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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index D > Category: Decency

Decency Quotes (5 quotes)

For my own part I would as soon be descended from that heroic little monkey, who braved his dreaded enemy in order to save the life of his keeper; or from that old baboon, who, descending from the mountains, carried away in triumph his young comrade from a crowd of astonished dogs—as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies, offers up bloody sacrifices, practices infanticide without remorse, treats his wives like slaves, knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest superstitions.
The Descent of Man (1871), Vol. 2, 404-5.
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It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for any public office.
…...
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It is necessary to avoid the affected conciseness and quaint terms so much in fashion, and only to use the proper language and established terms. Linnæus, otherwise the great ornament of natural historians, is very blameable in this respect…I am the more desirous of fixing technical names, as the unjustifiable and very indecent terms used by Linnaeus in his Bivalves may meet their deserved fate, by being exploded with indignation; for
    Immodest words admit of defense,
    And want of decency is want of sense.

These my terms being adopted, will render descriptions proper, intelligible, and decent; by which the science may become useful, easy, and adapted to all capacities, and to both sexes.
From Preface to Elements of Conchology or, An introduction to the Knowledge of Shells (1776), 108-109. [Note: the quotation comes from the fourth Earl of Roscommon. Benjamin Franklin also used this quote, but he was only repeating it, not originating it.]
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The puritanical potentialities of science have never been forecast. If it evolves a body of organized rites, and is established as a religion, hierarchically organized, things more than anything else will be done in the name of 'decency.' The coarse fumes of tobacco and liquors, the consequent tainting of the breath and staining of white fingers and teeth, which is so offensive to many women, will be the first things attended to.
Wyndham Lewis: an Anthology of his Prose (1969), 170.
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You can be a thorough-going Neo-Darwinian without imagination, metaphysics, poetry, conscience, or decency. For “Natural Selection” has no moral significance: it deals with that part of evolution which has no purpose, no intelligence, and might more appropriately be called accidental selection, or better still, Unnatural Selection, since nothing is more unnatural than an accident. If it could be proved that the whole universe had been produced by such Selection, only fools and rascals could bear to live.
Back to Methuselah: A Metabiological Pentateuch (1921), lxi-lxii.
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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)

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Sophie Germain
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Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
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Carl Gauss
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- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
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Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
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Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
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Bible
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
Francis Galton
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- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
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- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
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Thomas Kuhn
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- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
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- 20 -
Carl Sagan
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- 10 -
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by Ian Ellis
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