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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Genius is two percent inspiration, ninety-eight percent perspiration.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index C > Category: Concrete

Concrete Quotes (21 quotes)

...the source of all great mathematics is the special case, the concrete example. It is frequent in mathematics that every instance of a concept of seemingly generality is, in essence, the same as a small and concrete special case.
I Want to be a Mathematician: an Automathography in Three Parts (1985), 324.
Science quotes on:  |  Case (64)  |  Concept (102)  |  Essence (42)  |  Example (57)  |  Frequent (10)  |  Generality (22)  |  Great (300)  |  Instance (18)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Seeming (9)  |  Small (97)  |  Source (71)  |  Special (51)

A fractal is a mathematical set or concrete object that is irregular or fragmented at all scales.
Cited as from Fractals: Form, Chance, and Dimension (1977), by J.W. Cannon, in review of The Fractal Geometry of Nature (1982) in The American Mathematical Monthly (Nov 1984), 91, No. 9, 594.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (152)  |  Fractal (9)  |  Fragment (24)  |  Irregular (4)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Object (110)  |  Scale (49)  |  Set (56)

All of our experience indicates that life can manifest itself only in a concrete form, and that it is bound to certain substantial loci. These loci are cells and cell formations. But we are far from seeking the last and highest level of understanding in the morphology of these loci of life. Anatomy does not exclude physiology, but physiology certainly presupposes anatomy. The phenomena that the physiologist investigates occur in special organs with quite characteristic anatomical arrangements; the various morphological parts disclosed by the anatomist are the bearers of properties or, if you will, of forces probed by the physiologist; when the physiologist has established a law, whether through physical or chemical investigation, the anatomist can still proudly state: This is the structure in which the law becomes manifest.
In 'Cellular-Pathologie', Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und fur klinische Medizin (1855), 8, 19, as translated in LellandJ. Rather, 'Cellular Pathology', Disease, Life, and Man: Selected Essays by Rudolf Virchow (1958), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomist (14)  |  Anatomy (59)  |  Cell (125)  |  Characteristic (66)  |  Chemical (72)  |  Investigate (49)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Law (418)  |  Level (51)  |  Life (917)  |  Locus (3)  |  Morphology (18)  |  Organ (60)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Physiologist (12)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Pride (45)  |  Probe (6)  |  Property (96)  |  Seeking (30)  |  Structure (191)  |  Substantial (7)  |  Understanding (317)

Beavers bred in captivity, inhabiting a concrete pool, will, if given the timber, fatuously go through all the motions of damming an ancestral stream.
In short story Work Suspended (1943) collected in Evelyn Waugh: The Complete Short Stories (1998), 320.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancestor (35)  |  Beaver (6)  |  Breeding (11)  |  Dam (4)  |  Fatuous (2)  |  Inhabiting (3)  |  Instinct (50)  |  Pool (10)  |  Stream (27)  |  Timber (7)

Chemistry is like a majestic skyscraper. The concrete secure foundation of chemistry consists of countless experimentally observed facts. The theories, principles and laws developed from these observations are like an elevator which runs from the bottom to the top of the edifice.
Ernest R. Toon and George L. Ellis (eds.), Foundations of Chemistry (1968), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Bottom (28)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Consist (22)  |  Countless (13)  |  Developed (8)  |  Edifice (13)  |  Elevator (2)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Fact (609)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Law (418)  |  Majestic (7)  |  Observation (418)  |  Principle (228)  |  Secure (13)  |  Skyscraper (6)  |  Theory (582)  |  Top (20)

Every 10 years, an area the size of Britain disappears under a jungle of concrete.
As quoted from BBC TV series, Planet Earth II in Joe Shute, 'David Attenborough at 90: ‘I think about my mortality every day’', The Telegraph (29 Oct 2016).
Science quotes on:  |  Area (18)  |  Britain (14)  |  Disappear (22)  |  Jungle (13)  |  Size (47)  |  Year (214)

I have long been interested in landscape history, and when younger and more robust I used to do much tramping of the English landscape in search of ancient field systems, drove roads, indications of prehistoric settlement. Towns and cities, too, which always retain the ghost of their earlier incarnations beneath today's concrete and glass.
From 'An Interview With Penelope Lively', in a Reading Guide to the book The Photograph on the publisher's Penguin website.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (68)  |  City (37)  |  Earlier (8)  |  England (31)  |  Field (119)  |  Ghost (20)  |  Glass (35)  |  History (302)  |  Incarnation (3)  |  Indication (21)  |  Interest (170)  |  Landscape (23)  |  Prehistoric (5)  |  Road (47)  |  Search (85)  |  Settlement (2)  |  System (141)  |  Town (18)

If we consider what science already has enabled men to know—the immensity of space, the fantastic philosophy of the stars, the infinite smallness of the composition of atoms, the macrocosm whereby we succeed only in creating outlines and translating a measure into numbers without our minds being able to form any concrete idea of it—we remain astounded by the enormous machinery of the universe.
Address (10 Sep 1934) to the International Congress of Electro-Radio Biology, Venice. In Associated Press, 'Life a Closed Book, Declares Marconi', New York Times (11 Sep 1934), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Astounding (2)  |  Atom (251)  |  Composition (52)  |  Consideration (65)  |  Creation (211)  |  Enabled (3)  |  Enormous (33)  |  Fantastic (7)  |  Formation (54)  |  Idea (440)  |  Immensity (17)  |  Infinity (59)  |  Machinery (25)  |  Macrocosm (2)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Measurement (148)  |  Mind (544)  |  Number (179)  |  Outline (6)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Remaining (13)  |  Science (1699)  |  Smallness (4)  |  Space (154)  |  Star (251)  |  Success (202)  |  Translation (12)  |  Universe (563)

Metaphorical language is a species of natural language which we construct out of arbitrary but concrete words. That is why it is so pleasing.
Aphorism 78 in Notebook D (1773-1775), as translated by R.J. Hollingdale in Aphorisms (1990). Reprinted as The Waste Books (2000), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  Arbitrary (16)  |  Construction (69)  |  Language (155)  |  Linguistics (24)  |  Metaphor (19)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Word (221)

No problem can be solved until it is reduced to some simple form. The changing of a vague difficulty into a specific, concrete form is a very essential element in thinking.
Seen, for example, in The Grain and Feed Review (1931), 21, 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Changing (6)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Element (129)  |  Essential (87)  |  Form (210)  |  Problem (362)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Simple (111)  |  Solution (168)  |  Specific (30)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Vague (10)

Our knowledge of the external world must always consist of numbers, and our picture of the universe—the synthesis of our knowledge—must necessarily be mathematical in form. All the concrete details of the picture, the apples, the pears and bananas, the ether and atoms and electrons, are mere clothing that we ourselves drape over our mathematical symbols— they do not belong to Nature, but to the parables by which we try to make Nature comprehensible. It was, I think, Kronecker who said that in arithmetic God made the integers and man made the rest; in the same spirit, we may add that in physics God made the mathematics and man made the rest.
From Address (1934) to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Aberdeen, 'The New World—Picture of Modern Physics'. Printed in Nature (Sep 1934) 134, No. 3384, 356. As quoted and cited in Wilbur Marshall Urban, Language and Reality: The Philosophy of Language and the Principles of Symbolism (2004), Vol. 15, 542.
Science quotes on:  |  Apple (33)  |  Arithmetic (68)  |  Atom (251)  |  Banana (3)  |  Comprehensible (4)  |  Detail (65)  |  Electron (66)  |  Ether (24)  |  External (45)  |  God (454)  |  Integer (4)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Leopold Kronecker (4)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Number (179)  |  Parable (3)  |  Pear (3)  |  Physics (301)  |  Picture (55)  |  Symbol (35)  |  Synthesis (38)  |  Try (103)  |  Universe (563)  |  World (667)

Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.
In Hugh Rawson and Margaret Miner (eds.), The Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations (), 30, citing the magazine Quote (8 Oct 1961).
Science quotes on:  |  Flower (65)  |  Nation (111)

Sometime between 1740 and 1780, electricians were for the first time enabled to take the foundations for their field for granted. From that point they pushed on to more concrete and recondite problems.
From The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1970, 2012), 21-22.
Science quotes on:  |  Electrician (3)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Problem (362)  |  Recondite (2)

The advance from the simple to the complex, through a process of successive differentiations, is seen alike in the earliest changes of the Universe to which we can reason our way back, and in the earliest changes which we can inductively establish; it is seen in the geologic and climatic evolution of the Earth; it is seen in the unfolding of every single organism on its surface, and in the multiplication of kinds of organisms; it is seen in the evolution of Humanity, whether contemplated in the civilized individual, or in the aggregate of races; it is seen in the evolution of Society in respect alike of its political, its religious, and its economical organization; and it is seen in the evolution of all those endless concrete and abstract products of human activity which constitute the environment of our daily life. From the remotest past which Science can fathom, up to the novelties of yesterday, that in which Progress essentially consists, is the transformation of the homogeneous into the heterogeneous.
Progress: Its Law and Cause (1857), 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (43)  |  Activity (97)  |  Advancement (36)  |  Aggregation (4)  |  Change (291)  |  Civilization (155)  |  Climate (38)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Contemplation (37)  |  Daily Life (5)  |  Differentiation (17)  |  Early (39)  |  Earth (487)  |  Economy (46)  |  Environment (138)  |  Establishment (29)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fathom (5)  |  Geology (187)  |  Heterogeneity (3)  |  Homogeneity (4)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Individual (177)  |  Induction (45)  |  Kind (99)  |  Multiplication (14)  |  Novelty (19)  |  Organism (126)  |  Organization (79)  |  Past (109)  |  Politics (77)  |  Process (201)  |  Product (72)  |  Race (76)  |  Reason (330)  |  Religion (210)  |  Remoteness (7)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Society (188)  |  Succession (39)  |  Surface (74)  |  Transformation (47)  |  Unfolding (5)  |  Universe (563)  |  Yesterday (14)

The computer takes up where psychoanalysis left off. It takes the ideas of a decentered self and makes it more concrete by modeling mind as a multiprocessing machine.
The Second Self, ch. 9 (1984). Turkle was on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's program in Science, Technology and Society.
Science quotes on:  |  Computer (84)  |  Decentered (2)  |  Idea (440)  |  Leave (63)  |  Machine (133)  |  Mind (544)  |  Modeling (2)  |  Psychoanalysis (37)  |  Self (39)

The engineer is concerned to travel from the abstract to the concrete. He begins with an idea and ends with an object. He journeys from theory to practice. The scientist’s job is the precise opposite. He explores nature with his telescopes or microscopes, or much more sophisticated techniques, and feeds into a computer what he finds or sees in an attempt to define mathematically its significance and relationships. He travels from the real to the symbolic, from the concrete to the abstract. The scientist and the engineer are the mirror image of each other.
In The Development of Design (1981), 19-20.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (43)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Beginning (114)  |  Computer (84)  |  Definition (152)  |  End (141)  |  Engineer (72)  |  Exploration (93)  |  Idea (440)  |  Image (38)  |  Job (33)  |  Journey (19)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Microscope (68)  |  Mirror (21)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Object (110)  |  Opposite (39)  |  Practice (67)  |  Real (95)  |  Relationship (59)  |  Science And Engineering (11)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Significance (60)  |  Sophistication (8)  |  Symbolic (6)  |  Technique (41)  |  Telescope (74)  |  Theory (582)  |  Travelling (3)

The Highways of America are built chiefly of politics, whereas the proper material is crushed rock or concrete.
From Letter (24 Sep 1912) to his friend, the publisher Elbert Hubbard. In Jane Watts Fisher, Fabulous Hoosier: A Story of American Achievement (1947), 79.
Science quotes on:  |  America (74)  |  Build (80)  |  Crushed (2)  |  Highway (10)  |  Material (124)  |  Politics (77)  |  Proper (27)  |  Rock (107)

The most important distinction between the two qualities [talent and genius] is this: one, in conception, follows mechanical processes; the other, vital. Talent feebly conceives objects with the senses and understanding; genius, fusing all its powers together in the alembic of an impassioned imagination, clutches every thing in the concrete, conceives objects as living realities, gives body to spiritual abstractions, and spirit to bodily appearances, and like
“A gate of steel
Fronting the sun, receives and renders back
His figure and his heat!”
In 'Genius', Wellman’s Miscellany (Dec 1871), 4, No. 6, 203. The quotation at the end is from Wiliam Shakespeare, Tr. & Cress. iii, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (29)  |  Alembic (3)  |  Appearance (77)  |  Back (55)  |  Body (193)  |  Clutch (2)  |  Conceive (22)  |  Conception (63)  |  Distinction (37)  |  Feeble (21)  |  Figure (32)  |  Following (16)  |  Gate (8)  |  Genius (186)  |  Giving (11)  |  Heat (90)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Impassioned (2)  |  Importance (183)  |  Living (44)  |  Mechanical (31)  |  Object (110)  |  Power (273)  |  Process (201)  |  Reality (140)  |  Receive (39)  |  Render (17)  |  Sense (240)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Spiritual (45)  |  Steel (14)  |  Sun (211)  |  Talent (49)  |  Together (48)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Vital (32)

There is no area in our minds reserved for superstition, such as the Greeks had in their mythology; and superstition, under cover of an abstract vocabulary, has revenged itself by invading the entire realm of thought. Our science is like a store filled with the most subtle intellectual devices for solving the most complex problems, and yet we are almost incapable of applying the elementary principles of rational thought. In every sphere, we seem to have lost the very elements of intelligence: the ideas of limit, measure, degree, proportion, relation, comparison, contingency, interdependence, interrelation of means and ends. To keep to the social level, our political universe is peopled exclusively by myths and monsters; all it contains is absolutes and abstract entities. This is illustrated by all the words of our political and social vocabulary: nation, security, capitalism, communism, fascism, order, authority, property, democracy. We never use them in phrases such as: There is democracy to the extent that... or: There is capitalism in so far as... The use of expressions like “to the extent that” is beyond our intellectual capacity. Each of these words seems to represent for us an absolute reality, unaffected by conditions, or an absolute objective, independent of methods of action, or an absolute evil; and at the same time we make all these words mean, successively or simultaneously, anything whatsoever. Our lives are lived, in actual fact, among changing, varying realities, subject to the casual play of external necessities, and modifying themselves according to specific conditions within specific limits; and yet we act and strive and sacrifice ourselves and others by reference to fixed and isolated abstractions which cannot possibly be related either to one another or to any concrete facts. In this so-called age of technicians, the only battles we know how to fight are battles against windmills. [p.222]
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Abstract (43)  |  Abstraction (29)  |  Accord (21)  |  Act (80)  |  Action (151)  |  Actual (34)  |  Age (137)  |  Apply (38)  |  Area (18)  |  Authority (50)  |  Battle (30)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Capacity (42)  |  Capitalism (7)  |  Casual (6)  |  Change (291)  |  Communism (8)  |  Comparison (53)  |  Complex (78)  |  Condition (119)  |  Contain (37)  |  Contingency (11)  |  Cover (23)  |  Degree (48)  |  Democracy (21)  |  Device (24)  |  Element (129)  |  Elementary (30)  |  End (141)  |  Entire (29)  |  Entity (23)  |  Evil (67)  |  Exclusively (8)  |  Expression (82)  |  Extent (30)  |  External (45)  |  Fact (609)  |  Far (77)  |  Fascism (3)  |  Fight (37)  |  Fill (35)  |  Fix (10)  |  Greek (46)  |  Idea (440)  |  Illustrate (5)  |  Incapable (11)  |  Independent (41)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Interrelation (6)  |  Invade (4)  |  Isolate (10)  |  Keep (47)  |  Know (321)  |  Level (51)  |  Limit (86)  |  Live (186)  |  Lose (53)  |  Mean (63)  |  Means (109)  |  Measure (70)  |  Method (154)  |  Mind (544)  |  Modify (11)  |  Monster (21)  |  Myth (43)  |  Mythology (11)  |  Nation (111)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Objective (49)  |  Order (167)  |  Ourselves (34)  |  P (2)  |  People (269)  |  Phrase (21)  |  Play (60)  |  Political (31)  |  Possibly (9)  |  Principle (228)  |  Problem (362)  |  Property (96)  |  Proportion (47)  |  Rational (42)  |  Reality (140)  |  Realm (40)  |  Reference (17)  |  Relate (5)  |  Relation (96)  |  Represent (27)  |  Reserve (7)  |  Revenge (6)  |  Sacrifice (24)  |  Same (92)  |  Science (1699)  |  Security (27)  |  Seem (89)  |  Simultaneous (12)  |  So-Called (18)  |  Social (93)  |  Solve (41)  |  Specific (30)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Store (17)  |  Strive (35)  |  Subject (129)  |  Subtle (26)  |  Superstition (50)  |  Technician (5)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Thought (374)  |  Time (439)  |  Unaffected (4)  |  Universe (563)  |  Vary (14)  |  Vocabulary (3)  |  Whatsoever (6)  |  Windmill (4)  |  Word (221)

Think of Adam and Eve like an imaginary number, like the square root of minus one: you can never see any concrete proof that it exists, but if you include it in your equations, you can calculate all manner of things that couldn't be imagined without it.
In The Golden Compass (1995, 2001), 372-373.
Science quotes on:  |  Adam And Eve (3)  |  Calculation (67)  |  Equation (69)  |  Existence (254)  |  Imaginary Number (3)  |  Include (27)  |  Proof (192)  |  Square Root (5)

[T]he 47th proposition in Euclid might now be voted down with as much ease as any proposition in politics; and therefore if Lord Hawkesbury hates the abstract truths of science as much as he hates concrete truth in human affairs, now is his time for getting rid of the multiplication table, and passing a vote of censure upon the pretensions of the hypotenuse.
In 'Peter Plymley's Letters', Essays Social and Political (1877), 530.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (43)  |  Censure (3)  |  Euclid (28)  |  Hatred (16)  |  Human Affairs (5)  |  Hypotenuse (3)  |  Multiplication Table (5)  |  Politics (77)  |  Pretension (4)  |  Proposition (47)  |  Science (1699)  |  Truth (750)  |  Vote (11)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



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