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Who said: “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.”
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Mantle Quotes (4 quotes)

As a different, but perhaps more common, strategy for the suppression of novelty, we may admit the threatening object to our midst, but provide an enveloping mantle of ordinary garb… . This kind of cover-up, so often amusing in our daily lives, can be quite dangerous in science, for nothing can stifle originality more effectively than an ordinary mantle placed fully and securely over an extraordinary thing.
In 'A Short Way to Big Ends', Natural History (Jan 1986), 95, No. 1, 18.
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Scientists have been only too willing to show their haughty disregard for philosophy. It is also true that in going against the practices of one’s own time and in ignoring the fashion prevailing in the schools and in books, one runs the risk of being very poorly received. But, after all, each philosopher works in his own way, and each brings to his philosophical speculations the imprint of his other studies and the turn of mind which they have given him. The theologian, the jurist, the mathematician, the physicist, and the philologist can each be recognised at a glance by the way in which he wears the mantle of philosophy.
From Essai sur les Fondements de nos Connaissances et sur les Caractères de la Critique Philosophique (1851), Preface, ii, as translated by Merritt H Moore in An Essay on the Foundations of Our Knowledge (1956), 3. From the original French: “Les savants à montrer volontiers leur peu d’estime pour la philosophie. Il est vrai qu’en allant ainsi contre les habitudes de son temps, et en s’écartant de la manière qui prévaut dans les écoles et dans les livres, on court grand risque d’être fort peu goûté: mais enfin, chacun philosophe à sa mode, et porte dans la spéculation philosophique l’empreinte de ses autres études, le pli d’esprit que lui ont donné d’autres travaux. Le théologien, le légiste, le géomètre, le médecin, le philologue se laissent encore reconnaître à leur manière de draper le manteau du philosophe.” [Notice from the original French, “médecin”, was given by Moore as “physicist”, but a true translation would be “doctor” or “physician.” —Webmaster]
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The standard of proof is not very high for an investigation that announces that a plume is responsible for a bit of magma or a bit of chemistry found in, or near, or away from a volcano. The standard is being lowered all the time. Plumes were invented to explain small-scale features such as volcanoes. They were 100 kilometers wide. Then they were used to provide magmas 600 km away from a volcano, or to interact with distant ridges. Then the whole North Atlantic, from Canada to England needed to be serviced by a single plume. Then all of Africa. Then a bit of basalt on the East Pacific Rise was found to be similar to a Hawaiian basalt, so the plume influence was stretched to 5000 kilometers! No reviewer or editor has been found to complain yet. Superplumes are now routinely used to affect geology all around the Pacific. This is called creeping incredulity. It can also be called a Just-So Story.
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We must in imagination sweep off the drifted matter that clogs the surface of the ground; we must suppose all the covering of moss and heath and wood to be torn away from the sides of the mountains, and the green mantle that lies near their feet to be lifted up; we may then see the muscular integuments, and sinews, and bones of our mother Earth, and so judge of the part played by each of them during those old convulsive movements whereby her limbs were contorted and drawn up into their present posture.
Letter 2 to William Wordsworth. Quoted in the appendix to W. Wordsworth, A Complete Guide to the Lakes, Comprising Minute Direction for the Tourist, with Mr Wordsworth's Description of the Scenery of the County and Three Letters upon the Geology of the Lake District (1842), 15.
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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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