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Who said: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
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Fewer Quotes (11 quotes)

Aristotle, in spite of his reputation, is full of absurdities. He says that children should be conceived in the Winter, when the wind is in the North, and that if people marry too young the children will be female. He tells us that the blood of females is blacker then that of males; that the pig is the only animal liable to measles; that an elephant suffering from insomnia should have its shoulders rubbed with salt, olive-oil, and warm water; that women have fewer teeth than men, and so on. Nevertheless, he is considered by the great majority of philosophers a paragon of wisdom.
From An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish (1937, 1943), 19. Collected in The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell (2009), 63.
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I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise.… I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades.
In 'Thinking Like a Mountain', A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There (1949, 1987), 130, 132.
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In the Anthropocene, the time of humans[,] … rocks … are forming today. Not only will they contain fewer species than the rocks that preceded them but they will contain markers that are completely new—fragments of plastic, plutonium from nuclear activity, and a worldwide distribution of the bones of domesticated chickens.
In 'Conclusion', A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future (2020), 215.
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Most American citizens think that life without the telephone is scarcely worth living. The American public telephone system is therefore enormous. Moreover the system belongs to an organization, the Bell companies, which can both control it and make the equipment needed. There is no surer way of getting efficient functional design than having equipment designed by an organization which is going to have to use it. Humans who would have to live with their own mistakes tend to think twice and to make fewer mistakes.
In 'Musical Acoustics Today', New Scientist (1 Nov 1962), 16 No. 311, 256.
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One merit of mathematics few will deny: it says more in fewer words than any other science.
In 'The Poetry of Mathematics', The Mathematics Teacher (May 1926), 19, No. 5, 293. This is a paraphrase from Voltaire: “One merit of poetry few will deny; it says more and in fewer words than prose.”
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Reason has so many forms that we do not know which to choose—Experiment has no fewer.
Quoted in René Dugas, A History of Mechanics (1988), 320. The author writes that in the frontispiece of one of his papers, Coulomb quotes this saying of Montaigne (Essais, Book 3, Chap. 8).
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Taking … the mathematical faculty, probably fewer than one in a hundred really possess it, the great bulk of the population having no natural ability for the study, or feeling the slightest interest in it*. And if we attempt to measure the amount of variation in the faculty itself between a first-class mathematician and the ordinary run of people who find any kind of calculation confusing and altogether devoid of interest, it is probable that the former could not be estimated at less than a hundred times the latter, and perhaps a thousand times would more nearly measure the difference between them.
[* This is the estimate furnished me by two mathematical masters in one of our great public schools of the proportion of boys who have any special taste or capacity for mathematical studies. Many more, of course, can be drilled into a fair knowledge of elementary mathematics, but only this small proportion possess the natural faculty which renders it possible for them ever to rank high as mathematicians, to take any pleasure in it, or to do any original mathematical work.]
In Darwinism, chap. 15.
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The biggest danger we face is overfishing. We have too many boats out there. We literally could fish out our oceans, some scientists believe, in the next 40, 50, 60 years. We are trending in that direction. … Every year, for the first time in history, we catch fewer and fewer fish with more and more sophisticated boats going out trying to find them.
From transcript of PBS TV interview by Tavis Smiley (28 Mar 2011).
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The fact that human life can be prolonged with fewer physical problems requires that we give increasing attention to improving the quality of life. As the poet Edwin Markham stated: “We are all fools until we know that in the common plan, nothing is worth the building if it does not build the man; why build these temples glorious, if man unbuilded goes?”
In 'Millenial Musings', Chemical & Engineering News (6 Dec 1999), 77, No. 49, 48.
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The fun in science lies not in discovering facts, but in discovering new ways of thinking about them. The test which we apply to these ideas is this—do they enable us to fit the facts to each other, and see that more and more of them can be explained by fewer and fewer fundamental laws.
In concluding paragraph of essay, 'The Atom', collected in A Short History of Science (1951, 1959), 124. This essay was broadcast earlier (17 Mar 1950), by Bragg, on BBC Home Service radio 'For the Schools: Talks for Sixth Forms: The History of Science'. It was fifteenth in a series of sixteen talks. The book publishes the original scripts, with a note that “Each author has been free to revise his Talk for publication, but the original spoken version has been retained with only slight variations.” Webmaster has, as yet, not confirmed if the quote in the book varied from the exact words broadcast.
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The stationary state would make fewer demands on our environmental resources, but much greater demands on our moral resources.
In J. Harte and R. Socolow, 'Toward a Stationary-State Economy', Patient Earth (1971), 237.
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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
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