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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index M > Category: Material World

Material World Quotes (8 quotes)

Although with the majority of those who study and practice in these capacities [engineers, builders, surveyors, geographers, navigators, hydrographers, astronomers], secondhand acquirements, trite formulas, and appropriate tables are sufficient for ordinary purposes, yet these trite formulas and familiar rules were originally or gradually deduced from the profound investigations of the most gifted minds, from the dawn of science to the present day. … The further developments of the science, with its possible applications to larger purposes of human utility and grander theoretical generalizations, is an achievement reserved for a few of the choicest spirits, touched from time to time by Heaven to these highest issues. The intellectual world is filled with latent and undiscovered truth as the material world is filled with latent electricity.
In Orations and Speeches, Vol. 3 (1870), 513.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (150)  |  Acquirement (3)  |  Application (166)  |  Appropriate (26)  |  Astronomer (68)  |  Builder (12)  |  Capacity (62)  |  Dawn (16)  |  Deduce (22)  |  Development (276)  |  Electricity (135)  |  Engineer (97)  |  Familiar (42)  |  Far (154)  |  Fill (61)  |  Formula (79)  |  Generalization (41)  |  Geographer (6)  |  Gift (61)  |  Gradually (21)  |  Grand (27)  |  Heaven (151)  |  High (152)  |  Human (548)  |  Hydrographer (3)  |  Intellectual (120)  |  Investigation (175)  |  Issue (42)  |  Large (130)  |  Latent (12)  |  Majority (42)  |  Mind (743)  |  Navigator (8)  |  Ordinary (71)  |  Originally (6)  |  Possible (155)  |  Practice (92)  |  Present Day (5)  |  Profound (58)  |  Purpose (193)  |  Reserve (15)  |  Rule (173)  |  Science (2043)  |  Secondhand (6)  |  Spirit (152)  |  Study (461)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (59)  |  Sufficient (40)  |  Surveyor (4)  |  Table (35)  |  Theoretical (21)  |  Time (594)  |  Touch (76)  |  Trite (4)  |  Truth (914)  |  Undiscovered (10)  |  Utility (33)  |  World (892)

Pure mathematics … reveals itself as nothing but symbolic or formal logic. It is concerned with implications, not applications. On the other hand, natural science, which is empirical and ultimately dependent upon observation and experiment, and therefore incapable of absolute exactness, cannot become strictly mathematical. The certainty of geometry is thus merely the certainty with which conclusions follow from non-contradictory premises. As to whether these conclusions are true of the material world or not, pure mathematics is indifferent.
In 'Non-Euclidian Geometry of the Fourth Dimension', collected in Henry Parker Manning (ed.), The Fourth Dimension Simply Explained (1910), 58.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (97)  |  Application (166)  |  Become (172)  |  Certainty (129)  |  Concern (108)  |  Conclusion (157)  |  Contradictory (7)  |  Dependent (22)  |  Empirical (27)  |  Exactness (21)  |  Experiment (600)  |  Follow (123)  |  Formal (29)  |  Geometry (215)  |  Implication (22)  |  Incapable (17)  |  Indifferent (16)  |  Logic (247)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Mere (78)  |  Natural Science (89)  |  Nothing (385)  |  Observation (445)  |  On The Other Hand (32)  |  Premise (25)  |  Pure Mathematics (63)  |  Reveal (50)  |  Strictly (13)  |  Symbolic (15)  |  True (201)  |  Ultimately (15)

Science and knowledge are subject, in their extension and increase, to laws quite opposite to those which regulate the material world. Unlike the forces of molecular attraction, which cease at sensible distances; or that of gravity, which decreases rapidly with the increasing distance from the point of its origin; the farther we advance from the origin of our knowledge, the larger it becomes, and the greater power it bestows upon its cultivators, to add new fields to its dominions.
In 'Future Prospects', On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures (1st ed., 1832), chap. 32, 277-278.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (162)  |  Attraction (36)  |  Bestow (8)  |  Decrease (15)  |  Distance (76)  |  Dominion (10)  |  Field (170)  |  Force (249)  |  Gravity (100)  |  Greater (42)  |  Increase (145)  |  Knowledge (1293)  |  Law (513)  |  Molecular (7)  |  Opposite (50)  |  Power (358)  |  Regulate (8)  |  Science (2043)  |  Unlike (8)

The burgeoning field of computer science has shifted our view of the physical world from that of a collection of interacting material particles to one of a seething network of information. In this way of looking at nature, the laws of physics are a form of software, or algorithm, while the material world—the hardware—plays the role of a gigantic computer.
'Laying Down the Laws', New Scientist. In Clifford A. Pickover, Archimedes to Hawking: Laws of Science and the Great Minds Behind Them (2008), 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Algorithm (4)  |  Collection (44)  |  Computer (104)  |  Computer Science (10)  |  Field (170)  |  Gigantic (23)  |  Hardware (3)  |  Information (121)  |  Interaction (31)  |  Law (513)  |  Look (52)  |  Matter (340)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Network (13)  |  Particle (99)  |  Physical World (12)  |  Physics (346)  |  Role (49)  |  Seething (3)  |  Shift (29)  |  Software (13)  |  View (171)

The material world begins to seem so trivial, so arbitrary, so ephemeral when contrasted with the timeless beauty of mathematics.
In The Mathematical Universe: An Alphabetical Journey Through the Great Proofs, Problems, and Personalities (1994), 160.
Science quotes on:  |  Arbitrary (20)  |  Beauty (239)  |  Begin (106)  |  Contrast (28)  |  Ephemeral (4)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Seem (143)  |  Timeless (6)  |  Trivial (41)

The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention. It is the most important product of his creative brain. Its ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of the forces of nature to human needs.
Opening lines of 'My Inventions', Electrical Experimenter (1919). Reprinted in My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla (2011), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (209)  |  Complete (84)  |  Creative (58)  |  Dependent (22)  |  Development (276)  |  Force (249)  |  Harness (19)  |  Human (548)  |  Important (202)  |  Invention (318)  |  Mastery (27)  |  Mind (743)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Product (82)  |  Progressive (17)  |  Purpose (193)  |  Ultimate (84)

The smallest particles of matter were said [by Plato] to be right-angled triangles which, after combining in pairs, ... joined together into the regular bodies of solid geometry; cubes, tetrahedrons, octahedrons and icosahedrons. These four bodies were said to be the building blocks of the four elements, earth, fire, air and water ... [The] whole thing seemed to be wild speculation. ... Even so, I was enthralled by the idea that the smallest particles of matter must reduce to some mathematical form ... The most important result of it all, perhaps, was the conviction that, in order to interpret the material world we need to know something about its smallest parts.
[Recalling how as a teenager at school, he found Plato's Timaeus to be a memorable poetic and beautiful view of atoms.]
In Werner Heisenberg and A.J. Pomerans (trans.) The Physicist's Conception of Nature (1958), 58-59. Quoted in Jagdish Mehra and Helmut Rechenberg, The Historical Development of Quantum Theory (2001), Vol. 2, 12. Cited in Mauro Dardo, Nobel Laureates and Twentieth-Century Physics (2004), 178.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (188)  |  Atom (280)  |  Body (243)  |  Building Block (5)  |  Conviction (71)  |  Cube (11)  |  Earth (635)  |  Element (162)  |  Fire (132)  |  Form (308)  |  Idea (577)  |  Importance (216)  |  Interpretation (69)  |  Mathematics (1149)  |  Matter (340)  |  Pair (9)  |  Particle (99)  |  Plato (73)  |  Result (376)  |  Solid Geometry (2)  |  Speculation (103)  |  Tetrahedron (3)  |  Triangle (10)  |  Water (292)  |  Wild (48)

We do not belong to this material world that science constructs for us. We are not in it; we are outside. We are only spectators. The reason why we believe that we are in it, that we belong to the picture, is that our bodies are in the picture. Our bodies belong to it. Not only my own body, but those of my friends, also of my dog and cat and horse, and of all the other people and animals. And this is my only means of communicating with them.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (356)  |  Belief (503)  |  Belong (53)  |  Body (243)  |  Cat (36)  |  Communicate (16)  |  Construct (40)  |  Dog (44)  |  Friend (85)  |  Horse (49)  |  Means (171)  |  Outside (48)  |  People (388)  |  Picture (75)  |  Reason (454)  |  Science (2043)  |  Spectator (9)


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 Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (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.