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Who said: “Dangerous... to take shelter under a tree, during a thunder-gust. It has been fatal to many, both men and beasts.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index I > Category: Incomprehensible

Incomprehensible Quotes (9 quotes)

A man must cling to the belief that the incomprehensible is comprehensible; otherwise he would not try to fathom it.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 194.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Cling (4)  |  Comprehensible (4)

If we make a couple of discoveries here and there we need not believe things will go like this for ever. An acrobat can leap higher than a farm-hand, and one acrobat higher than another, yet the height no man can overleap is still very low. Just as we hit water when we dig in the earth, so we discover the incomprehensible sooner or later.
Aphorisms, trans. R. J. Hollingdale (1990), 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Farmer (23)  |  Height (24)  |  Leap (23)

It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations - past and present - are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual’s hunger, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millennia. Thus, we are up against the paradox that the individual who is more complex, unpredictable, and mysterious than any communal entity is the one nearest to our understanding; so near that even the interval of millennia cannot weaken our feeling of kinshiIf in some manner the voice of an individual reaches us from the remotest distance of time, it is a timeless voice speaking about ourselves.
In Reflections on the Human Condition (1973), 97.
Science quotes on:  |  Anxiety (15)  |  Civilization (155)  |  Communal (7)  |  Complex (78)  |  Culture (85)  |  Distance (54)  |  Dream (92)  |  Entity (23)  |  Feel (93)  |  Hunger (13)  |  Individual (177)  |  Interval (8)  |  Manner (35)  |  Millennia (4)  |  Mysterious (21)  |  Often (69)  |  Ourselves (34)  |  Outsider (5)  |  Paradox (35)  |  Past (109)  |  Preoccupation (4)  |  Present (103)  |  Reach (68)  |  Remain (77)  |  Remote (27)  |  Society (188)  |  Speak (49)  |  Time (439)  |  Timeless (5)  |  Unchanged (3)  |  Understand (189)  |  Unpredictable (10)  |  Voice (41)

May the conscience and the common sense of the peoples be awakened, so that we may reach a new stage in the life of nations, where people will look back on war as an incomprehensible aberration of their forefathers!
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Science quotes on:  |  Aberration (2)  |  Awaken (8)  |  Common Sense (69)  |  Conscience (36)  |  Forefather (3)  |  Life (917)  |  Look Back (2)  |  Nation (111)  |  New (340)  |  People (269)  |  Reach (68)  |  Stage (39)  |  War (144)

Nature never makes excellent things, for mean or no uses: and it is hardly to be conceived, that our infinitely wise Creator, should make so admirable a Faculty, as the power of Thinking, that Faculty which comes nearest the Excellency of his own incomprehensible Being, to be so idlely and uselesly employ’d, at least 1/4 part of its time here, as to think constantly, without remembering any of those Thoughts, without doing any good to it self or others, or being anyway useful to any other part of Creation.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 2, Chapter 1, Section 15, 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Creator (40)  |  Excellence (28)  |  Faculty (36)  |  Means (109)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Use (70)

No other part of science has contributed as much to the liberation of the human spirit as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Yet, at the same time, few other parts of science are held to be so recondite. Mention of the Second Law raises visions of lumbering steam engines, intricate mathematics, and infinitely incomprehensible entropy. Not many would pass C.P. Snow’s test of general literacy, in which not knowing the Second Law is equivalent to not having read a work of Shakespeare.
In The Second Law (1984), Preface, vii.
Science quotes on:  |  Contribution (49)  |  Entropy (40)  |  Human Spirit (8)  |  Intricate (14)  |  Liberation (8)  |  Literacy (7)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Obscure (19)  |  Read (83)  |  Science (1699)  |  Second Law Of Thermodynamics (13)  |  William Shakespeare (90)  |  Steam Engine (41)  |  Test (96)

That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.
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Science quotes on:  |  Conviction (57)  |  Deeply (13)  |  Emotional (13)  |  Form (210)  |  God (454)  |  Idea (440)  |  Power (273)  |  Presence (26)  |  Reason (330)  |  Reveal (32)  |  Superior (30)  |  Universe (563)

The Bohr atom was introduced to us by Bohr himself. I still have the notes I took during his lectures … His discourse was rendered almost incomprehensible by his accent; there were endless references to what I recorded as “soup groups”, only later emended to “sub-groups”.
In Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: An Autobiography and Other Recollections (1996), 116-117.
Science quotes on:  |  Accent (2)  |  Atom (251)  |  Niels Bohr (50)  |  Discourse (13)  |  Lecture (54)  |  Note (22)  |  Reference (17)  |  Soup (4)

We have several stones whose generation is incomprehensible unless it is supposed that they come from some kind of seed, if I may be permitted to use this term; that is to say, from a germ in which the organic particles of these stones are enclosed ‘en petit’, just as those of the largest plants are enclosed in the germs of their grains.
In Histoire de l' Académie Royale des Sciences Annee: Avec les Memoires de Mathematique et de Physique (1702), 230.
Science quotes on:  |  Generation (111)  |  Germ (27)  |  Grain (24)  |  Kind (99)  |  Largest (7)  |  Organic (48)  |  Particle (90)  |  Plant (173)  |  Seed (52)  |  Stone (57)  |  Supposed (3)  |  Term (87)


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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- 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



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