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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index L > Category: Laugh

Laugh Quotes (47 quotes)

The Redwoods

Here, sown by the Creator's hand,
In serried ranks, the Redwoods stand;
No other clime is honored so,
No other lands their glory know.

The greatest of Earth's living forms,
Tall conquerors that laugh at storms;
Their challenge still unanswered rings,
Through fifty centuries of kings.

The nations that with them were young,
Rich empires, with their forts far-flung,
Lie buried now—their splendor gone;
But these proud monarchs still live on.

So shall they live, when ends our day,
When our crude citadels decay;
For brief the years allotted man,
But infinite perennials' span.

This is their temple, vaulted high,
And here we pause with reverent eye,
With silent tongue and awe-struck soul;
For here we sense life's proper goal;

To be like these, straight, true and fine,
To make our world, like theirs, a shrine;
Sink down, oh traveler, on your knees,
God stands before you in these trees.
In The Record: Volumes 60-61 (1938), 39.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Awe (43)  |  Brief (36)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Citadel (4)  |  Conqueror (8)  |  Creator (91)  |  Crude (31)  |  Decay (53)  |  Down (456)  |  Earth (996)  |  End (590)  |  Eye (419)  |  Form (959)  |  Glory (58)  |  Goal (145)  |  God (757)  |  Greatest (328)  |  High (362)  |  Honor (54)  |  Infinite (231)  |  King (35)  |  Know (1518)  |  Lie (364)  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Living (491)  |  Man (2251)  |  Nation (193)  |  Other (2236)  |  Perennial (9)  |  Poem (96)  |  Proper (144)  |  Rank (67)  |  Redwood (8)  |  Sense (770)  |  Shrine (8)  |  Sink (37)  |  Soul (226)  |  Sow (11)  |  Splendor (17)  |  Stand (274)  |  Still (613)  |  Storm (51)  |  Storms (18)  |  Straight (73)  |  Tall (11)  |  Temple (42)  |  Through (849)  |  Tongue (43)  |  Traveler (30)  |  Tree (246)  |  Unanswered (8)  |  World (1774)  |  Year (933)  |  Young (227)

A band of bacterial brothers
Swigging ATP with some others,
In a jocular fit,
They laughed ’til they split
Now they’re all microbial mothers.
In History of Life (1989). As quoted and cited in Jon Fripp, Michael Fripp and Deborah Fripp, Speaking of Science (2000), 20. Note: Cell division consumes energy provided by hydrolysis of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the primary energy carrier in all living organisms on earth.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  ATP (2)  |  Bacteria (48)  |  Band (9)  |  Brother (43)  |  Cell (138)  |  Fit (134)  |  Mitosis (2)  |  Mother (114)  |  Other (2236)  |  Split (13)

A paper cut — A tree's last laugh!
Anonymous
Adapted from the title of a web page.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Cut (114)  |  Last (426)  |  Paper (182)  |  Paper Cut (2)  |  Tree (246)  |  Wound (26)

Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
In Through the Looking-glass: And what Alice Found There (1875), 100.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Alice (7)  |  Belief (578)  |  Breakfast (9)  |  Hour (186)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Practice (204)  |  Queen (14)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Try (283)  |  Trying (144)  |  Use (766)  |  Why (491)  |  Younger (21)

All Pretences of foretelling by Astrology, are Deceits; for this manifest Reason, because the Wise and Learned, who can only judge whether there be any Truth in this Science, do all unanimously agree to laugh at and despise it; and none but the poor ignorant Vulgar give it any Credit.
'An Account of the Death of Mr. Patrige' (1708), collected in The Works of Jonathan Swift (1746), Vol. 1, 124.
Science quotes on:  |  Agree (26)  |  All (4108)  |  Astrology (43)  |  Credit (20)  |  Deceit (7)  |  Despise (13)  |  Do (1908)  |  Foretelling (4)  |  Ignorant (90)  |  Judge (108)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Manifest (21)  |  Poor (136)  |  Pretence (6)  |  Reason (744)  |  Science (3879)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Vulgar (33)  |  Wise (131)

An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician find themselves in an anecdote, indeed an anecdote quite similar to many that you have no doubt already heard.
After some observations and rough calculations the engineer realizes the situation and starts laughing.
A few minutes later the physicist understands too and chuckles to himself happily, as he now has enough experimental evidence to publish a paper.
This leaves the mathematician somewhat perplexed, as he had observed right away that he was the subject of an anecdote, and deduced quite rapidly the presence of humor from similar anecdotes, but considers this anecdote to be too trivial a corollary to be significant, let alone funny.
Anonymous
In 'Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science' APS News (Jun 2003), 12 No. 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (311)  |  Already (222)  |  Anecdote (21)  |  Calculation (127)  |  Consider (416)  |  Corollary (5)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Engineer (121)  |  Enough (340)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Experimental (192)  |  Find (998)  |  Funny (11)  |  Himself (461)  |  Humor (8)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Joke (83)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Minute (125)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observed (149)  |  Paper (182)  |  Perplex (6)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Presence (63)  |  Publish (36)  |  Rapidly (66)  |  Realize (147)  |  Right (452)  |  Significant (74)  |  Situation (113)  |  Start (221)  |  Subject (521)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Trivial (57)  |  Understand (606)

As I stood behind the coffin of my little son the other day, with my mind bent on anything but disputation, the officiating minister read, as part of his duty, the words, 'If the dead rise not again, let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.' I cannot tell you how inexpressibly they shocked me. Paul had neither wife nor child, or he must have known that his alternative involved a blasphemy against all that well best and noblest in human nature. I could have laughed with scorn. What! Because I am face to face with irreparable loss, because I have given back to the source from whence it came, the cause of a great happiness, still retaining through all my life the blessings which have sprung and will spring from that cause, I am to renounce my manhood, and, howling, grovel in bestiality? Why, the very apes know better, and if you shoot their young, the poor brutes grieve their grief out and do not immediately seek distraction in a gorge.
Letter to Charles Kingsley (23 Sep 1860). In L. Huxley, The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley (1903), Vol. 1, 318.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  All (4108)  |  Ape (53)  |  Back (390)  |  Behind (137)  |  Best (459)  |  Better (486)  |  Blasphemy (7)  |  Blessing (24)  |  Blessings (16)  |  Brute (28)  |  Cause (541)  |  Child (307)  |  Coffin (7)  |  Death (388)  |  Do (1908)  |  Drink (53)  |  Eat (104)  |  Face (212)  |  Great (1574)  |  Grief (18)  |  Happiness (115)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Nature (64)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Involved (90)  |  Know (1518)  |  Known (454)  |  Life (1795)  |  Little (707)  |  Loss (110)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Other (2236)  |  Poor (136)  |  Read (287)  |  Renounce (5)  |  Rise (166)  |  Scorn (12)  |  Seek (213)  |  Shock (37)  |  Son (24)  |  Spring (133)  |  Still (613)  |  Tell (340)  |  Through (849)  |  Why (491)  |  Wife (41)  |  Will (2355)  |  Word (619)  |  Young (227)

As to rocket ships flying between America and Europe, I believe it is worth seriously trying for. Thirty years ago persons who were developing flying were laughed at as mad, and that scorn hindered aviation. Now we heap similar ridicule upon stratoplane or rocket ships for trans-Atlantic flights.
Predicting high-altitude jet aircraft for routine long-distance travel. As quoted by Gobind Behari Lal, Universal Service Science Editor, as printed in 'Prof. Piccard Reaches U.S.', Syracuse Journal (13 Jan 1933), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Aircraft (8)  |  America (127)  |  Aviation (8)  |  Belief (578)  |  Development (422)  |  Europe (43)  |  Flight (98)  |  Flying (72)  |  Hinder (12)  |  Jet (4)  |  Mad (53)  |  Madness (33)  |  Person (363)  |  Ridicule (23)  |  Rocket (43)  |  Scorn (12)  |  Ship (62)  |  Transatlantic (4)  |  Trying (144)  |  Worth (169)  |  Year (933)

Bismarck, enraged at Virchow’s constant criticisms, has his seconds call upon the scientist to challenge him to a duel. “As the challenged party, I have the choice of weapons,” said Virchow, “and I chose these.” He held aloft two sausages. “One of these,” he went on, “is infected with deadly germs; the other is perfectly sound. Let his Excellency decide which one he wishes to eat, and I will eat the other.” Almost immediately the message came back that the chancellor had decided to laugh off the duel.
As quoted in Clifton Fadiman (ed.), André Bernard (ed.), Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes (2000), 556, citing E. Fuller, 2500 Anecdotes.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Back (390)  |  Otto von Bismarck (3)  |  Call (769)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Chancellor (8)  |  Choice (110)  |  Constant (144)  |  Criticism (78)  |  Deadly (21)  |  Duel (4)  |  Eat (104)  |  Germ (53)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Message (49)  |  Other (2236)  |  Sausage (2)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Sound (183)  |  Two (937)  |  Weapon (92)  |  Weapons (58)  |  Will (2355)

Common-sense contents itself with the unreconciled contradiction, laughs when it can, and weeps when it must, and makes, in short, a practical compromise, without trying a theoretical solution.
From Essay, 'German Pessimism', a book review (of Der Modern Pessimismus by Edmund Pfleiderer) in Nation (7 Oct 1875), 21, No. 536, 233. Reprinted in Ralph Barton Perry (ed.), Collected Essays and Reviews by William James (1920), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Common (436)  |  Compromise (9)  |  Content (69)  |  Contradiction (68)  |  Must (1526)  |  Practical (200)  |  Reconcile (18)  |  Sense (770)  |  Short (197)  |  Solution (267)  |  Theoretical (22)  |  Try (283)  |  Trying (144)  |  Weep (5)

Daniel Bernoulli used to tell two little adventures, which he said had given him more pleasure than all the other honours he had received. Travelling with a learned stranger, who, being pleased with his conversation, asked his name; “I am Daniel Bernoulli,” answered he with great modesty; “and I,” said the stranger (who thought he meant to laugh at him) “am Isaac Newton.” Another time, having to dine with the celebrated Koenig, the mathematician, who boasted, with some degree of self-complacency, of a difficult problem he had solved with much trouble, Bernoulli went on doing the honours of his table, and when they went to drink coffee he presented Koenig with a solution of the problem more elegant than his own.
In A Philosophical and Mathematical Dictionary (1815), 1, 226.
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (56)  |  All (4108)  |  Answer (366)  |  Ask (411)  |  Being (1278)  |  Daniel Bernoulli (5)  |  Boast (22)  |  Celebrate (19)  |  Coffee (19)  |  Complacent (6)  |  Conversation (43)  |  Degree (276)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Dine (5)  |  Doing (280)  |  Drink (53)  |  Elegant (36)  |  Great (1574)  |  Honour (56)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Little (707)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Modesty (17)  |  More (2559)  |  Name (333)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pleased (3)  |  Pleasure (178)  |  Present (619)  |  Problem (676)  |  Self (267)  |  Solution (267)  |  Solve (130)  |  Stranger (15)  |  Table (104)  |  Tell (340)  |  Thought (953)  |  Time (1877)  |  Travel (114)  |  Travelling (17)  |  Trouble (107)  |  Two (937)

Earth laughs in flowers.
From poem, 'Hamareya', collected in Poems of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1847), 39.
Science quotes on:  |  Earth (996)  |  Flower (106)

Einstein uses his concept of God more often than a Catholic priest. Once I asked him:
'Tomorrow is Sunday. Do you want me to come to you, so we can work?'
'Why not?'
'Because I thought perhaps you would like to rest on Sunday.'
Einstein settled the question by saying with a loud laugh: 'God does not rest on Sunday either.'
Quest: The Evolution of a Scientist (1941), 247.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (411)  |  Catholic (15)  |  Concept (221)  |  Do (1908)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Albert Einstein (605)  |  God (757)  |  More (2559)  |  Priest (28)  |  Question (621)  |  Rest (280)  |  Settled (34)  |  Sunday (7)  |  Thought (953)  |  Tomorrow (60)  |  Use (766)  |  Want (497)  |  Why (491)  |  Work (1351)

Fate laughs at probabilities.
In Eugene Aram: A Tale (1832), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Fate (72)  |  Probability (130)

First you guess. Don’t laugh, this is the most important step. Then you compute the consequences. Compare the consequences to experience. If it disagrees with experience, the guess is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your guess is or how smart you are or what your name is. If it disagrees with experience, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.
Quoted in Florentin Smarandache, V. Christianto, Multi-Valued Logic, Neutrosophy, and Schrodinger Equation? (2006), 73, but without any primary source. If you know it, please contact the Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Compare (69)  |  Compute (18)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Disagree (11)  |  Experience (467)  |  First (1283)  |  Guess (61)  |  Important (209)  |  Key (50)  |  Matter (798)  |  Most (1731)  |  Name (333)  |  Science (3879)  |  Simple (406)  |  Smart (26)  |  Statement (142)  |  Step (231)  |  Wrong (234)

Has Matter more than Motion? Has it Thought,
Judgment, and Genius? Is it deeply learn’d
In Mathematics? Has it fram’d such Laws,
Which, but to guess, a Newton made immortal?—
If so, how each sage Atom laughs at me,
Who think a Clod inferior to a Man!
The Complaint: or, Night-Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality (1742, 1750), Night 9, 279.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Clod (3)  |  Genius (284)  |  Guess (61)  |  Immortal (35)  |  Inferior (37)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Law (894)  |  Learn (629)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Matter (798)  |  More (2559)  |  Motion (310)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (333)  |  Sage (23)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)

I am the daughter of earth and water, And the nursling of the sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain,
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams,
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph, And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.
The Cloud (1820). In K. Raine (ed.), Shelley (1974), 289.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (347)  |  Arise (158)  |  Bare (33)  |  Build (204)  |  Cavern (9)  |  Cenotaph (2)  |  Change (593)  |  Child (307)  |  Convex (6)  |  Daughter (29)  |  Die (86)  |  Dome (8)  |  Earth (996)  |  Ghost (36)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Never (1087)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Pass (238)  |  Pore (7)  |  Rain (62)  |  Shore (24)  |  Sky (161)  |  Stain (9)  |  Through (849)  |  Tomb (15)  |  Water (481)  |  Wind (128)  |  Womb (24)

I experimented with all possible maneuvers—loops, somersaults and barrel rolls. I stood upside down on one finger and burst out laughing, a shrill, distorted laugh. Nothing I did altered the automatic rhythm of the air. Delivered from gravity and buoyancy, I flew around in space.
Describing his early test (1943) in the Mediterranean Sea of the Aqua-Lung he co-invented.
Quoted in 'Sport: Poet of the Depths', Time (28 Mar 1960)
Science quotes on:  |  Air (347)  |  All (4108)  |  Alter (62)  |  Altered (32)  |  Automatic (16)  |  Buoyancy (7)  |  Burst (39)  |  Deliver (29)  |  Distort (22)  |  Distortion (13)  |  Down (456)  |  Early (185)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Finger (44)  |  Flying (72)  |  Gravity (132)  |  Loop (6)  |  Lung (34)  |  Maneuver (2)  |  Mediterranean (9)  |  Mediterranean Sea (6)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Possible (552)  |  Rhythm (20)  |  Roll (40)  |  Sea (308)  |  Shrill (2)  |  Somersault (2)  |  Space (500)  |  Stand (274)  |  Test (211)  |  Upside Down (8)

I have a sense of humor; but over the years that sense has developed one blind spot. I can no longer laugh at ignorance or stupidity. Those are our chief enemies, and it is dangerous to make fun of them.
Draft (22 May 1970) of speech he hoped to give upon his retirement. In Susan Hough, Richter's Scale: Measure of an Earthquake, Measure of a Man (2007), 309.
Science quotes on:  |  Blind (95)  |  Blind Spot (2)  |  Chief (97)  |  Dangerous (105)  |  Develop (268)  |  Enemy (82)  |  Fun (38)  |  Humor (8)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Sense (770)  |  Sense Of Humor (3)  |  Stupidity (39)  |  Year (933)

I have heard articulate speech produced by sunlight I have heard a ray of the sun laugh and cough and sing! … I have been able to hear a shadow, and I have even perceived by ear the passage of a cloud across the sun's disk.
Letter to his father (26 Feb 1880), describing his photophone research. Transcript with Bell Papers, Library of Congress.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Articulate (7)  |  Cloud (104)  |  Cough (8)  |  Ear (68)  |  Hear (139)  |  Hearing (49)  |  Laughter (31)  |  Passage (50)  |  Perceived (4)  |  Produced (187)  |  Ray (114)  |  Shadow (72)  |  Sing (26)  |  Speech (61)  |  Sun (385)  |  Sunlight (23)

I know of nothing more laughable than a doctor who does not die of old age.
Letter to Charles Augustin Ferriol, comte d'Argental (1767). In Raymond C. Rowe, Joseph Chamberlain, A Spoonful of Sugar (2007), 243.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Die (86)  |  Doctor (187)  |  Know (1518)  |  Laughable (4)  |  More (2559)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Old (481)  |  Old Age (33)

I laughed … till my sides were sore.
British geologist, describing, in a letter to Charles Darwin, his reaction to On the Origin of Species, in Facts and Fallacies by Chris Morgan and David Langford (1981).
Science quotes on:  |  Side (233)

I remember being with my grandmother and mother and my uncle came in and asked what I wanted to be when grew up. I said ‘A doctor,’ which took him aback. He was expecting me to say ‘nurse’ or ‘actress.’ And my mother and grandmother laughed like, ‘Kids say the darndest things.’ I grew up in a time when women were not expected to do anything interesting.
As quoted in Anna Azvolinsky, 'Fearless About Folding', The Scientist (Jan 2016).
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (411)  |  Aspiration (32)  |  Being (1278)  |  Do (1908)  |  Doctor (187)  |  Expect (200)  |  Grandmother (4)  |  Grow Up (6)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Kid (15)  |  Mother (114)  |  Nurse (25)  |  Remember (179)  |  Say (984)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Want (497)  |  Woman (151)

I wish, my dear Kepler, that we could have a good laugh together at the extraordinary stupidity of the mob. What do you think of the foremost philosophers of this University? In spite of my oft-repeated efforts and invitations, they have refused, with the obstinacy of a glutted adder, to look at the planets or the Moon or my glass [telescope].
Opere ed Nas. X, 423. As cited in Alan Mackay, A Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (1991), 99. Galileo wished others to use his telescope to see for themselves the moons of Jupiter which he had himself first seen in Jan 1610. If you have a primary source for this letter giving the date it was written, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Adder (3)  |  Do (1908)  |  Effort (227)  |  Extraordinary (79)  |  Foremost (11)  |  Glass (92)  |  Good (889)  |  Invitation (11)  |  Johannes Kepler (91)  |  Look (582)  |  Mob (9)  |  Moon (237)  |  Obstinacy (3)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Planet (356)  |  Refusal (22)  |  Spite (55)  |  Stupidity (39)  |  Telescope (98)  |  Think (1086)  |  Together (387)  |  University (121)  |  Wish (212)

I wonder that a soothsayer doesn’t laugh whenever he sees another soothsayer.
Science quotes on:  |  Parapsychology (3)  |  See (1081)  |  Soothsayer (4)  |  Whenever (81)  |  Wonder (236)

If a man dies of cancer in fear and despair, then cry for his pain and celebrate his life. The other man, who fought like hell and laughed in the end, but also died, may have had an easier time in his final months, but took his leave with no more humanity.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Cancer (55)  |  Celebrate (19)  |  Cry (29)  |  Despair (40)  |  Die (86)  |  Easier (53)  |  Easy (204)  |  End (590)  |  Fear (197)  |  Fight (44)  |  Final (118)  |  Hell (32)  |  Humanity (169)  |  Leave (130)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Month (88)  |  More (2559)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pain (136)  |  Time (1877)

If we couldn’t laugh at ourselves, that would be the end of everything.
Comment made to Professor Erik Riidinger, 1962. Quotation supplied and translated by Professor Erik Rüdinger, Niels Bohr Archive.
Science quotes on:  |  Aphorism (21)  |  End (590)  |  Everything (476)  |  Ourselves (245)

Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Economist (17)  |  Forecast (13)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Listen (73)  |  People (1005)  |  Same (157)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science Fiction (31)  |  Weather (44)

It is said that Thales of Miletus, who was the first of the Greeks to devote himself to the study of the stars, was on one occasion so intent upon observing the heavens that he fell into a well, whereupon a maidservant laughed and remarked, “In his zeal for things in the sky he does not see what is at his feet.”
Thales
Apocryphal story, as given in Richard A. Gregory, Discovery: Or, The Spirit and Service of Science (1916), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Fall (230)  |  First (1283)  |  Foot (60)  |  Greek (107)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Himself (461)  |  Observation (555)  |  Occasion (85)  |  See (1081)  |  Sky (161)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Study (653)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Zeal (11)

Nature laughs at the difficulties of integration.
In J.W. Krutch, 'The Colloid and the Crystal', collected in I. Gordon and S. Sorkin (eds.), The Armchair Science Reader (1959).
Science quotes on:  |  Integration (19)  |  Nature (1926)

Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
Anonymous
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Dream (208)  |  Never (1087)  |  People (1005)

Oh, my dear Kepler, how I wish that we could have one hearty laugh together. Here, at Padua, is the principal professor of philosophy, whom I have repeatedly and urgently requested to look at the moon and planets through my glass, [telescope] which he pertinaciously refuses to do. Why are you not here? what shouts of laughter we should have at this glorious folly! and to hear the professor of philosophy at Pisa laboring before the grand duke with logical arguments, as if with magical incantations, to charm the new planets out of the sky.
From Letter to Johannes Kepler. As translated in John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune, Life of Galileo Galilei: With Illustrations of the Advancement of Experimental Philosophy (1832), 92-93.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (138)  |  Charm (51)  |  Do (1908)  |  Folly (43)  |  Glass (92)  |  Glorious (48)  |  Hear (139)  |  Hearing (49)  |  Hearty (3)  |  Incantation (5)  |  Johannes Kepler (91)  |  Laughter (31)  |  Logic (287)  |  Look (582)  |  Magic (86)  |  Moon (237)  |  New (1216)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Planet (356)  |  Principal (63)  |  Professor (128)  |  Refusal (22)  |  Refuse (42)  |  Repeated (5)  |  Request (7)  |  Shout (25)  |  Sky (161)  |  Telescope (98)  |  Through (849)  |  Together (387)  |  Urgent (13)  |  Why (491)  |  Wish (212)

Once I found out the secret of the universe. I have forgotten what it was, but I know that the Creator does not take Creation seriously, for I remember that He sat in Space with all His work in front of Him and laughed.
In The Hashish Man, collected in E.F. Bleiler (ed.), Gods, Men and Ghosts: The Best Supernatural Fiction of Lord Dunsany (1972), 158.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Creation (327)  |  Creator (91)  |  Find (998)  |  Forget (115)  |  Forgotten (53)  |  Know (1518)  |  Remember (179)  |  Secret (194)  |  Seriously (19)  |  Space (500)  |  Universe (857)  |  Work (1351)

One of the most impressive discoveries was the origin of the energy of the stars, that makes them continue to burn. One of the men who discovered this was out with his girl friend the night after he realized that nuclear reactions must be going on in the stars in order to make them shine.
She said “Look at how pretty the stars shine!”
He said, “Yes, and right now I am the only man in the world who knows why they shine.”
She merely laughed at him. She was not impressed with being out with the only man who, at that moment, knew why stars shine. Well, it is sad to be alone, but that is the way it is in this world.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (311)  |  Being (1278)  |  Burn (87)  |  Continue (165)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Energy (344)  |  Friend (168)  |  Girl (37)  |  Impress (64)  |  Impressed (38)  |  Impressive (25)  |  Know (1518)  |  Look (582)  |  Man (2251)  |  Merely (316)  |  Moment (253)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Night (120)  |  Nuclear (107)  |  Nuclear Reaction (2)  |  Order (632)  |  Origin (239)  |  Pretty (20)  |  Reaction (104)  |  Realize (147)  |  Right (452)  |  Sadness (35)  |  Say (984)  |  Shine (45)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Way (1217)  |  Why (491)  |  World (1774)

People are ready enough to laugh at you. Don’t make funny faces in order to encourage them.
Aphorism as given by the fictional character Dezhnev Senior, in Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain (1987), 181.
Science quotes on:  |  Encourage (40)  |  Enough (340)  |  Face (212)  |  Order (632)  |  People (1005)

Scientific training gives its votaries freedom from the impositions of modern quackery. Those who know nothing of the laws and processes of Nature fall an easy prey to quacks and impostors. Perfectionism in the realm of religion; a score of frauds in the realm of medicine, as electric shoe soles, hair brushes and belts, electropises, oxydonors, insulating bed casters, and the like; Christian science. In the presence of whose unspeakable stillness and self-stultifying idealism a wise man knows not whether to laugh or cry; Prof. Weltmer's magnetic treatment of disease; divine healing and miracle working by long-haired peripatetics—these and a score of other contagious fads and rank impostures find their followers among those who have no scientific training. Among their deluded victims are thousands of men and women of high character, undoubted piety, good intentions, charitable impulses and literary culture, but none trained to scientific research. Vaccinate the general public with scientific training and these epidemics will become a thing of the past.
As quoted by S.D. Van Meter, Chairman, closing remarks for 'Report of Committee on Public Policy and Legislation', to the Colorado State Medical Society in Denver, printed in Colorado Medicine (Oct 1904), 1, No. 12, 363. Van Meter used the quote following his statement, “In conclusion, allow me to urge once more the necessity of education of the public as well as the profession if we ever expect to correct the evils we are striving to reach by State and Society legislation. Much can be accomplished toward this end by the publication of well edited articles in the secular press upon medical subjects the public is eager to know about.” Prof. Weitmer is presumably Sidney A. Weltmer, founder of The Weltmer Institute of Suggestive Therapeutics, who offered a Course in Magnetic Healing by mail order correspondance (1899).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Become (815)  |  Bed (23)  |  Belt (3)  |  Brush (5)  |  Character (243)  |  Charity (11)  |  Christian (43)  |  Christian Science (3)  |  Contagious (4)  |  Cry (29)  |  Culture (143)  |  Deluded (7)  |  Disease (328)  |  Divine (112)  |  Eager (15)  |  Easy (204)  |  Education (378)  |  Electric (76)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Epidemic (7)  |  Fad (10)  |  Fall (230)  |  Find (998)  |  Follower (11)  |  Fraud (15)  |  Freedom (129)  |  General (511)  |  General Public (7)  |  Good (889)  |  Good Intention (2)  |  Hair (25)  |  Healing (25)  |  High (362)  |  Idealism (4)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Imposition (5)  |  Impostor (3)  |  Imposture (6)  |  Impulse (48)  |  Insulating (3)  |  Intelligent Design (5)  |  Intention (46)  |  Know (1518)  |  Law (894)  |  Literary (13)  |  Long (790)  |  Magnetic (44)  |  Man (2251)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Miracle (83)  |  Modern (385)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Other (2236)  |  Past (337)  |  Perfectionism (2)  |  Peripatetic (3)  |  Piety (4)  |  Presence (63)  |  Prey (13)  |  Process (423)  |  Quack (18)  |  Quackery (4)  |  Rank (67)  |  Realm (85)  |  Religion (361)  |  Research (664)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Self (267)  |  Shoe (11)  |  Sole (49)  |  Stillness (5)  |  Stultify (5)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Train (114)  |  Trained (5)  |  Training (80)  |  Treatment (130)  |  Victim (35)  |  Votary (3)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wise (131)  |  Wise Man (15)  |  Woman (151)  |  Work (1351)

The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the clown.
In Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science (1980), 34.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Brother (43)  |  Clown (2)  |  Christopher Columbus (15)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Robert Fulton (7)  |  Genius (284)  |  Implication (23)  |  Laughter (31)  |  Orville Wright (8)

The time is ripe for poetry therapy now because the psychiatric profession is more flexible in its willingness to use new techniques.Ten years ago we were laughed at. Now they’re starting to teach it in colleges.”
As quoted in Paul L. Montgomery, 'Psychopoetry: A New Way of Reaching the Disturbed', New York Times (17 Apr 1971), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  College (66)  |  Flexible (6)  |  More (2559)  |  New (1216)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Poetry Therapy (10)  |  Profession (99)  |  Psychiatry (26)  |  Teach (277)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Technique (80)  |  Therapy (13)  |  Time (1877)  |  Use (766)  |  Willing (44)  |  Willingness (10)  |  Year (933)

The year that Rutherford died (1938 [sic]) there disappeared forever the happy days of free scientific work which gave us such delight in our youth. Science has lost her freedom. Science has become a productive force. She has become rich but she has become enslaved and part of her is veiled in secrecy. I do not know whether Rutherford would continue to joke and laugh as he used to.
'Notes from Here and There', Science Policy News (1969), 1, No 2, 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (815)  |  Continue (165)  |  Delight (108)  |  Disappear (82)  |  Do (1908)  |  Force (487)  |  Forever (103)  |  Free (232)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Happiness (115)  |  Happy (105)  |  Joke (83)  |  Know (1518)  |  Money (170)  |  Productive (32)  |  Sir Ernest Rutherford (53)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Secret (194)  |  Slave (37)  |  Veil (26)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)  |  Youth (101)

Those who judge of a work by rule are in regard to others as those who have a watch are in regard to others. One says, “It is two hours ago”; the other says, “It is only three-quarters of an hour.” I look at my watch, and say to the one, “You are weary,” and to the other, “Time gallops with you”; for it is only an hour and a half ago, and I laugh at those who tell me that time goes slowly with me, and that I judge by imagination. They do not know that I judge by my watch.
In Pascal’s Pensées (1958), 3-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Do (1908)  |  Hour (186)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Judge (108)  |  Know (1518)  |  Look (582)  |  Other (2236)  |  Regard (305)  |  Rule (294)  |  Say (984)  |  Tell (340)  |  Time (1877)  |  Two (937)  |  Watch (109)  |  Weary (11)  |  Work (1351)

To have a railroad, there must have been first the discoverers, who found out the properties of wood and iron, fire and water, and their latent power to carry men over the earth; next the organizers, who put these elements together, surveyed the route, planned the structure, set men to grade the hill, to fill the valley, and pave the road with iron bars; and then the administrators, who after all that is done, procure the engines, engineers, conductors, ticket-distributors, and the rest of the “hands;” they buy the coal and see it is not wasted, fix the rates of fare, calculate the savings, and distribute the dividends. The discoverers and organizers often fare hard in the world, lean men, ill-clad and suspected, often laughed at, while the administrator is thought the greater man, because he rides over their graves and pays the dividends, where the organizer only called for the assessments, and the discoverer told what men called a dream. What happens in a railroad happens also in a Church, or a State.
Address at the Melodeon, Boston (5 Mar 1848), 'A Discourse occasioned by the Death of John Quincy Adams'. Collected in Discourses of Politics: The Collected Works of Theodore Parker: Part 4 (1863), 139. Note: Ralph Waldo Emerson earlier used the phrase “pave the road with iron bars,” in Nature (1836), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Administrator (11)  |  All (4108)  |  Assessment (3)  |  Bar (8)  |  Buy (20)  |  Calculate (54)  |  Call (769)  |  Carry (127)  |  Church (56)  |  Coal (57)  |  Conductor (16)  |  Discoverer (42)  |  Distribute (15)  |  Dividend (3)  |  Dream (208)  |  Earth (996)  |  Element (310)  |  Engine (98)  |  Engineer (121)  |  Fare (5)  |  Fill (61)  |  Fire (189)  |  First (1283)  |  Fix (25)  |  Grade (11)  |  Grave (52)  |  Greater (288)  |  Hand (143)  |  Happen (274)  |  Hard (243)  |  Hill (20)  |  Iron (96)  |  Latent (12)  |  Man (2251)  |  Must (1526)  |  Next (236)  |  Pave (8)  |  Pay (43)  |  Plan (117)  |  Power (746)  |  Procure (5)  |  Property (168)  |  Railroad (32)  |  Rate (29)  |  Rest (280)  |  Ride (21)  |  Road (64)  |  Route (15)  |  Saving (20)  |  See (1081)  |  Set (394)  |  State (491)  |  Structure (344)  |  Survey (33)  |  Tell (340)  |  Thought (953)  |  Ticket (5)  |  Together (387)  |  Valley (32)  |  Waste (101)  |  Water (481)  |  Wood (92)  |  World (1774)

Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge.
Seen in several books, attributed without citation, for example, in Ann Wimore, The Wheatgrass Book (1985). If you know a primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Blade (11)  |  Call (769)  |  Duplicate (8)  |  Grass (46)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Laughter (31)  |  Man (2251)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  So-Called (71)

We are a bit of stellar matter gone wrong. We are physical machinery—puppets that strut and talk and laugh and die as the hand of time pulls the strings beneath. But there is one elementary inescapable answer. We are that which asks the question.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (366)  |  Ask (411)  |  Beneath (64)  |  Bit (22)  |  Die (86)  |  Elementary (96)  |  Hand (143)  |  Inescapable (7)  |  Machinery (56)  |  Matter (798)  |  Physical (508)  |  Pull (43)  |  Puppet (3)  |  Question (621)  |  Stellar (4)  |  String (21)  |  Strut (2)  |  Talk (100)  |  Time (1877)  |  Wrong (234)

We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita: Vishnu is trying to pursue the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.” I suppose we all thought that one way or another. There was a great deal of solemn talk that this was the end of the great wars of the century.
At the first atomic bomb test (16 Jul 1945), in Len Giovanitti and Fred Freed, The Decision to Drop the Bomb (1965), 197
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Arm (81)  |  Become (815)  |  Century (310)  |  Cry (29)  |  Deal (188)  |  Death (388)  |  Destroyer (4)  |  Do (1908)  |  Duty (68)  |  End (590)  |  Form (959)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hindu (3)  |  Impress (64)  |  Know (1518)  |  Line (91)  |  Most (1731)  |  People (1005)  |  Prince (13)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Remember (179)  |  Same (157)  |  Say (984)  |  Scripture (12)  |  Silent (29)  |  Solemn (20)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Talk (100)  |  Thought (953)  |  Try (283)  |  Trying (144)  |  War (225)  |  Way (1217)  |  World (1774)

When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.
Peter Pan (1904), Act 1.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Baby (28)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Fairy (9)  |  First (1283)  |  Laughter (31)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Time (1877)

Who would not have been laughed at if he had said in 1800 that metals could be extracted from their ores by electricity or that portraits could be drawn by chemistry.
[Commenting on Becquerel’s process for extracting metals by voltaic means.]
Letter (20 Aug 1847), The Letters of Faraday and Schoenbein, 1836-1862 (1899), footnote, 209.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Henri Becquerel (5)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Drawing (56)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Extract (40)  |  Extraction (9)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Metal (84)  |  Ore (12)  |  Portrait (4)  |  Process (423)  |  Voltaic (9)

[As a science hobbyist, hoping to become famous someday, Artie Pinsetter (Lou Costello):] They also laughed at Einstein and his theory of relativity. Now everyone has relatives.
From movie The 30-foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959). Writers, Rowland Barber and Arthur A. Ross. In Larry Langman and Paul Gold, Comedy Quotes from the Movies (2001), 289. This movie, (with its rare appearance of Costello without Bud Abott, his usual comedy partner), was released later in the year of Costello's death.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (815)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Albert Einstein (605)  |  Joke (83)  |  Laughter (31)  |  Relative (39)  |  Relativity (88)  |  Science (3879)  |  Someday (14)  |  Theory (970)  |  Theory Of Relativity (33)


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



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