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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Genius is two percent inspiration, ninety-eight percent perspiration.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index L > Category: Line

Line Quotes (44 quotes)


Question: Account for the delicate shades of colour sometimes seen on the inside of an oyster shell. State and explain the appearance presented when a beam of light falls upon a sheet of glass on which very fine equi-distant parallel lines have been scratched very close to one another.
Answer: The delicate shades are due to putrefaction; the colours always show best when the oyster has been a bad one. Hence they are considered a defect and are called chromatic aberration.
The scratches on the glass will arrange themselves in rings round the light, as any one may see at night in a tram car.
Genuine student answer* to an Acoustics, Light and Heat paper (1880), Science and Art Department, South Kensington, London, collected by Prof. Oliver Lodge. Quoted in Henry B. Wheatley, Literary Blunders (1893), 182, Question 27. (*From a collection in which Answers are not given verbatim et literatim, and some instances may combine several students' blunders.)
Science quotes on:  |  Aberration (2)  |  Account (45)  |  Answer (201)  |  Appearance (77)  |  Bad (78)  |  Beam (9)  |  Closeness (4)  |  Color (78)  |  Consideration (65)  |  Defect (14)  |  Delicate (11)  |  Diffraction (3)  |  Examination (60)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Fine (24)  |  Glass (35)  |  Howler (15)  |  Inside (16)  |  Light (246)  |  Night (73)  |  Oyster (7)  |  Parallel (16)  |  Putrefaction (4)  |  Question (315)  |  Ring (14)  |  Scratch (6)  |  Seeing (48)  |  Shade (12)  |  Sheet (6)  |  Shell (35)  |  State (96)  |  Tram (3)

A line is not made up of points. … In the same way, time is not made up of parts considered as indivisible “nows.”
Part of Aristotle’s reply to Zeno's paradox concerning continuity.
Aristotle
A succinct summary, not a direct quotation of Aristotle's words. From Aristotle's Physics, Book VI. Sections 1 and 9 as given by Florian Cajori in part 2 of an article 'The History of Zeno's Arguments on Motion', in The American Mathematical Monthly (Feb 1915), 22:2, 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Indivisible (7)  |  Now (5)  |  Paradox (35)  |  Part (146)  |  Point (72)  |  Time (439)  |  Zeno (5)

A mathematician thinks that two points are enough to define a straight line, while a physicist wants more data.
Anonymous
Science quotes on:  |  Data (100)  |  Define (29)  |  Difference (208)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Point (72)  |  Quip (75)  |  Straight (15)

As regards religion, on the other hand, one is generally agreed that it deals with goals and evaluations and, in general, with the emotional foundation of human thinking and acting, as far as these are not predetermined by the inalterable hereditary disposition of the human species. Religion is concerned with man’s attitude toward nature at large, with the establishing of ideals for the individual and communal life, and with mutual human relationship. These ideals religion attempts to attain by exerting an educational influence on tradition and through the development and promulgation of certain easily accessible thoughts and narratives (epics and myths) which are apt to influence evaluation and action along the lines of the accepted ideals.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (37)  |  Accessible (11)  |  Act (80)  |  Action (151)  |  Agree (19)  |  Apt (7)  |  Attain (21)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Attitude (47)  |  Certain (84)  |  Communal (7)  |  Concern (76)  |  Deal (25)  |  Development (228)  |  Disposition (14)  |  Easily (16)  |  Educational (6)  |  Emotional (13)  |  Epic (5)  |  Establish (30)  |  Evaluation (5)  |  Exert (9)  |  Far (77)  |  Foundation (75)  |  General (92)  |  Generally (9)  |  Goal (81)  |  Hereditary (6)  |  Human (445)  |  Human Species (6)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Individual (177)  |  Influence (110)  |  Large (82)  |  Life (917)  |  Mutual (22)  |  Myth (43)  |  Narrative (6)  |  Nature (1029)  |  On The Other Hand (16)  |  Predetermined (3)  |  Promulgation (3)  |  Regard (58)  |  Religion (210)  |  Think (205)  |  Thought (374)  |  Toward (29)  |  Tradition (43)

As we discern a fine line between crank and genius, so also (and unfortunately) we must acknowledge an equally graded trajectory from crank to demagogue. When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledge (13)  |  Crank (7)  |  Discern (7)  |  Equally (18)  |  Fine (24)  |  Follow (66)  |  Genius (186)  |  Grade (10)  |  Hope (129)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Learn (160)  |  Manipulation (9)  |  Merely (35)  |  People (269)  |  Political (31)  |  Seed (52)  |  Sow (10)  |  Tool (70)  |  Trajectory (4)  |  Unfortunately (14)

Despite the recurrence of events in which the debris-basin system fails in its struggle to contain the falling mountains, people who live on the front line are for the most part calm and complacent. It appears that no amount of front-page or prime-time attention will ever prevent such people from masking out the problem.
The Control of Nature
Science quotes on:  |  Amount (20)  |  Appear (55)  |  Attention (76)  |  Calm (13)  |  Complacent (4)  |  Contain (37)  |  Despite (3)  |  Event (97)  |  Fail (34)  |  Fall (89)  |  Front (10)  |  Live (186)  |  Mask (7)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Part (146)  |  People (269)  |  Prevent (27)  |  Problem (362)  |  Recurrence (3)  |  Struggle (60)  |  System (141)

Does it seem all but incredible to you that intelligence should travel for two thousand miles, along those slender copper lines, far down in the all but fathomless Atlantic; never before penetrated … save when some foundering vessel has plunged with her hapless company to the eternal silence and darkness of the abyss? Does it seem … but a miracle … that the thoughts of living men … should burn over the cold, green bones of men and women, whose hearts, once as warm as ours, burst as the eternal gulfs closed and roared over them centuries ago?
A tribute to the Atlantic telegraph cable by Edward Everett, one of the topics included in his inauguration address at the Washington University of St. Louis (22 Apr 1857). In Orations and Speeches on Various Occasions: Volume 3 (1870), 509-511.
Science quotes on:  |  Abyss (20)  |  Atlantic Ocean (4)  |  Bone (57)  |  Burn (29)  |  Burst (17)  |  Century (94)  |  Cold (38)  |  Copper (18)  |  Fathomless (2)  |  Foundering (2)  |  Green (23)  |  Gulf (10)  |  Heart (110)  |  Incredible (18)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Living (44)  |  Mile (24)  |  Miracle (55)  |  Shipwreck (5)  |  Thought (374)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Travel (40)  |  Vessel (21)  |  Warm (20)

Every creature alive on the earth today represents an unbroken line of life that stretches back to the first primitive organism to appear on this planet; and that is about three billion years.
In talk, 'Origin of Death' (1970).
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (77)  |  Back (55)  |  Billion (52)  |  Creature (127)  |  Earth (487)  |  First (174)  |  Life (917)  |  Organism (126)  |  Planet (199)  |  Primitive (37)  |  Representing (2)  |  Unbroken (9)  |  Year (214)

Every individual alive today, even the very highest, is to be derived in an unbroken line from the first and lowest forms.
In Heredity (1892), Vol. 1, 161. As cited in James C. Fernald Scientific Side-lights: Illustrating Thousands of Topics by Selections from Standard Works of the Masters of Science Throughout the World (1903), 394.
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (38)  |  Derive (18)  |  First (174)  |  Form (210)  |  Highest (16)  |  Individual (177)  |  Lowest (7)  |  Unbroken (9)

Experimental investigation, to borrow a phrase employed by Kepler respecting the testing of hypotheses, is “a very great thief of time.” Sometimes it costs many days to determine a fact that can be stated in a line.
In preface to Scientific Memoirs (1878), xi.
Science quotes on:  |  Determination (53)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Fact (609)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Kepler_Johann (2)  |  Statement (56)  |  Test (96)  |  Thief (3)  |  Time (439)

From the point of view of the pure morphologist the recapitulation theory is an instrument of research enabling him to reconstruct probable lines of descent; from the standpoint of the student of development and heredity the fact of recapitulation is a difficult problem whose solution would perhaps give the key to a true understanding of the real nature of heredity.
Form and Function: A Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology (1916), 312-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Descent (14)  |  Development (228)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Fact (609)  |  Heredity (51)  |  Instrument (73)  |  Key (38)  |  Morphology (18)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Probability (83)  |  Problem (362)  |  Reality (140)  |  Recapitulation (2)  |  Reconstruction (13)  |  Research (517)  |  Solution (168)  |  Standpoint (8)  |  Student (131)  |  Theory (582)  |  Truth (750)  |  Understanding (317)  |  View (115)

Good composition is like a suspension bridge—each line adds strength and takes none away.
In The Art Spirit (1923, 1930), 212.
Science quotes on:  |  Add (26)  |  Composition (52)  |  Good (228)  |  Strength (63)  |  Take Away (3)

I am the most travelled of all my contemporaries; I have extended my field of enquiry wider than anybody else, I have seen more countries and climes, and have heard more speeches of learned men. No one has surpassed me in the composition of lines, according to demonstration, not even the Egyptian knotters of ropes, or geometers.
In Alan L. Mackay, A Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (1992, 1994), 71.
Science quotes on:  |  Contemporary (22)  |  Country (121)  |  Demonstration (51)  |  Egypt (18)  |  Enquiry (75)  |  Extension (20)  |  Field (119)  |  Geometer (6)  |  Hearing (27)  |  Knot (4)  |  Learning (174)  |  Rope (3)  |  Seeing (48)  |  Speech (40)  |  Surpassing (7)  |  Traveler (18)

I shall devote only a few lines to the expression of my belief in the importance of science ... it is by this daily striving after knowledge that man has raised himself to the unique position he occupies on earth, and that his power and well-being have continually increased.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Continually (14)  |  Daily (19)  |  Devote (23)  |  Earth (487)  |  Expression (82)  |  Importance Of Science (2)  |  Increase (107)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Occupy (18)  |  Position (54)  |  Power (273)  |  Raise (20)  |  Strive (35)  |  Unique (24)  |  Well-Being (4)

I strongly reject any conceptual scheme that places our options on a line, and holds that the only alternative to a pair of extreme positions lies somewhere between them. More fruitful perspectives often require that we step off the line to a site outside the dichotomy.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Alternative (22)  |  Conceptual (8)  |  Dichotomy (4)  |  Extreme (36)  |  Fruitful (31)  |  Hold (56)  |  Lie (80)  |  Often (69)  |  Option (5)  |  Outside (37)  |  Pair (10)  |  Perspective (15)  |  Place (111)  |  Position (54)  |  Reject (21)  |  Require (33)  |  Scheme (20)  |  Site (11)  |  Step (67)  |  Strongly (6)

Is evolution a theory, a system or a hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforth if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow. ... The consciousness of each of us is evolution looking at itself and reflecting upon itself....Man is not the center of the universe as once we thought in our simplicity, but something much more wonderful—the arrow pointing the way to the final unification of the world in terms of life. Man alone constitutes the last-born, the freshest, the most complicated, the most subtle of all the successive layers of life. ... The universe has always been in motion and at this moment continues to be in motion. But will it still be in motion tomorrow? ... What makes the world in which we live specifically modern is our discovery in it and around it of evolution. ... Thus in all probability, between our modern earth and the ultimate earth, there stretches an immense period, characterized not by a slowing-down but a speeding up and by the definitive florescence of the forces of evolution along the line of the human shoot.
In The Phenomenon of Man (1975), pp 218, 220, 223, 227, 228, 277.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrow (13)  |  Bow (9)  |  Center (30)  |  Characterize (9)  |  Complicated (38)  |  Condition (119)  |  Consciousness (71)  |  Constitute (19)  |  Curve (16)  |  Definitive (2)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Earth (487)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fact (609)  |  Final (33)  |  Follow (66)  |  General (92)  |  Human (445)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Illuminating (3)  |  Immense (28)  |  Layer (14)  |  Life (917)  |  Light (246)  |  Live (186)  |  Looking (25)  |  Modern (104)  |  Moment (61)  |  Motion (127)  |  Period (49)  |  Pointing (4)  |  Probability (83)  |  Reflecting (3)  |  Satisfy (14)  |  Shoot (10)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Subtle (26)  |  Successive (14)  |  System (141)  |  Term (87)  |  Theory (582)  |  Thought (374)  |  Tomorrow (29)  |  True (120)  |  Ultimate (61)  |  Unification (9)  |  Universe (563)  |  Wonderful (37)  |  World (667)

Is it not true that for every person the course of life is along the line of least resistance, and that in this the movement of humanity is like the movement of material bodies?
In preface to Scientific Memoirs (1878), xiv.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (193)  |  Course (57)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Least (43)  |  Life (917)  |  Movement (65)  |  Person (114)  |  Resistance (23)  |  Truth (750)

Line in Nature is not found;
Unit and Universe are round.
Poem, 'Uriel', collected in The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Poems (), 14
Science quotes on:  |  Found (11)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Round (15)  |  Unit (25)  |  Universe (563)

Mathematics associates new mental images with ... physical abstractions; these images are almost tangible to the trained mind but are far removed from those that are given directly by life and physical experience. For example, a mathematician represents the motion of planets of the solar system by a flow line of an incompressible fluid in a 54-dimensional phase space, whose volume is given by the Liouville measure
Mathematics and Physics (1981), Foreward. Reprinted in Mathematics as Metaphor: Selected Essays of Yuri I. Manin (2007), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (29)  |  Associate (9)  |  Directly (15)  |  Example (57)  |  Experience (268)  |  Far (77)  |  Flow (31)  |  Fluid (18)  |  Give (117)  |  Image (38)  |  Life (917)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Measure (70)  |  Mental (57)  |  Mind (544)  |  Motion (127)  |  New (340)  |  Phase Space (2)  |  Physical (94)  |  Planet (199)  |  Remove (18)  |  Represent (27)  |  Solar System (48)  |  Tangible (4)  |  Train (25)  |  Volume (13)

Mathematics … certainly would never have come into existence if mankind had known from the beginning that in all nature there is no perfectly straight line, no true circle, no standard of measurement.
From 'Of the First and Last Things', All Too Human: A Book For Free Spirits (1878, 1908), Part 1, section 11, 31. As quoted in The Puzzle Instinct : The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life‎ (2004) by Marcel Danesi, p. 71 from Human All-Too-Human
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (114)  |  Circle (28)  |  Existence (254)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Measurement (148)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Perfectly (8)  |  Standard (41)  |  Straight (15)  |  True (120)

Nature has not arranged her productions on a single and direct line. They branch at every step, and in every direction, and he who attempts to reduce them into departments is left to do it by the lines of his own fancy.
In Letter (22 Feb 1814) to Dr. John Manners. Collected in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1905), Vol 13, 99.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrange (15)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Branch (61)  |  Department (33)  |  Direct (44)  |  Direction (56)  |  Fancy (16)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Production (105)  |  Reduce (32)  |  Single (72)  |  Step (67)  |  Taxonomy (16)

Nearly anyone in this line of work would take a bullet for the last pregnant dodo. But should we not admire the person who, when faced with an overwhelmingly sad reality beyond and personal blame or control, strives valiantly to rescue what ever can be salvaged, rather than retreating to the nearest corner to weep or assign fault?
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Admire (10)  |  Anyone (26)  |  Assign (5)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Blame (17)  |  Bullet (3)  |  Control (93)  |  Corner (24)  |  Dodo (5)  |  Face (69)  |  Fault (27)  |  Nearly (19)  |  Overwhelmingly (2)  |  Person (114)  |  Personal (49)  |  Pregnant (4)  |  Reality (140)  |  Rescue (8)  |  Retreat (9)  |  Sadness (26)  |  Salvage (2)  |  Strive (35)  |  Valiantly (2)  |  Weep (2)  |  Work (457)

No force however great can stretch a cord however fine into an horizontal line which is accurately straight: there will always be a bending downward.
In 'The Equilibrium of Forces on a Point', Elementary Treatise on Mechanics (1819), Vol. 1, 44. Note by Webmaster: …bending downward, however small.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurately (6)  |  Bend (8)  |  Downward (4)  |  Fine (24)  |  Force (194)  |  Great (300)  |  Horizontal (3)  |  Statics (4)  |  Straight (15)  |  Stretch (8)

No one has ever done this before, … What we are trying to do here is to create a stem cell line without injuring an embryo. Our cells can go on to become a healthy, kicking baby.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Baby (18)  |  Become (100)  |  Cell (125)  |  Create (98)  |  Embryo (22)  |  Healthy (17)  |  Injure (3)  |  Kick (7)  |  Stem Cell (11)  |  Try (103)

People will work every bit as hard to fool themselves as they will to fool others—which makes it very difficult to tell just where the line between foolishness and fraud is located.
Voodoo Science. In Marc J. Madou, Fundamentals of Microfabrication: the Science of Miniaturization (2nd ed., 2002), 77.
Science quotes on:  |  Bit (13)  |  Difficult (62)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Fool (70)  |  Foolishness (8)  |  Fraud (12)  |  Hard (70)  |  Locate (4)  |  People (269)  |  Tell (67)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Work (457)

Perspective is a most subtle discovery in mathematical studies, for by means of lines it causes to appear distant that which is near, and large that which is small.
Attributed.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (591)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Perspective (15)

Ploughing deep, your recipe for killing weeds, is also the recipe for almost every good thing in farming. … We now plough horizontally following the curvatures of the hills and hollows, on the dead level, however crooked the lines may be. Every furrow thus acts as a reservoir to receive and retain the waters, all of which go to the benefit of the growing plant, instead of running off into streams … In point of beauty nothing can exceed that of the waving lines and rows winding along the face of the hills and vallies.
In letter (17 Apr 1813) from Jefferson at Monticello to Charles Willson Peale. Collected in The Jefferson Papers: 1770-1826 (1900), 178-180.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (171)  |  Benefit (54)  |  Crooked (3)  |  Curvature (3)  |  Deep (81)  |  Erosion (18)  |  Face (69)  |  Farming (7)  |  Following (16)  |  Furrow (3)  |  Good (228)  |  Growing (15)  |  Hill (19)  |  Hollow (3)  |  Horizontal (3)  |  Killing (14)  |  Level (51)  |  Plant (173)  |  Plough (8)  |  Ploughing (3)  |  Point (72)  |  Receive (39)  |  Recipe (7)  |  Reservoir (4)  |  Retain (10)  |  Row (4)  |  Running (8)  |  Stream (27)  |  Valley (16)  |  Water (244)  |  Water Conservation (2)  |  Weed (14)  |  Winding (4)

The chemist works along his own brilliant line of discovery and exposition; the astronomer has his special field to explore; the geologist has a well-defined sphere to occupy. It is manifest, however, that not one of these men can tell the whole tale, and make a complete story of creation. Another man is wanted. A man who, though not necessarily going into formal science, sees the whole idea, and speaks of it in its unity. This man is the theologian. He is not a chemist, an astronomer, a geologist, a botanist——he is more: he speaks of circles, not of segments; of principles, not of facts; of causes and purposes rather than of effects and appearances. Not that the latter are excluded from his study, but that they are so wisely included in it as to be put in their proper places.
In The People's Bible: Discourses Upon Holy Scripture: Vol. 1. Genesis (1885), 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (77)  |  Astronomer (50)  |  Botanist (16)  |  Brilliant (14)  |  Cause (231)  |  Chemist (79)  |  Circle (28)  |  Complete (43)  |  Creation (211)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Effect (133)  |  Exclusion (11)  |  Exploration (93)  |  Exposition (5)  |  Fact (609)  |  Field (119)  |  Geologist (42)  |  Idea (440)  |  Inclusion (5)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Place (111)  |  Principle (228)  |  Proper (27)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Segment (3)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Special (51)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Story (58)  |  Study (331)  |  Tale (12)  |  Telling (23)  |  Theologian (14)  |  Unity (43)  |  Want (120)  |  Well-Defined (2)  |  Whole (122)  |  Wisedom (2)  |  Work (457)

The course of the line we indicated as forming our grandest terrestrial fold [along the shores of Japan] returns upon itself. It is an endless fold, an endless band, the common possession of two sciences. It is geological in origin, geographical in effect. It is the wedding ring of geology and geography, uniting them at once and for ever in indissoluble union.
Presidential Address to the Geology Section, Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1892), 705.
Science quotes on:  |  Course (57)  |  Fold (4)  |  Geography (25)  |  Geology (187)

The divisions of science are not like different lines that meet in one angle, but rather like the branches of trees that join in one trunk.
The Works of Francis Bacon (1815), Vol. 6, 68.
Science quotes on:  |  Angle (15)  |  Branch (61)  |  Difference (208)  |  Division (27)  |  Joining (2)  |  Like (18)  |  Meeting (14)  |  Science (1699)  |  Tree (143)  |  Trunk (10)

The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place. All through the long history of Earth it has been an area of unrest where waves have broken heavily against the land, where the tides have pressed forward over the continents, receded, and then returned. For no two suc-cessive days is the shore line precisely the same. Not only do the tides advance and retreat in their eternal rhythms, but the level of the sea itself is never at rest. It rises or falls as the glaciers melt or grow, as the floor of the deep ocean basins shifts under its increasing load of sediments, or as the Earth’s crust along the continental margins warps up or down in adjustment to strain and tension. Today a little more land may belong to the sea, tomorrow a little less. Always the edge of the sea remains an elusive and indefinable boundary.
The Edge of the Sea
Science quotes on:  |  Adjustment (12)  |  Advance (123)  |  Area (18)  |  Basin (2)  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Belong (33)  |  Boundary (27)  |  Break (33)  |  Continent (39)  |  Crust (17)  |  Deep (81)  |  Down (44)  |  Earth (487)  |  Edge (16)  |  Elusive (6)  |  Eternal (43)  |  Fall (89)  |  Floor (16)  |  Forward (21)  |  Glacier (13)  |  Grow (66)  |  Heavily (3)  |  History Of Earth (2)  |  Increase (107)  |  Indefinable (2)  |  Land (83)  |  Less (54)  |  Level (51)  |  Little (126)  |  Load (8)  |  Long (95)  |  Margin (5)  |  Melt (15)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Place (111)  |  Precisely (11)  |  Press (16)  |  Recede (2)  |  Remain (77)  |  Rest (64)  |  Retreat (9)  |  Return (35)  |  Rhythm (12)  |  Rise (51)  |  Same (92)  |  Sea (143)  |  Sediment (7)  |  Shift (21)  |  Shore (11)  |  Strain (8)  |  Strange (61)  |  Tension (7)  |  Tide (18)  |  Today (86)  |  Tomorrow (29)  |  Unrest (2)  |  Warp (5)  |  Wave (55)

The fact that, with respect to size, the viruses overlapped with the organisms of the biologist at one extreme and with the molecules of the chemist at the other extreme only served to heighten the mystery regarding the nature of viruses. Then too, it became obvious that a sharp line dividing living from non-living things could not be drawn and this fact served to add fuel for discussion of the age-old question of “What is life?”
Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1946), 'The Isolation and Properties of Crystalline Tobacco Mosaic Virus', collected in Nobel Lectures in Chemistry (1999), 140.
Science quotes on:  |  Add (26)  |  Ancient (68)  |  Become (100)  |  Biologist (31)  |  Chemist (79)  |  Discussion (37)  |  Divide (24)  |  Draw (25)  |  Extreme (36)  |  Fact (609)  |  Fuel (27)  |  Life (917)  |  Live (186)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Non-Living (3)  |  Obvious (54)  |  Organism (126)  |  Overlap (4)  |  Question (315)  |  Regard (58)  |  Respect (57)  |  Serve (34)  |  Sharp (12)  |  Size (47)  |  Virus (22)

The line separating investment and speculation, which is never bright and clear, becomes blurred still further when most market participants have recently enjoyed triumphs. Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible people drift into behavior akin to that of Cinderella at the ball. They know that overstaying the festivities—that is, continuing to speculate in companies that have gigantic valuations relative to the cash they are likely to generate in the future—will eventually bring on pumpkins and mice. But they nevertheless hate to miss a single minute of what is one helluva party. Therefore, the giddy participants all plan to leave just seconds before midnight. There’s a problem, though: They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Akin (3)  |  Ball (20)  |  Become (100)  |  Behavior (49)  |  Blur (4)  |  Bright (26)  |  Bring (53)  |  Cash (2)  |  Clear (52)  |  Clock (26)  |  Company (28)  |  Continue (38)  |  Dance (14)  |  Dose (12)  |  Drift (6)  |  Effortless (2)  |  Enjoy (23)  |  Eventually (14)  |  Experience (268)  |  Far (77)  |  Future (229)  |  Generate (11)  |  Giddy (3)  |  Gigantic (16)  |  Hand (103)  |  Hate (26)  |  Heady (2)  |  Investment (8)  |  Kind (99)  |  Know (321)  |  Large (82)  |  Leave (63)  |  Likely (23)  |  Market (9)  |  Midnight (7)  |  Minute (25)  |  Miss (16)  |  Money (125)  |  Mouse (24)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Overstay (2)  |  Participant (3)  |  Party (16)  |  People (269)  |  Plan (69)  |  Problem (362)  |  Rationality (11)  |  Relative (24)  |  Room (29)  |  Second (33)  |  Sensible (22)  |  Separate (46)  |  Single (72)  |  Speculation (77)  |  Triumph (33)  |  Valuation (3)

The principles of Geology like those of geometry must begin at a point, through two or more of which the Geometrician draws a line and by thus proceeding from point to point, and from line to line, he constructs a map, and so proceeding from local to gen maps, and finally to a map of the world. Geometricians founded the science of Geography, on which is based that of Geology.
Abstract View of Geology, page proofs of unpublished work, Department of Geology, University of Oxford, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (114)  |  Construction (69)  |  Drawing (18)  |  Founding (4)  |  Geography (25)  |  Geology (187)  |  Geometrician (2)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Map (21)  |  Point (72)  |  World (667)

The unprecedented identification of the spectrum of an apparently stellar object in terms of a large red-shift suggests either of the two following explanations.
The stellar object is a star with a large gravitational red-shift. Its radius would then be of the order of 10km. Preliminary considerations show that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to account for the occurrence of permitted lines and a forbidden line with the same red-shift, and with widths of only 1 or 2 per cent of the wavelength.
The stellar object is the nuclear region of a galaxy with a cosmological red-shift of 0.158, corresponding to an apparent velocity of 47,400 km/sec. The distance would be around 500 megaparsecs, and the diameter of the nuclear region would have to be less than 1 kiloparsec. This nuclear region would be about 100 times brighter optically than the luminous galaxies which have been identified with radio sources thus far. If the optical jet and component A of the radio source are associated with the galaxy, they would be at a distance of 50 kiloparsecs implying a time-scale in excess of 105 years. The total energy radiated in the optical range at constant luminosity would be of the order of 1059 ergs.
Only the detection of irrefutable proper motion or parallax would definitively establish 3C 273 as an object within our Galaxy. At the present time, however, the explanation in terms of an extragalactic origin seems more direct and less objectionable.
'3C 273: A Star-like Object with Large Red-Shift', Nature (1963), 197, 1040.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (45)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Energy (185)  |  Forbidden (8)  |  Galaxy (38)  |  Identification (11)  |  Impossibility (50)  |  Luminosity (4)  |  Occurrence (30)  |  Radius (4)  |  Red-Shift (4)  |  Spectrum (23)  |  Star (251)  |  Unprecedented (7)  |  Velocity (14)  |  Wavelength (5)

The world, nature, human beings, do not move like machines. The edges are never clear-cut, but always frayed. Nature never draws a line without smudging it.
From Great Contemporaries (1937), 113. Writing about Herbert Henry Asquith, British Prime Minister (1908-16), the context of this quote was the necessity for a leader to have flexibility of judgment in the face of change.
Science quotes on:  |  Clear-Cut (7)  |  Draw (25)  |  Edge (16)  |  Human Being (54)  |  Machine (133)  |  Move (58)  |  Nature (1029)  |  World (667)

There are two things of which a man cannot be careful enough: of obstinacy if he confines himself to his own line of thought; of incompetency, if he goes beyond it.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 200.
Science quotes on:  |  Beyond (65)  |  Careful (12)  |  Confine (9)  |  Incompetency (2)  |  Obstinacy (3)  |  Thought (374)

There is no such thing as absolute truth and absolute falsehood. The scientific mind should never recognise the perfect truth or the perfect falsehood of any supposed theory or observation. It should carefully weigh the chances of truth and error and grade each in its proper position along the line joining absolute truth and absolute error.
'The Highest Aim of the Physicist: Presidential Address Delivered at the 2nd Meeting of the Society, October 28th, 1899', Bulletin of the American Physical Society (1899), 1, 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Error (230)  |  Falsehood (19)  |  Join (15)  |  Mind (544)  |  Perfection (71)  |  Recognition (62)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Supposition (33)  |  Theory (582)  |  Truth (750)

Think of the image of the world in a convex mirror. ... A well-made convex mirror of moderate aperture represents the objects in front of it as apparently solid and in fixed positions behind its surface. But the images of the distant horizon and of the sun in the sky lie behind the mirror at a limited distance, equal to its focal length. Between these and the surface of the mirror are found the images of all the other objects before it, but the images are diminished and flattened in proportion to the distance of their objects from the mirror. ... Yet every straight line or plane in the outer world is represented by a straight line or plane in the image. The image of a man measuring with a rule a straight line from the mirror, would contract more and more the farther he went, but with his shrunken rule the man in the image would count out exactly the same results as in the outer world, all lines of sight in the mirror would be represented by straight lines of sight in the mirror. In short, I do not see how men in the mirror are to discover that their bodies are not rigid solids and their experiences good examples of the correctness of Euclidean axioms. But if they could look out upon our world as we look into theirs without overstepping the boundary, they must declare it to be a picture in a spherical mirror, and would speak of us just as we speak of them; and if two inhabitants of the different worlds could communicate with one another, neither, as far as I can see, would be able to convince the other that he had the true, the other the distorted, relation. Indeed I cannot see that such a question would have any meaning at all, so long as mechanical considerations are not mixed up with it.
In 'On the Origin and Significance of Geometrical Axioms,' Popular Scientific Lectures< Second Series (1881), 57-59. In Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica (1914), 357-358.
Science quotes on:  |  Axiom (26)  |  Behind (25)  |  Boundary (27)  |  Convex (2)  |  Distortion (10)  |  Euclid (28)  |  Experience (268)  |  Horizon (13)  |  Image (38)  |  Inhabitant (19)  |  Measurement (148)  |  Mirror (21)  |  Object (110)  |  Solid (34)  |  Surface (74)  |  World (667)

We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.
From First Inaugural Address (20 Jan 2009)
Science quotes on:  |  Bind (18)  |  Bridge (22)  |  Build (80)  |  Car (20)  |  College (27)  |  Commerce (14)  |  Cost (31)  |  Demand (52)  |  Digital (4)  |  Factory (13)  |  Feed (22)  |  Fuel (27)  |  Harness (15)  |  Health Care (7)  |  Internet (12)  |  Lower (11)  |  Place (111)  |  Quality (65)  |  Raise (20)  |  Restore (5)  |  Rightful (2)  |  Road (47)  |  School (87)  |  Science (1699)  |  Soil (51)  |  Sun (211)  |  Technology (199)  |  Transform (20)  |  University (51)  |  Wield (5)  |  Wind (52)  |  Wonder (134)

What quality is shared by all objects that provoke our aesthetic emotions? Only one answer seems possible—significant form. In each, lines and colors combined in a particular way; certain forms and relations of forms, stir our aesthetic emotions. These relations and combinations of lines and colours, these æsthetically moving forms, I call “Significant Form”; and “Significant Form” is the one quality common to all works of visual art.
In Art (1913), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Aelig (3)  |  Aesthetic (26)  |  Answer (201)  |  Art (205)  |  Call (68)  |  Certain (84)  |  Color (78)  |  Combination (69)  |  Combine (15)  |  Common (92)  |  Emotion (62)  |  Form (210)  |  Move (58)  |  Object (110)  |  Particular (54)  |  Possible (100)  |  Provoke (5)  |  Quality (65)  |  Relation (96)  |  Seem (89)  |  Share (30)  |  Significant (26)  |  Stir (11)  |  Visual (9)  |  Work (457)

Why are you so sure parallel lines exist?
Believe nothing, merely because you have been told it, or because it is traditional, or because you have imagined it.
In George Edward Martin, The Foundations of Geometry and the Non-Euclidean Plane (1982), 47.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Existence (254)  |  Imagine (40)  |  Parallel (16)  |  Tradition (43)

Why is geometry often described as “cold” and “dry?” One reason lies in its inability to describe the shape of a cloud, a mountain, a coastline, or a tree. Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line… Nature exhibits not simply a higher degree but an altogether different level of complexity.
From The Fractal Geometry of Nature (1977, 1983), Introduction, xiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Bark (4)  |  Circle (28)  |  Cloud (44)  |  Coast (11)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Cone (5)  |  Fractal (9)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Lightning (28)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Shape (52)  |  Smooth (13)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Tree (143)

Why the dinosaurs died out is not known, but it is supposed to be because they had minute brains and devoted themselves to the growth of weapons of offense in the shape of numerous horns. However that may be, it was not through their line that life developed.
In 'Men versus. Insects' (1933), collected in In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays (1935), 199.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (181)  |  Developed (8)  |  Devoted (8)  |  Dinosaur (23)  |  Extinction (55)  |  Horn (10)  |  Life (917)  |  Minute (25)  |  Numerous (21)  |  Offense (3)  |  Paleontology (29)  |  Shape (52)  |  Weapon (57)


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.