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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index I > Category: Invariable

Invariable Quotes (6 quotes)

“Going fishing!” How often the question has been asked by acquaintances, as they have met me, with rod and basket, on an excursion after materials for microscopic study. “Yes!” has been the invariable answer, for it saved much detention and explanation; and now, behold! I offer them the results of that fishing. No fish for the stomach, but, as the old French microscopist Joblet observed, “some of the most remarkable fishes that have ever been seen”; and food-fishes for the intellect.
From 'Concluding Remarks', Fresh-Water Rhizopods of North America (1879), 295. Leidy explains how actively he pursued his interest in finding new microscopic life forms to examine by frequent exploration of suitable habitats in the neighborhood of Philadelphia, where he lived and taught.
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Il ne peut y avoir de langage plus universel et plus simple, plus exempt d’erreurs et d’obscurités, c'est-à-dire plus digne d'exprimer les rapports invariables des êtres naturels.
There cannot be a language more universal and more simple, more free from errors and obscurities, … more worthy to express the invariable relations of all natural things. [About mathematical analysis.]
From Théorie Analytique de la Chaleur (1822), xiv, translated by Alexander Freeman in The Analytical Theory of Heat (1878), 7.
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An autocratic system of coercion, in my opinion, soon degenerates. For force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels. For this reason I have always been passionately opposed to systems such as we see in Italy and Russia to-day.
In The World As I See It (1934), 240.
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The determination of the relationship and mutual dependence of the facts in particular cases must be the first goal of the Physicist; and for this purpose he requires that an exact measurement may be taken in an equally invariable manner anywhere in the world… Also, the history of electricity yields a well-known truth—that the physicist shirking measurement only plays, different from children only in the nature of his game and the construction of his toys.
In 'Mémoire sur la mesure de force de l'électricité', Journal de Physique (1782), 21, 191. English version by Google Translate tweaked by Webmaster. From the original French, “La determination de la relation & de la dépendance mutuelle de ces données dans certains cas particuliers, doit être le premier but du Physicien; & pour cet effet, il falloit one mesure exacte qui indiquât d’une manière invariable & égale dans tous les lieux de la terre, le degré de l'électricité au moyen duquel les expéiences ont été faites… Aussi, l’histoire de l'électricité prouve une vérité suffisamment reconnue; c’est que le Physicien sans mesure ne fait que jouer, & qu’il ne diffère en cela des enfans, que par la nature de son jeu & la construction de ses jouets.”
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The subject matter of science has been described as “judgments on which it is possible to obtain universal agreement.” These judgments do not concern individual events, which can be witnessed only by a few persons at most. They are the invariable association of events or properties which are known as the laws of science. Agreement is obtained by observation and experiment—a court of appeal to which men of all races and creeds must submit if they wish to survive.
The Nature of Science and Other Lectures (1954), 8. Norriss S. Hetherington comments parenthetically that the references to court, judgment and appeal may be attributable to his prior experiences as a Rhodes Scholar reading Roman law at Oxford, and to a year’s practice as an attorney in Louisville, Kentucky. As stated in Norriss S. Hetherington, 'Philosophical Values and Observation in Edwin Hubble’s Choice of a Model of the Universe', Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences (1982), 13, No. 1, 41.
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There could not be a language more universal and more simple, more exempt from errors and obscurities, that is to say, more worthy of expressing the invariable relations of natural objects. Considered from this point of view, it is coextensive with nature itself; it defines all the sensible relations, measures the times, the spaces, the forces, the temperatures; this difficult science is formed slowly, but it retains all the principles it has once acquired. It grows and becomes more certain without limit in the midst of so many errors of the human mind.
From Théorie Analytique de la Chaleur, Discours Préliminaire (Theory of Heat, Introduction), quoted as translated in F.R. Moulton, 'The Influence of Astronomy on Mathematics', Science (10 Mar 1911), N.S. Vol. 33, No. 845, 359.
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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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