Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY™
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it... That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index H > Category: Happen

Happen Quotes (34 quotes)

Il est impossible que l’improbable n’arrive jamais
The improbable is bound to happen one day.
Anonymous
Epigraph, without citation, in Emil Julius Gumbel, Statistics of Extremes (1958), 201. A more literal translation would be “It is impossible that the improbably never happens.”
Science quotes on:  |  Impossible (52)  |  Improbable (7)

[When recording electrical impulses from a frog nerve-muscle preparation seemed to show a tiresomely oscillating electrical artefact—but only when the muscle was hanging unsupported.] The explanation suddenly dawned on me ... a muscle hanging under its own weight ought, if you come to think of it, to be sending sensory impulses up the nerves coming from the muscle spindles ... That particular day’s work, I think, had all the elements that one could wish for. The new apparatus seemed to be misbehaving very badly indeed, and I suddenly found it was behaving so well that it was opening up an entire new range of data ... it didn’t involve any particular hard work, or any particular intelligence on my part. It was just one of those things which sometimes happens in a laboratory if you stick apparatus together and see what results you get.
From 'Memorable experiences in research', Diabetes (1954), 3, 17-18. As cited in Alan McComa, Galvani's Spark: The Story of the Nerve Impulse (2011), 102-103.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparatus (27)  |  Artefact (2)  |  Badly (2)  |  Behave (9)  |  Data (90)  |  Entire (12)  |  Explanation (151)  |  Found (11)  |  Frog (29)  |  Hang (8)  |  Hard (37)  |  Impulse (20)  |  Insight (43)  |  Intelligence (116)  |  Involve (16)  |  Laboratory (112)  |  Muscle (31)  |  Nerve (61)  |  New (258)  |  Physiology (61)  |  Range (26)  |  Research (474)  |  Result (211)  |  See (103)  |  Send (3)  |  Serendipity (13)  |  Suddenly (2)  |  Think (82)  |  Unsupported (3)

According to astronomers, next week Wednesday will occur twice. They say such a thing happens only once every 60,000 years and although they don’t know why it occurs, they’re glad they have an extra day to figure it out.
In Napalm and Silly Putty (2002), 105.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomer (46)  |  Extra (6)  |  Occur (15)  |  Time (319)

As a general scientific principle, it is undesirable to depend crucially on what is unobservable to explain what is observable, as happens frequently in Big Bang cosmology.
In Arp, H.C., G. Burbidge, F. Hoyle, J.V. Narlikar, and N.C. Wickramasinghe, 'The Extragalactic Universe: An Alternative View,' Nature (30 Aug 1990), 346, No. 6287, 812.
Science quotes on:  |  Big Bang (37)  |  Cosmology (17)  |  Crucial (5)  |  Depend (32)  |  Explanation (151)  |  Frequent (10)  |  Observable (4)  |  Principle (189)

As an undergraduate who believed himself destined to be a mathematician I happened upon “Man and Superman” and as I read it at a library table I felt like Saul of Tarsus when the light broke. “If literature,” I said to myself, “can be like this then literature is the stuff for me.” And to this day I never see a differential equation written out without breathing a prayer of thanks.
In 'An Open Letter to George Bernard Shaw', Saturday Review (21 Jul 1956), 39, 12. ollected in If You Don't Mind My Saying So: Essays on Man and Nature (1964), 391.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (293)  |  Breathe (19)  |  Destined (3)  |  Differential Equation (9)  |  Library (35)  |  Literature (53)  |  Mathematician (160)  |  Prayer (11)  |  Read (54)  |  See (103)  |  Superman (3)  |  Thanks (8)  |  Undergraduate (7)

Authority—the fact, namely, that something has already happened or been said or decided, is of great value; but it is only a pedant who demands authority for everything.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 188.
Science quotes on:  |  Authority (40)  |  Decide (13)  |  Demand (32)  |  Fact (524)  |  Great (163)  |  Pedant (3)  |  Value (127)

Change requires experimentation. But no problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it. Our job is to dream—and to make those dreams happen.
In interview article, 'Designing For The Future', Newsweek (15 May 2005).
Science quotes on:  |  Change (234)  |  Consciousness (55)  |  Creation (193)  |  Dream (71)  |  Experiment (505)  |  Job (28)  |  Problem (297)  |  Requirement (44)  |  Solution (146)

Could this have just happened? Was it an accident that a bunch of flotsam and jetsam suddenly started making these orbits of its own accord? I can't believe that. … Some power put all this into orbit and keeps it there.
Reflecting on the orderliness of the whole universe, printed in Reader’s Digest (Jul 1962), 38. As cited in Tiebet Joshua, Bible Versus Science: Which is More Authentic? (2015), Sec. 4.1.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (49)  |  Belief (293)  |  Flotsam (2)  |  Jetsam (2)  |  Orbit (55)  |  Power (214)  |  Start (49)  |  Sudden (18)

Creativity is a double-edged sword. The more ideas we have, the less likely we are to stay loyal to one. So the creative mind ends up jumping from idea to idea, and none of them happen.
In 'Author Q&A: Art in Action', Newsweek (7 Jun 2010), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Creativity (62)  |  Double-Edged (2)  |  Idea (390)  |  Jump (8)  |  Loyal (4)  |  Sword (11)

Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter. This is what makes the trade of historian so attractive.
Dean Inge
In 'Prognostications', Assessments and Anticipations (1929), 149.
Science quotes on:  |  Attractive (5)  |  Divide (17)  |  Event (74)  |  Historian (29)  |  Matter (228)  |  Past (84)  |  Probably (8)  |  Trade (19)

Experiments in geology are far more difficult than in physics and chemistry because of the greater size of the objects, commonly outside our laboratories, up to the earth itself, and also because of the fact that the geologic time scale exceeds the human time scale by a million and more times. This difference in time allows only direct observations of the actual geologic processes, the mind having to imagine what could possibly have happened in the past.
In 'The Scientific Character of Geology', The Journal of Geology (Jul 1961), 69, No. 4, 455-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (226)  |  Difference (188)  |  Difficult (39)  |  Direct (27)  |  Earth (414)  |  Experiment (505)  |  Geology (182)  |  Imagine (21)  |  Laboratory (112)  |  Million (69)  |  Mind (437)  |  Observation (390)  |  Past (84)  |  Physics (253)  |  Possibility (87)  |  Process (170)  |  Size (37)

God invented space so that not everything had to happen in Princeton.
In Our Cosmic Habitat (2003), Preface, ix. Written as a frivolous companion to the aphorism, “Time is nature's way to keep everything from happening all at once.”
Science quotes on:  |  Everything (71)  |  God (320)  |  Invention (270)  |  Princeton (2)  |  Space (127)

I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God's, or Nature's method of creation. Creation is not an event that happened in 4004 BC; it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way.
In 'Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution', The American Biology Teacher (Mar 1973), 125-129.
Science quotes on:  |  Billion (41)  |  Creation (193)  |  Creationist (11)  |  Event (74)  |  Evolution (445)  |  Evolutionist (4)  |  God (320)  |  Method (127)  |  Nature (860)  |  Process (170)  |  Science And Religion (247)  |  Still (4)  |  Year (149)

I do see the difference now between me and other men. When a disaster happens, I act and they make excuses.
Letter (1861) to Miss H. Bonham Carter, transcribed in Edward Cook, The Life of Florence Nightingale (1913, 1914), Vol. 1, 506. The “disaster” that resulted in this remark was when her dressing-room was flooded by a bad pipe from a water cistern. She had first been given an excuse that it resulted from a frost, but she persisted until the real cause was determined and remedied.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (54)  |  Difference (188)  |  Disaster (30)  |  Excuse (9)  |  Man (334)

I had a wonderful time the first time. I think I was probably more nervous back in those days because we did not know much about spaceflight in those days; we were sort of feeling our way and finding out what would happen to the human body in space and now we are putting the whole thing to work for everybody up here so I think I was a little more nervous the first time.
Replying to a Whetstone High School students’ question during a school forum held using a downlink with the Discovery Space Shuttle mission (31 Oct 1998). On NASA web page 'STS-95 Educational Downlink'. Sarah Ravely, Holleh Moheimani, Janara Walker asked, “Senator Glenn, were you more nervous being the first American to orbit the Earth or to be the oldest man ever in space?”
Science quotes on:  |  Human Body (29)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Nervous (4)  |  Space (127)  |  Space Flight (20)

If we die, we want people to accept it. We’re in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.
As quoted in John Andrews Barbour, Footprints on the Moon (1969), 125.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (17)  |  Business (53)  |  Conquest (12)  |  Death (240)  |  Delay (7)  |  Hope (92)  |  Life (742)  |  Risk (27)  |  Space (127)  |  Worth (54)

In my understanding of God I start with certain firm beliefs. One is that the laws of nature are not broken. We do not, of course, know all these laws yet, but I believe that such laws exist. I do not, therefore, believe in the literal truth of some miracles which are featured in the Christian Scriptures, such as the Virgin Birth or water into wine. ... God works, I believe, within natural laws, and, according to natural laws, these things happen.
Essay 'Science Will Never Give Us the Answers to All Our Questions', collected in Henry Margenau, and Roy Abraham Varghese (eds.), Cosmos, Bios, Theos (1992), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  According (8)  |  Belief (293)  |  Birth (72)  |  Broken (10)  |  Christian (11)  |  Exist (46)  |  God (320)  |  Know (146)  |  Law Of Nature (49)  |  Literal (5)  |  Miracle (46)  |  Natural Law (22)  |  Science And Religion (247)  |  Scripture (6)  |  Truth (661)  |  Understanding (315)  |  Virgin (3)  |  Water (215)  |  Wine (23)  |  Work (347)

In psychoanalytic treatment nothing happens but an exchange of words between the patient and the physician.
From a series of 28 lectures for laymen, Part One, 'The Psychology of Errors'. Lecture 1, 'Introduction' collected in Sigmund Freud and G. Stanley Hall (trans.), A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1920), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Exchange (8)  |  Nothing (189)  |  Patient (89)  |  Physician (212)  |  Psychology (118)  |  Treatment (84)  |  Word (183)

It frequently happens that two persons, reasoning right on a mechanical subject, think alike and invent the same thing without any communication with each other.
As quoted by Coleman Sellers, Jr., in his Lecture (20 Nov 1885) delivered at the Franklin Institute. Printed in Coleman Sellers, Jr., 'Oliver Evans and his Inventions', Journal of the Franklin Institute (Jul 1886), 122, No. 1, 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Alike (7)  |  Communication (54)  |  Frequent (10)  |  Invent (16)  |  Mechanical (25)  |  Reasoning (77)  |  Right (101)  |  Same (33)  |  Subject (105)  |  Think (82)

It is a common rule in theoretical physics, one accepted by many physicists, that anything not forbidden by the basic laws of nature must take place.
In 'The Ultimate Speed Limit', Saturday Review of Sciences (8 Jul 1972), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (17)  |  Basic (41)  |  Common (69)  |  Forbidden (8)  |  Law (370)  |  Nature (860)  |  Physicist (112)  |  Physics (253)  |  Rule (113)  |  Theoretical (6)

It is sometimes helpful to differentiate between the God of Miracles and the God of Order. When scientists use the word God, they usually mean the God of Order. …The God of Miracles intervenes in our affairs, performs miracles, destroys wicked cities, smites enemy armies, drowns the Pharaoh's troops, and avenges the pure and noble. …This is not to say that miracles cannot happen, only that they are outside what is commonly called science.
In 'Conclusion', Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1995), 330-331.
Science quotes on:  |  Affair (14)  |  Army (19)  |  Avenge (2)  |  City (27)  |  Destroy (45)  |  Differentiate (6)  |  Drown (6)  |  Enemy (37)  |  God (320)  |  Intervene (2)  |  Miracle (46)  |  Noble (30)  |  Order (115)  |  Perform (16)  |  Pharaoh (3)  |  Pure (45)  |  Science (1371)  |  Scientist (370)  |  Smite (4)  |  Wicked (2)  |  Word (183)

My greatest hope for a future without another Deepwater Horizon disaster lies in our schools, living rooms and community centers, not in boardrooms, political chambers and big industry. If this happens again, we won’t have the luxury of the unknown to shield us from answering “Why?”
In 'Gulf Dispatch: Time to Tap Power of Teens', CNN Blog (23 Jul 2010).
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (159)  |  Chamber (4)  |  Disaster (30)  |  Future (183)  |  Hope (92)  |  Industry (81)  |  Living Room (2)  |  Luxury (9)  |  Political (11)  |  School (71)  |  Shield (4)  |  Unknown (76)

Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns, there are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know. ... And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.
Answering a question concerning Iraq, on the facts about weapons of mass destruction, at a Press Conference, NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium (6 June 2002). From transcript on U.S. Department of Defense website.
Science quotes on:  |  Discover (80)  |  Fact (524)  |  Interesting (38)  |  Know (146)  |  Known (15)  |  Report (27)  |  Unknown (76)  |  Year (149)

The basic thesis of gestalt theory might be formulated thus: there are contexts in which what is happening in the whole cannot be deduced from the characteristics of the separate pieces, but conversely; what happens to a part of the whole is, in clearcut cases, determined by the laws of the inner structure of its whole.
Lecture at the Kantgesellschaft (Kant Society), Berlin (17 Dec 1924), 'Über Gestalttheorie', as taken down in shorthand. Translated by N. Nairn-Allison in Social Research (1944), 11, 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Basic (41)  |  Case (39)  |  Characteristic (60)  |  Clear-Cut (7)  |  Context (10)  |  Conversely (2)  |  Deduce (7)  |  Determine (25)  |  Formulate (8)  |  Gestalt (3)  |  Inner (13)  |  Law (370)  |  Part (87)  |  Piece (22)  |  Separate (31)  |  Structure (162)  |  Theory (518)  |  Thesis (9)  |  Whole (74)

The Big Bang theory says nothing about what banged, why it banged, or what happened before it banged.
Alan Guth
As quoted in Neil Swidey, 'Alan Guth: What Made the Big Bang Bang', Boston Globe (2 May 2014).
Science quotes on:  |  Bang (3)  |  Big Bang (37)  |  Nothing (189)  |  Theory (518)

The essayist is … sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest.
First line of Foreword in Essays of E.B. White (1977, 2014), vii.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (293)  |  Childish (5)  |  General (65)  |  Interest (139)  |  Sustain (12)  |  Think (82)

The fundamental essence of science, which I think we've lost in our education system, is poking something with a stick and seeing what happens. Embrace that process of inquiry.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (258)  |  Embrace (18)  |  Essence (31)  |  Fundamental (100)  |  Inquiry (25)  |  Lose (22)  |  Poke (2)  |  Process (170)  |  Science (1371)  |  See (103)  |  Stick (13)  |  System (106)  |  Think (82)

The nation that prepares for war will sooner or later have war. We get just anything we prepare for, and we get nothing else. Everything that happens is a sequence: this happened today because you did that yesterday.
Aphorism in The Philistine (Apr 1905), 20, No. 5, 160.
Science quotes on:  |  Nation (86)  |  Prepare (15)  |  Sequence (26)  |  Today (53)  |  War (116)  |  Yesterday (11)

The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes “sight-seeing.”
The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America (1961, 2012), 85. https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0307819167 Daniel J. Boorstin - 2012
Science quotes on:  |  Active (10)  |  Adventure (32)  |  Expect (16)  |  Experience (212)  |  Interesting (38)  |  Passive (4)  |  Search (67)  |  Sight-Seeing (2)  |  Strenuous (3)  |  Tourist (5)  |  Traveler (13)

The worst thing that will probably happen—in fact is already well underway—is not energy depletion, economic collapse, conventional war, or the expansion of totalitarian governments. As terrible as these catastrophes would be for us, they can be repaired in a few generations. The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us.
Biophilia (1984), 121.(1990), 182.
Science quotes on:  |  Catastrophe (16)  |  Collapse (16)  |  Depletion (3)  |  Descendant (10)  |  Destruction (72)  |  Diversity (40)  |  Economics (28)  |  Energy (161)  |  Extinction (50)  |  Folly (22)  |  Forgive (4)  |  Generation (89)  |  Genetics (95)  |  Government (72)  |  Habitat (7)  |  Process (170)  |  Repair (6)  |  Totalitarian (4)  |  Worst (14)

What friends do with us and for us is a real part of our life; for it strengthens and advances our personality. The assault of our enemies is not part of our life ; it is only part of our experience ; we throw it off and guard ourselves against it as against frost, storm, rain, hail, or any other of the external evils which may be expected to happen.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 201.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (97)  |  Assault (8)  |  Enemy (37)  |  Evil (51)  |  Expect (16)  |  Experience (212)  |  External (28)  |  Friend (48)  |  Frost (12)  |  Guard (8)  |  Hail (3)  |  Life (742)  |  Part (87)  |  Personality (30)  |  Rain (26)  |  Real (65)  |  Storm (19)  |  Strengthen (11)  |  Throw (24)

When Da Vinci wanted an effect, he willed, he planned the means to make it happen: that was the purpose of his machines. But the machines of Newton … are means not for doing but for observing. He saw an effect, and he looked for its cause.
From The Common Sense of Science (1951), 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (189)  |  Leonardo da Vinci (31)  |  Doing (36)  |  Effect (113)  |  Look (46)  |  Machine (97)  |  Means (56)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (236)  |  Observation (390)  |  Plan (59)  |  Purpose (116)  |  Seeing (48)  |  Want (80)  |  Will (29)

Without ethics, everything happens as if we were all five billion passengers on a big machinery and nobody is driving the machinery. And it’s going faster and faster, but we don’t know where.
From CNN interview (24 Feb 1989). As quoted and cited in Murtezan Ismaili, 'Perceptions of Ethics at Education in University Level', Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences (2011), 15, 1125.
Science quotes on:  |  Billion (41)  |  Driving (6)  |  Ethics (28)  |  Everything (71)  |  Fast (16)  |  Know (146)  |  Machinery (23)  |  Nobody (27)  |  Passenger (8)

[In his generation] the worst that happened to men of science was that Galileo suffered an honorable detention and a mild reproof, before dying peacefully in his bed.
In 'The Origins of Modern Science', Science and the Modern World (1926, 2011), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Bed (17)  |  Detention (2)  |  Die (18)  |  Galileo Galilei (92)  |  Generation (89)  |  Honorable (2)  |  Men Of Science (96)  |  Mild (2)  |  Suffer (16)  |  Worst (14)


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:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations 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 |

who invites your feedback

- 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

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.