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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index D > Category: Drift

Drift Quotes (13 quotes)

A thing is either alive or it isn’t; there is nothing that is almost alive. There is but the remotest possibility of the origin of life by spontaneous generation, and every likelihood that Arrhenius is right when he dares to claim that life is a cosmic phenomenon, something that drifts between the spheres, like light, and like light transiently descends upon those fit to receive it.
In An Almanac for Moderns (1935), 393.
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (90)  |  Svante Arrhenius (11)  |  Claim (146)  |  Cosmic (72)  |  Dare (50)  |  Descend (47)  |  Descent (27)  |  Fit (134)  |  Generation (242)  |  Life (1795)  |  Light (607)  |  Likelihood (10)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Origin (239)  |  Origin Of Life (36)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Possibility (164)  |  Receive (114)  |  Right (452)  |  Something (719)  |  Sphere (116)  |  Spontaneous (27)  |  Spontaneous Generation (9)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Transient (12)

Every man has some forte something he can do better than he can do anything else. Many men, however, never find the job they are best fitted for. And often this is because they do not think enough. Too many men drift lazily into any job, suited or unsuited for them; and when they don’t get along well they blame everybody and everything except themselves.
As quoted from an interview by B.C. Forbes in The American Magazine (Jan 1921), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (459)  |  Better (486)  |  Blame (30)  |  Do (1908)  |  Enough (340)  |  Everybody (70)  |  Everything (476)  |  Find (998)  |  Fit (134)  |  Forte (3)  |  Job (82)  |  Lazy (9)  |  Man (2251)  |  Never (1087)  |  Something (719)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)

For all these years you were merely
A smear of light through our telescopes
On the clearest, coldest night; a hint
Of a glint, just a few pixels wide
On even your most perfectly-framed portraits.
But now, now we see you!
Swimming out of the dark - a great
Stone shark, your star-tanned skin pitted
And pocked, scarred after eons of drifting
Silently through the endless ocean of space.
Here on Earth our faces lit up as we saw
You clearly for the first time; eyes wide
With wonder we traced the strangely familiar
Grooves raked across your sides,
Wondering if Rosetta had doubled back to Mars
And raced past Phobos by mistake –
Then you were gone, falling back into the black,
Not to be seen by human eyes again for a thousand
Blue Moons or more. But we know you now,
We know you; you’ll never be just a speck of light again.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Across (32)  |  All (4108)  |  Back (390)  |  Black (42)  |  Blue (56)  |  Clear (100)  |  Clearly (41)  |  Cold (112)  |  Dark (140)  |  Double (15)  |  Earth (996)  |  Endless (56)  |  Eon (11)  |  Eye (419)  |  Face (212)  |  Fall (230)  |  Familiar (43)  |  First (1283)  |  First Time (10)  |  Glint (2)  |  Great (1574)  |  Groove (3)  |  Hint (21)  |  Human (1468)  |  Know (1518)  |  Light (607)  |  Mars (44)  |  Merely (316)  |  Mistake (169)  |  Moon (237)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Never (1087)  |  Night (120)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Past (337)  |  Pit (19)  |  Pixel (2)  |  Portrait (4)  |  Race (268)  |  Saw (160)  |  Scar (7)  |  See (1081)  |  Shark (10)  |  Side (233)  |  Silently (4)  |  Skin (47)  |  Smear (3)  |  Space (500)  |  Speck (23)  |  Star (427)  |  Stone (162)  |  Strangely (5)  |  Swim (30)  |  Swimming (17)  |  Telescope (98)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Trace (103)  |  Wide (96)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Year (933)

For the most part we humans live with the false impression of security and a feeling of being at home in a seemingly trustworthy physical and human environment. But when the expected course of everyday life is interrupted, we are like shipwrecked people on a miserable plank in the open sea, having forgotten where they came from and not knowing whither they are drifting. But once we fully accept this, life becomes easier and there is no longer any disappointment.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (191)  |  Become (815)  |  Being (1278)  |  Course (409)  |  Disappointment (16)  |  Easier (53)  |  Easy (204)  |  Environment (216)  |  Everyday (32)  |  Everyday Life (14)  |  Expect (200)  |  False (100)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Forget (115)  |  Forgotten (53)  |  Fully (21)  |  Home (170)  |  Human (1468)  |  Impression (114)  |  Interrupt (6)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Long (790)  |  Miserable (7)  |  Most (1731)  |  Open (274)  |  Part (222)  |  People (1005)  |  Physical (508)  |  Plank (4)  |  Sea (308)  |  Security (47)  |  Seemingly (28)  |  Shipwreck (7)  |  Trustworthy (11)  |  Whither (11)

In shades of black and blue the skies do bow as darkness falls the lights go out.
Nature softly immersed in glee as all mankind drifts off to sleep.
Water breathes a sigh of relief now aquatic creatures can do as they please.
Animals whether large or small regain the natural instincts that man has fought.
The moon shines bright he’s happy too people can’t over-ride his rules.
Midnight calms the wounds of the world the break of dawn disperses new hope...
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Aquatic (5)  |  Black (42)  |  Blue (56)  |  Bow (14)  |  Break (99)  |  Breathe (45)  |  Bright (79)  |  Calm (31)  |  Creature (233)  |  Darkness (68)  |  Dawn (31)  |  Do (1908)  |  Fall (230)  |  Fight (44)  |  Happy (105)  |  Hope (299)  |  Immerse (4)  |  Instinct (88)  |  Large (394)  |  Light (607)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Midnight (11)  |  Moon (237)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nature (1926)  |  New (1216)  |  Over-Ride (2)  |  People (1005)  |  Please (65)  |  Regain (2)  |  Relief (30)  |  Ride (21)  |  Rule (294)  |  Shade (31)  |  Shine (45)  |  Sigh (3)  |  Sky (161)  |  Sleep (76)  |  Small (477)  |  Softly (6)  |  Water (481)  |  World (1774)  |  Wound (26)

Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future.
In The Time Machine (1898), 144.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Distance (161)  |  Dwarf (7)  |  Future (429)  |  Gravity (132)  |  Inevitable (49)  |  Life (1795)  |  Looking (189)  |  Movement (155)  |  Past (337)  |  Slow (101)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Sudden (67)  |  Suddenly (88)  |  Terrestrial (61)  |  Thought (953)  |  Trouble (107)  |  Unfathomable (10)  |  Unknown (182)

Of course we have no means of staying back for any length of Time, any more than a savage or an animal has of staying six feet above the ground. But a civilized man is better off than the savage in this respect. He can go up against gravitation in a balloon, and why should he not hope that ultimately he may be able to stop or accelerate his drift along the Time-Dimension, or even turn about and travel the other way?
In The Time Machine (1898), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Accelerate (11)  |  Against (332)  |  Animal (617)  |  Back (390)  |  Balloon (15)  |  Better (486)  |  Civilized (18)  |  Course (409)  |  Dimension (61)  |  Gravitation (70)  |  Ground (217)  |  Hope (299)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  More (2559)  |  Other (2236)  |  Respect (207)  |  Savage (29)  |  Stay (25)  |  Stop (80)  |  Time (1877)  |  Travel (114)  |  Turn (447)  |  Ultimately (55)  |  Way (1217)  |  Why (491)

Our most trustworthy safeguard in making general statements on this question is imagination. If we can imagine the breaking of a law of physics then… it is in some degree an empirical law. With a purely rational law we could not conceive an alternative… This ultimate criterion serves as an anchor to keep us from drifting unduly in a perilous sea of thought.
From concluding paragraph of 'Transition to General Relativity', The Special Theory of Relativity (1940, 2014), Chap 8, 91.
Science quotes on:  |  Alternative (29)  |  Anchor (10)  |  Break (99)  |  Conceive (98)  |  Criterion (27)  |  Degree (276)  |  Empirical (54)  |  General (511)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Keep (101)  |  Law (894)  |  Making (300)  |  Most (1731)  |  Perilous (4)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Purely (109)  |  Question (621)  |  Rational (90)  |  Safeguard (7)  |  Sea (308)  |  Serve (59)  |  Statement (142)  |  Thought (953)  |  Trustworthy (11)  |  Ultimate (144)

Our world faces a crisis as yet unperceived by those possessing power to make great decisions for good or evil. The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe. We scientists who released this immense power have an overwhelming responsibility in this world life-and-death struggle to harness the atom for the benefit of mankind and not for humanity’s destruction. … We need two hundred thousand dollars at once for a nation-wide campaign to let people know that a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels. This appeal is sent to you only after long consideration of the immense crisis we face. … We ask your help at this fateful moment as a sign that we scientists do not stand alone.
In 'Atomic Education Urged by Einstein', New York Times (25 May 1946), 13. Extract from a telegram (24 May 1946) to “several hundred prominent Americans”, signed by Albert Einstein as Chairman, with other members, of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists. It was also signed by the Federation of American Scientists.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Alone (311)  |  Appeal (45)  |  Ask (411)  |  Atom (355)  |  Benefit (114)  |  Campaign (6)  |  Catastrophe (31)  |  Change (593)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Crisis (24)  |  Death (388)  |  Decision (91)  |  Destruction (125)  |  Do (1908)  |  Dollar (22)  |  Essential (199)  |  Everything (476)  |  Evil (116)  |  Face (212)  |  Fateful (2)  |  Good (889)  |  Great (1574)  |  Harness (23)  |  Help (105)  |  Higher Level (3)  |  Humanity (169)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Immense (86)  |  Know (1518)  |  Life (1795)  |  Long (790)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Moment (253)  |  Move (216)  |  Nation (193)  |  Need (290)  |  New (1216)  |  Overwhelming (30)  |  People (1005)  |  Power (746)  |  Release (27)  |  Responsibility (66)  |  Save (118)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Send (22)  |  Sign (58)  |  Stand (274)  |  Struggle (105)  |  Survive (79)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Two (937)  |  Type (167)  |  Unleash (2)  |  Wide (96)  |  World (1774)

The line separating investment and speculation, which is never bright and clear, becomes blurred still further when most market participants have recently enjoyed triumphs. Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible people drift into behavior akin to that of Cinderella at the ball. They know that overstaying the festivities—that is, continuing to speculate in companies that have gigantic valuations relative to the cash they are likely to generate in the future—will eventually bring on pumpkins and mice. But they nevertheless hate to miss a single minute of what is one helluva party. Therefore, the giddy participants all plan to leave just seconds before midnight. There’s a problem, though: They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Akin (5)  |  All (4108)  |  Ball (62)  |  Become (815)  |  Behavior (84)  |  Blur (8)  |  Bright (79)  |  Bring (90)  |  Cash (2)  |  Clear (100)  |  Clock (47)  |  Company (59)  |  Continue (165)  |  Dance (32)  |  Dose (16)  |  Effortless (3)  |  Enjoy (40)  |  Eventually (65)  |  Experience (467)  |  Far (154)  |  Future (429)  |  Generate (16)  |  Giddy (3)  |  Gigantic (40)  |  Hand (143)  |  Hate (64)  |  Heady (2)  |  Investment (13)  |  Kind (557)  |  Know (1518)  |  Large (394)  |  Leave (130)  |  Likely (34)  |  Line (91)  |  Market (20)  |  Midnight (11)  |  Minute (125)  |  Miss (51)  |  Money (170)  |  Most (1731)  |  Mouse (32)  |  Never (1087)  |  Nevertheless (90)  |  Normally (2)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Overstay (2)  |  Participant (6)  |  Party (18)  |  People (1005)  |  Plan (117)  |  Problem (676)  |  Rationality (24)  |  Recently (3)  |  Relative (39)  |  Room (40)  |  Second (62)  |  Sensible (27)  |  Separate (143)  |  Single (353)  |  Speculation (126)  |  Still (613)  |  Triumph (73)  |  Valuation (4)  |  Will (2355)

The proof given by Wright, that non-adaptive differentiation will occur in small populations owing to “drift,” or the chance fixation of some new mutation or recombination, is one of the most important results of mathematical analysis applied to the facts of neo-mendelism. It gives accident as well as adaptation a place in evolution, and at one stroke explains many facts which puzzled earlier selectionists, notably the much greater degree of divergence shown by island than mainland forms, by forms in isolated lakes than in continuous river-systems.
Evolution: The Modern Synthesis (1942), 199-200.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (88)  |  Adaptation (58)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Applied (177)  |  Chance (239)  |  Continuous (82)  |  Degree (276)  |  Differentiation (25)  |  Divergence (6)  |  Evolution (590)  |  Explain (322)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fixation (5)  |  Form (959)  |  Greater (288)  |  Island (46)  |  Lake (32)  |  Mainland (3)  |  Mathematical Analysis (20)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Most (1731)  |  Mutation (37)  |  New (1216)  |  Occur (150)  |  Owing (39)  |  Population (110)  |  Proof (287)  |  Result (677)  |  River (119)  |  Small (477)  |  Stroke (18)  |  System (537)  |  Will (2355)

We must in imagination sweep off the drifted matter that clogs the surface of the ground; we must suppose all the covering of moss and heath and wood to be torn away from the sides of the mountains, and the green mantle that lies near their feet to be lifted up; we may then see the muscular integuments, and sinews, and bones of our mother Earth, and so judge of the part played by each of them during those old convulsive movements whereby her limbs were contorted and drawn up into their present posture.
Letter 2 to William Wordsworth. Quoted in the appendix to W. Wordsworth, A Complete Guide to the Lakes, Comprising Minute Direction for the Tourist, with Mr Wordsworth's Description of the Scenery of the County and Three Letters upon the Geology of the Lake District (1842), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Bone (95)  |  Clog (5)  |  Convulsion (5)  |  Covering (14)  |  Earth (996)  |  Feet (5)  |  Green (63)  |  Ground (217)  |  Heath (5)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Integument (3)  |  Judge (108)  |  Lie (364)  |  Lift (55)  |  Limb (8)  |  Mantle (3)  |  Matter (798)  |  Moss (10)  |  Mother (114)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Movement (155)  |  Muscle (45)  |  Must (1526)  |  Old (481)  |  Part (222)  |  Play (112)  |  Posture (7)  |  Present (619)  |  See (1081)  |  Side (233)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Supposition (50)  |  Surface (209)  |  Sweep (19)  |  Torn (17)  |  Wood (92)

Winter opened its vaults last night, flinging fistfuls of crystalline diamonds into the darkening sky. Like white-tulled ballerinas dancing gracefully on heaven’s stage, silent stars stood entranced by their intricate beauty. Motionless, I watched each lacy gem drift softly by my upturned face, as winter’s icy hands guided them gently on their swirling lazy way, and blanketed the waiting earth in cold splendor. The shivering rustling of reeds, the restless fingers of the trees snapping in the frosty air, broke the silent stillness, as winter quietly pulled up its white coverlet over the sleepy earth.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Air (347)  |  Ballerina (2)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Blanket (10)  |  Break (99)  |  Cold (112)  |  Crystalline (2)  |  Dance (32)  |  Darken (2)  |  Diamond (21)  |  Earth (996)  |  Entrance (15)  |  Face (212)  |  Finger (44)  |  Fling (5)  |  Frosty (3)  |  Gem (16)  |  Guide (97)  |  Hand (143)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Icy (3)  |  Intricate (29)  |  Last (426)  |  Lazy (9)  |  Motionless (2)  |  Night (120)  |  Open (274)  |  Pull (43)  |  Quietly (5)  |  Reed (8)  |  Restless (11)  |  Rustle (2)  |  Shiver (2)  |  Silent (29)  |  Sky (161)  |  Snap (7)  |  Softly (6)  |  Splendor (17)  |  Stage (143)  |  Stand (274)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Stillness (5)  |  Swirl (10)  |  Tree (246)  |  Vault (2)  |  Wait (58)  |  Waiting (43)  |  Watch (109)  |  Way (1217)  |  White (127)  |  Winter (44)


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.