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Who said: “I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, ... finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell ... whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index D > Category: Devil

Devil Quotes (18 quotes)

'It’s this accursed Science,' I cried. 'It’s the very Devil. The mediaeval priests and persecutors were right, and the Moderns are all wrong. You tamper with it—and it offers you gifts. And directly you take them it knocks you to pieces in some unexpected way.'
The First Men in the Moon (1901), 144.
Science quotes on:  |  Gift (47)  |  Mediaeval (2)  |  Priest (16)  |  Science (1699)  |  Tamper (5)

Ac astronomye is an hard thyng,
And yvel for to knowe;
Geometrie and geomesie,
So gynful of speche,
Who so thynketh werche with tho two
Thryveth ful late,
For sorcerie is the sovereyn book
That to tho sciences bilongeth.

Now, astronomy is a difficult discipline, and the devil to learn;
And geometry and geomancy have confusing terminology:
If you wish to work in these two, you will not succeed quickly.
For sorcery is the chief study that these sciences entail.
In William Langland and B. Thomas Wright (ed.) The Vision and Creed of Piers Ploughman (1842), 186. Modern translation by Terrence Tiller in Piers Plowman (1981, 1999), 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (175)  |  Chief (25)  |  Confusing (2)  |  Difficult (62)  |  Discipline (38)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Learn (160)  |  Quickly (9)  |  Sorcery (3)  |  Study (331)  |  Succeed (11)  |  Terminology (7)  |  Wish (62)  |  Work (457)

The Devil: Reformers … will thrust you first into religion, where you will sprinkle water on babies to save their souls from me ; then it will drive you from religion into science, where you will snatch the babies from the water sprinkling and inoculate them with disease to save them from catching it accidentally.
In Man and Superman: A Comedy and a Philosophy (1903), 135.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (54)  |  Baby (18)  |  Disease (257)  |  Inoculation (8)  |  Reformer (4)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Soul (139)  |  Vaccination (5)  |  Water (244)

Astrology is framed by the devil, to the end people may be scared from entering into the state of matrimony, and from every divine and human office and calling.
W. Hazlitt (trans. and ed.) The Table Talk of Martin Luther, (1857), 343.
Science quotes on:  |  Astrology (35)  |  Marriage (31)

I have witnessed a most remarkable drama here, one which to me as a German was very unexpected, and quite shocking. I saw the famous M. Lavoisier hold a ceremonial auto-da-fe of phlogiston in the Arsenal. His wife... served as the sacrificial priestess, and Stahl appeared as the advocatus diaboli to defend phlogiston. In the end, poor phlogiston was burned on the accusation of oxygen. Do you not think I have made a droll discovery? Everything is literally true. I will not say whether the cause of phlogiston is now irretrievably lost, or what I think about the issue. But I am glad that this spectacle was not presented in my fatherland.
Letter to Chemische Annalen, 1789, 1, 519. Quoted (in English translation) in K. Hufbauer, The Formation of the German Chemical Community (1982), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Advocate (10)  |  Germany (9)  |  Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (33)  |  Oxygen (49)  |  Phlogiston (9)  |  Georg Ernst Stahl (8)

It did not last: the Devil howling 'Ho, Let Einstein be,' restored the status quo.
[Refer to earlier lines by Alexander Pope on Isaac Newton]
'In Continuation of Pope on Newton', in J. C. Squire, Poems in One Volume (1926), 218.
Science quotes on:  |  Albert Einstein (535)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Alexander Pope (34)  |  Restoration (4)  |  Status Quo (2)

Junior high school seemed like a fine idea when we invented it but it turned out to be an invention of the devil. We’re catching our boys in a net in which they’re socially unprepared. We put them in junior high school with girls who are two years ahead of them. There isn’t a thing they should have to do with girls at this age except growl at them.
As quoted in Frances Glennon, 'Student and Teacher of Human Ways', Life (14 Sep 1959), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Ahead (14)  |  Boy (33)  |  Catch (21)  |  Fine (24)  |  Girl (15)  |  Growl (3)  |  High School (6)  |  Idea (440)  |  Invent (30)  |  Invention (283)  |  Junior (2)  |  Net (10)  |  Social (93)  |  Turn Out (2)

Last night I invented a new pleasure, and as I was giving it the first trial an angel and a devil came rushing toward my house. They met at my door and fought with each other over my newly created pleasure; the one crying, “It is a sin!” - the other, “It is a virtue!”
In Kahlil Gibran: The Collected Works (207), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Angel (25)  |  Created (5)  |  Fight (37)  |  Invent (30)  |  New (340)  |  Night (73)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Rush (12)  |  Sin (27)  |  Trial (23)  |  Virtue (55)

Logarithmic plots are a device of the devil.
From interview with Henry Spall, as in an abridged version of Earthquake Information Bulletin (Jan-Feb 1980), 12, No. 1, that is on the USGS website.
Science quotes on:  |  Device (24)  |  Plot (9)

My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world.
In Fact and Faith (1934), vi.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)  |  Affair (24)  |  Angel (25)  |  Assumption (49)  |  Atheist (13)  |  Career (54)  |  Course (57)  |  Dishonesty (7)  |  Experiment (543)  |  God (454)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Interference (12)  |  Justification (33)  |  Practice (67)  |  Profession (54)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Success (202)  |  Word (221)

One of the greatest gifts science has brought to the world is continuing elimination of the supernatural, and it was a lesson that my father passed on to me, that knowledge liberates mankind from superstition. We can live our lives without the constant fear that we have offended this or that deity who must be placated by incantation or sacrifice, or that we are at the mercy of devils or the Fates. With increasing knowledge, the intellectual darkness that surrounds us is illuminated and we learn more of the beauty and wonder of the natural world.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (171)  |  Bring (53)  |  Constant (40)  |  Continue (38)  |  Darkness (25)  |  Deity (11)  |  Elimination (17)  |  Fate (38)  |  Father (44)  |  Fear (113)  |  Gift (47)  |  Great (300)  |  Illuminate (12)  |  Incantation (4)  |  Increase (107)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Learn (160)  |  Lesson (32)  |  Liberate (8)  |  Live (186)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Mercy (9)  |  Natural World (21)  |  Offend (4)  |  Pass (60)  |  Sacrifice (24)  |  Science (1699)  |  Supernatural (19)  |  Superstition (50)  |  Surround (17)  |  Wonder (134)  |  World (667)

That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show; (if only my breathing & some other etceteras do not make too rapid a progress towards instead of from mortality).
Before ten years are over, the Devil’s in it if I haven’t sucked out some of the life-blood from the mysteries of this universe, in a way that no purely mortal lips or brains could do.
In letter to Charles Babbage (5 Jul 1843). British Library Additional Manuscripts, MSS 37192, folio 349. As quoted and cited in Dorothy Stein (ed.), 'This First Child of Mine', Ada: A Life and a Legacy (1985), 110.
Science quotes on:  |  Autobiography (55)  |  Brain (181)  |  Breathing (7)  |  Lifeblood (3)  |  Mortality (13)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Universe (563)

The divergent series are the invention of the devil, and it is a shame to base on them any demonstration whatsoever. By using them, one may draw any conclusion he pleases and that is why these series have produced so many fallacies and so many paradoxes.
From letter (Jan 1828) to his former teacher Berndt Holmböe. In Morris Kline, Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty (1982), 170.
Science quotes on:  |  Demonstration (51)  |  Divergent (3)  |  General (92)  |  Invention (283)  |  Paradox (35)  |  Series (38)  |  Special (51)

The instinct to command others, in its primitive essence, is a carnivorous, altogether bestial and savage instinct. Under the influence of the mental development of man, it takes on a somewhat more ideal form and becomes somewhat ennobled, presenting itself as the instrument of reason and the devoted servant of that abstraction, or political fiction, which is called the public good. But in its essence it remains just as baneful, and it becomes even more so when, with the application of science, it extends its scope and intensifies the power of its action. If there is a devil in history, it is this power principle.
In Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin, Grigorii Petrovich Maksimov, Max Nettlau, The political philosophy of Bakunin (1953), 248.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (29)  |  Action (151)  |  Application (117)  |  Baneful (2)  |  Bestial (3)  |  Carnivorous (3)  |  Command (14)  |  Development (228)  |  Devoted (8)  |  Essence (42)  |  Extend (20)  |  Fiction (16)  |  History (302)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Influence (110)  |  Instinct (50)  |  Instrument (73)  |  Mental (57)  |  Political (31)  |  Power (273)  |  Primitive (37)  |  Principle (228)  |  Reason (330)  |  Savage (23)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scope (13)  |  Servant (11)

There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.
In Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead (1954), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Half (35)  |  Truth (750)  |  Trying (18)  |  Whole (122)

We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.
Dean Inge
From Romanes Lecture (27 May 1920), 'The Idea of Progress', collected in Outspoken Essays: Second Series (1922), 167.
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When Death lurks at the door, the physician is considered as a God. When danger has been overcome, the physician is looked upon as an angel. When the patient begins to convalesce, the physician becomes a mere human. When the physician asks for his fees, he is considered as the devil himself.
In Harper's Magazine (1931-32), 164, 512.
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Whenever science makes a discovery, the devil grabs it while the angels are debating the best way to use it.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Angel (25)  |  Best (129)  |  Debate (19)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Grab (2)  |  Science (1699)  |  Whenever (8)


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
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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
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- 50 -
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- 40 -
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
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