Celebrating 20 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I was going to record talking... the foil was put on; I then shouted 'Mary had a little lamb',... and the machine reproduced it perfectly.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index F > Category: Fog

Fog Quotes (10 quotes)

Casting off the dark fog of verbal philosophy and vulgar medicine, which inculcate names alone ... I tried a series of experiments to explain more clearly many phenomena, particularly those of physiology. In order that I might subject as far as possible the reasonings of the Galenists and Peripatetics to sensory criteria, I began, after trying experiments, to write dialogues in which a Galenist adduced the better-known and stronger reasons and arguments; these a mechanist surgeon refuted by citing to the contrary the experiments I had tried, and a third, neutral interlocutor weighed the reasons advanced by both and provided an opportunity for further progress.
'Malpighi at Pisa 1656-1659', in H. B. Adelmann (ed.), Marcello Malpighi and the Evolution of Embryology (1966), Vol. 1, 155-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (312)  |  Argument (138)  |  Better (488)  |  Both (494)  |  Casting (10)  |  Contrary (142)  |  Dark (140)  |  Experiment (696)  |  Explain (322)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Galen (19)  |  Inculcate (6)  |  Known (454)  |  Mechanist (3)  |  Medicine (378)  |  More (2559)  |  Name (333)  |  Neutral (13)  |  Opportunity (87)  |  Order (632)  |  Peripatetic (3)  |  Phenomenon (319)  |  Philosophy (382)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Possible (554)  |  Progress (468)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Sensory (16)  |  Series (149)  |  Stronger (36)  |  Subject (522)  |  Surgeon (63)  |  Trying (144)  |  Vulgar (33)  |  Weigh (50)  |  Write (231)

For the birth of something new, there has to be a happening. Newton saw an apple fall; James Watt watched a kettle boil; Roentgen fogged some photographic plates. And these people knew enough to translate ordinary happenings into something new...
Quoted by André Maurois, The Life of Sir Alexander Fleming, trans. by Gerard Hopkins (1959), 167. Cited in Steven Otfinoski, Alexander Fleming: Conquering Disease with Penicillin (1993), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Apple (40)  |  Birth (147)  |  Boil (23)  |  Boiling (3)  |  Enough (341)  |  Fall (230)  |  Happening (58)  |  Kettle (3)  |  New (1217)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (335)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  People (1005)  |  Photograph (20)  |  Plate (6)  |  Wilhelm Röntgen (8)  |  Saw (160)  |  Something (719)  |  Translate (19)  |  Translation (21)  |  Watch (109)  |  Watching (10)  |  James Watt (11)

In order that the relations between science and the age may be what they ought to be, the world at large must be made to feel that science is, in the fullest sense, a ministry of good to all, not the private possession and luxury of a few, that it is the best expression of human intelligence and not the abracadabra of a school, that it is a guiding light and not a dazzling fog.
'Hindrances to Scientific Progress', The Popular Science Monthly (Nov 1890), 38, 121.
Science quotes on:  |  Abracadabra (2)  |  Age (499)  |  All (4107)  |  Best (459)  |  Dazzling (13)  |  Expression (176)  |  Feel (366)  |  Few (13)  |  Good (889)  |  Guide (98)  |  Human (1470)  |  Intelligence (213)  |  Large (394)  |  Light (609)  |  Luxury (21)  |  Ministry (2)  |  Must (1526)  |  Order (632)  |  Possession (65)  |  Privacy (7)  |  Relation (157)  |  School (220)  |  Science (3880)  |  Sense (770)  |  World (1778)

It was a dark and stormy night, so R. H. Bing volunteered to drive some stranded mathematicians from the fogged-in Madison airport to Chicago. Freezing rain pelted the windscreen and iced the roadway as Bing drove on—concentrating deeply on the mathematical theorem he was explaining. Soon the windshield was fogged from the energetic explanation. The passengers too had beaded brows, but their sweat arose from fear. As the mathematical description got brighter, the visibility got dimmer. Finally, the conferees felt a trace of hope for their survival when Bing reached forward—apparently to wipe off the moisture from the windshield. Their hope turned to horror when, instead, Bing drew a figure with his finger on the foggy pane and continued his proof—embellishing the illustration with arrows and helpful labels as needed for the demonstration.
In 'R. H. Bing', Biographical Memoirs: National Academy of Sciences (2002), 49. Anecdote based on the recollections of Bing's colleagues, Steve Armentrout and C. E. Burgess. The narrative was given in a memorial tribute at the University of Texas at Austin.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrow (20)  |  Brow (3)  |  Concentrate (26)  |  Dark (140)  |  Demonstration (114)  |  Description (84)  |  Draw (137)  |  Drive (55)  |  Embellish (4)  |  Energetic (6)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Fear (199)  |  Figure (160)  |  Finger (44)  |  Forward (102)  |  Freezing (16)  |  Hope (299)  |  Horror (14)  |  Ice (54)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Label (11)  |  Mathematician (389)  |  Moisture (20)  |  Night (120)  |  Passenger (10)  |  Proof (289)  |  Rain (63)  |  Reach (281)  |  Roadway (2)  |  Soon (186)  |  Stormy (2)  |  Strand (9)  |  Survival (96)  |  Sweat (15)  |  Theorem (112)  |  Trace (104)  |  Turn (447)  |  Visibility (6)  |  Volunteer (7)  |  Windshield (2)  |  Wipe (6)

Life is a thin narrowness of taken-for-granted, a plank over a canyon in a fog. There is something under our feet, the taken-for-granted. A table is a table, food is food, we are we—because we don’t question these things. And science is the enemy because it is the questioner. Faith saves our souls alive by giving us a universe of the taken-for-granted.
From a 1923 journal entry. As quoted in The Ghost in the Little House, ch. 7, by William V. Holtz (1993).
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (90)  |  Canyon (9)  |  Enemy (82)  |  Faith (203)  |  Food (199)  |  Foot (60)  |  Give (202)  |  Grant (73)  |  Life (1799)  |  Narrowness (2)  |  Plank (4)  |  Question (622)  |  Save (118)  |  Science (3880)  |  Something (719)  |  Soul (227)  |  Table (104)  |  Thin (16)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Universe (861)

Sciences usually advances by a succession of small steps, through a fog in which even the most keen-sighted explorer can seldom see more than a few paces ahead. Occasionally the fog lifts, an eminence is gained, and a wider stretch of territory can be surveyed—sometimes with startling results. A whole science may then seem to undergo a kaleidoscopic rearrangement, fragments of knowledge sometimes being found to fit together in a hitherto unsuspected manner. Sometimes the shock of readjustment may spread to other sciences; sometimes it may divert the whole current of human thought.
Opening paragraph, Physics and Philosophy (1943), 217, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Being (1278)  |  Current (118)  |  Eminence (24)  |  Explorer (28)  |  Fit (134)  |  Fragment (54)  |  Gain (145)  |  Human (1470)  |  Kaleidoscope (5)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Lift (55)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1729)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pace (14)  |  Progress (468)  |  Rearrangement (5)  |  Result (678)  |  Science (3880)  |  See (1082)  |  Seldom (65)  |  Shock (37)  |  Sight (132)  |  Small (479)  |  Spread (83)  |  Startling (15)  |  Step (231)  |  Stretch (39)  |  Succession (77)  |  Survey (33)  |  Territory (24)  |  Thought (954)  |  Through (849)  |  Together (387)  |  Usually (176)  |  Whole (738)

Technology is so much fun but we can drown in our technology. The fog of information can drive out knowledge.
Speaking on the computerization of libraries. As quoted by Barbara Gamarekian in 'Working Profile: Daniel J. Boorstin. Helping the Library of Congress Fulfill Its Mission', New York Times (8 Jul 1983), B6.
Science quotes on:  |  Drive (55)  |  Fun (39)  |  Information (166)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Technology (261)

The science hangs like a gathering fog in a valley, a fog which begins nowhere and goes nowhere, an incidental, unmeaning inconvenience to passers-by.
repr. In The Works of H.G. Wells, vol. 9 (1925). A Modern Utopia, ch. 3, sect. 3 (1905)
Science quotes on:  |  Begin (260)  |  Gather (72)  |  Gathering (23)  |  Hang (45)  |  Incidental (15)  |  Inconvenience (3)  |  Nowhere (28)  |  Science (3880)  |  Valley (32)

They had neither compass, nor astronomical instruments, nor any of the appliances of our time for finding their position at sea; they could only sail by the sun, moon, and stars, and it seems incomprehensible how for days and weeks, when these were invisible, they were able to find their course through fog and bad weather; but they found it, and in the open craft of the Norwegian Vikings, with their square sails, fared north and west over the whole ocean, from Novaya Zemlya and Spitsbergen to Greenland, Baffin Bay, Newfoundland, and North America.
In northern mists: Arctic exploration in early times - Volume 1 - Page 248 https://books.google.com/books?id=I1ugAAAAMAAJ Fridtjof Nansen - 1911
Science quotes on:  |  America (127)  |  Appliance (9)  |  Astronomy (231)  |  Bad (180)  |  Bay (5)  |  Compass (34)  |  Course (408)  |  Exploration (135)  |  Find (999)  |  Greenland (2)  |  Incomprehensible (29)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Invisible (64)  |  Moon (238)  |  Navigation (25)  |  Ocean (203)  |  Oceanography (17)  |  Open (274)  |  Sail (36)  |  Sea (309)  |  Square (70)  |  Star (430)  |  Stars (304)  |  Sun (387)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Weather (46)  |  Week (70)  |  Whole (738)

~~[Unverified]~~ [Louis Pasteur’s] … theory of germs is a ridiculous fiction. How do you think that these germs in the air can be numerous enough to develop into all these organic infusions? If that were true, they would be numerous enough to form a thick fog, as dense as iron.
Webmaster has not yet been able to verify this quote - and is very suspicious of it - but includes it to provide this cautionary note. It appears in several books, such as Rob Kaplan, Science Says (2001), 201-202, which cites “Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, The Universe: The Infinitely Great and the Infinitely Small (1872).” Webmaster has not yet found any information on Pierre Pochet as a 19th-century scientist, anywhere. A similar book title was found as The Universe: The Infinitely Great and the Infinitely Little (1870) but that author is Félix-Archimède Pochet, Director of the Natural History Museum at Rouen. This book, translated from the French, presents germs in the normal way, with no trace of the subject quote to be found in it. The Preface (dated 1867) begins, “My sole object in writing this work was…” implying it was totally authored by F.A. Pochet with no reference to taking over from earlier work by another person. It does, however, have this curious statement: “One of my learned colleagues at the Academy of Sciences lately brought out a similar work, but under a fictitious name,” which F.A. Pochet thought was a questionable practice, and did not provide any name of the individual involved. If you find more definitive information, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (349)  |  All (4107)  |  Dense (5)  |  Develop (268)  |  Do (1908)  |  Enough (341)  |  Fiction (22)  |  Form (960)  |  Germ (53)  |  Infusion (4)  |  Iron (96)  |  Numerous (68)  |  Organic (158)  |  Louis Pasteur (81)  |  Ridiculous (24)  |  Theory (972)  |  Thick (6)  |  Think (1086)


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


by Ian Ellis
who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.