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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index E > Category: Enigma

Enigma Quotes (5 quotes)
Enigmatic Quotes

A strange enigma is man! Someone calls him a soul concealed in an animal.
Remark by the fictional Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson’s reply. In The Sign of the Four (1890), 196.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Concealed (3)  |  Man (345)  |  Soul (139)  |  Strange (61)

All the events which occur upon the earth result from Law: even those actions which are entirely dependent on the caprices of the memory, or the impulse of the passions, are shown by statistics to be, when taken in the gross, entirely independent of the human will. As a single atom, man is an enigma; as a whole, he is a mathematical problem. As an individual, he is a free agent; as a species, the offspring of necessity.
In The Martyrdom of Man (1876), 185-186.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Agent (27)  |  Atom (251)  |  Caprice (2)  |  Dependent (14)  |  Entirely (23)  |  Event (97)  |  Free (59)  |  Gross (5)  |  Human (445)  |  Impulse (24)  |  Independent (41)  |  Individual (177)  |  Law (418)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Memory (81)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Offspring (15)  |  Passion (54)  |  Problem (362)  |  Single (72)  |  Species (181)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Whole (122)

The history of chemistry is properly divided into the mythologic, the obscure, and the certain. The first period exhibits it from its infancy, deformed by fictions, until the destruction of the library of Alexandria by the Arabs. —The second, though freed in some measure from these absurdities, yet is still clothed in numberless enigmas and allegorical expressions.— The third period commences at the middle of the seventeenth century, with the first establishment of societies and academies of science; of which the wise associates, in many places uniting their efforts, determined to pursue the study of Natural Philosophy by observation and experiments, and candidly to publish their attempts in a general account of their transactions.
In Essays, Physical and Chemical (1791), 4, translated from the original Latin.
Science quotes on:  |  17th Century (10)  |  Absurdity (16)  |  Academy (11)  |  Alexandria (2)  |  Allegory (6)  |  Candid (3)  |  Certain (84)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Fiction (16)  |  Library (37)  |  Myth (43)  |  Natural Philosophy (21)  |  Obscure (19)  |  Observation (418)  |  Publication (83)  |  Society (188)

The one who stays in my mind as the ideal man of science is, not Huxley or Tyndall, Hooker or Lubbock, still less my friend, philosopher and guide Herbert Spencer, but Francis Galton, whom I used to observe and listen to—I regret to add, without the least reciprocity—with rapt attention. Even to-day. I can conjure up, from memory’s misty deep, that tall figure with its attitude of perfect physical and mental poise; the clean-shaven face, the thin, compressed mouth with its enigmatical smile; the long upper lip and firm chin, and, as if presiding over the whole personality of the man, the prominent dark eyebrows from beneath which gleamed, with penetrating humour, contemplative grey eyes. Fascinating to me was Francis Galton’s all-embracing but apparently impersonal beneficence. But, to a recent and enthusiastic convert to the scientific method, the most relevant of Galton’s many gifts was the unique contribution of three separate and distinct processes of the intellect; a continuous curiosity about, and rapid apprehension of individual facts, whether common or uncommon; the faculty for ingenious trains of reasoning; and, more admirable than either of these, because the talent was wholly beyond my reach, the capacity for correcting and verifying his own hypotheses, by the statistical handling of masses of data, whether collected by himself or supplied by other students of the problem.
In My Apprenticeship (1926), 134-135.
Science quotes on:  |  Admirable (11)  |  Apprehension (9)  |  Attention (76)  |  Attitude (47)  |  Beneficence (3)  |  Capacity (42)  |  Collected (2)  |  Compressed (3)  |  Conjuring (3)  |  Continuous (24)  |  Contribution (49)  |  Convert (15)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Data (100)  |  Deep (81)  |  Distinct (29)  |  Enthusiastic (2)  |  Eye (159)  |  Eyebrow (2)  |  Face (69)  |  Fact (609)  |  Faculty (36)  |  Fascinating (17)  |  Figure (32)  |  Firm (19)  |  Friend (63)  |  Sir Francis Galton (16)  |  Gift (47)  |  Grey (6)  |  Guide (46)  |  Handling (7)  |  Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (12)  |  Humour (101)  |  Thomas Henry Huxley (119)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Impersonal (4)  |  Individual (177)  |  Ingenious (18)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Lip (3)  |  Listen (26)  |  John Lubbock (Lord Avebury) (25)  |  Man Of Science (27)  |  Memory (81)  |  Mental (57)  |  Method (154)  |  Misty (3)  |  Mouth (16)  |  Observation (418)  |  Penetrating (3)  |  Perfect (46)  |  Personality (40)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Physical (94)  |  Poise (2)  |  Problem (362)  |  Process (201)  |  Prominent (5)  |  Rapid (17)  |  Rapt (5)  |  Reach (68)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Regret (16)  |  Relevant (3)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Separate (46)  |  Smile (13)  |  Herbert Spencer (35)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Student (131)  |  Talent (49)  |  Tall (8)  |  Thin (7)  |  Train (25)  |  Uncommon (7)  |  Unique (24)  |  Upper (3)

Ye daring ones! Ye venturers and adventurers, and whoever of you have embarked with cunning sails on unexplored seas! Ye enjoyers of enigmas! Solve unto me the enigma that I then beheld, interpret for me the vision of the loneliest one. ... O my brethren, I heard a laughter which was no human laughter.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Adventurer (2)  |  Brother (16)  |  Cunning (7)  |  Dare (22)  |  Embark (4)  |  Hear (33)  |  Human (445)  |  Interpret (15)  |  Laughter (22)  |  Lonely (7)  |  Sail (9)  |  Sea (143)  |  Solve (41)  |  Unexplored (11)  |  Unto (6)  |  Vision (55)  |  Whoever (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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- 40 -
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
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