brain appears to rest upon mutual interaction between the two central processes 'excitation' and 'inhibition', the one no less important than the other. For example, no operation can be more important as a basis of coordination for a motor act than adjustment of the quantity of contraction, e.g. of the number of motor units employed and the intensity of their individual tetanic activity. This now appears as the outcome of nice co-adjustment of excitation and inhibition upon each of all the individual units which cooperate in the act.
Inhibition as a Coordinative Factor', Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1932). Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1922-1941 (1965), 288.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Activity (210)  |  Adjustment (20)  |  All (4108)  |  Antagonism (6)  |  Basis (173)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Brain (270)  |  Contraction (15)  |  Coordination (9)  |  Develop (268)  |  Employ (113)  |  Excitation (9)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Extensive (33)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Hinge (4)  |  Individual (404)  |  Inhibition (13)  |  Intensity (34)  |  Interaction (46)  |  Joint (31)  |  Machinery (56)  |  Merely (316)  |  More (2559)  |  Motor (23)  |  Muscle (45)  |  Mutual (52)  |  Nervous System (34)  |  Number (699)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Opponent (19)  |  Other (2236)  |  Quantitative (29)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Reflex (14)  |  Regard (305)  |  Rest (280)  |  Role (86)  |  Spinal Cord (5)  |  System (537)  |  Two (937)  |  Ubiquitous (5)  |  Various (200)  |  Whole (738)

The ruins of Machu Picchu are perched on top of a steep ridge in the most inaccessible corner of the most inaccessible section of the central Andes. No part of the highlands of Peru has been better defended by natural bulwarks—a stupendous canyon whose rim is more than a mile above the river, whose rock is granite, and whose precipices are frequently a thousand feet sheer.
As quoted in Mark Collins Jenkins (ed.), National Geographic 125 Years: Legendary Photographs, Adventures, and Discoveries (2012), 70, citing Machu Picchu: A Citadel of the Incas (1930).
Science quotes on:  |  Andes (2)  |  Better (486)  |  Canyon (9)  |  Corner (57)  |  Foot (60)  |  Granite (7)  |  Highland (2)  |  Inaccessible (18)  |  Mile (39)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Natural (796)  |  Perch (7)  |  Peru (3)  |  Precipice (3)  |  Ridge (7)  |  River (119)  |  Rock (161)  |  Ruin (42)  |  Sheer (9)  |  Steep (5)  |  Stupendous (13)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Top (96)

The ruthless destruction of their forests by the Chinese is one of the reasons why famine and plague today hold this nation in their sinister grasp. Denudation, wherever practiced, leaves naked soil; floods and erosion follow, and when the soil is gone men must also go—and the process does not take long. The great plains of Eastern China were centuries ago transformed from forest into agricultural land. The mountain plateau of Central China have also within a few hundred years been utterly devastated of tree growth, and no attempt made at either natural or artificial reforestation. As a result, the water rushes off the naked slopes in veritable floods, gullying away the mountain sides, causing rivers to run muddy with yellow soil, and carrying enormous masses of fertile earth to the sea. Water courses have also changed; rivers become uncontrollable, and the water level of the country is lowered perceptibly. In consequence, the unfortunate people see their crops wither and die for lack of water when it is most needed.
Statement (11 May 1921) by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) concerning the famine in China in seven out of every ten years. Reported in 'Blames Deforestation: Department of Agriculture Ascribes Chinese Famine to it', New York Times (12 May 1921), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (68)  |  Artificial (33)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Become (815)  |  Century (310)  |  Changed (2)  |  China (23)  |  Chinese (22)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Country (251)  |  Course (409)  |  Crop (25)  |  Deforestation (45)  |  Denudation (2)  |  Destruction (125)  |  Die (86)  |  Earth (996)  |  Erosion (19)  |  Famine (15)  |  Fertile (29)  |  Flood (50)  |  Follow (378)  |  Forest (150)  |  Grasp (61)  |  Great (1574)  |  Growth (187)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Lack (119)  |  Land (115)  |  Level (67)  |  Long (790)  |  Lowered (2)  |  Most (1731)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Muddy (3)  |  Must (1526)  |  Naked (10)  |  Nation (193)  |  Natural (796)  |  Need (290)  |  People (1005)  |  Perceptibly (2)  |  Plague (41)  |  Plain (33)  |  Plateau (6)  |  Process (423)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reforestation (6)  |  Result (677)  |  River (119)  |  Run (174)  |  Ruthless (10)  |  Sea (308)  |  See (1081)  |  Side (233)  |  Sinister (8)  |  Slope (9)  |  Soil (86)  |  Today (314)  |  Transform (73)  |  Tree (246)  |  Uncontrollable (4)  |  Unfortunate (19)  |  Utterly (15)  |  Water (481)  |  Wherever (51)  |  Why (491)  |  Wither (8)  |  Year (933)  |  Yellow (30)

The situation with regard to insulin is particularly clear. In many parts of the world diabetic children still die from lack of this hormone. ... [T]hose of us who search for new biological facts and for new and better therapeutic weapons should appreciate that one of the central problems of the world is the more equitable distribution and use of the medical and nutritional advances which have already been established. The observations which I have recently made in parts of Africa and South America have brought this fact very forcible to my attention.
'Studies on Diabetes and Cirrhosis', Proceedings, American Philosophical Society (1952) 96, No. 1, 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Africa (35)  |  Already (222)  |  America (127)  |  Appreciate (63)  |  Attention (190)  |  Better (486)  |  Biological (137)  |  Child (307)  |  Children (200)  |  Death (388)  |  Diabetes (5)  |  Distribution (50)  |  Equity (4)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Hormone (10)  |  Insulin (9)  |  Lack (119)  |  Medicine (378)  |  More (2559)  |  New (1216)  |  Nutrition (23)  |  Observation (555)  |  Problem (676)  |  Regard (305)  |  Research (664)  |  Search (162)  |  Situation (113)  |  South (38)  |  South America (6)  |  Still (613)  |  Therapy (13)  |  Use (766)  |  Weapon (92)  |  Weapons (58)  |  World (1774)

There are three creative ideas which, each in its turn, have been central to science. They are the idea of order, the idea of causes, and the idea of chance.
From The Common Sense of Science (1951), 145.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (541)  |  Chance (239)  |  Creative (137)  |  Idea (843)  |  Order (632)  |  Science (3879)  |  Three (10)  |  Turn (447)

There is no one central problem in philosophy, but countless little problems. Philosophy is like trying to open a safe with a combination lock: each little adjustment of the dials seems to achieve nothing, only when everything is in place does the door open.
From conversation with Rush Rhees (1930) as given by Rush Rhees in Ludwig Wittgenstein: Personal Recollections (1981), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieving (3)  |  Adjustment (20)  |  Combination (144)  |  Combination Lock (2)  |  Countless (36)  |  Dial (9)  |  Door (93)  |  Everything (476)  |  Little (707)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Open (274)  |  Opening (15)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Place (177)  |  Problem (676)  |  Safe (54)  |  Trying (144)

There rolls the deep where grew the tree.
O earth, what changes hast thou seen!
There where the long street roars, hath been
The stillness of the central sea.
The hills are shadows, and they flow
From form to form, and nothing stands;
They melt like mist, the solid lands,
Like clouds they shape themselves and go.
In Memoriam A. H. H. (1850), canto 123. Collected in Alfred Tennyson and William James Rolfe (ed.) The Poetic and Dramatic works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1898), 194.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (593)  |  Cloud (104)  |  Deep (233)  |  Earth (996)  |  Flow (83)  |  Form (959)  |  Hill (20)  |  Land (115)  |  Long (790)  |  Melting (6)  |  Mist (14)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Roar (5)  |  Roll (40)  |  Sea (308)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Shadow (72)  |  Shape (72)  |  Solid (116)  |  Stand (274)  |  Stillness (5)  |  Street (23)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Tree (246)

Thy shadow, Earth, from Pole to Central Sea,
Now steals along upon the Moon's meek shine
In even monochrome and curving line Of imperturbable serenity.
How shall I link such sun-cast symmetry
With the torn troubled form I know as thine,
That profile, placid as a brow divine,
With continents of moil and misery?
'At a Lunar Eclipse'. In James Gibson (ed.), The Complete Poems of Thomas Hardy (1976), 116.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Cast (66)  |  Continent (76)  |  Divine (112)  |  Earth (996)  |  Eclipse (23)  |  Form (959)  |  Know (1518)  |  Misery (30)  |  Moon (237)  |  Pole (46)  |  Sea (308)  |  Serenity (9)  |  Shadow (72)  |  Sun (385)  |  Symmetry (43)  |  Torn (17)

To a body of infinite size there can be ascribed neither center nor boundary ... Just as we regard ourselves as at the center of that universally equidistant circle, which is the great horizon and the limit of our own encircling ethereal region, so doubtless the inhabitants of the moon believe themselves to be at the center (of a great horizon) that embraces this earth, the sun, and the stars, and is the boundary of the radii of their own horizon. Thus the earth no more than any other world is at the center; moreover no points constitute determined celestial poles for our earth, just as she herself is not a definite and determined pole to any other point of the ether, or of the world-space; and the same is true for all other bodies. From various points of view these may all be regarded either as centers, or as points on the circumference, as poles, or zeniths and so forth. Thus the earth is not in the center of the universe; it is central only to our own surrounding space.
Irving Louis Horowitz, The Renaissance Philosophy of Giordano Bruno (1952), 60.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Body (537)  |  Boundary (51)  |  Celestial (53)  |  Circle (110)  |  Circumference (23)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Definite (110)  |  Earth (996)  |  Embrace (46)  |  Ether (35)  |  Ethereal (8)  |  Great (1574)  |  Horizon (45)  |  Infinite (231)  |  Infinity (90)  |  Inhabitant (49)  |  Limit (280)  |  Moon (237)  |  More (2559)  |  Other (2236)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Point (580)  |  Pole (46)  |  Regard (305)  |  Space (500)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Sun (385)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Universe (857)  |  Various (200)  |  View (488)  |  World (1774)

To ask what qualities distinguish good from routine scientific research is to address a question that should be of central concern to every scientist. We can make the question more tractable by rephrasing it, “What attributes are shared by the scientific works which have contributed importantly to our understanding of the physical world—in this case the world of living things?” Two of the most widely accepted characteristics of good scientific work are generality of application and originality of conception. . These qualities are easy to point out in the works of others and, of course extremely difficult to achieve in one’s own research. At first hearing novelty and generality appear to be mutually exclusive, but they really are not. They just have different frames of reference. Novelty has a human frame of reference; generality has a biological frame of reference. Consider, for example, Darwinian Natural Selection. It offers a mechanism so widely applicable as to be almost coexistent with reproduction, so universal as to be almost axiomatic, and so innovative that it shook, and continues to shake, man’s perception of causality.
In 'Scientific innovation and creativity: a zoologist’s point of view', American Zoologist (1982), 22, 230.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accept (191)  |  Achieve (66)  |  Address (12)  |  Appear (118)  |  Applicable (31)  |  Application (242)  |  Ask (411)  |  Attribute (61)  |  Axiomatic (2)  |  Biological (137)  |  Case (99)  |  Causality (11)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Conception (154)  |  Concern (228)  |  Consider (416)  |  Continue (165)  |  Contribute (27)  |  Course (409)  |  Darwinian (9)  |  Different (577)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Easy (204)  |  Example (94)  |  Exclusive (29)  |  Extremely (16)  |  First (1283)  |  Frame (26)  |  Frame of Reference (5)  |  Generality (45)  |  Good (889)  |  Hear (139)  |  Hearing (49)  |  Human (1468)  |  Importantly (3)  |  Innovative (2)  |  Living (491)  |  Living Things (5)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Mutually (7)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Selection (96)  |  Novelty (29)  |  Of Course (20)  |  Offer (141)  |  Originality (19)  |  Other (2236)  |  Perception (97)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical World (28)  |  Point (580)  |  Point Out (8)  |  Quality (135)  |  Question (621)  |  Really (78)  |  Reference (33)  |  Rephrase (2)  |  Rephrasing (2)  |  Reproduction (72)  |  Research (664)  |  Routine (25)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Selection (128)  |  Shake (41)  |  Share (75)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Two (937)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Universal (189)  |  Widely (9)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)

Truly grand and powerful theories … do not and cannot rest upon single observations. Evolution is an inference from thousands of independent sources, the only conceptual structure that can make unified sense of all this disparate information. The failure of a particular claim usually records a local error, not the bankruptcy of a central theory … If I mistakenly identify your father’s brother as your own dad, you don’t become genealogically rootless and created de novo. You still have a father; we just haven’t located him properly.
Leonardo’s Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms: Essays on Natural History (1998), 155.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Become (815)  |  Brother (43)  |  Claim (146)  |  Do (1908)  |  Error (321)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Failure (161)  |  Father (110)  |  Inference (45)  |  Information (166)  |  Observation (555)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Record (154)  |  Rest (280)  |  Sense (770)  |  Single (353)  |  Still (613)  |  Structure (344)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Truly (116)  |  Usually (176)

Tungsten, X-rays, and Coolidge form a trinity that has left an indelible impression upon our life and times. The key word in this triad is Coolidge, for his work brought the element tungsten from laboratory obscurity to the central role of the industrial stage and gave the X-ray a central role in the progress of medicine throughout the world.
In National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 53, 141.
Science quotes on:  |  Element (310)  |  Form (959)  |  Impression (114)  |  Industry (137)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Life (1795)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Obscurity (27)  |  Progress (465)  |  Ray (114)  |  Role (86)  |  Stage (143)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Time (1877)  |  Trinity (9)  |  Tungsten (2)  |  Word (619)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)  |  X-ray (37)

Under pressure from the computer, the question of mind in relation to machine is becoming a central cultural preoccupation. It is becoming for us what sex was to the Victorians—threat and obsession, taboo and fascination.
In The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit (1984), 313.
Science quotes on:  |  Becoming (96)  |  Computer (127)  |  Culture (143)  |  Fascination (32)  |  Machine (257)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Obsession (13)  |  Preoccupation (7)  |  Pressure (63)  |  Question (621)  |  Relation (157)  |  Sex (69)  |  Taboo (5)  |  Threat (30)  |  Victorian (6)

Underneath his sweetness and gentleness was the heat of a volcano. [Michael Faraday] was a man of excitable and fiery nature; but through high self-discipline he had converted the fire into a central glow and motive power of life, instead of permitting it to waste itself in useless passion.
In Faraday as a Discoverer (1868), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (240)  |  Conversion (17)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Excitement (50)  |  Fire (189)  |  Gentleness (3)  |  Glow (14)  |  Heat (174)  |  High (362)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Motive (59)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Passion (114)  |  Permit (58)  |  Power (746)  |  Self (267)  |  Self-Discipline (2)  |  Sweetness (12)  |  Through (849)  |  Uselessness (22)  |  Volcano (39)  |  Waste (101)

We are just beginning to understand how molecular reaction systems have found a way to “organize themselves”. We know that processes of this nature ultimately led to the life cycle, and that (for the time being?) Man with his central nervous system, i.e. his memory, his mind, and his soul, stands at the end of this development and feels compelled to understand this development. For this purpose he must penetrate into the smallest units of time and space, which also requires new ideas to make these familiar concepts from physics of service in understanding what has, right into our century, appeared to be beyond the confines of space and time.
Answering “Where Now?” as the conclusion of his Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1967) on 'Immeasurably Fast Reactions', published in Nobel Lectures, Chemistry 1963-1970 (1972).
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Century (310)  |  Concept (221)  |  Confine (26)  |  Cycle (40)  |  Development (422)  |  End (590)  |  Familiar (43)  |  Feel (367)  |  Idea (843)  |  Know (1518)  |  Life (1795)  |  Life Cycle (4)  |  Man (2251)  |  Memory (134)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nervous System (34)  |  New (1216)  |  Organize (29)  |  Penetrate (67)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Process (423)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reaction (104)  |  Require (219)  |  Right (452)  |  Service (110)  |  Small (477)  |  Soul (226)  |  Space (500)  |  Space And Time (36)  |  Stand (274)  |  System (537)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time And Space (39)  |  Ultimately (55)  |  Understand (606)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Unit (33)  |  Way (1217)

We lay down a fundamental principle of generalization by abstraction: The existence of analogies between central features of various theories implies the existence of a general theory which underlies the particular theories and unifies them with respect to those central features.
Introduction to a Form of General Analysis (1910), Preface, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (47)  |  Down (456)  |  Existence (456)  |  Feature (44)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  General (511)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Principle (507)  |  Respect (207)  |  Theory (970)  |  Underlie (18)  |  Various (200)

We should first look at the evidence that DNA itself is not the direct template that orders amino acid sequences. Instead, the genetic information of DNA is transferred to another class of molecules which then serve as the protein templates. These intermediate templates are molecules of ribonucleic acid (RNA), large polymeric molecules chemically very similar to DNA. Their relation to DNA and protein is usually summarized by the central dogma, a How scheme for genetic information first proposed some twenty years ago.
In Molecular Biology of the Gene (1965), 281-282.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (83)  |  Amino Acid (11)  |  Biochemistry (49)  |  Class (164)  |  Direct (225)  |  DNA (77)  |  Dogma (48)  |  Evidence (248)  |  First (1283)  |  Genetic (108)  |  Information (166)  |  Intermediate (37)  |  Large (394)  |  Look (582)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Order (632)  |  Polymer (4)  |  Protein (54)  |  RNA (4)  |  Scheme (57)  |  Sequence (68)  |  Summarize (10)  |  Template (3)  |  Transfer (20)  |  Usually (176)  |  Year (933)

We thus begin to see that the institutionalized practice of citations and references in the sphere of learning is not a trivial matter. While many a general reader–that is, the lay reader located outside the domain of science and scholarship–may regard the lowly footnote or the remote endnote or the bibliographic parenthesis as a dispensable nuisance, it can be argued that these are in truth central to the incentive system and an underlying sense of distributive justice that do much to energize the advancement of knowledge.
In ''he Matthew Effect in Science, II: Cumulative Advantage and the Symbolism of Intellectual Property', Isis (1988), 79, 621.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (62)  |  Argument (138)  |  Begin (260)  |  Bibliography (3)  |  Citation (4)  |  Dispense (9)  |  Distributive (2)  |  Do (1908)  |  Domain (69)  |  Energize (2)  |  Footnote (5)  |  General (511)  |  Incentive (9)  |  Institution (69)  |  Justice (39)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Learning (274)  |  Matter (798)  |  Nuisance (9)  |  Outside (141)  |  Parenthesis (2)  |  Practice (204)  |  Reader (40)  |  Reference (33)  |  Regard (305)  |  Remote (83)  |  Scholarship (20)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Sense (770)  |  Sphere (116)  |  System (537)  |  Trivial (57)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Underlying (30)

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 (68)  |  Accept (191)  |  All (4108)  |  Assume (38)  |  Assumption (92)  |  Attention (190)  |  Base (117)  |  Best (459)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Command (58)  |  Continent (76)  |  Current (118)  |  Dishonorable (2)  |  Do (1908)  |  Dollar (22)  |  Effort (227)  |  Expose (23)  |  Exposed (33)  |  Failure (161)  |  False (100)  |  Fool (116)  |  Full (66)  |  Galaxies (29)  |  Galaxy (51)  |  Hereditary (7)  |  Honorable (14)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Large (394)  |  Late (118)  |  Lie (364)  |  Material (353)  |  Milky Way (26)  |  Millions (17)  |  More (2559)  |  Old (481)  |  Other (2236)  |  Passion (114)  |  People (1005)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Practitioner (20)  |  Premise (37)  |  Program (52)  |  Protein (54)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Regard (305)  |  Repeat (42)  |  Research (664)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Stable (30)  |  Story (118)  |  Tradition (69)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

Who does not know Maxwell’s dynamic theory of gases? At first there is the majestic development of the variations of velocities, then enter from one side the equations of condition and from the other the equations of central motions, higher and higher surges the chaos of formulas, suddenly four words burst forth: “Put n = 5.” The evil demon V disappears like the sudden ceasing of the basso parts in music, which hitherto wildly permeated the piece; what before seemed beyond control is now ordered as by magic. There is no time to state why this or that substitution was made, he who cannot feel the reason may as well lay the book aside; Maxwell is no program-musician who explains the notes of his composition. Forthwith the formulas yield obediently result after result, until the temperature-equilibrium of a heavy gas is reached as a surprising final climax and the curtain drops.
In Ceremonial Speech (15 Nov 1887) celebrating the 301st anniversary of the Karl-Franzens-University Graz. Published as Gustav Robert Kirchhoff: Festrede zur Feier des 301. Gründungstages der Karl-Franzens-Universität zu Graz (1888), 29-30, as translated in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-book (1914), 187. From the original German, “Wer kennt nicht seine dynamische Gastheorie? – Zuerst entwickeln sich majestätisch die Variationen der Geschwindigkeiten, dann setzen von der einen Seite die Zustands-Gleichungen, von der anderen die Gleichungen der Centralbewegung ein, immer höher wogt das Chaos der Formeln; plötzlich ertönen die vier Worte: „Put n=5.“Der böse Dämon V verschwindet, wie in der Musik eine wilde, bisher alles unterwühlende Figur der Bässe plötzlich verstummt; wie mit einem Zauberschlage ordnet sich, was früher unbezwingbar schien. Da ist keine Zeit zu sagen, warum diese oder jene Substitution gemacht wird; wer das nicht fühlt, lege das Buch weg; Maxwell ist kein Programmmusiker, der über die Noten deren Erklärung setzen muss. Gefügig speien nun die Formeln Resultat auf Resultat aus, bis überraschend als Schlusseffect noch das Wärme-Gleichgewicht eines schweren Gases gewonnen wird und der Vorhang sinkt.” A condensed alternate translation also appears on the Ludwig Boltzmann Quotes page of this website.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Bass (2)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Book (392)  |  Burst (39)  |  Cease (79)  |  Chaos (91)  |  Composition (84)  |  Condition (356)  |  Control (167)  |  Curtain (2)  |  Demon (8)  |  Development (422)  |  Disappear (82)  |  Drop (76)  |  Dynamic (14)  |  Enter (141)  |  Equation (132)  |  Equilibrium (33)  |  Evil (116)  |  Explain (322)  |  Feel (367)  |  Final (118)  |  First (1283)  |  Formula (98)  |  Gas (83)  |  Heavy (23)  |  Higher (37)  |  Know (1518)  |  Magic (86)  |  Majestic (16)  |  Mathematics As A Fine Art (23)  |  Maxwell (42)  |  James Clerk Maxwell (87)  |  Motion (310)  |  Music (129)  |  Musician (21)  |  Note (34)  |  Obedient (9)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Permeate (2)  |  Program (52)  |  Reach (281)  |  Reason (744)  |  Result (677)  |  Side (233)  |  State (491)  |  Substitution (13)  |  Sudden (67)  |  Suddenly (88)  |  Surge (2)  |  Surprise (86)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Variation (90)  |  Velocity (48)  |  Why (491)  |  Wild (87)  |  Word (619)  |  Yield (81)

Who … is not familiar with Maxwell’s memoirs on his dynamical theory of gases? … from one side enter the equations of state; from the other side, the equations of motion in a central field. Ever higher soars the chaos of formulae. Suddenly we hear, as from kettle drums, the four beats “put n=5.” The evil spirit v vanishes; and … that which had seemed insuperable has been overcome as if by a stroke of magic … One result after another follows in quick succession till at last … we arrive at the conditions for thermal equilibrium together with expressions for the transport coefficients.
In Ceremonial Speech (15 Nov 1887) celebrating the 301st anniversary of the Karl-Franzens-University Graz. Published as Gustav Robert Kirchhoff: Festrede zur Feier des 301. Gründungstages der Karl-Franzens-Universität zu Graz (1888), 29, as translated in In Michael Dudley Sturge, Statistical and Thermal Physics (2003), 343. A more complete alternate translation also appears on the Ludwig Boltzmann Quotes page of this website.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Beat (41)  |  Chaos (91)  |  Coefficient (5)  |  Condition (356)  |  Drum (8)  |  Dynamical (15)  |  Enter (141)  |  Equation (132)  |  Equilibrium (33)  |  Evil (116)  |  Expression (175)  |  Field (364)  |  Follow (378)  |  Formula (98)  |  Hear (139)  |  Kettle (3)  |  Last (426)  |  Magic (86)  |  Maxwell (42)  |  Motion (310)  |  Other (2236)  |  Overcome (39)  |  Result (677)  |  Side (233)  |  Soar (23)  |  Spirit (265)  |  State (491)  |  Stroke (18)  |  Succession (77)  |  Suddenly (88)  |  Theory (970)  |  Thermal (15)  |  Together (387)  |  Transport (30)

With every throb of the climatic pulse which we have felt in Central Asia,, the centre of civilisation has moved this way and that. Each throb has sent pain and decay to the lands whose day was done, life and vigour to those whose day was yet to be.
Final sentence in his book, The Pulse of Asia (1907), 385.
Science quotes on:  |  Asia (5)  |  Civilization (204)  |  Climate (97)  |  Decay (53)  |  Life (1795)  |  Pain (136)  |  Pulse (20)  |  Vigour (18)  |  Way (1217)

[The nanotube] brings those properties you cannot get from other organic molecules. And it’s still carbon, so it has organic chemistry. Here is an object that has, to a superlative degree, the aspects that we hold most central to the inorganic world: hardness, toughness, terrific strength, thermal and electrical conductivity. Things you just can’t do with bone and wood. But it’s made out of carbon. It’s something that plays the game at the same level of perfection as molecules and life.
From interview in 'Wires of Wonder', Technology Review (Mar 2001), 104, No. 2, 88.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Aspect (124)  |  Bone (95)  |  Carbon (65)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Conductivity (4)  |  Degree (276)  |  Do (1908)  |  Electrical (57)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Game (101)  |  Hardness (3)  |  Inorganic (13)  |  Life (1795)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Most (1731)  |  Object (422)  |  Organic (158)  |  Organic Chemistry (40)  |  Other (2236)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Property (168)  |  Something (719)  |  Still (613)  |  Strength (126)  |  Terrific (4)  |  Thermal (15)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Wood (92)  |  World (1774)


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.