Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index I > Category: Idol

Idol Quotes (5 quotes)

Arthur Stanley Eddington quote: Proof is an idol before whom the pure mathematician tortures himself. In physics we are generall
Proof is an idol before whom the pure mathematician tortures himself. In physics we are generally content to sacrifice before the lesser shrine of Plausibility.
In Gifford Lecture (1927), Edinburgh, as collected in 'Science and Mysticism', The Nature of the Physical World (1928), 337.
Science quotes on:  |  Himself (461)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Plausibility (7)  |  Proof (287)  |  Pure (291)  |  Pure Mathematics (67)  |  Sacrifice (50)  |  Shrine (8)  |  Torture (29)

In science the new is an advance; but in morals, as contradicting our inner ideals and historic idols, it is ever a retrogression.
Levana, or, The Doctrine of Education translated from the German (1880), 123.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Contradict (40)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Inner (71)  |  Moral (195)  |  New (1216)  |  Retrogression (6)  |  Science (3879)

The old scientific ideal of episteme — of absolutely certain, demonstrable knowledge — has proved to be an idol. The demand for scientific objectivity makes it inevitable that every scientific statement must remain tentative for ever. (1959)
The Logic of Scientific Discovery: Logik Der Forschung (1959, 2002), 280.
Science quotes on:  |  Certain (550)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Demand (123)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Inevitable (49)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Must (1526)  |  Objectivity (16)  |  Old (481)  |  Proof (287)  |  Remain (349)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Statement (142)  |  Tentative (16)  |  Theory (970)

There are four classes of Idols which beset men’s minds. To these for distinction’s sake I have assigned names,—calling the first class Idols of the Tribe; the second, Idols of the Cave; the third, Idols of the Market Place; the fourth, Idols of the Theatre …
The Idols of the Tribe have their foundation in human nature itself, and in the tribe or race of men. For it is a false assertion that the sense of man is the measure of things. On the contrary, all perceptions as well of the sense as of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe. And the human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolours the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.
The Idols of the Cave are the idols of the individual man. For every one (besides the errors common to human nature in general) has a cave or den of his own, which refracts and discolours the light of nature; owing either to his own proper and peculiar nature; or to his education and conversation with others; or to the reading of books, and the authority of those whom he esteems and admires; or to the differences of impressions, accordingly as they take place in a mind preoccupied and predisposed or in a mind indifferent and settled; or the like.
There are also Idols formed by the intercourse and association of men with each other, which I call Idols of the Market-place, on account of the commerce and consort of men there. For it is by discourse that men associate; and words are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar, and therefore the ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding. Nor do the definitions or explanations where with in some things learned men are wont to guard and defend themselves, by any means set the matter right. But words plainly force and overrule the understanding, and throw all into confusion, and lead men away into numberless empty controversies and idle fancies.
Lastly, there are Idols which have immigrated into men’s minds from the various dogmas of philosophies, and also from wrong laws of demonstration. These I call Idols of the Theatre; because in my judgment all the received systems are but so many stage-plays, representing worlds of their own creation after an unreal and scenic fashion.
From Novum Organum (1620), Book 1, Aphorisms 39, 41-44. Translated as The New Organon: Aphorisms Concerning the Interpretation of Nature and the Kingdom of Man), collected in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1857), Vol. 4, 53-55.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  According (237)  |  Account (192)  |  All (4108)  |  Apprehension (26)  |  Associate (25)  |  Association (46)  |  Authority (95)  |  Book (392)  |  Call (769)  |  Choice (110)  |  Class (164)  |  Commerce (21)  |  Common (436)  |  Confusion (57)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Conversation (43)  |  Creation (327)  |  Definition (221)  |  Demonstration (113)  |  Difference (337)  |  Distinction (72)  |  Distort (22)  |  Do (1908)  |  Dogma (48)  |  Education (378)  |  Empty (80)  |  Error (321)  |  Explanation (234)  |  First (1283)  |  Force (487)  |  Form (959)  |  Foundation (171)  |  General (511)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Nature (64)  |  Idle (33)  |  Impression (114)  |  Individual (404)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Law (894)  |  Lead (384)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Light (607)  |  Man (2251)  |  Market (20)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Measure (232)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mirror (41)  |  Name (333)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nature Of Things (29)  |  Other (2236)  |  Owing (39)  |  Peculiar (113)  |  Perception (97)  |  Proper (144)  |  Race (268)  |  Ray (114)  |  Reading (133)  |  Right (452)  |  Sake (58)  |  Sense (770)  |  Set (394)  |  Settled (34)  |  Stage (143)  |  System (537)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Tribe (22)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Universe (857)  |  Various (200)  |  Vulgar (33)  |  Word (619)  |  World (1774)  |  Wrong (234)

[Modern science] passed through a long period of uncertainty and inconclusive experiment, but as the instrumental aids to research improved, and the results of observation accumulated, phantoms of the imagination were exorcised, idols of the cave were shattered, trustworthy materials were obtained for logical treatment, and hypotheses by long and careful trial were converted into theories.
In The Present Relations of Science and Religion (1913, 2004), 3
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (50)  |  Aid (97)  |  Careful (24)  |  Cave (15)  |  Conversion (17)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Inconclusive (3)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Logic (287)  |  Long (790)  |  Material (353)  |  Modern (385)  |  Modern Science (52)  |  Observation (555)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Pass (238)  |  Period (198)  |  Phantom (9)  |  Research (664)  |  Result (677)  |  Science (3879)  |  Shatter (8)  |  Shattered (8)  |  Theory (970)  |  Through (849)  |  Treatment (130)  |  Trial (57)  |  Trustworthy (11)  |  Uncertainty (56)


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 Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (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



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