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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index C > Category: Completion

Completion Quotes (16 quotes)

Parkinson's First Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
Parkinson's Law or the Pursuit of Progress1 (1958), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Availability (10)  |  Expansion (25)  |  Law (425)  |  Parkinson’s Law (4)  |  Quip (76)  |  Time (491)  |  Work (493)

Given a situation, a system with a Leerstelle [a gap], whether a given completion (Lueckenfuellung) does justice to the structure, is the “right” one, is often determined by the structure of the system, the situation. There are requirements, structurally determined; there are possible in pure cases unambiguous decisions as to which completion does justice to the situation, which does not, which violates the requirements and the situation.
From 'Some Problems in the Theory of Ethics', collected in Mary Henle (ed.), Documents of Gestalt Psychology (1961), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Decision (60)  |  Determine (49)  |  Gap (20)  |  Justice (26)  |  Requirement (45)  |  Right (158)  |  Situation (45)  |  Structurally (2)  |  Structure (193)  |  System (154)  |  Unambiguous (4)  |  Violate (3)

In short, the greatest contribution to real security that science can make is through the extension of the scientific method to the social sciences and a solution of the problem of complete avoidance of war.
In "Science and Security", Science (25 Jun 1948), 107, 665. Written while Director of the U.S. National Bureau of Standards.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoidance (10)  |  Contribution (51)  |  Extension (20)  |  Greatest (55)  |  Making (26)  |  Problem (382)  |  Reality (155)  |  Science (1741)  |  Scientific Method (156)  |  Security (28)  |  Social Science (19)  |  Solution (175)

In the 1920s, there was a dinner at which the physicist Robert W. Wood was asked to respond to a toast … “To physics and metaphysics.” Now by metaphysics was meant something like philosophy—truths that you could get to just by thinking about them. Wood took a second, glanced about him, and answered along these lines: The physicist has an idea, he said. The more he thinks it through, the more sense it makes to him. He goes to the scientific literature, and the more he reads, the more promising the idea seems. Thus prepared, he devises an experiment to test the idea. The experiment is painstaking. Many possibilities are eliminated or taken into account; the accuracy of the measurement is refined. At the end of all this work, the experiment is completed and … the idea is shown to be worthless. The physicist then discards the idea, frees his mind (as I was saying a moment ago) from the clutter of error, and moves on to something else. The difference between physics and metaphysics, Wood concluded, is that the metaphysicist has no laboratory.
In 'Wonder and Skepticism', Skeptical Enquirer (Jan-Feb 1995), 19, No. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (53)  |  Accuracy (52)  |  Answer (210)  |  Clutter (4)  |  Conclusion (124)  |  Devising (7)  |  Difference (214)  |  Dinner (10)  |  Discarding (2)  |  Elimination (17)  |  End (161)  |  Error (234)  |  Experiment (548)  |  Freeing (2)  |  Glance (10)  |  Idea (457)  |  Literature (64)  |  Measurement (149)  |  Metaphysics (30)  |  Mind (576)  |  Philosophy (217)  |  Physicist (132)  |  Physics (304)  |  Possibility (101)  |  Preparation (34)  |  Promise (28)  |  Reading (51)  |  Refinement (12)  |  Response (27)  |  Seeming (9)  |  Sense (258)  |  Test (101)  |  Thinking (223)  |  Toast (7)  |  Truth (764)  |  Robert W. Wood (2)  |  Work (493)  |  Worthless (15)

Medicine rests upon four pillars—philosophy, astronomy, alchemy, and ethics. The first pillar is the philosophical knowledge of earth and water; the second, astronomy, supplies its full understanding of that which is of fiery and airy nature; the third is an adequate explanation of the properties of all the four elements—that is to say, of the whole cosmos—and an introduction into the art of their transformations; and finally, the fourth shows the physician those virtues which must stay with him up until his death, and it should support and complete the three other pillars.
Vas Buch Paragranum (c.1529-30), in J. Jacobi (ed.), Paracelsus: Selected Writings (1951), 133-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Adequacy (9)  |  Air (171)  |  Alchemy (28)  |  Art (217)  |  Astronomy (180)  |  Cosmos (44)  |  Death (277)  |  Earth (582)  |  Element (137)  |  Ethic (12)  |  Explanation (165)  |  Fire (125)  |  Four (6)  |  Introduction (31)  |  Knowledge (1148)  |  Medicine (326)  |  Philosophy (217)  |  Physician (234)  |  Pillar (8)  |  Property (96)  |  Stay (21)  |  Supply (33)  |  Transformation (48)  |  Understanding (322)  |  Virtue (55)  |  Water (264)

No history of civilization can be tolerably complete which does not give considerable space to the explanation of scientific progress. If we had any doubts about this, it would suffice to ask ourselves what constitutes the essential difference between our and earlier civilizations. Throughout the course of history, in every period, and in almost every country, we find a small number of saints, of great artists, of men of science. The saints of to-day are not necessarily more saintly than those of a thousand years ago; our artists are not necessarily greater than those of early Greece; they are more likely to be inferior; and of course, our men of science are not necessarily more intelligent than those of old; yet one thing is certain, their knowledge is at once more extensive and more accurate. The acquisition and systematization of positive knowledge is the only human activity which is truly cumulative and progressive. Our civilization is essentially different from earlier ones, because our knowledge of the world and of ourselves is deeper, more precise, and more certain, because we have gradually learned to disentangle the forces of nature, and because we have contrived, by strict obedience to their laws, to capture them and to divert them to the gratification of our own needs.
Introduction to the History of Science (1927), Vol. 1, 3-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (21)  |  Acquisition (33)  |  Activity (101)  |  Capture (9)  |  Certainty (98)  |  Civilization (161)  |  Country (128)  |  Cumulative (9)  |  Difference (214)  |  Disentangle (3)  |  Doubt (125)  |  Essential (92)  |  Explanation (165)  |  Extensive (11)  |  Gratification (14)  |  Greece (7)  |  History (314)  |  Human (472)  |  Intelligence (144)  |  Knowledge (1148)  |  Law (425)  |  Men Of Science (97)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Need (226)  |  Obedience (15)  |  Precision (39)  |  Progress (320)  |  Saint (11)  |  Scientific Progress (12)

Our experience shows that not everything that is observable and measurable is predictable, no matter how complete our past observations may have been.
In Presidential Address (8 Feb 1963), Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society (Mar 1963), 4, 197.
Science quotes on:  |  Everything (139)  |  Experience (288)  |  Measurement (149)  |  Observation (421)  |  Past (127)  |  Prediction (67)

The attempted synthesis of paleontology and genetics, an essential part of the present study, may be particularly surprising and possibly hazardous. Not long ago, paleontologists felt that a geneticist was a person who shut himself in a room, pulled down the shades, watched small flies disporting themselves in milk bottles, and thought that he was studying nature. A pursuit so removed from the realities of life, they said, had no significance for the true biologist. On the other hand, the geneticists said that paleontology had no further contributions to make to biology, that its only point had been the completed demonstration of the truth of evolution, and that it was a subject too purely descriptive to merit the name 'science'. The paleontologist, they believed, is like a man who undertakes to study the principles of the internal combustion engine by standing on a street corner and watching the motor cars whiz by.
Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1944), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (95)  |  Biology (158)  |  Bottle (13)  |  Cat (33)  |  Contribution (51)  |  Corner (27)  |  Demonstration (52)  |  Description (74)  |  Evolution (500)  |  Fly (91)  |  Geneticist (11)  |  Genetics (100)  |  Internal Combustion Engine (2)  |  Merit (25)  |  Name (124)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Paleontology (29)  |  Person (126)  |  Room (32)  |  Shade (22)  |  Standing (11)  |  Street (18)  |  Study (349)  |  Subject (133)  |  Synthesis (40)  |  Truth (764)  |  Watch (52)  |  Whiz (2)

The philosopher of science is not much interested in the thought processes which lead to scientific discoveries; he looks for a logical analysis of the completed theory, including the establishing its validity. That is, he is not interested in the context of discovery, but in the context of justification.
'The Philosophical Significance of the Theory of Relativity' (1938). Collected in P.A. Schillp (ed.). Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist (1949, 1970), 292. Cited in G. Holton, Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought (1973), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (124)  |  Context (18)  |  Discovery (601)  |  Establishment (30)  |  Interest (182)  |  Justification (35)  |  Logic (190)  |  Philosophy (217)  |  Process (210)  |  Theory (585)  |  Validity (23)

The study of the serum of immunized animals forms a new chapter in the history of the struggle between the animal and infective agents, under which heading practical results of the highest importance are already inscribed. Any explanation of the phenomena is, however, still far from complete.
In Studies in Immunity (1909), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (28)  |  Animal (325)  |  Chapter (7)  |  Explanation (165)  |  History (314)  |  Importance (186)  |  Infection (18)  |  New (380)  |  Phenomenon (223)  |  Practical (93)  |  Result (267)  |  Serum (7)  |  Struggle (66)  |  Study (349)

There is one great difficulty with a good hypothesis. When it is completed and rounded, the corners smooth and the content cohesive and coherent, it is likely to become a thing in itself, a work of art. It is then like a finished sonnet or a painting completed. One hates to disturb it. Even if subsequent information should shoot a hole in it, one hates to tear it down because it once was beautiful and whole. One of our leading scientists, having reasoned a reef in the Pacific, was unable for a long time to reconcile the lack of a reef, indicated by soundings, with the reef his mind told him was there.
In John Steinbeck and Edward Flanders Ricketts Sea of Cortez: a Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research (1941), 179-80.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (217)  |  Beautiful (108)  |  Coherence (8)  |  Cohesion (5)  |  Completeness (10)  |  Content (41)  |  Corner (27)  |  Difficulty (117)  |  Disturbance (19)  |  Finish (17)  |  Good (255)  |  Hypothesis (231)  |  Information (106)  |  Mind (576)  |  Painting (28)  |  Proof (192)  |  Reef (6)  |  Scientific Method (156)  |  Smoothness (3)  |  Sonnet (4)  |  Sounding (2)

This will end the mythology of the dumb little Dutch boy with his stupid finger in the dike to save his country.
On completion of new, technologically advanced sea barrier in the Netherlands
NY Times 5 Oct 86
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (128)  |  Barrier (19)  |  Boy (36)  |  Country (128)  |  Dumb (7)  |  End (161)  |  Finger (41)  |  Little (150)  |  Mythology (12)  |  New (380)  |  Save (48)  |  Sea (170)  |  Stupid (17)  |  Technologically (2)

When every fact, every present or past phenomenon of that universe, every phase of present or past life therein, has been examined, classified, and co-ordinated with the rest, then the mission of science will be completed. What is this but saying that the task of science can never end till man ceases to be, till history is no longer made, and development itself ceases?
From The Grammar of Science (1892), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Cessation (10)  |  Classification (79)  |  Coordination (5)  |  Development (231)  |  Examination (61)  |  Fact (628)  |  History (314)  |  Life (993)  |  Mission (9)  |  Past (127)  |  Phase (15)  |  Phenomenon (223)  |  Present (119)  |  Science (1741)  |  Task (71)  |  Universe (615)

When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Deep (99)  |  Dream (143)  |  Express (35)  |  Goal (93)  |  Life (993)  |  Live (230)  |  Love (193)  |  Mean (76)  |  Motivate (5)  |  Need (226)  |  Pure (63)  |  Truly (22)

You believe in the God who plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world that objectively exists, and which I, in a wildly speculative way, am trying to capture. … Even the great initial success of the quantum theory does not make me believe in the fundamental dice-game, although I am well aware that our younger colleagues interpret this as a consequence of senility. No doubt the day will come when we will see whose instinctive attitude was the correct one.
Letter to Max Born (7 Sep 1944). In Born-Einstein Letters, 146. Einstein Archives 8-207. In Albert Einstein, Alice Calaprice, Freeman Dyson, The Ultimate Quotable Einstein (2011), 393.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (421)  |  Dice (14)  |  Existence (265)  |  God (474)  |  Law (425)  |  Objective (51)  |  Order (173)  |  World (746)

[Fritz Haber's] greatness lies in his scientific ideas and in the depth of his searching. The thought, the plan, and the process are more important to him than the completion. The creative process gives him more pleasure than the yield, the finished piece. Success is immaterial. “Doing it was wonderful.” His work is nearly always uneconomical, with the wastefulness of the rich.
In Richard Willstätter, Arthur Stoll (ed. of the original German) and Lilli S. Hornig (trans.), From My Life: The Memoirs of Richard Willstätter (1958), 268.
Science quotes on:  |  Creativity (70)  |  Depth (37)  |  Finish (17)  |  Greatness (37)  |  Fritz Haber (4)  |  Idea (457)  |  Immaterial (3)  |  Importance (186)  |  Plan (74)  |  Pleasure (106)  |  Process (210)  |  Rich (52)  |  Search (95)  |  Success (215)  |  Thought (400)  |  Wonderful (41)  |  Work (493)  |  Yield (25)


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.