Celebrating 22 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The Superfund legislation... may prove to be as far-reaching and important as any accomplishment of my administration. The reduction of the threat to America's health and safety from thousands of toxic-waste sites will continue to be an urgent…issue …”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index H > Category: Hamlet

Hamlet Quotes (10 quotes)

QUEEN: Thou know’st ’tis common—all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
HAMLET: Ay, madam, it is common.
Hamlet (1601), I, ii.
Science quotes on:  |  Common (440)  |  Cycle (41)  |  Death (398)  |  Eternity (64)  |  Know (1526)  |  Life (1830)  |  Live (637)  |  Must (1525)  |  Nature (1973)  |  Pass (238)  |  Passing (76)  |  Small (484)  |  Through (846)

Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the “Mona Lisa” painted by a club? Could the New Testament have been composed as a conference report? Creative ideas do not spring from groups. They spring from individuals. The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam, whether it takes ultimate shape in a law of physics or a law of the land, a poem or a policy, a sonata or a mechanical computer.
Baccalaureate address (9 Jun 1957), Yale University. In In the University Tradition (1957), 156.
Science quotes on:  |  Adam (7)  |  Club (7)  |  Committee (16)  |  Composition (85)  |  Computer (130)  |  Conference (18)  |  Creative (141)  |  Creativity (80)  |  Divine (112)  |  Divinity (23)  |  Do (1905)  |  Finger (45)  |  God (764)  |  Group (81)  |  Idea (861)  |  Individual (411)  |  Land (125)  |  Law (907)  |  Leap (54)  |  Mechanical (142)  |  Mechanics (134)  |  New (1247)  |  New Testament (3)  |  Painting (46)  |  Physic (516)  |  Physics (550)  |  Poem (100)  |  Poetry (146)  |  Report (41)  |  Shape (74)  |  Sonata (2)  |  Spark (32)  |  Spring (136)  |  Ultimate (151)  |  Writing (192)

Even now there is a very wavering grasp of the true position of mathematics as an element in the history of thought. I will not go so far as to say that to construct a history of thought without profound study of the mathematical ideas of successive epochs is like omitting Hamlet from the play which is named after him That would be claiming too much. But it is certainly analogous to cutting out the part of Ophelia. This simile is singularly exact. For Ophelia is quite essential to the play, she is very charming—and a little mad. Let us grant that the pursuit of mathematics is a divine madness of the human spirit, a refuge from the goading urgency of contingent happenings.
From Lecture to the Mathematical Society, Brown University, 'Mathematics as an Element in the History of Thought', collected as Chap. 2 in Science and the Modern World: Lowell Lectures, 1925 (1925), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Charming (4)  |  History (694)  |  Mad (54)  |  Mathematics (1363)  |  Ophelia (2)  |  Simile (8)  |  Thought (967)

Every species of plant and animal is determined by a pool of germ plasm that has been most carefully selected over a period of hundreds of millions of years. We can understand now why it is that mutations in these carefully selected organisms almost invariably are detrimental.The situation can be suggested by a statement by Dr. J.B.S. Haldane: “My clock is not keeping perfect time. It is conceivable that it will run better if I shoot a bullet through it; but it is much more probable that it will stop altogether.” Professor George Beadle, in this connection, has asked: “What is the chance that a typographical error would improve Hamlet?”
In No More War! (1958), Chap. 4, 53.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (634)  |  Ask (414)  |  George Beadle (9)  |  Better (486)  |  Bullet (5)  |  Carefully (65)  |  Chance (240)  |  Clock (49)  |  Conceivable (28)  |  Connection (170)  |  Determine (147)  |  Detrimental (2)  |  Error (333)  |  Germ (55)  |  J.B.S. Haldane (50)  |  Hundred (231)  |  Improve (61)  |  Invariably (35)  |  Million (120)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1729)  |  Mutation (39)  |  Organism (225)  |  Perfect (220)  |  Period (198)  |  Plant (313)  |  Plasm (3)  |  Pool (15)  |  Probable (23)  |  Professor (129)  |  Run (157)  |  Select (44)  |  Shoot (20)  |  Situation (115)  |  Species (419)  |  Statement (146)  |  Stop (82)  |  Through (846)  |  Time (1890)  |  Understand (634)  |  Why (491)  |  Will (2352)  |  Year (939)

I will not go so far as to say that to construct a history of thought without profound study of the mathematical ideas of successive epochs is like omitting Hamlet from the play which is named after him. That would be claiming too much. But it is certainly analogous to cutting out the part of Ophelia. This simile is singularly exact. For Ophelia is quite essential to the play, she is very charming-and a little mad. Let us grant that the pursuit of mathematics is a divine madness of the human spirit, a refuge from the goading urgency of contingent happenings.
In Science and the Modern World (1926), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainly (185)  |  Claiming (8)  |  Construct (128)  |  Contingent (12)  |  Divine (112)  |  Epoch (45)  |  Essential (203)  |  Grant (75)  |  Happening (59)  |  History (694)  |  Human (1491)  |  Idea (861)  |  Little (708)  |  Mad (54)  |  Madness (33)  |  Mathematics (1363)  |  Profound (105)  |  Pursuit (127)  |  Refuge (15)  |  Say (985)  |  Simile (8)  |  Spirit (273)  |  Study (679)  |  Successive (73)  |  Thought (967)  |  Urgency (13)  |  Will (2352)

In fact a favourite problem of [Tyndall] is—Given the molecular forces in a mutton chop, deduce Hamlet or Faust therefrom. He is confident that the Physics of the Future will solve this easily.
Letter to Herbert Spencer (3 Aug 1861). In L. Huxley, The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley (1900), Vol. 1, 249.
Science quotes on:  |  Chop (7)  |  Confident (24)  |  Fact (1236)  |  Force (493)  |  Future (454)  |  Literature (110)  |  Mutton (4)  |  Physic (516)  |  Physics (550)  |  Problem (708)  |  William Shakespeare (107)  |  Solve (137)  |  John Tyndall (52)  |  Will (2352)

The famous principle of indeterminacy is not as negative as it appears. It limits the applicability of classical concepts to atomic events in order to make room for new phenomena such as the wave-particle duality. The uncertainty principle has made our understanding richer, not poorer; it permits us to include atomic reality in the framework of classical concepts. To quote from Hamlet: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
In Scientific American as quoted in epigraph, in Barbara Lovett Cline, The Questioners: Physicists and the Quantum Theory (1965), 235. Weisskopf was replying to James R Newman’s statement beginning “In this century the professional philosophers…” on this site’s webpage of James R. Newman Quotations.
Science quotes on:  |  Applicability (7)  |  Atomic (6)  |  Classical (49)  |  Concept (234)  |  Dream (217)  |  Earth (1034)  |  Event (218)  |  Framework (33)  |  Heaven (261)  |  Limit (288)  |  New (1247)  |  Phenomenon (329)  |  Philosophy (394)  |  Quote (46)  |  Reality (270)  |  William Shakespeare (107)  |  Uncertainty Principle (9)  |  Understand (634)  |  Wave-Particle Duality (3)

The study of mathematics is apt to commence in disappointment. The important applications of the science, the theoretical interest of its ideas, and the logical rigour of its methods all generate the expectation of a speedy introduction to processes of interest. We are told that by its aid the stars are weighed and the billions of molecules in a drop of water are counted. Yet, like the ghost of Hamlet's father, this great science eludes the efforts of our mental weapons to grasp it.
Opening to An Introduction to Mathematics (1911), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (100)  |  Application (253)  |  Billion (98)  |  Commencement (14)  |  Count (105)  |  Disappointment (17)  |  Drop (77)  |  Effort (233)  |  Elude (11)  |  Eluding (2)  |  Expectation (67)  |  Father (111)  |  Ghost (36)  |  Grasping (2)  |  Great (1579)  |  Idea (861)  |  Importance (294)  |  Interest (404)  |  Introduction (36)  |  Logic (296)  |  Mathematics (1363)  |  Mental (178)  |  Method (517)  |  Molecule (181)  |  Process (430)  |  Rigour (21)  |  Speedy (2)  |  Star (448)  |  Stars (304)  |  Study (679)  |  Theory (998)  |  Water (494)  |  Weapon (97)  |  Weapons (57)  |  Weigh (51)

The study of mathematics is apt to commence in disappointment. … We are told that by its aid the stars are weighed and the billions of molecules in a drop of water are counted. Yet, like the ghost of Hamlet's father, this greatest science eludes the efforts of our mental weapons to grasp it.
Opening of Chap 1, in An Introduction to Mathematics (1911), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (100)  |  Apt (9)  |  Billion (98)  |  Commencement (14)  |  Count (105)  |  Disappointment (17)  |  Drop (77)  |  Effort (233)  |  Elude (11)  |  Father (111)  |  Ghost (36)  |  Grasp (64)  |  Greatest (330)  |  Mathematics (1363)  |  Mental (178)  |  Molecule (181)  |  Star (448)  |  Stars (304)  |  Study (679)  |  Water (494)  |  Weapon (97)  |  Weapons (57)  |  Weigh (51)  |  Weighing (2)

There appears to be a total absence of place names [in southern Sudan]; there are indeed names for regions, areas, but all hamlets (there are scarcely any villages) bear the name of their headman or district head…, which is as ephemeral as the existence of the bearer himself in this unquiet country. Furthermore, residences are shifted every few years, in order to have fresh farmland; added to this the frequent wars, many deaths etc. In contrast, all bodies of water, even the most insignificant ditches, are permanently named. These will be the only guides if future travelers follow my path in this country or wish to trace it.
On the diffuse difficulties and contradictions in placing permanent names on the maps was making. In August Petermann, Petermann’s Geographische Mittheilungen (1871), 137. As quoted and cited in Kathrin Fritsch, '"You Have Everything Confused And Mixed Up…!" Georg Schweinfurth, Knowledge And Cartography Of Africa In The 19th Century', History in Africa (2009), 36, 91.
Science quotes on:  |  Absence (21)  |  Area (32)  |  Country (261)  |  Death (398)  |  District (11)  |  Ditch (2)  |  Ephemeral (5)  |  Existence (475)  |  Farmland (2)  |  Follow (384)  |  Frequent (24)  |  Fresh (69)  |  Future (454)  |  Guide (105)  |  Insignificant (33)  |  Nubian (6)  |  Path (153)  |  Permanent (66)  |  Region (40)  |  Residence (3)  |  Shift (45)  |  Trace (109)  |  Traveler (32)  |  Village (12)  |  War (229)  |  Water (494)  |  Wish (215)


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.